Glow's branches

Ramblings of a resto druid

Category Archives: items

A close look at mana potions

Managing mana is one of the fun things about healing that I’m glad Blizzard have added back into our game.

There’s a school of thought that any mana left at the end of a fight is mana wasted, and that if you’re managing your mana well you should be using every consumable, cooldown and trinket available to you to squeeze every last heal out by the end of the fight.

Well. The main game is beating the boss. Our role in that is to keep people alive, but if I can’t do that because I’m doing my utmost but running out of mana then I need to take stock of the consumables and cooldowns I’m using and make sure I’m optimising that.

So a close look at the three mana return potions available:

  • Mythical mana potion
  • Mysterious potion (alchemists only)
  • Potion of concentration

I’ll review these below, using their raw numbers, not adding in any alchemists bonus in order to keep it simple and generally applicable. It doesn’t change the *relative* value of these potions.

The options

Mythical mana potion: Restores 9250 to 10750 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 10000 mana)

The stock-standard mana potion. As with all potions, useable once per fight. It doesn’t matter when you use this, as long as you have a deficit of at least 10750 mana and you aren’t in the middle of an innervate (or mana tide or similar) that will overfill your blue bar.

Mysterious potion: Restores 1 to 30000 health and 1 to 15000 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 7500 mana)

This is an alchemist-only potion, and in any case unless you are after an instant health boost as well, doesn’t seem worth it. Also, as the range of possible returns is so large, it’s not something you can rely on. And reliability is a huge factor when we want mana back and want it back now. (But it is cheap to make if that matters to you.)

Potion of concententration: Puts the imbiber in an elevated state of concentration where they can restore up to 22000 mana over 10 sec, but they are defenseless until their concentration is broken. (1 Min Cooldown)

This delivers more than twice as much mana as the standard potion…. but what’s all of the defenselessness about?!

Concentration

The concentration potion puts you to sleep for 10 seconds. Anything that would break spell casting, like moving, being stunned, silenced etc will break the effect. While you sleep you regenerate 22000 mana. If your concentration gets broken half way through, you will have regenerated about half of that. Clearly the best way to use this potion is to get 10 seconds worth of sleep out of it, and hence the full 22000 mana.

“But hang on, Glow!” you’re saying. “When can I afford to sleep for ten seconds?! The raid will burn to death, the tank will die, and the other healers will point at me in rightful indignation!”

This is a good question. When can you afford to sleep for ten seconds?

When to sleep

Any time that you don’t need to move for 10 seconds, and your heal assignment isn’t taking much damage. If it’s a possibility for another healer to cover for you in that time, chat with them about it before the pull and see if it’s okay, then call over Vent when you’re about to take the potion.

Some specific times I use mine:

Magmaw: During vulnerability phase. This is a no brainer. Raid damage can be heavy on magmaw, plus I keep HoTs rolling on the tank, so I often have mana issues on this encounter. I innervate early on, and usually use my concentration potion in the second vulnerability.

Maloriak: During a blue phase. This will depend on your role and the random order of the phases. My role for the fight is healing the add tank, and off-healing the raid. If the second round of blue/red has blue first, my add tank will not have adds yet, and the raid damage is light, and I don’t need to move, so I can safely sleep knowing the other raid healer will cover the iceblock targets.

Chimaeron: During feud. Yes, you read that correctly, during feud. I’m tank healing for Chimaeron (I’m guessing lots of druids reading this are too). For the first feud I pop WG Tranquility WG and innervate myself. For the second feud our shadow priest pops hymn and PoHs. I throw a WG, sleep for 10 sec and then start hotting up the tanks.

Snoozing during Feud

I haven’t used Potions of concentration in Bastion, all of the bosses there have so much movement that I haven’t seen a good ‘window’. Open to suggestions though 🙂

In summary

If you haven’t tried sleeping during raids yet – it’s time to start! Quite a few of the BWD fights have healer ‘downtime’ phases where movement isn’t critical, so look for an opportunity to use a Concentration potion. And discuss it with your other healers, you might find it helps to coordinate when you’re each sleeping. Nothing like a nap rotation 🙂

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Preparing for raids

Sitting at work, I realised that I was looking forward to raiding tonight. This should be no surprise, but as I was working away on my mundane tasks I realised that I was also thinking through what I need to do to make sure I’m ready for the evening’s adventures.

My guild is a casual guild (we only raid two nights a week for 3 hours a night) but when it comes to getting ready to raid each week, maybe I’ve carried over habits from my hardcore raiding days. Or maybe I’m just a little bit of a control freak and like to have everything uber-organised.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, how I prepare for raiding: obtaining consumables, knowing the strategies and getting into the right frame of mind.

Consumables

Our guild generously provides consumables for folk who don’t bring them. I spend lots of time online playing outside of raids, so I don’t see any reason not to provide for myself. Plus I like to be self-sufficient in any case and know that I have enough of everything (more evidence for my control-freak personality). So here’s the food, flasks, pots and other bits I stock up on each week.

Food

I carry:
How to obtain these:

You need to have a cooking skill of 500 to make the sagefish, 475 for the guppies, and a total of 6 cooking daily tokens to buy both recipes. The Cooking dailies are ultra-easy, so they are worth doing to buy these recipes.

The sagefish come from coastal open water in Uldum or Twilight highlands; there are no schools of these delights, so you’ll need a high level of fishing and/or some lures. The guppies come from inland river/lake pools in Twilight highlands, and so you can catch these even if you have a fishing skill of 1.

You can buy these at the AH of course, but I’d like to encourage anyone seriously raiding to level cooking and fishing. Even if you aren’t online a huge amount, it will save you heaps of gold in the long term. Plus fishing is a nice easy thing to do while waiting for the raid to form up, or while you’re on ‘sit’ duty.

Comments:

Why do I carry both fish, when the sagefish are a super-set of the guppies? Well to be honest, the sagefish are pretty painful to fish, so I tend to save them for when I think I really need them. So when we’re still learning a boss and wiping in the first 30 seconds, I tend to use the guppies. When we’re making headway and I feel having a ‘bit extra’ might make the difference between winning and losing, I switch to using the sagefish.

Our guild just got the Seafood Magnifique achieve, so we’ll probably be dropping feasts in raids now, So I may cut back to jst one stack of each fish, but I’ll still bring them just in case 😉

Flasks and potions

I carry:
How to obtain these:

Again, you can buy these from the AH I guess but they are fairly expensive at the moment. Glowberry is a herbalist/alchemist, so I gather my own herbs and create my own concoctions. If you have a herbalist, it might be worth collecting the herbs and asking an alchemist in the guild to make the flasks and potions for you, espcially if your guild has an elixir or potion master.

Basically I do three farming loops to collect my herbs:

  1. Twilight Highlands: for the jasmine and cinderbloom in the Int flask and mana potion. I loop around the southern part of the zone, doing a fairly broad sweep back and forth.
  2. Vash’jr: for the Aszhara’s veil in the Int flask and the conctration potion. I loop around the central ‘abyssal’ area of the Abyssal depths; but the veil grows across most of Vash’jr, so there are plenty of other loops you can use. It’s also almost always worth doing a loop of Tol Barad. If noone else is there herbing you can collect a stack of veil in five minutes, which is a nice quick way to keep stocked up.
  3. Uldum: for the whiptail in the mana potions. I just do the usual loop following the edge of the inland water courses. I went a bit crazy collecting whiptail for making my Tsunami deck, so I can pretty much auto-pilot this route while asleep.  Again, whiptail grows on the TB Peninsula, and you can pick it whether your faction controls the zone or not. So if Uldum is really busy it may be worth checking if there is any around the crocodile area at TB.
Comments:

Our guild can create cauldrons for the raid, but again I tend to supply my own flasks  – as at our glevel the cauldron only supplies 7 flasks.

I carry the spirit flasks, but I don’t use them much, so I don’t tend to farm to keep them topped up. If you want to collect herbs for these, you’d want to go to Deepholm for the heartblossom, instead of collecting twilight jasmine in the highlands.

My mana potion of choice is the concentration potion as they deliver twice the mana. But you’ll need to look for opportunities during specific encounters and plan for them. I carry both potion types for that reason. (There’s a whole post to be written about conc pots, but I won’t clog this post up with that discussion.)

Bandages

I carry:
How to obtain these:

You’ll need a first aid skill of 500 to make or use these. If you’re finding it hard/expensive to get your hands on enough cloth, I can recommend killing the combatants on the shore in Twilight highlands. It’s not a *huge* amount of cloth (unless you’re a tailor) but the mobs are all tanked for you by the opposing faction, so it’s easy farming – especially if you have two healing specs.

Comments:

Okay so I haven’t *relied* on bandages since lvl60-Loatheb days. But I have used them when I’m totally out of mana and used every cooldown I have. For those that may not realise: you can bandage other players (that aren’t being damaged) so if it helps survive one of those 1% wipes, whip out a bandage!

A final note regarding consumables:

I don’t use all of the above consumables every week, this is just what I carry with me. So I don’t always restock each week unless I feel I don’t have enough to last me through 2 nights of raiding. So each week I might only do a small portion of the collection to restock.

Strategy

I like to go into a raid encounter knowing it. This can mean a number of different things, depending on whether you’re approaching it for the first time, or working on it from a progression standpoint, or just going in and doing it well once it’s under your belt.

But regardless of my level of experience with the encounter, I like to step back and think through both the general strategy and my specific role in each encounter, and kind of rehearse that to myself.

The sort of questions I ask myself for each boss in a raid instance:

  • What will I be doing in each phase? Where will I be standing, when will I be moving, what will my priorities be?
  • Am I healing the tanks or the raid? Which raid members will be likely to be taking the most damage? Can I position myself to make sure these people are in range?
  • What are the high damage phases, and the low damage phases? When will I use my cooldowns so that I get most benefit from them?
  • When can I get a bit of ‘regen’ time in, and when’s the best time for me to use innervate and/or trinkets?
  • What consumables will I use and when?
  • What did I do last week on this encounter? Did it go well? what did I forget? How can I improve on that?
  • Is there anything I need to clarify with the raid leader/healing leader?

Sometimes I’m just thinking through these things during the week, when I’m sitting on the tram or having a cup of coffee at work. But I always run through those kinds of questions in the hour or so leading up to the raid, and before each boss once we’ve zoned in… Which brings me to my last preparation point.

State of mind

I need to be relaxed, or at least calm when I step into a raid instance. Yes, I’m excited to be there, and be working with a great team of like-minded raiders. But if I step up to the plate and I’m feeling stressed, I know I won’t enjoy the evening. And raiding should be enjoyable. It’s fun!

Knowing what stresses you can help a lot. For me this means not feeling rushed.  I need a good 30 minutes of free time before the raid foms up to know my consumables are sorted and review to myself what my role is for the night. I know for example I shouldn’t try and fit in a heroic before raid. If I miss out on the 70 valor points for that day, sobeit. If I have to dump a pug mid-instance and rock up outside the raid 2 muntes before we zone in, I’ll be panicking about whether I’ve remembered everything or not.

A good spot for some peaceful pre-raid fishing

So I’m online at about 7pm for our 7:45 raid forming up. I check all my consumables, make sure I’m repaired and go grab a drink or a snack. I can park outside the raid or go throw a line in a pond somewhere and wait to see if I get a raid spot.

Luck favors the prepared – Louis Pasteur

Addon spotlight – LootCount

LootCount is a lightweight little addon that helps keep track of items in your bags for you, without you having to open your bags and count things up to see how you’re progressing. I use it when herbing, fishing or collecting items for rep/achievements.

Here’s how I have mine set up in-game:

LootCount, showing my fishing catches

And here’s how easy it is to set up.

Step 0 – how to download and install

You can download LootCount from WoW Interface or Curse. Once you’ve downloaded it, unzip it, and copy the LootCount folder into your World of Warcraft -> Interface -> Addons folder. Load up the game, and check to make sure its in your enabled addons, in the character selection screen.

Step 1 – how to count your loot

Once you’re in the game, type /lc to toggle the small green LootCount frame’s visibility. (If your frame doesn’t appear first time, relog and try again, this is a known issue for the first time load.) Once the green frame is visible, you can move it by clicking and dragging on the corner of the frame. Drop the frame where you’d like your loot icons to appear.

To get LootCount to start tracking, you need to have one of the items to track in your inventory. Once you’ve caught/gathered/looted your first item, drag it from your bags and drop it into the centre frame, like this:

40 Sagefish

The dark squares show where you can drop other items. Once you’ve let go of the item’s icon, the dark squares disappear, and the centre frame will display how many of that item you have in your bags. Often, I just leave it at that, and just track one item. In this case, Deepsea Sagefish.

Step 2 – how to count even more loot

To add more items to your tracking, drag a second item of another type out of your bag, and hover over the lootcount frame. The surrounding dark squares will appear. Drop your new item onto one of the squares and hey presto:

Sagefish AND eels!

You can keep building up more and more items as you farm/fish.herb/loot.

Sagefish and eels and water and ...

To remove items from the frame, double right click on its icon.

That’s it!

For those who like to delve deeper into addons and features, read on. Ninety-nine percent of the time I only track one or two items as above, but I do like to explore other features, like below:

Menu options

To bring up most of the options for LootCount, right click on an edge of the centre frame (but not the corners):

LootCount menu

Some options you may want to consider:

  • Lock – will lock the frame in place, as well as disable removing of items from the frame
  • Fade center frame – will make the green rectangle fade away when you are not interacting with the frame
  • Set “LootCountREP” etc… I generally have these addon plugins turned off to simplify the menus, but may be useful if you wish to use the same mod to track rep/exp etc
  • Bigger/smaller text is useful especially if you resize the icons and/or set goals (see below)
  • Include bank / include alts – this is very useful if you’ve banked or ‘muled’ items when farming to make space, but still want to track your total counts. Switching both of these on and the display looks like this:

Including alts/bank

The top left grey number in the number of the item you have in your bags, the lower right number is your overall total, including (in this case) the character’s bank and on alts. Note that you can get all of this information in detail when you hover over each item.

Item options

Set goal – you can set a goal for each item to keep track of how close you are to a target. Right click on each item, select ‘Set goal’ and enter the number of items you’re aiming for. Select ‘Accept’. The item should be displayed with a count of how many you have left to reach your goal. This is a bit buggy in the current version, but a lua fix is explained over at wowinterface.

Command line options

Resizing – to change the size of the frame, use the text comands: /lc tiny, small, medium, normal, big. You’ll almost certainly want to enlarge your icons if you’re tracking totals across alts/bank or tracking goals. It’s a lot of text to fit on a tiny icon if you track more than one number.

Toggling LootCount on and off is easy – just type ‘/lc’. For more text options, type ‘/lc config’.

Tooltips

Another neat thing about LootCount is the tooltip integration. Whenever you hover over an item in your inventory, a small LootCount icon appears in the top left of your tooltip:

LootCount tooltip

I use TipTac to manage my tooltips, But I imagine it would work the same with the default tooltip, or other tooltip mods. This also works with items that are linked in chat channels – really useful if a guildie asks “does anyone have any peacebloom?” You can ask them to link the item and when you click on it you can see how many you have (great if you’re also tracking alts/bank).

That’s it  – LootCount, makes collecting and managing your farmed items a little bit easier 🙂

Vial of the sands: completed

It’s a good feeling to farm for something and make it yourself. Thanks to the guildies whom I begged/borrowed/bought transmutes from to make my truegold. After a lot of digging and farming, I can finally turn myself into a dragon:

What a handsome hat!

Today I have discovered a wondrous hat. I had to prize it from the ghostly dead fingers of a pirate gnome, and a very handsome one at that. But my new hat is a fine as it gives me the same visage as the handsome gnome himself:

Glow wearing her new handsome hat

Wearing the hat also gives me Burgy Blackheart’s Handsome Hat buff:

How could such fine moustaches be a curse?!

Edit: Burgy is a fairly tall gnome. I’ve added a screenshot of Burgy and some of his fans for comparison purposes:

Burgy brings all of the girls to the yard.

Robes of Forgetfulness

My Robes of Forgetfulness are aptly named. They forgot to have a texture from the waist down.

Sure they LOOK like they have a texture… here I am wearing them in my usual gear:

They look fine! But then I noticed when I changed pants, my robes decided to change too…

Here are the pants and boots underneath:

So then I wondered, what happens if I take off my pants and boots….

And put my robes on over that?

EWWW!

So, Robes of Forgetfulness… Great party trick? Or distrurbingly bugged?

Vial of the sands!

Yay! Third Jar opened, and I closed my eyes as I opened it, not wanting to look. I heard the soft paper noise as the recipe accompanied the clunk of the hardened organs dropping into my bags.

Vial of the sands discovered

The grind was worth it after all...

Now the truegold grind begins =D