Monday, February 21, 2011
A Brief Moment of Glory Atop The World
So it just happened that my first opportunity to run a heroic since the birth of my second daughter came this past weekend and I grabbed my favorite DK tank and mage DPS couple from the Illuminati along with one other guild member for a mostly guild run. As I pressed the queue button, I of course only had healer clicked by habit. The death knight picks tank, and the druid picks healer/tank. Oops. I asked the druid what they would prefer to do and they wanted to heal, so I swapped over to my shadow for my first heroic in DPS form. I warned the group that this was not my normal, but I've been soloing with shadow for a couple months and am confident that I can do fine without great hit cap gear. I'd never walk into a raid like this as shadow, but it's OK for a one-off guild run.
We ended up with Lost City and as the dungeon wore on, I realized that my DPS was roughly keeping up with or exceeding the mage in the group. This is unusual because this mage is a very good player on his main. I'm not pulling great DPS by any stretch of the imagination, but it is ranking a close second to a rogue and sometimes even more than the rogue. I couldn't figure it out because I was making silly mistakes like casting Mind Spike with damage over time spells active (which clears all DoT spells), and the gear was far form hit capped. Nevertheless, Ekaterinae to the top of the charts. And I'm not going to lie, it felt awesome.
Looking into this a bit further, it turns out that in the top 200 players in the world, the best DPS over the weekend was shadow priest. This is probably the first time since I started playing warcraft that a shadow priest was overpowered to the point of leading all DPS potential. Of course, this should not come as much of a surprise as shadow priests received three major buffs in Patch 4.0.6 without any corresponding nerfs. Mind Blast damage was increased by around 50%, which again establishes that spell as a primary nuke cast on cooldown. Mind Sear had damage increased by 15% and could now be channeled on friendly targets, which allows a shadow priest to actually AoE nuke all enemy mobs at once instead of all mobs not targeted by Mind Sear (a long overdue change to this spell). Shadow Orbs were also buffed about 16%, which affects most of the shadow priest's primary damage spells.
All this with no nerfs pushed shadow DPS to the top of the charts, and for once, I got to experience how broken it could be to be the top DPS class. With my gear and experience, I had no business beating two DPS only classes, one of which being played by a better geared and more experienced player. But of course priests are not supposed to be top of the DPS heap, so the hotfix nerf came down swiftly: a 10% reduction of the Shadow Power passive damage buff from 25% to 15%, which theorycrafters have calculated as an 8% damage loss overall. So the next time I walk into a DPS role in a heroic, overpowered will not be the order of the day. It was fun while it lasted, all ten days of it.
In other community news, the Instance podcast is entering a new era with Willy Gregory "Dils" from the AIE Podcast and Mark Turpin "Turpster" joining Scott Johnson. Their first episode was a good one, and I'm happy they kept the theme song opening even though all the segment bumpers have changed. That opening intro music is the best podcast opening music in the community. It looks like the future remains bright for the premiere wow podcast.
It looks like there will be opportunities for me to raid this weekend both nights, so hopefully I can get in to see at least one of Bastion of Twilight or Blackwing Descent. Both have more beatable bosses overall than Throne, so I'm happy this is our weekend off the Winds. Anyway, I hope to report back a bit more about the content of Cataclysm and the health of discipline healing post 4.0.6 next week. As always, leave questions or comments! Cheers.