There are altaholics.... and then there's the rest of us. A Druid blog for the player that never wants to have to roll another character again. A Bear/Tree/Cat blog dedicated to being able to queue for all three roles in the Dungeon Finder.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Glyphs: Tree Edition

Hey, the blog *is* called Bear-y Leafy, y'know.

The biggest reason why I'm tackling this topic now, is because I recently had a very abrupt and severe jolt when I upgraded from 4pT9 to 2pT10. It was a fairly easy thing to do, since for some bloody reason, I managed to get into two VoAs without a single Tree, nay, a single druid in sight. So where do the Lasherweave Gauntlets and the Sanctified Lasherweave Legplates go? Yeah, me. So now I'm rocking 3pT10 for my tanking set, and 2pT10 for my healyset.

Or was, up until Tuesday.

The weekly raid was Malygos, and, since I usually crank out the HoTs.... my numbers sucked. I mean, they REALLY sucked. Malygos phase 1 is usually heaven for Trees, just stand in place, and throw instant heals. Whirlwind? Peh, just HoT everything, and by the time everyone lands, everyone is pretty much at or close to full HP. Phase 2? Breath? What breath? But the other healer pulled me aside and told me my numbers were stinking, and so I re-equipped the T9 gloves in the meantime. It's obvious that I'm going to need to make some adjustments if I want to keep my raidgroup up on its feet. And I hate the feeling that I might be the one responsible for the group wiping.

So here's my current setup: I've got Glyph of Swiftmend, Glyph of Nourish, and Glyph of Wild Growth.

Swiftmend is almost required. There's nothing worse than gobbling valuable HoTs when you try to give someone a shot in the arm.

Nourish, I am actually considering dropping, since I don't do much tank healing. Most of the time, it's just the strict 5 Rejuvenates - 1 Wild Growth rotation for me.

Wild Growth is also a candidate for being dropped as well. Ish. It's impact is difficult to gauge, given that you may not always find the fifth or sixth target when dropping it, especially either in 10-man content, or in fights where everyone has to spread out, a la Deathbringer.

If I want to roll with the 2pT10 bonus, maybe I'll have to swap either Nourish or Wild Growth out for Rapid Rejuvenation or Rejuvenation, but probably Rapid Rejuvenation, since that effect is useful no matter what level of HP the target is at.
Now, Wild Growth in and of itself might not always connect with every single HoT,

Friday, March 12, 2010

On Glyphs: Bear Edition

Woot for me, I picked up a Battered Hilt for roughly 8.8k in barter today. I'm very pleased with myself. I am going to love the hell out of the resulting Lightborn Spire, because my threat has been lagging severely, what with being stuck first with Marrowstrike all through ToC and then with the Orca-Hunter's Harpoon up until now. I'll not divulge my secret sales methods (which, by definition, are a secret, =D) but I will touch on glyph choices.

Now, like all good Bears, I glyphed my Maul. And like all good Bears, I ran into the problem where I had to unglyph it to tank Deathbringer without wiping the raid. It was a fairly easy thing to do, since I usually run with a Growl, Survival Instincts, and Maul, I dropped the Maul for a Frenzied Regeneration. (I *refuse* to work with a taunt that can miss in general, but especially on Deathbringer.) I didn't reglyph after the run, and frankly, completely forgot to reglyph again the following day, beating the tar out of Onyxia. (I mean, come on, I'm usually on Whelp tanking duty. Maul ain't helpin' THAT much there.)

But what came after was a bit of a disturbance. When doing my usual once-daily Heroic for the Emblems of Frost, I really found out just how much of my threat really is wrapped up in that one Glyph. Trash packs that were usually manageable without so much as a how-do-you-do were suddenly a lot more challenging, requiring Warrior-like tabbing around to make sure everything was suffering equally. I am rather ashamed to say that on the first pull of three Iron Dwarves and two Iron Golems in Halls of Stone, the healer and two DPS bit it. (Although I do note that the Frost Mage in the group was running Ice Armor the entire time, rooting the golems that would charge him in place, which would inevitably turn and beat on the thing closest to them, usually the healer.)

Long story short, I had to take that dungeon a lot more carefully, only going 3rd gear, instead of "ravening-hellbeast-furballrocket" gear, although the constant Tricks and Fan of Knives spam from the rogue probably helped a lot. (God bless you, whoever you are.)

But afterwards, I hit up the auction house to reglyph Maul back into my usual setup. Now, understand, what Elitist Jerks says is all fine and dandy... but Kirin Tor is kind of a laid back server. Progression-wise, we kind of only JUST had someone do a Realm First: Algalon achievethingummy about a month ago. My 10-man and 25-man groups are not uber-leet groups trying to get the Realm First achievements. So yeah, carrying around a stack of glyphs and swapping them out as the fight demands is a bit of a foreign concept to my groups, but I can recognize the rationale when the argument for it is presented to me.

But when the time came to reglyph, a thought hit me: Was Glyphing SI really the best choice? Would I get better mileage out of glyphing FR instead?

So here's the math:

Raidbuffed, I sit at about 50K HP.
Survival Instincts increases your max HP by 30%, while your actual percentage of health remains unchanged. (Yes, your current HP does go up to match the original percentage before going big and red)
Glyph of Survival Instincts makes SI increase your max HP by 45% instead.
Frenzied Regeneration, assuming you don't get ragestarved, will convert 100 rage into a HoT for 30% of your max HP.
Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration, again, assuming you don't get ragestarved, will convert 100 rage into a HoT for 36% of your max HP.


unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration: 15000 healed
unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration + unglyphed Survival Instincts: 19500
unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration + glyphed Survival Instincts: 21750
glyphed Frenzied Regeneration + unglyphed Survival Instincts: 23400
glyphed Frenzied Regeneration + glyphed Survival Instincts: 26100

So it's clear. If you only have room for one, glyphing Frenzied Regeneration is best.


Seriously, though, you and I know full well that there are varying flavors of Bear. I myself tend to favor a full-bear spec, but if you're a hybrid, you might want to take Survival Instincts anyhow. SI works in both Bear and Cat forms, unlike FR which only works in Bear. On the other hand, if you've taken up Herbalism Frenzied Regeneration might be more up your alley, since Lifebloom will get a boost out of the increased healing effect of the glyph as well. Of course, if you're a Cat primarily.... WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU READING THIS BLOG FOR, MAN?!

Me, I think I'm going to experiment with the two before making a final decision.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Settling in...

Just doing a bit of testing here, making sure those sexysexy Wowhead tooltips work.

Lightborn Spire
Lasherweave Legguards
Wrathful Gladiator's Greatstaff

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Post!

Partly because it's maintenance time again, and partly because I've been meaning to get writing for quite some time now, I'd like to just go through a bit of math for everyone who has ever complained about WoW's Tuesday maintenance.

Let's go ahead and take the North American servers, just for example, shall we?

Counting up the number of servers on's Realm Status page, we can see that in North America alone, there are 241 realms, total.

241 realms, not bad. A small-or-medium-sized business has 241 boxes. But these are *realms*. They aren't just one server, even though colloquially, we use the terms "realm" and "server" interchangably. No, a "realm" is Blizzard's way of saying "This is a cluster of computers, not just one." How many are there? Well, let's start with the most obvious ones: mapservers.

The mapservers are what run the world we play in. No mapserver, no Eastern Kingdoms, no Kalimdor, no Northrend, and no Outland. Those of you who have played long enough may have come across a peculiar situation, hearing the words " is down.". The way each realm works, there is one separate computer running each continent in WoW, (Technically, The Exodar, Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isle, Silvermoon City, Eversong Woods, and Ghostland are "part" of Outland.) making it entirely possible for one part of the world to explode, while the other three continents continue chugging along.

So, 241 x 4 = 964 computers already. Let's move on.

Another server that everyone has met is the Instance server. And oh how people hate this server, because everyone hates that "Additional instances cannot be launched" message. Don't deny it, you know you hate it. It runs all the instanced content for WoW on a given realm, and you bet it gets slammed every time that new content comes out and everyone wants to get in and do stuff NOW.

241 x 5= 1205, still going.

A slightly less obvious server is the database server. This server handles all the items that exist in a given realm. And it has to track each and every item, and since we're generous, we'll assume that it also tracks each and every gold that exists as well, instead of having a different server for that as well.

241 x 6 = 1446. Now we're getting into some medium-to-large business territory.

Another slightly less obvious server is the character server, that stores all data related to your stats, your spec, your achievements, and probably your macros, glyphs, and gear sets. We'll assume that this is all run by one additional server as well.

241 x 7 = 1687.

And all of these servers have to communicate with several other shared servers as well. There's still the login server, the payment server, the account management server, the patch server, the Armory server, the Web server (checking realm status and the like) the forum server, and probably the Authenticator server as well. Again, we'll be generous and assume there is one of each, even though with an operation as large as Blizzard, there is no way in hell there is only one computer running each of these things. We're even going to ignore, for the sake of argument, the servers that run cross-server content yet, like the LFG tool, Battlegrounds, and Arena PVP. (Likely one server per Battlegroup, or a collective bunch of servers that share BG and Arena data with eachother.)

241 x 7 + 8 = 1695 servers. And maintenance is usually from 5 AM to 11 AM Pacific time. Which means that Blizzard has six hours to probably:

  • Backup the data.
  • Patch in any hotfixes.
  • Check for connectivity problems
  • Make sure that all 1695 servers are talking to each other properly, in their various capacities and amounts.
And it's not just one giant server farm, either. The North American servers are split up into four datacenters, one in Boston, one in Dallas, one in LA, and one in Seattle. You can imagine the worst tech support phonecall in the world every time that something goes wrong with two different datacenters.

This is a monumental task in and of itself. The fact that Blizzard is in fact capable of usually accomplishing all this maintenance in the allotted six-hour window should make you wonder if, in fact, they don't make regular sacrifices to Sargeras just to keep the game rolling.

In truth, we're lowballing the actual number of computers that Blizzard runs serverside. According to a graphic generated by Blizzard actually runs about 20,000 computer serverside, worldwide. Since the percentage of Wow's subscribers in North America is roughtly 22% of their total customer base, it's probably safe to say that the number of servers is closer to 4400 computers. (Here's some additional numbers from the graphic: Worldwide, Blizzard uses about 1.3 petabytes of storage, and 75,000 CPU cores.) And bear in mind, some of these numbers were released during the Burning Crusade expansion, which means that more servers, more storage, and more CPU cores are being added frequently.

So the next time that someone complains about server maintenance..... sit 'em down and show 'em some math.