Entering the final stretch

In a sense I have been preparing for Battle for Azeroth now for the last month or so, but I feel like as of maybe yesterday I am starting the final sprint. In my part of the country, the expansion will launch at 6 PM on Monday August 13, part of Blizz’s planet-wide simultaneous launch. That probably means we are only about a month away from Patch 8.0, the pre-launch patch. (One wonders if Blizz will give their live launch plan a dry run by also doing a simultaneous launch of 8.0.)

I was reminded of this ever-shortening timeline by a guild Discord discussion a couple days ago. Though it pains me to say it, a couple of our guildies are actually far more diligent and meticulous organizers than I am. And if you are a regular reader, you know that is going some. Anyway, these guildies posted their very extensive spreadsheets as an example of how they keep track of achievements, alt progress, addons, and so forth. Let me tell you, I was not only impressed but ashamed at the realization that I am a slacker! I have gotten lazy in this expansion, clearly.

Well, no more. Today I will get serious about what I now realize is the final sprint towards BfA. In fact, in the past I have felt a flat spreadsheet does not give me the kind of data I need at my fingertips, so I have put together relational databases to better serve my needs. I will probably do that this time, too. Yeah, that’s right, I’m bad! I will see your puny spreadsheets, Smugly Organized Guildies, and I will raise you a relational database! *drops mic*

(Okay, enough of the nerd trash talk. For now. 🤓)

As part of preparation for BfA, I am still wrestling with the idea of changing my main. I remain doubtful that I actually will follow through on the idea, but I have really been exploring a couple of alternatives, mainly by playing different classes/specs at a level beyond casual key-mashing. Specifically, I am seriously considering resto/balance druid, some flavor of mage, and mistweaver/windwalker monk. Less seriously, demonology warlock, though I have not done any Legion prep for this possibility.

My dilemma is somewhat complicated by the fact that currently — and likely for the foreseeable future — our guild raid team has a lot of healers and melee dps, making it harder to fit in another of those roles. The guild is very good about adapting to the classes of the players that are on the team, but eventually there are limits. Whereas if there are a lot of melee damage dealers the raid leader might be able to devise boss tactics to compensate for that, there is nothing that can be done if there are 6 healers for a raid of 20-25 — someone will have to switch specs. So that is a consideration for me, too, since I want to continue raiding with this team. This could end up self-limiting my options to hunter, balance druid with resto off spec, or mage. Gotta think about it some more.

Last night, though, I got a nice bonus result from prepping one of my alts. I have lately been working on my monk, because I find I really like the MW healing play style. Trying to gear my monk up a bit more as well as get more proficient at healing, I have been running some of our alt raids and also some LFR. However, I have stayed away from instance healing, mainly because I have absolutely no confidence in my ability to be the sole healer for a group and a tank.

But last night I swallowed my fear and ran 5 Timewalker dungeons as a MW monk. It was both exhilarating and liberating, not to mention I learned some cool emergency tricks for snatching an almost-dead player from the jaws of death. I came away from the experience with a ton more confidence that I had going in, and I may have actually finally overcome my phobia about instance healing. Woohoo!

Of course, no night of running with random groups would be complete without a head-slapping story. In the third TW I ran, Vortex Pinnacle, I was having an exceptionally hard time keeping the tank healed up. He looked like he was adequately equipped and specc’ed, and he seemed to be doing the right things, but as soon as we got into combat of any length his health took a big dip and kept going down unless I pretty much healed him alone and took care of the rest of the party with just AoE. Finally I said in chat, “Tank, idk why ur health keeps taking such big hits.” His reply, “I usually take my shield off in extended combat.” And sure enough, when I inspected him during the next round of combat, no shield. 🤯 (As one guildie noted when I told the story in guild chat, “Yeah, the shield is just for aggro. Healer aggro!”)

The announcement yesterday that the new PTR build will allow character transfers was a very welcome one for me. It means I will be able to further refine my alt/main options in a realistic environment. (It would be more helpful if we could have addons, but I guess we should not expect too much.)

And now, on to database creation!

8 thoughts on “Entering the final stretch

    1. Yeah, my mind was blown, too. But that is exactly what he was doing — by the time I decided to ask him why he would do such a thing we were on the final boss and he dropped group as soon as we were done. Bizarre!

  1. Sadly I won’t know until 8.1 if I will want to play my Priest. I’ve even considered not buying the expansion until later. But I know I will. I can only hope it gets better.

  2. The heck? No shield? He seemed so serious about it!

    But, wait. “Tank, idk why ur health keeps taking such big hits.” – this cannot be your exact words! I call bluff 😀

    Also. I am going to have to see that neat database, right? 🙂 And those spreadsheets too, please! 🙂 It sounds beyond cool.

  3. Just for the record, all I have is a piece of paper with various notes on, and it’s such a mess. But it helps me out, and the sense of accomplisment when I take my pen and cross over something like “Getting around with the Shado-pan” is more than worth it 😛

  4. Does your raid leader have any preference on which path you might take? Since class tuning won’t be finished for a few months into BfA, there is no way to know who will be the top dog — and I stress a little about that.
    Zounds, I feel like a hobo — I don’t have any notes at all!

    1. Yeah, it’s a tough decision for many of us. RL of course prefers more ranged dps, so he would probably say mage or balance druid. Throughout Legion we routinely ran with 4 hunters, 2 BM and 2 MM. The other BM hunter tried SV briefly but she hated it, plus it really was starting to be too many melee. We probably won’t know the raid team composition until at least a couple weeks into BfA, so we’ll see. I still think I will end up with BM hunter though, even after all my angst about which class to main.

      For me, I am not too concerned about “top dog” class/spec, but I would at least like something that normal people could play and land somewhere in the upper middle of the meters. But as you point out, none of this will even begin to settle down until later in the expansion — probably the first major patch or even the first “half” patch after that, 8.1.5 or something.

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