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Method Jdotb Q&A #3, Weekly Affix Advice
20/03/2018 à 15:41
Our third Q&A with Method Jdotb is now live which includes advice on M+ gear sets, time saving strategies and more! Jdotb also provides his advice on this week's affixes.
Check out our previous Q&As with Jdotb:
Method Jdotb Q&A #3
Want to ask Jdotb a question? Leave a comment below and we'll pick some questions for Jdotb to answer in the next Q&A!
Jdotb plays a Resto Druid and will be participating on the Method NA team in the Mythic Dungeon Invitational. He has achieved multiple
and currently holds many of the top times in the NA Region. He frequently streams his Resto Druid gameplay. Find him here:
For players who do not have exceptionally high item levels and are still trying to clear mythic raid content, do you think pushing 15 keys are an efficient way to farm the gear needed to help with raid progression?
M+ is a great way to pick up what I'd call “filler” gear. Few of the trinkets in M+ are top tier and the loot tables are so stuffed that it's hard to get your hands on a good relic. The bonuses from the
Court of Stars set
are usually good but not incredible, and the items from Seat and Karazhan with equip effects are mostly pointless (
Voile de honte
being a notable exception).
What M+ does well is flesh out your non-tier armor and jewelry slots. There are all kinds of secondary stat combinations on M+ gear so you can usually find something that gives you the stats you want. If you run a lot of +15 keys you'll quickly bump your ilvl and start shaping your secondaries via your jewelry. These ilvls won't have the same effect on your DPS/HPS that weapon ilvl or trinket ilvl will, but the sheer number of pieces you can upgrade in M+ will make a noticeable difference.
The other thing that M+ really helps with is fishing for tertiary stats. Everyone should have a run speed set for situations where you need to move quickly indoors (usually a run back after wiping). Pound for pound, leech will add more to a healer's HPS than any secondary stat -- personally I run >10% leech in my raid healing set at all times and have gone as high as 19%. Leech will often be my third highest source of healing on boss fights. And avoidance is the most important stat you can have on lots of M+ boss fights. AoE abilities like
will start one-shotting people on higher keys, and having capped avoidance (20%) will often be the difference between living and dying.
You're still going to need to raid for your tier sets, trinkets and probably relics but you can count on M+ to supply the rest if you run dungeons frequently enough.
How essential are time saving strategies to pushing high keys? Is this the same as exploiting?
I'll assume that “time saving strategies” refers to skipping packs by various means. The value of skips varies from dungeon to dungeon. In
Halls of Valor
, e.g., there really aren't any skips that are impactful -- it's just a question of which packs you want to pull. In other dungeons like
Eye of Azshara
, the ability to skip straight to
by using the boat shaves minutes off the dungeon and has become so ubiquitous that people don't even know how to do the dungeon anymore without using the skip.
There are a few ways to skip things and the methods used range from “completely legit” to “ok everyone turn off your streams for the next 30 seconds”. If you skip trash packs by having your tank pull a pack off to the side while your group runs by, there's absolutely nothing sketchy about that. It can be hard to determine how Blizzard intended that dungeons be run but the fact that mob count exists and that you can finish mob count without pulling literally everything in the dungeon means that Blizzard expects you to avoid some trash packs entirely. It's the same deal with
Voile de dissimulation
Feindre la mort
to reset a trash pack -- those abilities were obviously designed to avoid enemies.
Intentionally dying and having your healer mass res you starts to get a little grayer. It's a very common tactic and I think most people would say that it falls under “intended uses of mass res” but I could certainly understand how some people might think this is a broken mechanic. Blizzard could put a stop to this quickly by dropping the range on mass res (currently 100 yards) or adding some kind of line of sight requirement since most res skips rely on ressing through walls or other obstacles. Also if
Pylône de détection des échecs
wasn't an option in M+ it would severely crimp intentional death strategies.
Other skips generally start getting pretty questionable. Warlock's
Porte des démons
has found a lot of use in M+ as a way to move between two points that would otherwise be untraversable. Typically the Z-axis is involved in these skips and they allow the group to get to a spot that probably wasn't intended. Blizzard has fixed some of these Gateway skips which gives some indication about how they feel about the skips in question.
One interesting thing to note when using the term “exploiting” is that Blizzard has not yet to my knowledge banned anyone for any M+ related activities regardless of how blatant some of the “exploits” were. The most recent example is Ularogg in
. There was a taunt strategy that allowed you to prevent Ularogg from ever going underground for
Posture de la montagne
so that the fight became a tank-n-spank with no intermission. This is quite obviously not how the fight is supposed to work and you had to go through some very deliberate steps to keep Ularogg from going underground. Most top groups used this method because it was necessary to post competitive times. Blizzard has since fixed it, and nothing was done to discourage the activity.
Blizzard appears to be a lot more willing to let players push up against the line between “exploit” and “clever use of game mechanics” in M+ than in raids.
I enjoy raiding with my friends, but they do not play classes that are currently good for M+. Do you have any advice on how to play with “non meta” classes (BM hunter,
rogue) or is it better for me to just find other people if I want to push higher keys?
This is a question that everyone who has ever played a team game of any kind (be it of the real world or video game variety) has had to ask themselves at some point. The question you really need to be asking yourself is, “Why do I play this game?” because that's what's going to determine the answer to the first question.
If your goal in M+ is to push keys as high as possible, then there isn't any room in your group for off-meta classes. They will hinder you significantly, and there isn't any way to play around it. Your progression will suffer for it and you'll probably end up resentful of the fact that your teammates are slowing down your keys because of the classes they play. If the most important thing to you is trying to time the highest keys possible then the only way forward is to find other people to play with. Splitting off from your friends will be incredibly difficult and the conversation is never easy -- I've had to have it a few times myself and it sucks. It's the only way to accomplish your goals though, so it's necessary.
If your goal in M+ is to have as much fun as possible then sticking with your friends might be your best option. And don't think that having fun is somehow a less important or worthy goal than pushing keys; this is a game after all and it should be fun. There are a lot of games I've played where it was more important to me to play with my friends than to try to be as successful as possible because it wasn't worth it to me.
There is no right answer here, just some soul-searching. You need to figure out what your priorities are when you play WoW. And they are your priorities, so do what makes you happiest. Personally I've made it my goal to try to get world firsts on M+ keys but it has cost me some friendships that I miss, and there are certainly days when I'm pushing that I'm not having fun and wonder why I put myself through it. But on the good days I remember why I do it and wouldn't trade it for anything.
You have talked on your stream about having multiple gear sets for healing. Is this important for DPS also?
Having multiple gear sets is important for just about everything you do, and DPS is no exception. DPS and healing sets have many of the same considerations: how long is this fight? Is it mostly single target or AoE? Do I need to have avoidance and/or
Prydaz, chef-d'œuvre de Xavaric
in this set? Is there something I can use to proc
Secret de Sephuz
I have a set that I use for single target with no avoidance or
Prydaz, chef-d'œuvre de Xavaric
or mastery, a single target set with avoidance and
Prydaz, chef-d'œuvre de Xavaric
, an AoE set which includes
Secret de Sephuz
because most AoE will be on trash where it's easy to proc
Secret de Sephuz
, etc. I also swap my trinkets around depending on the pull/boss (will the pull be so long that a proc trinket will get more value than an on-use trinket?).
Resto druids are also unique in that they have two completely different approaches to DPS. You can either use
and go cat form and use cat abilities or you can sit in bear form with
La Dame et l'Enfant
Fureur de la nature
equipped and spam
. The legendaries and trinkets used for each of these approaches are going to be different -- for instance, you won't be meleeing while doing DPS in bear form so you'll need trinkets that proc off ranged attacks and spells.
Healers also have an extra decision to make with regard to their stats while DPSing because mastery and tier bonuses aren't going to add any DPS. So on top of deciding what trinkets and legendaries to use, you'll also need to decide how much healing a fight is going to need and then adjust your pieces accordingly. On a fight like
, you will likely not need to heal at all for 99% of the fight and can put on a total DPS set. Some fights like
will be nonstop healing fights where you can confidently assume you won't be doing any meaningful DPS and so can gear strictly for healing. And then there are fights like
where you'll have opportunities to DPS but will also be required to heal intermittently, and you'll want to mix in some healing gear and some DPS gear.
If you don't have a bunch of different DPS sets, don't sweat it. You can start working on them as you get more comfortable, and a lot of it is minmaxing that won't result in a dramatic difference in your DPS regardless.
Do you think the MDI and teams recently getting sponsorships/salary will lead to the MDI being held more often? If yes, is this a good idea or bad idea?
I think Blizzard already has an idea of how often they want to host the MDI which is independent of esports involvement. I think it's probably safe to expect at least two MDIs a year, maybe three. I could potentially see some third party tournaments being sponsored if the M+ format gets hugely popular, but I think it would be totally separate from MDI like the TESPA tournament has been.
Would I like more MDIs? I don't think I would. Because of the nature of the tournament, it's always going to take a couple months to play out from start to finish, and as a streamer this is problematic. With the way the regional rounds are set in the upcoming MDI for example, NA teams will have at least a month on the tournament realm to prep for the regional head-to-heads. It doesn't really make sense to stream MDI practice because you're just going to tip off all your strats, so each day that you spend practicing will be a day that you just forego streaming. I anticipate my team will be practicing at least five days a week for several hours each day, so it's likely that the MDI will eat up 100+ hours of streaming time just in the regionals stage. That's not good for growing the popularity of M+.
I wouldn't mind seeing some shorter tournaments, i.e., events that play out over a weekend or two rather than over several months. It would be nice to have some invitationals for top teams to race each other without having to invest a ton of time preparing for the tournament, and it would give a reason for teams to keep trying to push keys on live.
Ultimately the goal of both Blizzard and the M+ community should be to grow the M+ demographic. Streaming provides an excellent platform to give casual fans a way to see what the top teams are doing and interact with them, and the M+ streamers have been very willing to broadcast their runs which is a dramatic difference from raiding where the world first race occurs almost entirely behind closed doors. Regularly hosting an MDI that encourages the top teams to turn their streams off for months at a time isn't the best way forward.
What are some of the changes that could be made to smooth out the power difference in the healers for M+?
I'll preface this answer by saying that I've really only spent time on a resto druid this expansion and don't have a great idea how other healers feel in M+. One of the side effects of being a healer in M+ is that you never play with other healers -- there's only one spot for a healer, and it's always you. So most of my opinions on healer balance come from what I hear around the community. The community isn't always the best or most accurate resource for these kinds of things; some of the stuff I say below might be flat out wrong so bear with me.
The biggest difference between healers as far as M+ is concerned is survivability. Most healers have the ability to keep other people alive pretty well. Disc priests are a little weird in the way they play but otherwise all the healers have relative strengths and weaknesses in their healing. What makes the top tier healers (holy pally and resto druid) so good is that they have the ability to live through a lot of crazy stuff.
is an on-demand defensive cooldown, and pallies just naturally walk around with 15% more health and a ton of physical damage reduction because of plate armor. Both of these classes are extremely durable, and other healers don't have tools in their kits to match.
Another common complaint is that not every healer has external cooldowns they can use on party members.
Bénédiction de sacrifice
can be very valuable for keeping teammates alive, and there isn't necessarily an analog on other healers. Items like
Emetteur de gangrebouclier d'Ishkar
help to narrow that gap by providing the equivalent of an external cooldown, but not having those kinds of things baseline will become an issue in higher keys.
Lastly there's always a delta between how the community sees a class and what that class is really capable of. That's natural and nothing can be done about it, but it also means that you have to be careful when you balance because the things the community asks for may not actually be needed. Often times you just need one person to innovate on a class and suddenly the perception of the class changes entirely.
The normal affix of
has been replaced by
this week. Here are Jdotb's recommendations for Dungeons to avoid and attempt.
Dungeons Most Affected by Sanguine:
Black Rook Hold
: Sanguine makes the hallway after Illysanna Ravencrest a nightmare. The Wyrmtongue Tricksters will die quickly leaving Sanguine pools, and the Wyrmtongue Scavengers will stand still casting Indigestion. Risen Archers will also stand still casting Shoot and Arrow Barrage.
: Tarspitter Lurkers show up in trash packs with lots of low health mobs (Vileshard Crawlers and Tarspitter Slugs). If the Lurker Submerges into a Sanguine pool it’s going to be a long fight. Blightshard Shapers and Rockbound Pelters are also casters that are liable to stand in Sanguine indefinitely.
Vault of the Wardens
: Vault has a few big pulls that can be annoying with Sanguine but the big threat is Spirits of Vengeance. If Sanguine drops under a Spirit, good luck getting it moved out.
Dungeons Most Affected by Necrotic:
Maw of Souls
: Ymiron’s adds will quickly stack Necrotic into the unhealable range on the tank which is an issue when Dark Slash is coming and the tank can’t get topped off. Skjal’s adds are also a non-stop source of Necrotic, and Skjal takes a while to kill so the tank will need to find a way to clear stacks eventually.
Cathedral of Eternal Night
: the waves Necrotic Spiderlings that come with Nal’asha will keep Necrotic on the tank permanently while also continuously applying Sinister Fangs. Adds on Domatrax can be an issue for the tank if they’re aren’t dealt with quickly.
: if the Strangling Roots on Oakheart are left up, the Vilethorn Saplings that spawn from them can quickly make a tank unhealable. A popular tactic on Dresaron is to spawn additional Hatespawn Whelplings from the eggs to increase damage for certain classes, but this becomes much more dangerous with Necrotic.
Eye of Azshara
: leaving Saltsea Globules up on Lady Hatecoil to increase damage is much riskier with Necrotic. Any pulls involving Saltsea Globules, Bitterbrine Scavengers or Seaspray Crabs will likely need to be kited the entire time.
Dungeons Most Affected by Fortified:
Halls of Valor
: Valarjar Thundercallers and Runecarvers start to get lethal on higher keys, and the Storm Drake’s Lightning Breath has a chance to wreck the tank. Make sure to dodge the Ebonclaw Worg leaps. The four kings will all hurt, and tanking multiple of them will be iffy.
Maw of Souls
: Seacursed Soulkeeper’s Brackwater Blast will start needing personal cooldowns. Night Watch Mariner should be skipped as the damage is likely unlivable on higher keys. Shroud Hounds will kill someone if they leap to the same target. Skjal’s Give No Quarter will be deadly.
: Rockbound Pelters and Blightshard Shapers will shred the party with their respective casts. Rockbound Breaker’s Avalanche will be lethal. Stoneclaw Grubmaster’s Stone Shatter will probably kill anyone standing near the tank. Emberhusk Dominators do tons of damage to the three furthest players from them, so be prepared to pop cooldowns.
: Dreadborne Seers will start killing people Prophecies of Doom. Searing Wound from Wrathguard Felblades will require significant healing and can quickly overwhelm the healer if it goes out on multiple targets. If one person takes multiple casts of Arcanic Bane from Withered Fiends it will kill them, and the Withered Manawraiths will start doing real damage to the tank. The Plagued Rat packs are very dangerous for melee.
Best Dungeons to Run This Week:
: no real opportunities for Necrotic to become an issue on boss fights in Upper Kara, and all trash mobs can quickly be moved out of Sanguine since there aren’t many casters.
Court of Stars
: you’ll need to watch out for Blazing Imps casting in Sanguine pools but otherwise this dungeon isn’t threatening with these affixes. None of the boss fights should heavily stack Necrotic.
Halls of Valor
: the tank will need to be careful if trying to do multiple kings at once this week, but otherwise Necrotic isn’t an issue in Halls of Valor. Some of the casters will need to be interrupted to move them out of Sanguine but you should have an interrupt rotation on those mobs regardless.
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