Archive for healers

Ding, 85.

After 22 hours spent at 84 (much of that running around, testing things, not getting XP in instances and the like), I finally hit 85 on the beta.

Suffering through zones and quests that weren’t itemized, meaning I get beat on within an inch of my life was probably not the best choice, but I wanted to get to 85 and get my guardian dude thing and then focus on instances and not questing (as ret, no less).

Some quick numbers.

At 85, the following spells cost…

Flash of Light: 6323 mana

Holy Light: 1405 mana

Divine Light: 7026 mana

Cleanse: 3279 mana

Holy Shock: 1873 mana

Beacon of Light: 1405 mana

Light of Dawn: 4918 mana

Holy Radiance: 9368 mana

Yeah, I want to cry, too. I have about 60k mana, I think it is.

At 85, I also got Guardian of Ancient Kings. He looks like a moron. (Click for a larger image.)

He’s wearing some kind of bastardized Lawbringer armor, it looks like, is carrying a Val’anyr and is wearing a mask reminiscent of Batman.

Not only that, but he’s on a 5-minute cooldown. He lasts 30 seconds or 5 heals, whichever comes first. Here’s the effect.

I haven’t run an instance with him or anything, but… ugh.

And he … cries out in what sounds like pain. Or anger, according to Walks.

I want to heal on beta later today and report back on some of the instances. At the very least, I’ll comment on this post MMO-Champion put up. It’s by our friendly neighbourhood Lead Systems Designer, Ghostcrawler:

Right now on the Beta videos a lot of the healers seem to be spamming the weak “Heal” for 90% of the time. So spamming is ok and we are expected to spam for most of the fight as long as what we’re spamming is a weak spell? is this truly what is intended for Cata healers?

No, that’s not the intent. We made those heals very cheap so that healers wouldn’t be in constant terror of running out of mana. We also are making the normal modes easier than the heroic modes. You’ll have to pair the right heal for the right situation to a greater degree in heroic modes. I think part of what you’re seeing is that healers are using the base heal because they can get away with it. It’s also possible that in our effort to distinguish them from the more expensive heals that we made the base heals too cheap or efficient. (Source)

I have so many things to say in reply to this and I just don’t even know where to start.

Anyways, more later as the day goes on. Gotta love Tuesdays!

Your Thoughts: Paladins and Utility Spells

Due to a discussion I am having elsewhere, I would like to know what you all think is appropriate use of a paladin’s utility spells, regardless of spec, over the course of a 4 hour raid night which is in Ruby Sanctum (25m regular) and ICC 25 (mostly heroic, some regular modes).

Please answer the following questions.

1) Should all paladins use Lay on Hands at some point in that 4-hour block?

2) Should all paladins know how to Cleanse? Should every paladin be expected to Cleanse? What encounters should they/shouldn’t they be expected to Cleanse on? What spec do you expect paladins who Cleanse to be?

3) Should all paladins use Hand of Salvation at some point in that 4-hour block? On whom? What spec should these casting paladins be? In what situations should it be cast?

4) Should all paladins use Hand of Sacrifice at some point in that 4-hour raid? On whom? What spec should they be? What situations?

5) Should all paladins use BOP (Hand of Protection) at some point in that raid? On whom? What spec should they be? In what situations would it be useful?

I await your answers and then will tell you on Tuesday why I’m asking. :)

Holy How-To #7 – Your Tools and Cooldowns

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the seventh of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Some time ago, I talked a bit about healing instincts and how my paladin healing instincts consistently screwed me over when playing any other healing class. For example, forgetting about Penance on my disc priest. Don’t get me started on Nature’s Swiftness or Tranquility on my druid, much less Nature’s Swiftness and Tidal Force on my shaman. I’m a good enough healer that I can sort of “fake” my way through content with which I’m already familiar if I’m performing the same role, like healing. But I’m not going to think to use Pain Suppression or any of the other tricks of various healing classes the way I do when I’m on my paladin.

Why is this?

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Healing Classes and History

(or, Why the Hell do I Have All Four Healing Classes??!?!)

Yep. It’s true. I finally have all four healing classes at max level. I’m still not sure why, exactly, but I do. As such, I feel the need to discuss some of the differences and such between them. This isn’t going to be a direct comparison between all the four classes and five specs, but more my own history and views on each. I feel that I’ve spent a lot of time recently giving out information, which I love to do, but haven’t spent a ton of time on me/my classes/my history, despite the whole “I hate my guild” post last week. So this is a fair amount of rambling about my history with my healers in the game. You’ve been warned. ;)

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Updates ahoy!

So, a variety of updates tonight/this morning.

1) Saurfang heroic down (one-shotted!), bringing our totals to 7/12 hardmodes down. Remaining are Deathwhisper, Festergut, Putricide, Sindragosa and Lich King.

Pro tip: 3 holy paladins on Marks of the Fallen Champion on heroic Saurfang = win.

2) I still hate heroic Dreamwalker, despite the fact we one-shot the encounter on our second week of attempts on her (we got her on the 4th last reset). I didn’t miss a portal this time (until the last one; I should have gone in, but I stayed out) but I got an orb like, 6 seconds before we dropped out, sadly, so my buff fell off. And then I got an orb ninjaed from me! I TOLD them all to wait for people inside, but noooo. ;)

3) The healing lead-type situation has gotten moderately better. My RL friend the resto druid SHOULD, with any luck at all, be back next week. Her RL issues have lessened (though work picked up, but should be settling down again soon) so I’m totally ready to give her the healers back. In the meantime, I’ve been doing healing since she’s been gone, basically, which is something like a month (full-time) and a few raids before that.

The caster officer/raid leader (shadow priest who goes disc for us on occasion) and I have a good rapport, really, so we’ve talked a LOT about healing and healers. He’s been my main contact with the officers, playing messenger boy between me and the tanks. Until this week.

The guild has a funny structure. Apparently those who are “officers” don’t have access to officer chat. Their “officer” discussions take place in a custom chat channel.

This channel is one that the raid leader asked me to join this week. Hooray. I’ve been in there since Sunday and it’s a little intimidating to be in there with the MT/guild leader who yells at people, the former GM who plays casually these days and others. At least the hunter/physical DPS officer is there. She’s pretty awesome and is basically my only real “friend” in the guild besides my friend the druid.

I have to say that the disconnect between the MT’s MT personality and his officer-chat personality is staggering. He can be yelling at people in raid and then discussing a new restaurant he wants to check out at the same time in the “officer” channel.

Anyways, the situation that had me questioning people’s opinions of me has been pretty much settled. I’m the stand-in healing lead, period. And they (mostly!) listen to me. I can see this being a good thing if my RL friend needs a night off. “Kurn,” she could say (or, you know, use my real name), “can you do healing tonight? I need to get to bed early.” It would be nice to do it occasionally. Just not all the time.

4) The problems I’m encountering now while leading the healers through heroic encounters (FML, I hate these things!) is that the healers have very little sense of cohesion, no team identity. And no wonder. With one exception, I’m the most senior of the current, active healers and I just joined in September.

We’re apping two holy paladins at the moment, two resto druids, three priests (all disc/holy dual specs) and basically two resto shammies. I’m struggling to find room for them all in the raids, particularly as I’m only being given six spots in the vast majority of encounters. Granted, that should be plenty, but I wish I could keep my disc priest AND a holy priest AND two resto shammies AND two holy paladins AND a resto druid all at once. But I can’t. So the shammies get swapped around a lot. The priests have a very minimal rotation, largely because the one who’s primarily holy is just THAT GOOD and I like the disc very much, he’s been with us longest of all the priests. I’m swapping the two holy paladins around whenever I can. I had T in with us for Marrowgar (H), Deathwhisper (R), Airship (H), then brought in L for Saurfang (H) and kept all of us intact through Princes. Then I swapped out T and kept L for BQL. Then brought T back in for Dreamwalker.

Whew. So personnel and cohesion is a bit of a challenge these days. Anyone have any fun team-building exercises that are doable on a forum? I really just want the healers to get to know each other better so we can learn to rely on each other more.

5) As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing arenas with my brother (survival hunter) and our buddy Majik (unholy DK).

a) Teams with names like “u ju we ez bake oven” should be taken to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I’m not Jewish, none of my family members were directly affected by the Holocaust, but the very fact that people think this is an acceptable arena team name makes me sick to my stomach and makes me wish that I stuck to things like Space Quest. Freaking MMOs. I hate people. And yes, I report each and every offensive arena team name I see. :P

b) Speaking of hating people, I hate warlocks. Fear, fear, fear, fear, curse of tongues, unstable affliction, shadowfury, felhunter and/or succubus, fear, fear, fear, fear, dead. Know what I need resilience to do? Reduce the amount of time I spend running around like a moron being feared.

c) Oh, let us not forget freaking druids. Cyclone, regrowth, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, rejuvenation, travel form, lifebloom blooms, druid is at full health and full mana again. And then continues to cyclone me. UGH. (R, you have never cycloned me. Thus, you are immune to my hate.)

d) And then there are priests. Euphie, Kaleri, you know I love you, but bloody hell, do I hate priests. If there is a sound out there that I hate more than any in all of World of Warcraft (yes, even over Jaina’s whining tones in Hyjal!), it is the sound of Mana Burn. It strikes fear and dread into my poor heart. Psychic Scream is no fun, either.

e) Surprisingly, we nearly got to 1300 rating pretty easily. We even had 9 wins in a row at one point. But we fell short and have since tanked our 3v3 rating back down to 1226 or so. It seems like every game we win gives us 3-7 points and every game we lose drops us 10-20. Pray tell, how the hell are we supposed to beat a team with a holy paladin, a disc priest and an arms warrior? It would seem logical to take out the warrior, but without pressure on a healer, there’s no way to outdamage two healers healing him. So you go for the squishy? Sure. But then I’m stuck kiting the stupid warrior around while the paladin bubbles, heals to full, judges my team’s DPS to get mana back and keeps the damn priest alive.

What about the resto druid and double rogue team? How to beat THAT?

f) And don’t get me started on how seriously OP an elemental shaman is in an arena. Good GOD, does Lava Burst hurt!!!

6) Class previews? Cataclysm beta has to be incoming. Having said THAT, of course everyone else’s preview is this week and the paladins have to wait ’till next. Of course. I’m expecting changes drastic enough to make me want to switch raiding toons. I will say this, though — I love the idea of “healing wave” and “heal” as the middle spells for shammies and priests. It’s exactly what *I* want for a paladin. So I’m envisioning Flash of Light, Holy Light and Greater Holy Light. Or something like that. They really can’t slap “divine” on too many more spell names or abilities for paladins, can they? Maybe FoL, Divine Light (medium spell) and Holy Light (for the big one)? I guess we’ll see.

The shammy and priest changes seem interesting. Not sure how to feel about Healing Rain, but HEY EUPHIE! Guess what spell you’re going to use on ME all the damn time?! THAT’S RIGHT, LEAP OF FAITH, BABY. AHAHAHA!

I used to tell my raiders, back in the day “Look. I can’t move you out of the fire on Archimonde. I really wish I could. But I can’t. So please move out of the fire. Please.”

But in Cataclysm, you will be able to.

Hilarious!

Power Word: Barrier seems nifty, too.

I’m nervous as hell about the hunter changes, by the way. My inner huntard is cringing, waiting for the nerfbat smackdown. AND, BY GOLLY, I WILL MISS MY MANA BAR.

I should end this post. My ideas are starting to degrade into OMGCAPS-like flickers of thought.

So that’s what’s new with me.

Of egos, numbers and priorities.

This totally ties in to my upcoming Holy How-To #4: Healing Meters, but I didn’t want to complicate what will be an informative post with my own personal stuff.

My question is this: how can a guild that is practically five years old be run by people who rely on healing meters to determine who the “best healer” is?

My RL friend the resto druid is taking a break from the game due to various RL issues that have cropped up. Which sucks. I mean, obviously I support her decision and I think it’s the best decision for her, given her RL circumstances and all. Apart from anything else, not having to raid from 11pm-2am four nights a week will benefit her in that she’ll get a decent amount of sleep.

The trouble here is that she’s the healing lead. And we’re 11/12, working on getting Sindragosa on farm (most emphatically not on farm!) and getting Lich King down on 25-man, so we can unlock hard modes, etc.

When she went away on business for a couple of days, she posted on the forums that I’d do healing assignments while she was away. (She and I had talked about this, so it wasn’t a surprise, it was fine.)

So naturally, while she’s away from the game, I figured that the whole healing lead thing would fall to me. Just about everyone else who has seniority is gone or not raiding anymore; the other holy paladin ninja-transferred, the disc priest who is awesome stopped raiding a couple of months ago… Honestly, there’s two healers who have been in the guild longer than I have been at this point, and one’s attendence sucks and the other is happier to be on standby.

So I’m thinking to myself that I should write to the officers that I get along with and let them know that I’m happy to help out in the short-term while they find a new healing lead until my RL friend comes back to the game. But that it’s strictly for the short-term, I don’t want any kind of promotion, I don’t want the job, etc.

So I do. I talk a bit about how I’m willing to help for the betterment of the raid and because the resto druid is my RL friend and I want to do what I can to lessen her stress/guilt for not raiding, etc. This is all on Thursday night.

Later on Friday, the caster officer PMs me back on the boards and is like “can we talk in-game about something real quick?”

So I log on and we chat and he’s like “I apologize in advance, but do you remember me asking you if [resto druid] was going to log on, Wednesday?”

“Yeah, you asked right before she did log on.”

“Yeah, well the reason I asked was because [MT/de-facto GM] had actually asked me to do healing if she wasn’t around.”

Relief totally flooded my body. Honest to God, I was like “haha, that’s fine!” and I was all relieved and fine. I’ve been in the guild for seven months, which is a drop in the bucket compared to most people, including the caster officer (who used to heal in pre-BC and BC).

But then he said that apparently, some people actually complained that I was doing healing assignments. Complained? What the hell? It’s not like I was doing a bad job or anything. With little to no communication from Mr. MT/officers, I did healing assignments for 10/12, with only 2 wipes. One WAS my bad, but the other was due to disconnections on BQL. I’m sitting there, scratching my head as to why on earth people would complain; I was polite in my requests, I was encouraging of the healers, I allocated resources pretty darn well considering I don’t know the capability of half of these people (there are five healers who have been there less than 5-6 weeks)…

So it blew my mind when the caster officer said why they complained.

“apparently some ppl complained about you doing them because they feel like you’re not the best healer or something”

And it dawns on me. The MT felt that these complaints were justified because I don’t top healing meters.

It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can’t manage the healers, nothing to do with the fact that I can’t allocate resources, nothing to do with the fact that I’m polite and courteous. It’s not even that I suck at healing; it’s because I stick to my assignments and do what’s best for the raid, rather than inflate my numbers.

Our last holy paladin, the one who had arrived when the guild was working on Sunwell, was a numbers whore. That’s all he cared about, that and caring about looking as if he was awesome because he knew the details of the game and mechanics — even though he didn’t. (Seriously, he tried to tell me that if MY beacon was up on a tank, that HIS heals would also be mirrored to MY beacon. Which is absolutely false and untrue.)

As a result of his priorities (his numbers instead of the raid), he would often heal off assignment, judge light (instead of wisdom, when there was always a ret pally in the raid, who could more reliably keep a judgement up) and was directly responsible for several wipes in recent memory. Basically, my RL friend was RELIEVED he ninja-transferred so that she didn’t have to deal with his stupid ass for never listening to her. You know how hard it is to type, in healing chat, while running around and healing, the words “[holy pally name] put your beacon on your assigned beacon target and heal your tank please”. She did that frequently and also whispered him a ton to get him to do it.

If I WANTED to, I could give myself the assignments that have me ridiculously high on the meters and I could judge light. But what’s the point in topping meters if people are DYING? What’s the point in wiping the raid all night in order to show off?

I’m sorry, but if we’re on Sindragosa, with a harsh frost aura ticking constantly, there is no WAY I’m going to beat a raid healer AND keep the MT alive. Not a chance. So what’s the more important thing? Healing the MT and keeping him alive so Sindragosa doesn’t turn and one-shot the rest of the raid.

This conversation has been bugging me since Friday and I just realized why. It’s not even that the MT is ignorant enough about healing that he relies on healing meters (haha, does that mean he thinks disc priests are completely worthless?), but it’s that the healers are the ones who complained. My fellow healers, the ones who are supposed to have a deeper understanding of the game and mechanics and healing assignments and the roles of various healers… THEY are the ones who complained to the MT.

So not only is the MT, who is also acting guild leader, ignorant of how healing works in this game, but so are at least some of the healers in the guild.

I could understand it if I weren’t one of the more senior healers in the guild at the moment, if I were this new recruit who, via nepotism, got the healing assignment job just because my RL friend knows me IRL.

I could understand it if I were actually terrible at allocating healer resources.

I could understand it if, instead of going 10/12 the other night, we had gone 6/12 because healing for Putricide had gone to hell or something.

But… I’m not “new”. I’ve been there longer than most anyone else. And I’m not bad at assigning healing. And my assignments proved to be done properly and well as we ruined 10 bosses in 3 hours the other night.

And yet, I don’t top healing, thus I suck?

I am agog at the ignorance that is clearly rampant in my guild. Truly, I am. I don’t understand how any healer who prioritizes the betterment of the raid could give a rat’s ass about the meters.

I’ve been wondering if I’ll leave the guild if my RL friend doesn’t come back soon. If she doesn’t, I think I just plain have to leave. It’s not that I’m hurt by the idea of the complaints, but I’m pissed off that people who should know better just don’t. After this realization that at least SOME of the healers are dumber than I thought they were, I find that I don’t care anymore. This guild is in trouble if it’s recruiting ignorant players and listening to them.

You want to point out where I suck? That’s great. Pull out logs, show me standing in fire or eating Blistering Cold or getting beaned by Malleable Goo. Guess what? I don’t eat BC. I don’t get beaned by MG. Fire and I have an uneasy relationship, this is true, but I have better environmental awareness than most of the healers. Which is SAD.

It’s like, all of a sudden, the small healer community that I THOUGHT was getting better in quality, that I THOUGHT was worth my respect and courtesy, doesn’t matter to me at all, because it’s been infected by Stupid™ and that Stupid™ is also present in the ranks of the officers.

In short, without my RL friend there, it’s clear that there’s nothing left for me. I’m going to kill LK, see how my RL friend is doing and then make my decision as to what to do.

I strongly suspect that I’ll be heading back to good old Eldre’Thalas earlier than expected.

Of raiding, healing and gear.

So my RL friend, the resto druid who’s the healing lead in the guild, is going out of town for a couple of days. She’s actually leaving her house in 45 minutes to head out, so rather than get 2 hours of sleep after our raid, she skipped tonight’s raid and slept.

She asked me if I could do the healing assignments for tonight and Monday night.

We were on Lich King. Seemed pretty simple — I was going to assign healing for the same fight and adjust as needed, right? Right.

I show up to the raid early, have organized myself with NOTES about LK healing… and then I’m told we’re resetting ICC.

I think my private reaction was “What the hell are they ON?! They can’t reset the instance in the middle of the week!”

Apparently, however, they can. I have no idea how this was accomplished. On Monday, we worked on Arthas. On Wednesday, when we returned, there was no prompt to save us to ICC — and I know I didn’t extend my own ID — and yet, there was no trash. The Lich King was up.

So Wednesday and Thursday, we worked on LK.

Tonight, our RL announces we’re ending the lockout extension and then we all get a fresh ICC.

The ONLY thing I can figure is that because we didn’t kill anything new (ie: Arthas) we didn’t get saved to the new ID, so we were able to drop the extension and zone in to a new ICC instance. Because the people in the raid were the same — it’s not like the RL was like “okay, go in without me” or anything.

So that confused me.

Then he announced that we were going to kill 10 bosses tonight and that we’d do Sindragosa and LK Monday. So focus.

Now, I had previously prepared for LICH KING HEALING. We have new healers in the guild, with whom I’m not familiar, and I’m not even up to date on all the existing fights. (I have zero idea as to what happens on Blood Prince Council, for example. I just heal.)

I did healing through all 10 bosses, though, with just one miscommunication on Dreamwalker (leading to a wipe) and a wipe on Blood Queen due to three disconnects.

Lord, I don’t miss it. But the healers did pretty well, even the new pally app (whose spec when he apped gave me reason to be afraid, but he seems okay on the surface).

So yeah, we blew through 10 bosses with 2 wipes in 3 hours.

And because apparently no other paladins, priests or warlocks at the Member level wanted their Marks of Sanctification… I wound up getting two. At the very least, I can use them for a +spellpower set on Dreamwalker until we get heroic tokens, and it might even get me to use some of my 329 Emblems of Frost. I’m reluctant to say goodbye to some of my 258 TOGC gear, but maybe I’ll have to. We’ll see. I’m currently elbow-deep in stats and Rawr and have a headache. :P

Hilariously enough, our “favourite” rogueadin spent Emblems of Frost to examine how crappy our four-piece bonus is. And, shocker, I don’t disagree with him; it sucks. I do think that the 277 pieces will outstrip some of my gear, though, so I’ll want to ensure I’ve got SOME pieces that will be upgradable. Probably, anyways. Even if it’s just as an intermediary step between clearing regular ICC and then moving forward to get the ACTUAL heroic gear I want.

I’m also working on my fourth Holy How-To post, talking about healing meters and HPS and how much I hate numbers and, more importantly, WHY I hate numbers. That should be up this week sometime. And there are GRAPHICS!!!! I’m excited. Are you excited?! Haha! :)

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