Healing in Cataclysm

Have you stepped into a dungeon and felt the pain of your mana and thought, “What the HELL?”

I really did have that WTH moment as the first pack was aoe’d down and health started dropping. My mana tanked out and my inner GRRR went off. I really felt the difference the changes to mitigation have made. Xandi and I commiserated the life of disc priests in 5mans.

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Published in: on December 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Zhavi’s Healer PSA

*taps on screen* Hello there. I’m Zhavi and I’m here to have an honest talk with you. Please don’t worry I am talking directly to you, no one sees you looking around. It’s all right…we’re alone.  I know about your shame and how you like to keep it hidden.  When people ask, you try to calmly deny it, but inside you can’t deny it. You have a healer and you are pretty good at it. You’re a tank or dps…maybe both? You like healing…secretly on the inside where you don’t talk about it. It is time to talk about it.

Every day 5man, 10man, and 25man raids are falling apart; because you aren’t there to heal. But for just a few hours a day you could help these raids happen, bosses would be downed, and loot would be had. It is time to cast off that shame and step into the light! Dust off your healer, ready your spells, and help these raids see the bosses dead!

Published in: on April 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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Addon Spotlight: Surgeon General

Our charter’s heal lead wasn’t there last Tuesday and by the power of healer voting I got to be the Temp for the day. The thought of being lead of the healers stresses me out at the thought. It is a balancing act of peoples’ strengths, weaknesses, knowing the fights, and typing assignments fast. (Really it is the last part that gets me) Except…that last part is a lie. Behold the power of Surgeon General! *cues the epic AWWWWWWW music*

A huge thank you to Tyrilian for letting me know /sg will pull up the menu for SG once installed. I didn’t have a chance to read over the mod before installing it again. I had it installed ages ago but never had the need to use it. Although, after that it was pretty straight forward to use and is updated for ICC. ❤ I auto populated my healers and only needed to add one, a priest rocking a disc/holy hybrid the mod didn’t recognize. The save feature meant I could assign people for all the fights I knew ahead of time and not worry about it for the rest of the night.

Pros:

Auto populate healers in your raid

Manual add anyone missed (great for dual spec people flipping between fights)

Announce assignments to custom channel or to raid

Multiple phase assignments options

Save assignments by raid, boss, and trash

Make change on the fly

Cons:

If you crash you will lose your assignments

Doesn’t recognize hybrid heal specs (ie disc/holy)

Honestly, I lucked out between SG making my life easier so I wasn’t freaking out about typing out assignments fast enough for everyone and our core heal group being all present. By no means will I say that being Heal Lead is easy. But if you had to step up at the last minute I would suggest Surgeon General for your assignment needs!

This mod has earned the Lenelie’s Voice Seal of Approval *loud stamping sound*

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Knowing Your Role: Death Knights

Often I read healer forums and have wondered why there is so much hate for the DK tank. Two of my fav tanks to heal during a raid are DKs and I’ve had good success doing 5mans with my friends who are DK tanks. Since the new LFG tool has been added however, I have come to understand my fellow healers’ disdain for the DK. Ultimately, I believe they suffer from the same problems as Hunters.

Ease of play. Why are there billions upon billions of hunters out there? Because leveling is easy when you have a pet to sick on things and can Feign Death when it gets hairy. It is not to say that all hunters are bad hunters. The nickname huntard however has joined our vocabulary simply because of the rarity of a good player (this was worse in Classic aka Vanilla WoW than I find it to be so now) Truthfully, hunters didn’t get replaced for having a bad rep until the Death Knight. Starting off at high level , coupled with the fast leveling meant that everyone and their brother was going to make one. If you were to go look in your own character screen I am sure most of us have a hunter and a death knight kicking around.

Ease of play leads to class proliferation, which means quality of play is watered down. It is harder to find the good DK in the sea of mediocre or bad players. I had thus far been so lucky has to avoid running into a DK so bad I would swear off the class all together. But thank you LFG random group I have now done so. (With the caveat that the DK tanks I already loved are except from this new anti-DK stance)

What would cause me to swear off an entire class in a single day of LFG?

  1. Not wearing tank gear. I don’t care how awesome your DPS gear is and that you can grab aggro with it. You make my life as a healer harder. When I die because I am burning my mana healing you and the mobs think, “Mmmm eat healer she make this harder on us,” and they tear through the tissue paper that is my armor faster than you can notice they have stopped looking at you. We have a problem! (this happened more than 3 times in a single night with a different dk tank each time)
  2. Aggro management. Speaking of me being made a snack for some mob…mmm high you are pulling a lot of guys could you learn to Death and Decay? I know, I know silly priest asking you to do something. But hmm yeah so when you pull a bunch of mobs and they beat on  you, I tend to heal so, you know, you don’t die on the pull. Such as when you pull two packs instead of one because you are high as you tell the group and not paying attention but it makes WoW so much funner…Yes, funner for you but not for me. Do something about generating instant aggro. I know it can be done. I’ve seen it done. I don’t die when it is done.
  3. Take the time to know other classes. When a druid casts a battle res there is a timer. If on the next pull you do #2 of the above and get yourself killed instead of me, don’t yell if battle res is down.  Especially, if you are the person that called for the first battle res. It has been 2 minutes since it was cast and is still down. Just saying.
  4. Manners please? I don’t know how many groups I have been in the last 2 weeks and have had a DK tank just drop group. One night 3 groups each time the DK tank left after the first boss. Didn’t say a damned thing just left. WTF?!?! They weren’t skin of your teeth kills either. Otherwise I’d get it. VH first boss, dead smooth as silk, DK poof the moment it died. Old Kingdown…AN….same thing. I dunno I want to think that when the DPS jives and the tank isn’t taking lots of damage and is getting healed things are going well.

Ultimately, there are good DKs out there, just they are harder to find. I’m betting a healer figures out they are good and won’t let go of them to his/herself. I know I would. If you are a DK tank establish and maintain aggro in tank gear. If you do nothing else those things will get you ahead in this PUG world.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Zhavi’s Truisms and Random Thoughts of the Week

Sometimes I have random thoughts that materialize into nifty (to me anyways) posts. Sometime they are just the random cluttering within my mind. I would hate to deprive you of my random thoughts of the week please below. More often then not they are inspired by listening to healer chat. So sad.

Bad Raids and Bad Groups Happen.

Sometimes what is bad about a pug can be bad about a guild (charter) run.

Healers will always been the first to be blamed.

My humor and sarcasm are funnier to me than they are to everyone else.

I don’t care no one gets my humor in the middle of a raid when we keep wiping and people are yelling at healers.

Hating your raid group will wear you thin no matter how awesome they kill shit or how much you want the loots.

Hating the instance will wear you thin no matter how much you like your raid group or want the loots.

A bad raid environment or raiding culture is like paying someone to abuse you.

Not paying attention is the hallmark of a bad player.

Not caring is the hallmark of a burned out player.

Not paying attention because you don’t care is the hallmark of someone who needs to /log.

Knowing it is time to /log usually happens well after you are knee deep and sinking faster.

DPS will always whine when they grab agro and die.

Ignore DPS when they whine, they will always whine and ignoring them now will save you headaches later.

When a tank tells you I didn’t get heals for <X amount of time> he is…blaming the healer.

Remember not to attend all the fights dps and tanks invite you to.

When you do attend make sure you can back it up with something witty like, “That is funny I see that <insert actual spells cast> landed on you in that time.” Or if is DPS, “You are right I made the decision to heal the tank so we don’t wipe, my mistake.”

Make friends with a paladin. They will bubble you when it comes to wipe time.

Make sure to rez said paladin first if they do.

Everyone thinks they know how to play a healer.

Most of those everyones are mediocre at best.

Remember we play this because we want to not because we feel guilty other people can’t find healers.

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Healing DPS

I’m a healer feel me plink at you. *sits down and gets comfy*

Many fights these days are dps races. It is easy to know if you are in an encounter that is a dps race because 9 times out of 10 there will be an enrage timer. (I’m waiting for Blizz to mind f**k us all and put an enrage timer on a boss you need to dps slowing and if by the time the timer is up he isn’t past a certain % he becomes easy sauce thus throwing the whole thing out of whack and causing mass hysteria. But I won’t hold my breath)

So what can you as a healer do to help with these burning escapades of pewpew madness? Well, you can throw some dots if you are a priest (and honestly that is where I’m gonna focus since you know…I raid as a healy priest.) But there are some key factors that need to be taken into account before you start tossing in some dps with your healing.

1.Your other healers. You have to trust the heals are going to land on your target. (I find throwing in dps while MT healing easiest as I’m not panicing about who is taking damage next just one target, one single target…and me of course!)

Let’s take last night’s raid on Anub’arak in the Crusader’s Coliseum as a perfect example. Along with Faunia, I am MT healing on  Soulecho (fuzzy tank extraordinaire). Faunia is a healy pally and probably one of my favorite to be paired with ( I still love you Frendan). I can count on all of her heals to land. She isn’t going to use a stop casting marco so I can trust it is going to land. I cannot stress the importance of this kind of trust. If you are ever going to break from your main duty you HAVE HAVE HAVE to trust your other team healer is going to be there to pick it up.Now, how do I know to trust her heals are going to land? Easypeasy!

2. A great raid frames mod. Such as Grid or Vuhdo. (I know people that use Xperl and Pitbull but I didn’t like either of them so I won’t be commenting on them sorry.) Originally, I picked up Grid so I could watch debuffs on my targets easier and in a format I preferred over the basic raid frames. But Grid takes a lot to config and have switched to the much more easily configured (the interface is super easy) Vuhdo. (which does have its own downsides but that isn’t this topic) But, what you are looking for here is the overheal information. I can see as another healer is casting spell and also how much % it is going to land for. PRICESS!

So, going back to last night. On the first attempt I notice that Faunia is letting all of her heals land. I am watching both what she is doing via my Vuhdo and also how Soul’s health is behaving. (This was my first time on 25 and I never gamble with a tank’s life sight unseen on a boss) This gives me time to get a feel both for the rhythm of the fight, my partner’s healing style, and how the tank’s health is holding up. All great info a healer needs even if they aren’t going to throw around some dps.

3. A sense of timing. Watching your partner’s heals getting a sense of their rhythm and the rhythm of your tank’s damage (usually in spikes) is key to the whole shebang. To go off target you are going to need to time your dps in those moments when you know the other healer is casting or landing a spell. (landing is best btw)

With Faunia I would watch her queue up her heals while he was still full, note it is going to land for massive overheals incase of a spike and time my dps from there. Vuhdo’s internal keybinding allowed me to keep Anub as my main target while watching Soulecho and landing heals on him without changing targets. Clique or mouse over macros will allow you to do the same thing. (btw Zhavi has no dps spells keybound this way)

4. Fast spells! Priests we really have it made in this department. 3 spells are going to be your go to. Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague, and finally Shadow Word: Death all three of these spells are instant casts and only SW:D has a cooldown to be concerned about.

Personally, I like to toss SW:P and DP to start with. Especially with the damage you are taking with Anub, Devouring Plague doesn’t heal a lot but every heal is still less damage I was down before 😉 With SW:D I cast it when I have a shield up or POM on myself. (Sometimes I keep POM on the tank instead to give me more of a cushion, say the close Anub gets to 30%) The shield is going to absorb the kick back damage SW:D does to the caster when it isn’t the killing blow to a mob.

Your DPS isn’t ever going to be up in the top and it isn’t meant to be. Our main focus is going to be healing, dispelling, (or if you are like a disc) shielding your targets. But trust in the healing of your partner, situational awareness, and quick spells will help your team in any dps race. (Hell the first two help on any raid! 🙂 ) There are raids where what little dps you throw out there can make a world of difference. Just remember you still fail if your tank dies. Bring the most you can to your raids. Other than consumables and winning personalities of course! 😉

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm  Comments (7)  
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Detangling Healing Assignments

I touched on this previously in a rant about healing meters. But it deserves greater attention than to be a mere foot note.

Healing assignments

The art of assigning healers (cat herding) is a difficult one, often plagued by healers who wish only to perform their preferred role. Note: I said preferred, which is not the same as best. In the previous discussion about heal meters I mentioned someone will repeatedly ask to be given a specific assignment to pad the numbers. Ulduar is a new beast, your numbers mean nothing if your assignment is dead. You could be top of the charts and if the tank is dead off the bat, what does it matter? (yes I am sneaking in a mini rant)

Thursday, WW had a particularly difficult time in Uld. Ever one eager to fix the problem, a few days later I sat down with our resident combat log guru and asked him to go over it with me. (and got him to volunteer helping me understand them to boot! I think I will pressure him to do a blog post about it.) Looking over the logs he had a simple question for me. “Why aren’t you MT healer?” I know (another previous rant covered this very topic. Notice a pattern?) It’s a question I’ve pondered but given that I am often on spot or raid heals and can do a pretty good (not fabulous) job I don’t buck it. Also the healers have been doing a round robin for assignments, and I’m sure at some point when it was my turn I gave myself raid heals. (no I don’t like rocking my heal boat mid raid. Afterwards? Sure thing) Also I wasn’t the only one he did a double take on. You remember Frendan (if not go read my post on this fab pally healer) he was on raid heals most of the fight instead of the MT too.

Ulduar damage isn’t Naxx damage; it’s bigger, meaner, and spikier. Its time to dig deep healers!

The classes you assign are going to be based on what you have available to you. If you have not holy priests and 5 pally healers then you are going to have to make do with what you have. But below is an overview of what role each spec excels at.

MT healers:

Pally healers- this is where they will shine especially with big heals like Holy Lights. Beacon of Light on an OT and this is a pure win. (Yes, I am talking to you Fren. You are pure win)

Disc priests- Shields, damaged absorbed is damaged not needing to be healed. While Penance is a big heal, it is also changed for smaller bites per heal. Flash heal is our other bread and butter heal. My recommendation is to always pair with a big hitter. Also with Weakened Soul you won’t be keeping shield up constantly (with the hits tanks are taking its going to get used. To help out your raid (hello 3% raid wide mitigation) keep yourself and/or the OT shielded as well.

Druid- I like the hots, hots, hots. Even if the druid is focusing on raid heals, tossing some hots on the MT is a great way to help stabilize the spiky incoming damage to your tank. Talents and glyphs can move a resto druid from raid heal to MT heal and back again. Please communicate which you are to make assignments smoother.

Raid healers:

Holy priests- CoH, Prayer of Healing need I say more? (Incase you said yes) holy excels at stabilizing groups fast!

Shaman- Lazer beams of heals! Best for tight groups ala melee. But on fights like XT where you have 3 tight groups they are king as well. Their weakness is when everyone is spread out (thus why melee will always love them)

Druid- as stated above a druid can talent/glyph to remind us why we considered them king of raid heals (before those shammys came to take the name)

Truly any of the raid healers can pick up MT heal duty in a pinch. Particularly with the changes that Bliz has made to the classes. This is meant simply as a general outline for use to make assignments go a bit faster.

Being healer lead is a thankless job with a herd of cats scratching to get their favorite catnip toy. Communicate to your leader (after the raid usually) if you have questions about why you get a certain assignment. Watch your cross healing (to reduce overheals and wasted mana). And don’t go scratching your leader if you don’t get put where you want. They have more on their minds than keeping you happy with milk and treats

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm  Comments (6)  
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Having Tea in Naxx and a Knuckle Sandwhich in Ulduar

Last week Wild West went into Ulduar and reminded the Flame Levithan who’s boss.  I was busy visiting with Heroes and Thugs again as the hub sponged up a bunch of caster loots. It was fun to go back and see the instance with someone who raided it with me back in classic WoW.

But for Monday’s raid I got called into play. Normally I panic a wee bit and then ask someone what we’ve been doing. This time I took my happy self over to World of Matt and took the time read over his wisdom. Matt and Co spent time inside PTR learning the fights. And glad I am. Take sometime to go over and look at his guilde to Razorscale.

And Thursday we added XT to the list of the killed. My poor husband had to hear me cheer when we finally got him down.

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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