Archive for the ‘Druid Healing’ Category
Ah, a new tier, a new set of nerfs and relearning how to kick ass at your class. Sounds like fun! I’m going to start Tier 13 with Hard Mode guides, as I get through them with my guild. However, if anyone has a specific request for a guide on any of the normal mode encounters please don’t hesitate to ask me if I can put one together. I do have footage of most of the normal mode encounters, and would be happy to toss something together if people feel that there is a need for the information.
As for Heroic Morchok, he’s quite a bit of fun, but can also be a little stressful from a healing standpoint – especially as a druid with our notable lack of burst AE healing. There is high raid damage that needs to be dealt with fairly quickly so that your raid is prepared to take subsequent incoming damage. It can be tricky, but it’s definitely possible for you to perform well on the encounter. Let’s take a look at how I navigated the encounter!
As always, please note that this video is best viewed in one of the higher resolutions.
A Few Tips!
- How many healers did you take? We used 6, three for each side. The enrage timer on the boss is fairly strict, so unless you have some seriously standout DPS you will probably not be able to take more than 6 healers at this stage in the content. We used a priest/paladin/druid combination on the left side and a priest/shaman/druid combination on the right side.
- Tank Cooldowns. Something that I neglected to mention in the video is that the tanks receive a debuff after each stomp that causes them to take increased damage. It will be important that the have a personal or external cooldown for each stop, and that the tanks and the healers work out a cooldown rotation in advance. We even had our ret paladins assisting with a bubble/sac to ensure that we had enough cooldowns for every stop.
- Raid Cooldowns. As I indicated in the video, the tricky part of the fight isn’t having the raid survive the stomp, it’s having the raid survive the crystal after the stomp. This becomes more challenging as Morchok’s life decreases and his damage ramps up significantly. As such, we found it far more beneficial to utilize raid cooldowns to mitigate the crystal damage as opposed to trying to mitigate the stomp damage. This opens up a world of possibilities, as the crystal damage is shadow based, making thinks like Aura Mastery and Anti-magic Zone excellent options for mitigating some of the damage. Similarly to the tank cooldowns, work out your raid cooldowns in advance, and be sure that you have a cooldown for every crystal in the 25-0% portion of his life when he gets really angry. Once you’ve done that, navigate the cooldowns earlier in the encounter to they are back up again for that last part, to assist with easing the burden on the healing. We used our raid cooldowns in the 75-50% portion of the encounter, and again at the 25-0% portion of the encounter.
- Oh god, my mana. Because of the damage patterns of the encounter, and our noted lack of burst healing, you will find that you rely very heavily on rejuv to manage the healing on the raid. Be sure that you innervate early and often, and conserve mana when and where you can. Try to line your first innervate up with a power torrent proc for the extra mana – you will have a need for it by the end of the fight. The “ooze” phase is a perfect time to utilize a concentration potion, so be sure to sneak one in during that down time. (I actually think I missed doing this in the video, and ended up using a normal mana potion as a result – and my mana at the end of the fight kicked me for that mistake!). Additionally, don’t be afraid to set up Hymning with your priest during the encounter either. The “ooze” phase is another perfect time to take advantage in the lack of healing needed.
Good Luck, have fun, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!
Last week I talked about my post 4.3 frustrations while healing. I spent the majority of that week feeling like I was championing a “this is why we are frustrated” cause to everyone who isn’t a druid (and feeling like I was talking to a brick wall 9 out of 10 times), while being a beacon for other frustrated druids who thought that perhaps they were alone in their frustrations and that they must be doing something wrong (and found out that they weren’t). I’m tired of trying to explain the frustrations of our class to people who don’t regularly raid as a druid, subsequently think “druids are fine, I don’t see what you are so frustrated about”, and have spent the past eight months living with what I’ve termed “tranq envy” (thanks for that, by the way, Blizzard).
Since I’m fairly weary (and emotionally worn out) from these conversations (and dealing with the frustrations), I thought perhaps today I’d flip that and write something a little more positive in an effort help the forest that came forth and said “I’m so relieved that it’s not just me”. In short, let’s talk a little bit about how to maximize what we can do with the tool kit we’ve been left with. Read the rest of this entry »
In a word: I’m frustrated.
I was trying to express this in vent last night, but I’m afraid I wasn’t very articulate about it. Borsk was pretty much like QQ more druid – which I suppose is fair, since the frustration that I felt last night is likely similar to what shaman have been feeling for the past two raiding tiers. So I’ll let him have it. But that does not change the fact that I was so frustrated and disheartened last night that by the halfway point in the raid, I didn’t even feel like being there. It is not fun to feel like you are giving it everything you’ve got and yet everything remains so insufficient.
I’ve had two druid experiences so far: a completely PuG LFR with Elentari and my Progression raid with Beru. In my PuG Elentari dominated – but I suspect that has more to do with me being a competent and skilled healer in a PuG setting than anything else. I also dominated on Mynn in the LFR I did with her, and she’s the healer I’m least comfortable with and least geared. So take that for what you will.
However, when I got into my progression setting with five other competent and very skilled healers I felt like I was busting my ass – and felt like that no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t going to catch up. Now, in looking over my logs this morning, I was far from perfect. My LB uptime was much too low on several fights and my harmony uptime needs to be picked up (but wasn’t terrible). So there is definitely room for improvement – but I have to think that everyone on my raid team was in the same boat as we looked at these fights for the first time. Let me see if I can articulate the problem without it simply sounding like a bunch of whining. Read the rest of this entry »
Today started like any other. I woke up, came to work, sat down to read some WoW news, sort through my feedreader – you know, all that good “must do before I can actually work” stuff. And during that process, I came across something that made me make the following comment on Twitter:
I’ve been a druid for almost seven years, and nothing makes me consider a “reroll” more than statements like this: “where the Druid would need to switch between healing and DPS”. I don’t understand what is so wrong with just wanting to heal? Why this constant feel that this “hybrid” theory be pushed on us?
Ok, that was actually more like three tweets, but I’ll just let you imagine that there were breakpoints every 140 letters. Anyhow, this comment started conversation between Derwent, Jarre and myself. Honestly, we probably would have been better served to have hooked up in gchat or vent and just pow-wowed, because let’s be honest – trying to have a meaningful conversation in 140 characters is borderline painful. Anyhow, the three of us spent some time discussing (read: bitching, moaning and doomsdaying) about the (very early and nowhere near finalized) direction Blizzard seems to be pushing druids with Mists of Pandaria.
Before I go any further I feel it is important to stop here, remind everyone that both Derwent and Jarre are very intelligent individuals – and I think I tend to use the bit of mush between my ears from time to time. We are all well aware that nothing is final. We are all well aware that everything can change. No one is screaming that the world is ending, the sky is falling or that we are running out and cancelling our WoW subscriptions. However, from time to time, intelligent people with similar interests get together to have intelligent conversations about things. And in most circles, this is considered healthy. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with three intelligent people analyzing the direction of our class, even if it is with a healthy dose of speculation.
Ok, now that I’ve got that out-of-the-way, let’s continue with where I was going shall we? Read the rest of this entry »
Wild Growth and Tranquility: The Problems
Everyone rushed into a frenzy yesterday at the news of a WG nerf. And to be fair I did a bit of ranting on twitter myself, but I decided that I wanted to sleep on it and gather my thoughts a little bit before putting them together to share. While my initial gut reaction was to fly off the handle, I needed to take a step and remind myself that it is day one of the PTR and many things will likely change. So let’s take a look at the nerf, shall we?
In conjunction with this change, we also need to review the change to the Glyph of Wild Growth as well.
- Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.
So what do those two combined changes achieve? Well, they pretty much put Wild Growth back to exactly where it was when Cataclysm launched before it was buffed in 4.0.6 to where it is today. I’m struggling with this a little bit. Frist, WG is pretty powerful. That cannot be denied. And honestly, anyone who wasn’t expecting some sort of nerf was probably sticking their head in the sand. Read the rest of this entry »
The other day when I gave my thoughts on Druid Healing for the questionnaire that was placed on the official WoW forums, I stated that Healing Touch was probably the least used spell in my arsenal. However, since that time, I’ve had a few people ask me about that choice, and had others comment that Healing Touch played an important role in their healing rotations, so I wanted to take a minute to clarify.
What do you mean you don’t use Healing Touch?!
Relating to your questionnaire answers – how can healing touch be your least used spell?
To start, I’d like to clarify something: by indicating that healing touch is my least used spell, I’m not saying that I never use it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I utilize healing touch every encounter. But of all of the spells that I find in my tool kit, it’s the one that I generally have the least reliance on to do my job. To be sure, there are some encounters where it is my clutch spell, such as Alysrazor and Baleroc. I even get a fair amount of use out of it in Beth’tilac. But when I compare it to the other spells in my toolkit, I just don’t use at as much as my other spells. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been admittedly dragging my feet putting this video together, and it took me awhile to figure out why. But as I was lying in bed this morning, going “Beru, get your Staghelm video done today!” I realized that the reason I’ve been slow with it is simply because there just isn’t much to heal in this encounter! There is less about healing in this particular guide than in my others, but there are still a few druids related tips that I offered.
(please note that this video will be best viewed in one of its higher resolutions)
A few notes!
- The Healers – We use 5 healers, because our healers help to soak orbs because of our melee heavy roster. A lot of guilds will use only 4 healers (one in each quadrant), and have their healers keep legendary concentration through the orb phase to assist with the healing. Ultimately, you will have to decide what works best for your raid team and build your strategy.
- The Tank – This is a one tank encounter. Not much changes for the tank between heroic and normal, so they should be able to easily translate things like cooldown usage easily into heroic.
- Tranquility – I actually break one of my rules here, and don’t maximize my tranquility. Really, outside of the orb phases there isn’t much use for it. I do try to use it in both orb phases, however in this particular pull where I have the clumped up orb, I just don’t have the time to stop to cast with the constant rotation. When there is just one orb up, it’s very easy to communicate to my soaker partner that he needs to move because I’m tranqing. When push comes to shove, use it when you feel it’s best and will give the best benefit to the raid.
- Barkskin, Baby! – There are a lot of optimal times in this encounter for Barkskin. Orb soaking, searing seeds, cat leaps. Don’t hesitate to utilize it when you are going to be taking damage! It’s a very short cooldown, and can help save your life, or at least make it easier.
- Telegraphing Cat Leaps - I mentioned in the video that as the fight goes on, those cat leaps become more potent. To the point that if you aren’t already moving when he lands, you are likely going to die. The best way to do this is pay close attention to his energy, when he hits 100 already be on the move if he’s coming your direction. Don’t wait for him to land before you take action or you will likely end up dead.
Searing Seeds Power Aura
Here is the aura that I use for the searing seeds. I have it set to go off at 7 seconds so I have ample time to get clear of everyone else, you may wish to adjust the timer to suit your play.
Version:4.21; InvertAuraBelow:10; buffname:Searing Seed; bufftype:2; texture:10; alpha:1; sound:25; y:171; timer.h:3.42; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:104
Now is the time! Blizzard has posted questionnaires in each of the class discussion threads looking for feedback from their players. I don’t know if they will read every post that gets posted, but you will certainly not be heard if you don’t at least offer your feedback! I would strongly encourage everyone to stop by and offer them some well thought through commentary in response to their discussion points. You can find my thoughts here. (Or, just keep scrolling down, as I’ve replicated my answer below so you don’t have to click through to read them!).
- What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]
- If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
Hard Mode Progression Raiding
- If PvP, what type of PvP? [Arenas, BGs, Rated BGs]
- What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.
I definitely echo what others have said about no longer having a permanent tree form, however I think for me it’s probably that when you are leveling/questing/instancing, especially at certain levels, it takes forever to fill your mana bar back up. This is most pronounced in today’s “this instance must be as fast as possible” atmosphere where a new healer that needs to stop and drink automatically falls behind the rest of the group because they need to take (sometimes horribly long amounts of)time fill their mana bar back up.
- What makes playing your class more fun?
I really enjoy the smaller intricacies involved in playing the druid class well right now. There are a lot of things to monitor and line up for maximum throughput and smart mana usage/healing that trying to tweak them all together is almost like it’s own little mini-game. I really enjoy that I have to think through an encounter and strategize my healing. I like needing a “game plan” and really enjoy being able to weave spells into each other.
I have two resto druids at 85, a holy paladin at 85 and a resto shaman at 85, and of the three druid healing is by far my favorite.
- What makes playing your class less fun?
I really dislike hearing “druids can’t do x, because they don’t have y”. A lot of times it’s largely hype, but there is often a hint of truth to the hype. There are frequently encounters that certainly can be accomplished with druid healers, but your raid (and your druids, for that matter) has to work harder because of it. That being said, I can attest from experience that fights can often be made easier when utilizing healing classes that have a little more utility to offer than just healing harder.
- How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
As stated above, I really like how druids play right now. There are a lot of moving pieces that you need to be aware of to play the class well, and it’s often a challenge to get all of those pieces moving together. I really enjoy this about our class. I know a lot of people think that druiding boils down to “lol WG/RJ Spam”, but the truth of the matter is that a druid who is only doing those things isn’t maximizing their class or their ability as a healer.
I like the way that Nature’s Grace can be timed in when some burst healing is needed. I like the way that Harmony interacts with the rest of your heals and needs to be weaved in. I like that we can fit in well with almost any other healing class and still be successful.
- What’s on your wish list for your class?
I’d love to see living seed turned into something more beneficial. The talent has so much potential to be something great. Right now the limitations on how it is triggered really make it lack luster for most druids, unless they heavily tank heal with some regularity. I’d love to see living seed turned into either an armor buff similar to inspiration or an absorb rather than a heal. I think that either of these things would help broaden druid healing a little as far as diverse utility goes.
Of course, I would be remiss not to at least mention that some form of mitigation cool down would still be lovely. Be it raid wide or single target.
- What spells do you use the least?
In a raid setting I probably would say Healing Touch. I do make more use of it now than I did back in WotLK, but it’s still one of my least cast spells in most encounters. If we didn’t have OoC procs to prop up Regrowth, Regrowth would easily be my least used spell.
Outside of a raid setting I would probably say travel form. It can only be used outdoors, and I generally won’t opt to use a slower movement speed when I can mount.
One of the most common questions that I’ve been asked is how to handle Baleroc 10 man normal as a druid. It’s something that a lot of druids struggle with, so if you are struggling a bit, it’s ok! You are not alone! As such I decided that it might be worthwhile to do a guide of this encounter from a 10 man normal perspective from my alt druid, Elentari. Now, I’ve offered a strategy for the fight that works for us. However, there are many ways to skin a cat, so please keep in mind that just because this works for us, doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work well for your team! However, it was my hope and goal with this video that I could answer some of the more common questions that I get regarding this fight in it’s 10 man iteration. Additionally, if you run a 10 man regularly, and have additional advice or tips and tricks that you use, please comment on them below! I am confident that others would be thrilled for the feedback.
Before we get to the video, there are a few things that I’d like to note. Elentari is in gear that is a mish mash of what she had available to her. She doesn’t have any set bonuses (well, so does now, but didn’t at the time I made the video) and she doesn’t have any neat haste trinkets or racials. This is the reason that I wanted to capture her healing it and not Beru. Because she is likely geared similarly to a lot of other druids out there looking at Baleroc for their first time. She doesn’t have full BiS gear from any tier and she’s just doing her best to make magic happen! In the actual video, I make an enormous number of mistakes and it is far from my best performance. However, the video is meant to be more of a “this is how we tackle this in a 10 man setting” and I wanted to get it out timely, rather than wait to see if I can get a “perfect” capture of the fight were I make fewer errors. So you have me not playing my best with all my warts out for everyone to see, but with what I’m hoping is insightful commentary. :) I’m not setting any records here, but that’s ok! My goal isn’t to dominate the fight, it’s to try and help druids at all gear and skill levels who are struggling on the 10 man version of this encounter. As such, I hope you will forgive me my flaws. Lastly, and this is very important, please do not be like me and keep your LB active!
Phew! I honestly think I’m more nervous about posting this video than I have any of my others! Well, now that is out of the way, here is the guide.
(please note that it will be best viewed in one of the larger resolutions)
A few additional comments!
- I know that in my video we commented that we have a paladin solo heal his shard/tank. We always have a paladin for this task, because if the paladin from the video isn’t available, I heal it on my paladin. That being said, if you do not run with a paladin do not despair! I think that a disc priest could probably do the job equally as effectively. Not only that, but I think that probably any strong healer that was comfortable with it can probably do the solo part, but paladins and priests do really well at this fight and their bubble mitigation is amazing. Ultimately, try having your strongest healer run solo and pair up the other two and you will probably be fine!
- 2 tanks and 3 healers means that your DPS does have to carry through a bit. Our first kills on this in our alt run shaved very closely to the enrage timer. However as long as you have solid DPS you should be fine. I am a pretty firm believer that a two tank strategy is more stable and far easier on your healers. It does put the burden on your DPS, but if they can pull through you will have a much easier time of it!
- I just wanted to reiterate that there are many ways to skin the cat! Just because this strategy works well for us does not mean it will translate well to your raid team. Don’t hesitate to mix it up a bit and take the pieces of it that you like, and discard the pieces that you don’t like!
- In the video, I make a comment regarding mana gain from two piece T11. I really mean 2 piece T12!
- You can also find some additional information on the fight (including my power auras) in my 25 man version of the guide.
I hope that this is helpful! Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, and I heartily encourage other 10 man druids to leave commentary on their experiences and what worked well for them!
Heroic Baleroc. The “healers” fight for this expansion. I think I’m going to rename it to “the fight where your disc priests and paladins completely kick your ass!”. I jest! In all honesty, when push comes to shove, this fight is more about the raids situational awareness and ability to meet the enrage timer than it is about the healing. I’d say that it’s probably 60% situational awareness, 20% DPS, 10% healing and 10% OH GOD TANK USE ANOTHER COOLDOWN! There are a lot of moving factors with the encounter, but once you get it down, it’s a lot of fun. Oh, and don’t sit idle if you are told that you can’t heal this fight. We used a 1 paladin, 2 disc priest and 2 resto druid healing combination to learn the encounter and repeat our kill. We are absolutely viable on this encounter
With such a quick encounter, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in the videos for much information outside of just walking through how I heal, so there are quite a few tips that I couldn’t get into the video below!
As always, please note that this video is best viewed in one of the higher resolutions.
A few tips!
- Save your glory for another fight. You will not be able to keep up with your Holy Paladins and Disc Priests on this encounter. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try! Just don’t be discouraged if they more than double your healing done. To give you an example, on our second kill I think I ranked like 68th in the world on WoL at ~23k HPS while our disc priest ranked at only 123 with just under 42k HPS. Also, don’t fight your disc priests and your paladins for the chance to supercharge their spark stacks. They have the best tools to keep your tanks alive on this fight, and they really are going to be your strongest healers for that job. It’s ok! You are still viable, but they truly should get the juicy roles this time!
- Don’t Believe Everything You See. While both Skada and Recount do a fair job in attempting to track absorbs, they aren’t 100% accurate, especially on this encounter. I don’t know why, but they seem to struggle in allocating which absorbs are being used. You can see in the video the pink bar just dominates across the top of my healing/absorb meter. However, when you upload the parse into WoL it tells you a vastly different story. The reason that I’m sharing this is so that if you have struggles while learning the fight, you know not to rely solely on recount/skada to review what may be healing issues.
- Power Building Spark Stacks. You probably heard me mention “Power building” a few times. Let me explain what that is! For our first two ranged shards we have a shadow priest that “solos” the shard. This allows the healers that are on that shard to build stacks very, very quickly. The way that this works is that at 11 stacks the shadow priest gets a Pain Suppression. At 19 stacks the shadow priest disperses. By the end of the shard, they will have ~25 stacks of torment and healers that are focused on them can really juice up their vital spark stacks. The two healers who will be the main healers focused on the tank should be assigned to these two shards so that they can build >100 spark stacks in that time and focus solely on the tanks after that. (You will notice that in the video I mention I try to sneak a few quick heals in to boost my stacks as well).
- The Numbers. We use 2 tanks, 5 healers and 18 dps for this encounter. This really requires your DPS to push themselves hard to meet the enrage timer (you saw we came just short of it in the video). Some people utilize a one tank strategy for the encounter, but that puts a lot of extra burden on your healers during decimation blade. A two tank strategy is the more stable strategy if you have the DPS to navigate the encounter. As a side note, our first kill also came just shy of the DPS timer, but our OT that night (a feral druid aka Brade) saw it coming and lined up some hefty magic (aka hax druid cooldowns) and was able to tank out the last few seconds of the fight after the Inferno Blade tank died.
- The Healing. We set up the fight in the following fashion. Shard 1: Disc/Paladin ranged shard (shadow priest), Resto Druid melee shard, Disc/Resto Druid Baleroc Tank. Shard 2: The same as Shard 1, only the paladin swaps over to the Baleroc tank when his shadow priest is at ~19-20 stacks of torment to help smooth the transition. Shard 3: Disc/Paladin/Druid on Baleroc Tank, Disc on ranged shard, Druid on melee shard. Shard 4: Disc/Druid on Baleroc Tank, Paladin builds stacks, Disc/Druid same as shard 3. Shard 5: Disc/Paladin on Baleroc tank, Druid on tank/building sparks as able, Disc/Druid same as Shard 3. All remaining shards are the same as Shard 5. Now, there are a few times that the healers change. If one of the two torment healers receives the tormented debuff, they are paired off with another healer and they swap assignments while tormented is active. So the tormented healer heals the tanks, while the non-tormented healer heals the shards. Our disc priests are paired up and our resto druids are paired up. Now, if BOTH end up having tormented, other healers need to step in and help with the torment targets. This healing strategy may not work for everyone, but works well for us.
- Tormented. This is really the bane of this encounter! It is essential to have a game plan for how to deal with back ups when one of your shard soakers has tormented. It’s also pretty important for you melee to have a “game plan” for how to move, so that they don’t infect each other. We work out back ups in advance, and often have to have a ranged back up step in to help the melee. The biggest piece of advice that I can give anyone about dealing with the tormented debuff is to have good communication. Once you work that out, the debuff becomes a lot easier to manage. The second piece of advice that I can give regarding it is to set designated “clean” areas that people should stand in if they aren’t afflicted with torment and “dirty” areas where they should be if they are. This should help prevent unintentional spread of the debuff around the raid.
- MORE DODGE! I can’t say that I know a lot about tanking this fight, and I’m not going to pretend that I can give you much advice on that front. However, I will say that your decimation blade tank will be your healer’s best friend if s/he can dodge as many of those decimation blades as possible. Decimation blade tanks should work to build avoidance sets specifically for this fight. How they go about doing that is beyond my knowledge, but I’m sure you can find the information with a few clicks and a google search!
I almost forgot! Power Auras! I added two new auras for this encounter. One to let you know when you have the tormented debuff and one to let you know that you have countdown and how much time is left on the debuff.
Version:4.21; buffname:Tormented; x:-307; bufftype:2; alpha:1; owntex:true; y:142; texmode:2
Version:4.21; buffname:Countdown; x:200; bufftype:2; alpha:1; owntex:true; y:92; texmode:2; timer.h:4.05; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:48; timer.x:240
Once your healers get into a groove, this fight really becomes less about the healing and more about the raid focusing weaving through the torment mechanics. Between the video and what I posted above, I think I covered most everything, but if you have any questions (or I missed something!) please don’t hesitate to let me know! Good Luck and Have Fun!