Archive for the ‘Druid Healing’ Category

Fixing the Forest, Part IV – Symbiosis   23 comments

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been avoiding this post. At first it was because I told myself “I want practical experience with symbiosis before writing about it”, but even as I sit here today I’m trying to think of other things I can do to avoid talking about the big pink elephant in the room that is Symbiosis. I suspect that part of the problem that I’m having with this is that I can see a good number of things being really great for our PvP Resto brethren, but it still doesn’t remove the underwhelmed feeling that I get when I think about the ability for PvE restos.

The Problem: I think the biggest issue I have with symbiosis is that I don’t really feel compelled to utilize it. That is to say that in most circumstances, the things that I gain from the ability just aren’t something that I resort to when the shit hits the fan to make things better. While some of the abilities can potentially be lifesaving for me individually (ice block, ice bound fortitude), I am having a real issue resolving the fact that I feel really indifferent about having to use our staple “new” ability for this expansion. I understand that it’s going to share around some raid utility, which will be more important in smaller raids and groups than larger raids, and that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water before we see how it works in a raid setting; but to me, the fact that I can completely ignore the ability in my most “oh shit” moments to date and still be just as effective as I was before symbiosis is really hard for me to reconcile. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 16, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Druid Healing, MoP

Fixing the Forest, Part III: Level 90 Druid Talents – A Resto Perspective   23 comments

Apparently while I was somewhere over the Rocky Mountains yesterday, Blizzard made a change to the level 90 druid talents. I think that it is safe to say the it was pretty unanimously agreed upon that a change was needed, as the old talents were very lackluster and didn’t really offer any dynamic decisions. Druids sat by the wayside turning green with envy as other classes were tended to, and growing ever greener as new things were announced and druids seemingly continued to be overlooked by the developers. Well, the crab himself emerged and gave us a bit of hope and a lot of needed developer presence. While my green isn’t entirely gone, I have gone down a few shades with yesterday’s announcement. While I’m still pretty sure that none of the devs are playing a druid, at least I know we are finally getting some much needed attention.

The question that we have to address with the announced changes is “are these the changes we were looking for?”.  Well, in an attempt to answer that from a resto perspective I think we need to take a look at what we were presented and talk a little bit about what the changes offer us. As such, let’s take a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 8, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Temple of the Jade Serpent, Druid Style   9 comments

I had some time this weekend to fraps the four bosses in the first instance in the beta, Temple of the Jade Serpent. At level 85, I’ve yet to have any mana problems, but will touch back on this subject when I hit 86. I haven’t reforged back any spirit, and I’m still sitting at about 2600. A few things to note: I had some trouble dropping mushrooms on the last boss, I would drop them, but the third shroom just would not drop. It was getting increasingly frustrating. Tree of Life, when utilizing the lifebloom glyph, is currently instantly adding 3 stacks of lifebloom to each target you cast the spell upon (you can see this on the third boss). And lastly, I found a particularly nasty bug on the last boss involving ToL and Mushrooms. If you pre-plant your shrooms and swap into ToL during the shadow phase of the encounter, and then try to detonate them, you will critical error out. I only caused us to wipe three times to this 😉

I’m a little clunky as my keybinds still aren’t second nature to me yet, but it should give you a relative feeling for how healing is looking so far.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

Posted April 15, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Things My Mini-Me Has Taught Me   1 comment

I am the owner of three raid ready resto druids, each of varying gear levels. One who is almost full BiS and raids progression 25 man raids. One who is in a mix of LFR and normal mode gear and putzes around in a one day/3 hour a week 10 man alt group that just started toying with heroics. And lastly one who is a mix of BoE, VP and LFR gear, whose raiding pretty much extends to one LFR per week. One of the most rewarding things to come out of all of these druids is that I get to experience raiding in different raid formats, and at different stages of gearing. This helps me to better understand the different struggles and limitations that druids experience in more diverse settings than my main raid, which helps me better understand is happening at different levels of play. However, one of the side effects of this is that I also have the opportunity to observe my own faults along the way as well.

This post is going to talk a little bit about my experiences with the latter.

I pretty commonly log every raid that I participate in, be it a PuG BH or a LFR experience, so that I can take a look at how I did and analyze my play to look for areas of improvement. Earlier this week, I did the back half of LFR in an attempt to acquire any of the following: A helm (for the LOVE OF GOD, could I please get a meta gem already?!), an off hand or a Maw. When I finished, I perused through my logs, and noted that I had fairly exceptional uptimes on LB and strong uptime with Harmony for each of the four encounters that I participated in that night. Which, in turn, got me to wondering if I was as cognizant of these things when I was raiding on Beru. So I took a look and here is what I found:

Aryas – LFR Warmaster Blackhorn

Beru – Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 12, 2012 by Beruthiel in Alt-aholic!, Druid Healing

Fixing the Forest, Part II – Searching for Solutions   43 comments

Last week I explored the problems that we saw in hard mode raiding with the resto druid toolkit. The identified issue was our significant lack of ability to deal well with burst AE healing situations. The next step is looking for ways to address this issue in MoP. To do this, I think we must first start with the solution Blizzard is proposing, and then discuss what issues we may have and why we may need changes to that proposal to make sure that it solves the issue, rather than exacerbate the problem. Since I’m a pretty firm believer of “don’t bring me a problem unless you have a suggestion for a solution”, I also think it’s important to offer some alternative thoughts on how the issue can be addressed.

Blizzard’s Fix – Healing Mushrooms

In recognizing that something was missing in the resto druid toolkit, Blizzard made an effort to fill in the gap for MoP by implementing a change to the current level 85 ability that druids received in Cataclysm – Mushrooms. Rather than detonate them so that they explode, if you are a resto druid your mushrooms now “bloom” and heal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 10, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP, Mushrooms

Fixing the Forest, Part I – Analyzing the Issue   25 comments

It has come to my attention that as we move forward in trying to find a “good” place for druids with Mists, the first step in doing so is to pinpoint what needs to be fixed. And to do that, it’s important to explore where druids struggled in Cataclysm. In a world where there are not only multiple raid sizes, but multiple difficulties of each encounter, this becomes increasingly difficult to do. The issue is that not all problems are seen at all levels of play, so while you may have one druid screaming from the rooftops about the quality of their life, you may have another sitting around scratching their head going “I don’t know what they are talking about, I feel fine”.

This great diversity leads to a pleothora of thoughts on what is, and isn’t, working for druids currently. That is to say that where a druid whose raid experience is solely with LFR is likely to have a different perspective on druid healing than a druid who is running normal mode raids. And that druid is likely to have a different perspective on a druid who is healing in hard mode raids. As each raid difficulty grows, the challenge that each druid faces changes. Where mechanics seem fine in one setting, when they are being pushed in another they may feel underwhelming or insufficient. However, those who don’t experience that, don’t have a full understanding of those struggles.

As such, I want to take a few minutes to analyze the issues that arose in Cataclysm for those who were experiencing Hard Mode 25 man raid content. Which is where I, personally, feel many of the shortcomings of the druid class were highlighted throughout the Cataclysm expansion. It is my hope that in doing so, we can come to a consensus on what issues need to be resolved in Mists to put druids in a better place moving forward.

The Issue: Druids lack a effective and efficient way to deal with burst AE damage to the raid. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 4, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Healing Heroic Spine (video guide)   6 comments

When I sat down to do the voice over for this guide, I thought to myself “there is no way I’m going to have twelve minutes worth of things to say about this horrible fight”. Boy was I wrong! Not only did I have twelve minutes of things to talk about, I had a whole list of things that I forget to mention, or ran out of time to discuss! As such, the moral of this is that Beru can talk about anything…a lot. Needless to say, there will be a fair bit of additional information in the notes below, and I do recommend taking the time to read through them, as there are a few “non-druid” related tips!

This video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.

Tips and Tricks!

  • Dispels. Uh, Beru, didn’t you kind of forget something? Well, it seems I sure did! You will need an assigned dispeller for this encounter, we’ve used both a disc priest and a druid for the chore, but any healer can handle the job. The key early in the encounter is the get the earth buff/debuff to your tanks. The debuff will jump across Deathwing’s spine each time it is removed from a member, so the easiest way to get it to the tanks early is to have the raid stand to the right of the spine, and the tanks to the left. After the tanks each have two stacks of earth, you want to get earth to as many raid members as possible in the time that the debuff is active.
  • Trinket Talk. I know that I mentioned you should use your Jaws of Defeat if you have it for this encounter, but if you don’t or you don’t want to loose the extra intellect from your other trinkets, I can’t urge you enough to make sure you are using at least one regen trinket for the encounter. It really will make a large difference over the course of the fight!
  • What gear set up did you run? I run this fight in 4 piece T13, with around 2600 spirit and just under 20 mastery. Mastery really helps so much in this encounter that if you aren’t already running a strong mastery build, I’d strongly encourage you to consider one. If you find that you just can’t sustain your mana with the 4 piece T13, don’t hesitate to utilize a 2 T12/2 T13 combination.
  • Love your Barkskin. Barkskin will be a lifesaver for this encounter. Use it for rolls and when you are gripped. But it should be kept almost on cooldown for the duration of the fight.
  • Nature’s Swiftness. Use it with a HT on a newly selected searing plasma target. Don’t wait for the “perfect time” to utilize it, unless you are on the third plate and worried about tank deaths, keep that sucker on cooldown.
  • You are your number one best friend. Clear the debuff from yourself (or other healers) first. I always focus on removing my own debuff as quickly as I can without neglecting the raid too much. The reason for this is that I always get blood aggro by the end of the fight, and it’s much less panic inducing if I’m able to be healed up a bit. I always try to make sure that the healers are more actively cleared towards the end of the encounter, as a dead healer is just as likely to wipe your raid as a dead DPS.
  • CLICK THE FUCKING LIGHTWELL!Holy priests can be very strong for this encounter, but it is important to make sure that your raid is clicking on the lightwell to assist with removing searing plasma. Divine hymn can be used the same as druid tranqs to help clear debuffs as well.
  • Use your offspec tranqs and hymns. While you will only get one use out of them for the encounter, utilizing Moonkin and Shadow Priests tranqs/hymns can help alleviate some of the burden if your healers start to fall behind or if things start to get hairy. We like to use ours after the second and third rolls to help smooth out the healing and clear some of those extra debuffs from the raid.
  • Mana Hymns. Don’t discount your priests mana hymns as a solid source of mana regen for your healers. We have our priests hymn after the first roll, and then on cooldown. Each priest should be able to hymn twice during the encounter.
  • Killing Blood. First, I strongly suggest downloading the version of DBM (it might be the alpha or beta) that tells you how many blood you have dead on the ground. Otherwise much of your raid will be filled with “how many blood do we have?”, and believe me it can be heartbreaking to wipe at 11:30 because you miscounted and didn’t get that final plate lifted. As for killing them, we assign one person along with a “backup” for the job. We use a ret paladin, but really any DPS would probably do fine. If he needs help, we throw a rogue or a warrior in his direction. The key to killing the blood is to remember to do it over the course of the almag’s life so that there is 9 dead when the amalg is ready, but you aren’t doing immense amounts of damage to your raid by killing many of them all at once. Also keep in mind that your tank will do a fair bit of damage to them as well. Additionally, be careful where you kill them, so that they are not too close to a hole and creep back into one before it can be absorbed, and kill them in a position that a new amalg isn’t going to run over them on the way to the amalg tank. Sometimes your tank will have to move a fair bit when absorbing the blood, so don’t kill your amalg early! Wait for it to be in position to lift the proper side of the plate before bringing it down.
  • Dealing with Corruptions and Grips. I mentioned that we use 4-5 DPS to break the corruptions, but regardless of how many you utilize the most important thing is to do just enough damage to break the grip without over damaging the corruption, so that you can time killing it while the tendon is exposed in such a fashion that it has a somewhat negligible loss to your tendon DPS. The best grip breaker are arcane mages, followed by hunters, and then shadow priests. That being said, your arcane mages will do some of your highest damage on the tendons, so you may want to assign different DPS to break the grip that comes during the tendon exposure (we usually have Hunters/Shadow priests do it). We never use more than 3 DPS on the corruption during the tendon, but if it’s timed properly no one should be gripped, or will only be gripped momentarily during this phase. That being said, if  one or more of our grip breakers is gripped during the tendon on the third plate, we assign a back up who will swap to the corruption so we don’t lose people to that grip.
  • Timing the Rolls. While it seems so simple, it can be very deadly. Rolls need to happen as soon as the corruptions are down. Everyone needs to be in position to roll and get locked down as soon as it’s called for. Even one person being slow on moving can wipe the raid in the second or third roll. For the second and third roll, there will always be a grip that come right before you need to roll. Have everyone be in position such that they are just a few steps away from the designated roll point, and have all of your range get on that grip ASAP and knock that corruption down. As soon as that grip has been cleared, Deathwing should roll.
  • The Kite Tank. By the end of the encounter the kite tank will have so much blood on them that one mistake has the potential to one shot them. We utilize lifegrips to help keep him ahead on the kite, and all healers focus on his life so that if he takes a hit he is topped back up immediately. Our tank places a marker down for the grippers to stand and will call out for when he wants grips in his kite rotation. He will give them a head’s up that they are on deck to grip so that they know to move out of the pack and get to the “grip location”.

Whew! That is a lot! If I missed anything, or you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask! Good Luck and Have Fun!

Posted March 27, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Video

A Very Preliminary Look at the Resto Druid MoP Talent and Ability Changes   28 comments

I promised myself that I wasn’t going to make a post about MoP changes this early into the Beta process because everything is subject to change, and many things likely will be changed. I had the best intent of keeping that promise, I really did. However when I opened up my feedreader this morning and saw some of the datamined information on MMO-Champion, my resolve erroded. Mostly because I do have some strong opinions on some of the things that I’ve read about to date, and I don’t like a good deal of it. As such, I thought I’d go ahead and give my thoughts on some of the reworked talents and abilities, because if I complacently don’t say anything I don’t really have the right to criticize it later.

Let’s take a look at what we have coming down the pike, shall we? As we have this discussion, please take note that this is an extremely early examination of these abilities and they are all subject to changing as the beta progresses. I only pulled out the mostly resto-centric abilities and talents, so this is not a comprehensive list of all of the changes. I would recommend checking out the post over on MMO-Champion if you are looking for the full list. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 27, 2012 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing, MoP

Healing Heroic Ultraxion (video guide)   5 comments

Another fairly late guide, but better late than never, right?! When watching the video of this, please keep in mind that it’s roughly two months old and so the damage patterns that you see towards the end of the encounter aren’t nearly as devastating as they were previously. That being said, all of the information that I added into the guide is pertinent and will be useful at the currently buff level. As always, there will be a few tips and tricks that I forgot to mention in the guide at the end.

Please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.

Tips and Tricks!

  • Bloodlust. The reason that we go up top at the start of the encounter is so that we can lust our DPS while all of their cooldowns are up at the start of the fight, and everyone is in the proper realm to DPS the boss, but the healers don’t get sated. The reason for this is that we utilize a second bloodlust when the bronze phase starts to so that the healers are lusted when healing is needed the most and the damage is the heaviest.
  • Nature’s Grace. I trigger Nature’s Grace at the start of the fight, and then try to keep it triggered as soon as the ICD on it is up, so that I can have the extra ticks on those rejuvs, WGs and Efflorescence as often as possible.
  • Concentration Potions.  I didn’t learn about this trick until well after our first kill, however Vixsin clued me in to a very cool trick! If you concentrate 5 seconds before an Hour of Twilight, utilizing heroic will does not break your concentration, and by the time you return you’ve had the time to get the maximum benefit from the pot.
  • How many healers did you use? We utilized 5 healers. For our first kill we had 2 disc priests, 1 shaman, 1 paladin and one druid. However, for subsequent kills we’ve used any combination of healers.
  • What buffs did everyone take? We always give our druids the red crystal. However, if we only have one druid healing we give the other red to one of the disc priests. We always give our shaman and a paladin the green. And we have a paladin (one of the ones that took the green) and second priest/paladin the blue.
  • Feral Druid Shenannigans in your Resto Blog? You betcha! A feral druid with the 4 piece set bonus can shit into bear before an hour of twilight and utilize his raid cooldown to help boost healing when the raid could use a little extra help. Note that he has to be in bear for 15 seconds before he’s able to activate the bonus, but can shift out of bear once it’s cast.
  • What cooldowns did you use for the Bronze? We start off the bronze phase utilizing a shield wall, we follow that with a SLT and a tranq going into the 7th Hour of Twilight. Coming out of that hour, we use a barrier followed by Raid Wall and Rallying Cry. However, any cooldown rotations will work! Just make sure that you have them mapped out in advance and everyone is ready to utilize them when their cooldown is on deck.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions! Good Luck and Have Fun!

Posted March 23, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Video

Healing Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn (video guide)   1 comment

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and done a guide, and truth be told, I almost didn’t do this one. Partly because this was our fifth Warmaster kill and I wasn’t sure if people would find it helpful or if it would be outdated already (I missed Frapsing our first two kills, and our second two kills were a mess!). However, Kurn nudged me a bit, and so I decided to go ahead and sit down to get this done. In listening to the replay of the encounter, there isn’t really a ton of druid-centric advice, but I think that’s because the encounter is fairly straight forward from a healing perspective. That being said, if you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask! I will list a few additional tips below!

As always, this video is viewed best at one of it’s larger resolutions.

Tips and Tricks!

  • You mentioned that you have the raid take Onslaught 2 and 4, but what about the rest of them? For Onslaught 1,3,5 we utilized fire mages and shadow priests. As long as you have a minimum of 3 people in the the onslaught and don’t let too many barrages hit, your boat should be OK. Fire mages can take every onslaught with cauterize, however your shadow priests can only do 1/5 or 3 as dispersion, even glyphed, will not be up for 1/3 or 3/5.
    • Druid Tip: Pre-hot your mages taking the onslaughts to ensure that they receive adequate cauterize healing.
  • Can you go over those barrage groupings again? Sure thing! We use 4 groups, 1 for each quadrant of the boat. Each group will have 3-4 people in it, and will be comprised of ranged DPS and healers – with the healers split up between the groups. Each group is given a “group leader” and the group follows that person to know what barrage to soak. It is exceedingly important for the raid to keep their group alive by moving as a unit. Too many deaths early on will be a wipe. During onslaughts 1, 3 and 5 those groups that have mages and shadow priests will refrain from soaking to prevent deaths – and if you are grouped with a shadow priests or mage don’t let their tricky mirror images and apparitions fool you!
  • ToL and Tranquility. We used two druids for this encounter, so we split our tranqs to maximize them. She tranqed on the second onslaught, I tranqed on the fourth. I utilized my ToL for the second onslaught to split the cooldowns. This allowed me to have both cooldowns available again for phase 2 when there is a fair amount of raid damage. If you are the only druid on your raid team, feel free to swap the order of when you ToL and Tranq to better fit within the other cooldowns being used, just be sure that you utilize both abilities early enough in the encounter to have them back up during phase 2.
  • Any Special Times for Nature’s Grace? You can try to time is so that you have it up going into onslaughts, but there is usually enough damage going out during the fight that a nature’s grace proc isn’t wasted. During the second phase, try to time it as you are hotting up the raid for a shout to maximize your rejuvs and WGs!
  • Do You Do Anything Special in Phase 2? I do not! Just run through your basic raid healing routine to keep the raid up. Make smart use of nature’s grace, don’t forget to utilize your trinkets, WG as needed for damage and SM as needed for damage. If you find yourself going OOM in the second half of the encounter, try using a little less rejuv – but lean on rejuv as much as your mana will allow and pre-hot in preparation for for shouts as you are able.
  • How Do You Decide Who to Swiftmend in Phase 1? Since we ask the teams to stick to their team leader, I’ll often times try to SM that person. However, I’ll also use it on the tanks or melee as well. Since everyone is supposed to stay relatively grouped up, it shouldn’t matter who you SM, as it should hit the maximum number of people in that group.
  • Why Does My Raid Suck At Barrages and What Can I Do to Fix it? If only I had a good answer to that question! The truth is that phase one is really the meat of this encounter. Once your raid learns to prioritize the barrages and sticking together, it gets easier. Outside of making sure that there is enough damage on the adds, there is nothing that is more important than working as a team to soak those barrages. I recommend zooming our camera out as far as you can, and looking down on the screen, so that you can see the entirety of your quadrant without ever having to move the camera. This is really one of those fights where everything just “clicks”. In fact, that’s how I missed FRAPSing our first kill. I was like “eh, half the raid ate solo barrages, we’ve still got some work” – and the next pull somehow he was dead!
  • When do you Bloodlust? One of the most important things in this encounter is to make sure that you have one set of adds down before the next set arrives. When we were learning this fight, in order to facilitate that, we would use personal CDs for the first set of adds, Bloodlust the second set of adds, and use Potions on the third set. However,when the 10% nerf came we had a devil of a time in phase 2 because our boat was covered in fire all of the sudden. The reason ended up being because we were now killing our adds too fast and it changed the timing of the encounter for us such that we were getting fresh fire at the end of the add phase instead of during the third wave of adds. To remedy this we stopped bloodlusting the second wave of adds so that we’d take longer to kill them, and now bloodlust when Goriona lands. However, if you are struggling with killing the adds timely, do not hesitate to lust one of your add waves – if you can get through the adds, you can kill Blackhorn so don’t worry about not having lust up for him!

As always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions! Good Luck and Have Fun!

Posted March 16, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Video