Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Thursday Thoughts: News at 11 Edition   2 comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these types of updates. I could probably tell you I didn’t have much to say – but since I often did updates that were almost completely devoid of WoW information, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I think it would probably be more accurate to say that I’ve been busy…and lazy. I mean I could have easily offered an update on any number of things, but when I had my down time I simply found I wanted to do something other than write! As harsh is that might sound…honesty is best! (Right? RIGHT?!).

/sigh

Whatever! I have both time and desire to write at this moment, as well as things to say! So I suppose that we should get to that before I lose any of the above.

On Raiding

Wait, what?! (It’s okay, I know that you are probably thinking it, I can hear the wheels turning from here!). Remember that post about the 5.3 PTR I did the other day? The one where I said I had reason to believe that I’d probably have a little more to say about druids as we moved forward? No? Okay, perhaps we should start from the beginning here. Read the rest of this entry »

What Makes Healing Fun?   14 comments


I found this picture on the internet. Google links it back to ectmmo.com – so credit to them, I suppose!

I have now had experience with all six of the raid bosses that are currently available, as well as the two world bosses. As I have approached raiding this expansion, it has been with a love/hate relationship with my mana bar. And by love/hate, I suppose it’s probably more like a 20/80 split. There have been so many times that I’ve approached the end of an encounter cursing that damn blue bar. Cursing the raid wide AE damage pummeling the raid. Cursing my relative inability to efficiently deal with it.

And one night, as I was trying to squeeze out one more spell at the end of Elegon, in hopes that it might keep someone alive long enough to do just a tiny bit more damage, I couldn’t help but wonder: who decides what makes healing fun?

I mean, I know that the devs are invested in making the game engaging for everyone. But as we are immersed in yet another healing paradigm change I once again revel in the shortcomings of our toolkit, that are always highlighted the strongest when mana is an issue. But I don’t necessarily want to talk about how Mushrooms fell flat, or how Rejuv is still our way to get a raid topped up in high damage situations, and is so expensive that it’s laughable to think it can be effective – which means you have to throttle the one of the only tools you have to work with in those situations.

Rather, what I want to think about is why the devs seem to always go back to “making mana important” or why making your mana pool so tight that it’s borderline frustrating to work with equates to fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 10, 2012 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Healing, MoP

The Forest and The Tree: Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest   9 comments

We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.

Conclusion
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?

Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.

Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Decisions, Druid Healing, Healing, MoP, Raiding

MoP Beta: Initial Thoughts on Druid Healing in a Raid Setting   12 comments

Heroic Scarlet Monastery

I finally had some time this weekend to get into a couple of LFR groups and do some raid testing. Having been unable to participate in almost all of the other testing because of the times testing was available, I was excited to get in there and see how druids played out in a raid setting. Even though this was just LFR, and the weakest of the 25 man raid settings, I was able make a few observations with regards to our stat priorities and our toolkit. As such, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I felt we fit into the overall picture.

I did two front half LFRs comprising of three bosses. The first one I did we couldn’t get past the second boss – as in grand LFR fashion a wipe meant half the raid dropping and having to refill (even in beta!). The second one I was able to kill all three bosses in the first half of the zone. Overall I found the bosses to be fairly fun; however I strongly suspect that the second boss will see a nerf to phase 3 in its LFR version before it goes live.

Let’s move on and talk a little bit about the healing. If you have any specific questions about the raid or bosses themselves, let me know and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Druid Healing, Healing, MoP, Raiding

Dynamic Healing   5 comments

Hello Internet. My name is Beruthiel, and I’m a meter whore. I’m competitive, I want to be the best and when I’m not I do everything I can to make myself better. Each raid is a challenge, each boss a new opportunity. I’m not ashamed of these things. However, I also recognize that in addition to putting up big numbers I have a job to do, I need to keep everyone alive, and I don’t neglect this job in favor of my ego.

On Being a Dynamic Healer

This is a post that I’ve been sitting on for awhile, because I’ve debated how to address the topic. We all hear jokes about how druids do nothing but glide to glory on Tranquility and Rejuv, how paladins face roll on Holy Radiance, how priests have broken their Prayer of Healing hot keys and how shaman have…well, had a hard time this expansion so I won’t pick on them. While this is all true to an extent, there is something inherently wrong with people who truly believe, and subsequently practice, that this is what a successful healer does. Sure, a healer who is doing these things might be topping your meters, but does that make them a skilled, or even good, healer? It’s unlikely.

I pretty firmly believe that one of the biggest indicators of a truly exceptional healer is how they act in dynamic situations. Do they ignore that DPS that just got a parasite? Do they assume someone else is healing the tank as his life plummets? When everything goes wrong, do they adjust to the circumstances or do they continue to be one button wonders? Personally, I think you can tell more about a healer based on how they react when things are bad than you can by simply observing their output. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 1, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing

Mini-Post: Making Mouseover Macros (or, surviving beta without addons!)   14 comments

One of the first things that most people who log into the MoP beta quickly realize is that they no long have access to their lovely UI that they have slaved hours to perfect on live. There are a number of reasons for this, with the most prominent being that Blizzard needs to test things and know that when something isn’t working as intended it’s their problem and not some third-party addon glitch. In time, addons will be permitted, however there is a great deal of testing that you may want to do in the interim, and you want to be as functional a player as possible.

Ugh! You think. You’ve been healing with grid and clique, or Vuhdo, or some such similar raid frame setup for ages. How are you ever going to manage your way through anything without these tools?!?! Don’t worry! It’s really not all that bad and there are a few things that can make it significantly less painful!

First of all, pull out your raid frames and  utilize them as your party frames. You can move them around, and you aren’t constantly squinting at the top left corner of your screen to see your party. This is probably the single, most helpful, thing that you can do for yourself.

The second most helpful thing that you can do, is create mouseover macros for yourself. I know, I hear you asking “wtf is a mouseover macro, and why do I even need it, Beru?!”. Well, let me tell you a little bit about what a mouseover macro does! It allows you to heal a target without having to click on that target to select them first. So basically, you just need to mouse over the target (as you would with Clique) and then activate the keybind that you’ve selected to bind your heals (sadly, blizzard doesn’t have a way to bind to your mouse in their default UI, so everything must be keybound). It saves you from having to first having to select the target you want to heal by clicking on them, and then subsequently clicking the spell you’d like to cast.

So, how do you create these magic mouseover macro things? Well, it’s pretty simple!

  • Open your interface menu (click “esc”) and select the “macros” option.
  • When the macro menu opens up, select the “new” button.
  • You will now be given the option to name your macro and select an icon. Do not worry about selecting an icon, you will not need it (more on this in a bit!), but go ahead and name it – I tend to just use the spell name.
  • Once you’ve done that, you will now have the option to fill out the macro text. Use the following text (there are two lines in the macro, just as shown below):
    #showtooltip
    /cast [@mouseover] (enter spell name)

    • i.e. If I wanted to create a macro for healing touch, it would look like this:
      #showtooltip
      /cast [@mouseover] Healing Touch

      • Note that capitilazation and spelling are important, as your macro will only work properly if everything is spelled correctly and your spell names appear just as they do in your spell book. As an option, when you are entering the spell name, you can open your spell book and shift click the spell and it will automatically enter it into your macro.
  • Now, drag the icon for the macro (it will start as a “?”) onto your action bars. You are finished! Heal your way to glory!

But…won’t I be looking at a bunch of  “?”, Beru? I’m so glad you asked! No, you won’t! That first line of the macro (#showtooltip) will automatically change the icon to the default icon the first time you cast the spell, and it will look just as it does in your spellbook.

Once you become more comfortable with creating macros, you can do all kinds of crazy thing with them – but this particular macro will make healing on the beta much more intuitive and fluid. Good Luck on your early panda adventures, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

edit: As of the current version of the beta (v._____) you will need to add an ! before the following spells for your mouseovers to work:

Healing Touch
Rejuv
Iron Bark
Nature’s Cure
Innervate
Incarnation: Tree of Life (even though it’s not a mouse over, in hindsight, I’m not even sure why I’m macro-ing this…)

They would look like !Healing Touch in your spell name, for example. Note that this is likely a bug and will be fixed in future beta builds.

As an additional note – it seems that the current beta build has broken [target@self] macros for the time being as well.

Posted April 13, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Healing, MoP

Healing Heroic Yor’shaj (video guide)   7 comments

Druids can’t heal that! Yes, yes we can. While it’s true that we don’t bring any of the goodies that the other three healing classes offer the raid (Barrier, SLT, Beacon of Light), and there are plenty of arguments for why those other classes are more valuable to the raid on this fight – Druids are still viable healers for this encounter and it can be done with a leafy healer in the raid. Let’s talk about how to navigate through this content tier’s “druids are terrible” encounter.

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

A few tips!

  • Don’t stress the mana void! I talked about this in the video, but forgot to mention one thing: when blue is out it’s a license to go nuts with your mana. The mana void is going to drain it all from you anyhow, make good use of it before it’s gone! Additionally, I forgot to mention that I always save my mana pot for a back to back blue void as the mana void tends to take a little longer to die due to not having as much time to DPS it down between voids. I found that a well timed mana pot could work wonders. Additionally, many of the blue combinations are the easiest! Learn to love seeing that blue slime creep in towards the boss.
  • Love your melee. One thing that we learned was that as long as all of the ranged and the healers were at range, the melee were never targeted with  the green ooze. This made it significantly easier on both the melee and the raid. Let your melee pile right in and have the range eat all of the green.
  • Purple, Shmerple. The only really challenging purple combination is a black/purple. The rest of them are fairly easy to navigate once you get a feel for them. The biggest piece of advice I can give for surviving the purple is to make sure you raid is topped up before the purple ooze hits.
  • Who is healing MY group?! We used 6 healers and assigned one to the tank and one to each group. During purple phases healers were given very strict assignments and did not heal outside of their group. We used a shaman on the tanks, with a paladin who healed group 1 bouncing Beacon of Light between the tanks (more below).
  • Deep Corruption. Make sure your raid frames show deep corruption stacks. No matter how good you are, when things get hairy it’s easy to forget if you healed that person 2 , 3 or 4 times.
  • What do you mean I can only heal the tanks FOUR times! Tank healing on this encounter gets tricky, and requires a combination of good communication and smart cooldown usage. We had one healer assigned to heal the tanks directly during the purple phases. When the tanks would taunt, our paladin would beacon the non-active tank (who had four stacks of deep corruption) and go nuts to keep him up, while our tank healer would swap to the new tank. Once that tank became unhealable, our paladin would swap his beacon again to deal with the damage the new damage on the tank. We utilize both tank cooldowns and external cooldowns (Hand of Sac./Pain Suppression/LoH) to help keep the tank up during the sticky parts where they could no longer receive  direct heals but were still taking heavy damage. Additionally, towards the end of the purple phase, stay with the tank and time a heal to hit the second deep corruption drops off to get the tanks back in order for the next phase. There will be a fair number of tank deaths while you work through what needs to be done to keep the tanks alive during the purple phases, it’s just part of the learning curve as your tank healer and paladins work through finding the perfect combination of timing heals, swearing and prayer.
  • ToL/Tranq. Unless you are trying to wipe your raid, never utilize Tranq during a purple phase. I panicked once and did this, and the raid was dead before Tranq finished casting. Oops. Additionally, save your ToL for a Red/Black/Blue or a Red/Yellow/Black phase were the extra healing and can be useful. While I suppose you could test it out during a purple phase, I feel that is a lackluster time to utilize it due to the nature of Lifebloom and your limitations on healing during that phase. I tend to favor mine on the Red/Black/Blue because LB is dirt cheap, but will also utilize it on the Red/Yellow/Black phase should we see that one first.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions!

Posted January 16, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing, Video

Healing Heroic Zon’ozz (video guide)   2 comments

I’ve gotten quite a few questions on this bugger of a fight, and I know that I’m a little slow getting this out, but I hope it’s still timely enough to be helpful! I only have kill footage of this encounter – which went beautifully until the very end where we squeaked by on the skin of our teeth,  so please forgive the “oops” at the end.  I will tell you what was supposed to happen as the fight came to a close and point out where that went awry. I dealt very specifically with druid healing in this video, but will add a few more comments/tips below.

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

A Few Tips!

  • How many healers did you use? We heal this with seven healers. Our first kill was 2 druids, 1 paladin, 3 priests and 1 shaman. Our other druid healed one of the tentacle tanks during the black phase. We’ve used any number of combinations since then and been successful.
  • Oh God, my mana! This is an extremely heal intensive encounter, and mana will be very tight. I opted to run with 2 T12 and 2 T13 while learning it so that I had extra regen for the encounter. Additionally, I found that, for myself, if I didn’t innervate before the first black phase things were so hectic and every GCD in the black phase was so precious, that I often forgot to innervate until we came out of the phase and I was often sub 50% mana. As such,I try to make a point to innervate before entering that first black phase to maximize my innervates through the fight. Additionally, don’t forget to maximize your trinkets if you have additional  regen focused trinkets so that you can utilize them  the maximum number of times in the fight.
  • Love Nature’s Grace. I can’t stress this enough! Whether you are solo healing a group or healing with a partner, make smart use of Nature’s grace so that you have it available during heavy damage phases to help boost the healing you can do during those times.
  • Tree of Life. As I stated in the video, I preferred to use ToL while the debuffs were active so that I could do more effective healing for less mana and it ensured that I could maximize ToL twice in the encounter. I, personally, found it somewhat lackluster for dealing with the black phase damage and found that I often reverted to rejuv/regrowth even if I was in ToL so it made the most sense for me to use it as more of a conservation tool to help support the aggressive healing needed in the black phases. This worked very well for me, but you will need to play around with it to find the best time for you and your raid team – you may well find that you like it better at a different time in the encounter.
  • Tranquility. Also as stated in the video, I favored using Tranquility during the first and third black phases. This meant that I had it available for two of the phases where the healers are spread out and have to focus on keeping their group alive. I found this imperative for solo healing a group, and extremely helpful when working with another healer. While it meant that I did not have it available for the final push – we had many mitigation cooldowns available to get us through those final seconds of the fight during that fourth black phase where you ignore everything and just burn through the boss.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When your raid is first learning this fight, navigating the black phase as a druid is brutal. Our tool kit lacks any burst AE healing, which means that you need to do a lot of prep for the black phase and smartly utilize your cooldowns and toolbox to navigate through it. If you also 7 heal, one of your groups will have 2 healers in it – and if you are struggling with the black phase do not hesitate to ask to be placed in the “team up” group. We found that priests of both specs were especially adept at solo healing a group, and that paring up our shaman and myself made life a lot less miserable for the both of us. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are a bad healer, it just means that the black phase sucks and our toolkit isn’t the most adept at navigating the damage. By our third kill, with some gear upgrades and the raid more familiar with the fight, I had no issues solo healing a group – but during progression trying to solo heal it was one of the worst healing experiences I’ve ever had.
  • Mitigating Damage. Something to keep in mind is that the gaze from the eyestalks can be brutal when all 8 of them are active (especially in those 5-10 seconds the flails are alive), however, those buggers can be interrupted! You probably don’t want to make it a priority to interrupt each and every one, DPS can (and should) interrupt the ones they are DPSing to help the black phase damage be more manageable. While they do not have a cast bar, you can easily tell when they are casting because they “squat”. Additionally, everyone in the raid with damage mitigating abilities should be sure that they use them during black phases.
  • Raid Cooldowns. You absolutely want to have a raid cooldown rotation for the final black phase “push”. (This would be the part in the video were we made a mistake and blew up). We set up PW:B rotations, as well as Aura Mastery and 4 piece tank cooldown rotations. Once you hit that phase it’s pure survival mode. Cycle your cooldowns and keep as many people alive as you can. I might also recommend prayer.  Additionally, we used Aura Mastery and 4 piece tank cooldowns during the black phases, and PW:B throughout the fight while the debuffs were active. We found that having a PW:B as the debuff comes out immediately after your first black phases to really help keep the raid stabilized - as that set of debuffs occurs almost immediately upon entering the light phase and many people are still low life from the black phase.

There is a lot going on in this encounter, so I may well have forgotten to address something.  Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions!

Posted January 13, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing, Video

Healing Heroic Morchok (video guide)   8 comments

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!

Posted December 13, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

Initial Thoughts on the 4.3 Resto Changes   58 comments

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 »

Posted December 1, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing, Raiding

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