Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Healing Heroic Rhyolith (video guide)   11 comments

So I had intended to tackle Heroic Shannox as my first heroic guide but, uh, I seem to be having a problem catching good footage for the video (learn more here!).  We will not talk about this problem.  Well, at least not right now.  I promise to tell you of my Shannox struggles when I get to the video.  I PROMISE!  Until then, let’s move onto Heroic Rhyolith shall we?  The footage that you see below is from our first kill of the encounter, so you will see some mistakes (still trying to master keeping harmony up!) and there are certainly areas for me to improve.  However after a few nights with the fight I felt that I had enough of a handle on healing the encounter to offer my feedback and advice for healing it from a druid perspective.  As always, I missed things that I think are helpful and important in the video and will be addressing them in some comments below the video!  Additionally, please keep in mind that no one strategy will suit every guild, so take what bits you find useful and help them to create something that will work for you!

As always, please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.

A Few Notes!

Healing Assignments – As I stated in the video, we used 3 priests, 2 paladins and a druid for our kill.  This wasn’t intentional – it was just who was online for the raid the night we got the kill.  We worked the fight with two druids and a shaman thrown into that healing mix as well, so when I say “I believe any composition will work”, I truly mean that.  It’s rare that we actually have a “two paladin, three priest” combination.  For the fight, two of our priests were holy and one was disc. As far as healing assignments themselves went, during the first phase the spark tank takes significant amounts of damage at times, so we had both of our paladins and our disc priest assigned to heal him.  That left the two holy priests and myself to manage the raid and the fragment tank during phase 1.  However, when we transferred into phase 2 we moved the disc priest to assist with raid healing and had just the two paladins pumping heals into the Rhyolith Tank.  I will be 100% frank, and state that the first few times we pushed phase two we lost half the raid to the first two stomps.  So it is important to have a Phase 2 plan in place for your healers!

Raid Cooldowns – We assigned two raid cooldowns/stomp in phase 2 to help ensure our survivability in that phase (yes, it really does hit that hard!).  We used some of the smaller/positional ones earlier in the phase when the damage is a bit less and some of our larger, more powerful ones later into the phase.  We also assigned tranqs for all of our druids – including ferals and moonkin.  For our first one we used a barrier on the melee and a druid tranq (feral).  For the second one we use a warrior wall/druid tranq (moonkin).  For the third one we used an Aura Mastery/Druid Tranq (resto).  For the Fourth one we used Raid Wall/Aura Mastery.  For any that we were unfortunate enough to see after that we used our remaining warrior wall and prayers 🙂

Tank Cooldowns – The tanks get hit fairly hard in the second phase.  Your fragment tank should pick up Rhyolith as he should have most, if not all, of his personal cooldowns available (your spark tank has likely cycled through all of his by this point).  Your tank should chain his cooldowns as the damage increases to help his healers keep him stable.  Additionally, any cooldowns available from the raid should be used here as well (PS, Sac, etc).

Blood Lust – You will see that we actually lusted before we hit Phase 2 of the fight.  The reason that we do this is to make sure that we push Rhyolith into phase 2 before the 5 minute marker.  We will lust at 4:15 into the fight, or as close to that point as possible once fragments are dead (if they are up).  Alternatively, we lust with the stomp that comes in the vicinity of the 4:15 mark knowing that if they are fragments we have exactly 30 seconds to push him into phase 2.  Once we lust, we ignore all fragments and sparks and just burn on him.

Liquid Obsidian – We mostly ignore this.  No really.  Ok, sort of ignore.  We use snares on them (frost DKs are fantastic at this) and knock backs when we have to make a sharp turn so that he doesn’t eat them.  Outside of that, we count on any incidental AE damage from the fragments and cleaves from the melee on the feet to keep them under control.  Do note, however, that the more of these he ingests the less likely you are to push into phase 2 in a timely fashion.  Should he consume more than 10, it’s almost impossible to meet the timer before he starts becoming superheated.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions!  I hope you found the guide helpful and good luck!

Posted July 19, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

Defining Exceptional   20 comments

The other night Brade got a whisper from someone about recruiting.  He advised this person what our current needs are – but also added in that we will always consider exceptional applicants.  To which this person asked “what do you consider exceptional?”.  This was a very well-timed question, because Brade and I had just had a conversation about this very topic based on some commentary that I offered to someone and was worried that I had offended this person, so I had rehashed the conversation with Brade for his feedback.  But the question from the app really got me thinking.

What is exceptional?

I think the definition of exceptional will likely vary from person to person and circumstance to circumstance.  But in light of my recent conversation and the question posed by a potential recruit I thought that I’d give you some insight into how I view exceptional.  I actually have some very firm beliefs on this, because as a player, exceptional is something that I strive towards every time I step into a raid.  I also recognize that what I value as exceptional may not weigh the same way for someone else – and that’s fine.  This is merely a look at my philosophy and how I approach the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Musings – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Edition   9 comments

As the title hints, today’s musings are going to be somewhat picture oriented.  Partly because I’m in a picture sort of mood, but mostly because I had all these screenshots lying about for a post, and instead of making a million posts, I figured I could wrap them all up into one 🙂

On Raiding

Many things have happened since we spoke last week!  First and foremost being that we had extra time in our raid week this week to finish up the last of the achievements that most folks needed for the Glory of the Cataclysm Raider meta.  We still have a few more to trudge through for folks, but the majority of our raid team walked out Wednesday Night looking a bit like this:

Glory of the Cataclysm Raider

We also found the time this week, after several sub-10% wipes, to knock out heroic Rhyolith.  In fact, we went in last night and nailed it so quickly that I regretted our “warm up” on Beth’tilac, as it meant that we didn’t get the opportunity to start Hard Mode work with her.  So it goes!  Gives us a full raid night to circle back for some of the last few achievements folks need for the T11 meta  – and I’m OK with that!  Oh, and here’s the video of our kill.  I may or may not have used Walk This Way as the music for it.  Don’t judge!  I found it hilarious.

I have spent enough time with the encounter in learning it that I feel comfortable enough to go ahead and work on a video guide for the fight, so you should see that here in the near-ish future.

Heroic Rhyolith Video (guide incoming soon!)

Oh, and before I forget.  Guess who got the fire kitty staff from Fandral last night?  That’s right!  THIS TREE!

Fire Kitty!
Fire Kitty

On Dailys 

I’m still trudging through my dailys each day.  I can’t say that I’m overly thrilled by them, but I will tell you that the other night when I opened up the Druid of the Talon dailys Brade and I had a good bit of fun doing the achievements together.  The kicker of this whole daily mess is that I don’t need anything from them.  But being the pet collector and odd, fun thing fanatic that I am, I find myself obligated to trudge through them to get my toys.  Although I have yet to expand past doing them on anyone but Beru.

Speaking of dailys.  Guess who I found in my Setheria’s roost quest group the other day?  None other than EJ’s Gurgthock himself.  When I noticed I hollered “OMG I HAVE GURGTHOCK” to Brade – and then we both took a few minutes to explore his extremely creative attire while having a good laugh over the whole thing.

I wonder who his tailor is.

Meeting Gurgthock

On My Hands

They are still bothering me quite a bit, sadly.  I’ve been back to the doctor about it again, and they ran blood work for Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I haven’t received the results from those tests yet (someone remind me to call the damn doctor and find out what is taking so long), but I remain on the quest to improve the pain on my own.  You all may recall that I purchased a new chair awhile back – and it’s wonderful.  I absolutely love it.  And while it did solve some of my posture and back pain from extended time spent in the chair, it did not, unfortunately, alleviate all of my hand pain.

And so I continue to make improvements to my home office to try and help.  This past weekend I altered to top of my desk so that I could attach a keyboard tray.  While I know that it’s better ergonomically for me, the jury will remain out on if it makes it less painful for my hands.  I am truly at the point that I’ll try almost anything if I think it will help.

On Non-WoW Activities

I am going to tell you all something that may make you think less of me.  Brace yourselves.

I am completely, 100%, addicted to The Glee Project on Oxygen.  I’ve always been a Glee fan, but I am seriously loving this show, I can’t even tell you.  I have my favorites and my least favorites.  And every week I cross my fingers that my favorites don’t get selected to be removed.  It’s silly, I know, but it’s a lot of fun and a good way to wind down after a long night of Sunday raiding!

Non-Glee related, I am still working through the first Song of Fire and Ice book.  I think I’m about half way through and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.  Even though I watched the HBO series and know what’s going to happen, I still find that the author’s writing is page turning and at times I have a bit of a hard time putting the book down.

And because I can, have a cute picture of my dog.

How was your week?

Monday Musings – Mistakes Edition   23 comments

Monday.  You know, I often ponder why everyone hates Monday so much.  Sure, it’s the start of a new week.  Sure, it means that the long haul to the weekend is just beginning.  But I think I’d love it if someone had a much more positive outlook regarding Mondays.  How about a TGIM button?  No?  Alright, fine.  I suppose instead I’ll offer my (somewhat) weekly brain dump here.  RIGHT AFTER I GO TO KINKO’S FOR TGIM BUTTONS FOR YOU ALL!

On Raiding and Mistakes

We did well this week, and I’m quite pleased with how we performed.  Mostly.  We snagged a heroic Shannox kill in roughly 10 pulls on Wednesday night and then started to put some work on Heroic Rhyolith Thursday evening.  It did not go as well as we’d have liked it to go, and it was clear that we needed to shore some things up in our strategy.  So there was lots of conversation about what to fix, how to fix it, etc.  And we decided that we’d take two hours of time on Sunday to continue working Rhyolith. Read the rest of this entry »

Circle of Healers Take Two!   8 comments

It’s been about a year and a half since I participated in answering Miss Medicina’s Circle of Healing questionnaire. In fact, it’s been so long that I’d wager many bloggers don’t even know that there was this fantastic questionnaire floating around the internet that engaged so many players from all different flavors of the game! Well, as it turns out while Saunder was working through a series of posts on improving his toon and he recalled how much he learned from everyone’s answers.

Recognizing that many bloggers and members of the community may not have had the chance to participate in the original version, he has decided to reboot the questionnaire with the hope that those new, and old, would again participate and use it not only to grow as a community – but as an educational tool for others! I think that this is fantastic, and was tagged by Vidyala to offer my thoughts!

Onto the survey! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 6, 2011 by Beruthiel in Community, Druid Healing, Healing

Healing Heroic Al’Akir 10 (video guide)   8 comments

When I posted my Nef video, I had asked if people would be interested in a video for Heroic Al’Akir 10.  Since several folks indicated that they would like that, I decided I’d go ahead and do a guide for it.  While we have been working our way through our remaining hard modes, we simultaneously worked Al’Akir 10 as it is an easier encounter on 10s, and it enabled us to obtain extra shoulder tokens while we were still working on Heroic Nef and Heroic Cho’gall, as well as offered us experience with the encounter for 25s.  It worked well for us, and we’ve since continued going in and knocking him out, rotating two to three different members of our raid in each week for the 10 man kill.  While I really hated this encounter while we were learning it – it’s actually grown a soft spot in my heart.  It’s certainly not my favorite encounter, but it’s not so bad either!

A friendly reminder that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions and and in full screen.

A few notes!

  • What is your healing composition?  For our first kill we use a druid, shaman and priest.  However, we’ve since done it with a druid/priest/paladin combo (which is what you see in the video here) and a druid/druid/priest combo.  I’ve also read of someone doing it with a triple shaman combo!  I think that it’s probably healable with any team that you bring in, provided that your healers are strong and think quickly on their feet.
  • Any tips/tricks for phase 1?  The biggest thing I can say is don’t be afraid to move out of range of one of you healing assignments to navigate a squall line.  As long as you communicate it, it should be fine.  On that same note, don’t be afraid to move to navigate the squall lines!
  • In really tricky situations, you can eat a wind burst, shift into cat and sprint around squall lines.  It’s extremely effective, and can save you in a pinch.  I remember the first time I did it I felt OMGAWESOME!
  • ToL if you or one of your healing groups gets lightning on them.  The group to my right always has two people and takes a lot of damage.  I found popping a ToL very effective to make sure that all three of us, plus the tank, were always stable.
  • Barkskin is your friend.  Use it, love it.
  • Make sure all of your healing assignments are around 75% health before a wind burst.  This ensures that they can survive the wind burst and any subsequent damage that may happen right after.
  • Practice makes perfect.  I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s the truth.  You will wipe in phase one many times.  Be patient and stay calm.  It takes time to learn to navigate the perfect storm of events.  Talk about each wipe after it happens and try to work through how someone could have avoided dying.
  • Have contingencies, and contingencies for those contingencies.  It may sound like overkill, but having a plan C for when plan B didn’t work helps a ton.
  • You tank can delay windbursts by moving out of range of Al’Akir – but we found this to cause more trouble than it was worth, so ultimately opted to just navigate the encounter without having him delay any.
  • The Infamous Tol’Barad Trinket – While we could probably navigate the encounter without it now, it was invaluable while learning and still incredibly helpful for repeat kills.  I strongly encourage it’s use!
    • Use it in phase 1 if you are in lightning.
    • Use it in phase 1 if you have to stand in a frost patch while waiting for a squall line or wind burst.
    • Use it in phase 2 to help mitigate the acid rain damage – we use it at 3-5 stacks, and then on cooldown after.
    • Use it in phase 3 if you are the target of lightning rod.
  • Oh god, my mana!  Try to be as conservative as possible in phase 1.  It’s challenging sometimes, especially if you and/or your neighbors are recipients of the lightning storms on the platforms.  However, the closer you are to a full mana bar in phase 2, the better off you will be.  Almost all of our healers run dry by the end of phase two and are all screaming WHY AREN’T WE THERE YET?!?!  Be careful with your rejuv usage – it is your biggest mana drain and will run you dry extremely quickly if you are careless with it.  Try not to overwrite existing rejuvs, and try to make sure that it gets its full potential.
  • Timing Tranquility.  You have to be careful with tranquility in this encounter.  It’s not well maximized in phase 1, so I don’t recommend using it there (I’ve tried, and you are so spread out it hits almost no one, and ends up being a waste of mana).  Since our kills run about 6 minutes, I generally only get one in because I try to maximize it for the time it will best serve the raid in phase 2.  I will try to wait until we are 8+ stacks of the debuff, sometimes longer if the raid is in good shape, to make sure that I am using it when it will help the raid and the other healers the most.
    • Wait until a squall line passes, so that you do not have to cancel your cast to dodge an incoming squall line.
    • Do not cast it if you are standing close to Al’Akir.  He will randomly interrupt spell casts if you are too close in proximity to him, and it has the potential to completely waste your tranquility.

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

    What’s next?!  Well, we have actually killed Cho’gall (twice now!), and I’ve spectacularly failed to remember to FRAPS the kills.  Because we are so close to Firelands, we’ve opted to lock out this week’s BoT for continued work on Sinestra, so it may be a bit before I have video footage for a guide – and it may be that I have video of Sinestra first 🙂  However, I will keep trying to put together video guides as we continue to progress, they may just be fewer and farther between 🙂

    Posted June 5, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing, Video

    Healing Heroic Nefarian (video guide)   2 comments

    My next guide in the video series that I’ve tackled in this tier of content is Heroic Nefarian.  It may actually be the last one for a little while, because I’ve caught up with the content we’ve killed!  I’m still debating if I’d want to do one for our 10 man Heroic Al’Akir kills or not (would you all be interested in seeing this?).  One of the things that I realized while recording, is that there is so much going on in this fight, that the 10 minutes I have for the video is hardly long enough to cover it all!  So, there will be plenty of notes below 🙂

    A friendly reminder that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions and and in full screen.

    A few notes!

    • How many healers do you use?  We use seven.  For phase 1 we have two on the Ony tank (Priest/Paladin), two on the Nef tank (Priest/Druid) and three on the Construct tank (Shaman x2/Druid) – but note that those on the construct tank have also been known to toss a few heals to the Nef tank.  Once the constructs are down one of the shaman goes and assists with the Ony tank and the other two of us stay with Nef.  For phase 2 the platform with 9 people gets the third healer.  We usually break the platforms down as such: Druid/Shaman, Priest/Paladin, Druid/Shaman/Priest.  For phase 3 we have three healers on the kite tank (priest/paladin/shaman), two healers on the Nef tank (priest/druid) and two healers for the raid (druid/shaman).  However, if the Kite tank has bad resets, the Nef priest will go and assist with the kite tank.
    • As a healer, what do you do with your MC?  I will break it straight away so that I can get back to healing.  That being said, if the raid/tanks are in good order, resto shaman can gain stacks during the MCs and then Lightning Bolt back to a full mana bar quickly and easily.  (P.S. /jealous).
    • What happens if MCs are in line with a crackle?  This is tricky!  If the crackle will come before the MC’d player will reach their portal, stay MC’d!  MC’d players will not take damage from the crackle.  If you are MC’d and will hit your portal before the crackle hits and your life is not at 100%, break it and get back to the group ASAP to get healed.  Healers should also watch for players that are MC’d during a crackle in case they need an emergency heal before it hits as they come out of their MC.
    • What if the MC’d player’s life is really low?  Sometimes people DPS their allies.  It sucks, but it happens.  We tell our players that if their life hits 20% they need to break their MC ASAP so that we can heal them and they don’t risk death.
    • I forgot about Cone of Cold!  I know that I mentioned we used hunter traps, crippling poison and earthbind totems during to snare – however I forgot to mention that a mage can Cone of Cold as long as s/he isn’t empowered and provide and extra snare as well.  This works really well for when people have reached the end of the frost trap.
    • What about those pesky shaman totems?  Enhancement shaman and elemental shaman will use searing totem as part of their DPS.  If they get mind controlled, the totems will shoot at the raid (enhancement’s is more of a pain than elemental’s).  The best way to deal with this is simply to stomp the totems.  Also don’t use fire elementals in phases 1 or 3, as they will attach themselves to MC’d members of your raid.  Use them in Phase 2 with your Blood Lust.
    • Why is your pet attacking me!  Hunters, Warlocks, Frost Mages and DKs all need to make sure that their pet is on passive (get a pet attack macro so your pet doesn’t sit idle!).  If pets are on defensive they will attack members of the raid while your are mind controlled and wreak havoc!  DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!
    • Phase 2 Interrupts – The bane of this encounter.  Each platform needs two interrupters and back up interrupters.  Work out a rotation for interrupts before you pull.  It’s vital to communicate for a back up if you are a main interrupter and get cinders, or if you fat finger your interrupt early.  It’s equally as important that communication is clear and concise.  All we want to hear is “Help, Back, Next”, for example.  One missed interrupt can easily wipe your raid.  Once you get this worked out, phase two becomes much less of a pain in the ass.
    • Clearing Cinders -Explosive cinders can be cleared using Ice Block, Cloak of Shadows or a Pally Bubble.  You will not explode your platform by making use of these abilities, and it is good to save them for phase two when possible specifically for this reason.
    • Everyone can help their survival with Explosive Cinders – Almost every class has something that they can do to help mitigate some of their damage if they need to jump into the Magma for cinders.  If they are out of “oh shit” buttons, the should use their Tol’Barad trinket as they swim back to their platform after their cinders have exploded.  It is also vital that people do not jump around and flail in the lava, as it will cause you to generate magma stacks faster.  At 3-4 seconds out jump off the platform into the lava, wait for your cinders to explode, and then strafe back to the platform.  This will allow you to minimize how many magma stacks you receive – and will increase your survivability!
    • Phase 2 Healing – almost as bad as the interrupts!  Our healers will also provide clear, concise communication for dealing with cinders, especially if there is more than one person on the platform afflicted.  Additionally, we place a “back up” healer on each platform for emergencies.  Elemental shaman, Druids of any spec and Shadow Priests work very well for this.  Do not hesitate to call out and use DPS to keep your platform stable in a pinch.
    • Spec – I spec 3/3 Perseverance for this encounter.  The mitigation is extremely helpful for learning and has saved my ass on more than one occasion.  I strongly encourage you to consider picking up at least 1 or 2 points here if you don’t want to go with all 3!
    • Oh God, my mana!  I know I commented on it in the video, but I wanted to just say it again.  Really be conscious of your mana.  Take your time in phase 1 and 3 to get the raid topped up, and let your HoTs work for you.  Do not over-rejuv or you will be OOM faster than you can blink.  Innervate early and often, and try to squeeze in a concentration potion during phase 3 (you see me use mine in between crackles).
    • Beru, will you ever get that fourth Tranquility?  Some day! 😉
    I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

    Posted May 20, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

    Healing Heroic Valiona and Theralion (video guide)   Leave a comment

    I opted to tackle heroic Valiona and Theralion nest because, well, it’s all I had left outside of Heroic Nef – and I don’t have video for him yet!  I hope to have some soon, though.  Since the changes in some of the mechanics of this encounter, it’s become one of the easier heroics in this tier of content.  I am again primarily raid healing, so you will see me primarily focus on the raid while offering spot heals to the tank.

    A friendly reminder that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions and and in full screen.

    A few notes!

    • How many healers do you use?  We use seven healers for the encounter, although our first kill we used eight because that is who we had online.  I don’t necessarily recommend using eight healers, as the DPS check is still fairly tight, but if you think your DPS can push it with eight healers, it is an option.  The tank doesn’t get hit particularly hard, so we generally just have a disc priest focus on the active tank and ask everyone else to help with spot heals.  We only ever send one paladin down into the twilight realm, almost always a paladin.  We have a “backup” to go down with the tank in case the designated healer is selected for twilight meteorite.
    • Healing in the twilight realm.  The healer that goes into the twilight realm announces that they are heading down so that the three rogues can adjust a little closer to the middle of the room.  This way all three of them are in range of heals, and the healer doesn’t have to run around a ton trying to heal them.  The rogues can sustain their life pretty well on their own, but there are times between their cloak of shadows cooldowns where their stacks get very high, and they need extra healing to stay alive.  Once the healer’s stacks get high, they need to come up top or bubble them off.  Once they stack up again you will have to return to the rest of the raid.  Like anyone that ends up in the twilight realm, you need to avoid the orbs so you don’t blow yourself up.  Additionally, if you end up in the twilight realm during Valiona’s strafe, you still have to dodge it as it permeates the twilight realm.
    • Oh God, my mana!  It is very easy in this encounter to go rejuv happy and blow through your mana extremely quickly (you see towards the end of the encounter, this happens to me and I pretty much have to resort to nourish casts for a period of time, as that’s all I have mana for).  It’s important to keep your mana management at the forefront of your thoughts in the encounter so that you don’t become reckless (as I did!) and burn through it before the encounter ends.  Innervate early and often, don’t over-utilize rejuv and be sure to pot!
    • Tranquility Hax!  If you don’t want/need to utilize tranq during blackouts, you can do some really sick healing if you tranq while afflicted with engulfing magic.  However, for it to be more than just epeening (and oh god it is like Viagra for your epeen), your raid actually needs to be in need of that amount of healing – and, of course, you need to have engulfing magic line up with your tranquility cooldown.  I don’t recommend this strategy, but it can be very effective if your raid is in a rough spot while Theralion is on the ground and you end up with engulfing magic.
    • How do you handle engulfing magic during Valiona’s strafe?  It’s actually easier than you think to deal with this!  Pretty much anyone with engulfing magic during the strafe needs to move away from the raid by going up the stairs to the platforms that the twins start on before you pull.  This should put them far enough away from other members of your raid, while still allowing them the freedom to avoid the fire.  Additionally, keep in mind that if you aren’t a DoT or HoT class, you can simply stop casting to move amongst your raid without blowing anyone up!
    • How many times do you send a tank into the twilight realm?  Generally only once, the first time Theralion is on the ground.  However, if the tanks stacks don’t drop in time for a taunt, it’s not a big deal to send a tank down again.  We generally have the first tank take four stacks, the second tank take five (to send a healer down for the rogues), and then they taunt off of each other at four stacks each time after.
    I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

    Posted May 17, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

    Harmony – New Resto Mastery for 4.2   22 comments

    Once again we have more datamined information coming from the PTR files, courtesy of MMO-Champion .  And no, sadly, I’m not talking about our god-awful ugly tier gear.  I’m also not talking about the anticipated changes to mana tide totem, which were seemingly brought about to continue to address healer mana.  What I am talking about are the potential changes to resto druid mastery.  It came as a bit of a shock to everyone, as it was entirely unexpected, but who am I to look the gift horse in the mouth?

    Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

    Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.

    Now, if we go under the assumption that Harmony will be a buff given to the druid every time they cast a direct heal, this is going to be a very good change for druid mastery.  In fact, it might even be too good a change.  I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the effects reduced some.  However, as I read it, all the casting druid needs to do to keep the buff active is cast one direct heal every ten seconds.  This is something that most druids are likely already doing, so it shouldn’t be too hard for many to simply monitor their Harmony buff and keep it active.

    There is some question about if the way I have read the buff above is accurate, and the majority seem to agree with my interpretation.  However, there is the possibility that the buff isn’t something that the druid receives – rather something that is granted to the target.  And if this is the case, which I doubt (pray) , it will actually mean our mastery is worse – as hard as that is to believe.  We won’t know for certain how Harmony will work until the change is implemented on the  PTR and can be tested.

    For the time being though, let’s assume that my original interpretation is correct.  I think Harmony is a good change.  While some people may say that it’s “boring”, as it’s pretty much a static buff provided that you remember to keep it active via a direct heal, it is undoubtedly an improvement over Symbiosis.  In my opinion our current mastery encourages poor healing by forcing you to “chase” already active heals on a target who may not need the extra healing over a target who does.  The whole boost a heal for someone who has a heal never really made a lot of sense to me, especially in the “triage” environment that Blizzard was trying to promote – where smart healing was encouraged.

    Provided that this goes live, I think that it will also move mastery up a touch on our priority list with regards to stats.  I do not think that it’s going to overcome haste for breakpoints or intellect for pure throughput, but I do think that it’s no longer going to be something we cringe at when it appears on our gear.

    Overall, I am optimistic about the change, provided that it’s done via a buff to the casting druid.

    What are your thoughts on Harmony?

    Posted May 11, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing, Healing

    Healing Heroic Atramedes (video guide)   2 comments

    I will be looking at Heroic Atramedes for my next video guide. Atramedes is one of the more frustrating encounter to learn – but once everyone gets the hang of things, is one of the easier encounters in this tier of content. I am raid healing for this encounter, so you will see me primarily focus on the raid and providing spot heals on the tank.

    A friendly reminder that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions and and in full screen.

    A few notes!

    • Gongs in the ground phase.  We use a ranged DPS (usually our moonkin, but anyone can do it) to bang the gongs for searing flames.  Our air phase gongers use the ones furthest from the raid, so that we have ones close to the raid for the ground phase.
    • Dealing with the adds.  I didn’t mention this in the video, however make sure that all of your DPS turn their name plates on so that they can target the adds quickly and with ease.  If a raid member in the ranged group gets an add on them, they should take a few steps forward so that your ranged DPS doesn’t have to turn around to attack the add.  Additionally, don’t forget to silence/interrupt them!
    • Raid Cooldowns.  While we don’t really use raid cooldowns at any particular time anymore, we did use them during the searing flames and/or the modulate immediately following the flames while we were learning the encounter.  This isn’t as potent a combination anymore with the changes made to the mechanics of the encounter, however timing cooldowns for these moments still has potential to help while learning the encounter.  Aura Mastery, Raid Wall and Warrior Wall are great for searing flames.  We found Power Word Barrier to be better for the modulate immediately after Searing Flames, so that you knew where your raid was going to be when casting barrier.  Additionally, both spirit link totem and tranquility can be used anytime there is high raid damage.
    • One more thing about positioning.  The positioning that we use make it VERY easy on your tank!  As 95% of the sound discs will be moving in the same direction as the raid, your tank will have minimal dodging during the ground phase.
    I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

    Posted May 10, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Healing, Video