Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

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

Healing Heroic Omnotron Defense System (video guide)   Leave a comment

I’ve decided to tackle Heroic Omnotron Defense System with my next video guide.  ODS is probably one of the more difficult hard modes, largely due to the varying contingencies of the encounter as a result of the constantly changing combinations of constructs that you will have to deal with.  I am raid healing  again for this encounter, so you will see me work to keep the raid alive, helping with the tanks when needed.  I got courageous and actually edited in some re-recorded commentary – so when you hear my sound even more like a chipmunk, don’t panic!  I must have just had my mic further away from my mouth in the edited part 🙂

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

A few notes!

  • You mentioned tanking in the middle – why?  We like tanking the active construct in the middle of the room, and moving the constructs out when they reached 50 energy to help prevent any accidental damage when the shields activate.  We also found that having the raid centrally located made dealing with Magmatron’s special easier.  The only construct this doesn’t pertain to is Toxitron, who we tank up by the statue in the front of the room, to keep him as far away from the raid as possible.
  • Stop attack Macros.  If your melee interrupters on Arcanotron have trouble with interrupting while Arcanotron’s shield is active, have them make a stop attack macro with their interrupt.  It’s always good to have your mages ready to spell steal if Arcanotron starts to build stacks while his shield is up.
  • Shadow Conductor and your Tanks and Melee.  During Shadow Conductor, any tank that isn’t with the raid will need to use a survivability cooldown.  Melee will need to move to the ranged and healers is they are not already with them.  If Arcanotron is active, ranged will need to cover interrupts while your melee interrupters are out of range.
  • Incineration Security Measure.  Since they reduced the damage on this ability, you can save your big raid cooldowns for Shadow Conductors, but don’t hesitate to use things like Aura Mastery to help mitigate some of the damage.
  • Barkskin.  Remember to use Barkskin if you are targeted by Magmatron’s flamethrower, during Incineration Security Measure, or during Shadow Conductor.
  • Tranquility.  Now that it’s 3 minutes, you should be able to use it 2 or three times in the course of the encounter.  It’s optimal anytime there is heavy raid damage, such as Incineration Security Measure or Shadow Conductor – but don’t hesitate to use it anytime the raid’s health looks pretty dire.
I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

Posted May 3, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

Monday Musings: Blackwing’s Bane Edition.   4 comments

Just a few quick musings today, as I seem to have run a bit short on time!

On Raiding

This past week has been fantastic on the raiding front.  We snagged kills on both Heroic Al’Akir (10 man) and Heroic Nefarian (25 man).  Not only that, but we somehow managed to pick up realm firsts for both kills, which is something I’m not sure we’ve really ever been able to claim before!  And I would be remiss not to say that it was somewhat exhilarating watching the spam flash on my screen.  Everyone was very excited about both kills, I just hope that it doesn’t go to people’s heads and we keep trucking along with clean, progressive play – egos firmly in check.

I do, however, have a few comments to offer on both of the encounters. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 2, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Raiding

Healing Heroic Conclave of Wind (video guide)   3 comments

Conclave of Wind is the next encounter that I decided to tackle in video format!  For this encounter, I am on Anshal’s (nature) and Nezir’s (frost) platforms, so you will not see any excitement from Rohash’s (wind) platform in this video.  This video was taken pre-4.1, so you also won’t see any of the new toys or shorter cooldowns in use during the video.  I am primarily tank healing again for this encounter, so it will be similar in perspective to my Halfus video.  In addition to adding some notes below, I’ve also added a couple of notes into the video!

A friendly reminder that this video will be viewed best at one of the higher resolutions and in full screen, the notes added may not be readable at lower resolutions.

A few notes!

  • Beru, why are you on the boring platform?  To answer simply – because I put myself there!  But in all honesty, I lead our raids which from time to time does have an effect on my play.  I was concerned that I would not be able to give the appropriate attention needed for the wind platform while leading and would be a detriment to my raid over there.  We also have a very competent healing team, and I knew that any of them would be up to the task!  We usually use the a Holy Priest, Resto Shaman and Disc Priest on Rohash’s platform – but have also had a resto druid as part of that combination as well.
  • How do you druid the Rohash Ultimate?  Now, I have never had this responsibility, but as I understand it from the druid that does it regularly “it’s the easiest job in the fight”.  Once Rohash tosses you into the air, you pop into ToL and put a 3 stack on both yourself and your partner in crime (we use a shadow priest who can disperse during the ultimate, but rogues work well too), along with rejuvs and swiftmend as necessary.  As Rohash finishes his Ultimate and drops you, shift over into cat form to reduce your fall damage.  Your priest will be levitating themselves.  Wait for the calvary to arrive, and head back to Nezir’s platform.
  • Why two people for Rohash’s Ultimate?  The reason you want to place two people on Rohash’s platform for the ultimate is because it will mean there are more targets for him to select for Slicing Gale.  This in turn means that one person won’t have 7 – 8 stacks by the end of the ultimate and there is a more even, and survivable, split of damage during (and after) the ultimate phase.
  • When do you know it’s time to jump back to the wind platform?  With good communication!  There should always be communication about the status of the wind burst between those currently on the platform to those who are returning to the platform.
  • WoL on Rohash’s Platform.  While you are learning this encounter, it’s very beneficial to make sure that you have someone on Rohash’s platform uploading WoL so that you can determine exactly what is happening over there – as that is likely where most of your trouble with the encounter will be.  If you are on the Nature/Frost platform your parses will not pick up everything from Rohash’s platform.  We generally upload two different WoL each night we see this encounter: one from me, and one from Brade on Rohash.
  • Mind those frost patches!  Towards the end of Nezir’s ultimate, the raid should scatter so that your entire raid doesn’t eat a frost patch (as you see happen in the second ultimate that I am on Nezir’s platform).  You will inevitably lose folks if this happens.
  • What is your platform split?  We use the following:

Anshal’s Platform: 1 Tank, 2 Healers, 1 Frost DK kiter, 6 DPS (combination of ranged and melee).

Rohash’s Platform:  3 Healers, 7 DPS (combination of ranged and melee, basically people who can navigate the platform well).  One thing to note here is that to use 3 healers here, your DPS needs to be sufficient to bring the storm shield down.  If they are slow, no amount of extra healing will help.  You may need to consider 2 healers and 8 DPS on this platform, depending on your raid.

Nezir’s Platform: 1 Tank, 2 Healers.

I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

Posted April 29, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Raiding, Video

Healing Al’Akir (video guide)   2 comments

I’ve had several people ask me about the Al’Akir encounter in general, and I know that it’s a fight that has been a point of consternation for a number of guilds.  As such, I thought I’d give a shot at a video guide for Al’Akir to see if folks found it helpful.  I know that it’s not a hard mode video, but with so many guilds struggling or skipping the fight, I thought that it still might be relevant and helpful!  Something that I did differently for this guide is that I added some text notes into the encounter for some of the things that I forget to mention in the audio, but think are important to know for the fight.  They will be easiest to read if you watch the video in full screen at one of the higher resolutions.  Just in case they are hard to read, or you can’t watch the video at a larger resolution, I’ve added the notes below as well 🙂

A few notes!

  • Tranquility – I use tranquility in phase 2 as our stacks start to grow.  However, it’s important to time when you utilize the spell so that you aren’t forced to move right as you start casting.  I have found the best time to use tranquility to be right after a squall line passes, so that you know you will have time for the entire channel.
  • Squall Lines – We have people call out where the gap is in the squall lines and which direction they are coming from.  So, for example, “Right Back” would indicate that there is a squall line coming around from the right side and that the opening in the line is at the back of the line.  Additionally, you can add the debuff “Squall Line” to your raid frames to track who gets picked up in the tornadoes.
  • Movement in Phase 3 – I use “x” to move down (my sit button) and space bar to navigate up.  This works well for me, but if “x” is an awkward or clunky key for you to use, consider rebinding your sit button to another key that is easier for you to navigate.
  • Camera Angle in Phase 3 – I have found the easiest way to manage phase 3 is to adjust my camera so that it’s in line with me, and I’m looking at Al’Akir from the side.  This allows me to easily judge if I am in the proper plane and if I am out of the lightning clouds.
  • Lightning Rod – Raid members affected with lightning rod should move 20 yards to the left or right of the raid (never up, down, forward or backward!).  Once the are out of the raid, make sure they receive heals for the duration of the debuff.  We generally assign the tank healers from phase 1 and 2 to heal the lightning rod targets in phase 3.
I hope that you found this helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback!

Also, because I’m really pleased with how it turned out, have a sneak peek at an un-narrated (music) Heroic Omnotron Defense Council video! I should have the narrated guide ready later in the week 🙂

(In case you can’t tell, I’m learning how to do new and exciting things in the video editing program and having a lot of fun!)

Posted April 23, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Raiding, Video

Healing Heroic Halfus (video guide)   3 comments

Halfus Wyrmbreaker is the next in my series of narrated Resto Druid guides.  Halfus is probably the easiest of the thirteen hard modes in this tier of content, and is likely the first one that you will encounter.  I’m actually tank healing for this fight, so it will have a slightly different perspective than the other videos that I’ve done to date.  As always, I’ve added some additional notes below the video 🙂

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

A few notes!

  • Atonement – In before half the internet corrects me, atonement is FIFTEEN yards.  I mistakenly indicated that it had a sixteen yard range in the video, so have everyone take one step closer.
  • Hand of Protection – You heard me state that I received our “first Hand of Protection”.  I forgot to mention that we HoP a healer for each roar – and if we are out of HoPs our paladins will bubble the roar.
  • Power Word: Barrier – While this isn’t as vital as it was before they changed the mechanics of the encounter, it is still helpful to drop a PW:B under your tanks during the roars.  (The tank tanking Halfus at the time of the roar should also utilize a cooldown as well).
  • Four Dragons? – We only free four of the five dragons (we never free the one that stuns Halfus).  We found that our damage was sufficient with just the 400% buff, and not having to worry about healing two tanks through the roars made them much simpler to deal with.  However, there are benefits to having that last drake active, as the stuns to Halfus to mitigate a fair bit of damage.  (Most people that I know that free him, don’t kill him, just free him after all of the other drakes are dead for the benefit of the stuns).  You will have to decide which strategy works best for your raid team 🙂
I hope that you found the video helpful!  Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions or feedback!

Posted April 21, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Raiding, Video