Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's Expected of You?

We're comfortably a few weeks into Cataclysm and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've gotten comfortable with healing. Money is flowing in nicely, though starting to wane a little. The guild has reached level 6 (may be 7 by the time I'm writing this). My alch, inscription, herb and mining professions are all maxed out. I'm 2 points away from max tailoring. So yeah, I'm feeling pretty good with where things are going in the new expansion.

What am I not feeling good about? PUGs, of course. I still refuse to PUG a heroic dungeon. I don't doubt my ability to heal but I do doubt my ability to keep up with people that still think they can face roll though the instances.

As I've said in the past..."If you pull like this is Wrath, you're going to die. If you take damage that could be avoided, you will die".

One of my guildies made a comment the other day that is totally going to become my new signature tag line. "Healer mana pools are the new enrage timer".

Honestly guys, this is true. Healers have a very limited mana pool and Blizzard intends to keep it this way. We can't spam heals like we could in Wrath. Casting takes longer, spells cost more mana and we can't regen it fast enough. Remember a dead tank means a dead group. The days of being able to dps tank are gone.

So what can you do to help?
1. Don't stand in the bad stuff. You already know not to do it, so don't. STOP casting and MOVE immediately, don't wait.

2. Avoid all avoidable damage. Move away from stuff falling from the sky, decurse, dispel, cleanse, whatever you have. This doesn't go just for yourself but for the entire party. If you can remove whatever is ticking on the party, do it, you'll save your healer's mana enough to keep the group alive just a few seconds longer. Often times, that few seconds makes all the difference.

3. Crowd control. If you have it, use it. Speak up. Let your tank know if you can sheep, trap, slow, shackle or root that mob and don't forget to keep the CC up until the tank picks up your mob. That mob is your baby and you are responsible for keeping it under control until the tank has control of it. If a mob breaks away from the tank and you can CC it in some way, do it! If you don't that mob will wipe the group if left uncontrolled.

4. Don't pull aggro. Yes, it was no big deal in Wrath. The healer would toss you a couple of heals and you would single target or AoE your mob down before it killed you. You can't do this anymore. For two really good reasons. First, the healer doesn't have the mana to spare on trying to keep you alive. Secondly, those mobs hit a lot harder and it will take a lot less for them to kill you and then move on to the next target...your healer.

5. Buffs...if you have them give them freely. Keep them renewed on the party and reuse them when someone dies. That little bit of int or health or mp5 does wonders for your healer. I am ecstatic when I have a party with both a mage and a paladin. I get int and mp5 and I breath a sigh of relief. Those little buffs will do wonders for my mana pool and mana regen. So remember them. And for you mages out there...your healer will love you for providing them with cupcakes. Have you seen the cost of water these days. Almost 2 gold for a stack of 5 and we have to drink nearly a full 20 stack or more to make it through a heroic. We love you for your lovely cupcakes!

6. Interrupt, interrupt, interrupt! If that boss is casting something and you can stop it, please do. Help the tank mitigate their damage. The less damage they take the more mana the healer will have to toss heals around to the rest of the team when their is AoE damage going around.

7. Range. Keep in mind where your healer is at all times. If you are out of range we have to run to find you and if we don't make it in time, you're going to go splat. Every dps is important in every fight. We need you all! Please don't run away! And if you're in melee range and you're taking damage, move out. Give me a second to get you heals then run back in. It may just save you a repair bill and the group a wipe.

8. Lastly, don't slack. We need the dps, we need the heals, we need the tank. Every member in a 5 man raid counts. We don't have the dps to spare in most fights. The healer doesn't have the mana to spare and the tank can't run around trying to get aggro back from a trigger happy mage. Tanks use your ready check, healers speak up when you need to stop for mana, dps be ready when the tank pulls.

So that's it. That's my advice to all of us. I'm not ready to PUG heroics yet. I'll stick to healing my guild's tanks. I know them, they know me. We work well together and we trust each other. Hopefully in time the PUG members will get the understanding of these concepts and a PUG won't be so painful.

Until, Happy New Year and Happy Hunting. See you on the other side!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

As we've lovingly been deemed by the other raid leader, "Team Ty" has been on a heroic run spree for the past week or so.

We've got a groove, myself healing, Kyn as DPS, our guilds MT and his boomkin girlfriend and a 5th random guild member, normally our favorite mage/Int provider/cupcake maker. The 5 of us together just seem to make a great team. I've learned the tanks quirks, he's learned mine. We know when to pop what cool downs to make sure he stays alive or that I have time to heal the party. We have awesome CC with druid roots and mage sheeps. It just seems to work, you know.

So over the last week, we've successfully ran H-HoO, H-Vortex, H-Deadmines and H-SFK several times with little to no problem. Surprisingly, out of all of those, SFK has to be my favorite instance so far. Not that it really has loot specific to me but because the fights are just plain fun.

Let me pass on what I've learned to any other holy priests out there that may not have attempted to heal this one yet.

Really the first boss is the most difficult. We were able to 2 shot him without much difficulty. Once we understood the concept of the fights, our melee dps had the interrupts down to an art. That's the most important part of this fight. There are a couple abilities that MUST be interrupted no matter what.

First off he puts a debuff on random people called "Pain and Suffering". This needs to be stopped, interrupt or dispell. It inflicts increased shadow damage on the target every 1/2 second for 8 seconds. It should more appropriately be entitled "Pain and Suffering to Your Healer".

Secondly he will cast Asphyxiate on the entire party. This will drop everyone's health to 1. Immediately following this he will start to cast "Stay of Execution" to heal himself and the party back to full. While it's nice of him to heal our health back up, we don't want him to also heal himself. So when he starts to cast this you want to have someone interrupt after 2 ticks of the spell. Why not immediately you may ask? Because those two ticks, as well as the healers AoE heals are enough to heal the party back high enough to withstand the next phase of damage without draining their mana pool. Be sure you let him get off 2 ticks of this cast before you have your melee interrupt him.

Last thing to really worry about comes at about 20% health. He will use Calamity. This inflicts massive amounts of damage on the entire party every 1 second until he is dead. The fight now becomes a DPS race against the healers mana pool and cast times. Pop your cooldowns, cast speed boosts, whatever you've got and burn him down ASAP!

Now, my advise to healers is simple. If you're a holy priest have your Chakra ready to use Holy Word: Sanctuary when he drops everyone's health to 1. This combined with a cast of Circle of Healing or Prayer of Healing will bring your entire party up above 30K health. It's not necessary or recommended to try to heal everyone back to full. It does not matter how much health they have, the next time he casts Asphyxiate, it will drop to 1. You only want to make sure your party has enough health to withstand any party damage/tank damage they take before then.

It is important however to watch the health of the boss. You want to have everyone as close to full as possible before he hits 20%. Use whatever cool downs you have and try to keep your highest dps and the tank alive long enough to kill him. Accepting that you will probably loose a person or two during the last 20% will take a load of stress off of you. I personally sacrificed myself, since I had Spirit of Redemption and knew that the unlimited mana use I had for 15 seconds would be enough to let me spam heals on all the dps and the tank while they killed him.

With all of that being said, the rest of the instance so extremely easy on a priest. There are lots of undead mobs so you are useful to shackle as well as heal. Compared to most of the other instances, this was unbelievably easy.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and Happy Hunting!

Monday, December 20, 2010



Yep, that's what I have to say on that topic.

Kyn got the last couple of points needed to be able to do heroics this past weekend. So we settle in Sunday afternoon, the first chance we really got to play, for some quality WoW and movie time.

We had planned to pop in the old Indiana Jones movies and finish up the quests in Uldum. For some odd reason, doing the Harrison Jones quests made us want to watch the old movies.

Well about 45 minutes into Temple of Doom we get asked to come along for some heroic runs with a couple of guildies. Yeah, that sounds like fun. We like this couple and the other guy that's going along. It's an all guild run, I know the tank, shouldn't be too hard, right?

WRONG! We queue up random and get heroic Grim Bartol. Really...first heroic and that's what we get? That's like Halls of Reflection on crack. Even on normal that instance isn't the easiest place to heal.

In we go. Happily running along, killing trash, casually chatting up on vent. It's already very obvious that the tank is getting hit a hell of a lot harder than when we ran this place on normal. We even have 2 druids along so two sets of roots for CC. About 3 pulls into the run, just after the dragon fly over, I'm in panic mode. The tank and the party are happily chatting away in vent about old ICC memories while I'm watching the tank's heal dropping, very quickly. Then we loose a dps. It's at this point that I begin to think I may be in over my head.

We somehow manage to make it to the first boss which promptly leads to a wipe.

"Apparently we need to run away from the blitz and somebody get those damn troggs away from the boss!"

"Oh wait, not on me...fade, fade, run to the tank...we're dead."

Lets try again. Wipe number two.

Third time's a charm right? Wipe number 3.

Last time..."shew, we made it. Not so bad, we got this under control! We're awesome!"

Kill the trash, off to boss number two.

No big deal, stay out of the falling rocks, avoid the crap on the ground....oh shit! FIRE shield! DEAD. Wipe one, wipe two, wipe three....what the hell is wrong with this Forgemaster?!?! The boomkin offers to go resto and help heal and he finally goes down.


Next..and I cringe. This boss doesn't seem so impossible. He's going to blow fire at the tank and the incoming fire elemental have to be killed. We should be able to do this.

Wipe, one, two, three, four, five. What do you mean we've been in the same heroic for 2 1/2 hours? 5 man raiding? No kidding, this is crazy. Massive Wrath type damage being thrown around to all the party, there is no way my mana can keep up with this. No Greater Heal, of course not, Blizzard made the spell cost 5 times the mana it use to. Heal, Heal, Heal...chakra, renew, prayer of mending, holy word sanctuary. The party is taking way too much freaking damage. I'm done. We're beating our head against the wall.

Give me a break! What the hell do you want Blizzard. Triage, isn't that the term you used? Well let me give a little insight. The party can't survive without the tank, the tank can't survive without the healer and the boss will enrage and the healer will run out of mana without the DPS to kill him. That's how this damn boss works. So who do you want me to keep alive? The tank? Myself? Let the DPS die? I can't do that, we can't down the boss with only myself and the tank alive. Not this time.

I know that this is a higher end heroic. I know that we have 3 of the 5 people in average 330ish item level gear. BUT...heroics are suppose to be possible at that level. Just this once, I'm going to QQ and say Blizzard, Drahga Shadowburner may need to be nerfed...just a freaking little.

I'm not the type to complain about things being a little difficult. I don't yell and throw a fit when Blizzard changes things. I was a child of BC. I understand the need for CC and mana conservation. I understand, accept and embrace heroics taking more than 20 minutes to clear and needing more than AoE to kill stuff. I get all this and I agree. But this guy...I really think, they went a little overboard on.

We didn't finish that heroic. We ended up taking a 20 minute break and coming back to complete Halls of Origination. There were some tight spots. I lost a dps or two to bad timing. I think we wiped three....maybe four times. But we completed it.

Grim Bartol has become my new H:MgT. I will avoid it like the plague.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heroic Ready

Well, Blizzard says I'm heroic ready. My average item level hit 329 last night simply by picking up my tier helm and switching out my neck for the one offered from Earthen Ring at revered.

Not sure I think I am ready. After some of the nightmares I have heard from our guildies (specifically the tanks and healers) I am not sure I'll ever be ready for PUG healing in Cata.

I remember when the LFG tool was introduced back in Wrath how excited I was about being able to randomly queue for heroics and not having to wait for people I knew to be on line. However, I also remember how stressed I got when I realized just how bad they could really be.

The good news...I do have guildies that I will be able to run with.

Now to get Kyn those last 5 points...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

With New Joy Comes New Heartache

We're a little over a week into Cataclysm and now that the leveling fun is over my excitement is slowly being replaced by anxiety.

Let me start by saying that I really do love my guild and I enjoy the people in it. I've had a great time running instances and hanging out in vent with them over the last few nights. It's a sense of belonging, of fitting in. To most that will sound silly, especially since it's just a game right? But simply remember I am a girl after all and we do stress over things that don't matter to most of you guys.

With that being said my guild is also bringing on a sense of stress.

When Cata released I had no outlined plan of how I was going to spend my time. I wanted to make sure I kept up with the guild and their leveling progression as much as I could. I had enjoyed being there for most of the progression through ICC and don't want to loose my place with them in the new content.

Now, I'm starting to feel the panic.

Our raid leaders have placed a "Heroic Roll Call" on the raid forums. As of this morning there are 7 names on that list. One of which is not mine. The guild message of the day when I logged in last night announced the plan to start heroic gear runs during raid times beginning next week. My priest is still not heroic ready. Thus produces panic attack one and two.

With the new expansion thus comes new players. Over the last couple of nights we have welcomed several new members into our ranks. This is wonderful for the guild. New people breath new life into the guild. But it also brings about panic number 3. New people also bring new bodies wanting to raid.

Again, most of you probably aren't seeing my panic in this yet. Let me give you a little background info.

When I first joined my current guild they had a pretty strong, pretty tight raiding team. Though Kyn and I were able to attend a few raids with them, there wasn't much room in the group at the time. The current raiders had been progressing and working together long before we came around. As people started to take extended breaks from the game, Kyn and I were still going strong. This opened up a few spots for us to slide into. We started raiding with the people that were still around, making friends and enjoying being part of the group.

Now I start to worry. You see, we have a very open raid sign up policy. 24 hours before the scheduled raid the queue opens up on our website and you sign up. First 10 people to sign up are the first 10 people invited to go. Based on need of course.

With the release of new content and new members, I have a feeling that queue is going to fill up very quickly. Even towards the end of Wrath, we were seeing the queue go from empty to full in less than a couple of minutes. Everyone wanted to be there for Lich King. There are only so many spots in a 10 man raid group and we're looking at more than 10 people wanting those spots already.

Thus is the cause of stress in my game. Be it a valid concern or not, it's still a concern for me none the less.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pre-Raid Gearing for a Holy Priest

Kalyanna dinged 85 last night after a couple of enjoyable instance runs with my guildies. Yay! Have I mentioned that I love my guild? I've been having a blast with them since the expansion released. Running instances, hanging out on's all been great! But that's not the point of this post.

Now it's time to start thinking about her gear and stats and gems and enchants, oh my! Everyone that knows me, knows that I'm not really the kind of person that goes into a panic over my gear. But since she is going to be healing raids for our guild, and we don't have a lot of healers to rely on, I think it's time I at least get an idea of what gear and stuff she needs from where.

First off, let's talk about my personal stat priority. Keep in mind this is my preference based on what I know so far. For me, the stats go something like this: Int -> Spirit -> Haste -> Mastery

I need Int for spell power and a larger mana pool. I need spirit to regen that mana and Haste in order to decrease my cast time. So all that makes sense to me. Then there is the gear to get those stats.

Everyone already knows you need to be at 329 to get into the heroics. And that it's pretty much just some lucky drops from instances and some rep items. I won't spend time going into that. Kaly's already at 326, so it's just a matter of getting those last 3 points.

Instead, let's take a look at what gear she can get and where it comes from. This is a list based on the stats that I prefer. Some of this gear has Crit on it and for those items I'd reforge for either Haste or Mastery.

HEROIC Instances:
Neck: Amulet of Tender Breath - Vortex Pinnacle
Shoulder: Mantle of Loss - SFK
Back: Solar Wind Cloak - Halls of Origination
Robe: Anraphet's Regalia - Halls of Origination
Wrist: Baron Ashbury's Cuffs - SFK
Hands: Dolomite Adorned Gloves - Stonecore
Boots: Hekatic Slippers - Halls of Origination
Ring: Veneficial Band - Lost City of the Tol'vir
Ring: Kibble - Blackrock Caverns
Trinket: Tear of Blood - Stonecore
Trinket: Witching Hourglass - Blackrock Caverns
Weapon: Scepter of Power - Halls of Origination
Off-Hand: Prophet's Scepter - Stonecore
Wand: Wand of Untainted Power - Grim Batol

If you prefer a staff or can't get the weapon and off hand to drop:
Staff: Soul Releaser - Halls of Origination

Head: Mask of New Snow - 2200
Waist: Belt of the Falling Rain - 1650
Legs: Leggings of Charity - 2200

Cord of Raven Queen - Hyjal Exalted
Shimmering Morningstar - Tol Barad Revered
Mandala of Stirring Patterns - Tol Barad Exalted

The last thing I'll talk about is the enchants and the gems. Most of this is common knowledge and everyone will enchant and gem differently based on their preference. I also have the advantage of being a scribe but for this purpose I'll leave those benefits out.

Head: Arcanum of Hyjal - Guardians of Hyjal Revered
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone - Therazane Exalted
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent
Boots: Enchant Boots - Haste
Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Bracer: Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Spirit
Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Haste
Off hand: Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect

META: Ember Shadowspirit Diamond
RED: Brilliant Inferno Ruby
BLUE: Sparkling Ocean Sapphire
YELLOW: Quick Amberjewel
PURPLE: Purified Demonseye
ORANGE: Reckless Ember Topaz
GREEN: Zen Dream Emerald

So, that's it! Looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Hope you find a little bit of useful information somewhere in here as well.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Whole New World

Because I know you all were singing it....

What I know today...

healing in Cata isn't so hard.

So I spent last night and the night before in normal level 84 - 85 instances (as an 84 Holy priest) learning to heal again.

I was beginning to doubt my ability to change and my ability to be an effective healer in the new expansion. In the early instances of the expansion I was finding that I was running out of mana before the end of almost every fight. Yes, even some trash pulls. But I couldn't keep enough mana to make it through an entire boss encounter. I was popping my trinkets every time they were off cool down, using Shadowfiend whenever I could and even channeling the stupid priest mana regen spell, Hymn of Hope. I just couldn't figure it out.

Yes I knew from reading that they wanted me to rely more on the my Heal spell and not spam Flash Heal or Greater Heal, but the amount of health I was healing with Heal, compared to my normal comfort spells was nothing against the 70,0000 - 80,000 health pool of the tanks.

Well that was until I figured out a little, unknown to me, secret.

I had pretty much stopped using Chakra after they took away the improved renew state before the actual release of Cata. I quickly learned, over the last two nights, that I had totally underestimated the use of Holy Word: Serenity.

Alone the small amount of instant heal to your target isn't a huge boost or reason to start using your Heal spell more but added to the extra 25% crit for 6 seconds it makes a lot of sense and I've found a pretty effective way to use it.

I've learned through Cata that healing is a lot more about learning to anticipate the damage your tank is going to take and react to it accordingly. It's about knowing your tank and understanding their abilities and actions. For this reason alone, I much prefer to run with my guild's tanks because I've found that with them I can memorize the pattern and be better prepared. On the other hand, I also know that it's not always possible to run with your guild mates. If you're flexible and patient, I think you can carry these rules through to PUGs as well.

So, how do you apply the "learn and anticipate" method I've come up with? It's not exactly simple but with practice it seems to work for me. Not everything I do is totally different than the "old" days, it's just been tweaked a little.

Under normal circumstances this is how my healing will go. Before the tank pulls I will do the normal Prayer of Mending, immediately followed by Chakra. Your Chakra state lasts for 30 seconds and in all the instances I've been in during Cata, I can be almost 100% assured someone is going to take damage within that 30 seconds. The first person that takes damage gets a normal Heal. This Heal spell will activate my Holy Word: Serenity (HwS) spell. The tank then gets a Renew spell tossed on them, while I heal most of the party members with Heal. Each time I use Heal it renews the state of my HwS spell. I use the instant effects of the HwS spell on my tank.

Normally, with a good tank at least, I can keep his health at a comfortable level with only HwS, Heal and Renew. If I see that his health is dropping dangerously low (or too low for my comfort) I will pull a Greater Heal spell, if cast time permits, or a couple Flash Heals if I need to quickly get his health up.

Another shocker that I've found is that even Holy Priests can effectively use Power Word: Shield in emergency situations now. It use to be, in Wrath and even in BC, that our shields weren't really strong enough to withstand more than a single hit or maybe two on the tank. Now that the talent tree is allowing us to get a little further into the Disc side of things, I've been able to put a couple points into Improved Power Word: Shield making my shield withstand a couple more hits in emergency situations.

By no means is this going to be the perfect rotation. By no means am I saying this will work for everyone. I am simply passing along what one frustrated and worried Holy Priest has learned for more than one failed attempt at Cataclysm healing. Granted I have gotten much better gear through the successful instances I've healed. I'm also playing on a 65K mana pool now. But I can still drain that mana pool way too quickly if I'm not careful.

So, if I've helped even one mana starved Holy Priest make it through a single instance without wanting to quit and reroll as dps, than I count this thread as useful.

Happy Cata hunting and enjoy your week in Wow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I have learned...

in Cataclysm so far...

1 - Harrison Jones is AWESOME!
2 - Mount Hyjal has the most interesting story line so far (my favorite zone)
3 - Healing is hard
4 - Pugs suck...again
5 - People don't remember how to use crowd control
6 - My guild is awesome
7 - Blizzard loves pop culture in their game..."Jaws", "Indiana Jones", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Star Wars"...

That is what I about you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Time!!!!!

That is all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Counting Down

That's probably what everyone is doing these days I would assume.

I've finished my Kingslayer goal, several times over. Got the mounts and pets that I wanted and watched the shattering.

Deathwing still seems to be terrified of me and won't enter any zone I tend to be in, on any toon. Guess he heard what I did to Arthas and doesn't want to push his luck. Which is a little annoying when I want that dumb achievement...oh well.

I am very excited that I got the Starcaller title on my priest. I couldn't be more proud of my guild. Or love them anymore than I do now, since they all got together and took an hour out of their normal raid schedule just to do the title run for me. And even better than that, it was our second attempt on him.

So now we wait...just a few more days!

Confessions of a Girl Gamer © 2008 . Design By: SkinCorner