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!


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