Raid Healing as Disc

  Here lately I have been 2 healing a lot of things. I never thought I would. I always thought Disc couldn’t raid heal. I was wrong. It took necessity to make me realize that I could actually do it. I have been thrust into situations where I was the only other healer in a 10 man and I had to nut up or shut up. I am willing to try most things so I try I did and it’s been going just fine. I’ve been thinking a lot about the way I heal in general. I really don’t see very much of a divide between tank healing and raid healing anymore.

 I am very lucky in that I run with beautiful, glorious tanks. These tanks know what they are doing and are geared well. They understand their classes and know how to play. I am also very lucky to have a great healing team behind me. I have a holy pally and a tree druid each with dual specs. (I am also dual spec’d but they never let me shadow. I know I’m not that great of a DSP but… shit… people, can a girl kill things for once?) We have a very versatile tank/healing team. I love my team and my guild because of it. We all know where the other one is at any given time. My tanks know I’ve got their backs and when to blow their own oh shit! CDs if I can’t get to them right away.

 Back when I was first starting WoW, my best friend was a tree druid in a top raiding guild on Skywall. He was their raid heals and he would get so mad at the priests in his guild for “being lazy” when healing. He felt he was doing all the work while the priests rode on his coattails. I don’t know how accurate this is as I wasn’t really paying attention but I can understand his feelings. When he was teaching me to heal, he always told me not to be a “lazy priest”. If I see a holy priest in a raid with healing numbers below mine, I always think “what a lazy priest!” as I wonder what the hell happened. (Did they die in a fire? Go OOM? etc) I can always hear him in my head telling me not to be “lazy” and help out for the good of the raid.

 I am usually on tank healing with a holy pally and a tree on raid. My tank is almost always Kells but I have healed AJ on occasion. I love them both – they are awesome. When I tank heal I really only have a “rotation” on the initial pull. My tanks get a bubble, renew and a prayer of mending when they pull. After that, the rotation kinda goes out the window. I know I can get 3 Flash Heals between Penances. But after the first pull, depends on when my bubble is used and when weakened soul falls off or how much longer my Renew has on each tank. Or even, is there someone I can bubble who is taking damage so I can have Borrowed Time AND help the tree out a little. Then there’s the OMG tank is dying moment that calls for a Pain Suppression or a OMG tank and I are both dying for a Divine Hymn. I am always looking at the raid and trying to squeeze out a heal for a raid member who isn’t a tank. On some fights, the tanks taunt off of each other and I’m stuck with nothing to do but raid heal for a few seconds. I’m not just going to stand by as someone takes damage. If they need healing, I heal them. I am not going to wait for Keeb to heal them just because he’s “raid heals” and I’m “tank heals”. That’s crazy. We are all on the same team here. Keeb’s got 10 people to look after, I have one (two if I count myself). If I can make his job any easier without sacrificing my tank, I am going to do it. I am not going to be a “lazy priest”. For a raid to be successful, it must have all the parts – tanks, DPS, and heals. There is no excuse for a DPS to die because the tank healers where too good to heal a DPS or they chose to wait on the raid healer to “get to” them.

 The whole thought that Disc is only for tanks is absolutely ridiculous. As Disc, I do have a number of damage reducing talents that benefit the *whole* raid. Renewed Hope is an awesome talent but the more important talent would be the bubble that procs it. There is a reason I can spam my bubble and get mana back from Rapture. That reason is that I can blanket a raid in bubbles and not go OOM all the while keeping up Renewed Hope for everyone. Not to mention, a glyphed bubble can also crit – proc’ing Divine Aegis and Inspiration for further damage reduction. The entire raid deserves to have up to 13% damage reduction not just the tanks. That is 13% that Keeb doesn’t have to heal through and more mana for us all. That is a pretty good chunk of damage reduction when it happens, especially on a suicidal melee that can’t manage to find the back of the boss if his life depended on it (which it does). We also have a raid heal, Prayer of Mending. While it isn’t the greatest heal ever, it is still useful. I can’t even to begin to count how many times it has saved my ass. Stick it on the tank and watch it wiz around the whole raid. It doesn’t care what group a person is in, it just hops along on its merry way.

 Raid healing as Disc does require a certain amount of skill. It isn’t just bubble spam alone. It’s also about managing resources and understanding your raid make up. I usually have a warlock so I run a Renew on him as well as the tanks if his mana is getting low. I bubble the melee when I can and keep Prayer of Mending bouncing around. I’m usually using Flash Heal to top people off with a Penance if they get too low. If someone is taking just a small amount of damage, they get a bubble and a Renew so I can move on to another person. I almost never use Prayer of Healing. It is too damn slow and takes too much mana. The last time I used it was when I buffed everyone and topped my group off long before we pulled. I hardly ever use it in 5 mans either. It’s just not a good spell to me. I do love Divine Hymn though. It’s a fun spell when combined with Inner Focus but it only hits 3 targets.

 We have too many raid talents for anyone to consider us just for tanks. The more I look at it, the more I think of us a hybrid healing spec. Our strength is single target healing but we aren’t Holy Paladins, either. And for that matter, I have seen holy pallys that raid heal. The point is, Disc priests can raid heal if they put their mind to it. The people who say we can’t raid heal are the ones who cannot think outside the box and do not try new things. Priests are very versatile. You rarely ever see anyone QQ about a Holy Priest who gets stuck on tank heals. We priests can do it all. If it needs healing, heal it – easy as pie. Regardless of it’s a tank or a mage, they both need healing one way or another.

How heroics have prepared us for raiding

I like finding little things in heroics that lead to bigger things in raids. I have only cleared the first wing of ICC so far and there may be more in the other wings that I haven’t seen yet. I like how Bliz gives us a few training wheels to try out before the big show.

The Occulus attempted to prepare us for Eye of Eternity’s third phase. Healing on a dragon has got to be one of the worst things ever designed by Bliz. I can totally understand DPS’ing on a dragon but trying to heal 9-24 other dragons that don’t show up normally on your UI and trying to figure out the effects of each spell in the space of a few seconds is too much. There is no getting to know your dragon like you can with your rocket pack on the ICC gunship battle. There’s no time to read the tooltips much less understand them that first time. This leads to nearly instant wipes and much mass frustration.

Azjol-Nerub is an excellent example of heroics training us for raiding. The trash right before the first boss will spiderweb people as do the trash in ICC. The spider webs are exactly the same game mechanic for each in that it disables a random person and the web must be DPS’ed down. The AN Anub’Arak is nearly identical to the TotC version. You have to fall down a big hole to get to him in each. In AN, the spikes come out of the floor and in TotC they chase you around when he tunnels. He spawns multiple adds periodically as he tunnels. He aslo casts an insect swarm that causes damage. It is much more friendly in the heroic in that it doesn’t cause a lot of damage and it won’t heal him. Insect swarm on TotC is maddening to keep everyone around 30% health.

In Utgarde Pinnacle, the next to the last boss, Skadi, must be forced out of the sky similar to Razorscale in Ulduar. He also has swirly attack that is very much like Lord Marrowgar’s Bonestorm in that you have to avoid it at all costs. (And he seemingly only follows *me* each time.) Gal’Darah in Gundrak also shares an impale mechanic with Lord Marrowgar where the target is incapacitated and takes a far amount damage.

Trial of the Champion (ToC) has a few things to get you ready for other fights, including the most obvious of TotC with each in only one room and varying faction champs. But, the Black Knight is similar to Lady Deathwhisper. They both throw a Death and Decay on the floor for you to move out of.

It’s not just the old instances that prepare us, it’s the new Icecrown ones, too. In FoS you must not let the corrupted soul reach Bronjahm or he heals similar to the blood beasts on Saurfang. (This also happens with Jedoga in Old Kingdom.)

Another random thought along the same lines. In both CoS and HoR Arthas is with you. In CoS he asks you to help him murder the entire city. In HoR, he’s trying to murder you. In both instances you have to run a gauntlet with him but he’s completely different in each. I love how we can be worked into the lore at least a little bit. It’s almost as if he’s trying to snuff you out after witnessing what he did in the past. But, that just might be my own thoughts. I’m sure he’s past the point of carring seeing that he is the Lich King and all.

Why does my druid meet all the assholes?

I have been attempting to grind out some heroics to gear my baby druid, fubar server willing. My healing set is pretty kick ass but my tank set is not so good; passable, but not anything amazing. Leather tanking items are kinda difficult to obtain but I’m doing my best. I love tree healing but some times I want to be a RAWR! BEAR! I have learned not to bear without Keeb. I have learned there are such things as asshole healers the hard way.

I do my very best to hold aggro on everything as a bear with mostly blues and greens. My taunt has a 8 second cool down and an asshole resto shaman pulling extra mobs is *not* helpful. Yes, I know you are only here for your Frost badges, Mr. 5800 gear score Shaman of awesomeness, but could you cut a baby bear some slack? I asked you politely to stop pulling extra mobs to which you replied “or you could kick me”. My reply was “or you could stop being a jackass”. We progressed to the Brann event when shaman informs me that his main is a bear and it’s “the best tanking in the world”. I said “then you understand the CD on my taunt” and he did. So why are you fucking pulling extra shit when I just pulled one off you!?!??!11 is what I should have replied. Then he got on to me for “not touching your barkskin”. Hello, I totally had to barkskin several times because you were dpsing/healing *yourself* through the mobs that *you* pulled while all the real dps was busy fighting *your* mobs instead of the ones eating my face. I told my 3 guildies in guild chat we were totally going to kick this asshole after the event but I am too damn nice and he stayed until the end. The Ret pally wanted to do the other boss so I went after him. He butt pulled some pats so shaman decides to heal us for a couple of seconds before dropping group when we are surrounded by about 10 of those rune dwarves. We wipe and I am pissed at myself for being so nice and not kicking his ass.

My druid also meets asshole dps. I was attempting to tank a VH last night with Keeb when I constantly kept loosing aggro to the warrior with just as much health as me in bear. I taunted my little bear butt off, at one time I had 3 stacks of lacerate, a mangle and a faerie fire on the target but I still lost aggro. Stupid warrior was tanking – was pulling aggro off me intentionally. If you want to tank, sign up as a fucking tank.

Which brings me to Mr Ret Pally of awesomeness who thinks the “healer doesn’t matter”. I get super, insanly upset when someone takes a pot shot at *my* tree. That beautiful, glorious tree behind me is *mine*. He is *my* healer, not your’s *MINE*. <jumps up and down> So Mr Ret pally tells me to “pull faster” I tell him no and for that I will go slower. He goes on head of me in that first hallway in UP with the dps as I sit my fat bear butt down next to Keeb. They clear the trash and go into the boss fight. I figured I would watch the wipe coming from the top of the stairs. I look down and the elemental shaman is down there healing the bastard. GGRRRR The stupid boss pulls me from the top of the stairs down to the ritual area below so I kinda have to tank it at that point. Ret pally then asks if I am done “whining”. I wasn’t whining – I was demanding you respect that I am the tank, that is my spec and what I signed up to do. OMG this makes me not ever want to tank ever again.

I get to meet asshole while being a tree, too. I was thrown into FoS the other day. FoS is hard even on my mostly T10 priest with 2500+ spellpower and a 31K mana pool. Here I am with barely over 2K spellpower and a 18K mana pool with horrid mana regen trying to heal this place. I forget what the rest of the group was but there was this really mean-ass warlock with nearly a 5900 gearscore – full on T10 and ICC 25 man stuff. We zoned in the instance and he life tapped. Ok, part of a rotation – I get that, have a rejuve… Heal massive AoE damage… Holy hell – he’s about to die on trash! HEAL! HEAL! Tank’s almost dead – HEAL! Mr Warlock at 20% and still tapping – HEAL! because the tank isn’t stopping between groups of mobs. I die because of casters targetting me when I notice I have no soul stone, wtf? We get to the room with all the caster mobs and ‘lock is still tapping like it’s going out of style right in the middle of the fight. I have 2 casters on me that the tank refuses to pull off even though my flailing big ass tree self keeps running over him. I’m having to keep myself and the tank up as the ‘lock finally dies. I freak out and vuhdo magically changes from healing him to a b-rez and before I know it, I have wasted a b-rez because that little fucker SS himself. I am hoping mad at this point. But we get the instance done and a shiny new neck drops, Arcane Loops of Anger. That is a fine caster neck and almost all the casters I know have one. I can’t believe my luck! Its just me and this geared to the teeth lock that would get any use out of it. I hit need without a second thought – this guy is not going to roll against me – look at those dark red letters for a gear score. I am squeeling in delight at my new shiny when I notice the ‘lock needs on it. WTF? no… wait…. what… the … fuck?! I am surpised when I win it given my epic roll of “8” on everything. That neck was way better than the dps neck I picked up in H OK with hit on it. In party chat comes the ‘lock saying he’ll give me gold for it and that he had been running the instance for forever to get it. He opened trade and I stuck it in the window – just to see how much gold he was going to give me. I wait and wait. Turns out you can’t buy an item like that in the new LFG. I am torn. I know the anguish that comes from grinding a dungeon just to have the thing you wanted/needed go to another person. I completly understand that – its happened to me multiple times. I inspect the ‘lock and he still has the Conquest badge Evoker’s Charm. It’s the lowest ilvl item he has. He’s spamming /p with “plz man” every second. I started thinking about this ‘lock and how unfriendly he was to my baby tree. I decide that I have no desire to help him in the slightest. He didn’t say hello to everyone when everyone else said Hi. He didn’t give us lock rocks in a very difficult dungeon with lots of damage shared between all party members. He most certainly did not SS me, choosing to SS himself instead and wasting my b-rez in the process. He life tapped at the point of death on every mob – he was second to the tank in my total healing done. Fuck this asshole. Fuck him without dinner or a movie and most certainly without lube. He did not make any one’s life easier in that instance at all. He could have gotten on my good side and earned some respect with a simple SS. I told him to that I needed it more (which I did) and he should be nicer to the healer. I dropped group and equipped my new shiny. 🙂 Ha!

Wonder what kinds of assholes I’m going to run into tonight. I never have this problem on my priest and was even called a “uber healer” the other day in a random. I just don’t understand why my little druid is being constantly harrassed.

Deathbringer Saurfang down! Finally!

 Let it be known that on Tuesday 09 Feb 2010, my guild one-shotted all of the first wing in ICC – including Deathbringer Saurfang.

 We had some drama trying to find the Saurfang loot box and when we did, I seriously lost it. In the box was the Mag’hari Chieftain’s Staff. There it was, the Best in Slot weapon for healy priests – right in front of me. I can’t roll for shit ever. That staff was an upgrade for the ‘Lock to whom I lost the last staff roll to in ToTC. Thankfully, Keeb had won the dagger from the Gunship battle so I didn’t have to worry about him rolling on it. The rest of the raid couldn’t use it between Paladins, DKs and the hunter. It was down to me and Bob the ‘Lock. Of course, I flipped out on vent. I had been telling people about it for days but I never thought I would even see it the way we were going on Saurfang. I rolled an 8 – a fucking 8! I just had to hide my tear stained face in my hands. I couldn’t watch the better roll I knew was coming. I was still going to have to farm HoR for an offhand like I have been since the damn thing came out. More stupid DPS targeting my shackled riflemen/mages, not any other mob, just to have them turn around and 2 shot me once the little fence fell.

 “Bob’s not going to roll”, said Bob in vent. My mind went blank. I heard the voices of my guildies congratulating me but it didn’t really hit home until I looked up and saw that I was awarded the staff. I looked in my bag and there it was. I blinked a few times and then tearfully thanked everyone for it. Bob totally called me on crying, too. “Is she sobbing?!” Yes, Bob, I am totally crying out of pure and utter happiness. We took a break and I made a quick run to the bank and the AH for gems and enchanting mats. I don’t really know what happened after that. I know we got the dogs down and we attempted something that was really hideous called Festergut. But I am really fuzzy on the details. I just know that I am the proud owner of the Mag’hari Chieftain’s Staff.

Stupid Realm Maintenance… grumble…

Since the realms are still down, it’s a good time for some screen shots.

I can haz sheep?

My baby druid hit 80 this morning. Here’s some her misadventures in leveling.

Love it! Like a little kid with a balloon

Geronimo!

Sons of Hodir was fun.... ><

ZOMG! I am fugly! Why, Chromie? Why?!

There, there Sproutling, I know level 80 is scary... Come to mama...

Speaking of the Sproutling…

Gettin' down in Dalaran

Aawww! Baby have too much fish?

Disco Inferno!

The next screenies could possibly show the greatest thing ever in the history of everything… I love Sproutling’s expression in this one – it mirrored my own.

Kitty Rocket Butt!!!

Dancing Bear Rocket Butt!!!

ZOMG! Polearm on a bear

My priest has been neglected as of late as my baby druid ever slowly inches toward 80. As my guild has serval alts around the same level that are dps or heals it was suggested that I turn bear to tank for alt runs. It was an off hand suggestion but it really nagged at me. I wanted my druid to tank and heal from the first day I made her. She was feral up to level 40 when I dual spec’d into Balance/Resto. I was so frustrated at not holding aggro that I gave it up. But I always wanted to have a big ass polearm on my dainty night elf. Polearms look a big odd on a boomkin or a tree. I kept 2 in my bank from Outlands because I thought they looked wicked cool. But, also there are no caster polearms.

Kells made the suggestion and by the next day I had enlisted Keeb the tree to help me out. I cobbled together a tank set from my leatherworking and some stuff I got out of dungeons for my “off spec” if no one wanted them. I still don’t have any trinkets yet. I guess Bliz thinks tanks don’t need trinkets at low levels. >< Keeb made me a marginal tanking neck and off we went to the druid trainer in Moonglade. We got my spec done and he gave me a tanking crash course at the training dummies in Stormwind. Then we headed over to Borean Tundra to practice on mammoths with a side benefit of skinning them. I was as ready as I could be with out actually tanking anything. I looked over the dungeons I could do and we chose UK as the first one I would attempt. AJ came on his shammy and off we went.

I warned the other people in the group I was a noob cake tank and to please let me get aggro before attacking. They did as I asked and it went really well. Keeb would sneak past me and pull other mobs to keep me on my toes. He said, just wait till you have to deal with a hunter! LOL (OMG, he was right! Stupid trigger happy huntards… ) I don’t think I blinked the entire time we were in there. My eyes were so sore after that! I was trembling so bad, thank god for Keeb and AJ in vent. We did a few more and AJ died once in the exploding corpses in UK. But, other than that – no deaths – more from Keeb being OP for reg UK and OK than my tanking skills. I’ve settled into it pretty well, considering I was a crit chicken a few days ago.

Being a tank is so differant than being a healer. People listen to me now. If I’m in the back drinking or skinning, they run off without me – even if I tell them what I’m doing. Now, when my big butt sits down and doesn’t more – no one else moves either. I like that power. I totally power trip when I’m skinning every little thing and no one dares to charge ahead of me. It does seem like if the tank talks people listen. If the healer talks, it’s ignored and they keep on rolling. (Then bitch you out when they die.) I am a bit scared of that power tho. I can get really lost really quickly. I just hope the dps doesn’t just blindly follow me in that situation.

But… the best part about being a tank is that I finally get to have a polearm!!! Keeb and I were going to ZD to grind out some leather from the raptors when we stopped by the Ampitheater of Anquish. We solo’d the first two bosses when a ret pally came along and helped us out. At the end of the quest line was a shiny new polearm for little old me! I had the worst epically ugly feral staff in the history of the game and I was so glad to get a new weapon! Especially a big, sexy polearm. Now that I had said polearm, it needed an equally sexy enchant. Mongoose was in order but our enchanter didn’t have it. Kells suggested a Kara run. ZOMG! Yes! Please Please! I need a Kara run because I’ve never done it before.

I hopped back on my priest and we four manned Kara. The Mongoose enchant dropped right away and so did another one. We got to play chess and were attacked by faux Wizard of Oz characters! It was heaven! I got my achievement and my new polearm enchanted. Hells yeah!

We did the Valentine’s day holiday boss in SFK today. When it came time to switch to alts it was so cool to bring my druid! It drops 226 level stuff and I got a decent tanking neck. Not looking forward to doing that everyday on multiple toons tho. A few times is fun but after that its a grind. That whole charm bracelet needs to be reworked. I am a healer and a tank – I rarely if ever land a killing blow.

Warm Fuzzies Continue

Yesterday was a brutally emotional day for me and when I got home I really didn’t want to play WoW. I wanted to curl up in my blankets and shut the world out. But, that’s not a good thing to do so I logged on my druid. I said hi to the guild boys.

My random on my druid was a bit odd. It was Gundrak and as soon as I zone in one person is spitting on another. OK, whatever. People are strange. We are standing around waiting for someone to come back and the Ret Pally asks how everyone is doing today. I thought that was nice but the gnome DK responded with a “fuck you”. I sighed. I had already waited about 30 minutes  in the Q and really did not feel like healing – at all. I decided just to go with it. Well, I’m glad I did. That was a fantastic group. The 75 Ret Pally was pulling over 2K DPS despite being called a “dongster” at one point by Mr. Rude Gnome DK. I still have no idea what in the crap that means but I’m sure it’s not good. Our montley group stayed together through that and most of OK before the guild needed my priest for random.

It was pretty late at this point, around 4 am for me. This time it was me on my priest, Keeb being a bear instead of a tree, Holy on his DK and Kells on his hunter who needs the badges. We Q’d and got TOC. TOC used to induce panic attacks in me. I absolutely would not go in there unless I was DPS. I was there the night I turned 80 and it was miserable because I still didn’t have the mechanics of my class down yet. I cannot joust for jack shit. I should just stay outside while everyone jousts because that is how much help I am on a pony. The other person who came in was a shammy from another server who was very nice in /p. I always feel appoligetic to people who come into our mostly guild runs and try to make them feel at ease as much as possible.

We they jousted and I died as per usual. We got off our ponies and Kells accidentaly had his kitty, Diego, on aggressive and it wiped us. LULZ So we got back just in time for him to DC before a real pull of the trash before the easy mode paladin guy, what ever his name is. We stood around for a while, danced with my sproutling and Keeb threw snowballs at us. Holy said on /g that the shammy was in bad need of gear. I looked her over. I had noticed the Titansteel Guardian on her. I had the same thing and it made me feel like a “real” 80 when I got it. I loved the stuff dripping off it in shadowform, it’s still in my bank. The rest of her gear was all 200 heroics stuff and maybe one piece of T9. But, she was geared appropriately for an elemental shaman and everything was gemmed and enchanted. She was well on her way and on the right track. We all agreed that we were only there for Kells who had DC’d. The shammy said she had been trying to get TOC all day. I started to feel very motherly towards her. She just needed a bit of a helping hand (wasn’t guilded) and TOC is rich in upgrades for her. I made it a point to state that we were half way done and it would take maybe 10 minutes to finish once Kells had made it back online. The boys agreed so we stayed. Kells came back and we downed easy paladin dude. In the chest were new caster leather gloves and legs for our little shammy! These were serious upgrades for her – we all passed on every bit of it for her to take. Keeb was whispering me to say he wished my druid was there. I agreed but I felt really good that this little shammy got such great upgrades.

The Black Knight was a cake walk even tho Kells DC’d again. In this chest was the Spectral Kris caster dragger. That used to be the Holy Grail of weapons to me besides the War Mace of Unrequited Love from Nexus. There was something else in the chest, but I can’t remember what it was but it was an upgrade for the shammy. I was so stoked that she got that dagger. She kept thanking us in /p and asking if it was ok for her to get all the loot. She said she left like a loot whore and was there anything we wanted. We told her that we were geared better and couldn’t use the gear – for her to have it and use it. She said she wished we were on the same server because we were so nice to her. I wished the same thing. It is so rare to find a person like that in the LFG now. Heroics are to get gear. Over geared people seem to forget that. Everyone seems to want to get in and out without considering that there is a person behind that character. A person who is doing their best with what they are given, like that little shammy. I wish I could see that shammy in a month’s time to see how far she’s gone. I really should have written the name down, she was a wonderful person and delightful to group with. That is the kind of person I would want in our little guild. When she said she wished we were on the same server, I almost told her to transfer to join us but thought better of it because that’s not really my place. We parted ways because the server was due to go down for maintenance.

I logged off feeling much better than I had when I logged on. I love helping people like that. People who really need the help but don’t beg for it. People who have a firm grasp of how their character should be geared and make what they have work for them. People who are gracious and polite. People who are decent human beings and are courteous to other people. If everyone was like this, there would be no more PUG horror stories. As much as I love PUG horror stories, it is very refreshing to have a good PUG story for a change. 🙂

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