Where my Healers at?

Faced with the very real possibility of doing some RBGs in the future, I made my way into the random BG Queue for some Honor Points for Season 11 gear. I’ve been slacking in PvP a bit but now I need to get grinding again.

 I went 5 BGs without seeing another, single Alliance healer. I was seemingly the only Alliance healer of any flavor that was doing BGs that night. I would check Horde side and they had 2-3 healers most of the time. We all know that an extra healer can turn the tide of a match.

 Imagine my confusion in Eye of the Storm when I was the only healer Alliance side faced with 4 healers on Horde side. Where would I be most useful? Should I work the middle for the flag or try to protect the nodes? Each had its own difficulties. The flag is like bonus points if you already have nodes to cap. We can’t win a battle with just the flag. Also, the nodes are far apart. I could leave MT in good shape and head to DR but I may or may not make it in time to be of any use. Then MT would be in danger. I was in a no win situation and so was my team. To say we lost would be an understatement. We were thoroughly routed.

 The next BG was much the same. I can’t even remember what it was but apparently it didn’t last long enough to actually remember it.

 Then I got into a Strand of the Ancients. The lack of healers didn’t really make much of a difference here. Our team had competent people that would actually slow the demos and kill them. That was more important than my healing. We won.

 A few more passed too quick to mention when I finally found another healer on my side. It was Battle for Gilneas, one of my favorite BGs. I always go WW. With me was a DK, a Mage and a Resto Shaman. The rest of our team stayed at LH. We met the Horde at WW. When I say Horde, I mean their entire team. I’m really not sure of their strategy here. They took the Mines and went straight for WW. Between myself and that Resto Shaman, we held that node from 0 points to nearly 1400 points before we finally ran out of mana and CDs. By then, the Horde had no nodes at all because some LH peeps went to take it. I can only assume that we pissed them off enough that they just had to have WW. By the time we rez’d in the GY there was really nothing else to do. I ran over to mines as the time ticked down.

 I never would have held off the Horde onslaught on my own, regardless of how good I am. I really do think this illustrates the point quite well. I needed that other healer and they needed me. The Horde in that battle only had one healer, a hapless Holy Pally in mostly PvE gear. He fell to the DK on my side too many times to be of any use to his team.

 Everyone knows that healers can win matches. People generally like to win at things, so why the shortage of healers in BGs? Could it be the same reason of a PvE healer shortage in that few people want the responsibility or the grief that comes with it?

Lich King vs Deathwing: Which Fight was Better?

I’ve been thinking about the differences in the Lich King and the Deathwing fights.

 I remember taking 20 or so minutes to explain the Lich King fight to people:

 “Okay guys, we are going to start out of the far right platform where the ice is. The Lich King is going to be tanked over here and then there are going to be giant adds that spawn over here – OT pick those up. Once the adds come out, there will be a disease that hits someone. That person will have to run over to the giant adds and wait to be dispelled. Don’t stand in front of the adds! During all of this, there will be Infest on everyone and healers will need to keep everyone over %80. Then LH will run to the center and shoot evil ice balls. Don’t get hit by the ice balls! Don’t stand in front of the raging spirits that spawn! The platform will fall away and we all run to the middle. Don’t get hit by any ice balls on the way in! Stack for the Val’kyr that will kidnap someone. SPREAD OUT! SLOW THE VALK! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT STAND IN THE DEFILE!!!! Collapse for next Valk. Kill the Valk! DPS HARDER, she likes healers! Spread out. WATCH THAT DAMN DEFILE! RUN AWAY FROM THE DEFILE! Transition phase again, watch out for flying balls. If you get sucked into the sword, either heal the King or DPS the evil spirit in there. DO NOT LET HIM DIE! SPREAD FOR DEFILE! And then we all die. DO NOT RELEASE! Enjoy your new title and (possible) weapon.”

 To explain the Deathwing fight:

 “Okay guys, we are going to start on this platform. Switch targets whenever the new bad comes out. Give the tank a chance to hit the tentacle first. Run and hit your space bar – this is the most important part, don’t die to the platform boss. Go to the next platform – rinse and repeat. Another platform, same as before. Last platform, stay out of the middle and single target blistering tentacles. And on the platform where Deathwing’s ugly mug is: kill adds, DPS Deathwing’s face, kill more adds and back to that ugly face you have wanted to kill since he torched you that last time in Twilight Highlands. Enjoy your new title and (possible) weapon.”

 I think Lich King was much, much harder than Deathwing. Of course I’m not counting the Spine of Deathwing but only Deathwing himself. If you survive 15 minutes on Spine, you win. Not too hard there.

 I remember the toil and the agony of Lich King attempts. I remember attempting to use a downgraded PW:S in order to get Rapture procs. When that didn’t work, I found myself rocking old trinkets like Tears of the Vanquished or even my Benediction to try to salvage my mana regen because my bubbles just would not break. This was before they changed the way Rapture proc’d and if I did it right, I could bubble everyone for Infest and then make all of mana back during the transition phases.

 Every waking moment outside of game was spent researching the LK fight. I watched so many videos and read so many blog posts on the subject. I was on the official forums and the Plus Heal forums daily. I gobbled up everything I could possibly find about it. We would spend a great deal of time discussing the fight before each pull. We tried everything we could think of. My guild didn’t down him until a few weeks before Cataclysm. We needed full heroic ICC 10 gear and a 30% buff to do it. We spent months on our attempts before we got him.

 Fast forward to the here and now in a world that has the LFR. I had killed Deathwing multiple times before ever getting to him in a normal mode raid. I knew a bit of what to expect before I got to him. It took me two attempts to kill him.

 How did I prepare for normal mode DW? I put my T12 in my bags in case I needed some mana regen. My first attempt was in raider finder T13. I was a little low on mana towards the end but I thought I would like a little wiggle room so I put on my T12 for the next attempt. We downed him and I had around 13k mana left when he finally died.

 I didn’t watch any videos. I didn’t read any strats on the fight. Granted, It came rather suddenly. I was asked to fill a spot in another guild’s raid in the wee hours of the morning. I was about to log off and go to bed when Lagz said he needed a healer for Spine and Madness. I was saved up to Ultra so I was game. I just wanted to see it on normal mode more than anything. I never expected to down the final boss of an entire expansion in two attempts.

 Downing the Lich King was a glorious thing. It was the culmination of several months, perhaps even a year, of work. I remember feeling like I had actually worked for it. I felt a giant weight lifted off my shoulders – the world seemed lighter, more vibrant. I sat back in my seat and took a deep breath as tears streamed down my face. No one moved for a very long time. No one cared what loot he dropped – we were just happy that we had met our goal.

 I just don’t feel the same way about Deathwing. I don’t think it was because of the raid finder. I think it was because the fight was too damn easy to begin with. Lich King was an intricate dance that everyone had to be near perfect on in order to kill him. Deathwing – not so much. I think the very last boss of an expansion should also be the most challenging. I would like to have made more attempts on Deathwing then say, Ragnaros or even Cho’gal.

How be Number One in LFR Heals, Disco Priest Edition

So the LFR has been a really big hit. I love getting 2 FPS.

And with LFR comes that horrible realization that you are in a PUG, not just any PUG, a giant, out for blood PUG where meters are everything. We have all seen the uproar against people who aren’t making the grade because of some arbitrary number that is completely subjective. A raider is going to have a much different idea of what a “good number” is going to be over someone who just does 5 mans.

So how does one top the meters as a Disco Priest? We aren’t known to blaze up the charts, well the overall healing chart anyways. But, that’s the only one most people look at. Most people don’t look at the absorbs.

1) Learn to Love the Atonement Heals

Spec Atonement/Archangel and Power Infusion. Never, ever give your PI to a DPS. Save it for yourself. Use it every, single CD. PI + Smite = Big Heals. Especially useful on switching target bosses. But, make sure you are 15 yards away so you don’t heal yourself and loose half the heal. Bonus points for healing that Holy Paladin or Hunter pet still on the boss while everyone else switches. (Don’t you just love seeing all 6 heals smacking that slime boss when everyone else is clear across the room? Me too, it amuses me.)

Speaking of slime boss, don’t forget to pop your wings after he’s sucked all the mana from the raid. Other people can’t heal if they don’t have any mana!

2) Do NOT Stand in other people’s AOE heals!

That lovely green stuff the Druid just threw down? Run away! I know it looks soft and comfy, but don’t do it! Hell, Life Grip a poor bastard out of it for maximum effect. This goes for Healing Rain and whatever Holy Priests do. (I really have no idea what it’s called but I hate it).

3) Prayer of Mending on CD.

You should be doing this anyway! Also, bonus points for overwriting that other Priest’s POM. Wait until they cast it and then cast your own on the same target.

4) HoTs

Renew for everyone! Maximize with that haste proc from your trinket, Heroism or Power Infusion. And for all that’s holy (eh), glyph that Prayer of Healing. MOAR HoTs!

5) HOLY NOVA!

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Bounce around like a cracked out idiot for full effect.

6) Eliminate the Competition.

Life Grip other healers into the frost ring on Hagara. You should have 2 chances to do this if you time it right.

I am positive there are other good uses for Life Grip – perhaps Gripping that annoying Resto Druid using Tranquility on CD (regardless of it we need it or not).

7) Stand on the Light Well

That way one else can see it. Bonus points if you have something like a Vrykul Drinking Horn or anything else that makes you BIGGER. Not that anyone ever uses it to begin with but you must be sure! Your spot in the raid depends on it!

See, it works!

All joking aside, just do your job. You know if you are doing the right thing or not. You know if you got up to make a sandwich on Spine and left it to the other healers for half the fight.

oh, look! A cow on a giant chicken!