Archive for the Healing Category

What I’ve been up to

Posted in Achievements, Druid, Healing, Raiding, Tanking with tags , on January 23, 2012 by Aeliel

Haven’t posted for about a month, I know. Life happens.

More specifically, a guild happened.

See, for pretty much all of Firelands, I was in a guild that wasn’t terribly good. We struggled with attendance and we struggled with recruiting, especially since the guild was Alliance-side on a Horde-heavy PVP server. So we killed Ragnaros normal mode (and it took us ages), killed the easy hard modes (Shannox and Staghelm), and then hit a brick wall.

In the meantime, Alieth parted from the raiding guild he was in due to disagreements with the leadership, so he started helping out my guild with raiding.

And he started thinking.

My guild had a few good people who wanted to raid more and were competent enough to perform at the level required for competitive hard mode progression, but were being held back by the “whoops, sorry, stood in bad again” players we had to fill the raid with.

We also had some friends scattered across many servers we used to raid with, some years ago.

[cue light bulb going off]

Let’s all move to a server that’s 1. PVE and 2. has a healthy Alliance population and start a guild together!

So that’s what we did.

The guild was founded near the end of December. Our first raid was the 4th of January, and we didn’t have enough people to fill the raid, so we ended up taking three PuG people from trade chat and cleared 8/8.

We recruited a bit, but the next reset we still didn’t have enough people to field a full raid. We did have eight, though. We got two PuG people from trade chat and pushed over Morchok HM. (Hard boss, that.) Then we spent some time wiping on Zon’ozz HM, then we just killed it normal mode and moved on.

We recruited some more, and this reset was the first time we had a full guild raid. Morchok HM fell over again (no surprises there), then we went to work on Zon’ozz HM some more.

Wednesday, we had “growing pains” wipes. Figuring out the healing, the movement, the bounces, and so on. (Good heavens, the healing on that boss is a massive pain. I know that firsthand – I had to sort out and gear up a healing offspec for it. God bless LFR.)

(And yes, I still hate healing. The things I do for people I care about.)

Thursday, we had some more “growing pains” wipes, then something clicked. We consistently got to the berserk timer, although we still had a few things to figure out with the bouncing and therefore we never got a clean burn phase.

Friday and Saturday were free days. Today we went back.

We cleared trash and adjusted our strategy slightly, and in a couple hours he was dead.

(And we all got to mock Alieth for forgetting to put on master looter. Fortunately, we’re all honest and there was no ninjaing to be had.)

Then we went and had a go at Yor’sahj HM. Most guilds kill that particular hard mode long before Zon’ozz, so how difficult could it be?

Turns out, not very. Took us all of three pulls, and we even got through the Germany ooze combo without Heroism in some way or other (probably thanks to the Awesome Power of Bear Tranquility™) and only realized at ~20%.

Then we went and had a few goes at Hagara HM, and then we called it a night. We’re going back tomorrow – we’ll see if Hagara also falls over before the reset or not. Either way, that was extremely satisfying.

And of course, the obligatory note – if anybody reading this plays on EU servers and is interested in a fast-progressing, tight-knit 10-man guild, look us up! We’re Reunion on EU-Silvermoon, raiding Sunday to Thursday (5 days a week) from 8pm to midnight server time, currently looking for a few more good DPS. To put in an application, visit our website.

Dungeon Finder CTA update and addendum

Posted in Healing, Tanking with tags , , on April 9, 2011 by Aeliel

Blizzard has clarified that the goody bag rewarded from the dungeon finder call to arms is going to be account bound.

The additional reward for completing the Dungeon Finder Call to Arms (called the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries) will be Bind on Account; able to be freely sent to other characters on your account once you receive it.


That’s better, already; it gives incentives to those who have alt tanks, or are considering leveling one, but collect pets and mounts on their mains.

That said, I’d just like to clarify the position I took in my previous post a little bit.

I’m not against this change, per se. I fully agree that it’ll help with queue times, and could even make things better for tanks and healers in the dungeon finder in the long run as more people learn those roles.

And I agree that something needs to be done to shorten the queue times for DPS.

What makes me grumpy is that this is a bandaid fix. It says “people don’t want to tank in the dungeon finder, what can we do to make them?”, rather than “people don’t want to tank in the dungeon finder, why is that?”.

The thing is, I can – off the top of my head, and without even thinking very hard about it – come up with several quality-of-life improvements Blizzard could implement to ease some of the tension in dungeon finder groups. (Note: I wouldn’t want these restrictions in place for low-level dungeons, just the higher-level ones… let’s say Wrath content and onwards.)

In no particular order:

  • Check what specs people have before they queue for a dungeon, and block them from roles accordingly.
    In other words, to queue as a healer you have to have the majority of your points placed into a healing tree (holy priest / paladin, restoration druid / shaman, disc priest); to queue as a tank, you have to have the majority of your points placed into a tanking tree (protection warrior / paladin, blood death knight, feral druid with points placed into one or more tanking talents such as Thick Hide, Natural Reaction, Pulverize); to queue as DPS, you have to have the majority of your points placed into a DPS tree (you might think this is unnecessary, but I’ve seen so many mono-spec tanks and healers queuing as DPS, either by accident or on purpose).
    This would, of course, take into account both talent specs if you’ve bought dual-spec.
  • Check the gear people have before they queue for a dungeon, and block them from roles accordingly.
    This is going to be more complicated to implement than the first idea, especially considering the overlap of stats for several classes (feral druids and just about any healing class); it might end up being necessary to check gems, enchants and reforges. Probably a bit too complicated to be implemented, really, but one can dream.
  • Splitting need rolls into main spec and offspec.
    If an item with tanking stats drops and a tank and DPS both needroll it, the tank should win it; likewise for healers and DPS. Allowances will of course need to be made for gear overlaps (spirit items are not just for healers, but there is no reason for a mage or warlock to roll on spirit cloth; feral druids of both types share armor with rogues and weapons with hunters, and a feral druid tank shouldn’t end up with higher priority on loot versus rogues and hunters – but they should end up with higher priority on tanking trinkets; and so on) as well as more hybrid items (take the axe from Altairus or the sword from Rajh, for instance – they’re good tank one-handers for a warrior or paladin and good DPS one-handers for a frost death knight or Single-minded Fury based fury warrior).
    This should probably be done internally, rather than complicating the roll interface any further, but players should obviously be notified by the system when rolls happen.

There is, unfortunately, nothing that can be done to fix the “people flinging abuse at each other” issue; although I hope the dungeon finder call to arms will lead more DPS to try out a tank or healer offspec or alt, and therefore end up respecting tanks and healers a bit more (like Gavendo says), it’s probably not going to do anything to fix the “primadonna tank” / “primadonna healer” syndrome, and might even aggravate it (“well Blizzard thinks I’m special and important enough to give me extra incentives to queue, you DPS scrubs should just shut up and be glad one such as me is here to help you out”).

But I’d love to see the above suggestions implemented. The first one, in particular, would make queuing for a random dungeon a lot more pleasant for DPS, since it would eliminate the “DPS with no tanking or healing spec decided he wanted to queue-hop” disaster entirely. Wouldn’t do anything for the gear, but considering I’ve seen people with the right spec but not-so-right gear (tanks whose only tanking items were their 1h weapon and shield, for instance) succeed at tanking or healing heroics, especially with a healthy amount of CC, it would work out better than the current system.

Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms

Posted in Healing, PuG business, Tanking with tags , , on April 7, 2011 by Aeliel

4.1 Preview – Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms

Of all the godawful ideas. Good heavens.

I have two tanks (feral druid and prot paladin), one healer (disc priest), and two pure DPS (hunter and warlock) at the level cap. All of them are geared for heroics and running them pretty consistently, although I’ve found myself taking the DPS queue on my feral druid more often than not simply because it gives me the time to do dailies.

On the surface, rewarding tanks and healers for queuing with a goody bag containing gold, gems, flasks, mounts and pets is a good idea. (I’m certainly happy that I’ll be getting extra shinies for something I do anyway.) And yeah, more people will queue as tanks or healers, so it’ll help with the queue length.

But it won’t do anything to fix the real problem with the dungeon finder – the attitude of people running heroics.

Tanks have instant queue because there are so few of them. And there are so few of them because of the prevailing attitude towards tanks in the dungeon finder. Jinxed Thoughts has an excellent post on the scarcity of tanks and reasons for it, and I agree with it. I keep tanking in the dungeon finder because ultimately, I enjoy it, but if I didn’t enjoy it, not all the goody bags in the world would get me to do it.

This change might help keep tanks from dropping mid-run when their item doesn’t drop from a boss (at which point the run dissolves and the DPS are left staring at the screen and going “I sat in the queue for 45 minutes for this?”), but that’s really all it’ll do.

On the other hand, my absolute lack of any faith in humanity predicts we will see an increase in:

  • People queuing as tanks or healers when they don’t have the spec. The dungeon finder doesn’t check your spec. If your class can perform the role of a tank or of a healer, it’ll allow you to queue as that, no questions asked. People already do this to queue-hop, with no intention of performing the role they queued as – and then they try badgering the DPS who sat through a long queue because they wanted to DPS into healing or tanking instead of them. Now that there’s a goody bag as a reward, it’ll only get worse.
  • People queuing as tanks or healers when they don’t have the gear. As far as the dungeon finder is concerned, if you have the right ilvl you’re fine. This tends to lead to people trying to tank or heal in PVP gear, or wearing completely inappropriate gear (for example, a protection paladin trying to tank in mostly healing gear).
  • Disrespect and abuse towards DPS coming from tanks and healers. You know the type. “You guys are a dime a dozen, that’s why you have long queues, you should’ve rolled an useful character instead.” “DPS is easy.” “Oh just go ahead and drop if you don’t like it, it’ll take 30 seconds to get a replacement for you anyway.”
  • Disrespect and abuse towards tanks and healers coming from DPS. If you’ve ever tanked or healed, you also know the type. “Go go go go go go.” “lol we don’t need CC” “WTF healer why are you OOM all the time” “lol your [health / mana] sucks, you’re not geared for this GTFO” “we don’t need marks keep pulling” “HOLD THREAT BETTER STUPID TANK” “WTF WHY DID I DIE STUPID HEALER” and so on. The dungeon finder is a toxic environment in general.
  • People rolling on tanking and healing items against tanks and healers. “I’m trying to gear up my offspec so I can get shorter queues and the goody bags.” More often than not, these people then proceed to complain if a tank or healer rolls need on DPS items. Never mind that such behaviour only decreases the amount of tanks and healers queuing in the dungeon finder. (I enjoy tanking a lot, and I even enjoy healing on my priest, and yet nothing will make me drop a run and go play something else faster than people needrolling against me for their offspec without even asking. And never mind that “tanks and healers get shorter queues” has been the case since the dungeon finder was launched, and it’s incredibly easy to level 80-85 as a tank or healer entirely through the dungeon finder (there are crafted pieces to start you out, or you can just quest through Hyjal or Vashj’ir to gear up a bit) and be heroic-ready the moment you hit 85.

tl;dr – yeah, this change will probably succeed at its stated goal, which is to make DPS dungeon queues shorter. But it won’t make running heroics any more pleasant, and in fact, it’ll probably make it less pleasant instead.

The little disc priest who could

Posted in Alts, Healing with tags , , , on February 7, 2011 by Aeliel

Meet Truthful, the little project who’s been occupying most of my spare time.

I’ve been wanting to level a priest for a while. I had originally created Truthful as a draenei, back when I was playing mainly alliance-side, but got bored of playing her around level 22 or so, when I left the draenei area. The random dungeon finder didn’t exist back then, soloing was painfully slow and the quests were making me want to punch something. So I stopped. (That character’s still on my old alliance server – I don’t have the heart to ever delete old characters… my server list is insanely cluttered as a result.)

Now, with the questing changes in the old world and everything, I thought it might be a good time to give the priest class another shot, so I recreated her as a blood elf. I had grand plans of questing my way through the old world, but then I looked at the talent trees and decided to try being a smite-build disc healer, and… let’s just say I did 15-70 pretty much entirely through instances, with the notable exception of 40-45 (I was sick and tired of the idiots in the RDF, and I wanted to try the new Felwood).

Anybody who’s ever interacted with me ingame for longer than a few days will tell you one thing: I don’t like healing. I really, really don’t like healing. I was pressured to do it throughout vanilla, even though all I really wanted was to tank. I still occasionally tanked despite the pressure, and the moment TBC hit, I specced full feral and never looked back.

How that meshes with being a healer priest… not terribly well. Healing can be fun under the right conditions, especially smite-healing; if everybody plays well, runs are fast and smooth and I don’t have to just tunnel-vision Grid.

On the other hand, when things go pearshaped, being a healer turns me into a raging, frothing “oh god stop being stupid this shouldn’t be hard” monster much, much faster than being a tank or a DPS. I have seriously lost count of the amount of times I called people idiots.

For your entertainment, here’s a quick list of what the RDF has thrown at me so far. Numbers aren’t fully exact, because I didn’t really keep track, but they’re close enough. Continue reading