Bad Holy Habits in Discipline Spec

The hardest part of speccing Disc/Holy is healing with basically the same tools and using them completely differently.  I had to nix some of my holy habits – because they are quite awful in disc.

1.  Hands off the Renew.  Hands off!  I swear it’s a nervous tic… OMG STOP HITTING IT.

2. Why am I not going faster when I bubble myself?  OH CRAP IT WILL EAT MEH…

3. Prayer of Healing… Sparingly.  Stop jamming the button like a coked out ferret.  Hit it once and STOP.

4.  There is nothing bound to the COH button.  Stop jamming THAT like a coked-out ferret too.

5. There is no lolwell.  It’s ok.  They weren’t going to use it anyway.

6. Desperate Prayer for the… oh right, I don’t have it.  /die

7. Dome is pretty and sparkly.  Oooooh.  Now where’s the button for that sucker?

Priest Healing Versatility: Is Holy/Disc Dual Spec Expected?

Oestrus over at Stories of O has been asked to go discipline.  I’ve been reading that article with interest because the comments just seem to run a huge spectrum.

What really stuck out for me, and in the Plusheal thread, is the argument made by some commenters that because, unlike all other healers, the priest has two distinct healing trees available, in order to be an effective priest healer, you should dual spec Holy/Disc.  If you’re not doing that, you’re not using your class to its maximum healing potential.

If you’re in a progression guild, you’ll do everything you need to.  I’ve heard of druids going resto/resto for slightly different specs to get the encounter right.  I get that.

However, what disturbs me is the possibility that certain encounters are simply not possible in Holy or Discipline spec (right now Disc seems to be OK for everything, but that could change).  Are encounters designed with the assumption and expectation that any healing priest can (and will) change to a more favorable spec, and therefore it is “balanced” healing-wise?

I’m not really sure what to make of this.  I’m having trouble keeping up with Holy, and I know that some fights are very disc-friendly.  Right now I’ve respecced Holy/Disc (rather than Holy/Shadow) and am going to take disc out for a spin.  Hopefully, I like it.  If not, I am going to have to gear another healer.

Notes from a Holy Priest Learning 2 Druid Heal

OK, I’ve been healing heroics with my druid alt and it’s very different than healing with a holy priest.  Seriously.  The hardest part is overcoming muscle memory to reach for certain spells that do not exist (that’s right, I totally have fewer keybinds).  So, in no particular order…

No Spammable AOE?  How do I heal up the group?

As a Holy Priest, I first hit Circle of Healing and if that still wasn’t enough, Prayer of Healing.

As a Druid, I hit wild growth and it’s on cooldown and now what do I dooooooo?

A little damage: Single target heals or hots.  Sprinkle.  Or, if you’re not expecting more damage, wait until Wild Growth comes off cooldown and hit it again

A lot of damage: TRANQUILITY.  OR if Tranq is on cooldown, Tree and sprinkle Lifeblooms (cheap)

Cooldowns.  Use them.

I have to remember, and I frequently do not, that Tranq is on a 3 minute cooldown.  Tree of life is on a 3 minute cooldown.  It’s not like Divine Hymn that is only up for a srs bzns emergency.  Tree and Tranq are meant to be used EVERY BOSS FIGHT, more than once.  (This is really hard to internalize…)

Rolling Lifeblooms

Ugh, this is like what I suck at for Shadow – refreshing dots/hots before they expire.  Lifebloom gets refreshed by another lifebloom (duh) or a direct heal.  Direct heals have a cast time.  Sometimes I time it right and the direct heal lands before the lifebloom expires.  Sometimes… it does not.  Crap.

Innervate is not stupid like Shadowfiend

Hooray!  If I cast innervate on myself, it will actually just cast on myself and restore mana.  It won’t wander off into the corner of the room and examine its shadowy tentacles like my obtuse Shadowfiend.  (I’ve macroed the fiend to attack, but sometimes it disobeys.)

Why is my healing floor way over there?

Since I suck at figuring out who is where, I don’t want to swiftmend a ranged dps and drop a healing floor where nobody can use it.  Targeting circle, where art thou?  Right now I’m swiftmending the tank and if a ranged dps is hurting, it’s regrowth.  Or the ranged dies.  That works too.

I have a battle rez

Something I totally forget.  I even glyphed it.  Self, you can salvage this encounter.  Which I forget until the death of one person leads to the death of another in a downward spiral of fail.  I could have nipped it in the bud with the first death.  Now it’s too late.

Harmony is Easysauce

Oh noes, I have to direct heal once every 10 seconds.  As a priest, it would be inconceivable that I would spend a 10 second interval without throwing a single direct heal.  I made a power aura, but this is pretty much automatic for me and I don’t have to give it much thought.

When mobs bite my face off…

I have aggro and don’t have fade.  Barkskin? Entangling roots and run like hell?  Hope the tank isn’t bad.

Where’s my binding heal?  My Desperate prayer?  I’m a special snowflake!  I can’t die!

Circle of Tanking Survey

Orvillius of D/E the Tank somehow got the idea that I was a qualified candidate to speak on tanking issues and asked me to post in the Tanking Circle. I would like the reader to know off the bat that I consider myself a tank of last resort. Whatever the current number of geared tanks we have in whatever guild I am in, I always without hesitation rank myself dead last. This probably has more to do with my frail tanking ego than anything else. Regardless I agreed to do the circle in the spirit of easy to generate content. Fill out a survey, how hard could that be? We shall find out.

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?

Gnoblerage, warrior, Protection. 8/2/31. So far this doesn’t seem so hard of a survey.

2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

Primarily I am a heroic 5 man and trollroic tank. I have on a few occasions tanked in t11 early boss content, and done both BH bosses currently available.

3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?

Probably Last Stand. It is enough of a boost to give the healer time to catch up in a bad situation.

4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?

Probably Enraged Regeneration because it requires you to be enraged and costs 15 rage so isn’t always available. Also because it is a HoT essentially I tend to feel it won’t do enough quickly enough to save my gnomish ass.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?

This stems more from tanking in Wrath, but I always felt like Warriors excelled at single target boss tanking, and had more abilities to throw at a situation making them less of a niche tank.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your class and why?

Probably AoE tanking. It has gotten a lot better, but it still can be hell to tank several mobs at once without one slipping away. That skill set takes lots of practice to master I find.

7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?

Due to the gear gap with other tanks who are in our raiding program I’d say off tank. The problem with this question now is that so many raid fights require both tanks to do the exact same thing because of a tank swap mechanic that every tank usually has the same assignment. There are some exceptions, but in general that is true.

8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?

In wrath I usually tanked with another Warrior, but I’d probably say Paladin because the ease of Pally AoE tanking makes me less nervous on trash packs.

9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?

Probably Death Knights. It seems that mastering DK is pretty hard, so finding a quality DK tank is a rare thing. That said I’d like to say Morehnai would be a fine tanking partner.

10. What is your worst habit as a tank?

At this point it is keeping Demoralizing Shout up all the time. The initial need to get a jump on threat and stay ahead of DPS on the first part of a pull makes me put it off a few GCD and then I sometimes forget to actually do it. My old worts habit would be blow all the cooldowns at once.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

DPS who can’t control their threat in AoE situations. I can only get threat so fast, and if the hunter is nuking one target, the rogue another, and the warlock a third, somebody is going to die. Waiting a second so I can get them nice and tidy for you would make it better for everyone.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with others tanks for tanking?

Well historically it seems that Warrior’s damage intake is slightly spikier than Paladins so I  think healers worry more about me than a similarly geared paladin. But I think overall with practice I could be equal to any other class/spec of tank.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Tidy plates and omen are good tools, also I look at each pull like a hole of golf. Every one is a fresh start and I evaluate myself on how well I held threat and made incoming damage manageable for the healers. Sinc eI don’t really raid often I don’t have Word of Logs to look at.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?

I think people who don’t have an alt or main which has rage, really get how if things go badly with a pull and I get rage starved that we could be in for a world of hurt. Unlike every other class our resource pool starts empty and that makes it hard to start super strong sometimes.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?

Probably to understand  what all of their abilities can do. Warriors have such a large toolbox that sometimes they don’t realize how everything works. I tanked two tiers of Wrath content before I realized how Enraged Regeneration works and that it was a survival cooldown. Players of any class should take the time to read up on everything in their spellbooks and think through scenarios when they would be helpful so they can plan to use it when it is time.

16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?

I think it is interesting. It combined with a few other changed in warrior I think have made AoE easier from what it once was. On single target though I don’t really notice a huge difference from the way it played in wrath. My gearing strategy hasn’t even changed that much.

17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?

I currently am aiming for about 15% Parry, 15% Dodge, and 50% block. Anything after that would go into stamina. I’m not any of those numbers yet, so I still have a ways to go.

18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?

Bears. I cannot recall a single time I’ve tanked with a bear in a raid. So they are like some kind of rare breed of tank I only see once in a blue moon in a pug when I’m on my mage. When I see one I feel like I am seeing something special because I can’t remember the last time I saw a bear in action.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?

Tidy plates, Omen, Deadly Boss Mods, and Grid. I know many people think of grid as a healer thing, but I have actually found it very helpful in tanking. When you start plugging in things like Raid Status Debuff and aggro alerts you can get an easy gauge on how things are looking. There are lots of fights wher eyou need to do a tank swap at a certain number of stack of something. Grid helps me see where my tank is and as soon as he is at the limit I know it is time to taunt. In addition grid’s aggro warning let’s me know who has aggro quickly so I can decide if they are worthy of a life saving taunt.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

Right now I’m trying to get my mastery up. I want to make my incoming damage to be a lot smoother so healers don’t think I’m so spikey to heal. Spikey equates to squishy and no tank wants to be thought of as squishy.


Well that wasn’t so bad. I don’t have that much Cata raid experience so some of my thoughts draw upon my wrath experiences that I still think are relevant to my opinions. Hope this helps any if anyone has corrections, opinions, or questions please sound off in the comments. If you are a tank, feel free to contribute to the Tanking Circle as well.

Twig-isms and Twig Jokes

As Mama Murloc says, Twig is becoming an expert at the “NOT” joke.  What do I mean?  Remember Wayne’s World and movies circa that.  “I love watching the Love Boat reruns… NOT!”

So, Twig has decided that it’s fun to say things that are absurdly false and giggle maniacally.

Other than that, she just says funny stuff.


Twig: Mommy is a BOY!  Daddy is a GIRL!  (giggle giggle)


Twig: Need swim diaper.

Me: No, you don’t wear diapers anymore, so you don’t wear anything under your bathing suit.

Twig: Wear swim BUTT.


Twig: Turtles are good at swimming.

Me: That’s right.

Twig: Turtles are good at FLYING! (giggle giggle)  Turtles are good at JUMPING!  (more giggle)


Twig: (Runs in frothing at the mouth) White toothpaste is SPICY!

(Apparently she decided to try brushing with the adult toothpaste.)

Twig: … and a little gross.


Twig (at the cats): BE NICE!  NO BITE!


Twig: Mommy wear a DIAPER! Daddy wear a DIAPER!  (giggle giggle)


Twig: (getting into the car) Turn on air conditioner!  Blow all the hot out!


Twig: (at the bird feeder) I love the baby cardinal.  (Looks around the room) I love lamp.

Me: *dies*  (You have to see Anchorman to get this one)


Twig: Ice cream is DINNER (giggle giggle – but hopeful)

Me: Ice cream is dessert.


Hot Lava is my New Nemesis

Well it’s Hot Lava!  Check it and see.  I got a fever of a hundred and three…

Ahem.  No more singing!

Back to srs bzns.  Overjoyed by the ability to get VP in T-11 normal (and outside the dreaded, dull, and repetitive Trollroics), I enthusiastically tackled farm night.  Until we got to Nefarion.  I had never done Nef.

I ran to my pillar on time.  It was the right pillar, too.  I hopped out of the lava… clear over the platform of the pillar and off the other side back into the lava.  WUT?  I tried again.  Hopped right over again.  Dead.

This is not the first time I have been confronted by jumping fail.  Remember Blackfathom Deeps?  That water jumping thing at the beginning?  Ugh.  Luckily we had a warlock who was good at jumping or I might not have finished.  He summoned me to the other side after a few too many (embarrassing) tries.  I was giddy when I found the way to skirt along the wall and avoid the jumping altogether.

How did I get past Thaddeus in Naxxaramus, you ask?  Levitate for the priest, cat-sprint for the druid.  I can’t make that jump on my own.  Not a chance.

The day I get the achievement for not getting static cling in Vortex Pinnacle is the day Hell freezes over.

I need to suck it up and learn to do it, but I know that these sorts of things do not come naturally to me.  I’m just not a coordinated person, and fortunately WoW is one of those games you can play pretty well even if you’re bad at timing and twitch.  And sports.  So, my learning curve is pretty long for jumpy things and, as luck would have it, the rest of the guild has already learned the encounter and it’s not cool for me to be causing wipes when basically everyone else has it down.

Maybe I’ll take a swim in the Stormwind Canals and practice hopping onto dry land.  That’s the closest I’m going to get to a practice dummy for jumping.

Failing and Flailing at Shadow

I did Shadow last night.  It was awful.  I’m awful.

Then lo and behold, Wow Insider covered this topic recently, as in why I SHOULD do shadow.  Hrm.

Reasons to do Shadow (for me):

  1. I can run heroics with Team Heal (some of us HAVE to go DPS for this to work)
  2. I can be DPS in a raid… if we are oversubscribed on healers, and there’s no other healer that outputs better DPS than me, oh right, not gonna happen.
  3. I can avoid getting roflstomped while doing dailies, but you all know I hate dailies.  And I’ve already retasked herb gathering to the cheater druid.

Reasons to NOT do shadow and go disc instead.

  1. I super-suck at shadow
  2. Laral is obviously better at shadow and makes my super-suck more obvious
  3. Apparently Disc is awesomesauce.  Not that I’m going to give up HOLY for it.
  4. I’m going to get the tier gear anyway, and it works for both.  You bet I’m lazy about getting MORE vp for a shadow set.

For you healing priests out there, is your second spec a healing spec or shadow?  And how do you like it?  How does it affect the raid team?  How does it affect your ability to do heroics?

I didn’t realize that I was burnt out until I started playing an alt

I knew I was in trouble when I gleefully offered to sit out a raid.  Twice.

See, I had been working ridiculous hours and the ONLY wow time I could afford was getting raid ready on my main, and then attending raids.  That is IT.  Now work has calmed down and suddenly I’m like… crap!  I haven’t played anything but my main in 6 months.

In 6 months, your standard altoholic is climbing the walls.  In 6 months even the most normal non-altoholic needs to do something else.  Anything else.

I went on a gaming binge.  I considered changing my main.  After all, we only have a part-time druid on Team Heal.

Then I came back to my senses.  Holy Priest is awesome.  Sure, we have a lot of priests, but Holy Priesting can fill multiple roles, any role that needs it, with our enormous toolbox.  That is really special for a constantly-shifting 3-person Team Heal.

The lolwell will remain.  For now.  USE IT, DAMMIT.

(Though, honestly, I am tempted to switch if only because leather gear has SPIRIT and I wouldn’t have to grind so many stinkin VEE PEE.)

Balancing Attending Raids and Sitting Out on Team Heal

This is a very simple principle that a lot of people don’t get…

Assigned spots: If you want to be able to raid every time you want to, you need to be prepared to raid when you don’t feel like it.

Rotation: If you want to be able to skip raids every time you want to, you need to be prepared to not-raid when you might want to raid.

As you probably guessed, given our emphasis on Real Life first, the Effers go with the Rotation model.  We have enough raiders to cover when people go on vacation… or work late… or get sick, but that means that sometimes we have a few too many who are ready and able to go.  So we rotate.

Now, this rotation is imbalanced.  Namely because there are always more DPS than tanks or healers.  The DPS take reasonably frequent turns sitting.  However, Team Heal almost never sits out.  I’m not saying that the same 3 of us showing up to each and every raid.  I’m saying that there have only been 3 of us available at any given time.

What this means is that if 2 of us can’t make it on a given night, we are scrambling for heals, usually borrowing from Team Tank.

Last night Eff got 2 new awesome healers.

Am I pissed that I will now have to sit out?  HELL NO.  I don’t have to sit out.  I get to sit out.  I get to not-sign-up and not worry that the raid will not happen if I don’t go.  In the end, being able to take off when I want for RL is definitely the biggest consideration.  You bet your ass I won’t be crying about sitting out when I’m catching up on girly TV that Gnoble won’t watch with me.

I am looking forward to welcoming new members to TEAM HEAL.  May our reign be long and oppressive.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to take a peek at druid healing, since we now have 3 priests.  Oh yeah, and I’m obviously INSANE.

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