Circle of Healers 2.0

I got tagged by Kamalia and Apple.  For Science!

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

Zelsha, Priest, Holy.

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

10-person raids.  (10 man is sexist, yo! Even though I say it all the time.  But I digress…)

3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Circle of healing, for sure.  I use it almost every cooldown, regardless of assignment.  It just smooths out the raid in an elegant fashion.

In second place is prayer of mending.  However the stupid thing frustrates me by getting stranded on a random DPS, so it doesn’t bounce as much as I’d like.

I have penance envy.  I admit it.

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Regular old Heal.  I’m trying to be mana efficient and use it, but it feels like the health bar does not even MOVE when I cast it!

(I’m trying to use Renew less, since I tend to go OOM from it.)

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

Versatility and a tool for every situation.  I can tank heal, I can raid heal.  All with the flip of a Chakra.

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

Just one?  I feel like mana efficiency is a problem (especially compared to those cheater disc priests).

But since I’m talking about it, the runners up:

  • Also our mastery, while powerful thoroughput, translates into overheal in many cases.
  • Our crowd control kinda sucks (except in graveyards).
  • And finally, the inability to cleanse poisons or curses is bullshit.  (You hear that, Blizz?)

7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

I don’t do 25’s, but if I did, I’d be a raid healer.  Pleaaaase do not make me tank heal.  Pretty please.

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

This is selfish, but I hate tank healing, so I like healing in a team where I’m not the obvious choice for tank healer.  If I am grouped with a pally or disco priest, it means I’m off the hook for tank healing.  SIGH OF RELIEF.  I have a slight preference for disco priest over pally because I better understand their cooldowns, and we can coordinate amongst ourselves when to best pop hymn of hope etc.

It was a hard decision, because I also love Mana Tide and Wrath of Air.  (Don’t hate me, Rhee.)

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

The advantage to being a Holy priest is that I can “make it work” with just about any other healer, and change roles as appropriate.  But usually a Resto Druid will snag the enviable “raid healing” spot leaving me to… tank heal (sigh).

(This is the part where I shake my fist at Kotak.)

10. What is your worst habit as a healer?

Topping off the bars.  Especially since I have echo of light in my mastery, I should know better.  And then I’m oom.  And there is lamentation.

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

No healing assignments, or disregard for healing assignments.  Assignments work, people!  Respect them, use them, love them.  (Second place: Click the damn lolwell.)

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Sure, I think Holy priests are generally fine.  I think I’ve got good cooldowns and reasonable (though not enormous) thoroughput, but need moar mana.  I have decent burst healing when needed.  I wouldn’t give up my cooldowns for more thoroughput.

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

World of Logs after the fact – but more importantly whether the encounter felt “in control.”  Was I able to hit my assignments?  Did I feel like there was mortal danger?  Did I have to use a cooldown when it should not have been necessary?  Did it feel like we were on the “edge of a wipe”?

Our heal team communicates very well, and we generally troubleshoot amongst ourselves during and after the raid, since numbers don’t tell the whole story for healing.

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

That holy priests can’t tank heal.  We totally can.  Sure, others may be better at it.  But with Inspiration, Guardian SpiritSerendipity, and Holy Word: Serenity (in Chakra: Serenity, of course) we can deliver powerful single-target healing and cooldowns.  (I still reserve the right to hate tank healing.)

A close second: How the lolwell works.  I still have people remark to me “I didn’t realize I could click it from all the way over here!”

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

All the bells and whistles.  I don’t know how many times others have remarked to me “holy shit, that’s a lot of spells” and “chakras are TOO HARD”.  There are more buttons than for other healers, and it takes a lot of practice to automatically reach for the right spell for the situation.

I used to tape reminders to the edges of my monitor like “Guardian Spirit” and “Divine Hymn” and then the number it was keybound to.  It did increase my usage of the spells I often forgot.  Now my monitor is paper-free.  However, I often forget about YOINK (Leap of Faith) and am fumbling for that one.

16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

Decent (but not top) thoroughput, but too much overheal (much of it from echo of light).  Cry.  They would see a reasonable number of dispels, but not too many, as my fellow healers on TEAM HEAL are definitely quicker on the dispel button than I am.

Spell use would vary based on assignment.

  • For Raid Healing: Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing, Renew, Binding Heal
  • For Tank Healing: Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Prayer of Mending, Holy Word: Serenity, Renew
  • In fights with a lot of movement, you will see bubbles for body & soul.  Otherwise, I avoid them.

Also, they would see not enough people clicking the damn lolwell.

17. Haste or Crit and why?

Haste, because Crit super-sucks for Holy.  (See #20 for more)

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

Paladin.  I’ve leveled the others to the 80’s so I feel I understand the fundamentals (in fact, at various times, my main has been a resto shaman (BC), disc priest (WOTLK), and resto druid (also WOTLK)).  But I have a lousy knowledge of paladin spells and cooldowns, and when I’m leading a heal team with a paladin, I end up giving vague instructions like “do that thingy with the rays of light.”

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

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I tend to keep crit pretty low because it sucks.  While in theory, I’m supposed to only stack haste to 12.5% raid buffed and then dump the rest into mastery, I tend to keep a little more haste on hand.  This is because, in our team, sometimes we don’t have a haste buff in the raid and I need my heals not to feel “sluggish” in those cases.  Plus, my mastery ends up as overheal a lot, so I don’t mind trading some of it for haste.

TAG, you’re it!

Druid: Elfi of Elfi’s World (oh noes, guildie nepotism!)

Paladin: Eade of My Pally Heals

Priest (Disco): Slice of Slice 213’s blog.

Shaman: Merinna of Be Healed

I’m Having More Fun Than You

Yes, it’s true.  No matter how much fun you think you’re having, I am having more fun than you.

Here is why:

  • I do the stuff that I enjoy
  • I don’t do the stuff that I totally hate.
  • I sometimes do the stuff that I marginally dislike as a means to get to the thing I enjoy.  But not stuff I really hate.
  • The scientific ratio of enjoy to hate is pretty high
  • My friends are awesome
  • My friends are having fun too and it’s contagious
  • When I don’t want to play, I don’t play

I’m really bummed out by people talking about cataclysm being the death of the game, the slow winding decline, the death of the community, burnout… It’s a killjoy!

If I don’t like fish, I don’t eat fish.  I don’t continue to eat fish, complaining with every bite how disgusting it is.  Imagine if you were eating fish at that table too. It would kill all the enjoyment of your delicious fish.

I choose to be happy.  I choose to surround myself with people who are happy.  I choose not to do things that make me totally pissed off and ranty.  And therefore, I am definitely having more fun than you.

Pugs: We Can’t Salvage This Relationship Unless You Talk to Each Other

I’m pretty damn demoralized by pugs lately.  And why? Because people won’t fucking talk to each other.  Here’s how it usually goes:

Me: Hi, blah blah intro how are you blah.  Something about how familiar I am with the instance.

Them: Silence

We pull trash.  There are symbols put up, but since nobody is talking to each other, not even the briefest mention in chat, nobody has a clue which ones to cc, and so no cc is done.  I end up blowing all my cooldowns on trash.  Funsies.  But I manage.

Sometimes I comment on  the lack of CC and how it’s tough for me to heal through that.  No response.  Sometimes I don’t bother since I’ll end up with silence.

OK, now we hit the boss.  We wipe.  This is because someone was supposed to be assigned to do JOB X (interrupt, kite, click the something), but since we did not even have the briefest discussion beforehand, that didn’t happen.  We discover this on the run back, and ONLY AFTER we’ve wiped, do they deign to talk to each other.  (However, until I say something like “what did we do wrong?” they don’t take the initiative to break the silence to discuss what happened.)

At this point, the tank usually says something totally out of line to ME, and fed up, I drop group.

The problem is not that we wiped.  Wiping is fine.  We learn.  We get up, we move on.  The problem is that the wipe is caused by the absolute refusal of ANYONE in the group to coordinate.  Also, the tank using the healer as the scapegoat honestly baffles me, since I’m not the one who is supposed to be doing the crowd control, interrupting, or other assorted things that are causing wipes.

Sometimes, it seems that I am the one who is the object of the tank’s ire because I actually speak.  What the hell, right?  As a latest example, the tank criticized one of the dps who said absolutely nothing back, and the criticism faded.  However, the tank was QUITE irate with me, and just would not quit.  I ended up dropping due to the tank, after apologizing to the DPS for the wait time.

I’d like to be able to PUG when guildies are not online or not available, since I do need the VP (Firelands has no spirit gear except tier pieces), but I don’t think I can put myself through the misery of the silent passive-aggressive pug.

Parliamentary Papers

Grimmtooth has posted the flowchart of awesomeness about why you’re totally going to die.  Pissing off the healers is a very bad idea.

I’m always excited to learn about quests that I will probably never do – and slightly sad that I’ll never get around to it.  Heavy Wool Bandage presents: Chillin’ With Yetimus – Yetimus Facts.  It almost makes me sad that I’m not a dirty hordie.

Syp at Bio Break hates sissy elves as much as I do.  Woot!

Elfi points out murloc-themed hilarity in trade chat.

Guildies are so funny!  Morehnai gives us some raiding euphemisms.  I have heard these used often in vent.

New from the Gamer’s Fridge – A public service announcement about swirlies and why not to stand in them.

Minstrel points out a visual nerf to disco priest graphics.

(Yes, I know, I usually do this on a Friday.)

Priest Guide Updates for 4.2 and Sunsetting the Resource Links

Priest Guides Updated for 4.2

Priest guides have been updated (Holy, Disc, and Shadow).  Find them HERE.  The primary changes were to stat priority and some rotation tweaking on the shadow side.  There may be further changes once EJ updates their guides for 4.2.

Resource Links Sunset

What the Frak I’m talking About. These pages.  One page for each class.  Plus raiding, professions, etc.

Why Do These Pages Exist. Way back in the day, I used to keep a list of resources for my guild.  That way, if someone had a question about a specific class, I could just point the person to a link and say READ IT!!  Naturally, I posted these links to the blog because it was far easier to edit than the forum software.  Plus it was easier for me to find stuff I needed when I needed it.

But now, I’m not a resource for the guild.  They are bloggers and can find their own information.  Plus, I just started my own priest guides which are a bunch of work to keep updated.

How I update these pages… I read a lot of blogs, or at least skim them.  Every time I see a guide article, I flag it in my feed reader.  Once a week, I transfer the links from my feed reader to the appropriate page.  As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work managing that many blogs in my feed reader, and a lot of blog updating.

What prompted this post is that  MMO Melting Pot just posted all these updated guides, with links to the long-and-involved source material on EJ etc.  If I were a reader needing to find something now, I’d probably think “MMO Melting Pot has it” and not “Those Murlocs sure know Hunting” (which we totally do not).  I looked through Analytics and the pages get about 300 hits out of about 9000 hits (I’m severely rounding here) which is about 3% of blog traffic.  Not a lot compared to, for example, the priest guides.

TL;DR Keeping up the link pages is a HUGE pain in the ass, especially for classes we don’t play, and there are plenty of comprehensive resources in other blogs to fill that niche.  I will be sunsetting those pages.

(What that means is the pages will be up for another week or so for people to copy anything they need from them, and after that, I will take them down.)

And the Blogroll

I just can’t keep up with all these blogs on classes I don’t play.  Without needing to read them for the aforementioned pages, I’ll be downsizing that as well.  Besides, apparently nobody views my blogroll anyway!

Kid Movie Reviews Take 2

Well it’s been a while since I last gave advice about how not to scare the shit out of your 2-year-old, and we’re on to the task of not scaring the shit out of your 3-year-old.

Toy Story Series

Now, kids aren’t going to get the angst of toys that are afraid they’ve outlived their usefulness and might get thrown in the trash.  At least 3-year-olds won’t.  You, however, will feel intense guilt about every toy you’ve ever given or thrown away.

Toy Story 1. Those creepy tortured toys and sadistic neighbor.  That is pretty scary, yo.

The toys are clearly horror movie allusions, with music to match.  Not cool, Pixar.

Toy Story 2. Oh noes, it’s the chicken-man, who acts as antagonist, but not out of malice toward the toys, as he simply a person who thinks of them as inanimate objects and is not aware that he holds their fate in his hands. The peril there is far less dramatic, with no horror movie aspects.

Toy Story 3. There’s an actual toy villain (oh noes, an evil pink bear) who at one point acts as a jailor.

Fortunately, most of the scare factor in Toy Story 3 (which is, I think, the scariest of the movies) affects the parents and goes right over the kids’ heads. Toward the end of Toy Story 3, there is a scene of “staring inevitable death in the face” which would be scary to kids that are old enough to understand it.

At the very end of Toy Story 3, all parents will be blubbering like sentimental idiots.  And their kids will be staring at them like “I don’t get it.  WTF, Mom.”

Twig’s Reaction: She loves all the movies and is totally oblivious to any sad or distressing elements that might keep Mom up at night.  She loves the little girl in Toy Story 3.

Shrek Series

Political power is at the heart of every Shrek villain.  Really, not joking.  On to the scary?

Shrek 1. Farquaad (who is quite creepy in a sleazy-nerdy sort of way) threatens with imprisonment and performs cookie torture.

Oh noes, cookiecide!

The dragon is momentarily scary until she becomes totally cuuuute.

How can you be afraid of such a CUTE dragon?

Shrek 2. The main tension here is whether fairy godmother can con Fiona into marrying Prince Nice-hair.  Um, yeah, horrible.

Shrek 3. Prince Nice-hair is back and wants to take over.

Hostile takeovers are srs bzns.

There are some tense moments when he might have Shrek and/or Justin Timberlake killed, but Timberlake wins with logic and reason.  DAMN YOU, TIMBERLAKE!

I'm bringin reason back!

Shrek 4. Rumplestiltskin AKA “Curly Toed Weirdo” (do not google search for “curly toed weirdo”) attempts to erase Shrek from existence.

It’s like It’s A Wonderful Life with witches.  Who are kind of scary.  But not that bad.

Twig’s Reaction: The Shrek Series is appreciated using a very simple test:

Is there a baby ogre on screen? (y/n)

No baby ogre?  Ok, is Puss In Boots on screen? (y/n)

No puss either?  Sigh.  How about Donkey? (y/n)

If all the answers to the above questions are “no”, Twig has wandered away from the television before you finished reading the questions.

Monsters Inc.

One would think that jumping out of closets and scaring was, in fact, scary.  Not so.  It’s pretty mild.  The monsters are harmless and loud.

I mean… THIS is your Abominable Snowman:

Except Salamander boy here is scary:

His dastardly scheme to kidnap kids will scare the shit out of your kid… if she’s old enough to understand it.  Twig was not.

Twig’s Reaction: “It’s the girl with pigtails, JUST LIKE TWIG!”

“Girl in costume!”

What can I say?  They fixate on what they want to see and ignore a lot of the rest.

Chipmunks (1 and 2)

This is very important.  Are you ready to accept that your child might think that these chipmunks are squirrels, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, or another type of rodent?  OK, then let us continue.

Totally not squirrels.

In the 2nd movie, there are girl squirrels.

There’s very little peril in either movie.  Mostly adults being disappointed in the shenanigans of the rodents…

A very painful shenanigan

… popularity (and football) versus family…

Really. Chipmunk on the football team. REALLY.

… mild school bullying…

..and at the end of each movie, putting said rodents into cat carriers/cages (from which they escape/are rescued).  Oh. Noes.  Oh right, there’s also an eagle.  30 seconds of peril from that one.

Twig’s Reaction: Singing is fun.  Girl chipmunks are fun.  Not really that interesting to her.  She disapproves of the horrible messes the chipmunks make.


You’ll be pleased to know that there’s really no peril here.  The rat cooks.  The humans whine about restaurant ownership or getting poor food critic reviews.  There’s some “chasing with carving knife” nonsense, but it’s not really that serious.

Now, Shorty does kidnap our little rat friend, but he kidnaps him for planned use of his cooking skills, not for death purposes.

Twig’s Reaction: “Rat cooking!  He wash his hands.  Rat make soup!  Rat make salad!  Rat make dessert! Rat under the hat!”  Yeah, she loves it.  And anyone who makes dessert is totally awesome to Twig.

Despicable Me

Gotta love this one.

The minions really make this movie.

I mean, they’re so freakin cute!


They’re like the best office workers ever.

OK, so they smack each other around a bit.  They’re probably setting a TERRIBLE example for your child.

Ok, focusing back on the cute…

That's a minion HEART. Awww.

Right, peril.  So, uh, the slightly inept i-villain (no really, all his gadgets are Steve Jobsy) …

…kidnaps the kids and the peril is that they might fall out of a plane.  Gravity is srs bzns.  The most ruthless villain ever.

Daddy Gru flying to save the day

That’s pretty perilous, but… less scary to a kid than an actual evildoer.

Twig’s Reaction. Like I said before, kids see what they want to see.  Twig calls it the movie with the “three girls”.

She’s excited when the girls put on tutus and dance.  She immediately catches on that Gru is “the daddy” even before he realizes he’s the daddy.

She objects to the minions hitting each other because everyone knows you’re not supposed to hit.  But she loves the minions.  A lot.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Yes, I put this one last because everyone has been impatiently waiting for Twig’s assessment of PANDA MOVIE 2.

And, as mentioned before, there are flashbacks to BABY PANDA.

I mean, is there ANYTHING cuter than that?

Po came to be (gasp) adopted (I know, his dad is a goose, you didn’t see that coming) because bad things (TM) happened to his birth parents.  Fortunately, that happens off-screen.  The parents get it.  The kids don’t.  Plus, it’s done in drawn animation style, causing children to become instantly bored until the computer characters reemerge on screen.

Po's dad is a total badass.

Po's Mom. Also a badass.

The villain peacock fights dirty.  He doesn’t just use fists.  He uses a freakin glaive.

And then there are the KNIVES! Ok, they’re like feather-knives.  But still knives.  Which, in my book, is totally cheating.

But I don’t seem to recall any blood, so that’s cool.  As seen above with Po’s father being a badass, he has minion wolves who are scaryish, but they don’t have knives that I recall.

Twig’s Reaction. Twig loved this movie so much.  We’ve seen it twice now, and leaving the theater at the end is a major ordeal with much protesting.

Next up: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (to be viewed July 1)

Plagiarists Obviously Go In the Bee Pit Too

Holy shit, guys.

So one of my guildies sends me a message that a blog on my blogroll that shall remain nameless (but has since been removed from said blogroll) has at least 2 mostly-copied pieces from another site.  So I went to check it out.  Yep.  Mostly copied.  Pretty obvious when you compare.

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?

/cast Righteous Indignation

Into the pit!

I Can’t Do 5 x 2 (but I can rhyme)

So… 5 x 2 project.  Read about it here.  The idea is that you’re supposed to be able to bust into combat with a total of 11 abilities hotkeyed.

However, as a holy priest, I have a LOT of spells that I use all the flippin time!  I won’t bore you with the details of my SPECIFIC keybinds, but here’s a list of core abilities I use in every encounter.

  1. flash heal
  2. heal
  3. greater heal
  4. renew
  5. prayer of mending
  6. prayer of healing
  7. circle of healing
  8. holy word: chastise
  9. binding heal
  10. dispel
  11. chakra (I’ve counted chakra as 1 key to slim down the list, even though most priests use at least 2 chakra macros (1 for each chakra state).)
  12. fade (that’s serious business)

Oh noes, that is 12, not 11.  I just don’t see how ANY of these can be excluded!

Situational abilities that MIGHT be excluded…

  1. mass dispel (one could argue this is situational for the encounter)
  2. cleanse disease (one could argue this is situational for the encounter)

Now, you can argue that if these abilities are not needed for some encounters, so they can be taken off your bars and then put back as needed.  Totally valid point.  My problem with this is muscle memory.  If I keybind cleanse disease only for encounters that HAVE disease, I’ll be fumbling for it.

Cooldowns that are used a LOT and need to be used QUICKLY (and probably need to be keybound)

  1. guardian spirit
  2. life grip
  3. desperate prayer (which I use a lot)

Even the ones that might be used once per battle are not the kind of things that I can be late on.  Fumbling with clicking the mouse for Guardian Spirit?  Dead.

Long non-urgent cooldowns that can probably be clicked

  1. fiend
  2. lolwell
  3. hymn of hope
  4. d. hymn

My bare minimum arsenal of spells without ANY cooldowns is already 12 spells, not 11 (close!). Including my immediate cooldowns puts the count at 15 abilities.  (However, I have all of the above keybound, along with my racial, bringing the total up to 22).

TL;DR 5×2 doesn’t work for me as a holy priest, because holy priest has a lot of bells and whistles – and disc isn’t far behind.  (So I bought a Razer Naga.  Right now it’s blowing my mind.)

Does this mean that some classes are more accessible than others?  Or is it expected (by Blizzard) that we’ll find our favorite spells and ignore some tools in our arsenals depending on personal playstyle?

You Can Hate Cliques Until You’re In One

As a kid, I was never in a cool clique, or a clique of any kind.  Now suddenly, I am, in the most unlikely place – Team Heal.

What is your damage, DPS?

In fostering a sense of teamwork, we seem to have become somewhat of a clique.  It wasn’t really intentional.  We just work together so much that it was bound to happen.  Because there are 3 regular healers in the raid rotation, 1 part-time healer, and 1 emergency-only-healer, we raid together regularly and dependably.

What makes a healer-clique so weird is that because there is only one healer per heroic, we almost NEVER get to run 5’s together.  One of us would have to break out a pitiful DPS spec.  Also, it seems wasteful to put 2 healers in the same group if we have a second group without any healers.  In other words, getting together in-game outside raid nights is a rare event.

We’re not cliquish because we make snarky comments, in a “Mean Girls” sort of way.  It’s not having the private channel, because we really only use that on raid nights for raid stuff (and, ok, the occasional snark).

Do you think the tank is getting chubby?

It’s that, when I want to talk to someone in game, I feel closest to my fellow healers.  I’m more likely to whisper them about random crap, or want to run a heroic with one of them.  We like each other and seek out each other to hang with.  Is that wrong?

I’ll answer – it may be wrong and rude to other people not in the in-crowd, but I can’t bring myself to care.  I’m in the in-crowd!  We have private jokes that nobody else gets.  We crack each other up on a regular basis.  Cliques are cool.

Remember, there is no cure for SMS (Stupid Man Syndrome).  There is an effective treatment, crotch-punching, but it is still in clinical trials.  Symptoms may include scratching, bragging, flatulence, and excessive amusement at flatulence.  Of course you don’t get it.  It’s our PRIVATE JOKE, dammit.

I am the Jerk who Ganked Your Flower

As we talked about before, guild cauldron making is srs bzns.  I do a lot of herbing, and there is nothing more annoying than having to mount and dismount while some annoying DRUID BIRD swoops down and yoinks the flower.

Especially when you’re a moron, like me, and forget to swap from holy spec, and end up smiting weakly the mob guarding the herb while the stupid BIRD swoops down and swipes the flower.  Cackling.  With its beak.

No longer!  I’ve retasked my druid to herbalism.  It took a surprisingly short time to get back up to speed (thanks, old world flying) and now…

I’m that jerk.  Swooping down on your flower.  Cackling.  With my beak.

I was totally expecting some asshole to swoop down on my flower as I was posing for this screenshot.

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