You’re Doing So Well That Here’s More Work

2-healing.  That notion has reared its ugly head with enrage timers.  It’s only worked once, on Baleroc, with a very specific composition.

I hate the idea of 2-healing.  To me, it feels like a penalty for doing well.  We’re finally able to handle the encounter without shitshitshitshitohshit moments, without running oom halfway through, without randomly losing people, and suddenly it’s time to take a member of our team away, so we can beat the enrage timer.

Oh. Hell. No.

I really don’t want to create an us-versus-them mentality with the DPS.  I really don’t.  But when they try to take a member of Team Heal, it makes my blood boil.  I know, I know, it’s not Team Heal versus Team DPS.  It’s just Raid Team.  And we should do everything we can to benefit Raid Team, right?

So, tell me, dear raiding healers, how do you feel about this 2-healing thing?  Do you use it for certain encounters?  If so, what is the rationale?

I Should Just Drop Group If I Hear…

Previously, I bemoaned the completely silent Pug.  I am reconsidering that.  A completely silent pug would be preferable to some of the things I’m hearing in party chat lately.

Now, the frustrating thing about the dungeon finder, for me, is that you don’t get payout unless you actually finish.  That is, if you’re going for VP.  So there is nothing worse than having to drop group halfway through.  It’s a complete waste of time.

I always have the option of sticking it out, but my conscience and, let’s be honest, downright rage makes me unable to continue on with those assholes.  Kicking the offending player is one option, but if it’s more than one (like they’re in the same guild) you’re sort of screwed.

But, I’ve decided, if they just BROADCAST that they are assholes from the start, it is probably more efficient to just cut my losses, drop group, and do something else until I can requeue.

How do you know that they are assholes?  Here’s the handy list of “warning words and references.”

  • Any reference to genitalia.  I should have known I was in trouble when the tank whispered me that his friend was “jizzing himself” over my gear.  Uh, thanks.  And stay away from my gear with that.
  • The “n” word.  It’s just an auto drop for me right there.  No good can come of that.
  • Spamming, including chat spamming or emote spamming.  Last night, the morons were repeatedly /rolling, cluttering things up so I couldn’t even inform them that I was abandoning them to their own idiocy.
  • “The last healer sucked.”  The last healer probably did not suck.  The last healer probably got fed up with you morons.  Chances are, I will too.
  • “FFS”.  This never fails to point out the asshole.  It’s like required training in asshole school that “FFS” must be appended to any obnoxious statement made.
What are the warning signs for you that your Pug is going to be a problem?

Friendly Competition and Misery Loves Company

Our usual heal team consists of 2 priests (a disco priest and me, generally as holy) and a resto druid.  Now, considering that priests are being horribly mistreated in this patch with respect to spirit gear, the other priest and I are both grudgingly grinding VP.

We are a little bitter about it.  And by a little bitter, I mean pretty fucking bitter.  Whenever plate, mail, or leather drops with spirit on it, we gripe.  Whenever someone gets an upgrade and cheerfully announces “Now I won’t have to grind for the VP version”, I die a little inside.  Since VP is our only GOOD option, we are siblings in solidarity or some such nonsense.  It’s easier to put up with bullshit when someone else shares your pain and is putting up with the same bullshit.

We have been pretty much lock-step in getting our VP pieces.  Neither of us caps every week, but we seem to be on the same VP collection schedule.  However, when other priest got his gloves while I was on vacation, and was therefore one piece ahead of me, I was twirling my virtual mustache yelling “CURSES!”  This made me want to grind MOAR VP.  Even though I have my 2 piece bonus and am much more comfortable with my mana and thoroughput, I must have ALL THE THINGS.  I am MOTIVATED, dammit.

How does friendly competition affect your in-game activities, if at all?

(P.S. Laral is a dirty smitey cheater and does not really need the gear.)

Taking A Break Did Not Make Me Want To Quit WoW

Hi everyone!  So, vacation is over… and I have been reading a lot of bloggers who take a break and say “you know, I don’t miss WoW, I like it better without WoW.  So long!”  Well that didn’t happen to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I was not missing WoW during the vacation.  I didn’t have the shakes or a real desire to play.  I looked at the guild forums once or twice.  But basically I had a nice, solid break, and that was good.

But, when I did get back, I still wanted to play.  It was still fun.  I reconnected with the guild and told them Twig stories from the vacation (the little weasel climbed up on Grandpa’s pool table).

Going away on vacation is completely different than taking a WoW break while at home.  When I have people visiting me, I still have the urge to check in.  I want to make sure raids get off the ground.  I want to talk to people online.  It’s really hard to get away from that.  But while on the road, that draw is not there.  The guild knows we’re out of pocket, and that’s that.

So, yay… I’m catching up on feed reader (since I didn’t even check that while on vacation.  Vacation is srs bzns.) and getting back into that raiding thing.  I’ve been practicing disc so much for Baleroc, I hope I remember how to do the Holy thing.

Vacation

That’s right, we’re off to visit Papa Murloc in a few days.  See you after Labor Day!

Now, you ask, what is the difference between Papa Murloc and Mama Murloc?  Let me explain:

Mama Murloc says: “I hope they don’t stand in the fire.”

Papa Murloc would say: “Hey, shithead.  Get out of the goddamned fire.  Moron.”

I trust that Twig will pick up some exciting vocabulary.

(That is, if we get to go, due to hurricanes and whatnot…)

Walking the (Casual Raiding) Line in Firelands

Well you’ve heard me yabber on about VP and how I hate getting them, but how I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter.

Capping VP every week isn’t reasonable for my life as a casual raider.  But at the same time, we were very much struggling in the beginning without any T-12-equivalent gear.  Clearly some out-of-raiding work is required.

There once was an ex-guildie who strenuously objected that I did not do dailies.  To him, this omission meant that I was clearly not serious about raiding.  To me, dailies were lower priority than heroics to get gear.  He assumed I had time to do both – which of course was erroneous!  Based on the time I had, I chose to focus on heroics.

Right now, I’m doing some valor point grinding (not capping), and no dailies, because the dailies gear is not that good for my class/spec.  Maybe someone out there is incensed that I am not doing my dailies, or not capping vp.  I, on the other hand, may be irrationally stabby at someone who, after all this time, has not obtained a piece or two of VP or faction/dailies gear.

I clearly think that the person who expects me to do dailies is being a little too hardcore.  But am I being too hardcore in the (admittedly moderate) amount of work outside of raids that I expect?  At what point does “not being hardcore” morph into “not making the effort?”

Holy Priest Mana Management

I have mana issues.  A lot.  Looking at the upcoming spiritless cloth gear (bleh), I had to use some serious strategery for not going OOM as much…

Gear

My fellow members of Team Heal surprised me with Darkmoon Card Tsunami.  Apparently they love the lolwell so much, they want me to stay holy.  Awww.

I got the first piece of tier gear (chest).  In raiding I was already seeing a difference.  I just got the pants last night for the 2pc bonus.  It should be a pretty constant mana increase, since it will be kept up by my basic healing rotation.

And finally, I reforged down to the bare minimum of haste for 12.5% raid buffed and am relying on the mastery: echo of light.  In current content, because there’s SO much healing to be done, echo of light is not as much overheal.

Mana Cooldowns

Potions

So first, I tried those concentration potion doodads.  That doesn’t really work for me, since being out of pocket for 10 sec doesn’t work on most fights. I can barely have time for Hymn of Hope.  So I’m stuck with regular old mana pots.

Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope

Now, you can get super extra mana if you cast shadowfiend then swing into hymn of hope.  But that would require being pretty low on mana to pay off… and I don’t want to wait that long for throwing the first fiend (so it can reset).  Plus, finding time to channel is something that is a challenge.  I decided that I’d be better off doing hymn of hope separately from shadowfiend at a predetermined time coordinated with the rest of the healers – while I toss shadowfiend as soon as feasible (i.e. at a mana level where I wouldn’t waste any mana returns) and toss it again right off cooldown.

Now on to using the fiend better.  See… I would wait too long to cast the damn thing.  And I might not cast him right when he got off cooldown.

First, I made a Power Aura to show when I’m at 70% mana, so I know to toss the first fiend then.  Well, I kinda stole it from Beru and then tweaked the mana level to one that I thought was appropriate for fiending.

Second, I used MSBT to create a more obnoxious noise for when fiend is off cooldown.  I had a noise already but it was clearly not annoying enough to get my attention.

Spell Choices

I’m not doing so hot here.  I’m trying to use Heal, though it pains me to do so.  I’m not sure why my fail here deserves its own heading, but there you go.

Lightwell Harassment

Toward the end of the last tier, we got a little complacent in our awesomeness and didn’t need to click the lightwell as much.  Now, I’m getting people back into the habit by harassing them over vent to CLICK IT during periods of intense AOE damage.  If my lightwell disappears before the cooldown is up, it means that all the charges are getting used up.  That makes me a happy camper.

Using Addon Sounds (Sparingly)

Last week, Wow Insider talked about using audio cues to help you raid.  However, add too many bleeps and blorps, and it just fades into the background.  So here is my handy guide.

When To Add A Sound

In order to prevent sound overload, figure out what things you normally forget, and then add a sound.  If it’s not something you forget, then you don’t need a sound.  Save the blings and beeps for things that are currently giving you problems.

And if, after adding a sound, you still forget it… add a more obnoxious sound.

1.  Something you are not supposed to be standing in.  If it’s something at your feet that you have trouble seeing and you need to get out ASAP, use noises!

2. Low Health.  This is extremely useful.  If you are focused on doing complex aspects of a fight, your health may drop and you might not even notice.  I usually pop a cooldown in response to this audio signal.  This noise can also be extremely annoying on fights where people are routinely kept at low health levels, such as Chimi.

3. Low Mana (or a specified level).  Don’t let OOM catch you off guard.  You might want to set the sound at a certain threshold, such as the mana level at which you want to pop a mana-regen cooldown or alter your rotation to a mana conserve phase.

4. Something that procs.  If something procs rather infrequently, and you need to do something to respond to the proc, a sound may help your reaction time.

5.  Something off cooldown.  Now, this is only if it’s an ability that you absolutely want to use the INSTANT it is off cooldown.  I don’t recommend this for cooldowns that are under a minute long, or it might drive you batty.

6. You pull aggro.  Then, you know to pop an aggro-shedding cooldown.  If you’re not the tank, that is. If you are the tank, you probably want to have a sound if you lose aggro.

Addons to Add a Sound

For shit you should not stand in, see if your boss mod has a setting.  Or get GTFO.  I use both Bigwigs and GTFO to make sure I’m totally aware of shit I should not be standing in.

For low health, low mana, procs, and cooldowns.  I use Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text primarily and Power Auras sometimes.  You can add a sound to a scrolling event on MSBT or to a visual aura on Power Auras.

The one reservation I have about Power Auras is that if you use a “noise when off cooldown”, Power Auras will ping you every time you get into combat because most people only have auras display while in combat.  You get into combat, your aura appears, and you get a PING.  It is quite annoying.  Whereas MSBT will only ping you once your cooldown is up – the disadvantage to that is that you will get pings out of combat when you might not care.

If I recall correctly, you can set up Omen Threat Meters to warn you if you have aggro.

Using GridStatusPriestAOE for Maximizing Priest AOE Spell Effectiveness

OK, this is the most embarrassing thing ever.  You see that Group 2 needs healing!  No problem, Prayer of Healing to the rescue!  You center it on someone and… it hits only that person.  Everyone else was out of range.  Waste of mana.  Waste of time.  And embarrassing.  (How do I tell whom the AOE hit?  GridStatusHealTrace.)

But seriously, you’re staring at bars.  How are you supposed to know who is in range of whom?

Enter GridStatusPriestAOE.  If you are using Vuhdo, TOO BAD!

How GridStatusPriestAOE Works

This lovely addon gives you a suggestion as to which person, if healed, would maximize the healing done by that spell.  You’re gonna cast POH on group 2 anyway, but on whom should it be centered?  GridStatusPriestAOE knows.

Now, this is best used as a range checker, not as a suggestion on which group to heal or where your circle of healing should be.  It is NOT good at telling you what to do.  You have a brain for that.

With that said, let’s get to the setup.

Configuring Status

Looky, here it is under your status tab.

I wouldn’t put “check only for first group”… well maybe if you’re in a BG.  But honestly, you need to know ALL THE GROUPS.

Here’s the config for circle of healing.  It has all sorts of nifty options, like hiding it when I’m not in holy spec or hiding when on cooldown.  Yes please.

Now, what is this heal threshold?  It’s so you don’t keep seeing the icons when nobody is hurt.  I would say, just TRY the defaults and then fiddle around from there.  The defaults are pretty good.

The priority is 99, which is higher than that of Prayer of Healing, because I don’t want to cast prayer of healing if COH will do the job.

Now the Prayer of Healing!  I don’t recommend “always show best target in each group”.  With that checked, it will have a dot for each group up ALL THE TIME regardless of whether anyone is hurt.  I unchecked the other options as well.  Do whatever you prefer on those.

The priority on this one is 97, lower than that of COH.

Put It Somewhere In the Grid Frame

Now, there are colors for these boxes, so you can tell which is POH and which is COH in your frames.  I opted to just use an icon plugin and reserve a spot for those two icons.

Examples

I took some screenies when I was in a srs bzns raid.

OK, now Ashe is the person you want to do POH on for group 1.  You don’t want to do POH in group 2.  However Kari in group 2 is the person on whom you want to center the COH.  Here’s the interesting part… Kari is not actually injured.  However, Circle of Healing is smart and will splash AROUND the central person.  I think you can even center it on a mob.  So, without this addon, never in a million years would I see these health bars and think the druid is the one I have to COH.

On this one, Group 1 and Group 2 are both injured enough to warrant a POH.  At least according to the threshold I set.  My threshold is probably too low.  And there’s the COH target (once again, not injured).