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Raid Rx: 2010, a healing retrospective


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community.

Another year, eh guys? I imagine some of you have since drifted away from healing (or from the game entirely). At the same time, I hope I picked up a few more regular readers. Healing is one of the essential arts in the game. Although I am somewhat biased toward priests, that does not mean I do not appreciate the strengths the other healing classes bring to the table.

In any case, this year was a big year for healers. Healing received a large overhaul. There were some new (well, new-old) concepts introduced. And of course, what's another expansion without new toys and spells?

Critter killing update: Once the guild found out that the pet could only be obtained with a reputation of exalted with the guild, production just dropped. We're at about 31,000 now. So much for getting that done by 2011! I doubt I'll be able to garner enough time or players to form a quick raid group for critter slaughtering. You know who has two thumbs and is a sad panda? This guy.

Also, this screenshot is a testament to perseverance. That protection paladin up there? He's been kiting that whale shark around the zone for a good 30 minutes. Did he end up getting it?

My personal favorite posts

Several Raid Rx columns have stood out in my mind. They're largely the ones that I felt were the most beneficial or helpful to players. I'm looking forward to continuing that streak in the next year.

  • Are you doing enough? I wrote this post with the intent of reintroducing the concept of actions per minute. This was inspired by a pickup raid I did in which healers were literally just standing around not doing anything. They were healing, but it didn't look to me as if they were doing it to the fullest. Players were not at full health. It appeared to me they were waiting for damage to be taken before starting their casts.
  • Focused on the right things? When evaluating healers, are we looking at the right aspects of their character? Different augments complement different playstyles. There are many variables to account for, including latency and player skill. It isn't always about the numbers. In the end, can the player do the job and can he exceed what is asked of him?
  • Tank and healer disagreements I love it when healers get into "discussions" with tanks about tactics. Is it possible to just set that ego aside for a moment? We do have a boss to kill!
  • Things that change your healing priority Healing a raid means having to react to what encounter mechanics are thrown our way. I mean, who do you heal first? Which classes or roles take priority over the rest? Do boss abilities modify the direction raid healers need to be aiming?
  • A history of organizational healing Assignments for healing have evolved over the years due to changes in healing classes, encounters, raid sizes and so forth. This post is just a collection of my experiences in leading healers. Times have changed so much. At least in this expansion, we don't have to do the whole healing in shifts thing for the purposes of mana regeneration.
  • Frustrations of two-healing a 10-player raid Let it be known that I prefer the stability of having three healers instead of two. Things generally go more smoothly, at least on the progression side of things. Maybe on farm content when players are sporting that extra gear and are fluent with encounters, it isn't as bad. But man, blood pressure and stress levels go through the roof because of the craziness.

Any healing happenings right now?

I know this month the official World of Warcraft healing forums experienced a huge uproar when healers approached the level at which they could begin healing dungeons and heroics. Obviously, the level-headed healers were the ones who read this column and prepared in advance, right? Right?!

In other healing news, you know how paladins received a new resource to supplement their spell costs? Built-up charges of Holy Power are used to help players level off their health. It was quickly discovered in the opening weeks of the expansion that paladins were simply too strong, and some of their spells (Light of Dawn, I think) experienced a nerf. WoW Insider paladin columnist Chase Christian wrote about it last week in further detail. Things basically got to the point where paladins could simply power up Light of Dawn with repeated Holy Light casts. Nerf warranted? Probably.

And yes, I saw that post from Paragon's Xaar, as well. I'm still digesting it, but I don't have the hard mode experience to confirm or deny it. I can't say for sure if the case of benching druids is true for all heroic encounters, but it doesn't seem that way in normal raids at the moment. Do you feel any different?

In any case, I look forward to helping you carry assist your raid groups in future encounters. See you all in 2011!

Oh, and that whale shark? It took us 90 minutes (on top of his 30 minutes). We managed to get that whale shark down.

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to matticus@wow.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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