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Posts with tag 5-man-healing

18 observations from a leveling healer

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I've been leveling a goblin priest for something I call the Low-Level Tank Project, which is a count on the class representation he sees among tanks in the Dungeon Finder. Between the goblin and my restoration shaman (who reached 85 about two months ago), I've had two healers leveling mostly through dungeons recently, and a few commonalities have emerged.

This is sort of a spiritual successor to 20 observations from a leveling tank, if you'd like a more tank-flavored look at leveling groups. This outing is a more generalized approach, possibly because I take a more observational role in my groups whenever I'm healing, like Jane Goodall among the ungemmed and unenchanted chimps.

1. DPSers are enormously indifferent to aggro in early dungeons. You're not healing one tank -- you're healing four. Five, if nobody bothers to stomp the mob making a beeline for you.

2. Early dungeons aren't necessarily good training for everyone involved. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're a terrible experience, per se -- they're quick, easy, and a good way to build confidence for new players -- but the usual mechanism by which players are encouraged to behave themselves (ugly death) is a remote possibility at best.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Spill your 5-man PUG stories here

Bad PUG stories used to be a perennial feature on this site, and I've been missing them lately -- good PUG stories too, I suppose, but the bad stuff is always more fun to talk about, mostly because you get to share a sense of outrage with fellow reasonable players. Spill, folks: What's happened to you in 5-mans lately?

I'll start. I usually tank heroics but decided to heal recently (that was my first mistake), and I landed a group of guildies from another realm in a Well of Eternity PUG. Now, the average Cataclysm heroic isn't all that tough to heal these days as long as you're sensibly geared, but it didn't take me long to realize that this group was blowing through an unusually large percentage of my mana pool. They stood in front of the Dreadlord Defenders' Carrion Swarm, couldn't find an interrupt button with two hands and a guide dog, and seemed to DPS at an unusually slow rate even with the crit buff given by Illidan's Shadow Walk.

It was around the time I noticed most of the group sitting in Peroth'arn's Fel Flames that it occurred to me that either this was the most legitimately incompetent group I've ever had the misfortune of encountering, or they were doing it on purpose. But because they never quite managed to get themselves or myself killed, I let it slide. I left at the end with 50 gold and a Forest Emerald from my Satchel, wishing for a Dungeon Finder system sufficiently advanced to recognize that some groups are definitely worth, say, a pony.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Shifting Perspectives: The unbearable suckhood of pugging

Every week (usually), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we soothe everyone's ego by telling them it's not their fault (while secretly thinking it's everyone's fault).

I apologize for the recent absence, guys. While I would like to say it had something to do with battling hordes of evil minions from some morally questionable wizard with an abundant set of apostrophes in his name, the truth of the matter is that I've just been crushed by work. It didn't help that I started a Shifting edition on gearing a restoration druid at level 85 and thought, "Hey! Wouldn't it be nice to include all the gear available to druids from Cataclysm quests on up, à la Emmerald's old gear list, so that people know exactly where they stand in relation to upgrades?"

Some 1,600 words later, I am pleased to report that I am almost to the end of the shoulder slot.

Yeah. You're gonna have to give me another week or two on that ... unless you're planning to go naked from the shoulders down. If you do, send pics.

Anyway, it hasn't escaped my attention that the forums more or less exploded once people started getting into heroics. One contingent claims that Cataclysm heroics are too difficult and need to be nerfed. Another insists that everyone claiming that heroics are too difficult is a bad player with bad gear and bad talent choices and bad glyphs and they should feel bad. Personally, I've seen enough of both the dungeon finder and guild groups as a tank and healer to arrive at my own conclusion:

People on both sides of this argument are equally correct.

Or, if you're in a judgmental sort of mood today, they're equally full of it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: Don't you mean the *healer* shortage?

I wrote a Breakfast Topic recently concerning the somewhat ambivalent effect that Death Knights were having on the usual tanking shortage, but wasn't too surprised to see a lot of people (perhaps most) write in to note that the healer shortage on their realms was even worse. Leveling as a healer -- even with all the changes to spellpower and shared gear -- is an unattractive proposition for most, and a lot of people who healed at 70 want the chance to do something different. Past a certain point you'd give anything to be doing something that doesn't involve staring at a series of dropping health bars, and that doesn't lend itself to a large and willing population of healers cheerfully offering their services for 5-man use in LFG.

My main's a Druid and I PuG a lot, so I have the luxury of being able to observe which spec is the most wanted for 5-mans (at least on my realm). As soon as dual specs become available, I'm going to have a PvE tanking and PvE healing spec set up and ready to go -- and after that, I'm going to keep a little notebook and tally how many times I get asked by a group to heal, and how many times I'm asked to tank ("But what if someone wants you to DPS?" you ask. What is this "dee pee ess" you speak of, strange one?). With an increasing number of Death Knights reaching 80, I'm willing to bet that the demand for healers is going to be even greater than it is right now, and that increasing pressure is going to be exerted on hybrid tanks (i.e. Druids and Paladins) to maintain a healing spec and gear in order to ensure that groups get off the ground faster than they do right now. I could be wrong, but I'd also be lying if that wasn't the dominant trend back on Wrath's beta with respec costs at 1c and a ton of Death Knights at 80.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Leveling, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Addon Spotlight: Healbot Continued part I


For many, the role of the Healer is something to be avoided all together. For the few, however, healing is a meaningful, rewarding and challenging job, albeit an often-thankless one. Being a healer also tends to make one a popular player. This popularity can wane at higher levels if you don't pick up on a crucial principle: your job is more than just healing. Depending on your class, you will have other duties that include keeping buffs on your companions, de-cursing them, stepping in front of the mage if he or she draws aggro and the list goes on. Addons are one way that the aspiring healer can shift some focus towards his or her other duties. By taking some of the busy work out of casting healing spells, buffs and keeping the party free of curses, poisons and/or diseases, programs like Healbot Continued can take you from being a good healer to being a stellar and indispensable member of any group.

Healbot Continued uses the embedded Lua scripting language to reconfigure information vital to healers. This retrofitting presents an easily manageable interface that helps you maintain a greater degree of situational awareness. For many of you wondering how this works, it's simply a matter of our program, Healbot Continued in this case, listening to the World of Warcraft client for events. In combat, information is literally flying back and forth between the player (client side) and the game server (server side). Healbot Continued simply listens in and picks out information it wants. This is true of almost all addons, which sift through event information for a variety of purposes. Healbot Continued is easily one of the more powerful addons around, as it goes above and beyond what is normally expected of healing addons.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Battlegrounds, Arena

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