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Posts with tag heal

Resto druids vs. the world: Healer balance in tier 14

Resto druids vs the world Healer balance in tier 14
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Today, it isn't enough that mistweavers are taking our gear -- now they're taking our jobs.

The beginning of an expansion is usually a bad time to write deep, meaningful, and typically pompous posts on the "state of the class" and whither the druid and all that crap. For that matter, the beginning of Mists of Pandaria struck me as an especially bad time, because so much of what we were used to in WoW got changed and sent everyone scrambling. Toss in a brand-new hybrid class (the monk), and you've got the perfect storm of elements that make evaluating healer performance a dicey proposition at best. I poured myself a nice cocoa, kept an eye on World of Logs and Raidbots, and watched as the numbers rolled in and a legion of holy priests tore their garments and cried out in despair.

Given that patch 5.1's now live, it seems an appropriate time to swirl that cocoa, take a look at how healers did in tier 14, and ask what's likely to change. As of now, it seems apparent that:
  • Holy priests were actually right.
  • Monks kicked your dog, seduced your mom, stole your XBox, and drove off in your car.
  • Paladins are still topping the charts on certain encounters, but they're no longer dominating all of them.
  • Shaman have improved a lot from their lackluster performance in Dragon Soul.
  • Resto druids are back in same boat we were in at the beginning of Cataclysm, and it's not a very nice boat.
Just for fun, here's a Shifting I wrote almost a year ago on healer balance in Dragon Soul, if you'd like to see how classes fared in the last tier of raid content.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Blood Pact: Staying slightly alive as a warlock

Blood Pact How to stay slightly alive as a warlock MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill completely devours a real-life box of cookies while listing out all the ways a warlock can heal herself. Om nom nom.

Dead DPS does zero DPS. We all know that saying. I introduce to you my Princess Bride collorary to the Dead DPS rule:

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What's that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

The perfect description of what happens when a mob dies in an RPG aside, Miracle Max is right: mostly dead is slightly alive, and slightly alive means you can still do more damage. Naturally -- since we are magnificent, resilient bastards instead of glass cannons -- warlocks are quite excellent at staying slightly alive.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: Shadowfiends retire, more priest talent news from Mists beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Do you want to know the greatest and most amazing new thing priests are getting in Mists of Pandaria? It's a squid. Well, it could be an octopus, but I think it's a squid. It's called a Mindbender, and it's our new level 45 talent. The Mindbender is a flying, shadowy squid that serves as an improved version of (read: replacement for) our old pal, Shadowfiend. Our new squid friend does double the damage of Shadowfiend and thus returns twice as much mana. I can only assume the reason he can do this is because he latches onto the heads of our enemies and sucks out their brains, sort of like a Mind Flayer, the squid-faced monsters from Dungeons and Dragons with telekinetic powers. Mindbender, Mind Flayer ... That's right, Blizzard, I'm on to you.

Anyway, I imagine Squiddy will become the prime choice for healing priests in MoP because 1.) mana is mana, and 2.) the other level 45 talents are a bit lackluster. That will unfortunately mean leaving Shadowfiend at home, which is awfully sad, but I've painted up a scenario in my head where Shadowfiend tells me, "Look, Dawn, we've been raiding together for a few years now, and it's about time that I caught up on all the prime time television I've missed. There's Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and I've still only seen one episode of Game of Thrones. I need a break."

"OK, Shadowfiend," I say to it, "you can stay home this expansion."

"Thanks, dollface," it responds with Don Draper-esque charm and winks an eye at me I never knew it had.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

This Too Shall Pass: Balance and imbalance in World of Warcraft

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First off, we know that game balance is an eternal goal. As the game evolves and becomes more complex (as it does every expansion, because new abilities are introduced and new classes or races make their debut), balancing them all for every role they can fill and every aspect of the game (Arena PvP, BGs, 5-man instances, raiding) becomes ever more complicated. Abilities that seem minor in impact can mushroom in importance due to synergy with other talents or abilities. As an example, Vengeance in PvP became important enough to cause it to be turned off, as gear improved and health pools rose.

This has been the case in World of Warcraft since its debut. Heck, thanks to Indalamar, warriors got nerfed before the game went live. Balance is ephemeral. Your class may be on top one day, but your day will end. Anyone who's tanked for the past six years can attest to the roller coaster of which class is best at which aspect of the role. There was a time where paladins were the undisputed kings of AoE tanking, a time before Death and Decay or Blood and Thunder.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, PvP, Raiding, Hotfixes

How to heal in Battlegrounds

We've been talking about Battlegrounds a lot lately. That makes a lot of sense, since those Battlegrounds can be a refuge for the casual or limited-time crowd -- not to mention, since we're stuck in the purgatory between expansions, now's the time to get your PvP on.

An indispensably important part of the Battlegrounds is having capable, willing healers. Just a small handful of powerful, practiced healers can make your Battleground team invincible. When you are the healer, you get to decide who lives and who dies on your team. You extend your warm, golden glow around the mere DPS who clamor to bathe in your power, and by means of that glow, provide victory to your team.

I might be engaging in a little hyperbole, but you get the point. A good healer can be incredibly powerful in Battlegrounds. You'll find the role engaging and complex; your greatest enemy will be tunnel vision, self-reliance, and the ability to communicate on the fly. Let's talk about how you can maximize the power of your time as a healer.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Looking back on healing in Cataclysm

Now, this is a forum post that I think merits a little more attention. We all know that developers weren't happy with the spamfest that healing often was in Wrath of the Lich King and that they looked to make it a far more cerebral activity in Cataclysm. Now that we're approaching the end of the expansion, Practical, one of the Blizzard forum MVPs, recently started a thread examining how healing turned out and what can be improved. Most of the people in the thread generally agree that healing started out pretty fun in tier 11 but declined afterwards. Reasons given range from boring boss mechanics to fights with random elements that made healers feel useless when they couldn't control or prevent player deaths.

Practical observes that a lot of the later problems with healing in Cataclysm might actually be the result of a surfeit of raid fights that required constant stacking, and the inevitable effect they had on certain healing spells' being too powerful. Having recently looked at healer numbers in Dragon Soul, I'd also venture that AoE healing spells that aren't numbers-restricted (for example, Circle of Healing versus Holy Radiance) on top of that raid stacking are making healer balance look worse than it actually is.

So what are your thoughts, healers? How did healing work out for you this expansion, and are you looking forward to the Cataclysm changes? And are the problems we're seeing really the result of healer mechanics or raid design?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion

5 ways to keep your healer happy in 5-man heroics

While much of Azeroth has been busy engineering the repeated demise of the big Dee-Dubya, many of us are still running 5-man dungeons. Maybe it's for valor points, maybe it's to hit the ilevel required to take a pop at that dragon, or maybe it's while frantically levelling another character to 85. With every 5-man instance comes a healer, and you really ought to be showing your healer some love.

Before you say Pah! I don't need to do anything to keep my healer happy -- I massively outgear all the 5-man content the game has to offer. This advice is worthless!, spare a thought for those who don't. The new healer who wants to get a look at some Hour of Twilight. The player with bags overflowing with PvP gear to cheat the ilevel requirement. The fresh 85s who are facing these dungeons for the first time. They need this advice, and if you're running with them, you could consider reading it too. And if you think it's not your responsibility to help your healer out now and then, remember: You don't do any DPS when you're dead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Ready Check: Dealing with a weak healer

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Welcome back, raiders. Last week, we talked about how to handle a low DPS player within a raid. The article focused more on the way that players attempt to deflect attention from any issues that they might be having; while that's useful information, there are other sides as well. This week, we will be focusing on healers. Much as with DPS, there are no weak roles within a raid. Everyone has to perform up to par in order to succeed; furthermore, just like DPSers, healers can get equally defensive when approached about a problem.

Join me as we explore many of the ways in which a healer can attempt to deflect proper blame against them and ways in which you can help them improve. Remember, a raid leader's strongest tool is information.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Shifting Perspectives: The future non-suck of mastery

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we contemplate the possibility of writing a future article on predictions that came true, because goddamn, we're amazing.

One of these days I really ought to write an edition of Shifting that's nothing but a smug-a-thon on how much I've been able to get right. That this necessitates ignoring the 95% that I get wrong is somewhat troublesome if you're one of those people who gets hung up on the ephemeral phenomenon sometimes known as "accuracy," but a good writer never lets the truth stand between herself and a great story.

On this occasion, I am pleased to say -- to a legion of people who could reasonably have expected an upcoming change anyway -- I told you so.

Booyeah!

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Spiritual Guidance: Holy and discipline tier 12 set bonuses

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen fraternizes with cultists and buys Justin Bieber albums. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Information about patch 4.2 has been coming in nonstop this past week, and our favorite dataminers at Wowhead and MMO-Champion have dug up a first look at the class set bonuses for tier 12 gear. As usual, the community has been chatting up a storm since the release, especially the priests. Today I'll be joining that discussion to examine what holy and discipline priests have to look forward to in the next content tier -- or not look forward to, depending on your perspective. Either way, let's take a look.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Priest changes in build 12984 and Life Grip video

Do draenei dream of space travelling sheep?
Every Sunday at WoW Insider, you'll find Spiritual Guidance, a guide to healing as a discipline or holy priest. Priestess Dawn Moore will bring you the latest in news, discussion and advice for priests in the World of Warcraft while simultaneously battling her shadow priest rival, Fox Van Allen. This week, Dawn has been training an infantry of super-perceptive aerial assault sheep to counter the Dark Shrine she spotted Fox warping into WoW Insider HQ earlier.

The latest build for the Cataclysm beta was the big news yesterday, thanks to ol' B at MMO-Champion. The news hit sometime in the night while most priests were nestled all snug in their beds, but High Priest Matticus and I were up late drinking chocolate malts and playing wall ball, so we got a head start on the information ... which we promptly used to write about pets and shaman.

Last week, I said I'd be finishing my Cataclysm roundup this weekend, but since there were quite a few changes in this latest beta build (which I'm guessing will affect the release of patch 4.0.1), I think it's better if we discuss the details of the changes before we try to summarize them. There was also a super-exciting (though entirely superficial) change with this patch as well ...

Leap of Faith, also known as "Life Grip," got a brand new animation! Check out the video after the jump.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for spirit and MP5

One of the challenges for many novice level healing druids and priests is figuring out what provided more mana: X MP5 (which stands for mana per 5 seconds) or Y spirit. However, in Eyonix's post about Cataclysm stat changes, MP5 will be completely removed from the game. Healing paladins and shamans normally relied on slight amounts of MP5 on their gear. Instead, their gear will now pack spirit which will affect their mana gains.

Say again?

Yes, you heard right. MP5 is being removed. It will be gone. Fist pumps and high fives all around!

In any case, when the next expansion comes around, everyone will need to relearn the entire mana regeneration mechanic. Thankfully, it should be much easier this time around. Spirit is the main stat which will contribute to mana regeneration since intellect provides spell \power. It is too early to provide any advice or guides since we can't actually see the changes in action just yet, but the basic idea is that healers will be stacking a combination of intellect and spirit to increase healing throughput as well as mana regeneration.

Lastly, for the druids and shamans:

Eyonix
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
  • You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
  • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won't have Hit on it.
  • You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
  • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
  • Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn't find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.

I wonder if this means Prayer of Spirit will be removed. All in all, I'm very excited about the regeneration changes. It'll make things much easier for players to understand (like me)!

Anyway, the line of thinking here regarding the removal of raid spirit buffs is this: Since spirit will be providing elemental shamans and Balance druids with hit due to a talent conversion, any raid buffs which boost spirit will presumable bump their hit and put them over the hit cap which isn't a good thing since any surplus points will be considered wasted.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: Vuhdo


We've received many tips about Vuhdo and it was only a matter of time before it would be featured here. Vuhdo is one of the most popular raid healing addons available. It offers enough features and customization options to keep even the pickiest of UI enthusiasts happy. At the same time, if your entire UI is fried and the raid is about to start, Vuhdo works great out of the box.

What's so great about it? I thought you'd never ask. Let me show you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight

Dungeon Finder reactions from players

The long-awaited Dungeon Finder is finally out on the servers, and people have had a few days with it now, so let's jump in and gauge some early reactions. Overall, it seems to be a big hit -- tanks and healers are jumping into groups right away, and while we've heard of longer waits for DPS, it doesn't seem bad at all. While of course the initial flood of people brought instance servers down (I'd expect to see the same thing happen during peak time this weekend), everything seems to be working well since then: disenchanters are correctly dropping items out, loot is getting distributed correctly, and groups are doing what they were always supposed to do: rake in the badges and rewards for players.

Hots and Dots actually has a long take on the Dungeon Finder, including "15 Things You Should Know," like that tanks and healers are still as important as ever (if you sign up for DPS and another role, you likely won't be doing DPS), and that we're finding out very quickly just how skilled or knowledgeable people really are ("the Party Leader will be forced to confess midway [through] that they actually know nothing about the instance").

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Leveling

Raid Rx: Healing Lord Marrowgar

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Welcome to the first test of Icecrown. Once you've blasted your way past the many patrolling skeletons, you'll run into this giant floating bundle of bones. You can consider this boss a warmup compared to the rest of the instance. Marrowgar shouldn't be too taxing on us healers, eh? How hard could he possibly hit anyway?

Well, that largely depends on the rest of your raid adapts. The amount of healing needing to be done depends on how quickly the rest of the raid responds and how much damage they deal.

Same old story, right?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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