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Posts with tag healing

I hate scenarios

blood in the snow
Behind the scenes at WoW Insider, we've been talking a lot about scenarios recently, for various reasons - some of which we hope to be able to soon share! In those discussions, I relatively quickly had to come out and admit, yeah, I kind of hate scenarios. It's not that I think there's anything actually bad about them. Maybe individual scenarios have certain annoying mechanics, I honestly haven't done enough of them to know. But I kind of dread doing them, and avoid them for the most part, and there is a very simple reason why: when I first go into one, I don't necessarily know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I cannot communicate how much I despise that feeling. It's why I love being a healer. Here is your job as a healer, in any dungeon or raid ever: you stay out of the bad stuff on the ground and you play Rejuvenation (or Holy Light, or Healing Wave, or whatever) whack-a-mole with health bars. It's great. It's structured and straightforward and it's always the same. Sometimes there are additional mechanics you have to be aware of but, here's the thing - boss needs interrupts? Not a healer's job. Mobs need kiting? Not a healer's job. Turtles need kicking? Not a healer's job. Boxes need clicking? Not a healer's job (usually).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor

Breakfast Topic: Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer?

Breakfast Topic Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer
I was smirking my way past the Gordon Ramsay-esque commentary on Twitter recently (go to the tweet to view it in all its unblurred, NSFW glory) when it struck me: Blizzard has created so many incentives to play a healer. Obviously, they've worked -- but are the healers enjoying it?

As a long-time healer, I find myself broken-hearted at the idea that players are going through the motions of healing simply because for the sake of faster random queue times or to fill a hole in a roster lineup. Healing by people who aren't passionate about healing? Healing by people who aren't glued to the action? Healing by people who might be watching "other things" on another screen, or eating pizza, or, or ...? Dear readers, we're talking about saving lives here. I weep. Seriously, I weep.

Still, there seem to be quite a lot of healers going about their business in today's game. If you're a healer, do you enjoy the role? Did you choose to be a healer of your own volition, or were you influenced by queue times, role benefits, or the needs of your raid or guild? If you were nudged into healing by outside forces, has it been worth it? Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your greatest WoW save

I no longer remember the exact boss or who was raiding with me, but I do clearly remember having a conversation with a friend while I was healing Karazhan. At the time, I was grumbling that I didn't think we had the right group composition to do an encounter successfully -- but it was only after the group's other healer died that my friend agreed. Of course it was then that I decided this wasn't going be a wipe -- something I hadn't thought was possible until just then. (Certainly no one was more surprised than I was when I pulled it off.)

Whether raiding or not, we all have close calls in game -- that was only one of many I've had. But it was certainly memorable. So what about you, dear readers? Share your stories, your near-misses, your especially memorable almost-but-not-quite deaths.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Why don't you tank or heal?

Why don't you tank
I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with Bashiok late last night on one of the trickier questions Blizzard face in their current content, and indeed, in queue-able content since they introduced the dungeon finder, and latterly the raid finder.

The key is, of course, the final sentence. How does Blizzard get more people to tank, and indeed, to heal? It seems to us here at WoW Insider that a key part to answering that question is to establish what's stopping people tanking and healing in the first place. Hence the question in the header, why don't you tank or heal?

Why does it matter? Well, for those who don't tank or heal, there are currently rather long queues, in the Raid Finder as well as the Dungeon Finder. If whatever's stopping people can be dealt with, and more players take on these roles, then queue times will drop for everyone. WoW Insider has some theories about potential things that are stopping people, but do tell us what you think.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Why aren't more healers queueing for the Raid Finder?

Why don't healers queue for the Raid Finder
While writing the Azeroth Ethicist article on whether it's ethical to "cheat" the Raid Finder's loot distribution system, I linked a post from The Grumpy Elf about the lack of healers in the LFR queue and the effect it's having on queue times. There was an observation there about how LFR healing may actually be more stressful than its normal counterpart:

No matter what, you name it, everything in the LFR when done wrong screams "the healers will fix it". Dropping the bad where it should not be, no worries, the healers will fix it. Not using your defensive cooldowns, no worries, the healers will fix it ... even in the LFR if you do not follow mechanics it hurts and puts all the pressure on the healers.

There are a lot of reasons why the LFR queue is so long these days for the average player -- ilevel requirements (though Blizzard's made it easier to get gear from older raids to address this), the sheer popularity of new content, and, as Ghostcrawler pointed out, tanks and healers who queue with their guildies -- but I think Grumpy Elf has a point.

While I've mostly tanked in Mists of Pandaria, I healed my way through the Raid Finder in Dragon Soul, and the number of players who took unnecessary or avoidable damage was depressingly high. You expect that with anyone who might be new to the instance, but it wasn't fun seeing a raid with lots of people in normal or even heroic tier 13 ignoring, say, the players trapped in Hagara's Ice Tombs.

So for the healers out there, here's a question: Are you queuing for Raid Finder raids? If you are, is the job noticeably more difficult or stressful than it is with your guildies? If you aren't queuing, why not?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Pro Tip: Damage meters don't tell the whole story

Pro Tip Damage meters don't tell the whole story
Some people /ignore others in random raids or dungeons for language or bad play. I add to my instant /ignore list those who spam the meters in raid chat.

Anyone who cares about whose bar is the longest is already measuring on their own screen. Not only is the reporter almost always on the top (and conveniently never reports when s/he is below), but displaying the damage done for a fight to the same raid who's on the meter is just pure epeen spill. Asking for a damage meter is just laziness (or, in rare cases, a really crappy computer paired with a log-intensive fight).

Let's not forget that problem of boiling a player down to a single number. All three roles of the holy triad have a complex set of abilities for every encounter.

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Six simple tips for getting started in healing

Six simple tips for getting started in healing
A little while back, we had six simple tips to getting started in tanking. In the brief introduction to that, I asserted that tanking was among the more stressful and pressured roles in WoW at the moment, just because of the low numbers of tanks compared to others in situations like raids, particularly the Raid Finder.

While the same is not true for healers in the raid finder, you're the only one of your kind in 5-man content, where you're likely to start to learn to heal. Healing's a little tricky to get started with, just because there's not much scope to practice out in the world, without other players. I would definitely have a go with all your spells out in the wild, just to see what they do, but it's only going to be when you get into an instance that your skills are actually tested.

Starting as you mean to continue

One of the things that's going to affect your gameplay and learning experience as a healer is how you're getting started. Leveling a new healer from scratch is a great way to go, as the low level dungeons are pretty well stress free, and you'll get your abilities little by little, so you can learn how each one works and, just as importantly, weaves in with the other spells at your disposal.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Officers' Quarters: An overhealing intervention

A worgen casts a heal
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Healing can be a tricky thing to evaluate, but crazy overhealing combined with mana problems makes for an easy diagnosis. This week, an officer wonders how she can approach the problem in a guild where constructive criticism isn't always welcome.

Hi Scott:

I am an officer and raid healer in a casual raiding guild that has a 10-man team attempting current content. We aren't progressing fast ... but everyone feels good about where we are.

Except for me.

Don't get me wrong. I am never frustrated with the group as a whole for our attempts. Most of us are parents with full time jobs and there are only a few who have the time to even hit VP cap during the week. Some are (rightfully) terrified of LFR. But almost everyone gives 110 percent.

My issue is with my co-healer, who handles tank healing. This person is a good sport and a good player. They contribute to raid materials, are always willing to help gear folks, and they are always at raid on time and ready – three big wins in any officer's book. The issue is that they are a really bad healer. They are constantly overhealing encounters by 20 to 60 percent of total healing and are out of mana before the encounter is half over – after cooldowns. They are always on the top of the healing charts, but their effective healing (total healing minus overhealing) is way low.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Where does the pressure lie in healing?

Where does the pressure lie in healing
I used to be a healer, once upon a time. It was in the days of vanilla, when being a healer consisted largely of staring at 40 bars, pressing Flash Heal, and occasionally mixing it up with a bubble or Heal Rank 4 while swigging potions like they were going out of style. It was a very different time, and healing was by and large much less complex than it is today. My guild didn't use Vent, so I did all the healing rotation calls via macros on my keyboard -- that's how easy healing was. I had time to press macro buttons and pay attention to calling things.

But at some point that guild fell apart, as guilds are wont to do on occasion. And since server transfers weren't even a possibility at that point in time, I simply rolled another character on another server, vowing to take a break from any and all raiding. It lasted until paid server transfers were added as a feature, at which point my priest was promptly moved to my new server and I began healing again -- this time, in battlegrounds. I helped a lot of friends by healing them while they tried their hardest to get High Warlord in the original honor grind.

So what happened? Well ... healing happened.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: My rant about raid roles

Troll priest
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

It's been a long time since my last rant, but I read something today that really irked me, and now I feel compelled to write this column. I don't want to quote the email because the person involved asked a question that had nothing to do with this topic, and he was really just an innocent bystander getting hit with the shrapnel of a raid team willfully blowing itself up.

The part of his email that set me off was essentially this: "Our realm has very few healers, and we haven't been able to recruit one for months. As a result, our raid team is disbanding, and the raiders are going their separate ways. Our guild might lose every single officer except me."

To this I respond: What a bunch of selfish jerks.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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

Tanks, healers, and a daily problem

Tanks, healers, and a daily problem
As someone who plays a guardian/restoration druid, I've had mixed feelings about Blizzard's move to the "dailies model." Of course, you don't need to be playing a tank or healer to feel that way -- it would appear that everyone on the planet has mixed feelings about the seemingly-endless march of Mists of Pandaria dailies -- but there's an special agony to them if you don't have a battle-ready DPS spec. Beefy mob health pools make killing anything as a healer last the approximate length of the Roman Empire, and because quest mobs rarely hit hard enough to make Vengeance a threat, tanks don't fare much better. I will grant that grinding Golden Lotus to revered did give me the opportunity to finish Gone With the Wind after all these years. (Spoiler alert: The North wins the Civil War.)

Now, dual-specs exist for just this reason -- i.e., so you don't have to quest on specs that are really designed for group play -- and I could avoid this problem if I really wanted, but here's the thing: I really like being a tank/healer. Whatever it takes to be a truly competitive DPS, I just don't have it, and I will tank or heal 5-mans and raids, happy as a clam, and hopefully contributing to a lower dungeon queue. By contrast, dailies leave me trying to collect every quest mob in sight to get enough Vengeance to AOE them down efficiently, but it feels really inconsiderate to do this while other players are trying to get the same mobs. And other players are always after them, because everyone's on the same rep grinds. Every day is like being trapped in the starting zone of a new expansion, and I honestly don't know if I have it in me to do this all over again on my alts (who are -- surprise, surprise -- tanks and healers).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Raid Rx: Healing through Gara'jal and Spirit Kings

Raid Rx Garajal and Spirit Kings
Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests.

A few weeks ago, Joe wrote a piece about personal survivability on my blog. After healing some raid finder and pug runs, I wanted to help echo his sentiment. Whenever there's a new expansion, there's always additional abilities, bosses, and so forth. There's new players picking up the game and old players returning. It bears some reminding that you absolutely should help look after yourself.

Your class has talents that helps you live.

Use them!

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Raid Guides

Raid Rx: Healing through Feng

Raid Rx
Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests.

We'll get into healing tips for Feng momentarily but I wanted to examine the state of raiding healers.

It's been a couple of weeks since Mogu'shan Vaults opened up for raids. We've got another week and a few days to go before Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Springs open. A quick cursory glance at the preferred healers show that monks are the class to be right now. They appear to be dominating at the 25 level while in normal 10s, we're seeing additional representation from shaman and paladins. Priests have received some minor hotfixes. Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending was buffed by an additional 25% not too long ago.

5.1 is introducing another set of changes to priests:
No additional healing changes have been announced for the other classes yes, but I'd expect some more tweaks coming down the road.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Raid Guides

Dungeons and you - a guide to basic etiquette

Dungeons and you  a guide to basic etiquette
I am generally a tank, and therefore when I run heroics I tank them. This is not always the case. If I want DPS gear, I queue as DPS because it's only fair to perform the role you intend to gear up. This results in me ending up switching to tank after a previous tank has left, or the group has wiped a few times, about half the time I sign up to DPS. This is intensely frustrating to me, because I don't like having to switch and end up seeing the gear I came for, and signed up for, going to someone else because I'm tanking. I also don't like tanking after waiting in a queue for twenty minutes.

Therefore, this is a basics guide to dungeon running that covers a few things all groups should know, because I'm seeing a lot of groups that don't seem to know them. Five man dungeons are all about personal responsibility in the Mists of Pandaria era - you need to help keep yourself alive by making smart decisions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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