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Posts with tag heals

What the Dev Watercooler says about the future of PvE

This week's Dev Watercooler post served up a lot of changes for healers. But just because the article -- and the follow up conversations on Twitter -- is dense with healing talk doesn't mean that the tanks and DPSers out there can just ignore it, because these healing notes offer some tantalizing hints at what PvE group content in Warlords might be like. Of course we're missing a lot of details with Blizzard's bit-by-bit announcements, but we can make some leaps based on what we've been told so far.

We already knew that the game would be changing significantly in Warlords. Stats are being reduced (squished) across the board, but Blizzard has already said that while stats will be going down, your relative power won't -- back in September Ghostcrawler assured us that mobs will still take the same time to kill, even though the numbers involved will be different. And in this update, Blizzard let us know that they're still on track for that relative power idea... that is, unless you're a healer, specifically saying, "we're buffing heals less than we're increasing creature damage."

So just what does this mean for future PvE encounters? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Reader UI of the Week: Absinth's simplistic healer UI

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

This week is a big submission week for Reader UI of the Week, meaning I need you fine folks to send me a new crop of interfaces to discuss. BlizzCon is coming very, very soon, and that means I have to get some columns in the bank, so to speak, for when I'm away having an awesome time with you guys and gals at the convention. So submit your UI to Reader UI of the Week. You know you want to. Send submissions, explanations, and screenshots to readerui@wowinsider.com.

As for today's submission, Absinth is a priest is a clear goal: make a healing user interface that gets rid of the clutter, put most of healer arsenal on VuhDo, and keep the screen free. Overall, I think the style and configuration works, but some players may be reluctant to give over so much power to a healing addon. That fact does make you wonder about the power disparity between healing addons and the default user interface, though ...

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Addon Spotlight: Adding on to the Blizzard Raid Frames

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

One of the great joys of writing Addon Spotlight is watching the evolution of addons and their relationship to World of Warcraft over time and how the effectiveness and usefulness of certain addons wanes and waxes like the phases of the moon. Blizzard's new raid frames have not replaced my own custom job, but they have been getting progressively closer to a complete package, as I discussed only a few weeks ago. But there are ways, friends, of adding on to even the Blizzard default raid frame setup to give them just a bit more substance.

Today, I've got three little additions to the default Blizzard raid frames that can help you with targets, marks, and debuffs. If you like options, these addons will add a ton of them to the Blizzard standard setup, making the entire package look a little more like Grid. So sit back, relax, and check out these new additions to the Blizzard default raid frames.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Ask the Devs Round 11 answers your healing questions

Ask the Devs Round 11 focuses on healer and healer-related topics, as Blizzard wraps up this format of questions and answers. Blizzard gave some long and detailed answers for healers this time around, ranging from topics about the nature of the changed healing game in Cataclysm to the choices healers must make in terms of which heal to use in 5-man content versus raid content. The devs also made an interesting remark about a radical new type of healing class that could appear in a later expansion -- a radically different type of healer that might bring back players who have become burned out on the role.

As a raider, I think the best answer came for the question about raid healing being hard for healers and why it sometimes feels like damage is unhealable. The devs commented that raids are not meant to be unhealable, and in most circumstances when the fight seems unhealable, players might be taking the wrong approach to the mechanics. Translated: It might not always be the healer's fault.

Check out all of the questions and answers after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: Bati's Healer Grid layouts

Addon Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, Grid gets some pre-made loving thanks to Bati!

Thursday is here! Thursday is here! Excitement abounds in my secret addon lair for many reasons. First, my original vanilla WoW character is back in action. Originally, as many of you have read in my past columns, priest was my class of choice. Healers tend to be my forte because of group desirability -- selfishly and selflessly, I always rolled healer to get invited to groups and be there to support the healerless masses back when this was a thing. After a stint in Warhammer Online, tanking became my new love and, after a quick respec and some forum threads, my Burning Crusade healadin became my Wrath tankadin. After almost three years in the freezer, my priest has emerged from cryo-stasis.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Ghostcrawler on big heals and health in Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler has spoken up in this thread a little bit about the balance of PvE and PvP play that we'll be seeing in the next expansion. Specifically, he says that they're slowing the pace of PvP play down a little bit: "Health pools will be much larger in Cataclysm and healing will be lower." We'll have more health overall, and healing spells will heal less. That will make a difference in PvE as well -- it'll take more hits for the boss to finish off the tank, so heal size is expected not to matter as much as healing coordination. It won't matter if your tank is up to full health as much as it matters whether or not you can help them survive the next hit.

Obviously, this is very early theory for an expansion that's still in development. But what GC is saying is that Blizzard wants healers to strategize a little bit more about which heals they're using rather than depend on big healing to get the job done. Avoidance will matter, he says, because it'll help conserve healer mana. Fights will be more about strategy than overpowering with big heals.

Cataclysm's endgame is a long time away, but that's Blizzard's idea for it right now.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Battlegrounds, Cataclysm

Bring the player, not the class, except maybe healers



"Bring the player, not the class" has become a cliché by now. However, there's been new discussion about it lately on the official forums. This portion of the discussion focuses on an exception - healers. While Blizzard's player-centric design mantra tends to apply pretty well to DPS (and often tanks), it isn't really true for healers.

When putting together your healer team for a successful raid, especially a 25 man raid, you need some variety. You don't need a Discipline Priest's Pain Suppression and Power Word: Shield, but it sure as heck can feel that way. You don't need a Resto Druid's Lifebloom, but it sure helps. Ultimately, you're often best to have one of each -- variety seems to be the way to go with heals. Ghostcrawler has been discussing some very interesting points on the forums, which we'll take a closer look at below the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Restoration Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at how to gear a PvE Restoration Druid at level 80, in the hopes of preventing other trees from suffering our fate during our first 10-man Naxx run, which -- no, no, it's too painful even to think about. Pass the schnapps.

EDIT: This guide has been updated for patch 3.3 and Icecrown content. Please click here for a guide on gearing a new restoration druid as of May 2010
.

Greetings readers, and welcome to Wrath Gear-A-Palooza 2009. We'll be running one of these for each Druid spec.

I'm not going to "rank" gear numerically, because I think that's a fairly unhelpful means of organizing items when your access to all of them as a fresh 80 may be very limited. Generally you're going to have access to quest rewards and faction gear before you get access to badge pieces or oft-uncooperative heroic drops, so I've organized the list by where you can get particular drops. It's generally safe to assume that a heroic drop is better than a blue you're using from an Icecrown quest, but not always. If you're starting to move into higher levels of gear, I found the following links to be incredibly helpful, and I hope you do too:
Otherwise, assuming a proper spec, gems, and enchants, you can successfully heal any of the game's 5-man or raid content (10-man or 25-man) with a healing set derived from the following list. That's a promise. This list assumes that you do not have access to 10- or 25-man raids for the time being and are gearing up primarily through questing, 5-mans, and heroics.

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Filed under: Druid, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Ghostcrawler: Healing is next for an update

Ghostcrawler just popped up on the beta forums with some good news for healers: while tanking has gotten the focus lately in terms of mechanics and tweaking, healing is apparently next on the docket.

It's nothing to hold your breath over (you'll pass out way before we see any changes on the realms), but Ghostcrawler says that healing is due for a revamp in terms of "fun," and while he says it'll be "a more challenging fix because what people think is fun about healing varies and some people are pretty happy with it already," he also hints that it'll be a pretty big change. Right now, healing is basically whack-a-mole -- when someone gets hurt, you cast a heal on them -- but Blizzard may be rethinking that mechanic completely. We'll have to wait (probably quite a while) and see.

It's also interesting to note that Death Knights are a tanking class, and tanking got the revamp in Wrath of the Lich King. While some healers probably won't want to wait all the way until the next expansion, could this be a hint that we're looking at an Emerald Dream expansion, with an Arch Druid healing Hero Class, and an accompanying revamp of healing mechanics? Obviously, that's a stretch, but it makes sense, doesn't it?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: How hybrid DPS could still get screwed in Wrath


Recently a bunch of the writers here were talking about all the changes we're seeing to various hybrid DPS specs. Retribution in the beta is known to bring some serious pain, cat DPS has been given some pretty sweet buffs, and Shamans...well, Shamans seem to be in a state of flux, but when is that not true? With tank AoE threat buffed, the need for crowd control may also be a thing of the past, thus eliminating one of the more annoying roadblocks to hybrid desirability in 5-man groups. For 5-mans, at least, hybrid DPS should encounter significantly less difficulty (we hope) getting a slot.

However, it was my contention that, for the purpose of raiding, it doesn't ultimately matter how much these specs get buffed. They could do amazing DPS, bring incredible buffs, have any number of raid-saving abilities, and fart gold on every crit -- but you're still not going to see a lot of hybrid DPS running around Wrath raids for one very simple reason: someone has to tank and heal, and neither job is sufficiently attractive to allow most hybrid players to come as DPS. When it's a choice between respeccing resto or the raid never getting off the ground, most players will respec resto -- and decisions like that tend to be fairly hard to escape. The next night rolls around and -- um, do you mind coming as resto again?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Death Knight

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Dueling debate

Like any other form of PvP, you either love dueling or you hate it. Dueling is a great way to learn how to maximize abilities and test combos and macros. There are very few established guidelines for how to appropriate ly duel. Borkovic of Caelestraz asked in the official forums if it is acceptable to heal in a duel. Fliara of Terenas stated that protocols vary depending on server and faction, and suggested that rules should be established beforehand.

The first response, by Mlcho of Kirin Tor who takes an "all's fair in love and Warcraft" approach, was met with considerable agreement throughout the thread:

Use everything in your power to produce a win. Who cares if you use a pot? Who cares if you bandage?
If they whine, it's because they weren't prepared.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Forum post of the day: Pushback on Pushback

I remember the day that patch 2.3 was released. I got out of work at six PM as was stoked to get home and try some of the glorious improvements. I had a 25 minute commute then, north on I-15 right past the Las Vegas Strip. Usually by six most of the traffic had cleared and it was pretty smooth sailing- except that day. Some genius decided that it was a good idea to reduce the four-lane freeway to one. My left leg aching from working the clutch and blood pressure rising from impatience and a bit of road rage, it took me about an hour and a half to get home. I should be used to pushback though; I play a caster in WoW.

Debigmacca of Aman'Thul believes that Wrath would be a good time to do away with spell pushback. His argument is based on the number of stuns, fears, and assorted other of immobilization effects that abound in the current state of the game. There was some agreement with the original poster that spell pushback is unnecessary as casters often quickly fall prey to melee DPS. There's only so much a trinket can do.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena, Forum Post of the Day

How to convince tanks to PuG


I'm getting back to WoW Insider after a month's real-life-related absence and have been spending some time playing catch-up on the site. One of the articles that caught my attention was Matt Rossi's popular "One reason tanks won't PuG," in no small part because I play a tank and my own PuG runs have been few and far between of late. My main, a Tauren Druid, respecced from balance to feral at level 69 because there were so few tanks on my server, and I literally spent months and months tanking PuG's to get experience and gear.

During that period I saw everything from rogues rolling on +healing maces to warlocks needing on tanking cloaks, and I learned that you never can tell what you're going to get from a PuG. Yes, you'll get hunters who can't trap, mages who never resheep, rogues who mistakenly believe they leveled a warrior, and priests who Power Word: Shield you straight off the pull -- but you'll also find people who know their class well, or are in the process of learning just like you are, and who are fun to be around. I have now killed Illidan with a contingent of people who showed up to my PuG's back when I was a wee lolbaretank in quest greens and Heavy Clefthoof, so as a matter of personal experience I think PuG's are a somewhat underrated way to meet people who will later turn out to play crucial roles in how you experience the game.

I don't PuG as frequently anymore due to time constraints and increased time spent leveling alts, but I still hang out in LFG from time to time for the pure enjoyment of meeting new people. Yes, it is often difficult to PuG tanks and healers (I would submit, as someone who typically tanks or heals in dungeons, that it is also difficult to PuG skilled DPS), but a lot of people could make it easier on themselves than they do. If you're having problems finding a tank or healer for your PuG's, try these.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, Classes

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