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Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

The Point.

Well, despite my lofty plans of actually playing WoW today, it seems that Blizzard, in their infinite wisdom have decided to release patch 3.3.5!  Good news, yes?  If you enjoy not playing, then yes it is!  Maybe I’m picky… but especially since I actually had time to play just as the servers should have come up today, the delay is getting on my nerves.  So, what’s a poor guy to do when he can’t play WoW?  Why blog about it, of course!

The Battleground.

Last night I was going about my usual business, which recently has involved a lot of BGs, since I’m into a PvP phase once again, and am working crazily towards finally getting my DK into some kind of respectable PvP gear.  So, I found myself running about AB for a couple hours (AV was on Call to Arms, but I just hit random.  So of course I get the same BG five times in a row… isn’t that what random means?).  It was during what I remember being the first AB, that something really remarkable happened.

I joined the game and found those dastardly allies were up a  painful 1400-1000.  400 points in AB these days generally seems to be a “GG, let’s let them 5 cap us”, so my heart sank as I realized I’d  just entered a lost cause.

But for a pleasant change, that was not the case.  In fact, the team wasn’t giving up as I’d expected them to.  It seems what had happened was that almost 2/3 of the original raid had gotten tired of losing and dropped the BG (it had probably gone long enough to not have them take a debuff).  And We the fresh players had no intention of just joining a BG to lose.  So people worked together.

They teamed up, communicated (as Gnome points out is the way to go), and co-ordinated in ways I’ve only ever seen a premade work.   It  wasn’t long before we had the allies down 3-2 bases, and with a big push we threw them out of LM, securing  a 4-1.  As the cap on LM ticked, I was carefully watching my DBM meter, which was cheerfully informing me we had around 1 minute before the allies took the game.  “Just wait,” I kept telling myself.  “The fourth base will tip it our way.”

Sadly that wasn’t the case.  Even after reaching 4-1 bases, the allies still had just enough of a lead they were still going to win (they were up by around 50 points at this point).  I realized we were going  to lose.   Everyone did.  The allies were all backed into the Stables, and there were far too many to take out in the 30 seconds we had to go.  But there was no complaining.  We all knew we’d given it our all.  It was the kind of game you don’t  mind losing.  We were only down by a marginal 50 points, and we all knew that if we’d joined an even game we most certainly would have won.

The Comeback.

It was while I was counting down to defeat that something miraculous happened.  The win meter changed from blue to red, with only seconds to go.  DBM now wanted me to know that the Horde would take the BG in 45 seconds.

Cheers went up across Arathi Basin.  Apparently what had happened was that the allies had decided to pressure our bases (God knows why, they were going to win anyways, after all) and this had divided their forces.  Although they assaulted the mine and got the blacksmith, they’d lowered the defenses on the stables.  And some industrious player (I was too far away to see who) managed to cap Stables.

This put us at 2-0 bases.  Meaning the allies wouldn’t get points.  Meaning we would win.  In 30 seconds.

With literally 2 seconds to go, however, the allies capped a base.  This left us at 1-1, and with 10 seconds to go on the ally win meter, they took the game 1600-1590.

BUT- even though we’d lost, we lost in the most epic way imaginable.   We put our hearts and souls into it.  And I didn’t mind losing to the allies.  No one was insulting our side in /bg,  and there were very few complaints.  After all, we put up a hell of a fight.

The Raid.

Later that evening I ran around 6 boses of Molten Core, with two guildies (my internet died before we can finish… GG Flairn).  I healed my through what used to take 40 people, with two friends.  It was a ton of fun.  And we managed to see the pattern for Enchanting Weapon:  Spellpower drop.  The reason  we were running it was for our enchanter friend who wanted the pattern.  He told me that he’d been farming the pattern for YEARS.  It turns out it’s an uber-rare 1% drop rate, on a dungeon you can only run 52 times a year (read: raid).  Turns out it’s one of the few enchants that work on heirloom weapons, and subsequently it’s easily one of the most rare, and most in demand Old World enchants out there.  He said there were only 2 other people Horde-side on the realm who had it.

I don’t know how you folks might have felt, but helping an old friend become the third felt pretty damn epic.

The Point?

It was throughout these simple occurences, that I realized something I think a lot of players tend to forget.  WoW is a game.  We play it to have fun.  In the mass of end-game raiding and arenas, in the rush for MOAR EPICZ, I think a lot of us tend to mistake something stressful for something fun.  Don’t get me wrong, I love endgame everything as much as the next guy.  But I think if more people took the time to smell the roses, and really drink deep of all the amazingness of the game, they’d enjoy it a whole lot more.

Just my two cents.  But it’s something to think about.  Maybe I’m just late to the party, and people run into stuff like this all the time.  But I think sometimes players get lost in the rush of endgame, and forget the simple fun of working together to achieve something really cool.

After all, isn’t that the point?

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Dance Healing

If you’ve been following this blog, you may have noticed (or just sort of guessed) that I’m not really raiding yet.  Although my PvE toon is certainly my restoration Druid- Flairn, I’m not really in any sort of gear to really begin raiding in earnest.  I just recently got my T9 bonus put together, but I’m still a ways from raiding ICC.

So, outside of the odd VoA run, weeklies (when I can get a group together for them) and the occasional gear up raid through ToC with my guild, I spend most of my time in heroics.  This means a whole whack of time spent putting up two HoTs on the tank and sort of zoning out watching the health bars.

Which brings up the question of- what do you do during this downtime?  Resto Druids are pretty unique in having this problem- most healers have to be almost constantly casting to keep up their heals.  Not so for trees.   We cast a couple spells and refresh them on occasion.

When I was leveling my druid, I spent a bit of time healing the odd instance.  All through Outland I carried around a pretty laughable healing set made up of the odd green and some quest rewards.  It was always 5 or so levels behind me, but it was enough that after I picked up dual spec, I could heal Outland 5-mans.  Before healing one of my first instances, a player who was pretty experienced with Restoration explained healing like this to me:

“Step #1- Put HoTs on the tank.  Step #2- /dance.”

I thought it was pretty funny, but after actually stepping into my first five mans, I discovered it was true.  This habit has carried all the way through to level 80 heroics, and during downtime I still fill the moments with dancing.  My guild has dubbed this habit “Dance Heals.”  While it could be argued that I should be dpsing in time not spent healing, my job is not to dps, and I’m fairly lazy.  I stay in tree form most of the time.  So, when I’m not healing I make use of the most amazing dance currently in the game.  Seeing reactions in party chat will often amuse me to no end.

So, while you’re out there running your daily heroic for some frost badges, just look out for the tree at the back twisting his way through his gearing up.  You might just have found yourself grouping with the World of Warcraft’s leading expert on dance heals (that’s probably not true.  I give credit to the guy who taught me to heal like that… although I never really asked for his main’s name).

So, I’m putting out the question to the blog-o-sphere.  What do you during down time?  Either while waiting for queues or (if you roll around as a tree) during time between heals, or even just pulls?  /dance?  Grab a coffee?  Or just crank up your iPod?

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I know that tree isn't me. But when in tree form, we bare a startling resemblance.

As you have probably guessed by the banner of this blog, I play a tree druid.  I started off determined to play a feral (even AFTER I leveled as one, as most druids do) all the way through endgame.  Then I found out they don’t really DO PvP, which is mostly what I began spending my time with on my druid.  I tried off-speccing balance, but at the time, boomkins were sadly neglected, and I eventually fell into the restoration tree, as my guild was in desperate need of PvP healers.

This is not to say I don’t enjoy playing a tree druid.  I would have stopped a long time ago, if I didn’t immediately fall in love with the spec.  I’ve PvPed pretty well exclusively resto since, but when I stepped into the scary world of PvE, I decided to go back to feral.  If you are a druid, and want to try feral dps, there are two questions you need to ask yourself.

1) Do I have a brain?

2) Do I wanted it fried?

Feral dps, is massively complicated, and I am just far too lazy to put up with it.  It was around the time I was failing to run heroics that I made a lovely discovery.

Heroics are easy.

So easy, in fact, that I could run heroics in my PvP gear.  And when you’re a tree, no one cares.  No one can even see my gear after all, and as long as people aren’t dying, you don’t get complaints.  Thus I ventured into the world of PvE, by healing heroics.

Now, any player in the game who has made it to 80 will have experience with heroics.  Even as a PvPer, I ran the occasional instance.  And with 3.3’s LFG system, people run heroics all the time.  So I am probably not the first overworked healer in existence to make an interesting discovery.

People ignore us.

As long as the tank isn’t dying, and as long as the dps can still pew pew, no one really notices the healer.  If we aren’t doing are job, it is always blatantly clear that this is the case.  But if people are NOT dying, the healer is just that guy standing near the back who doesn’t feel like  attacking the boss.

Not obviously in a raid scenario, this is absolutely not the case, people pay plenty of attention to the healers in raids, and especially in a group of people that know you.  You’ll be treated like  any other player, and get complemented for a job well done, and reprimanded for a poor performance.

But we’re talking PUGs here.  PUGs of heroics no less.  People outgear the content so epicly, that there is a widespread belief that you don’t even need to try.  This is true.  While I was leveling, and healing the odd instance druid healing (outside of raids) was explained to me like this.

Step #1- Pop HoTs

Step #2- /dance with tank

And this is the case with heroics (outside of the ICC 3, perhaps).  You really don’t need to put effort into it.  But there is a point a lot of people forget.  This is a 5 man.  It takes more than one person.  Even if you can ALMOST solo them, you need help.  This brings me to the purpose of this post.

When running a heroic, do yourself and the group a favour, look behind you.  You may notice a healer.  You need him/her.  They keep you from dying.  Dying = bad.

People wait for the tank.  The tank chooses when the pull, and only pulls when he/she is ready to pull.  Dps will not randomly charge boldly into a boss until the tank pulls this.  BUT, no one waits on a healer in the world of heroics.  I have often looked away from the computer, or taken a drink, only to return seconds later to find that my group is a fair distance away, dying to a very large trash pull (because, after all, why pull one at a time, we outgear this place to death).

If you do not wait for your healer, you will die.

/end rant

In all seriousness, yes you can breeze through heroics.  They are a joke.  Laughable, even.  But you should always do yourself the favour of making sure everyone is there.  This isn’t a daily, and you aren’t soloing content.  Without that little flash of green on your screen from time to time, you might have a lot more trouble.

/seriously.  I’m done now.

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