There’s nothing quite like running back from a wipe on a raid mob to find that things have been hotfixed. Respawns on the trash to back to General Vezax’s room stopped spawning multiple Void Beasts, and there were only four, rather than three encounters in his room.
There’s also nothing quite like defeating a mob with the the main tank down and calls for the warlock to “kite it!” and the rogue to “evasion tank!”
And there’s nothing quite like a painful reminder that Blizzard wants healers to be conscientious of our mana with the mechanics of the General Vezax encounter.
Aura of Despair, as the tooltip reads, blocks nearly all mana regeneration for the duration of the fight. And as such, every spell that a healer casts should be weighed pretty carefully.
Mana Regen in a Mana Regen-less Fight
Periodically during the encounter, saronite clouds will form. When killed, these leave a green pool on the ground. Standing in a pool regenerates mana, but at the expense of health. One can only stand in the pool for about 7 ticks — returning about 6500 mana but taking about 13000 damage. Only eight of these clouds can be spawned over the course of the fight and so it is important that they’re killed and that healers get in (but don’t stand too long in!) the pools.
I had bad luck with my positioning last night for pools, and I wasn’t near many that dropped. Looking through the combat logs of our successful attempt, I only gained ~6000 mana, while another healer gained upwards of 50,000. Left side of the room FTL.
While mana potions, replendishment, Shadowfiends, Innervate, Hymn of Hope and the like do not restore mana, other mechanisms seemed to. (I am not sure if this is a bug or not.) Our resto shaman gained mana from Water Shield. I gained mana from Rapture (not via the 2.5% regained when PW:S is absorbed, but via the chance for a shield to restore 2% mana on the target.) One of the resto druids gained substantial mana from Lifebloom blooms.
Healing Efficiently 101
The only person who really needs healing in the fight is the main tank. While there is some periodic damage to others, this can be avoided and/or healed with bandages and/or healthstones. In other words, this isn’t really a fight for AOE healing.
Yesterday I posted a link to a great blog post about the efficiency of priest spells, and as such I entered battle last night reassured in the knowledge that Penance is absolutely-the-most-kick-ass-heal-ever-rah-rah-rah-Disc-Priest-4-Life. But where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, I found that its awesomeness actually resulted in a lot of overhealing.
I would definitely like to see us healers coordinate this fight a little better as “oh hey, let’s all spam heal the tank” just meant “oh hey, let’s all run out of mana and push and shove everyone out of the way to get to the green pool of goodness.” Followed closely by “oh shit, the tank just died because we were all hovering around the green pool of goodness like the addicts waiting for the methadone clinic to open.”
After a couple of attempts on Vezax, I opted to return Penance once again to its status as the premiere “oh shit” heal, and instead relied primarily on PW:S, using it every time the Weakened Soul debuff dissipated. I did cast PoM in the hopes it’d proc Divine Aegis. But that was it. And as such, I was able to sustain my mana pool for a good long while in the fight.