Archive for the ‘Heals’ Category

I have been a Bad Raider this week, with a combination of work, family, and PC issues making my attendance abysmal.  Being a Bad Raider makes me, in turn, a Bad Blogger.  Yet people seem to stumble across Shadow Weaving regardless of my raid activity, so googlers, let me answer some of your queries:

“crit discipline”

Crit has long been seen as an important attribute for Disc Priests as it not only increases the size of one’s heals but also procs Divine Aegis, one of the class’s shields. A raid-buffed Disc Priest in Ulduar will have well over 30% crit, which is roughly the diminishing returns point for crit.  Do not stack crit at the expense of other attributes (haste, intellect, spellpower).

“disc healing ‘grace'”

Ah Grace. Once you were a nice little talent, and now you’re rather lackluster. When a Disc Priest heals with Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Penance, the target is blessed with Grace, increasing all healing received by that priest by 3%.  Unfortunately, this ability can only be active on one target at a time, which can make it a bit clunky if one is maintaining heals on multiple raid members.   Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to Grace, due to this mechanic.  I’m certainly not going to heal Tank B with Renew, for example, just to maintain the buff on Tank A.

“recount absorption”
“amount absorbed shield disci priest”
“calculating priest bubble absorption”

This is what most people seem to want to know:  how can one calculate what a Disc Priest is doing when most damage meters fail to count shields as heals?  

There is an add-on for Recount, RecountGuessedAbsorbs that tries to track this.  And both WoW Meter Online and World of Logs count PW:S and Divine Aegis as heals.  If one is trying to assess a Disc Priest, steer clear of WWS as it’s an  inferior tool in this case.

“discipline priest gear trinket ulduar”

I wrote a blog post a while ago about Ulduar trinkets.  And frankly, the trinket that Sartharion drops — Illustration of the Dragon Soul — remains one of the most attractive for us.  The other trinket I covet is Pandora’s Plea — the Intellect boost and spellpower crit make this very desirable.

“grid debuff in ulduar”

I love Grid.  I write about Grid here and here.   I really cannot stress how valuable this add-on is for healers.  While it might be daunting to set up, there are tons of guides, including this great How-To video.

“wow discipline priest, rapture”

Rapture once ensured that Disc Priests ended every encounter, even the dreaded Sarth3D, with full mana.  So a nerf to Rapture wasn’t a surprise.  Now rather than restoring mana on heals, Rapture returns mana (2.5% of total mana) when PW:S is completely abosrbed or dispelled.  The talent will also give the shielded target 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power — once every 12 seconds.   

“mimiron rockets”

Mimiron’s rockets do 5 million damage.  There’s a warning, of course, in the form of a giant red circle on the target.  And so there’s time to “run away, little girl!”  But inevitably someone dies to this.  I laugh when it’s the person who, in the previous attempt, said something like, “How the hell could you die to laser barrage?!”

“spell warding over divine fury”

I recently took 5 points out of Divine Fury and put them into Spell Warding.  YMMV.  I don’t cast Greater Heal enough to make the talent point investment worthwhile, whereas there is enough AOE spell damage flying around in Ulduar to make that 10% damage reduction quite nice.

“holy priest healing vezax”


“overhealing as a druid”

This isn’t really a druid blog, although I did play one in BC.  I know that overhealing can be a contentious issue and can sometimes be used to both praise and/or lambast certain healers.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal most of the time (Vezax encounter aside), and I’m not sure that judging a healer by their overhealing alone is particularly helpful.  Some healers will overheal by virtue of their class and their healing assignment.  Paladins, for example, as tank healers with big heals will have a lot of overhealing.  Druids, on the other hand, tend to have very low overhealing as HoTs don’t heal if the target is at full health. 

“which embroidery for healers wow”

I dropped tailoring when it became clear that jewelcrafting was the profession-of-choice for min-maxing.  (Damn you Blizzard.)   Healers can choose between two embroideries:  Lightweave which boosts spellpower and Darkglow which restore mana.  When I was a tailor, I found the mana returns from Darkglow underwhelming, and were Khaeli a tailor now, I’d definitely choose the Lightweave.  

“how to get emblem of heroism fast”

Emblems of Heroism drop in heroics, which of course have the one-day lockout, and Tier 7 raid zones, with a one week lockout, limiting the number you can pick up.  Minute-for-minute, I’d say Obsidian Sanctum provides the fastest emblems — but of course this depends on your group’s ability to avoid flame waves.  Violet Hold, Draktharon Keep, and Utgarde Keep are the easiest heroics, in my opinion.  Violent Hold and UK will give you three emblems; DK four.

“discipline or shadow 3.1”

I am partial to Disc, what can I say.  But I think that any of the three priest talent trees are very viable right now.  Which is preferable is impossible to answer.  What are your goals?  Do you want to run instances?  Are you leveling?  Do you want to raid?  Are there other Disc Priests in your guild?  Do you like to heal?  Are you going to PVP?


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The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.  — Ferris Bueller

General Vezax and his Aura of Despair seem to induce just that:  an aura of despair among some of the healers.  They panic.  They mysteriously DC.  They announce, “Oh damn!  Mother-in-law just showed up, gotta go.  Bye!”  “Oh snap, look at my latency.  Friggin’ Comcast.  You should replace me.”  While these are all good excuses, they’re only useable once, maybe twice.  To avoid the Vezax fight permanently one needs to display more than just mediocrity, one needs to display sheer incompetence.

Top Ten Tips:

1.  Insist that Hymn of Hope works.  Repeat this incessantly.

2.  Use your Shadowfiend.

3.  If you have Mark of the Faceless,

run towards the tank


run towards the person responsible for killing Saronite Clouds.

4.  Stand in a Shadow Crash zone to wand.  (Bonus points if you do this with Mark of the Faceless.)

5.  Use Divine Hymn.  Yes, it’s 63% of your base mana.  But the sooner you’re out of mana, the better.

6.  Suggest the healers downrank to save mana.

7.  Stand in the Saronite Vapors for 8 ticks.  When you die, complain you “got no healz.”

8.  Use Guardian Spirit on the Ret Paladin on the pull.

9.  Ask if anyone has mana pots or a MP5 flask to spare.  Admonish the paladins for not buffing Wisdom.

10.  Be a Holy Priest.

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shieldAnecdote:  A couple of years ago, The Kid and I were at Toys R Us, shopping for a gift for my nephew’s first birthday.  The Kid’s a teenager now, and so the demands to visit the toy department were long ago replaced by demands to go to the video game store.  But no matter your age, toy stores are incredibly fun, and I confess, I squealed with delight when I saw a display full of foam shields and swords.  “Oh my god, I’m buying us these,”  I said.  “Oh my god, no,” he said, and blushed with embarrassment as I grabbed one and proceeded to poke him in the belly.  I don’t remember what we bought my nephew that day, but The Kid and I came home with Nerf weapons.  He had a long sword; I had a dagger and a shield.  We ran around the backyard dueling, and I quickly learned several things:

  1. Laughing hysterically makes swordplay nearly impossible.
  2. It’s hard to get up in someone’s grill to whack them with a dagger if they’ve got longer arms and a long sword and a much longer reach.
  3. Foam shields don’t do shit.

Analysis:  Foam shields don’t do shit.

I feel like a broken record in raids sometimes:  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  “Please don’t shield the tanks.”  I’ve long struggled to get my fellow priests to cease-and-desist, but with the priests’ 4-piece bonus now offering +250 spellpower for 5 seconds after shielding, it’s even more of a battle.

Hey, Holy Priests:  if you raid with a Discipline Priest, don’t shield, ok?  Please?  If you have the 4-piece bonus and want to take advantage of the spellpower boost, shield yourself.  Your job as a Holy Priest is to heal, not to shield.  While the boost to your throughput is nice, I agree, the bonus wasn’t designed for you (I know.  Startling concept:  a poorly designed set bonus.)  PW:S hasn’t been part of your rotation, and this set bonus shouldn’t change things.  It’s not what you should be using your GCDs or mana (~900 mana for you, and I know you don’t have much to spare) to cast.

I had several shields last night absorb 10K damage; most of the time, they absorb at least 8K.  A Holy Priest’s shield absorbs less than half that.  

And that’s not remotely strong enough to absorb my fury when I see your Weakened Soul debuff on the tanks.

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Yesterday Dueg gave you the Guide to Bad Healing.  To refresh:

  • Show up in good gear, so those who inspect you are fooled.
  • Heal priority:  DPS > tanks.
  • Create a no-heal list and follow it religiously.
  • Use one spell early and often… hell, use it exclusively .
  • When the going gets tough, the tough pull out the cord on their router.
  • Misdirect isn’t just a hunter skill:  blame everyone else when something goes wrong .

These are all incredibly valuable tactics that bad healers should embrace. But if you’ve mastered these skills, consider adding these to your repertoire:

  • Stand in the fire.  Just heal through it!
  • Someone else will cure and dispell.  Bad healers know this is the reason why you bring ret paladins and mages to raids.
  • Don’t join vent.  Instructions from the Raid Leader might drown out Ryan Seacrest’s voice.
  • Don’t join the healer channel.  [1] General is the only channel you really need to watch.
  • Ignore healing assignments.  Healing assignments are for followers, and you sir, are a leader.  The healing meters say so.
  • “I got no healz” — Did you die?  Healers’ fault!  (Other healers, naturally)
  • Use your “oh shit” spells at random times — Guardian Spirit, Nature’s Swiftness, Battle Rez, and the like.  Sure, you didn’t actually save anyone, but when the Raid Leader says, “Use your [insert powerful spell name here],” you can say “On cooldown,” and people will think you’re already one or two steps ahead.
  • Die first.  In the words of the great Billy Joel, “Only the good die young.”

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An aside:  I work in the educational technology field, and there is a bit of a war at my job right now between those with a traditional notion of marketing (the organization has the expertise and will disseminate it “top-down”) and those who wish to embrace new social media (people have the knowledge and we should help them share it among themselves).  I fall squarely in the latter camp — anti-authoritarian, blogger and twitterer that I am.  I appreciate the shift that our culture is making in knowledge creation and distribution.  The experts aren’t merely those whose voices are sanctioned by powerful institutions, but rather lots of folks have things — good, smart things — to say.

This is one of the reasons why I love the WoW blogging community:  there are lots of folks with good, smart things to say.  And by following the links from one site to another, I keep finding new blogs that are great resources and great reads.

My latest discovery:  The Munch Land

My main point:  Munchies has a post that links to a post (omg! see what I mean?!) on PlusHeal about Ulduar debuffs.  This information completes a post I made a while back about updating Grid for the new raid zone.

I’ll be adding the following to Grid when I get home from work tonight:

ironrootsIron Roots:  Immobilizes and inflicts 7863 to 9137 Nature damage every 2 sec. until freed.  (Freya/Elder Ironbranch)

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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.

auraofdespairAura 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.

Now on to Yogg-Saron… oh wait, it’s Tuesday.  Now back to Flame Leviathan! 

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News at 11

Vezax dead.

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