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Posts Tagged ‘Mana Regeneration’

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

OR

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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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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As the raiders logged in last night, I received a whisper from one of the officers, “You holy?”  “No, disc.  But I can respec if need be.”  “Respec,” came the reply.  I hearthed, ran to Ironforge, and shelled out the 45 gold to erase my precious Discipline talents.  I knew where to spend the 14 requisite points in the Disc tree, but made it about halfway through the Holy side when I realize I had no clue what the hell I was selecting.  “Shit.”  And so I shelled out 50 gold to erase them again.  K- armoried Dueg (lol, seriously, he did) and I copied his spec.  I was summoned to a VOA run with no action bar or mouseover macros established.  Whatever, it’s VOA, right?  I scrambled to get all of those situated before the main raid event was announced:  Sartharion 3D.  Gulp.  It’s not exactly the raid you want to try a new spec, and as I’d only ever played a Holy Priest once for about an hour — on a failed 10man Malygos attempt months ago — I was worried.  

Mana

OMG, I ran OOM, something I don’t think ever happened to Khaeli as Disc.  I had to use my shadowfiend and a mana potion.  And I had to ask for an Innervate.  Granted, I’ve avoided picking up Spirit gear and so my regen was low.  But damn, I missed that infinite mana pool and mighty mana regen.

WTF Why Isn’t Flash Heal Casting?

Oh.  Duh.  Surge of Light.  That one took me a few to figure out.  By the time we’d wiped half a dozen times to Sartharion, I’d set Power Auras up to indicate when I had SOL and Holy Concentration procs — not that I was sure what to do when they occurred.  I had to keep looking at my buffs:  “Wait, is that a free heal?  Or a fast heal?”

Throughput

As a Holy Priest, my Flash Heal hits for an average of 5600; in the same gear, as Disc, it heals for about 4300.  I definitely felt more powerful healing, but I felt like I was less responsive in a clutch.  I missed my pewpewlaser.  I missed seeing Grid light up with bubbles.

Khaeli, Use Your Cooldown Now!

I died to a Flame Wall because it took me an extra couple of seconds to locate Guardian Spirit on my action bar, cast it, then GTFO.  Blah.  I wasn’t sure I’d timed it right, honestly.  The tank lived, but I died like an idiot.  (Looking at the WWS report, phew, yes, Guardian spirit heals for 20K)

Run Heroics and Practice

After the raid, I put myself in the LFG channel for heroics.  Someone asked if I’d do Nexus.  It wasn’t the daily, but I didn’t care about the extra badges and coin as much as the practice with the spec.  When I was summoned, the group’s first response was, “LOL, you’re in Delirium.  Why are you running heroics?”  I replied, “I’ve never played a Holy Priest before, so I hope you’re fully repaired.”  There were several deaths, but they were the result of their abysmally low DPS (they struggled to kill Anomalus’s rifts) as much as my abysmally shoddy healing.  I definitely struggled with mana, but when it takes four minutes to kill Keristrazsa, that’s to be expected, right?  

Re-Gear/Re-Gem/Respec?

I’m not really sure what my next steps will be to gear as a Holy Priest, having spent the last few months gearing as Disc.  We are running Naxx tonight, but I might just shell out the coin for the BOE gloves that drop from the zone if no cloth gloves drop tonight, because I can’t really justify wearing 10-man Shadow Priest gloves for the Crit and INT now, can I?

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hymn-1In the latest PTR notes, the two priest “hymns” have been reworked.  Good riddance, many priests have responded, as in their current form, the two spells barely warrant a spot on one’s secondary action-bar. Hymn of Hope, arguably the better of the two, always constitutes Plan B mana regeneration for me, something to cast in those very rare times when I’m low on mana and have used my shadowfiend, or when I can’t be arsed to sit down and drink.  I hear priests talk about uses for Divine Hymn — to CC the zombie chows, for example, or right before Malygos’s vortex — but I cast it even less frequently than Hymn of Hope, so rarely that it might as well be never.

You can read about the revisions to the hymns on Matticus’s site.  In essence, Hymn of Hope restores a chunk of mana to the three most-OOM players and temporarily boosts their mana pools, while Divine Hymn restores a chunk of health to the most-injured ones, temporarily increasing their healing received.  The cooldown for both spells has been increased from five to six minutes.  These are improvements, I guess, but really that’s not saying much.

My beef, in no small part, is that the spells are channeled.  Channeling irks me.  I know, I know, whether I’m a Shadow Priest (Mind Flay!) or a Disc Priest (Penance!), I channel.  But with so much movement in raiding, I often find myself clipping a pulse when I reposition myself.  (I guess I should be happy that channeling allows me to eek out some dps or healing, even if I have to stop midway, rather than stopcasting or interruption which would get me none.)  The other drawback to channeling is that unlike the mechanics of “pushback” that simply add more time to a spell’s casting length, an interruption while channeling decreases the spell’s duration (by 25% for each of the first two hits).

If Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope are really supposed to help folks in their “time of despair,” then channeling sucks.  Eight seconds is an eternity while raiding, and I’m not sure that if things are headed south — in terms of damage or mana sustainabilitiy — that a priest would want to stop healing, stand still, and channel for that amount of time.  (I say “healing” because currently Shadow Priests cannot cast either of these spells while in Shadow Form.)   Furthermore, considering that the mana boost from Hymn of Hope only lasts 8 seconds, the priest casting won’t receive any benefit from that portion of the spell either, even if they are OOM themselves.  And unlike the restoration druid that can pop Barkskin to protect their channeling of Tranquility, priests don’t have similar protection (although there are “PVP” talents that do mitigate some pushback).  Two hits from AOE and that 8 second duration quickly becomes 4.5, cutting by half the spells’ effectiveness (provided the first “tick” occurs right away).  And now you have to wait six minutes to cast the spell again.  Boo.

I was happy at first glance to see that they’re tackling the hymns, but I’m just not really wowed by either of these changes.  I don’t see raid leaders calling for priests to blow their Hymns of Hope like they do Heroism, or for priests to announce they’ve used Divine Hymn like it’s some sort of oh-shit-Shield-Wall last-line-of-defense.  Granted, I don’t think priests were really asking for either of those type of abilities.  What we did want, however, were spells that we’d use.  And as it stands, I’m not sure these revisions will move hymns from healers’ secondary action bars.

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GC
has been hinting for some time that developers believe mana isn't as
much of a struggle to monitor as they'd like.  And while admittedly,
Khaeli has solid gear in a spec that's known for not having mana
issues, I don't run out of mana.  Even when I've died in an encounter
and been battle-rezzed, through casting my shadowfiend and by gaining
mana via Rapture and healing, I've found myself with a solid blue bar
in no time.  (Note to self:  I need to activate my gridmanabars.)  I do
hear some of the Holy Priests asking for innervates, but I really don't
know if, as a whole, the raid is a-okay for mana.  We do not typically
run with a replendishment-provider, so that could be part of the
problem that some healers and casters are facing (we have a mage, for
example, who's always OOM — arcane blast spam FTL?).

So
following the announcement to the pending class changes to warriors,
warlocks, druids, rogues, shamans, and priests (and prior to the
announcement about paladins, mages, DKs, and hunters), we hear that
Blizzard is making some major changes to the way mana regeneration
operates
.

Highlights:

  • Mana regen while not casting will be decreased.  This doesn't really impact a Discipline Priest as Khaeli is always casting.
  • Spirit will provide less mana regen.  For better or worse, I haven't
    really followed the 1:1 Intellect/Spirit ratio, and Khaeli has very low
    spirit.  I have found Intellect to be a far more useful stat and have
    paid zero attention to gearing or gemming for spirit.  I do worry how
    this will impact Holy and Shadow Priests, who do tend to value spirit
    more.
  • Warlocks will provide replendishment.  Our guild is warlock heavy, so
    this could be beneficial if we continue to have spotty attendance by
    the shadow priests and survival hunters.  (We have no ret paladins. 
    Weird.)  I do wonder how warlocks, already feeling rather butthurt about their dps in Wrath, will respond to being given this ability.

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