Category: Healing…


4 of them?! OH NO!

Lowered Expectations is proud to announce they have dropped two bosses last night within a span of almost 2.5 hours! The Conclave of Wind (Throne of the Four Winds) and Omnotron Defense System (Blackwing Descent) have bitten the dust. Here is a small mini-guide to how to properly execute in this fight, our way.

Our group composition for this fight was:

  • Protection Paladin
  • Protection Warrior
  • 2 Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration Druid
  • Combat Rogue
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • DPS Feral Druid
  • Shadow Priest
  • Destruction Warlock

There is a major mechanic that all bosses share: it is a shield that appears when the boss you are fighting hits 50 energy. ALL DAMAGE DEALERS (tanks and DPS) must NOT attack during these phases, and DPS should shift to the next active boss.

What happens if you hit or break a boss’ shield?

  1. Arcanotron: He hits harder. Probably the least annoying, but any attacker on it will cause him to pound a tank. “Power Conversion” is a magic debuff and therefore can be dispelled/purged/spellstolen/Shield Slam’d off.
  2. Electron: Every attack causes you to explode in a high-damaging AoE to all targets around you. Probably the worst one.
  3. Magmatron: If his barrier is broken through DoTs, regular attacks, you name it… all raiders take a good amount of damage (75k range in 10-man). The second worst.
  4. Toxitron: Every attack poisons the attacker, but allows the poisoned raider to deal extra nature damage through it. Probably not worth it due to the already large amount of AoE healing required in the fight, but if you’re feeling risky…

If you’re the tank…

  1. ***In general, do NOT hit the bosses while their shields are up. Just don’t do it.***
  2. During this fight, there will be at 2 of these guys up at once. Positioning is a huge factor to give your raid running room!
  3. Arcanotron: His “Arcane Annihilator” has a short cast time and outside of meleeing you, that’s about all he does in terms of damaging your raid. When “Power Generator” goes off, move him out. “Power Conversion” is a magic debuff and therefore can be dispelled/purged/spellstolen/Shield Slam’d off while you and another raider interrupts it.
  4. Electron: Your melee should be able to avoid the “Lightning Conductor” if they are at max range. This one in particular is bad if you hit him during his shield phase; you will explode.
  5. Magmatron: He is probably best in the center of the room in terms of positioning due to “Acquiring Target”. If you are the target, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  6. Toxitron: Bring him to the corner of a room. He is probably the biggest nuisance due to his “Poison Protocol”. If you can slow one or two of them as they appear under his feet, do so. Move any active boss to his “Poison Cloud” to increase damage to him, but don’t stand in it yourself.

If you’re the healer…

  1. ***In general, never forget the tank! There are a lot of things going on, so pace yourself.***
  2. Arcanotron: Get in the “Power Generator”. Your mana regeneration is increased while you are in it. Be aware of abilities that will flush you from it, like Magmatron’s “Acquiring Target”, Toxitron’s “Poison Protocol” and “Poison Cloud”, and Electron’s “Lightning Conductor” and Electrical Discharge”. Know random members will take damage from “Arcane Annihilator” if no one interrupts.
  3. Electron: Stay spread out.
  4. Magmatron: The raid takes AoE damage from “Incineration Security Measure”, and one target takes heavy damage from “Acquiring Target”. If you are the target, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  5. Toxitron: Be wary of sudden tank damage as “Poison Cloud” positioning happens. If someone fails to kill the slime during “Poison Protocol”, get ready to heal them quick as it will bring them down to millimeters of their life.

If you’re the DPS…

  1. ***Target change immediately when a new bot is up!***
  2. Arcanotron: If you can interrupt, do it when he casts “Arcane Annihilator”. Caster DPS can use the “Power Generator”, but you should be second to the healer’s priority.
  3. Electron: Stay spread out.
  4. Magmatron: It is very important you STOP ALL DAMAGE OVER TIME SPELLS prior to his barrier being cast! It is all damage being taken, not just being attacked, that will cause his barrier to explode for massive damage on the raid. If you are the target of “Acquiring Target”, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  5. Toxitron: Be aware of “Poison Protocol”— your responsibilities are to kill those slimes and slow them down and be aware of any that focus on you. Be aware of “Poison Cloud” during times where you could be taking AoE damage from any number of sources in this fight.

I hope this helps! Leave comments if there is anything wrong or something I could add!

This picture has nothing to do with healing, but hey look, Worgen!

 

There are some extreme differences in how healers of Wrath of the Lich King will want to handle themselves in the newest expansion, Cataclysm. Here are a few tips that you can use to assess situations and make sure that your group doesn’t call you a nub at the start of something really cool and new.

  1. Blind healing will get you killed! Any miscues, such as incorrect targeting or improper spell, will make sure you are punished immediately in certain circumstances. A proper UI will ensure you are able to watch the screen and bars. Also, make sure you are comfortable with your key bindings and know what your “emergency buttons” are. At the least, it’ll keep you a float while you can catch your breath.
  2. Pick the right heal for the job.Health is important. Don’t underheal or overheal; we want to find the heal that fits just right. A tank may require the slow, big heal compared to the fast, big heal due to mana concerns. Another issue may be spread damage— in this case, don’t forget about party/AoE heals. Regardless of any nerfing that may have occurred, remember any unnecessary damage accrued by DPS or tanking is, in fact, unnecessary.
  3. Triage! Be smart. Prioritize. What’s more important— a DPS, or a tank, in a 5-man? What’s more important— yourself, or a DPS, in a 5-man? While DPS should get the lowest prioritization, know that if you are doing the job right, not everyone may be at 100% all the time. The name of the game is to manage everyone’s health in order to prevent a nasty one shot or two shot! This runs in tandem with…
  4. Observe damage taken. In order for us to triage smartly, we have to watch people’s health and tendencies. Does this DPS keep running into fire, or pull aggro? Maybe this is the time to kick them out for being unhealthy for the group. Watch the tank’s health during trash pulls and know what abilities they use to indicate how the tank will react to some of the damage. It’s important to know your tank, even in PUGs, so it’s also good to gain some knowledge on how the tanking stats work.
  5. Dispel those debuffs! You should always dispel a debuff. There is no less important one that will hinder your ability to heal (e.g. Flame Buffet that increases fire damage, a disease that increases physical damage taken, a curse that limits healing ability potential). At worst, you waste some mana due to not being quick enough. At best, you keep your group from dying. Pretty sure the latter is better!

Hope this helps you with your healing endeavors. Also, it might be a good idea to bring water along if you don’t have a mage…

Recently, Ghostcrawler provided the player base with some insight to why some healing mechanics were changed in Cataclysm. Sort of going over comments, I already see that there are many interesting reactions to what Ghostcrawler has said. I, for one, actually enjoy the change to healing: it requires all roles and their aspects to play smarter than what is normally expected in WotLK!

The average healer in Wrath of the Lich King will need to perform stronger and pick the right spells in upcoming content. A healer cannot be expected to maintain the health of players who ignore facets of a fight because mana is simply consumed too fast in comparison to damage being taken from things that just should not be healed through. The fast heal and the big heal are extremely expensive at level 85— even with your mana pool, you can’t be expected to spam Flash Heal (for priests) now and get away with it. Even spamming a Power Word: Shield ends up becoming excessive in the 5-man situation. The right heal for the right situation will always win versus thoughtless performance!

In the instances I’ve run on beta, the worst part of healing is when PUG’d DPS ends up getting sacrificed because of tanking. The issue is usually either the tank or the DPS, and neither party likes to take responsibility. Tanks need to be vigilant on their usage of cooldowns, and DPS must adhere to fight mechanics to prevent unnecessary damage! If you’re like me, you probably get frustrated from the lack of respect healing gets from people who really don’t know how it works; these people will become your worst nightmare, for sure.

There are some common threads throughout the player responses that, I think, aren’t valid to all healers. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “We’re going back to Vanilla WoW and healers will just stare at bars and not experience the fight.”

Honestly, if you have to stare at your bars the entire fight, then it’s because people aren’t doing their job as DPS or tank. If a tank or DPSer is taking extra damage beyond the constant factors, then it’s their fault. Awful to say that the blame game will be easier in Cataclysm if you are a smart person, but it’s true.

I think another issue with this point is that it doesn’t factor in how the raid is handled: if you have a healing leader, or at least good communication, responsibilities should be delegated and it should prevent poor healing coverage… hopefully.

  • “People won’t change how they play and it will make healers jobs even harder.”

Unfortunately, people who do not change how they play (such as pulling without regard to healer mana, DPS who do not wait for threat, stuff of that nature) will get creamed. Tanks are there for a reason: they soak damage so you don’t have to! I know for a fact that if someone pulls that shit in any of my groups or raids, they should expect to pay repair bills because I don’t have the time or patience for someone who not play with skill. It’s not hard to play with skill; it is learnable throughout the leveling and instancing process. tl;dr— make smart friends, don’t be a bitch.

  • “Priests never have the ability to multi-task! Druids have widespread HoTs, Shaman have Chain Heal, Paladin have Beacon of Light… and we’re stuck using our GCDs.”

Prayer of Mending. Lightwell. Circle of Healing. I would say that if you’re more worried about using cooldowns, especially in a raid, then someone isn’t doing their job (and it could possibly be you). No healer should expect to carry a raid; this is a poor situation for any smart person who just wants to have fun and contribute. I would like to add that most situations where this may be a factor is probably going to be a poor raiding environment. Also, it’s great to know who you’re healing with and what they can do— as a heal lead, I knew that my favorite partner as a Discipline priest was a Restoration shaman because not only was he good, but he knows what my role is and how I fit into the group. Smart people always trump dumb people, and especially PUG’d people who quote a GS and expect epic wins.

  • “You’re making the healer the point of failure in groups!”

Not really. The point of failure comes from many sources: inability to DPS consistently or efficiently, inability to pay attention to fight mechanics, inability to spec/anything that has to do with gear properly, ignoring ANY cooldown (survival, especially)… there are so many points of failure. And rarely is it the case that only one thing is a factor. One major failure point can be DPS that is just bare minimum of what a fight expects in conjunction with healers running out of mana saving any player from themselves and tanks not responding to abilities with taunts or movement quickly enough.


I also want to add that healing needs to be a challenge. I, personally, hate sloppy kills of bosses. A kill may just be a kill, but it is not an equal representation of the skill of the players— especially when it’s something easily fixed by any role and not just a healer one! Furthermore, healers have been getting trivialized through the assumption that everyone must always be topped off. This is a developer issue in that there needed to be so much damage— whether being dealt to a tank in the form of a 99%-to-dead-one-shot or a lot of AoE damage.

But what do you think? Do you like the changes? Do you dislike the changes?

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