Fun in Gruul

Our main tank just died tanking High King. Why? Because one of our Paladin’s had Alterac Valley on auto join who was assigned to our MT. Turn off your auto joiners when you raid, folks.

Rant: Raid Selection

BC raids mostly consist of 25 players. Gone our the days when one or two guys could sit in MC afk and accumulate DKP by wanding and not doing anything (Alterac Valley is a shadow of what it was like then). Most Guilds either have under 25 players and struggle to fill raid spots, or have over 30 players and are placed in an unfortunate situation where they need to choose.

Hockey teams are no different. The NHL season is starting up soon and training camps are underway. The point of the camps is to determine who gets to suit up for the big leagues and who gets to sit in the press box watching or play in the minor leagues. Players who are too lazy on the backcheck get released from camp.

As a Guild, you want to bring the very best possible players to your raid. How do you determine that? You could base it on gear, skill, talent, personality, and so on. But consider another point: consistency.

Players should be fighting over raid spots. I’ve seen lack of dedication and consistency mean the difference between a guild invite and a guild boot. What, I ask, is the point of being in a raiding guild if you don’t raid? Bloggers blog, runners run, beer drinkers drink, analysts analyze. You obviously applied for a raiding Guild with one purpose in mind: to raid. Would you want these kinds of players in your 25 man raid?

The Druid tank who decides to show up 30 minutes late and hold up the whole raid to finish up a non-heroic Merchanar.

The Priest who decides not to raid one day for some stupid reason and comes back the next day whining why he’s not allowed to raid.

The Paladin who refuses to raid with a “weak” Kara team because they can’t clear it in 3 hours.

The Rogue who is frequently AFK for a ready check because he’s too busy occupied watching Naruto reruns.

Seriously, who the hell are you people and why are you here? A better question is what do they all have in common? What one trait do they all share? They want better loot without having to work for it.

Thankfully, life does not operate that way otherwise Communism would have succeeded a long time ago. You need to earn the right to play. You have to compete to win. I’m very glad Blizzard trimmed the raid instances from 40 to 25 because it truly separated the men from the boys.

There are 25 raid spots that are open. Most guilds have 30 active players. Do the math. Some players will get the call up, some players will get benched. It astounds me how people expect a free ride. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch as my dad always told me. WoW is no different. I find it hilarious when players don’t want to do something when a Guild leader asks them to do it, and then begin to whine about not getting a raid spot. Well no kidding, moron. The boss doesn’t have a reason to. You were asked to be more responsible and you turned it down. You are aware of when the raid time is yet you make a choice not to show up. Do not be surprised if the next time you show up, you don’t get the invite. If you can’t handle something so minor why in Zeus’ name should you be given more responsibility that you clearly are unable to handle?

Performance and attendance is the key here, people. If you want to raid, the first step is to show up. You can’t clear Kara with 3 players (yet). I don’t care how geared you are. I don’t care how good you think you are. I don’t care how much you pay me. If you don’t show up once, you don’t get another chance. No I’m not referring to excuses with medical emergencies or academic reasons or what have you. Those are understandable. Sometimes life deals you a pair of Aces and you get beat with a Flush. These things happen. The important part is that you’re not afraid to buy in and ante up. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

Alain Vignault is the coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Last year he turned a struggling Canucks team at Christmas break into a Playoff contender. Why? Because he would start players that would perform and bring their A game. His philosophy is this: It doesn’t matter what name is on the back of your sweater, if you are there, you will see significant ice time. During games, he gave more ice time to players who he thought was performing. You see, he doesn’t play favourites. He plays whoever shows up.

Jeff Cowan, a 4th line grinder, got to play on the top line because he was contributed energy and his presence was felt.

Coach Vignault also won the Jack Adams award. That means he was widely considered as the Coach of the Year.

The next time you start your raid invite, pause for a sec and think to yourself if the names you want on your list are really the ones you want. If you’re a person whose sitting there scratching your head wondering why your Guild pulled someone outside into the raid of inviting you, it’s because you’ve proven to him that would not be useful in anyway.

Player Consumbles

What a nice break that was. If you haven’t figure out by now, I’ve set my blogging schedule to 6 out of the 7 days in a week. That day off is for me to brainstorm topics that are blogworthy. Yesterday was a nice break and I feel a little more refreshed. I didn’t have a lot of time either due to several hours of class immediately followed by a raid. I felt quite drained after that, and I do have some tips for you if you feel the same way. If you’ve noticed, I’ve developed a rhythm for my blogging. Nearly all of my posts will relate to World of Warcraft in one way or another. I’ll usually put out a large editorial during the beginning of the week that’s analytical in some aspect then follow it up wit a few shorter pieces. I don’t want to do a whole lot of number crunching as my numerous other colleagues are far more adept at it then I (Arts student, remember?). I’m also working on two side projects both related to worldofmatticus.com in some way.

There’s been numerous posts made by my fellow bloggers regarding the use of consumables in raids. I’ll summarize them really quickly (the Priest ones anyway).

* Blackened Sporefish (8 MP5, food) – Golden Fishsticks are nice, but the cost at acquiring them makes them not worth the effort as I place a huge emphasis on MP5.
* Brilliant Mana Oil (12 MP5, Weapon)
* Flask of Mighty Restoration (25 MP5)
* Super Mana Potion (Restores X mana)

But you know, our characters aren’t the only ones that need pick me ups from time to time. When I come home from a 7 hour day at University enduring monotonic lectures, I have an incredible urge to nap… until I realize it’s 30 minutes until raid invites. As a healer, there’s not a whole lot of healing that needs to be applied during trash pulls. There’s no sense in us wasting mana over healing when that mana could be put to better use in the case of an emergency (IE, extra trash accidentally pulled). I let the assigned MT healers heal, while I throw around Shields, Renews, and PoM’s. I flash heal if I sense extra support is needed.

Anyways, the point of today’s post is not trash healing techniques. I have my own personal consumables during raid time to help keep that much needed energy going during our raids. As a law student, I also need to cover my bases, therefore:

DISCLAIMER: Matt, his friends, family, affiliates (anyone who I link to or linked me), sponsors, organizers, and owners (henceforth known as Matticus) take no responsibility for any damage that may occur to you from utilizing the beverages listed. By consuming them, you do so at your own risk and Matticus cannot be held liable. If you are unsure about health hazards in regards to trying the following, consult your physician.
Coffee: This is the staple of any person in the workforce today. It is also the fastest growing choice of drink for today’s student. The potency can be customized to meet your needs, it’s quick to make, and the sweetness is entirely up to you. Personally, I’ve developed a taste for Starbucks coffee (Tall, Dark, no cream, no sugar, $1.75 in Canada). The main reason though is the convenience. There’s a Starbucks on almost everywhere. I’ve got one about 3 blocks away from home and I know if I have a long day ahead of me, I’ll make a quick detour.

Tea: If you don’t like the taste of coffee, there’s always this alternative. Japanese restaurants I frequent serve Green Tea. Aside from it’s various health benefits, it’s often helped me stay alert. You can also take a page from Captain Picard and try Earl Gray (add a bit of milk). Other avid users have included Bruce Wayne, Frasier Crane, James Bond, and Sir Leigh Teabing (DaVinci Code)

Red Bull: More commonly found in Jagrbombs, Red Bull has founded a counterpart within World of Warcraft: Crimson Steer. Too bad only Rogues benefit from it. I’ve never personally tried it because I always thought that it wasn’t strong enough for me. But now you can be like a rogue and spring that extra kick just when you think you couldn’t muster the energy (in our case, that extra heal).

Bawls: If you’re into the gaming scene, then chances are you’ve heard of this. It has a similar effect as all energy drinks (supposed to keep you awake for a long time). First time I tried this was when I was 16. I wanted to finish out that one game of DoTA at 1 AM so I popped it. Big mistake. Didn’t sleep until about 10 AM. Tastes fantastic though! If you need some energy, consider grabbing yourself a six pack of blue Bawls from your local 7-11 (Couldn’t resist).

Rock Star: This is what I consider the holy grail of all energy drinks. A few semesters ago, I committed a freshman mistake: leaving a paper until the last minute. I had to write a 1500 word paper regarding Canadian National Security and and it into my Political Science teacher. I didn’t start until 10 PM. This paper represented 50% of my grade and it was time to break open the glass because it was an emergency. So I reached in, blew the 24 hour cool down and took my first sip. Boy did it work or what? My mental state reached a peak of clarity that I never thought I’d feel again when I got my first shutout playing hockey. I pulled an all nighter going from 10 PM all the way next day to about 10:30 AM when it was due. After that, I went home and crashed. To my surprise and delight, I managed to get an A on it.

But don’t ever, ever, ever, do that. Ever. I mean it. Don’t do it.

Seriously.

Bags!

It’s a common phrase that Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander, the First Wizard in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, uses when he curses. It is also something that helps us Priests acquire some form of income (at least, us Tailors anyway). As first seen on Curse, there is a strong hint that our bag space will increase in size yet again. That means we don’t have to wait for all the Imbued Netherweave Bags to sell. It means we don’t need to spent countless of hours marketing our Primal Mooncloth bags only to have it replaced in a patch before WotLK. Check out the following statements made by Drysc on WoW’s US Forums.

Drsyc says:

We’re mindful of space concerns, and increasing the base backpack size is certainly a possibility for the future. We have other space and storage increases currently in the works for release before Wrath though, and we’ll be talking about those soonâ„¢.

Can you give us those Super Backpacks from the PTR the 36 slotters i still has space issues even using those XD.

Probably not. But don’t worry, there’s better stuff in the works.

Now, if you’ve been able to read between the lines, then you’ll be able to deduce the two messages that were subtly said. First, there are things better then 36 slot bags being worked on. There’s a good chance now that means we will be producing a lot of bags en masse. That also means we will have to pair up with a sharpshooter to help us farm the necessary materials required for them. That also means more tailoring skills that need to be leveled. Am I the only one that ever sits here once in a while and asks “Geeze, does this game ever END?”

Second, notice how Drysc, a representative of Blizzard, has trademarked the word “soon”. Even Blizzard will now acknowledge that they no longer set final concrete release dates on their projects. But that’s okay, because I’ve always loved Blizzard ever since I started playing Warcrat 2 when I was 9 years old. That was the first game where I first discovered a cheat code (show me the money)! I’ll end off this post with a WoWWiki definition of Soon.

Soon
Copyright 2004-2007 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. “Soon” does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. “Soon” shall make no contract or warranty between Blizzard Entertainment and the end user. “Soon” will arrive some day, Blizzard does guarantee that “soon” will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on “soon” as Blizzard will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at “soon.”

Guess I’ll cross my fingers and wait for Duke Nukem’ Forever.

Stamina, an overlooked stat for Priests?

This one’s going to be a short and quick post because I daresay the point that I’m trying to drive home will not take long to figure out. Several days ago, a prominent Guild on Ner’Zhul disbanded due to lack of attendance and other factors that kill Guilds (hmm, a good blogging topic). Needless to say, we signed several of their players in the hopes that it might solve a few of our attendance problems. Summer’s now over, everyone should be back to a fairly stable schedule right?

Wrong. One of our Feral druid gets hit with an evening shift. Our Paladin suddenly has a life. One of our Rogues mysteriously vanishes (Go figure). Getting those extra players helped a lot. By the way, in other Guild news, Dinosaur disbands and joins Dissonance (both top 20 Guilds on NZ, I think).

Tonight was Serpentshrine Cavern. Since we were shorthanded a player, we opted for Lurker first. Two wipes later, we trekked back to Hydross. A colleague over at Priestly Endeavors published his own suggested requirements for raiding in terms of individual player stats. At first I disagreed with him at the amount of gear and such that was required. But something happened in our attempts against Hydross that made me think twice. For those who are unfamiliar with the fight, Hydross has an attack called Water Tomb in which he encases a player in a bubble of water which does approximately 4500 damage over 5 seconds. Furthermore, players within a certain radius around him will also get entombed but thankfully that spell does not chain past the second player. In addition, Hydross applies a stacking debuff where all players within the raid will periodically take increasingly more punishing frost damage (Water tomb hurts more). One of the new Priests we picked up today just died within the first minute or so of the encounter. His health was approximately 7400ish fully raid buffed. It looks as if he had 5800 base health.

Back to Kirk, it appears as if he is correct to a certain extent. The amount of HP he recommends for his level of raiding is a little more generous. There’s no possible way to sacrifice healing and MP5 gear for a little more stamina. You really don’t need over 7000ish base health in Kara. It’s true there are certain encounters where you will take a lot of damage (For instance, Aran’s Poly-Pyro, or Illhoof’s sacrifice). But for the most part, you just need above 7.2k using whatever buffs you can slap on yourself. You also need to pray your tanks are able to do their job and hold their aggro. That’s not a problem in a 10 man instance like Karazhan because there isn’t a whole lot of pressure or damage being applied to you (the priest) or to your raid. But once you get to an instance like SSC, it definitely is a whole new ball game. Maybe the only person who might’ve been able to save our poor Priest was a player with reflexes equal to that of Martin Brodeur. But I applied my method of raid healing and was not able to restore his health quick enough.

A lot of Priests emphasize the importance of +healing and MP5. Don’t get me wrong, I do too. After that incident today, the second stat I would take a long hard look at is stamina. It’s one of the reasons why I spent DKP on my [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item]. Strangely enough, that item dropped again last week and no healer took it so it became sharded. How unfortunate. I guess players really want to go after their Light’s Justice/Aran’s Sapphire combination instead of spending their DKP to get loot that will help them.

It’s midnight, but before I go to bed, just think about this:

What’s the point of having all that healing and all that MP5 if you’re not alive to utilize it? I know I would get more healing if I stayed with an LJ/Aran’s Sapphire duo, but I would not be of any use to my Guild if I was dead half the encounter.

Now Hiring: How to Recruit Players to Your Guild

There’s quite a few Guilds out there who are always on the lookout for new players to help augment their ranks but are not quite sure how to pull it off. I’m going to assume you have been assigned by your GM to look for more players and that you have no clue how to do it apart from spamming trade. If so, then this column is for you. By the end of this, you should be able to pick up players with no problems at all. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, this is one of my longer pieces.

There are many places a Human Resources officer in a Guild can go to start looking. The first thing is to set up a “Help Wanted ad”. But like any newspaper or wanted ad, you want to specify exactly what spots your Guild needs filled. So before you start looking and posting in trade chat or the WoW recruiting forums, ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of Guild are we? Do we tackle progression raids only? Do I need a position filled on our PvP teams? Figure out the purpose of your Guild before doing anything else.

Next, figure out the role that you need filled. Are we short on healers? Do we need competent spellcasting DPS? Are our Druid tanks stupid with no ideas on how to tank? Once you have that sorted out, narrow it down even further. Of those three categories, which class do you need the most? What class can you use but already have enough of? You may already have 3 Priests and no Paladins but need another healer. You would really like a Holy Paladin or a Restoration Druid, but chances are you will not turn away another Holy Priest if they apply because it fills the need of another healer.

Where is your Guild on progression? Now you need to begin specifying gear requirements. If Conquest was looking for a tank, our needs would be vastly different from a Guild just starting to go into Karazhan. For example, the Canucks would have a different need than the Penguins. For us, the ideal tank should have about X HP or Stamina, Y Defense, with Z Frost or Nature resistance. But a tank looking for a Karazhan group can get away with having less than that.

 

If your Guild is working on Magtheridon with Gruul down and on farm, then be sure to mention your progression. Going back to our tanking example, you will want to pick up a tank that has done similar encounters with similar experience. Ideally, you don’t want to have to train a tank on an encounter but sometimes it must be done. I understand it is hard to find a perfect player which matches your needs, but it does not hurt to say where you are on progression.

List your raiding times and other requirements. Conquest only raids on Tuesday, Thursday, and Mondays in the evenings. Therefore, it would not make sense to pick up a Warlock who lives in Australia with a 9-5 job. If a person cannot make th time, then they will not bother applying. They don’t waste your time and you don’t waste their time. There might be some software or UI requirements that you should mention. Conquest makes heavy use of Mumble. If you don’t have those two, then you don’t raid with us period.

My old personal policy when I was in charge with recruiting was this: If a player is not willing to follow the simple instructions of downloading and installing an addon or program, how do I know they will obey and follow instructions when it really matters in the raid? I will automatically assume they won’t and immediately write them off. I don’t care if they’re decked out in all T5 or however geared they are because I value a person’s ability to willingly follow instructions over gear they have. Gear can be acquired by any button mashing monkey. But attitude and personality are learned attributes.

Finally, be sure to mention any other quirks or rules that need to be said. Mention any age restrictions or beliefs that you want. I don’t want to go through the effort of having to censor myself or others. I won’t get started on attitudes either.

Creating the Post

Now you create your Guild ad from all the above questions that you have answered. Keep a copy of this at all times somewhere in your computer in Word format or on your Guild recruiting forums for easy access. I’ll write a hypothetical ad about Conquest (Note that we’re not actually hiring).

Server: Ner’Zuhl (West Coast, PvP, PST Server)
Guild Name: Conquest
Website: http://www.nerzhulconquest.com
Raiding Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 6:00PM – 9:30 PM [Note that times are subject to change]
Faction: Alliance
Progress: 5/12 Tier 11 on 25 normal

What our Guild can offer:

  • A relaxed and fun raiding environment
  • A competitive rated BG team
  • A diverse group of players to engage in activities with
  • Mumble

Ideal Candidates:

  • Are mature, over 16 years
  • Possess a working microphone and are not afraid to use it
  • Possess a stable internet connection and a raid capable computer that will not explode
  • Skilled Player: Skilled in the class that you play
  • Excellent Attitude: No negativity. A positive personality that synchronizes with the rest of the guild is an asset

UI Requirements:
Omen
Some boss timers: DXE, DBM or Bigwigs

Once again, contacts: Send in game messages to Matticus on Ner’Zuhl. Alternatively, you can create an account on the website, and use our recruiting form

Now that you have your template post made, the time has come to focus on the real work of actively looking for players. There’s three different ways to go about finding the players you want:

WoW Forums

Yes, the WoW forums are a mess but it still does not mean a lot of players don’t use it. There are two boards interest: Guild Recruitment Forums and your Realm Forums.

Check your Realm forum first. It would be great to find a player that matches your need wo is already on your server. If not, it’s time to check the Guild Recruitment Forums.

Now the Guild Recruitment Forums are one of the top places I go to in order to pick up players. Still have that ad handy? Good, keep it in your clipboard (Ctrl + C). If players are smart, their topic will contain their faction, name, class, realm, and server type. When I started doing this, I sifted through the first ten pages. Everything after page 10, I safely assumed that player had already found a guild otherwise it would have been bumped up to page 1 or 2 by now. Take the time to click on posters of interest and read their own application. Compare it to your shopping list and see if there are any similarities. Scroll down the reply list and see if the original poster has responded to any of the Guild requests or he’s withdrawn his WoW Resume.

If he has, press the back button and continue sifting through the pages and repeat the process.

If he’s still a free agent or has made no signs showing that he’s signed with a Guild, then post your ad, press back and continue sifting anyway.

Here’s how you can bring your Guild to the top of his list:

If that player has posted additional contact information, use it. Send that person an email or add him on to your MSN list. Want to take it a step further? Make a new character on that player’s server and try to send him a tell. If he’s not online, make sure you rolled a mage or warlock, kill a few boars, and send him an in game mail saying Hi and leaving him your contact information saying that you are very much interested in speaking with him.

If you’re an Alliance Guild, I recommend rolling a Human because Stormwind is so close. Im unsure about the Horde side. Undead perhaps?

Why would you do this? Why go through all this trouble for a player?

Chances are, there are a lot of Guilds vying for that player. Make every effort you can to get noticed. The key is to attract his attention. Player’s are not likely to apply unless they know you exist. But on the other hand, if you show initiative, I think most players would be flattered. At the very least, you will be noticed first. Think abut it for a second. If you’re jobless and you get a call from a company asking you for an interview, wouldn’t you be excited? I know I would be. A Guild isn’t so different from a business after all.

Recruiting within the game

The next method is ingame recruiting. Post a message in trade chat outlining your needs but be sure to cut out the stuff you don’t need. You want to include the class you’re looking for, your progression, and your website. I personally believe raiding Guilds need to have websites so they can maintain a presence of some sort and remain competitive if they need to recruit. I don’t know how else to explain it. There’s just a sense of professionalism between Guilds with a site and a Guild without. Anyways, the reason I said post in trade chat is because th Guild Recruiting Channel isn’t automatically joined by players who are already in Guilds. If a player is interested, they should theoretically message you asking for details.

Here’s an example of an in game ad that I use:

[Level 9] LF to join! Raids are Mon, Tue, Th,6 – 930 PM. Rated BGs Wed, Fri and weekends. Visit our new site – nerzhulconquest.com 1/12 25 man, 2/12 10 man PST for details/questions. All classes may apply.

Running instances

The last method is the most tiring but allows you to evaluate the individual skill of a player. At the end of the run, let the other players know that your huild is recruiting. If they have any friends who are interested, tell them to send them your way. With any luck, they will pass the information on to their friends and you will have skirted the unethical practice of poaching players from other guilds. You’ve indirectly said to tem that you are recruiting. If they’re impressed with you and your guild, they’ll check you out. You cannot get accused of stealing players because thy did it voluntarily, right? After all, it is not like you directly said to them “Hey, our guild’s doing this and we need players. Interested?” But alas, that is a discussion for another time. The point is to generate player interest via word of mouth.

Now that you have a solid set of applicants, the time has come for the interview process. This can either be done in game or on a voice server. I generally prefer ventrilo. I like to hear a person and listen to how they answer my questions. If you’re speaking to a player off server, it is absolutely doubly important since transferring characters is not cheap. Ask them a question even if it’s already been answered by tem in their application or such. If there is a discrepancy between answers, alarm bells should be going off in your head and you need to make sure it’s clarified. If he posts one thing and says another, be sure to follow up on it. Here’s a few sample questions that you can ask:

What’s your raiding experience?
When are you able to raid?
What kind of gear do you have? (With Armory open)
Do you know anyone in the Guild?
Why did you pick our Guild?
What are your professions?
Do you have any questions?

The last question is important because you want to give that player an opening to help dispel his or her concerns. Such topics may include loot distribution, raiding frequency (backup or starting raider), etc. It would suck for a player to transfer and then immediately regret it. It’s just common courtesy. The point here is to ensure that the Guild is a good fit for the player and vice versa. If he aces your interview and you think he is a good fit, then tell him to transfer and sign him immediately.

If not, and here is were I find things interesting, then just let him know. For some reason, there are people who exist who do not seem able to or are unwilling to say no. Jut tell them that “Sorry, you don’t match what we’re looking for in a player. Good luck to you!”

There you have it. A start to finish guide on how to pick up and recruit players. I hope my experience as a recruiting officer helps and hopefully you’ll pick up the players you need to succeed in higher end content. Now get back to raiding!

Fathomlord no longer

After 5 attempts, Carnage powers through and eliminates Fathomlord, but at a high price. Lang, our Main Tank, went down with Fathomlord at 30%. Thank goodness Maeve was right behind him building up secondary threat. Props to him for salvaging and saving the raid attempt leading to our guild first kill.

[item]Sextant of Unstable Currents[/item] – Sasette, our mage
[item]Plans: Red Belt of Battle[/item]
[item]Leggings of the Vanquished Champion[/item] – Went to our Holy Pally and Enh. Shaman

+81 Healing vs Spellsurge

A special big worldofmatticus.com shoutout to Netherlord who was kind enough to give me the recipe for Spellsurge at no cost at all. Thank you VERY much sir and welcome to Carnage!

Here is an important question that needs to be answered. You’ve hit 70 and you just got that ultimate 1H mace or that ultimate healing staff. What enchant do I put on it? Do I want an additional +81 Healing or Spellsurge? Neither of them are cheap to begin with but both will really benefit healers. But, let the analysis begin.

81 Healing

This enchant increases the amount of healing you can potentially do by 81. It’s sold by a vendor (Almaador, at the center of town) and requires you to be revered to learn how to perform the enchant.

Spellsurge

This enchant offers a unique mechanic in that it does not offer a constant benefit like 81 Healing does. It’s a random world drop so you might have a better chance of winning the lottery instead of getting it. The tooltip suggests that it has a 3% chance of proccing the effect which provides 100 mana over a period of 10 seconds to your entire party. But for the effect to occur, your party members need to be within 30 yards of each other.

Analysis

So which is the better one to get? 81 Healing will increase your healing by that amount. Assuming you heal for 1000 points without any modifiers, then 1000 casts of that same flash heal will net about 1,081,000 healed. But Spellsurge restores mana over time. Furthermore the effect stacks from multiple players who have that enchant on their weapon. So, if 5 players had it and all 5 procced, you’re looking at 500 mana over 10 seconds to everybody in the party. I’ve seen on the WoW Forums as well as WoWWiki that the actual proc percentage is approximately 15%. If you’re in the raid environment, it wouldn’t work if all 25 players had it. It applies strictly to your party within the raid. It’s important to keep in mind that Spellsurge has a hidden cooldown of approximately 50 seconds. That means that if you kept spamming any kind of spell, the Spellsurge effect can only happen once every 50 seconds assuming it does proc.

Ideally, I’d be able to test this in a lab setting with three groups: An experimental group with all 81 healing, an experimental group with all Spellsurge, and control group. But alas, I don’t have access to such resources.

The Argument for 81 Healing

If you don’t see yourself raiding very often or if you are placed in a group that does not have a whole lot of other casters in it, then you will want to augment your own heals and add that extra power. Who needs Spellsurge if you’re going to be the poor guy who has to sacrifice 81 healing so that everyone else in your party can get that extra mana back?

The Argument for Spellsurge

On the other hand, as you progress through the game you will begin to encounter bosses that will test your endurance. If you can work with four other spellcasters and agree to get this enchant, your longevity will increase by a lot. You will see a lot of mana returned. More mana means you last longer, right? Utilitarianism is the the concept of the day.

The Middle Ground

Get both. All you really need is two weapons. Don’t forget that you can switch weapons while in combat. So slap Spellsurge on a mace that as mp5 or Spirit or something that helps you regenerate mana. Keep your 81 Healing on the weapon that you use most of the time. If you start running out of gas, switch from your Healing mace to your Spellsurge mace and let the rest of the group know. Now if you really want to be fancy, pick up another mace or staff which has high intellect and put 30 Int on it. Equip it before the encounter so you have a high starting mana pool. Once you get a spell or two off, switch back to your healing mace. You will essentially be getting an extra flash heal or two. That’s my personal opinion. Be flexible, adapt your enchants to your needs.

Anyways, back to Fathomlord now. We were able to take down the Shaman and the Priest. Pretty good progress… 3 more hours left. I love my macbook. It lets me blog and raid at the same time. Doing it in windowed mode will lag. I’m tempted to install WoW on it and see how it performs, but I purchased my Macbook purely for academic reasons.

Healing a Raid: A Priestly Perspective

To end off the week, I will help all of you budding raiding priests who have never joined any groups larger then 10 (AV an exception). Yeah, you the one who has never once set foot inside MC or BWL or Naxx or Zul’Gurub or any of those old fun instances that we used to do before. By the end of this column, my hope is that you will be able to excel and surpass the expectations of your raid leader.

I wont touch on the spells specifically and what they can do. You leveled from 1 to 70 on your own. If you don’t know the capabilities of the tools at your disposal, then you have no business playing a Priest. But I will guide you on when you should use them.

Your raid makeup could consist of a variety of different healer classes. More often then not, you as a priest would make up several of those slots. Let’s now for the sake of argument pretend that you’ve been assigned the dreaded task of maintaining te health of your raid as opposed to healing a single person. It’s such a daunting task healing 4 other players in a party. Now you’re responsible for 24 others. What do I do?

Let’s check out the toolkit. There’s a reason why Blizzard gave us to much stuff to work with.

Renew: Cast this on targets that have taken hits but are not expected to take damage again. Examples would include mages, hunters, or other ranged DPS (maybe rogues). It’s a relatively cheap heal over time spell where you don’t need to tie up your 1.5s cast time or our 2.5s cast time. But don’t forget to stack these up with Renews from other priests. Our main tank sometimes has up to Renews on him at any given time.

Flash Heal: I tend to downrank my heals a little bit here for two reasons: 1) Reduces mana cost 2) Less overhealing done. I’ll use a flash heal between ranks 4 – 6 depending on the situation at hand. In some cases, I will use a max rank flash heal just because tanks are taking so much damage that my heals are only maintaining his health instead of restoring it up. Used mainly on players taking damage frequently such as the main tank or in an emergency.

Greater Heal: The big brother of Flash heal. This one I keep max ranked. You don’t have to. Its entirely up to you and your playing style. Drop these ones on your main tank or your assigned healing target.

PW: Shield: There appears to be much controversy over the usage of this spell. Philosophically, I disagree with many other priests on how and when it should be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your duty is to the raid. If spamming shields every 40 seconds is the only way to do it, then you spam it and you like it. Usually though, I will cast it if a tank jumps from 100% to 40% (or any number below 10000 health). These bosses hit like a freight train on afterburners. I’ve seen players get taken out with an 8k crit followed up by an 11k special attack. I am one paranoid priest.

Prayer of Healing: Don’t spam flash heal 5 times to heal your party. It’s a huge waste of time. Just drop a Prayer repeatedly until everyone’s back to full. 3 seconds on a prayer versus 7.5 seconds on flash heals. Usually, once the boss executes some sort of AoE damage which nails your group, you’ll want to cast this.

Prayer of Mending: Use in case of an emergency. The amount of damage it heals is a little more then the amount of damage received. But I am referring to a normal hit not a special attack at will knock off a good portion of the tanks health.

In case of emergency, break open glass

You’ll remember the other day I wrote about what Priests should do in the event they have pulled aggro. Here’s the other side of the equation: What to do if the tank has less than 10% health and in imminent danger where he could die and wipe the raid. Follow this process to ensure maximum possible survival.

1 – PW: Shild (Prevent further damage)
2 – Prayer of Mending (Mitigate further damage done)
3 – Renew (Constant heals)
4 – Flash Heal (Fastest way to heal. We’re concerned about time now)
5 – Repeat step 4 until he’s back up. Use shield’s again if your assignment’s health is questionable.

Other Healers

Usually, if there’s other healers on the tank, you’ll have no idea what kind of spell they’re casting. But here, time is of the essence. Drop flash after flash until he’s back in the game. Let other healers drop the big heals. Either way, get your assignment topped off. If you and your other heal happen to both drop big heals simultaneously, there’s a 3 second window where the tank could get critical’d and spontaneously die. You don’t want this to happen so be on the safe side and spam flash.

Exercises

So here, I took random screenshots through the past few raids with our raiders at various stages of decay. More often then not, you’ll encounter such similar situations. Take a look at them and think to yourself what you would do, who you would heal first, and why.

Here is shot number one. Light damage has only been applied to the raid. Matticus (Mallet) is in the uber healing group. Lang is down 25% (our main tank) and Bdon (an off tank) has also sustained hits as well as the rest of the melee DPS in his group. Although you can’t tell, I have Lang selected. But it looks like Cheever also has him selected too. So my play here is to deselect and drop a prayer of healing to top off the group. Then I’d probably take care of the rest of the DPS.

This shot was taken too late. But look at the assist window on the right. This shows us who is healing Lang: All five of us. If that happens, just move off of him and take care of someone else, like Bdon.

Ah, our first casualties of the night. Going to save my own skin and heal myself. There’s no real danger at this point so long as the tanks are still alive. We lost a healer (with 6 left) and an off tank (with 3 left). No big loss, no sense of panicking.

Again, cursor on Lang shows that I’m not the only one on him. Renew, Prayer, move on. Let the Priest and the Paladin on him take over with flashes and greater heals. Dropped renews on everybody on group 5 and group 3 that was wounded. Keep the shield cooldown on standby in case Lang gets spiked again.

Now we’ve got some real pressure applied to the raid here. A lot of damage has been done and the raid is in various health states. I included my target of target of target window along with my Nature Enemy Cast Bar (NECB). Seeing how my group is wounded, I light off a Prayer of Healing. Then I noticed Mirri was also in the process of casting and is closer to getting the heal off. I cancel my prayer, and default to healing the tanks starting with Lang and Bdon. Once they’re up, I ease off and begin my renew cycle on DPS.

Now we’ve got some serious problems. We’re down a healer and the tanks are taking serious damage (465 doesn’t seem like much). When you get to a case where you have multiple tanks with relatively low health, pick one and stick to it until they’re topped. I chose Blori and called out in vent “I’m staying on Blori”. This cues the other healers and frees them up knowing they don’t have to worry about him as much. For example, now Mirri can heal Bdon or Dager can heal Lang without needing to rotate flashing Blori. Communication is important. Let the rest of the healers know who you’re healing.

This one was a big giant leap of faith. One of our healers is offline and one of the tanks is under enormous stress. Notice that my target is Maeve. Also take a note that there is only one other healer besides me who has Maeve targeted. Bdon is a hit away from going under. But seeing as the assist window only shows two healers out of six who have Maeve targeted, it stands to reason that the other 4 must most likely be on Bdon. There is no other player in the raid who is prioritized higher then he is. Although there is no way to say for sure (unless I clicked him to determine the assists), I do believe it’s a logical conclusion to make.

In any case, you may or may not encounter such situations like that in the future. Hope this column helps you deal with any scenarios that show up. Remember, don’t panic. Keep your cool and prioritize.

Some New Loot and Players You Don’t Want to Party With

Lurker was taken down in one attempt as was Tidewalker. I picked up a [item]Luminescent Rod of the Naaru[/item] which is an upgrade from the [item]Blue Diamond Witchwand[/item] that I had for a long time. Looks like I won’t be replacing these any time soon. Next items that will upgrade for me are T5 Legs from Fathomlord, his shoes, or the random craftable shoes that drop in TK and SSC.

I was digging around my screenshots folder today looking to clean stuff out. I had forgotten about these two gems. Just read the chat. Tell me I’m not the only person that’s ever happened to before.

And I swear I will finish this mammoth of a piece on how to raid heal. I’ve been examining my Blog stats and in particular what search terms people type when they find it:

how to be a good priest healer in world
how to be good holy priest wow
how to be a good priest warcraft
best holy priest raiding

So yeah, I can tell that there are some players out there who want guidance. And guidance I will provide! I don’t want to just type out what to do, I will show you what to do. Hopefully I can do it tomorrow. Only 3 classes and no raids…