My Nightmare as a Priest

I’m reading Leiandra’s post on the different types of healers and their functions. After reading some of the comments there, I felt like this merited a direct post reply on it’s own instead of a comment. I wager I’m one of the few players to have rolled all four healer classes. I’ve only raided with three of them (Priest, Shaman, and Paladin while my Druid is on the backburner somewhere at the early 50 level). Some of the comments I’ve read made me raise my eyebrow.

Elinor

I know my comparison is somewhat simplistic, but taking away +healing gear (should be the same for priest or paladin) a paladin’s biggest heal with appropriate talents is a 2.5 sec cast for 2740(840 mana). A priest with appropriate talents has a 2.5 sec cast for 3062(825 mana).

Of course there is a talent for paladins to reduce that cast time by .5 for the next 15 sec, and the 3062 for priest doesn’t include the talent to increase it by 25% of spirit.

Also a druid has a 3.0 sec direct heal for 3517 (935 mana).

Firstly, that’s an unfair comment to make. If you’re going to compare healers, the assumption should be made that they are talented to the best healing spec available. There’s no point in comparing supposed healing classes without full and complete talents because there isn’t a player in WoW who raid heals with no talents spent in their appropriate healing trees. Don’t compare base heals or stats either because certain races and classes have a higher advantage over the other. If you’re going to compare healing output, then add an arbitrary base healing number that seems fair (like +1500 healing). Please, if you’re going to compare one class with another, make realistic comparisons.

So here’s the million dollar question. Is there one healing class better than another? It depends entirely on the encounter and on the situation. Let’s hypothetically say that there’s a 25 man raid team about to engage a boss. It’s your standard tank and spank encounter. Nothing special about it. Except for the fact that Crosbane, our boss, hits like a freight train for 30 minutes. Most healers would run out of gas long before those thirty minutes are up. Pally’s, not so.

They’re the energizer bunnies of WoW. They keep going, and going, and going. It’s true that as a Priest, we have the 5 second rule to fall back on and we would gain a crapload of mana back. Realistically, we don’t have that kind of option. If we don’t heal for five seconds, our assignments are dead. I suppose the best we can hope for is to light up a PoM, a Renew, and a Shield. That would us a few precious seconds to regen our mana. Then the boss crits.

Pally’s own us Priests, period. There’s a reason why many high end raiding Guilds no longer run Holy Priests as healers. We’re a dying breed. Sure we bring a lot of specialist skills like PW:S and Prayer of Healing, but well timed spam heals from Paladins keep everything going. The reason I agree with your assessment about Paladins being the King of Healing is because they would never run out of mana in endurance fights. I’m busy struggling and blowing my potions, yelling for Innervates, Mana Tides, using my Shadow Fiend, and theres Joe Paladin in the corner just spamming Rank 5 Flash of Light over there. Couple 3 Paladins, a Shadow Priest, and a Resto Shaman with buffed mana spring totems and you have a group that can heal indefinitely.

My WWS in Carnage shows our Healers with four Paladins constantly on top all the time. Master Harth, High Priest that he is, leads the way in over all heals so there is hope for us yet.

But you can’t expect WWS to illuminate the numbers for us all the time. It only shows us one side of the story. Different Healers are best suited for different encounters.

Take an encounter like Fathom-Lord in SSC for example. There are four bosses that need to be tanked. The Hunter boss spawns a pet every now and then, and the tank that’s tanking him needs to draw aggro on it as well. So here is this one tank that’s getting his ass handed to him by two Ford F-150’s. On top of that, there’s a freakin’ Whirlwind type thing that comes around and throws me in the air every once in a while. I’m so focused on my raid health that I always seem to miss it coming by. If it weren’t for my instant spells, he would be dead. Thankfully, the Hunter boss is the second boss that needs to die. With the damage input that Thor (my tank) is taking, it’s impossible to sustain it for more then a few minutes. Eventually, I would hit a time where my potion cooldown is used, my shadowfiend timer is down, and all the innervates have been used. In this short period of time, I would excel in my role no problem. I don’t have to keep him alive for an abysmally long time. Just enough to weather the storm.

Compare this to the last boss, the Fathom Lord himself. Initially Lang is over there with a Paladin. This Boss is last on the food chain. Paladins need to be able to keep Lang alive for at least seven minutes. Oh, and they have to heal themselves too. Lang may not be taking as much burst damage as Thor was, but he’s taking a beating for a longer amount of time.

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? It’s nearly impossible to compare all the healing classes together. Each brings a different set of skills to the table. With the encounters in end game, I suspect that Paladins are better suited and utilized more often then not. As a Priest, I have enough spells at my disposal to react quickly enough to salvage a raid in case anything goes wrong. A Paladin won’t be able to recover as much. But their long term efficiency is so good that there is little reason for raids to go in the crapper.

Sooner or later, our class will go the way of the Dodo bird. Aside from broccoli, that is my greatest fear with Holy Priests rendered inert, useless, and outclassed in every aspect. I guess I better start accumulating Shadow Gear. Good thing I have a Paladin and a Shaman to fall back on.

Solarian down

Presently, I’m sitting in Solarian’s room waiting for the leaders to say go. They’re talking last minute strategy right about whose tanking which. It seems raid prep time takes five years whereas the encounter itself takes five minutes. But that’s a post for another time…

[20 minutes later]

…And just like that, she’s dead. I couldn’t believe it. The third attempt and she’s down. There’s no way bosses can be THAT easy.  My pants dropped (that sounds bad, I know)! Replaced my Netherspite legs with Soul-Star Breeches.

Now we’re going to try out Alar with four tanks.

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending October 19

1804: Forgot to add this. I got my T5 gloves yesterday. I am now 2 of 5. Although honestly, there wasn’t that big of an upgrade between T4 and T5 gloves. The 2 piece bonus is really nice though (If your greater heal restores the target to full health, gain 100 mana).

The Three Stars of the week is my way of looking back and honoring columns that were published by my fellow WoW playing colleagues. These articles are pieces that I believe should be read by everyone in the community because they are informative, factual, hard hitting, applicable, and have elements of truthiness. Either that, or it’s just plain cool and you should read them anyway.

How to Enjoy the Game: This week’s first star honors goes to a column by Apathy Inc which centers around people’s enjoyment and frustrations in WoW. It’s also been recommended by my other colleagues in the WoW Blogosphere. Simply put, if you’re not enjoying what you’re playing, then don’t play it. You pay 15 bucks a month to play this game. In the end, you are your own boss. You should be the one deciding how you play your character. Does this mean a Guild has the right to force you to do what they want? No, but they can ask you and you have the right to refuse. By that same token, however, that same Guild also has the right to dismiss you from their organization because to put it bluntly, you don’t have the skills or services they are looking for. Here’s a typical example which goes back to the days of Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. Many Priests had grown fond of Shadow. Several priests were adamant about staying shadow and did not want to go into the Holy Tree at all. It’s important to remember that back then, Shadow Priests did not have the kind of utility that they have today and were looked down upon as misfits of the WoW World. The reasoning behind it is that Shadow Priests would be eligible to roll on DPS cloth gear. It’s bad enough Mages and Warlocks would be competing against one another, but to throw in Shadow Priests would further complicate the looting situation. Shadow Priests did have the option of staying Shadow, but agreements were made in that they would forfeit rights to other classes who could utilize the gear more efficiently (mages and locks). T1 and T2 had nothing for Shadow Priests at the time. The gear selection was biased towards the Holy tree. Like Richard Rahl once said:

It’s your life. Live it.

Safely Breaking Crowd Control: Second star honors goes to Karthis who provides us with an excellent table of threat priority and what form of crowd control pisses off mobs the most. Perhaps now I will think twice before Mind Controlling something as it’s what aggravates them the most. I just wish there was a source for the table, although I’m sure it’s accurate (but when you’re at school, you start to become critical and question the source and reliability of research materials).

Summoning the Headless Horseman: The third star and certainly not the last provides a brief summary of the new seasonal Hallow’s End event: The Headless Horseman. He’s a pushover of a boss to any decently geared team. Assemble your crew, and on the flight from Ironforge to the Western Plaguelands, it would do you wise to read over the strategy from GMW.

WWS has caught the public main stream now. I think it’s better then SW Stats and various damage meters and I’ll present my arguments about that tomorrow. I’ll follow it up with a post on how to interpret the readings for us Holy Priests.

Tanking and Healing Prince the easy way

The Prince engagement is a royal pain in the ass (excuse the pun). A lot of players have difficulty with the randomness. It’s an extra variable that causes unneeded stress and can force the most disciplined of teams to lose focus and scatter Aside from his Enfeeble and Shadownova’s, the boss would be an easy takedown. It’s the damned Infernals which throw everything into disarray. After pugging with a few groups, I’m amazed to still see people attempt to do it how it was meant to be done: running around aimlessly.

But wait! What if I could guarantee you that I could take his Infernal’s out of play entirely? That you would no longer have to worry about Infernal’s affecting your main tank and raid? That would certainly make the fight all that much easier, wouldn’t it?

You know that the Infernal’s AOE strikes deal damage in a circular fashion. The platform is a square (kinda) with a few odd cracks along the sides. If you can position the tanks and the raid into such a position, then you would be free from the random variables being thrown at you.

Placement

best shot I could take of prince and the raidI’m sure many of you are already aware of the Prince’s M.O. (Modus operandi), therefore I won’t comment too much about that. If you examine the various screns littered throughout the post, it should give you a rough idea of were to position yourself and the raid to avoid infernals. When you’re running into the room, the raid stands on the far left wall with the tank placed further up. You’ll need to wiggle and adjust a bit until you can find that sweet spot.

Might take you a wipe or two to get it.

An infernal between the raid and the MTIf you have unfortunate cases where an Infernal lands between the MT and the raid, your melee guys are to fallback to the rest of the group and sit out for the fight until the Infernal’s gone. Have them throw knives or bandage or something. But whatever they do, ensure they pull back. There is a small margin of error in this positioning. As healers, too close against the wall means you do not have line of sight with the tank. Too far out puts within range of Infernals. If your tank can find the spot and your raid can get to the right location, you will take no damage from Infernals whatsoever and will not be required to move.

Healing

Where the raid isPhase one is a walk over. I advise you to put a Paladin on Dispel duty. You want to conserve your mana for more important parts of the fight later. Maintain your hots at all times. Refresh them when necessary as soon as the last tick hits. The moment you go into Phase 2, coldowns should be blown. This needs to be the fastest 60% -> 30% takedown ever. I have seen cases where tanks can eat 20000 damage within seconds.

Overheals are important. Do it. When you get down to 70% mana, use your shadowfiend. Mana potions need to be used to help supplement when necessary. Don’t go into each encounter with less then 4 mana potions (I blow no more than 3). The most important thing is to get out of phase 2 as fast possible. You’re still going to have Infernals drop on you, but they should not be damaging you.

Tango down

Once you push into phase 3, ease off the gas pedal for a little bit because the worse part is over. With Prince’s damage output back to phase 1 levels, there isn’t the feeling of panic or terror. However, his axes start chopping away at your raid team. Assuming your team consists of three healers, ensure that you have at least two people on the MT and one healer on the raid. Ideally, the axes healer will be the person with the lowest amount of mana greater than zero (a healer with no mana is generally useless). The axes don’t deal a lot of damage, so it should be no problem for healers with 10% – 20% mana in THEIR gas tank.

The most crucial change listed is your tanking position. With the Infernal’s out of play, then running around the room is no longer required. Rinse, repeat, acquire phat loot.


On another note, I met another girl today in real life who plays WoW. Go figure. Addenum: I found a map which displays what I’m talking about perfectly. Courtesy of flavaguild.com.

About Cooldowns

My Raid Leader made a comment about cooldowns the other day that I thought I would share with everyone,

Use them. Please.

In SSC, it takes about 10 minutes to clear Hydross. Heroism is on a ten minute cooldown. Our Priestly minion is on a five minute cooldown. Innervate’s on a 6 minute cooldown. Cooldown mechanics were thrown in by Blizzard to be used in a limited basis so they could not be abused. That doesn’t mean that they should not be used. In the past, I’ve treated cooldowns like superweapons from Red Alert 2: To be used in case of emergency or in a game breaking situation. Upon further reflection, I realized that they’re not really game breaking.

A fight like Hydross has an enranged timer of nine minutes. Our Shadowfiend cooldown has five. That means we pretty much have free spells to cast for the first 2 or so minutes. For example, in the opening pages of Hydross, I would open up with Shadow Word: Pain, renews, several smites, and maybe a few heals here and there. After that, I’d drop a shadowfiend to get all that mana back. Because really, in the first part, the tanks aren’t taking a lot of damage anyway that a couple of flash heals can’t mitigate.

On trash, there might be a few tricky pulls. A well timed Heroism could cut through trash like a Kansas tornado. It makes for quick takedowns. You’ll still have the cooldown available for the boss anyway because you’re not stupid enough to blow it on the last trash pull, RIGHT?!

But yeah, gauge the time it takes for you to go from boss to boss. Be liberal about the use of your cooldowns.

Five more minutes until my Criminology Midterm. Panicking is a very viable option.

Random GM SS Of the Week

Found this gem on WoW Bash. Poor GM’s need to get let out more often. Sometimes, it just makes me wonder what goes on in the Blizzard Office. Check it out.

Zul’Aman and 2.3 Healing Weapons Analyzed

Kirk’s finished looking at 2.3 (twice) for Priests. Ego’s busy being busy. Phaelia’s finished the math for Spirit following the 2.3 changes. The Girl [who] Meets WoW covered the new badge damage loot. I’m going to round out the week and check out all the new healing stuff that’s available for us Priests in both Zul’Aman and Heroic Badge loot.

Weapons

Main Hand

Dark Blessing

The Dark Blessing may very well be a blessing for all of us. Curiously, it sports a near 2% haste rating and has a whopping plus heal of 431. With an 81 Healing enchant, the total jumps to 512. When compared to it’s nearest equal, Lightfathom Scepter there is a noticeable stat difference. The Scepter offers +28 Stamina, 11 MP5, and +1 Int as compared to the Blessing. With 2.2, Light’s Justice would be the best mace going into Vashj. Now that has changed.

Off Hand

Voodoo Shaker

Combined with the aforementioned Dark Blessing, your Priestly power output will reach 567 +Healing. It boasts a decent number of stats to offset the lack of stats the previous mace. Your int. will jump to 39. Talisman of the Sun King, A’lar’s drop, has 59 healing and 6 MP5. It boasts slightly more stamina and more int but lacks any spirit.
Staff

Staff of Dark Mending
It’s a staff. Wait, it’s a SOCKETABLE staff. Loading up with 2 Nightseyes and a Noble Topaz along with a 81 Enchant to weapon yields an overall 524 +Healing, 20 MP5, and 51 Int. That just about blows my Crystalheart Pulse-Staff out of the water. I lose about 5 Stamina if I make the switch. It’s virtually on par with the Ethereum Life-Staff drop from Solarian. This is the weapon that I will be gunning for.

So in summary, the MH/OH Zul’Aman combination will give you a much stronger healing output. But the Staff’s 20 MP5 and Stat superiority allows you to keep chugging a few flash heals longer then you normally would. Sadly, there are no wands out there for us for the time being.

Gearing Your Fresh 70 Hunter

[Matticus Note: The Importance of Being Ernest. A 1500 word paper describing high British society and moral values that I need to do. Which is also due tonight at midnight. There is also a Canucks/Oilers game which I must watch. I doubt I get a lot of Hunters reading my blog, but in the event you have a Hunter alt, this might be the thing for you. This is another gear list which can be examined and use for Pre-Karazhan purposes.]

Gearing your Huntard… er… Hunter

By Doc Holiday

I am tired of seeing god awful hunters running around in god awful gear because they don’t know what gear and stats are useful for us. Lets start with the basics

Stats

Agility – It improves our Critical chance and Attack power. These are both good things
Critical strike – Improves Critical strike chance
Hit rating – Very important but pretty much ignored by hunters who don’t know what they are doing. 136 is our Hit rating cap. Having more then this wont help us out. So if your at this or close to hit you can stop looking for more hit. 89 hit rating for you surefooted hunters
Attack power – Increase your base damage

That’s the big four when it comes to stats we should look for

Intellect, Stamina and Mana per 5 are also good stats to have but not AS important as the ones noted above

Head

Malefactor’s Eyepatch
Easy to obtain via a series of Quests while your leveling in Blade’s Edge mountains. Huge amount of Agility, Stamina and Attack power as well as some nice mana per 5.

Stalker’s Helm of Second Sight

Longer and somewhat more difficult quest chain in Shadow moon will get you the best pre Kara Helm. I recommend 4 hit and 4 agility gems as it is hard to find some +hit early in the game

Neck

Choker of Bloodied Feathers
I got this in an early quest from Terrokar. I never found a replacement until Karazhan because quite frankly it is that good an item especially Alliance side

Insignia of the Mag’hari Hero
Horde side only quest. Great neck with a little bit of everything including some precious hit

Shoulders

Beast Lord Mantle
Quite frankly there is no other shoulder that is better or equal to Beast Lord. Run Steamvaults as many times as you can to get this. Socket it with a 4 hit 4 agility and 8 agility and you will be set for quite awhile

Back

Perfectly balanced Cape
You get this quite early on from a Blood furnace quest. Add 12 agility to this cape and you really won’t need anything else for quite awhile.

Delicate Green Poncho
Another great choice early on as well. Nice stats and that all important hit as well.

Chest

Felstalker Breastplate
Easy to make this makes a great started chest piece. Add two 8 agility and one 4 agility and 5 stamina gem and you got a large amount of agility on this chest piece.

Salvager’s Hauberk
Obtained from the lower city at revered. I like this chest a lot. Large amount of stamina and huge critical strike bonus make this a nice and really easy chest to get. Considering most hunters will have obtained this rep quite easily

Wrist

Felstalker Bracers
Easy to make and if your already wearing the other two pieces you get a nice set bonus

Auchenai Bracers
Nice reward from a simple Shadow Lab quest.

Gloves

Ar’tor’s Mainstay
No reason not to have these gloves a 70 hunter. Very easy to get

Belt

Felstalker Belt
Easy to make and a super nice set bonus makes an easier choice

Rune Engraved Belt
Alliance side quest only. Nice option if you are not a leatherworking or do not want to get the mats together for felstalkers. Large amount of hit is always good

Legs

Scaled Greaves of Patience
Probably the best pre 70 dungeon legs you can get. These come form Old Hillsbrad and will be easily obtainable at 70

Feet

Sky Hunter Swift Boots
Really nice boots from a fairly short and easy sub 70 dungeon Sethekk Halls. The only boots to get pre raiding in my opinion

Rings

Slayers Mark of the Redemption
Hit, agility and attack power in one easy quest makes this a must have.

Band Of Anguish
Hit, agility and attack power in one easy quest makes this a must have. Hey did I hear an echo?

Longstrider’s Loop
If you are lucky enough to get one of these in Mana tomb’s then hold on to it for awhile. It might be the best hunter ring pre raiding.

Trinkets

Hour Glass of the Unraveller
I know its in Black Morass and you hate that place but I can tell you will not find a better blue trinket in the game. To give you an example of its usefulness I use this on my hunter today and I just started doing Hyjal and the Black temple. Get it.

Abacus of Violent odds
Oh no another trinket at a tough end boss in a 70 dungeon. Great trinket with a great use. Haste will be your friend in the future

Weapon

Sonic Spear
The ONLY weapon a hunter should have pre raiding. Slap a 35 agility enchant on this baby and you set for a long long time. Trust me this thing is that good and while sucks you have to slog through shadow lab its worth it.

Ranged Weapon

Logn’goron Bow of the Torn Heart
Easy weapon to get via a quest in Shadow moon. Nice starter bow with all the right stats and it looks cool to boot!

Quiver

Worg Hide Quiver
Assuming you don’t have your epic one from the old quest you can get this exact replica by getting Honored with the Kurenai. Which is easy to do as you will get honored simply by doing quests in Nagrand anyways.

If you put it all together here is what you get

As a BM hunter (I am currently BM and I recommend this to all new hunters but more on that later) you will end up with

1800 Attack power self Buffed
20.9 Ranged Crit
57 hit rating

Now I added the following for socketing. Any red sockets I used 8 agility. Any Yellow sockets I used +4hit +4agility. Any blue sockets I used +4agility +6stamina. I enchanted the head with Glyph of ferocity, Shoulders with inscription of Vengeance, chest with +6 to stats, wrist with +24 to attack power, legs with cobrahide leg armour and put 35 Agility on the Sonic Spear. I left the gloves, boots and ranged weapon unenchanted. I felt the cost of enchanting those to be expensive for the time and use of the items.

Basically you are more then ready for Heroics or Karazhan at this point. You should also be able to out DPS everyone in 5 man dungeons quite easily.

PTRs are up, going in today

Looks like the new PTR’s are up. I’m not going to bother much with Priest or Shaman changes and such. I’m going to assemble a raid team later on and head into Zul’Aman as soon as possible. It seems as if Griftah’s centered around some sort of attunement quest. I’ll write more tomorrow.

Ryan’s back from his two month ranting hiatus. Normally, I detail posts related to healers. I’ve got two gear lists for Restoration Shamans and Holy Priests. I’m going to put up a gear list for Hunters when I get home. I’m sitting in lecture learning about ampersands, CSS, and XHTML. I honestly don’t know why I’m here.

A Real Last Ditch Effort Between a Druid and a Priest

I had the pleasure of ringing for Sinful Intent in their Karazhan run (Carnage demoted it to an off raid night). Going into Karazhan for the first time was so long ago. It’s been a while since I ran with a Karazhan team that had not been able to take down Prince within the coveted 3 hour mark. Attumen, and Moroes were easy take downs.

Maiden became an interesting fight. We did not have a Paladin running with us. Our healing Matrix consisted of two Holy Priests and a Resto Druid. No Blessing of Sacrifice. This was going to be tough. I volunteered to run into the Consecrates. Needless to say, it worked. I came very close to death. I think my health even dropped to the double digits at some points. Our only casualty was the Resto Druid who was too far back behind the pillars and out of my line of site. She perished from a Holy Fire. Let this be a lesson guys. If you can’t see your other healers or dispellers, they can’t see you. When you’re executing a take down on Maiden, always move in front of the pillars within that circle.

Big Bad Wolf was rocked with several minor deaths (mine included, but a soul stone negated that effect).

The clear to Curator was very swift and very disciplined. It was perfect. I maintained a 60% plus mana reserve at all times with my shadow fiend. Ghost, after ghost, after ghost fell. Quickest chain pulling I’ve seen yet. The fight with the big boss bot was interesting. DPS was suuuuper slacking. I think we got up to the 3rd evocate. Someone forgot to eat their Wheaties that morning.

So here’s the play: At the conclusion of the 3rd evocate, I think Curator was sitting somewhere around 20%. The other Priest was dry. Our resto druid was dry. I was seconds away from being dry. A quick glance to my timers indicates my Shadowfiend has one minute remaining. My potion has 45 seconds. All THREE innervates were blown (Boomkin, Resto, and Feral). My 2 minute mana regen Shade of Aran trinket had 1:30. One of Curator’s minisparks shows up and my screen flashes red signifying that I’ve pulled aggro. The tank was at 80% health and there was no way he was going to survive the next 6 seconds with all of his healers out of gas in the tank.

Then it dawned on me.

I scream out over vent: “DON”T HEAL ME”. I had enough mana for 4 more flash heals… which I dumped on the MT to build up even more aggro. Sure enough, Curator targets me and fires a Hateful Bolt (Remember, no Paladins for salvation). I collapse. The Feral Druid understands what I’m trying to do and before I even call for it, he Battle res’s me. I’m back in the game with 33% mana. At this point our tank is nearing death and Curator is at 10+%. I execute my OH $#@& sequence of moves and is able to bring him back up past the point of no return. Curator is now in the single digits. Everyone’s wanding and trying to apply as much pressure as possible. Curator at 2%, I’m out of gas again. Tank buckles and dies. Last ditch nuking ensues. Curator… no longer… operational.

That was the most fun I’ve had for a while yet. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of a do or die boss take down in WoW.