Archives for May 2008

WoW Insider: 30 If Statements Priests Adhere To

Talk about being uber late this week. I blame it on the technical difficulties! In any case, it’s up now.

EDIT: Oh yes, you’ll probably have noticed that I’ve made a grammatical error. It’s intentional. Because at the end of the year, if you add up all the extraneous words you’ll find a secret message.

Or I’m yanking your chain. Up to you guys to decide which is which.

Improv Healing on the Fly (and Anything Else for that Matter)

Improv Healing on the Fly (and Anything Else for that Matter)

Improv comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. Photo © David Bergman /

Last Sunday, we took down Reliquary of Souls but it was not without it’s challenges. Bosses come in multiple flavors. If you take a step back and examine it from a wider angle, you start spotting patterns. Blizzard starts recycling certain mechanics and everything becomes more apparent.

In the case of RoS, identify with the fact that it is a 3-stage process.

Now, the typical step for a raiding Guild when working through a multi stage process is to attack each phase individually. Our Guild explains the strategy and plan of attack for the first phase, then we go in and grind our way through it until the 1st phase is relatively mastered (minimal losses).

We expect wipes.

Once we get the initial step done, we outline the second phase and conduct a differential of our own: Identify the abilities of the boss, and how to counteract them. Now we have the information we need to battle through phases 1 and 2.

But the unexpected happens

What do you do in the unlikely event that the phases go through flawlessly and you’re left walking into phase 3 completely blind?

This is the raiding version of the hail Mary for healers, their coordinators, and the raid leader. If executed, you will look brilliant. If you fail, you have nothing to lose because you can claim you didn’t know what to expect.

How do you handle the unexpected?

I can only think of 2 cases where you can go into an encounter healer blind.

  1. The raid hasn’t been briefed
  2. You’ve sustained losses but there are enough healers or utility players to deliver a serious attempt

I don’t care what your title is. You can be the raid leader, the healing leader, coordinator, administrator, class leader, or whatever. Personally, I’ve assumed the title of Grand Master Matticus of Healonomics, 1st class.

But you share one common trait: The organization and setup of your healers.

Here are the facts

Since you’re reading this, you will have more time to make a decision than I will. I had exactly 2 seconds to issue instructions but I knew the following facts:

  • Paladin tank is main tanking
  • All healers are alive and accounted for
  • Healer loadout consists of 1 Resto Druid, 1 Resto Shaman, 3 Holy Paladins, 2 Holy Priests (1 CoH, 1 Imp. DS)
  • Group 3 consists of Shadow Priest, 2 Holy Paladins, and the 2 Holy Priests
  • Resto Druid in MT’s group
  • Gradually increasing shadow damage to the raid over time
  • 3 players randomly chosen will take nature damage spikes of ~7000 periodically
  • Forgot to buff Shadow Resist

Our raid group never even discussed the possibility of entering phase 3 at this point but no players were dead at this point.

The thought process

As healers, you know what the first priority of the raid is: The main tank. I don’t know what kind of damage our Prot. Pally was going to take so I fell back to tried and true methods. I assigned the Resto Druid and 2 Holy Pallies onto the main tank.

Second order of business is to ensure that the supply of life to the raid doesn’t get cut off. Since both Holy Priests were in group 3, it would make sense for the Imp. DS Priest to use their downranked Prayer of Healing before switching to the bigger guns. Doing that ensures the healer group stays alive because all they are doing is spamming Prayers.

The last job is the rest of the raid. I had 1 Paladin, myself, and a Resto Shaman left over and assigned them to the raid. Circle of Healing and Chain Heal tag team pretty well. Whatever CoH misses, Chain Heal latches on to.

The orders ensue

That entire step of recognizing the jobs that need to be done and figuring out which healers should take no more than a few seconds.

The trick here is to stay firm and don’t change anything. Don’t second guess yourself. Once you’ve decided on a course of action, stay true to it.

I barked out over vent quite clearly and named healers individually and their targets. Make sure you don’t rush and babble and risk your players not being able to understand what you are saying. Be loud. It’s important to assert everyone’s attention as this is a critical moment. There is no time to type this stuff out and spam it in your healer chat. Once you go into a situation like this, you’re on the clock.

So how did I do?

On this particular attempt, I failed. Our first try at the third phase of RoS resulted in a 3% wipe.

Because I forgot to buff Shadow Resist.

But you learn something from every failure and every success. You learn what worked and what didn’t. I used the exact same setup on the subsequent attempt resulting in the first kill. Build upon your previous results. If it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it and muddle it further.

Dear DPS Classes: You’re Hurting Us

Dear DPS Classes: You’re Hurting Us

Image courtesy of weirdvis

Dearest DPS,

We’ve had a wonderful relationship over the years. I’ve enjoyed your care and watchful eyes that you’ve had over me. But lately, I’ve found my feelings to be hurt on multiple occasions. Your words, once supportive and kind, have begun to sting more often. I appreciate all the advice and the criticism that you’ve given to me lately on the hardships we’ve had to overcome so that we can work together more effectively as a team. As we’ve continued in our affairs together into exotic locations like Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, your words have slowly been falling upon deaf ears.

You’ve been telling me lately that I’ve been doing things wrong or incorrectly. You’ve made fun of my friends and comrades who have done their best. I’ve held your hands and have never let go.

I can’t be the only one feeling this way especially after reading the scathing notes you’ve sent me:

  • That I just couldn’t keep you up anymore
  • Questioning my endurance
  • Faking everything
  • Doing it incorrectly

I can no longer accept this! I will not take this kind of abuse from you any longer. I have stood quiet in the shadows ever so obedient and mindlessly accepting your words. Why do you berate me so on the tasks we have done multiple times? Why do you continue to insist on giving advice to healers that know what they are doing? Why do you point fingers at us first like scolding a child taking a cookie from a jar?

We know the job that needs to be done. Do you? Do you not realize relationships take 2 in order to work? It has to be mutual! You sit there on the couch pressing the same buttons day in and day out expecting us to support your lifestyle without any effort from you whatsoever!

I grow tired and weary. I will settle for you telling me the objective that needs to be done and I will take care of it. But don’t you dare tell me who to heal and who to stay away from. I believe I’m a better judge of that than you! If you keep insisting on blaming me and my friends for your inexcusable mistakes, then our relationship will be have to be reexamined again!

Tango Down: Reliquary of Souls

Tango Down: Reliquary of Souls


This is one of the fastest progression kills we’ve had in a while. It only took 3 hours before we were able to take him down.


  • It helps to know which rogue is eating the enrage during phase 1 first. Once that’s established, then shield that rogue about 10 seconds before hand so the Weakened Soul debuff wears off.
  • Feel free to DPS a bit during the 2nd phase if you can get away with it.
  • Ranged guys ought to be stacking together during phase 2 to maximize CoH and Chain Heal.
  • For the healing group in phase 3, put your Imp. DS priest in there and have them prayer of healing that group while the other healers work on the raid and the tanks.

From Wynthea

A frequent commenter produced a useful list of tips for trash and the boss that I’m going to duplicate here:

Put your MT on follow, shield yourself, and spam CoH. There is a niche close to the last pull – your raid can stand there for a second, get out of combat, let all the mana users drink, and then have only one or two little pulls before engaging the boss. Pot as you run in, so you’re at full mana.

Phase 1:
PW:Shield anyone and everyone taking a fixate. Early, and often. Don’t be afraid to take a fixate yourself (as long as it’s not an enrage, obviously). SW:P the boss. Every little bit helps.

Phase 2:
CoH. Nothing but CoH. 400 mana for 2k heals on 5 people. Tell your shadow priests that SW:D is off-limits. No matter how much you want to, do not pot during this phase. Pop your earring, pop your fiend, but do not pot. You’ll need your cooldown. Save your Inner Focus ’til the end, and your Vial of the Sunwell. You may go oom, and need the heals. I have been told that you can Mass Dispel the last shield using your Inner Focus, so I save mine for that, but we’ve never needed it. Pray that your rogues are smart.

Phase 3:
Bosskillers said (when we were reading) to take a cauldron of Nature’s protection pots. Not sure why, the nature damage is minimal. Our guild uses Shadow Protection pots. Take them at 80%. (This is why you couldn’t mana pot in phase two.) Make sure everyone has one before you start the trash.

Pally’s on the tank, priests CoH everyone. Druids saving Tranq for this phase is not a bad idea.

Things I’ve found helpful:
Golden fish sticks if you have 10k health. Stam/regen food if you don’t. Don’t be afraid to take a fixate – no one has any armor anyway, so unless it’s an enrage, you’re not going to take more damage than a tank would. Rogues can also evade-tank enrages. Don’t flask for this. Wait until you’re ON PHASE THREE, then take draenic wisdom and healing power.

The more balanced stats are really, insanely helpful compared to Raw mp5. But you’re going to die a lot on the first couple of phases ’til you learn it, so don’t go broke wasting elixirs until people learn how to take fixates from one another.

Frequent Issues:
Trash: Mages like to AoE and kill themselves. Shield and renew them.

Phase 1: People being nervous to get in there and take a fixate, or not being smooth with the transitions = dead people. Watch those who are exceptionally low on health, and dispel them first.

Phase 2: S.priests, warlocks, Mages critting themselves to death. Rogues & interrupters interrupting badly or not at all.

Phase 3: Don’t. Let. The. Tank. Die. Everyone else is expendable. Especially you, if you have Spirit of Redemption. In fact, if you go Oom, just let yourself die, so you can keep healing.

The phases are very short, with full mana regen afterwards. Don’t be stingy with your mana.

Phat loots

Naturewarden’s Treads
Boneweave Girdle

Not sure what’s going to happen this week. The Guild will need to bust out the Shadow Resist stuff and all that. I’ve got the SR Neck, Cape, Boots, Belt, and Bracers crafted. I hope that’s enough.

9 Traditional WoW Blog Posts (with Examples)

This post is more catered towards my fellow WoW blogging colleagues who suffer from "Lack-of-Idea" syndrome. Spice up your blogging! Be interesting!

The Gear List Post

Everyone wants to know what kind of gear to strive for. But people are too inherently lazy to do the research themselves. Be a good Samaritan and create a list! More often then not, you already have a general idea of what to go for so you may as well share it. When you’re creating your list, try to apply it for something (IE, what is this list going to help me do?). I wrote my Holy Priest gearlist in mind as the easiest and cost effective (in terms of time) gear to acquire to punt you into Karazhan as soon as possible.

Part Time DruidFresh 70 Resto Druid: Gear Cheat Sheet
World of MatticusGearing Your 70 Holy Priest: My Recommendations

The Rant Post

It’s no secret that blogs are an excellent platform in getting stuff off their chest. Used correctly, it can. The trick is to do it without swearing or insulting (much). A calmly thought out and delivered rant will have a much more powerful effect then a rant that’s literally full of air and no substance. If you’re going to rant about something, drive the point home. Be obvious about why it sucks. Feed your anger and unleash it!

Resto4LifeBornakk: Druids Not to be "Big Green Blogs"
Lady JessNo Desire to Play… Why?

The Link Love Post

For every blog that goes down, new blogs spring up. It’s impossible to keep track of them all. In fact, I daresay there are more blogs out there then grains of sand in the Sahara desert. Most of my blog fishing comes from a critical examination of comments, inbound links, and other blogs. A big thank you to you, the curious and exploratory blogger, for finding new blogs! The typical link love post involves a (surprise surprise) link to said new blog as well as a post that they like. In case you’ve stumbled upon a plethora of kick-ass blogs, you can go for the list approach.

Bonus points if you can do it in a sonnet.

Kestrel’s AerieBlogroll Addition: Warcraft and Other Hooha (Batgrl)
Resto4lifeCommunity Spotlight: April 24

The Strategy Guide Post

Guide posts are excellent bread and butter references. The guide can be anything from killing a boss, completing a certain quest, or levelling a profession. Do a quick look around to see what’s covered. If your idea is already taken, try to improve upon the one that you read or approach it from a different perspective.

Too Many AnnasResto Shaman vs. Tidewalker – A Healing Guide
Banana ShouldersA Guide to Daily Quests V: Shattered Sun

The Addon Review Post

Different UI’s suit different people. Not everyone has the time or the energy to sift through entire addon databases to find out what’s cool and what’s not. The popularity of addons spread via word of mouth. Why not contribute to it?

Girl Meets WoW6 Mods and Macros to Help You Win in Battlegrounds
Healer LFG – Essential Addons

The Question and Answer Post

Every now and then, bloggers receive an email asking for help or for their opinion on a topic. Go ahead and feature a reader email of the week or two, then open it up for your readers to chime in.

Blessing of KingsAsk Coriel: Pursuit of Justice for a Tank?

The General List Post

Lists are fun to do and they can be used for any topic. A majority of my posts are lists because I have fun writing them. Topics could be anything from 35 Ways to Skin a Tauren to 47 Really Shiny Epics or 14 Up and Coming Bloggers to Watch.

Healer LFG – 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Raid
Part Time DruidResto Druid: 5 Things You Should Know

The Diary Post

This is the most common type of post which details what the blogger has done recently on WoW. Ranges anywhere from guild affairs to the orgasmic "We Killed This Boss" post.

Honor’s Code – Finish Up the Week
Mama Druid – Selenyx Has Been Busy

The How-to Post

These posts are designed to help walk people through the process of doing something. They’re often fairly detailed and have cool step-by-step screenshots of the different stages of your goal.

Petaholics AnonymousSyncing Your WoW Stuff Across Multiple Computers
Pugnacious PriestHow to Make a Quick and Dirty Guild website Banner

Obviously, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to add your own!

Trying to Avoid Burnout Again

I picked up 2 games a few days back in order to pace myself in WoW. The adrenaline first kill rush of taking down Bloodboil still feels fresh in my system and I hope I can capitalize upon that on Sunday. Many thanks to the numerous people who have contributed ideas and strategy for RoS in my last post. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is my latest addiction. I love shooters.

Although according to the media, I’m a threat to society. I might walk into a school campus and start shooting up the place and actually cause serious damage because of my ability to coordinate the actual firing of guns with a mouse and a keyboard.

Bloodboil Down and Notes

Bloodboil Down and Notes


Bloodboil got taken down last night with relative ease on the second shot.


Staff of Immaculate Recovery – I passed the staff off to a different Priest. I only wish that he were able to play more often. But I’m sure the staff will drop again. When Archimonde dropped his, I got mine the week after we killed him again.

Shroud of Forgiveness – Nice cape for me.


  • 3 Holy Priests: One in each Bloodboil group spamming Rank 3 Prayer of Healing. At our level, it heals for about 1800 and the bloodboil damage is about 600+ /tick.
  • Inner Fire helps a lot.
  • Stack an extra healer in the 3rd bloodboil group as that group will have 2 seconds of bloodboil during the Fel Rage phase. This frees them up to help with the Fel Raged player.
  • Chain potting is a must.
  • 4 Paladins were healing the tanks.

Sunday’s going to be progression night. 6 hours of wiping on Reliquary of Souls. I’m going to see how we do and take some notes.

20 Things I Know at Level 70 that I Didn’t Know at Level 1

No long drawn out post today. But there are a few things I wanted to share to potential new WoW players. Post was inspired by What I Know at 64 that I Didn’t Know at 24.

  1. Leveling as Holy is both a blessing and a curse. You can’t really kill anything but you will be the most sought after person during instance runs.
  2. Your spells go as fast as your mana regen. Pack lots of water.
  3. Players have long memories. Don’t be an ass or you might regret it when you finish leveling.
  4. Make friends along the way. It makes the experience much more enjoyable and your survivability goes up.
  5. Assume the person you’re interacting with is the real deal. The game’s anonymity aspect allows people to show their real personalities without fear of retribution.
  6. Be smart with your virtual money. Don’t spend it on crap you don’t need.
  7. Agility and strength aren’t important stats for Priests.
  8. The achievements you accomplish in game are what you make of them not what anyone else says.
  9. Take a moment and appreciate the detail and beauty of the area you’re in. Once you get to 70, you won’t ever go back there.
  10. Just because it’s a game doesn’t mean you don’t have to try.
  11. Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies on your ignore list.
  12. The game’s loot is not worth getting emotional over. The people are. Don’t get the two confused.
  13. Time is important. When you waste a minute of time in a 25 man raid, you’ve wasted 25 minutes.
  14. Just like in the real world, you don’t have to be best friends with a someone to work with them. There are a fair number of people in my Guild who I wouldn’t have drinks with.
  15. Your character is measured by the amount of gold you borrow and pay back.
  16. Raid leaders are often incompetent and misinformed. But they’re people like you and I.
  17. Read what your critics say but know when they’re full of crap.
  18. When things aren’t going your way in a group, outline the goal that needs to be done as opposed to how it needs to be done to individual players.
  19. Even though you don’t want to admit it, there really is someone out there that knows more than you do. Recognize them and learn from them.
  20. The only thing constant about the game is change. There’s nothing you can do about it other than to learn and to adapt without complaint.

If you had a friend or relative that just bought the game, what piece of advice would you give them?