3.1.2 Priest Nerfs

Discipline

  • Soul Warding now reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 15%. (Down from 30%)

Holy

  • Divine Hymn now heals for 3024 to 3342 every 2 sec. (Down from 4320 to 4774)

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Mass Dispell now Reduces the mana cost of Mass Dispel by 35%. (Down from 50%)
  • Glyph of Penance – Increases the critical strike chance of Penance by 5%. (Old – Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 sec)

Courtesy of MMO Champion.

I knew Divine Hymn and Soul Warding were hit. The Penance changed surprised me. I liked my ~6 second cooldown spell. It’s not often I’m saddened but in this case, I am one sad panda.

On the bright side:

Drink restoring 12960 mana over 30 sec now restores 19200 mana over 30 sec.

Two Ways to Approach Ulduar’s Hard Modes

Two Ways to Approach Ulduar’s Hard Modes

While patrolling the Plus Heal forums earlier, I ran into this thread. In it, the original poster laments the reduced healer requirement in order to achieve Ulduar’s hard modes. And why not? Let’s take a quick look at some of Ulduar’s heroic hard modes.

  • Hodir – 32.5 million health, 2 minutes. 270834 DPS required
  • Thorim – Running the gauntlet in 3 minutes after the snake and the ads are eliminated
  • Deconstructor – Bringing the heart from full health to zero in 20 seconds

The DPS requirements for the average raid is simply inconceivable. Honestly, there’s just no way to whip out DPS of that magnitude. The only way to even come close to doing that is to sit healers and tanks and go with the bare bones minimum.

Now let’s stop and think about this for a second. Take a deep breath. More importantly, let’s take a step back.

Hard mode is hard

When Ulduar came out, Blizzard released it with the intention of offering multiple variations of different encounters. The strategy here is to cater towards as many players as possible. The more dedicated raiders could feel good about themselves going after hard modes and earning the higher level of loot. Players that wanted to take it a little easier could take on the bosses in their base form.

Everyone wins.

Hard mode is designed to separate guilds and spread them even further in what I like to call the progression gap. The higher you are on the curve, the better stuff you get and you can scale your guild’s difficulty accordingly. Not every guild is capable of doing hard mode for whatever reason. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s not meant for every guild.

When making the decision to jump to hard mode, there are two possible methods to go at it.

Method 1: High octane DPS right now

seinfeldCurrent DPS output for everyone has a limit: Your guild’s gear. In order to increase DPS, you either switch out tanks or healers and replace them with DPS. Every player added is another 4000-7000 DPS depending on the class.

You saw Hodir’s requirements above.

A little over 270000 DPS.

Obviously the risk here is that you lose raid stability. As in, the lower the amount of healers the higher the risk of not being able to stabilize and recover.

The tradeoff is that you have a chance at accomplishing hard mode right now.

Method 2: High octane DPS later

You continue to work on Ulduar and upgrade your raid’s gear as much as possible.

Even on the test realms when Hard Modes were enabled, Ursula McWeaksauce had to dispense the Shirt of Uber. It’s an increase in the overall raid’s stats by 8% and ratings by 130 assuming we’re decked in full Naxx gear.

For example, the raid DPS output of 4 healers, 20 DPS, and 1 tank right now could be the same as 6 healers, 18 DPS, and 1 tank 8 weeks later.

You don’t have to stack raids with with DPS unless you fully intend to do hard modes right now. You can farm easy mode Ulduar for a few weeks and gear out the players accordingly to raise the overall gear contribution gradually from your players.

To finalize

Jerry Seinfeld ran into a similar problem. In his words:

I was in the drug store the other day trying to get a cold medication…

Not easy. There’s an entire wall of products you need. You stand there going, Well, this one is quick acting but this is long lasting… Which is more important, the present or the future?

How fitting.

In order to meet the requirements for hard mode, you can either raise the quantity of DPS or raise the quality of DPS. Either way, your raid group will reach that minimal floor that hard mode demands. All this does now is determine when your guild can do hard modes.

Do it now with a stacked configuration.

Do it later with the same configuration.

The choice is yours.

The Secret to Being a World-Class Healer

The Secret to Being a World-Class Healer

Should I hold you in suspense or should I just get down to it? Ah heck, I’ll let you guys know right away. I’m going to let you in on a secret. World-class healing has absolutely nothing to do with talent.

Think about it.

No one is innately born with the skills of being really good at healing. Or DPSing. Or playing video games.

It’s all about deliberate practice. We become better wired at certain activities based on the amount of time and effort we invest into it. Granted there is still the necessary ingredient of wanting to get better at something.

Transferable skills

Project Plan - Gant ChartIf you ever wonder why the learning curve is difficult for some players and easier for others, it’s possibly because of the fact that the players who have an easier time picking up stuff have played games for a longer time.

This concept of transferable skills in real life? I bet it applies to WoW. Certain mental schemas for WoW can be taken from other games.

A player recognizing the fact they’re in a fire or in a void zone clicks frantically to get out of there based on past experiences against Korean Protoss players with Psionic Storm casting Templars.

A different player trying to run away from an incoming AoE spell or ability is drawing on their previous days of Counterstrike after witnessing incoming HE grenades.

Such players have been able to identify various forms of threats and just know instinctively how to react. Its not deliberate practice, per se. But they’ve performed these same moves so often that it’s virtually second nature.

It’s the nature of repetitive action.

Practice, practice, practice

Let’s veer away from WoW for a sec. On December 30, 1975, a child was born. Earl Woods was the father. At the age of 2, he would sit in his dad’s garage and watch his Woods Sr. putt after putt after putt. This was a young golf prodigy in the making. Tiger was exposed to golf at an extremely young age. He would eventually go on to win multiple championships and tournaments.

But was it because of talent?

How a typical golfer practices

How does a typical golfer practice? I’m going to use my dad as an example. This is what he likes to do. He’ll head out to the driving range, throw some coins into the machine and just get a bucket of balls. He heads out and gets set up. Obviously he needs a target. So my dad picks any number or flag on the range and tries to aim for it while not caring if he realistically hits the mark or not. He’s on the range just just swinging away.

How Tiger practices

Here’s how Tiger does it. He heads out onto the fairway. Tiger looks around and spots a sand trap. Instead of heading away, he’ll make a beeline for it. As he tiptoes his way into the bunker, Tiger will reach into his pocket and grab a golf ball. He’ll close his eyes and randomly drop it somewhere around him. Oh, and just for good measure, he’ll step on the ball a bit just to make sure it’s firmly planted. Then he whips out his club of choice and starts working on powering balls out of the trap.

Rumor has it that he’s hard at work perfecting his Jesus shot. Here’s a clip of it below (Which I probably linked to before but it’s just so awesome).

As a personal aside, no, I’m not into golf. I tried it but I never got into it. Just had a hard time hitting the ball and lost interest. Now give me a hockey stick and I can make that sucker fly.

The underlying point here isn’t simply practice. It’s deliberate practice. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way and join a pickup culling of Stratholme group consisting of undergeared melee players. Other times, I’ll drop in on some PvP and heal for a few rounds. If its the day before a raid resets, I’ll join a quick 10 man.

  • It doesn’t matter if its PvE
  • It doesnt matter if its PvP
  • It doesn’t matter if its a raid
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re soloing

 

The key is to place yourself in situations where you have to heal. No matter what area of the game you prefer, the more you heal, the better you become as a healer. Its unfortunate we don’t have healing equivalents of a test dummy.

Anyway, we might prefer different aspects of the game. But in the end, we are all healers.

A story aside

I remember many years ago when I was young and foolish, my dad bought me this game called Warcraft II. I installed it on my old Pentium 166 Mhz machine. It still had Windows 3.1 on it. I played through the Human side campaign and there was this one map where you had to avenge the death of Lothar. The great hero of the Alliance had been sent in to parlay with the Horde but was ruthlessly assassinated (in the game, though I heard it was retconned). I was so pissed and disappointed. It was around this time that I figured out the game had cheat codes.

Now you gotta remember that every game released in this era had some sort of god mode cheat. Warcraft II was no exception. God mode (and one shot kills) were enabled by typing in the phrase “it is a good day to die”. I remember I wanted so bad to save Lothar so I could have him as a hero and just own the Horde with. I thought if I could somehow cheat his death, I’d be able to command him.

My typing speed sucked. I was still a kid at this time. Every time I started the level, I’d try my best to enter the cheat. I’d usually make a typo. Maybe I hit the wrong key or hit the space bar one too many times. More often than not, I just couldn’t keep up with the pace. I wasn’t able to save Lothar in time. I was off by 3 seconds.

Then 2.

Then 1.

Then milliseconds. I was so close. Time and time again he would be killed by the surrounding Ogres and Troll Axethrowers. I kept hitting the menu and restarting the level over and over until finally I looked up and saw that he was still alive.

And he beat the living Kodocrap out of the Horde that tried to ambush him. His escort was dead, true. But he was alive with barely a sliver of red in his health bar. I remember amassing my army and trying to gain possession of him. But I couldn’t.

Good thing too. I checked his stats? They were the same as an ordinary Knight.

Fail.

Anyway, just remember how much repetition and practice can help you become better. Keep healing non-stop.

And hey, you don’t have to hit practice if you don’¢t want to. It’s optional.

Ensidia’s Holy Priest Guide and Monday Links

Ensidia’s Holy Priest Guide and Monday Links

For Holy Priests interested in capturing a glimpse of how and what top end players do push themselves to the limit, one of Ensidia’s Holy Priests has written a guide to specs, gems, gear, and spell casts.

book

Quick Notes

One of the suggested specs is a 13/58/0 build which does not have Mental Agility nor Inspiration. This is a more specialized build which relies on Test of Faith and Healing Prayers for short, high healing demand type of encounters where Priests can afford to blow through mana.

In regards to gems, Poptisse advocates any gems with Intellect in the various sockets but notes that other gems will work just as well based on your personal preference. While I knew Intellect gems were the go-to gems for Discipline, I didn’t know it would be prioritized as high for Holy Priests. It must be due to the result of the Spirit nerf. Intellect didn’t really get better. Spirit just got slightly hit.

Caution: The guide you’re reading is written by one of the top Priests in the world. She’s in Ensidia after all. That’s a guild that probably has a plethora of raiders and players to choose from based on varying roles that are needed by different encounters. Most of us do not have that luxury. We have to make do with what we have which means we have to be more “all around”. There is a ton of valuable information but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to copy everything exactly. This is just an insight as to what a top tier Priest does. Read it, learn from it, and find out what works best for you.

Monday links

  • Brigwyn is hosting a Child’s Play Charity Auction – All donations going to a good cause. Do check it out.
  • Kestrel wants to know if WoW is Losing Its Hold on you – I know Megan has called a retirement from blogging (not sure if that includes the game). A lot of bloggers have called it quits recently. Rest assured, retirement is far away for me right now (Hopefully for Syd and Lodur too).
  • Wrote to Done: Three Tips to Avoid Being a Boring Writer – Read it.
  • Leadership now: 5 Leadership Lessons: Ultimate Leadership – Leading in Context – Great and short read. I liked this line the best:
    • General P.X. Kelly: "Listen carefully to the principles of leadership we will teach you here at Quantico, but always apply them within the framework of your own personality. A successful leader never languishes in the comfort of a swivel chair. The most important of all troop-leading steps, yet the one most often neglected, is the last – to supervise. And you supervise by being out with and devoting the bulk of your time to our most important product – people. You can always catch up on what you thought was essential paperwork during the evenings or on weekends, but once neglected, you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to catch up on people."
  • Zen Habits: 5 Tiny Steps to Quit Being Such a Jerk

Other notes

  • Noblegarden sucks. Haven’t seen this level of spawn camping since the days of Halo and Day of Defeat.
  • Had a few questions about this. Yes I’m always interested in guest posts and promoting blogs of others. Just be sure to follow these guidelines.

Draft

Frustrated by Ulduar? Here’s Why

Frustrated by Ulduar? Here’s Why

Guys, I have a theory. I want to write about the perceived “easiness” of Ulduar. Random conversations with other WoW players on Twitter and reading of blogs inspired today’s post.

Here’s the theory.

“Ulduar’s easy mode wasn’t cleared because it was easy. It was cleared because the top guilds raid way more than you and I.”

No really?

But let me explain further to the guilds, leaders and raiders who appear to be frustrated by their guild;s lack of progress. Many guilds have forgotten what it’s like to hit a progression wall. Raiders who felt good about themselves and their abilities started having doubts about themselves. More on this later.

Don’t compare your guild to Ensidia or Vodka. Don’t use them as benchmarks to your guild’s success. They are the top guilds in the world for a reason (One of the raid leaders likes to occasionally remind players of this fact). They’re on a completely different level.

It boils down to hard work.

These are guilds that spent extensive time on the PTR. Every time a new boss was active, raids were already in and ready to engage. They would spend hours in there wiping relentlessly experimenting and trying new things and making strategy adjustments.

Sounds like your guild right now, doesn’t it?

The learning process that guilds are going through right now have already been experienced by top guilds on the PTR already.

Don’t be ashamed of yourselves or disappointed. Flashes of sadness, anger, and determination (in that order) routinely flood through me during raids. I’m disappointed at myself for not executing. I become angry because I know I can do better. I’m then determined to prove myself right.

It’s called challenge.

And here’s where the payoff lies. It’s the steadily ticking down of boss health. As it counts down from 10% to 9% all the way down to 1%, the adrenaline is still pumping. The euphoric feeling that courses through your body after a kill? That’s what accomplishment feels like. It feels good doesn’t it?

When I measure and compare progress with other players or guilds, one question I like to ask is their hours spent raiding. The problem with using weeks is that the range which guilds can raid vary tremendously. Some guilds log 6 hours a week. Others log 18+. As an example, it took Conquest troopers around 7 hours to get from the start of Ulduar to the kill of Deconstructor. If a progression guild takes down Kologarn after a 16 hour raid week and a progression guild knocks out Kologarn after two 8 hour raid weeks, then I’d say they’re about on par because it took both guilds the same amount of time to get there (16 hours).

MX2CT-4953

You know this. I know this. I’ve talked to players both in different guilds and abroad on Twitter. Everyone knows this. It’s still a difficult and bitter pill to swallow. Like the great Morpheus once said, “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” The average time it takes for a typical heroic raid to learn and kill a new boss is around 2 hours. Shorten that time if players watched videos or read strategy or have done the 10 man versions.

Even now, we start seeing progression gaps among the different guilds. The spread from first, to tenth, to twenty-fifth is increasing. It’s becoming increasingly visible to separate the “pretenders” from the “contenders” (Hockey playoffs still in my head).

To the guilds leading the progression charge, I salute you. I’m always interested in reading what guilds like Fusion are up to (especially with their popular StratFu blog) and how they handled particular challenges. I’ve heard stories of how some guilds prefer to keep their raid secrets a secret. Never really bought into that policy. Always preferred to teach players and learn from others.

Lessons from Talent is Overrated: Welch’s 4 E’s

I’ve been reading a great book called Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. I’ve learned a lot of great lessons and many of the stories are some I’ve found to be inspiring to me online and in the real world. Hopefully you’ll feel the same way.

Former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, had a set of criteria he would use when looking at prospective employees to promote into the upper levels of management. It’s called the 4 E’s! Let’s see if we can take them and apply them to players looking to break into the demanding responsibilities of raid leadership. These are all general (and well rounded) traits that Welch would key in on.

Energy

Self-motivated and driven. These are players who aren’t tired (or don’t give off that impression). They want to do something. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first hour of raiding, or the 4th or 12th hour. Their level of energy remains high, focused, and committed. They’re always eager to get going and try something new when strategies don’t work.

Ability to energize

Having someone who can not only motivate themselves but the others around them is a huge benefit. These are players who don’t need a spark to get the raid going. They are the spark that helps to ignite other players. It’s this up tempo attitude that separates okay raid leaders from great ones. This is a trait that doesn’t have to be limited to leaders either. It could very well be anyone.

Edge

(It means decisiveness, but a word was needed that started with the letter e)

Whether you are right or wrong isn’t as important as making the decision in a timely manner. Ideally you want to be right (or have positive results) more often than not. I personally cannot stand indecisiveness. That’s why I’m not a big fan of “co-gm” or democratic guilds. I don’t like standing around waiting 10 minutes for a raid leader to decide Abom wing or Military wing. Loot’s a different matter entirely. But for other raid-to-raid decisions on progression content like who’s tanking what, which boss to do, what strat to try, who sheeps what, and all that, it’s better to just pick a name and get it done. This becomes especially true in make or wipe situations when picking which Druid should battle res, for example.

Execution

This is also known as the follow through. Can you deliver? That’s all there is to it. The ability to execute is a broad look at all the players involved. Sure you’ve topped the healing charts. Every incoming add is CC’d or destroyed. Your tank miraculously survives 3 seconds past an enrage timer. But the raid boss or encounter must be beaten for all of that to matter. You can say all the right things. You can do all the right things. Yet at the end of the day, you’re going to be evaluated by your guild on the coordination and objectives achieved.

Val’anyr’s Vilification?

Val’anyr’s Vilification?

440px-mjolnir_phixr

As I’m sure you’ve seen yesterday, MMO-Champion put up the stats for Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. As of the time of this writing the link is gone. Here’s the link go ahead and click it.

Val’anyr Armory

Poof! Searching for the item on armory as well has yielded no results. This comes at a time where every healer has been foaming at the mouth for stats and a chance to claim the legendary mace that had been promised to us. I’m certain when people saw that the stats were released, like me, their hearts beat a little faster with anticipation and hope.

Here’s a link over to MMO-Champion’s Val’anyr photo but I’ll go ahead and post the stats here for you guys to take a look at.

+52 Stamina

+54 Intellect

Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 47

Eguip: Improves haste rating by 46

Equip: Improves spell power by 587

Equip: Your healing spells have a chance to cause Blessing of Ancient Kings for 15 seconds allowing your heals to shield the target absorbing damage equal to 15% of the amount healed

To be honest when I saw that slathering of stats my heart sank a little bit. I was expecting something with a bit more oomf. It’s an item level 239 which is a step up from items like Guiding Star who clocks in at an item level of 232. The stat increase is about 6-8 points higher (average) then iLevel 232 gear, spell power is a bit higher, by 30 to 40 points, and the item budget seems in line for the haste and crit as well. It follows the same jump from say Torch of Holy Fire (iLevel 226) to Guiding Star.

Don’t get me wrong the shield proc alone makes this thing worth it’s weight in gold, but I was expecting something a little more awe inspiring. Something that said “yes that is an amazing weapon and worth every second of the time I put into assembling it!” Lets take a look at the games past legendary weapons.

Vanilla WoW Legendaries

Back in the days when Molten Core was endgame, two legendary items were introduced. Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros and Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. These items were are amazing. Hand of Ragnaros on an enhancement shaman was the most fearsome thing in a battle ground, if he hit you, you were going to die. Thunderfury on a tank was like a cozy fire on a snowy night, you knew you were safe and warm no matter what happened. They were awe inspiring, you knew those who had it knew what they were doing, went to great lengths to get them and they stacked up heads and shoulders above the other items in the game at the time. To be honest well into burning crusade Thunderfurry was still being used as a premier tanking weapon, it was just that good.

Later on in vanilla WoW, Naxxramas came to town. It brought with it two more legendary items to the game.The Corrupted Ashbringer / Ashbringer and Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. I include the Corrupted Ashbringer and The Ashbringer because it was amazingly well done, and little things like walking into Scarlet Monestary and having all the NPC’s bow down to you was truly epic. The corrupted Ashbringer also talked to you in whispers(click HERE to listen on youtube). The item alone spawned so much speculation it became a legend in it’s own right. People guessing when they would allow the quest to cleanse it or if they would bother at all. The item has fan sites !

Atiesh  had four different flavors for healers and casters here they are for you to look over. Atiesh 1 , Atiesh 2 , Atiesh 3 , Atiesh 4 .  It’s stats were amazing in any iteration and the time to build it as well as the lore behind it was truly powerful and awe inspiring. Compared to other staves at the time like Spire of Twilight from old Naxxramas, Thadius. It also felt truly epic if you walked around with one of those.

Burning Crusade Legendaries

Burning crusade continued our story into outlands and eventually brought with it two legendary items. The Twin Blades of Azzinoth and Thori’dal the Stars’ Fury. The twin blades have been iconic since we were first introduced to illidan back in warcraft. They had a great set of stats, and the set bonus for them were really good. Star’s fury from Kil’jaden is a jaw dropping item. It may not have a ton of quest or lore behind it, but it’s rarity and the unique ability of the bow to not have to use arrows is amazing. It is still the best bow in the game,  and hunters still crave it. Most servers you will still find groups trying to go do sunwell and among those groups you’ll likely see many hunters chomping at the bit to get in for a chance at the bow.

Compare those legendary items to Val’anyr. Each of the legendary items prior to the mace has been leaps and bounds ahead of the weapons of its time in the sun. Each item truly felt epic and getting one was something to be proud of, perhaps even an apex for that particular content. With the leaked stats on Val’anyr it seems more meh. It’s proc is very very nice and depending on if it has a cool down on the proc or any other restrictions will determine whether it’s good, or really epic good.

I asked for reactions from my friends on Twitter . I asked if they thought it felt like a legendary item. general consensus was “IT NEEDS MORE SHINY!” to quote one of my Moo Cow Healy friends Kiki. It’s good, but it seems like it would be more on par with its item level and as a result could potentially be replaced when Ice Crown drops as a raid.

I think they took the link down on purpose, perhaps to tweak things before people start getting enough shards to build it.

What are your thoughts on Val’anyr? Do you feel it is legendary quality?

Till next time

lodsig11

Feel free to follow me on Twitter

Image of Mjolnir courtesy of www.Marvel.com

Healing Ulduar: Ignis the Furnace Master

Healing Ulduar: Ignis the Furnace Master

header

For other bosses in Ulduar, check the Ulduar Healing strategy page.

Here’s a rather unconventional approach to killing Ignis which utilizes the side of the instance. Using this method does appear to be rather cheesy, but it takes a lot of pressure off many players. Credit this to Kimbo for figuring this out. Ignis is one of the early optional bosses you’ll encounter first in Ulduar. I recommend working on Razorscale first before doubling back to the Furnace Master.

Quick notes

  • Standard tank and spank
  • Periodic Constructs will activate

Abilities

Scorch – All enemies in front of Ignis will take quick dot damage for 3 seconds (ticks every half-a-second). Constructs within the area will start to heat up and become Molten.

Flame Jets – Geysers of flame shoot up from the ground and throw raid members up into the air. If the Flame Jets connect while a player is casting, they’ll be interrupted for 8 seconds. Targets take fire damage over 8 seconds.

Slag Pot – Ignis will charge a player and grab them tossing them into his Slag Pot (the pot hanging around his waist).

Activate Construct – Activates a Construct with 3.8 million health.

Strength of the Creator – When a Construct is active, damage done by Ignis is increased by 15%. It’s a stacking buff. When a Construct is taken out, the stack is removed.

Ability examples

ignis-flame-patch

Scorch on the ground

ignis-constructs

Construct

flame-jet 

Here’s a shot of some of the melee players in the air after a Flame Jet.

Setup

Here’s our non-conventional setup. If you look to your left and right, you’ll see two pools of water that are surrounded by a ledge. Start heading for the one on the left (facing Ignis) that’s nearest the entrance ramp. All ranged DPS and healers should stand on the ledge.

The reason you want to set up in this position is to think back to the days of Starcraft where players set up choke points for enemies to go through. Constructs that spawn, if their aggro is gained by a ranged player, will have to run all the way into the pool and then up the ramp in order to take out a player (green path). The extra distance the Construct has to run should be more than enough time for your off tank to attract the Construct’s attention.

healer-pos-choke

Main tank

ignis-kite-path

Your tank’s going to be running laps along the red path. The ranged group should not be affected by Scorches. Your healers are going to have to strafe along the blue arrow to maintain range with the tank. The upper line is a little under 40 yards.

Execution

Once Ignis is engaged, your main tank will pick him up and start keeping him moving in a roundabout fashion pictured above. After a period of time has passed, Ignis will begin to activate Constructs. Off tanks need to snatch them up and bring them into Scorched areas and hold them in there until they turn Molten. When it hits 20 stacks, it becomes Brittle.

What do you get when you combine something incredibly hot with something incredibly cold? The object becomes extremely brittle. Same thing applies here. The chance to crit the Construct increases. Damage done over 5000 will effectively kill it. Be sure to target Brittle’d Constructs with your ranged players as they explode dealing damage to players in close proximity.

Have players keep an eye on Flame Jets. If spellcasters are caught casting when Flame Jet connects, they’re locked out of casting for 8 seconds. Not good if you’re a healer.

Healing

There are four healing areas to cover in this fight:

Main tank – One healer should be enough but other healers will need to keep HoTs as active as possible especially with numerous Constructs.

Off tank – If there are Constructs up, your off tank is going to need heals as well.

Slag Pot – Ignis is going to charge and pick up a player and toss them into his sack. While in his sack, they will take 5000 damage every second for 10 seconds. Keep a dedicated raid healer on Slag Pot duty. If there’s no one in there, that healer then returns back to healing the raid.

Healers won’t be able to cast too many spells in there. But healers with instant spells should be able to cast them as much as they can. Priests, for example, can Holy Nova while inside the pot.

Raid – Flame Jet and Scorched melee players are going to involve the bulk of the healing here. Chain Healing Shamans will be at their finest especially since ranged players will be strafing along the ledge. After getting hit by a Flame Jet, I will personally light up a few Holy Novas while I’m in the air.

Healing loot

Flamewrought Cinch – Leather

Lifeforge Breastplate – Plate

Pyrelight Circle – Ring

Scepter of Creation – Wand

Healing Heroic Emalon the Storm Watcher

Healing Heroic Emalon the Storm Watcher

emalon_phixr If you didn’t know already, Emalon is the new boss in the Vault of Archavon in Wintergrasp. Unlike his cousin though, he’s got a bit of a kick to him and look out because he brought friends!

The encounter starts with Emalon in the middle of the room and four tempest minions surrounding him. Generally you’re set up is going to be one Main Tank and one to two Off Tanks. The offtank will grab all four of the Tempest Minions and drag them off to one side of the room, while the Main Tank grabs Emalon and take him towards the opposite side.

Emalon’s Abilities

First it should be noted he hits very hard on plate. Average hit pushes up around 20,000 damage.

Chain Lightning: Like the name inplies it’s a chain lightning, but the more people it chains to, the more damage it does. The raid will have to be spread out to avoid players eating a rolling chain.

Lightning Nova: This is similar in effect to Loken’s nova. He will occasionally spam a raid wide blast that deals increased damage the closer you are to him. Melee who are not fast to move out of it, and the MT will take a large hit (upwards of 20,000). If you are not in the immediate vicinity when it goes off you can expect to take roughly half the damage.

Overcharge: Occasionally Emalon will cast overcharge on one of the Tempest Minions. This will heal the minion to full health and increase that minions damage output by 20%. After 24 seconds the minion will explode causing massive raid wide damage.

Beserk: On heroic difficulty, Emalon has a 6 minute enrage. This will increase his damage output by 500%.

Healing Emalon

Emalon is a fun fight for healers. He hits hard and there is a lot of raid wide damage going on. The fight is set up though that group healing (Chain Heal, Circle of Healing, Wild Growth and glyphed Holy Light) becomes less effective as generally people are spread out to avoid Chain Lightning.

Main Tank Healing

Two healers should be assigned to the MT. I’ve found that a Disc Priest and a Resto Druid do wonders to even out the spikes in damage. Keeping HoTs on the tank as well as aggressively shielding help to smooth out the damage. The healers on the MT will have to keep a steady stream going as the tank will be eating novas at ground zero, large melee hits and potentially chain lightnings if the melee are not far enough away.

Off Tank Healing

The OT is similarly going to be taking a lot of damage. It is suggested to have two healers dedicated to the OT. Healers should keep a full range of HoT’s on the OT and be ready to drop large heals as adds gain Overcharge. The OT will be taking some of the nova splash as well as being beat on by four adds.

Raid Healing

For healing the raid you should have two to three healers assigned. Between Chain Lightning and Lightning Nova there will be a lot of raid damage being thrown around. The raid will be spread out though and so group healing should be replaced with a series of quick heals (Lesser Healing Wave, Flash Heal, Flash of light) as well as having HoTs up on as many targets as you can. Shamans I would suggest dropping Healing Stream Totem. It’s a 30 yard range so even with people spread out it will still hit most. Similarly Tranquility can be used to great effect because of it’s 30 yard range. Group heals can be used at certain points, such as when melee crowds around Tempest Minion to burn it down. They will be close enough together for a time to shoot off a couple quick Chain Heal, Wild Growth or Circle of Healing before they move back to Emalon.

It’s a fun fight. It forces healers to utilize different heals and keeps us casting pretty much throughout the entire encounter, so make sure you have your MP5/Regen gear on and potions at the ready.

Until next time, Happy Healing

lodsig1

Paladin Healing in Heroic Ulduar

This is a guest post by Adgamorix with some tips for Holy Paladins working their way through Ulduar.

3.1 and Ulduar are upon us, and the tears of Healadins fill the forums, feeding Yarg-Saron and keeping XT’s joints lubed. Bloggers and forum goers alike lament the death of Flash of Light as a useful heal, and wonder if the new Infusion is even worth it. 10% extra crit on a Holy Light? I want my haste back! I need to raid heal!

Can you taste the tears?

My question is what is the real issue? Granted, my guild hasn’t cleared Ulduar yet, but we did get six bosses down in the first week (no hard modes), and I haven’t seen the problem. As we’re a 25 man raid guild, we typically run with seven healers: two Paladins, Disc priest (dual spec’d for Holy which some Priests just aren’t good enough to do *wink*), Holy Priest, two trees, and a Resto Shaman. Our tanks are a mix of all the tank classes, and we run a fairly balanced mix of melee vs. ranged (though we do have a lot of hunters – fortunately no huntards).

Given a balanced raid makeup, I’m very happy with where paladin healing is right now. On any boss fight that we’ve done so far, I’m confident in putting my paladin partner and I on the tank and letting the other healers take care of the raid, off tanks, etc. Between Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield, we can run a steady rotation on the tanks, and it hasn’t failed us yet. Granted, I haven’t seen the fights in 10 man yet, but I’m confident that it’ll be ok.

Note that I’ve said ‘balanced raid makeup’ a couple of times here. Even though we’ve been told to “bring the player and not the class”, I don’t think anyone would reasonably expect to waltz through Ulduar with nothing but a pocket-full of rogues and no ranged DPS… at least not for a while anyway. Having a mix of buffs and abilities is part of what makes raiding so much fun. It’d be boring if any 25 people (regardless of class/spec) could walk in and down the content during the first week.

I think the problems being experienced by some paladins can be explained with the same explanation we had when our MT pulled XT with his face the first time, leaving all his healers 40 yards behind him.

“You’re doing it wrong!”

Ulduar isn’t Naxx, and I’m glad. The trash is harder than most Naxx bosses, and “gasp” we have to use crowd control again. XT’s trash brought back nightmares of old Kael’Thas trash (with a mix of Void Reaver), and it takes some getting used to. Healers can’t snipe any more, and target assignments are crucial. Trusting your raid mates to do their assigned task, and focusing on yours, keeps the raid alive. I generally can’t spare the GCD to hit someone else, and I count on the raid healers to cover me when I’m not beaconed. Sure, I’m lower on the meters than I used to be, but our strategy works and bosses die.

I won’t disagree that it would be nice to have another tool in my box, but I love the healing aspect of my paladin so much that my Resto Shaman has been collecting dust for two months. I like the challenge of healing without a designated ‘raid heal’, and learning new ways to cope with the incoming damage.

Here’s how we’ve pulled off each boss so far

Healing rotation: This healing rotation is similar to what we use for every boss we two heal. My partner will spam HL while I run FoL/HS rotations. I generally keep my SS up on the tank, and we beacon an OT if they are close, our we just beacon ourselves. After about one minute of this, we switch roles, and she hits DP to start her regen (I usually hit Illumination right at the start – I also pop my haste gloves). This continues for one minute, and then we switch again (this time I Plea). With this rotation the MT is getting around 30k in healing every 2 – 2.5 sec (lag depending), and there is always a heal landing.

Flame Leviathan: All I can say is, flying through the air with a boom-chicken by your side is worth it. I beacon the boom-chicken and unleash my holy DPS on the turrets. Instant FoLs on myself are enough to keep us both alive without any stress (hard mode may be different).

Ignis: Pallies beacon themselves and do nothing but roll heals on the MT. We have our Disc priest on the OTs, with the druids dropping HOTs on them as they race by with the constructs. Raid healing is covered with the shaman and holy priest, and the druids kicking in after a flame jet.

Razorscale: This fight is a lot less coordinated. Generally I sit on our DK who picks up the whirlwinders and also stays closest to Razor so he gets her fire patches. I beacon myself, and just roll FoL on him until the fight ends. I’ll also run in and hit the boss a few times while she’s harpooned, that way I have a full mana bar at the start of phase 3 (phase 2 if you don’t count the chained phase) so I can just bomb the tanks with HL.

XT-002 Deconstructor: We handle this fight just like Ignis. Prot pallies on the tank, Disc Priest on the add tank, and the rest of the healers on the raid. The only change up is during the earthquake/pound one of us will switch off the MT and drop HL bombs on the melee to help with the damage.

Kologarn: See previous strategies. I usually beacon the add tank on this one, since he’s close enough to always receive my heals. Only one of the tanks holding Kologarn should be taking a significant amount of damage, so we focus on them individually. A Resto shaman is also amazing for the folks caught in the grip.

Assembly of Iron: This one we switch up just a touch. We’ve only downed this once, and that was in the ‘easy’ mode. Here we flip the disc priest and a holy paladin, beaconing the off tanks and healing through the damage. A shaman is an ideal healer for the tank on Stormcaller, as they can interrupt the chain lightning and the lightning whirl.