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10 Reasons People Don’t Heal

10 Reasons People Don’t Heal

I love healing. I have four healers, three of whom I play fairly regularly. I tend to be automatically drawn to healers in games. I’d shift out from Bookin and throw heals if the group’s dying. As plate DPS I run around telling people to stay still so I can bandage them.

Heck, in Team Fortress I default to the medic when my team’s limbs are flying freely.

But I know a lot of people who avoid healing like a Lich-bourne plague. Curious, I asked a few of them why it wasn’t their cup of tea, and thought back over some of my more negative experiences as a healer. I’m sharing these thoughts to see if anything rings true with you, whether you heal or not.

10. Visuals. Mostly we get to watch lil’ boxes rather than the pretty moving pictures on the rest of the screen. I’ll give that a moment to sink in. We don’t actually see the game we’re playing and paying for, whenever we’re healing in a group situation, just some bars going up and down. I can see why people wouldn’t want to watch that all the time. (Tho settling into the ‘healzone’ and watching those boxes can also be a reassuring balm for a healer. Or maybe that’s just me.)

9. Reaction based. Playing a healer requires you to think fluidly rather than do the same things over again, like DPS rotations. While this might be great at times it can also be daunting to commit to constant thinking in a ‘relaxing’ game. Not only that but healing’s very reaction based – current content tends to require quick twitch reactions both on plain ol’ healing and getting out of yon fiery goo. Those reactions aren’t something some people have permanently at their fingertips.

8. Personal preference. I believe there is a “role” in everyone. Some people ARE healer players. Some ARE tanks or DPS. What you play is obviously personal preference. But if you’re getting uppity when playing your feral cat character because you’re finding the rotation an absolute nitwibble, perhaps you’re unlikely to go for another stressful role – healing – as a change.

7. Perfectionism. I suspect a lot of healers are perfectionists. Deep down, we like to succeed in keeping everyone in tip-top shape. I don’t know about you but if people die from anything other than a one-shot, my thought is usually “I could have done better.” Even if that person died while I was a jot busy, like avoiding adds while jumping out of fire and cleansing a ticking disease. And healing the main tank who’s being mushed by an enraged boss. I can see some people might like to avoid engaging their inner perfectionist regularly.

6. People are stupid. Healing setups and assignments are things which some non-healers don’t think about and aren’t interested in learning about, whether or not it would help them support their healers and organise  more cohesive groups. The amount of times I’ve been in PUGs which have said “we need 5 healers anything will do” and we get 3 trees, 1 holy priest and an offspec resto shaman and are then expected to heal a Festergut25 attempt… which leads on to:

5. Blame game. Other members of the group tend to look to us healers first if someone dies or things go wrong. Sometimes the blame’s genuinely ours – everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, in PUGs or randoms particularly, we’re just the easiest ones to blame – people died after all, and that’s what wiped us. Yep. Can’t be anything to do with the hordes of uncontrolled adds chewing healers’ faces off. Other times people aren’t blaming us at all but asking for information on what we saw and because many healers carry the can of blame we can get used to assuming blame anyway. It’s an uncomfortable position.

4. Responsibility. Healers are often put in a spotlight. Your tank healer is standing in the fire and your top DPS has eaten a nasty DoT. Which one dies? If you falter then everyone will die, if you make the wrong decision then everyone will die. Everyone might die anyway. Those decisions can be hefty responsibilities to shoulder and it’s easy to have a rabbit-in-the-headlights reaction.

3. No influence. Think about it. If any tank says “jump down that hole” you jump down that hole. If a healer tells someone to do the same, the healer either gets told to “stfu”, kicked, or a reputation for being mouthy – before they’ve finished the sentence. Even when the other half of the sentence is “…because if you don’t those adds are going to rip out your ey-ohnevermindthen” Ah, the trials of being an unsung hero.

2. “Meh: Lose” situation. Being a healer’s far from win-win; there’s no criteria for personal ‘win’. If people don’t die then you’re performing adequately – at present. If people die, you’ve ‘lost’ or failed. The closest healers get to winning is on healing meters, which amount to superfluous and unfair competition given that different healing classes perform in different ways. The healing puppetry show is far more than “Heals Per Second – that’s the way ter do it!”

1. Mystery. Many gamers are used to “survive by killing that horde of zombies” or “save the world by sticking your sword in Mr. Mwhahahha until he falls over”. Not “save the world by by enthusiastically patching up your group’s assorted grazed knees and bumps on the head.” For players used to the former mindsets and styles, I gather that rolling a healer and then progressing through a game primarily with friendly and defensive abilities is a bit like “now go and live the same life as everyone else does using nothing but a chinchilla for defence.”

Now it’s your turn. I’m curious about this – do you have any reasons to add as to why you or someone you know won’t heal? Do you vehemently agree or disagree with any of these – or are you not fussed either way, given that it’s just a game? And do you think shedding light on these things will get healers a little more respect – if indeed we deserve more?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Why It’s A Problem That Healers Don’t Communicate in PUGs

The end is nigh.

Healers don’t communicate properly in PUGs. It’s a can of worms waiting to explode in Cataclysm.

WotLK minted many new practices, including PUGing raids. While the level and quality of communication in PUGs has always been unpredictable, there’s been decline in healer communication since the LFD tool was introduced.

People don’t seem to want to engage in communication unless pushed. I rarely see anyone bring up the topic of healing assignments. I usually wait to see if anyone else will initiate communication to sort tank and raid assignments and then organise it myself. The favourite responses vary from “sure”, “just heal ffs” and the particularly fine “lol Apeorsa tht healing setup is so naxx”.

Considering how players might feel these days I’m not greatly surprised at this lack of communication. As the root of group play, random 5 mans are largely to blame. They tend towards brief and impersonal affairs at best and arenas for bullying at worst. Sure, nice runs do happen – but for some there’s little incentive to be nice with strangers they’ll see once. There are no seeds of trust and friendship, and that dearth puts cracks in the foundations we build bigger PUGs on.

I’m sure some healers think communication in PUGs is unnecessary. From their POV, they’re kinda right. Think of a tree – call him Furtree. He’s used to raiding with his guild. Perhaps PUGs just don’t feel the same – he doesn’t get the mutual comradeship and pride he does with his guild. Perhaps VoA25 isn’t the challenge he’s used to in his guild’s ICChardmode runs. He has no reason to show loyalty or effort; he’s only here for a handful of badges to put a minute edge on already spiffy gear.

As a seasoned raider he might have a lack of patience with less experienced healers, or anyone inclined to ‘overtalk’ the situation – he just wants to get through the fast content as fast as possible. Many of us – including me – have been guilty of these at times. We’re slightly bored by now. I’ve even seen healers hiring themselves out as one-man-band progression healers, effectively amputating dialogue and shared learning.

At the other end of the spectrum we have new, struggling, healers. Imagine Timmy the timid priest who’s hit 80 and has blues and 219s. He wants to PUG for kit and badges, but PUGs can be harsh. Timmy’s more likely to be laughed off than invited to PUGs. When he does get an invite to his first ToC25 and the raid wipes to Burning Inferno because the healers didn’t communicate on Incinerate Flesh, Timmy’s may well get the blame.

Healers not talking mean that new healers don’t learn their own versatility in encounters or specifics behind healer setup. Sure, Timmy can read and watch tactics, but there’s an equation for learning encounters you’ve never seen plus how to heal in the first place which doesn’t necessarily = 2, for new healers.

equation2

A lack of teaching and support from other healers could have several effects. Timmy might get bored because the other healers have it covered. Or Timmy may believe all wipes are his fault and he can’t heal. Or he’ll have been given the easiest job and will think he’s brilliant – then he joins a guild and his lack of knowledge sticks out like a sore thumb. All of these can turn a new healer off of healing. There aren’t many of us to start with!

It adds up to a vicious circle in which there’s no incentive to communicate in PUGs. As in random five mans you’re unlikely to see these people regularly. As in random five mans it’s easy to believe you needn’t be loyal to anything but your character’s gear, for various excuses from improving it for guildruns or because you have something to prove. As in random five mans the atmosphere can be of distrust, which increases the chances to wipe when no-one’s healing the tank, and then snipe at each other with Blame Bullets. Frankly, I’ve found that people are grateful and relaxed if you run groups saying there’ll be oodles of communication.

Communication is the foundation of relationships. By not engaging in it any more than necessary healers distance themselves from possible ‘relationships’ in game – be they new friendships or just networking for team members. We should never, ever forget how to socialise in a game we play with other people.

If that’s not incentive enough consider this. Cataclysm is going to challenge us in ways Wrath wasn’t meant to. Healers may face changes to mana and even role setup. We’re going to need to communicate. It may come as a shock; falling into apathetic and uncommunicative habits now is signing our characters’ – and WoW’s – death warrants.

Crucial tweaks to the LFD system – like cross-realm friends lists – would encourage us all to communicate better. Whether or not that happens we can all take responsibility now, in content we might be bored of. Take fresh interest in ‘healing’ the foundations – just by putting a bit more effort in. For The Cataclysm!

I’m not whining; there are positive cases and it’s not all bad. I’m genuinely concerned. Question is -what do you think? Have you noticed a difference in communication or has it not been too bad where you are? Do you think this could turn into a longterm problem or am I doomsaying? Do you think we’ll be flexible enough to adapt out of bad habits?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Article image2 originally by Tim Trueman @ Flickr

Dragon Slaying 101: Healing Sindragosa 10

Dragon Slaying 101: Healing Sindragosa 10

A few days ago I posted all the tips and tricks I’d heard for killing Sindy on 10 man and some of you then recommended other things I’d not thought of. Thanks for sharing! Some good tips there – feel free to keep adding on the comments – post is here – if you think of anything more.

So we know how to kill the dragon. But how to heal through her onslaught?

She’s got a bit of a grudge against people like you, wandering in and slaughtering her brood. She’s just landed and wants to turn your band of adventurers into a band of red goo on the floor. You’re meant to be healing them through it. What to do? Read on, though I’m going to assume you’ve read the general guide from last week so I’m not going to spell things out: this is purely about healing.

Let’s start at the beginning. Phase 1, where the healing is easy. Why? Quite simply – you won’t be doing much healing.

This might make you wonder whether three healers is too many. I’d recommend having three until your group is really comfortable with the fight. You healers might not have much to do in phase 1 but later on it’s chaotic and there’ll usually be at least one healer unable to heal for a few seconds. Having three healers available makes the chaos a bit more comfortable.

Ground phase critical info:

  • Unavoidable damage: There’s not much. Your main tank will take some damage from Sindy’s physical attacks and Frost Breath. Your raid will constantly take damage from Sindy’s raid-wide Frost Aura. Heal them through it. If you’ve met Lana’thel then compare and be reassured: the damage in Sindy’s encounter will feel a lot less threatening.
    • Class specific tips: most healing classes can make it even less threatening. Shaman, you’ve got frost resistance totem. Paladins, you’ve got Frost Resistance Aura. And Druids – make sure Gift of the Wild is up to give the general boost to resistances.
  • Avoidable damage: There are several colourful ways in which your raiders can get themselves turned into red goo, or at least badly hurt. These things probably won’t happen too often but be ready to heal mistakes.
    • If a player lets their stacking debuffs get too high, they’ll take a chunk of damage. It’s usually heal-able but if it occurs at the same time as another chunk of damage or even a tick of Frost Aura it might be enough to kill them. If you’re a raid leader you could raid warn them to move using a mouse-over-macro (or Vent of course)
    • If people don’t run out of Blistering Cold quick enough they’ll likely be one-shotted or on low health – watch Grid/Healbot as you run from it and be ready to heal anyone who’s a bit slow
    • If DPS don’t watch their aggro as the tank’s threat can be slightly lower here, they’ll die. They’ll also spin the dragon of fortune, possibly killing other people in the process
      • Class specific tip: Discy priests – If a DPS is aggro happy don’t hesitate to pop Pain Suppression on them to give your main tank some breathing space. Likewise – Paladins – if someone’s really going aggro crazy, slap a Hand of Salvation on them.
  • When to heal: If Sindy casts Unchained Magic on you immediately stop casting until the debuff goes away. Your other healers need to cover healing without you until then. You need to do the same for them if they get Unchained Magic. DBM does tell you and place markers on the people who get Unchained Magic but I also recommend letting the other healers know yourself. My healers and I just typed “UM” in party chat if we get the debuff. Then train your dagger or mace skill – the debuff feels like it takes an age to drop.
  • Nothing to do. In the ground phase you may find that no-one needs healing quite often. If that’s the case – and you don’t have Unchained Magic – then perhaps you could DPS a little. I don’t advocate healers DPSing that often but in this case it’s helpful – ideally your group needs to get Sindy to 35% health/phase 2 before a fourth air phases. So throw in a bit of DPS to help get her there, but only if you’re safe to do so.

Air phase healing:

There shouldn’t be any healing in an air phase except at the very beginning and end but people will take damage if they don’t line of sight the ice swirls behind icetombs. Likewise, multiple people may take damage if tombs are broken before all four ice swirls are done. It’s generally easily heal-able. It’s even easier for Paladins who are specced for either Divine Guardian or Aura Mastery.

Be ready to heal people up as they come out of icetombs. The longer they’ve been entombed the more healing they’ll need. Be aware of who’s entombed, too – if it’s the other healers then healing’s solely your task until they’re freed. This makes it doubly important to remain aware of the ice swirls and not get too wrapped up in healing.

Tip: Make sure that players about to be entombed are fully healed: heal them up as they are about to be iced. Shamans’ riptide, Druids’ HoTs and Priests’ Renew should top off their health and keep it there for the first few seconds of air phase.

Phase 2 critical info:

When Sindy hits 35% health she’ll start stacking Mystic Buffet on everyone, which increases their magical damage taken by 20% per stack. Ideally everyone in the raid will reset their stacks by line of sighting Sindy behind an ice tomb – including heparty chat trimmedalers and tank.

First thing’s first. Set up a stack-reset rotation amongst you and the other healers. That is, every time there’s an icetomb two of you should reset Mystic Buffet stacks and heal the raid, and the third healer should stay out to heal the tank, as they will be taking a lot more damage and line of sighting Sindy behind an icetomb also means line of sighting your tank. See the diagram for how my healers organise the rotation.

This rotation can be messed up by a healer being icetombed. If that happens just skip their step and fill in appropriately: for example, if Bob is meant to be healing the tank this turn and Carla next turn, but Bob gets icetombed, Carla stays out this turn to cover tank healing in Bob’s stead.

Your group needs to have only one icetomb up at any point. Be aware where icetomb people are standing before they’re entombed. If they’re standing within 10 yards of you you will also be icetombed. Stop what you’re doing and move away. If you’ve time, yell a warning that they’re standing close to raid members.

Class specific tips:

  • Paladins, you can make this phase easier for your whole healing team. Beacon of Light isn’t affected by line of sight. (Paladins, this is not applicable. Thanks for the correction here folks!)
  • Shaman – this may seem counter-intuitive when the healing’s heavy but if the fight’s got messy and Sindy’s on low health, remember to drop Flame Elemental totem. It’ll help on DPS and you can focus on healing. Likewise, Bloodlust/Heroism should always be in phase 2. The later the better: find the fine line between the fight not being chaotic enough and half the raid being dead.
  • Druids – keep HoTs up on the tanks. Also, practice getting precise on range to icetombs. Ideally be no more than 10 yards away from people about to be entombed, to reduce running time
  • Priests – bubble as many people as you can. Priesties of the holy variety – throw guardian spirit up on the tank. If things are really going down the drain then you might buy some extra time by dying, healing for free and without ouchies as Spirit of Redemption, then popping back up with a soulstone or combat res. Discies – consider throwing Pain Suppression up on the tank if there are no threat issues.

 

That’s it, doc. This is one of those odd fights in which there seems little to do, then suddenly a flurry of mad button pressing. I hope some of these tips have given you a heads up or helped you go the extra seven leagues. I don’t play all of the healing classes inside ICC so feel free to share your expertise in the comments; let’s make these two guides all that dragon slayers could ever need inside Ieccrown Citadel!

What do you think? Have you any tips to add? Do you enjoy healing this fight or do you find it boring? Do you think it’s highly luck based or only skill and awareness based? Do you get annoyed if your teammates turn themselves into red goo and you know you stood no chance of healing it?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twtitter feed here.

Does Communication Make Us Better Risk Takers?

Does Communication Make Us Better Risk Takers?

My raid on Sunday night gave me pause for thought.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a few aspects to help healing and raid leading at once. Last night I realised that, of those, communication is vital. Why? Because I think healers are fragile. Even that they can be a danger to themselves. And because last night my raid wouldn’t have worked so well without good communication. Let me put you in the picture.

You’re a healer raid leader about to lead a progresion 10 man. Your group’s bouncing with energy as the run starts. You’ve all got a burning desire to see Putricide go down as you’ve been carrying a grudge against him for a while. He’s public enemy #1 for your group tonight, followed by a vote on Princes or Sindragosa. Holy smokes, things are gonna go well.

Then half the group is hit by disconnection issues as the EU login servers go down.

Two hours later your group is back online, now a bit bedraggled and a whole lot more tired. It’s midnight already for some. You hit Putricide and he goes down in a few attempts. So far so good. It’s late now but the group wants to go to Princes. This is what crosses your mind:

  1. We’ve downed Princes before. It was messy but we can do it again, and the practice won’t kill us. That often. I hope.
  2. We have someone different on kinetic bomb bouncing this time. He’s going to need time to learn it.
  3. It’s midnight, for cripes sake. The elements alone know what time it is for our Herd members in Finland. We don’t have many tries in us.

You’re now in my shoes as of about midnight on Sunday. The outcome was cheery; we got the Princes down in four attempts. But it was messy from 50ish-0%. The successful attempt saw half the raid dead by the end – both myself and the other shaman healer died twice. Our discy priest heroically kept the rest up for 5%. Both shamans had been helping with kinetic bomb bouncing.

From my leader viewpoint communication was crucial. For one thing, there’s a lot going on in that fight and I admit I fail at watching everything.

It’s important to know which Prince is empowered at any time because the entire raid’s tactics change depending which it is, as does the healing output. But watching the empowerment changes is something I just can’t do yet. So I simply have one person dedicated to calling which Prince is empowered when it changes.

It’s also essential to have information in order to make good decisions, right? Right, but it’s more important for healer raid leaders. Each role is inclined towards taking risks, perhaps several times during each fight. Double the risk-inclination means double the chance we’ll make the wrong call; things go wrong or we overburden ourselves, probably wiping the raid.

So I’m realistic – i can’t do everything. Keeping track of boss health is another task I ‘outsource’ to others. As a healer I don’t have time to watch health meters other than those on Grid, but as a raid leader I need to know boss health. For example, the fight was a mess by the time Princes hit 23% health. But I knew we were close, and that was the deciding factor in the split second decision to urge the group to hang in there and pop cooldowns rather than to call a wipe.

Both of the above examples – knowing when we’re at health-wise in a fight and which tactical stage we’re at also means I have valuable information allowing me to make cooldown judgements. Not my cooldowns – I’m talking about calling Divine Guardian from our paladin tank or cycling the raid’s mana regen abilities when and for whom they’re needed.

The most dangerous risk of all on Sunday, though, was one a healer-raid leader was in the best position to make. On later attempts I had myself and another healer helping our warlock on bouncing kinetic bombs: I knew we could both multitask. Controversial decision? Yes. Bad practice? No.

It wasn’t because I thought our warlock couldn’t learn it by himself – far from it. It was because we had a lack of time, the group was tired and wanted victory in the face of server instability. Not only that, I knew the healers involved could do it without healing suffering too much. It benefited us too: we got a perspective on another aspect of the fight and it probably improved our spacial awareness as were constantly looking round. I admit, it was also really fun in an already adrenaline-fuelled fight.

Later on when it got hectic and our DK died? Not a problem. Rather than completely loose a resource and have a player feel useless, I asked him to watch out for falling bombs and tell me where they were.

So there we go, folks. I say that healers are fragile and inclined to risk: there is a lot resting on us in a raid. Add leading on top of that and it can be a recipe for disaster. But I say organising information ‘feeds’ to and from your team will put you in control of the situation and your raid one step closer to settling scores in Icecrown.

What do you think? Do you agree with my analysis of healers’ potential towards fragility and danger or do you prefer safe-rather-than-sorry? Would you have made any of those decisions differently to me? Do you know which types of information you need more of, or are you still working it out?

This is a post by Mimetir, a druid of a raidleader on The Venture Co. (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

Blizzard – “Let healers DPS?” Good Idea?

Blizzard – “Let healers DPS?” Good Idea?

Can you hear it?

There’s a gentle hum in the ether. It’s a grinding of cogs and a rattlin’ of nuts and bolts. It’s the sound of the WoW developers thinking about us healers. Yay, they’re showing us some development love! Ah, but this time, they’re thinking about getting us to DPS. Wait, wut? I’m a healer, not a DPS! That’s like the antithesis of healer, right?

Well, that was my first thought when I read Ghostcrawler’s musings, over on MMOChampion. I’m not going to regurgitate the blue tracker verbatim here as you’ve probably already read it, but for reference the basics are that the devs are thinking about giving us healers some DPS utility. It sounds like their current plane of thought keeps healers away from having a duty to do X damage in a group setting but enables them to do some damage if they want to. That is, enabling us to damage things might make things a bit faster for the group in a Heroic, say, or fun for us if we fancy it.

Of course, this is all speculation at this stage, and there’s nothing  concrete now or definitely going to happen in the future. But if it is an option then it got me thinking. How would I feel, as a healer, about having new and improved DPS options?

The power! Now that you mention it. I mean, we don’t know any details of how much damage they’re thinking we might be able to do. But come on – having your group’s cute, fluffy priest patch the team up and then turn round and smite ye monsters seems a bit well, Heroic. The fluffy priest would be worth the utility of two single-role players. That sounds a little over-powered to me, or at least like a back-door into Hero class status. “Uber-healer” perhaps.

I’m sure the devs have already thought of the potential of too much power, too much utility. Powerful healer class also able to kick out a believable impression of another role? Surely not. So perhaps we’re going to see some kind of power trade-off. A glass ceiling on our healing capabilities to make room for DPS utility, so we’re not too good. Perhaps that ceiling will even be customizable, so that you can decide how much or little you fancy being able to DPS – in return for being a slightly less capable healer.

I wonder whether this could lead to a whole new breed of hybrid. I’m not just talking about a hybrid class, or role, made by Uber healers – although that could happen, exponentially more if it were to be customizable. I’m talking about a hybrid player type. I’m willing to bet that not all healers want or much care to be able to DPS. I know I don’t, for one. Personally I think that healing classes should be about restoring health, not subtracting it. I also think if that’s what the class’ or spec’s lore is centred around, a lot of healers might have a problem with doing damage. Mimetir herself would, as tree. Zap the enemies? No, that’s what lazer-chicken form is for.

Saying that, I’m sure it’d be fun for some healers, and there are probably healers all the way along the spectrum from “meh” to “w00t laz0rtree here I come!”

Either way we’re getting into the battle-lines drawn up between “spec ret if you want to DPS” and “healers should contribute as much as they can”.  Both are fair sides, and the latter gets me thinking about mechanics. An Uber healer putting out twice the threat to usual? Think of your holy pally dropping some huge heals and then nuking the mobs with something suitably vengeful. That’s either going to be one dead Uber-healer, one twitching tank or one game play mechanic in need of serious tweaks. So that the players don’t, you know, break.

Not to mention the brief fate met by a PvP mage who’s missed the patch notes and has just met his first Uber healer in Warsong Gulch. Or team of them in the arenas. I know I wouldn’t be amused if I was that mage, particularly if I then found the battlegrounds were overrun by these new Hero classes. Oops, Uber healers.

It also occurs to me that whatever it does or doesn’t do to healers, cataclysm does bring with it a drive to get us all to start new characters. Do we really want the capital cities to be filled with fluffy but overpowered priests months down the line? Imagine the looting.

So what do you think? Do you want to be able to DPS as well as heal? Do you see any problems with the idea? Or do you have anything you’d really like to see done with it?

This is a post by Mimetir, a druid of a raidleader on The Venture Co. (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

Healing And Leading – Chalk And Cheese?

Healing And Leading – Chalk And Cheese?

An interesting quandary materialised at WoM headquarters last week. How do you raid lead as a new healer? Say you’re that new healer. You’ve been raid leading as a hunter for a while, now your guild needs a healer.

Let’s be frank. As a healer you’re spending most of your raid time with your eyes stapled to the raid’s health bars. Your thoughts are consumed with keeping the bars full and yourself out of the various patches of burny death.

As a raid leader you need to be spending most of your time watching the encounter as it unfolds. The boss, the adds, the players. The stuff healers hear of only as fable. The two roles don’t mix. Right?

Wrong. You can get these two roles to mix to create a fun and workable role. rather like steel and magic mixing to create the glee of downing a boss and seeing that it’s dropped your pixelated holy grail. All it takes is a combination of factors to get it working in your favour.

1. Healer, heal thy user interface

Here’s the catch regarding Ui and addons: you don’t need hundreds. Give yourself enough to facilitate thinking.

  • Space.You may feel cluttered or suffocated if your user interface has too much going on. This leads to distraction or panic so avoid it! Keep addons to a minimum and spend some time outside of the raid environment thinking about your UI. Is Grid bigger than it needs to be? Probably. Are your minimap and KG panels stealing screen real estate? That might be fine if you’re comfortable with your role(s) but not while you’re getting used to a new mental environment. Do you have more addons cluttered around central areas of your screen than tucked away in corners? Yep, can’t see the DPSers if I tried. Do you have target frames showing as a healer? Not needed.
  • Control. I’m going to assume that if you are a raid leader of a regular group then you actively lead. Get a couple of useful raid leading addons to provide information and keep you in control. Addons like obituary, raidbuffstatus, failbot and skada. Don’t load up on addons or you may start feeling like you’re not in control of the raid. For example, it may take you twice as long to give the go ahead to move because you feel obliged to check 20 new-fangled addons between each pull. Addons are a helping hand for different situations, not a catch-all crutch to excuse you doing the job of leading.
  • Don’t do it all at once. Don’t download 20 new addons to try to master the raid leading and then go raiding without trying them out. You’ll get in a tizwaz. Download your new raid leading toys one or two at a time and play with them outside the raid to see if you get on with them. If not, get rid of them and try something similar – there are usually several versions which basically do the same thing, like skada, recount and WoW Web Stats.

2. Watch

  • Ask around your guildies, your friends, your realm forums. Look for organised runs (or PUGs with a conscientious healer-leader (rather than loot-bot).
    • Watch them and see how they lead. Try to go as DPS so you can see what they miss and think about why.
    • If they’re approachable – like a good leader should be – wait until a good moment and ask them if they mind giving a brief run down. Ask how they raid lead and what help they have from other people or addons.
    • A good time to do this is during a break or after the run – not after a boss, as they’ll be handing out loot, nor during a fight, as both of you should have your fingers poised over your healing buttons rather than having a heart to heart.
  • Your screen. Is it big enough? Healers tend to have more on their screens by nature, what with Grid and whatnot. If you have a small screen things are going to be squished and your eyes and brain will miss things. Check your screen’s contrast and brightness settings, too. Are they high enough that characters are leaping out the screen? If you’re having trouble picking things up as a healer then have your technology help you. These may sound silly but there’s research out there to suggest monitor set up is important. Google for Joel on Software OR Jeremy Zawodny and large monitor.
  • Zoom out. No really. Zoom out, you’ll get more on the screen. Either zoom out with your mouse wheel or type /console cameradistancemaxfactor 20

3. Listen

Your eyes are not your only source of information while raiding. I personally find that I still can’t watch everything all the time. That’s fine. Not only that but the pretty health bars tend to be my visual priority both in and out of encounters  It’s healer instinct. So I get data and information through listening, and it’s a vital accompaniment to the visual information.

  • Your raiders are a goldmine of information. Ask their opinions about what was going particularly well or badly during encounters – whether or not you got the boss down. If you’re a hands on raid leader be sure to consistently make final decisions after a group discussion and let people know the outcome. Just because you’re a squishy healer doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to make decisions as a leader any more.
  • Keep tabs. If you have team members who are new to the group or the instance – or have a particular role such as kinetic bomb bouncing on Blood Princes – then try to keep tabs on how they’re doing, both in performance and morale. You can achieve this both by asking one or two trusted raid members to keep an eye on them, and also by having a quiet chat with the player himself. Both methods are likely to give you different answers and as such a bigger picture.
  • Instant calls. You’re looking at the pretty bars and don’t know what health the boss is at? Ask one of the DPS for a report. You see on Grid that one of your tanks has too many stacks of a debuff and you need the other tank to come back from faerie land and TAUNT THE NITWIBBLE NOW? You have two dead DPS, the enrage timer is short and you need the tree druid to CR the optimal player? You can make all of these calls and be provided with immediate information.
    • Be clear on whom you’re addressing. If possible use voice-chat programs such as Vent. I’d recommend organising it for your guild if it’s not already in use. If voice-chat is off the menu trying pre-typed macros so you don’t have to type mid-fight may help.

4. Learn

You do need to be able to watch the rest of the screen. A few tips for getting used to that:

  • Practice. No really, practice. Run some Heroics and focus on watching the characters and the monsters more than the bars. Also try zooming your eyesight out, as it were. Don’t focus on one box, one bar, one character. Try to see the whole screen.
  • Practice more. When you’re comfortable with that and bored of seeing the dungeons, take a step up. Heal a couple of raids which are lower level than what you’ll be raid leading. There will be lots more information, DBM warnings and fires to get in or slimes to deliver. Practice the same as you did in the heroics.
  • Flexible frames. If you want, you could also move your Grid/healbot/raid frames as near to the centre of the screen as you reasonably can without obscuring your character. Most encounter-crucial DBM warnings and character-movement happens near the centre: it’ll be less distance for your eyes to travel. Don’t get too used to it tho. Your aim is to gradually move the healing frames further away from the centre as you get better at keeping an eye on the rest of the raid.

5. Keep your perspective

  • Set ground rules. Do this and you’ve already done 50% of the work for raid leading, with no danger of eye strain. If you tell the group that loot is on a 100-75-50-25 rate and you expect raiders to behave in a friendly and polite manner or you will kick at the first sign of trouble, then you can be safe in the knowledge that you know what you’re doing. Literally. By stating rules and then staying in the raid both you and the rest of the group have agreed that that is how you will proceed, and that you’re respectively cool with that.
  • You’re doing an admirable thing. Remember that occasionally. The fact is that you’re willing to lead a team of people in a stressful situation, mostly for the first time. Raid leading in a new role – DPS to healing, healing to tank, whatever – means you’re learning at least some of the art of leading anew. Good on you for doing it.
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Serious question. Ask yourself what your nightmare scenario is if you get it wrong. Then ask yourself what “it wrong” actually is. I’d be willing to bet my beak-polish that your nightmare scenario doesn’t lead to a permanent or irrevocable situation, except that you’ll have learnt something. The beak-polish also says that “it wrong” is something in a game.
  • Healers are actually in a good position to be raid leaders. The fact that we watch the pretty bars means we are privy to a constant feed of information that other raid leaders don’t have time to watch. A tank probably doesn’t have time to keep track of Curse of Torpor or Death and Decay problems in Lady Deathwhisper. It’s no coincidence that if a raid wipes, raid leaders tend to come to healers first as a source of information.

 

A lot of these may sound like basic information but when you’re coming to raid leading fresh as a healer, a lot of it is just about thinking. Not as a healer, but rather putting a bit of thought into adapting your playstyle to encompass both healing and leading. Remember that it doesn’t take much to make the two cross: many general raid leader responsibilities like giving tactics or calling heroism don’t change; your role has changed, not the encounter. If you put some thought into helping your own visual centre and talking with your raid and role models you’re halfway there. Practice is the other half.

So, what are your thoughts and opinions? Have you been in this position or are in it now, and how are you dealing with it? Have you already been putting some of these to good use, or have been inspired to try something slightly differently now? Are you a grizzled healer-leader veteran with tricks up your sleeve to share?

This is a post by Mimetir, a druid of a raidleader on The Venture Co. (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

Article image originally by Jackson Boyle @ Flickr

Your Alt In Our Guild, My Shaman In Your Hands

arthursseat

There are now two Mimetirs.

She’s now also a male Tauren warrior on Argent Dawn (EU). This might sound like a bit of a break with the beaky tradition but it’s not too much of a stretch for a character who’s named for her ability to mimic other creatures. Being a warrior still makes her a birdbrain, after all,.

Why am I telling you this? I thought I’d share a happy occurrence with you. On Tuesday I heard (thanks Jaedia!) about Single Abstract Noun (SAN). It’s a community guild on Argent Dawn (horde side for EU, alliance side for US) open to anyone in the WoW blogging community, be ye a reader or blogger.

So, I’d like to thank Tamarind, Miss Medicina and crew for having the idea and setting it up – great thought, guys. I think the full story of how it came about – and the guild policies – are here (EU) and here (US).

The guild roster is already astonishingly long and guild chat on Tuesday was moving so fast it was almost impossible to keep up with, which was good to see. Not only that, it was lovely to see a whole load of warm welcomes when new folks signed up. So, if you’re in any way related to the blogging community – and if you’re reading this, you are – I think I’m right in saying that you’re welcome to roll an alt and join up, See moo there!

In other news …

meet my shaman, Ape. He quakes in his boots when he visits the badge vendors at the moment. At this rate he’s going to give all his frosties to the bartender at the Legerdemain in return for calming, calming wine. In the name of fun – and of my shaman’s sobriety – I’ve decided to put his dilemma to a vote with you guys.

winechoiceiseasier

You know how it is when you’re browsing the vendors in real life. You’ve tried various shinies on by this point. The blue top is only worth it if you get the new jeans as well. The stripey top only really works with some outfits. And the wristlet – well, it’s small and will put an inappropriately sized crater in your purse but then it is really shiny.

It’s easy to get in a tizwaz about upgrades to your wardrobe. Particularly if those upgrades have stats on them and it’s not just the colours that you’re trying to match to the rest of your outfit.

That’s how my shaman feels when he’s trying to decide which upgrade to buy next. I’m trying to decide whether to go for minor utility upgrades or to do what I think most of us should do more and say “dash and poppycock! I’m going to do the fun thing.”

I’ve seen and heard a lot of discussion about the various tier 10 set bonuses, and the sets themselves. I’m not going to ramble on about them here except to say the 2 piece tier 10 resto shaman bonus is nigh essential.

I will give a brief synopsis. Ape was in a mixture of 232s and 245s when he hit ICC. Several things were sorely in need of being upgraded and stats in need of being rejigged. To that end:

  • I needed to upgrade chest and hands badly. My research dug up some info on the cloth 264 gloves and chest being somewhat marvellous, so Ape dilligently saved up for those first
  • I examined and cross-examined the resto tier set and decided that I generally wasn’t very impressed with its individual pieces given my gear setup at the time
  • Obviously I needed to get the two-piece tier bonus so i decided that head and shoulder pieces were my best bets
  • I could also do with a new trinket (and belt). I’ve been running ToC25 and ICC25 as often as possible but haven’t once seen the relevant shines from them
  • My guild does more 10 man content than 25 at present due to time constraints

At the moment I’m torn between three new additions to my outfit for different reasons.

I have 78 frosties saved up.

I’d like your opinion on which of them I should go for. I promise that whatever way the vote goes, that will be what I buy next – feel free to keep an eye on WoW-Heroes for confirmation. The options are:

  1. I bite the bullet and buy the Purified Lunar Dust. Happily, it’ll solve the trinket issue. On the other hand Murphy’s Law says I’ll then get Althor’s Abacus and/or Solace of the Fallen quicksmart thereafter.
  2. I save up for both the tier helm and tier shoulders and then buy them together: basically buy the set bonus, as neither item on its own is that much of an upgrade over what I’m currently wearing
  3. I buy the shoulders now even though they’re a next-to-nothing practical upgrade. Why? Because I’ve heard about the shoulder-shoveltusk animation and I think it sounds really quite fun. I know, I know, small things. The catch here is then deciding which of the other options to pursue after the shoulders have made my day.

As a fourth, ugly-duckling type option I could say dash it all, and go for the somewhat-shiny but not-critical-upgrade Waistband of Despair.

So what do you think – what should I go for? Cast your votes now! Feel free to either just post a vote or go as in depth as you like. Either vote here in the comments page or tweet @Juddr, voting closes on Monday or so.

This is a post by Mimetir, a druid of a raidleader on The Venture Co. (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

Article images originally by Daniel Coomber and littleREDelf @ Flickr

How To Win Epics And Influence People

How To Win Epics And Influence People

Admit it. You like loot as much as I do. Maybe you oggle over stats on a new shiny with a calculator and spreadsheet at hand. Perhaps you spend a minute twirling your character around in the dressing room to see how a new item fits.

Whatever the case, you get that fuzzy feeling when you crouch over the still-sizzling and now gently glittering bit of the boss’ corpse and see that it’s dropped something for you.

But should you roll?

Minding your manners with loot is a basic expectation amongst WoW players in any group; organised, guild, PUG or otherwise for 5-25 mans. “Doin’ it rong” with loot could mean dire consequences for you. You could be laughed at, shunned by the community, or end up with your characters running around in eye-peelingly bright colours.

Doing it right, though, could mean that you get the loot you need and that people will consider you trustworthy. I don’t just mean regarding loot. Being sound of mind with loot etiquette is considered a signal that you are generally sound. Loot etiquette is about everyone getting the purples they want without unpleasant hold-ups. So if “your shinies or your life” doesn’t go down well, what is the right way?

I’m going to start off with some basic guidelines and then discuss a few of the finer points regarding loot. A lot of this column might seem like basic stuff to you if you’re a hardcore raider but it’s crucial stuff others have asked me to explain – and who knows, perhaps there’s something in it for everyone.

Either way it’s all subjective stuff and I expect – nay, demand, as any good highwayowl should – that it might inspire a healthy debate about how you expect others to mind their loot manners. But first hold your horses, on to the guidelines;

You should roll on an epic drop if:

  1. It’s a direct upgrade for your main spec. Sidenote: don’t feel guilty about rolling! A DK in my guild always used to feel guilty for rolling as though he hadn’t earned it. That’s tripe. You’ve as much right to roll as anyone else, especially if you’ve given it your all, no matter how little or large the meters ‘think’ that is.
  2. It’s a direct upgrade for your off-spec or a minor side-grade for your main spec if no-one else needs it as in point #1
  3. It’s a quest or seasonal item which you can reasonably assume that if people need it in order to complete their quest/achievement, they will roll. I’m thinking of things like Green Winter Hat. Frozen orbs also come under this category in random PUGs, these days

You should not roll on an epic drop if:

  1. It’s a BoE and you’re needing it for cash without asking/having a group consensus on doing this. I was in a PUG last week for which Avool’s Sword of Jin dropped from the first trash pack. Everyone greeded except the DPS warrior. When pressed by the rest of the group he said he needed it for his off spec. We asked him to equip it and he admitted he was needing it for his flying mount costs. This makes him a ninja, a liar and simply rude as he didn’t apologise at all – all in one. Don’t be that guy.
  2. The item doesn’t have your exact stats and other people need kit with those stats. The obvious case in point here is if you’re a priestie healer and you roll on something with hit on it when there are cloth DPSers in the group. They won’t thank you for taking their epix, and you’ll likely replace it with better itemized pieces quickly anyway.
  3. You’re rolling against someone you run with weekly and it’s orders of magnitude a greater upgrade for him than for you. Take this one with a pinch of salt. It depends on your own opinion, your interpretation of your stats and on how nice you’re feeling, frankly. Passing on a bit of kit for someone else occasionally (don’t do it all the time) can be a kind act and can win you a friend for life (or at least a fortnight) and upgrading Clarence’s iLevel 200 shoes might just benefit the whole group.
  4. Thanks to Phaythe for this oneStat sticks. That is, if it’s a bow or gun and it’s an upgrade for a hunter, melee DPS shouldn’t roll on it. It’s not as much an upgrade for you as for the hunter whose ranged weapon provides a large amount of his DPS. Likewise, hunters shouldn’t roll on melee weapons if meleers need them, for the same reason.

Basic principles that those are, they’re still shrouded by a grey miasma. For example, no basic etiquette list is going to help you if you haven’t got some grip on your class. You do need to know which stats are useful for your class and spec, to stop you getting laughed or nerd-raged at for rolling on tank loot as a fury warrior because it’s purple and you’re in greens, and that’s all you know.

But I’m no theorycrafter, I hear you cry. ” That’s fine. It is essential that you have a basic grasp of your stats but you don’t need any more than that if you don’t want to confuse yourself for whatever reason. Perhaps you’re a fresh 80 wanting to take it slow, just not a stat-interested person, perhaps you’re new to the class, or just get confused with amounts of stats – whatever the reason, step one is to remember that it’s ok to only have a basic grasp; you don’t need to be a human WoW stat splicer if you don’t want to be. Just get as far into stats as you’re comfortable with.

Step 2 in this case is to be proactive. Get that basic knowledge of your stats. There are websites out there with information for all classes and specs, and a lot of those sites have people who are genuinely helpful if you ask questions. You could also use sandbox websites like Warcrafter, customizeable stat-weighting addons like Pawn or programs like Rawr in advance and when loot drops so you know what items and stats to look for.

Likewise, you could also find friends or helpful players who can answer questions like “do I need more hit” or “is Hersir’s Greatspear better than Twin’s Pact for me?”

And yes, players should be willing to help. They should know it’s entirely possible that players can gear up in Heroics and then hit raids with gaps in their knowledge. I have, as a new bear tank who geared up purely in Heroics and is starting to raid from a bear’s furry perspective – looking straight at ICC loot. The end-game raids *are* the training grounds in WotLK.

If all else fails and the roll-timer is running low (it’s not that long if you’re agonizing over rolling) then you could always ask in raid chat whether it’s ok that you need X too. If the other rollers are nice and considerate they’ll either say “sure go ahead” or “no, because ABC good reason, for you”. An answer like “omg no feck off its mine noob” is a sure reason that they are only in it for themselves and you should probably roll.

You could also look at min-maxing if you do have a grasp of stats and you want to wring more out of your items. In order to avoid mis-looting in this case you’ll need an even clearer grasp on your class; which stats are useful and until which point (for example, soft crit cap if you’re a holy priest), how much to stack some stats while safely ignoring others. You’ll also need to keep updated with hotfixes and theorycrafting trends – and it’ll behoof you to be flexible if the theorycrafters turn a long-held cornerstone of your class on its head.

This is a real beartrap (or owl, or… you get the idea) as regards etiquette. If your stat requirements change due to min-maxing or trying new set ups, it might make you appear inconsistent or dopey – at best – when rolling for loot. At worst, it might make you seem plain weird or rude, because you might be rolling on things you weren’t interested in last week or items which other people think aren’t exactly suited to you.

I wasn’t kidding when I said loot etiquette was subjective. In this case the best method is probably to say “I want to roll on this because I’m over the soft crit cap and need some haste”; sounding reasonable is going to be more acceptable and trustworthy than, say, swearing and disappearing in a homely blue beam.

There is another form of min-maxing specifically related to PUGs vs. guild runs. I think of it as the loyalty <-> selfishness temptation. Say you’re in a PUG run and a piece of loot drops which is a side-grade for your character. Or maybe you think the item might be useful in one or two progression encounters; in reality it’d likely never see the light of day out of your backpack. It so happens that it’s also a huge upgrade for some of the other healers in your PUG. Do you roll on it because 6 extra haste might give you an edge in your guild’s progression night? Guild comes first, right? Every little helps?

Yes. So does it for the other healers in your PUG. They want to give their guild’s runs an edge, too, and they want to progress their character. In this case the etiquette really is personal preference. I’d say if it’s not that much benefit to you then be nice – it’ll make that healer’s day and may gain you another healer’s loyalty.

In any case, if the drops are perfectly stat’ed for your spec and it is an upgrade then you should roll, right?

Wait.

The only thing is – you’re a mail wearer, and the drop’s cloth. This is a frequent event for my resto shaman. I’m currently wearing two pieces of cloth from badges – but useful (and indeed on the BiS list for me) raid-drop cloth? Those I won’t get for a long time because there are clothies in my group. I wouldn’t even consider rolling against them. Generally you’ll be looked at askance and have some trust-points taken off if you ask to roll on loot that’s not your armour proficiency. It’s Bad Manners.

This is all particularly relevant when there are no loot systems in place. To a certain extent loot systems remove the need for etiquette towards other players, as they give you an incentive to wait for the thing you really need. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be nice, considerate, and win some friends with (or without) a set loot system like DKP or Suicide Kings.

 

What do you think? Are loot manners the stuff of life or of forgotten legend for WoW? Do you have problems with etiquette because you don’t know what to roll on and don’t feel you can admit it? Do you think loot systems are much safer? Are there any other grey areas that irk you regarding loot?

This is a post by Mimetir, a druid of a raidleader on The Venture Co. (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

Article images originally by Migraine Chick and unforth @ Flickr

Focus Casting: Macros And You

Focus Casting: Macros And You

I had a revelation last week. It’s one I’m not afraid to share because I suspect there are a lot of players in the same position as me.

That position is peering out from round a corner with a bemused grin and crimson cheeks, watching the macro users of our raid do ten things at once while showering the raid in light and laughing at the boss. We’re cautious because they’re clearly performing some kind of common folklore which all players should know, right? And we shouldn’t even consider asking about macros?

Wrong.

If you’re in that position of knowing nothing about healing macros then we have something in common, you and I. Maybe you’ve just started a new healing class and know nothing about it. Maybe you’re looking to improve your WoW playing generally. Maybe you’re a raid leader, like me, and have been getting into macros via raid leading and now want to see if this macro malarky can do anything for your healing. Whatever the case, read on.

If you do know something about macros then have a read anyway – some of these might be basic to you, but you might pick up something that saves your skin, bark or cow-printed hide.

Paladins

1. Buffs up quicksmart

/castsequence [target=focus] Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield

  • This macro will put both of your essential healing buffs up on your focus, which is likely to be the tank.
  • TIP: you can use the addon Need To Know in conjunction with this setup. It’ll give you permanent timer bars for those buffs regardless of whom you’re targetting.

 

2. Easy judging

/cast [target=focustarget] Judgement of Light

  • Casts your judgement of light which both does healing and gives you a powerful haste buff
  • It won’t cause you to overaggro when casting your judgement as you’re using it on the tank’s target
  • Means you don’t have to mess around with tab or mouse targetting a mob to cast it on. You may need to re-target your tank but that’s less trouble than having to target everything manually.
  • TIP: you could use the addon Clique, which will allow you to set up mouse and key bindings for anything you could wish. Want to heal the tank? Sure, click the <insert mouse button here> and you needn’t retarget them after using your JoL macro.

 

3. Catch-all Holy Shock

/cast [mod,target=player] [nogroup,target=player] [target=mouseover,help,nodead] [target=targettarget,help,nodead] [] Holy Shock

  • If you have an enemy targetted it will automatically holy shock you
  • If you have *anything* else as target and a friendly unit as mouseover (or target) then it will holy shock that friendly unit

 

Priests – holy and discpline

1. “oh noes” button

/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast [combat,@player] Power Infusion
/cast [combat] Inner Focus
/cast [spec:1,@mouseover] Penance; [spec:2,@mouseover] Greater Heal
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1

  • It works for priesties of both healing flavours. Yep, you read right, It’ll work by casting one of the spells, based on whichever spec you’re in. This saves you having two separate macros for holy and discipline
  • You could also add commands to pop your trinkets (/use 13 and /use 14) but be careful of the macro character limit.

 

2. Holy single target “oh noes” button

/cast [target=focus] Guardian Spirit

  • For you holy priesties. This is an “oh noes” button if you’ve been focussing on the raid and see that your focus, probably a tank, is wilting a bit and needs help now.

 

3. Discy Pain Suppression management

/cast [target=mouseover] Pain Suppression
/sw 8
/script Stopwatch_Play();
/say Pain Suppression Up!
/in 8 /s ***Pain Suppression depleted***

  • This is most useful for keeping track of PS cooldown and alerting you when it’s ready again – useful in fights where you need to time cooldowns and don’t have time to keep an eye out for them ticking down
  • TIP: this one may not work off the bat for you. The ‘in’ command is said to be provided through an addon, possibly the Ace3 library, though various people with various addon setups have got the macro working.

 

4. Discy raid-healing insta-bomb

#showtooltip Divine Hymn
/cast [target=player] Power Infusion
/cast Inner Focus
/cast Divine Hymn

You’re a discy priest so you’re probably healing tanks most of the time, right? That might be so, but sometimes you’ll be on raid anyway, and sometimes you’ll be on tanks watching the raid take heavy damage – and we all know how comfortable that isn’t. This macro will help you help the raid recover and soak up damage.

  • Try to have Borrowed Time proc’ed too for the (extra) haste
  • You’ve just given yourself power infusion which both reduces your cast time and mana costs
  • Bubbles! Bubbles everywhere! Your increased critical effect chance from inner Focus should mean more chance of divine aegis’ popping up.

 

Druids

1. Rolling Lifebloom
/target TankName/cast [modifier:shift] Rejuvenation ; [modifier:alt] Regrowth ; Lifebloom
  • Make a macro for each tank in the raid and you’ll be able to keep them all rolling on 3 stacks of Lifebloom, lag and catastrophe notwithstanding
  • This particular macro also has modifiers which give you flexibility in HoTs. Got a bit of extra time? Throw Tank1 a Rejuv. by pressing shift. Everything refreshed and got a couple of seconds? Stick Regrowth up by holding down alt

 

2. Quick response to tank death

#showtooltip Rebirth

/castsequence reset=600 Nature’s Swiftness, Rebirth

/run c=”Don’t release! I got ya.”if UnitInRaid(“player”)then SendChatMessage(c, “RAID”)elseif GetNumPartyMembers()>0 then SendChatMessage(c, “PARTY”)end

  • This is your “oh noes tank’s dead!” macro
  • It’ll immediately get him back on his feet and announce what you’re doing.

2a. Intuitive-res macro

#show Rebirth

/cast [@mouseover, combat, dead] [@target, combat, dead] Rebirth; [@mouseover, dead] [@target, dead] Revive

  • This is a similar one for other “oh noes” times – specifically when key people have dropped like lightbulbed flies. If you’re in combat it’ll try to use combat res, if you’re not it’ll use revive
  • Just be sure you’re out of combat after a fight’s ended before you use this, for fear of wasting your combat res.

3. Easy poison cleanse

#showtooltip

/cast [target=mouseover, help] [] Abolish Poison

  • This is a time saver anywhere there is a lot of poison kicking around. Its utility is simple: it allows you to cleanse your mouseover target without having to target them then retarget your healing target
  • TIP: I reckon this one works for all healing classes for their various cleansing duties.

Shaman

1. Earth Shield ease

/cast [target=focus] Earth Shield

  • Very, very simple way of refreshing earth shield on the tank, providing that your tank is your focus.
  • TIP: you can also get the addon Shaman Friend to support this macro by playing a sound when ES runs down. Alternatively you could have it in place of the macro: it can be setup to provide a focus button for earth shield refreshing, and a box which visually tracks ES stacks so you don’t miss it falling off.

 

2a. “Oh noes” button version 1

#showtooltip Healing Wave

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/cast Tidal Force

/cast Healing Wave

  • Any resto shaman worth his salt has some form of this macro. Some shamans prefer not to attach a healing spell to it so they can choose whether to fire off a single target spell or a chain heal after nature’s swiftness. You could make both of those options achievable by altering the macro slightly, to this:

2b. “Oh noes” button version 2

#showtooltip Nature’s Swiftness

/stopcasting

/use 13
/use 14

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/Cast Tidal Force
/cast [mod, help] [mod:shift, target=mouseover, help] Chain Heal; [help] [target=mouseover] Healing Wave

  • This version will cast healing wave after blowing your cooldowns or, if you hold down shift, it will cast chain heal. It also uses your trinkets (/use 13 and /use 14) for extra “oh noes” aversion value.

In both of these you could also add a command to tell party chat or a specific target that you’re averting catastrophe this time by blowing all your cooldowns, and so won’t necessarily be able to save the day again. At least for a few minutes.

 

External links:

There look to be quite a few sites out there with musings and help on macros, ranging from forums to class-specific blogs to macro specific-all class sites. Some of them are better than others. Here are the ones I found to be either most useful for digging these macros up or, in the case of the third link, just a Very Good Idea:

  • Arena Junkies – Arena Junkies macro forum – for your PvP macro needs
  • Elitist Jerks’ various guides, forums and threads have some useful macros squirreled away.
  • Macro Explain – does what it says on the tin. You paste in a macro, it explains each line of the macro. The website also has links to other macro resources and addons.
  • PlusHeal – plusheal’s macro forum – you’ll find good discussions and very helpful folks here.
  • WoWWiki – WoWwiki’s section on macros has links to class specific macro pages.

 

Most of these macros have been tested but let me know if any of them make things go boom. Or worse still, make nothing happen at all. I hope these do work and help you have more fun healing. Perhaps it’ll even bring about that myth us healers have heard whispered about – less stress while healing.

What do you think? Are you a macro-newbie and had been afraid to admit it? Feel free to do so! Share your tales of macro learning experiences. Also let me know if any of these prove really useful or otherwise. Likewise, if you’ve been hit by inspiration and have just spent thirty minutes writing some new healing macros or perfecting existing ones, do share them!

This is a post by Mimetir, an oversized owl of a raid leader on The Venture Co (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

(Macro image created by Emrank @Flickr, used under CC)

Will you Lend Me Your Brain?

Will you Lend Me Your Brain?

Torch-and-pitch

 

Halloa folks! Just a brief post from me today. Today, I’m appealing for your braaaaaaaaaaaains.

No no, I’m not trying to get you to come after me with pitchforks blazing and braziers sharpened (or something). Instead I’d like you pitch in your thoughts to a brainstorming session I’m running at the moment. I’m looking for all sorts of people: bloggers, blog readers, forum users, theorycrafters – anyone. All you need is to play WoW and have some passing interest in the World of WoW blogs.

I have already spent some time recently visiting some forums and poking a few select folks first. You folks know who you are – you’re being most helpful and a pleasure to work with, so thank you – I really appreciate it. I have a few more on the ‘to poke’ list, whom I’ll be contacting soon.

But anyone who is interested in participating in a spot of research about the news and blog scene for our collective hobby is welcome to do so.  Be assured that I don’t want any information about your personal life and that the research has no-one’s, and no blog or company’s, interests at heart. The only interests at heart here are those of the community and, well, me, because this is an interesting topic.

So if you’re interested and you feel you fit the bill as described above – great.  Wave a hand, jump up and down, bedazzle me with chocolate chip cookies, anything you fancy. Put that pitchforks down before you set the cookies on fire and let me know you’re interested.

Other methods you could use to contact me (which might work better) include commenting on this post and dropping me a line at Mimetir @ googlemail. com, sending in a contact form or poking me on twitter. Send in a hail, let me know who you are, and we’ll go from there. If you don’t feel this is your cup of tea but you know someone who might like this flavour of research, feel free to spread the word.