So we’ve just had our first raid in MoP, Mogu’shan Vaults. It was pretty interesting from a healer perspective. Fixed mana has been one of those ultimately strange concepts from the time it was announced, and to be fair we weren’t quite sure how it would play out in a regular raid. I’m here to give you my first impressions on it, and a few opinions.
Again these are just my opinions, and my observations.
Before we get started, there are a couple of things that we will need to make sure you know.
- Raid Environment: 25 man – Normal
- Raid Heal Team: 1 resto shaman, 1 holy priest, 1 disc priest, 1 holy paladin, 2 resto druids
- Lodur Core Stats: mana 306k (+2% mana meta gem) ~13k MP/5 in combat regen, 5.7k spirit with spirit flask.
So the first fight, The Stone Guardians, is a pretty decent jump in to raid healing in the new tier of content. It really has everything from big damage spikes on the tank, to raid wide damage that needs to be mitigated, and comes complete with “idiot check” like giant blue and purple circles. Honestly it’s not a terribly difficult fight, there’s just a ton going on.
That said, it was a fight where most of the healing team spent it at bottom of the barrel mana. So after looking at the fight, and the fact that we had seven healers I started going through my stats and the events of the fight and came a couple of conclusions. First of all, I had way more in combat regen than anyone else, This is due to the fact that shaman rock and get more out of spirit combined with Water Shield. Even so, I was going to the well and draining it dry. Why was this?
Well, part of it is the fixed mana. Since we can’t just stack a massive amount of int for deeper mana pools, this takes some adjustment. It also means that there needs to be an increased emphasis on Triage Healing and an increase in Personal Survival Responsibility (PSR from here on out). Triage Healing should be nothing new, but unlike Cata, this is something I expect to stick around. Again, this is due mainly to the fixed mana pool. Sure regen is going to increase throughout the expansion, but not by the levels from which we could completely squash the TH with int like in the previous expansion. So, if you’re not used to it, it’s time to start. Prioritize who is necessary to live in the fight. Not going to lie, I let a couple people die who kept standing in bad or who weren’t contributing to the fight quite as much as others.
PSR is going to be a big factor now. Every class has a self heal, a damage reduction or survival tier, and so every class is responsible for keeping themselves alive more than before. It’s something I really enjoy about the new talent system, because it’s a whole tier of talents just to itself. Case in point, we had a warlock who was doing his thing and kept realizing he was taking more damage than he should. He sent me a tell and told me to not let healers heal him until he figured out how not to suck at the whole not dying thing. He used is DR talents and abilities, drained life and kept himself alive. He flat out told me he didn’t want healers wasting their mana. It was pretty profound, and even with markedly less healing done on him, he survived much better than just relying on healers to keep him up.
So what does this mean? Well to me it means that raiders can’t rely on healers to babysit them anymore. What do I mean by babysit? Well I mean you can’t expect your healers to make up for you not being able to not stand in fire or failing at raid mechanics anymore, at least not now. As it stands every raider is going to have to rebuff their sense of raid awareness, and not stand in bad. You’re going to have to really use your PSR, heal yourself, use cooldowns, use damage reducing talents. Use your toolkit to stay alive while doing your job in raid. I had mages who used their brand new funky circles of win to stay alive, I had warlocks manage their health themselves, I had DK’s keeping themselves alive with damage reduction.The moment they did, and started doing the mechanics properly, my mana troubles went away. I was low, sure, but I wasn’t completely OOM for the entire fight like I had been before. At the end of the fight I was certainly parched, but it was much more manageable. It felt much more like a “normal” raid encounter.
So if you’re a healer, and you had a harder time than normal healing in a raid yesterday don’t worry so much. That is as long as you have your stats where they need to be and gems and enchants ready to go. In a nut shell, thanks to fixed mana pools, you can no longer rely on your healers to brute force you through encounters. It is as much on the raid as a whole, as it is the healers, to keep the raid alive. Use your CDs, anything you have to keep yourself alive, and the whole raid succeeds.
TL;DR – Do not expect your healers to babysit you anymore, we can no longer heal stupid. You are responsible for your own survival as much as the healers, please accept your PSR.
That’s it for my first impressions on raid healing, how about you? have you raided yet?