10 Answers for the Clueless 2.4 Raiding Holy Priest

In order to become an effective Holy Priest, you have to understand the situation you are in. You have to be able to assess the threat to you, your raid, and your tanks. You have to be able to make sense of all the information that is coming in and prioritize it without even thinking about it. Any hesitation could kill your raid.

With that in mind, I wanted to prepare for you a list of questions that you might have as a new Priest looking to take their first step into the world of raiding. Remember that healers will always be scanning and checking to make sure that everyone is in tip top shape. I guess you could apply this to any healer, but it’s specifically meant for Priests.

How should I spec my Priest?

I believe that a raid should utilize a Priest with Improved Divine Spirit in their talents to help increase raid caster DPS. Subsequent Priests should then switch to Circle of Healing.

Circle of Healing is not as effective in Tier 4 instances (Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, Magtheridon) as compared to certain Tier 5 encounters (Tempest Keep, Serpentshrine Cavern) but it is an absolute beast in Tier 6 and higher (Mount Hyjal, Black Temple).

Should I grab Lightwell?

Not really. I don’t. Sure it has it’s uses but I can think of better talents to spend points on.

Should I down rank my healing spells?

Yes. The 2 piece Tier 5 set bonus is absolutely perfect for this. A rank 1 Greater Heal for a Priest just finishing Tier 5 content will hit for about 2700+ which costs 214 mana (properly talented). Although the spell itself takes 314 mana, the set bonus returns a solid 100 mana back. I spend most of my raid doing nothing more than stopcast spamming Greater Heals. If it lands, it doesn’t adversely affect my mana pool. It’s definitely an affordable spell.

How do I handle main tank healing?

Maintain your Renew at all time. Keep Rank 1 and Rank 7 Greater Heals ready. In fact, they should always be in the casting bar. Feel free to light your tank with Prayer of Mending to boost their threat. Do your homework on the boss that you’re fighting. Know their abilities and what they will do. Eyeball the amount of health they lose in a typical swing. For example, Archimonde frequently strikes my MT for approximately 9000 health. My tank has 21000 health. It’s going to take about three solid hits without any heals before he dies. By being able to gauge the amount of incoming damage they take, you know how to react to it appropriately.

Do not be afraid to use your Flash Heal to get your players up in the event your other instant spells are on cooldown. Efficiency is always outweighed by keeping your team alive.

How do I handle raid healing?

Again, like main tank healing, if you know what’s hitting the raid then you can act on it accordingly. For example, if a boss has an AoE type spell that strikes every 20 seconds like clockwork, then you know that the players who get initially hit by them do not need your full and complete attention. Simply dropping renews or downranked Greater Heals on the affected players will get them to full strength before the next AoE hit. Circle of Healing is ultimately the best AoE healing spell in the game when you have enough of a bonus. Chain Heal is a close second but it is unfortunately not instant nor is it able to hit 5 players simultaneously.

What priority should I be healing my raid in?

If you’re tasked with healing a raid during a special gimmick encounter, it’s going to largely depend on the boss. I have noticed that there are two types of raid damage being dealt.

1: Lots of damage concentrated on a few players in the raid

Hydross is an excellent example of this situation. His tomb strikes a couple of players throughout the raid encasing them and dealing a hefty punch. It’s all about timing in this situation. Bosskillers and WoWWiki tell you the approximate damage being done. Use the appropriate sized heal for the response.

Let me use Rage Winterchill here. Like Hydross, he will encase one random player in a raid (Icebolt) which does ~5000 initial damage and locks them in place. That player takes 2500 damage per second for 4 seconds. So you’re looking at 15000 damage within a short amount of time. Slap a shield on the player if you like and then proceed with with the flash heal spamming. Keeping a player alive is the priority. It’s way more important than being efficient.

2: Damage that can be anticipated spread out over the raid

In these situations, your endurance will be tested. You do not want to be burning Flash Heals as quick as you can. Here it is all about mana management.

Najentus is one such boss who consistently hammers the raid with spines being thrown out. His needle spine targets 3 players in the raid and they take ~3700 damage along with an additional ~2500 damage to everyone that is nearby. When his shield goes up, he is immune to all damage. To break it, you have to hurl a spine back at him which shatters the shield which deals exactly 8500 damage to the entire raid. This happens every 60 seconds.

The biggest question that should always be asked is how long does this person have before they take too much damage and die?

  • Is everyone above 40% health?
    If there are a few players that are below, those players are your priority. Drop a downranked Greater or tap your Circle of Healing once or twice if you notice that group is low. Focus on these players first because a random spine could kill them. Feel free to use Flash Heal if you don’t think you have the time.
  • Is everyone above 70% heath?
    This is your next level. Get anyone below 70% back up to full strength. You have to be able to prioritize who needs heals now and who can wait 5 seconds.

Otherwise, you will have to experience a few wipes to get a general ‘feel’ for how the encounter goes.

How should I gem my gear?

The 2.4 patch revamped the way our Spirit worked. Here’s what I suggest:

Rare gems

  • Blue: Purified Shadow Pearl or Royal Nightseye
  • Yellow: Luminous Noble Topaz
  • Red: Teardrop Living Ruby or Royal Nightseye

Epic gems

I’m a true believer in Spirit now.

What consumables should I use?

Food: Golden Fish Sticks or Blackened Sporefish (But you know my thoughts on the subject).
Flask: Flask of Distilled Wisdom or the cheaper Flask of Mighty Restoration.
Oils: Superior Mana Oil (Brilliant Mana Oil is cool too).
Elixirs: If you want to skimp on flasks, try combining Elixir of Draenic Wisdom and Elixir of Healing Power

Is overhealing bad?

Let me put it this way. Would you rather overheal your target and waste 500 mana on a 6000 heal or underheal your target and risk his death? The fact of the matter is that any healer who is on a tank should always be casting a heal spell and then stopcasting it or letting it complete. It’s common to see tanks face crushing blows of over 9000+ damage. It’s better to have a heal on the way then wait your 2.5 seconds for the heal cast time and pray he avoids the next weapon swing from the boss.

What about haste?

You know, that’s a really good question. Honestly, I haven’t placed too much thought into it but here’s my logic. Our mana regeneration rates have improved a lot and there are various methods for us to get mana back. I noticed that a majority of the time, my mana is above 80% on trash. I can afford to bag a few pieces of regeneration gear in favour of haste gear. I figure lowering my global cooldown rate to 1 second could be a good thing. The faster my spells go off, the more heals I land. I can land more heals this way because mana regeneration is not a limiting factor.

And there you have it! You are now ready to face the perils of 25 man raiding. Good luck and good hunting! When in doubt, simply ask yourself: What would Matticus do?

Going Priestly in Patch 2.4: Things Adam Holisky of WoW Insider Forgot to Mention

Going Priestly in Patch 2.4: Things Adam Holisky of WoW Insider Forgot to Mention

priest-forgot 
Photo courtesy of Carey Tilden

A couple of days ago, WoW Insider had a quick summary article on Priests and what they can look to expect in 2.4. Although Adam Holisky was able to nail some of updates that were made to the Priests, there were a few things that he might have glazed over. But don’t worry! Matticu^ will save the day!

The Technical

  • The amount of players that can be Mass Dispelled has dOubled. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the radius has improved in size any. At least during phase 2 of the Zul’Jin fight, you’ll only need one Priest to Mass Dispel now.
  • Power Infusion: Perhaps this is the one change that could very well fly under the radar. Discipline Priests are still considered a rarity in raids. Unfortunately, it can’t be stacked with other haste-like effects (IE, Heroism) but with the proper coordination, I do think it can be chained one after the other for longer periods of heavy fire power. Is it possible to PI a mage, then pop Heroism, then blow Icy Veins or some such? To my Knowledge, there are no drawbacks or debuffs. Lucky mage that would be, I think.
  • Silent Resolve: Nice. It now affects more spells. Too bad most Priests I know don’t spec into Silent Resolve. Why? Because real PvE Priests know how to manage their aggro. If you’re PvPing, I totally understand.
  • Kirk broke this news first courtesy of an email he received. Now I may be Asian but my math skills are T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. He’s calculated that with the rigt talent points in the Disc tree (namely, Enlightenment) there is a potential for 33% mana regen to continue in combat.
  • I notice I don’t have to drink as often during raids. Before, I topped out at around 296 MP5 while casting with consumables. Now I hit about 340ish with full ‘onsumables.

The Gearical

  • When (and I do mean when, because I know everyone’s going to want to hit exalted) you manage to grind your way up, there’s a nice neck piece just waiting for you. It’s the Shattered Sun Pendant of Restoration. It goes for a c0ol 23g. The only stats it has is Stamina. So you don’t get Int or Spirit. It’s also got some healing on it. For some reason, I smell Holy PaladiN trinket, but I could be wrong. Anyway, it has a chance on heal to proc a different effect depending on whether you are Ald0r or Scryer. The Aldor proc is known as Light’s Salvation which increases healing done by 220 over 10 seconds. The Scryer proc is known as Arcane Surge which instantly heals a target for 618 – 682 (Source comments: WoWDB, WoWHead, WoWWiki). This item is listed as level 115 which is supposed to be on par with Shining Chain of the Afterworld. I’m going to assume that there is a hidden coldown of some sort, but I have yet to find out what it is. I won’t be replacing Lord Sanguinar’s Claim, that’s for sure.
  • Finally there is now a purchasable blue 1H for freshman 70 Priests to use. You won’t have to rely on the auction house to pick up the Essence Focuser. For a nominal fee of four daily quest rewards (43g), you can have K’iru’s Presage.
  • Vial of the Sunwell. Obtainable in Heroic Magisters Terrace. It’s got nice MP5 on it, and it’s a guaranteed 2000 heal every 2 minutes. I’m not too sure about this one, to be quite honest.
  • Start saving up or pumping out Primal Mooncloth. You’ll need it for both the Robe of Eternal Light and Hands of Eternal Light. They require 20 Primal Mooncloh and 18 Primal Mooncloth respectively in order to craft. The items are bind on pickup. Sweet deal for the lucky Sunwell Raiders.

The Face Melters

  • With the changes made to haste, I think Shadow Priests are going to take a good hard look at that as a stat to invest in since it alters global cooldowns. Hey! Shadow Priests! Is haste changes good or bad? Educate me so I can educate everyone else! I don’t have an idea!

No doubt I’ll have forgotten a few important other important things. Suffice it to say, this latest patch does have a few things all of us varsity Priests or otherwise can look forward to. Any other substantial, earth shattering changes that raiding Holy Priests might stand to be aware of?

SRETCARAHCNEETHGIETSOPEHTNITIDIHI?ELZZUPEHTEVLOSUNAC

5 Things Jack Bauer Taught Me About Raiding

5 Things Jack Bauer Taught Me About Raiding

Jack Bauer 
Photo courtesy of Kiefer-Rocks

I’m into the whole action hero counter-terrorism deal. I read a lot of Tom Clancy  (Rainbow Six) when I was younger. I like to play special forces oriented shooters when I’m not playing Warcraft. I check out 24 every so often when it’s showing on TV. Jack Bauer is one of my favourite fictional characters. Hell, if I could have the guy as my Guild leader, I’d be all over it. I mean sure he’s a little intimidating, but if you can look beyond his torturing and his willingness to kill, he seems like a nice guy that gets things done.

He’d roll a Warrior, I bet.

There’s a lot of important lessons you can find from his quotes throughout the years and I feel that raiders would benefit from it. Potential new raiders would also benefit from the wisdom of Jack Bauer. So what is he trying to tell you? What is he trying to say? I will do my utmost to translate his words into something you can understand and interpret.

[to Audrey, who was held by the Chinese for a few months]
Jack Bauer: I know what it’s like to feel like it’s never going to end.

Welcome to raiding. It’s a huge time investment. You almost never know when it’s going to end. After a while, you’re going to wish that it will end especially on marathon nights when Guild leaders are in their "just one more attempt" mood. There will be nights where you will wipe repeatedly for a long time and it really is going to feel like it’s never going to end.

But hey, Jack Bauer was in a Chinese prison for 20 months. You’ve only had to wipe on Kael for 6 hours. Suck it up and move on, soldier.

[from Season 5 preview]
Jack Bauer: If you don’t tell me what I want to know, then it’ll just be a question of how much you want it to hurt.

At the top of my blog, there is a banner with five glowing words that encompass the overall principle that I hold dear not just in Warcraft but in life: Power Through Knowledge and Reason. Only with knowledge can one understand power. But only with reason can that power be used wisely. There are some things that players must know when raiding. There are gimmicks, traps, toys, and other random garbage being thrown our way. We have to know what they are. If we don’t know it, then we can’t prepare ourselves for it. If we don’t have a clear understanding of what we need to know, then it will hurt us big time.

Jack Bauer knows just about everything. If there’s something Jack Bauer doesn’t know, he’ll torture someone until he finds out. You just have to get off the couch and do a bit of reading and watch some videos.

Nina Myers: You’re lying.
Jack Bauer: Yes I am. But you’re still going to have to trust me.

Trust is a hard thing to do in a raid. No one likes to trust their fate on the ability of other players. If you’re like me, you’re a control freak and you want to be the only factor that affects your own fate. We don’t have that luxury in raids. I don’t deliver my promises all the time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust my ability as a healer. Could you imagine what raiding would be like if no one trusted each other? Tanks would constantly break CC targets because they didn’t trust hunters to control them. Priests would bust fears on nearby mobs. Mages would blow ice block and blink cooldowns because they wouldn’t trust healers to keep them up. Nothing would get done! Sometimes you have to place your e-life in the hands of others to get what you want: phat lewt.

Of course, Jack Bauer doesn’t trust anybody. He doesn’t trust his friends, coworkers or his own government. Unfortunately, none of us are skilled as Jack Bauer when it comes to getting things done.

Jack Bauer: That’s the problem with people like you, George. You want results, but you never want to get your hands dirty. I’d start rolling up your sleeves.

Raiding has some seriously enticing rewards especially to those that want to be the best. But you can’t just waltz in there and expect to get things handed to you. You have get down there and do the work on your own. Skill and talent or hard work and effort? I’d rather take the latter, personally. You can’t expect to stand there and spam one button to do the job, unless you’re a Resto Shaman. Going AFK isn’t going to cut it either. Raiding means that you have to seriously raid and work hard. Often times, it isn’t the most glorious of roles but someone has to do it.

From this, we learn that Jack Bauer is like most people. He rolls his sleeves up. Except when he rolls his sleeves up, it’s because he doesn’t want to get blood on his shirt.

Jack Bauer: I like working with you, Chase; you’re a nice kid. But don’t you ever come into my office and talk to me like that again, do you understand me?

There’s a certain kind of unspoken rule that needs to be followed when raiding. You should never openly question your raid leader. If he asks for help or suggestions, that’s okay. But never, ever override or tell others to do something else that the raid leader has already committed the raiders to do. That is a big giant no-no. You don’t talk to him in a condescending or disrespectful manner either. Because at the end of the day, he’s still your superior. If you want to continue raiding with the Guild you’re in, you better be able to follow those rules or else you won’t be in that Guild much longer.

Jack Bauer doesn’t take crap from anybody.

Which Raiding Aspect of 2.4 are you Looking Forward To? [NEW POLL]


Image courtesy of thanx from SXC

The PTRs are chugging along. Every day there are new builds and new changes that are matched by restored abilities (such as the warlock buff). Most of the heckling now revolves around class balancing and the like. The changes to the 25 man raids are aimed at helping every guild at any level to progress in the game as much as possible before the next expansion arrives.

What are you looking forward to in raids?

So, this is a really large patch! There’s no way I can squeeze every change onto my side poll. Therefore, I’m condensing it to raid related changes only.

Increase in gold drops from 25 man bosses

This is a huge boon for players like me who don’t have the time or the energy to farm on a regular basis. It will help offset repair bills somewhat. I was told 25 man bosses would drop 500g resulting in 25 per player. On the other hand, there’s a screenshot out there in existence with Brutalis dropping 250g (10 per player).

Additional set token drops from 25 man bosses

I wonder now if they’ll end up increasing the amount of loot that drops from non-set token dropping bosses to equalize the amount of loot they provide. The extra token drops will help in terms of progression, that’s for sure.

Removal of attunements in Mount Hyjal and Black Temple

There’s been a ton of reactions to the removal of attunements. I killed Kael several weeks ago and all I’m about to get is some lousy title. I can kind of understand where players are coming from about their wasted time and such. To be honest, I’m looking forward to this change the most. Why? Because then I won’t ever have to step back into SSC and TK to attune ONE more player EVERY week. A lot of blogs I’ve read haven’t even mentioned that. I guess they’re too focused on the individual to think of the whole. Just think about all that time that is now freed up without having to go back into the T5 areas.

New raid instance and challenges

The last real world event we had was Naxx, wasn’t it? Even then, I never really participated that much. It’s nice to have another world event to participate in again as well as a new raiding instance.

Shiny new purples

Don’t kid yourself. There’s a small loot whore in every single one of us. We all want the best gear in the game. There’s a ton of new badge loot, faction rewards, and raid drops.

Honourable Mention

Druid nerfs

I was going to list druid nerfs as a possible 6th option. Somehow, I don’t think that would go over very well with several of my esteemed blogging colleagues. I might wake up one morning and find one of my wings on my shoulders shredded or something. Who knows what druids do for pranks anyway?

If what you’re looking forward to isn’t listed on the poll, then by all means leave a comment stating what you can’t wait to see!

Which Raiding Aspect of 2.4 are you Looking Forward to the Most?

  • All those new shiny purples! (30%, 136 Votes)
  • Additional set tokens from 25 man bosses! (27%, 122 Votes)
  • New raid instance and challenge! (25%, 110 Votes)
  • Removal of attunements into Mount Hyjal and Black Temple! (11%, 49 Votes)
  • Increase in Gold drops from 25 man bosses! (7%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 446

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Weekly Digest: Worst Change in 2.4, SSC Mistakes, and GQuitting Properly

What’s Happening in WoW

Mallet now has Lord Sanguinar’s Claim and the Breeches of the Avatar. I now sit at ~2050 healing without any additional raid buffs.

What’s Happening with the Blog

It’s been fairly quiet recently due to midterms. So nothing much here either!

Latest Blog Posts

Here are the posts from this week:

20 Questions by Matticus

This week I had a chance to sit down with Galadria of the Holy Light.

In case you missed it, last week BBB was interrogated via 20 questions (his blog).

Past Hits

Past columns I have written that still hold true to this day.

Trends in the WoW Blogosphere

The biggest trend at the moment is a no brainer. Everyone’s out there buzzing about the changes to 2.4 and speculating about reactions and impacts to the game.

Blog Spotlight

A Dwarf Priest – There’s several excellent healing resources to be found if you see through it. The site looks a bit narrow for me, but it still works! What’s the blog about? I think the name speaks for itself =).

Matt Likes: Priest PvP Tips vs. Other Classes. If you’re a Priest whose planning on going toe to toe against other players, you will want to take a look at this. It may not help you kill them, but it can help you survive a few seconds longer.