Hope for the PvP Healer

Hope for the PvP Healer

If you’re like me (and frankly, you might not be, but I hope you’ll keep reading), you enjoy a good amount of some world PvP.  Beyond Wintergrasp and the Storm Peaks dailies phase, I’m talking about moments like these:

“Oh sh**! STUPID [insert class]”

“What happened? You get ganked?”

“Yeah, I’m just farmin’ [insert mat]…”

“Where are you?”

“I’m out in Sholazar Basin.”

“On the way.”

…and after 20 minutes, you’re in a real world 5v5, 7v9, 20v17, whatever! You can Rebirth, you can Lay on Hands, you can rez at your corpse.  It’s a “No Holds Barred” cage match.  At least, I think that’s the reference.  Wrestling, right?  Kidding.  Anyway, my point is that I’m an avid fan of PvP.  It’s not my main focus, but I certainly spend a decent amount of time in it.

I love PvP, and I hate a skilled rogue.

Now, not because I think they’re OP, but because when a rogue is good, it’s near impossible to survive.  Again, let me say that I’m meaning this more as a compliment and not a QQ thread.  With that “rogue ego stroke”, I’m grateful that an announcement was made (I know, it was back in March) with regard to what we’ve come to call the “stunlock”:

Rogue burst is also scary today because they can deliver it while a target is chain stunned. We’ve also said that’s not a particularly fun place to be (for attacker or defender) and we need to shift rogue defenses away from short-duration immunities (which includes the stuns) and more towards being able to stand toe to toe with other classes a little better.

In a one-on-one standpoint, this was nigh-impossible to survive.  With a Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot, Blind chain, I’ve been forced to just sit and watch my health go from 100% to 0% in a matter of seconds.  Before you all “LoL L2Trinket” me, trust me, I’ve done it.  Like I said, a skilled rogue is a nightmare.

So, in the Rogue Preview put out, this lovely morsel is given:

In PvP, we want to reduce the rogue’s dependency on binary cooldowns and “stun-locks,” and give them more passive survivability in return. One major change is that we’ll put Cheap Shot on the same diminishing return as other stuns. The increase to Armor and Stamina on cloth, leather, and mail gear will help with this goal as well.

Obviously, the intent is to make a rogue tougher to kill, but I look at this from a healer’s standpoint: fewer stuns means more chances for us to survive.

Cataclysm is going to bring about a lot of changes, and we all know the constant struggle to balance PvP and PvE.  Since I’m a fan of both, I’m excited and scared of what the future will bring to the table.

How do you feel about the upcoming changes and how they’ll affect you in the arena/battleground?  Rogue feedback is welcome as well!

 

Email: elder.thespius@gmail.com | Twitter: @Thespius

4 Joys of Healing

4 Joys of Healing

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This is a guest post by Gothica, a Holy Paladin from EU’s Scarshield Legion

I’d like to introduce myself by saying from the outset that I’m a healer and I love it! Let me explain why.

Winning

Healing is all about winning. Know why people take healers to dungeons, raids and arenas? Because we make wins happen. We do this by using our heals, making judgment calls about which tool to use and who to use it on. It’s extraordinarily effective and a lot of fun.

Whacking moles

Healing is a minigame within World of Warcraft that is actually pretty fun in its own right. You’re looking at a rack of life bars. Suddenly one drops, heal it fast before it hits zero. You could actually play the healing mingame as a game in its own right which is why the playstyle is called whack-a-mole (after a popular game where you had to club moles off your lawn).

In WoW, you’re whacking moles (reacting to health deficits and healing them) in the larger context of the MMO. After you have whacked your moles, you may find your guild has killed a new raid boss or your arena team has won a match. Sometimes the minigame is so absorbing you barely notice the wider context. Sometimes it is your keen management of the wider context while staying on top of the healing that allows you to succeed where others wouldn’t.

The social side

You are who you heal.

As a healer, the quality of your game experience, your ability to get things done, and the amount of fun you have is very much determined by who you heal. This is both positive and negative.

The negative is that sometimes you will find yourself grouped with bad and rude players. But that’s outweighed by the positive.

The positive is that not only is it easy to meet nice players but that they will actively start to seek you out as you progress your character. After all, they want a competent friendly healer with good gear and will be keen to play with you as you establish yourself. Healers can become very popular, and you’ll be added to many people’s Friends Lists.

Progression

With the possible exception of leveling, healers progress fast in all aspects of the game. You will be able to jump into instances whenever you want, get raid situations that a DPSer of your gear and skill wouldn’t get into and be sought out for arena teams. Most healers can wear lesser gear without it really mattering resulting in us gearing up fast. We generally don’t have so much competition for our loot.

Conclusion

Those are some good reasons to try a healer. It can seem from the outside like a stressful and thankless task. It isn’t. It’s a fun minigame that wins you friends and admirers.

Why do you like healing?

SYTYCB: WTB 2m leetsauce DPS 4 MrT, lf uber CC, kkthx!

SYTYCB: WTB 2m leetsauce DPS 4 MrT, lf uber CC, kkthx!

This is a SYTYCB entry from Jen who made it to the top 7.

jen-post WoW language… where do I begin? So being a fairly new “gamer” (zomg it’s been a freakin year!) I was lost when I first read trade chat in Darnassus. So many acronyms and so many words I had never heard of in my life. I majored in Literary Studies, so it was incredibly frustrating to me to not understand wth anyone was saying.

For the most part, I’ve overcome these frustrations (thanks to my sponsor and 12-step program,) but there are still things that irk me about WoW-lingo. I honestly don’t know if these terms are exclusive to WoW or part of all MMORPGs, anywhozzle here I go!

Misspelling

I’m kind of a spelling snob; I have a habit of pointing out spelling errors in trade chat on my server, especially if it’s a guild recruitment spam! I have noticed a lot of these WoW terms are just misspelled words that caught on and became accepted gamers’ lingo.

Pwned, Pwn, Pwnt

Is this pawned or owned or a combination? I think either way it’s over-played and over-used, it’s like “Burn” from that Friends episode. If you tell me you pwned me in-game, be prepared for a /glare /slap combo, cause that’s how I roll!

Leet, Leetsauce, 1337

I can only assume this came from elite, but where do we get the sauce? It sounds messy and somewhat disgusting; I get all kinds of visuals that I’m not going to explain here.

And are we really in 5th grade where we are playing with our calculator and trying to spell words with numbers? Remember 55378008…if you don’t, type it in your handy dandy calculator (not the one on your computer you n00b!) and turn it upside down.

Hai

Is this to be cute? Like the “I can haz” crap? Sorry I just don’t get it, first time I saw it I thought the guy was from Hawaii and maybe it was some cultural thing =/

Oh noes!

Admittedly I use this often, especially when I’m trying to get away from CAPSmonster (he’s the rare elite mob that strikes in trade chat and burns everyone’s eyeballs out of their sockets, he’s also the namesake of my 2v2). But where the hell does it come from? Instead of shortening the phrase to make the typing faster we actually add two letters for silliness?

Acronyms

These are probably carried over from other games, but for those who didn’t play these so-called “other games” it’s incredibly annoying and frustrating! The very first day I started playing WoW I saw the acronym LFG and I was too nervous and n00bish to ask what it meant for the longest time.

Common txt lingo (wth, wtf, omg, lol)

I don’t really have any problems with these, I txt probably more than I talk so I’m used to it. Moving on…

WoW specific (dps, cc, wtb, dungeon names)

I know these are necessary, especially in a game where you want to spend more time pew-pewing than typing. Btw dungeon names are normally a no-brainer but for all that don’t know Magister’s Terrace is MrT – nothing else (nightelf mohawk ftw.)

I almost quit the game a couple of times as a low-level since I felt like I entered a world where I didn’t speak the language and I was not given a translation guide.

Hey WoM, make a guide! ;)

Asshats who think they are cool they can acronym anything

These are the people that were put on earth to make me want to go punch a kitten in Elwynn Forest. Stop trying to act like you are cool by making everyone else in the world figure out what the hell you are saying, you suck! Noone is going to pick up on your acronym and start using it; you are not a trend-setter. NP2SW is not the new cool way of saying “need portal to Stormwind”. I’m determined these are the gamers who are 42 years old living at home with their parents trying to get their band off the ground. I hate them, and I put them on ignore!

Emotes

/start rant

If you put a / in front of something it means this is what you or your character is doing or feeling right now. In a game where you can’t convey your true feelings with absolute strangers and you don’t want to type it out just put a / in front of a word and everyone will know what it means. You can also say “slash (insert word here)” in vent and it makes sense!

/rollseyes

/facepalm (spoiler! Coming in wrath!)

/end rant

Vent

There is really only one thing people say on vent that makes me want to QQ and that is “lawls”. Lawls is a misspelling of an acronym that means to laugh-out-loud. If you are laughing out loud and you press your vent key wouldn’t everyone hear you laughing? Apparently not. Instead you press your vent key and say “lawls” which just makes you a freakin liar! You are not laughing out loud at all so don’t say that you are. It doesn’t make any sense. This bugs me cause I love to hear people laugh, it makes me laugh more, and I LOVE to laugh! I laugh a lot and often and I press my vent key when I’m doing it. I NEVER say “lawls”. I also press my vent key when I sneeze…that’s a whole other topic I suppose.

Uber and n00b

I separated these out because I despise them especially. For one, they just sound gross, they both remind me of the word booger and it makes me want to vomit in my mouth. I understand what both terms mean, but I have no clue where they came from so I made some assumptions. Uber comes from some idiot trying to spell super and failing in epic proportions. He was obviously not uber and now he’s doomed to endlessly sift through the trash in the Ironforge Deeprun tram station (dirty, dirty Haggle!). N00b/nub comes from “new player” or “new person” being shortened to save typing time. Nub (rhymes with rub) I think I hate more because again it’s a visual thing and it’s not even pronounced like newb but it means the same thing.

What WoW terms do you love/hate or love to hate? Am I absolutely nuts for the assumptions I made?

Reader’s Question: Should I Follow William Shatner’s footsteps?

“Hey, I like your site. Like you, I tend to play as a healer since that’s pretty much what everyone is looking for plus it makes playing with my friends enjoyable. I like keeping everyone alive :)
Anyways, reason why I’m emailing you. I have a 70 Holy paladin and as much as I love playing him, I wanted to try out another character. I don’t raid. I like to pvp. But I find as a holy paladin I lack a lot of cc compared to a priest and such. I wanted your opinion on a Shaman. I wanted to level one for the longest time and try making him a healer in the end. Do you recommend trying one? Should I try a priest instead? Just wanted your thoughts on this since you played them.”

Now this isn’t a question I’m best suited for. I’ll try to answer it as best as I can. I play my Priest primarily for PvE raiding. My Shaman’s up there for PvP most of the time.

I found that as a Shaman, I had a bit more of an active role in my game. You’ve got to rely on your Rank 1 Earth Shocks to slow down enemy casters while dropping heals on your guy at the same time. Furthermore, you have to keep an eye out on buffs that you can visually see so that you can purge them off quick as possible (Pain Suppression, Blessing of Protection, etc). The only tools that you’ll be able to use as far as healing goes is Lesser Healing Wave and Earth Shield.


Here’s another response that covers more in depth in PvP then I ever will. An answer from official World of Matticus PvP Correspondent, Pwyff!

Currently in arena PVP, Priests are a lot stronger than Shamans. The difference between the two lies in what they bring to a team. A Shaman can run a huge amount of interrupts on any healer or caster with clever management of Earth Shocks and Grounding Totems, but you’ll find that you’re lacking in any significant preemptive heals. What this means is that every heal you do must always land after the damage is taken, and you have nothing that can help with this. Priests and Druids in particular are much better at preemptively healing, due to the nature of HoTs and the Priest’s Shield.

A Shaman only has Earth Shield as a preemptive heal, but many Shamans can attest to how frustrating it is to constantly have such a huge mana cost shield dispelled off. The other thing that might bother you is the complete lack of defensive dispels. A Priest has both offensive and defensive dispels, and in my opinion, he’s kind of a more defensive version of the Shaman. The Shaman can run extensive control upon the other team, while still helping his team and remaining on the front lines, while the Priest is more designed as a full support role.

It really depends upon your style. I myself am going to play a Shaman in my off-time, because I really enjoy the sturdy nature of the Shaman, and the fact that even as Restoration, a Shaman can bring decent offensive prowess to the table. I enjoy interrupting and playing a more offensive oriented style of play, and that’s something that cannot be said of Priests, unless they pair themselves with fully offensive classes. Restoration Shaman + Warrior is capable of bringing a lot more pressure to the 2s table than Priest + Warrior will. Resto Shaman + Resto Druid + Warrior is currently one of the highest rated matrices in BG9 (the most competitive battlegroup out there at the moment), so take that as you will (although there are more Mage + Rogue + Priest teams out there at high ratings).

If you enjoy pure healing and support, then a Priest may be for you. Manaburns, Power Infusion and Mass Dispels will be, for the most part, your most offensive oriented moves.


Keep those questions coming! If I don’t feel confident enough to answer your question, I will find someone who will. =)

Pain Suppression, Meditation, Arenas and blogging

Patch is coming soon next week, doo dah, doo dah, Priests get mana up the butt, oh the doo dah day. I guess we’ll find out how good the increased mana regeneration buff will be when it debuts (Meditation). Considering we’re running five Priests in our raids, we should be able to project our spells slightly longer then usual. I’m rather curious as to the viability of the redesigned Pain Suppression. Right now, it reads:

Pain Suppression redesigned: Now castable on other friendly targets; Reduces target’s threat by 5% and the damage they take by 40%. Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes.

Typically, a Raid consists of three types or roles: Tank, DPS/CC, and Heals. In the past, the Discipline tree has always been considered a support tree. The talents have been designed to increase the survivability of a Priest and the amount of utility it brings. I find it unlikely that Raids will find room for such a role as outlined above. It’s easy enough to get Improved Divine Spirit and invest the rest into the Holy Tree and you’ll come out great. That’s the Priestiality of the situation. Alternatively, you join the dark side and melt faces for a living. Those are the primary reasons why Priests are brought into Raids. I find it unlikely for many Guilds to bring in a Discipline Priest because they do not fulfill the three roles as highlighted above. True, a Discipline Priest can heal, but not as well as their Holy counterparts. Smite damage? No thanks. You shouldn’t be Pain Suppressing a tank when they’re trying to get aggro.

So then what’s the point of the post-modern Discipline tree?

Combat. Pure PvP combat. You’re going in close quarters and instead of being two shot by that rogue, you’re going to get four shot. That mage that’s getting focused fired by a 4 DPS team? He’s going to last 6 seconds longer (but there’s a 35% chance that it might get purged/dispelled/etc). Are we going to see a huge influx of Discipline trees in the Arena? I don’t know, it’s tough to say. On paper, it looks plausible. But the assets that are brought in do not seem enough to nudge another class out of a PvP line up. It’s too early to say right now, so we’ll need to see. I can’t help but wonder if we’ll begin to see a 5-caster type team in the Arenas.

Speaking of PvP and the patch, here’s some healthy advice from the Out of Mana blog. The announcement of 2.3 heralds the end of Season 2, which means:

  1. Alterac Valley will change (hopefully for the better)
  2. Arenas will be in a frenzy when the Season 3 begins
  3. Honor points can now be used to purchase Season 1 swag

World of Matticus is about to undergo some minor additions. You’ll note that the middle column was removed in favor of extending the right and left bars. I’m going to make my RSS feeds more prominent on the front page somewhere. There’s a lot of things I want to do, right now.

By the way, I purchased Call of Duty 4. AWESOME GAME! GREAT way to relieve the stress and tensions of WoW.

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 2, and some reader responses

Welfare Epics and Loot Envy: I saw

WoW Web Stats: Start here first. It’s a guide from Kirk regarding a tool that I have preached for a long time. I would argue it is better then any in game damage meter. Use it for your post raid analysis to help determine what went wrong. Once you’ve finished looking at that, refer to his post on using it for healing in raids. There isn’t much more for me to say as the rest has already been covered by the guy. Second star!

A blog post a day: The challenge has been issued. The battle lines have been drawn. A friend of mine from school informed me that November is National Novel Writing Month. Stephi has twisted the concept slightly and made it her goal to pump out 50000 words by the end of the month at a rate of ~1700 words per day. If I were not in school nor had other things to attend to (blogging, demon fragging, etc) I would gladly embrace this challenge. But as such, there is no way I can maintain that kind of a pace without something else in my life giving way. Next year, I will entertain the idea of participating in the novel writing month itself. The third star as well as good luck goes to Stephi!

I took two straight days off both on Friday and Saturday. Why? Because I’ve been busy chasing the dream of priests everywhere: to beat the living snot out of anything unholy. My Evoker is now level 19. I can’t imagine what life would be like had I rolled a different class. But my blog would definitely not be the way it is now.

I received a comment and an email that I wanted to respond to because it merited addressing on the main page.

Maladorous writes:

After reading this it seems your a priest that likes MP5. With 2.3 coming out and priest talent Meditation getting such a big boost what are you thoughts about spirit regeneration? Also the set bonus from the primal moon cloth set would put you at about 35% Regen while in the FSR. I think this is great and will put your Regen way up.

I drop my spell down as i get more +healing so that saves mana also so i get the +18 gems.

For the most part, I’ve refrained from commenting too much about 2.3 because what changes are can easily be reversed the next day rendering past thoughts on them irrelevant. I still think it’s too early to say. Spirit is definitely getting a huge boost. I’ll confess I don’t know the mathematics or the formulas behind it quite yet. Remember, as a Priest, we need to think situationally. It isn’t often that we are inactive for sessions longer than five seconds. If we are, then either we’re not doing our job or we have one hell of a tank. It’s also important to think long term and what it is you’ll be doing. In raid encounters, you NEED that mana per five. It’s a simple concept. Spells need mana. No mana means no heals which means the tank dies which means its game over. It’s not the size of the tank, it’s how fast the gas gets pumped into it. I didn’t spec Spirit of Redemption in my build (simply because I felt those seconds could best be used for running back into the instance). With the upcoming changes, I’ll need to take a closer look.

Bottom line: Nothing has changed. I still value MP5. Expect that to change as soon as more tests are done by my colleagues in that area. If there is empirical proof that Spirit is better then MP5, then I’ll make the necessary announcements.

Until then, keep hoarding Nightseyes. But if there’s cheap healing/spirit gems on your server, consider possibly investing in several and storing them in the bank. At worst, you can resell them back on the AH as their uncut selves. At best, you no longer need to worry about gems for a long time because you just committed grand theft jewelery on the AH. If you look up Talasite on WoW Econ and plot it for a 90-day chart, you’ll notice a spike in the price. I think that coincided with the time that patch 2.2 went live and Talasite was another option for arena players. Expect the price of Star of Elune to increase slightly. We may begin to see Purified Shadow Pearls in frequency as well. Guess those Naga’s have a use after all.

The above question is a great segue (did I spell that right?) into another question from another reader this time via email:

I’m a bit confused as to which is more important, my mana pool or my +healing. My guild (a social guild more than anything else) has just started raiding Kara, so we’re all barely geared enough for it. I have 1066 +healing and a mana pool of 9521. After looking at your gear list, I opted for Essence Focuser and the Nethering Spiritualist offhand, and am debating getting a +30 Int chant or Major healing on the mace. Some healer that’s supposed to be The Shit told an officer in my guild that my mana pool isn’t up to par, so that constructive (*cough*) criticism in mind, I’m hesitant about using the mace instead of Epoch Mender, since the Mender gives me +35 Int, I believe.

Your healing is a little low, but it meets the requirements. Your mana pool on the other hand is excellent. But there is one important question that you need to ask: How is my mana regeneration? Like I said in the previous post, it’s not the size of the mana pool that matters but how you use it. Encounters depend on your ability to heal. Your healability depends on how fast you get your mana. Sooner or later, cooldowns will catch up to you. Your Druid’s innervate will be burned. Your potions blown. Your Shaman’s Mana Tide deployed. Every trinket you have, used. At present, your MP5 is very low. I think that needs to be increased substantially (to at least 100+ while casting spells). Consider the 6 MP5 to chest, the application of the shoulder enchant, and the application of the head enchant. If you need to trade mana pool for mana regen, do it. Having 9.5k mana is a nice buffer in the opening stages, but you’ll burn out by the time you get down to 50% on Attumen. Remember to downrank your heals some to help alleviate the pressure.

I would also apply 81 healing to the mace. BUT, wait for a while first. The mats are expensive and you’ll want to use it on a weapon that will see action for a long time. See if you can farm the reputation for the Shatar and pick up the Gavel of Pure Light. Failing that, you can always roll the dice and attempt to pick up the Shard of the Virtuous from Maiden.

Good luck!

Remember, I’m only an email away. You can find it on the left pane of my blog (unlinked to scare off those pesky spam bots). Please, feel free to ask. If I can’t help you, I’ll direct you to someone who can.

One more topic of note for sunday. GMW’s post about speaking WoW in real life? That actually happened to me the other day. I was at school when one of my friend’s came up to me and asked what I had on the agenda for the next day:

Girl: Hows tomorrow look?
Me: Not much. No class until 230. Midterms are over. Papers are next week. Oh wait, I have a quest to do tomorrow.
Girl: *blink*
Me: What? Oh! Did I say quest? I mean quiz!
Girl: *sigh*

Ho hum.