10 Things I’d Rather do Than Heal PuGs

10 Things I’d Rather do Than Heal PuGs

A great part of WoW’s healing base has foresworn the dungeon finder tool ever since Cataclysm, avoiding PuGs like the plague, running away and screaming in terror. And we all know why of course: a lot has changed in the mana business and also, heroic dungeons require a lot more cooperation, tactical approach and CC than they used to in Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard’s promises in that department have come true.

Now I’m probably not your best candidate because I’ve been a PuG-misanthrope ever since… ever. Sometime through my late level 50ies of vanilla WoW, I did one sucky corpse run too many or heard a stupid comment too often from a random lol-DPS in Stratholme, Diremaul or Scholomance, to put me off anything public or pickup in WoW permanently. Which is probably good to highlight in this context: Yes, there was stupid back in the “good old days” too.

I’ve stuck to my own raid guilds for dungeons ever since then and I’ve been so fortunate to always have more competent groups of players at hand. Yes I’m a spoiled holy priest – but then, I’ve also done a great load in order to keep the guilds running I’ve been in. Nothing comes for free in the World of Warcraft.

I’ve still pugged a handful of 5man runs, especially in the later stages of WotLK as Blizzard was so cunning to make pugging an achievement that comes with a pet (ugly as it might be). You got me there! And it wasn’t even the worst experience; in fact it’s showed me that not all PuGs are completely horrid, even if I still considered them a waste of my time.

But that was in WotLK. You know, “I can get free badges while walking my dog puppy”-WotLK, the expansion of free rides and blissful matters-not-just-AoE-olol. The era of pretty dead party chats too, so dead in fact that exceptions of the rule almost felt outrageous.

That doesn’t work so well in Cataclysm: The new heroics make the best team of guild mates facepalm after 2 hours have passed. And you only really stick around for that long because you actually know these people and enjoy their company. Alternatively, you can be openly grumpy and abuse them in party chat for being blind as a bat, without them going into an emo-fit which makes up for a little at least. I still luv my tank mate despite the fact that he made me run heroic Deadmines for 3 hours on launch week.


Those saints among saints

Healing Cataclysm heroics is a challenge and having to do so in a group of complete strangers who are likely not nearly as vocal, cooperative or forgiving as guild mates , doesn’t make things easier. It has a good chance of making things hellishly frustrating, in fact.

Some healers however, are still bothering. They are still healing PuGs and going in fully prepared to supervise the party and make it succeed. They have the sort of patience that I’m not sure whether to call noble or slightly nutty, but in any case I have big respect for them to put up with the risk. It’s not just the whole coordination part after all: PuGs are time-consuming. The chance for these runs to take longer than usual is high, already due to limiting factors such as party chat. It is a lot of extra playtime to put into something that has a high risk to go wrong. And while in times of precious mana, DPS and CC have probably become more important than ever, the high pressure on healers and tanks is unchanged and so is the blame-factor. Not everyone has switched boat from WotLK yet.

In her most recent blog post, Ophelie tells us why healing PuGs can work out and how healers can contribute to that success. I’d never have the willingness or dedication (and I secretly suspect her to create her own WoW hard modes that way, things are not yet hard enough for Holydins it seems!) but it’s definitely a great guide if you’re a healer and looking to PuG heroics without wanting to throw yourself off a bridge after the first 30 minutes.

I raise my hat to all who try and risk their sanity and self-confidence in the progress. What many people do not know: a bad PuG can make any healer feel shitty. You can know that there was nothing you could have done differently – still: SHITTY!

Before you call me out for speaking without experience, I’ve in fact blundered into 2 PuGs in Cataclysm myself. Number one ended at the first boss, after approximately 10 wipes of the exact same fashion and loads of “GOGOGOGO!!!”. A chronic case of Speedius Nubicus. The second PuG lasted exactly 3 minutes before I pulled the plug – and you’d have done the same. Let’s just say it doesn’t bode well to enter a heroic Stonecore where the rest of the group is already in the process of corpse running, because their last healer fled in terror. Not the finest act to leave them mid-combat, but then…who among us to cast the first stonecore?

PuGs like these aren’t only plain painful, but I simply don’t have time for this. My gametime is more limited than ever these days and what I need in order to be ready for my guild’s raids asap, are efficient runs. I love the new dungeon difficulty, just so there are no misunderstandings here: challenging doesn’t have to equal mind-numbingly long though. I’m more than willing to admit that I don’t take the lead in PuGs usually and that’s probably a wrong perception of my role. It is certainly not by default the MT’s. Furthermore, I don’t actually make use of vote-kicking. Why not? I just CAN’T BE ARSED! If I need to kick and replace five people first before I can start a run, I rather go do something else. By the time we’ve finally found “teh perfect tank” the first person who got replaced is probably already so bored that he decides to bugger off by the time we look halfway ready.

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My contribution to a serious topic

I’d still like to contribute in a more productive or rather creative way to the whole PuG-healing thing and since I’m not a saint who can tell you how to make it happen, I’ll tell you what I’d rather do instead of making it happen!

When starting to think about this, the first spontaneous things come to mind, were:

· Running a screwdriver through my left eye. Real slow.

· Jumping off an airplane with no parachute on. Working as intended.

· Entering a den of rabid wolves in a meat skirt.

But….that’s not realistic, I know! So, I’ll be good and limit myself to things that are actually there in the game, painful and annoying and… still so much more preferable to healing PuGs right now!


10 things I’d rather do than heal PuGs

I would rather…

  • Get exalted with Silithus. Again.
  • Repeat the entire Argent Tournament daily jousting-grind to buy all available pets and mounts.
  • Travel from Bloodmyst Isle to Booty Bay. Via Northrend. By foot.
  • Give gold to every lvl 5 beggar in Elwynn Forest.
  • Run guild alts through Gnomeregan 5 times a day. Make that 10 times.
  • Re-skill both my professions up from zero.
  • Follow the public channels. Yes, that’s general and trade chat.
  • Change my holy priest to worgen female…./gasp. Okay, for one week.
  • Read the quest texts of all new Cataclysm quests. No word skipping.
  • Hang out with THIS GUY!

This list was originally a lot longer, but I forced myself to keep it short, just like the rest of this post. And with that, I’ll wish the saints among you who are still out there facing their PuGs good luck and hold on to that halo! You’ll need it.

Sylvara

Adrenaline, Stormrage EU

P.S. No random pugee was vote-kicked or otherwise harmed in the process of writing this article.

Matticast Episode 3

Welcome to Episode 3 of The Matticast. This week Matt, Borsk, Kat, and Brian discuss:

  • Problems with the Dungeon Finder Tool
  • What to do with bad puggers
  • We give you tips for handing the challenges you face as a Guild Leader in our reader topic.

Don’t forget you can send us your questions or topic, and be sure to checkout and participate in the listener topic every Wednesday.

Subscribe to the show: iTunesRSS

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How to Smite Heal Your Way through Heroics and Raids

I’ve written about the Archangelism spec and style before, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t make it work at all on live. I thought it might’ve been a personal “learn to play” issue on my end and it turned out that’s what it was. Conversing with Priests who prefer the style of Archangel and Evangelism, I ultimately learned that I was doing it wrong.

A Fresh Slate

First thing’s first. Wipe out everything you know about Discipline healing. Approach it with the eye of a new healer because I would refer to this as the 6th healing spec in the game.

Setting up

The spec

33/8/0 is a spec I’m currently experimenting with with heroics and raids.

Essential glyphs

Select whichever Prime glyphs you like as it’s more personal style than anything else. I personally shoot for:

The Major glyph you must have:

The style of play

Atonement is the key talent here. Damage dealt with Smite heals the closest, weakest target which is usually the tank. Think of Smite as the spell used in place of Heal. Use it to help soften the blows your tank will take. When they get to a certain health level, switch back to Penance or healing spells and get the tank back up to the green.

So when do I trigger Archangel?

Do not look at Archangel as a mana return talent. Look at it as a healing buff talent. When you use Archangel, your healing spells get buffed. The tradeoff is that Smite does not get that extra damage boost therefore you must rely on actual healing spells during the period the period that Archangel is used. You must keep an eye on the buff timer though.

For me, everything clicked when I looked at it as a form of stance dancing: Smite healing during slow and steady periods and then activating Archangel to begin casting standard healing spells (Prayer of Healing, Shields and Penance) during intense moments.

When Evangelism is able to be stacked up again, resume the Smite fest.

Numbers wise, Smite will heal anywhere from 9.5k to me to top end critical heals of 15k+ with a mix of dungeon blues and heroic dungeon blues.

Problems

In a raid environment, you don’t have precise control over who gets the heal. I’ve had the Heal off of Smite hit a Bloodworm or a hunter pet instead of the tank (or worse, Ret Paladins). Quick reactions were needed to level off the tank with a Power Word: Shield or something. It’s because of this variability that I wouldn’t use this for raid healing unless there was a gimmick about the encounter.

An example of this is the Halfus encounter. The more drakes and whelps you take down, the more damage your Smite does which leads to stronger heals.

Another issue I ran into is that I’d let my Evangelism stacks fall off. Either I was moving around or the group started to take damage. At the first sign of not being able to refresh Evangelism, activate Archangel so you don’t incur the mana loss.

It’s certainly a fun spec to play and offers a fresh change to the normal healing grind that Priests have had. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Just don’t forget that you have other healing spells in the event things start going sour, so please use them.

Conclave of Wind

Conclave of Wind

Conquest scored their first 10 man raid boss kill a few weeks ago with the Conclave of Wind. It’s another Council-type encounter that involves multiple bosses. They don’t share health pools or anything. Once a djinn (genie?) goes down, you have a minute to take down the rest of them otherwise the disabled djinn’s will have their health restored to 100%. When engaged, the djinn’s need to have someone within attacking range otherwise players will get hit with a really strong wipe-inducing debuff.

Otherwise, keep reading for an account of each healer’s perspective on their platforms along with a quick breakdown on what actually happens.

Nezir

nezir

Nezir is the Frost djinn. He places Frost patches on the ground which needs to be avoided as the movement slow effect will stack. His Wind Chill deals Frost damage. His Sleet Storm is a Frost DoT. Be wary of Permafrost as it is a conical Frost spell hitting anyone near the target. Wind Chill is the mechanic that forces platform teams to switch as it steadily increases all Frost damage taken by 10% (in other words, it’s a stacking debuff).

His ultimate ability is Sleet Storm. It deals ~30000 damage divided by all targets within 100 yards. Make a note of this effect.

Alette’s point of view

My starting platform was Nezir’s, which is the frost platform of conclave. The damage that the boss deals scales with how many stacks of Wind Chill that the tank and I had. When 5 stacks of Wind Chill is reached, the healing becomes intense. We originally tried switching platforms at about 8 stacks but shifted it down to 5 instead. As a healer, try to always be behind or to the side of him to avoid taking permafrost damage. His ice patches are a nuisance, but I used Hand of Freedom to remove the slow effect. 

Once I reached 3 stacks, I started moving towards the ramp. At stack 5, transition was signalled verbally and the jump was made to Anshal’s platform. 

Pro tip: Don’t forget you can cast instant spells when flying through the air from platform to platform.

Make sure you hit the ramp straight on and not at an angle.

Anshal

anshal

Anshal has an AoE effect which silences any players within it and heals any of his allies. Melee players will have a field day here. Every so often, Ravenous Creepers will appear with the ability to eject Toxic Spores. These Spores will infect players with a stacking toxin. Unfortunately, there’s no direct way to remove it. The Toxin hits for about 500 damage and  it stacks. When the stacks get too high, a switch is called where the players jump over to Nezir and do a bit of damage to him for a while before jumping back. The key here is all about Ad control. Make sure those ads are dead or as weak as possible. Anshal’s ultimate heals all of his allies for 25000 health per second and they deal and extra 15% damage. In the seconds leading up to his Zephyr (his ultimate spell), you’ll want to ensure his little friends are down for the count. Once they are, all the DPS players here need to make the jump to Nezir’s platform immediately.

Ophelie’s point of view

It started like any other fight: Beacon on the tank, Holy Shocking players, and building up Holy Power. Anshal actually doesn’t hit that hard and my concentration started to waver… Then adds spawned and it took every bit of Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn and pounding my fist on the keyboard to make sure our DPS survived. The adds had barely stopped moving (and the dps had barely been healed enough) that my tank suddenly jumped onto the wind tunnel on the side. Being a good loyal healer, I jumped after him, leaving the DPS players to their misery.

I found myself in front of Nezir. I avoided frost patches on the ground the best I could. I secretly thanked the existence of Hand of Freedom, which sped up the delicate process that is reaching the frost boss. By then, the DPS had caught up with me, demanding to be healed again. I pulled out Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn and my fist again before adding Aura Mastery + Resistance Aura to the mix in order to do my best in keeping everyone alive as Nezir cast Sleet Storm. After all the excitement, the DPS left to kill more of Anshal’s flowers and I hung out with my tank and Nezir, until we noticed that we’d each gathered 4-5 stacks of debuffs, making us take more frost damage. Not wanting to mess with that, we jumped back onto the wind tunnel to hang out with Anshal, the flowers and the dps.

Healing the DPS on Anshal’s side was frustrating at times. My AoE heals were able to keep everyone up long enough for me to blast them with some Divine Lights.

It’s a coordination fight, notably coordinating damage dealt to the right boss at the right time, but from a healing perspective, it’s about communicating with your tank and with the other tank-healer team to coordinate jumping. The DPS doesn’t like to be left alone on a platform with no tank and no healer. And occasionally you have to communicate with the team working on Rohash (but they get really edgy late into the fight, so be forewarned).

Get your utility spells right too:

  • Lay on Hands is a wipe saver if your tank decides to jump while you’re mid-cast.
  • In times where your tank and your DPS are fighting for your affection, Hand of Sacrifice lets you keep the tank alive while paying attention to the DPS.
  • Bubble can be used to remove frost debuff stacks, but I found it more helpful in avoiding aggressive flowers.
  • Hand of Protection can rescue a softer DPS from those flowers.
  • Hand of Freedom can help you (or your tank) navigate the Nazir’s frost patches.
  • Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn are fantastic when you’ve got the DPS bunched up in front of you. During alone time with the tank, or to quickly save a DPS, use Word of Glory as your holy power sink.

Rohash

rohash

The big threats to watch out for from Rohash is his Wind Blast. If he faces you while casting it, you better move fast (and note that the wind spout turns in a clockwise direction). Veterans of Serpentshrine Cavern will recognize the ability as one based from the Lurker Below. His ultimate spell is called Hurricane where players on the platform are throw around in the air (akin to Malygos’ Vortex). The only spells which can be cast are instant ones. Otherwise, a tank is not needed. In fact, it is strongly advised that no melee players engage Rohash at all.

Matt’s point of view

Don’t let the other two Paladins fool you. We drew straws. I lost. I got arguably easiest djinn in the instance (which I also found fairly boring).

We took two approaches to Rohash. We tried with both a Mage or a Mage and a Warlock. We were able to progress quite nicely with both ranged DPS on this platform. There were times when our Warlock needed to switch to other platforms for diagnostic checks to ensure everything was being done properly or to help level out the damage. For the most part, Rohash was the key. Once he was down to a certain percentage, everything would come together.

Healing the damage by Rohash is a piece of cake. Heal was enough to slow down any damage dealt before relying on either Flash Heal or Greater Heal to get players back up to full again. I’ll admit I got caught off guard once or twice by the Wind Blast. The trick to avoiding Wind Blast is to pay careful attention to his bars and the direction he is facing. As a Priest, I was able to Body and Soul my way clear fairly quickly. Don’t stand too close to him as he conjures these three mini-cyclones that revolve around him. Their radius is slightly larger than the graphic. Get nailed by one, and you will get knocked back.

During the Hurricane portion, I relied on instant spells to keep myself at a high health pool as much as possible before hitting Levitate so I wouldn’t take fall damage. Yes, Circle of Healing if you have to.

How it works

The majority of the DPS will be between Nezir and Anshal (actually, that might be dependant on your raid composition). Melee players will definitely be working on Anshal and jumping platforms to Nezir as necessary to help mitigate Sleet Storm. Once the ultimate abilities have worn off, DPS players are free to resume their original positions. Our game plan was to concentrate on Rohash and Anshal. Incidental damage and DoTs or AoE would be used to gradually lower Nezir.

As soon as we took Rohash down to about 10%, we checked to ensure Anshal was near death. If he was not close, we held off DPS on Rohash. If Anshal was close to death, we lit up Time Warp and dropped both Anshal and Rohash as quick as possible. The moment the Djinn’s fell, we hightailed it to the central platform where Nezir was waiting. 1 minute was more than enough time to eliminate Nezir with concentrated fire.

We just completely blew them out of the sky.

The Life of a Confused Priest: From Healing to DPS and back!

This is a guest post from my friend Synysta about breaking stereotypes and enjoying the game. -Lodur

My main Synysta is a Priest. She’s been many races and factions, but currently she is a Blood Elf. I think I can see the rotten tomatoes flying in my direction from the Alliance- I must duck! /cast Power Word: Shield

I’ve been playing a Priest for several years now as I rolled her at the beginning of BC and back then I did it just for kicks. The guild I was part of at the time was in desperate need of a healer and as we all know, the Priest is the archetypical healer in World of Warcraft. Was I aware of what I was letting myself in for, or was I aware of how much fun I was going to have? Absolutely not. I was a total newbie in the beginning, I hadn’t got a clue how the game worked and my experience with the universe of Azeroth was limited to Warcraft II and Warcraft III. So in I jumped, feet first and grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns. How hard could playing a Priest be?

I can hear all the Priests laughing as I typed that. As I have found out in my few years of playing the class, there’s a lot more to a Priest than you would imagine on face value. So I rolled the toon, picking Draenei as my initial class and starting as a Level 1 on the island of Azuremist. I did a few quests till level 10, smiting my way through the mobs and casting Renew and Gift of the Naaru on myself. Of course, I never realized how useful the shield could be until around level 65. Dumb? You betcha. I soon discovered dungeon healing and found I actually had a talent for healing the unclean, unwashed masses. The levels flew by and I was soon standing in Borean Tundra, dinging Level 70. Then I discovered ‘The Dark Side’.

Shadow DPS was an absolute riot and a half for me. I found that not only was I a capable Holy Priest but also a capable Shadow Priest. Now, I am aware that this is World of Matticus and I know that this is a Healing blog…but as someone who has played both sides of the coin as a Priest, I just want to say that no one should ever feel pigeonholed to heal- just because you are a Priest. It’s like saying a Warrior should only tank or a Paladin should DPS. It’s the stereotypical choice to go that path, sure…but it isn’t your only choice.

As a Shadow Priest, I was constantly bombarded from all angles about how I should heal and constant pressure was ladled onto me as I fought hard and strong on staying Shadow. Sadly, I was constantly forced to be a healer when Dual Specialization was introduced. From my early days of raiding Naxxramas through to Ulduar and Icecrown Citadel, most of my raid leaders or Guild Leaders were okay with me being a Shadow Priest but the more I held onto my new identity, the more people would try to shove me in the opposite direction. From here I decided to bite the bullet and learn to be a healer again. I leveled as a Holy Priest and had so many years of that I decided it was time for a change. So Discipline was the chosen way of the Light for me.

Having fun with Discipline has been a challenge for me. It took me a very long time for me to master it and then when Cataclysm came along and turned Healing on its head, I found myself struggling and gasping for mana like a fish out of water- flipping and sputtering around on its back. I soon learned that it was because of my gear. In Wrath of the Lich King, Discipline Priests would get mana returns through crit based heals and the use of Power Word: Shield. I never once had to sit to drink or use Shadowfiend, or even Hymn of Hope. I would watch Holy Priests seem to have a lot more issues with it than I ever did. I suppose that I really took it for granted as when Deathwing blew a giant hole in the side of the world…he seemed to blow a giant hole in the side of my mana pool too. Starting off with a 42k mana pool in my 25 man ICC gear, I thought that I was pro. I thought that I could stroll into Blackrock Caverns like the cat that had gotten the big bowl of cream. I soon found out how very wrong I was. Lets just say that panic was definitely the order of the day when 42k mana would vanish in a matter of seconds before my very eyes. It was like Pacman attacking my blue bar, OM NOM NOM NOM. I screamed. I panicked. I thought it was me. So I asked Matticus what to do. He told me to use the Heal spell more. And actually that seemed to work.

As my gear got better, I found that my mana pool doubled in size and with the added intellect and spirit, my mana gains seemed to return to normal and my anxiety levels seemed to drop. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no superstar healer but honestly- practice really does make perfect. I’ve seen Priests get so many changes since the early days of BC and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. Sure, I’ve pulled out my hair in clumps and given myself heart palpitations but I really do love the challenge of relearning my character and class.

I recently leveled a Holy Paladin up to 80 too. 85 and healing though? That could well be for another time. Same place, same heart attacks. But as for the Priest? I still love DPS. It’s a nice change for when I can’t be bothered with the PUG’s ;)

A Must-Read for the Cataclysm Player

Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying a nice little break from WoW before Cataclysm. Spent time with family for Turkey Day, beat Mass Effect (never played it before), and I’ve been looking forward to the new expansion for the WoW TCG–not for the loot card but to actually enjoy the game.

I came across a great post on the MMO-Champion forums which let me reminisce about my original post here when I was still a guest. I’ve tried to focus a majority of my blogging on how everyone can help each other. The name of the guild I’m in is Team Sport, and that’s what I believe this game is. Hence, when I read the forum post by Daetur, I felt like a proud father. Not because I had any direct impact on him/her but because it goes along with everything that I believe this game should and could be. Instead of making a small link to it in the midst of this text… I’m going to make sure you don’t miss this:

DAETUR’S CATACLYSM FORUM POST

Daetur discusses what each player (Tank, Healer, DPS) can do to ensure the success of any dungeon or raid. He takes the stance that many of us have gotten “complacent” in WotLK with regard to raiding and dungeons. Through my experience, I have to say I agree. We’ve come to expect AoE’ing down 3 packs of mobs, healing through debuffs, and risking death to get a few more casts in. According to Daetur, we’re in for a rude awakening. I’m excited! A few things he mentions:

  • CC is key. We are going to need to CC mobs, and avoid breaking them at all costs.
  • Defensive cooldowns are key all around. Tanks, Healers, and DPS are going to need their cooldowns to help stay alive.
  • Healers need to manage their mana, since it’s now at a premium and no longer infinite.

I can’t help but feel like the whole thing meant to make the job of the healer’s more manageable. Well, it’s true. The goal of any fight is to kill them before they kill you. We may be able to burst to high hell, but if we can’t stay alive doing it, then what’s the point? I’m already bracing myself for the backlash of the “uninformed”: “L2Heal noob.” We no longer live in a world of invincibility. Everyone is reponsible for helping everyone else stay alive and do their job easier.

Remember, I only lightly summarized the forum post by Daetur. I implore you to please read the entire post. You may not disagree, and all of it may not be pertinent to you, but you’ll know what everyone is up against in Cataclysm. Help each other out.

[VIDEO] A Preview of Cataclysm Raid Healing

Cataclysm raid healing (Watch in a larger resolution if possible)

No post for today but I figured there were a number of healers out there who really wanted to see what raid healing would be like in the expansion. Here’s a video which includes the first two bosses from Bastion of Twilight on 10 man. I narrated the entire video (and if you’re tired of my voice, by all means, feel free to mute the audio) explaining what was going on and what I was doing.

I also learned how to do slow motion action which I’ve put to great effect towards the end. Don’t miss out on Life Grip in action!

Twitter followers get to watch my videos first (along with those who can find the elusive World of Matticus facebook fan page). I usually use them as guinea pigs a litmus test to see whether or not I should publish a video here.

Lastly, the official guild announcement regarding the rated BG team. 

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Week’s Best WoW Leading, Healing and Guild Posts

Now that my shiny new Saturday WoM feature has been going a couple of weeks it’s not the exciting new toy it was when I first unpacked it with you guys. You know how it works. So I’m not going to spend half a day explaining how I’m going to link you to the best leading, healing or guild posts from the blogosphere, or that it’s because that’s what I do over on my own site, MMO Melting Pot. Nope, this week I’m going to jump straight into that list.

If you’re cynical and knew I was out ‘til late last night (all right, who am I kidding – early this morning) you might say that I’m not my usual rambly self because most of Saturday’s vanished after a particularly good, tipsifying and long fireworks party. So I don’t have much time spare today. That’s if you’re cynical, ‘cos it can’t be true at all. We all know what happens when boomkins get tipsy, and we can’t have hedges catching on fire from uncontrolled lazering all the time.

So, without further ado or headache induced madness, here’s the best on topics close to your heart, straight from the WoW blogosphere this week.

  • About Vortex: The Structure of a 10-man – an excellent post by Kae at Dreambound about how her 10 man guild is set up. She goes through everything from structure, to policies, to roster, loot systems and more, explaining the thought behind each and how they work out in practice. If you’re starting a 10 man guild or in one that needs a shake-up I couldn’t recommend Kae’s post more as the place to start getting some ideas.
  • I have three posts titled “what’s a casual raiding guild?” – After some abortive attempts Klepsacovic has posted some of his thoughts on defining casual guilds, over at Troll Racials Are Overpowered. He looks at what casual guilds need, just like any other guild, and why they can fail. The post’s short but sweet and it might give you pause for thought to consider how you view casual guilds.
  • Conducting Guild Meetings – Blacksen talks about why regular guild meetings are so very important to a raiding guild, and how to conduct them. He also lets us know what pitfalls to watch out for and how useful long term timescales are when planning in meetings, before going on to look at the same concepts for officer-specific meetings. His thoughts on “groupthink” relating to officers are particularly interesting.
  • Do You Know I Feel This Way? – Analogue over at Looking For More has let us into her deepest and darkest secrets about being a healer. She says early on that she’s going to make some sweeping generalizations in her post and she does, but look beyond those and it’s a thoughtful read for any healer out there. She’s looking at how she feels about healing in general, and her apprehensions going into Cataclysm – are you feeling the same as Analogue?
  • Beta Healing Counterpoint: Fun and Efficiency – last week I featured Vixsin of LifeinGroup5 talking about the new healing in Cataclysm being a good thing. Well, this week, she’s got a follow up, and she’s looking at just how needing to be more efficient healers will balance with our fun-factor. What is “being efficient” going to mean for us, and how does it apply to something as varied as healing? How does it play out in a team-based environment, when we’re all trying to show just how efficient we can be individually? Vixsin’s got thoughts on all of these things.
  • Dual Resto Specs? – Rank 4 Healing Touch is looking at the possibility of having to go dual specced resto to get the most flexibility out of the tree. He’s worried that some resto talents will underperform in some situations, but there seems to be so many to pick up. He seems to be looking for other opinions on how necessary two resto specs might be come Cataclysm, so drop by and let him know your thoughts – this might be quite a salient point come Cataclysm.
  • Why Every Healer Should Care About And Track Shields – this is just one in a series of brief posts Zelmaru’s done on tracking healing-related information, and how to do so using Grid. You can find the rest of the posts on Murloc Parliament in their own special ‘addons –> grid’ category – she’s covered a lot of angles from HoTs to Prayer of Mending. Might be something useful for you there.

So that’s it for this week. I hope you find something interesting there – certainly a good spread of topics to choose from this week.

What do you think – have any of these in particular caught your eye, or are you hoping to see more of a specific topic?

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Best WoW Posts Of The Week

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Best WoW Posts Of The Week

 

Last week I started a mostly regular Saturday feature whereby I do My Thing for you guys here at WoM. No,that’s not putting on a light display shooting lazers from my eyes. Embarrassingly I’ve generally switched raiding mains as it is and am considering switching again (shh, don’t tell Matt), so lazers are much removed at present. But what I do do is gather the best posts from around the WoW blogosphere and deliver them straight to my readers at my website, MMO Melting Pot. And that’s what I’m doing on a Saturday: rounding up the best posts I’ve read during the week, with a focus on the posts about healing, leading or raiding so that they’re just the right cup of tea for WoM readers.

Things have been a little quieter in the blogosphere this week, particularly on the healer-chatter side of things. Y’see, the end of October hails, well, November. Many bloggers are focusing on preparing themselves – or their guilds – for Cataclysm. Some are blogging less because they’re focusing on the now traditional (inter)National Month of Novel Writing (NaNoWriMo). Some, well… what can I say. It’s Halloween. We’ll just have to send search parties out if they don’t come back after midnight tomorrow.

But all of that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on in the blogosphere at all. Tumbleweed hasn’t come to town by any means. Some people may be battening down the hatches against the coming storm but a lot of them are still writing. Heck, some of them are even creating a whole new website. What do I mean? Let’s take a look at that – and more – as it’s all fairly exciting.

  • Brangwen: new site for MMO leaders – great news everyone! Brangwen of Non-Elitist Raiding Diary revealed that she and several others from all corners of the blogosphere have started up MMO Leader: a home on the internet for MMO leaders. If you’re in any kind of leadership role – officer, guild master, raid leader, class leader, you’re welcome to go on over there and join in their forums as much as you want to. They also have articles for your leadery-perusal. And yes, you can give writing your own articles for the front page a go, too. It’s fantastic that us leaders finally have a place to rally in.
  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Beta Healing – Vixsin at Life in Group 5 says that healing is going to change in Cataclysm: it’s not going to be anything like what we’re used to. She says we’re going to have to adapt, and gives 7 points of what’s going to change for us. That sounds like a taster, mind – from what she says, everything’s changing. But there is hope. Vix rounds off the post with an excellent call to healer-arms (granted that’s more likely to be sparkles of light) and reminds us that we can do this – it’s why we’re healers.
  • Beruthiel: How To Prepare Your Guild For Cataclysm – any expansion’s a shaky time for a guild, and Cataclysm even more so with its guild talents. So Beru’s survival guild is essential advice for any guild. Her guide is lean and gives you exactly what you need to know to get your guild rolling for Cata, from tips on what to say to members to when to do it, and how to keep morale up. If you’re a guild leader, you’ll likely get some ideas from her. if you’re a member of a sleepy guild, maybe wave it at your officers – you might inspire them to get moving!
  • A Priest’s Guide to Chakra Healing – this is for holy priests out there, fresh off the press from Derevka at Tales of a Priest. He’s going through the chakra mechanic, explaining its two different states and what you’ll be using them for. He also looks at how to change chakra states and gives helpful tips about how to track which spells you have available to you, when. A learning curve? Yes, Derevka says, but one that allows holy priesties huge flexibility.
  • Fresh Brew: Addons That Help You Inspect People, Run Guild Raffles And Set Fire To Things – our addon roundup this week might well be useful to you. There are a couple of guild related ones in it, such as one that allows guild officers to use the new in game flares more easily and another that’ll let you set up guild raffles for fun and giggles.

That be it for this week. I hope this lot keeps you entertained over your morning coffee. Or your evening meal, or brunch, wherever you happen to be. ‘Til next week – have fun, and don’t let the midnight horrors bite!

What do you think – have you got more to say about any of these articles, or even another article to contribute to the list?

Owl Returns With Special Delivery For You

Hi, I’m Mimetir, and I’m a member of the WoM crew. No really, I am. A few months ago I would rant and mutter disconsolately on a weekly basis about the importance of being a care bear or how to slay your latest internet dragon. I haven’t posted for a while. Yes, I know, bad panda, no cookie. And from what I’ve heard of boomkins’ mana at 80, we really need cookies.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. See, I haven’t posted on WHoM for a while because I’ve been working on my own site, MMO Melting Pot. I premiered it here at WoM a few months ago and since then have been trekking through the wilderness of the WoW blogosphere to find the most interesting articles. When I find an interesting article I drag it back to my museum website and post bits of it up with a short summary, credit and a link, so you can go read it fully yourself.

Just in case that’s got you running in terror thinking I’m some kind of creepy museum curator with a speciality in dissecting innocent blog posts, let me rephrase it simply. Over on MMO Melting Pot we find the best posts and put them all in one place for you to peruse.

I miss posting on WoM. And things are getting exciting post-patch. So, I (and Matt) thought, why don’t I do a roundup of posts that’ve cropped up recently relating to healing, guild management or raiding articles, here at WoM? That’s win-win for everyone: I get to post here (read: ramble at you), you get interesting things to read and Matt gets a regular Saturday post.

Well, I say it’s win-win for everyone, but I understand holy paladins are chewing the walls in frustration. Sympathies guys. Anyway, here’s your roundup delivery with some paladin halp thrown in. Some of these are posts we’ve linked already at MMO Melting Pot, some of them are posts so far unfeatured and fresh for WoM’s roundup:

  • Guide to Dispels in 4.0.1 – Ecclesiastical Discipline guest posted for MMO Melting Pot last week with a complete list of what us healers (as well as other classes where applicable) can dispel now, as some of it changed in the patch. No more shamanistic poison removal? Noes!
  • Perhaps Healing Isn’t So Bad After All – TwilliK over at Arcane Envoy says that paladin healing’s actually not too bad. She’s recounting her recent experiences healing in Heroics and it looks like it’s felt like being thrown in at the deep-end, but also really rewarding getting it right. Makes me want to revive my own holy pally…
  • Holy Paladins in 4.0.1 – A Beginner’s Guide – are you looking at your holy paladin and cowering in fear? Aunna over at Bandage Spec has a straightforward guide to get holy paladins on their feet. There are loads of guides out there covering everything for the patch but given Holy Paladins seem to have it worst off, I figured linking this might be helpful. Her guide has information on your spells, gear, glyphs, spec, and crucially – what to expect and how to play.
  • Tell Us How Your Spec Is Doing In 4.0.1 – most weeks the editors at MMO Melting Pot throw up an editorial feature. This week, the patch has been about for a while and we want to know how you’re getting on. Healer role changed a lot and it’s great? Terrible? People are dying left right and centre? Tell us your tales!
  • Impressions On Healing So Far – Zinn over at Jinxed Thoughts has written a roundup of how he’s found healing classes work now. He starts off with a general overview of the similarities between class healing spells then goes through the healing classes with what he’s enjoyed or been disappointed by. He’s also got a separate post on quite how much he loves Chakra as a holy priest.
  • Nils and Raven say levelling needs balance, and soon – two bloggers with the same worry: that the levelling game is too easy and doesn’t teach players, including healers, the ins and outs of their class. The quality of play after waves of new characters level to 85? Don’t think about it. Both Nils and Raven say it needs fixing, and have ideas.
  • Thought of the Day – Getting Rid of the DPS role – a brief thought from Spinks over at Welcome to Spinksville. Short but sweet, this one’s interesting for everyone. How do you think getting rid of player DPSers would affect healing, if at all?

Last but not in any way least, some sad news:

  • Lights Out – Lara of Root and Branch has shut up shop. Root and Branch has been a core part of the resto druid blog community for so long that the lights dimming on it is going to leave a big hole in the resto druid community. She’ll be missed, if her commenters are anything to go by – but we all wish her the best, safe travels and epic (real life) loot. /tree cheer

That’s it for this week. I’m planning to do this weekly for WoM, as often as possible.

What do you guys think? That’s the sort of thing we do daily over at MMO Melting Pot, though it’s not always roundup posts. Did you get an interesting read out of it, or has it inspired you to throw your thoughts into someone’s comments arena?