Brooding Over Bloodboil

For once, I’m at a loss here and I’m hoping to garner some insight or advice from the readers. My Guild had started to work on Gurtogg Bloodboil. We were working on Bloodboil for a few hours on Sunday. I used to think that Najentus was considered a heavy healing fight.

Boy was I wrong.

I won’t go too much into an explanation, but here’s the WoWWiki link for the strategy.

Loadout

  • 4 Holy Paladins
  • 2 Holy Priests
  • 1 Discipline Priest
  • 1 Resto Shaman
  • 1 Resto Druid

Directions

Phase 1

3 Paladins on each tank. We use 3 to rotate aggro on the boss. I, the Holy Priest, heal the tank who is actively being attacked by the boss. The rest of the healers are assigned to the bloodboil groups healing (Resto Shaman, Priest, Paladin) or raid healing.

Phase 2

This is where things get dicey. The 3 Paladins that were on the tanks immediately jump the player with Fel Rage. I heal up the melee before switching to tanks and then raid healing. The Resto Druid covers the 3 tanks. 1 Paladin and 1 Resto Shaman are raid healing. The other Holy Priest and Discipline Priest are also on the player with Fel Rage.

If the player is a clothie, Pain Suppression gets applied.

Problems

A player with Fel Rage has the following effects:

  • increases armour by 15,000
  • increases health by 30,000
  • increases healing done by 100%
  • increases damage done by 300%
  • increases size by 100%

The raid gains a buff called Insignificance where every spell they cast has no threat. One problem is that if a clothie gets hit with Fel Rage and Pain Suppression is applied, the player dies just as Fel Rage is about to wear off. Gurtogg gets progressively stronger during this phase. I can’t help but wonder if it would be a better idea to delay Pain Suppression for about 5 seconds before it becomes applied.

In our case, it’s not just the person with Fel Rage who is dying. Other members of the raid seem to be dying from a lack of heals or other miscellaneous reasons.

I can’t help but wonder if it would be better to stack all four of the Paladins on the Fel Rage’d player immediately along with the Discipline Priest and then have the Holy Priest switch to raid healing instead. This would essentially give us a picture of something like this:

  1. 4 Paladins and a Disc. Priest on Fel Rage
  2. 2 Holy Priests, a Resto Shaman, and a Resto Druid on the raid divided up accordingly

By switching the Holy Priest to the raid, this opens up a lot more options that the healer can use other then Flash of Light spamming.

Another problem that isn’t so urgent is our DPS output. Gurtogg has a 10 minute enrage encounter. I notice that when we hit the ~50% mark, the timer is around 4:45 or less. Granted we did lose 1 or 2 players at this point.

I seriously hope the Recount Death meter gets fixed as soon as possible. With that tool being down, we have no way of ascertaining the cause of death when players die. As a result, healer blame has increased in recent weeks and has gotten me irritated. Most of the time, it’s never justified. It tends to be the result of a fight mechanic that players seem to forget about (some raiders mysteriously forget that Najentus’ spines can be removed). Therefore, the "blame healers" catch all is used. I’m afraid that I might one day lash out if I see another "healers fault for wiping" comment in the raid.

Matt’s Mailbag: Aldor or Scryer? Hunter for Priest?

love reading you blog, thank you very much for such insight into the World of Priests. I’m an Alliance 63 Shadow Priest and leveling as quickly as possible. At 70 I want to go the Holy route though. I don’t want to take a mass of your time, but should I go Aldor or Scryer?

Many thanks for you time,
Anonymous

Thanks or the kind words. I won’t tell you which faction to go but I will tell you what faction I chose and my thought process behind it. Check out WoW Wiki’s Aldor or Scryer Comparison page. Its a detailed list of the rewards and items each side offers.

Let’s examine the items first. You get a great healing staff that you can go into dungeons with if you choose Scryer. But if you end up Exalted with the Aldor and you’re not packing anything but a blue neck piece, take a good hard look at the neck offered by the indigo skinned ones.

Shoulder enchants will continue to go a long way. You have a choice between 33 healing and 4 mp5 or 22 healing and 6 mp5. I took the extra 11 healing. I didn’t think the 2 mp5 was going to make that big of an impact. I’d like my heals to have a bit more “oomph” to them, so to speak.

Lastly, I am also a tailor. Scryer tailors can create spell damage leg patches and Aldor tailors can make healing leg patches. By picking out Aldor, I did not have to shell out copious amounts of gold for a Golden Spellthread. I can simply grab the mats and create them myself at my leisure.

I tend to be a “big picture” thinker. I like to think about where my character will be 3 months for now and how much replacement my gear and such will need. In the long run, Aldor was the route to go for me.

I was wondering if I should trade my main, 70 Nelf Hunt, for a 70 full merc shadow priest. I have just really gotten bored with my hunter as it turns into the same tactics with raiding and PvP so I would like to try something new. If I did do this would it be fair I would be trading my WHOLE account which is a 64 pally 70 Nelf hunter and various alts 20-. My hunter is decently geared has 2 peices of glad, 3 vindicators, and veng war axe, rest misc. blues from instances and T4 gloves. I am just really confused about this and did not know anyone else to ask but a priest. I will not get jipped off or anything since I know this person in IRL. I would just like to know your opinion on this matter and if it will be worth it in the long run.

P.S. I am only 14 so my grammer and writing sucks really bad I know.

– Anonymous

First off, I want to point out that your grammar and writing are a lot better than many people I know my age.

Second, you should know that I am a holy priest not a shadow priest. I have never played my priest as shadow so I cannot offer any thing close to advice about this.

Third, I believe you are asking the wrong question. You have just told me the reason why you feel like trading your account. You are bored of playing your hunter. I think the real question you need to ask yourself is why you are bored of playing your hunter. I’ve played WoW for almost 3 years and a majority of my time is spent healing. But it’s what I do that keeps me busy and interested. If you pick up the shadow priest, I suspect you will get bored of that eventually because you’re acting as a mana battery for the other casters (VE, VT, mind flay, etc). If you think trading accounts will help ignite your interest in the game again, then by all means go for it. But it sounds to be like a short term solution to a potentially long term problem. A lot of players I know have a case of altitis. Perhaps you should see them and get infected?

Readers, feel free to chime in on either of the questions. Have I forgotten to mention something? Am I clearly deluded?

Ask Matt: Raid help?

It just occurred to me. I’ve spending so much time writing about Guild theory and blogging that I’ve started to deviate from my primary focus: help you heal your raid. Right now, the trend from some of the other bloggers I’ve seen is trouble with Kael’Thas. I’m working on a fairly mammoth sized project that involves covering healing for the entire encounter which includes recommended healers, methods, phase-by-phase breakdown for healers, and so on and so forth. There’s no way I can squeeze that into a post. I wouldn’t dream of doing it like that because it’s too much information to absorb visually.

Grr, it’s too hard for me to explain right now. You’ll have a better idea when you see it.

In any case, any problems with any boss encounters from the healing end that anyone has? I can only offer my experience and wisdom on bosses I’ve done. Sorry T6 Priests/Healers!

Finally: The Kael’Thas Death Story

Kael'Thas down

I was debating between that title or 40 Raids and 40 Wipes.

But he’s dead. What a thrill! =)

We started him at 4:00 and killed him about 40 minutes later. First attempt of the night! That gives us about 4 hours to play with Mount Hyjal. Whoo hoo! Expect a Priest primer on Kael in the coming days and how to assign healers to the various assignments.

Anyways, can’t blog much right now. We’re heading into Hyjal.

This is My Last Post

… of 2007.

Tomorrow I will be out and about celebrating and counting down to New Year and all that fun stuff! I’m going to use what little time I have left today and tomorrow to finish up my new layout. It’s going to be simpler yet more functional. I hate coding. I transferred out of this profession years ago and having to modify this theme extensively for the past two months has reminded me why.

With a New Year comes new resolutions! Much like Honors Code who recently published his goals, here’s my list of things to do for 2008.

World of Warcraft

Mallet

* Kill Illidan
* Kill Zul’Jin
* Obtain Epic Flying Mount
* Break the base 2000 +healing mark
* Break the 300 MP5 while casting with full buffs mark

Saphfira

* Obtain 5/5 Vengeful Gladiator’s set (Elemental)
* Finish out Vindicator’s pieces (Ring, Belt, Boots)
* Level fishing to 375
* Improve myself more in PvP

Valoray

* Acquire Thunder
* Become viable in PvE as retribution (pigs might as well fly)
* Acquire a Flying Mount
* Become keyed for Karazhan
* Level blacksmithing to 375
* Become elixir specced
* Get reputation with Sporregar so I can transmute these useless Primal Earths to Waters

Personal

Blogging

* Start and finish out example healing assignments in Mag/TK/SSC
* Write less, but frequent
* Write more, but less often
* Continue pushing myself to deliver quality, timeless references

Academic

* Studying smarter, not harder
* Studying instead of raiding
* Not suck

Those are my resolutions. What’s yours? I will see you all in 2008!

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

My Nightmare as a Priest

I’m reading Leiandra’s post on the different types of healers and their functions. After reading some of the comments there, I felt like this merited a direct post reply on it’s own instead of a comment. I wager I’m one of the few players to have rolled all four healer classes. I’ve only raided with three of them (Priest, Shaman, and Paladin while my Druid is on the backburner somewhere at the early 50 level). Some of the comments I’ve read made me raise my eyebrow.

Elinor

I know my comparison is somewhat simplistic, but taking away +healing gear (should be the same for priest or paladin) a paladin’s biggest heal with appropriate talents is a 2.5 sec cast for 2740(840 mana). A priest with appropriate talents has a 2.5 sec cast for 3062(825 mana).

Of course there is a talent for paladins to reduce that cast time by .5 for the next 15 sec, and the 3062 for priest doesn’t include the talent to increase it by 25% of spirit.

Also a druid has a 3.0 sec direct heal for 3517 (935 mana).

Firstly, that’s an unfair comment to make. If you’re going to compare healers, the assumption should be made that they are talented to the best healing spec available. There’s no point in comparing supposed healing classes without full and complete talents because there isn’t a player in WoW who raid heals with no talents spent in their appropriate healing trees. Don’t compare base heals or stats either because certain races and classes have a higher advantage over the other. If you’re going to compare healing output, then add an arbitrary base healing number that seems fair (like +1500 healing). Please, if you’re going to compare one class with another, make realistic comparisons.

So here’s the million dollar question. Is there one healing class better than another? It depends entirely on the encounter and on the situation. Let’s hypothetically say that there’s a 25 man raid team about to engage a boss. It’s your standard tank and spank encounter. Nothing special about it. Except for the fact that Crosbane, our boss, hits like a freight train for 30 minutes. Most healers would run out of gas long before those thirty minutes are up. Pally’s, not so.

They’re the energizer bunnies of WoW. They keep going, and going, and going. It’s true that as a Priest, we have the 5 second rule to fall back on and we would gain a crapload of mana back. Realistically, we don’t have that kind of option. If we don’t heal for five seconds, our assignments are dead. I suppose the best we can hope for is to light up a PoM, a Renew, and a Shield. That would us a few precious seconds to regen our mana. Then the boss crits.

Pally’s own us Priests, period. There’s a reason why many high end raiding Guilds no longer run Holy Priests as healers. We’re a dying breed. Sure we bring a lot of specialist skills like PW:S and Prayer of Healing, but well timed spam heals from Paladins keep everything going. The reason I agree with your assessment about Paladins being the King of Healing is because they would never run out of mana in endurance fights. I’m busy struggling and blowing my potions, yelling for Innervates, Mana Tides, using my Shadow Fiend, and theres Joe Paladin in the corner just spamming Rank 5 Flash of Light over there. Couple 3 Paladins, a Shadow Priest, and a Resto Shaman with buffed mana spring totems and you have a group that can heal indefinitely.

My WWS in Carnage shows our Healers with four Paladins constantly on top all the time. Master Harth, High Priest that he is, leads the way in over all heals so there is hope for us yet.

But you can’t expect WWS to illuminate the numbers for us all the time. It only shows us one side of the story. Different Healers are best suited for different encounters.

Take an encounter like Fathom-Lord in SSC for example. There are four bosses that need to be tanked. The Hunter boss spawns a pet every now and then, and the tank that’s tanking him needs to draw aggro on it as well. So here is this one tank that’s getting his ass handed to him by two Ford F-150’s. On top of that, there’s a freakin’ Whirlwind type thing that comes around and throws me in the air every once in a while. I’m so focused on my raid health that I always seem to miss it coming by. If it weren’t for my instant spells, he would be dead. Thankfully, the Hunter boss is the second boss that needs to die. With the damage input that Thor (my tank) is taking, it’s impossible to sustain it for more then a few minutes. Eventually, I would hit a time where my potion cooldown is used, my shadowfiend timer is down, and all the innervates have been used. In this short period of time, I would excel in my role no problem. I don’t have to keep him alive for an abysmally long time. Just enough to weather the storm.

Compare this to the last boss, the Fathom Lord himself. Initially Lang is over there with a Paladin. This Boss is last on the food chain. Paladins need to be able to keep Lang alive for at least seven minutes. Oh, and they have to heal themselves too. Lang may not be taking as much burst damage as Thor was, but he’s taking a beating for a longer amount of time.

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? It’s nearly impossible to compare all the healing classes together. Each brings a different set of skills to the table. With the encounters in end game, I suspect that Paladins are better suited and utilized more often then not. As a Priest, I have enough spells at my disposal to react quickly enough to salvage a raid in case anything goes wrong. A Paladin won’t be able to recover as much. But their long term efficiency is so good that there is little reason for raids to go in the crapper.

Sooner or later, our class will go the way of the Dodo bird. Aside from broccoli, that is my greatest fear with Holy Priests rendered inert, useless, and outclassed in every aspect. I guess I better start accumulating Shadow Gear. Good thing I have a Paladin and a Shaman to fall back on.