A Healer’s Most Important Skill

A Healer’s Most Important Skill

artillery 

It amazes me to no end how many healers still have trouble grasping this concept.

It’s not so much about covering as many people as possible. Nor is it about conserving your mana and knowing when to regenerate. Moving around and avoiding fires is a good skill but not quite the most important skill. Situational awareness is an incredible asset to have but it doesn’t quite rank as high up there.

The art of spamming

It is the act of standing in one place and doing nothing but going through global cooldown after global cooldown and dumping massive heals on one target.

Actually, spam means unsolicited or undesired electronic messages so that might not be the right word to use.

Then again saying focused rapid-fire heals is a bit of a mouthful.

The point is that any healer regardless of their class should master the art of spam healing. I’ve partied and raided with healers who are too worried about regeneration or movement or otherwise that they’ve lost track of simply dumping heals on a player.

For a Priest, it’s a combination of Penance, Flash Heal, and Greater Heal depending on your spec, of course. Yeah you can sprinkle Shields and Renews here and there. But when you’re in a raid and when you feel that you cannot heal damage of that magnitude, it’s time to grind your teeth, narrow your eyes, and lean forward. Every healer has their own personal heavy artillery healing spell. Don’t be afraid to get into that zone and start mashing your heal button.

You are the last line of defense. Spam healing might go against everything you believe in. But don’t be afraid to go out with your heals blazing.

Image courtesy of klsmith77

Healing Assignments for Resto Druids

Healing Assignments for Resto Druids

broccoli-banner

Perhaps more than any other healing class, Wrath of the Lich King has revolutionized the way druids heal. I’m going to take a bit of a look back to where we came from as a way to help understand any troubles druid healers might face at present when we try to figure out what our role in raids should be.

Back in the “Good” Old Days

I came of age as a healer during the BC raid content, and I think part of me will always missing rolling Lifebloom stacks on four different tanks during the Hyjal trash waves. Lifebloom spam may have been widely criticized, but at the time it was effective and felt very dynamic for the player. The timing was tight enough to require tank-specific macros, which I miss, because I could always change their icons to a pig whenever I got mad at them (sorry, Brio). However, when healers argue now that they don’t want to be locked into a rotation, they’re probably thinking of something like old-school LB rolling with horror. That was a rotation, all right–but it left me dizzy. I had to keybind Lifebloom twice–both to my mouse clickwheel and to F. The “F” was for when I needed to refresh while turning with the mouse. At the time, there was no way to increase the 7 sec Lifebloom rotation, and the penalty for letting the stack fall off was fairly severe. I never ran into mana problems, but sometimes the tank would take more damage than I liked if their stack slipped off, and I had few ways to play catch-up. If one tank’s stack went, then most likely all four would.

Even some boss fights made Lifebloom spam worthwhile. On Illidari Council, I used to assign Bonkers to roll LB on three tanks, giving him 1 GCD per cycle free to do “whatever he wanted.” Let me add that the healing buffer Bonkers provided to three of the tanks won the fight for us on more than one occasion. Why did I give the assignment to Bonkers and not myself? Because Bonkers is quicker than me. My assignment, keeping up the group on Malande, was a lot easier. The odd thing is, these kinds of assignments seemed great to Resto Druids at the time–1 GCD free? That’s amazing.

Now that I think about it, the Good Old Days don’t seem so great after all.

Broccoli, v. 3.0

Patch 3.0 brought new tools for the druid healer, offering flexibility where before we had none. However, it strikes me that many Broccoli Stalks might be a little bewildered by all our new toys. And if we’re confused, imagine what it’s like to do healing assignments for a resto druid these days. A few days ago I came across this topic on PlusHeal forums, posted by Siha of Banana Shoulders:

So, I’m the healing lead for my guild, and it usually falls to me to do healing assignments.

I’m having some trouble deciding how best to make use of resto druids. I know in TBC I always used to use them for a multi-tank assignment, keeping a bunch of people hotted up with Lifebloom, but I’m not really on top of all the resto druid changes in WotLK yet.

The talented Siha, as always, gets right to the point with her post. I replied in the topic, but I think that the question has enough merit to warrant a full-length post.

So, what do we do with the newly-versatile druid? After looking at my own performance and those of my Cruciferous Vegetable buddies in Conquest, I am convinced that Resto Druids can be assigned in two different ways for Wrath content. I’m going to showcase a couple of meters-topping druid performances to show just how versatile trees are these days

Raid Healing

This assignment is the most obvious for a resto druid. Wild Growth, due to its higher total healing and it’s status as a heal over time spell, suffered less from the recent nerf than Circle of Healing did. With Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, and perhaps a glyphed Healing Touch in the mix, druids have a powerful toolkit to deal with raid damage.

Let’s take a look at the meter breakdown from an expert druid healer on Gluth, which features heavy raid damage:
s13-meter

Now, the meter % alone might not mean much, but let’s factor in healing assignment. Both S13 and I were assigned to heal the kiters on Gluth, and we have similar gear. Why did he outperform me? Let’s take a look at the abilities breakdown.
s13-breakdown

Take a look at S13’s Healing Touch percentage and the amount it hits for on average. That tells me–even if I didn’t already know–that he’s using the Healing Touch glyph. The fact that he’s able to get so much healing out of a direct healing spell also tells me that S13 is fast. He’s really great at reacting to situations. Notice here that he’s also made a lot of use of Lifebloom–nerfed it maybe, but useless it is not. This WWS report is post-WG nerf, by the way. S13’s performance shows how little a healer has to rely on Wild Growth to be effective (and to post good numbers while doing so). If I were to take a look at S13’s targets, I would see a lot of healing on the 5 kiters, but also a decent amount on other members of the raid. S13 is a great raid healer because he’s able to pay attention to a lot of things at once and to accurately judge when he can go a bit beyond the boundaries of his assignment.

Tank Healing

Yes, I know druids have an AoE heal now. That doesn’t mean that we’re not still good at our old role, healing the main tank. I’ve just shown you the WWS from a druid who excels at raid healing. Now, I’m going to show you my own meter performance. I am a tank healer. That’s what I like, and that’s what I’m good at. I’ve been healing a warrior MT so long that I know how the damage hits and what I can do to fix it. I don’t pretend to be the best at anything, but if I’m in charge of healing assignments, I’m going to stick myself to a tank. It’s not usually very showy on the meters, but I’m going to give you a peep at the one fight in Naxx that does let tank healers show off–Patchwerk.
syd-meter

To understand this image properly, you should probably know that Silvia and I were assigned to heal the offtank, a druid, while S13 and Arktos were assigned to the main tank, a warrior. For the life of me, I can’t remember what Kaldora, our holy priest, was assigned to that day. The nature of the fight dictates that there is simply more healing to do on the off tank(s) than on the main tank, so an off-tank healer is going to post higher numbers. Be that as it may, this is nonetheless a good performance from me personally. Let’s look at the breakdown of what I did.
syd-breakdown

First of all, notice the presence of Regrowth. I use the Regrowth glyph, and a fight with heavy tank damage also shows it off. Meanwhile, I keep Lifebloom rolling on the primary off-tank. As for Rejuvenation, I keep it on both the primary off-tank and the backup. At higher gear levels, your raid is less likely to need two offtanks for Patchwerk. I used to post even more impressive numbers when two off-tanks took heavy hits. I would keep up my full hot rotation on the druid and use Rejuvenation, Swiftmend, and a Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch on the secondary off-tank. I always say that Resto Druids can heal two tanks as well as one, and it’s very nearly true. This is a lesson I learned in Zul’Aman, and it still serves me well on a multi-tank fight like Patchwerk. One thing an MT healer can never forget is the power of Swiftmend–it’s easy to ignore, but make yourself use it whenever you can. You’ll notice that Nourish is missing from my rotation, even though I have the 4pc T7 bonus. Regrowth is simply better if the damage is high. I will use Nourish on fights where Regrowth might be overheal, or on long fights that might stress my mana.

My message to healing leads is this: resto druids can tank heal. You might think that only a paladin or discipline priest will work, but don’t discount the resto druid, particularly one who’s used to this job. We may have a discipline priest solo-healing the MT on Sarth 3D, but that doesn’t mean a resto druid cannot be assigned to the task. In fact, some days I want to arm-wrestle Mallet for the job.

Glyphs and Talents

As you can see from our performances, S13 and I, despite having almost the same gear, are very different healers. There are slight differences in talents and glyphs that support each of our preferred roles. Here are my thoughts on how to set up a resto druid to excel at either raid healing or tank healing.

Raid Healing

In terms of talents, I suggest Tranquil Spirit to make Healing Touch and Nourish more efficient, a fully talented Gift of the Earth Mother, and perhaps Naturalist for the shortest Healing Touch cast time. As an alternative, you might put either 1 or 2 points into Improved Tranquility. I find this spell very useful when I can remember to use it. It shines on any fight where the raid is fairly close together and AoE damage as high–I’ve used Tranquility to good effect on Loatheb, Sapphiron, and OS3.

To heal S13-style, you will absolutely need to glyph Healing Touch. I am extremely impressed with the HPS of this spell, and it only gets better as your gear scales. In addition, we can all afford the mana at this point. S13 doesn’t run OOM any more than I do. The raid healer has some amount of choice in the other glyph slots. I suggest Swiftmend and Innervate, but if you find that you never use Swiftmend, Lifebloom will also work. The Regrowth glyph, while good in and of itself, won’t do much for you if you’re never assigned to tanks.

Tank Healing

In terms of tank healing talents, the most important one to have is Nature’s Splendor from the Balance tree to extend HoT duration. However, all raiding restos should have this talent. I also use Tranquil Spirit to support my Nourish (in case I ever use it), a fully maxed Improved Regrowth, and Gift of the Earthmother for easier HoT refreshes. I do not have Living Seed at the current moment. It accounted for less that 1% of my total healing when I had it. If I get enough haste to remove points from Gift of the Earthmother, I may try it again. I have a feeling that either 1) Living Seed will do more healing in Ulduar or 2) it will get some sort of buff in the future. As for Replenish, either build should skip it because it’s endlessly terrible, but the tank healer especially does not need it.

In terms of glyphs, I use Swiftmend, Regrowth, and Innervate for main tank healing. The only debateble choice here is Innervate. I prefer it over Lifebloom, but Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket, who also main tank heals often, writes very convincingly in favor of the LB glyph in this recent post. A main tank healer should not glyph Healing Touch. It’s more useful in the large version paired with Nature’s Swiftness.

Conclusions

We’ve come a long way from Lifebloom spam. Whether we’re set to healing tanks or the raid, druids have a variety of techniques now to support their chosen role. We can do it all–just not all at once. If you’re a healing lead, it’s important to get to know your healers. With the new diversity of the druid class, skill and preference start to weigh heavily on how you should assign your druids. So, why not ask them what they like, and what they are good at?

10 Tips for the New Discipline Priest

Last week, I surveyed the Plus Heal forums (Priest regiment) for any quick advice they’d like to offer for any Priests that had just turned Discipline (like me). This is what they came up with:

The Tips

Remember the four Ps, and use them! Penance, Power Word: Shield, Pain Suppression, and Power Infusion.

- Joveta

It’s not your job to top the healing charts; you’re there to prevent crisis moments.

- Wistoovern

Play to your strengths; don’t be afraid to chain cast. If it’s truly warranted, you are at your strongest. Penance does not consume Borrowed Time yet still benefits from it

- Arcady

Your job is about damage mitigation, and speed healing.

- Melchizedeck

Power Word: Shield does so many things for you. If you’re not keeping that up consistently on your tank, you might be missing out on some emergency opportunities!

- Kitts

During fights that you know involve AoE damage, I’ve found it very helpful to use my spare time to toss PW:S on the DPS. They end up being protected if they get hit by something, and you really get to abuse Borrowed Time.

- Juzaba

As far as the AoE damage is concerned, I’ve found that PW:S on myself plus a Holy Nova followed immediately by a nice Prayer of Healing really did wonders for everyone’s health box.

- Seriah

You benefit more from MP5 than spirit. It goes against everything you have learned as a holy priest, but because you chain cast there is no chance to cheat the five second rule with Clearcasting (you don’t even get this) and Inner Focus.

- Takka

With the threat generation being made easier for tanks, any tank crying about the bubble should scare you and make you think twice about healing them in a group or raid.

- Beanne

You can also use Renew & PoM without consuming Borrowed Time, if you still want to save it for a Flash or Greater Heal.

- dunia

I turned Discipline for the weekend and had a lot of fun with it PvPing. It took me a while to get used to it at first, but I really freakin’ enjoyed it! I hope these tips from the more experienced Discipline Priests will benefit you as it did for me. I’ll definitely be tapping their minds in the future for more advice.

Don’t forget to read more about Discipline healing from guest writer Seriah that went up earlier!

The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

heroics

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
- Newt Gingrich

I’ve scheduled a tentative 10 man Naxx on Saturday. We’re projected to have around 8 players that are capable of reaching that level by then. After that, I’ll have no choice but to pug the other 2 slots.

Since I’ve hit 80, I’ve started working my way through a few heroics to try and get some badges.

Let me tell you, it is not easy.

It has been such a long time since I had to work this hard to heal. I have to drink after every pull. Every cooldown needs to be noticed and taken into account. Every spell cast needs to be carefully thought out. I’m sitting at ~470 mana regeneration with a few quest and instance blues. The rest are filled out with T6. There are times when you have no choice between letting a player die to prevent an overall wipe. It’s absolutely tough.

Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to heal Halls of Lightning and the Occulus (on Heroic since they were the dailies). There’s a few things to remember:

  • We don’t outgear the instance: It’s a fresh start for everyone. The playing field has been leveled. I’ve resorted to using consumables to help finish off my old stock of TBC food. This goes the same for tanks.
  • We’re going in blind: We don’t know the instance. I don’t like going into a fight without knowing what I’m up against. I keep WoWhead open and WoWWiki to understand what abilities bosses uses and develop a counter for it. Two things to watch for is debuffs and any special animations on the ground or spells that the bosses use. Watch for the in game boss cues. It’s a hard lesson to learn every time.

One thing that most Priests (or all healers) will find when healing any sort of high end instance is that they’re running out of mana. Don’t forget that it takes more Spirit now then it did back at 70 to reach the same level of mana regen. The amount of Spirit required to reach ~1000 mana regen is much higher then it was at 70.

Here’s a few tricks to help out:

  • Hymn of Hope: It’s an 8 second channel spell and you’re going to be hard pressed to find time to use it. Observe the boss and find a pattern. See if he has a long cooldown for an ability. Put a shield on the tank, a Renew, and a Prayer of Mending. Top up the rest of the party as best as you can. Hit your Hymn and pray to the highest deity you know that you can maximize the use out of it. You can break it early. I set my personal limit to around 50%. If the tank reaches 50%, I’ll break my Hymn and start healing.
  • Shadowfiend: Since it’s a 5 minute cooldown, this is the first trick in the book I’ll use. In the event we wipe, I should have it up for the next attempt.
  • Runic Mana Potion: I’ll typically blow a potion in conjunction with Hymn of Hope after it’s cast. I don’t try to save it. I try to be liberal with their use.
  • Guardian Spirit: Don’t think of it as a healing bonus spell or a way to prevent the person from dying. Think of it as an instant 50% health return. Gauge how much damage the tank takes roughly per hit. If they take 5000 damage blows and your tank is at around 7500, slap the GS up there and stop healing. Watch as the tank’s health rockets back up to 50% while you spend precious seconds just regenerating mana.
  • Pain Suppression: A lot of beginner Priests like to use Pain Suppression when their tank is really low on health. I don’t advise this since they run the risk of tanks dying. I drop Pain Suppression when tanks have near full health. I can stand there and mana regen knowing that my tank is taking reduced damage buying me more time to get more mana.

I’ve spent an average of nearly 3 hours per heroic dungeon. I’m way in over my element. But hey, that’s how Matticus rolls! I’ve always been a front line player!

Still looking for Mages, Warlocks, Hunters, Shadow Priests, Shamans and other healers! If you know of any that want to progress, tell them to drop me a line!

Healing Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan

Healing Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan

anub-header

Anub’Rekhan is the first boss of the Arachnid Quarter (Spider Wing). Most guilds entering Naxxramas for the first time will wish to go and try their luck against him initially as he’s the easiest boss to get to. He’s a really big Spider boss with a few tricks up his sleeve.

Anub is a two phase, repeating encounter.

Phase 1

Anub does a knock back. Your MT is going to want to position him against the far back wall with the boss facing the right (Look at my diagram).

Every so often he’s going to use an ability called Impale. It’s a straight line damage spell which knocks players in the air if they get hit by it. In other words, anyone in the path of an Impale will get thrown in the air.

WoWScrnShot_091308_102037 He likes to spawn a mob during this phase. Have your off tank keep an eye for one. When you kill it, it’s going to spawn these mini-mobs called Corpse Scarabs. Have any AoE DPS lock them in place and burn them down before they get on the tanks and healers.

WoWScrnShot_091308_102157 So for instance, the red arrow signifies an example Impale targeting a blue raid member. I, being the idiot Dwarf I am, is standing just ahead of him. I’m close enough that I would get struck by Impale as well. 

Impale’s target the player. They’re inevitable and players will get hit by them. But we want to minimize it by having them spread out in a staggered line facing Anub. Impale will hit for about 4400 on Cloth.

Really important: See the green slime? Don’t stand in those. Or run into there. Don’t come in contact with it. Trust me.

Example: Stop’s Warlock is right behind me. Anub targets him and lights up an Impale. The two of us go flying in the air. I pop a CoH in the air to help boost our health a little and Levitate down. Stop just… lands really hard and continues DPSing.

anub-phase1

Phase 2

In this phase, your tank has to do one really important thing:

run-forrest

Run along the outer edge of the room in a circular fashion (Refer to the image header at the top). By outer edge, I mean run in the green slime pit but not in the actual slime. You can still run on the outer rim without getting in contact with it. Anub slows down a lot. In addition, he’s going to use an ability called Locust Swarm. At this point, all casters and healers should fall back to the middle of the room. Locust Swarm will silence players and hurt a lot. It’s a 30 yard radius stretching out from Anub’Rekhan that’s in constant effect (like an aura almost) In this phase.

WoWScrnShot_091308_091910

Similar to the first phase, he also summons a mob. Make sure your OT jumps on it.

Make sure your tank does not run it into the raid. It’s absolutely imperative that they run along the outside. When you run to the other side of the room, Locust Swarm should expire and he’ll return to phase 1 mode.

The green arrows signify the path your tank should take. Note how the scattered raid has collapsed to the center. The second time you enter phase 2, go ahead and take the reverse path back up.

anub-phase2

Pro tip: Are your tanks out of shape? Their armour really heavy? Having a hard time running away from the boss? If you have a Hunter, have them activate Aspect of the Pack temporarily. Death Knights should switch to Unholy Aura for increased run speed. If you have a Warrior as a tank, feel free to have a player jump across the river of goo and have your Warrior intercept into them.

Just take care you don’t run too fast that Anub starts cutting across the raid.

Healing

Anub hits fairly hard. I’m going to suggest a 2 healer on MT with 1 healer on the raid and OT. Note that the raid doesn’t take a lot of damage throughout the encounter as long as they spread themselves out to avoid and mitigate Impale damage. Once the impale hits, your 3rd healer should drop a few AoE spells or whatever to get them back up (I’m not telling you what spells to use. You’re in Naxx now).

Like I said earlier in Phase 2, collapse to the middle. Try to load up the tanks with as much HoTs and mitigation spells or abilities as possible. If you need to sneak out and hit your tank with an emergency heal, do it even if it means risking a Locust Swarm. You should be able to max range the tank without getting affected by it. Another method is to run slightly ahead of the tank so that you still remain out of range of Locust Swarm.

Example: Assuming I’m a Discipline Priest, I would park myself on the side and heal the MT. Anna, on her Resto Shaman, would be tasked to healing the raid. Jess’s Resto Druid would be unloading HoTs on the MT as wel as any melee players that are up front.

Loot

Edit: Clarified tank path during phase 2.

Will Flash Heal Become Mainstream? 4 Points

Will Flash Heal Become Mainstream? 4 Points

school-thought I woke up this morning to a crisp chill and a great question posted on Twitter by @Knurd (of Raid Hunter).

@patyomatt What makes you think we are headed back to flash heal spamming?

Granted he answered his own question after doing a bit more reading, but I’m still going to explore the topic in a little more detail (because Twitter is EXCELLENT post fodder).

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’ve started to Flash Heal more often than Greater Heal. Until I’m proven otherwise, I firmly believe that Priests will be trending towards Flash Heal and here’s why:

Down ranking gone: The current technique right now is that we use down ranked heals to minimize spell impact on our mana pool and to reduce over healing. We’ll use a rank 3 Greater Heal to restore the same amount of health as a near max rank Flash Heal. We save a couple of hundred mana at the cost of 1 extra second of cast time.

With down ranking removed, we can no longer utilize this technique. A Greater Heal costs 1000~ mana with the appropriate talents in place. A Flash Heal costs 600~ mana. It’s no longer a question of efficieny or bang for buck. It’s a question of what’s cheaper, which is Flash Heal.

High health tanks: Tank buffer has increased by a ridiculous amount. Their health has increased by 50% which turns them into pseudo-raid bosses. At the same time, they won’t be taking massive hits on some encounters. There’s no reason to bust out the massive 10000~ Greater Heal to restore 5000~ health unless they drop dangerously low. But by then, you’re going to be praying to the RNG gods that the mobs miss or they parry or something so that your bomb heal lasts. Might be better off getting the heals off quickly instead of going for the bomb heal. Leave the bomb healing to the Paladins.

Overhealing: It sort of ties into my last point, but 80% of the Greater Heals you cast will result in massive over healing because that crafty Resto Shaman next to you blew his Nature’s Swiftness Chain Heal, or the Paladin manages to Holy Shock crit, or the Druid happens to… do his Druid thing.

Mana Management more important than ever: If you have a hard time handling your mana resource now as a player, you’re going to be in for it in the expansion. During my forays into Naxxramus, I was hitting the floor with my mana pool. It was getting dangerously low while the bosses were in the single digit percents. I had to learn really fast when to burst heal and when to ease off the pedal to restore my mana.

Obviously, we do have access to our specialized heals. This is just a comparison between our direct heals based on my beta experience. I have no doubt another Priest will come along and come up with new ideas for Wrath.

Keep the mind open and let the healologists do their work. Now is not the time to shoot down ideas. It’s time to generate them.

Image credits: ckgd2

PvE to PvP? Bring ‘em on!

No doubt you’re aware of Blizzard’s can opening, jaw dropping, eye popping PvE to PvP transfer availability announcement.

What did my blogleagues think of it?

Personally, I’m rather stoked. I’ve leveled mostly on PvP servers my entire life. It’ll be refreshing to have some new victims players around.

So come on my PvP friends! Let’s give our PvE transferees the welcome that they so wonderfully deserve!

5 Rejected WoW Blog Ideas

5 Rejected WoW Blog Ideas

rejected

Image courtesy of alifarid

A lot of WoW Bloggers I know of suffer from Altitus wherein they have so many alts and appear to have a hard time trying to focus on one. While I do have multiple healer alts myself, I’ve maximized my time accordingly and powered them individually so that they are all fairly high level characters. All of them (sans the Druid) are capable of healing Black Temple and Mount Hyjal on their own.
But this post isn’t about Altitus. I suffer from a unique ailment.

I’m afflicted with Blogitus.

There are more WoW blogs out there than Netherweave on the auction house. All it takes is a really killer idea in a niche to set it apart from the rest (so that we don’t end up with another hunter or another druid blog. Not that they’re bad or anything). I quickly examined Blog Azeroth and my reader to try and find out what already existed. Class blogs were out of the question so it boiled down to what I thought people might be interested before mentally shooting it down.

Herez Pilton

What it could’ve been: It’s a play on words off of two different things. The celebrity gossip website Perez Hilton and the in game character Haris Pilton.
Why it got rejected: How much effort and how much entertainment would all that drama actually be? Perez spends 18 hours a day chasing down leads and photos. For this to really work, I’d have to spend copious amounts of time on the WoW Realm forums daily. I don’t have that kind of time to offer, unfortunately.

Prohealer.com

What it could’ve been: A site with numerous healer bloggers culd go and contribute. Would have featured multiple authors and guest posts from favourite names in the community.
Why it got rejected: Difficult to micromanage. Don’t have the resources or the time to invest in it as much as I’d want. Would have to score major cooperation from other writers. Although, I might actually explore this idea later in the future. I’m a chronic project starter.

RaiderRant

What it could’ve been: Nothing more than a rant blog about bad raids and bad guilds. Diary style. Similar to Waiter Rant. It would’ve been day-to-day entries from a raider and 5 minute windows of their raid life. Probably would’ve been updated once or twice a week to help avoid stagnation.
Why it got rejected: My Guild isn’t at the point where I want to rant about them on a weekly basis. A blog like this needs to have some diversity. Readers would tire quickly about stories about the Mage that can’t tank Gruul’s or the idiot hunter who can’t seem to click cubes. Has to be some randomness and the writer has to be able to captivate the audience.

Consuma-blog

What it could’ve been: An extremely narrow focused blog about consumables, items, gear, and such. Would’ve talked about gear guides, where to get them, combinations, criticisms and so forth.
Why it got rejected: Almost as exciting as watching a Holy Paladin and a Resto Druid duel.

The Battle Standard

What it could’ve been done: All PvP talk, all the time, with news, opinion, highlight reel finishers and so forth about Arenas, BGs, and world PvP.
Why it got rejected: I have to actually PvP. I have enough time to either PvP or raid. I can’t do one or the other really well. I also need to have some credibility and having a low arena rating doesn’t do much to inspire justice (although ~1550 in BG9 actually isn’t that bad).

Now that’s not to say that any of these ideas are bad. I merely listed why they were bad for me (at least for now). I think a cunning and motivated blogger could take any of these ideas and make it work really well.

With this in mind, what types of unorthodox WoW blogs can you think of?

Be a World of Warcraft God in 5 Steps

Be a World of Warcraft God in 5 Steps

wow-god

You’ve got the game. You’ve done the raids. You’ve finished the PVPing. For some reason, and you can’t quite place it, there’s still a hole within you. It feels as if though there is something missing. You were a hardcore gamer before. In Counter-Strike you’d consistently dominate with the AWP in your hand. In Warcraft 3, dominating the opposition was nearly effortless especially with multiple tournament wins and top place finishes.

Not only that, you actually beat Tetris.

You’ve mastered shooters. You’re renowned in RTS games. Now you’ve set your eye on the MMO world. How does one “conquer” World of Warcraft?

Raid. Raid a lot.

The best gear in the game can only be acquired by tackling the hardest bosses in raiding instances. Until you’ve taken down Illidan and Archie (and now Kil’Jaden), you’re just a small pup. Get the best gear you can possibly get!

PvP Endlessly

What good are all those shiny weapons going to do if you can’t actually use them? It’s one thing for your opponents to make a note of the firepower you’re packing. It’s something else entirely when you go up to them and cleave them in half. Furthermore, a strong push to the 2000+ rating is almost a must. Non-stop BGs and Arenas are your ticket to be the Unstoppable Force.

Post often to forums

Forum trolling is an acquired skill. Some people just grow up having the innate ability to cause an uproar. The point here is to make your presence known and felt. A real gaming God is not content with just be a one man wrecking crew. Their name has to be known in households worldwide. The only way to do that is with constant posting. Reply to other threads, answer other questions, or start some discussion of your own.

Have insane amounts of gold

Like it or not, the WoW economy is one of the central pillars that drive this game. Gold makes the world go round. Without money, you can’t buy the supplies you need. Yes, although WoW Gods don’t need trivial things, armor and weapons could use some buffing and shining every so often. Although some players would be willing to do it for free, the merchants in the cities need to make a living somehow.

“Contribute” to Trade chat

It’s not enough to own the forums. You have to own trade chat! Start making references to bad movies! Make fun of Canada! Go ahead and randomly insert support for some political candidate! Get people to react to you! I saw this one guy in trade chat who said that “heals can’t crit” and I observed in amused amazement as the entire channel went off in an uproar for a good 45 minutes citing every resource base in the game that “yes, heals can in fact crit”.

Discipline Priests Unveiled: What Your GM’s Won’t Tell You

I received an email several days ago asking about the bastard brother in the Priest talent trees. Er, I mean the Discpline Priest. By Discipline Priest, I mean 41 points.

Matticus – I’m known as Hawk 99% of the time, but on my off days I join the ranks as Farrow, a now lvl 53 Belf priestess. I haven’t noticed many Discipline priests my level…ever actually. I love it though. I spec’d far into it and am finally starting to go into the holy tree and will put my remaining points there until I’m 70. I was wondering though – is discipline just not a comment way for priests to roll? I was heavy into Holy for a long time but like to solo…discipline enables me to do that easier. I just don’t have it in me to be shadow. Don’t ask me why! I did try it! (dont knock it til you try it)

What is your take on discipline priests? Am I doomed in this spec even though I enjoy it?

Matt’s Note: Hawk also has her own blog which I won’t hesitate to shamelessly plug because I enjoy reading it.

The truth is, until recently, Discipline Priests had no business being in a Raid. One of the recent patches changed that when it was announced that Pain Suppression could now be cast upon any member ony our party.

You don’t have to be a Gnomish Engineer to figure out what that means.

My History

When I was a wee little Dwarf Priest, I leveled from 1-60 as Holy/Disc. In my case, I had no problems at all getting the experience I needed. When TBC came out, I specced completely in Disc so I could get to 70 in a manageable way. I’ve had no experience playing Shadow.

My secret? The server I leveled on was brand new

Levelling

What Hawk is ding is leveling as Discipline. I wholeheartedly commend her for doing that. The Discipline tree requires… well, discipline to play. You get a ton of stats and your survivability is almost as notorious as a Warlock. I don’t see any problems leveling as Discipline because that’s what I did. Granted, you may not kill as fast as our dark, shadow brethren. But at least you can live.

Raiding as a Discipline Priest

As Healing

Just like in hockey, players in a team have to remain aware of what their roles are and what’s being asked of them to do. You don’t ask a shadow priest to heal your tanks. You don’t ask a resto druid to light up wrath and starfire.

I’ve spoken with several friends and colleagues in the game about Discipline Priests could be slated for. In raiding, you play 1 of 3 possible roles:

  • Tanking
  • Healing
  • Beating the crap out of the boss

Pwyff, a blogger on Gameriot (and friend), sees Discipline Priests as “fantastic panic healers”. True Disc Priests must have Brodeur like reflexes and can bail out your healers if crap hits the proverbial fan.

In other words, like Luongo (or Jesus), Discipline Priests save.

But herein lies the 5200 G question:

If you consistently rely on a Disc Priest to save your healers, what kind of healers are you bringing to a raid? Disc Priests are an excellent crutch and support class to have in a raid, but I think their presence isn’t necessary if you already have outstanding healers. Sure they can Power Infuse your best casters every few minutes at a time. Other than that and Pain Suppression, there isn’t much else.

Disc Priests cannot match the healing output of a Holy Priest, period. If you think otherwise, I expect several WWS reports as evidence.

As DPS

Don’t even think about it. You’re competing with Mages, Warlocks, Shadow Priests, and Boomkins for cloth gear.

PvPing as Discipline

As a healer

I’ve PvP’ed with my Shaman both against and alongside Discipline Priests

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a player with that Pain Suppression blue glow around them. I end up spending precious time spamming Purge instead of Lesser Healing Wave, or Shocks offensively.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing that blue glow around me when I’m at 10% after popping Battlemaster’s Perseverance and a Fel Blossom to stay alive because I’m being focus fired.

They’re a pain in the butt to take down, especially with those stat bonuses. Then they sit behind one of those pillars in Nagrand spamming Mass Dispel, Mana Burn, and Power Infusion.

As DPS

No. It does’t seem to fit with pre-existing arena team setups. By DPS, I mean a Priest who actively Smites/Mana Burns and the like. I think they’re a reactive class. They cannot ever replace actual DPS like a Warlock or a Mage. If you think I’m wrong otherwise, I invite you to show me. But please do not give me theories or opinions. I do not want to know the maximum amount of DPS a Disc Priest can do under ideal conditions when his opponents are CC’d and there is nothing he’s doing other than spamming. Discussing theory is like discussing experiments in lab conditions. As a student, I know lab conditions do not equate to real life situations. The same should be held true of WoW.

Again, the only thing I know of offensively is Power Infusion, Mana Burn, and Mass Dispels. Healing and DPSing roles aren’t that far off from one another.


I know somewhere in here I’ve pissed off many readers. Good! Because anger breeds reaction and discussion. I want to know your experiences and thoughts about Discipline Priests. Specifically, I want to know from readers who are:

  • Priests who raid as Disc
  • Priests who PvP as Disc
  • GM’s who have Disc Priest raiders (and why)
  • Guildmates of Disc Priests
  • Anyone who has ever been in contact with a Disc Priest in any way shape or form (playing alongside or against

Over the next few days, I hope to compile the most insightful comments into a future blog post about what other players think about Discipline Priests. I want to get some community feedback and start involving more. I’m hoping for some feedback from GMW, Kirk, Ego, Kestrel, Karthis, Phaelia, Megan, and Galadria/Vladvin others that I’ve no doubt forgotten due to lack of memory.

Who knows? Perhaps Discipline Priests will earn the respect and prestige that Protection Paladins now have. After all, 10 months ago we were laughing at the idea of a Prot Pally. Now we beg them to come tank our runs.