Monthly Archives: November 2009

Leveling healing: Guest post by Verdantazia of Silverhand

This post was received in my mail from Verdantazia. I thought it was a really interesting perspective, so I got permission to post it as a guest post. Enjoy!  I’m doing my oral comps defense today (Monday), so I thought today would be a great day to have a guest poster! – Lissanna

Hi. I’m a fellow WoW player who, in the last five months, has devoted a large amount of time to leveling a healing druid. Verdantazia, NE druid 75 on Silverhand.

Whilst doing so, I naturally scouted around online to learn and read about my class, how to heal, how to gear, what to expect and so forth. However, as wonderful and useful as all the blogs and postings and guides have been, there was a large deficit of practical understanding for how to heal BEFORE you’re 80 and have Nourish and uber, epic gear. I was hoping to share some things that you might want to share with people who are in the relative same position that I am in. I’ve compiled a list of things things that one has to have/do in order to heal successfully in regular 5mans AND the reasons why they are necessary.

Let me begin by saying that I leveled Verdantazia entirely as healing spec, solo, until reaching 50 where I decided to dual spec to Moonkin. As such, I *thought I knew what I was doing in 5 man heals. I did Zul Furrak just fine in tree form, laying down Rejuvs and the occasional regrowth, and all was well. I ended up partnering with a friend and did just fine in groups in Outlands, until I reached 70 and decided to try healing for Uttgard Keep. To say that it was a disaster was a mild understatement. We wiped, oh, easily 9 times and only managed to finish by recruiting an 80.

From this trial-by-fire, I learned several things, and I wanted to share them, because currently almost all guides are written by, and for, people whose toons are 80 and for playing raids. Virtually no one gives advice on what to do before then. So here is the list for ~60-79 Resto Druids:

  • 1. Whatever else you may have, glyph-wise before 80, you MUST have the Healing Touch glyph.

I know that might seem obvious to people who have already reached 80 and switched over to the Nourish glyph/skill, but coming from the background of a healing Priest it is not, and it needs explanation. As a Priest, who traditionally heals with lump-sum heals, the idea of nerfing my one good big heal seemed unthinkable. And it still is. Half healing amount to the one big heal I have? What if I need it? BUT there can be no doubt that Blizzard has created the Northrend (and Outland) instances around the idea that you do, in fact, have a flash heal, and we don’t, until 80. So a healing druid really has no choice but to glyph HT into one – the spike damage in 60-70 instances is way too much to function without it.

  • 2. To be successful in Outlands/Northrend instances you must OVERHEAL, OVERHEAL, OVERHEAL.

Regular 5 mans are a series of sprints, not marathons like Raids are. As such you MUST THROW MANA EFFICIENCY out-the-window and overheal like crazy. Druids are pro-active healers, due to the fact that HoT’s take time to heal, and do best stacked. Therefore you must pretend that everyone’s taking damage all the time, even if they aren’t. You have to have the HoTs already doing when the spike damage hits everyone. Ignore raider 80’s who talk about over-healing, and heal as much as you can. Don’t worry about using up all your mana after each pull, that’s what water (and innervate) is for! If I’m drinking, I know everyone’s alive. If I’m not, I know everyone’s dead, and we’ve had wipe. This leads to:

  • 3. Keep Wild Growth up every second it comes up for refresh, and spec up to it as soon as you can.

To heal a tank and four other people (including yourself), you need as many HOTs going as possible. This means using Wild Growth as the HoT you already have going on everyone when the spike damage comes, which it always does. It becomes the platform upon which you lay down Rejuvs and Lifeblooms upon once everyone’s health has suddenly dropped by half or more. I can’t emphasize this enough – keep WG up at all times.

  • 4. Put the 2 points into improved Tranquility and USE IT.

I have used Tranquility at least once in every single 5 man I have participated in, in the last month, and each time it has saved the group. Why? Because with the talent points it garners zero threat, and it can heal everyone (including me) at least three times over. I find, because of Global Cooldown, I can’t realistically smother all five of us in Rejuvs fast enough to deal with massive AOE damage, and although Wild Growth is absolutly wonderful, it is by itself, rather a small. So, do yourself a favor and put those two points into Tranquilty, and hot-key it, love it, and use it. Feel free to respec out of it later on for Raiding, but until then, it’s a must-have tool.

  • 5. Do everything you can to avoid aggro.

Again, this may seem obvious, but from someone who played a Priest since the day WoW began, I had been pretty used to laying down a bubble or a Renew (depending on class) on a tank before they rushed into fight, and essentially getting a free heal without any threat. To my deathly suprise, druid HoT’s seem to attract an aweful lot of unwanted attention from instance mobs. So . . . DO NOT DROP HoT’s on the tank before he/she rushes in. I find letting the tank get enough damage to equal the lump-sum heal amount afforded by Regrowth to be just right for making sure he/she has all the threat, and then laying down a Regrowth followed by all my other HoTs.

  • 6. Ignore the 80 Raider’s belief that you should stack spirit for instances.

This may be true for Raiding and post 80 content, but it is NOT true for regular instances. Instead, have a goodly mount of Stamina and Int, just as if you a DPS caster. Why? Because invariably you DO get some threat, and if you’re all spirit you will die in one hit. I know, It happened to me. Several times. I learned the lesson the hard way. And as I said earlier, regular 5 mans are sprints. You should be drinking after each pull anyways. It isn’t about having to have mana regen over the course of 30 mins. It’s about surviving the next 3 mins. At 75, now, in blue gear, I’m approaching 10k in health, and now, on the odd occasion the tank loses threat, I can at least survive through several hits, and not die immeditely.

  • 7. Use Lifebloom (when you get it at 64)

Since in 5 mans you’re both a group and a tank healer, you need to use all your HoTs. And Lifebloom is essential. Use one just one application at-a-time, as part of your HoT stack on the Tank, and refresh after it blooms. This is extremely easy to do thanks to its little whoosing chimey noise. Also use it with Rejuv when your’e spot healing for AOE damage. 80 Raiders all seem to be down on it, because in their world it’s no longer the most effiecient way to heal. In regular 5 mans, efficiency is surviving, and surviving is overhealing, so lay that Lifebloom down!

And finally:

  • 8. Best possible rotation in Northrend instances (before level 80) seems to be -

Regrowth on the tank (because it fills the hitpoints lost while you’re waiting for him/her to get all the aggro), followed by Rejuv, usually followed by a Healing Touch flash heal to those who need it, followed by ONE Lifebloom application to the tank (which I listen for and reapply after it blooms), and then finally Wildgrowth on the tank, which you then keep applying to the tank the instant it comes up for renewal. Lay down Rejuvs and a lifebloom for spot healing, and multiple flash heals as necessary, followed by that lovely Tranqillity for those moments when the you-know-what hits the fan,

Result – Success!

Posted in Leveling, Restoration Healing Trees

Think pink: Thanks BBB!

Okay, so Big Bear Butt Blogger’s guild (Sidhe Devils) hosted a cancer awareness walk in honor of Julie, a guild member of theirs who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  The donations to their cause raised over $1600!  Somewhere between 100 and 200 people came out to celebrate. A group started in the horde area, another in the alliance area – and then we met up in the Barrens and finished the walk out to STV in Booty Bay.

A handful of the walk members were people who had lost friends/relatives to cancer, who were very happy to have others come and support the cause.

This walk demonstrated one of the things I like most about the game: A sense of community, where people can come together and do something good. It’s not just about war & loot & defeating bosses. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself and caring about other humans/orcs/tauren/elves – putting our differences aside and being part of a really great community.

Here are some pictures from the event.

Posted in Uncategorized

If WoW is “just right,” why am I bored?

Okay, so I got frustrated at poor leafshine’s post today. Why? Well, I’m really just not sure.

Honestly, for as much as I like WoW, right now I am absolutely bored out of my mind with the game. It’s not that it’s too easy, but that there isn’t enough content that is catering to people (like me) who enjoy raiding but don’t like the current hard mode raid design. “Lawl they designed hard modes for you” doesn’t hold up as an argument in my case – because my guild can’t clear hardmodes because (as a group) our guild isn’t willing to put in the time & effort required to clear them. At the same time, we can steamroll through the current non-hard mode content & we don’t run Ulduar anymore because not enough people are interested in it.

I’m frustrated because raiding is what I do. It’s what used to make the game fun for me. Ever since I first stepped foot in Molten Core, I became a raider. I hate PvP, I’m bored out of my mind with running the same dungeons I ran in Beta of WotLK just because Blizzard calls them “heroic” and put in the badges I need to buy my tier 9 (and soon tier 10) gear. I’m bored with the dailies for Sons of Hodir, and for the Argent Tournament. I’m bored with questing. I’m bored with leveling. I’m bored with normal-mode raids. I’m frustrated that I can’t do hard-mode raids because the hard-mode raids aren’t interesting or fun for my guild.

I don’t want the hard-mode content to be easier, because that’s not fair to the people more hard-core than me who are currently enjoying the hard modes at their current difficulty. So, I’m stuck being trapped in the middle – where people tell me I’m too hard core because I’m bored – but I’m not hard-core enough to actually enjoy the hardmode instances designed for hard-core people. It’s not just the super hard-core raiders that are bored. It’s the people who can’t bring their guilds to be motivated to wipe a bunch of times on a boss they just killed yesterday just because it’s called “hard mode” the second time around. That’s not progression  – it’s wiping on what feels like old content already. The hard mode bosses are harder to kill, but they’re not more intrinsically motivating or fun in any sort of way unless you are in a guild where you really are at the most hard-core (top 5 guilds on your server) sort of environment.

In Burning Crusade & Vanilla WoW, there were enough new and interesting things I could find to do that I was hardly ever bored with the game. However, I think WoW actually killed progression – right now, everything is sort of stagnant. You can get nearly the best gear in the game just by re-running the same exact heroic dungeons that I have been playing in for the last year. That isn’t progression – that is running old content.

Then you ask “what about TOC? They just released that dungeon!”

The answer to that is – ToC takes about maybe an hour for my guild to clear on normal mode, and my guild doesn’t enjoy attempting the hard modes, and would rather just not sign up for raids than attempt hard-modes. We’ve been trying to get a raid together for Yogg+3 for the last month, and any time that our guild leaders put Yogg on the calendar, 5 or 6 people magically find other things to be busy with just so they don’t have to go.

Well, you ask, “why don’t you just quit?”

The answer to that is… because it gets fun again when Blizzard puts in a new tier of raids, and if I let my guild down by not being here for them now during the slump, then I’m giving up my spot in new content when it is released.  See, there is always the lure of new content down the road. I’m hoping that ICC will be designed well enough that it will feel like raiding used to feel again. I’m hoping that defeating a boss will feel good because it’s new and interesting – a feeling that I didn’t get from ToC’s 25-man raid.

I also really enjoy the WOW community.  I can’t leave you guys just because I’m bored with the game. I enjoy writing this blog. I enjoy posting on the forums, and I’ve even started to enjoy posting on twitter (as @restokin). I will actually sit at the computer with my web browser open and the game closed. I can’t bring myself to log into the game, but I’m perfectly happy to write about the game, search websites for info about new content, analyze possible new content, and work to shape new content to be fun again.

Why is it my fault that the game doesn’t cater to me right now? I really just want the next patch to come out soon so that I’ll have something worthwhile in game to do for another few short months until I run out of new & exciting things to do there, too.

Posted in Patch 3.3 WotLK

Toskk’s Maximized Wristguards

Congrats Toskk on the item that Blizzard named after you! We miss you!

Toskk quit playing back in August, and Blizzard decided to recognize all his hard work and dedication to the druid class by naming an item after him. They did a similar thing when BRK & Phaelia quit, as well. Our comrades are gone from the public WoW community, but they are not forgotten.

Also, why do players have to quit before they get things named after them? :(

On another note…

Have a good weekend! My oral comprehensive exam defense is on Monday, so either I’ll post a lot this weekend as a form of procrastination, or I’ll be rather busy with final studying prep. I haven’t decided yet, lol. It probably depends on if we get a big patch on the PTR soon or not…

Posted in Uncategorized

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