The Key to Drinking on Borrowed Time

Clearly I’m talking about drinking for mana here. I don’t know what else you guys could be thinking…

And by “borrowed time“, I’m picturing 5-man heroic with one of those tanks who plays with his eyes closed and his finger on the forward button. And I’m picturing you, with your mana bar empty, cursing and swearing, trying to keep up.

I don’t get to look at other healers often. In 5 mans, I’m usually the healer. In raids, I’m too self centered to spy on my co-healer’s drinking habits. But I do like to talk to other healers, especially healers who are in guilds similar to mine, where we’re used to chilling a bit between pulls. And on the rare occasion where I’m not the healer in a 5 man, I’m watching my healer’s every move.

So, healers condemned to running 5-mans, tell me, which scenario is more like you?

Scenario 1:

1- Mob pack dies
2- Drink
3- Catch up to group
4- Heal next pull

Scenario 2:

1- Mob pack dies
2-Catch up to group
3- Drink
4- Heal next pull

Scenario 1 is the careful healers. The “when I make a mess I clean it up right away” folk. These people are probably very successful and organized in their offline life.

They probably really hate 5 mans though.

Scenario 2 seems riskier (what if the tank pulls and I’m not ready?), but you have to get over appearances. Consider the following:

1- You can’t sit down to drink while you’re in combat, but if you’re already drinking when someone pulls, you’ll keep drinking.

2- If you mana bar has boiled dry, you want to drink as long as possible, but still be able to get up and back to business if you need to.

And which scenario allows you to drink into combat and get up when your team needs some heals?

Right.

Scenario 2.

Plus, if you’re a paladin (I swear, holy paladins were designed with 5 mans in mind!), Scenario 2 allows you to regen some mana via Divine Plea so that when you do sit down to drink, your mana bar is already partially filled up.

So the key to dealing with hasty tank without running out of mana?

If you need to drink, drink before the pulls, not after.

EDIT: I’ve had a lot of people mention that a tank might pull if you’re nearby but would wait if you’re out of range. I’m not sure that a tank who can’t see you sitting down and drinking is going to notice you’re out of range. And unless I’m totally drained, I also don’t want a tank to stop pulling. I’ll drink for a few seconds into the pull, then stand up when I need to start healing. If I need more time, I’ll ask for it.

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17 Comments on “The Key to Drinking on Borrowed Time”

  1. NickH Says:

    Hi there! I’m a Holy Pally and have been running 5-mans and a few raids as such since Cata dropped. I actually don’t really have too many problems with going OOM much. In fact last night was probably the first time I had to sit down and have a drink in a 5-man hc for ages. This was actually because no one was using CC and so there was a lot of damage flying around. Normally though, with good CC I barely break a sweat. Raids are a little different. When bashing a boss I actually don’t think I’ve done a good enough job if I am not almost out of mana by the time the boss is downed. If I had to pick a scenario above though I would go with the first. Yes I can sometime drop Divine Plea and just top off my mana before the next pull ok. But I would rather sit straight down after a pull and drink to get it back if I was very low. Then you don’t have any problems of the tank pulling the next lot thinking you were ready. I don’t know if other classes have problems keeping their mana bars up (I only heal as a Pally) but I generally find that as long as I am Judging a lot and using the appropriate heals for each situation (so not spamming expensive ones the whole time) then I do just fine.

  2. Zaralynda Says:

    For me, it depends on the content (are we in a regular heroic or a zulroic?) and how depleted my mana bar is (half, completely empty).

    If I’m with the group, the tank may take that as a sign that it’s okay to pull, so if my mana bar is empty I’ll wait behind to drink as a sign “I’m not ready!”. If he’s not paying attention and pulls anyway, he’ll either wipe (everyone except me, since I’m not in combat, so I can come up with resurrect), or he’ll notice I’m not around and have to blow his cooldowns and then watch for me next time.

    I won’t stress myself for a tank who won’t play (what I consider to be) properly.

  3. adgamorix Says:

    The key to dealing with a hasty tank without running out of mana is to let them die. If I stop to drink, and they pull before I get there, the party will wipe, but I”ll still be out of combat and can either rez them, or at least save the repair bill. If I’m running up and they pull before I can pop the cork on my bottle, well then I”m in combat, and I still don’t have any gas in the tank – plus I’m feeling rushed.

    Let them die. That’s my motto.


  4. I must be playing my Disc priest too much. I saw the title and thought, “since when does Borrowed Time allow us to drink in combat?”

    Scenario 2 is almost always what I’ll try to do. Not only does it let you keep pace with a pull-happy tank, letting said tank sweat it out with low health may send him the message that he needs to slow down.


  5. @adgamorix Completely agree with you. If I’m under 50% mana, I’ll sit and drink straight away. If I’m above I’ll pop Divine Plea and run along with the group.
    If the tank isn’t paying attention to your mana, that’s their fault not yours. You can always help inform them with a quick “MB” in party chat.
    As a secondary point, if you’re massively out of mana after each pull, something else is going wrong. Could be dps aren’t getting out of the fire quick enough or CC isn’t being used properly/enough.

  6. Anslym Says:

    You forgot senario 3:

    Mob pack dies
    (try to) Sit down to drink
    Tank pulls
    Race to catch up

    Feel free to switch steps 2 and 4 till desire senario is reached.
    I know we hate it when it happens, but it does indeed happen. Espcially after the bear boss in ZA when the timer is ticking down and we JUST HAVE TO GET THAT BEAR MOUNT!!!!! I’m not bitter or anything.

    -Anslym

  7. zarigar Says:

    The scenario I do depends on the…err…scenario. If I am super low on mana I just plop down right there and start drinking. The problem with Scenario 2 is if the tank sees you are there they just start pulling without noticing your mana or that you are drinking. If they pull the next group while I am still at the last group, then it’s on them for not even noticing that I am not with them.

  8. Marc B Says:

    Death to them hasty tanks :-)

  9. Shintar Says:

    Interesting subject, but I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as you make it out to be. As Adgamorix said above, running up to the next pull right away increases your risk of getting put into combat simply through proximity, without getting a chance to drink at all. Also, the healer jogging after the tank immediately can be misread as “I don’t need to drink, go ahead”.

  10. Ngita Says:

    A tank that might notice his healer is out of range ie scenario 1 and not pull, will pull in scenario 2.

    Being behind in heals means your using less efficient heals which negates the drinking.

    Tbh the most irritating thing is healing, Siting to drink and then getting a proc from the heal which cancels the drinking. Why am I standing around with 50% mana with one water missing….

  11. Ngita Says:

    A tank that might notice his healer is out of range ie scenario 1 and not pull, will pull in scenario 2.

    Being behind in heals means your using less efficient heals which negates the drinking. Worst case with a really gogo tank if i have said I am drinking, I am out of range and out of combat and the tank going splat is not my problem.

    Tbh the most irritating thing is healing, Siting to drink and then getting a proc from the heal which cancels the drinking. Why am I standing around with 50% mana with one water missing….

  12. Vidyala Says:

    I usually opt for scenario two. If I’m really, completely out of mana, I’ll just sit and start drinking immediately (usually while typing in party chat “mana” or “need to drink” because most tanks don’t pay attention and will be almost ready to pull at that point). Of course, my lovely guild tanks will wait patiently for me to drink, but I can’t trust pugs in this regard!

  13. Rhii Says:

    I usually try to get about two steps in front of the tank and then sit down directly on his feet to drink. Believe it or not, some tanks don’t even notice THAT. I don’t have enough fingers or enough time to run, drink, and type “oom” before the tank has pulled the next group, so I have generally tried to let my actions speak louder than my words!

    Funny post, Ophelie! *applaud*

  14. Kimberly Says:

    With GREAT trepidation, I’ve started doing random regular heroics (Zuls can suck it – I run those only with people I know.) with my paladin. I try to only drink before bosses, and I have a macro I hit on the way to the boss that tells the party I’m going to drink before the boss fight “just to top off.”

    In betweentime, I’m a Divine Plea and mana potion nut, using one when the other is on cooldown just to keep my mana tank over half. Hey, I have to spend that daily gold on something, right? May as well buy mana potions. A mana pot is liquified peace of mind.

    And I also start bashing on mobs when they’re 75% down to regain mana for the next pull.

    And I cast Hand of Salvation on naughty aggro-pulling DPS.

  15. AliPally Says:

    If my mana was empty, and I had to drink, I would always go with scenario 1.
    This shows the tank that (a) you are not ready (b) you are in command of your mana bar not them (c) if the tank pulls and wipes, it’s their fault for entering combat without a healer. I have no regrets about saying after a wipe ‘don’t pull if I’m not here, or I can’t heal’. Of course, it is good to let people know you are empty – simply saying ‘mana break’ will help.

    @Kimberly – I would never use potions. If you really need mana, sit and drink, seriously!

  16. Inno Says:

    You left out the mysterious step five… Loot issues anyone? As for mana I use a macro /oom /use whatever your drink of choice is.

  17. Ranala Says:

    I ll happily follow a tank at his pace as long as i have sufficient mana for the next pull. If my manabar gets to the point where i know i cant get the group through the next pull i ll sit down and drink…he ll evntually learn to watch more then his vengeance tack after he died a couple of times.
    On bad days i might even let a tank die because he pulled while i was back at the last group looting (my Priest is taylor so i got a lot to loot sometimes).
    DPS and even tanks that are not able to eat while i drink to bring my mana and health up after a nasty pull are not guaranteed to get heals, especially when there was a mage table at the beginning.

    speedruns where i challenge myself to use every trick in the book are something i enjoy with at least a tank i know, with pug tanks i like to play it on the save side mana-wise. If they dont adapt its their repair-bill not mine


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