Posted tagged ‘raiding’

5 Tricks to Boost Progression

March 19, 2011

There’s something about Cosmo-inspired titles that amuses me to no end. I was seriously tempted to use “5 Tricks to Sexify your Progression” but figured it may be misleading. Didn’t want people to expect a post on how to flirt during raids and be disappointed upon discovering that there’s very little sex in this post. (Now that I think of it, Sex and the Raid would make for an awesome blog title. If I ever go under as a paladin blogger, it’ll be my backup plan.)

Anyway, nothing here is revolutionary. Not revolutionary nor complicated. But I’ve noticed that a lot of guilds don’t use these tricks and would progress much more smoothly if they did. Even casual guilds. Especially casual guilds.

1- Have a pre-raid discussion thread

A thread on the guild forums, 4-5 days before the raid. A couple of words about the night’s destination, some links to boss strategy guides and a few words about the guild’s choice of strategy if it’s a new fight. The thread can also be used for sign-ups, sign-outs and “I clicked tentatively on the calender but XYZ” if you don’t already have a system in place.

The goal is to save time. Makes planning the roster smoother and shortens pre-fight boss talks. Yeah, not everyone reads the forums, but if you answer every question with “what do the forums say?“, the anti-forums crowd kind of gets weeded out.

2- Set specific times for invites, first pull, breaks and raid end.

Human beings do really well with deadlines. If there’s no time to be ready by, no one will be ready until you specifically tell them to be ready. Unless they’re keeners. And if you’ve played WoW for any amount of time, you know that WoW players are rarely keeners.

Set times for breaks and the end of the raid are important too. If players don’t know when they’ll be released to go to the bathroom, they’ll go whenever. And if they don’t know when they’re allowed to shut off the computer, they’ll wander off before you want them to.

3- Don’t stop outside of scheduled breaks

You wouldn’t answer your phone or head to the washroom in the middle of playing soccer would you? So what makes it acceptable during a raid?

As soon as someone goes afk, even for a second, it triggers a chain reaction:

Person 1: BRB one sec need a drink.

*One sec later*

Person 2: Oh, then BRB 2 sec, bio
Person 3: Oh, then afk 1 min, GF aggro (Off topic: why is it always GF aggro and never BF aggro? SEXISM I SAY!)

*1 minute later, ready check*

Person 4: Not ready, on the phone.

If you want to actually, you know, kill stuff, the only reasons anyone should ever go afk outside of a scheduled break are emergencies and kiddie aggro.

Your raid is full of people with active social lives who are frequently interrupted or people with bladder infections who are constantly on the pot? Schedule more frequent breaks.

4- Use World of Logs

I can’t imagine how anyone raids without World of Logs. Looking for death/wipe causes, damage distribution, points of improvement… WoL is a must if you want to get the most out of your time.

The great thing about WoL is that you don’t even have to be involved in the raid leading to have your own account. The WoL website has instructions on how to get started. If you want to learn more about log deciphering, check out the right side of this blog. Scroll down enough and you’ll find a few posts on the topic.

5- Have a post raid discussion thread for each raid

Debriefing after a raid is essential. Every raid deserves a nice thread on the guild forums with a link to the night’s logs, strategy review, constructive criticism (post-raid CC is especially useful since it’s not as heat of the moment as mid-raid CC, it can be clearer and more thought out) and any “I totally shat my pants” comments you might want to get off your chest.

Like managing raid logs, posting a raid debriefing thread on the forums doesn’t necessarily have to be done by a raid leader or guild officer. It might take awhile to catch on (and even then, it’s usually the same two people posting their comments), but people will read those threads and will refer to them in the future.

It’s So EASY!

It’s all about efficiency. Whether the members of your WoW circle are juggling crazy schedules or whether they have all the time in the world, you want to spend your raid time raiding. Not waiting on everyone else, not trying to figure out what’s going on and not making the same mistakes time after time because there’s no written, permanent form of communication.

Adding dedicated threads on the forums, having a clearer schedule and using a logs parsing tool are really fast and easy tricks to stop wasting time and get around to killing stuff for nice, sexy lootz.

The Intertwinement of Real Life and WoW

March 13, 2011

Before anything, there’s a link I’ve been meaning to share for awhile. When a character hits max level, getting the order of rep maxing right makes a world of difference when it comes to getting that character geared. It’s also a huge headache. So Kahiaau at Green Bar Spec wrote a guide for each of the healing classes. I was thrilled that someone did the hard work to, in case I ever level another healer, make my life easier.

And there’s another link I want to share, one I want to brag about. During my previous clerkship rotation, I wrote an article for our student newsletter about my other passion. I’m quite proud of the end result, so I thought I’d share it. It’s written for pharmacy students, but it’s entry level and anyone should be able to understand it. Head over to the CAPSIL website and hit the “Winter 2011 / Hiver 2011″ link. I’m on page 14. Don’t stare too much at the creepy picture of me or you’ll get nightmares.

So, World of Warcraft. These days, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I slowed down on the gaming quite a bit so I could focus on clerkship. It’s rough. Clerkship, I mean. Even though I’m averaging 12 hours of sleep a night, I can still barely get through the days. I’m chomping on Advil and having sleep attacks all over the place. Which is pretty bad considering I’m making decisions that affect people’s lives.

When I get home, I get two thoughts: “I’m so glad I get the evening to myself” and “I’m so glad I don’t have anything scheduled in WoW tonight.”

But then I see my friends sharing their boss kills on Twitter and in their blogs. Most are either putting their final attempts in on Nef or doing their first few hardmodes. And I get jealous, I really do.

I have been raiding occasionally. Most weeks I manage to get one night of raiding in. The group I play with are really casual, so there’s no stress. They’re fun people, joking around and chitchatting between pulls. They’ve been super welcoming and have even convinced me to pick up tanking again. But I’m discovering that even when WoW is the least of my concerns, I’m not a casual player and I can’t act like one, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’s that I’m not a casual person. Maybe my WoW attitude just reflects who I am as a human being.
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I Bet You All Want Me to React to 4.0.6a

February 13, 2011

Paladins
* Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

- Blizzard, Feb 11, 2011

There’s this weird pressure that comes from being a class blogger. I’ve never been one to keep up on the news. (What are patch notes?) Yet whenever something happens, a couple of people look at me (via email, twitter or in game whispers) from the corner of their eye, to see how I’m going to react.

So I bet you all want to know how I reacted when I found out about Friday night’s nerf (I found out from Kurn of course, do I look like a blogger who reads Blizzard?). For your entertainment pleasure, here’s a time-line of events, starting with time 0 being when I processed the information:

0 sec: /facepalm
5 sec: OMG HOW COULD THEY?!? I’M SO MAD GODDAMN BLIZZARD QQ
30 sec: Wait a minute, I’m only a part-time/backup raider. And my 10 man team comp doesn’t really let me use Light of Dawn (LoD) anyway. These changes don’t change much for me.
1 minute: SHIT! Now I have to update my Beacon technique post. GODDAMN IT!
2 hours: Hey, I should test these changes. Wait a minute. My LoD are transferring through beacon. I WAS LIED TO.

That said, I only had one person to group with, so I don’t know if all the LoD heals transfer through to Beacon or it just one heal transfers. Those of you with more friends than me should test it and tell me about it ;D.

EJ seems to having the same experience as me.

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My Take on the 10/25 Thing

February 7, 2011

It’s fitting that Naithin guest posted about 10s vs 25s on Thursday. After all, I’m a die hard 25 man raider. A die hard 25 man raider who just joined a 10 man guild.

Bit of background, differences of opinion with (some of) the leadership (understatement) and inconvenient raid times brought me to leave my 25 man guild. Instead of craving a rebound guild, my gquit actually triggered cravings to spend time around people I can get touchy-feeling with. But I didn’t want to lose my skills, or fall too far behind on gear, or to become too out of the loop for paladin blogging (contrarily to popular belief, you don’t have to play at Paragon’s level to read and translate EJ into plain English, but it does helps to step into a raid once in awhile).

That’s when my old healing lead, Vik, put me in touch with Thespius. Remember what Naithin said about backup players being hard to find for 10 man guilds? Well, it was a perfect match. Team Sport gained a backup healer and I got 6 hours a week of scheduled WoW time, which occasionally included raiding.

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Guest Post: Raid Size ~ Two Months On

February 3, 2011

Editor’s note: Naithin from Fun in Games was kind enough to write a guest post for me, and on a very current topic at that! (Someone’s got to write about current topics ‘cos the light knows I sure don’t.) It’s a fantastic post and he sets the bar high for when I finish my post for him. Enjoy!

How do you feel about Blizzard’s decision to, for all intents and purposes, merge 10 and 25 man raids? Is it different to how you thought you’d feel about it when you first heard?

When I first heard of the plans to make 10 and 25m share a lockout my response was immediate dismay. I liked doing both. I did 25-man ‘serious’ raiding with Surreality, and 10-man ‘funsies’ raiding with a bunch of friends scattered across a few guilds on the server.

It was our way to relax and unwind and how dare blizzard take it away!

I read further, and found out they also intended to give equal loot to 10 and 25 man raids. I didn’t particularly have any problem with this; it was about time so far as I was concerned. I mean, I only got into 25m raiding in the first place because you couldn’t finish gearing in 10s alone and I was tired of fail pugging 25s . . . Oh.

Oh.

Sure, I can write this as one continuous thought now but to think it actually occurred to me with such clarity would be to assume a degree of cleverness and self-awareness that, in reality, I didn’t possess. I’d done a pretty good job of tricking myself into believing 25-man raiding was what I wanted and the most fun and that it was the ‘real’ version of raiding.

Where that idea comes from I really don’t know. I’d seen first hand that in many cases the 10m content was legitimately more difficult and less forgiving of error than 25m, but nonetheless, it was how I and many others felt.

In actual fact, reaching the epiphany at the end of that thought process took me at least a month as I alternated between being pleased with how they’d handled the loot distribution between the raid sizes and mad at the loss of choice of doing both 10 and 25m if I wanted to.

The provided reasoning was sound, I could admit, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. The provided reasoning for multi-variable calculus problems are also often sound, and I certainly don’t like those.

In any case, eventually I did come to the end of that thought process, and realised that for me, 10m content was where it was at. This is pretty much in direct contrast with both Ophelie of- well; here, and Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn, who strongly believe it is 25m or go home.

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Holy Paladin Reforging

December 22, 2010

Don’t we all love questions with no clear answers?

I’ve had a few people ask about reforging. Each time, I make my way to Elitist Jerks.

At first, the answer I got from there was “Definitely Haste. All Haste all the time OMG yes.

Then I went back and got the answer “Haste is nice, but Crit packs a better punch.

When I looked closely, I also saw “How about Mastery? Can we give Mastery a try?

Then I spoke with paladins who don’t frequent the various resources and received an overwhelming: “Moar Spirit plz!


For the time being, reforging isn’t a black and white issue. And I hope it stays that way- I love paladin healing right now: it feels as if each successful paladin has their own style and adapts in their own way to different content. Which is how healing should be. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the constant adjustments to fit each unique situation is the whole reason I fell in love with healing in the first place.

Love story aside, I’m going to take a look at the different reforging options. If you want a “do this” answer, scroll down a bit and you’ll find some reforging suggestions to fit your paladining lifestyle. And if you read all the way to the end, I’ll let you in on my personal strategy.

I’m going to inspire myself from the debate in the Holy Paladin thread on Elitist Jerks as well as use my own experiences to weigh the pros and cons. Two Three weeks into the expansion, I’ve done countless heroics, with pugs of all skill (and common sense) levels as well as guild groups, I’ve killed Conclave of Wind on 10 man, 25 man kills are Halfus (X2) and Argaloth (I’ve done quite a bit of log parsing from other guilds for Halfus too, to see how other healing teams are handling the fight), with a some wiping experience on a few other 25 man bosses. The only area I haven’t investigated much is the world of PvP, so you die hard PvPers are unfortunately on your own for this.
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The Night of 4.0.1 and Some Initial Thoughts

October 13, 2010

The servers came up about an hour before our raid time. I quickly hopped on my Auction House character and posted the glyphs I made the night before. Auctioneer was broken… I panicked for a second as I tried to put up glyphs one at a time. Then I figured I’d give Auctionator a try. I have to say, I really like it. For my AH style, it’s actually faster at posting than Auctioneer was.

Once that was out of the way, I quickly copied the spec Kurn suggested, equipped the glyphs I had laid out the night before and stuck the gem I was saving into my libram. I talked to my trainer a bit and flipped through my spellbook. I redid my keybinds, screamed at my not-working Grid, got the default raid frames into something that didn’t look like boxes were vomitted all over my screen and took a deep breath. I would have taken a screenshot, but I’ll spare you that kind of trauma.

The Joys of Raiding after a Patch

We were only slightly late at getting the raid started, pulling barely an hour after the servers came up. We were 20 manning it, addons were bugged all over the place, bringing everyone’s FPS into the negatives, disconnects were going off right and left, and most of us had no idea what we were doing. I was also struggling with 4000-7000 latency. And latency is probably my #1 in-game anger trigger- delays in casting times send me into a blind rage every.single.time.

Probably my biggest flaw as a healer, and one of my biggest flaws as a person, is that I get very stressed when I’m learning something. With me, learning is always an intense process. And here I was with a character I felt I’d never played before and disgusting raid frames I had to shield my eyes from, trying to figure out which of my spells did what.

We then proceeded to spend two hours wiping on Heroic Marrowgar 25. I was a sobbing, hyperventilating mess. Between my lag and frustration at not knowing how to play my character, I was utterly furious. But as I was typing an “ok, I can’t do this, I’m off to bed” message, it suddenly dawned on me that I was the only one bothered. Everyone else was laughing and joking around as we wiped, waited for all the disconnected people to come back online, tried to figure out which addon was causing which problem. I forced myself to calm down a little.

That’s when we killed the boss.

We took a couple of shots at heroic Deathwhisper, then called it.

Paladin Impressions

It’s hard for me to give a good impression because I was lagging so badly. I didn’t run out of mana! Probably because I couldn’t cast anything…

But from I was able to tell from less laggy moments and from spamming myself in Ironforge, I don’t think mana will be the problem it was predicted to be. I still had well over 40k mana and could spam quite a bit of the new big heal (Divine Heal? I’m terrible with names) without making so much of a dent. So while spirit is a useful stat now, I don’t think it’ll be at the forefront of stat stacking.

I’m currently gemmed all intellect, and it seems like a good choice for now. With the conversion of int into both spell power and mana, it’s a pretty sweet stat. I do feel like I need more haste, but whether that was due to the lag or a change in mechanics, I’m not sure. It just seemed that my global cooldown last years, while pre-patch, I didn’t even notice the global cooldown.

I’ll give it another go tonight by running some heroics, but I think I might I might do some reforging to up my haste. I believe I’m at around 1100 haste right now and it just doesn’t feel like enough.

About crit, I didn’t get the chance to look into it much. Everything seems to increase crit, but I haven’t figured out what happens when you crit, other than you get some unreliable overheal. I’m sure crit triggers something, but I’m in a crappy timezone, so I had to go to bed right after the raid.

Spell wise, the new little spell, Holy Light, seems to hit for a lot less than the old Flash of Light. At 4000 spell power, I felt like it wasn’t doing much. The new big heal, however, is comparable to the old Holy Light, so I was mostly casting that last night. The new Flash of Light, the “fast, hard hitting spell”, was a piece of crap, in my opinion. It took about the same casting time as new Holy Light, and barely healed for more. Might as well just use Holy Shock.

Holy Shock is fun, seems to be comparable in strength to what it was before. I kept forgetting about Holy Power and using, um, Word of Glory?. Word of Glory seems nice, doesn’t hit for very much (wtb more possible stacks of Holy Power), but it’s instant and it’s mana free, so no right to complain. Light of Dawn looks very cool. Very disco lighty. I didn’t get much chance to use it since we were spread out all over the place during Marrowgar’s AoE damage, but I can think of a few uses for it. Not our top spell, but, you know, situational.

With the nerf to Beacon of Light, I felt very cheated. One of our weaknesses in the past was that we were stuck with single target healing. At least then we could do double target healing. Last night, I had BoL on the tank that seemed to be taking the biggest beating, and was spam healing my tank. That’s it, just spam healing my tank. Very sad. Since my newly found global cooldown couldn’t really be spared to pitch in anywhere else, I feel like I’m even more restricted than I was before.

Last Word on Tank Healing

I didn’t check last night’s logs. Too discouraged. However, my tank was always the last one to die. Now whether this is because we’re still kickass tank healers or because the other tank healers had to stop healing their targets to heal mine, I don’t know.

Oh, and when I checked my AH character after the raid, I had 2000 gold waiting in my mailbox. Not bad for barely 15 minutes of work!

How was everyone else’ patch night?

ps. Apologies for the hastily written, unresearched post. Only had a few minutes between classes and I wanted to write a bit.

Deaths Overview Game – The Solution

October 12, 2010

Yesterday I posted the following image and challenged everyone to figure out how these two players died simultaneously:

Everyone who volunteered an answer (including a couple of guildies over vent last night) was on the right track. It’s impossible to tell exactly what happened from the very limited information, so I was really impressed.

The solution after the break! (Sorry people reading from feedreaders, I can’t manually truncate posts that go to readers.)

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World of Logs: Looks at Deaths (featuring the Lich King)

October 11, 2010

Note: I’d like to give a big thanks to Kurn for her help is preparing this post. <3 Even without seeing the logs, she was able to catch some things I didn’t.

So I received this question the other day:

We’re working on Lich King [10 man] and we’re dying a lot to Infest, especially when I [disc priest] get picked up by Valks. Can you show me log-reading tricks so I can figure what our healers are doing wrong?

Like any other question I get, I immediately countered with “Can I post about it on my blog?

It’s a bit strange writing about World of Logs (and the LK fight) this late into the expansion, especially with the patch coming out tomorrow and most everyone being stalled for a few days. Hopefully, though, WoL won’t face too many changes. While the fight will soon be obsolete, I’ve got my fingers crossed that working with WoL will essentially stay the same.

As usual, if any of you readers see something I missed, feel free to weight in. Only keep in mind that the raiders in these parses are not my thick-skinned, accustomed-to-being-blogged-about guildies. Most of them don’t know they’re making an appearance here, so please be tactful. Also note that they have killed Lich King and this is really just an exercise in WoL reading.

Also, if you’re looking for more about parse reading, please see:
A close look at World of Logs (Kadomi – Tank Like a Girl)
An Intro to WoL: Wading through the data (Vixsin – Life in Group 5)
The Next Step with WoL: Healing Analysis (Vixsin – Life in Group 5)
Raid Rx: How to read healing parses (or meters) (Matticus – WoW Insider)
What Can Healing Meter Tell You? (Sydera – World of Matticus)
World of Logs and Evaluating a Paladin Healer: Some Basics (Yours truly)
Lets help this Holy Pally not suck at Putricide (Yours truly)

Step One: Looking at the Fight

After an evening of wipes, you’ll want to look at any attempt that lasted longer than a minute or two. For the sake of this post, I’m going to pick Try #5. At 5min47s, it’s long enough for stuff to happen, but short enough to make the graphic editing simpler.

Since I’m looking at deaths and, thus, causes of wipes, I want to take a general look of what happened during this attempt. World of Logs graphs different aspects of the attempts, notably your raid’s damage output, your raid’s healing output and the damage taken by your raid. To get an overall picture of a multiphased fight like the Lich King, I’m going to go with Damage Taken.

And now you see a nice collection of squiggly lines with a few straight lines cutting through them.


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Save a Clothie Today! Use Hand of Protection.

September 17, 2010

It feels weird writing about current stuff while everyone is so gung-ho about Cataclysm. Me, I don’t really care about Cataclysm. I would if I were in the beta, but I’m not. Nor do I care enough to try to get a beta key. (I am on the PTR but it’s ugly and funny looking and scary and overwhelming)

Besides, after discussing it with a few people, I came to the following conclusions:

- With the game being in a lull, a lot of people are playing alts.
- Just because Cataclysm is coming out in about a month in a half is no excuse to be playing badly now.

So today’s topic: Hand of Protection (HoP, or BoP after it’s former name, Blessing of Protection).

And according to MMO-Champion, this is a spell we’ll keep in Cataclysm so no writing off this post as ancient history museum content!

The Scenario

During ICC trash a few nights ago, we had a couple of mobs come up on us from behind and started chomping on a healing priest and a warlock. I slapped the priest with my Hand of Protection and the warlock died.

The question: We had 3 other paladins in the raid, one of which was a fellow holy paladin. Why didn’t anyone HoP the warlock?

Hypothesis 1: Maybe they don’t understand how Hand of Protection works

Hand of Protection protects the target from all physical damage for 10 seconds. It’ll also drop aggro from the target since the mob thinks to itself: “Oh, I can’t eat this guy (or girl – mobs are very politically correct), I guess I’ll go eat this other guy (or girl).”

Another thing to note is that someone under the influence of HoP can’t do any physical damage either. So unless you absolutely must save a melee dps or a hunter (or you just want to be annoying), save your HoP for casters. Note that in dire circumstances (for example, you have a massive crush on the ret pally and want to impress them with your life saving skills) an aggro breaking HoP can be quickly followed by a Hand of Freedom, allowing the melee player to resume dps as soon as the mobs get off their face. (Thank you Mally and Daniel.)

The aggro dropping and no doing physical damage things are the reason you shouldn’t ever HoP someone who’s currently tanking (with a few exceptions that I’ll get into later).

Note that HoP is useless against magic damage, so it won’t help a target being roasted by a caster.

Hypothesis 2: They don’t know when to use Hand of Protection

To make an informed decision concerning your Hand of Protection usage, you will need the following:

- Knowledge of the physical damageness mobs you’re facing (you can tell which are physical damage mobs by the way they eat the faces of their victims as opposed to melting said faces)
- Raid frames with aggro warnings turned on.

ICC has very few boss fights that involve physical damage adds. With the exception of Lady Deathwhisper and Gunship (and Dreamwalker for non portal paladins), you’ll mostly be using HoP during trash. I usually use mine during the trash before Marrowgar and for the Valks after Saurfang.

On 25 man Lady Deathwhisper, you’ll want to use your HoP as soon as possible and keep it on cooldown since there is that chance of being mind controlled and HoPing the boss… (Thank you Daniel- funny story, the day after you left your comment, the other holy pally in my raid got MCed and HoPed the boss.)

You know to use HoP when a purple (warlock), white (priest) or light blue (mage) square on your frames lights up with an aggro warning. In some cases, a dark blue (shaman) or orange (druid) squares are also suitable targets. Just make sure it’s a caster type of druid or shaman.

When a target lights up with an aggro warning, keep your eye on it. As soon as they start taking damage, BAM! Hand of Protection.

Hypothesis 3 : They’re afraid of “wasting” their Hand of Protection

This could be true in certain instances.

In ICC, though, the places where you could use HoP are rather far apart. Depending on the casting paladin’s spec, the cooldown on HoP is 3 to 5 minutes, nothing to worry about. I prefer to use HoP as soon as I need it. I won’t know whether I’ll need it again and I’d rather save someone now than let someone die now out of concern that someone might die later.

If a caster gets eaten while my HoP is on cooldown, well, tough for them.

Hypothesis 4: They might have HoPed the same target.

Ha! Wrong! This is the funky thing about HoP: it causes forbearance (not to be confused with Jong’s Forbearance).

Causing forbearance means your target can’t be smacked by a Hand of Protection again for the next two minutes. So if someone beats you to a target, you won’t be wasting your cooldown. If you get an error message trying to HoP the priest, get that HoP on the warlock.

Hypothesis 5: They don’t have an appropriate UI

(Thank you Enlynn!)

As healer, you should have your UI set up in a way that you can access your spells very quickly. Unless you have jedi reflexes (and it does happen, I’ve seen some), this means either mouse-over macros or use of a Clique-like system.

HoP is part of your tools and should be just as accessible as Flash of Light or Holy Light. See Fictional Question #3 for some tips on choosing a proper key binding for your HoP.

Your fictional question: Are there other uses for Hand of Protections?

Glad you asked!

While most of the time, I use my Hand of Protection for loose trash mobs or boss adds, it can also remove a bleed effect. The fight that comes to mind is Saurfang, where HoP removes the Boiling Blood debuff. On heroic, when all the paladins in the raid use their HoP on a caster or healer with Boiling Blood, it can make a pretty big difference in the fight outcome.

Your fictional question 2: I’m not a healing paladin, can I still use HoP?

It’s a trainable ability, so yep.

In a raid setting, it’s easiest for a holy paladin to use, but any paladin who wants to rescue a clothie in distress is free use their Hand if they can spare the global cooldown.

In 5 mans, I love, and I mean LOVE getting my HoP out as a tank. I know the trend is to let those who pull before you die, but I frequently use it to get mobs off hormonal casters. I also use it to teach impatient melee players a lesson, but, um, please don’t tell anyone.

Your fictional question 3: What’s this about exceptions to never using Hand of Protection on a tank?

General rule is, using Hand of Protection on a tank, even by accident is a bad, bad thing. My guildies still constantly remind me of a certain keybind mishap involving a tank and a few undesired HoPs… To prevent these embarrassing moments, make sure your HoP isn’t bound to anything that would include your press-to-talk button or any buttons bound to spells frequently used on tanks.

There may be times, however, when you’ll be asked to use your Hand of P on a tank. To assist in certain tank switches, for example, or to remove a bleed effect (Gormok the Impaler in ToC comes to mind). During the trash before Blood Council, a quick HoP immediately canceled by a Hand of Freedom can erase that annoying Bloodboil debuff. (Thanks Daniel!)

Different raid teams have different strategies, though, so even if you think it’s a good idea to help out by HoPing a tank, I caution you to wait until you’re asked. This isn’t the place to take initiatives. An unsuspecting HoPed tank might not immediately realize what happened, which could throw off their next move. The tank might also have used one of their own cooldowns and your Hand will be wasted.

Your Fictional Question 4: Is Hand of Protection useful in PvP?

I confess I’m not experienced enough in PvP to give a really good answer here.

In Battlegrounds, I love it. It’s great for protecting your caster buddy from annoying meleers buzzing around them. I believe, however, that it can be spellstolen by mages, dispelled by priests and purged by shaman.

In all logic, it would be useful in arena as well. All the arena junkie holy paladins I’ve raided with, however, never use their HoP. So I dunno.

Your Fictional Conclusion: Wow! What a fascinating spell! I promise to use Hand of Protection at all the right times! Thank you!

No, thank you.

Speaking of thanks, lets go back to the original scenario. When I used HoP on our priest that night, she thanked me. Which was very polite of her, but it sort of made me sad as well.

As a holy paladin, pulling our utility spells out of our toolbox is our job just as much as keeping Beacon up and casting Holy Light is our job. She shouldn’t feel the need to thank me for a HoP anymore than thank me for casting my regular, direct heals.

But so many holy paladins don’t go beyond their easiest task, then have the nerve to complain that paladin healing is boring. Of course it’s boring when you’re not using most of your spells!

A few weeks ago, we had a trial holy paladin bragging on our vent about how he only healed with one button. I wonder how if he knew how close to his head the Giant Spoon came…

But in conclusion, remember that, with Hand of Protection, YOU CAN save a squishy clothie TODAY! What are you waiting for?


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