Posted tagged ‘raiding’

Troubleshooting – “Help! Why are my numbers low?”

September 24, 2011

I don’t get questions very often. Not blogging much anymore will do that. But over the years, there’s been one question that’s come up a lot:

How do I get my numbers up?

Its cousin question is worth mentioning too: “This paladin is new to my guild and their numbers are terrible, what are they doing wrong?

Obligatory Side Note on Healing Meters

Do I really need to say that healing meters should be approached with caution? After so many essays around the WoW community about how healing meters work, I’m probably wasting my typing energy, but to avoid having to clarify things later on, here’s your basic “how to look at healing meters“.

When looking at healing logs, look at the big picture. Healing meters are a detail in that big picture.

Let’s look at this snapshot:

The random pally is slightly behind the random druid. Not a big enough gap to send out alarm bells. Different fights and different healing strategies might give one player more healing done than another. Heck, I’ve seen Baleroc logs where the Death Knight tank was way ahead of any healer on the meters.

But there could be a problem. The random pally could have let their assignment(s) die while goofing around, blowing cooldowns. They could have kept healing after a wipe was called. They could have been spamming healing on themselves while standing in crap. The recorded segment might even have been too short to get a clear image of the general healing output.

The random pally’s numbers aren’t a problem, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that random pally is problem-free.

As for “You”, You’s numbers are a problem. But maybe You died early. If it’s a one-time occurrence, it’s nothing to be concerned about. But if all of You’s healing meters look like this, then this post is for You.

Your numbers are low because…

1) You’re not casting enough

I’ve got Codi‘s cheerful voice stamped in my head from the Raid Warning Holy Paladin Roundtable: “ABC! Always be casting!

This is the main problem with low numbers. You’re not going to get any healing done if you’re not casting heals. (Duh)

Case in point, lets look at the amount of casts from each paladin from the above snapshot:

Random Pally:

You:

You cast 7 Flash of Lights while Random Pally didn’t, but otherwise:

Random Pally cast 21 Divine Lights while You only cast 8.
Random Pally got 163 Beacon of Light transfers while You only got 69.
Random Pally cast 28 Holy Shocks while You only cast 14.

Get the idea?

Lows cast numbers are usually cause by one or more of the following:

- Waiting for damage: This is super common in new holy paladins. Don’t wait for damage. Unless you’re pressed for mana or you’re clearly not expecting any damage, you should have holy lights and holy shocks going at pretty much all times. Also learn each fight’s damage patterns to anticipate when to start reving up those massive heals.

- Bad healing frames: You need frames that leave enough room on your screen to see the fight, that make targeting heals easy and that let you see the buffs/debuffs you need to track. If you want a big selection, Grimmtooth wrote a fantastic frames comparison series. Otherwise, I suggest using whichever addon the other healers in your team use. That way, if you need help, you’ll have a few experts at your disposal.

- Bad computer/internet: It sucks, but you wouldn’t play hockey with a broken stick and broken skates, would you? If your equipment is so bad that you’re not able to do anything in raids, hold off on the raiding until you can get some functional equipment. (The good news is that the equipment requirements for raiding 10 mans at a casual level aren’t that high.)

- Low haste: Actually, when huge discrepancies occur on healing meters, gear differences will be the most minor factor. I mean, gear will up your numbers, that’s why we get gear and gem it and reforge it. But among the other low healing output culprits listed here, gear will have the least effect.

Your numbers are low because…

2) Your Beacon Strategy Needs Tweeking

Now that you’re casting more, have a look at who you’re casting Beacon on. If you’re unsure of how to visualize Beacon (and other buff/debuff) uptime, I’ve got a detailed how-to at your disposal.

- Keep it up: On the picture here, Beacon fell off. Beacon should be up at all times. All times. If your Beacon is falling off, find some frames that show you clearly how much time you have left on Beacon.

- Choose your target carefully: Beacon of Light targets should fit in with your healing strategy. When you’re talking about strategy in your healer chat pre (or post)-pull, bring up your reasoning for your Beacon target so your teamates can work with it. While Beacon alone won’t keep a tank up, it’ll still be a major part of your healing and it’s very important to do it right. You can read about choosing a Beacon target here (it’s a bit dated and was written with 25s in mind, but the gist of it is still applicable).

Your numbers are low because…

3) You’re Not Using Cooldowns

When briefing new paladins, I often stress the cooldown rotation aspect of paladin healing. We’re like tanks that way: we’ve got so many cooldown that we’re not healing anywhere near our full potential if we’re not using them regularly.

The cooldown usage for “You” here was actually pretty good (especially considering this was a 4 minute Ragnaros attempt). Divine Favor or Lay on Hands didn’t show up on the list, but otherwise, You was using their toolbox pretty extensively.

When remembering to use cooldowns is an issue start practicing. Run some 5 mans or some battlegrounds and hit your cooldowns whenever they come up. Once they become second nature, reflect on the opportune moments to use them. But get in the habit of actually using before you start sitting on them “just in case”. We have so many cooldowns that you’ll usually have at least one available for emergencies.

Your numbers are low because…

4) You’re Using the Wrong Spells

This is the least likely to responsible for low healing numbers. After cooldown and Beacon usage is out of the way, our healing is pretty straightforward: Holy Shock on cooldown, Holy Light as a base heal and Divine Light as a major-damage heal. Some paladins use Flash of Light when in an emergency. (I’ve seen some use Flash of Light as their base heal, but I wouldn’t. It’s a lot of mana wastage.)

But if you want to get technical, lets look at “You”‘s spell breakdown again.

Holy Shock wasn’t used on cooldown. Holy Light should have been cast a lot more. A lot more. There was mana wastage with 7 uses of Flash of Light – if there were truly 7 emergencies during that attempt, at least several could have been avoided with a more consistent use of Holy Light.

As for Holy Power sinks (Word of Glory vs Light of Dawn), Word of Glory is the typical option in 10s and when healing a non-Beacon target. Light of Dawn is fantastic in 25s (though there has been some tweeking with the Holy Power sink spells so I don’t know if Light of Dawn still offers more tank healing via Beacon than Word of Glory) and has some leverage in 10s when the team is grouped up for major splash damage.

Your numbers are low because…

5) You’re Not Judging Enough

Random Paladin:

You:

Unless there’s an excruciatingly healing-intensive moment, Judgement should be used on cooldown. On cooldown.

The first paladin here judged 12 times, the other judged 7. Something’s not right.

While Judging won’t directly increase your healing done (the tiny self heal you get from judging is insignificant) the effect it has on mana during the fight is noticeable. More mana means more freedom to use bigger heals and less Divine Pleas, which will influence your output (and usefulness).

I keep a button with Judgement on my bars so I can see when it comes off cooldown, but you’ll find that with some practice, you’ll feel the rythm of paladin healing and will just know when you can cast it again. Keep the attack target targetted (or have a Judgement macro that assists the tank) and bind Judgement to an easy key (I move with ESDF, so I have Judgement bound to “R”, it’s super easy to hit).

So Cast, Judge and be Merry

There you have them: the keys to keeping up with your teammates in terms of healing done. Don’t stop casting, put some thought into your Beacons, use your Cooldowns, pick your spells properly and judge. That’s all there is to it.

This Just In: Student 4 Life Graduates

June 1, 2011

After 10 years of post-secondary education, including:

- 2 years of community college general sciences (graduating with a DEC – Sciences de la Nature and an IB Diploma)
– 3 years of psychology (graduating with a B.A. Psych)
– 1 year of easy courses to qualify for pharmacy school
– 4 years of pharmacy school (graduating with a B.Sc. Pharm),

I finally get to step out into the real world. Within a few months, I should be able to live in a real apartment, take cheap ramen out of my diet (upgrading to expensive ramen), quit obsessing over money, and work no more than 37 hours a week.

I get asked the question often, so I’ll answer it before it comes up again. No, I didn’t start young. I’m just really immature for my age.

The last month, simply put, sucked. I knew it would be rough, but knowing it and living through it are, yeah, two different things. My licensing exams, all three of them, were in the last week of May, mixed in with graduation formalities and a cross-country move. For a month, I put my life on hold and reviewed everything I had learned in the past 4 years. And ate a lot of fast food. Like tons of fast food. As in, I’ll be doing sit-ups for weeks to recover from all the fast food.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned and, because clearly I wasn’t going through enough hell, my roommate came up with the wonderful idea of re-doing the kitchen as I’m trying to study and pack. (Which didn’t help in resisting the fast food cravings.) So while I’m stressed out of my mind, I was woken every morning and kept up every night by noise, dust, kitchen supplies all over the place and strangers breathing down my neck.

By the night before my first exam, my room (and state of mind) looked like this:

Please don’t tell any future landlords.

My lowest point, however, I think was on my last day in Newfoundland. I had my grad party that night (a big formal affair), and spent all day packing boxes. I was stressing because I was nowhere near done, but needed to get ready for grad. I stepped into the shower, only to discover than the renovation guys had cut off the hot water. I tried washing my hair in cold water, but it didn’t work out for me.

I’ll leave the scene of me sitting in a ball on the floor of my room with my wet hair sticking up, boxes and unpacked belongings scattered around me, to your imagination. It’s funny now, but I probably would have yelled at anyone telling me it was funny at the time.

Mixing Raiding and School

There’s enough I can say on the topic to write a series of stand-alone posts, but the end of it is, and I might change my mind a few years from now, that it was worth raiding throughout pharmacy school.

I raided late at night (mostly because that’s when my guilds raided, but it did help since I’d usually study until 9:30 or 10pm) and was therefore tired and cranky all day. I missed a lot of class because I was up late raiding. Heck there were courses I never went to outside of exams.

But I don’t regret it. My grades were average. Maybe they would have been slightly above average if I hadn’t been raiding. But even now that I don’t have to be in denial anymore, I still don’t regret it.

I know it sounds weird coming from someone who just did 10 years of college of, but I’ll say it: I hate school. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. I like learning. I like the fields I studied. I like being around intelligent and inspiring individuals. But I hate the pressure, I hate the competitiveness, I hate grades, I hate having to sit still all day, I hate having no money. School has always been a waiting game for me. Bite the bullet, do what they tell you and the ordeal will end eventually. (I also hated being a kid and can’t understand people who miss being kids. Being a kid was another, awful, waiting game. I’m thankful every day that it’s over.)

Raiding kept me sane. It let me be around like-minded people (I both adore and admire all of the classmates with whom I’ve had the honour of sharing several years of my life, but I had very little in common with the majority of them. I was cursed with the personality of an engineer but the brain of a liberal arts person.) It gave me something to look forward in the evenings. It gave me something to work at for my own pleasure, something on which I was never graded.

I know some people take raiding and competition very seriously, but not me. I raid because I love to raid. I do a good job because I like doing a good job. Oh, I’ll joke about healing meters, but that’s all it is, joking. Same goes for my blog. I’ll jokingly brag about stats but blogging is really where I get away from the numbers and the mediocracy that’s so often rubbed in my face. The blog does what it wants. I don’t do adds, I’d never accept to write about WoW for money. The blog and raiding are the two places where it doesn’t matter if I do well or not. The blog and raiding are where I can sit back and enjoy the journey, without worrying about whether or not my life will be screwed up at the destination.

When I Stopped Concentrating on Raiding

I quite raiding seriously at the beginning of January. I miss a lot. You guys have no idea. No amount of emo whining can really translate how much I miss it.

You know how some women get to about 30 without every wanting kids, then suddenly starting hating everyone with kids and can’t live with themselves until they get pregnant? (I really hope this doesn’t happen to me. Pregnancy is just uggg. I’ll adopt, thank you very much.) Anyway, that’s what it’s like. I can’t read Twitter during general raid hours anymore. I fight back tears whenever I’m asked about my WoW life. I rage at anyone who complains about seeing raid content too often. (I wish I was in a position to be in raid burnout!)

Still, I grit my teeth and tell myself it was for the better. It was nice, not being exhausted during clerkship. I did a good job because I wasn’t tired. Not good enough to be “above average“, but hopefully I made a difference in a few people’s lives.

I got to meet a lovely guild who welcomed me with open arms and understood that I was only going to be with them for a few months. (I’ll have another post dedicated to them later this week.) I actually plan on leaving my alts with them when I move on. While I missed raiding in a more intense environment, their jokes, their familiarity, their rich lives outside of game and their laid back attitude made my hiatus enjoyable. I tried to stay distant – no use in getting attached when I know I’ll be leaving – but they managed to break me a few times. By now my raid leader, Thespius, probably knows more about me than he ever wanted to. He’ll be spending his next few months trying to erase his memory.

I’m terrified that I won’t find my ideal guild after I move. Working late hours on the West Coast isn’t conducive to progression raiding.The fact that I don’t have any end boss kills (lets not even talk about heroics) doesn’t help either. I know that a lot of guilds are recruiting, so if you’re running a late night, 25 man progression raid team and are looking for a dedicated holy paladin, hit me up.

My Grad Present to Myself: Traveling Across the Country

In a couple of hours, I’ll be taking a flight to Edmonton, to look for a place to live. I decided to turn my trip back East into a (well-deserved, if I do say so myself) vacation. I picked up a Discovery Pass (no, I can’t take the train. I’d love to take the train, but trains in Canada are waaaaaay more expensive than trains in the US!) and plan to make full use of it. Cities on the itinerary are:

Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg
Milwaukee
Chicago

If you’re in one of those cities and care to buy me coffee (or let me buy my own coffee if you’re a cheapo) let me know! Fannon is also planning a meetup in Edmonton this Friday (June 3), so if you’re in the area and want in, give him a shout.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what my room looked like after exams were over with and my move was under control…

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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