Cataclysm Heroics Sanity Preservation Guide for Healers

You’re pugging heroics? What are you? A sadist?
– Guildie upon discovering that I PuG my heroics more often than not.

I think he meant masochist (my guildies a tough time keeping their fetishes straight)… unless he knows me better than I thought.

Once I got over my initial feeling of being left out (dissolved when other healers got tired of running heroics causing me to receive 3 whispers asking for heroic heals every time I log in), I fell in love with pugging. I’ve also learned to handle myself in PuGs, which has turned me into quite the slave driver, and yes, has really helped developed my sadistic side.

Introduction: What to expect

There are beliefs of varying levels of truth to the rumours going around about PuGs. Let me attempt to clarify them by drawing from my own experience.

Belief #1 – Heroics are too long for casual players.
Answer: Apparently the official forums are overrun with players accusing Blizzard of ruining casual play. Unfortunately, if you’re going to PuG heroics, you need to be prepared to spend at least 2 hours in there. At least. Most people are getting pretty good with the fights now, but during the first week of Cataclysm, I could easily spend 4 hours with a group in a heroic.

Belief #2
– People are jerks in heroics.
Answer: You always run the chance of being paired with the scum of humanity. Stories like this one tell of things you have to be prepared to face. But fortunately, they’re pretty rare. Most of the time, the people you’ll be paired with are just like you: looking to get their valor points and leave.

Belief #3 – Heroics are too hard to PuG.
Answer: They’re not. I pug a lot. And I mean, a lot. It’s only happened to me twice that I didn’t make it to the end: first group tried Corborus in Stonecore a few times then fell apart, second group wiped on Corla in Blackrock Caverns a few times, until I had to leave to run something with my guild. With every other PuG I’ve done, even my very first ones, where I cheated to get a 329ilvl, the final boss went down. Now maybe I’m on the ultimate battlegroup of excellence, but maybe a strategic approach paired with a lot of patience goes a long way.

So how does a healer cope with, as a guildie of mine puts it, “playing Russian Roulette with 5 bullets“? Let me tell you.

Part 1: Come Prepared

Every “how to heroics” guide out there will tell you to gem and enchant your gear. I hope my readership considers this a no brainer. No, I didn’t enchant my gear when I started. Enchanters were a bit hard to find back then. Nor did I have a gem slots to put gems in. And I did ok. But why gimp yourself? Enchants are easy to get now. And yes, I began breathing much better when I started enchanting my gear.

Now that the basics are out of the way, here are other ways you can prepare yourself for heroics:

Warm Up:
Until recently, I always did a regular random before jumping into the heroics queue. Players running regulars are usually far worse than players running heroics, but since regular stupidity is relatively easy to heal through, it makes for a great warm up.

Bring lots of mana stuff:
Don’t count on a mage to bring water to you. Tote your own. When you’re just starting heroics, you’ll go through about a full stack of water, so pack two. Bring some mana potions too. They’re nice.

Learn the fights: Knowledge is power. I do love going into a fight blind, but I find it hard to convince groups that learning exclusively from wipes for hours is fun. Plus, I’ve noticed that the more confident I am with a fight mechanics, the more likely my teammates are to follow my directions.

Get the attitude right: Make sure you have 2-3 hours set aside for your random heroic. Forget the idea of farming loot or points. If you’re in it to farm quickly, run with guildies. When you pug as a healer, it’s not about grinding gear, it’s about grinding skill.

Part 2: Learn to Observe

The mistake most healers seem to make jumping into an instance only to cower in a corner, or they waste their energy and patience by distributing very specific orders that might not apply to the group.

Some groups will work well together naturally, others need more guidance. What I like to do is sit tight for the first pull and watch. Will the tank ask for CC on their own? If not, are they geared enough to not need a lot of CC? How fast is their health going down? Can they hold aggro? Which DPS are pulling aggro? Which DPS have trouble avoiding certain mechanics (stuff on the ground, whirlwinds, etc.)?

The better you understand your group, the easier time you’ll have trying to tell them how to improve.

Part 3: Embrace CC

We complained about lack of Crowd Control (CC) during Wrath and, well, we can consider ourselves served. Most trash pulls will need some type of CC or else a freshly 85ed tank will be gobbled up in no time.

That said, different groups have different needs. As I mentioned earlier, I like to let the group try to do things on their own first. If I feel like the first pull went badly (either we wiped, or we survived but I’m shaking), then I’ll speak up: “That was pretty intense, let’s try with *insert CC suggestions here*

The more specific and knowledgeable you are about CC, the more likely they are to listen to you. For some guidance on what other classes can do for you, see Crowd Control Compendium.

You’ll run into some players who are independent and will want to choose their own CC targets, others will want you to mark targets for them. There’s no set meaning for each mark, so make sure you’re clear about what each mark means.

If you need inspiration, here are the marks I typically use:
Skull – Kill first
X – Kill second
Circle – Sap
Moon – Polymorph
Square – Freezing trap
Diamond – Banish

Part 4: Understand Damage

Until you get better geared, you’ll be on a tight mana budget. You’ll also be on a tight cooldown budget. The better you understand how damage works, the easier it’ll be to plan how and when you want to mash your buttons.

Understand fight specifics: If you have a fight with a lot of elemental/magic damage, use proper resistances. If the more annoying damage is physical, use armor boosting effects. If you’re not sure, you can ask the tank after the first attempt, they’ll usually tell you.

As well, knowing about the timing of phase transitions, explosions, incoming adds and other exciting events are crucial, not only to plan when you’re going to hit your cooldowns, but also to notice who in the group isn’t reacting appropriately and might need some extra explanations.

For example, on Ripsnarl in Deadmines, the fight becomes incredibly easier once you realize that most of the tank damage occurs during the second half of the adds phase and that’s where you have to spend your mana and pop your cooldowns.

Know Damage Patterns: Damage patterns go hand in hand with fight specifics. Are a lot of people taking damage? Is it mostly single target damage? Double target damage? Slow intense damage? Frequent small damage? Once you recognize the patterns, you can anticipate what incoming damage is going to look like next and prepare for it.

Part 5: Be Patient yet Ruthless

These are the two skills that have brought me to the end of almost all my heroic PuGs. Your group might not be perfect in it’s original state. I once went through 6 tanks before the first boss in Throne of the Tides. But once we had our tank of ultimate sexyness, the instance was a breeze.

Learn to recognize the difference between “it’ll take awhile but there’s hope” and “head, meet wall“. When there’s hope, keep trying. You’ll cycle through players who give up, but the magic will happen. If someone really can’t do it, or just has a really unbearable personality, vote-to-kick exists for a reason.

Part 6: Communicate

If people aren’t told what’s going on, or what’s expected of them, they’re not going to do what you want them to. The key is to be straightforward, but by saying things in a way that makes your team want to listen.

Keep your snarky tongue in your pocket:
Sometimes it’s hard to be professional. Sometimes it’s really hard. But I promise you, every time I’ve sat on my hands to keep them from typing nasty, sarcastic comments, I’ve been rewarded. No matter how stupid or how nasty others are, never lower yourself to their level. Be blunt if you want, but keep your sarcasm to yourself.

Call people by name: Calling people by role or class is normal in pugging culture. But everyone secretly prefers being called by their character name. You’ll notice people are much more responsive when called by name.

Use gentle language: This is a trick they teach us in pharmacy school to deal with doctors. If you want someone to do something, word it like “*Person X* consider/try doing X,Z,Y. It might help.” Your PuG teammates are usually just as on-edge as you are. Wording things a little gentler softens them up and makes them more coorperative.

If all else fails, put your foot down: This is the awesome thing about being a healer. You automatically get the last word. “I’m the one who has to heal through this, and this is how I want the fight done.” A word of caution, though, while it’s an extremely effective line (the only person who dared oppose me was immediately kicked…and I didn’t initiate the kick), in order to keep your credibility you need to be right. So make sure you’re familiar with the fight and you know what you’re saying.

Explain every wipe: As a healer, you get a bird’s eye view of the fight and are in the best position to have at least a general idea of why everyone died. If the tank went down too fast, say “You went down too fast.” If a dps was 1-shotted, say “You were 1-shotted.” If you screwed up and ran out of mana, say “I screwed up and ran out of mana, it won’t happen again.” When people know how they die, they learn faster and adjust. Just remember to keep sarcasm out of it.

Conclusion: Coping and Keeping a Smile

I probably don’t have to tell you that your pugging experience will have its ups and downs, and you’re far more likely to notice the downs. Don’t worry, eventually they all mesh together and you’ll have a better memory of the ups.

When the going gets tough, just remind yourself that you’re grinding skill. When the instance takes a bit longer than expected, smile and remember how you complained that Wrath heroics were too short and impersonal. Trust me, 4 hour Deadmines runs are anything but cold and impersonal!

And after every kill that caused you to wet your pants, close your eyes and enjoy the afterglow. Loot and Justice Points are nice, but there’s nothing quite as rewarding as leading a group of adorable morons to success.

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34 Comments on “Cataclysm Heroics Sanity Preservation Guide for Healers”

  1. Enlynn Says:

    “but there’s nothing quite as rewarding as leading a group of adorable morons to success.”

    Thank you. Thank you so much.

  2. Jen Says:

    Awesome post of awesomeness πŸ˜€ Seems common sense, but I doubt many people have it.

    I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, but my pugs have been better than my guild runs… I don’t know if it was lack of gear, lack of skill or lack of proper CC, but I wiped all Saturday in a guild group and only barely finished one heroic (after 3.5 hours). After that, I figured it can’t get worse. Since my tank refused to set foot in another dungeons, I decided to farm trash in pugs. As many pugs as it took to get me exalted with Wildhammer. And… they were all successful. I only had 1 bad tank, who left after the second wipe – the rest were great, we worked together and didn’t even wipe much.

    The brightest side of this is that I now (hope I) have enough gear to “carry” people. It might be masochistic of me too, but I like saving the day and even healing stupid. And helping my guildies (especially my tank friend who is scarred from all the failed runs) gives me a fuzzy feeling.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚

      I don’t think it’s that people lack common sense (well, some do) but that they let themselves be intimidated by pugs.

      I’ve had some pug groups be more successful than some guild groups too. Actually, a few days ago, a guild group (I wasn’t in it) failed to complete Deadmines. I felt totally smug. Deadmines was my first heroic. I did it 4 days into the expansion, in greens, with a cheated 329ilvl, with a PuG. Yes, we spent an hour and a half on Ripsnarl, but we did get our achievement at the end.

      I like “carrying” people too, to push my limits and become a better healer. If it hadn’t been for all the close calls, all the struggling and all times I needed to get creative, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with my class mechanics.

      • Jen Says:

        Despite all the frustration, I agree: wipes and near-wipes in PuGs taught me more about my druid than ICC. (Hello Tranquility, how are you!)

  3. Talarian Says:

    Yes on the being firm! As the healer, my job got much harder with Cata, and I don’t need the tank or dps making it harder.

    I’ve found a professional, to the point but firm tone to get most PUGs through heroics just fine. A simple, “Everyone done this on heroic before?” works quite well, because it establishes the asked as a person of experience. Then its a simple case of tailoring your advice based on who hasn’t done it, and who else might be uncertain.

    Excellent post.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks. πŸ™‚

      *nods* I like asking whether the rest of the group (especially the tank) is familiar with the instance too. Most of the time people speak up on their own, but I think some are still afraid to admit they’re new unless asked.

      I find that a lot of players have trouble being firm because they think being firm means being abrasive. Yet, the two attitudes are worlds apart: one focuses on getting the job done, the other focuses on making people feel bad about themselves.

      • Jen Says:

        Some people have reasons not to admit they’re new… I don’t agree with them, but I can understand. Not everyone is willing to teach.

        The funniest thing happened to me when we had to pug a tank (so it was me + 3 guildies + random DK). Right as we zoned in, the tank asked if everyone knew the heroic. My druid guildie said he had only done it on normal… so the tank said “fuck this” and dropped group. 2 minutes later, we got a new tank and then we finished the heroic with no wipes. The DK tank had to wait 30 minutes until he could queue again. I don’t get people like this…

        (And teaching can be rewarding! I felt very proud when I organized the CC pulls in Vortex Pinnacle for a PuG… including having to explain to a priest what MC was and how to use it.)

        • Ophelie Says:

          Yeah, some people are right arses when they find out it’s your first time on heroic. Us healers are lucky because our wait time is usually under 2 minutes, so if we get kicked for only having seen the instance on regular, whatever, it means there were at least 3 idiots in the group and we probably didn’t want to run with them anyway. Most of the fights are easy to explain (don’t stand in shit, pick up adds, interrupt the heals) so as long as someone’s done the instance, it’s not a big deal. Anyone who refuses to run with a new person probably needs to be carried.

  4. slice213 Says:

    Indeed. Knowledge is power. Knowing the fights and being confident will help out 100%. πŸ™‚

    Lack of confidence will kill a run/raid faster then not moving out of a fire. If you think you will fail, you probably will fail.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I swear I had already written that line before I saw your post! I didn’t steal it!

      Confidence does seem to be crucial. It can’t just be coincidence that some people have a super easy time with pugs and others, of the same gear and skill level, are constantly abused. (Note that everyone has bad experiences once in awhile, but I’m talking about general experience.)

      Everyone is a bit anxious, and thus edgy, at the beginning of a heroic pug, so groups tend to relax and to work together better when someone confident acts as a leader.

  5. saif Says:

    I’ve had the opposite problem, where my PuG healers drop out either because they’re demoralized or just get frustrated with the group’s inability to get a boss down.

    I try my best to communicate with healers when I’m tanking, and find it really frustrating when healers won’t talk to me. When we’re wiping on a boss at sub 1-million, I tend to ask if it would be okay for me to go for damage over self-healing and most of the time I never get any feedback from the healers, or if I ask them how they want to coordinate cool-downs, I really wish someone would say “you pop yours and then I’ll give you mine 30seconds afterward” or whatever.

    When I do get a healer who starts talking to me right off the bat, I know we’re going to have a good time. I think healers have a lot – a LOT – to communicate and I wish they’d be more vocal about their part as right now, it’s the most important role in the party.

    • Ophelie Says:

      It’s nice to hear a tank’s perspective. I always run as a healer, so it’s hard for me to know what other healers are like! I’ve been going mostly on comments and blog posts.

      Seems like you mostly run into the “curl up in the corner” types. I dunno what it is about us healers, we seem to be really easily intimidated. Like we’re so afraid of being blamed for everything that we run away from any situation where we could potentially be blamed.

      Healers! You’ve seen it here first! Tanks WANT us to communicate with them just as much as we them to communicate with us!

      • saif Says:

        I don’t know why healers are so defensive. They’re awesome, their job is harder, I appreciate them for doing the heavy lifting and want to include them as equal partners!

        Healers! I love you guys! Please talk to me and we’ll make heroics seem easy. πŸ˜€

  6. Dreaming Says:

    Hi here, long time since I took time to read one of my favorite blogs πŸ™‚
    Excellent post, as so many you’ve already written, thank you for sharing your views and knowledge.

    I have myself been slow with Cataclysm, only reached 85 last week with my shaman. Yes I know shame on me but I deserted my paladin and I fear your views about holy paladin gameplay going 2 buttons again soon might be correct.
    So my guildies are all already geared in full heroics and raiding most of the week, while I sit at a bit more than what is needed for heroics (something like 340 average) and try my daily runs.

    My main problem is time. I have a lot of work with the new job I started early December, and rarely more than 2 hours to give to wow on an evening. After having dealt with dailies (cooking, terrazane …etc) I usually have about 1 hour to 1 and a half hour left.
    I usually jump into the random heroic queue right after my cooking daily, and enters after a few more dailies done.
    Some groups are ok, some less, most bosses means a few wipes and drops from players. And nearly every day, after nearly 2 hours, we’re not done with the instance. More than often we’re on the last boss, on the 3rd or 4th wipe, changing dpsers which are a bit too low to achieve it. I’ve already overrun my time by half an hour, and finally drop myself because I need some sleep.
    Even though I really enjoy the fact that instances are finally really heroics. And that players will have to learn skills that they forgot or never learned during the LK era, I sort of feel frustrated to not being able to finish any heroic out of weekends.
    I know that players are learning, but some are really not good enough for heroics, be it gear or skill, I’m sorry to say that 3 hours for a single instance is way too much for me.
    So for now, I’m saving my time and avoiding heroics during the week at least, leveling my crafts and reputations instead. I find it time much better invested, until most players are able to go through an instance in less than 2 hours.

    Have fun, and I hope you’ll enjoy raids as much as you seem to enjoy heroics πŸ™‚

    • Ophelie Says:

      If you’re limited on time, pugging heroics definitely isn’t for you! Some of them can be fast (I looooove the ones where I zone in at the last boss!) but there’s no way of knowing when you queue.

      They’re reasonable in length if you can run with experienced guildies though. Not as challenging, but at least you get your points within a reasonable time span! I’m not sure what your guild situation is, but it’s really worth finding some friendly, yet competent people to run with. (As much as I like the challenge of pugging, I do run with guildies fairly often too.)

      As for pally healing, it’s actually turning out pretty good. They somehow managed to tune damage in a way that makes paladin raid healing possible. We have a lot of short CDs to play with and fit into combos, so I’m constantly planning my next move. Shaman healing looks like fun too though. And our shaman are just tearing up the meters with healing rain.

  7. Syl Says:

    I don’t have that in me, there’s only so much educating I wanna do outside my job. πŸ™‚ kudos to those healers though who bother.

    I’ve actually tried to pug once the other night and thought I was lucky to get ToT, but I ended up in a group where the DK always trumped the MT in aggro and the boomkin wouldn’t listen to tactics but only reply “gogogo!” before every pull. after wiping on the 1st boss 7 times like this, I called it quits. I guess I could’ve initiated vote-kicks but I seriously couldn’t bother to, there’s absolutely nothing I can learn from these groups but patience and you can also have too much patience in this life. -.-

    • Ophelie Says:

      Marking for CC or explaining the fights (generally consisting of pick up adds, don’t stand in shit, interrupt when DBM freaks out) is anybody’s job, really, not just the tanks. I wrote about the scenarios where you have to be the leader here, but most the time, tanks have a good idea what they’re doing.

      It sucks that your pug group ended up being crappy. I’m more of the type who’ll vote-kick before leaving (stubborn pally that I am), but when you find yourself in a “head, meet wall” situation where you know there’s no way this group will ever pull it off, leaving is your only other option.

  8. Windsoar Says:

    Just reading this, I’m thinking, “she has the patience of a saint,” and I just KNOW it’s not going to be me. I can make it through almost any PUG so long as I can rely on the tank, but once I get the bad ‘un there, I usually notify my team I can’t work with them, and give them the option.

    Usually, it’s me.

    I also can’t control my snarkiness when it comes to DPS dying in the fire, as I don’t make a huge effort to save those standing in bad effects once I notify them that they’re standing in goo/fire/black hole of doom. I’ve lost a few groups that way too πŸ˜› Apparently, having a large mana pool means that you must heal everyone whether they’re being stupid or not.

    The only thing I would take exception to in your article is the “I am healer, hear me rawr!” I queue equally as a healer and dps so I can keep both roles sharp, and I have met some pretty mean-tempered and ugly healers. Bossy Pally RAWR is likely not a Windsoar RAWR on her best day, so advising people to pull the healer trump card (like that awful tank trump card) always twists my feathers the wrong way!

    Great post!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Sometimes you have to play the healer trump card. It needs to be played wisely- if you’re wrong, you automatically make 4 enemies, but when you’ve got a group arguing on a strategy or a group that just can’t fall in line, you have to choose between trumping the argument or waste at least 15 minutes arguing or wiping. I’ve played it a few times and it’s gone over well. Seems like groups are just thankful to end the argument. They don’t call me the bossy pally for nothing. ;D

      It is a lot easier when you have a tank who knows what he’s doing. Most of them do by now. I’ve had a few bad tanks, but usually they give up right away and run off screaming “OMG L2PLAYNOOBS”, so the ones I end up explaining the instance to are usually new, but easygoing.

      I totally let people die in the fire. I mean, I’ll heal them if I can, but the tank always gets priority. I know healers worry a lot about this, but I’ve honestly never had any problems. I quietly do my triage based on what we need to beat the pull (higher/smarter dps always gets healed over stupid or low dps) and I rez the morons when I can. One warrior made a comments about how I could have healed him, I answered “well, if you want me to stop healing the tank…”. He thought it was hilarious and we were super best buddies for the rest of the instance. I dunno, maybe I’m just really lucky ^_^

  9. Mysticfey Says:

    What I love the most about pugging is the DK dps and the ret pally. Immediately after the tank pulls, each of them takes one mob, grabs aggro and never once waits for the tank to get it bank. A simple bubble to remove aggro would be enough, but no! They have to tank it all the way and when they die, “WTF Heals?!”


    Count to three.

    /p Pls. Let the tank grab aggro first, thank you.

    Do it over again.

    Same thing happens,

    And I get kicked.

    Pugging really has it’s moments, you just have to leave your expectations behind when you start any group.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Definitely gotta go in expecting the worst! Groups tend to try to expel the odd person out: a group of morons will be quick to vote kick the only intelligent player. Thankfully us healers have short queues! Besides, if the dps doesn’t understand aggro, even after dying a few times, they fall into the “hopeless case” category and you really don’t want to be running with them anyway.

      I get the melee aggro addicts a lot in regular randoms, not so much in heroics. I guess they learn faster after getting 1-shotted.

  10. Wahbash Says:

    Great advice. Personally, I am usually the last person to ditch a difficult PuG (even when I probably should have), and it sometimes pays off.

    Just the other night, I joined an (in progress) Heroic HoO Pug, which was hopelessly stuck on the first boss. I had a bad feeling about the group right from the start, and it was apparent that no one know the fights. After a few wipes, I was convinced the group didnt stand a chance in hell of getting past the first boss, let alone completing the instance, but for some dumb reason I hated to ditch them. I suggested a revised strategy, and we managed to prevail.

    Each succeeding boss fight then seemed to go a little bit better, but I kept saying to myself “Yeah, but we’ll never survive the NEXT boss.” To my amazement, we eventually finished the instance, 1-shotting the last 2 bosses, and getting me three great upgrades. I was SO glad I stuck it out, and our group ended up having a wonderful time in the process.

    Horray for Patience!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yay! I love stories like that!

      There is such a world of difference between “doesn’t know” and “doesn’t want”. There’s not much one can do about “doesn’t want”, but when it’s just a question of “doesn’t know”, the results can be surprising.

      I had a similar adventure in BRC yesterday, where we didn’t let our lock do beams because he didn’t know how to do it. But after wiping a few times on Corla because the other 2 beam tanks (I had the 3rd beam- it’s actually easy to do as a healer) kept screwing up, I suggested we just teach the lock how to do it, after all, he couldn’t be any worse. He got it perfectly on his first try.

      Sometimes the length of heroics is a good thing, since, when you get a civilized group, you get to meet new cool people and have a chance to bond with them. It’s a shame that once you go your own ways after the run, you can’t team up with them again.

  11. Isseit Says:

    Hah, I’m glad I’m not the only Holydin who loves to pug. Doubly glad to know I’m not insane for doing so.

    For me, it was the randomness of every group – some runs I’ll get the silent group who know what to do and finish in a few wipes, sometimes I’ll get a couple of noisy dps who do the right thing after a few pushes, and sometimes you get the stubbornly bad ones who you have to persevere until they leave/get booted.

    Once, I was put into a 4/1 guild run that invited me to vent, organised cc carefully, spent a few minutes discussing loot after bosses and so on. That was a really refreshing change.

    And as you’ve said, it really is great practise for disaster moments – runs with guildies can get very samey and perhaps too easy if they overgear the content – I tend to play the “dont go below x mana” game when I run with my guild’s tank.

    Part 3 is a really really good point. To expand on it, I noticed when I got frustrated and started sneaking in Skull marks, the adds got focused much more reliably, meaning I saw the interrupts and quick kills I wanted.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I wonder if pugging is easier for us Holydins since we have a few “heal stupid” buttons via Hand of Salv and Hand of Protection. And bubble to hide from friendly fire.

      I love the randomness and variety of pugs too. And it’s fun, getting to discover new personalities. Not everyone is pleasant, but my good experiences by far outweigh the bad. I have yet to be invited into a 4/5 guild run’s vent, but I did invite a pug tank onto vent for a 4/5 guild run of my guild once. It was pretty cool.

      About marks, I’ve noticed that when I start sneaking mine in, the tanks wisen up and start marking on their own. It’s like they’re very possessive of their marks. But yeah, when it comes to getting a group to focus fire, it’s amazing what a skull can do.

  12. Lument Says:

    “Part 6: Communicate” – This is the foundation in my opinion. Spoken/written language separates us from animals and has let us accomplish everything we know. Yet it also brings nations to war and can turn love to hate. I love that you mention to use ‘gentle’ language.

    Regarding guild run versus PUG runs. I have found guild runs fail when people expect it to be easier because it is a guild group. Sometimes they forget that communicating the plan/strategy/approach is still necessary. As such, some of these points absolutely apply. If I run with guildies, I require them to get on vent simply because it is easier to communicate and makes for a very fast, smooth run.

    “but there’s nothing quite as rewarding as leading a group of adorable morons to success.” – I LOL’ed for real.

    Thank you for your thoughts, great stuff!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks for your comment ^_^

      I’ve noticed that about guild runs too. It’s like when we’d run farm content back in Wrath- when we expected it to be easy, we’d slack off and make a lot of stupid mistakes.

  13. […] her most recent blog post, Ophelie tells us why healing PuGs can work out and how healers can contribute to that success. I’d never have the willingness or dedication (and I secretly suspect her to create her own WoW […]

  14. Vihmera Says:

    I was just about to give up on pugging. But this post gave me some great ideas and newly inspired hope πŸ˜€

    Thanks for taking the time to write it up!

  15. Nic Says:

    As a healer who pugs almost daily, I really appreciated this post! Most of my guildies seem to think I’m a sadist, too, but I need the practice and the gear! Thanks for making me feel a little less insane, and giving some great tips to preserve that sanity. πŸ™‚

  16. Mibbs Says:

    Don’t forget Triangle = Hex!

    And yeah, I’ve fallen in love with the new level of difficulty in heroics. The first few runs I didn’t, where I felt like an ass for even existing I was doing so terribly, but I’ve gotten my confidence back. Things like getting that goddamn worm boss in stonecore down after six or so attempts makes it awesome.
    One thing I’ve had to do (especially as a shaman) is get used to the concept of CCing mobs as a healer. At first I was horrified, I could miss! But as you mentioned, healers have that birds eye view that other classes lack. I see a mob casting out in the back and I’ll try to interrupt it to bring it over, or hex a mob that broke cc.
    One big change from wrath is how appreciative some groups can be. It makes my day when someone in the group stops before the last boss and says “Wow, this was a really good group!”. In wrath that meant you had basic motor functions and could slap at least a few appropriate keys. Now its a genuine compliment πŸ˜€

    • Ophelie Says:

      Definitely! Healers will often talk about the negative comments they get, but I’ve been praised far more often than I’ve been bashed. And it feels really, really good.

      I haven’t had the opportunity to CC as a healer since I’m a paladin, but I do use my hammer of justice a lot. A lot! I wish I did have a CC, I think it would come in handy a lot. I’d still let DPS have priority over the CC assignments (if nothing else, most really enjoy CCing and contributing more than just damage), but I’ve broken many a sweat over stray mobs.

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