Healing Classes and History

(or, Why the Hell do I Have All Four Healing Classes??!?!)

Yep. It’s true. I finally have all four healing classes at max level. I’m still not sure why, exactly, but I do. As such, I feel the need to discuss some of the differences and such between them. This isn’t going to be a direct comparison between all the four classes and five specs, but more my own history and views on each. I feel that I’ve spent a lot of time recently giving out information, which I love to do, but haven’t spent a ton of time on me/my classes/my history, despite the whole “I hate my guild” post last week. So this is a fair amount of rambling about my history with my healers in the game. You’ve been warned. ;)

Continue reading “Healing Classes and History”

Thoughts about Tree of Life.

Disclaimer: Though I have a level 80 druid who is specced as both bear and tree, this is my most recent level 80. I have done exceedingly little raid content with the tree. I do heal a lot of heroics with it and I do tank a lot of heroics on the druid, but this is all in the last few months. Having said that, I remember when Tree of Life was introduced and I remember druids in caster form healing in their Cenarion gear (T1) in MC. (My brother’s shoulders always looked like they could use a good trimming.)

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way… Honestly, people, make up your minds. Druids hated tree form when it first came out. My brother reluctantly specced into it at level 60 (he was one of our guild’s best healers) and we promptly called him a Tree of Lawl.

He hated it. Not only could he not see his actual character any longer, nor could he see his armor, he had this stupid slow mechanic attached to being in tree form. But the Tree of Life buff was just THAT GOOD back then. Plus there were things like reduced healing cost on your HoTs when you were in tree form. Something like that. Right?

My good RL friend the resto druid (with whom I am currently guilded) has told me, on several occasions, that she HATES Tree form. Loathes it. In fact, now that all ToL does is add the 6% healing buff, she will rarely be in tree form if we run heroics. Hell, when she was decked out in Sunwell gear, she never switched to tree form for heroics in BC, even though the mana cost was so much greater in caster form. I haven’t actually asked her opinion of the potential upcoming change, but I can only presume she will be thrilled.

For me, I’m not a huge fan of it. ToL is fine as it is, though — now that druids can decurse in tree form and don’t have that stupid slow on them. Did you know that once upon a time in Apotheosis, a resto druid was locked out of Netherspite’s room because he hadn’t managed to run all the way into the room yet before someone aggroed? Yeah. /facepalm.

It’s not that I mind being in a form and I do think that forms are a key part of the druid class. It’s that tree form visually sucks. Until recently, I think all the forms sucked. Every single freaking druid looked identical in all their forms until they updated the bear and cat models. You ever notice that, at a quick glance, a resto druid in tree is almost identical to a balance druid’s treants? The treants are smaller and there are more of them, of course, but still!

If I took the time and energy to pick a face/skin colour/etc for my druid, I should not look like another spec’s cooldown.



Tree of Life

Okay, my bad. The treants have green leaves.

That is still not cool with me.

When I was levelling Kurn, my brother was levelling his druid. It was the COOLEST THING EVER that he could be a bear or a cat! It was awesome! I was in awe of moonkins, who had to SPEC into their form. I was even amazed by aquatic form! When druids got flight forms, I was in awe. I even thought that tree of life at least had cool benefits.

But in WotLK, they’ve changed ToL. The talent itself, not the form, has all that mana saving stuff baked into it. Hell, with a paladin with improved devotion aura around, you don’t actually HAVE to shift into tree form.

This is why I think they feel that Tree of Life form is expendable. There ARE a lot of people out there who hate that they can’t see their toons or their armor that they’ve worked hard for and I’m sure that they look at the WotLK version of ToL and go “well, really, what good is this?”. And it’s not that good, unless you’re in an arena and have improved ToL to help out your armor.

Bear and cat forms are already very nichey. You HAVE to be in bear to get all the modifiers and abilities to tank properly. You HAVE to be in cat to get all the modifiers and abilities to melee DPS properly.

Moonkin… it’s like they don’t want to screw with the moonkins because they have such a cult following. People love moonkins for the dance alone. And possibly because moonkins are SO ludicrous looking. My resto druid friend? LOVES moonkin form and because of that, balance is her offspec.

Besides, all those forms have been in the game since the beginning (or close to it).

Tree form has not.

I think that resto druids should be able to shift into something — it’s what druids do, after all — but it has to be meaningful. Tree of Life, as it is, is not meaningful. It’s fancy artwork. And not even that fancy. It’s just artwork.

What really irks me about all of this discussion, though, is the idea that resto druids are “giving up utility” by being in Tree form.

Sorry, they’re DOING THEIR JOBS. Sure, as a holy paladin, in holy gear, in about 50% Ulduar gear and 50% Naxx gear, I could pull 2k DPS on the burn phase to launch us into XT hard mode.

But I am under no delusion that, in normal circumstances, I am supposed to DPS. What other utility could the druids bring? Moonfire or Wrath spam? Really? What else are they going to do if not cast balance spells, being all decked out in spellpower (sorry, intellect) gear?

So it seems to me that there are three issues at hand:

1) Tree of Life form, as it stands, is useless. The devs also believe that druids should not be locked out of utility the way they are by being restricted to that form.

2) Some people hate Tree of Life form, dating back to its introduction.

3) Some people feel that the shapeshifting act is a core part of being a druid and for restoration to NOT have one is a giant step backwards in the life of a resto druid.

I’ll wait to see what beta brings on this “cooldown” form. For all we know, mana cost could be reduced by 75% on all spells for one minute. For all we know, it could contain a group innervate. For all we know, it could boost the strength of tranquility by 500%. We DON’T know what the plans are.

But I do know that I hate looking like a treant and that ToL is basically useless in PVE at this point in time. So I’ll wait to see what the deal is before I start freaking out.

Kurn's Q&A #11

As it’s patch day for 3.3.3, I highly anticipate servers dying and being unavailable and such, so I thought I’d sit down and hammer this out. (Speaking of, I’ve been very quiet on the subject of 3.3.3. This is primarily because they aren’t nerfing paladins or hunters. Which is a shocking, but welcome, change. Seems like they ALWAYS nerf one of the two.)

1) divine shield mutated plague / “mutated plague” mechanics / grid mutated plague

Okay, let’s talk about Mutated Plague then, shall we? ;)

Mutated Plague is the debuff that the tanks get in phase 3 of the Professor Putricide encounter. The debuff causes raid damage. The more stacks on a target, the more damage the raid takes. This is why a 2-tank strategy in 10m and 3-tank strategy in 25m is usually recommended. They taunt the boss in turn, rotating who gets stacks to help control the raid damage.

In my 25m raids, the taunt rotation goes thusly:

Tank 1 – 2 stacks of Mutated Plague -> Tank 2 – 2 stacks -> Tank 3 – 2 stacks -> Tank 1 – 1 additional for 3 stacks -> Tank 2 – 1 additional for 3 stacks -> Tank 3 – 1 additional for 3 stacks – > Tank 1 – 1 additional for 4 stacks

And so on. So it’s 2 stacks, then a total of 3, then a total of 4.

Thing is, if the stacks drop, you heal Putricide for a certain number multiplied by the number of stacks on the tank who dropped them. That means that if the stacks drop, for ANY reason, you just healed him for a ton of health. Divine Shield WILL wipe off stacks (Divine Protection will not, Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian will not). And so will death. So to get through Putricide, it’s pretty imperative that no tanks drop their stacks.

Anyone using Grid who wants to know when the taunt is supposed to happen should ABSOLUTELY put it in Grid.

Status, Auras, Add new Debuff, type in Mutated Plague. Then, Frame, Center Icon, add a tick next to Debuff: Mutated Plague.


2) icc loot 10 man holy paladin

Honestly, I’m not terribly familiar with ICC 10 loot, but let’s take a look. I’ll just post some pieces from 10m normal. Obviously, if the piece isn’t plate, make sure no one of that armor class needs it more than you. Pass to your shammies, druids and casters and don’t be a dick. :) And, of course, this is all my humble opinion, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt. I’m evaluating all the loot on its own merits (or potential merits, in terms of tier possibilities) and does not take into consideration all the stuff you’re probably wearing. Note that I highly recommend 2pc T10 if only for the set bonus!

From Lord Marrowgar:

Coldwraith Bracers: Nicely itemized for a holy paladin. Haste, intellect, a socket for another +20 int gem. Don’t let the lack of crit scare you off; since the Illumination nerf to 30%, mp5 is a more reliable method of mana regeneration than crit is.

Ancient Skeletal Boots: Ehhhhh. No haste. Despite being a higher ilvl, not a significant upgrade from 245-level Boots of the Courageous. There are better boots in here for you.

Frost Needle: I know, I know. It has hit on it. Don’t steal this from any caster who has a legitimate use for the +hit. This is a nice sword for us, though — haste, intellect, spellpower. I’d value this over another weapon that drops later, actually.

Corrupted Silverplate Leggings: Sweet legs. I’d prefer mp5 to the crit, to be honest, but these are a solid pair of pants. Given that our tier pants kind of blow, IMHO, you should definitely pick these up if you can.

From Lady Deathwhisper:

Boots of the Frozen Seed: Moonkin loot, really. But if your boots suck, go for it. Great stats.

Deathspeaker Disciple’s Belt: Great belt.


Ice-Reinforced Vrykul Helm: Not too bad, compared to our T10 (251) helm. It’s actually better in a couple of aspects. However, if you ever think you’ll be in a 25m for a token or a 10m heroic for a token to upgrade a piece of tier to 264, the clear winner would be our T10 helm. Otherwise, it’s a nice hat!

Bracers of Pale Illumination: The Marrowgar bracers are, IMHO, better than these. Don’t go for the socket bonus for +4 intellect; it’s not worth what you’d lose from 20 intellect to 10 or something. If the socket had been yellow, it would have had a fighting chance. As it is, get the Marrowgar bracers if you can. These are still a good second choice, though.

Deathbringer Saurfang:

Soulcleave Pendant: Beauty. Snag it!


Festergut’s Gaseous Gloves: On the surface, better than the 251 Tier 10 gloves. And better than the 264s. Actually, they’re pretty darn good gloves to have over the tier, all the way up to 277 level. I personally prefer the Gauntlets of Overexposure from the Emblem of Frost vendor for 60 Emblems. Two sockets, like the Festergut gloves, but haste (which neither Festergut’s gloves nor any of our tier pieces have), a goodly amount of crit and intellect. So really, I’d pass on the gloves off Festergut unless you really have no way of ever getting 60 Emblems of Frost and your gloves are crap. Dreamwalker has a nice pair, though.

Signet of Putrefaction: Pretty ring! Very nice if you can’t get Marrowgar’s Frigid Eye, which is BOE. Your other ring, of course, should be your rep ring from the Ashen Verdict.


Shuffling Shoes: Remember that I was talking about better boots for you? These are the ones I was talking about. The leather ones off Deathwhisper have more haste, but these have haste, mp5 and two yellow sockets for an extra bonus of +4mp5 if you’re stacking +20 intellect gems. Earthsoul Boots are still better, but in a 10m setting, these are very nice.

Choker of Filthy Diamonds: Comparable to the Soulcleave Pendant. Based on your current stats, you’ll either want the tiny bit of extra int and the crit from the Pendant or the extra mp5 on the Choker.


Chestplate of Septic Stitches: Ooh, pretty! Too bad all the sockets are red. And there’s no haste. (Yes, hi, I’m a haste whore.) Honestly, I’d save up for the Lightsworn Tunic. But if you’re at 676 haste or more without your chest, then this is a solid upgrade for you out of 10m ICC. Still, there are other options.

Rippling Flesh Kilt: Pretty much awesome for pants. Even if they’re a kilt. Snag ’em if you can’t get the Marrowgar pants.


Heartsick Mender’s Cape: A cloak with a socket and haste on it, unlike the Emblem of Frost vendor cloak? Yes, please!

Cerise Coiled Ring: Good alternative to the Signet of Putrefaction, but definitely second-best, IMHO.

Blood Queen:

Chestguard of Siphoned Elements: Amazing itemization for a paladin. This is actually better, IMHO, than T10’s 251 chest, but again, the T10 is upgradeable. This is not.

Tightening Waistband: My goodness, look. It’s plate. Why is all the great gear built for shammies? :P Honestly, though, you want Belt of the Lonely Noble (BOE from ICC 25) or Lich Killer’s Lanyard from the Emblem of Frost vendor. If you have neither, this is a great option out of 10m ICC.


Emerald Saint’s Spaulders: Meh. I much prefer the Lightsworn Spaulders for the haste, but 2 sockets vs. 1 makes the Dreamwalker 10 shoulders very appealing.

Stormbringer Gloves: Another strong option for gloves.


Shoulderguards of Crystalline Bone: Better than the Emerald Saint’s Spaulders, to be sure, particularly with the haste.

Lost Pavise of the Blue Flight: No-brainer. Get it! Great itemization. Too bad there’s no socket, but honestly, this is a beauty.

Lich King:

Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer: Stats are so-so. But hey, it’s from the Lich King, is ilvl 258 (same as Trial of the Grand Crusader) and it’s like, UTHER’S mace from his holy set! Heh. :)


3) blessing of protection on sindragosa

Does absolutely nothing, sorry. :(

4) how to make a spell power set for dreamwalker

Without totally regemming everything that you regularly use? Yeah, not the easiest thing in the universe. I bought my tier chest and my tier gloves and gemmed them for spellpower (since I wanted to have my full tier anyways, even if I’m not using it) and I swap out Glyph of Seal of Wisdom for Glyph of Seal of Light. I have a pair of shoulders I use that are gemmed up with spellpower, too. Apart from that, you can always go back a tier and use T9 stuff. Heck, you can get T9 from emblems of triumph, so you can always get the T9 pieces and wear 3 of those (maintaining 2pc T10) if you don’t have old gear, etc.

5) should healers only run back?

Absolutely not. People who can resurrect should rez people if they die after the fight. If your rezzer runs, you run. Period.

6) warrior rage mechanics “shielded”

Check out WoWWiki: “As of Patch 3.1, will still allow warriors and druids to generate rage from damage absorbed.” So it’s fine. :)

7) stop casting divine plea

You can right-click it off, or use a macro like this:

#showtooltip divine plea
/cancelaura divine plea
/cast divine plea

So on your first click, you’ll cast Divine Plea. On your second click, you will cancel it. I do NOT use this macro because if I accidentally click twice (in the clicking-furiously process), I’m screwed.

Alternately, have

/cancelaura divine plea

as a separate button.

8) how do i keep judgements of the pure

Make sure you judge at least once a minute to maintain your Judgements of the Pure buff. Be aware that your judgements can MISS.

9) how to tank as a druid

Use Maul, use Swipe, use Mangle, use Lacerate. Done. ;) Seriously, check out this post at Big Bear Butt.

10) old school flasks elixir master

Yep, elixir masters can proc old-school flasks like Distilled Wisdom. Not that I proc often…. but I HAVE procced it. :)

Quick update.

First of all, I AM working on my third Holy How-To post. It’s long. There are many screenshots and links. But I am definitely working on it!

Secondly, I’ve seen some serious fail lately. The latest morons:

– An 80 fury warrior, specced with Titan’s Grip… using one 2H weapon. And nothing else in his other hand. Sadly, I’ve forgotten his name.

Holymeatbag, an 80 holy paladin, specced 68/3/0 and STILL managed to miss out maxing out Holy Power (3/5) and Holy Guidance (1/5). I may be a little squishy yet, but dude wasn’t keeping Beacon on anyone or shielding me or anything of the sort in Heroic TOC. As such, I died on Paletress. And if I hadn’t used my abundance of cooldowns (my trinket for extra dodge, a healthstone, a healing potion, Survival Instincts, Lifeblood, Frenzied Regeneration and Barkskin!), I would have died again after the wipe. I got H TOC again as a random later in the evening and was healed just fine by the resto shammy. Highly recommend you all ignore this guy.

In positive news, for once, my guild got 25-man Blood Queen Lana’thel on Monday night. HIGHLY recommend that the RL get and use the following mod:

BloodQueen at WoWInterface

We also one-shotted Valithria and, although I dropped my stacks once, it was only once! I got a lot better at making sure I got a stack just before the portal phase ended.

In news with my druid/my brother’s hunter/our friend’s DK…

My druid has 2/5 T9 resto but still has better feral gear, haha. My brother’s hunter is practically as well-geared as Kurn is, which depresses me to no end. He’s got 4/5 T9 (232), the Crusader’s Dragonscale Breastplate and Bracers (thanks to me), the True-aim Rifle out of H TOC, the staff from regular FoS, a Darkmoon Card: Greatness (90 agi, obviously) that I made for him, the 245 ilvl badge ring… Seriously. It makes me sad. Especially because tomorrow, he’ll be giving me a primordial saronite and I’ll craft him Rock-Steady Treads. :(

Our DK buddy has 1/5 T9 (shoulders!) and a 245 sigil, which he was very happy to get, haha. His gear is still pretty low, but he’s at 540 defense and 22k health unbuffed. With some consumables and the random dungeon buff, he gets about 30-31k buffed. His dodge and parry are still pretty low, but I imagine that’ll improve as he gets his other tier pieces.

I’m getting a lot of practice on the druid, both healing and tanking. My Swipe is actually holding aggro and my mana pool and regen are sustaining me fairly well, to the point where I rarely need to drink and can even keep innervating my brother’s hunter.

I was thinking about why I like my druid, earlier tonight. I mean, it’s a tree and it’s a bear. I fit the two most sought-after roles in the game and I’m not horrible at them. I think the utility is really what I enjoy about the toon. I can tank and heal on Madrana too, of course, but I think I really enjoy bear tanking as compared to pally tanking. I think I prefer pally healing to druid healing, but there’s a certain elegance to druid healing that’s lacking on the paladin. I can brute force heal darn near anything on my pally. But I actually have to make decisions on my druid while healing that will have repercussions over the next few seconds, as the health builds up slowly.

That’s completely opposed to pally healing, where I strive to keep everyone topped off at all times, rather than letting Wild Growth heal most people up, because I don’t have much in the way of “set-it-and-forget-it” heals on the pally. I guess that druid healing challenges me a bit more than paladin healing in terms of healing intelligently. Pally healing is characterized for me by long periods of casting the same spell, followed by frantic button mashing to get buffs up, then more of the same.

Anyways. I do still have lots to say about pally stuff, so stay tuned for Holy How-To number 3. :)

… and one day, ICC raid strats. :P

Genuine compliment or not?

So tonight, my brother hit 80 on his hunter. We did a random heroic (Old Kingdom — which spawned the previous post to the “tanks” of the Bloodlust Battlegroup) and we did regular TOC and I tanked heroic Utgarde Keep…

And then he needed 7 more badges to get the Mirror of Truth. So we queued up again; me as a tank/healer, him as a DPS, obviously.

We got The Nexus and I breathed a sigh of relief, although I was tanking. I know the instance, I know the boss fights, I know how trash works. I had about 29k health, fully buffed (mark, kings, no fort) and off we went.

I swear to God, I thought the DPS warrior was actively taunting off of me. Until I checked his gearscore. 5300 or thereabouts. Mine, as comparison, is about 2800. Still, I was doing okay on single targets. The issue would arise when the warrior’s whirlwind would simply out-threat my swipe.

So we’ve done the mini boss, the caster boss and Anomolous and we’re at trash towards the rock boss, when the warrior says, apropos of nothing:


The holy paladin said:

“lol i agree” “amazing”

I didn’t say anything. Were they being sincere? Or were they being sarcastic dicks? You never know with these people.

So at the end of the run, I say:

“Thanks very much for the group, everyone. Apologies for not holding aggro too well on multiple mobs. :)”

The pally comes back with:

“ur amazing”

And the DK said “psh did great”

The warrior had already left the group by the time the pally had said anything.

So I don’t know. Maybe the warrior was being a sarcastic ass, but it seems like the pally thought I did great for my gear and the DK seemed to not mind too much.

If any of them were at all sincere, I really hope that what they take away from the run is not that I am awesome, but rather, GearScore does not make a player. GearScore shows a player’s potential maximum output and nothing else. Like, nothing I could possibly do could help my Swipe out-threat the warrior. At all. But that’s a gear issue. As it was, I was relatively good with single target threat and I didn’t let things beat on the pally and I was super-quick to growl at things or even use Challenging Roar. I like to think that I pushed at the limits of my gear.

I think it really helped that I’ve tanked the instance on regular and tanked it on both regular and heroic on my pally. Damn me if I didn’t miss Righteous Defense something fierce, though. :P

Maybe ignorance IS bliss / Divine Plea offsets

I admit it. I remain almost entirely ignorant when it comes to the Blood Prince Council fight. And yet…

Basically, I heal the living crap out of my target while having a beacon on another tanking person and stay away from anything I see that is obviously bad.

And I get an achievement for my ignorance and I beat out the other holy pally on the meters, even though he used Judgement of Light, haha!

Speaking of numbers, I really have to remind myself, frequently, that meters suck. It’s kind of hard not to put faith in them, though, when you’re doing well. ;D Honestly, it just means that people weren’t healing my target and sniping my heals. I know that. But it looks so pretty! I mean, look at this from an attempt on Blood Queen Lana’thel!

Truthfully, I have to say that the two-piece Tier 10 bonus for holy paladins has changed my entire playstyle.

It is this:

While your Divine Illumination talent is active, your heals are 35% stronger.

I have a keybound macro to take advantage of that. Shift-S pops Divine Illumination and then Divine Plea. So I’m at 85% of my ability instead of 50%. This almost certainly means a tank will not die when I pop Divine Plea. Not only that, but everything is super cheap to cast! AND I’m regenerating mana?! Hi, two-piece, I love you. Marry me.

I generally pop it when I realize my mana is at about 60-65%, will probably refresh Beacon and Sacred Shield and continue spamming merrily along. Then when Divine Plea is up again, I’m usually down to about 35-40% of my mana. So I pop Divine Plea with the Talisman of Resurgence to offset it. So instead of healing for 12-13k, I’m healing for around 10k. Totally worth it.

Then, next time Divine Plea comes up, I still have Avenging Wrath if I really can’t wait another minute for Divine Illumination to be up again. Instead of 12-13k, I’m healing for about 8k. Less worth it, but it’s better than not having any mana, particularly in a situation where I can’t melee to regen or can’t even spare the globals to judge in the hopes of a Seal of Wisdom proc.

Thinking about it, I should probably pop DivIll/Divine Plea around 70% mana to ensure that I CAN wait a little between DP coming off cooldown and using my trinket and then waiting for Divine Illumination to come back up after DP comes back up after using the trinket with it.

Anyways. Healing meters are bad and I feel like a bad player for not really caring enough to know the details of the Blood Prince Council fight and I should adjust my Divine Plea usage just a wee bit.

Oh, and in brief other news, Maj, my brother and I pretty much ruin Old Kingdom, Drak’Tharon and Violet Hold. No kidding, my brother does leet hunter DPS after a quick respec. And Maj got a couple of upgrades today to render him uncrittable by a boss 3 levels higher than him. And my tree got nothing except experience, which is fine. I’m level 76 now. And totally out of rested! WOE IS ME, people. WOE.

… I need to stop posting stuff at 6-7am.

Druid and Priest levelling

I spent a little while running a few random dungeons on my now-level-72 Disc priest over on Eldre’Thalas on Friday and ran a couple randoms on my level 73 resto/feral tank druid today, with my brother on his level 72 hunter.

Some observations:

1) Priests are excessively squishy. Like, ow.

2) Also on the priest, I ran with a tank who refused to allow the hunter with us to tame a wolf in Utgarde Keep. That’s the bad news, that he (or she) didn’t read party chat AT ALL. Or if they did, they didn’t understand English. The good news is that every single time the hunter pulled the wolf he wanted off the tank, the tank would Death Grip it riiiiight back. So… good tank. Except that they didn’t read party chat.

3) Mass dispell is pretty freaking phenomenal. Properly specced (with 2/2 Focused Power) that’s a .5 second cast. Awesome. And the area of effect on it is HUGE.

4) I’ve only cast Greater Heal a couple of times. PW:S + Flash Heal + Flash Heal, with a Renew already there… Honestly, it works well. I’ve used Power Infusion on myself a couple times for a hasted Prayer of Healing and I always forget about Prayer of Mending for the first few pulls, but I think I’m starting to adjust to disc healing.

5) I was strongly expecting to tank on my druid on Saturday afternoon with my brother tagging along as DPS on his hunter, but apparently, healers were in demand today. So we got Nexus. With a tank so dumb that… that I lack a witty punchline that would properly convey his stupidity to you. I’m okay with doing things slightly different here and there, but when you go RIGHT down the Nexus hallway from the start and then clear to the entrance of Anomolous’ wing and keep going for HIM, INSTEAD of going to Ormorok, then I’m going to question your sanity.

The other hunter in the group died at some point. I can’t remember why I didn’t rez him. I think he may have released and zoned back in while we were still in combat. But because of the direction we’d gone and the seriously SCREWED UP path we took through trash, he died twice more while coming to us.

I actually feel badly about this, but I vote kicked him for not staying put and letting us come to him. We got a mage who promptly got himself killed by going left and not seeing the trash. Then he died again while trying to invis through trash to us. What on EARTH is so complicated about “Stay there. We’re coming to you. Don’t move.”??

We eventually wound up killing all the bosses, but the run took close to 45 minutes.

6) My brother dinged 72 while in The Nexus and I was four bars from 74, so we requeued and got Azjol-Nerub. With me healing. Again. Considering how rarely I get to heal on any toon who can tank, I was confused.

So we blow through AN, which is my brother’s first time there. I’m seriously getting used to druid healing. The way I’ve got my Clique setup means that it’s almost like playing the piano. Ctrl-click that, alt-click that, shift-click that. I don’t even know the binds by heart, but it flows really naturally when I’m playing. And I love that I rarely have to use Regrowth or Healing Touch, although I did use Tranquility once in each instance today.

7) Standing in Hadronox’s poison is bad, just FYI. If you are glowing green, you are standing in poison that is going to kill you. Sorry.

8) Okay. Tanks, listen up. How to avoid Anub’arak’s POUND ability and, as a special bonus, Ingvar’s DARK SMASH/SMASH abilities:

Three words: Run through him. Neither one changes direction once the cast is coming. Watch the cast bar. If you see DARK SMASH or SMASH for Ingvar or POUND for Anub’arak, run directly through the boss until you are on his other side.

You may then want to turn around so they don’t beat you from behind when they’re done casting.

We’ll all miss one here or there, but knowing how to deal with these abilities is seriously important in both regular and heroic versions of Utgarde Keep and Azjol-Nerub.

My druid is still 73, 2 bars from 74 and yet I have this overwhelming urge to throw bubbles at people…

Dear DPS…

Dear DPS,

I know we’re in levelling content and that you’re anxious to get your bonus XP from the random dungeon and move on to another one. I get that.

I further recognize that, as it’s levelling content, people’s gear basically sucks and so DPS can be low.

But these two facts do not combine well. If you want to get out of the dungeon faster, please do not pull. Let your tank pull. Please do not CC mobs when your tank is trying to move them or execute a line of sight pull. Please do not stun mobs randomly for extra DPS (ret pallies, I’m talking to YOU about Holy Wrath) because it’s really freaking annoying. (Similarly, anyone with a knockback, if you use it, I will kill you.)

The fact that I have to go around chasing things that didn’t follow me because you CCed it or stunned it does not make for a faster run. The fact that I have to blow Challenging Roar because you ran into a group of mobs and dropped Consecrate ALSO does not make for a faster run.

To continue, Mana Spring Totem is secondary in terms of priorities when your healer is a priest and your ret pally doesn’t know where his Cleanse button is. Drop Cleansing Totem, please, shammies. Pallies, LEARN TO CLEANSE. Every paladin who doesn’t cleanse magic, disease or poisons when their healer is unable to cleanse one of those and there’s no totem, is IMHO, a FAIL. And you make me embarassed to raid as a paladin.

But perhaps you’re just unaware as to who can cleanse what. SO LET’S CLEAR THAT UP, SHALL WE?

1) Paladins can dispell: Diseases, Magic Effects and Poisons with one button – CLEANSE.

2) Druids can dispell: Curses and Poisons with three buttons – Remove Poison, Abolish Poison, Remove Curse.

3) Priests can dispell: Magic Effects (both offensively and defensively) and Diseases with three buttons – Dispell Magic, Mass Dispell and Abolish Disease.

4) Shaman can dispell: Curses, Poisons and Diseases (and can purge Magic offensively using Purge) with 1 button – Cleanse Spirit. Plus the Cleansing Totem removes Poisons and Diseases on a pulse. (Note that all shaman have Cleansing Totem and all shaman can remove poisons and diseases, but only resto shammies can remove curses.)

Do the math. If I’m a paladin tank with a priest healer and 3 non-cleansing DPS classes and I get poisoned, I WILL CLEANSE MYSELF. Get Decursive. Learn to cleanse when needed, people.

Please do not boast to me about your DPS numbers. I do not care. As long as the boss dies or the mobs die, and I can get the hell out of your group, that’s all that matters.

Having said that, the next time I have to tank Jedoga Shadowseeker and my DPS fails to kill the volunteer not once but TWICE, thereby buffing her damage 200%, I will be very, very cranky. Let’s just say I’m happy that I have Barkskin.

First volunteer: Barkskin, Survival Instincts.

Second volunteer: Enrage, Frenzied Regeneration, Lifeblood (go go herbalism) and Barkskin when it came back up.

And to the ridiculously mouthy, braggy ret paladin from my Old Kingdom group, who, it must be said, buffed us with Greater Blessing of Kings… I am SO glad I put your dumb self on ignore. If you want to tank, GO AHEAD AND FREAKING TANK. Do NOT just attack at will. Also, Divine Storm at the START of your rotation, before some of the mobs have even become aware that I, the tank, exist? BAD CALL, BUDDY. Finally, learn to use Every Man For Himself and your bubble to get out of fears before you pull another Faceless One, kk?

No love,

Your Tank

This post brought to you in part by frustration, annoyance and by the fact that I just tanked Old Kingdom on my druid for the very first time.

Kurn's Guide on How to Behave as a Healer in Dungeons

Kurn’s Guide on How to Behave as a Healer in Dungeons

You’ll note that I don’t specify “random” or “heroic” or “raid” dungeons. That’s because I believe that my guide is good for any level healing class in any size of dungeon, be it 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 40. It was inspired, of course, by the fact that I’ve done more 5-man regulars and heroics in the last week since 3.3 came out than I have in the previous five months, but there are some good basics here of which all healers should be aware.

Why am I writing this? Because I’ve run tons of dungeons in my WoW career as all three roles (healing, tanking, damage) and every time I’m on one of my toons, there’s always at least one moron who doesn’t know how to appropriately behave in a group. Always. And those are the GOOD groups.

So, from someone who raids primarily as a holy paladin, who runs anything she can with her hunter, who will reluctantly tank as her paladin, who pugs raid content on her resto shammy, who plays a mage in the 70s and has a dual-specced resto/feral (tank) druid in the 70s as well, here’s my guide for healers.

1) Heal. This is a bit of a no-brainer, I know, but a long time ago, on a server far, far away, I used to group with the warlock officer of my guild. Awesome person. Great warlock. She had a priest alt. And she’d levelled the priest shadow. But when she got to 60, she went holy to heal us in 5 and 10 man dungeons. So there we are, in UBRS, doing the Father Flame event and someone dies. “Oops!” says the warlock-priest, “My bad! I forgot to heal! I was DPSing.”

<3 her all day long, but if you’re that kind of a player who primarily plays a DPS class and has a healer alt (or DPS main spec and healing offspec), remember what your role is for the group. If you’re a healer, you heal, even if you’re bored. (I get very bored at times on my paladin and my shammy. So I feel for you. But you still should pay most of your attention to the health of the group instead of what % the boss is at because Murphy’s Law will step in and kill your healing targets while you’re innocently DPSing away.)

2) Heal the pets.
No joke, I’m not kidding, pets are an important part of the group’s DPS and rezzing/resummoning pets can be time consuming for the other players, so make sure that when you’re healing the group, you’re healing the pets, too. 3.3 means pets will be taking a lot less damage now, but it’s still important to keep an eye on them.

3) Prioritize. Basically, prioritizing is the key to healing. Your top priority in a 5-man is the tank — but don’t forget about yourself. If BOTH of you are in mortal danger and you don’t have Beacon of Light up or Binding Heal at your disposal, do what you can — Nature’s Swiftness for both druids and shammies is there for a reason. Remember the age-old saying:

– If the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault.
– If the healer dies, it’s the tank’s fault.
– If the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault.

You’re responsible for everyone in a 5-man, but the DPS has to take some responsibility for themselves and the tank has to take some responsibility for you.

4) Know which heals to use. I’m not going to go through the zillions of healing spells available to holy paladins, holy priests, disc priests, resto druids and resto shammies. But suffice it to say, your spec and class abilities give you lots of tools to heal with (yes, even paladins have lots of spells these days!) and you should know not to, for example, use Lesser Healing Wave on three separate people when one Chain Heal will do the job. You should not cast Healing Touch on each group member when one Wild Growth would have sufficed. Don’t drop a 20k crit Holy Light when a 4k Flash of Light would have been fine. Don’t cast Prayer of Mending when your target needs Penance or, gasp, Greater Heal.

But how do you know which to use? Practice. Get used to what your spells are healing for. Turn on combat text and get an idea of the ballpark. Then when you’re healing your group, if you’re using frames that show you the difference between current health and maximum health, you’ll have a much better idea of which heal to use. I strongly recommend Grid and Clique for raid frame addons, by the way.

5) Move out of crap/away from adds. Having said that, if you, as a healer, die because you wouldn’t move out of the fire, poison, void zone or whatever or you die because you let adds beat on you without trying to run to the tank (or bubbling or fading or even shadowmelding), that death is entirely your fault. You’re not a tank. Well, you might be, but not when you’re in healing gear in a healing spec. :P Healing is about being aware of the group and their health — that includes you and your environmental awareness. Don’t be that idiot standing in the fire. (I’ve been there and done that, myself. Not a lot of fun!)

6) Cleanse your group. This might seem like another no-brainer, but you should be dispelling/cleansing everything you can off your group. Your priority is to heal and you might have to heal through a lot of debuffs if they pile up too quickly, but as soon as you can, start getting them off of you, your tank and the group. (Cleansing Totem is probably the best totem in the entire universe.)

7) Buff your group. Prayer of Fortitude, Divine Spirit, Shadow Protection, Gift of the Wild, *Greater* Blessings and group-appropriate totems!

A specific note to shammies: Totems are always a little tricky. If there’s a DK in the group, you shouldn’t need to drop Strength of Earth and can drop Stoneskin instead (or Tremor as needed). If they have a few points into Frost (for Icy Talons), you shouldn’t need to drop Windfury. Otherwise, look at your group composition. If you have yourself and two or more caster DPS, go with Mana Spring and Flametongue, along with Wrath of Air. But if you’re the only mana user, consider Windfury instead (unless already covered by a DK).

Depending on the group, I typically drop Strength of Earth, Mana Spring, Flametongue and Windfury, so that both melee and casters get two of my buffs.

Basically, just be aware of what’s already covered by your group and don’t overlap buffs. :)

8) Use your defensive cooldowns. Priests have Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression, paladins have Hand of Sacrifice and many have Divine Sacrifice. Use them. They are life-saving abilities. (Tip: Don’t use Hand of Sacrifice without bubbling first and you should still expect to have to heal yourself after Divine Sacrifice if you use it without bubbling.)

9) Inform your group when you need mana. If you actually say in your group chat that you need mana, then when the idiot tank runs in and pulls the boss before you’ve even had a sip of water or nibble of a mana strudel, at least you can be like “OMG WTF I SAID I NEEDED MANA”. Never assume that your tank is remotely considerate of you. And even if you do get a considerate tank, the DPS may not be.

Example: I was tanking Halls of Lightning with a RL friend of mine who was healing me on her priest. We were in the hallway with the statues on our way after the first boss. She hadn’t stopped to drink after the boss or the first wave of mobs in the hall or the second wave (since there was a fear and the hunter got feared further into the hallway for the second group). So, because I know that healer mana is not necessarily infinite, I waited for her to sit and drink as I watched the idiot mage in our group run full speed ahead to trigger the third group.

I almost didn’t taunt off the moron and then said, in party chat, “If we could possibly avoid pulling when the healer’s drinking because she’s out of mana, that would be appreciated.”

So the best way to avoid misunderstandings or bad pulls like that is to announce your status to the party. And I don’t mean by being annoying and typing /oom six times in a row. “My mana has waned!” can only be heard a few times before people start to go insane. :P (Yes, Kylon, if you’re reading, that’s a reference to you and that BRD run from when you apped to Fated Heroes. YERL! <3)

10) Be patient. Easier said than done, I know, healers. But even though you want to use a baseball bat to beat the people you’re grouped with (whether in-guild or a pug — it can happen either way), you need to take a deep breath and realize you’re not going to be stuck healing those morons forever. Dungeons, even the longer 5-mans, take about 30-35 minutes of your time. Raids obviously take longer, but generally have a fixed end time. If you’re sitting there, wiping on Anub’arak on heroic mode for the 38th time that week, take a deep breath, look at the clock and tell yourself you only have another hour or so to go.

11) Resurrect your dead group members after combat has ended and you’ve gotten a bit of mana. Period. No excuse not to. The only time you shouldn’t be expected to rez the dead is when you died. My philosophy is: if your healer has to run, so do you. Of course, if someone has to afk real quick, the benefit of the doubt should be given, but if the dumbass is chatting in group or whatever and isn’t running, tell him or her to start running their ass back to the instance. I have, in the past, back in Shadow Labs, I think, forced the group to wait on a rogue who died and didn’t run back instead of rezzing him. The entire time he was running back, he was arguing with me and I finally managed to get it through his thick skull that his resurrection is entirely based on my kindness and I don’t take kindly to people who don’t even make the effort to run back. (Tip: In a raid situation, rez healers/rezzers first and if you’ve been the recipient of Divine Intervention, ALWAYS rez the pally who cast DI on you first! It’s only polite.)

12) Don’t do too much.
Okay, that’s not a specific thing for when you’re healing in a dungeon. But I had to mention it anyways because healers and tanks can burn out really, really quickly in this game. Why? There’s all kinds of responsibility on their shoulders and people are WAY too quick to judge. Both are thankless roles. In fact, if healers and tanks do their jobs right, no one should notice anything — because people lived and the tanks held aggro. And since healing meters are a terrible way to gauge your performance (unlike DPS meters for the DPS classes), it can often seem like you’re doing your job without feedback or encouragement.

In the past, I have countered this, in general, by not doing 10-man raids. And not doing any 5-mans that frustrate me. Nope, my paladin basically did her 25-man raids and that was it. And then came Emblems of Triumph and I needed a bunch of Emblems to make use of the Trophies of the Crusade for gear. Suddenly, I was doing 10m VOA, 10m Ony and even the occasional 10m TOC/TOGC, in addition to 25m VOA, 25m Ony and the guild runs of 25m TOC/TOGC. Ugh!

Thankfully, Emblems of Frost are only attainable through the 10m and 25m versions of Icecrown Citadel — and the weekly raid quest. And daily random heroics. And there aren’t separate hardmode timers for ICC, so there’s only two raid lockouts for Emblems of Frost to drop. Whew.

So I’m doing four bosses in 25m ICC, four bosses in 10m ICC and the weekly raid quest. The daily random heroics? Well, I keep signing up as a tank *and* a healer, but I have tanked every single random heroic I’ve done thus far: Azjol’Nerub, Old Kingdom, Gundrak, Halls of Lightning, Trial of the Champion, Utgarde Keep, Forge of Souls… I’m losing track of them all, but it means I’m not healing nubs and I’m getting a lot of practice tanking.

So really, that’s not a lot of healing I’m doing on my paladin. Granted, I’m healing daily on my shammy, but she’s not doing any ICC yet and has, like the rest of my toons, stopped running Onyxia and VOA (at least until the new VOA boss comes out). I’m reserving ICC for my hunter and my paladin right now, so that’s not any extra healing.

I know someone who, I kid you not, was healing both Ulduar 10 and 25 on two toons every week, in addition to healing Sarth3D 10-man zerg attempts, plus VOA on both 10/25 on both toons. That was too much healing for her. Even half of that is too much healing for me and too much healing for most sane people. There’s just so much time that you can spend healing up other people in any given raid week, IMHO, and the further you stay back from that limit the more you’ll enjoy the time you ARE healing and the less likely you will be to burn out. Everyone’s limits are different and you should be aware of when things are starting to feel like an obligation instead of a fun part of a game.

Anyways, all of that said, healers, even you part-time healers who are discovering healing through the new 5-mans and random dungeons, thank you for your dedication, for being the ones who choose to clean up after everyone’s mess. There are never enough healers and *good* healers are extremely rare. So I hope that this guide has helped you out a bit and that you know that you’re appreciated in general for the choice you’ve made to heal through portions of this funny little game we play.

LFG, ICC and other assorted acronyms.

As I write this, I’m waiting for a random Lich King Dungeon for my mage, who is now 75, thank you very kindly, and I’m amazed by how long it takes to form a group.

Compared to, of course, level 80 instances that I DPS on my hunter.

Or any level instance when I queue as a healer or as a tank.

Hell, queueing up as a healer AND a tank means you’re never going to ever, ever wait. It’s hilarious. I’ve done the random heroic every day (from Wednesday on) on my paladin, queued as both a healer and a tank and so far, I have tanked: Nexus, Forge of Souls, Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Champion. I have healed nothing.

Ooh, VH for my mage!

…Interlude for discussion of VH-related fail…

… the DK tank just wiped us on the first boss. Granted, it was the kite boss. But, the DK tank hasn’t dropped death and decay once and he had no presence up WHATSOEVER, much less FROST presence, until wave 5.

By the end of the second boss, the DK tank seems to have learned to drop D&D, has been in Frost Presence and has hauled ass to portals in a reasonable manner.

And yet, by the end of the instance, it appears that the DK tank did not learn from his mistakes. At all.

Happily, the healer was also from Proudmoore, so we queued up for a random dungeon together, with her in her tank spec (she’s a druid) and got the same ele shammy as in VH, plus a priest and a ret pally. We ran DTK randomly and VH (not randomly). How is it possible to reset a dungeon from within the cross-realm LFG interface? We couldn’t seem to reset DTK.

Anyways, it’s nice — my mage made a friend. And is 3 bars from 76!

Right, so, where was I? Oh, yeah, queueing up as a tank AND a healer.

So those are the two roles for my druid, right? So I’ve taken to doing this before I queue:

– check spec.

– put on opposite-spec gear.

– queue for whatever I want.

– get called in to tank or heal and, once zoned, only have to change EITHER spec OR gear to match the role I’m in.

Basically, I’m sitting there in tank spec with healing gear on, but my queues generally go like this:

Tank, tank, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, tank, tank… tank.

There ARE no tanks out there for lower level instances and so very few at higher levels.

In other news, thanks to some gratuitous trash-farming, Kurn has the Ashen Band of Vengeance while, due to a guild ICC25 and a pug ICC10, Madrana has the Ashen Band of Wisdom. Kurn has yet to kill a single boss in ICC (though not for lack of trying on Deathwhisper 25), whereas Madrana has killed them all twice already, once on 25 and once on 10.

My thoughts on ICC:

– Trash is icky unless you know what you’re doing.

– The first four bosses are basically a review of Black Temple with a hint of SSC and just a sprinkle of Hyjal.

– Marrowgar might be a little overtuned in 10s, but seemed like a pushover in 25. I worked HARD in that 10-man pug, which was mostly some guild’s run. They’re not amazingly geared, but they’re good enough that they shouldn’t have had to struggle as much as they did. This fight steals from SSC’s Leotheras the Blind (whirlwind), Hyjal’s Archimonde (the fire, although it doesn’t chase you) and BT’s Naj’entus.

– Deathwhisper is a little overtuned in 25m, I think. The big Death and Decays are fine, the deformed fanatics/adherents are fine, the resistance to various forms of damage based on mob type, all fine. The MC + the Curse of Torpor need to go or at least  be nerfed on 25 or else your cleansers/CCers HAVE to be on their game. 10m is a freaking pushover in comparison. This fight steals from the Shade of Akama fight, in that you deal primarily with adds until the boss comes out.

– Gunship Battle is HILARIOUS. I love it. The guild one-shotted it, I believe, and the 10-man only took four attempts or so. Got it by the skin of our teeth, mind you. But we got it anyways. :)

– Deathbringer Saurfang. 3 tries on 25m. 2 tries on 10. And I even got this on 10m:


That’s I’ve Gone and Made a Mess, which was originally a reference to our good ol’ buddy Moroes in Karazhan, because Saurfang originally Garrotted, the way Moroes did.

– The best item in the ENTIRE GAME, hands-down, drops off 25m Deathwhisper: Zod’s Repeating Longbow. I haven’t seen it, but it’s in the drop table at wowhead and OMG. Reference to Superman II? WIN. “Kneel, son of Jor’El! Kneel before Zod!” God, I love that movie. If Kurn can get this bow, ever, I may never replace it. Okay, so I probably would in Cataclysm, eventually, but it would sit in my bank right next to my Rhok’delar.

Other achievements I’ve recently gotten include the BEST-NAMED ONE EVER.


That’s “We’re Not Retreating; We’re Advancing in a Different Direction.” I got that with my RL friend, the resto druid and three of “our” guildies, although I was on my hunter which not everyone knows about. I laughed my ass off when I got it.

I’ve also been getting a lot of rep while doing the new dungeons. Madrana got these:


And Kurn got:


Both Kurn and Madrana have gotten:


Which brings us back to LFG and the dungeon tool.

There I was. Level 71. Tanking, on my druid, in Azjol-Nerub. (As if I don’t deal with Anub’arak enough as it is!) I’m in with a 74 rogue and a 76 DK, as well as a 73 mage and a 72 priest.

I can’t keep aggro off the 76. And have trouble with the 74 at times. And because I’m always taunting off of them, it’s tough to get aggro back from the healer. So I basically stopped worrying about them and worried about the healer. Because, as we all know, if the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault, if the healer dies, it’s the tank’s fault and if the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault, right? :D

So the DK is all like “wow tank how come you cant hold aggro?” And I mention that he’s never on my target, so yeah, he’s going to pull aggro. And then I say:

Me: “I’m trying to taunt off the priest and so my taunts aren’t up for you.”

Him: “thats what im doin waht ddid u think i was doin to boss” (I think this was referencing keeping on my target.)

Me: “Watch your Omen. If you don’t have it, get it. Better, run an instance that’s suitable for your level.”

DK: “funny mate funny”

Me: “True, I can’t keep aggro from a level 76. I’m not supposed to.”

DK: “still ur a tank”

Healer: “a tanks job is to keep aggro off the healer, a dps job is to keep aggro off himself now lets stop arguing”

DK, to me: “u cant ever hold agro off all us so stop telling me what to do”

Me: “You really don’t understand the mechanics of this game…”

DK: “what fuck u talkin about now”

DK: “what u think im doin”

Of course, this was all happening during the trash and boss fight for the second boss in Azjol-Nerub. So as soon as we were done:


I’m going to write three how-tos, I believe. How to Behave as a Tank/Healer/DPS in random dungeons.

The overriding rule to them all is, of course, don’t be a fucktard dick.