I’ve done quite a few heroics lately, as I expect most of us have. I could tell you about my healing in heroic Halls of Origination, on the Setesh fight that lasted almost 7 minutes because we pulled by mistake when still fighting trash. (Hymn of Hope + even a feral innervate + tranquility + every effing cooldown in the book = win, apparently)
I could tell you about how I “healed” (I use the term loosely, because we died an AWFUL lot) heroic Stonecore yesterday. But I won’t. What I’ll say about that run here is what I tweeted yesterday about Ozruk, which should help out holy paladins everywhere:
I don’t know if this is a hotfix or something, but I found that I got the melee bleed debuff when I’d appropriately judge when he had his Elementium Bulwark up.
When Ozruk says “Break yourselves upon my body. Feel the strength of the earth!” judge at “Feel”. This will give you the bleed debuff for four seconds and you’ll break yourself out of Paralyze.
This was while using Seal of Insight, FYI, and I was at range the whole fight. I knew I wouldn’t survive the shatters if I was in melee range, so I came prepared with Sulfuron Slammers (again, drink them at “Feel”!) which also worked. Bubble works, Every Man works and Hand of Sacrifice (you can cast it on the tank at any point during the “Break yourselves” emote, I believe). But then I noticed I had the bleed debuff and realized it was my judgement that had caused it. So go forth, paladins, and heal Ozruk knowing you can get out of Paralyze very easily with just a bit of timing. :)
Having said all that, I will not regale you with my tales of heroic SFK (two Godfrey kills, no legs yet) or heroic Deadmines (Ripsnarl isn’t really that bad, though).
What I will say is that I did most of H Deadmines in a guild run yesterday as my holy pally and then swapped out to my hunter for the last boss (allowing one of our healers to actually heal the last fight instead of OS DPS) so I could snag the Chaos Orb for the crafting of a guildie’s gear.
I probably should have just stayed in on the paladin because then I would have gotten another 100+ Justice Points. And then would have had enough for my helm, the Crown of the Blazing Sun.
I logged back on to Madrana to see… 2143. 57 points shy of my damn helm.
ALL of my heroic runs to date have been with the guild. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the GM or because I’m a healer or because my hunter can actually CC or what, but I’ve never had an issue finding a group in-guild. This is opposed to most of my guildies who complain constantly about the fail pugs/dungeon finder groups they’re in.
So I decided I’d go try a heroic random, all by myself.
Blackrock Caverns. Which I haven’t done on heroic.
Thankfully, at least to my eyes, I get a group of four people all from the same guild on the Akama server. I figure this should be less painful than most, even if the tank hasn’t done this on heroic before.
They’re really good at pulling the trash around the first boss, there’s great use of CC (sheep and sap and repentence) and things are going great.
We pull the first boss properly, after clearing most of the trash and the first thing I realize is the boss occasionally puts on a 25% reduced healing debuff on the tank. Peachy.
Then I realize that Quake spawns adds. Peachy.
All of this is handled okay, we kill the adds easily and then get chained.
We break the chains. I pop Holy Radiance to GTFO… and three people, including the tank, die to the thing the boss casts after he chains you. Sigh.
So I’m like “gotta run out of that, guys. :)” and the tank was like “lol I usually stay in on regular guess I can’t here!” I’m fine with that, no worries.
We go back in and take down the boss properly, now that we’re all aware that there are these crazy-ass adds and that we have to run out, etc. Goes fine.
Everything goes beautifully until Corla, the second boss.
Now, on beta, she had three adds. The way we did it on beta was have people rotating in two beams to prevent those zealots from evolving and just let one of them evolve at a time. But the version I tested didn’t have Corla fearing, nor did things hit quite as hard as they were hitting on live.
The Evolved Twilight Zealots, if you were unaware, have an ability called Gravity Strike and, in conjunction with Grievous Whirl and Shadow Strike, all of this will totally destroy the tank. It was actually a bit hairy to heal them separately in the trash leading up to Corla. So my group was basically planning to ignore the beams, evolve all three adds and I’m like, “I can’t heal that.”
“I’ll interrupt the strike,” said the rogue.
“That’s not the issue,” I said and linked them Gravity Strike.
“oh wow that sucks,” one of them says.
So I tell them I’m going to handle the stacks on the right-most add, which I marked with a circle. The mage says he’ll take the left-most add. The ret pally says he’ll do the middle one.
About thirty seconds into the encounter, the mage’s target evolves.
We wipe, despite a heroic effort by yours truly. The tank also popped his CDs appropriately, using Shield Wall and Last Stand. But the damage was just overwhelming.
Mage apologizes, we give it another shot.
This time, the mage himself evolves. He didn’t watch his debuff and got stacked to 100.
Mage apologizes again. They now inform me that they’re all on their vent and that they’ve got it all worked out.
So we go again. This time, the ret paladin’s target evolves. Apparently, there had been some confusion and he thought the rogue was going to get that target.
Apologies once more.
At this point, I’m like… I have my Justice Points. I literally only came in with the hopes of doing one boss to get the points that I need.
Then they suggest they let the zealots evolve in a controlled fashion. Bear in mind that I’ve had ZERO issues controlling my stacks and the stacks of my zealot in these three attempts, even when things went to hell.
Based on my mana and such on the previous attempts, I reiterate that there is no way I can heal through a zealot up along with the boss at this point, but that if they want to boot me and replace me with another healer, I’d completely understand, since it’s a guild run, basically.
They were like “no, no, that’s okay,” so we tried it again. And promptly died when the mage transformed because he, again, wasn’t watching his debuff and stepped in too soon, refreshing his stacks.
So at this point, it was clear to me that we weren’t going to get the encounter down. I had wiped five times with these people. Throughout it all, I’d been patient and calm. I’d been clear about how to go about doing the encounter. I had used buff food after every wipe.
On the run back to the instance, I basically said, “I think I’m going to take off, guys. Thanks for the run and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the instance. Take care.”
And I dropped group, grabbed my body, then ran out, got my new helm and that’s all she wrote.
I feel badly about leaving. I feel badly about not being able to heal through an evolved zealot. But I’d gotten what I wanted and I gave it a really good try, educating the group about the evolved zealot’s abilities, giving them the opportunity to replace me to try their strat and basically being very patient with them.
I still feel badly, though. Shouldn’t I be able to heal through an evolved zealot? Maybe, maybe not. I mean, the issue isn’t that I can’t heal through one for 30 seconds, but I can’t continually heal through one up during the entire encounter. 85k mana goes FAST if you’re casting Divine Light and the occasional Flash of Light all the while praying Eternal Glory procs more often. Even with my Big Angry Man out (Guardian of Ancient Kings), I can’t maintain that kind of healing. Not even with a variety of both my cooldowns and the tank’s.
My paladin was always my alt. I’d be pulled into raids if we needed healers, back in Vanilla, but my main was always Kurn. As such, since then, I’ve always been lacking a bit of confidence. “This is my alt,” I used to think, “I have no business healing Molten Core!!”
Obviously, healing through Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King has alleviated the confidence problem. I had no problems being the strongest single-target healer in WotLK ICC25HMs. I had no problems shouldering the responsibility of healing two tanks at once or being the primary reason Valithria Dreamwalker got healed to full.
When I came back to Eldre’Thalas, I knew I was one of the most geared and experienced people in Apotheosis and so I was fine with taking a lot of responsibility on myself in our little excursions to ICC.
So it’s a little humbling to sit there in a heroic 5-man and be like “Yeah, I can’t heal through that.”
Should I be able to? I mean, assuming that the fears and Shadow Strikes are interrupted properly, assuming good cooldown usage by the tank, should I be able to heal through the Corla encounter with a single evolved zealot up at all times? If so, why can’t I? Is it gear? Spell selection? Oh, God, is it really because I’m just not good enough of a healer?
One half-hour spent working on Corla and all my WotLK confidence has flown out the window.
MMOMeltingPot linked to a great post about how healers have no instant gratification from casting a heal and seeing it actually DO something. The poster says “Random dungeons are a front for blamestorms and negativity that make folks discontent, and it’s a bit worse than I expected, but that is just one element in the shitstorm.”
While I wasn’t blamed by my group (they seemed to mostly understand that Gravity Strike is a Bad Thing), I came away from my pug feeling very negative and discontent and, worse, blaming myself. Questioning myself.
So I ask you, my fellow paladins, my fellow healers, my fellow dungeon-runners…
How have YOU done the heroic Corla encounter in Blackrock Caverns? And what kind of a healer did you have?