Judging, Divinity and an Experiment

I won’t link to it, because I think it’s a crappy article, but the WoW.com holy paladin writer, Chase Christian, is claiming that Divinity affects the healing done by a paladin’s Judgement of Light. My first thought was “that’s BS” followed quickly by “… right?”.

I just spent 95g, respeccing my prot spec to holy and then back to prot to examine this situation.

At first, I thought I could try it out with the same holy gear and just switch from holy to prot and judge light on a training dummy and see what happened.

What happened made no sense whatsoever. One of the specs I was in got 3.4% more healing from JoL. That didn’t make any sense to me, so I went and respecced. I mean, I should be getting 10% more, not something weird like 3.4%, right?

With identical 54/17/0 builds, except getting Divine Strength instead of Divinity, I ended up with:

Divinity: 454 per JoL

No Divinity: 412 per JoL

What does that mean? That means that Divinity is granting me 5% extra healing because the judgement is mine and it’s granting me 5% extra healing because I’m receiving the healing. I have 20,564 health unbuffed, so 2% of that health is about 412. Another 10% of that 412 is about 454.

So that works and means that Mr. Christian’s claim that paladins with Divinity ought to judge light exclusively makes sense, right?


My brother’s hunter has 21,404 health unbuffed.

I had the hunter shoot up a training dummy in IF and I judged light in the spec without Divinity in it.

My brother was getting 428 health back. That’s 2% of his health. That seems to work fine.

With Divinity, my JoL should, then, heal my brother’s hunter for an additional 21.40 (5% extra), or about 450 health per proc.

And still, my brother’s hunter was getting 428 health back per proc.

It appears to me that Divinity and Judgement of Light give the JUDGING paladin 10% extra healing, but it honestly doesn’t affect anyone else, except possibly other paladins with Divinity.

I know! I know! It doesn’t make sense! Why would you be awarded the 10% bonus with Divinity and not have that extra 5% affect others? Before you ask, no, it’s not my glyphs. While I had my prot glyphs in on the secondary non-Divinity spec, none of my glyphs affect my JoL or extra healing in any way. I wasn’t using Glyph of Seal of Light or anything.

But no matter what I did, 428 was what my brother’s procs of JoL were hitting for. So I must conclude that my initial “that’s BS!” call stands. Of course, if anyone out there has screenshots or a combat log parse to show otherwise, I’m happy to revise my assessment. :)

If there’s another paladin in my raid group, by the way, I almost always judge wisdom. Why? Because warriors, rogues and death knights have no use for mana and ret pallies, hunters and enhancement shammies have little need for the regen and the healers generally will not benefit from it, as they’re not attacking the boss. That means that if I don’t refresh my judgement three times a minute, it’s not a big deal. It means that only elemental shammies, mages, warlocks, moonkins and shadow priests will really be adversely affected if I can’t find a global to judge. Whereas any other kind of paladin, a retribution or protection paladin, will be judging on cooldown, which is WAY more than I am, which leads to WAY more uptime on their judgement.

The judgement that should, IMHO, have priority, is Light, because EVERYONE attacking the boss has a health bar and could potentially benefit from it.

So basically, Kurn, you’re saying that you fail at judging.

:P I’m saying that, as a healer, keeping our judgement up is not going to be our first priority and sometimes it’ll fall off. Sorry, but if my tank is taking 30k melee attacks, it’s not always easy to find a place to judge often enough to keep up Judgements of the Pure, much less my judgement debuff.

As an added note, I’m finding that the best time to judge on Sindragosa is when I get Instability and again when I want to drop my 4-5 stacks of it.

Holy How-To #3 – Addons and Macros and Keybinds, Oh My!

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the third of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today’s post/novel is about the various addons, macros and keybinds that will aid you in your quest to become an uber-leet holy PVE paladin. They’re not, of course, strictly necessary in order to heal. You can heal just fine using the Blizzard default UI. However, and let’s be fair here, sometimes the default UI doesn’t show us what we need to see or maybe sometimes it’s sort of clunky. So today, I’ll discuss not only the addons, macros and keybinds that I personally use (and have used), but will offer up some other popular and useful addons or macros. (Edited to add Power Auras Classic!)

Continue reading “Holy How-To #3 – Addons and Macros and Keybinds, Oh My!”

How to do Toravon the Ice Watcher

(Edited due to having done it on the mage and shammy as well as Kurn, updated with more information.)

Having just done this on Kurn, I got a pretty good look at how to do it.

You’ll need two tanks, just like all the other VOA bosses. We did it with five healers, meaning 18 DPS. On 10-man, we also needed 2 tanks but we successfully 2-healed it with me on my shammy chaining off the active tanks and a resto druid healing the raid, leaving six DPS.

Tanks will get stacks of Frostbite (10 / 25) on them. They should taunt after 3-4 stacks. Our tanks were taunting after 4 stacks. On 10-man, one of the tanks didn’t really know how to taunt properly, so one tank was getting 6 stacks while the dude who couldn’t taunt on time was getting 3 stacks. This was, surprisingly, not too big a deal, but your mileage may vary. Frostbite leaves a dot behind, though, so keep healing the other tank.

Ranged should kill the 3 Frozen Orbs (1 on 10-man) that pop up. They pop up with such annoying frequency that they screwed up my rotation on Toravon a lot. Figure it’s about 30 seconds or so. They have an 8 yard or so AOE attached to them as they float by. This WILL do some AOE frost damage if you’re too close to them. That’s why it should be ranged DPS to take them down. (Arcane mages, Frost Ward proccing Incanter’s Absorption is seriously amazing.) Note that Frost Nova is ineffective and I would assume so would other frost-based slows/stuns/immobilizations such as Freezing Trap, Frost Trap and Chains of Ice. Not sure about Earthbind, Entangling Roots or things like Hammer of Justice.

Every so often (45 seconds, I believe), he’ll cast something called Whiteout that increases the frost damage taken by 25%, which stacks on the whole raid. This also does a lot of AOE frost damage to the raid and eventually, it will be unable to be healed through. All of my raids got 3 stacks for 75% extra frost damage. We had Frost Resistance Aura or Totem up for sure. I don’t know if any paladins used Aura Mastery, but I’ll try it out and save AM for the 3rd cast of Whiteout. (Which makes me think of Liquid Paper.)

He’ll also occasionally cast something called Freezing Ground, but I’m not sure why he’ll cast it. Not having a melee DPS class and not having tanked it yet, I don’t know if it’s dispellable, if it’s significant or just annoying.

So, to recap:

– tanks will need to taunt every 3-4 stacks of Frostbite. These stack up QUICKLY so be ready to taunt. Deadly Boss Mods will count the stacks for you or you can edit your raid frames to show you Frostbite as a debuff and keep track of it yourself.

– ranged will need to kill frozen orbs. Think of it as on Emalon, that if you don’t kill the Overcharged minion, you wipe the raid. Ranged MUST switch over or else they’ll float happily through the raid and kill people with their AOE. Melee, you have it easy. Stay on the boss. The whole time.

– healers will need to heal the whole raid up every 45 seconds or so (from Whiteout) and be sure to keep healing both tanks due to the dot that Frostbite leaves on the tanks.

Easy as pie. Enjoy your T10 and Emblems of Frost! He drops T10 legs and gloves (ilvl 251 on 10, ilvl 264 on 25), plus some PVP gear, plus 2 Emblems of Frost on each difficulty.

Have anything to add? Drop me a comment and I’ll update the post appropriately!

Holy How-To #2 – Spells and Abilities

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the second of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today’s post or, more accurately, today’s novel, is about what our role is in PVE content as holy paladins and how to fulfill it. That’s to say, it’s about keeping the people around you alive long enough so that your group or raid can survive the incoming damage long enough to down the boss.

“But Kurn,” you say, “I already know how to heal! I use Flash of Light for small heals, Holy Light for big heals and Holy Shock when I move!”

And that’s a start, young padawan. But it’s quite a bit more than just that.
Continue reading “Holy How-To #2 – Spells and Abilities”

Holy How-To #1 – Specs and Glyphs

— Important! This post has not been updated for Cataclysm, but has been re-written here! —

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the first of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today’s post is about that which makes us holy paladins different from our protection and retribution cousins — our talents. Sure, you could argue that our glyphs, enchants and spell use is what separates us from the tanks and the DPSers, but really, it comes down to what is available to us as a result of our talent choices.

Continue reading “Holy How-To #1 – Specs and Glyphs”

Rotface and Cleansing Totem

I haven’t really spoken about strats for ICC25 as of yet, mostly because I’m not a raid leader or even a healing lead at this point in time, which suits me just fine.

But I found this in my search stats, and thought I should address this immediately:

“rotface cleansing totem”

No! Don’t do it! I know I am a HUGE proponent of Cleansing Totem. I have said, repeatedly, that shammies should drop it all the time because it’s the best totem ever.

But dropping it on Rotface is BAD. As soon as the person with mutated infection gets cleansed, they drop an ooze. Dropping an ooze in the group is similarly BAD.

What we do, and your mileage may vary, is have everyone stack up on Rotface and beat on him at close range, sidestepping Slime Spray and running out when the big oozes explode.

If someone gets the mutated injection, we have them run to the OT who is on the outer edges of the room, dodging slime pools and trying not to run headfirst into the slime that fills up quadrants of the room.

We do not currently cleanse any of the people with mutated infection. This is similar to most people’s strategies on Grobbulus in Naxxramas. Just let it fall off naturally. The reasoning is that it appears that cleansing someone will reset his timer on casting it and will eventually lead to more casts of mutated infection, leading to more slimes, leading to more explosions, leading to less DPS just by virtue of people running away, not even taking into consideration the number of people who may die due to more infections, slimes and explosions.

So, long story short: NO CLEANSING TOTEM ON ROTFACE. Your raid will thank you for not cleansing, I promise. And if they don’t, point them here. :P

Kurn's Guide on How to Successfully Clear Heroic Halls of Reflection Without Being Lame and Cheap

Kurn’s Guide on How to Successfully Clear Heroic Halls of Reflection Without Being Lame and Cheap

If you’ve been doing the new dungeons that came out with 3.3, you’ve been in a fail Heroic Halls of Reflection group. That’s just how it goes. Everyone seems to be having an awful time of it in a pug.

The nature of the first two boss encounters is very different from any we’ve seen in dungeons previously. You have a circular room and get adds spawning in 360 degrees around you. I think you start out with 3 and end up with 5 in the later waves, but I’m usually too busy tanking or healing to pay attention to counting mobs per wave.

Because of the way adds spawn, and the types of adds that spawn, many, many people have decided that “line of sighting” the adds is the way to go. The theory is that if you’re hiding in one of Marwyn or Falric’s alcoves, the mobs will have no choice but to charge the alcoves and you can AOE/etc the mobs down, making things a lot easier.

Nonsense. For any player who actually knows how to play their class, and not rely on 2-3 buttons to AOE crap down, these are not terribly difficult encounters to do without a LOS strategy. I personally hope that the LOS strat gets nerfed out the wazoo, because it encourages extremely lazy and poor play, in my opinion.

Moving on, your mileage may vary, of course, but this is how I do it as a tank.

Since I’m tanking on a paladin, I stand near the center of the room. My preferred kill order is: GHOSTLY PRIEST, PHANTOM MAGE, then whatever’s left, with a loose priority of SHADOWY MERCENARY, TORTURED RIFLEMAN, SPECTRAL FOOTMAN.

I inform my group of this order and tell them to run to the consecrate I’ll be dropping if they have aggro.

If there’s a Death Knight in the group, I ask them to Death Grip the Phantom Mage to the group. Alternatively, I can pull them to me if my Avenger’s Shield is up. If there’s no mage, DK’s should DG the Riflemen. Alternatively, a priest can Shackle a ranged, a ret pally can Repentence, any pally can Turn Evil (although I’m usually too busy to spare 1.5 seconds of cast time, which opens me up to being crit), hunters can freeze trap/use freezing arrow.

What’s that? Yes, I do, in fact, encourage the use of crowd-control. It’s logical. There is a crowd of mobs. We need to control them. USE YOUR CROWD-CONTROL ABILITIES.

Of course, at the beginning of each pull, everyone can (and does) grab aggro very easily. So I drop a Consecrate, use Hand of Reckoning and Avenger’s Shield if needed and then, this is sort of the key, when they’re all piled on my Consecrate, I use Holy Wrath. BAM. Stunned, and their hatred of me is probably pretty secure.

I almost always save my Righteous Defense for the healer. And if my healer is a priest, I will do what I can to cleanse various poisons off the healer, myself and the group, basically in that order.

So, I kill the priest first. Why? When there are other, very dangerous mobs still up?

Simple. The priest heals and since I have very few interrupts with long cooldowns on them, and since I can’t rely on puggers to always interrupt, we get rid of the priest first.

The mage goes second (unless it’s CCed) because of the fact that its mirror images (Phantom Hallucinations) will explode for 10k each and that’s on top of the Flamestrike, which is seriously annoying. They do a ton of damage, basically. Everything else is easily taken down, but the mages can put out a ton of damage in a short period of time that affects the entire group.

I like to get rid of the Shadowy Mercenaries next, if possible, for three reasons: a) Kidney shot means I have no avoidance at all for 3 seconds — or the healer is out of commission for 3 seconds, b) Shadowstep is evil, c) Deadly Poison and Envenomed Dagger Throw stack poisons that can be potentially dangerous without a Cleansing Totem or any of the three healing classes who can cleanse poisons. If you’re a shammy, Cleansing Totem on these waves beats Healing Stream and Mana Spring, hands down.

The Spectral Footmen can sort of chill out. They’ll shield bash, which is no big deal if I have aggro on them. That’s why I like to go after the Tortured Riflemen next.

Not only are these guys ranged, which is a pain, but they’ll CC and impede our movement with Frost Traps. Hand of Freedom to the rescue! But the big thing to watch out for here is Cursed Arrow. It increases the amount of magical damage the person with the curse takes by 50%. If you can decurse, DO SO. I’m talking mages, druids and resto shammies. That debuff has *got* to go. Apart from that, if you have someone who can dispell the freezing traps, these guys drop low on the priority list.

And then you deal with the Spectral Footmen.

Falric and Marwyn aren’t difficult at all after the trash, but after having witnessed this twice in two days, I need to remind people not to stand in the Wells of Corruption that Marwyn casts. They’re little purple circles on the ground. Don’t stand in them. What do they do? They apply a stacking debuff (that’s a curse, fyi, mages, druids and resto shammies!) that increases your shadow damage taken by 30%, 60%, 90%, etc. This wouldn’t be too bad, ordinarily… except for “Shared Suffering” – “Inflicts 6,000 Shadow damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. If dispelled, splits the remaining damage equally between all players. Magic effect.” So don’t stand in the wells.

Okay, so once you’ve dispatched Falric and Marwyn, you have a wee bit of trash and then the Lich King toys with you for a while.

There are four barriers and each barrier drops as soon as all the undead mobs from that wave die.

Ghouls are easy, just keep them off your healer.

I then like to take down the WITCH DOCTORS, but I need to keep aggro on the abominations because they have a Cleave. So why the Witch Doctors? Curse of Doom, Shadow Bolt and Shadow Bolt Volley. They’re casters, so if you can silence them at all to keep them moving, that’s a huge bonus. The Witch Doctors cause the most damage, the Abominations are just there to distract you and the Ghouls are just there to cause havoc. Given that the Aboms are very mobile, and can be brought way back to the wall to fight, the Witch Doctors simply have to be the priority so that if your DPS is a little slow, you do not risk having to stand right next to the Lich King to finish up a Witch Doctor before the wall breaks.

The Lich King’s aura ticks for an obscene amount, so you need to be aware of his position and yours and get the hell out of Dodge.

The only major issue on this is the last group. You’ll basically have a double spawn before the last wall. You will be seemingly overrun here. This is where cooldowns come in handy. When the SECOND group spawns:

– Heroism
– Tank cooldowns
– DPS cooldowns

Don’t forget to drop aggro if you can — fade, feign, invis, etc, just to make sure your tank can adequately pick everything up. There’s little cleansing here, just some Curses of Doom, but again, CC can help out — as long as your CC target is closer to the wall than the Lich King. Holy Wrath is godly here, for any kind of paladin, so be sure to use it on cooldown.

Then run like hell and you’re done.

Note that if Jaina or Sylvanas die, that’s it, it’s a wipe. Until they die, you still have a chance, even if only one person survives to run to the airship.

For those classes with cleansing abilities who don’t typically cleanse, (prot and ret pallies, shadow priests, DPS shammies, mages, moonkin and the like) I HIGHLY recommend getting Decursive to help you quickly cleanse/dispell stuff off people to help out your healers, for all instances, not just this one.

I hope this helps out people who might have previously struggled with this instance. In short, just use your class abilities as best you can. CC, don’t steal aggro, focus stuff down and you’ll be collecting your loot ASAP. :)

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.

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

Kurn’s Guide on How to Behave as a DPS 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 DPS 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 DPSers 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 DPS classes.

1) Don’t pull aggro. Okay, sure. It’s going to happen sometimes. You’re going to zone out and forget to watch Omen and accidentally pull aggro. Minimize the amount of times this happens or your tank is going to get very cranky. If it DOES happen, try to recover. Mages iceblock, hunters feign, rogues vanish, priests fade, warlocks soulshatter, pallies bubble, BOP or hand of salvation… any night elf can shadowmeld… If you can’t drop aggro (death knights, warriors, primarily), run to the tank or just stop attacking and blow any cooldowns you have to survive. DKs, icebound fortitude, warriors can slap on a shield, go defensive and shield wall. Both your tank and your healer will appreciate your quick thinking.

And if you don’t have Omen, log out of WoW and download it. NOW.

2) Don’t stand in stuff. Essentially, this game boils down to the following:

Does the boss put something on the floor?
— If yes, don’t stand in it.
— If no, watch out for the adds or other environmental factors and move when needed.
Note that the presence of crap on the floor does not mean there will be no adds.

3) Blow defensive cooldowns. In AOE-type situations, do whatever you can to lessen the healing required on you. For example, a hunter can blow Deterrence to prevent damage on anything from Loken’s Lightning Nova to, well, anything. And speaking of Lightning Nova, you know that’s nature damage, right? Flip on Aspect of the Wild to help boost the group’s resistance to it.

Iceblock, Divine Shield (heck, Divine Shield/Divine Sacrifice is awesome, too, if you’re specced for it!), Survival Instincts (if you’re kitty DPS), Dispersion… well, you know your classes better than I do. You get the drift. You may not get heals, because healing is a sort of triage event. You heal the tanks and healers first, then the DPS. Always remember:

– If the tank dies, it’s (usually) the healer’s fault
– If the healer dies, it’s (usually) the tank’s fault
– If the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault

4) Be familiar with the fight. Numbers 2 and 3 are very much related to this one. If you’ve done the fight on another character, playing another role, you might not be entirely sure how to DPS the fight. So even if you’ve been through an instance 20 times as a tank or a healer, try to give the instance a once-over at WoWWiki or WoWHead and make sure you know how your class abilities and talents lend themselves to the situations you will be facing. Which leads us to our next point.

5) Be familiar with your role. Let me say that again: be familiar with your role. I don’t care if you have 200 days /played on your druid if you’ve only ever tanked and have no idea of how to DPS or how to heal beyond healing yourself after soloing an elite quest.

There are WAY too many people out there who are tanking and healing these days in 5-mans, who have absolutely no idea how to do so. But there are also those people out there who don’t know how to DPS.

Some tips:

a) AOE = Area of Effect. Typically only useful with 3+ mobs, who have less health than normal mobs. Don’t Blizzard or Volley a single mob.

b) Misdirection/Tricks of the Trade. Use them. On every pull, if possible. I have a macro on my hunter that is, admittedly, extremely simplistic, but it works. It goes like this:

/target [tank name]
/cast Misdirection

And before every instance starts, I edit the macro to insert the actual tank’s name. Then I put it on my bars and hit it prior to every pull and then it assists the tank so I know which target the tank was looking at, which is usually the mob I’ll open up on.

I’m sure rogues can edit the macro to work for Tricks of the Trade.

c) Relatedly, assisting the tank (or at least following the kill order — Skull is usually first, followed by X, I’ve noticed) will help you to get mobs down faster and will mean less deaths for you, because you know where the tank is going to focus his or her threat. In this day and age of AOE tanking, not all tanks are created equal and warriors, for example, don’t have a 360 degree aggro ability (like Swipe, Consecration or Death & Decay), so it becomes even more important to follow your tank’s instructions. (A good tank will make it clear what needs to die first, either via raid symbols, text instructions or whatever. If you’re not sure, ask. If there’s no time to ask, watch Omen and keep watching where your tank is focusing his or her threat.)

d) Learn what you need to do to achieve an adequate performance. That means, for example, having Serpent Sting up if you’re a Marksmanship hunter and you’re using Chimera Shot. Or having Black Arrow ticking on a mob for Lock and Load procs if you’re a Survival hunter. Or having Scorch up if you’re a Fire mage. Or knowing what poisons to use on your weapons as a rogue. Or knowing which seal and judgement to use as a paladin. How about making sure Flame Shock is up for that guaranteed Lava Burst crit as an ele shammy? Or that you make sure to cast Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning when you hit five stacks of Maelstrom as an enhancement shammy? Where do you find this stuff out? All KINDS of places. Blogs are generally a *great* resource, and you can find some amazingly high-quality blogs here:

WoW Blog List – Twisted Nether Wiki

So research your class mechanics. What “works just fine” while soloing is not going to cut it in groups.

6) Don’t be a loot whore. In this new era of Need before Greed/Disenchant, absolutely roll Need on what you *need*. But if you don’t *need* it, then ask your group if you can take it for offspec or whatever. If someone hits Need for main spec and it’s NOT your main spec, then pass.

Example: You are a ret paladin. Yet you would like to build up both holy and prot sets, because you’re a hybrid and you recognize that it’s your duty as a hybrid to make use of your ability to fill more than one role. Good for you.

DO roll Need on: Large 2H weapons with lots of strength, plate armor with strength and hit and crit (but not defense or spellpower)

Roll GREED on: Any 1H tanking weapon/shield or spellpower weapon/shield you can equip, any plate spellpower or defense gear.

In other words, do NOT roll need on a tanking axe, spellpower plate shoulders and a two-handed mace in the same run, or people are going to vote you off the island. And they’ll be right to do so.

7) Buff the group. How many DPS priests have you been in a group with who didn’t buff Prayer of Fortitude and Divine Spirit? Or DPS druids who didn’t buff Gift of the Wild? Or mages who don’t buff Arcane Brilliance? My guess is amazingly few. So why do DPS paladins think it’s okay not to buff the group at all? Or to just buff 10m versions of their buffs? Listen, guys, from one paladin to another, IT IS NOT OKAY. If you can buff a group, you’re going to need to do so unless someone has an improved buff. So buy some reagents — Symbols of Kings for paladins, Devout Candles for priests, Wild Spineleaf for druids, Arcane Powder for mages — and make sure you don’t run out. Further, ALL PALADINS should install PallyPower to coordinate buffs, period. You will thank me later, trust me, and so will your groups.

If you’re a Leatherworker and have access to Drums of Forgotten Kings, then the only time you shouldn’t use the kings drum is if there’s two (or more) pallies in the group. If you’re grouped with just one, tell your paladin, up front, before they waste any symbols, that they can do might/wisdom and you’ll do kings. If you have no paladins, go ahead and buff the group with kings anyways. No druid in your group? No problem if you have Drums of the Wild, but don’t cast it if you ARE with a druid, since it’s the equivalent to the non-improved ranks of Gift of the Wild.

If you’ve got Inscription and can do Runescroll of Fortitude, do so if there’s no priest.

Of course, the drums and the Runescroll are able to be bought at the Auction House, so if you plan on going after the Pug pet, you probably want to bring any of your own reagents plus both drums and a stack of Runescrolls to make sure you have all the buffs you want and to help ensure that the group goes smoothly.

8) Know how to crowd control. I know, I know. These days, crowd control is extremely rare. Gone are the days where hunters had to skillfully trap spam things using Feign Death because you couldn’t drop a trap in combat. Gone are the days where you have to crowd control at all, in most cases. (Never thought I’d say this, but I miss that back-right corner in UBRS. You know the one I’m talking about!) But that doesn’t mean that you can ignore your traps, your wyvern sting, your sap, your blind, your chains of ice, your sheep, your hex, your shackle, your fear, your succubus’ seduce, your banish, your cyclone, your entangling roots, your repentence, your turn evil or any that I might have missed. Just because you don’t HAVE to CC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how just in case things go to hell.

Example: I was running Heroic Halls of Reflection the other day on my hunter. And a DPS DK died on one of the waves. So on the wave before the boss, I kept a mob trapped while the DPS druid battle-rezzed the DPS DK. He was healed and buffed and we were able to burn the last mob down just as the boss activated. Did I need to know how to trap for that? Eh, that’s debatable. Did it help the group out? I think so.

Another example: I was running, again, Heroic Halls of Reflection on my paladin and I was healing. It was a pug group, wasn’t terribly strong and somehow, we’d made it to the “OMFG RUN IT’S ARTHAS” fight. We wiped at least twice because there was no focus fire, there was no crowd control and there was just too much damage going out for me to heal. So I selected a Witch Doctor (those casters can be brutal) and used Turn Evil on it. It ran around for a while and by the time the fear wore off, he was pretty angry with me, so he came running towards the group to be in range of casting at me, which was close enough for him to get silenced and then brought closer to us to get killed before the wall broke and we ran for our lives.

Still another example: I was running Gundrak with my mage the other day and the healer was about to die to a snake because he refused to move. Bam, sheeped him! (Actually, I turtled him, but whatever.)

Just about everyone in the game has *some kind* of crowd control, be it temporary (a warrior’s Intimidating Shout) or longer-lasting (a mage’s Polymorph can basically keep something under control indefinitely). Know how to use those abilities and, more importantly, know *when* to use them.

9) Run back. If you die and your healer has also died, guess what, buddy? You’re running back. If there’s been a wipe, I have been known to force the group to wait for the idiot rogue to run back as well. If you died but your healer didn’t, be patient, they’ll rez you when they have mana.

So basically, don’t pull aggro, know how to do your job, don’t expect heals if the tank or healer are in danger and buff the group with your class buffs.

Having said that, I know that DPS classes are the most popular and that it can be tough for you guys to find a group. But I have seen so many BAD DPSers these days that I feel compelled to say something to all you hunters who know how to trap, you mages who keep your sheep sheeped, those of you who don’t stand in fire or poison… thank you. You’re the types of players I always want to end up with when I’m tanking or healing. And for you new DPSers, welcome to group dynamics. Please don’t make me regret having a hunter or a paladin by being a noob when you’re in a group. I hope this guide has been helpful for you.