So I dinged Madrana to 85 early on Wednesday morning. I have effectively lapped several of my guildmates in that they’re still 83-84. This is hilarious to me. And I’m also done levelling anything for a while, yet.
Anyways, with just a couple of pieces, including the Gloves of Curious Conscience from the Justice Point vendor, I found myself at the 329 ilvl threshold for heroic dungeons, even with two pieces of Wrath gear. I’m still wearing heroic Corrupted Silverplate Leggings, which are ilvl 264, and the heroic Rot-Resistant Breastplate, which is ilvl 277.
Tip of the day: You cannot reforge resilience.
I got myself an Ornate Pyrium Belt for 91 gold to replace my Lich Killer’s Lanyard, since the intellect boost is just such a blowout, even taking 3 gem slots into consideration. I figured I could reforge the resilience into haste or spirit, but alas. So I reforged 56 crit into 56 haste.
I picked up Diamant’s Ring of Temperance from Therazane, with whom I am revered.
Of course, during the day, most people have these things called “jobs”, so I decided not to go on any heroics until my brother, Fog (a very nicely decked out tank), got home. Instead, I ran a couple of regulars. I got Vortex Pinnacle, Halls of Origination… Picked up Band of Life Energy out of regular HoO.
So when Fog got home and Majik got in, we took about 15 minutes to boost Majik’s item level substantially. He maaaaaay have 420 resilience in his new gear… But it got him to 329. I am not amused at the fact that so much of the blue gear crafters can make is PVP gear, and even then, in many cases, you have to pay out the nose in resources (leather, bars of metal, cloth bolts) in order to just get the patterns.
So Majik and Sephden (Maj’s brother), Fog and me and our friend Tia queued up for a random heroic.
Heroic Shadowfang Keep.
My experience with SFK is pretty much on the exceedingly slim side. Like, I think I’d done it four times, total, in the preceeding five years.
So we get to Baron Ashbury.
Whose BRIGHT idea was it to have a mob who brings everyone down to ONE HEALTH in this new healing regime?
Having said that, I’m sure we were doing the encounter wrong and interrupting the wrong spell. We didn’t let Stay of Execution tick much, if at all and we definitely missed out on interrupting Mend Rotting Flesh. Naturally, seeing my ENTIRE PARTY WITH NO HEALTH led to panic on my part.
My advice is to let Stay of Execution tick 1-2 times just to make sure no one gets one-shotted, then interrupt it and DPS him down. If you have a Mortal Strike ability (we had Widow Venom), use it — not sure if it works, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Anyways, just as we thought we might be getting the hang of it (well, the rest of the group thought so. I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and cry.), Tia had to go since she had to work.
We then pulled in a shadow priest guildie to replace her and since we weren’t sure if he’d get the 70 Valor Points if he just zoned in and we cleared SFK, we elected to requeue for another random.
Total time spent in SFK: Close to an hour
Total JP/VP earned: 0
On the bright side of things (there’s a bright side?) I discovered that I can last an inordinate amount of time with under 10k mana, if I’m playing well. Do not underestimate the importance of the following combination:
1 Holy Shock on the tank -> 1 Holy Power Light of Dawn on the group
When you literally do not have enough mana to cast anything else, this is godly. Holy Light would have had consideration in Holy Shock’s spot, except that it no longer generates Holy Power, so it was HS to generate Holy Power. I also could have used Crusader Strike, except that, due to our positioning, it would have been difficult for me to get the whole group (including Sephden, the hunter) in line for Light of Dawn hits. So I was standing on the stairs, basically, with the entire party in front of me and willing my cooldowns to finish faster.
I used Divine Plea with Divine Focus to offset it (I know, this is Wrath-era thinking, but if you’re oom, you’re oom), I used my Dream Owl Figurine to boost my spirit, I used my “big angry man”, as I call him, but most paladins know him as the Guardian of Ancient Kings. I even blew Lay on Hands JUST for the mana return since I’ve got Glyph of Divinity.
Obviously, this attempt (which lasted close to five minutes, since I could ALMOST use my bubble again) went horribly awry and I shouldn’t have been so completely out of mana. But it was really interesting to see how long I could keep everyone at basically just enough health to live. Things went from bad to worse when I didn’t have enough mana to cleanse the Pain and Suffering off, but it was astounding to realize that I’d healed for close to three minutes without having more than 10k mana at any given time. (Note to self: make up a bunch of the new mana potions.)
Anyways. We requeued with the shadow priest and got Vortex Pinnacle.
I’ve basically been running this place for the last five days on normal. It’s actually old hat to me now on both my hunter and my paladin. Heroic? Not quite so much. I was pleased that we were making good use of CC. The thing that pissed me off the most was that my brother and Sephden were being all covert about something and wouldn’t effing tell me what was going on. “Just let it be a surprise,” they said. I don’t know about YOU, but when I’m in a heroic run for the very first time, and I’m the healer, the LAST THING I WANT is a damn surprise!
It was for a stupid achievement. Extra Credit Bonus Stage. Woo-freakin’-hoo.
Anyways, the first boss, High Vizier Ertan, is basically the same on heroic, except that I think the tornadoes slow your cast speed now. (Did they before?) So we ran out and I had a hell of a time trying to get everyone to stack up on me for Holy Radiance (which I popped each time we ran out). Fine, you don’t want my heals, you can die. :P
You also get a Lurking Tempest who’ll show up sometime during the fight. Just look at him to scare him away like you do with the others.
The second boss, Altairus, is also very similar to the normal mode of the fight… except you get FREAKING TORNADOES EVERYWHERE.
And the last boss, Asaad, is the same except he now does this Static Cling cast. It roots you to the ground and is a magic debuff, so it can be dispelled. Not a big deal. There’s an achievement if you manage not to get the debuff at all during the fight and that’s doable by virtue of jumping at the right instant while he’s casting it. I didn’t care to jump like a moron when I’m supposed to be casting, although I tried it once and avoided the debuff. Hooray.
So we finished the heroic and I promptly logged off to go have dinner and watch the hockey game.
I was drained. I didn’t even log back in until much later (I may or may not have fallen asleep while watching my Montreal Canadiens lose 5-3 against the Philadelphia Flyers. >.>) and I have pretty much zero desire to do another heroic anytime soon. Not because it’s HARD, though it’s challenging, but because it’s challenging in a way that saps me of my energy and desire to perform this role.
Throughout our attempts on Baron Ashbury, I kept thinking to myself, “You knowww… Focus really isn’t THAT bad. And is it really a bad thing to bring a useful pet to a raid? And you DO have an awful lot of healers…”
It’s ridiculous, I know, and it’s more of a function of gear and what my party is or is not doing than it is of my healing ability. That said, it’s very hard to go from being one of the best-geared and most-experienced players in the guild who could literally save the entire encounter if needed, to what I am now — a moderately undergeared healer who feels as though she has no real control over whether or not her group lives or dies.
I know that I’ll feel better in a week or in a couple of days or even tomorrow. But my first encounters with heroic dungeons are reminding me way too much of the insanity that was the Kael fight in heroic Magister’s Terrace.
Players are now extremely responsible for themselves and their lives. The mechanics out there are really deadly. Maybe in two tiers, we’ll be able to faceroll through this stuff with any old pug, but I can’t save you if you stand in the lightning in Vortex Pinnacle. I can’t save you if you pull aggro and Blessing of Protection is on cooldown. It’s like I see all this stuff happening that I just can’t stop and it’s one of the more frustrating parts of being a healer. The thing is, I’m sure it’s frustrating for a good tank, too. And I’m sure it’s frustrating for a good DPS, too.
What they’re doing it trying to bring people back towards being team or group-oriented. Which is awesome.
But everyone who played through Wrath of the Lich King picked up some awful habits and, in my case, some attitudes that are now out of date, and we now need to be broken of them. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but there’s nothing to be done except work through it and adjust. All the wishing in the world won’t bring us back to pre-Wrath so that we can skip two years of sloppy runs and bad habits.
Despite my knowing that it’s a necessity, it doesn’t make the process any easier.