Oh Kittydoom, where have you been?

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Where have I been these many months. Embarrasingly enough I’ve been hiding  in the relative comfort of my own guild’s forums, that and fine tuning my own personal character in the  the attempt to fight the good fight against Deathwing.

In all honesty, I’ve really had nothing to say for the last little while. I suppose I took that time away from blogging to improve my own character, finish up some long and much needed achievements (Insane in the Membrane being the big one), and taking the time out to enjoy the company of my guildmates. I’ve also taken the time to gear up and learn to play some of my many alts. (With the advent of LFR tool, this has made it easier, though much to my frustration they have better luck with loot than my main…)

I’ve also taken the time, and a page out of my hunter loving guild leader’s book, and started a second priest. I’m learning a lesson in patience, and well holy priesting. For those that know me on a personal level I play two specs. Disc and well….disc. The second spec mainly for goofing around in regular heroics with whatever guildmate needs gearing help (or to irk my guildleader as I out DPS his ret paladin), alot of folks are going, why would you do something like that?!?! You’re crazy.

The same guild leader simplified it. You can’t have all three specs on your toon, many players in top end guilds also have doubles of their mains so they learn all aspects of their class, plus, you can raid more on the toon that drives you to keep coming back to Warcraft.

So, for me, this is going to be a lesson in patience. I’m levelling as *gasp* HOLY. I am healing dungeons at a low level (I miss fade, already).

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to switch my main’s mainspec or offspec to holy. (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, TOO EXPENSIVE). Especially after realising that I have her gemming and reforging down to an art that costs me 157g in 7 weeks of reforging (at the beginning of a new content patch). It just means that I’ll be a better discipline priest, and with that I’m happy.

Well, I’m currently typing this in between turning in quests. I’m level 24, just earned fade, and I’ll keep y’all updated!

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Alysrazor: How I hate thee, yet how I love thee at the same time!

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I finally stepped back into the 10 man raiding arena this week while my guild was attempting Alysrazor. (After a much needed break).

I will admit, that Blizzard was rather creative with the encounter in and of itself, and I found the fight to be rather refreshing. The fight is complex, and busy, but not obnoxiously so.

We brought in three healers (Discipline Priest, Restoration Druid, and Restoration Shaman), our DPS (Frost Mage, Feral Druid, Fury Warrior, Survival Hunter and one other), and our two favorite tanks (Protection Paladin and Warrior).

As a Discipline Priest I was assigned to keep our Protection Warrior alive, occasionally assisting on raid as needed. (Transitions, and dropping barrier). I’m finding that the glyphed barrier is amazing on this fight. Phase 1 where people take a touch of damage, the additional 10% healing provided to all under the barrier doubled with a round of Prayer of Healing did wonders for getting the extra boost on raid heals where we needed it, at least during transitions (and when people stayed under the barrier, had a few issues with people dashing out too quickly, but I suppose that’s the nature of the barrier, some folks are afraid to stand in stuff, even when it’s good for them.)

I, unfortunately, struggled with the fire vortex portion of the fight. It took me a little longer than most to master the art of dodging firenados. Which resulted in some embarrassing moments for me, but once I figured it out, it was exceptionally easy. Our Restoration Shaman shared a link from Icy Veins which helped with dodging the vortexes. Once I mastered that strategy, the entire fight went much smoother for me. I strongly recommend that you take a look at the strategy that is provided.

The phase where Alysrazor is actually tanked was a little challenging. We did have an initial situation with stacking up, mainly a logistics issue, no point of reference on where to stack up resulting in some of us eating a well placed cleave. Our raid leader kindly put marks down for us (One for where the boss’ head was to go, and one for where we were going to stack up). Moving into that position part way through the ignition portion of the fight, made that transition go smoothly. Ensuring I had adequate time to be in position, prime an aegis on the tank, and then place barrier down for some additional healing for the raid.

In all, I feel the fight is definitely one that we will succeed in completing when our 10-man raid reconvenes next week.

 

Confessions of an Obsessive Data Tracker

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I am an Obsessive Data Tracker. I have mods that track pretty much everything in World of Warcraft (whether it be Prayer of Mending Bounces, who’s doing what during a raid, where interesting places I want to explore later are, what dungeons I’ve run on a particular day, how many Hex Sticks I have on my account).

I’m currently bemoaning the loss of Prayer of Mending tracker over at Plus Heal, hoping the lovely folks will be able to help me fix my plight feed my addiction, the lovely Myros on US-Draenor was kind enough to help me out with attempting to fix my mod, but sadly the issue was bigger than the single line of code that the LUA error box in Warcraft reported. So I’m repeatedly checking my curse client and WoWInterface in the hopes that the mod’s developer updates his code and it miraculously becomes fixed, I miss it’s happy *blurp* noise when its time to restart the random rotation of Prayer of Mending.

Well, I suppose for now tracking it on Grid will help some while I search for an adequate replacement.

 

 

4.2 – A Disciplined Outlook

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4.2 is almost on us, and there is quite a bit of hype involving some of the major changes that the patch is bringing us, and there is the requisite doom saying as well, I don’t project nerfs, but I do see a sizable number of discipline priests needing to revamp their healing style.

It seems that in the current patch we’re in bubble spamming is rather in vogue at the moment, and priests are utilizing their external regen cooldowns (innervate and Mana Tide Totem). Sadly, these things are getting hit rather hard with the good old Blizzard brand Nerfbat.

Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid’s maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast.

for Druids, and for Shamans:

Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster’s Spirit, down from 400%.

Potentially that could mean the loss of bubble spammers. They’ll either change their playstyle, or roll a different toon. I was a bubble spammer when it was viable to do so, it was effective and it did what I wanted it to do, when they changed Discipline, I adjusted my gear slightly and use it when the situation arises, but I find it more viable to use Prayer of Mending, Penance, and Inner Focus/Greater Heal combination, I’ve also been known to use renew when there is small amounts of damage that need to be topped up.

The really big thing that has me excited is the following:

All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).

The potential of this amuses me to no end. This should potentially make us stronger main tank healers (I’ve been tank healing since I started raiding again on my priest). During my zip through the internet, someone mentioned that this buff would bring back more tank healing/jack of all trades type disc priests. With the bigger crit numbers we should be seeing larger Aegis, which means more absorb, especially off tanks. Though, I’ve been hearing through a few sources that this change is not really going to affect holy priests as much as the holy priests would like.

Well. We’ll see what 4.2 brings us. Until then, Happy Raiding!

[Guilty Pleasures] WoW Heroes

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One thing I’ve noticed about end game raiders is we’ve always had a scale with with to measure one another up against. It’s been titles, gear score,  mounts, achievements, and gear ranking via WoW-Heroes. I hadn’t thought of WoW-Heroes until a friend of mine brought up how well geared my priest is.

That sort of got the wheels turning as to where I stood with my gear compared to others of my class,  faction, and even realm. I suppose it has something to do with e-peen, the need to be better than someone in some strange capacity. As I type this I’m currently sitting in Stormwind next to someone with the Dragonslayer title. I would absolutely kill to have that title, no pun intended. I do have my Defender of a Shattered World title, which I worked long and hard to earn. I was pretty excited that I was one of the first group of people to have the title. I was proud that I was there to help create and learn the strategies that ultimately got us the kills we needed.

Though, taking a look at WoW-Heroes I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were back up and running. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to look my character up. Looking at her, I noticed one glaring error which I promptly fixed. I then wondered where I stacked up against other Discipline Priests on both Horde and Alliance. To say I faired well would be an understatement, in both I’m in the top 10.

But then, a humbling thought is that you can have all the gear in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the best player in the game, no where near. In fact it takes a combination of skill, knowledge of your class and gear to be the ultimate priest healer, but sometimes looking at a site like WoW-Heroes is a bit of a self-esteem booster.

 

Why I hate Heroic Chimaeron…or not…..

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I had the wonderful experience of healing Heroic Chimaeron tonight. My guild has an amazing set up where we do all of our preparation for new content via 10 man, cycling people in to get them familiar with the fight, and then rolling it out in 25 man. We successfully downed Heroic Halfus the other night for the first time in 25 man.

I’ve been a discipline priest for as long as I can remember, I’m happy with what I do, I perform well (at least as far as my raid leader has said, he’s never told me otherwise, and he humors me at least when it comes to my need to gather and analyse information like a madwoman).

Up until recently, I’ve never encountered anything as frustrating as healing Chimaeron on heroic mode.  The fight seems fairly simple in it’s mechanics, relatively the same as regular mode with a couple of differences. He has a buttload more health, and he likes to make our tanks take hits like 2-year-old girls.

Getting him once to sub 5% was thrilling, I am honored to be one of the healers for these endeavors into hard modes, but when I lose a tank, it sucks.

My first thought after the second or third wipe, is that I’m doing something wrong, not using a cooldown at the correct moment, not healing fast enough, do I need to change a glyph, do I need to change the heal I’m using there.  I tend to look at fights as very black and white. Wipe or No Wipe, uptime vs. downtime. Then after some discussion, I learned that it wasn’t me, the stacks weren’t dropping off the tank, and the increased damage in was happening so fast even with Pain Suppression up that our poor tank wasn’t having a chance.

I even looked at the strategy discussion over at Tankspot, to see if they had and tips, tricks or pointers. We were using what they’d outlined, and from what I was reading the fight is a huge communication fight, you need to have excellent communication between healers and tanks. Taunt rotations, who’s tanking when etc.

I love my guild’s healers and tanks. We have excellent communication between the groups, even with a tank that has only spoken once in the 4 or 5 years he’s been in the guild, he still gets his point across. I suppose when you don’t say much, you get heard more when you actually do have to speak up, though this is not the case when there are more than 2 or 3 healers in the mix.

I have a good feeling that we’re going to get Heroic Chimaeron on Monday, it’s just gonna take some solid communication, and some solid teamwork.

So….maybe I don’t really actually Hate Chimaeron Heroic.

 

When is it time to say, “I’m sorry Mr. Tank, I can’t heal you.”

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Yesterday I had the honor of running probably the longest random Zandalari dungeon in my World of Warcraft career. Don’t get me wrong, I love healing random dungeons, and even if the tank is slightly under-geared it’s usually still fairly easy to heal. But I realized that there has to be a point where you can say, “I”m sorry Mr. Tank, I can’t heal you through this dungeon.”

I’m a firm believer as a healer in giving every tank a chance, especially after watching a close friend of mine heal a severely under-geared yet skilled DK tank through a very smooth and successful Dead Mines.

I’m not an elitist by any means, and I’ve been thanked for being patient many times by random people, and even guildies as they’ve moved on, but yesterday, I almost turned into a screaming harpy.

Even spending time with the folks over in the Plus Heal Chat room, and trying some of their tips to get through terrifyingly bad runs, I found that I still wanted to berate the tank, chew on the DPS for being under-geared, and not paying attention, and most likely break my keyboard and smile as the keys flew uselessly around the room.

Then I realized, that I’ve been there too.  Scary enough once upon a time, I was that under-geared noob trying to scratch out my first pieces of gear, struggling to heal tanks that were doing the same thing I was. I remember two-healing Rajh because neither myself or my guild mate had enough HPS to get through the fight.

I stopped and took a deep breath, and remembered. I also remembered that our tank (a guild mate and amazing tank, we’re not sure if he’s human or cyborg at this point, though there’s been speculation in Mumble on many occasions) worked hard to keep his gear somewhat enchanted, always had gems that were appropriate. Then I got to thinking, when is it time to throw in the towel and say, “Mr. Tank, I can’t heal you through this, you need more gear.”

With Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub being relatively new content in the spectrum, while puggable it’s still not content we’re chainpulling our way through. With summer out, and the new Satchel of Mysteries, there are more new tanks, and with new tanks there tend to be issues.

This isn’t a rip on new tanks. I adore the fact that there are new tanks, and that there are more people taking a vested interest in tanking, but you need to be healable. You’re not gonna necessarily hit the avoidance cap in entry level heroic gear, but making sure you have SOME avoidance is a huge help. Try and aim for as many easily acquirable enchants that you can get, I don’t expect you to have Windwalk on your blue quality sword, but at least have mending, as every little bit helps.

If you’re unsure about a fight, say so. I can’t stress this enough, as a healer I’m usually happy to help explain a fight to a new tank.

And as a healer, don’t hesitate to use big heals in a sticky situation, a few big heals is better than dying.

Above all, give the tank a try, and if he or she is unhealable it’s okay to say, “Mr. Tank, I’m afraid I cannot heal you.”

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