Tag: healing

Homecoming

Healed the Underbog today. Another straightforward dungeon. Starting to get to grips with my monk healing spells & knowing which ones to use in which situation. Also now using Chi Torpedo with abandon. This means I’m likely to roll right off a ledge at some point but sometimes you have to live dangerously. I need to download the add on that shows me in which direction someone is hiding when they are out of range. I always panic when the frame goes grey and I’m not sure where they are (particularly if I can see their health disappearing). It’s amazing how responsible you feel as a healer. I get stressed out at the thought of anyone dying. But really what does it matter? You should be able to just laugh about the mishap, regroup and start again. But that is only true if everyone is friendly, mature and polite. No blame culture etc. But WoW, life, the universe is unfortunately not like that in most cases – a depressing thought for a Saturday morning.

Samsara is now 68. There’s no way she’s going to be 100 before Legion. I just haven’t got it in me to do what I need to do i.e. the invasions. I am officially invasioned out. The Burning Legion can take all six towns for all I care. It seems like a fool’s errand anyway. We clear them out and they come again. Over and over and over. They can’t be reasoned with. They hate order, fairness and justice and want only for hatred and chaos to reign. WoW and the real world = both perfect for them.  They would enjoy the chaos of the pug and LFR and could have a blast on forums & Twitter. No wonder the invasions are so relentless. They are excited to be home.

 

 

No one Died

After yesterday’s post I plucked up the courage to go into a 5 man as a healer. Went for Hellfire Ramparts – a straightforward dungeon with less risk of me getting lost. Completed it twice and both times no one died. Yay. Main challenge was keeping up with the group. My Chi Torpedo is on the left hand side of my 2nd bottom action bar. You would think it was lost at sea the way my mouse hand struggles to find it. I also had no time to loot – a problem I remember from earlier days trying to heal. Luckily everyone left the dungeon at the end so I could run around in peace, loot most of what I needed and actually complete some quests. But one of the mobs with a severed hand I needed (nice) must have despawned. So I went in and did it all again. If someone wants me to get them a severed hand I get them a severed hand. Both times the groups were fine – quiet, business like, just the way I like it. Both times I pulled a group of mobs right at the start by running too enthusiastically towards the quest giver. So I probably didn’t make the best of first impressions. But I kept them alive. Overhealed like crazy of course. Panic does that to me. But it all made a nice change from invasions which I am heartily sick of (even though I love the experience and so can’t stop doing them, or at least flying to the invasion spot and tabbing out to write this blog post).

But going back to the dungeon – one thing I noticed is that the default UI and what I’ve done with my raid frames is a mess. I need to sort things out. Every time a loot roll came up it blocked my raid frame which I had placed too close to my action bar. What is the best add on to sort out your UI and make it exactly as you want including moving action bars around? And can you sort out raid frames when you’re not actually in a raid? I find I only see what it all looks like when I’m actually in there and already feeling the pressure. Finding out that this or that doesn’t work does not help with the situation. I really want to be able to customise my UI when not in battle & get it all laid out exactly as I want it. What does everyone else use?

Dr Tank or: How I learnt to stop worrying and kill my Healer

It’s too boring all this sensible dungeon running- you know where the Tank keeps aggro, the Dps understand their role and don’t pull and the Tank looks out for the Healer (even permitting mana breaks and checking that the Healer is remotely in the same vicinity before pulling). Yes that’s so booorring. Where’s the excitement? Where’s the risk? And more to the point playing this way keeps the Healer sane & alive. Who wants a sane and alive healer?  No one these days it seems. So here’s my top 8 tips to running Setthek Halls (just one dungeon chosen at random …not …I repeat not…because my Discipline Priest just emerged from there all dazed and confused) in such a way as to cause maximum mental and physical damage to your Healer (and come on admit it – you  know that’s what you really want to do. There’s no other explanation for the way this dungeon is run).

1. In general there are a number of enemies in Sethekk Halls that can fear party members including the Healer. Tank – if this happens and you end up dying please please quickly type  “FFS healer” into party chat – they deserve nothing less even though it was you who pulled several groups at once and even though every single party member was therefore taking an inordinate amount of damage. No – ensure the Healer knows that they should have been able to heal the group- indeed what sort of Healer can’t heal when feared?

2. The Time Lost Controller casts Charm Totems that can mind control members of the group. So definitely definitely don’t kill the totems & definitely definitely don’t kill the Controller before he can cast more totems – you want as many totems around  you as you can. Remember your goal is to turn the Healer into a gibbering wreck – preferably a DEAD gibbering wreck.

3. Don’t CC the Avian Darkhawks and Avian Rippers  no matter how many of them there are (in fact general dungeon tip: don’t CC anything – the developers put CC abilities in the game as an in-joke – only noobs use them). Gather up as many birds as you can (channel the Birdman of Alcatraz or something) and let them have at you.

4.  Some mobs cast  chain lightening – to get maximum effect from this ensure the Dps stands as tightly grouped together as possible and of course do not even think of turning the mob  around to avoid the Dps. Where’s the bloody fun in that? And if the healer tries to stand well back to avoid the chain lightening then teach him/her a lesson by running off as fast as you can in the opposite direction so that you go out of the reach of his/her heals. Do this well & anyone in the same house as the Healer will find themselves staring aghast at this monster at the computer who is using language so vulgar that even the fish look shocked (and fish can swear I tell you).

5. Time Lost Shadow Mage – seek them out, seek them out – they can destroy your health in seconds. If – happily – this happens just as the Healer is charmed or feared  then pat yourself on the back. All you need is a wipe & a “FFS healer” and it’s job well done.

6. Setthek Initiate – their magic reflection ability enables them to  reflect spells. This is a great chance to get the Dps in on the fun too. As a general rule Tank & Dps should try to coordinate all damage taken so that the health of the entire group drops as quickly and dramatically as possible (preferably when the Healer is taking a well signalled  mana break).

7. 1st boss – Darkweaver Syth. He summons elemental minions who can deal a great deal of damage but are easy to kill. So logically you must ignore them & focus only on Syth no matter how many of them appear. Indeed you want as many of them around as possible because the Healer will then have their work cut out keeping everyone up. This is great. Exactly what you want. As an added perk if you’re a Warlock repeatedly cast Hellfire to drive your health down. Then get your mana back by life tapping like there’s no tomorrow. Excellent work.

8. 2nd boss – Talon Ikiss. His arcane explosion does around 4000 damage. If he blinks to you you must stand right where you are to take as much damage as possible. Rebuke anyone trying to break line of sight by hiding behind a pillar – they are clearly  not on message (and remember the message is “We hate all Healers”).

And that’s it – 8 quick tips to destroy your Healer in one dungeon run. And you never know – seeing as I’m starting to think all Healers (myself included) are complete masochists – they’ll probably even agree to do another run with you when Sethekk Halls is finished. Then you can start all over again. Enjoy.

You want me to heal AND run

God –  and I thought tanking was scary. It’s a walk in the park compared to  healing. I’ve been healing Cata dungeons  quite a bit recently  – including one Cata heroic. What a nightmare. I really didn’t know my heart could remain in my mouth that long.

I started out with a few ordinary Cata dungeons using Luxmi my resto shaman. Just dipped my toe in the water as it were – didn’t realise it was water infested with poorly equipped tanks and dps with no situational awareness at all & a universal “what the hell is a cool down”  approach – but there you go.

I found it so  depressing  at the outset  when I realised at 85 you don’t see the health bars leap up in the same way you do when healing  the lower levels. Or am I just doing it wrong? Everyone says a good riptide and two healing waves is a great opener as a shaman- my tanks yesterday were on their knees at half health with that after just one blow from a trash mob. So I continually had to throw out much bigger heals (my original typo there said “I had to throw out much bigger head” which is an entirely different way of bringing tanks to their knees but frowned upon in game)  and then ran out of mana.

With my holy pally it was no better. By the time I remembered to also judge & use crusader strike to get mana back everyone was  dead. That might have been my fault. The mage in the group  also seemed to struggle unnecessarily. When I’m playing a mage I very rarely need healing.  Why then do other mages fight toe to toe with mobs and take lots of damage. Yes I know – they are idiots who think they rolled a Paladin. Simple really.

Is it me? I don’t know-  I follow Icy Vein tips regarding rotations & I think I’m doing the right thing with my gear & stats- I listen to Mr Robot’s advice more than I listen to my mother (not hard admittedly), although not when it comes to enchants – the day I have that sort of money is the day it turns out I’ve won Blizzard in a raffle.

It’s not all bad of course. In one Lost City run the group said “well done healer” and I blushed for four hours solid.

But I don’t help myself. I totally humiliated myself in Grim Batol –  not on the healing front as it happens. I was with a great group so the healing part was fine.  But  the bit at the beginning when you run to the dragons to go and bomb the crap out of everything – well I lost my sense of direction, ran in the opposite way  (yes I know…) and fell of the edge and died. We’d only been in the dungeon about five seconds. I confessed in party chat  – had no choice really since someone had an addon that had already flashed up “Luxmi dead-  cause unknown”  and the group  all lolled at me. I was totally humiliated.

It’s really not easy this healing lark – even when you’re not falling off edges. I did heroic Shadowfang Keep  the other day. The first boss – the one that asphyxiates everyone in sight and makes you cry if you’re the healer – was nervewracking enough but we survived it. The tank continually running out of line of sight to pull three rooms worth of mobs was hard too it has to be said. But that bloody boss that does that green poison thing that means you have to run around and heal at the same time!!!! How? When I’m running I have to concentrate on running or I fall over & die (as Grim Batol above showed). I can’t heal as well- even if I just cast instants – it’s just not happening. I am not in this game to multitask. I just want to stand there and cast pretty heals and see green bars fill up quickly and easily.

You know saying all that makes me realise what I should be playing – and I have got a real hankering at the moment to return to it. It’s The Sims. I should just start a new character- loosely based on me of course. Set  her up in a nice little house and just enjoy keeping all her green bars nice & full. No stress. No fuss. An ordinary life in an ordinary house. Maybe I’m just a bit burned out but more and more that appeals to me – in gaming and in life. With plenty of whoohoo too of course 🙂

The Tank and Healer contract

1. TANK

I [Insert NAME OF TANK – likely something like along the lines of Meatball, Toughnuts or Hardboy] hereby agree to the following:-

1.I will arrive in the dungeon with a working knowledge of my class, my abilities, my cooldowns and the way in which aggro works – a general tank shortage does not mean I am God on earth and can do whatever the hell I want.

2. I will say hello to the group including my healer since given he/she is going to be saving my ass throughout the entire run the least I can do  is acknowledge their existence (however pitiful I really find it to be).

3.I will make sure everybody (and I mean everybody) is ready before I start. However much I like to think I can do this dungeon on my own there is a reason they are called 5 mans and it is not because as a tank I have the strength and ability of 5 men (I don’t). This means being aware if the healer needs a mana break and listening if the healer requests a mana break.  I might have a name like Meatball but there must be some grey matter between my ears for even me to  understand that no mana=no healing=quick and painful death.

4.I will know what I can handle and I will check with my healer what they can handle before pulling as opposed to assuming we can both handle anything & everything & discovering pretty quickly (usually via a wry look and sarcastic comment from the spirit healer – “YOU again”) that this is not the case.

5. I will remember to buff myself and others appropriately (this means taking off Crusader Aura please pally tank). Just because I am the tank does not mean I am above all this.

6. I will drink my flask/potion, eat my buff food and make sure my healing potions and  bandages are quickly accessible if I need them.

7. I will HAVE flasks/potions, buff food, healing potions and bandages. A degree of self sufficiency is not just for New Age vegetable growers.

8. I will check the healer is nearby when I pull the next pack of trash or boss and if not I will not sarcastically type “…” – the healer is allowed to loot. Repeat after me – the healer is allowed to loot.

9.If we wipe  I will refrain from pointing the finger immediately at the healer (no cries of “HEALER!!!!” will be permitted- each exclamation point is a breach of the contract for which there will be serious penalties). I will consider my own actions first and reflect carefully where things might have gone wrong in the group &  offer constructive feedback/advice if appropriate (with proper and complete sentences and a noticeable lack of name calling & comments on the healer’s mother).

10. When the run is over I will thank my healer (& all the dps) and then say goodbye and generally act like a civilised human being. This might take practice.

If I as Tank fail to adhere to all of the above the Healer reserves the right to immediate cease and desist healing,  to write something bitter and sarcastic in party chat & then get the hell out of there.

2. HEALER

I [Insert NAME OF HEALER  – likely something like Florence, LittleMissPerfect  or simply DivineAngelofMercy] hereby agree to the following:-

1. I will arrive in the dungeon in the appropriate spec and gear that gives me a decent pool of mana to draw from. I will not expect to wear high ilevel gear without any intellect and spirit whatsoever and request mana breaks after every trash pull.

2. I will apply my buffs  and shields to the group in a timely and effective manner –  ideally before they are dead.

3.I will not go to the toilet/get a sandwich/feed the cat/visit my relatives in Australia without telling the group I will be afk. My very presence in a dungeon does not automatically heal people. I  actually have to do something.

4. I will not go all psycho if people new to the dungeon stand in the bad or do something wrong.

5. I will go all psycho if people who have been advised not to stand in the bad and how to do the fight continue to screw it up.

6. While the tank is my first priority, and then myself, I will also try to heal all dps regularly & efficiently. I will not tut/sigh/moan if a dps (innocent of serious wrongdoing) needs healing or, god forbid, actually resurrecting. As a healer I do have to heal. I might think this is unfair but it is actually the case.

7. I will ask for a mana break quickly & early and not sigh like a martyr if the entire group misses my obscure mistyped request i.e. “mwni bah”  does not suffice (and I think it means something rather offensive in Esperanto).

8. I will have mana food in my bag and will not expect every group I’m in to have a mage who can feed me. I am not a baby and mages are not my surrogate mothers. If any seem to want this role and offer to bathe and clothe me I should put them on ignore.

9.I will know what stages of the boss fight deals the most damage and plan accordingly. This means not panicking and freaking out when the boss stomps his foot down and causes immense AoE damage. I should be expecting it & know what to do. Running screaming from the dungeon is not the recommended reaction.

10.After the dungeon is over I will thank the group and say goodbye – reserving the right to vent freely in guild chat (or to my mother/husband/wife/goldfish)  when each of them disappears without a word of thanks back (the tank who does this is of course in serious breach of this contract).

If a Healer fails to carry out all of the above the Tank reserves the right to leave dungeon after a huge pull and laugh for a good hour or so afterwards at the thought of the messy wipe that then followed.

We [Insert NAMES OF TANK & HEALER] agree to adhere to these terms and conditions in every single dungeon run we take part in from here on out. Let the DPS rejoice. There is finally accord between tank & healer.

Managing Expectations

As a little treat I’ve started levelling two new characters- actually one is brand new (a mere babe) & the other a respecced character.

The first is a human warlock. I already have a blood elf warlock in her 60s but I wanted one Alliance side so I could join the guild. Hence Welshshell was born. She’s only level 9 – hanging out with Guard Thomas at present (there’s definitely a vibe between those two – although he’s hiding it well by repeatedly sending her off to fight murlocs – but this is always a sign of a little crush  I find). She has all the marks of a great character- she achieved a stupendous level 8 before her first death. I judge them all by that (my stupid rogue Swedgin- name copyrighted – taken from the way Mr Wu said Swearengen’s name in Deadwood (I loved that show) – died at something stupid like level 1 – I think he was just picking up his first quest &  stabbed himself with his own dagger trying to be too clever. So he was deleted (I show no mercy when they fail me).

The second is Styleesh- she was a shadow priest but had mana problems (humiliated herself in Shadowfang Keep by needing more mana breaks than the healer). So she is now a Discipline Priest. I never knew it would be so enjoyable playing Disc. It so suits my personality- I’m all about control & forward planning. As a Disc Priest I can bubble & renew & leave the party just to get on with it, topping up when needed. I LOVE IT. There’s been the occasional frantic healer keyboard mash (when they’ve done something stupid of course….not when I got sidetracked in guild chat…oh no…never)  & I’ve once had  to advise a mage to try not to act like a tank (it simply wasn’t working) but on the whole it’s been awesome.

But alternating from Mage  to Healer is proving interesting. Not just because I’ve confused several people in Stormwind by offering portals as Styleesh. No actually it’s the whole expectations thing. I’ve discovered  that mine from the healer  when I’m dps are very different  from the dps’ from  me when I’m the healer. In a nutshell-  others expect far more than I ever would.  Now I’m not crazy here – I’m not all shocked that they expect me as healer to ACTUALLY HEAL THEM (the cheek of it!) I didn’t expect to go in and  occasionally bandage some light flesh wounds & leave the rest to the magic healing fairies. No I fully expect to heal. I want to heal and I want to heal well. But still ….the expectations of some dps (leaving the tanks out of this – so far so  good there – knock on wood) are different from my own when I’m dps.

I started thinking about this the other day in fact when  I was reading something written by a healer who was ranting (sorry writing) about how annoying all dps are – they stand in crap, expect you to heal through everything, don’t ever listen, caused every single war in the world and have destroyed the ozone layer etc. I got all affronted as someone whose main is a dps (sorry Bravetank sorry- please forgive me- now be quiet & get back in the  cupboard). As a mage I try very hard not to stand in bad (I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs in my reactions to GTFO- I move quickly and then go to the kitchen and beg for a biscuit). I actually never ever expect healing!  As a mage I know I’m the lowest priority (although I draw the line at companions getting healing before me – that Pandaren monk can look after himself). I understand where I am in the hierarchy. So …I have my own potions, I have glyphed evocate to give me some healing when I use it, I maxxed first aid & always have bandages, I have and use (sometimes too much – I am a coward after all) Ice block & Invisibility. All the tools of the trade. While I’m showing what a model little mage I am can I also point out that I use Decursive to help the healer out whenever I can.  I see it as the added extra a mage can bring (as well as food of course & an ever ready pop band with my Mirror Images).  I know how to look after myself and so if I die I regard it as my fault (even when perhaps …dare I say it … it isn’t). And yet judging from what that healer wrote most healers would  assume I expect the world from them. I don’t.

The other day in LFR I was merrily blasting some trash away when all of a sudden I sailed into the air & found myself toe to toe with the mobs. Fearing some sort of clever mob ability that would now turn me into a bomb & then decimate everyone around me I immediately blinked back out. I thought I had done the right thing. But oh no. Of course not. After the fight it emerged (from scathing comments in raid chat) that the healer had grabbed me (which ones can do that –  hope it’s Disc?) to bring me close in (probably to a healing circle?) to minimise damage. But (a)I didn’t know that’s what he/she was doing (b)I did not see a healing circle & I do look for them (c)the assumption was the healer had to protect me not that I understand the healer’s main focus is the tank & that I know what damage I can/can’t take in an encounter without needing the healer & if I die (which I wouldn’t have  anyway – it was all under control- don’t let the empty green bar and the fact I’m crying on my knees fool you) it would have been my fault .

Again though maybe I’m wrong here (can you tell my middle names are “totally appeasing devil’s advocate fence sitter”). I do understand all deaths slow things up & cause problems & all unnecessary ones should be avoided (but I wasn’t going to die anyway so all that’s academic …grrr …I’m arguing with myself now). Anyway I apologised in raid chat & said I hadn’t realised & all was fine. We completed LFR, I got a great staff – all good.

Jump forward a week. Magic wavy hands – I am now a discipline healer. What am I finding in dungeons? Expectations galore!! Yesterday in Gnomeregan all of a sudden the tank & mage started taking lots of damage. Both standing in totally different places – all mobs on tank – I focused on the tank & then tried to save mage. But it was too late for the latter. No problem- just needed to be ressed. Not the end of the world. But within seconds the mage had typed “Heal…”. Oooh those three dots of rebuke. How they irritate the crap out of me. The thing is it was a mage – why was he taking damage when all the mobs were on the tank? It  suggests to me the mage was in the vicinity of one of those bombs they set – so whose fault is that? And yet obviously his expectation was that I would heal through that (& I nearly did- it was just the tank needed attention first). Now when I’m dps & die through standing in the bad I just apologise profusely & shamedfacedly run back in (or get lost on way back in of course- making everything feel 100 times worse) & feel (know)  I’ve let everyone down. But not this mage- no. He was entitled to be healed no matter what.

This has happened a few times (not much though – most of the runs have been straightforward -and while  I know they are at this level please let me enjoy the fact I was actually complimented  this morning by the entire group for my healing – we were a dps/healer only group (tank had left) blasting through a dungeon with no one dying- it was great!). But now I do understand why the healer in LFR did what he did to me – firstly he didn’t want to have to waste time ressing anyway (or waiting for a numbskull like me to run back in), but secondly for all he knew I’m a dps who expects it all from the healer. Why wouldn’t he think it? That’s how it seems.

I’ve also noticed (while I’m on my weekly soapbox) no awareness of healer line of sight (I know I should  stand in the right place & I do- but when someone falls somewhere random & expects me to be able to heal them…that’s just ridiculous). Also of course no awareness of healer mana (an obvious one this- won’t even dwell on it), a healer’s whereabouts & of course absolutely no attempt from other mages to use decursive (although maybe they can’t in their 30s – I should check but I’m in the flow right now). Anyway basically (just to restate my point) their expectations & behaviours as dps are different from mine.

Who is right? I know it’s not black & white but it just feels to me that everyone should first  play their class properly (all aspects of it – if you can do the occasional self heal do it, use your CDs wisely etc) and be prepared to do that little bit extra for the team and not automatically assume the world revolves around you. In real life I see the same problem all the time. We have such an entitlement culture now. People expect the world & are looking to sue or blame when things go wrong.  Fail your exams – teacher was crap. Lose your job- victimisation. Fall over – crack in the pavement. What about revising, working hard & looking where you are walking. I know I’m generalising. Sometimes people/organisations do things wrong & need to be brought to account. I understand that and I support that. But what happened to holding oneself to account? What happened to personal responsibility? Sometimes the fault lies closer to home and we should be big enough to deal with this.

God I feel old.