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Well I took my first crack at all of the healing trees.  I don’t mean to say I’ve played them all but from my experience I know what I like to choose and what I don’t like to choose.  To be honest I really don’t do a lot of experimentation with my talents.  I would love to hear what differences you may have made although with even fewer points to spread around and some new limitations on spreading your points out, they may be minimal.

To begin, I’d like to go over a few of the general guidelines I like to use.

Gameplay
I don’t PvP so this is definitely not one of my considerations.  Although I do solo in order to level my characters, I don’t have a special spec for leveling.  I’ve actually found it quite safe and cozy to level in my healing spec since it is fairly hard for a non-elite mob to take down a healer. Besides, with the invention of dual specs I can just use a DPS class if I’m in a hurry. So the target here is dungeons (I haven’t been raiding in awhile).

Passive Abilities
So yeah, I’m lazy.  Anything that helps me without me having to take action, take advantage of a proc or think about it in anyway is awesome.  I wouldn’t say that I have tunnel vision but I don’t have Dominos or any other mods that let me move everything around. On top of that, I like watching the Healbot bars go up and dowm (the former more so than the latter).

Extra Spells or Enhancements
I do like having more tools in my toolkit. You may think this contradicts my laziness but a whole new spell is nice and I like it when the spells do more without any extra effort from me.  I will also put free haste and crit into this category.

Taking Aggro and Being Attacked
Um, no. That’s protflashes job and I don’t PvP.  If for some strange and unimaginable reason I do die then I stay quiet and let protflashes take the blame.  She so readily likes to say she’s sorry, even if it was my fault. :)

DPS
Despite Blizzard’s attempt to push healers to DPS, I still don’t want to. I mean I tried doing some of that with my Shaman but I much prefer to be ready for the unexpected. That means not being mid-cast on a lightning spell. I don’t mind doing the occasional shock (interrupts are cool because they save me healing time) and a hex here or there (once again, one less dude doing damage that I don’t have to heal). But DPS for the sake of DPS doesn’t really suit me and that’s why I play a healer.

That’s the short and sweet of my guidelines.  As much as I love to be meticulous and detailed, I really don’t fret over every last point. Now for some screenshot from Wowhead.

Druid

Druid - Resto

There seemed to be a lot of places to put points in the resto tree. Anyway, I’m still a little sour at losing my tree form and didn’t see a lot of benefit yet in increasing the effects from my shapeshifting (especially since I’ll probably forget to go into tree form at all). The shapeshifting isn’t so passive anymore. I also left out points for a few damage items (dealing and taking).

Paladin

Paladin - Holy

Again, I left out the Exorcism points right off the bat. Although I had Divine Protection and Hand of Sacrifice configured in Healbot, I never really used them so I also left out “Paragon of Virtue”. And I’m not getting hit so I left out Blessed Life. I do like the idea of a free heal with the new Word of Glory spell and I tried it a few times (not in a dungeon but just roaming around) and I think it will suit me fine.

Just a side note before I continue. Do me a favour and read the text for Conviction and imagine a crazy healadin running into to combat with the other paladins. I can’t help but laugh as I see my little dwarf up there in melee swinging his mace like a madman.

Shaman

Shaman - Resto

The paladin and shaman are beginning to look more and more alike. One of the things that leads me to this conclusion is the push to use shocks. I left the points out of Focused Insight just because I liked the looks of Elemental Weapons and Improved Shields. I might change this around sometime in the future though. The remaining items were all damage related. I also really like the idea of an Ancestral Awakening. Sounds pretty cool and means I can heal people without even knowing it. :) Bonus!

Okay, I saved the priest for last because I did both trees.

Priest – Discipline

Priest - Disco

There were a few tough decisions here. Moving around a little faster with Inner Sanctum good be advantageous but I was never that bad at positioning. I did, however, have a hard time with Loken at first and may respec for that dungeon but I’m pretty sure I got it now! Rapture also seemed quite useful but then I remembered my obsessiveness in never letting the shield just die out; I usually have the thing renewed with a couple seconds left. After those decisions, the rest was easy.

Priest – Holy

Priest - Holy

I felt a little weird not taking any points from the Holy tree when I did up the Discipline tree so I tried not to borrow here too. I would say that Mental Agility may have been useful but I did end up taking a few points in Twin Disciplines for a base healing bonus. I also left points out of Test of Faith but that is because of my ego…..when do I ever let people get under 50% health. Come on!

Anyway, the trees have changed since I picked my original specs (at least I noticed changes to the druid and paladin trees) so these may not be final. Nothing is after all. I would like to hear your opinions because I don’t play nearly enough attention to notice the differences.

Well, well, well.

I’ve been reviewing my trees and have pretty much settled on the specs for all my healer toons. I’m not really sure what to think yet.

The only char I’ve healed with in any capacity since the update was my shaman. It went smoothly. I avoided the shock and lightning bolt talents. After discovering that I couldn’t oom even if I tried, I was happy with those choices. I’m sure things will be different in the 80+ dungeons though.

I was really disappointed with the fact that I won’t be seeing my tree form as much on my druid. Can I even call her my tree anymore? I haven’t loaded up this char yet but I can say that it will take some getting used to. I won’t recognize the sprite for the first little while because I rarely had the char in Tauren form. Oh well. I understand the forms are buzzing so maybe Blizzard will change their minds yet; I hope they do.

I still need to try out my other chars but here’s hoping they feel just as good as my shammy.

Savethefails

I haven’t been as active on the blog as I would have liked but I have been struggling to find topics. Since I’ve been raiding with my Paladin lately I’ve decided to start talking about the class.

For my first topic I will go to the bottom of the Holy tree and the Beacon of Light spell.

In case you haven’t seen it before here are some details.

Mana: 35% base mana

Cast Time: Instant

Range: 60 yards

The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all targets within a 60 yard radius. Any heals you cast on those targets will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed. Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 60 seconds.

So essentially if you heal anyone besides the Beacon then the Beacon will get a heal for the same amount. The mana cost isn’t as bad as it sounds; currently this spell costs my Paladin 1383 mana. Now let’s talk about some applications. I believe the most obvious place for this spell is on a tank but there are a few different configurations.

In a party:

You will be the only healer in a 5-man group so there isn’t very much choice here. You are responsible for everyone. Put the Beacon on the tank and, out of habit, keep the spell active all the time. It will help you to get into the habit of watching for the buff and when things get hairy you will have a better chance of remembering to check. The Beacon gives you the freedom to heal everyone else in the group without paying particular attention to the tank.

In a 10 man raid:

There are two ways you can handle this. If the MT and OT stay within 60 yards of each other and you manage to keep range and line of sight then a single Paladin can successfully watch the tanks all alone. So you can put the Beacon on the tank taking more damage, usually the MT, and this will keep them both up. This will also come into play if other healer(s) die. Then you will also be set up to try and keep the entire raid up provided one tank is taking a little less damage so you have time to throw a heal on the raid occasionally.

The other way I use this spell is to take responsibility for a single tank and the raid. It becomes quite easy to heal the raid with Flash of Light over and over and still keep a tank up.

Other uses:

I have often struggled with who to put the Beacon on when the tanks die. I will often try and jump to the plate wearer who will be next on the threat meter. They would be your best chance to successfully keep up if something were to aggro on them. The other option I have tried was to put the Beacon on me. It might seem selfish but since there is no dedicated tank left the healers will eventually pull aggro and there isn’t much chance if both tanks and healers go down. So the answer lies in how many mobs are still up. If there are one of two then put it on the plate wearer and if there are a more put it on you. The reasoning being you have a much better chance of aggroing a straggler when there is a big group.

Another big bonus of this spell is the fact that there is a 60 yard range and no line of sight required from the person receiving the healing and the Beacon. These points are most useful when you are in a party but can be applied to any of the situations. Essentially if you have been healing the tank and for some reason they have strayed outside the 30 or 40 yard range then you can simply heal yourself and they will still get heals at up to 60 yards. This is also true if they’ve gone up some stairs or around a corner and you have lost line of sight. Just put a few heals on yourself and the Beacon will still get them. It gives you a little buffer to get back into position. This will also work if there is some nasty AOE stuff you don’t want to be involved in. Of course this will not help the melee DPS since you have no chance of reaching them and the Beacon does need to be renewed every 30 seconds (60 seconds if you have the glyph).

That is pretty much all I had to say about the Beacon of Light spell and I will try and write up another entry shortly.

I’ve been struggling to find a good subject for my first post but I keep coming back to this one.  While in a party or raid I often try and keep the peace; I don’t like pointing fingers when we wipe because I feel we wipe as a group.  I also don’t like people who point fingers.

I’d like to take a moment to express my irritation, as a healer, at having to constantly heal the same people on the same fights because for some reason they can’t seem to get out of different AoE damage effects.  I can understand trying a fight a few times before getting the hang of it.  That’s fine.  There are some people, though, who always, ultimately, fall back on the same excuses.

Suggestions:

Do you have spell effects on?  I know that they can be costly to the video performance but if you really want to raid then perhaps you should look into getting a better video card.

Do you have too many add ons?  Turn a couple off.  There seem to be millions of add ons but I don’t think you’ll need them all on during raiding. Try turning a few off.

Do you have tunnel vision?  Maybe you should learn how to multi task a little bit.  Some people, and this one bugs me, get so obsessed over some add ons that they can’t seem to see anything else.  You will need to spend some time looking at the other stuff that’s going on in the environment.  I don’t care what role you’re filling.  Take a look at what’s going on around you.

Luckily these issues are all solvable with a little work.  Unfortunately not all issues can be solved through mechanics.  Every now and then you just run into someone stubborn.  Normally this is some over-obsessive DPS such as the argument below that I’ve had on more than one occasion.

Rant:

Please don’t tell me that you can survive through it so you won’t move.  I don’t think your job is to decide on what incoming damage should look like.  I’m pretty sure that is my job.

For those who want to see the basic responsibilities list as I see it, here you go:

Tank = Threat
Healer = Incoming Damage
DPS = Outgoing Damage

Just remember that.  I take care of incoming damage and just because you can survive some damage doesn’t mean you should just stand there and take it.  There are a few other things going on and I’m looking at the big picture.  If I heal you there are three problems:

a) I lose mana that I didn’t have to spend.
b) I increase my chance of OOMing.
c) If someone else needs heals suddenly (like a tank or healer) I may miss them.

The next thing I usually hear is don’t worry about healing me during that AoE.  Don’t even suggest this.  It doesn’t make sense in any context of the game.

a) How does this help the raid?
I will need to heal you since it is often easiest for the whole raid if all the DPS are alive and contributing (this is a team sport my friend).

b) Do you even need a healer?
If I’m not healing people who take damage then I might as well be useless.

c) What if everyone started doing this?
Then all three points from the previous section would exist guaranteed.

d) What makes you so special?
Nothing.

The best part is the explanation as to why you didn’t move.  You were just trying to make the Emalon fight end sooner.  What am I supposed to say?  I know why you don’t want to get out of Emalon’s burst….it must be something to do with DPS being competitive.  So you don’t like the fact that the range get to keep fighting through the burst and you have to run out.  You think somehow this will give them an advantage in DPS.  Now you understand that DPS stands for Damage Per Second.  That means if you are running away and not causing damage then your DPS stays still.  I’m pretty sure you DPS are all spamming your DPS and not damage done…that is to say your Damage Per Second and not total damage done. As for the actual argument, don’t tell me that your 3000 DPS (and I’ll be generous here) is going to keep us under the enrage timer.  Let’s just examine this for a second.  Emalon probably has about 1.5 million health (I’m too lazy to check right now).  And it takes about 4 seconds to run out and come back…we’ll stretch it to 6 just to be safe.  That means you are telling me that the 18,000 damage you would do in that time is going to make or break the fight.  With 6 competent DPS this is a mere second of work.  Give me a break.  Just play the encounter the way Blizzard intended it to be fought and run out of the burst.

Okay…I think I’m good now, but this leads into another subject that I’ll save for later: don’t break the game!

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