Tag Archives: whyunohealme

The 4.1 Nerfs: How To (Keep) Disc Priesting

So… So… So…

Your hair looks pretty. And your robes are nice! And… uh… is that a new wand?

There’s not a lot good to be said for the discipline priest changes coming down the pipe in the 4.1 patch. Atonement now procs with and is helped glyphically by Holy Fire, but as SmiteSpec continues to under-perform in raids, this comes as cold comfort to all disc priests. Smite or not, we want any flavor of disc priest to prosper.

THE GOOD

We’re still gear-dependent, perhaps more than any other class in the game. With the new 353 gear dropping in Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman, we have potential to pwn the Magmaws and Halfii of the world. So… yeah. That’s theonlyppositive I could think of.

THE BAD

Inner Will lasts until canceled. Divine Aegis lasts 15 seconds, up from 12. But wait! Why is this categorized under bad, and not mildly good? Because these pathetic buffs made it okay for Blizzard to bitch-slap us with…

THE UGLY

Power Word: Shield to last 15 seconds, down from 30 seconds. To add insult to injury: Power Word: Barrier is now on a 3 minute cool down, up from 2 minutes.

So what does all this mean? Basically, that Blizzard doesn’t want you to use your signature ability, because it just Isn’t Done. How presumptuous of us to depend on it, the spell around which our class is based- particularly given our “alternate spec” is a running joke in raids.

We keep going, because that’s what we do, and we focus with all our might on casting while moving and being in the right place at the right time.

Here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to make a druid love us, and beg for Innervate early and often. Consider stacking Mastery to a greatest degree than ever before, be positively jealous with your bubbles, ignore the DPS as much as you can in all good conscience do it before they rise up in a Boxer Rebellion of hurt feelings and dangling appendages, and, above all, pray.

You know how to pray, don’t you?

You just put your hands together… and Penance.

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Don’t Panic: Disc Priest Tips for Cataclysm

Healing as a Disc Priest in these early days of the Cataclysm expansion can be cataclysmically horrifying.

The average LFD group is explosively bad: DPS refuse to utilize crowd control. The tank pulls seven mobs as though he’s an overgeared ICC Kingslayer running Mana Tombs with every buff in the game. No one will stop for you to drink.

You’re running out of mana every two mobs and the group keeps pulling, oblivious to your panicked squeals for mana, mana, mana! Bars are dropping. You pop triage heals on the DPS, even though you can’t spare the mana, because you know you’ll wipe for sure without that strangely tough hunter because your tanks’ health is dropping faster than a brick on fast-forward and he’s vying for the title of World’s Biggest Dick anyway.

The ‘lock Life Taps six times in quick succession, the tank pulls the boss while you’re counting the seconds on your Shadowfiend cooldown and sobbing softly while whacking the last three mobs feebly with your stick, and then it happens:

You wipe.

And then the group boots you.

I wish I had more encouraging news for you, gentle discos, but the best I can say is that we’re not alone. Every healer I’ve talked to is going through this same agony. Tanks are squishier, DPS are slower, your mana is nonexistent, and somehow in LFD all those problems add up to THE HEALER SUCKS!

I feel your pain. Hell, I’m living your pain!

We’re all in this together, all embattled and embittered and embarrassed in these bludgeon-fests, but here are a few tips that may assist in that horrifying slog we’re facing these days. They’ve helped me regain my sanity- what little remains, that is- and I hope they do the same for you:

1. LFD? LFG!

The LFD tool is an odd monster. It at once impersonalized the leveling experience and yet exposed you to far more content. Blizzard certainly took the impersonalization to heart: just look at the new guild system for confirmation that they really, really want you get to know players on your realm at least a bit better.

The lone leveler got hit with the nerf bat in terms of guild achievements and rewards, but perhaps- perhaps!- the extreme difficulty of healing right now is intended to do the same thing.

I have to be honest with you guys, now: I have not finished a single random LFD instance since Cataclysm began. I’ve been kicked (“You suck!”), I’ve ragequit (“You guys suck!”), I’ve been in the fetal position and crying too snottily to seize hold of my mouse (“I suck!”).

And then there are guild runs.

I moved my main priest to another server (to act as temporary financial support to a low-level alt), and ended up in a new guild about two weeks ago. I don’t know all of my guildmates very well, but I *do* know them better than my LFD-sponsored Ipwnunoobz tank.

When I need to stop for mana, they stop. We pull cautiously and steadily. We make good time, because we don’t wipe. No one yells. No one curses (there is excessive /mooning of bosses, however). No one pitches a fit.

If you haven’t yet, or if you’re not in a guild that runs instances regularly. do seriously consider getting in with a guild to run with outside the LFD Disaster Relief System.

I can highly recommend Mortem Vitae Sequens on A-Farstriders, Waypoint on A-Medivh, Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa on H-Drenden, and Business Time on A-Moonrunner. If those guilds are aren’t hiring, I know each one would be happy to recommend a good one on-server.

2. Dress for Success

It’s tempting- oh, so tempting- to gear up as a Shadow Priest, run a few quests in Vash’jir and Mount Hyjal, and in the meantime queue up as a healer for a few (invariably disastrous) PUGs through the Looking For Group tool.

Do not do this. If you’re picking up gear with Hit and chucking the gear with Spirit, well- you’re gonna have a bad time.

Now is the time to commit to running in Spirit gear with no Hit as a dedicated Disc Priest instance healer (or partner-in-crime of a tankish questing friend).

If you can’t bring yourself to do that, admit to yourself that you’d really like to see those new areas while you level, dropping Spirit gear for Spellpower and Intellect (and Hit), and level as a  Shadowpriest, may the gods forgive me for saying it.

3. (Key)Bound for Glory

Go into the game. Hit ‘Esc’. Select ‘Macros’.

Creating macros is easy, and it’s awfully nice to have a pre-programmed little ditty that you can slap out at the beginning of LFD. It might not make any difference, but you’ll feel like you at least made the effort.

Just select ‘Create New…’ on the Macros screen, select an attractive icon, and type in anything you’d normally type in the chat screen. Once done, pull the icon(s) to your quickbar and press at will.

My own goes something like this:

/p Hi, everyone! I’m Liala and I’ll be your healer for this evening’s run.
/p Healers are really low on mana right now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, so I’m going to have to ask for a few more mana breaks then we’re all used to. I promise I’ll make it as quick as I can.
/p Deeps, I’m really sorry, but I’m probably not going to be able to heal you as much. Please don’t hesitate to use bandages if we’re getting creamed. That’s it! Thanks for reading!

Then I have a few macros that I’ve always had:

/p Mana break after this mob, please.
/p Focusing on tank heals, please bandage at will.

Employ your macros to give your tank a verbal heads-up whenever possible, and reap the rewards of a happy tank.

4. Get Right Back To Where We Started From

We all want to get ahead, to see the new instances, to see the new content!

The last thing on Azeroth any of us want to do right now is go back to the Lich King or any of those Heroic Wrath instances we’ve run ten thousand times, but there is, I swear, benefit to doing so.

Queue up for a random Lich King Heroic and run it paying complete and total attention to your rotation.

Running these suckers is a great way to familiarize yourself with all the new bells and whistles we Disc Priests have without stressing the hell out over everyone dying all over the place. No matter how much I read or study or crunch numbers, I find nothing ever, ever replaces the actual experience of playing with a new build.

Since healing should be cake, you’ll be able to take stock of your new talents without being terribly distracted.

Try out new rotations. Pay attention to the numbers that are popping up as you heal, and check out which spells give you the biggest results and how much your mana bar sinks with each. Get used to using Inner Focus and Hymn of Hope and Barrier, and whatever else you haven’t been using lately. Try out the new Smitespec and see if that fills you with joy (and wings).

Whatever else you do, remain calm and remember we’re all right there with you, bitching about our tanks and DPS in the ethereal super-reality that all Disc Priests share. Your QQ is our QQ. Godspeed.

For more information on gear and builds, check out:
Cataclysm Disc Priest Builds (Shieldspec and Smitespec)
Gearing a Disc Priest: 80-85
Gearing a Disc Priest: The Beginning Raider (85+)
Cataclysm Disc Priest Gems and Reforging
My current build on the Armory

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PUGtales: Snap Judgements

Just Another Day In Paradise

Lately I’ve been racking up massive numbers of PUGs with the LFD tool in order to keep my alts in the heirloom style to which they have become accustomed (the ungrateful bastards! Why, in MY day, I leveled as a holy priest with a broken dagger and half a cape, and was damn grateful for it! Uphill both ways to Molten Core through-… ahem, excuse me).

But my point, and I do have one, was that I realized last night that I’ve been creating a mental list of Instant Tank Judgements. We all know that someone with a name like ‘Ipwnulolz’ will likely require the patience of a saint, but there are more subtle signs.

There’s that inescapable, thoroughly subconscious, internal checklist that makes us think, Oh, God, I should just drop now and get it over with that we run through before anyone even opens their mouth. I’d be totally interested to hear someone else’s, but without further ado, here are my own:

Good Tanks

  • Dwarves (usually)
  • Gnomes (always)
  • Females (unbelievably good, unless they’re a DK named ‘Sexxorz’)
  • Any tank who’s running with his ‘Display Helmet’ turned off (???)

Bad Tanks

  • Any retarded name (always)
  • A tank grouped with only one other DPS from his guild (Always, always means a sprinter who will not stop to let you drink; something about not wanting to be seen as weak in front of the DPSer, maybe?)
  • Human males with facial hair (This makes no sense!)
  • Any tank who’s running with his ‘Display Cloak’ turned off (??? x 2)

DKs are emphatically not on my list; certainly Outland runs they tend to be much hazier on the mechanical details, but they don’t seem to be any more or less personally obnoxious than any other tanking class. Man, they sure do get a bum rap, though.

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PUGtales: Macros For The Insane

Herald Volazj Isn't The Only One Who Makes Us Crazy

I WANT- NAY, need- to make /partyspeak macros for the most virulently bad heal-ees out there. I’m tired of trying to splutter out something insulting on the fly. We must codify our rage, and it would behoove us to pool our resources.

So, what would be your macro response to:

  • “why u no heal me?”
  • “rex plz”
  • Pulls while you’re drinking
  • Soultap
  • DPS aggro-draw

I’ll post the list of winners, along with codes for all the macros, up hynah when we’re found our winners.

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