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Why you should never doubt yourself too fast


I’ve got some kind of “curse”. Every time I try something new, things go horribly wrong, or just extremely difficult, while I feel it’s not supposed to be that way. Yet, I rarely find out what the reason for that is right away. In the past this has made doubt my own abilities.

Luckily I don’t believe in nonsense like curses. Bad luck just happens. Especially the first time things tend to seem worse than they are.

Why am I telling this?

I just finished a very rough HoR run. I still hadn’t healed that place on the paladin, and now I got it for the daily. While I knew she was geared more than enough for that place, and I didn’t have any problems with the other ICC dungeons, I just didn’t like the thought of having to heal it without any AOE spells.

When I entered that place I first made extra sure there weren’t going to be any surprises, so I checked the tank quickly to see if he was any good. This guy’s gear was looking great. Everything was nicely enchanted and gemmed, his spec seemed fine too (as far as I can tell from a DK, the only class I barely know anything about). The rest of the group seemed like decent dps too, except for the warlock who immediately started tapping and took no effort to drink/eatΒ  *sigh*.

I didn’t heal the warlock and we started the fight.

Ouch, this was harder that I hoped. I was spamming holy lights constantly, while getting knocked back, stunned, interrupted, frozen. The tank got to dangerously low levels quite a few times. I know DK tanks can be spiky, but this wasn’t fun anymore. Also, compared to my Shaman, the greater heals seemed to take forever, which was weird in a way, because I remember healing this place when they were just as fast on my shaman (1.5 seconds). I didn’t remember me having to use that many greater heals before. Earthshield and Ancestral Healing are powerful abilities, though, I wondered if those made the difference.

A tragedy happened: we wiped on the 4th wave. I had a hard time keeping the tank up, and he went down to 5% in the short time I got stunned. I didn’t have time to finish the cast after the stun wore off. The tank died.

I can’t remember wiping in HoR anymore. That hadn’t happened in ages, at least not when I tanked or healed it, so I felt kinda shitty about it. And even though I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t be able to heal this place, there was absolutely nothing I could think of that could be wrong, I double, triple checked.

The group wasn’t complaining oddly enough, so we tried again. I politely asked the tank to use a cooldown when I was stunned. I knew he would be too busy to notice that and I don’t even know what kinds of cooldowns a DK tank has (he was blood spec I think), but I felt I had to try something.

So we tried again. This time I prepared myself for heavy heal nuking and mentally switched over to my 25Mans tank healing mode. I only focused on the tank, healing others using full holy lights as soon as the tank took the slightest bit of damage. I also used holy wrath every cooldown to create some short time-outs. Every single thing I did was necessary, because I had a real hard time keeping this guy up.

We got to Falric. In contrary to other healers, this is actually a great one to heal as a paladin healer. That might sound strange, because he does massive AOE damage, but having Shadow resistance aura + Aura mastery, and Bubble + Divine protection makes mitigating his AOE’s a joke. So, we downed him without too much effort.

Second set of waves.

Oh no, wipe at the 4th wave again!

I’m slowly starting to doubt my ability to do this. Are there any more abilities I can use? Would hand of sacrifice be a safe thing to do? I didn’t know it anymore.

We started again. I decided to use my bubble as soon as I noticed a rogue, in the fourth wave, because I clearly couldn’t afford one single stun.

I was hating the spikes. This damage was abnormal! I gave it all I had, blowing every cooldown I had, and we got till Marwyn, though I was OOM.

I used Plea while I drankΒ  in the short time that boss came running to us. This boss was never hard to heal, I didn’t need much mana for this.

A few seconds into the fight. Tank loses 70% of his health in one shot! Whaaat??

I heal him up. Bam, again, 20% HP left.

What is this? I heal him to 80%, but now I’m out of mana.

Tank dies, we wipe.

“Ok guys, I don’t get this. I’ve never seen tanks take insane amounts of damage like this on that boss before. Something is wrong, but I have no idea what it is. Everything seems to be ok”.

A moment of silence..

“My gear is broken”.

You’ve GOT to be kidding me…. That never even crossed my mind even ONCE!

I only had such a thing happen to me one time, way back in TBC, after a bunch of wipes on Prince and then Nightbane. I was just as surprised back then as I was now. I always repair every chance I get, mostly because it’s done automatically by my addons (I believe titan panel has it build in). It had never happened to me before also, so I even wrote a ticket about my stats being wrong. Recount was covering the location where the “broken gear guy” was located, so I didn’t have the slightest idea something obvious was wrong.

Since then it never happened to me again, ever. And besides the random “lolwut” dps in pugs that asks for a repairbot after the first wipe, something that always annoys the crap out of me, I never even slightly considered this to be a thing that would happen to a decent player at the start of a raid, let alone a heroic.

But it did.

This whole run I was slowly beginning to doubt myself, even though the voices of reason, wisdom and experience were shouting to me: there is something else wrong, and you know it! You just haven’t figured out what it is!

I knew these “voices” were right, because they’ve always been right, yet without a good explanation I feel very uncomfortable, I have to know everything: I hate guessing.

Anyway, after the tank came back from fixing his gear, his health had shot up with 4000HP compared to when we started the instance. He must have had multiple pieces broken even back then.

Healing got much more relaxed, like it should with our gear. I didn’t have to stress anymore. We ended the waves and fight with me still having 85% of my mana.

The rest of the run was no problem as well, and I didn’t even break a sweat on the final battle. This all made a lot more sense to me.

It’s funny how after years of experience with healing, different classes, specs, roles, basic game mechanics, but definitely also a lot of experience with this particular encounter, I was still able to start doubting my own abilities. I’m always telling other people to never do this, but I still do it myself. Yet again, I got proven that there is no reason to. Will I end up in a similar situation again? Most likely. Will I doubt myself about things in the future? I hope not, but it can always happen.

I just hope this experience shows once again, that whenever things just seem like they aren’t right, they probably aren’t.Β  Some call it instinct, others call it intuition, but it’s in fact just your own logic being suppressed by momentary fear (doubt), or other clouds covering your judgment.

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The good, the bad and gearscore


No, this is not a gearscore bash or promotion topic. I use it myself, the way it’s intended: a quick and rough indication.

I actually don’t want to write much today. Yesterdays post took way to much time, so I’m keeping it simple today.

Did Occulus with this tank..

And healing was still very much boring..

Not so much because I am overgeared for it, but just because this guy hardly needed any attention at all.

I played with this one in FoS:

His gearscore was roughly 3k5 (forgot screenshot).

Had no problems healing him also, even though he was actually a bad tank, and I don’t mean in gear (I had constant aggro myself, being the healer).

Just posting it to show the gearscore gestapo that you don’t need a 4k+ tank to do heroics, even if the tank is crap. Perhaps HoR needs a little extra, but that’s it.

Addon of the week: RaidBuffStatus


First off: I wondered why I didn’t get one disconnect in the 2 raids I did yesterday.Β  For the past few weeks this has been the standard I was getting used to (ok, not really).

I was always blaming my addon mania for this, as I figured a few of them were probably fighting over who got to place their useless information in some unread tooltip first.

But this morning I got the joyful message from my internet provider that they secretly upped my internet speed!

Now, I can hardly believe that the lack of speed was causing the problems before (8Mbit should be more than enough, right?), but I wouldn’t be surprised if those sudden DC’s were caused by them tweaking their routers.

Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It could just be temporary luck and my addons could still be plotting a huge chain-DC on my next run, right after I see the message: “Mainspecs, roll on [Trauma]“.

However, a faster internet connection for the same price is never a bad thing πŸ™‚

And I think I already payed my due’s to murphy.. because to be absolutely safe, I decided to updated my router firmware as they suggested. Having my router protected as good as possible, this caused some undocumented updating problems: my password got reset, which not only caused me to not be able to access my router, and internet until I figured out how to reset it to factory default. It also resulted in me losing all the configurations which I meticulously tweaked over time. It took me 2 hours to get everything back as it was *sigh*

But I’m back in business, like everyone’s favorite VH boss would say.

Anyway, enough screen clutter, on to the addon of the week:

RaidBuffStatus

This addon came to replace my previously used BigBrother a while back, and it’s a must have if you’re perfectionist like me.

Unlike the name suggests, this addon does more than just check the status of buffs in the raid. However, that is one of its main purposes.

Who would want it?

Raidleaders mostly of course, but anyone with a sense of responsibility will like it very much. For tanks this can also be very useful. Even in PvP this is useful for the deathwarnings and the CC breaks.

Why would you want it?

To “spy” on everyone and quickly notice if they ate their plate clean, took their (right) medication.. I mean, have their (correct) food buffs and flasks/elixirs, buffs, aura’s, presences, or stances, but also who’s been slacking in giving the rest buffs (yes, I’m looking at you, slackadins!) and who is n0t even inside the instance yet even (regular slackers).

These are not it’s only functions.

For tanks it has the special function of showing interesting information about taunts used, and breaking CC’s. It can give text and sound feedback when your taunt fails, or when someone else taunts your target. When someone else taunts your target, it also recognizes if this is a tank or a non-tank. For example: if a hunter grabs your aggro, it will explicitly mention that it’s not a tank that taunted your target.

The options for taunt warnings are many, like you can see in this configuration screen, there’s not a single kind of taunt not covered. It’s close to too much information, but you can choose what you wanna see and what not, that’s the good thing.

For those that aren’t raidleading or tanking, it’s still useful besides spying on others. It can be configured just to show your buffs, and helps you buffing the right people by simple clicking your buffs in the main overview. CC breaks are also good to know if you’re a CC capable class. If you’re a dps druid it’s also interesting to get deathwarnings too, so you can quickly battleress f.e.

The operation

The main overview screen looks like this if you’ve got it full option:

This page shows the overview of all the information you can get about the current raid. It might look confusing, but once you know the reason for the way this is ordered, it’s get much easier to use.

The screen is split into 4 parts.

First part, the top row of buttons shows basic “readiness” problems, like people not in the same zone, people AFK, low durability, having useless aura’s, people using low level consumables or ammo, or people who are dead… Personally I think 2 things in this list don’t really belong there, but you can all change that.

The second part is a list of bars that show the health of the raid. Average health of tanks, average mana of healers, etc. Personally I only care about healer mana, and healers/tanks alive, but you can choose what you want to see from the configuration menu.

The third part is a grid of all the standard buffs, kings, mark ot wild, fortitude, seals, presences, etc.

The fourth and last part are the buffs that you would use for progression raids, and are interesting if you really want the best from your raid. These are basically consumable buffs like foodbuffs, elixirs/flasks, stuff you wouldn’t use in heroics f.e.

The buffs have colors on them, these colors say something important about the buffs too:

  • Yellow means that somebody in the raid is missing this buff
  • Red means that somebody in the raid is missing a buff you’re responsible for
  • Blue means that you’re missing a buff that someone else is (or could be) responsible for.

You can configure click actions on these buttons. By default they are this:

  • Left click turns checking for the particular buff on and off
  • Right click buffs people if you’re capable of buffing it
  • Shift-Left click reports this to the raid chat (if you’ve got the authority to do so)
  • Ctrl-Left click whispers the buffers about what they forgot.

There are also 4 buttons. The scan button on top refreshes everything, nothing spectacular. The bottom 3 buttons are only usable if you have raidleader or assist status, and can be used to report to the raid about the missing buffs (if you don’t have this status, it can report to yourself only, but that’s a bit senseless, as you have the overview in front of you). The Trash and Boss button do basically the same, except that the Trash button ignores the fourth part of buffs. The Boss button shows everything. The R button is simply a readycheck.

Sometimes it’s a shame that it only allows you to report to the raid as leader/assist, especially in pugs. You can however always make it whisper to the responsible people what they’re forgot to do.

Update:

I forgot two windows that pop up if you press the little two arrows on top of the addon.

The left one gives an overview of your group, showing what specs and abilities the players have. Very useful to quickly see who are the tanks, healers, melee, and ranged dps, and what they bring to the raid in abilities.

The right one let’s you configure which buffs you consider a buff, or a warning, and which ones you want to show, or report. This basically configures the RBS display. Here you can change the buffs that you think are wrongly placed, or are just not interesting to you. Those slacking buffs that were wrongly placed in my opinion can be replaced or removed here.

The options

The latest versions comes pre-configured for three options. Just press the button and the configuration will be adjusted to your role:

Personally I would’ve liked to see the “tank” option too. but it’s not hard to configure that manually.

Manual configuration is simple btw, even though there are lots of options.

Consumable options configures whether you’re ok with lower level consumables or not.

Reporting configures to whom you want to report the information, and how.

Raid Status Bars show what bars you want so see in the bars overview.

Mouse buttons configures the click combinations you can use

Tank/CC/Misdirect/Death Warnings (see pictures at the begin of this post) configure if you want these warnings, and if they should be audial, visual, both or even reported to the raid.

Food announce can automatically throw a raidwarning when a fishfeast or any other interesting buff source is dropped. You can configure it to whisper people when these items are about to time out too if they still haven’t used this. I like this option a lot, because especially fish-feasts are easy to miss.

The other options are quite self-explanatory or just small operational options.

…And finally

I think it’s a very useful tool. As tank I love the taunt warnings, the misdirect/cc warnings. Simple functions like who is still not in the zone is great for summoning people to their raid, you don’t need to have them all ask for it.

The authors claim it’s lightweight, but it’s still a pretty big addon (1.2 MB). Processor usage seems to be low though, and that’s most important with wow being such a CPU hungry game.

Oh, I haven’t tested this yet, but if you would like to be able to use the reporting function even if you’re not a leader, the following “hack” should fix that *evil grin*

Open the Core.lua file in the RaidBuffStatus addon folder, and add this to the end of it:

function IsRaidLeader()
Β Β Β  return true
end

Good luck raiding!

P.S. Funny picture of the day

…after he dropped from his mount into the depths πŸ˜‰

Updates: I completely forgot to write about 2 very interesting views. Weaved it in the middle of the story. I also got a new DC again *sigh*, though I can’t complain, because a wow bug caused me to be able to do the weekly raid twice, how nice!

Another update: I discovered the proof reading option in wordpress, which pointed out quite a few mistakes. I was actually a bit shocked by the amount of errors it found. English isn’t my native language, but I still thought I had a better grasp of it. Guess I can use it’s help. It’s not unusual for me to revise a post a few times after I updated it (I’ve got a mild form of dyslexia, which makes me put words in the wrong order sometimes, or simply skip them), but this one needed it badly a few times. My apologies for the bad English I used before, I hope this will improve it a little in future posts.

Tank healing, the hard job


Just before I wanted to log off yesterday, a ICC25 pug without insane requirements (5k5 GS minimum is normal these days, I only have 5k2, so that’s too bad for yours truly) passed by in trade. I couldn’t let that one pass, so I hopped along. I was expecting it to be a terrible fail pug btw, because there was absolutely nothing asked, not even my stats or if I knew the fights. Mind you, I’m all in for non-absurd requirements, but personally I would have at least taken a quick glimpse on the armory, or ask a question to get an idea if there’s not an idiot on the other end. I got an instant invite, so either my reputation *cough* had preceded me, or this guy just wanted to get a group together fast.

The group was in fact quite ok, it was an almost perfect mix of classes and specs. Just a few lower geared people (tier 8.5 ish), but I recognized a few good names too, so there was compensation. Usually with these kind fast last minutes raids you see 7 paladins (all ret), 9 DKs and the rest druids (chickens and resto druids that only know nourish), so you’re already pretty sure what’s going to happen. This, however, was a nice surprise.

Disclaimer: I’ve got nothing against those classes, but there are just many of them, so any raidleader that doesn’t care would simply invite them all.

My inevitable once-per-raid DC happened before the start, so that was a good sign too. Everyone got buffed, nobody skipped the fish (you wouldn’t believe how often I see pug raids where there’s fishfeast and some still don’t have a well-fed buff, even after telling them about it, they still don’t care /boiling anger).

The start was a bit rough, the trashpulls went horribly wrong, with 2 groups being pulled, 3 traps in a row being triggered, while we were still fighting the first bone giants. The fact that we survived those bad pulls were a good indication of the group. The other shaman healer and the holy paladin were a force to recon with, both geared in full t10 (/jealous) and knew how to play to boot. We didn’t fight over earth shields for example, from the first cast we stuck to our own tank. It was looking promising.

Most important, even though there were bad pulls, nobody was crying and calling everyone retard in chat. Nobody even left. Everyone was calm. There was a relaxed, almost tranquil atmosphere. I still wonder if I was dreaming this raid, because I don’t remember raids like this as in.. ever.. not even guildruns.

So, we stood before Marrowgar. Should be simple enough with a half competent group. And I think this was a more than half competent group. The raidleader actually explained stuff, had some nice detailed tactics, not just expecting everyone to mind-read. I’ve only had one raidleader like that before, that was from my former guild, before he, together with his wife (an awesome priest healer), mysteriously disappeared without a word.

Healers even got assignments. What do you know!

I was asked to tank heal (murphy: just an hour after I replaced my glyph of lesser healing wave for chain heal). I hadn’t done that in a 25 man since back in Ulduar on my disc priest. And I remember from back then that it was a bloody tough job. I liked it, but I remember being quite shocked with how hard and stressful that is, especially on fights like ignis, razorscale or freya, where the tank would be running around all over the place (I always got the offtank).

The panic moments are is when you want to heal your tank, who’s losing damage fast, but when you click to cast, you only hear that negative *whoof* sound, telling you it’s not going to happen and you don’t know why. Is he out of range? Out of LOS? Am I silenced?

Even looking up to the top of the screen to see the error message, thus reason why (Note to self: turn on speech again, annoying as it can be), is just scary. You look at the HP bar that got stuck at 10% for now, and meanwhile you scan the field to find the mark of your tank, while hoping he noticed and used a cooldown. Then a relief when you find him again, on the other side of the field, and are able to get in range and cast a spell before it’s too late.

Seriously warrior and druid tanks, you can charge, your healer can’t, please remember that!!

But that was on the priest. I never felt a priest had the right tools to be a good tank healer, not in either spec. Penance and shields are awesome, but those enormous cooldowns aren’t fun, 3 big hits in a row and /mourn tank.

The shaman however, is absolutely made to be a single-tank healer. The continuous healing I can instantly output on him borders to insane: 1.3 second greater heal casts (with tidal waves, which I always keep up), 1.1 second flash heal casts, and an instant cast heal+hot that boosts all my other spells. It’s not just the powerful heals, but also the speedy casts. On my paladin, I can’t throw Holy Lights as fast as I can on the shaman, and I need a ramp up to get get close also.

So, I figured, this would be the easy job now. With or without my glpyh of lesser healing wave. My tank had 52k HP, I assumed I would be raidhealing too out of boredom.

Hell no! This was insanely stressful again! A 1.3 second cast feels like a decade with the damage these guys get. 50k HP went down to 20% in under a second, And it took almost 4 seconds to pull it back up again. And when there’s also raid damage, you have to be very careful not to get distracted by it. I noticed that I was chainhealing the group in a moment when the tank didn’t get damage, and when I looked back at his bar (I’m talking fractions of seconds here), he was down to 40%, so any big hit could instantly kill him.

Tank healing is definitely not fun. Well it is, but it’s just damn stressful. When you’ve done many 10 mans, you don’t even think about it anymore. Usually you’re fighting with the other healer over 5% lost HP somewhere, and when the tank gets a big hit, it’s still hardly something to worry about, he could easily survived two or even three of those.

Here, I was definitely stressed again. I loved it though, but I felt I was too close a few too many times, and got saved by the help of someone else. One second of glancing on the other bar that droped, and when my eyes came back on my tank, he had lost a huge chunk of health again. I felt like I was useless to the rest of the raid, which as tank healer, you shouldn’t worry about, but I’m just so used to raidhealing it’s hard to ignore it completely.

These aren’t even the worst moments. It get’s really bad when you’re casting, and right at that moment you either get a debuff, or a fire under you. At Lady Deathwhisper this was constantly the case. My tank grabbed the mobs on the left, and they could bring him down to almost nothing in a fraction of a second. I was throwing all heals I had at him to keep him up. Then, when I was busy keeping that tank up, I noticed a DnD under me. Or another time I got the curse and aggro from something.

Now, my logical thinking is: I’m part of the raid, let the raid healers take care of me.

But when I see myself at 20%, I don’t feel I can count on a bunch of strangers to think the same way. The healers seemed ok, but there are some that have the simple rule of: I’m not healing other healers, they can heal themselves. Seriously, I’ve met quite a few of those.

Anyway, I hate those moments with a vengeance! It makes me miss my binding heal soo much (that spell is soooo golden!)

The thing with raidhealing is, that you’re usually not alone. The damage is nearly always very predictable, not so much as in when it happens, but how much damage it does, and for how long.

The damage tanks get is unpredictable. They can drop down to almost nothing in a fraction of a second, and then stay topped of for nearly 10 other seconds, but then suddenly drop down again at any time and keep receiving in a constant stream of heavy damage lasting 10 seconds also… and then get nothing anymore for almost 30 seconds.

I can say one thing: it’s the most tiring job of all jobs in the game. At least when you’re doing it with a group that’s correctly geared, slightly undergeared/inexperienced. As soon as the group crosses the point where it’s outgearing the fight, it ironically turns into the most boring job of them all. And mind you, boredom is stressful too.

When I tank fights like that. It’s mostly keeping aggro like any other fight. You’re quicker to blow a cooldown when you see a HP warning or expect high damage, but besides that, keeping the mobs glued on you remains the main job. Tanking is always more stressful than other jobs, especially when adds join the fight at unpredictable moments. Still, most classes can take care of themselves for a second or two, while you get it’s attention. I’d say that tanking, and particularly offtanking (with adds spawning all over the place) is probably the second hardest job.

Kiting is a good third, though it depends on the fight. I can only imagine how nasty it is to kite the oozes in the rotface fight. I only remember kiting as a frostmage on gluth, or back in the TBC days simple heroic trash (I love kiting btw, especially when we had a newbie tank who wanted to tank as little as possible and I got to sheep one mob and kite another! *sigh* good old days).

Raidhealing is not that stressful. There are moment when the whole raids is going down with constant damage. It’s only deadly when DPS are being stupid, or you’re just really slow.

Still, raidhealing is never really stressful because if someone dies, it’s not yet the end of the fight.

If your tank dies however, it is usually over.

So, continuing the raid, my hopes were to down one boss at least, but Marrowgar went down with such ease, I figured we had a shot at much more!

Oh, and lucky me! I won the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel πŸ™‚

The other shaman wanted to buy it from me, but hell no, I don’t even know what to do with my gold, and a good caster shield is so hard to get, I was much too happy with that drop.

Long story short (yeah, too late, I know), we got till Saurfang. A pretty normal place to get stuck with a pug group. This is the moment where the ranged players get their moment of stress and panic, and believe me they did. Thank god I’ve got the earthbind totem, otherwise I would’ve died a minute in fight.

Not that it mattered, we wiped. Some ranged showed lack of experience, so even the relaxed raid leader didn’t really know how to fix that. It was 1 AM too, so most people were too tired also. We decided to call it.

It was a very nice pug run nonetheless. A good raidleader really makes a difference.

Holy raid impressions!


New weekly raid! It was Ignis the furnace master (again….), and I wasn’t saved in Ulduar. Great opportunity to test out my new spec in a raid environment.

First off: what is up with people not using the new raidbrowser? It’s much better than the old one ever was, yet nobody on my server seems to even take a peek at it! When I logged on, practically the whole of trade chat was filled with two kinds of requests: “LFG/M [Ignis the furnace master must die]” and “Trade chat is for trading, go away!!”.

I put myself into the raidbrowser right away, so I just started milling some stuff waiting for a response. There was a clear lack of healers because of multiple requests “LF Healer weekly, last spot!! We have cookies!” were floating by. Some were spamming for 30 minutes, and they hadn’t taken a peek in the raidbrowser and were still looking. That’s 9 people in a raid, waiting, and not ONE of them thinking about it.

But I’m not responding. I can be bloody stubborn that way. I also see it as a basic intelligence test.

In the end, it was me who gave up (after 45 minutes), it was getting obvious they weren’t going to learn and I really wanted to try out my brand new spec.

I just picked a group that was spamming trade, and went along. FL was already dead, so we went straight up to Ignis. Apparently they tried solo healing it and already failed at the two giants protecting the entrance.

When I think about it, they’d rather just solo heal the attempt than to check out the raidbrower… *sigh*

Ok, enough about that.

So, about the healing.. Now.. I really would’ve liked to tell an awesome tale with spectacular adventures, but it was…. well… kinda.. boring..

I tried to avoid the “b” word, but I don’t know how to wrap it up in a nicer way. I was literally just spamming flash of light and holy light on one tank, while keeping the other tank buffed with beacon and shield. While flying through the air I used a shock, and while landed I holy-lighted the lowest few back up, threw a new judgement on the boss, and on we went again. Oh, and don’t forget the fire resistance aura, mastery and divine guardian on flame jets of course… but.. still meh..

I guess this isn’t the most spectacular bossfight to do. I remember him being a pain when Ulduar just came out, but now it’s just tank and spank. There’s no quick reflexes required after the flame jets, because everyone has more than enough HP these days to survive even the dot afterwards, before getting any heal.

Yup, I was basically just spamming away there.

But in the defense of the paladin, When I healed it on my shaman it wasn’t much more interesting.

…Well, besides the fact that the tanks thought they were smart by tanking the big revenants against the wall around the corner, trapping the whirlwinds in the same area as we all were. So we were all flying through the air, adds were pulled. I died, ressurected, grabbed all mana cooldowns I had, kept the tanks alive. We BARELY survived it, but we killed them all.

Then before we got everyone back up again in full health, mana and buffs, they were already doing EXACTLY THE SAME on the other side!!

MUST… RESIST… KILL… AARGHH!!

I’m serious when I say that online gaming isn’t good for your health. It’s not natural. We’re just animals with instincts. In nature, when somebody, or something does something so incredibly stupid you wanna strangle him, you can! You even should! …For the sake of evolution. But with online games, there’s a network of glass fiber and copper between us, and those deserving that treatment could be anywhere within a 1000 mile radius, perhaps more (I recently met some people from India on our EU server f.e, never knew). They’re safe and they know it! WTB Teleport: Moron.. Instant cast, bring a bat.

So, anyway, what was kinda funny was how I quickly unlearned one healer from the other. When I went back to the shaman I panicked a little when I couldn’t find my judgment of light, and I was sometimes surprised when my earth shielded target didn’t get the same heals I was giving the others.

DUH /slap self πŸ™‚

Paladin healing continued


I really love it! Could very well be that it’s because it’s new again, but I’m just having a lot of fun healing with the paladin.

Like I always do, I first mess around with specs and glyphs myself and when I think I’ve got it figured out, I go to EJ to see how it’s supposed to be done (well… how they do it). Sometimes I’m spot on (e.g. a resto shaman build pretty much has only one way to go), but most of the time I can find a few tweaks here and there.

I found a tweak here and there.

So, what changed. First I chanced my build. Not much, but a little. I went for the improved devotion aura instead of benediction this time, for the tree like aura, and the armor for the tanks. I thought I would be casting holy shock often in the beginning, but I figured out soon enough that holy paladin is not meant to be played that way. I keep it there just for small emergencies or when on the run, so mana preservation on instants is hardly needed.

Biggest changes are the glyphs. Glyph of Holy Shock, and Glyph of Seal of Light got replaced. Now I have Glyph of Seal of Wisdom and Glyph of Beacon of Light. I kept Glyph of Holy Light.

The glyph of Beacon of Light is far better than I initially expected. I’m probably repeating some basic stuff already mentioned on the holy paladin thread on EJ, but the fact that it doesn’t share the same length with Sacred Shield makes it so much safer to rebuff in fight. Beacon of light is simply too important to ever lose.

That’s why I love my ZOMGBuffs addon so much. It tracks buffs like beacon of light, earth shield, sacred shield, much better than any unitframes addon I know. I like to turn on the bufftracker icons for those buffs, so I can’t just see the time left on the buffs, no matter what I do, I get a warning, and an easy method to rebuff on the correct target right away.

– RANT ALERT! –

Sidenote: What I don’t like about ZOMG is the paladin buffing. I realize that it’s just pally power they’ve included in the package, so I should look annoyed at that one first. The thing is, that it absolutely requires someone who is a leader to configure the damn thing, sync it, and then, only if everyone else has it (fat chance in pugs) it will do what it’s supposed to do. Otherwise it will stick to your own preference, which is always kings in my case. I chose that because might is normally useless because there’s nearly always a warrior, and for most casters kings is more interesting than wisdom. But in the rare case there are two paladins, it’s always buffing madness. There’s also always people wanting something odd, like mages who want wisdom instead of kings, or hunters who want wisdom instead of might. But even if you ignore those, it’s still usually a buffing overwrite-fest.

To buffing addon authors: you can see which buff is yours and which isn’t, at least via the warcraft LUA API you can. Please make buff addons smart enough to realize that if there’s a kings on a character, and it isn’t mine, that it’s perhaps a wise thing to buff one of the other buffs. A pally power leader is hardly needed, it can be done completely automatic (holy paladins will default to wisdom in case of doubt, retribution to might). Who cares if it’s not 100% what everyone of those beautiful and unique individuals actually want, in nearly all cases it’s pretty straighforward what to buff per class. In the end, it’s better to have an enhancement shaman buffed with kings and wisdom than just kings alone, because getting pallypower configured and set up was too much trouble and nobody cared except those that didn’t get the buffs: too late, tank already charged.

Perhaps because it is part of my job to analyze userfriendliness of software, and which I’m good at because I’m allergic to unnecessary complexity. I’m a strong supporter of the KISS principle, and one of my most used movie quotes must be from Layer Cake, Eddie Temple: “details, details, don’t bother me with details”. That pretty much summs it up. When an addon isn’t much faster, or easier than manual buffing, it has missed it’s purpose. This includes learning curves and figuring out what the author meant with, or has hidden, the options.

/rant over

Anywayyy!

What I so much enjoy about being a holy paladin is that it’s actually useful to mix in the fight yourself. I still haven’t done a raid yet, mostly because my GS is crap and GS mania has deeply infected my server since a few months (*sigh*). It’s like asking for [EPIC] to do naxx10 all over again.

Sorry, that was almost another rant πŸ™‚

What I already liked is the usefulness of throwing judgements around. I now try to keep the judement up on the main target too, nut just for the 60 second buff on myself. It’s a big part of paladin in case there’s no other one around throwing JoL. What I like more is that now that I’m using seal of wisdom instead of seal of light, auto attacking is great for regenerating mana! Whenever there’s a few seconds without damage, I’m doing my part in dps! And while I used to have some mana problems yesterday, with the few upgrades and changes I did today, it’s rare to see me end with more than 1/4th of my mana gone πŸ™‚

Still, I’ve got a lot to improve. I’m handling my divine plea self buff nicely with the following macro:

/cancelaura Divine Plea
/cast Divine Plea

Press once to fill ‘r up, press another time to hit the road again πŸ™‚

…That’s a good example of the KISS principle, btw πŸ˜‰

But the other buffs, like Divine Illumination, Divine Favor, Avenging Wrath, I still haven’t found a good way to use them effectively. I just use DI whenever it’s off cooldown, and I just don’t use Divine Favor yet. Avenging wrath only when I know what to expect.

The thing is that I’m used to macro these kinds of abilities, and put them under my click config. Of all characters, the last one on which I expected to run out was my paladin.. but now look at my configurations:

Paladin Left Middle Right B4
Plain Holy Shock Blessing of Protection Flash of Light Cleanse
Shift Beacon Blessing of Salvation Holy Light
Ctrl Sacred Shield Blessing of Sacrifice Lay on Hands Divine Int
Priest Left Middle Right B4
Plain Renew CoH Flash Heal Dispell
Shift PoM Binding Heal Greater Heal Abolish D
Ctrl Shield PoH Guardian Spirit
Druid Left Middle Right B4
Plain Rejuvenation Wild Growth Nourish Abolish P
Shift Lifebloom Regrowth Decurse
Ctrl Swiftmend Instant HT Innervate
Shaman Left Middle Right B4
Plain Riptide Chain Heal Lesser HW Cleanse
Shift Earth Shield Instant Chainheal Healing Wave
Ctrl GotN Instant HW

I guess it’s NOT the paladin! πŸ˜€

I still need a spot for my “powered heal” which will be a either a Holy Light or a Holy Shock with all cooldowns activated, and preferably a spot where I can /assist cast my judgement. Though the last one is just a nice to have.

I consider all the other keys (alt, ctrl-shift, etc. to be too hard to reach, or too risky (especially with a DI on the grid), so I want all my main spells on this grid alone.

For my priest I’m content. All the other spells aren’t targeted, so I have put them under hotkeys. For my paladin, I have to figure it out. Some hands could be removed, salvation for example, I don’t consider that my responsibility anyway. I’m already missing freedom, that shouldn’t be needed for anyone but myself in PvE anyway (haven’t thought of any reason yet). I would’ve liked to have ‘m all though, guess I’m out of luck πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’ve added some more triggers, like when holy shock triggers infusion of light and I’m fairly confident that what I have set up now is good enough for serious bizzness. My average illvl is 225, so a normal TotC10 should be easily doable. I’m saved to most easier raids though (except naxx, etc), so looking forward to coming Wednesday.

New challenge: serious Paladin healing!


After the toc25 run I did two days ago, I felt that I needed a new challenge. I’m still not in a raiding guild, because I’m probably too demanding: wanting a relaxed and civilized atmosphere, with a coordinated and professional attitude, but room for some fun too. A guild seems to be rare! If they exist at all on my server. Yesterday I helped a guild called “Nice” who needed a tank. With a name like that you’d expect them to be nice, right? I kinda had my eye on them as possible option, they’re not hardcore, but doing ok, so this was a good test. They seemed decent enough at first, did Ony10 and Voa10 with ‘m, but when they didn’t need me anymore for their next raid I got kicked out of the raid without even a thank you, or goodbye. Bah. I’m almost getting used to behavior like that on my server, but what’s more annoying is having to scratch yet another guild from the list of options.

Anyway, looking for some new challenges without a good raiding guild, I decided to take my paladin and burry his DPS spec – because quite frankly, if I was asked to dps IΒ  always felt disappointed anyway. I just don’t like dpssing (not melee anyway); I’m probably weird – and pick up a fresh new holy spec. I decided to do what I’ve always wanted anyway: have all healing classes and specs tried in raid situations. I spend a bunch of my emblems on some healing pieces, bought some stuff from rep and AH, and I was ready to go.

I thought to be smart by testing my fresh spec on a normal dungeon first. I figured I could hardly do any damage there, while learning my new specs. My first random was HoR normal.. crap!! That one is harder than a normal HC, but I figured what the hell, and I just went for it. I had some nice 245 pieces of gear already, a crappy rep mace, the darkmoon card:illusion which I had in my bank, and still some tanking pieces. But that should have to do I figured.

It worked out pretty well! No wipes, some mana problems, and I learned all kinds of new stuff on the way. First 5 minutes I was just using flash of light, holy light, beacon and sacred shield (like how I imagined paladin healing). Then I remembered holy shock (quite an epiphany ;)), and finally judgments of the pure. I had completely forgotten about that, but when I started judging and got the 15% haste buff, I felt healing became much more fun and I was actually enjoying it now!

I figured I’d try some more normals to get in the flow. I got UP normal first, which was the hardest of them all, because it’s not much easier than the heroic one, while the group is geared 1/2 of the average 80 (also, the tank pulling way more than he could handle didn’t help). I still thought I was doing fine, so after that I continued doing HC’s. Luckily I didn’t get one of the new ones, though I think I could actually handle them in the end.

First impressions: this is far more engaging than I thought it was. I have to admit I never seriously tried holy before, I did some offspec healing in leveling dungeons before with some crappy healing gear. That went ok by it self, but I could never believe that adding Holy Shock and Beacon of Light would add much to the experience. I was pretty convinced I already knew what paladin healing was all about. My bad.

Keeping yourself buffed seems to be one of the more important parts of being a holy paladin, by judging the targets like I mentioned, but also learning to using Avenging Wrath, Divine Favor, Divine Illumination as effectively as possible. Then there are all the other utilities that also make this class so interesting: Divine Sacrifice (canceled for just Divine Guardian, or with bubble), Aura Mastery, Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation. I even used Hand of Sacrifice with good effect. This works great combined with Beacon of Light.

There’s definitely more to do than spamming flash of light and holy light.

What I miss is a good panic button. Holy shock doesn’t quite cut it and Lay on Hands has a much too long cooldown. Priests have Guardian spirit, divine hymn, penance, shields, but CoH on it’s own is pretty good. Druids have tranquility, nature’s swiftness, swiftmend. Shamans have nature’s swiftness too, which combined with Tidal Force and Ancestral Awakening almost tops a group back up. When I see two people at 5%, there’s nothing else I can do but hope they both live for either 1.2 second more, or one for 3 seconds, and not taking too much damage soon after that also.

What I like is that besides the obvious healing/protection utilities, a paladin can do some nice offdpssing and helping also. Throw in a Consecrate, rebuff Judgment of Light every cooldown, Hammer of Justice on anyone being a pain, and with all the undead mobs going around, holy wrath is great to throw as a healer every now and then to give everyone a breather.

All I can say right now is that paladin healing is far from boring. At least in 5 mans is it. I’m going to try and get myself in some crappy raid just to see how that works out. Tank healing might bore the crap out of me still, though have a better feeling about paladin healing already, I doubt very much it can become as bad as it was before again. In all honesty, I wouldn’t recommend paladin healing to a beginning healer like I might have done before, there’s way too much buffs to juggle, which is pretty hard without good addons.

Blizzard did a good job making this class interesting for healing, that’s my verdict for now. More later!