Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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Ferguson sells his soul for an Epic Flyer!

August 26, 2008
Part-time Face Melter

Part-time Face Melter

That’s right – Our dear holiest of the holy priests converted to the Dark Side temporarily this past weekend to finish off some quest grinding to save up for that epic flying skill!

Ferguson is not only my healer, but he’s also my herb farmer.  But 375 Herbalism means nothing if you are riding a flying slug.  So, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I’d skipped two entire zones when leveling, and get some nice quest gold!  But unfortunately – it seems that holy spec’d priests aren’t so great when it comes to killing stuff.  Sure, I’ve managed to Smite my way through the SSO dailies for a few weeks, but some of these quest mobs are a bit tougher, and Smite just wasn’t doing the trick.

So I snuck over to Orgrimmar and paid a quick 15g to respec.  I just made up a talent spec – I know there are cookie cutter specs out there, but they are mostly for raiding.  A shadow priest that’s not grouping doesn’t need 25% reduced threat or even Vampiric Embrace.  So I just put the points where they seemed to make sense.

And the result?  Wow.  When I was leveling, I only had enough points put in the Shadow tree to get me Shadowform, but this time I poured almost all of my points in there, and boy can I kill things FAST.  I also no longer run out of mana… like, ever.  The new gear I’ve gotten has way more mana regen than the gear I was using to level.  It also has more +dmg, even though it’s healing gear.

I must admit – I’m enjoying playing as a Shadow priest.  However, I could never see myself raiding or even instancing as shadow – just not as much excitement as I’d like.

Anyway… after a weekend in Shadowmoon Valley and selling everything I could spare on the Auction House, I managed to conjure up the 5200g required to net myself a shiny Swift Purple Windrider!

Will I stay shadow?  Well, for the rest of the week maybe.  Finish off some more quests, I won’t be raiding much this week due to a big move happening.  It’ll give me something to do.  But I’m sure it won’t be long before I miss healing, and I’ll be back at it before you can say “pugnacious!” (Yeah, I’m not reeeally using it in a sentence.  But at least it’s there!)

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Mend Pet – Healers and Hunter Pets in Instances

July 31, 2008

Just a few short (or rather, long) levels ago, Ferguson was running a Blood Furnace PUG.  In my group, was an “extra special” hunter, whose pet kept taking extraordinary amounts of damage.  True enough, there is a lot of AoE in the Furnace, so I did what I could to keep it healed up, but it was eating away at my mana.  I flip my Recount around to the healing meters to see that I’m the only one who’s been doing any healing.  I don’t mind helping a hunter out when the damage is just too much for the Mend Pet HoT, but I figured, it simply is not the healer’s job to look after the pet.  When I questioned this hunter about why he hadn’t healed his pet at all, his response was “He’s not taking any damage… he hasn’t even died once!”

I suppose, in the end, it was partially my own fault that he wasn’t healing his pet.  The group was doing well otherwise, and I’d been pretty good about keeping his pet healed up.  Maybe he didn’t realize that during a boss fight, I simply can’t focus on it.

This got me thinking – are there other hunters out there that rely too much on their healers?  What about healers who refuse to pay any attention to pets?

What if the two were to collide?!

… Anyway, I’d like to discuss this issue that affects me doubly – under what circumstances should healers heal hunter pets?  I decided that I need to get some input on this issue, since if I’ve learned one thing through PUG-ing, it’s that everyone has different strategies and expectations when it comes to healing.

I e-mailed a few Hunter and Healer bloggers, and they were all kind enough to respond with lengthy discussions on the topic.  All were very insightful, but it seems that we all unanimously agree on what seem to be two basic logical points:

A Hunter should be responsible for their pet.

A Healer should not be completely ignorant of pets.

From a Healer standpoint, pets take the lowest priority.  It is irresponsible of a healer to let a player die while they are trying to save a pet.  However, in my opinion, it is against the principle of being a healer if pets are completely ignored.  Even if it means watching them die as you wait for a chance to toss a Renew on them, it’s imperative that you at least know what is going on and keep them in the back of your mind.  Hunters should understand if you don’t get to heal their pets, but on the other hand – if you are sitting around twiddling your thumbs while the pet is at low health, show the pet some lovin’.  Lassirra of The Hunter’s Mark discovered the same thing as me while leveling up a priest after a hunter: there are more opportunities for this than I had thought there were.

Ego from the Egotistical Priest, told me about how she has a separate group in her raid UI (using XPerl) for pets.  It is less prominent than the regular raid groups, but when she has a couple seconds of free time and mana, she can quickly have a look and give a hunter a hand.

As for hunters, pet management is key here.  Proper pet management means knowing when to toss a mend pet, and when to recall your pet to your side.  It also means not really having to worry about the issue of getting heals from the healer!  If you are keeping good control of him, your pet should not need heals!  Unfortunately, especially when still leveling, some hunter’s haven’t really taken the time to learn how much is too much for their pet, Bremere of Healing Anonymous has had similar problems with hunters in lower level instances.

But there are situations, like when a pet is off- or even main-tanking.  At that point, Mend Pet shows itself for what it truly is, an ersatz Renew.  You wouldn’t expect a tank to survive on just Renew, especially if it’s a cute little kitty-cat?  This is one of those times when the healer priority list needs to be fumbled up.  Yet still, some healers somehow forget to help a hunter out even in this situation, much to Pike’s frustration (Apect of the Hare).

Matticus of World of Matticus brought up an excellent point about PvP.  Since obviously, I’m not a big participant in the arenas, I really hadn’t thought about the value of a pet in that situation.  Those things can be deadly to a caster – and if you can keep them up a little longer, it’ll probably do you some good.

In the end, it depends on a number of factors like group composition, amount of group damage taken, spare time and spare mana.  Hunters should do what they can to take care of their pets – but when its appropriate, heals are always welcome!

I’d like to quote something Jez from DPS: We Deliver said to me:  “It’s kind of like getting a mage table in BGs – you can’t expect it, but it sure is nice when it happens :)”

Thanks to all those who gave me input to help me write this post!

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Making the switch from Shadow to Holy

July 19, 2008

I know this blog says it is about a Holy Priest and a BM Hunter, but to be honest, my priest is actually considered Shadow right now… He’s level 65, and I leveled from 1 to 60 without doing any instances (other than generous runs by other people) and never actually being a healer… I was shadow all the way, with just enough points in discipline to get me some extra wand pew pew.  However, the whole reason I rolled a priest was to be a healer!  It was just so much easier to play shadow leveling up, that I neglected my holy duties until I hit Hellfire.

And then it was time… time to see if healing really was for me.  As I played my Hunter, I’d BEEN healed plenty of times, which was always a pleasant experience.  I’d even cast some renews on myself occassionally, but I’d never had to watch a tank, know whether to use Greater Heal or Flash Heal… all those sparkly yellowish ability icons all looked the same to me!

And I made a mistake… I jumped right in, thinking “I can level as a Disc/Holy priest, right?  They have Holy Fire and Smite!”  This is not true, at least not for me.  I couldn’t kill ANYTHING.  Either Outlands was way harder than I remembered it being, or holy/disc is not the way to quest.  So I figure, I’m left with a choice:  Go shadow and don’t try being a healer til I hit 70, or be holy and ONLY do instances.  Hrm.  Neither of those sounded much fun… so I compromised.

I went Shadow/Holy!  I was, and still am, a noob priest.  But this seems to be working for me.  I went as deep into Shadow as I had to so I could get Shadowform… and then everything else gets poured into Holy and Discipline.  This is about what it’s looking like I’ll end up with by 70 (although I won’t keep it at 70 for long): 12/18/31

So far, it’s been going well.  I am not having a problem with my healing numbers, and I am also not having any problems finishing my quests.  I have luckily learned that I do, in fact, love healing… and seem to be doing it pretty well in my instance runs, even though I’m still learning lots and lots every time.  Although it does feel a bit like “Whack-a-mole” sometimes, it is fun!

I look forward to hitting 70 and going full out Holy and see what it’s like to be a REAL healer!