Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tree Stats

We have a few guildies leveling druids, and wishing to become healers, and therefore asking me how I do it. I always say healing is easy, and in raiding I usually do very well on the meters (although healing meters are only so useful for gauging a healers abilities). Although I find healing easy, and by easy maybe I mean I get into the habit of it and become so quick, I begin to get bored, I think it is important to know how to begin as a new druid healer.

I want to write a full resto druid guide, but for now, I will start with basics for those who have leveled to 80 and now want to become a tree. Your tree spec should be similar to my druids. Tree stats IMO go as follows: Spell Power>Spirit>Haste> >Intellect> Mp5> Crit
  • SPELL POWER- Spell power affects how big your heals are including your HoTs. This is the main focus on most casters whether you are dps or a healer. This should be what you gem for mostly, in your gear to increase your heals.
  • SPIRIT- Focus on getting your spirit high enough to sustain you through a boss fight, and you should never have to worry about running out of mana. Spirit gives us a small buff to spell power in tree form as well so, get plenty of spirit and spell power before you start raiding.
  • HASTE- Although most of our spells are instant casts, haste is an important stat for druid healers. Haste reduces the global cooldown on our spells which means, when we want to cast  Rejuvenation on many members of the raid we can do so much faster because our spells will be ready to cast quicker. As far as our casting spells such as Regrowth and Nourish these spells cast time will be reduced. Being quick is one of the most important parts of being a healer.
  • INTELLECT- I would put this stat above Mp5 because it can also add to your crit rating. Although crit isn't great for druid group healers, it is a useful enough stat to find important. Also having a larger mana pool is always nice, can't rely on unlimited amounts of spirit to keep filling your pool back up.
    • I almost forgot about this stat lol, because I don't really look for how much int is on my gear, thanks for the reminder Finwe.
  • Mp5- This stat recently was buffed for all classes, so druids now benefit more from it. But again, it is inferior to spirit because spirit gives us spell power. Mp5 increases mana regen while casting, but druids spend much more time in the five second rule than many other classes. The five second rule is important to understand for healers, so quickly review it here.
  • CRIT- is not that important of a stat for druids. It doesn't affect our HoTs, but it does regrowth and nourish. Since many of our spells aren't affected and we are meant to be healers who top people off, and mitigate damage taken by keeping HoTs on the raid, we don't need giant crit heals. 
    • Side note to crit, many druids are now relying on nourish for tank healing. If you find yourself tank healing a lot then crit becomes much more important. It depends on how often you raid or tank heal. If you use nourish a lot and it is one of your primary spells then crit is great for you.
This should be able to get you started on druid healing. Understanding why these stats are important should help you to realize what your focus should be on during a raid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shaman Healing: First Impressions

So, I finally had the chance to heal in a 25 man raid on my shaman last night. Although it was only Naxx I think it was a good starting point. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't completely bored out of my mind, and maybe that was because we chose to have only four healers. I have been anticipating healing on my shaman for some time now so that I could compare it to druid healing.

On some fights i was reaching 5k hps, which my druid rarely reaches. I know hps is not a great way to see how well you are healing, but it is fun to look at anyway. I was lucky enough to run with a druid healer that I trust very much and I know she is very competent so I was keeping an eye on comparing myself to her, since I can't heal on both my toons at the same time. In some fights the druid beat me in healing, but for the most part of the night I was out healing her and I don't think that really means a whole lot, except to know that shamans are just as good at group healing as druids. When I first healed on my shaman in five mans, I thought they would be amazing main tank healers because of the huge crits, overall I think shamans are pretty versatile and can fulfill any role the raid needs.

Overall this new healing class was loads of fun, and I think I did well for my first big raid. Some things I missed about my druid, was that precious instant group heal Wild Growth. I also missed being able to run around arms flailing about, all while throwing heals to people. Shamans really can't heal on the run which is a huge drawback in many fights, and I think druids excel at these type of fights over any other healing class. I also missed my innervate, because I suck at keeping my mana shield up and I was having mana issues on a few of the fights. I actually had to ask for a druid's innervate at one point, which I hate because I don't want to have to rely on others if I can help it.

I am glad to finally have two raid healers at my disposal. I can't say that I love one more than the other, because so far my shaman is tons of fun. I think it is beneficial for me to have both because I like being able to see where different classes are coming from, as far as bragging and complaints. I am sure once I truly become and expert at shaman healing I will be able to write about the ins and outs in more depth, but for now I am having a blast learning this class. O and BTW I am dual speccd elemental, and from running a few ten mans and many five man heroics I can see the potential this class has for Amazing dps, so lots to look forward to on my new raider.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miss Medicina's Request

My friend, Miss Medicina, wrote a post on her blog calling out to healers of different classes to answer a healing questionnaire. It seems as though she can read my mind about my little druid, because I was planning on posting some comments on druid healing stats. I will put that off for now and answer this questionnaire.

  • What is the name class and spec of your primary healer? Kailanii, Druid, Resto of course. Note: I have a resto shaman in which I am determined to learn inside and out, in order to educate those who are unfamiliar with the style of shaman healing.
  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) I have healed extensively in all of these situations, but mostly focused on 10 and 25 man raids.
  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? This is so hard! Although I complain about being forced to heal, I love all the druid's spells, if I had to pick only one I would choose Rejuvenation combined with Swiftmend, is that cheating? that's two spells. Anyway this spell is so powerful, it could save anyone near death if used quickly enough.
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? I feel as though druids are awesome back up healers. Don't get me wrong, a druid can tank heal if needed, but being able to keep the group topped off with health, and backing up the tanks with HoTs makes every healers job easier.
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Druids obviously don't have huge crit healz in most situations, we can in no way match pally single target healing, but it doesn't bother me, I love my HoTs.
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?Druid healers are best at group healing. They can keep their HoTs on the tanks, while topping people off and keeping group members alive. We can be a force when group healing, by keeping HoTs on people we know will take damage, and with our wild growth available. Druids can be very quick to react if needed in raiding situations.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Although I have been annoyed with priests lately, I would have to say holy priests. These healers are very versatile in most situations, and I would say I don't like raiding without one. Only thing is, in smaller raids they want to raid heal assuming druids should tank heal, druids as well as priests are better used in a raid healing situation.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Paladins. I just don't like having more than one. They have weak group heals and as far as I can tell, are not as versatile as the other three classes.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer? When I heal in raid situations I forget that there are other healers. Sometimes in ten mans it results in me being over 40% of the healing done. I am starting to believe that the other healers don't suck, just that I can't help but keep people at full health. I need to be more patient with my fellow healers.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? What pisses me off while I am healing, is people who stand in the fire, stand under the falling icicles, stand in front or behind the dragon, etc. Seriously I have a dps MAGE nonetheless and I don't die because I move. This causes unnecessary damage, and believe it or not, healers don't want you to die.
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Yes, druids are great for any raid, with any class combination. Only thing I don't like is having three druids in a ten man, I mean we are awesome but I like variety.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? I use recount to evaluate my overheals and try to reduce these as much as possible, with HoTs being overheals it is pretty hard. I also use it to see my HPS but this can change so much depending on the fight, so the best way for me to compare myself is to see my percentage of healing done in any one fight. As long as people are alive and I didn't feel really stressed out during the fight because I am doing almost half the healing in a raid, then I am happy.
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? As far as I know, people really don't know much about healing druids. They know we have the most powerful HoTs of any class, but does anyone really know what that means? or where to assign us? Druids are powerful group healers, OT healers, and can manage on a MT. We are more versatile than people think, and we are similar to a holy priest in that way. 
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? I think it is hard to understand how a druid heals. On my shaman I wait until someone takes damage then I heal them. As a druid, you have to learn when to apply a HoT in anticipation of damage. You have to keep your HoTs up according to how much damage a player will take. This requires knowing raid fights and how they work in much more detail than other healers.
  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? Usually recount shows me as a druid as first or second on healing, but unfortunately I don't run with a lot of other druid healers. From memory when I have, they usually do well on the heal meter as well unless they are newer or have poor gear. Overhealing is much higher for druids now, because HoTs can now overheal, so you can imagine.
  • Haste or Crit and why? Haste by far. Haste speeds up our global cool down on our HoTs and reduces the casting time on our few direct heals. Crit does not affect our HoTs so it is a stat I never even consider trying to obtain.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least? I suppose I would say paladins. I have a shaman, and a low level priest. Priests have many similarities in their roles as a druid in raids, but I am unfamiliar with paladins spells. All I know is they never run out of mana and they have big crits.
  • What add-ones, if any, do you use in healing? I have been healing since Kara and I never used any add-ons for healing. I now use de-cursive in order to remove de-buffs. I have also recently started using Grid, which I really like so far. I think it is important for healers to have this one, or another that shows heals incoming to the raid. This way people don't waste other healers' mana because they can see what HoTs are on them, or what heals are being cast in them.
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? Spell power and spirit are the best stats for a druid healer. I don't ever worry about getting crit, if it is there, fine. I try to get haste capped, and I will grab Mp5 if it happens to be on the gear.
So since I am new to the blog community, I don't have many friends that heal and write blogs as well so I can't really send this to anyone else. But thanks Jess for the great attempt to have healers better understand each other!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hallowed

Many people are working toward their achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. The meta-achievement Hallowed Be Thy Name is required to get this achievement. Who wouldn't want an awesome Violet Proto Drake. But this achievement is quite special, because it requires a full year of dedication in order to obtain every Meta-achievement to get this drake. So better get started now on becoming the Hallowed.

Yay me I finished this achievement on my mage the first day of Hallow's End this year. Yeah that is right, I had to wait a full year to obtain the Hallowed Helm . It was the only thing keeping me from grabbing my achievement, and for some reason no matter how much I trick-or-treated or went and killed the HH, this helm never dropped for me. I guess it is worth is since I did get the Headless Horseman's Mount last year, I mean it is IMO the coolest mount in game.
So, in order to do this meta-achievement be prepared to spend a lot of time in game, trick-or-treating, and make sure you down the HH every day. Get the quests required done early because these are easy. If you have any dwarf or orc friends hook up with them so you can throw a pumpkin on their heads, thanks jessabelle for being a cute little dwarf. Try to get this part done early, so the best place to hang out is in Dalaran for this one. Last year I spent about an hour right outside of the little Horde area to catch the trolls, orcs, and those rare little tauren females. I mean what woman wants to be a giant cow anyway?

As far as getting the candy from every candy bucket, this is a great achievement. Even if you aren't trying to become the Hallowed, then you should definitely spend some time doing this, you can get loads of money quite easily, and it is a nice break from doing those boring dailies.
This Meta is one of the hardest out of all the holidays, and it requires lots of time. You have two weeks, so good luck and have fun!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mage Guide 101

Ok, so I am way to lazy to attempt to take my mage guide from my guild's website to here so I will just link to it. My Mage Guide With Specs. This guide includes the three viable mage specs for pve raiding in WOTLK. These include, FFB, Arcane, and Fire. I do not have a frost spec, I am sorry I don't like frost and I know only like two people who use frost as a raid spec. This guide focuses on maximum dps and frost is not among the best dps specs. This should give a good idea of rotations for all three specs for raiding.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Raiding Alliance

So it seems as though my raiding alliance is having some issues. Although, we had a very strong raid group who was doing decent in Ulduar, the officers took off for one week, and now that we are back, our sign ups are very low. For our 25 man Ulduar we only have four people signed up. I mean I have worried about sign ups before on the day of the raid but then we usually have about seventeen people signed up. What on earth happened? Is it that raiding alliances just don’t work and just can’t last? We have been raiding together since BC and seen many people come and go. But have always had a core group of raiders and always been able to supplement with friends and people joining the alliance. Maybe it is just that this alliances time is coming to an end. With the release of this latest patch and ToC people seem to be able to pug almost everything, or simply gain massive amounts of emblems from heroics. Maybe people just aren’t that into raiding anymore, unless it is with their own guild.

Whatever the case may be, I am definitely feeling discouraged about our alliance, and worried if I will ever see the end of Ulduar. Sure I get to clear ToC every week, and have downed Onyxia with my ToC group, but I want to see all of the bosses in Ulduar, I can't just skip it!? I mean I know a ton of people who skipped the experience of clearing EoE but not me, I want to see all the bosses, and don't forget the achievements. Maybe it is time to call an end to this alliance, or turn it into a raiding guild so we can do some serious business! I don't know but I am sick of wiping on Hodir. Seriously stay out of the freaking things falling from the ceiling, move the whole time, and jump on the snow on the ground! C'mon it isn't that hard. I cleared it after three attempts in ten man, how can this many attempts be ok? It isn't! so let's clean this up and either call this group, or get something accomplished!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Patch 3.3.0

Looks like Patch 3.3.0 has been released to the test realm. I always get a little nervous when they release information on a new patch, cuz I always feel like I have so much left to do in the current patch! WAH!! Oh well, I have to face the inevitable and look forward to the new content like everyone else.

Well unfortunately there isn't much to comment on this new patch. After reading the notes essentially nothing has changed to any toons I have. The only notable exciting change is the new raid.

  • Icecrown Citadel 
    • The Forge of Souls, the first wing of the 5-player dungeon, is currently available for testing. 
    • Additional Icecrown Citadel dungeon and raid content will be made available in future test builds. 
Keep in mind that these patch notes will go through several revisions and additions, maybe even some more class balancing, which is everyone's favorite topic. There will definitely be more to come on this topic, but for now have fun to those lucky enough to be on the test realm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brewfest: It's Not Too Late

Of course, most people are all about the holiday season right now. Brewfest is almost over as well as Harvest Festival. What the hell is Harvest Festival you may ask. Ya know me too, but I have to say my one quest that I turned in did earn me an in game mail with a new item that allows me to conjure food/water how exciting! Except oh wait, I am a mage how on earth does this help me? Oh well a worthy quest to do for my alts I suppose.

So of course, you really want to be called the Brewmaster and who wouldn't. Well if you have been slacking off a little bit lately, no worries, as long as you have done some of the quests it isn't too late. I found out a lot of people I was playing with were not aware that they could buy the Brewfest outfit, go dance drunkily in Dalaran and then return it for your full 350 tokens. Which gives you plenty of tokens for your Brewfest Club of the Month, and if you need it, you can transform your mount, if you haven't been fortunate enough to have a Brewfest mount drop for you. So drink a lot, because that is the only way to be The Brewmaster

No crying though, although Brewfest is almost over Halloween's End is incoming! Although I already have one of the most desirable mounts, the Headless Horseman's Mount, no worries trick-or-treating all over Azeroth is sure to be entertaining. I was one quest away from being awarded Kayllnn the Hallowed so I will be joining the countless others in the celebration.