Exit Maloriak, Enter Chimaeron

Tuesday’s raid ended with us wiping at 1% on Maloriak, mostly due to two disconnects (one by a healer, one by a DPS) and a lack of Remedy dispels.

On our second attempt on Thursday, we kicked that guy’s ass.

And then, it was time to face Chimaeron.

It’s sort of like the worst parts of heroic Anub’arak, plus the insanity of healing the ENTIRE raid to full like with Gluth, in Naxx.

I tend to sort of “adopt” a fight, each instance or tier, that I just *KNOW*. I mean, I know all the fights, but there’s usually one that sticks out for me that I know every single detail about. It was Sindragosa in ICC, it was Anub’arak in TOGC (that damn tank who insisted on solo-tanking those adds… MAN, that still pisses me off!), it was probably Hodir in Ulduar, it was… maybe Heigan? Or Loatheb in T7.

I have a feeling that Chimaeron will be That Fight for me in T11, or at least in Blackwing Descent.

After the first wipe, I asked my healers how they felt.

Me: Okay, how’s it feeling for everyone? hahaha
Disc priest: FML
Me: Apart from panic inducing?
Resto druid: I need a pancake
Disc priest: All I use is GHeal
Disc priest: And I’m sad

15 attempts, we got from “oh god FML” to getting the boss to 40%. Not easy. The worst part is when he casts Massacre and there goes the Bile-o-Tron. I just don’t know if we have the healing, to be honest. Not a knock against my healers, but maybe we need more time before worrying about him? I don’t know. Maybe we’re getting to the point where the class really is making a difference. Maybe resto druids just aren’t cut out for this fight, maybe I should stack priests. I’m not even sure. It’s going to be fun to do research on that fight over the next few days.

Sunday, it’s back to Bastion to knock out Halfus and Valiona & Theralion again, with any luck. And maybe even pull Council, if we’re lucky? I should probably put up info on that fight before Sunday. (read: I should actually look at the fight myself before Sunday.)

I’m seriously proud of the Maloriak improvement between Tuesday and Thursday. There was some outstanding work by everyone on that fight. And some kick-ass healing on Chimaeron, don’t get me wrong. Just not quite enough.

In other news, we’re definitely looking for a resto shaman — one who will drop their Mana Tide when assigned, unlike the one we currently have. ;D — so please do app if you’re around 338 ilvl equipped in your resto gear, have a desire to push content and be challenged and don’t mind a holy paladin as your healing lead. Oh, and can make our raids! We’re swapping people around and are pretty good at it, so you might not be in for every single fight ever, but you should be in fairly often, depending on your level of play, of course.

Apply today, shammies!

(Fad, Fug, I miss you both desperately!)

Q&A Delayed

The Q&A of the week is being pushed back by a week due to lack of Qs. Seriously, only 59 different search terms over the last week. Hello, summer slump. How are you?

In lieu of my typical Q&A, here are a couple of nifty posts I’ve read in the last week or so.

1) Dealing with the Deplorable Drape by Codi at Moar HPS! Great post about all the different options you have before you go wasting 50 Emblems of Frost on the Drape of the Violet Tower.

2) Easy to Acquire Haste Gear by Ophelie at Bossy Pally. Great post, well-researched, about where to find yourself some haste. (I disagree about the Ony cloak vs. the Drape of the Violet tower, but, as Codi says in her post, it’s okay if it’s used responsibly.)

3) A Light Show by Cassandri at HoTs & DoTs. I’ve been that hunter. I’ve been that shaman. This made me laugh. I’d already read it before, but ecclesiasticaldiscipline linked to it today and I laughed my ass off again.

Short post, I know. Kind of rare. Enjoy it. ;)

Teaching a New Paladin

One of the things I like most about my blog is that I have the opportunity to inform people of my playstyle and commonly-accepted best practices for the holy paladin. And I don’t have to sit down with them and go “okay, so you need to do X, Y and Z and then don’t forget about A and B and C”. I don’t have to look at their parses, don’t have to talk to them on vent, don’t even have to look at their armories unless I feel like it.

It’s nice. It’s a little distant and I get to remain sane, but I still get to help out people who genuinely seem to want to learn.

Discouraged by all the failadins out there, my current GM (for whom my adoration clearly knows no bounds) has decided to level up a paladin for the express purposes of going holy.  She recognizes we can really use another holy paladin for certain fights (heroic Sindragosa, heroic Lich King, heroic Halion) and has decided to roll a paladin, level it to 80 and heal for the guild on this new paladin. She’s continuing to recruit, mind you (WTB holy paladin! And a disc priest, actually. Email me at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com for details if you’re interested.), but she’s working at the paladin.

It’s not like she doesn’t know how to heal; she’s a brilliant resto shaman. (Fadorable, I’d love to see you both in a heal-off in equal gear!) I think that she’s actually the best class to make an easy switch to a holy paladin — she’s already used to not being able to cast and run (beyond the one instant — Riptide for her, Holy Shock for us) and the gear is similar in many ways. I think she’ll make an awesome holy paladin if we don’t find a second by the time she’s raid-ready.

However, I find myself TOTALLY thrilled at the prospect of teaching my GM the ins and outs of holy paladining. Like, THRILLED. I don’t know why, but I am eagerly anticipating it. To the point where I’ve informed her I will be her pocket tank for her heroics when she hits 80. Maybe it’s because I know she’s already an awesome healer and I think she’ll pick up on the nuances quickly. Maybe it’s because I know that I can mold her into another me. Maybe it’s because I HAVE missed some of this hands-on stuff. I used to be the poor schmoe who would talk to the raiders about X, Y and Z issues, for the most part.

I think it’ll be fun to run around as a relatively geared tank. A huge bonus of this guild is that you get offspec gear for free, so I’ve been saving my Emblems of Frost and already have my 264 helm and shoulders for prot. Looking at chest and gloves next and then probably Pillars of Might and maybe the crafted boots too. So really, given my leetness as a tank (ahahahaha) and the fact that I’ll be pretty geared, I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to tank and watch for her to keep up Sacred Shield, Beacon, etc, and offer tips and tricks and still not die, even if things go south.

In other news, the character profile linked up in the sidebar has been updated since I got my 277 T10 helm. 990 haste unbuffed? Why yes, thank you, that’ll do nicely. ;)

Healing Classes and History

(or, Why the Hell do I Have All Four Healing Classes??!?!)

Yep. It’s true. I finally have all four healing classes at max level. I’m still not sure why, exactly, but I do. As such, I feel the need to discuss some of the differences and such between them. This isn’t going to be a direct comparison between all the four classes and five specs, but more my own history and views on each. I feel that I’ve spent a lot of time recently giving out information, which I love to do, but haven’t spent a ton of time on me/my classes/my history, despite the whole “I hate my guild” post last week. So this is a fair amount of rambling about my history with my healers in the game. You’ve been warned. ;)

Read the rest of this entry »

Updates ahoy!

So, a variety of updates tonight/this morning.

1) Saurfang heroic down (one-shotted!), bringing our totals to 7/12 hardmodes down. Remaining are Deathwhisper, Festergut, Putricide, Sindragosa and Lich King.

Pro tip: 3 holy paladins on Marks of the Fallen Champion on heroic Saurfang = win.

2) I still hate heroic Dreamwalker, despite the fact we one-shot the encounter on our second week of attempts on her (we got her on the 4th last reset). I didn’t miss a portal this time (until the last one; I should have gone in, but I stayed out) but I got an orb like, 6 seconds before we dropped out, sadly, so my buff fell off. And then I got an orb ninjaed from me! I TOLD them all to wait for people inside, but noooo. ;)

3) The healing lead-type situation has gotten moderately better. My RL friend the resto druid SHOULD, with any luck at all, be back next week. Her RL issues have lessened (though work picked up, but should be settling down again soon) so I’m totally ready to give her the healers back. In the meantime, I’ve been doing healing since she’s been gone, basically, which is something like a month (full-time) and a few raids before that.

The caster officer/raid leader (shadow priest who goes disc for us on occasion) and I have a good rapport, really, so we’ve talked a LOT about healing and healers. He’s been my main contact with the officers, playing messenger boy between me and the tanks. Until this week.

The guild has a funny structure. Apparently those who are “officers” don’t have access to officer chat. Their “officer” discussions take place in a custom chat channel.

This channel is one that the raid leader asked me to join this week. Hooray. I’ve been in there since Sunday and it’s a little intimidating to be in there with the MT/guild leader who yells at people, the former GM who plays casually these days and others. At least the hunter/physical DPS officer is there. She’s pretty awesome and is basically my only real “friend” in the guild besides my friend the druid.

I have to say that the disconnect between the MT’s MT personality and his officer-chat personality is staggering. He can be yelling at people in raid and then discussing a new restaurant he wants to check out at the same time in the “officer” channel.

Anyways, the situation that had me questioning people’s opinions of me has been pretty much settled. I’m the stand-in healing lead, period. And they (mostly!) listen to me. I can see this being a good thing if my RL friend needs a night off. “Kurn,” she could say (or, you know, use my real name), “can you do healing tonight? I need to get to bed early.” It would be nice to do it occasionally. Just not all the time.

4) The problems I’m encountering now while leading the healers through heroic encounters (FML, I hate these things!) is that the healers have very little sense of cohesion, no team identity. And no wonder. With one exception, I’m the most senior of the current, active healers and I just joined in September.

We’re apping two holy paladins at the moment, two resto druids, three priests (all disc/holy dual specs) and basically two resto shammies. I’m struggling to find room for them all in the raids, particularly as I’m only being given six spots in the vast majority of encounters. Granted, that should be plenty, but I wish I could keep my disc priest AND a holy priest AND two resto shammies AND two holy paladins AND a resto druid all at once. But I can’t. So the shammies get swapped around a lot. The priests have a very minimal rotation, largely because the one who’s primarily holy is just THAT GOOD and I like the disc very much, he’s been with us longest of all the priests. I’m swapping the two holy paladins around whenever I can. I had T in with us for Marrowgar (H), Deathwhisper (R), Airship (H), then brought in L for Saurfang (H) and kept all of us intact through Princes. Then I swapped out T and kept L for BQL. Then brought T back in for Dreamwalker.

Whew. So personnel and cohesion is a bit of a challenge these days. Anyone have any fun team-building exercises that are doable on a forum? I really just want the healers to get to know each other better so we can learn to rely on each other more.

5) As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing arenas with my brother (survival hunter) and our buddy Majik (unholy DK).

a) Teams with names like “u ju we ez bake oven” should be taken to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I’m not Jewish, none of my family members were directly affected by the Holocaust, but the very fact that people think this is an acceptable arena team name makes me sick to my stomach and makes me wish that I stuck to things like Space Quest. Freaking MMOs. I hate people. And yes, I report each and every offensive arena team name I see. :P

b) Speaking of hating people, I hate warlocks. Fear, fear, fear, fear, curse of tongues, unstable affliction, shadowfury, felhunter and/or succubus, fear, fear, fear, fear, dead. Know what I need resilience to do? Reduce the amount of time I spend running around like a moron being feared.

c) Oh, let us not forget freaking druids. Cyclone, regrowth, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, rejuvenation, travel form, lifebloom blooms, druid is at full health and full mana again. And then continues to cyclone me. UGH. (R, you have never cycloned me. Thus, you are immune to my hate.)

d) And then there are priests. Euphie, Kaleri, you know I love you, but bloody hell, do I hate priests. If there is a sound out there that I hate more than any in all of World of Warcraft (yes, even over Jaina’s whining tones in Hyjal!), it is the sound of Mana Burn. It strikes fear and dread into my poor heart. Psychic Scream is no fun, either.

e) Surprisingly, we nearly got to 1300 rating pretty easily. We even had 9 wins in a row at one point. But we fell short and have since tanked our 3v3 rating back down to 1226 or so. It seems like every game we win gives us 3-7 points and every game we lose drops us 10-20. Pray tell, how the hell are we supposed to beat a team with a holy paladin, a disc priest and an arms warrior? It would seem logical to take out the warrior, but without pressure on a healer, there’s no way to outdamage two healers healing him. So you go for the squishy? Sure. But then I’m stuck kiting the stupid warrior around while the paladin bubbles, heals to full, judges my team’s DPS to get mana back and keeps the damn priest alive.

What about the resto druid and double rogue team? How to beat THAT?

f) And don’t get me started on how seriously OP an elemental shaman is in an arena. Good GOD, does Lava Burst hurt!!!

6) Class previews? Cataclysm beta has to be incoming. Having said THAT, of course everyone else’s preview is this week and the paladins have to wait ’till next. Of course. I’m expecting changes drastic enough to make me want to switch raiding toons. I will say this, though — I love the idea of “healing wave” and “heal” as the middle spells for shammies and priests. It’s exactly what *I* want for a paladin. So I’m envisioning Flash of Light, Holy Light and Greater Holy Light. Or something like that. They really can’t slap “divine” on too many more spell names or abilities for paladins, can they? Maybe FoL, Divine Light (medium spell) and Holy Light (for the big one)? I guess we’ll see.

The shammy and priest changes seem interesting. Not sure how to feel about Healing Rain, but HEY EUPHIE! Guess what spell you’re going to use on ME all the damn time?! THAT’S RIGHT, LEAP OF FAITH, BABY. AHAHAHA!

I used to tell my raiders, back in the day “Look. I can’t move you out of the fire on Archimonde. I really wish I could. But I can’t. So please move out of the fire. Please.”

But in Cataclysm, you will be able to.

Hilarious!

Power Word: Barrier seems nifty, too.

I’m nervous as hell about the hunter changes, by the way. My inner huntard is cringing, waiting for the nerfbat smackdown. AND, BY GOLLY, I WILL MISS MY MANA BAR.

I should end this post. My ideas are starting to degrade into OMGCAPS-like flickers of thought.

So that’s what’s new with me.

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