Deep Diving for Deep Corruption

On the Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping encounter, you will certainly find yourself not wanting to kill the purple slime, or the Shadowed Globule, as it is properly named. (I’ll still be calling it “purple slime”, because I’m a rebel. Or something.) Allowing Yor’sahj to absorb the purple slime will cause him to affect the whole raid with one stack of Deep Corruption. This means that if you heal after that debuff has been placed on the raid, they will gain stacks of Deep Corruption. If they hit five stacks of Deep Corruption, they will do a lot of raid-wide shadow damage to the raid. On the 25-man Heroic version, that person will promptly deal around 95,000 shadow damage to each person in the raid.

Naturally, unless you’re trying to wipe, this is inadvisable.

The good news is that about 25 seconds into any phase where purple has been absorbed, the debuff resets itself, so you technically can heal someone more than just a couple of times over the entire course of the phase. One of the best ways to deal with this is to assign healers to specific people in the raid.

You may have already known all of this, but I appreciate you bearing with me, because now I’m going to talk about how to get a World of Logs parse to show you who That Guy (or That Girl) is who is stubbornly cross-healing or healing themselves or someone else when they shouldn’t be, which will stack Deep Corruption during a purple phase and will therefore explode. Every raid group has people who cross-heal or heal someone when they probably shouldn’t, so it’s important that you be able to ascertain who screwed up to nip that problem in the bud, or at least identify the actual problem, rather than insist everything will be fine if everyone just does what they’re told to do.

Plus, your healers (or DPS with self-healing abilities, or people who click the Lightwell when Deep Corruption is up) will be like “holy crap, how did they know it was me?!” when you whisper them and go “Stop cross-healing” or whatever. ;) It’s actually really quite simple, so let’s get started.

First things first, you need to be using World of Logs for these step-by-step instructions to work. It’s likely that you can figure it out with Recount or Skada, but I’m a logs geek, so that’s what I’ll deal with here.

Second, you’ll need to figure out if Deep Corruption ever blew up your raid. If you’re using something like Fatality in the raid, this will tell you why people died and who caused that damage, but I did say we were going to deal with World of Logs, so let’s start there.

Find an attempt in World of Logs where you’re fairly certain Deep Corruption went off. You can determine this by seeing if Deep Corruption caused any damage to your raid on the Dashboard page of a specific attempt.

Then go to the Friendly Fire screen for that attempt. Hover over the top-most person and if it says Deep Corruption, bingo.

In this case, there was a hunter who blew up the raid. But this is almost certainly NOT the fault of the individual who blew up the raid. How do you determine who did the healing to that hunter? Was it specifically the person who was on that group or was there cross-healing happening? Or something else?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The Log Browser.

First thing to do is click “remove” on that Show all events query because otherwise you’re going to have every single thing that happened to your raid sitting in there.

Then, click on Add Query. You’ll see this pop up.

First thing to do is type in Deep Corruption in the Spell box, then hit Save. You’ll now see this on the main log browser page:


Next, hit Add Query again. This time, tick the “Heal” box in the upper half and then, in the Target box, type in the name of the person who dealt all that damage. While it wasn’t Kurnmogh, I’ll use my own name there to show you where to place it.

Hit Save. Your log browser screen should now look like this:

Now hit Run!

The lower half of your log browser window is now jam-packed with information. Here’s what you need to do.

1) Find when Yor’sahj casts Deep Corruption and it afflicts everyone in the raid. This may happen multiple times.
2) Find when Deep Corruption fades from someone and that person appears to hit people with Deep Corruption.
3) Look at the heals that person received between being afflicted by Deep Corruption and when it fades from them and they hit everyone in the raid with shadow damage.

Here’s what my log looked like:

I know, that looks like a LOT of healing. But it’s not.

The hunter receives 5 heals that add to his stacks before he blows up:

1) Priest’s Holy Word: Serenity
2) Priest’s Prayer of Healing
3) Priest’s Prayer of Healing
4) Druid’s Wild Growth
5) Priest’s Greater Heal

Boom.

For the record, Echo of Light (holy priest mastery) doesn’t add stacks, nor does Prayer of Mending, nor does the Glyph of Prayer of Healing, nor do the ticks of Wild Growth — just that initial hit of it.

While this post is mostly intended for 10-man tanks, it’s an amazing guide to what does and does NOT stack Deep Corruption on the Heroic Yor’sahj encounter: A Sunnier Bear: Heroic Yor’sahj Tanking Guide, so that’ll help. Also of note, apparently the heal from the Eye of Blazing Power Firelands trinket (and its heroic version) called Blaze of Life, is apparently currently causing stacks.

Anyhow, hope that helps diagnose some of your Heroic Yor’sahj wipes!

Apotheosis (A-25m-2/8HM, seeking casters and a resto shaman! </shamelessplug>) got Heroic Hagara down as a server-first and our next target is Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping.

Assuming holy paladins are in the mix, a popular healing strategy is to beacon the tanks and heal the pets in the raid, because heals from Beacon of Light do not stack Deep Corruption and pets don’t receive stacks of Deep Corruption.

The question came up, the other day, about whether or not a hunter should use a Tenacity pet, who has the Blood of the Rhino talent. Would the lower DPS be worth 40% extra healing to a pet and then, ostensibly, 20% extra healing to the tank through Beacon of Light?

This was a popular strategy back on Valithria Dreamwalker. You would park a turtle or some other Tenacity pet with the same +healing talent basically on top of Dreamwalker or right next to her and you’d heal the pet for extra healing done. Unfortunately, this stopped being viable eventually when they fixed Blood of the Rhino to only affect the pet and no copied heals from that (ie: Beacon of Light).

But that was back in 3.3. Did 4.3 mean this was somehow working again?

I bothered Daey to get on his holy paladin, Saerani, while I was on Kurn and we experimented with him beaconing me and healing my pet. The first pet he healed was my cat, Whisper, who has no +healing talents at all, being a Ferocity pet.

So you can see here that Daey hits Whisper for 55355 (crit). This bounces to me for 27677, which is just half of that heal. (Yeah, I miss 100% Beacon transfers, too!) The same with the 27672 hit, that gets me for half — 13836. That is totally expected. This is the control for the experiment. Now let’s look at Daey healing my bear, Fozzie.

First, note that the non-crit heal hits for 40,102. Based on the heals Whisper got, it’s clear that Fozzie has the Blood of the Rhino talent if it hit him for a 40k non-crit.

But then you see that the heal to me was only 14322.

MATH TIME.

14322 x2 = 28644 x 1.4 = 40,101.6 = 40,102.

So the original heal size, without the Blood of the Rhino bonus was 28644. With the 40% extra healing, we get 40,101.6 (rounded up to 40,102). If this +healing did transfer through Beacon of Light, we wouldn’t see me being healed for half of the original heal’s size. We would see it be half of the final heal’s size. The final heal was 40,102, so we would be looking for 20,051 as the heal that I got. But alas, I was only healed for 14,322.

Let’s see how this holds up with the next heal.

Fozzie is healed for 71865. I get healed for 25666.

25666 x2 = 51,332 x 1.4 = 71,864.8 = 71,865

Yup, same deal.

So it’s quite clear — Blood of the Rhino does not transfer any extra +healing from the pet to the Beacon of Light target. As such, on the Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping encounter, I do encourage you to beacon the tanks and heal the pets, but don’t gimp your hunters’ DPS by forcing them to bring a Tenacity pet to the raid. Their regular pet will do exactly the same thing a Tenacity pet will.

Co-operation vs. Competition

Anyone who’s healed with me, particularly with me as their healing lead, knows that I do not put a huge emphasis on numbers while healing. I don’t care who’s topping the healing meters, I don’t care who’s at the bottom. I take those numbers in stride and I don’t sweat it, so long as people are not dying due to lack of healing.

This is because I care more about defeating the encounter as a team than topping the meters. I don’t even have Recount or Skada up most of the time because I don’t want to focus on numbers. If I have it up, it is almost certainly as a quick diagnostic tool for after the pull, so I can see if people were respecting their assignments.

Please bear in mind that I’m not saying it’s not important to do your best on an encounter, but it’s not doing your best, for example, to allow Gushing Wound to stay on the tank during Alysrazor, just so you’ll have more healing to do. That’s padding the numbers and artificially inflating them at the risk of killing your tank.

At this point in the expansion, after having raided for several months with my own healing team in Apotheosis (up to a year in some cases), I just flat-out don’t care which of us tops the meters or which of us (that would be me) is occasionally outhealed by our DK tank. (Actually, that was all of us on Baleroc, sometimes…!)

My healing roster in Apotheosis currently consists of: 2 holy paladins, 2 resto druids, 1 disc priest, 1 holy priest and 2 resto shaman (one is in his trial). But I don’t look at them and say “oh, holy priest, huge buffs, God, I hate Sara for having a more powerful healing cooldown!!” Nor do I look over at Walks and curse at him for grasping holy paladin raid healing better than myself. Nor do I gripe about Kal and her amazing bubbles on the tanks when my “bubbles” are pathetic and miniscule, even with a hefty amount of mastery. (Okay, I gripe a little, but screw mastery anyway.)

I don’t get upset when Kit saves the day with a well-timed Spirit Link Totem. I don’t get angry when Jasyla or Featherwind manage to squeeze in another Tranquility for an extra few hundred thousand healing. I don’t begrudge any of my healers their successes, because when they succeed, my whole team succeeds.

On December 6th, the Holy Paladin 4pc set bonus was nerfed in a hotfix. No longer would our 4pc set increase healing done by Holy Radiance by 20%, it would now only increase it by 5%.

In the PTR notes for 4.3.2, the change is mentioned because the tooltip will now read 5% instead of the incorrect-since-December-6th 20%.

I noticed a few tweets and such about the nerf, from people who had not read the hotfixes (or perhaps they had and it just didn’t register as anything interesting at the time), basically cheering that holy paladins were being nerfed and they thought that holy paladins were being nerfed from the level they’re at now.

My question here is why?

Why on earth would you be glad to see your teammates be nerfed?

When resto druids got a 20% nerf to WG’s healing and a glyph change that is ridiculous, I didn’t cheer, I didn’t express my sheer joy. I was upset on their behalf. When holy priests complained of not having a really viable raid cooldown during 4.0-4.2, I was right there with them, saying yes, it would make so much sense for holy priests to have a real raid cooldown that matters! When they got their Divine Hymn buffs, I was thrilled!

When resto shaman got Spirit Link Totem, I was really pleased for them, same with when resto druids got the reduced CD on Tranquility. And in the early days of T11, I got spoiled rotten by having not one, but two Power Word: Barriers at my disposal, thanks to Kal and Num.

My question here is… why does the success of my class make people feel so angry that they then feel HAPPY when my class gets nerfed?

This isn’t a new thing, not at all, but I feel as though the inter-class arguments have gotten worse in recent times. I feel as though many players just no longer care about the team aspect of the game and are only out to make sure that they’re topping the meters.

Can you top meters while being a good team player? Sure. Does that happen often? No. Generally, in my six years of playing, if a healer was concerned about topping the healing meters, that healer would not follow their assignment and their assigned people would die. That’s why I don’t care about the meters. If I top them, great. If I don’t, well, did my target or targets live? If so, good. If not, then we have a problem.

I feel strongly that the WoW community has become too fractured and divisive. Tanks argue that other tanks are OP, pure DPS argue about hybrids being too competitive and healers… healers lose sight of the fact that we’re all on the same team and that, ultimately, we all want the raid to live and bosses to die.

I heal as a holy paladin because I like the class, overall. I can’t imagine relying on hots, I am bad with the large priest toolkit and the idea of chain heal is still pretty foreign to me, despite the fact I’ve done some ICC 10/25 on my shaman (and several dungeon runs/heroic dungeons since).

I won’t reroll a healing class because a certain class is OP and I won’t shelve my paladin if we’re completely ineffective. I play the class because I enjoy my capabilities within that class. (Although I miss Divine Intervention. A lot.)

So it boggles my mind when I see other healers, good healers, rejoice at a nerf to a class they feel is overpowered. It makes me disappointed in them and the community at large. It makes me wonder what happened to team spirit and being happy and pleased about the successes of your team members. When did it all become about the self?

I feel, more and more, as though my team-first attitude is endangered. I feel as though 25-mans are endangered. I feel as though the game, somewhere, changed forever and the community it’s built up since that change is filled with “gogogo” people who are obsessed with their own personal performance.

Again, I will reiterate that there is nothing wrong with maximizing your own performance, so long as the team comes first. But I have to question if other people even understand what a team is anymore. Sadly, I think a lot of people view their fellow healers as competition and not as teammates.

I celebrate the successes of my team. You, almost certainly, cannot solo-heal raids. You do it with a partner or two or five or six. I ask that you show them some respect, no matter how badly you may be outhealed or no matter how badly you outheal them. For better or for worse, they are your teammates, even in LFR, and if you don’t show respect to your fellow healers, those poor people in the trenches with you as you struggle to keep that death knight or warrior alive, then how on earth can you be a team player?

We’re all on the same team, with the same goal. Let’s remember that the next time a series of nerfs or buffs come down, shall we?

4.3 and Holy Paladins

There are quite a few changes for holy paladins as of patch 4.3. Some are nerfs, some are buffs, but either way, part of how we heal is going to change significantly.

According to MMO-Champion, patch 4.3 is dropping this week, as in tomorrow, November 29th, 2011.

Here are all the paladin changes that holy pallies will care about.

HOLY RADIANCE

  • Holy Radiance now has a 3.0-second cast time, no cooldown, and requires a player target. That target is imbued with Holy Radiance, which heals them and all group members within 10 yards instantly, and continues to heal them by a smaller amount every 1 second for 3 seconds.
  • Illuminated Healing (mastery) now also applies to Holy Radiance.

This means that Holy Radiance is now a spell with a target and a cast time, like just about every other spell we have. The healing from Holy Radiance will no longer emanate from us, but rather from the people we heal with the spell. Time to find a keybind or mousebind for Holy Radiance! (I’m still trying to figure that one out!) And our mastery will now also apply to targets healed with Holy Radiance.

As a result, several spells now include or exclude Holy Radiance in their effects:

So instead of a 3s base, it’s 2.5s base, just like Divine Light and Holy Light.

  • Infusion of Light now applies its cast time reduction from Holy Shock critical effects to Holy Radiance, in addition to its current effects.

Sweet, Infusion of Light procs will give us a super-fast cast of Holy Radiance.

  • Speed of Light no longer triggers from Holy Radiance and no longer lowers the Holy Radiance cooldown. Speed of Light now only triggers from Divine Protection.

This only makes sense. Holy Radiance no longer HAS a cooldown, so nothing should lower its non-existant cooldown. And we can’t constantly be casting Holy Radiance in order to get a speed buff. That would be silly. Unfortunately, this is technically a nerf, because now we only have one speed boost.

  • Paragon of Virtue now lowers the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15/30 seconds, up from 10/20 seconds.

But they buffed that, so we can now use Divine Protection every 30 seconds, which is pretty sweet.

  • Tower of Radiance, in addition to its current effects, now also causes Holy Radiance to always generate 1 charge of Holy Power at all times.

So this is a neat change that actually sort of gives us an “AOE rotation”. Cast three Holy Radiance on any target or targets (not just your beacon target!) and you’ll have three Holy Power. Cast Light of Dawn. Rinse and repeat. While no one is going to confuse us for resto druids or holy priests in 4.3, this does make us a little more viable as raid healers.

LIGHT OF DAWN

Yay for a buff! This means that everyone’s Light of Dawn will automatically try to hit 6 people. And if you’re in a 10-man raid group, there’s a change for you, too:

  • Glyph of Light of Dawn now lowers the number of targets to 4, instead of increasing targets to 6, but increases healing by 25%.

So that’s a nice little boost, too, and will be less wasteful. Light of Dawn may actually be worthwhile in 10-mans!

BEACON TRANSFERS

  • Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

That’s right, you can drop to 2/3 of Protector of the Innocent if you, like me, hate the talent, but felt badly about not sending the maximum amount of tiny heals to your Beacon target. Note that you should still have 1/2 Enlightened Judgements to ensure you hit the 8% melee hit cap to make sure your judgements are always hitting (to maintain Judgements of the Pure), but the small bits of healing from that also will not transfer, so if you were at 2/2 Enlightened Judgements for that reason, you can drop a point there quite safely.

Yes, this is technically a nerf, but I know that I’m actually not going to cringe when I go looking through a parse now, trying to line up all the itty, bitty Beacon of Light heals with whatever the holy paladin in question was doing at the time.

SEALS AND JUDGING

  • Seal of Insight, when Judged, no longer returns 15% base mana to the paladin. Judging Seal of Insight still causes damage, and melee attacks will still restore 4% of base mana.
  • In addition to providing haste, the effect from Judgements of the Pure now increases mana regeneration from Spirit by 10/20/30% for 60 seconds.

These two changes, quite simply, mean that we are no longer judging once every 8 seconds in order to regain 15% of our base mana. We will only need to judge once per minute to keep Judgements of the Pure active, not only for the increased haste, but for increased mana regeneration. Spirit is our friend!

And, well, that’s about it, to be honest. So really, just a change to Holy Radiance and talents that were affecting the old version/should affect the new version. A change to Light of Dawn and its glyph. A change to Seal of Insight and Judgements of the Pure. And a change to what heals transfer through Beacon.

SO WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO DIFFERENTLY?

Make sure you remember to bind the new Holy Radiance to something. You might want to add the Holy Radiance effect to your raid frames (tip: it’s called Holy Radiance!) so you can see how much of the raid is being affected by it. If you’re in a 10m group, you probably want to glyph Light of Dawn. And remember, no need to judge every 8 seconds. And you only have one sprint! But it’s usable every 30 seconds.

Don’t forget to check out my T13 (normal) loot list, too!

Good luck to you, whether you’re heading right for Dragon Soul or into one of the new dungeons!

Comfortable with my Class

On Tuesday night, Apotheosis got Heroic Beth’tilac 25 down.

Dar, one of our resto shaman, had posted to say she wasn’t going to be there, which left me with a difficult decision: who was going to heal Dar’s people in the northwest? For 28 attempts, Dar had dutifully healed that particular corner.

In order for it to go as smoothly as possible, I wanted to make as few major changes as I could.

What did that mean? That meant that I was going to take her spot.

I got to heal our moonkin, Hitoku and, lucky me, Majik, my caster officer and my co-host over at Blessing of Frost.

(The “lucky me” was sarcasm. If you couldn’t tell. ;))

So, for 28 attempts prior to Tuesday, I was essentially healing the ground tank, keeping an eye on Dar and other healers, taunting spinners down and generally watching everything, as a raid leader is prone to doing. I had never assigned myself to a cave and, to be honest, I would be happy if I never had to do so again… But I digress.

It took us 10 pulls to kill Beth’tilac Tuesday, bringing us to 3/7 25-man heroics. For each of those 10 pulls, I was healing my cave group, although my cave group migrated from northwest to southeast at one point. Jasyla said she liked that little northwest corner better and I could totally see why. The southeast corner is cramped and crowded!

Anyhow, during the first attempt, I lost Majik. Then, several other people died. So it wasn’t totally my bad, but I vowed to do better.

In the span of 10 pulls, ladies and gentlemen, I became a cave-healer pro. I kicked some ass. Not only did I keep my targets alive, but on try 10, our kill, approximately 97% of the Engorged Broodlings that spawned wanted to blow me up. I am not joking. Better still, I have it all frapsed and it’s embedded below. (Bear in mind that in P2, my computer suddenly decided to violently revolt and I experienced some tremendous lag and loss of framerate. It’s not the best video ever, but it is our first kill.)

 

Kurn, you may be wondering, what on earth does any of this have to do with being comfortable with your class?

Good question!

On the kill attempt, I was constantly the target of the broodlings, as I mentioned. Walks was healing up in the northeast and one thing he had been saying earlier in the night was that if a broodling was heading for someone at southeast, there was no way he could stop them, since they’re up on some damn ledge. So he took to calling out “ledge”.

Of course, on the kill attempt, his broodlings came at me frequently. So I was always calling out “got it”, while running to the ledge where the spiders come down from, while ALSO trying to heal Majik and Hitoku and, you know, trying not to kill myself while doing so.

I think it was only after the whole raid was over for the night that I realized that there was no way in hell I would have been able to manage all that crap (seriously, FOURTEEN broodlings hit me!) AND keep Maj and Hitoku alive if I weren’t extremely comfortable with how my class works.

It’s almost instinctual after a certain point. Granted, my instincts aren’t always spot-on or great or whatever, as you can tell since I do let Judgements of the Pure drop off and don’t use my Guardian and the like on the kill (which I’ll blame on the fact that my computer was about to throw up on me) but they really served me well over the whole raid night. At various points during the entire night, I popped cooldowns appropriately, even using Lay on Hands on Hitoku at one point. I figured out where my Beacon of Light was best put to use (sadly, on Majik) and basically, that was all the real thinking I had to do about how to heal my group.

Venom Rain? Aura Mastery. I’m low on health? Pop my bubble to buy myself some extra time to heal up my group members before turning to myself. Need to regen mana? Use my shiny Fiery Quintessence and pop Divine Plea. See 3 bright orange beams on me from Engorged Broodlings? Don’t panic, use instant heals like Holy Shock and Word of Glory until I’m in position to interrupt one and can start casting again.

Paladins have changed substantially since the original World of Warcraft game came out. Holy paladins have changed and evolved right along with the other specs. While we still need to stand still and cast to be most effective, Holy Radiance (well, the current iteration, not the 4.3 version!), Holy Shock, Word of Glory and a Flash of Light with Infusion of Light proc are all things we can do on the run. Even a 1-2 point Word of Glory can be useful (you can see in the video I made some use of that) if you’re on the move and someone needs a heal ASAP.

Giving Divine Protection a shorter cooldown for Holy (due to Paragon of Virtue) is great and it came in handy all through the night when magical damage (which includes nature damage, which is what those nasty little Engorged Broodlings emit) was troubling me. No problem — Shift-A (my keybind for Divine Protection) to the rescue!

During the night, apart from maybe the first pull or two, despite having absolutely no experience healing where I was healing and healing the people I was healing, I felt calm and in control of myself.  I really do attribute my ability to adapt to cave healing to knowing what all my buttons do. The only thing I didn’t use duing the night was Hand of Freedom and I could have used it when I was stuck in the Volatile Poison on the ground at one point on our kill.

I encourage everyone to take a second look at all your abilities. Not just the ones in the holy tree, look at prot and ret as well. Read through your spellbook and be sure you understand what your abilities do. Armed with that knowledge, you can walk into a fight and adapt much more quickly than you would otherwise. Don’t forget about your Hand spells, your procs, your set-it-and-forget-its (like Holy Radiance and Guardian of Ancient Kings).

Paladins are very strong healers and not restricted to tank healing. Not only that, but we have a ton of utility, so don’t forget to use those utility spells! Once you know exactly what you’re capable of doing, you’ll react with your instincts, leaving your brain to sit there and worry about where you should be standing, rather than what spell to use.

(And you can always read through my second revamped Holy How-To Guide to help you out!)

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