Much time has passed since it was released, but I still like the concept of Looking For Raid. I keep running it on varying characters, and overall I have a good time.
The only thing I haven’t enjoyed is the long wait time as DPS, at least on characters that don’t have a farming profession.
Even as a tank, the wait time can go ten minutes sometimes. Maybe the average is three minutes, but I have seen as high as ten. It happens.
Each time I queue, I’d see the Healers with their estimated 3 second wait time and /envy them.
I’d think to myself, ‘I gotta get me some of that.”
Well, I did.
I leveled my poor, long-suffering Priest to 85, ran instances choosing Spirit gear for all upgrades, and built a complete set of spirit healy gear (with just a couple 377 PvP items, like shoulders), and figured I was all set for LFR.
Before I ran LFR Dragon Soul as a Priest healer, I asked around on Twitter for feedback on what spec I should choose, Holy or Disc. Then I specced Holy, actually reforged so I had a chance, and ran a few Heroics to tweak my Vuh’do and learn timing sequences and synergy and this whole ‘Chakra’ thing.
I did pretty well, and yes I am saying so myself.
At least, I did pretty well for Heroics. Kept all the things alive, no wipes, that sort of stuff. Thank Elune we’re able to drastically overgear content now, because obviously I had NO skill or experience in mana management. My goal was to keep the stuffs alive, and I did so, using tools that I know overhealed for a higher mana cost than I needed to use to get the job done, but it was a start. A REAL healer would know what heal to use to get the job done while conserving mana.
The hardest lesson I had to learn as a former Druid Tree healer was NOT to cast spells. I’m used to HoTting things up right before the damage starts. I am used to casting while the bars are all green, doing the preemptive healing thing.
As a Priest, there are a few preemptive heals like Renew and Prayerof Mending and the HoT from Holy spec Mastery, but most are reactive. You have to wait for a bar to start dropping before you react to it and cast some heals. Or see what target the boss is attacking so you know who is gonna be taking the hit. Or know what AoE is about to hit the group and lay down the Holy Word – Sanctuary (also known as pretty sparklies).
It’s a bit of an adjustment, my instincts are to cast, not stand still waiting for the bars to drop. I found myself wishing the tank would take more damage. Maybe that Mage could go stand in the fire for a minute? Please? No? Fine. I’ll just stand here and Renew the tank. Again.
For those not aware, the guild I’m in has three seperate ten person raid teams, named ‘Team Wanda”, “Team Snuffleupagus” and “Team Teddybear.” I’m not in any of them, I’m a persistent floater. :)
My next intended step as a healer was to venture into LFR, after a little Mage leveling.
My plans did not survive contact with my friends, for the call went forth from TheRedDeath, Team Snuffleupagus’ Raid Leader.
/guild channel “We need a ranged DPS and healer for Dragon Soul.”
Cassie immediately tells me I should offer to DPS on my Hunter, to which I replied, “My Hunter is my second favorite character to play, I love playing my Hunter just after my Druid. But my Hunter is my worst geared DPS character. So, no. Red needs better than a crap hunter. He’s used to Cross, and Cross rocks.”
So I remain silent, and Red finds a willing ranged DPS quickly (This really noob Mage, omg he was so lemon fresh he squeaked, named Ursimage or something like that. Noob.), but still needs a healer. I don’t know how the subject comes up, but when asked I say that I can’t heal because I actually LIKE Red, and I wouldn’t want to subject his team to my brand new undergeared ignorant healing.
The answer I got was somewhere along the lines of, “C’mon, how bad could it really be.”
Really? You’re going to go there. oooh, that’s just asking for it, man.
So into the Dragon Soul rode the ten raiders, and hell rode with them.
Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t hell. It wasn’t even purgatory. It wasn’t surf and sand and 12 ounce steaks on the grill with a tropical drink with an itty bitty umbrella in it, but it wasn’t bad at all.
See, Team Snuffleupagus are very good raiders. In fact, almost everyone in Band of Misfits are very good raiders. When someone can’t make a raid night, they never seem to lack for volunteers. They kinda do this a lot, and do it well.
So I joined them with the trash on Morchok, and for the next five bosses we had a lot of fun. The pace was fast and smooth, everyone did what they were supposed to, bosses and trash died, and much joking was had by all. Everyone stayed focused on the goal and hustled without rushing, if you get my meaning.
By the time Ultraxion died (OMG I two healed on Ultraxion with Silarkias!) I was kinda liking this whole Holy Priest Chakra Healing thing.
All that hullabaloo about Chakra healing, and changing optimization on the fly between single target and AoE healing, plus Holy Word changing states is all pretty awesome once you get into it.
Yes, I know I’m the last idiot left in the game to try Chakra healing out. Sue me, Bears don’t give a Chakra.
I love playing classes new to me in a game I’ve been playing forever. The whiff of new car smell on a model I know and love, what could be better? Now with Priests being enjoyed, that leaves Warlocks and Monks as the last two unexplored countries to look forward to.
Not only did the raiding with Snuffleupagus go great, but I walked away with 2 pieces of Tier gear. Turns out, their team didn’t have any Paladins, Priests or Warlocks in the group that night, so anything that could dr9op for Tier was destined for me.
Please don’t hurt me.
So, a great night, right? This healing thing, pretty fun. And short queue times! Rock on!
So, let’s try out LFR, how bad could it be?
The horror. The horror.
Dudes. Seriously. GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE FIRE.
What is wrong with you people?
I now know why the healing queue time is so short.
Tanking and DPS are straitforward roles, their enemies are the NPCs.
For the healers, the PLAYERS are the enemy.
How smooth or challenging a run the healer has is based directly on whether or not the other players pay attention, stand in the healing circles, run out of the fire, move to proper range, close in when appropriate, etc.
If the other players just stand there and don’t give a shit if they’re taking damage, the crowd is thick enough that it’s hard to tell why they’re health is plummeting. All a healer can see is a bar dropping, and take frantic steps not to lose them. If time allows, then a combat log can be scanned to see wtf was going on, but by then it may be too late.
A tank grabs what a tank grabs. DPS kills this, DPS kills that. The worst skill-type behavior I’m used to noticing is how lost people STILL get if nobody holds their hand and calls out colors of oozes.
But I never could have imagined the impact lazy DPS and tanks have on a healer in LFR.
I’m not saying the groups wiped, I’m just saying people doing stupid shit like killing EVERY DAMN TENTACLE on the Spine of Deathwing and spawning every possible add SUCKS.
And then, omigod and then, on the last plate for Spine, NOT HAVING ENOUGH DPS TO KILL THE TENDON, so we have to do the last plate all over again? Really? I’ve never even seen that happen before, not killing the tendon, just wtf.
I walked away in disbelief.
Sure, there are 25 players in LFR versus 10 in the normal raid I went on, and yes the AoE spells I used have upper limits on effectiveness based on number of people needin’ the healin’.
I don’t care. It really is true. It’s more annoying to heal LFR than normal because it really is that damn annoying to heal through stupid, and there are oh so many stupids to have to heal!
Or worse yet, heal through “I don’t give a shit”.
It doesn’t have to be that damn hard.
Hey, ranged DPS, when it all goes to black and the tentacles flail, CLOSE IN TO THE CENTER WHERE THE GLOWY SPARKLES ARE.
I feel so bad for healers that see the joy other pe0ple boast about in LFR, and then zone in to deal with that crap on a daily basis.
I don’t want to accentuate the negative, but I’ve been thinking on how LFR could be modified or tweaked to make it a little better for healers, and I’ve got nothing.
In my opinion, LFR is tuned just fine the way it is. If anything, it’s tuned so loose that players can stand in the bad shit and get away with it because the healers can keep up.
Maybe we need harsher penalties for bad behavior.
I’ve noticed that when something is an insta-kill, like running into an ice wall on Hagara, why holy crap, people don’t run into the ice wall on purpose anymore. But if it just causes lots of damage for the healer to heal through, hey, that’s not my concern, right? Let the healer deal with it, that’s their job.
Maybe LFR simply needs more things to be insta-gibs. Maybe if DPS don’t kill at least one ooze out of three, everyone simply dies. Or if you stand in the black blood of the earth on Morchok, one tick and then dead, next time move your ass.
I dunno. Clearly, the current system is working, but at what cost? Are people encouraged to learn the mechanics? Do people who honestly want to know what to do see the results of their actions and learn from it?
I knew healing was intense this expansion, and I hoped it would be fun to try, and it is. But hoochie mama, I had no idea LFR was just THAT irritating.
It turns out, you CAN heal stupid, but I don’t want to.
I wonder, is there an addon that marks players that stand in the bad on my Vuh’do bars, so I can see to stop healing them?
You know, I use Vuh’do, I’ve got whack-a-mole going. If someone were to stand in the bad a few times, I’d love an addon that just recognised that, and colored their entire bar something obnoxious like nuclear red so I know not to ever click on that bar to heal it for the rest of the run. Just let him die and die and die until he leaves in disgust.
Tanks excluded, of course.
I’d so love that. Just notify me that they’re acting stupid, even if I can’t see them doing it in the crush of the crowd, so I can save my mana for someone who cares.
We could call the addon “Heal Nazi“, and when it goes off it whispers the affected player, “No heals for YOU!”
Or maybe that’s a bad idea.