The flip side: Resto Shaman Craziness

Normally, I present info from the uni-directional point of view of da tank, and tank alone.

I certainly try and keep an open mind and look at things from different angles, but until I’ve been there, it’s hard to have specifics.

This time, I’ve got a few things that playing a new healer in heroics has brought to my attention that I thought would be fun to discuss.

First, I’m not really new to healing. I dual-specced my Druid quite a while back, got setup with Tree healing, and I love it. It is the absolute perfect accompaniment to the Bear tanking mindset; highly mobile, pre-emptive, heal them before they even know they needed it kind of healing.

As a Bear tank, one of our strengths is the mobile AoE. We like to run and gun. :)

As a Tree healer, our greatest strength (in my opinion) is the predominance of instant cast HoTs. We can also run and gun. We’re all about running and.. well, and leafing along. Why look… synergy.

As a Tank in instances, if I see I have a Tree healer, I know that I can remain mobile and healing can continue as normal. I’m not irritating the healer by always being on the move. I watch mana levels on the party as I pull, but I know that I won’t be leaving a swearing healer in my wake.

I’ve got a Priest that I had healed with a few times back in Burning Crusade before I went Shadow, so I know about that a little bit. And Cassie has a max level Paladin that she plays Ret and Holy in groups, and who has raid healed a few times, so I know a bit about that healing style from watching her and hearing her side of things. I know that being a healer whose main healing spells have relatively long cast times can be annoying, and even stressful if the tank doesn’t take that into account on things like Culling of Stratholme.

Now, I’ve just completed a slew of heroics as a new Shaman healer to give me a fresh perspective.

Here is the one suggestion I’d like to make when you go in to tank with an unknown healer; remember that not every healer uses instant cast spells.

Yes, every healer can follow along and keep up when tanks hustle through instances. Tree healers have an easier time of it than the others, but just taking the Shaman as an example, Lesser Healing Wave is pretty darn powerful, and with appropriate levels of haste on your gear, it’s relatively speedy. Riptide is a nice instant cast, and Nature’s Swiftness plus Chain Heal or Healing Wave gives you another big instant hit if things are moving fast and you just CAN’T take 2.5 seconds minus haste to get a normal Chain Heal off.

But the thing is, while all healing classes can heal on the run and do it very well, remember that there is a timing sequence here, and as has been pointed out by so many people, tanks set the pace of the run.

Everything flows from the tank. The tank runs fowards, the rest follow along. We’ll not linger overlong on DPS that run forward to attack before the tank does to hustle things along, okay? There is a special place in hell reserved just for them.

The tank runs forward, as I said, followed by the DPS who engage the mobs, followed by the healer, who catches up, stands still and remains poised to heal. Or immediately launches into healing and healing and healing.

If the healer has long cast time heals they want to use, they may begin pre-emptive casting, and then move at the last moment to interrupt their own heal so as not to waste mana.

Mana on a long cast is spent when the spell goes off, and not at the start of casting. As I’m sure everyone knows, you can begin casting your 2.5 second long heal while everyone is still at full at the start of the pull, and if the target just happens to take damage, you can let it go off looking like a healing genius… and if the target’s still at full, you can hop in place and break your own cast to save mana. No harm done, right?

I’m only bringing this up because if you, the tank, run up and grab mobs, then the DPS runs up and opens up on them, then the healer runs up and stops and begins casting… if the mobs are dead 2 seconds later and the tank takes off again, that 2.5 second cast time heal ain’t going off before your butt is out of range. At the very least, if everyone runs off the millisecond that the mobs are dead, and the mobs die like they have been from the uber-DPS people have these days, then sometimes not everyone is healed back up from party damage. Ya’all take off while the healer was still casting his second spell.

Now the healer has to start running again to catch up, not everyone is at full, and start falling back on super fast casts and instant casts only to try to get folks topped up before the next pause, or start out at a negative on the next group.

Does it matter? 90% of the time, no. But it can be stressful, and why should you stress the healer for nothing?

When it does matter is when the tank grabs tons of mobs because, oooh look, I’m a rock star, the DPS gleefully blows them up, and then the tank, at 50% health, Feral Charges himself directly at the next big pack, or packs, or even better rounds a corner and charges the boss when you were still trying to get your long cast off. 

Healers just love it when you start a boss fight when everyone is still at around 50% health or less, and the healer has been chain casting to catch up.

Again, it’s not a big deal, no reason to whine, most healers will be bored if you slow down too much.

There is a lot of satisfaction to be felt in running at top speed as a healer, keeping everyone alive and near full all the time without needing a pity break. It’s something the healers I know take pride in, in not needing everyone to be waiting around on the healer.

But it’s something to be aware of if you’re the tank, and the only thought in your mind is “Gotta get the aggro. The aggro. Gotta get the aggro.”*

You may be having a great time running around grabbing lots of stuff, and holding aggro, and having a fast run. The DPS may be loving the pace.

But the healer may just be feeling a little stressed having to chain cast long cast time spells non-stop, and not getting a moment to catch their breath because if they ain’t casting, they’re drinking for two seconds before getting up and running along after you again.

Really, all it takes is saying, “Hey, if my pace is too fast, just let me know, okay? I can hold off for a second for mana or heals. No problem.”

I bet if you say that, then again, you’ll almost never hear anyone say anything. But at least the healer knows you give a shit.

And it can also help you identify asshat DPS that throw a hissyfit at the very idea you might pause for anything, anything at all. I like to know who they are for my ignore list. :)

For the record, I’m not going to post my Shaman’s name or a link just now, because while it’s not any big secret (or all that hard to figure out), my gear right now ain’t anything anyone needs to see.

I ran a bunch of heroics, but I took most of yesterday off to do something else; level Enchanting on my Shaman from 0 to 315, on my way to 350.

I got stopped by the need for a gazillion Arcane Dust, but since none of my gear had been enchanted yet after just dinging 80, I just cast them on myself over and over.

I really don’t need somebody following a character link, and then being an asshat because I’ve got a +1 Stam enchant on my bracers, or a Mana Prime on my chest piece, ya know? I’ve been buying the big ticket end game enchants on gear that’s going to last, like my Zom’s shield, but that’s about it.

Once my enchanting is done, yes I’m sure I’ll replace those enchants. If I was in all epics, then I might leave them just to freak people out, but when my gear is all starter stuff, I don’t have any room to have stupid enchants as a goof.

Anyway, I did have a lot of fun healing on my Shaman, and aside from my very first run, they were all smooth as could be. Well, aside from a Drak’theron Keep run, bt that was mostly due to some mid-run sillyness and joking. :)

It was pretty amazing, how much of a difference there is in a tank’s pace. A little pause between pulling big groups of just a second or two, no more, makes a huge difference on a healer with long cast times in staying on top of everything without feeling too rushed.

Halls of Lightning, Oculus a couple times, Utgardt Keep, Utgardt Pinnacle, Gundrak a few times, Drak’theron Keep… I saw a nice range of places, and they were all fun. None of them were any problem at all, but tank pace and placement counts for so much in making the difference between a fun run and a stressful one.

More updates will follow… after my Enchanting gets better. :)

*For those that remember those old Dunkin Donuts commercials with the old guy that walked around in a daze waking up to go and make the donuts… “Gotta make the donuts, the donuts, zzzz”

The journey to the dark side ain't complete, but it's slouching along

Ah, the rush of joy from the first few weeks of the new LFG!

How quickly it turns sour in the face of reality… or in this case, asshats.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but I know my experiences are starting to mirror those Das Panzercow shared yesterday.

I’ve mostly been grouping with Windshadow the Druid, and that had given me a skewed perspective.

The very first couple days of 3.3, sure I did some LFG on my Paladin as DPS, but everyone and their little brother was online trying it out then.

Now, things have matured, Emblems have been won, and the self-centered attitudes of so many people are starting to come out, like stink rising off of… well, you know.

My Druid is dual-specced as Tank and Healer.

As a Tank and Healer both, I had long experience in running all Heroics that had been out successfully, frequently with guild members that had new alts. With the new LFG channel, all that happened was that in the pugs, most often there would be at least one raider that had better gear than I was used to seeing, so the runs, if anything, got faster.

Queueing up for LFG, as a Healer, I generally saw an instance pop in under two minutes, if that long. As a tank, it takes about 1 millisecond.

The longer queues would come when Cassie and I wanted to play together, and we’d group and join as Healer/DPS combo. Sometimes, it would take as long as five minutes.

Awww. Yep, I said I had a skewed perspective, right?

Switch to my Hunter. I was looking, and saw that my Hunter had 29 Conquest Emblems, and nothing at all worth buying from Conquest or Valor. Nada.

BUT… with just a few random Heroics, I could get enough Triumph to downgrade everything into an Heirloom Trinket. Still don’t have two of both Heirloom Trinkets, so hey! Cool! I could get there with just three or four random Heroics!

Yeah… welcome to the world of solo DPS queued for LFG. 15 minute to 25 minute wait times.

Damn, was I spoiled on my Druid.

So, now I can see first hand that, yes, it’s all much, much better than before, but it’s certainly not responsive equally to all roles. And really, how could it be?

If you’ll recall, my prediction prior to 3.3 was that solo DPS would be able to get a group far faster, but I never imagined that 20 minutes would seem long. I stated that I’d just be delighted if I could get a group without being online for two hours in the channel, and hell yes, that wish has been fulfilled.

I’m seeing more than just differing wait times, though. I’m seeing, as I said above, a rapid increase in asshattery. Or maybe laziness.

We could debate the RNG factor affecting what instances we get, and our suspicions that Blizzard has, ahem, weighted some to crop up more than others. But I’m sure it’s not the case. Ahem.

I’ll just throw my paranoia into the ring by saying I’ve had Utgardt Pinnacle, Halls of Lightning, Halls of Stone and OMG Oculus a LOT more often than anything else. And I still haven’t seen Culling of Strat, one of my favorites.

That’s not actually a complaint, since I like Lightning, Pinnacle and Stone. It’s just an observation, when Cassie and I see the loading screen, I believe her direct quote these days can be counted as being, “What, are you kidding me, Halls of Stone AGAIN?!?”

I tried to do my Hunter in LFG a couple days ago… I had Oculus for my first of the day, and as soon as the Tank zoned in to see where we were, he left party. Within 5 minutes of waiting for another tank, the party fell apart.

So I went and did other things.

Later that day, I went into LFG again. After my 20 minute wait, I got… Oculus again.

The new tank left the group again.

Got Azjol-Nerub after that. Two DPS both declined the group without even seeing what the instance was going to be, and when they got replaced, one of those DPS and the Tank left as soon as we zoned in.

Yes, in Azjol Nerub.

A Death Knight switched to tank spec, we re-joined LFG, got another DPS… and THAT DPS left group as soon as entering the instance. After that a Ret Pally came in and, OMG, stayed and we could run the place.

As we ran, the Tank and the Healer (a Shaman) took turns sniping bitchily at each other. The Healer kicked things off by being snarky at the tank’s gear, the tank got defensive in reply by playing the “I quit WoW for a year and only just got back so that’s why my gear sucks” card, then the Healer responded with questions concerning noobness about the tanks’s skill after so long away, then the tank would comment that at least he could tank and chew gum at the same time, etc etc ad nauseaum.

The whole run, two different people from two different servers entirely, bitching at each other. For No. Apparent. Reason.

The run lasted about 12 minutes from first pull to dead Anub. Okay, maybe it was longer, but that was a seriously fast speed run, everyone had over 3k DPS, including the tank… we even accidentally pulled Hadronox before he web wrapped the stairs because the tank didn’t know any better, and we still pulled it off.

Yeah, what the hell are these two crackheads bitching about? I have no idea.

But come on.

This trend, of tanks in particular leaving the party and taking the deserter debuff if the Instance is not to their liking, is happening with an ever accelerating pace.

Welcome to the world of primadonna rockstar tanks that think that the world really does revolve around them.

Nothing in the game is serving to disabuse them of that notion, anymore. Want a run as a tank? You can get one whenever the whim strikes. Don’t like what you get? Why not leave, there’s always another one whenever the fancy takes you.

A solo DPS trying to get a group in good faith, willing to stick out a run, will wait from 10 to 20 minutes after he joins LFG.

A tank looking for a quick and easy run can get an instance immediately, see what it is, get pissy, “Aw, AN again?” and leave group, and by the time their deserter debuff times out, that DPS is just getting his first group.

I was playing with PetEmote in Dalaran yesterday, PetEmote has been updated for Patch 3.2 and I configured mine for Voytek the Spirit Bear, and while testing my emotes, I saw this said in Trade Chat:

“Enjoy the runs in LFG while you can, noobs, as soon as all the Tanks get the last of the Triumph and Frost they want, and the new bosses are unlocked in Icecrown, you’re never gonna see another tank again. They’ll be raiding with their guilds and getting Frost and you’ll be shit out of luck.”

Well, I guess all tanks raid then, right?

Because guilds need SO MANY tanks, that everyone that wants to tank gets to.

Oh, wait… raiding guilds only need two, MAYBE three tanks in a 25 person raid.

Well, I’m sure that out of 25 people, only two or three ever really want to raid anything. I’m sure.

What happens when there is a scarcity of a commodity, and there are tangible benefits to be derived from providing that commodity?

Someone identifies it and fills the need.

In this case, my simple prediction is that as tanks continue to be scarce, more people seeing long wait times as DPS will dual spec if possible, and start gearing up a tank spec. Then they will expoit the fact that tanks get instant groups, and run to their heart’s content.

Please keep in mind, I never said they’d be GOOD tanks. :)

As was pointed out by Panzercow, the new world order as far as most groups go, is zerg the content, ignore Crowd Control, and blame the Healer if someone dies.

I did a random last night with Cassie, I was healing, and we got Heroic ToC.

The tank was a Bear tank, and we had the Hunter, Rogue and Mage.

The Bear tank stood in the poison puddle. Never moved.

I’m healing my butt off, since I feel it is my job NOT to just keep everyone alive, but instead to keep everyone at 100%. If a single Health bar dips, I get pissed. Lose health on ME, will you! We’ll just see about that.

On a related note, I hate Warlocks. There you are, keeping everyone alive fighting the trash after Ick in Heroic Pit of Saron, the Flamewraiths are AoEing everyone and porting and the tank isn’t on them, they’re not getting interrupted, and why the hell is it that one bastards’ health keeps plummeting like a stone?

Why, the Warlock is Life Tapping to get mana back as he struggles to be leet DPS, of course. While standing in the AoE fire. That prick.

Anyway, so Heroic ToC, Bear tank is standing unmoving in the puddle of poison, just standing there. Cassie is melee DPS and she’s not able to both get on the mobs AND avoid standing in the puddle. Cassie is bitching to me about the noob tank that is too stupid to get out of the green bloody-be-damned fire, and I’m agreeing “yes dear” as I’m actually reduced to spamming Nourish on the tank to keep him alive.

The fight is over, nobody died, loot box appears.

The Bear tank asks how he’s doing tanking.

I do a /inspect, out of curiosity. His gear is a pretty solid mix of iLevel 200 epics and a few Triumph items right off my list. A Darkmoon Card: Berserking trinket seems an odd choice, but really, not bad. Certainly more than adequate for Heroic ToC.

Out of politeness, I accentuate the positive, and mention that he held aggro very well.

I am having a hard time thinking of how to politely phrase the concept, “Next time you might want to get your furry butt out of the green puddles so DPS can get it stuck in” when he says, and I kid you not…

“Oh good. And great heals! I knew you were a great healer when I saw I’d been standing in the poison and I didn’t have to move because my health wasn’t going down.”

…..

Way to encourage them, Bear. Nicely done. Dumbass.

If I’d let him die, or even let his health hover towards the low end, maybe he would have been inspired to work more on his mobility next time, or pop his cooldowns.

But no, I kept him alive, and reinforced the idea that you can brute force things, and it’s okay. Zerg, zerg, zerg.

Sigh.

Please, if you have never tanked before and want to step forward and join the ranks of the new tanks, please.

Do so. Do so without regret, and without fear.

But here are some tips. Serious tips, not snarky ones.

First, if you CAN gear up from going as a different spec on LFG in Heroic, by all means do so. There is no shame in running as DPS or Heals, and rolling on tanking offset gear and using Triumph Emblems to buy tanking goodies.

Dechion, I’m talking to you. :)

Whatever you choose to do, when you first set out to tank, use LFG to select normal early instances, such as Nexus, Utgardt Keep, Drak’theron Keep, Gundrak and Azjol-Nerub .

Take the time to go to, say, Wowhead and look at their zone descriptions for the instances. Create little cheat sheets, one page instructions breaking down what each boss does, or tips to watch for from the trash.

As an example, have a sheet for Azjol-Nerub that details Skirmisher abilities on the first boss, so you are prepared for when it ignores you and heads for the most distant player to destroy. Or mentions on Hadronox that if you stand in his green poison cloud, your lost health is healing the boss.

When you zone into a specific chosen instance, let the rest of the group know that, regardless of your gear or the level range of the normal instance, you are there to practise your tanking skills, and ask if everyone is okay with taking it a little slower than they may be used to, to help give you a chance to learn how to do it right. Depending on the group, you may even get some folks willing to offer helpful, non-dickwad suggestions.

And above all else… practise. Be serious about getting better.

Identify the normal situations… what to do when a ranged caster doesn’t come to you, what to do when you’ve got a large group on you and you lose aggro on one mob, learn how to mark, etc. 

Take the time, if you don’t already know it, to familiarize yourself with the different options of crowd control that other classes may have.

As a Bear tank, you can’t silence distant caster mobs to force them to come to you. But you can always ask other players to use their CC, so long as you and others don’t break it. 

You can also do what I do, use an addon like CaelNameplates to see aggro on all mobs, at once without tabbing, and be ready to toss Growl/Feral Faerie Fire on ranged mobs that you see you lost aggro on. Or Feral Charge them when your current target dies. Or whatever.

My point is, if you want to learn to tank, remember you don’t HAVE to LFG a random Heroic in your new full set of Triumph gear, get a Heroic Halls of Reflection, and be left wondering what the heck to do next.

Here’s hoping that things ease out soon, we get more people inspired to tank, and happy tanking!

Yay, we killed her too!

Following in the tradition of the recent posts by Honor’s Code and Pike, I’d just like to add… yay, we killed her too!

Ony10-03

The guild went in last week for the first time, and unfortunately, while Cassie and I were signed up, we had the internet die in our house for the entire evening. So, while the guild went in and had a lot of fun… we weren’t there.

This week, the internet providers decided they liked money, so they chose not to dump our feed a second week in a row.

I did provide the heals with Shadewynn and Jardal, and a good time was had by all.

Our attempt answered a question I had going in… with Onyxia tuned for level 80 ten person teams, can a guild decked out in Naxxramas 10 loot and what you get from Heroics and Emblems of Conquest take her down? I mean, like, take her down decisively?

Hells yes, you can!

Granted, the gear you can get from Heroics includes Heroic Trial of the Champions, and the Emblems loot is pretty tasty these days too, but I think the folks in the guild are about half in Naxx 10 and half in the newer stuff. Certainly, we’re not all sporting Ulduar and Naxx 25 and ToC10/25 stuff.

The group composition was 2 tanks, Oliver the Warrior and Graimerin the Paladin, 3 Healers, Shadewynn the Priest and 2 Druids, Jardal and myself, and 5 DPS, Kaelynn the Rogue and Flamehase the Death Knight for melee, and 2 Hunters Wetfoot and Ruuaar,  and Essahn the Shaman for ranged.

A pretty good composition for the group. Plenty of classes to hopefully increase the chance of a class-specific Helm being useful to someone, as well!

Oliver and Graimerin were our tanks and co-raid leaders, and they did a fine job. They switched off who got the fun of tanking Ony first after wipes, and both did great.

What, wipes?

Oh, sure! I think all told we wiped for about two hours before she went down. It was a blast! It brought back so many memories from vanilla WoW…

The sticking point for us was learning a very solid way of dealing with the warders/dragonkin adds in phase 2.

Here, I’ll back up.

The fight, for those who haven’t done it yet, is a little changed from the original.

The setup, just for a fast recap, is a large oval chamber with a high, vaulted ceiling. You enter the chamber from the south. Onyxia is sleeping on the floor at the north end, the stretched end of the oval. At the lower west and lower east ‘corners’ of the oval are passages leading to the whelp egg caves… caves that are, indeed, filled with eggs.

The fight is a 3 stage fight. First thing to remember when running in, is that if you get into close proximity to a whelp egg in a cave… a few seconds later it hatches a whelp. So, you do not ever want to actually enter a whelp cave unless you are trying for one of the new achievements.

Onyxia herself, when fought, is a standard dragon fight with perks. Standard means that she is dangerous from the front and rear to anyone within melee range there, so for melee other than the tank, the flanks between front and hind legs are the safest place to be.

Perks means that to the person in front (the tank), she Cleaves… and she deals knockback. So, the tank wants to run through Onyxia and get his/her back up against the wall, to minimize the effects of knockback movement on the team. Also, you don’t want anyone up there getting Cleaved, it sucks. You don’t want anyone behind, because Onyxias’ tail swipe actually deals knockback… and if this happens when Onyxia is still in the middle of the room, you can end up getting knocked back into a whelp cave. Many whelps, deal with it!

Now, for those with pets, the pets will head for the butt of Onyxia. Onyxia WILL knock them back. From what I saw, if the tank has run through Onyxia and gotten his back up against the far north wall and centered, then the pet knockback won’t actually send them far enough to reach a cave and bring whelps.

However, if folks are running straight in behind the tank, then on the run in they CAN get hit by the tail, and easily be launched into a cave. So, my advice to you is to have the tank head straight for and through Ony, but have the rest of the party head right or left, and enter the chamber on a slant, aiming to be nice and far up one side or the other, centered on a dragon flank and close to the wall. This also has the benefit that, when everyone keeps getting feared in phase 3, if you’re that far up the wall, you’re far enough away from the caves you won’t quite reach them before fear wears off. So, no added whelps in phase 3. Just the fear scurry and the flames.

Okay, so, back to the fight. Phase 1 was a walk in the park. Straightforward fight, tank aggros Onyxia, runs through her, gets back against the center of north wall and builds threat. Taunting DOES work now, so there is absolutely zero reason for the old “wands and white damage only” routine from vanilla WoW.

A moment more of reminiscing, we did a lot of it Friday night. For the benefit of the newer crowd, original Onyxia was untauntable, AND in vanilla WoW tanks generated very, very, very little damage based threat. Also, Warriors were the premiere tank class. The most common method used to start phase one was for all DPS to sit and watch, doing nothing, while the Warrior tank would pop Sunder on Onyxia. Everyone would wait, and watch, until 5 Sunders were on Onyxia, and then everyone would be allowed to start “wands and white damage only”, white damage meaning auto-attacks. If you watch your combat log, special abilities like Sinister Strike are reported in the combat log in yellow colors, auto-attacks are reported in white. Or gray. Hence, ‘white’ damage.

So, phase 1 is now very easy for the group. The tank does tank stuff and can taunt if needed, the DPS opens up as soon as everyone is in position, and healers are cranking from the get go. Phase 1 lasts until Onyxia is at 65% health.

With our tanks, and with 3 healers, I found that I was able to balance my heals with the other two healers, with zero party damage to handle, for all of phase 1, and keep my mana at FULL with the 5 second rule. I could actually pop all HoTs on the tank, and then let the 5 second rule pass and have my mana return to full, then do it again, so when phase 2 started I was at full mana and with all cooldowns available. That’s pretty reassuring. Of course, Shadewynn the Priest might not have felt so fortunate. :)

At phase 2, of course, Onyxia at 65% walks to the south end of the chamber and then takes to the air. Moments later, a pack of whelps will fly out of the west cave, and a few seconds after that a pack of whelps comes from the east cave.

Graimerin the Paladin was picking up the whelps, first the west group and then the east group, and then we all burnt them down. No big deal, as long as we were careful to let Grai run back and forth and scoop them up. Grai had the hard job, and did a great job. Many whelps, he DID handle it!

Oliver and the two melee DPS headed towards the south entrance, and waited for the dragonkin adds to start spawning.

The ranged DPS concentrated on shooting Onyxia out of the sky. Phase 2 lasts until Onyxia reaches 40% health, so the more DPS knocking her down while airborn, the sooner she lands that big purple butt of hers.

Now, Onyxia picks targets and fireballs them, and the fireballs do splash damage in a small area around the target, so folks kept a little distance, but truthfully, they don’t do that much damage, even against cloth wearers. Do not fear being close when a fireball hits.

Periodically, Onyxia Deep Breaths (apparently at random), and when she does she faces in one particular direction, and then lays the breath down, a single blast that stretches from where she is in the air, straight across the length of the cave. If you are caught in it, you’ve got a good chance of just being dead. Okay, tanks are pretty tough, but the rest of us ain’t. Fortunately, she doesn’t target someone and track them. If you see the emote that Onyxia takes a Deep Breath, check her orientation, and then move out of the path she is facing. If you’re on her flank, you’re not going to get hit. Just don’t be in front of her or you’re toast.

If you’re a Tauren, then you’re a whole loaf of toast. :) Sorry, gratuitous Spaced Invaders humor there.

Really, once you get the hang of checking Onyxia positioning and getting the hell away from where ever she is directly facing to avoid Deep Breath, Onyxia can be ignored in phase 2, except by the folks shooting her.

The dragonkin, however, are a stone bitch.

They do an AoE that hurts REALLY bad, so you don’t want anyone near them like healers. They spawn every 40 to 45 seconds, so you’ve got to kill one as fast as possible before the next one spawns. And the big damage dealing thing they do is tied to a weapon, they charge up a weapon to do massive flame damage. So, if you keep them disarmed, they can’t do it. If you DON’T keep them disarmed, then BOOM!

What we found, and what kept resulting in wipes, was that Deep Breath would cause melee DPS to have to move, that would prevent disarms from going off and also reduce the active DPS on the dragonkin, a second dragonkin would pop before the first died, with two dragonkin the weapon disarm just wasn’t gonna happen for both, a melee DPS would die in the AoE, and shortly thereafter, so would the dragonkin tank, and then it was all over.

Really, all of our issues stemmed from learning the mechanics of proper dragonkin add management.

We asked Essahn, to switch his focus from just pew pew on Onyxia, to pew pew on Onyxia unless dragonkin was up, and to blowing up dragonkin along with the two melee DPS when needed to speed up the takedown. 

We figured that a longer Deep Breath cycle was preferable if we could more easily manage dragonkin annoyances.

As far as Deep Breath confusion was concerned, we went with saying that if Onyxia was facing south or anywhere in that vicinity, run to the west side (but not in the cave). If Onyxia was facing anywhere else, head south to be nearer the dragonkin spanking team. That seemed to work well.

We went with that plan, blew past phase 1 as usual (except for this one time, in band camp, with Graimerin and a flute named Righteous Fury, but that’s a story for the podcast), took on phase 2, and went right past phase 2 intact and straight into phase 3, and we were so excited we damn near blew it in our frantic “oh wait, what do we do now” excitement.

Graimerin picked up Onyxia great and headed for the back wall, everyone open headed for the northwest corner of the room to get back to the same arrangements as phase 1… but the dragonkin team was still working on the last dragonkin at the south entrance. We had some serious struggles making sure both Grai at the far north and Oliver at the far south got healed up while the dragonkin went down. All this, of course, while being feared and flame going off.

This attempt was successful, so we didn’t have the opportunity to steamline this process of phase 2 to phase 3, but I think to do it over again, I’d have two healers assigned to Graimerin to follow him with Onyxia to the north wall, while one healer stayed with the dragonkin team, and as soon as Onyxia landed have EVERY DPS concentrate on blowing up the last dragonkin so everyone could head north together.

A little secret. If you regain position in phase 3 just like in phase 1, then the fear doesn’t send you that far towards the cave. Also don’t ph3ar the ph-lame, the flame from the floor doesn’t hit that hard, so once you’re in phase 3 it’s once again tank and spank, just really exciting.

I loved the fight. It was lots of fun. Blizzard succeeded, at least for me, in resurrecting an old favorite raid, and making it just hard enough that it brought back all of the memories of  those classic 40 man raids, and left us all reminiscing.

As we’d run back from the graveyard that is RIGHT NEXT to Onyxias’ cave entrance… “Hey, remember when a 40 man raid would wipe, the nearest graveyard was outside the gates to Thermore Keep, and you’d have 40 ghosts running across the damn ocean to get back to Onyxia’s Lair? Oh yeah, and people would get lost trying to find the path over the mountains from the water, and others would have gone on /follow and gotten hung up and left behind? Oh yeah, and others would be afk for fifteen minutes? Shit, now we just appear 15′ from the cave when we die and run right back in. Man, that kicks ass.”

Ah yes, good times. Good times. Bringing back the memories was a lot of fun. Figuring out the challenge in taking on something so familiar, and yet new at the same time was truly enjoyable. What a great job they did in revamping it.

We had a great crew, and it was loads of fun. I will say that without having Oliver’s Warrior and Kaelynn’s Rogue disarming the dragonkin, it might have been far more irritating. But as it was… it was very cool. Totally workable, and left us with the feeling that nothing was stopping us from doing it but learning to coordinate effectively and playing well.

My favorite kind of raid. :)

Grats to Oliver on his sharkfin hat, grats to Flamehase on his new Death Knigget horny hat, grats to Grai on his tanky ring, and grats to Shadewynn for turning in Onyxias’ head to those ungrateful Warlocks in Stormwind. Yes, they gave you a ring… but the bastards didn’t proc that old 2 hour buff we loved so much!

Ah, grats again everyone. What wonderful fun.

News Flash: Healing Plague Wing bites!

Tanking is sooooo much easier than healing, I swear.

I love tanking Heigan, for example, because all ya gotta do is hold threat, watch your own abilities and use as appropriate, and dance. Bonus points for shifting out of Bear and tossing Battle Rezes and Innervates as necessary, of course, but come on… that’s all part and parcel of being a Bear tank. If you have problems tossing emergency Battle Rezes, you’re probably doing it right in the first place and don’t get enough practise. :)

Yes, I do get a lot of practise.

Healing, though… damn, that’s a pain.

Dancing: check.

Throwing heals around: check.

Dancing while watching everybody else’s health bar and tossing heals around frantically to keep everybody that might have a problem with dancing alive: oh, holy shit!

The first shot we took at Heigan, I’m not ashamed to say I bought it on the dance.

I was prepared to just accept that I screwed up somehow, but half the raid bought it at the same time, in the same place, and it really did look like we ate a big, fat lag spike. I dunno, I’d like to blame it on lag, but maybe I just wasn’t on top of the game on that one.

Second shot, and I have to say, I was dancing on pure instinct. Normally, as a Bear tank, I can spend all my time on the phase two dance running from perfect spot to perfect spot, centered in the middle of the safe zone.

As a healer, I spent the entire time watching the health bars and casting Rejuve, Rejuve, Rejuve, Nourish, Rejuve, Rejuve, Nourish, bam bam bam bam. I basically rolled everybody, all da time.

I ran the dance between the zones purely by instinct, because my attention was totally elsewhere. I’m just a natural born dancer, I guess. It is tons harder to heal multiple people and dance at the same time, compared to tanking or DPS, though. far, far harder.

We all almost managed to live through the second one, too. :) We did far, far better and beat in his little pointy head.

Still, whew! That stuffs intense, yo.

And then, of course, comes the creme de la creme of the healers world, with everything but Yul Brenner.

Loatheb. What an appropriate name, because loathing does come into play, here.

I asked for someone to tell me what exactly the role of the healer was here, what with the whole ‘can only heal for 3 seconds’ thingie.

You know, that never sounded good to me. Call me kookie, but I look at my Global Cooldowns, I look at my cast times, and even with Nourish and Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch, I’m just not seeing this happen for a whole raid.

What, study it from a healer’s perspective beforehand? Why would I do that? Our healers have always been so on top of things, I never had to.

I’d just roll on in, ask the healers if they knew what to do, and they’d lift their heads temporarily from the smack they talk in their private healer channel (thought I didn’t know about that, eh?) and make shooing motions for us to get a move on.

So, here’s how it was explained to me last night.

Healing effects only work for that brief three seconds… but you can cast your HoTs on the target whenever you’d like.

SOOO…. if a Tree were to dump a Rejuve on everyone starting at such a time during the lockout that they would still be active for that critical three seconds when the window opened up… and Regrowth for the extra squishy… and you were poised to nail some Swiftmend/Nourish action when you could actively cast and have it work during the three seconds, it’s not that bad.

Really?

Well, heck, I can do that.

I think.

More or less.

Well hell, whattaya know, it worked!

But not without heart failure. And I think Luis died.

But I successfully healed in Loatheb. Luis dying is a small price to pay.

I feel all spiffy now!

I could talk about what a great job the guild did, how much they kicked ass, the healing, the tanking, the blistering DPS… but what the heck, you hear that stuff all the time.

I will say, I do have a newfound appreciation for the job healers do, and a frowny face for the way Blizz likes to stress out healers. It’s hard to look at any proposed healer nerf after seeing stuff like that, and not want to smack someone in the mouth for making their job that much harder.

On the other hand… it sure is fun to win!

Raid jump down go boom!

So, last night was rare white elk day, we actually had a scheduled raid.

It was a notable raid for many wonderful reasons.

First, the entire raid was tanked by two people; Suxtobundr, feral Druid… and by Lady Jess’ Paladin tank!

We did Obsidian Sanctum, Abomination wing of Naxx, and then Vault of Archavon…. and you know it’s gonna be a fun night when one of your tanks gets the “Emblem of Heroism” Achievement on the first drake kill in OS.

Grats, Jess! :)

Second was that the entire raid was healed entirely by Druids. Three trees leafing around in the backfield; Jardal, Faydre and Windshadow.

As Lady Jess said at the time, “I never would have imagined a year ago that someday I’d be in Bears’ guild, and I’d be tanking a raid while he healed it.”

Third, Elystia was back!

I’ve missed her terribly, it’s like having your sister move away. Ely and her hubby Cal have been moving to an entirely new home in Canada, and it’s been a long, hard time for them, living rough while renovations have been done. People move all the time, it’s true, and packing and moving and unpacking sucks… but let’s please have a moment’s quiet consideration for poor Ely and Cal, who had to live with Ely’s neo-luddite mother-in-law the whole time, a lady who thinks high technology is using a phone with buttons instead of a round dial. A wonderful woman by all accounts, but she just doesn’t understand that a person has needs… the kind of needs that only high speed internet can satisfy. She’s had no internet for months!

I’d crack. I’m not even remotely joking. I know I would, because in Pennsylvania when staying at a home that barely had electricity, I roamed the neighborhood looking for unsecured wireless networks to ninja, and spent time at the Public Library every day checking mail.

Oh yeah, it was also a notable raid in that we had the most disturbing vent conversation ever. We were recovering from a trash wipe (those pricks after Gluth, the ones with the knockback from heck, they suck when you’re not prepared to handle two of them at once and aren’t all the way in the room for the first knockback) and Penny Arcade’s latest post prompted a discussion that started with their list of phrases that aren’t dirty yet, but that they anticipate WILL be soon… and from there went on to discuss what a Dirty Sanchez is (and people ignored my advice to NOT look it up on the internet, did it anyway, and went eww… why do people not listen?) and then went all the way to discussing the aesthetic merits of Two Girls One Cup.

Warning; I swear to god, I will banhammer anyone in the comments that graphically describes, or links to, Two Girls One Cup. You’ve been warned. Just drop it. And no, if you don’t know what it is, you DO NOT, DO NOT want to look it up on Youtube.

No, really. Please. Just let it drop. Knowing what it is does not ‘enhance your cool’. In fact, I think I lost a gazillion cool points by knowing what it was… I blame listening to the hip hop radio morning show crew on the way to work. They talk about it on KDWB’s Dave Ryan Show all the time.

Who would have thought I’d end up regretting the day I stopped listening to political talk radio. At least Rush Limbaugh never talked about, or described, Two Girls One Cup.

Okay, anyway, moving past that (shudder)… we did not actually describe what it is, but just the thought of doing so was enough to send terror running freely, carrying scissors handle first, down the halls of vent. People typing in [sticks fingers in ears] lalalalalala and all the rest of it.

As far as the raid goes, I think we had a mostly wonderful time. We had some learning curves, which I think is understandable, but it was all learning the fights, we didn’t really have any gear check issues at any time.

You know when you’re fighting something, and you’re having trouble… you can feel the difference between struggling to win based on being undergeared, or struggling based on coordination and understanding of what to do. You might not be able to pin down who ain’t on the program, or exactly what is missing, but you know there was something that just wasn’t right.

As an example, our first shot at Grobbulus was pretty close, just a few slime add issues and a few bad Mutated Injection blooms… and our second attempt was pure running around like chickens with our heads cut off, blind panic.

You just step back and ask yourself, wtf did we do dere?

And then the third shot goes so smooth it’s damn near a record downing with nobody even mussed up.

That’s not gear, that’s poorly described fights and folks that are seeing things for the first time or working together for the first time. Whoops!

Another example is when we did Patchwerk, a fight that is generally a tank and healer gear check.

You might think, with Lady Jess main tanking Patchwerk, and having just earned her first Emblem of Heroism, that there were issues.

Nah. She was just fine. Neither tank ever went below 75% health for more than a millisecond.

Like I said, we had some fun, we fought our way in, had some interruptions but generally closed escrow.

And then we faced Thaddius. Ah, Thaddius.

I love that fight.

I also loved seeing Jess get tossed across the room over and over. That’s hilarious.

Anyway, I calmly described the entire fight, I walked through what we do for the two mini-bosses, the tossing, the threat pause after a toss, the keeping close to lightning generators, the 3 seconds you have after the mini-bosses die to jump off the back ledge and for the tank to engage the boss, the positions to stand for polarity shifts with Negative to the edge of the ledge in front of him, Positive to the vat behind him, running 10 yards apart counterclockwise around Thaddius like moons orbiting a planet to keep seperation, etc etc.

I was pretty pleased with myself. I think I covered it very well, and I felt the group exuding confidence.

We split into teams, and it was smooth as Babs.

Both bosses were DPSed at a nice, balanced rate, they died together, we gathered and jumped, Sux aggroed as the main tank perfectly on schedule, and I cat dashed to be right on his butt for insta-healing. Everyone hit the ledge, we were just nailing every phase. I felt so proud.

As Sux grabbed aggro and I dropped my first HoTs, Thaddius began casting Polarity Shift, and I prepared the raid for it, calling my reminder out over vent, “Polarity Shift in two seconds, Positive to the front, Negative to the rear, get ready!”

Ahem.

Oh, hell yes I did.

Some folks did what I told them to do during our preparation, and some folks did what I told them to do on vent at the time.

Raid go boom!

What’s funny is, I knew we were doomed as over half the raid went down, but I started the chain Battle Rezzes anyway. After all, you never know.

Well, yes, yes I did.

I, the Big Bear Butt, wiped the raid. And when I say wiped, I mean I am the annihilator, baby. Total and complete destruction.

I’d like to blame Cassie for standing over my shoulder distracting me… but she really had nothing whatsoever to do with it. The fact is, I simply let my mouth run on automatic pilot while my concentration was on positioning, wathcing main tank aggro and position, my position, who was alive and who made the jump, and all the other raid leader crap. Oh yeah, and casting heals.

My mouth apparently thinks we like to put the Positive charges on the edge. Who knew?

Brain was not involved at that moment in any way.

In fact, it took me a second or two for what I actually said to filter up into my brain, sink in, and kinda knock around for a moment, saying “Um, excuse me… you might want to run the instant replay on that one chief, I think there’s a flag on the play.”

On the plus side (sorry, sorry, can’t help it) we kicked his ass the second attempt… and then trashed Archavon and Lady Jess got to be lunged, grabbed and have her dwarf tanking butt tossed across the room. One of those moments that just make you glad you’re a tank.

So, a good time was had by all… I hope it was, anyway. I know I never mind the occasional wipe, I find the moments rather endearing.

If stuff is too damn easy, where’s the sense of accomplishment? The struggle makes victory taste all the sweeter.

Good job, everyone! It was a (ahem) blast!

Enthusiasm: It's what keeps me going!

You know, there’s always something going on somewhere to talk about. Whether you folks think it’s relevant to what you expect here or not, well, that’s another story.:)

Last night, the Druid Q&A by Ghostcrawler and the Blizzard Community Team went live, and I read it, chuckled a bit, and hit Lady Jess with the high points I knew she would enjoy. Sure enough, I sent her into a Jessrage. All in good fun, of course.

Thing is, there’s a lot of nice discussion about the past, current and future overarching direction of the Druid class, but it was short on specifics I really felt needed to be discussed, at least from a Feral point of view. There was some confirmation that Feral tree split spec for either optimized Cat or Bear is working as intended, there was the surprising idea that they would consider changing things so that we would have to shift frequently, apparently because they want to see us wearing the artwork of the gear they designed (note: I stay in forms because I chose the Druid FOR it’s forms… me choosing to be in a Bear form all the time should be, in my opinion, considered a class design WIN, not a freaking problem. FWIW, anyway.).

But, there was nothing in the Q&A I was all that enthusiastic about talking about. I came up with what I thought would be a cute name for a post about it, “QQ&A”, but there wasn’t even anything I was particularly enthusiastic about crying over.

See, I already had two plans for blog posts for this week, and that’s not even counting the PBeM story post I’m still in the middle of, that is with Lauchlin, but that I scrapped because in my humble opinion it drifted into ‘teh suck’.

I’m enthusiastic about writing these other things, and not the Druid Q&A. So, I’m not gonna talk about it.

It’s not that I’m not enthusiastic about Druids. Far from it, I have literally done nothing BUT play my Druid with delight for weeks now, both Tank and Heals.

What brings me back blogging time after time? I’m still enthusisatic about what I do. There’s always something new, and I go bounce/bounce/bounce my Big Bear Butt off doing it. It ain’t never boring. If things seem quiet, well hey, bring your own fun!

Here’s a few examples of the things we’ve done lately, things that I’ve been having fun with.

I like soloing things as a Bear, but it’s too easy doing old world stuff. So, the thought occured to me, I’ve got this level 80 Hunter that is all decked out for raiding as a BM with a Spirit Kitty… why not Dual Spec my Hunter… as another Beastmaster? TWO Beastmaster specs? I can have my second spec be strictly designed to maximize pet survivability and damage, and I could take my Bear pet (named “Clawsome”), and I could go have fun soloing Attumen, a mount soloing spec-and-pet system.

Basically, I could be a Bear tank two ways. :) Maybe even see if my guild is crazy enough to let me do a Heroic with my Bear pet tanking. Sigh. It’s just… something that sounds fun, and gets my enthusiasm for new things going, ya know? So yeah, I got the Dual Spec and pet and all, haven’t had a chance to go take down Attumen. Why? Because while on the way, literally, to Karazhan, landing in Duskwood, Ratshag and his lovely and talented fiancé Shianti wanted me to come do Heroic Violet Hold.

I do so… and then have to go to bed. And later that same night, I’m told, Shianti liked my idea of doing Karazhan SO MUCH that she wanted to go try Attumen right away that night… and the damn Attumen mount dropped, and she got it.

That would have been MY instance of Karazhan… so by rights, that’s my mount drop she got. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. It was all an evil plot by Ratters, I’m sure.

Okay, another example.

I’ve been doing Argent Tournament dailies every day, to build up seals and work towards Crusader so when the 3.2 changes hit and Heirloom chestpieces are available, I can just pick one up immediately. As of last night, I’m done with Darnassus and Exodar.

Well, I’m banging around doing Threat with Jardal and Kaelynn, and Barre asks in Guild chat if anyone has the Molton Core zone drop enchant, Enchant Weapon – Spell Power.

It’s a rare drop in Molten Core, a weapon enchant that does +30 Spell Power and that can be applied to level 1 weapons… like Heirloom weapons.

Nobody does, and someone mentions Jess spent two days in Trade channel before she found someone that could do it.

Well, heck, right? I ask Jardal and Kaelynn if either has an enchanter. Jardal does, a level 62 Prot specced Paladin.

So I ask him if he’d like to bang around in Molten Core, like right after dailies, see if the enchant drops? Sure, sure.

So Jardal, Kaelynn and her 80 Rogue, my Druid tank and a few guildies all head into Molten Core on the spur of the moment of a Monday night, just for the heck of it.

We ended up doing a 100% full clear that night, just because it was so easy with level 80 tank, healer and 3 to 4 DPS to keep going.

And guess what?

Sure as hell, the Enchant Weapon – Spell Power does, in fact, drop. Thing has, according to WoWhead, a 1% drop chance on only a few bosses… and even if Blizzard upped it’s drop chance recently, it’s not BoP anymore, so it is farmable, and it’s still pretty rare. And now we have someone in guild that can do it. :)

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, the game is truly great, but shouldn’t be expected to always have to come up with new content, and work to keep your bored short attention span mind all engaged.

Sometimes, it’s nice to remember, you can take the initiative to look for things that sounds fun yourself, and then go out and do them

If you think about WoW, and you can literally find nothing about the game that you feel enthusiastic about, then it’s not really the game’s fault in my opinion. Maybe it’s time for you to go find something you ARE enthusiastic about and do it! Take a break, you know?

Fantasy Football Leagues are about set to kick off here in the States, Summer is here and there’s lots of stuff to do out of the house, there are great books and movies out there, concerts, whatever. Go out, go bowling, dance at a club, have fun. Get enthusiastic with life.

I still find WoW keeps me coming back, having fun and talking about it.

I guess I’m just getting pickier about what I write about, though.

Druid Q&A? I’ll let WoW.com handle the dissection if that’s all right with you folks.

My guildies are like cockroaches, really

My guildies are like cockroaches, really…

Stomp on them all you want, poison them, blast them, blow them up, and omigod, they’re still alive to take more abuse.

Case in point.

Last night, ‘quick’ raid into Naxxramas. Hours and hours later, we finish the Construct wing.

We set this raid up with the very scientific process of logging in, and asking “Anybody up for a 10 person raid?”.

As people gradually joined, some of the folks in the raid would ask, ‘So what are we doing?”

The Bear’s response; “I’ll tell you when we got a group.”

Once we got a group, I could see what the composition was going to be… and I figured we could take on a quick wing of Naxx, or an Obsidian Sanctum/VoA double play.

Or an old school raid, ’tis true.

I gave them the choice, and the majority (okay, all but one) voted for a wing of Naxx… and I suggested we do the Heigan dance.

You have to understand, this was for pure comedic gold.

See, I wasn’t going to be tanking. I was going to be healing. So I was going to have a beautiful view of the group… and I could video the whole thing.

Why would I love to do this now?

Because of our main tank… Ratshag, on his Paladin powerhouse, Kinnavieve.

That’s right, Ratters was main tank for the run, with Graimerin as his tanky buddy. And when I suggested Heigan, the panic in his voice sent shivers of blogging thrills down my spine.

Oooh, this was gonna be good!

Sadly, my kind heart was convinced that Heigan might not be a ‘kind’ choice on our tanks. Especially not with FRAPS running, kek.

Fine, let’s got do Abomination/Construct and have fun with the doggie.

You know who our tanks were… what you don’t know is the composition of our healing lineup.

Yes, I was one of our three healers. And Cassie was one as well.

That’s right, Cassie and Wind, side by side, frantically healing a raid in Naxx.

Now do you understand what I mean when I describe my guildies as poor, long suffering, heavily abused victims?

We woulda won too, if it wasn’t for that meddling tree!

Scooby doobie doo!

Oh, sorry.

Um, we would have made the guild suffer far worse if it wasn’t for having one other healer that was actually well skilled and experienced. 

I’ll not call her out by name THIS time, since she may not be used to the way I just blab everything about everyone here…  

but I will say she is the fiancé of a very famous blogging personality. And she’s hilarious in chat, it was a lot of fun to meet her.

No, no I won’t say which blogger. Wild horses couldn’t drag it out of me. And at this point, there are so many bloggers in the guild that guessing who is who will just drive ya nuts. 

Okay, I’ll give you a hint.

She’s not fiancéd to Lady Jess.

Oh yeah, Jess WAS there, though… but she wasn’t tanking, she was slashing and stabbing and beating up things with blunt objects on her deadly stealthy Rogue.

Wouldn’t that have been awesome? Jess tanking on her Paladin while Cassie and I kept her healed? Or not healed, as the case may be.

It was a wild ride, a few wipes, a lot of running around screaming and wailing and gnashing our teeth.

I learned a few things.

The first thing I learned was the frustration you have when shit falls apart and you’ve got no idea why, you just know that everyone’s health bars are dropping at once, too fast to do anything but watch people die.

As an accomplished tank, I can pretty much be damn sure I know exactly what everyone is doing at any given time. You’d be surprised how well I can stay on top of things.

As a new healer trying to do an unfamiliar job, I found it very difficult to follow what other people were doing. Healing during Grobbulus, for example, we wiped the first time, and I couldn’t tell why, or who, or what. I saw small slimes running loose, I saw expanding circles of gas cloud in the center, I knew things weren’t going well and everyone was dropping like flies… but I couldn’t pin down where we needed to improve.

On the second shot, the best I could do was describe in greater detail the boss fight, and everything went smooth as snot.

The second thing I noticed was that, as a tank, my responsibilities are clearly defined.

I pull, I hold aggro, I manuever mobs around the room, I grab up stragglers and I watch the area to ensure nobody is getting unwanted attention.

Sure, there are mobs that do AoE damage, and I try and arrange things so the group doesn’t suffer from it too bad by marking those mobs for death first, if possible.

As a healer, your responsiblity lies in keeping your healing assignments alive. And, oh yeah, also make sure you’re ready to heal everyone else if a healer dies early. And in the end, it’s on your ass if anyone anywhere dies, or the raid wipes, or whatever.

It’s no longer you dragging yourself and your mobs around… it’s you running your butt around trying to stay within range of all your assigned healing targets.

I did something last night I think I’ve never done before, because I was raid lead.

At the Thaddius stage of the raid, where the group splits into two teams, I moved the players around so team one was all in group one, and team two was all in group 2.

That way, all your healing assignments were in the same, small area, except for the tank that would get tossed around. Made it a lot simpler to heal party members when the tank was taken care of.

Never occured to me to do it before… and none of our healers have ever offered suggestions on how to make their life easier.

I think I can anticipate asking healing professionals to offer suggestions and advice on how tanks and raid leaders can make changes like that to ease the life of a raid healer.  

All things considered, Cassie and I had a stressful but fun time…

Can’t help but feel sorry for our guildies, though.

Hey Ratshag, next time it’s Heigan!

Dance, mutha*&()er, dance!

Nyuck nyuck nyuck!

Oh, and I had to go with the title of this post simply because after I thought of that horrendous title, the thought of saying it kept calling to me… “say it, say it!”