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!”

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23 thoughts on “My guildies are like cockroaches, really

  1. “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.

    Actually, I used to ask for this a lot. I also heard other healers request it. Healers went into a group not for the heals they’d provide but for the other benefits – group auras, mana battery, and so forth. That grouping could be done to assist healing was, well, just not that important in comparison to DPS needs.

    I’m gonna guess that at least one of your healers suggested it some time ago and you didn’t really understand the benefit. Ah well, now you know.

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  2. When I read the title I thought it was you smack them and they roll over on their backs – lol!

    It’s true about the differences tanking and healing. Why I’m a firm believer everyone should try tanking, try healing and try aggro management on dps – you don’t bitch quite so much at everyone else once you’ve walked in their shoes so to speak!

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  3. Haha, honestly it never crossed my mind to ask for that. If your grid box is lit up I can click it to heal. I can imagine it’d be useful for other UIs though and since group composition doesn’t matter as much anymore (seeing as how auras, totems, and other buffs are now raid wide) it should be easy enough to do.

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  4. Setting up the right groups can be important! Getting that Healing Stream totem on the right players makes your shaman happy. (one of the few totems that isn’t raid wide along with Mana Tide, Mana Spring, Cleansing and at least one other that I can’t remember off the top of my head).

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  5. For putting players with the healers they need to have healing them *hug* I can’t tell you how much it drives me nuts when they don’t do this on a raid. It makes it easier to make sure you are kept alive as a healer and say for priests to take advantage of our prayer of healing when everyone is in the same group.
    I am also driven nuts in 25man with 6 healers and 4 of us are raid heals and no clear delination on who is healing what group. The chances that two healers will both pick group 3 to heal are higher if say there are no assignments. Though since you are in 10man it because a whole lot simplier with 2 groups instead of 5. 🙂

    So how do you like walking on the healer side of life? 🙂

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  6. I will say that, obviously, I’ve long grouped folks with the buffs they need, because that’s part of being a raid leader. Usually, in a ten man I’d put tanks and melee in group 1, and all mana users (if possible) in group 2 with someone that would do a group based buff like mana totems and replenishment.

    As things went raid wide, that has changed.

    But I’d have to say, nope, not once has a healer asked that groups in a raid be rearranged to help each healer know which group they were assigned to.

    I can certainly see where, with 3 healers and two groups in a ten man, it would be nice if the two party heals were each put in one of the two groups, and knew that they’d be responsible for that group… especially if their group was structured for people that will all be within the same range category, such as all melee/tanks and their healer(s), and then all ranged and their healer.

    Just never had it come up before, because it was always “sort groups by buffs”.

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  7. Oh, that sounds like SO much fun…. I wanna see the Fraps of Ratters doing the dance!!! Make him do it, BBB, PLEEEEEEZE????

    ::giggling as I wonder where my shoes are so I can go get my daughter from camp:: 🙂

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  8. It helps with group heals for a fight that requires splitting up, I hate when we split up and i get people from different groups, how do I use a group heal ? I can’t. If I were holy i could use CoH when it’s not on cooldown but that’s it.
    I don’t understand why some buffs are raidwide and some group only. I guess if you had 2 shaman you’d get too many buffs?

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  9. Lenelie, what I like is being able to be even more flexible at the drop of a hat. DPS is often found, and eager to do something, but tanks and heals can be sticking points in getting a group going.

    I love tanking, but I’ve done it plenty of times. I don’t feel that I must always be der tankage. I know I can tank, I know my gear is good enough to tank what we’re doing, I’m cool if someone else wants to tank.

    But healing, totally new animal, I’m pretty eager these days to heal in various situations, because I’m not sure where my limitations are yet… and I haven’t seen enough to figure out where my biggest weaknesses are to work on ’em.

    The healing itself?

    Hey, if I didn’t like being a supporting player, I wouldn’t have been a tank. Healing, tanking, both are about protecting or nurturing others. It’s cool. Unca Bear.

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  10. Yeah a lot of people are similar I notice, people who are tanks have healer alts and vice versa. Maybe it is a personality thing.

    Some have dps alts for farming. But few dps mains seem to have healer or tank alts, unless they are pressured into it. This doesn’t help the perceived lack of healers and tanks out there. I’m leveling my druid and want to tank with him, but if I do then that is one less healer.

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  11. Ahhh, the dance. As our guild’s graceful bear it’s almost always my job to tank that fight. Not that I mind it, since it’s more of a struggle to try to get behind him in order to shred, but it would really be amusing to see our other tanks giving this a shot more often. Granted by now they ought to know the stop points. Now if I could completely cure myself of sticking my butt in the eruptions…

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  12. Bear, I have no doubt you are doing just fine as a healer, you’ve been hanging around good people far too long to not have picked up some good things on how to get the job done.. 🙂 Just don’t reverse that on me, I beg of you… because I haven’t a clue on how to be a good bear… 🙂 I have begun to think about trying tanking at some point… but I’d do it on my pally or my DK, and they are still quite young. 🙂

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  13. I really enjoy both Healing and Tanking and I’m very happy that I can do it on the same toon. The problem I often run into is when we’re short of healers or tanks. Yeah, I can be the tank since we have no tank…now who’s gonna heal?

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  14. Another small thing that helps healers out on Razzuvious, and similar fights – put raid symbols on the mind-controls. Makes it SOOOO much easier for healers to target the understudies to heal them, because as non-party members, they aren’t showing up in our Grid or Healbot.

    Also, on fights like that, if the MT and OT don’t just ask each other to taunt off, but actually announce “heals on triangle/square/etc” as they taunt. Yes, yes, uber brilliant healers can do it without it, but it can be hard to follow the switch. A full clear of Naxx can be exhausting – make it easier on healers early when you can, and they’ll be more alert later when Kel frost-tombs you. You’ll be glad you did.

    Welcome to the forest, BBB!

    Cheers,
    Kriyet

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  15. It was a fun run, kept dieing to that damn polarity shift, DBM would announce it but sometimes I would miss if I changed or not and would shift when I should have stayed put. Y9ou and cassie did a great job of healing, not to sure how my spriest would do when I have to change to disc and heal, been pretty easy shifting out of shadow to toss a flash or renew while we were on the doggie. Great fun. A+++ would DPS with him again.

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  16. The only fight I demand (that’s right, I’ll not throw another bubble! ;)) a proper group composition is on Loetheb – three healers-three groups, and then just pew-pew – works like a charm.

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  17. Last night we did a Naxxramas run with the guild. We were only 9, with one of the dps being very low, so we decided to go for the “easier” quarters, which unfortunately includes the one with Heigan. I normally don’t mind Heigan, as ranged dps I hardly ever, or just once or twice, get the dance wrong during a fight. How different this run was…

    Normally we have plenty tanks, but yesterday we had only one of our regular tanks turn up, so I had to tank. Don’t get me wrong, I do tank alot, but I tend to limit myself to straight-forward stuff and mostly in pugs, who tend to use me as off-tank. Our other tank however has threat-issues, whenever he is designated as main tank our little kitty cries, so they made me main tank… And I’ve never tanked Heigan….

    Failbot announced my fails.. all 30 of them.. but we managed to pull through (with one wipe) and I’m really hoping I can heal or dps again next week 🙂

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  18. I’ve been reading your blogs for ages now, since levelling my druid and started looking for info, on druid tanking (the info was the lure, but the humour and the rest of the stories hooked me and have kept me coming back ever since), but now things are starting to get scarily coincidental:

    – I’m a druid tank as a main.
    – I’m in a casual guild that does Naxx as its weekly raid.
    – I’ve spent a few years in the military (UK not US)
    – I’m an Assistant GM for the guild.
    – I’m currently the MT of choice for the guild (ok maybe this is because most of the rest the tanks in the guild have tank as their second spec). But am trying to encourage some of the others to step up and have ago at taking over the MT/OT slot.
    – I a few months ago levelled a Shammy as my alt.
    – From healing on the Shammy I decided to try druid healing also, so now am currently doing allot of Tree healing and really enjoying it.
    – In the past few weeks Naxx runs, we have only managed to get past Heigan when I was tanking, and one of our priests were healing, (ever since me and him 2 manned Heigan after the 2nd dance phase that wiped the rest of the raid 3 weeks ago – a 29 minute dance of death ). On Monday night again I had to switch back to tank in order to tank this boss, but I managed to get the concession that I would do it on the proviso that the next Naxx run, all the rest of the tanks would give it a go, so I could stand on the platform healing and watching them for a change 🙂
    – I write a short ™ blog on the guild forums to keep the whole guild up to date with how we get on/the goings on in Naxx. – (Only to be seen by guildies registered on the site, so the rest of the world won’t get to see it, but nothing like the quality of writing that your blog has, but it keeps the guildies amused)

    Most of the stuff above I had started looking at doing or was doing before reading it on your site so I’m certainly not trying to copy you, But if I could only persuade my girlfriend to play WOW too (Any hints on how you got Cassie hooked?), I think, I’d have a clean sweep and be able to be a complete EU version of BBB – not in a freaky stalker’sh kinda way! Well not much lol 😉

    Any hints on what you going to do next? I could do with a little pre-cognative divination to help me plan my next few months. lol

    Drudesa

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  19. I’m beginning to realize how hard it can be to coordinate heals, small tips like this for the non-healers is a great thing. Even better, since i have an almost 80 priest on the way. 🙂

    But seriously, i had a tough raid. good gear, but tough raid, because of healing assignments. It’s important to know some things if you are oh.. say leading a raid. *grabs halo and run*

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  20. Don’t let him kid you, he and Cassie did really well. They could have healed it just fine all by themselves most likely. Cassie was especially good, better than she thinks she is, I wager.

    As for the healing by groups, I wouldn’t have ever thought to ask to be put by groups because my healing addon (Grid) indicates who is close enough to heal. It was a good idea however, especially for the healing buff, or if you don’t use a healing addon that tells you the difference.

    Thanks for having me along, it really was a great deal of fun, and a very nice run despite it’s length. Nobody yelling and getting angry, just 10 people having a good time. Ahhh, it is so nice to play the game and just have a good time, no pressure.

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  21. I would love to see Ratsy dance. I love dancing. I still have fond memories where I’ve tanked a >35min Heigan fight because everyone but me and a Druid healer died within the 1st or 2nd go around. LOL

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