Brown Bears Can’t Heal

When Patch 4.0 was originally released, I’d heard that Healing had changed drastically in the game.

I have read Blue posts, both before and after the Patch release, that talked about the state of Mana regeneration, and how Wrath of the Lich King had shown that healers had it far too easy. In Wrath, Healers did not have to watch their Mana apparently, and thus could cast any spell they liked irrespective of what Blizzards’ designers intended.

I’d read that healing was now much more difficult, and also that it was now just right; that a challenge that had been lacking was returned to the healing game.

From the majority of comments and thoughts I read, I gathered that healing was much harder than it used to be, but that it is now exactly where it should be. A challenge, rather than a relaxed route to easy Justice and Valor points.

Of course there were opposing points of view, people who claimed that it was far more difficult now than it really needed to be. But such views have generally been met with disdain and scorn. I’ve seen a rise in claims that such complaints or concerns come from those who didn’t know what real playing was like back in Vanilla WoW or Burning Crusade. I’ve seen the term “Wrath baby” bandied about repeatedly, apparently directed at people who played during the Wrath expansion and committed the unforgiveable sin of liking it.

I haven’t shared any of my thoughts on the subject at all before, because I had not healed any group activity since Patch 4.0, long before Cataclysm itself was released.

I hadn’t healed… that is, until now.

That’s changed. I’ve healed some pugs. I’ve experienced the changes first hand, months after everyone else granted, and unsurprisingly I’ve got an opinion about it.

I have multiple characters that could heal, but the character I have the most experience with is my Druid, so that’s what I went with.

I leveled my Druid to 85 as pure Feral Bear tank spec. No, I didn’t tank my way to 85.

I know it probably sounds silly, but I like playing my Druid with a full Bear tank spec, even when I know I’m going to be solo questing as a Cat through the game. I couldn’t explain why, except to say, you just never know what may pop up. Like a sudden request to tank the CoC ‘Ring of Blood’ style quests in Twilight Highlands. It is, after all, the Feral Druid marching song: Be Pre-Beared!

Sure, I would have done more damage soloing in Kitty if I specced appropriately, but why bother? Fast or slow, they all die regardless.

I had not, not even once while leveling, considered healing something. I was too busy killing stuffs.

Once I reached level 85 it was time to try healing. Well, okay, once I’d leveled all my professions on 8 different characters, and leveled three characters to 85, and did this and that and bunches of other stuff… oh yeah, right, they changed up healing didn’t they. 

I did everything I could in advance to make sure I would NOT hurt other players while I learned how things had changed.

First, I as a level 85 Druid decided to only attempt to heal the first two instances of normals, Blackrock and Throne. No true randoms until I knew what was up. Level 85 does not mean ‘ready to rock’.

Second, I went to Keeva’s brilliant website, and carefully read and worked to understand everything she had to say concerning desired Stats, changes to spells, suggested Resto Druid specs and what situations they were for, everything.

Third, after respeccing and accumulating the best gear I could, I set up my VuhDo to incorporate my understanding of the new importance of Lifebloom, Nourish, Rejuvenation and the rest.

Now, my gear wasn’t the best, obviously. I had chosen leather spellcaster quest rewards as I leveled and kept them, IF there weren’t feral items available. I hadn’t gone out and worked at it. What I had done, though, was keep any spellcaster leather I made while leveling Leatherworking, and there was some good stuff in there. My eventual Resto set ended at an average iLevel of about 315. Not good enough to unlock Heroics, but that wasn’t what I wanted, anyway. I optimistically hoped that an 85 Resto Druid with iLevel 315 gear should be able to successfully heal a regular level 82 instance or two while I tried things out.

Right? I mean, that’s not out of line, is it? I know I’m rusty, but I was healing at level 80 quite a bit for fun, and yes, I know things have changed a LOT, but I have the instant responsiveness and visual awareness VuhDo provides, which is more than the default UI would provide for a healer.

Blizzard has to balance content with the understanding that people without VuhDo can successfully heal, right? That there could be as much as a .5 second delay between selecting a party member and casting the appropriate heal?

Yeah, that’s what I tell myself. Right now, I’m not really believing it.

My first healing instance was Blackrock Caverns. About as easy as you can get, and probably the single instance I know best other than Stonecore. I know exactly where to be, how things hit, what to expect, no problem.

Beyond that, I expect that if the instance is designed that an 82 could heal through it, it should be possible that I can do it at 85 with better gear.

I said possible, not likely.

The very first trash pull, and indeed the entire instance, I forgot that according to, I should be prioritizing Lifebloom on the tank, along with Nourish. Instead I fell back on old habits and used Rejuvenation 100% uptime, Wild Growth for party heals at an almost 100% uptime, and Regrowth for my “fast top up” spell. Nourish occasionally showed up, but Lifebloom was nowhere, NOWHERE to be found as part of my toolset. Terrible, terrible bear.

By definition, the healing went fine, because I kept everyone alive. I did burn through nearly my entire 67000 Mana pool on the very first trash fight.

There is something obscene about bring given stupid high numbers for health and mana after all these years, only to have the costs of things increased to make those high numbers feel puny and insignificant. It doesn’t feel right at all. The numbers now feel meaningless to me in and of themselves.

“Oh, 1500 more health? Oh well, that’s nothing. Nothing at all. It’s not even worth eating the food, the mob will hit for 8,000 a pop. What, Runic Healing Pots? They don’t even heal 5000, might as well toss ‘em.”

That’s pretty sad. When advancement within the game is based strongly on improvements to stats, the value of those stats need to have meaning. I feel when  you’re reduced to looking at an iLevel, ignoring the number on a stat in favor of just checking which categories of stats are present, “I want crit more than haste, so I’ll pass on this iLevel 300 in favor of this other iLevel 300”, things have gone just that bit too far. Reforging just exacerbates the problem, by making it feel that how much of the stat is moved ain’t important, just move as much as is available over to a more useful category.

Just my opinion as a former theorycrafter for the past whatever years; the numbers aren’t impressive at all, because they do NOT correspond to an equivalent feeling of  capability.

Why not? 5000 strength has to be more impressive than 500, right? It would seem so, but the higher your characters level, the more of a stat you need to gain the same effect. Sure, you ARE more powerful with that 5000 strength… but at 85 with 5000 strength you aren’t as comparatively powerful as a level 60 character with 5000 strength. That’s always felt like a deceptive design practice to me; to visibly give you more of a stat on items as you level, but behind the scenes reduce the effectiveness of those same stats so they do less.

You feel like you’re leaping forward, but mostly you’re just treading water. In Cata, the stat imbalance almost feels like you’re drowning.

It gets too noticeable when the bad guys leap ahead in power faster than you do, even when your stats are getting all bloated and ridonkulous.

Enough about my little soapbox on the stat changes. It’s old news anyway, but it is how I feel, and it certainly applies to my shock at watching 67000 Mana evaporate by casting Rejuvenation and Regrowth during a single trash fight.

I felt, overall, as I adjusted to the changes the run went well. I used the wrong spells from the point of view of mana conservation, I spent a lot of time drinking espresso, but everyone was alive and nobody was ever even close to being in danger of dying. Wow, I could heal a level 82 instance. Cool!

What I took away from the experience was an awareness that the game had really changed from a healing point of view, if the fight takes just a little teeny bit too long and you don’t use the ‘right’ spells, you’re sucking vapor in your mana pool fast.

Even more urgent to consider, this was an 85 healing a level 82 instance. If I’m struggling on that, clearly I need to really get my head wrapped around the importance of Lifebloom and Nourish for tank healing.

It was a bit of a shock, but I wasn’t disheartened. I could make it work. I just needed to improve my gear and practice, practice, practice.

Last night, I accidentally queued up for a true random, and got Grim Batol. Not just GB, but a group that had apparently wiped already, because we formed up in the starting chamber with the three quests, but we ran straight to the drakes and rode quite a good ways into the instance before being offloaded.

I was not pleased. I don’t want to mess up other players while I’m trying to relearn the ropes.

But, the mistake was made, I was there, and I had improved my gear a little more. What’s more, I felt confident I was ready to use the proper healing spells in their place as directed by Keeva.

Our very first pull was complete and utter fail.

Everybody was below half health the entire fight, I abandoned half the party to fend for themselves as I tried to keep the tank at least above 25% health, by the time the fight was over, a Warlock in the group had died, and for most of the fight I was frantically trying to use anything in the toolbox just to get people up to half health.

I still don’t know what happened, but I do know that I put my Lifeblooms on the tank, and used Nourish, and it didn’t seem to do anything much to increase his health at all. If I didn’t spam Rejuve or Regrowth along with Wild Growth, my bad old habits returning halfway through, everyone would have died.

I didn’t stay past that pull. I apologized for being a completely worthless healer, rezzed the Warlock and left them to find someone that knew what they were doing.

I was shocked. And this was on normal!

I would like to keep trying, but after the complete and utter fail of healing a single trash pull at 85, do I have what it takes in this new WoW order?

Maybe I am a Wrath baby. I like tanking, maybe I should stick to that.

I walked away feeling pretty discouraged and demoralized. I knew I didn’t feel ready for the 85 normals, but I didn’t expect to be dropped in one and feel completely useless.

I dunno… am I the only one that feels like, in order to be halfway competent requires a really steep learning curve? Or, and this is totally possible, do I really just suck that bad?

47 thoughts on “Brown Bears Can’t Heal

  1. Every few days, I will get on my druid, and heal a random heroic full of people I don’t know. More often than not, it fails miserably. If I’m having a good day though, my super-pally tanking friend comes along, and magically keeps himself alive, and tosses heals at me, and generally spoils me so that the next time I heal a pug, I feel that I’m doing even worse than usual lol.

    Spirit, is a good thing. That’s pretty much the main thing I have grasped about being a restodrood. I finally have a combat regen above 2k, and it really helps, I can go oom and after a bit of relying solely on OoC procs from lifebloom and possibly tossing up an innervate, I’m back up to half mana and able to toss out more than lifebloom and HT when it won’t cost me anything. The only places I still really hate healing are Grim Batol, cause fskign hell, Throngus is an ass, and nobody understands that while yes, the fire shooting out of his shield is pretty, it’s best to look at it from behind him and not head-on. That and people tend not to move out of Blitz on the first boss, because it might interrupt their cast to move, or Binding Shadows for the last boss, which fsking hurts, gtfo of the way, and deals splash damage to anybody standing too close.

    But mostly, I find myself using Lifebloom on the tank, keeping it at three stacks (generally with another LB cast, since it’s pretty much the cheapest spell ever) and tossing up Wild Growth when it’s not on cool down. Usually with that combo, by the time I need to refresh LB or cast Wg again, my mana has gone back up to full, and I am prepared for an ‘ohshit why the hell did the entire room pull I only touched one thing!’ situation. Nature’s Swiftness is my BFF if the tank (or myself) is falling too low too fast. LB should still be up, hit swiftness, Healing Touch, toss a Rejuv and a Swiftmend on there, and yes your mana takes a hit, but hopefully the tank will be alive and back up to a respectable amount of health.

    My main problem, I find, is the same one I had when I started healing heroics in WotLK; Everybody has bigger health pools, and somehow I got it stuck in my head that !!They Have To Be At Full Health All The Time!! and really, when you’re tossing 10-15k heals that use 30% of your mana pool onto a tank that has 200k health, trying to keep him perfectly topped up because you are stuck in OHGODNOHE’SDYING mode, it’s gonna burn through you’re reserves very quickly. So I’ve learned to deal with the fact that yes, everybody might not be at 100% all the time in every fight, and yes I might have to let a DPS die because it’s being stupid (like that one DK who decided to stay inside the cyclone shield, then bitched when he went down faster than a penny whore on payday. I can’t heal through that, idiot. ), but at least I have mana for an emergency save or an ohshit BRez.

    I think your best bet though, is to learn the pulls (vis-a-vis a healer standpoint) and the fights, and let the party know what you are and are not willing to heal through. You wanna stand in the pretty beams of light? Go ahead, but I’m not going to heal you. You don’t understand what stack on the tank means, and you keep getting rushed and killed? I’m sorry, but maybe you should go buy a dictionary and try again, cause I’m not wasting mana on somebody who doesn’t listen when I could be using it to keep the people who actually give a shit alive. Which is also why I try to make more of an effort now on my rogue to not be such a damage magnet. And if the tank is a douche who thinks he’s superman and doesn’t need CC, then hey I guess he can keep himself alive while I help out the dps, cause after all, he ‘knows his limits’. I’ve been told I’m a vindictive little bitch though, so maybe that strategy shouldn’t be adopted by all.

    I’m rambling. It’s 8am, and I haven’t slept yet.


  2. I’ve got much the same problem in a couple of ways. When Cataclysm came out and there was a worthy alliance race to make my druid (Lok’tar ogar! For the Horde!) I finally moved… I was a competent tank, two years ago. It’s changed a LOT. I want to get some practice with my guild so I’m comfortable… but they’re all ‘new new new new omg teh raidz nao!’… I’m a little timid of buggering up someone else’s run when I’m noobing it up if I can’t pay their repair bills if I blow it badly…

    Paladin healing has changed a lot too… tried once at 82 and ran out of mana in a gymungus hurry. “I have twice what I used to and I have better gear, where did it all go?” No more judgement of ‘get mana back’, paladins are now forced to be combat healers. In with the melee whanging on the boss to regen mana and getting clobbered because we’re trying to heal and watch spells and run around like idiots…

    Shaman healing hasn’t changed a lot, aside from the mana nerf… so at least I’m reasonably competent there. “I’m [Rolling Thunder], [Healing Rain], I’m coming on like a [Hurricane], my [Lightning Bolt] flashing across the sky… you’re only young but you’re (not!) gonna die…”


  3. BBB:

    I’m hearing a lot of grumbly from restos about the state of healing, and sadly I can’t offer advice one way or another on druid heals. My shadow priest picked up a disc off spec to smite his way to shorter heroic queues, but that was after a full set of 346 gear. And there’s almost a total stat overlap there, so I had it easy.

    Definitely pick up your rep items and some reasonable BoEs. Try as hard as you can to get your iLevel above 329, for heroics. And do those instead. Why, you ask? Because the only players hanging out in normals are undergeared and/or still learning the ropes of said instance. While you aren’t guaranteed a great group for a heroic, there is a greater than zero chance of finding one. I’ve “healed” my way through heroics where total incoming party damage was trivial to the point where I felt bandages would have sufficed: good CC and well geared dps is a godsend.

    Good luck!


  4. “Until you’re overgeared, your groups are going to have to make sure they’re not taking any unnecessary damage.”

    Even once you’re overgeared, it’s a noticeable difference in healing difficulty depending on how much cc is used. I just got out of a H Stonecore run on my raid-geared holy pally with a pug tank who just charged in and aoed and I was drinking every pull. (someone was smart on the interrupts, we didn’t get any force of earths, I couldn’t have healed through those, but we did get imps) Some people just can’t get their heads around “cc is needed.” Don’t be shy about leaving groups who refuse to cc or who can’t do it effectively. Or kicking if there’s only one problem player. Get yourself an instancing buddy, dps works as well as tank as long as it’s a smart player. Someone with at least one interrupt would be nice, an interrupt and a cc would be ideal. (I have a pet mage, a pet hunter and a pet shammy. I may be just a touch spoiled. lol) Judge what’s going on by how hard it is to keep that person alive. And having a second set of eyes to see what various debuffs are and what aoe is going on can be a real help to your own mental stability. (“Yeah, you were looking at green bars, not the floor but x was standing right in that void zone…” or “the idiot y broke that cc on purpose!”) And don’t judge yourself by terrible groups. The worst of the bad is just incapable of making it through stuff, no matter who heals.

    I actually like healing in Cata, but I like it for the same reasons I like tanking now. It very heavily rewards smart play instead of gear. Smart _group_ play. Being willing to work together as well as being good at making big numbers. It gives me a real excuse to build my own groups again and show off my way-too-accurate memory about fight mechanics. Not really a great environment for pugging. But oh well, I’m having fun. Hope you get it figured out too.


  5. My tree grew up in BC. She was always a hot spreading mana regen machine because I stacked spirit like crazy. I miss tree dance. I miss my old play style terribly but it feels like they ripped everything I loved about being a tree and left me with a watered down same as the other healers play style. It simply makes me very sad and I like challenge but this is not a happy medium.


  6. Mr. BBB,

    I have been a long time fan of the game and your blog. I am normally extremely slow to respond because people normally beat me to the punch. Anyway, as of now I’ve put my tanking fur away and pulled out the claws with cat form. I recently stumbled across a nice little addon called “GTFO! You’re dying”. Simply, it is an in game alarm designed to let you know you are “standing in the fire”. I tried this add-on in pugs and immediately it made a huge difference in not only my survivability but I realized that as a DPS it becomes easy to get tunnel vision. I get so drawn in to making sure my bleeds are up, my debuffs are up, and my cooldowns are burned correctly that I ignore everything else going on around me. So in other words it compensates for my bad dps habits.

    I later suggested this addon to the top dps officer in my guild and after only one trial run, he made it mandatory for all dps, ranged and melee. The guild healers immediately noticed a difference as well because they could focus a ton more time on the tank. It did not cure the CC problem or interrupt issues respectively but it has nearly eliminated useless party/raid damage. I completely understand the issues a healer faces in-game and I feel that it is the role of the dps to take as much burden away from the healer as we can.

    More damage output + less dps damage taken=less fight time=less damage taken overall=less healing done

    I know this is wordy and my not have helped you in any way shape or form, but if you have a group that you play with regularly try suggesting this addon and see what you think.

    Thank you for what you bring to the WoW community. It becomes infinitely tiresome to dig through all of the trolling to find those few helpful and useful gems of advice. You provide that here without all of the rabble. The commenters that have preceded me are dead on in that your struggles are not your failure. Keep your head up and do not be ashamed of your performance. The entire Cata expansion has made for growing pains felt by all roles, but it is not unbeatable. DPS players are just going to have to man up and accept the fact that we need to play more than a numbers game for ultimate success. Thank you Bear!!


  7. It’s good to hear that I’m not alone out there. I only started my druid sometime during wrath and I find Cata extremely difficult with this character. I have now done my usual thing and I’m back to healing with my priest and it’s bliss fun and I find it a lot easier. What I personally take from this is that it’s a lot easier to fall back on “old habits” on my chars that went through vanilla and BC than getting rid of old habits from Wrath. With patience from both you and your groups I’m sure it will all work out in the end. At least that’s what I’m telling myself when running through normal 85 instances and struggling with heroic-ready gear on my druid. ^^


  8. I hear this bailing-out-the-titanic-with-a-teacup thing is mostly for Druids and Resto Shamans at the moment. We’re supposed to be getting an entirely new CD next big patch according to Blues.

    “We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department….. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.”


  9. One thing to note, at 85 healing spells cost a *lot* more than at 82.

    I’m not entirely sure how it scales, but I noticed a huge difference in how long my mana pool lasted at each level jump. See something like here:
    Base mana goes up by 5x from 80-85. So your ilvl 315 gear is a whole lot more at level 83/84 than at level 85.

    I personally use a focus macro to keep LB on the tank at a 3 stack at all times. LB costs 7% mana, regrowth is 35%, Nourish 10%, HT 30%. I pretty much never use Regrowth, it heals for ~the same as Nourish, a bit faster, but 3.5x more expensive. I try to keep LB and Rejuv on the tank (to get both to benefit from Mastery), and then just spam Nourish on the tank until something happens. You may not be able to do that at ilvl 315, but Nourish is supposed to be the “Autoattack” where we regen as much mana as it costs to cast.

    I’ve found it to be quite useful, it also can help my situational awareness, because I’m not focused on just the tanks’ life bar, wondering what to do. Instead I’m “auto” casting, and trying to pay attention to whether things have changed, and I need to weave in WG, HT, etc.


  10. This is coming from the perspective of an 85 geared-for-heroics priest. Please don’t hate me.

    I was a healer all through Wrath, though I didn’t do much serious raiding; 5mans was where I had my fun. When Cata hit I had an awful stressful time questing in Deepholm and on because I don’t like or know how to play shadow, so I soldiered on with a smitey spec and took forever to kill anything. I did some healing instances as I leveled but not too many because of a weird thing I have against too far outleveling quest content I have to do and with the way Cata’s set up you almost need to do every quest in every zone just for the rep. Anyway, healing instances.

    I can’t say if druid healing is horrible right now because I don’t play one. What I can say is, the trouble you’re experiencing probably comes from several sources all mixed in together to make you unhappy.

    One factor is some tanks are just not geared for tanking — people are used to using whatever’s OMG BLUE or OMG PURPLE, or has the highest ilevel, and being just fine; this is not a good thing when you end up trying to heal a prot paladin who’s mostly in crit/haste gear and he has no idea avoidance is a good idea. Apart from getting another tank there may not be much you can do about this; once in a very great while the tank was out questing or something and honestly forgot to swap gearsets though. Oops.

    Another is cc not being used. Sometimes it’s not an option because the dungeon finder stuck you in a group with three fury warriors for dps or whatever. But when people do have usable cc, if the healer is struggling they need to bring it out and use it. Even if they “don’t usually have to cc here lol.” However convincing them of this can be difficult. And this brings us to the next one…

    Sometimes people aren’t doing stuff they can on their end to avoid taking damage. In Stonecore for example there’s mobs that have cleave and random melee like to stand in it and then wonder why they died. Then some of them proceed to do it again after having it explained once. People stand in bad stuff and don’t stand in good stuff. They object to interrupting bad spells from being cast because “it hurts my dps.” There are times calm rational discussion can help here and folks honestly didn’t understand that LAVA IS BAD or whatever.

    These three things all add up to: We can’t heal stupid any more. People are used to being able to do whatever dumb stuff they liked in fivemans and still come through just fine, now they can’t, and healers get to feel responsible because of that whole “people died because they got not enough healing, therefore it’s the healer obviously!” lesson most everyone (including healers) absorbed somewhere along the line.

    So the fourth thing is you, and this is the stuff you have some amount of control over. Gear and spec are two things to check; you don’t have to be doing whatever Elitist Jerks tells you is the optimal thing this week, of course, but knowing vaguely how much you want of stats is a good thing. (Priesty example: I want a certain percent of haste for an extra tick of renew, and after that haste is less important but before that I may want to reforge from crit to get into the goldilocks zone.) You did mention you checked this stuff, but if any baby healers out there actually read these comments they may not have so hi baby healers.

    I ought to say if you’re just in good-enough for regs gear, you will find things difficult. Grim Batol stands out in my mind as the absolute worst ever hatehatehate trash in that zone as a healer. But incremental upgrades made a big difference in how hard healing was, so keep plugging away at your healset and trust me that things will get better.

    Then there’s that learning curve of what to cast when. Again I don’t play a druid so I can’t speak to your situation specifically, but I had to learn to lean on my efficient small heal a lot. If you run recount, after a run (successful or not) look through your log — check the important stuff, like your heal breakdown (who was being healed the most? what spells were doing what proportion of healing?) and the damage taken log (why did the dps dk take almost as much damage as the tank in that fight?). It may help you in the long term because figuring out what went right or wrong lets you make different exciting mistakes in the future instead of boring old ones.

    The only solution to this is to do a lot of healing. Grit your teeth and just keep going through the pain, I guess, and because of that I recommend finding ways to make it hurt less.

    For example I like having people along that I know; not only is it helpful to have some players around who know what they’re doing, I enjoy the moral support. I can also actually talk to them about the instance and any mistakes or good stuff one of us has done and it’s calm rational adult talking with no “lol u jsut ned 2 l2 heel nub” going on. Some people may prefer entirely random groups because that way nobody important to them will see screwups. Me, I’ll take my tankadin (or one of his dps alts) and hunter mates any day I get the chance.

    It will get better. You’ll get upgrades, your instincts on what to do when will improve. If resto druids are in a bad spot right now for fivemans I’m pretty confident they’ll get appropriate nerfs soon(tm). The community… well, maybe people will get more skilled and more pleasant to be around and maybe they won’t, but there are a lot of awesome people out there. The other comments here have reminded me of that today.


  11. Hi BBB,

    You’ve gotten some good advice! I’d like to second the comment on the regrowth/healing touch/nourish decision, and the one on using CC. One last thing I’d point out (which I still have trouble remembering myself!) is that tree cooldowns are really short now–tree of life and innervate are both on 3min cooldowns now. So don’t be shy about burning those when things are getting rough. If you use them near the start of a fight, you’ll probably have time to use it again at the end. Also, ToL is not just a throughput cooldown–you can put lifebloom on multiple targets, and lifebloom is cheap and procs more omen of clarity.


  12. One other thing. For 5 man healing, I’ve found that reforging to get in the 1500 haste ballpark makes my life a lot less stressful. Mastery might be a better secondary stat, but you won’t get much use from it in 5 mans, but the faster HT / Nourish casts will make you much happier.


    • And another thing. LOL

      Don’t forget about your rep rewards. There’s some fairly decent caster gear available from the rep quartermasters.
      * Hyjal – Revered for 346 gloves
      * Earthen Ring – Revered for 346 legs
      * Hyjal – Honored for 333 cloak (it’s actually better itemized for resto than the 346 Earthen Ring Revered cloak even with reforging)

      Otherwise, there’s always JP rewards as well for the items you can’t fill in.


  13. I still haven’t worked up the cajones to heal a heroic. I can usually do ok in 85 normal modes though. It took a bit of practice for me to adjust my healing strategy as well (and I’m still working on getting better).

    Things I’ve learned:
    * Keep lifebloom up (on someone, tank preferably) – this is your only OoC proc source now. I’m constantly letting mine expire (or casting it on a dps, or…)
    * Spam nourish on the tank (it’s really damn cheap mana wise, and it gets you used to that ~2s cast time)
    * Once the tank dips to 90% or so and is heading south, switch to HT until he’s back above 90%.
    * Regrowth on Omen procs (I’ve had to train myself to do this – took the longest time). Hand these out like candy to the DPS, if the tank doesn’t need it.
    * Rejuv on the tank is nice for Swiftmend / Efflorescence. I usually try to keep up a 3x LB and Rejuv on the tank.
    * If a DPS takes a ton of damage, don’t sweat it. If you’ve got spare globals / time and mana, rejuv > swiftmend or HT.
    * If the tank is just charging in without any CC, you’re most likely going to blow a chunk of mana at the top of the fight to stabilize him (like 25% of your pool). Look to have NS and swiftmend on CD within the first 10 secs of the pull in that case. LB > rejuv > LB > LB > SM > HT (x lots) > refresh rejuv as needed.
    * Innervate often (and early). It’s only about 20% of your mana pool now. Pop it once you hit 75%-80% mana. On a boss fight, it might be back up at the end of the fight (and you’ll love it when that happens).


      • I’ve not actually hit cata content yet … it’s a long and somewhat embarassing explanation but the rest of my raid group has resulting in finally clearing ICC with me as the only 80 left and a pally tank at 200k hp …. sounds easy … like why on earth do you need to heal when he’s got that much hp … oh … because filling that up when you get that buff that causes damage when your health is under 90% sucks when that 10% I’m trying to get back is about oh lets say about half my own health.

        did someone say bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon?

        The end result has been that I’ve found myself adopting even pre-cata content approaches similar to what Shatamall has been suggesting … and it makes a HUGE difference!

        I’m still learning … that Regrowth on Omen proc I just still have not nailed but the others are starting to come more naturally and infact, over time my healing has evolved away from spam rejuv/wg (they are still in there) to a mix that actually features more of my spells.

        It was a novel moment the day I realised I was pressing more than just 2 and 3 on my keys!!!


  14. I absolutely adored tree healing in Wrath. That’s why my druid became my main. Once I found out we were losing tree form I was demoralized. Then when the actual patch hit… I pretty much just gave up. The final nail in the coffin of my druid healing was when my kitty dps finally became half decent. Farewell, tree healing. I loved you much and miss you constantly.


    • I popped the new tree form after I respecced, and you know… the idle animation is cute. The tree has character. Charm. He (or she? It? What does happen to reproductive organs when a mammal becomes a tree, anyway? Oh good lord, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. Let’s just leave it one of those undiscovered mysteries of the digital age) looks pretty cool.

      I’m glad they gave us a Glyph of Tree Form, but it’s not quite the same, now is it? Still not enough time to dance to the oldies properly on a cooldown.


      • I’m still sulking that out of all the shape changes in the game the tree is the only one that got smacked and the only excuse I’ve seen is that we wanted to look at our gear …. no I wanted to look like a dead tree dancing to something possibly Bob Marleyish …

        kk soap box away …

        I think your reproductive organs become acorns when you go to tree form


  15. It is incredibly hard as a druid caster to maintain mana until at least ilevel 346. That said, check out Restokin’s healing guide too. I think it’s easier to understand (esp switching from another druid spec) and more thorough to boot.


    • well, I love Keeva, but I also love Restokin. So, of course I’ll read that also. But… not instead of. In addition to!


  16. Healing in Cata is very group-dependent. Until you’re overgeared, your groups are going to have to make sure they’re not taking any unnecessary damage. Besides getting out of fires, that means using whatever crowd control is available, knowing which mobs to burn down first, and dispelling ouchy buffs and debuffs, and interrupting enemy spells. It’s not just that avoidable damage causes deaths, it’s that healing the additional damage runs through your mana and leaves you unable to finish off the fight.

    I’ve run an instance where the group avoided the avoidable damage, and I ended every fight with 80% mana and everyone alive. I’ve run the same instance with a group that didn’t interrupt or use crowd control, and I watched dps die like crazy because I was blowing all my mana and global cooldowns just keeping the tank up.

    Pugs can be rough. It’s not you. It gets better.


  17. It’s not you. Even raid geared I find myself in instances unable to use anything but Rejuv and Regrowth because nothing else hits fast enough or hard enough. Nourishing a tank is like throwing wet noodles at the boss in order to try to kill him; it might work, but it’ll take a long time and you feel really stupid doing it.

    Try to get a guild group or at least some friends to do a few normals with you as you get used to things.

    Oh, and if you get in a group with two or more melee dps, pick one that you’re ok with dying and just accept that he’s going to die six or seven times that run.


  18. Hey BBB,
    Healing is hard now, damned hard. I’m a Druid tank, but being raid and guild leader I am quite astute to my healers needs (no tank ever wants to be without their precious healers<3). Pally healing is I am told completely OP, lucky for me I have a great pally and shammy healer (the shammies recently got a nice buff much to my healers joy), however having said this yes Cata normals/heroics are HARD, if you do not use CC like you are meant to (TBC :O), if your don't interupt spells whenever you can if you stand in the wrong place people are going to die. The guild druid healer flat-out REFUSED to heal, they had random'd some heroics and the nerfs hit her so hard I think she lost all confidence in herself. I persuaded her to heal a full guild run and it was still hard, shit it was stonecore and it was my first time in Stonecore (this in HC) and every god damn spell Ozruk did facerolled us into oblivion, but once I nailed it damn the sense of achievement we felt. For doing a heroic!?!? It was great but hard, we earned it and it feels good (like our LK kill that took us months, I dislike people saying it was easy). You can no longer expect to burn through a heroic in 20 minutes some take 1+ hours wipe after wipe, heck there is one boss in SFK that I am 1/2 of the time soloing him as a tank just cause people don't know the tactics.
    To put this in perspective me and my guild downed Valiona and Theralion on Sunday evening, so we're a competent (albeit small and friendly) raiding guild, I try and keep it casual, but we're still doing content and even we struggle with HC's. Healers can no longer sit there and heal people through nasty aoe's, tanks can't expect to survive if no one interupts the nasty damage that fireball is doing, healers are having a tough time of it and as always it's the tanks job to make it easy, but now DPS are finally having to pitch in too.
    Healers really really have to know their class and manage their managen, DPS must CC (but you knew that right :)) and everyone must do their utmost to reduce damage intake.
    Don't lose faith, oh and as always blame the DPS.
    (Because believe me in GB it probably was their fault, especially if they'd already wiped shows they probably didn't know tactics too well)
    Much Love, Xaeth. (Burning Steppes – EU)


  19. It’s not you. If your tank was getting hammered that hard, then he’s probably not geared properly/spec’d properly, something to that effect. If DPS are dying, then they’re probably standing in something they shouldn’t have been.

    Cata has brought some very interesting changes to WoW after the faceroll that Wrath was; with very few exceptions in Wrath, the only two people who mattered were the tank and the healer. So long as the tank was geared and competent and the healer was geared and competent, victory happened in just about every 5-man instance but the ICC 5 mans.

    In Cata, we have almost the complete opposite; the healer and the tank are 2 in 5, and the DPS matter again. If they’re not performing, you’ll wipe. If they’re standing in the bad, you’ll probably wipe. It’s become much harder to overgear content than it used to be, because healers no longer have infinite mana, and tanks can’t really last forever either despite the increases in mana/health. And honestly? That’s not a bad thing, if you ask me.

    So take heart, keep at it, and try it with some folks you know and are comfortable with.


  20. Intravax,

    Don’t quit! Make an alt and come hang out on Sentinel’s Server for a while. Look me up on: Zwingli, Caligan, Dexington or Eli. If I’m not on, send an in-game mail to Zwingli. I usually get on around 9pm CST and play until Midnight CST. I’ve found that the real value of WoW if found in the relationships we develop.

    Tim aka:
    Zwingli ~ Huntard Extraordinaire
    Sentinel’s Server


  21. “I still don’t know what happened, but I do know that I put my Lifeblooms on the tank, and used Nourish, and it didn’t seem to do anything much to increase his health at all. If I didn’t spam Rejuve or Regrowth along with Wild Growth, my bad old habits returning halfway through, everyone would have died.”

    Nope what happened is that “break point” I talked about. with lower gear your “efficient” heals are underpowered compared to damage thus you are ALWAYS behind the curve doing the “right healing”. Blizz’s idea to counter this was bigger health pools… like everyone is supposed to get used to 50% health as normal… yeah right… Warlock needs mana life taps… gets hit dead… great idea Blizz.

    “Maybe I am a Wrath baby. I like tanking, maybe I should stick to that.”

    Me too brother. I guess I liked Wrath too much. By the way the struggles that ALL healers are dealing with is what Priest healing was like early in Wrath. So for me it’s that old deja vu. I don’t think this is really how Blizz/dev envisioned the Cata end game. I don’t know what happened but about 4 weeks out from launch they NERFED the crap out of healing. It was like a 25% hit across the board… All the beta boards went ape about it. They said at the time that this was a BAD idea and talked about how a level 85 Rejuv was like 3k less healing than a level 83 drood does. but alas Blizz did not relent hence where we are today.

    It is funny to see the Shamans whine to me… the ones who said I was QQing L2play priest in Wrath…. funny


  22. Well I hate to say that I’ve probably quit WoW for good. I loved healing and playing but after putting up with bad group after bad group and getting so much negativity from people who refused to consider that “they” might be the problem I just got burned out. WoW no longer became fun for me and I didn’t even look forward to logging in. Doing daily quests for me or farming mats won’t cut it. The responsibility of having to watch out for everything that the dps/tanks do as well as try to keep health bars up puts too much on the healer and its too easy to blame said healer (which is what happens way too often). Throngus in Heroic Grim Batol was the last boss I logged in for. Wiping for 2 hours repeatedly is not something I look forward to.


  23. Oh bear! I haven’t dared to heal Pugs yet but I was starting to think I’ve got to get my feet wet soon and then I read this!

    I’ve gotta ask. Did anyone use any CC in these groups? I believe it will make a huge difference whether or not people bother to CC. Perhaps people believe that CC isn’t needed in normal dungeons now – that it’s only needed in heroics. Fooy! Fooy I say! It will give you a chance to get used to the new healing rotations and it will give the CCers practice with CC before getting into heroics. WIN WIN I say!


    • Well, that’s the problem with not recording things… I was so busy frantically keeping people alive in the Grim Batol run that I don’t know exactly what they were doing.

      I DO know that the wanring that something had to be interrupted was coming up, and afterwards people had health bars colored purple… and I had to stop healing to get rid of it fast with Remove Corruption. Since I’ve only ever done GB on normal once as a DPS, and I interrupted that each time then, I don’t really know what that does if you let it cast. I haven’t studied GB yet, damnit, I’m supposed to be in Throne and Blackrock until I have those mastered!

      Also, there was no marking. The tank went to the corner, said “I’m pulling now”, and charged in.

      Now, the successful Blackrock run, the tank used CC marks as a matter of course, and really did a great job, even as they ran us through at full speed.


      • Yeah. Bad tank. 😦

        GB trash is brutal, and you really need CC. Druids even have a good CC for that instance. Hibernate on Dragonkin.

        My biggest issue learning to heal in Cata was accidentally tossing Lifebloom on DPS in a pinch and killing my 3-stack on the tank. You gotta keep it rolling on the tank, and you gotta NOT cast it on anyone else (except when you’re a big tree — that’s another nice mana saver, go tree and spread the Lifebloom around).

        You didn’t mention Healing Touch, are you using it at all? When Nourish isn’t enough, you should be casting Healing Touch.

        I think I’ve used Tranquility more on trash pulls than on boss fights in Cata 5-mans.


      • “I DO know that the wanring that something had to be interrupted was coming up, and afterwards people had health bars colored purple… and I had to stop healing to get rid of it fast with Remove Corruption.”

        Unfortunately, Remove Corruption is ALSO super expensive. I eventually went in and made a buff bar that plasters BIG debuff icons that are on my target next to my VuhDo bars so I can quickly mouse over them and see if they’re worth decursing. Some of the debuffs (magic, especially) are things that I don’t need to remove immediately on DPS, like reduces healing taken or something. I take those off the tank and then let the rest expire on their own. The reason I use really big icons in a place next to my healing bars is so I can see what the debuffs are without glancing far from my healing :P.

        The reality is that healing has been made a lot more about knowing all the ins and outs of your class mechanics in addition to much stricter mana management. And like someone else said further down the comment stream, I used to use Healing Touch a lot more often for tank healing than I do now. Its cast time is the same as Nourish and it gives you a bigger health dump than Nourish. It gets better, though. Keep at it! 🙂


  24. This is from a totally Huntard viewpoint….

    I don’t think it is you, BBB. I think that the healing really has become that hard. Let me tell you about our guild healers. We have some of the best, and they are hurting. The worse part is how it hurts them. You see, they are totally devoted to the group. If anyone dies, they take is as a personal failure. A game shouldn’t produce emotional trauma upon experienced players after an expansion. This tells me that something went wrong, somewhere down the line.

    If the groups you were in were wiping, it probably wasn’t as much of your fault as you think it was.

    1) We have to CC. We just have to, especially if someone is on an alt, or they have just lvled up their main. The changes are just that drastic.

    2) if a DPS dies, it is the DPS’ fault. We have to have our own healing pots, and be ready to use our cooldowns at any given notice. This is especially true for us huntards. Even after I trap something, there may still be a need to trap something else, or retrap my original target. Also, we may need to use slows, snake traps, or any of our other traps to ensure group survival. I feel that keeping the healer alive is part of my responsibility, just as much as it is the tanks. If a mob is on my healer, I can MD it back to the tank, pull it far away from the healer with a well placed taunt shot, sick the pet on it w/ growl on, hit it w/ a scattershot, or drop a trap on it. Point being, we have to work as a group to survive, or we don’t survive. Oh, and if I stand in the fire, I deserve to die.

    3) And of course, taking personal responsibility is a must. You don’t have a problem with this. We have to practice, practice, practice…and practice our respective roles.

    Just one huntards thought on the topic.



  25. “By definition, the healing went fine, because I kept everyone alive. I did burn through nearly my entire 67000 Mana pool on the very first trash fight.”

    yeah you tell em!

    WTH is up with healing being OOM land now? EVEN AFTER 4.0.6???

    Side note – on my pally I have seen a BIG mana efficiency and regen boost with ilvl 359 BOE, BS gear. I am speculating here but there appears to be some “break point” on stats where you start to get more benefit. If you have say 333-346 gear it’s hard but with 359 it’s easier on mana – and the difference does not appear linear.

    I myself waited until I got all 352 bg gear for my resto before doing normal/heroics this seems to work but I agree 333 gear is just not even effective in normals.


  26. The thing is – you don’t know if you were failing to heal correctly – or if the _GROUP_ was failing.

    Unless you overgear content considerably you MUST use CC or the healer will not be able to keep up. You should interrupt the most powerful interruptible abilities, or else the healer will not be able to keep up. The tank MUST be using a sensible spec and have reasonable gear (nothing excessive), or else the healer will not be able to keep up. This is as true in the new normals as it is in heroic – just the gear thresholds move down.

    Also I think you’ve been given bad advice – nourish is not a key spell – it’s a “not much is going on and I’m conserving mana spell”. The key spells are lifebloom, WG, healing touch, rejuv and swiftmend.

    The biggest piece of advise I can give you on healing is to only ever use regrowth
    a) With an OoC proc during ToL
    b) Once a minute to activate Nature’s grace.

    It uses an inordinate amount of manner for very little healing. If a dps needs fast healing:

    1) Use rejuv then swiftmend (still faster to land than a regrowth cast!). It heals vastly more and does it faster.
    2) If swiftmend is on cooldown use healing touch. If the dps is going to die before it lands its almost certainly their fault

    Other tips:

    Wild Growth is our best spell, as long as there are people damaged, use it on cooldown if it looks like it will do some good. Unless someone gets under 75% it’s not even worth using rejuv, let WG and efflor pull them back up.

    If a dps has taken substantial damage but is not in immediate danger – rejuv them and leave them, unless you have a swiftmend cooldown to burn.

    Keep a lifebloom stack on the tank, use nourish or healing touch to refresh it depending on how much damage the tank has taken. If you are busy healing dps don’t be afraid to refresh the lifebloom stack with a lifebloom cast.

    Make sure to use your tree of life cooldown – if nothing else its a 30% across the board healing boost, and you can use it every other fight.

    Also, having a decent spirit makes a VAST difference to your available mana. It’s very rough indeed at low spirit, then as you gear up you get closer to breaking even on mana, effectively multiplying the size of your mana pool.


  27. First off, you must CC. CC reduces the damage going out.

    Second, the dps have to be careful. They really should not be taking anything except splash damage.

    Finally, you make no mention of your big direct heal, which I believe is Healing Touch for druids. I’m not 100% sure on druid healing, but judicious use of the big heal is vital to bringing the tanks heath back up in 5-mans. The small efficient heal (Nourish, I believe) is like your auto-attack. You cast that if you have nothing better to cast and you want to save mana.

    The general healing paradigm is the same for all healers (at least before raid specialization). You have a big heal, a small heal, and a fast heal. For paladins, it’s Divine Light, Holy Light, and Flash of Light. For druids, I believe it’s Healing Touch, Nourish, and Regrowth. These are the spells around which 5-mans are designed. Use the big heal on the tank when she drops to 60% or less. Use the fast heal to save a DPS from dying. Use the small heal if things are stable.

    Then mix in your special druid spells. Stack Lifeblooms on the tank. Rejuv dps who have taken damage but are not in the danger zone. Wild growth if multiple dps need healing.

    Also about your mana, the real culprit is Regrowth. It’s is very expensive now, and it’s really worthwhile to try and minimize its use.


    • OKay, things have been sol quiet around here I assumed folks stopped reading. I feel scared by all the responses.

      You’re absolutely right, you did NOT see me mention Healing Touch, I never cast it once… again, I’m stuck in old Wrath HoT through it mode.

      I need to pull my head out and practise Healing Touch.

      It’s actually embarassing, in some ways. In Vanilla WoW, if anyone can remember clearly playing as a 60 feral druid, we could spec Feral as cross spec Feral/Resto, and be able to swift-shift to self-cast instant Healing Touch with Nature’s Swiftness on ourselves while tanking. Well, I call it tanking, it was what pased for bear tanking in Vanilla. I HAD those Natures Swiftness/Healing Touch reflexes back then. Where are they now? Damn you Blizz for training me out of it and then bringing it back!


  28. To quote the wise one

    “Blizzard has to balance content with the understanding that people without VuhDo can successfully heal, right? That there could be as much as a .5 second delay between selecting a party member and casting the appropriate heal?

    Yeah, that’s what I tell myself. Right now, I’m not really believing it.”

    AMEN brother bear preach on!!!

    … now I’ll read the rest


  29. As someone who healed all through Wrath, you’re not alone. Druid healing in Cata is awful. I’ve been healing all the Cata instances and there’s some fights in those harder regulars where you just HAVE to spam your silly, fast, expensive heals on the tank and hope your Wild Growth will keep everyone else alive. And that’s with no one doing anything WRONG. There’s also a few fights where track packs litter dots, poisons, curses, or what have you on 2-3 people in your party, and you’ve got a rough choice – dispel them and blow mana? Or let them tick and heal the dmg? (Incidentally that is one way to conserve mana…only dispel the things that NEED to be dispelled, something I’m gradually getting accustomed to.)

    The one thing I’d suggest, if possible, is to use everything you’ve got until you get your BEAR-ings. Fish up some +90 Int food, enchant those greens with Wrath chants or cheap Cata ones, use those old Wrath flasks, bring some Starfire Espresso (best mana regen food), etc. It’s not going to win the day, but it’ll certainly help. My druid and priest who are just nearing heroics are fully enchanted with next-to-top tier stuff (no Maelstroms, but otherwise everything) because I NEED them, and I’m an experienced healer. I can only imagine how painful some instance (cough Grim Batol) are for newer healers.


  30. Nope. You don’t suck that bad.
    I had approximately the same experience…
    At the end of wrath, but when we had cata talents, I had pulled together a healing set over many many heroics tanking (taking any healing gear that no one else wanted.. there was quite a bit of it), and thought it would be a good time to try healing since I could blame and problems on the different talents :P.

    I probably had about the same gear level as a healer would have in had in (raid) ToC.
    So I queued for a random dungeon. I got one of the lower level ones and thought “Great! This should be easy to heal w/ gear levels.” It was. I did 2 more lower level random dungeons and I never had to cast anything other than Rejuvenate.

    Then I queued for a heroic. BIG mistake. I got a blue geared tank in the 5-man ToC, with the 3 dps combo (rogue, warrior, mage) for the 1st boss fight. No one moved out of the poison (if they had a healer who knew what they were doing, they probably wouldn’t have had to do it… they SHOULD have, but they didn’t because they were used to invincible tanks/healers), and the tank nearly died twice and the 2 melee dps flatlined early into the fight, after that, we didn’t have enough dps to down them (2 melee didn’t run back for some reason) before I ran OOM and we wiped.
    I also apologized for being worthless and left the group.

    Interestingly enough, I raided quite a bit in Vanilla as a healer on my druid, but when BC came out I went feral and never looked back. I was amazed at the difference in healing between Vanilla and Wrath (almost Cata).
    However, I have a shaman that I am leveling as a healer, and I’m GREAT as a healer on him because I just instinctively know what spells to use when. I think healing just comes down practice, practice, practice so that you can get a feel for what spell does what.

    I’m almost pondering starting another druid just to use as a platform for leveling healing and getting practice. Some of those low level instances are actually tough now, even w/ heirloom gear… example: the 2nd to last boss in the highest level Dire Maul (I forget his name). He has a fear, a 75% mortal strike, and 2 heavy hitting adds. we didn’t get past him until we used CC on BOTH of the adds (hunter pet tanked one and the other got frost trapped… our hunter was awesome :D), and I was tanking on a warrior w/ heirloom gear, and my healer had heirloom gear.


  31. heh… yeah, I leveled my Pally first, holy/ret. Running dungeons was brutal, especially the first couple weeks. One thing to keep in mind is that the trash pulls are often harder and more unforgiving then the boss fights. I still haven’t broken out the resto spec on my druid yet, so I can’t speak for specifics.

    But Cata definitely puts an emphasis on using your “panic button” cooldowns. If it has a one-minute cooldown, it should be used every fight. if it’s a 10 minute cooldown, don’t feel bad about using it on trash early in a run. If it’s not available on the boss, you probably needed it to prevent a wipe earlier in the run.

    And to repeat what Clapus/Siobhann said above, a lot of the dps damage taken is avoidable. Unless its something that the fight mechanic says “healer should have cleansed” it’s probably not your fault. DPS failing on interrupts is the most painful for me: “Oh, now I need to heal you back up from 20%? I’m sure the tank won’t need that mana pool, no problem…”

    Though I tried to tell myself “no worries, just have fun playing the game”… the first month of cata I would heal dungeons until struggling through a wipefest, then I’d take a break and queue as dps for my next dungeon. Leveling archeology helped get the frustration level lowered…

    Funny, though. I’m feeling the same way about tanking with my druid. Just haven’t jumped into it yet, other than the holiday boss fights. I still don’t feel confident in my toolkit/skills to hold 4+ mobs on me without watching the dps peel something off. One of these days…


  32. Nope, its not you. My main is a resto shaman and all through Wrath, I was pretty darn good at it. I lead a non-raiding guild but got invites to raids almost every week because I had a rep for being a good healer. Come Cata… Not so much. I have geared up, and adjusted my playstyle quite a bit, but 5 mans are a crap shoot every time. If I can get a group that already doesnt stand in fire, and that can do decent dps, then its a pleasure and a lot of fun. But most of the time, it is so stressful, that IF we finish the run, by the end I’m so glad its over and can let my blood pressure come back down.

    I understand the rating system and why they have to do it, but it does make it very disheartening. We went back this week to ICC to get Kingslayer for some of my guildies and the healers had more mana trouble than they did when they were level appropriate. DPS seems to be the only thing that scaled in a positive way for the players if you like feeling more powerful than before.


  33. It really is a lot different now. I know I stuck to normals for the first week or so myself. And that didn’t include any of the ones I had yet to discover like Throne or the Grim Batol. I was behind in leveling up and all my friends were too busy already 85 and raiding to pay me any attention as I was stuck moving to a new apartment and job during release. I was stuck trying to figure everything out myself and it was not fun. The first probably 3-4 hour jump into a stonecore normal made me despise that instance forever. One thing that helped me somehow somewhat was making a post-it note of my spells in order of mana cost. Kinda gave me an idea of what I should be casting the most.

    As for getting Grim Batol… I’d have to say that is the worst one you could have gotten. In my opinion don’t give up yet. I know I got in one group where I kept letting a DK die every other pull. He eventually yelled at me very rudely until I think someone else kicked him. I’m pretty sure there was something interpretable that could have saved him multiple times. Maybe there was something similar going on with your run, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t give up just from one bad run.

    As for some advice. I know I used Healing Touch a lot more when I first started off. It’s the only thing that really makes hp bars move at all sometimes >< and a group working together to crowd control is a lot easier on a healer than anything else.


  34. I saw what you are talking about the very first time I tanked a Cata instance. We went through 3 healers before we finished. I don’t know who was more demoralized me/tank or the healers. First off it seemed that no one remembered CC, the DPSers blamed everyone but themselves for wipe after wipe. They refused to follow kill orders and would break the few CCs that did get tossed about. The days of tanks instaqueing are gone for now, healers rule the que and when they call the shots you better listen, because once the group realizes they have a competent healer you will get booted for being oblivious to group strategy.


  35. You are fine. Druid healing in 5-mans sucks that bad. It feels much like bailing out an ocean liner with a teacup. Welcome back to BC, where we are basically walking healing stream totems that are useful enough for a raid that you might bring a druid for battle rez and to buy a little time for the pallies and priests. The learning curve is steep and if you are in quest greens you do not overgear Grim Batol. That means that if the boss dies and you happen to lose a DPS or two, you still healed the fight successfully.

    Chances are also good that the DPS you lost stood in something. It is absolutely normal to finish a boss fight with much of the party at 1/3 to 1/2 health at the end of the encounter if you don’t overgear the instance because druids do not have the throughput to keep a party topped off until they’re in fully enchanted 346+ gear. Remember, they were wiping for a reason.


  36. Don’t get discouraged — Grim Batol is rough, especially before you’ve started to acquire a good set of lvl 85 blues.

    Here’s a couple of tricks I’ve found:
    * if the tank’s health is dipping, you have three choices (assuming you’ve got 3 LBs up): nourish, healing touch, and regrowth. All three of those will refresh your lifebloom stack, assuming you have that talent.
    * You’ll pick nourish if you’re only falling a little behind.
    * You’ll pick healing touch if you’re falling a lot behind. They take the same time to cast now.
    * You’ll pick regrowth if you’re panicking and a heal needs to land NOW… and you may want to swiftmend it right after.

    Rejuv’s cost has been taken down some, and it heals for about as much as Healing Touch — so you can use it to top off someone who is hurting, but not in immediate danger.

    Wild Growth is still worth casting — but only if the whole group needs some heals. It’s a pretty efficient spell, but only if the bulk of the group is going to benefit. Don’t cast it whenever it’s up, but don’t shy away from it because it’s expensive.

    Watch for Omen of Clarity procs. Every time it procs, use it! I usually use it for a regrowth on somebody, since it’s quick and would otherwise be expensive.

    It does actually get substantially better even with the dungeon blues. I *hated* Grim Batol when I first hit 85. A week later, I realized I could much more easily account for bad play on other folks’ part, because my mana regen & spellpower were getting back to reasonable levels.


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