“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
Fighting the Good Fight
(with apologies to Apostle Paul)
I’ve been raiding steadily since Cataclsym. During Mists of Pandaria, I joined teams from the very beginning of the expansion and I am still with them.
During the long lull at the end of Mists, we ran Siege of Orgrimmar over and over. There was nothing else to do! The game became one of high efficiency, surgically moving from boss to boss.
It was on lovely Thok that I first noticed that everything fit. All my cooldowns were ready when I needed them, my need to “burst” timed out perfectly. This was a fight that I knew very well.
It was a bit of a revelation to learn that the encounters are designed with our cooldowns in mind. There are ways to execute the encounter so that you are “playing as designed”. Which is optimal, you have to figure out the fight; this is totally fun.
The second thing that shocked me was healing on a ten-man team (which was the way it was then). On the Fallen Protectors there was something that needed Dispelling. It was crucial for the healers to dispell. As is the case, once we got stronger and past progression, we dropped down to two healers instead of three; he switched to DPS.
Our first try at two-healing, I was worried about the important Dispell on the Protectors. I was delighted to see that the number of things to Dispell changed based on the number of healers on the team.
Starting Legion, I was first worried about my healing numbers. Would I be viable and desired as a Resto-Druid healer in all facets of the game. Smarting from being excluded from Mythic Raiding in WoD, I was pretty sensitive.
Now, I know that I am strong and competitive. I compare just fine to a Resto-Shammy or Holy Paladin. I am also comfortable with some fights favoring some classes. Good to know, time to move on.
Healing the Fights
I am no longer concerned with being able to do the job. As we have happily progressed, some of the early fights are on farm. Now, I am trying to look at the designed encounter and how it lines up with my cooldowns and specialties.
In other words, I no longer care (so much) if my numbers top the charts. I am much more immersed in learning how the fights line up with my spells. Massive triage due to learning the fights is less and less a concern, nor will it be a concern again until we have another raid in May or June.
One of the reasons I follow Z is for Zeirah so closely and, now, The Daily Frostwolf and Raid Advice is they they are writing about this same transition into (I hate to say) routine. How are the raid teams working out as they shift down to needing fewer healers? I want to know because I want to be that healer, therein lies the new and next challenge and fun.
Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
We will move into the Heroic version of Nighthold soon enough. While we will call it “progression” the learning curve will be less steep. Finding out how the encounter is supposed to be played will be a lot of fun. Anticipation vs Reaction in a fight.
I remember playing a hunter on Xhul’horac and Mannoroth. Discovering that the imps would arrive exactly as my cooldown for Barrage was ready was awesome! While I was busy downing Adds, I knew to pivot on the imps arrival and use Barrage to help the melee, help the team, help move the fight along in a good way.
Finding those times in Nighthold for healing is my next goal. Perhaps the Slam from Krosus lines up perfectly with Wild Growth and Flourish – actually, I’ll bet the Orb just before the Slam is the time. The encounters were designed with the classes in mind to complete it; finding the perfect line-up and execution is the next challenge!
Seeing raid teams roar through the encounters, it is certain that most of us are over-powered for the game we are playing. Being too strong is boring. Honing our “skills for kills” to learn the text book kill will keep the game engaging until a new raid comes along.
Fight Length – Normal Kills
Skorpyron – 4:46 Minutes
Chronomatic Anomaly – 4 minutes
Trillax – 6:17 minutes
Spellblade Aluriel – 5:52 minutes
Krosus – 4:29 minutes
Tichondrius – 7:19 minutes (we wiped at 8:13 minutes at 5%)
High Botanist Tel’arn – 6:09 minutes
Star Augur Etraeus – 7:50 minutes
Grand Magistrix Elisande 9:43 minutes
Gul’dan – we have only wiped, at around the 9:20 mark on average