Druid Healing: Raids

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Druid Healing: Raids

We’ve been in raids for about five months now. After some experimentation I’ve settled into a Talent build and am rooting it into my muscle memory which will make be a better healer.

I’ve learned some things too:

  • Tanks do need healing but they don’t need baby sitters.
  • Every healing class that I’ve seen is strong and viable.
  • There is no one talent build. I’ve healed side by side with other Druids with different builds and our through-put is close to the same.
  • Druid healing is a lot of fun with our Dash, Tree form and play-style.

Our bread is Rejuvenation. Our butter is Wild Growth. We have a nice array of jams and jellies to bring flavor to our experience. We Heal Over Time which is like a comforting padding to everyone around us.

Swiftmend is our only Instant cast spell. It is pretty powerful. I choose Prosperity so that I can have two charges. Ask Mr Robot’s Simulator tells me that Cenarion Ward will give me better numbers at the end of the raid but it’s not all about numbers.

You can cast Swiftmend and Rejuvenation on the run!

Soul of the Forest is married to Swiftmend. If a tank is in trouble, Swiftmend followed by Regrowth is strong with the choice of doing it again; Swiftmend followed by Regrowth or simply Rejuvenation to top off the tank. Otherwise, Swiftmend and Wild Growth to keep the raid cooking along.

The Affinities are nice and I do change them depending on the task.
If we are on farm, then Balance to add some dps and fight the dreariness of farming.
If we are rolling through bosses, then Feral for the cat-like feet.
If we are in progression, then Guardian to have more survivability.

If we could cheaply and easily swap talents, I’d be changing between Spring Blossoms and Germination all of the time. Since it is (currently) costly, I stick with Spring Blossoms and don’t worry about double-clicking on every raider.

I use Flourish. It is a constant challenge to remember to use it up, it is powerful; yet since it extends our heal-over-times you don’t “see” it as a result. Sometimes I wonder if I should macro it with Wild Growth and forget about it.

I would love to marry up Innervate and Incarnation: Tree of Life. With it’s three minute cool-down, I’d have to anticipate when to use it. I’ve yet to see that one specific hurdle in a raid where things are pounding us hard (maybe Gul’dan but the fight is so long Soul of the Forest is needed more).

I have one macro that would get me fired from the Healers Union of Resto-Druids (HURD):

#showtooltip Ironbark
/tar focus
/cast Ironbark
/cast Barkskin
/use 13
/use Stackable Stag

When we face an encounter, I pick a tank to “focus”. With the show-tool-tip, I can see when Ironbark is off cooldown. I figure when he needs it, I need it also so Barkskin is on me. I put my “on use” trinket in the top slot. And, you can’t resist the toy in a raid; it’s great.

If there is something (like Spew Corruption or Rot) which is cast on me and hard to heal through, I’ll not use a focus and let both Ironbark and Barkskin stack on me!

It isn’t always about the best build. Knowing your Talents and using them heartily is the key; just like life!

Progress: Normal Emerald Raid

“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.”
Janis Joplin

Progress: Normal Emerald Raid

We have completed four of seven on Normal this week (week one!). That feels just about perfect to me while everything feels new and interesting. I imagine it will be a few weeks if not a month before we down the final boss.

Since the next raid isn’t until January, I’m quite content to take it at any pace that we can to be successful. Moving from Normal to Heroic is like moving up in a weight-class in boxing; same fight, hits harder.

We have a Resto-Druid, two Healy Pallys and a Shaman in our healing team. Looking at Recount, I can see that one some fights that I’m Top Cat on the meters and on others, I am less. Much of that is based on Talents!

Plus, as our DPS goes up collectively; I can see us dropping to three or even two healers. What that will mean to the Dedicated who had to slog through a lot of muck and mire to have a viable heal spec, I don’t know.

I can see why they restricted changing Talents — so that each dog can have his day in the sun. If I have Spring Blossoms on a stack-up fight like Ursoc: I will top the meters. If I have Spring Blossoms for “omg, everyone is everywhere” like all of the other fights, I don’t top the meters. Easily changing to Germination would help and I might take that path via the Tomes if we begin to see healing as the issue in our success.

Tanks are not as squishy as advertised in the Legion Intention Mission Statement. Yes, they do need heals but one (so far) does not need to be their lapdog. Stonebark for dungeons, maybe; but Flourish for raiding.

I could see hunters, for example, down the line swapping from BM to MM and back having set themselves up for (perhaps) single-target fights vs AoE. We healers only have one spec and so are locked into our talents unless we get minny/maxxy and carry Tomes.

Progress Report: Fun!

To Die Every Twenty Minutes

I’m going to die.

I had hope and when I started it seemed like I’d live forever.

A lightning bolt from God’s respectful hand or the quick consuming of a fire; it’s fated. I’m going down, hard.

The tank died. Two healers dropped like a prom dress. My other ranged folded like a cheap lawn chair. I’m going to keep fighting, go down swinging.

Vent is erupting with my lovely friends telling me to Feign Death. Those, who are dead on the ground, are giving me advice on how to play my class — while I live, I live! The irony isn’t lost on me.

Sure, I’d be a Hero to my friends if I Feign Death. I’d save them the long, humbling Walk of Shame back to the boss. What a bitter burden. Sorry, kids, I’m going down with spit in my grinning mouth and a bow in my hands.

The writing is on the wall; I’m going to die. I have all the time in the world as I Disengage and scoot farther away. I think to myself, “You know? The expression “writing on the wall” is from the Old Testament”. I have time. Enough to snicker, to chuckle at faux death, to give it my rigid middle finger.

The other tank is dead. She’s tough too, held out; went deep into the toolbox for every trick in the book. It’s over. Time to turn on Growl and try to Misdirect to my pet.

I’m going to die.

I love it; bring it, you  bastard.

2/4/9 Raiding

2/4/9 seems to be the accepted recipe for raid success. Two Tanks, Four Healers and Nine DPS.

I was in a raid last night on Kromog. We were mostly new, a couple of people had seen the fight before. We wiped 16  times before we got it. I think we expected the first eight, the tanks were talking to each other about spacing, swapping and other mechanics. The dps were learning how to get everyone out of the grips; so on and so on.

The deal is: after 15 wipes, two of the dps left. And we downed the boss with ease. The healers all exclaimed that they had mana left over. We had a full minute before Berserk.

So, what is the answer? I’ve asked in forums and over on Blizzard Watch and there doesn’t seem to be an answer. I know this is the arc of a new raid, once we have more gear it will get easier. I also know that this is the fun part. We are learning the fights and getting by with the little gear that we have; it is great.

Still, without knowing the raid composition ideal for Kromog, we’d have kept wiping until we gave up; is that the intended experience?