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Update on Heroic Throne of Thunder Raiding – Part 1

I’ve been pretty quiet as of late on the blog, but I hope to do some more visual posting. Firewalls at work have ramped up preventing me from doing ANY editing at the office— but video posts are always more fun I think. I’ll be posting a retrospective post in the coming days… but until then here’s a little treat!

Written By: on July 8, 2013

Dragon Soul: Post-Mortem and Immersion

In typical raiding fashion, the “last pull of the night” became the killing attempt.  Deathwing has been vanquished and Azeroth is safe once again. Something Wicked of US-Whisperwind has completed all 25-Man Heroic content available and finishing the Tier at US 55th. I am proud to say I was a part of this kill! With all content completed, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on not just the Tier but also Cataclysm as a whole. What worked well? What didn’t? What was your favorite? High Level Post-Mortem Overall I really enjoyed Dragon Soul– I might be an outlier with my enjoyment of Dragon Soul, but I am trying to look at it exclusively from a Heroic 25-man perspective. A number of the fights had some really interesting mechanics that …

Written By: on February 22, 2012

Zero-Sum ManaNot just another game...

My Guild Leader used this phrase last week, and it got me thinking about how Zero Sum applies to a raid as a whole and to each of us individually. Calling mana a Zero-Sum Game is a great way of illustrating a practice we all should be using. The general gist of what we need to keep in mind with Zero-Sum Mana is: Unless you hit 100% mana at any point of the fight your cooldown usage should generally be as soon as possible.Try to think of your mana pool in terms of the whole length of the fight, not just as the number that shows on your character pane. Ask yourself, “how much mana is available to me cumulatively throughout the fight?”.  Using your restorative cooldowns will increase your fight-duration mana pool… not just your current total available mana. As …

Written By: on February 15, 2012

Healer’s Addendum – Healing Hagara the Stormbinder (Heroic)

This is my first real foray into voice-over videos, so I am really hoping to get some solid feedback on this.  There are some great tutorial videos that focus on the overall strategy and do a great job at it. I must tip my hat to Kina and the folks at LearnToRaid and underscore the goal of this guide is to supplement those types of guides. The purpose of this guide is to provide insight to the Healer Perspective and point out specific points of strategy that healers will want to keep in mind while battling Heroic Hagara. This guide assumes you already have at least an understanding of the basic boss mechanics and abilities– consider this the “Healer Addendum” to a standard Boss Guide.   Good luck!!

Written By: on January 2, 2012

Survivability and Progression Raiding

As healers we all know the expression “Dead DPS does no DPS.”, right? Well, the same rule applies to us as healers. A dead healer can heal no one. Staying alive in a progression raiding guild is pretty much the first rule above all. Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive. Every Dragon Soul fight has substantial raid damage — especially the  Heroics. This means we’ll need to be putting out a good deal of raid healing, but it also means we need to do what we can to stay alive as long as we possibly can to heal through that damage. Both Holy and Discipline offer some great spec choices as far as survivability talents. Keeping that in mind, lets take a look at these options– some of which are often …

Written By: on December 27, 2011

Discipline & Archangel in Dragon Soul

“Smite spam” : Before Cataclysm’s introduction to Archangel and Atonement, that phrase was often followed by “LOLOLOL Smitepriest”. Since the launch of Cataclysm, we’ve had several tiers of content to get used to Atonement Healing and Archangel.  Atonement and Archangel are now, arguably, the cornerstone of Discipline in 4.3… and in my opinion, nearly mandatory for Dragon Soul Heroic Encounters. The trick is to leverage Archangel to your advantage and not just use it haphazardly. Fully stacked, Archangel provides you with an additional 15% throughput for 18 seconds with a mere 30 second cooldown.  Despite it having a short cooldown, making it readily available throughout most of the fight, the best way for a Disc Priest to use Archangel is to know when the raid/tank damage is going to increase and demand …

Written By: on December 19, 2011

Gearing in 4.3 – Valor Points and the Token System

To fully understand the impact of the 4.3 Gearing System, you need to understand how gearing progression has developed over the years.  If you have been playing like me, since Vanilla, you remember the days when loot dropped and it was specific loot only– this included tier gear! There were no Valor Points. There were no Tier Tokens. You simply had to hope the boss dropped the item or Tier piece you needed. To make a parallel, it wasn’t dissimilar to the way the Baradin Hold bosses work today. Pure random loot drops. In fact, I remember the times when my guild (Alliance) would get Shaman Tier drops. (Remember, in Vanilla the Alliance didn’t have shaman!) The Burning Crusade came and so did our introduction to the Tier Token System. …

Written By: on November 18, 2011

Flash Heal: Healing and Sound

You hear this joke all the time: “Oh the game has sound?” or “I haven’t had game sound on in years!!”. I know a LOT of folks play the game without the sound on, and I understand that the game does have a good deal of superfluous sound effects and/or sounds that really do not contribute to your gameplay. I have to admit that there is a certain amount of satisfaction hearing your Prayer of Healing go off, or the BWONG of a Prayer of Mending bounce, or the thwump, thwump, thwump of Penance… but does it really provide added benefit to your performance? No, probably not. Does it add to the immersion aspect of the game? Yep! However, the biggest benefit that audio cues can provide healers is likely boss mods and …

Written By: on November 15, 2011

Priest Healing FirelandsTier 12 - A Recap and Lookback

I’ve always been a supporter of looking back at previous teirs and figuring out what we can learn form that. (Not too dissimilar from what George Santayana said in his work The Life of Reason, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”) With that said, this post is similarly inspired by Vixsin’s post “Resto Shaman Lessons from Tier 12″. In this post, lets go over each of the seven bosses in Firelands (Normal and Heroic) and recap some of the mechanics and how our toolkit worked well (or not) for the fight. Knowing our weaknesses and strengths will be critical in knowing how to approach Dragon Soul in 4.3. Firelands was a very tricky tier for us priests, but ultimately we fared very well. Tier Mechanic & Toolkit …

Written By: on October 31, 2011

Are More Tank Cooldowns the Solution?

There has been a lot of talk in the community about Shamans and Druids getting a cooldown… a lot of talk. First, want to be very clear that this article is not intended to play into this whole one class being superior to another debacle that many forums (I’m looking at you Blizzard Forums) gets into. Nor it is about saying that one class does or does not need something. One thing that we all need to remember, and I think is often forgotten when class balances/revamps occur, is that we are a healing team; and it ultimately is about working together as a unit not about one person being the hero of the fight. The Shaman cooldown seems to be a  raid-wide “reset”; with a minor (10%) damage mitigation …

Written By: on March 10, 2011