Shotgun Friday: Random thoughts on healing and WoW news

It’s true that every time you hear a bell, an angel gets its wings. But what they don’t tell you is that every time you hear a mouse trap snap, an Angel gets set on fire.–Jack Handy

It’s Friday, it’s time for a nice long weekend of hockey, 10 mans, and bar-b-que. So I thought I would do just a random run down of various things jingling around in my head this week. Some thoughts on DPSing as a Healer, why you should go for the Tier 10 Gloves and Crafted Legs for your healing kit (Shamans), and why Festergut Hard Mode is a gas, gas gas.

DPS Healers

A Blue responded earlier this week on allowing healers do some sort of significant DPS in Cataclysm. First their response:

Ideas that would make healing more fun are good things to discuss in this forum, particularly with an eye towards Cataclysm.

The idea to let healers dps a little is a controversial one though. Some healers just have no interest in it, so while it might make healing a lot more fun for you, it risks making healing a lot less fun for them. I would not approach that idea as an obviously intuitive one that all healers will rally around, because I suspect that’s just not the case. 😦

[…] I could see that if the tree was structured in such a way that you had to give up a little bit of healing for that dps (and to be fair, talents like Searing Light already exist), such that it was the kind of thing you might do while soloing or running easy content (like Dungeon Finder when overgeared).  In other words, I wouldn’t want us to do it in such a way that healers were then balanced around doing damage– like we calculated healer damage when we come up with boss berserk timers. Then it goes from a playstyle choice to being the only way to play.

I can solve this pretty easily, there is no controversy. Healers should never be allowed to contribute anything (DPS-wise) more than a buff (Heroism, Paladin Buffs, etc) or maybe some Fire Totems. Why don’t we flip it around? Let’s say we give rogues some healing ability in Cataclysm so they can top themselves and the rest of the melee when they stand in dumb shit all the time (remember, they aren’t people).

Healing is both a mentality and a playstyle. When I go to raids on my Rogue, I’m thinking almost the entire time “man it would be great if I had another shaman to run through this stuff twice!” The amount of control that is given to the healing crew is immense compared to the DPS, especially in Icecrown Citadel. Same with tanking. I was slightly disappointed how much the job of the tanks was simplified in Tier 10. There are 2, maybe 3 fights that truly challenge tanks to play at the top of their game. I liked being able to lean on tanks to really show their stuff, but now I lean heavily on healers. Giving up that responsibility and control is hard to do.

The last portion of that quote is exactly why it would be a terrible idea: encounter balance. There’s already enough issues getting classes of the same role balanced well. The see-saw of balance teeters back and forth a lot every expansion as is. Adding the ability for healers to DPS throws it on another axis. So now the see-saw is teetering back and forth and spinning at the same time. Trying to keep it straight would be nearly impossible. Druids might get some super powered moon doom blast and be able roll hots, making them even better than Shamans on AoE fights.

And we can’t have that.

So in short, to all the healers that want to be able to do DPS and heal at the same time, reroll or respec and leave the hard job to those of us that actually care. [MMO-Champion]

Shaman 4 Piece: Crafted Legs vs. Badge Gloves

For some reason this question has been presented to me lately quite often, and I’ve seen it pop up more and more around some of the more popular theorycrafting sites. I currently use the Sanctified Frost Witch’s Handguards and the Crafted Legs (Lightning-Infused). Technically, down to the raw HEP, the combo of Badge Gloves (Blizzard Keeper’s) and Tier 10 Legs (264) comes out 1.6HEP ahead of the Tier 10 Gloves/Crafted Legs combo. [LifeInGroup5, high five to VixsinVixsyn]

Continuing with Vixsyn’s HEP numbers (1SP = 2 Haste = 1 Mp5 = 0.8 Crit = 0.8 Int), upgrading to iLevel 277 Legs will be a gain of 53.4 HEP. Using that same conversion when upgrading the Tier 10 Gloves to 277 we get:

10 Crit + 11 Int = 16.8 HEP

18 SP + 5 mp5 = 23 HEP

+39.8 HEP

-53.4 HEP

-13.6HEP – 1.6HP = -15.2 HEP

So assuming you use the T10 Gloves/Crafted Legs combo, and are planning on upgrading to iLevel 277, you’re looking at a loss of 15 HEP. Considering that’s equivalent to 15 SP, that’s not an insignificant loss, however, there aren’t many people out there that will be capable of getting that upgrade for some time, probably not until it no longer matters.

Speed of Gearing

The Tier 10 legs cost 95 badges. Since you also need to buy the gloves, you also need to spend 60 badges on the gloves as well. The crafted legs, while Saronite is purchasable on the Auction House, can be obtained strictly through the AH if one desires (and now, Frozen Orbs). When gearing an alt or getting up to speed, the efficient way to use your badges would be to go for the Head/Shoulders/Chest/Gloves/Crafted Legs combination. My Frost Emblem gear buying order if I were a new shaman would be something along the lines of:

  1. 251 Shoulders – 60
  2. 251 Gloves – 60
  3. Waistband of Despair  -60
  4. Purified Lunar Dust – 60
  5. 251 Helm – 95
  6. 251 Chest – 95

Weighing everything together: Speed of gearing, availability of tokens, and overall effective healing, I think they come out a wash. For me, I will likely upgrade my other pieces that have haste to 277 before going to my gloves (or legs). For those that have not yet killed The Lich King and are still trying to get the most out of their badges with some extra cash sitting around, go for the Crafted Legs.

Nobody’s situation is the same, but given how easy it is to acquire (the required) two piece bonus via Shoulders/Gloves from a badge perspective, you wouldn’t go and grab the legs until you had everything else. Using the above progression, you might want to switch over to min/max. Here’s what you would be spending to gain 1.6 HEP:

  1. 155 Frost Badges
  2. 4 Quick King’s Ambers
  3. Spellthread for Pants
  4. Glove Enchant (Engineers or +SP)

You could take those frost badges and convert them back into saronites to get the money back you spent on craftables (or even pick up the crafted boots). From my perspective, I don’t see any reason to switch over to the other combination unless you’re sitting in line waiting for your 4th iLevel 277 token.

(Edit: Realized there were a few more gearing options)

Rippling Flesh Kilt

Unclean Surgical Gloves(Heroic)

The legs are an option if you don’t wish to go for the crafted item. Also, if you are farming Festergut Heroic (25 Man), the Unclear Surgical Gloves + Tier 10 Legs end up being the best combo, but again, the availability of that loot at this time is very low.

Festergut Heroic Mode

The cosmic combination of Spring Break, University Exams, and some tragic IRL occurrences of some of our guild mates has put our hard mode progression on hiatus for the past couple weeks. We were incredibly successful the first week, so I have no doubt we’ll be back in the saddle and ready to roll up Deathwhisper/Saurfang/Festergut and start in on the last two end-wingers in no time.

Back to Festergut. This large-boned individual has been our focus the past couple days as we do what we can while missing 9-12 of our regular DPS. Going at this guy with 7 healers was comfortable, but we knew that dropping to 6 was going to be required in order to meet the DPS requirement. Our best attempts with 7 healers left us just under 10 Million HP short of a kill. Dropping a healer for one of our better DPS is a minimum 3M damage boost off that total. Removing a few extra hybrids and playing better on the malleable goo will easily get us a kill on Monday.

Speaking of Malleable Goo…Patch 3.3.3 introduced a nice change to the encounter: a green pool appears where Putricide’s Malleable Goo will land (under a person’s feet or roots). This makes avoiding the goo and determining where it is headed MUCH easier than it was previously, which drops this boss’ difficulty roughly in line with Rotface. For those who cry “NERF”: I wouldn’t call it a nerf, I would call it a fix. The malleable goo in the Putricide encounter is targeted at a player, meaning you can determine it’s trajectory very easily. This was almost impossible on Festergut, requiring some really weird positioning and spreading to get a clear view of exactly which direction it was headed. The goo puddle isn’t easy to see in the gas, but it is there, and it is very helpful. However, it does not trivialize a very challenging encounter.

Spore management and conscientious healer movement are key here. Our positioning was set up so the healers were positioned near Festergut, and we tried to move the spores to places where healers would not have to make long jaunts to get Inoculated.

My personal healing strategy for this was to riptide the tanks or vile gas targets to boost my chain heals. Make sure you inform your raider friends that they don’t have to spread out extremely far. You can easily be within chain heal jump range. Single target chain heal hits make me a sad, sad, panda. Occasionally I threw out a LHW to a raider in an unusual amount of distress.

Cooldown Areas:

  • GS/PS/Sacrifice on tanks after their shield wall goes down during the third inhale
  • Aura Mastery/Div Sac after the first and fourth Spores explode. The Blighted Spores debuff can tick for as much as 6k per second.
  • HEROISM: If you’re DPS are double-potting (they are double potting right?), then you should be able to safely hit heroism right after everyone resets their position after the 3rd spore to get that second pot lined up just right.
  • Iceblock is handy for mages to minimize their movement completely for the first 3 Spores + Expunge

Go Pens

Beat those damn Flyers and get back on track! Have a good weekend, folks. Ridiculous hockey photo to close it all out:

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One Response to Shotgun Friday: Random thoughts on healing and WoW news

  1. […] I detailed our strategy for Festergut here. […]

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