Coming up a little rant on healing and then a quick blurb on Halfus Wyrmbreaker
A quick excerpt from one of my first blog posts here at Borsked:
Without [these qualities]: confidence, the ability to work without thanks, adaptability; you are doomed as a healer. Accepting that you can’t heal and continuing to do so is a disservice to those you play with. It’s ok, healing is a deceptively hard job. It is one where mediocrity is celebrated and greatness is rarely noticed. You know you just saved the raid, but nobody cared, and nobody is really going to care when you say “we wouldn’t have won if I didn’t…” No. That is your job. If you aren’t making 3 to 4 raid saving heals a pull then you are not properly utilizing your ability.
DPSing and beating an enrage timer is acknowledged as a group failure. Seventeen players couldn’t get it done. Healing is nearly always boiled down to 1 or 2 individuals. If you cannot handle the blame of a wipe being placed on your shoulders then healing is not your game.
We aren’t the guys putting up the high scores, we’re the ones keeping the machine running.
It would be a moderate understatement to proclaim the current healing model is drastically different than previous expansions. More than ever healers are placed in a difficult position in heroics and raids. A sub-standard DPS or mishandling of mechanics can lead to a significant amount of damage that is (sometimes) un-healable.
But I’m not letting any of you off the hook.
This is what you signed up for. I’m not sure exactly when you clicked through and applied a healing spec to your favorite class, but depending on when that was probably has a lot to do with your current feelings toward the healing game in Cataclysm. It isn’t easy and it isn’t supposed to be easy.
As I had hoped and prayed for on this blog was that Blizzard would force me to intelligently use my global cooldowns. At this gear level, they have done that. If I mis-place a healing rain or cast too many chain heals on single targets, I will pay for it. If I cleanse the wrong players or double-cleanse when I don’t need to, I will pay for it. Every decision affects your mana bar. Choosing the right tool for the moment is exactly what healing is about and always will be about.
I’ve received tells from various players asking why healing is so hard and expressing that they might just go back to DPS after-all (some already have). Good. Wrath of the Lich King healing was too easy and now we’re all are suffering for it. Growing pains and adjustment are always a big part of a significant mechanics change.
I’ll admit that I’ve played poorly in some of our first few raids. Everything from over-healing to healing the wrong thing or simply just not casting enough. What’s good is that we’ve been successful and I can see some room for improvement. Playing a healer is no longer about how fast you can push those buttons but if you can push them quickly while using the correct spells.
To the players out there that are truly dedicated to healing and want to get better: stick with it. Just one week of heroic gear gave me a gigantic boost in my ability to heal through some of the worst situations. Now if a tank mis-pulls or breaks a CC early, I won’t have to scream for cooldowns. If you thought being a good healer before Cataclysm was an indispensable role, the need for solid healing is off the charts right now. You’ll get it, I have faith, but if you’re only going to complain about how hard it is and let groups wipe because you “can’t do it” then just roll a rogue and be done with it.
(editor’s note: this is not directed at you. maybe you, but definitely not you or anyone in particular)
I can still fondly remember those moments before pulling Chromaggus when we sat in anticipation; waiting to find out what combination of colors the server gods had graced us with this week. It’s now the same feeling I get as I round the corner to Halfus’ balcony in the Bastion of Twilight. There are some drakes that both grant Halfus an ability, but also hold their own ability to take it away should you set them free. You get 3 per reset and there are 5 total (2 deactivated for the week).
(editor’s note: this is all for the normal version. The priorities could be completely different on heroic)
Storm Rider: Grants Halfus Shadow Nova. Release the Storm Rider to make the Shadow Nova interruptable.
This is the “Bronze Aspect” (to borrow a Chromaggus phrase) of Halfus. It requires a melee kick rotation to prevent a large amount of shadow damage/knockback.
Time-Warden: Grants Halfus’ proto-drake a buffed version of his fireballs. Release the Time Warden to slow the fireballs (a puff of red fire will appear where a fireball will eventually land).
While this is actually a bronze dragon, it is an easy mechanic to deal with: just move. It will reduce your dps and healing because of the movement, but it’s only a little annoying.
Slate Dragon: Grant’s Halfus the ability Malevolent Strikes (stacking debuff reducing healing done, 30 second duration, 15 stacks =90% reduction).
Let it stack, switch tanks, tanks will swap when their debuff fades
Nether Scion: Increases Halfus’ attack speed by 100%. Releasing the dragon will debuff Halfus to negate the attack speed.
Whelp Cage: Contains several green whelps. Release them to reduce the damage done by the proto-drake’s fire breath (raid-wide AOE).
- Generally speaking, if we have 2 drakes, we release them both at the same time to nerf Halfus as much as possible
- Each drake is burned down and then the whelp cage is opened. Kill the whelps, burn down Halfus
- At 50% Halfus will gain a shout that will hit you 3 times in a row dealing physical damage on each hit (30 second cooldown).
- If you need to interrupt Shadow Nova (Storm Rider was active), you’ll need to either heal through it, have a mage blink through the 3rd shout tick, or have a paladin HoP an interrupter of some sort.
- Keep in mind the berserk timer. We lucked out out this week and the Slate Dragon’s debuff stunned Halfus as he enraged (giving us a kill over 30 seconds after).
(note: I’ve only ever seen 2 Drakes + Whelp Cage. I’m not entirely sure if you can get 3 drakes and no whelp cage)
And to sign off, Happy Festivus, everyone! Festivus:Yes. Bagels: No.