Posted by: regpriest | May 11, 2010

Gems. They’re Truly Outrageous.

It is a known fact that I do not crunch numbers. I don’t have the attention span for it. This, no doubt, affects my ability to pull down the BIG green numbers. But I am not a hardcore raider, and my raid isn’t super hardcore. (Unless by “hardcore” you are referring to pornographic conversation, in which case, we’re XXX) I don’t “theorycraft”, I don’t have a spreadsheet.  If I need to add numbers to figure out a piece of gear, this is what I do:

“Hey, Husband? Will you add these two numbers for me so that I can continue to let my brain stagnate and become atrophied from lack of use?”

“Regatta, use the damn calculator function on your computer, can’t you see that I am extremely busy launching cars off cliffs in this unidentifiable Xbox 360 game?”

Then I ask myself out loud why I married a man who cares so little for me he won’t do simple math to make my life easier.

My point is, I am so lazy… so, so lazy.  I don’t know if this is the 100% perfect most awesome way to gem, but I do know that it works for me. And people survive my healing so something is going right! So if some dude-bro on your realm forums Armory Critiques you and makes fun of your gemming, tell him you got your gemming advice from someone with an atrophied brain who can’t even name Xbox games where you can launch cars off of cliffs.

When gemming, a disc priest should be looking for 3 main stats*. Spell Power, Intellect, and Crit. After that, Spirit, Haste, MP5. But how do you decide when you’ve got enough SP, and if you need more Int? Well, I tend to set goals for my stats, such as, 1500 Int. or 30% holy Crit. Then once I hit that number (that really only means something to me) I move on to my next stat goal. I tend to gear, gem, and enchant like a mage (with the exception of haste). I like my big mana pool, I like my crits (and crits = Divine Aegis).

Now that that is out-of-the-way:

Regatta’s Completely Biased Guide to Gemming:

(Note: I’m putting blue quality gems in this list for a few reasons. 1: When you’re leveling you do not want to spend ass loads of gold to gem gear you’re just going to replace in a few levels and B: Sometimes you have an empty slot, no gold, and it’s Raid start time. In those cases you just need something to shove into that slot until you have the gold or the time to get the gold. Also note, I am not including JC only gems.)








Now these are the ones you’ll be looking at primarily. Which one of these you’ll use depends entirely on your “magic numbers”, but now you’ll have a jumping off point to decide which ones you need, and you’ll know which ones to spend badges on, and what you’re looking to get cut when you go knocking on the door of your friendly neighborhood jewelcrafter.

*stats subject to change for Cataclysm. Once the priest changes are set and announced  I’ll redo the gem/enchant/spec/glyph posts as needed.

Posted by: regpriest | March 22, 2010

RP Tipshop: RPing a Pregnancy.

Another post! Not priest related, but RP related! I enjoy RP as much as I enjoy priesting. Which is quite a bit. I see it first as a means of flexing my writing muscles (in the armpit, right next to the tickly spot). I write for a genre that isn’t my preferred genre, which in turn, pops me out of my comfort zone and forces creativity. When I reach for a book, it is not likely to be fantasy or sci-fi. It is more likely to be horror or suspense. The more violent and gory the better. I find though, writing for a genre I don’t prefer and am not familiar with (outside of movies, where I am open to anything but insipid “chick flicks” or mafia movies) has made me a much better writer, and I have found myself able to create what I feel are more realistic characters. It’s always a goal of mine to make my character feel like someone that could really exist. Part of creating a character that feels like a person and not a character, is a little bit of research. Which brings me through the tangent and to the point of my post.

There are many websites and blogs that feature the various poorly written rsp’s that one can find on any given RP server in WoW. Sometimes they will highlight particularly bad stories. One recent one I saw has made me certain that what a bunch of these people need is a crash course in various aspects of biology. And with that, I give you:

Regatta’s Guide to Writing Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth.

Discovering Your Pregnancy or You Can’t Unscrew a Light Bulb.

Some women “just know”, some women take a pregnancy test every day for a month, some women find out while they’re in labor. As Azeroth is a fantasy/medieval setting, try to stick as closely as possible to older methods of pregnancy detection. This Page has some great information on ancient pregnancy detection. It would be well within the realm of possibility for any of the early uses to be used in Azeroth. Add to this that Azeroth is world of magic, and you could also, conceivably have midwives who are able to divine a pregnancy. Sending your possibly knocked up character to the magical midwife and having her pregnancy confirmed by ritual or rite, would fit quite well within the world.

Gestation and Major Milestones or Counting Down the Days.

Human gestation is 40 weeks, or 9 months for you traditionalists. Yes, I realize that 40 weeks adds up to 10 months, but don’t you dare tell a pregnant woman that or you will make her cry. The first 12 weeks are when most miscarriages occur, and it is entirely conceivable that a woman might not even know she was pregnant when she miscarried. So in the first trimester, it is highly unlikely that one would give birth to a child at 11 weeks, and see a recognizable child. Here’s a Wikipedia article on fetal development that gives you approximate sizes of the fetus at each week.

Around 13 weeks a mother may start feeling movement. Some women don’t feel it until later, this is usually a result of their weight, or how the baby is laying in the womb. If they’re facing the mother’s back, she’s not likely to feel much, if any, movement. Facing front, more likely. If you are slender or have a shorter torso, you may feel movement sooner. If you are heavier, or have a longer torso, you may not feel it until later.

Around 16 weeks a baby will be able to hear voices, and at 18 weeks may startle at loud noises.

At week 19 (ish) an ultrasound can show recognizable genitals.

Growing and Showing or Are You Pregnant or Just Fat?

Just as every woman is different, so is every pregnancy. When you show depends on the same things as feeling kicks. The length of your torso, your weight, how you carry, and whether or not you have been pregnant before.  Some women show almost instantly, some don’t show until the very end. Some woman have a big round belly, some women have tiny bellies. Some woman carry it all in the front, some all in the butt. Just take your description of your character’s height and weight, decide if they have a long or short torso (Some people have their height in their legs, some in their torso) and then figure it out from there. If you have a short, heavy woman, with a long torso, then maybe she’d start obviously showing around 30 weeks. If you have a tall gangly lady with a short torso, she’d show earlier, maybe 20 weeks.  Keep this stuff in mind when walking through your pregnancies.

Multiples or Your Uterus is Not a Clown Car

How many babies ya’ got in there anyway, homeslice? While twins and even triplets are fairly common, the higher the number of babies you cram in there, the lower the odds. Natural quads are 1 in 730,000. That should give you an idea of how rare it is to have a natural multiples of higher numbers. Remember, Azeroth is a pseudo fantasy world. While come form of magical fertility treatment could be possible, don’t go over board, as the higher the number of babies, the higher the health risks to them.

Labor and Delivery or Push ’em out, Shove ’em Out, Waaaaay OUT!

Some things to note. Women rarely deliver on their due date. The water does not always break to start the labor. It can take hours to give birth. It can take minutes to give birth. It HURTS. It is exhausting. It is messy. It is smelly. It is gory. The mother can die during labor. The child can die during labor. Sometimes you can push so hard you break blood vessels in your face.The long and the short: it’s a lot of work.

Sometimes you can push and the baby won’t come out.  A Caesarian section might be done then. While the mortality rate for this procedure is now low, in 1865 it was 85%. It would be safe to assume that in a medieval setting the mortality rate would be as high, if not higher. However, because of the many healing magics in Azeroth, one could also assume that, in this case, the mortality rate would be much lower. You could use either and be perfectly logical.

Some resource to help you with your RP pregnancy:

Pregnancy Week by Week

Preparing for Labor and Delivery

More Detailed Than My Guide

Posted by: regpriest | March 22, 2010

Uninspired, or just lazy?

Inspiration comes and goes. If writer’s block is a drought in creativity, I’ve been traveling through the desert on a horse with no name. I have noticed that spring and summer inspire me the most. My falls are filled with real life activity and my winters are filled with desires to nap excessively.  Spring and summer I spend a lot of time outside, and a lot of time thinking, and the result is inspiration.

I think another thing that has stalled me in WoW writing is the approach of Cataclysm. I have big, terrible plans for Reg, and the result is a feeling that, until I can put those plans in action, there’s no point writing for her. I figured, I’ll just raid and wait for Cataclysm. But just yesterday, it dawned on me. Regatta is forsaken. She is heading deep into the Lich King’s lair.

How would she feel about that? Sure I’ve written her as never having been scourge. So I have to wonder, how would she feel going in there? Would she fear that she could turn? Or that she might be killed and rise as a Death Knight? And how would her Death Knight boyfriend feel about her heading in there? Would he be worried for her?

Before I knew it, I had the kernel of a story.

What do you all do when you get a creative drought? Do you have predictable cycles? Has Cataclysm stalled your writing too?

Posted by: regpriest | August 31, 2009

RP and Thee, Part 1: Mary Sue, heal thyself.

Or, how to know when it’s time to send the “It’s All About Me Dancers” home.

Sometimes, in my writing, I find it hard to turn them away. They stand there, in their feathered headdresses and spangly outfits, with glee in their eyes, totally willing to dance my praises. And sometimes, I will write out an entire story about how totally awesome Regatta is, and how she will single handedly SAVE THE WORLD! Then I look at them, standing there, ready to go, and hit delete, and send them home.

The thing about the game is, in quests and the like, the game tells you that you are THE ONE. But honey, the game says that to all the girls. It just wants to get in your pants. Now, there will be no slut shaming from me. If you want to roll in the hay with the game, by all means, do it, but don’t delude yourself. You are not THE ONE. Thee game already has THE ONE, and they are called NPCs.

But how do you know what is a logical assumption based on lore and game mechanics, and what is just pure hubris? This is where we look to the game, and let it tell us. For instance, Reg speaks Common. While she can not converse with Alliance characters because of game mechanics, the various NPCs in the game imply it should be otherwise. Forsaken and Human speak to each other, Dwarves and Trolls, Night Elves and Blood Elves. And all of them speak to the PCs. It is a logical assumption that your characters should be able to speak to others in the opposite faction. It is solely a game mechanic (put in to discourage trash talking and general douchebaggery) that keeps you from doing it. In Reg’s case, since she is Forsaken, why wouldn’t she remember how to speak Common? It’s her mother tongue. She can remember her life (as many Forsaken do) and therefore, should remember that language. Why would death suddenly make her know how to speak Orcish and Gutterspeak, but not remember Common? Seems silly, right? With language, there really is no logical reason why your character couldn’t learn any of the ones in game, if they have the desire. While they can not speak them in game, they can in stories. Of course, if you’re a strict “in game” RPer, it probably wouldn’t be logical to have your character speak any languages other then the ones assigned it. But if you do both, I say, have at it.

Another example is the moment that sends your character into the fray. What was it that made them go off to training that first day? For Reg, she caught the plague, died at home, rose, and was shuffled off to Deathknell by her family. I made this major assumption because I have watched a ton of zombie movies, and know human nature just as well as the next human. From Night of the Living Dead’s Barbara’s response to seeing her brother Johnny as a zombie, to Shaun of the Dead’s Shaun keeping his dear departed best friend in the garden shed, humans have shown how incredibly difficult it is to let go of the one’s they love. It is not out of line to assume that humans in Azeroth might react the same way. Use logic, and humility to determine your characters motivations. If you worry that you may be going overboard with the dramatic background story, ask your friends to read it and critique. Good friends will be kind, constructive, and detailed.

Another common “center of the universe” issue I see is in regards to a character’s power/ability/strength. There’s quite a lot of debate about whether or not it’s “fair” to base your character’s strength or abilities solely on in game mechanics. A while ago, on my realm’s forums, someone tried to start an RP movement to stop using duels as a means of settling in game disputes. The reasoning was that some people didn’t have epic gear, or weren’t good at PvP, or have not leveled up to end game might loose a duel, when their character was meant to be a big bad ass. There was much debate about things like writing checks ones in game ass can not cash, and whether or not people “wasted their lives” leveling up, raiding, or PvPing. But the main thing, for me, is what if someone else wrote their character to be even MORE of a bad ass than yours? Why should they even bother wasting their time with a fight with your character? Why should they bother rolling for superiority? It all goes back to my previous point, the only “ONES” in the game are NPCs. At some point, your character would be bested, and if you want your character to be realistic, you’re character should be bested. I don’t care how much training he’s had, how many notches are in his belt, he is not “THE ONE”. And while someone decked in the best PvP gear, at the top level may beat your character when you didn’t want to loose, you will still come out on top.

Because both you, and your character, will have learned humility.

Posted by: regpriest | August 24, 2009

Turn and face the strange… CHANGES!!!

ZOMG. Expansion Pack. Who else is so excited they could poop? Well… that may be going a bit too far, but I am amped to hell and back. I love the idea of remaking the old world. I love the feeling that, finally, playing for nigh on 5 years will be rewarded, and not just by saying “I remember when the AQ gates opened!!”  We’ll be genuine old salts. We can sit in our rockers on the front stoop of that crappy hut that serves as Org’s sole inn, and say “Man… I remember when Thousand Needles was a desolate wasteland of boring quests…” It’s exciting to me.

New races? FUN! I already have my goblin thought out. Outlandos d’Amour (to complete my Police Album Trilogy of characters), a cross between Pepe LePew and a mob boss. I think he’ll be a rogue. He’s gonna put the moves on my bff’s soon to be Troll druid. It’ll be hilarious. My worgen will probably be a paladin, and I intend for her to either sound like a 1940’s plucky gal (“Awww shucks fellas, I didn’t mean to let you all die.” *scuffs toe of boot on the ground*) or like Bessie Higgenbottom from The Mighty B (“You guysh! Thish ish sho shweet!”). As you can tell I’m heavily into pop culture refrences for my characters. Blizzard and I have that in common.

For my current characters, I am excited about the changes the Cataclysm will bring them. Mostly Reg, my main. Her back story is essentially that she died and rose in her family home. Her family managed to get her to Deathknell, where she could be amongst “her own kind” and therefore avoid being killed by the village elders. I know this is probably a controversial stance to take with an undead, and probably pretty Mary Sue-ish, but I just can’t imagine a family loosing their child, and then, having them wake up, physically changed, but mentally still themselves, and letting them be killed out of fear. I’ve seen a million zombie movies, and one thing they all have in common is that one character can not just let the mob kill their loved one, even if they are currently munching on their armpit. I also find it hard to believe that once Sylvanas was in charge that some Forsaken wouldn’t wake up and hear her, instead of the Lich King. I play Regatta as if there’s many like her. She’s always shocked when other Forsaken say they’re not in contact with their family anymore, since she is, through letters. And yeah, I also play her as remembering how to speak Common, because it is just freaking ridiculous to me that she’d remember her former life, but forget how to speak a language she’s spoken her whole life.

Anywhoodle, I’ve decided to kill her family. Well, most of her family. She has 9 brothers, and I figured one or two of them might not have been home at the time, so they’d probably have been ok. I think it will be a defining moment for her. She’s kind of always straddled both worlds, which I’ve really enjoyed writing. I like that after the death of her family, all she’ll have left is the Horde. (And her fiance from her living life, who is now a Death Knight and lives entirely in my head and not in the game at all, since I think he’d still be human and not Forsaken, and that’s problematic in game. He’s dead though. I just want to put that out there…)

Is it bad? Is Reg’s background Mary Sueish? Is her soon to be story line Mary Sueish? Eeek!

Posted by: regpriest | August 11, 2009

I Can’t Glyph, if Glyphing is Without you!!

Yeah… that’s kind of a stretch… even for me. Well, I’m running with it!

So now you’ve speced your brains out, and find yourself with empty glyph slots and a sack full of change with which to fill them. Don’t stand outside the shop window whimpering like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (“I have to buy a dress, and I have alll thi-his mun-knee!!!”). So let me be your hotel fashion lady (her name was Bridget, I looked it up on IMDB. That’s how committed I am to the Pretty Woman simile). I am your Bridget.

Your Major Glyphs:

Power Word: Shield

First, and most important, is your Power Word: Shield glyph. As I said in in the spec post, PW:S is the most important part of your healing repertoire as a Discipline priest. This glyph is one of the reasons why. It heals your target (and benefits from Grace) when it lands. So you heal and shield at the same time. With this glyph, PW:S can save the day often.

I think it’s pretty obvious why you want to glyph Penance. As your main heal, it’s important to have the cooldown as low as possible.

I chose to glyph Prayer of Healing because the spell itself is now a kind of AoE projection heal. Granted it only heals the folks in the target’s party, but it’s still nothing to shake a stick at. Another good glyph would be Holy Nova. It’s a great, “Holy Crap!!” spell for when you have to heal your party and you have to do it now. It’s only really good if you’re close to your party members, and no CC is happening. Which is why I chose to glyph PoH instead.

Your Minor Glyphs:

I have found that most minor glyphs don’t do what you wish they would. The Fortitude glyph is an exception. Prayer of Fortitude has always been a mana suck kind of spell, and cutting the cost by 50% is a beautiful thing.

I chose to glyph Fade for a few reasons, 1- though it’s very rare for me to wrestle aggro from my uber tanks, sometimes it happens, and fade can save my life, and my mana, so that I can live to heal another day. 2- The glyph was in the guild bank already. :p

Levitate is a fun spell. It can be helpful when jumping off things, or when falling off things. It can make you look ultra cool, floating around Orgrimmar while waiting for the raid to start. And now it’s castable on others so you can make everyone and their pet float too! With this glyph you can cast it on anyone walking by and don’t have to worry about farming dumb light feathers anymore.

Granted, these are just my glyphs, and I’ve chosen them based on my personal healing style (more for the Major Glyphs) and whatever was lying around (more for the Minor Glyphs). Those are things you’re going to want to take into account when you glyph yourself. But generally, that’s what you’ll be using. Mostly because, there aren’t that many different glyphs out there.

Good luck and watch out for flying escargot. (See? Totally committed to it.)

Posted by: regpriest | August 10, 2009

Let’s Talk About Spec, Bay-bee!!!

The chances are, if you’re reading this, you are either a Discipline priest, thinking about being a Discipline priest, or, more likely, someone who knows me and reads my inane ramblings because they like me and want me to feel like someone gives a crap about what I have to say. I think, no matter what camp you’re in, this might be an informative little stroll through the inner workings of Discipline priesthood.

I want to talk about the must have Discipline talents. I want to tell you what they are, what they do, and why you need them in your life. Granted this is all in my personal, and extremely biased, opinion. But I’ve been healing in Ulduar 25 man for a while now, and it works out pretty well! Now, we’re not doing hard modes or anything wild and crazy like that, but I have managed to keep my fellow raiders alive, and that’s saying something, since they all seem to be suicidal.

So without further ado, The “Must Have” talents for Discipline (in my opinion), and why.

My current spec, and the one I favor is 54/17/0.  There are some talents you can live without, and others that you really shouldn’t.I spent some points on things I really prefer to have, that other people feel would be better spent elsewhere, but they work for me. So keep that in mind when assigning your talent points. I have put the “Must Have” talents in italics.

Discipline Tree:

1/1 Inner Focus: This is my preference entirely. I like to have a variety of options for those fights that are so mana intense that I dip below %50. This is a handy little spell that let’s me get at least a shield up on my target, if the times are tough. A lot of folks feel that point could be spent better in the Holy tree, but I figure, it’s nice to have.

3/3 Improved Power Word Shield: Your PW:S is one of your base spells. In fact, the lower half of the Discipline tree rests on it’s capable shoulders. To go without, is ridiculous.

1/1 Soul Warding: Makes your shield cost lest mana, and reduces the cooldown. This is an inherent good.

1/1 Power Infusion: What used to be a “Must Have” has been reduced to merely a “Sure, if you want” spell. I keep it because I love my mages, and since I often roll on their gear, it’s only fair I give them some love. If you need that point to put elsewhere, or your mages are jerks, by all means, put the point somewhere else. My mages happen to rock the house. Though I often forget I have the spell and therefore they don’t get it as often as they’d probably like.

2/2 Renewed Hope: You don’t have a choice. Take this talent or you will be tarred and feathered. Your main heals (from flash heal, greater heal (you probably won’t be using that sucker) or penance) get a 4% crit boost on folks who are affected by Weakened Soul (your PW:S effect) and every time you cast PW:S on someone you get a buff that affects the entire party/raid and reduces the damage taken by 3%.

3/3 Rapture: Every time a shield pops, you get 2.5% of your total mana back.  But wait! There’s more! The shielded target gets one of a few fabulous prizes! Either: 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy, or 32 runic power. I wanted to make a joke about the Blondie song here, but I’d be reaching.

2/2 Aspiration: 20% reduction in the cooldown of all your bread and butter spells, and your Panic Button (Pain Suppression). Jolly good.

3/3 Divine Aegis: Also known as PW:S 2: Electric Boogaloo. Or, Pretty Bubble! Anytime one of your heals crits on a target, this pops up to absorb 30% of their damage for 12 seconds. PoM will proc it (currently broken thatnks to the latest patch, the DA will end up on you instead of your target) , if you glyph your PW:S (and you’d better!!!) the heal from that will proc it too. A second shield is never a bad thing. It also stacks with your PW:S.

1/1 Pain Suppression: Unlike PI, I really feel no one should do without this spell. It’s a great panic button for when your tank is taking on too much damage, or if you hit the BG’s, it’s great for cheesing off whoever is trying to make you into a walking colander. This is your Panic Button.

2/2 Grace: Back in the old days, Grace used to be so much more, but it’s been nerfed nearly every patch since Wrath’s release. It’s still very useful giving your target 3% extra healing from you (and all of your spells, passive or otherwise) for 15 seconds. It stacks up to 3 times, and it is a good friend, and will even lend you money*. (* note: Grace is not sentient, and does not have pockets, and therefore can not lend you any money.)

5/5 Borrowed Time: After you cast PW:S a lot of things happen. You get passive healing from the glyph, you get passive buffs, you get mana back, and with Borrowed Time, you’ll get 25% spell haste and extra absorption of 40% of your spell power.

1/1 Penance: If you go all the way to the bottom of the Discipline tree and don’t pick this up you are a lost cause and will have to live outside of society until you can behave properly. It heals, it does damage, it slices, it dices, it julianes. It procs Grace, Renewed Hope, Aspiration, and Divine Aegis. It’s a LAZER!!!

Holy Spells:

3/3 Improved Renew: I took this, even though Renew doesn’t proc  DA, because it will benefit from Grace, and it’s a great way to pad your tank/mages/warlocks/rogues in heavy damage situations. A lot of people feel differently. I really think it just depends on the kind of healer you are.

5/5 Holy Specialization: Increases your crit chances with holy spells by 5%. Always good to have,

3/3 Inspiration: If you get a crit on your target with any of your healing spells (except Renew or the Shield glyph) it reduces your target’s physical damage taken by 10%. Because every little bit of padding helps.

2/3 Improved Healing: I only have 2/3 because that’s all I had left point wise. I’m sure some reshuffling will help, but that’s what I have now. It reduces mana cost, and whenever you can reduce mana cost, you should.

I hope this has given everyone some idea about Discipline priest talents. What they do, why they do it, and a little bit about what the roll of “Damage Mitigator” actually means. Next time, I’ll focus on glyphs, and what they can add to your healing.

Posted by: regpriest | August 7, 2009

Watch this space…

Probably sometime in the next few days (I’m hoping for tomorrow) I’ll be putting in a breakdown of the Disc priest spec, including must have talents and glyphs and suggestions for gems and enchants.

Super busy last few weeks have made WoW not as big of a draw as it usually is, but last night’s near victory (and tonight’s inevitable victory) over Thorim have reminded me why I love my class and spec so very much.

It is so very satisfying to run into the fray with your friends, and to come out the other side, alive.

Happy raiding!

My last self important ramble focused on what you can do to gather up the courage, and fortitude to heal a party. This one is going to focus on your fellow party members, and how you can bridge the gap, when they still haven’t sought help for that horrible aggro addiction they have. There’s a bit you can do, as the disc priest, to keep everyone up and to avoid multiple wipes. You can even do it without bruising egos! It’s true!

First Issue: My Tank can’t keep aggro! If the mob jumps on you after it’s engaged, you can do a few things to minimize your attractiveness to the mobs.

  1. Save Prayer of Mending for after the first few hits. When it procs, it can attract undue attention to you, especially if your Tank is new, under geared, or under whelming.
  2. Wait until your Tank is at 80% health before you cast that first heal. It gives your Tank time to get the mobs attention,  and keep it.
  3. Fade. Enough said.
  4. Pain Suppression for yourself! It reduces threat, as well as giving you the ability to survive a little longer if the mob turns it’s tender affections on to you.

Small note: If your Tank is inexperienced, under geared, or under whelming, don’t use Pain Suppression on them. They’re scraping for all the threat they can get, don’t make it hard for them.

Second Issue: My DPS keeps dying! Let them die. That’ll learn ’em!

I’m kidding!  Shields, renews, and PoM can help keep them up, but also, Pain Suppression. It’ll pull their threat down a hair, and perhaps send a message that they might want to pull it back in a little.

Your go to tools for instances and parties like these are always going to be Fade, Pain Suppression, PW:S, PoM, and Renew. If there’s no CC going on, a glyphed Holy Nova is a Godsend. You probably won’t have enough time to devote to bandaging your dps if you’ve got a really hairy fight going on, but if you do have the time but don’t feel you can waste the mana, go for it. But above all of these things, the best tool you’ll have is a positive attitude. Keep pressing on, never say die, Keep Calm and Carry On, and all that jazz. Your group will be getting coarse and unhappy by the third or fourth wipe, if you can keep positive, and not reduce yourself to frothing at the mouth and swearing, you just may be able to turn the whole thing around.

In the end, you can only control what you do, and how you react to a miserable situation. If it becomes too much to bear, try and be kind, excuse yourself (for whatever reason) apologize profusely and leave quickly. Your reputation will be your best tool, and being kind, calm, and courteous will go a long way. In WoW, unlike the real world, your good name means something, make sure you cultivate it.

We all know I love healing as Discipline. But some people are not so keen on having a Discipline priest heal them outside of a PvP situation. I know, I know, in this day and age, when Discipline has been shown to be much more flexible than people thought, how could anyone kick up a fuss?! Well, some folks stick hard and fast to the mores of the past. Things like, “Don’t shield the Warrior!” *cough* This means you have to show them the error of their ways. 😉

You learn the most, when you heal a bad group. It’s easy to heal good players, it’s easy to heal experienced players. But when you’re in a heroic with a bunch of noobs, and you all come out with a tiny repair bill, well that’s a major accomplishment! Just look at all the things a PUG can teach you:

  • Priority. Just who gets the heals, and who makes do with shields, and who to turn your attentions to next when the Tank drops.
  • What to do when all hell breaks loose. We’ve all been in that situation. The tank goes down despite your best efforts, and immediately afterward so does the Warlock. The boss is close to dead, and it’s just you, a Rogue, and an enhancement Shaman. A lot of folks in that situation might give up. But not you. No, you, are dedicated. You have moxie kid. So you stick it out, even when the Rogue drops. Even when the Shaman goes toes up. At the end, it’s you, the boss with a sliver of life, and your SW:D. And somehow, you kill him. Then promptly fall over dead yourself. But hey! The guy died right?!
  • Diplomacy, or as I call it “How to Soothe the Savage Ego”. Let’s face it. Sometimes, you’re going to be dealing with folks who have some “epeen” issues. You need to learn how to navigate those frothy waters without causing offense, or making your life any more difficult than it already is. Yes, you will be more understanding and kind than a lot of those people deserve, but think of it as karma. Would you want some one to tell you you’re stinking up the joint in the nastiest way possible or would you rather they very kindly took you aside and broke it to you gently?

Occasionally though, a PUG’s noobiness and epeen measuring can be too much. This is where the most important tool in a healers toolbox comes in handy. Confidence. Oh sure it’s easy to have confidence when you’ve been healing for years and have tons of wonderful, competent buddies to yank you through heroics, but what if you’re new to the server? Or new to the game? What if you’re very sensitive? Or pressure gets to you? Well, then it’s time for you to grow a callous. Would you have faith in a doctor who came in to the ER and smiled at you nervously before saying “I’m such a terrible doctor. But you know, hopefully I won’t kill you…” or “Stop screaming in pain!!!! I don’t work well under pressure!!!!” ? Granted, you’re hardly going to be in physical discomfort in the game, but you see what I’m getting at, right? It’s about trust. You’re a team, and you need to show those other 4, 9, or 24 people that they can trust you. How can they do that when you don’t even trust you?

“Well all right then, Reg.” you say, “How do I get this fabled Confidence?” There are some things you can do that might help. It helped me, and I can only hope it’ll help you too!

Heal PvP – “But I HATE PvP!!!” Yep. I said that too. And I really did hate PvP. Because I didn’t know what the heck I was supposed to be doing. But you would be surprised how shocking it is for people to get heals in a BG. They’re genuinely shocked, and excited when they get them. I think a lot of that is because anyone who heals is first on the Kill List for the other team, and as a result, most healers go immediately into defense mode. They start using their damage spells in an attempt to kill the guy smacking on them. Would you do that in a Heroic? No. You’d try and keep yourself alive, and hope someone gets to you in time. It’s pretty much the same thing. If you go in treating the BG as a large unpredictable instance, you’ll get that healing thing down. You never have to speak in /BG chat if you don’t want to, and if someone decides to harass you, it’s simple, don’t heal them, don’t buff them, and put them on ignore. It can be stressful to heal in a BG, but it can also be stressful to heal in a Raid. I think the thing for most people is it feels personal in PvP. But it’s not. They don’t know you from Adam, you may as well just be a random trash mob as far as they’re concerned. You can do it!

Make your priority list during buffs – If you know who your priority is before the fighting starts, you don’t have to scramble or try and decide when the time does come.

Talk to your tank – This is the most important of all. Talk to your tank, whoever they may be. Have open, constant dialogue. After a tough pull, ask them what they think you might be able to do better. Tell them if you need them to do something different. You and your Tank are the linchpins of the group, and it’s most important for you guys to know what the other is thinking the whole time.

Try to stick with friends – Yes, you can’t always get your friends to run instances with you, but if you’re just learning  or trying to cultivate some confidence, your friends are the best people for the job. They like you, so they’re going to be kinder, and more patient. If you’re new to the server or the game, it’ll be extra hard to do this, but the more open you are with your group about your abilities, and your willingness to learn, the easier and more pleasant it will be for everyone.

Part 2 of this series will be on what to do if *insert class here* sucks, and how you can keep them alive and keep your temper.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »