Friday, August 31, 2012

A day of crazy healing

I touched upon this the other day when I did Firelands, but I don't feel that I've captured my feelings on the matter properly, succinctly.  I want to write it all down so I remember exactly what was going on the day I tried to heal a raid post 5.0.4.  So that when I come back and look at it when I hit 90 I can laugh at myself for being a noob.

So we'll start at the beginning.

I didn't want to play the Beta.  Yes, I had a beta key, but I don't quite see the point of going out there and doing something and being a test dummy when there are plenty of other people to do that.  And I have better things to do with my time than do quests that I will be doing again and playing with a buggy World of Warcraft.  Yes, forgive me all those beta lovers and testers, but I like my World of Warcraft all polished, pretty and working as intended.

I was not ignorant of the changes to druids, I don't live under that big a rock.  I know about the fixed mana pool and the healing mushrooms.  I know that I need more spirit, and that I'm losing relics.  I was eager to test it out, because I like change, and everyone starts on the same boat again.

The patch was live when I was at work, so everyone else got to play with it before I did, and I was itching to get started because I had addons to fix, "talents" (I think of them more like bonus goodies) to add to my character, glyphs to change and reforging to do.  I work a long day, I leave at 630am and get back home 630pm, and raiding is at 8 or 830pm and I've got kids to put to bed, dinner to eat and get cleaned up after work before I can get on the computer.  So while I'm eating dinner and hubby is entertaining the kids, I jump on the computer and start sorting out my character.  Wow, why am I not haste capped anymore?  Oh right, relic is gone.  And Beru was trying 2600 spirit so I'll go try that too - luckily I was at 2500 so I ws close anyway.  So I reforge all my stuff, and I look sadly at my 102k mana pool and think geez, I hope this is gonna go ok.

Next step - Healbot.  OK, Healbot is not working.  I whinge on twitter about it, and people suggested trying one of the other ones.  I have never tried Vuhdo or Grid so I wasn't that keen to start.  Sev asked me to duel him outside so I went outside with no addons and see how it would be like to heal.  After all, back in Vanilla I used to heal with no addons and I was mouse clicking people and using my keybinds so maybe I can go back to that.

So we start duelling.  And OMG it was SHIT.

I'm so used to running with ASDW and clicking with my mouse that suddenly trying to run with my mouse and use my left hand to hit numbers 4 through to 0 is just wrong.  I can hardly move while I'm trying to heal, and though the healing seems to heal through Sev's damage I can't seem to get my mobility right.  There is no way I can do this for raid tonight.  Off I go and get Vuhdo.

I haven't got time to watch the youtube video, so I start setting up the click to heal part and that seems ok.  Geez these windows are small... oh right, here it is, I can change the size here.  Wow, this big red dot is ANNOYING.  Oh I get it, the hots appear on each corner of everyone's box, I can deal with this.  Oh but the red dot is on top of the lifebloom corner so I can't see how long it has left... Oh I haven't got time to sort this out, they're pulling trash already.  Crap, Aza died!  Sorry!!  I was trying to figure out this healing addon!!  Oh great, Aza's complaining at me for not healing, I didn't know he was going to seriously try to tank!

Damn how do I put the tanks together on Vuhdo?  Oh right, I can heal them from this tank window up the top here, that's handy.  Oh shit, Roshii died, because I didn't see his health because I was only looking at these tank windows.  OH GOD, where is healbot, I don't like this thing...

Back to twitter to search for whether anyone has said anything useful about healbot.  Nope.  Bloody hell, that doesn't help.

Souglyy told me she found a Healbot that works!  I have to go to forums and click on something... I'm trying to pull up the second screen while the tanks go and pull some more stuff and I'm trying to keep up with them whilst looking at my second screen.  Lushnek is telling me where to go and I'm stressing out trying to find that on the page while at the same time look at the game to heal the tanks.  Geez, what's wrong with Fue, why is he taking such a pounding??  He's going down like a sack of stones!

Lushnek sends me a link and I run off to click it and get this working healbot.  So I said in raid stop pulling I am logging out to get my healing addon and I download it, log back in and YAY!  Healbot is up, I see names on it and I just need to quickly fix these mouseclick binds and I'm good to go!

Victory number 1.

But, running around healing like I normally do, I noticed my mana is constantly below 50%.  This is crap.  I never run that low!  I need to be more conservative with my healing - god I don't even have time to get to try these mushroom things, I've already got mana issues, I don't want to be stuffing around planting mushrooms that won't get used, what a waste of mana.

Even the tanks noticed that healing was a bit off.  Well, we did start with Heroic Beth'tilac first, and that's not an easy fight to heal anyway.  Everyone died so quickly...

Oh crap, debuffs to dispel is not showing up on my healbot.  I squint at the Blizzard UI to see if there's anything I need to dispel.  God, this is not going well.

Wow, my healing on Rhyolith is really bad!  Bish easily outhealed me on that one.  Well, I died at the end but still... maybe priests aren't that weak after this patch after all!  And he's not even using lightwell!

Off to Baleroc and the flame buffs aren't showing!  OMG I have no idea why it's not showing!  I can't see my stacks, I can't see Bish's stacks and I have no idea if I have the mote or the primal buff for tank healing or crystal healing.  I have no idea how I managed to get through that boss with no idea of where I was up to on buffs... Bish was very patient and was telling me it looks like a mote of fire, but I know what it looks like, I JUST DON'T SEE IT ON MY BUFFS AND I DON'T KNOW WHY THE HELL NOT!!  Inside I was going crazy, healing like I've got a blindfold on.

So then we went to Majordomo and we were doing it on heroic and OMG after 7 swipes, not only was the raid looking dangerously low (even at just 4 swipes) but mana was at 20% as I ran out for jumping kitty phase.  HOLY CRAP.  I innervated, tree formed to try to conserve mana, and tried to heal the DPS so they could do their thing.  They beat the thing down before we even got the orbs out thank god, because that would have been crazy.  We did have a few wipes, but the kill attempt was clean.  And what is wrong with my Swiftmend, why is it working only half the time I'm clicking the button???  IT'S OFF COOLDOWN YOU STUPID ADDON!

Then we did Rag.  OMG, that was hard to heal.  I was OOM, and adds were getting to the hammer (well just one) and by the time we hit the fire bubbles that blow up phase I was at 10% mana.  And Fue was getting the crap beaten out of him, what was going on there?  Seven was looking pretty awesome with 256k health, talk about BUFFAGE.  But I did stupid things that caused wipes like getting blown up in the air and hitting travel form (or trying to) instead of kitty and dying when I hit the ground.  By the time we got to the meteor phase I was living off shreds of mana and this was NORMAL Ragnaros.  How on earth am I going to do heroic Dragon Soul if I can't even get my act together on normal Firelands?

I lost a lot of confidence in my ability to heal after that night.  So yesterday I thought I'd just test it out in PvP to see how it went.

I was duelling Shaba and normally I don't have much problems with surviving.  But OMG Shab was stealing all my hots and his mana didn't go down and I could not get away from him nor keep myself up - gone are the days where I could dot him up and let him get worn out and waste his cooldowns trying to get me because he burst me down and stole my heals and I was kersplat!  I mean, that's good for Shab so now he knows how to kill a druid, but now what am I going to do?  I can't use direct heals in PvP because counterspell will lock me out of my spell school for 6 seconds which IS BLOODY LONG.  It looks mages have become the new anti druid class.

So we go into a BG together and I was absolutely CANED.  I could hardly stay up.   I was focussed and squashed, spell stolen and silenced until I just wanted to scream in frustration at the computer.  But really, that always happens in PvP anyway, so I shouldn't really be surprised, and now that I look at it with the rectrospectoscope I realised I was getting caned because I was the only healer and I had 2-3 DPS on me and I was getting focussed so I was supposed to die.  Lousy game anyway, that AB.  We lost.

So I'm hoping for a run in Dragon Soul  SOMETIME this week so I can really test my skills.  I'm flasking spirit instead of Intellect and tempted to go fish for spirit food to keep my regen high, but I'm still nervous.  Maybe instead of 2600 spirit I should be running with 3000 spirit.  And why didn't I take those trinkets with spirit on them FFS.  Because regen trinkets I am sorely lacking - I still have my heroic Jaws of Defeat so that's good, at least.  Sigh.  Oh well, guess we'll see when we get to Dragon Soul... if not this week, then next week.

I think I dread everyone telling me how easy healing on the druid is now.  All day of patch day people were saying you'll be right, and were not happy with their DPS.  Unfortunately, none of them are healers for heroic Dragon Soul.  I just got my healing sorted and now I have to figure it out again.  Rotations are different now, mana is tight and I am trying to figure out how to work this new spell into my rotation or if it's even feasible.  You can't tank or dps when your healers can't keep you up.  I just hope people remember that, and realise that maybe, just maybe they have to rely on their defensive abilities or avoid more damage as they realise that I can't heal them through those little mistakes as much as I used to.

I think what I dread most is going out there onto the internet and reading other druids writing about how much easier it is, how great it is and how they're really OP now.  And yet here I am still struggling to feel comfortable in this new skin.  What does that say about me as a player?  I was looking forward to this... and now I can't even do what I was trying to do.  Am I getting old?  Too old to change my spots?

If this stupid laptop would patch I could go and console myself by playing with my stag form or orca form and take some pretty pictures.  Or maybe do a Mylune and surround myself with furry little creatures.  But no, I can't, I can only sit here and wonder about  how I can get my groove back, and hope that I don't let my team down when we raid again.  If we raid again.


30 comments:

  1. Oh Navi!

    I can help you with Vuhdo. It does take a moment to set up, but after that it is cake!

    Just ask Arv for my real ID to add me and we'll try to chat!

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    1. Aww Lyss! You're awesome! Will look for you :)

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  2. If you juke my cs with a fake cast, you'll be able to free cast for the next 20 seconds. You were doing a good job at using your knockback to interrupt me tho. That was annoying! I was wondering why you were chasing me down!

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    1. LOL I'm a bit dumb with the direction of my typhoon still so I need practice!

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  3. It's good you wrote it down to come back to later. It sounds like your problem is not enough time in that real life. I think I saw you in there and thought how in the world are you doing that already?

    I hope your laptop patches soon and you can enjoy running around as a stag which is about all I've done, oh, and bemoaning the loss of Leader of the Pack as I now get damaged doing the dailies in Tol Barad lol.

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    1. Yay I got it patched but it's a bit slower than it was before I think! I would love more time to play WoW, is that bad? :D

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  4. Oh Navi - hope you're sorted. I use Grid and clique to heal and both are working fine for me now. I found some very helpful guides on Murloc Parliament...

    Good luck! Hugs, Seph xx

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    1. Thanks Seph! I think I'm slowly getting back in the groove... still squishy as in PvP though :(

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  5. *hugs* it is SO frustrating when the addon you've been trusting forever goes haywire like that! I also use vuhdo, which does take a little bit more time to customize than healbot. I used healbot for all of BC though! I don't do much along the lines of heroic raiding, but I did feel the mana squeeze! I upped my nourish usage (instead of rejuv on folks who were just a little low) and it seemed to make my mana bar stay more stable. I tend to be a over-healing hot blanketing mean machine, so I did have to back off some.

    I found the shrooms to be ... meh ... however, they don't cost a lot of mana until you blow them up, so just placing them and not using them won't impact you too much. I used them on the spine when we collapsed to turn him, and on madness when we stacked for the meteor as well as for the hemorrhage...I just stacked them as we landed from jumpping! But I only used them for times like that.

    My addon annoyance was innervator2, it chimes when I get to 75 percent mana and then every time innervate comes up....except it was broke during the raid. I would look down and be below 50 percent and be like...OMG /flail

    You shouldn't question your ability as a healer though, you had very little time to prepare for the changes you worked through...in the usual circumstances, most of us would use a new addon outside of raid time for a few days to get used to it, and you had to do it on the fly! That's not bad healing!

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    1. It was very slap bang and I think that was what threw me off - that and trying to heal when I hadn't really tried it out much. I'm sure I'll be better in a few days!

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  6. I think everyone that didn't play on the beta was having trouble with the patch. I had tried to avoid reading about the changes too which made matters worse. They seem to have changed a lot of how classes play. All of my alts I'seem to have changed quite a bit too. I've spent three days just trying to figure out what has changed and get addons working. Thought I had my main spec figured out fairly well by wednesday night, and then get asked to tank instead! Tanks changed a lot apparently with the whole active tanking bit. Needless to say I had no clue what changed with guardian yet, and got my ass kicked the first few bosses as I tried to figure everything out while still tanking. I then spent all of last night tabbed out reading what's different and how to spec and glyph for some of my alts. I didn't actually get to play at all just read and then implement what I read adding glyphs, speccing, laying out new abilities keybinds.

    I'm loving the account wide stuff though. All those flying mounts I collected yet ignored because they weren't flight form can actually get used now on my alts.

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    1. Thank you for the visit Cainman! Yes I hear lots of great things about account wide stuff. I don't have a bevy of alts so it's sorta wasted on me. Hope you get your stuff sorted soon with your addons! Patches are always like that aren't they, chaotic!

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  7. I was thinking, and this is a GRAND exaggeration, but when parents are expecting their first babies, they think they "know" but then the baby comes, and every one is very humbled. Okay, the patch was not a baby. I apologize for my hyperbole. But your thoughts on the emotions very much mirror my own, and that again is more proof of our friendship/connection. My fear is that "all will be working fine" for everyone else, and then the expectation of perfection will seep back into the game prematurely. In other words, folks won't be patient with ME.

    You can't know until you know, and everything will be fine - and I love that you prefaced this as a "someday I'll look back on this and laugh" moment - :)

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    1. You see, there had to be more reasons for us to click as friends :) you understand me!

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  8. Like you Navi, I too did not play the Beta. Mostly because I find it challenging to learn as I go, picking up and tweaking skills/stats until I can get it right and it feels comfortable. Unlike you, I've enjoyed my changes sto my class so far and look forward to testing them out when the new instances and raids come out. I'm pretty sure you'll find your fitting soon, I know you'll find that optimum spot in your rotation and abilities that will make you comfortable and back to your OP Druid heals again.

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    1. Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset about the changes - I just wanted to immortalise my moment of OMG what the F am I doing and playing like I bought my account on ebay or something. I will settle in soon and find my niche but for now... I can laugh at how silly I am :)

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  9. It will get better, we rely so much on muscle memory that when things like spell durations or cooldown lengths change it completely throws us off.

    Last night I did DS on my priest and the cooldown on dispels was just so jarring. I'd totally lose my groove after doing one dispel and then being unable to cast another. A real "WTF is going!" moment. Over and over.

    In your case, healing using new spells without a familiar UI just adds up to too much new information coming in for our brains to process. I think you'll find your efficiency and response times improve greatly once these changes sink in.

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    1. Now I've got my healbot back I feel more comfortable. Though I'm not sure if I will be as awesome in PvP as I was when we used to play Thunder... I feel like a damned drag along now!

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    2. Look at your PVP gear ilvl. All the PVP 397s are now 384s. The people doing the most damage in BGs have legendary weapons that are now even more OP compared to your 384 staff you're probably healing with.

      It should sort out by next tier, but its annoying right now.

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  10. Ouch, things will get better I promise! This patch reminds me of inital cata healing a lot.

    I hope Lyss halped ya out with Vuhdo, as everyone said it does take time to setup but in the end it is so worth it. (I was a grid and clique user before hand)

    DS on my priest felt ok but I definitely had to watch my mana closely. (Spirit is around 2900 or so) + Heart of the Unliving.

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    1. Lyss is awesome! You got good taste in women there Slice.
      I don't have Heart of the Unliving, and I think next time it drops, I'm gonna take it. I passed all the time because it was spirit and spi wasn't that great for druids back then.

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  11. I didn't like Vuhdo either personally.. I found it to be complete shite, but that's just me.

    I don't think your struggling says anything about you PERSONALLY as a player or a healer. It just says that you need more than 10 minutes to adjust to your new talents and setup. I would be willing to bet a solid amount of money that people who are saying "Oh it's easy, we're OP now" are also people who studied it on the beta, and spent many hours practicing and figuring out their rotations.In short, they had a head start on you.

    You made the choice to not play in the beta, and y'know what? that's perfectly fine! You need your chance to adjust to healing as well, so you'll be just fine once you actually find your groove, i'm pretty sure.

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    1. Achloryn I love that you wrote that because it is exactly right. I think everyone who said it was easy has played beta. And had their add ons working!

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  12. It took me quite a while to find a working version of healbot, but I finally did. I come from a 10 man guild, and Tuesday after the patch hit, we two healed everything on heroic. I did not have any mana issues. Heroic spine was a breeze. I ran with 2300 spirit and the heroic heart of the unliving trinket, as long as you pay attention to what you cast and innervate early you should be fine! Yesterday I had the chance to do Heroic FL in a pug, and I will say you can no longer heal "stupid" so to speak. Just remember our healing is largely the same, just watch you mana!

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    1. Thank you for that advice I hope I can do as well as you did!

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  13. Hah, now I feel like even more of a wuss-- all I've managed to do since Tuesday is play around in Stag form and play around on the target dummies to shake the priest-instinct back out of my fingers. *drums a happy little kitteh pattern on her workdesk*

    I got scared off of healing in Cata, but you actually sort of made me want to pick it up again! ;)

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    1. It's fun Martha! I have to say my charming woodland creatures isn't going well.... they just stand there and don't follow :( and we still haven't managed to cross paths!

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  14. I wrote this heartfelt comment and don't see it. Damn

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    1. I found it in the spam and rescued it! Definitely worth saving. Sorry didn't know it ended up in there :(

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