Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why I love Proving Grounds - Healing, tank and DPS

One of the things that I was looking forward to with patch 5.4 was Proving Grounds.  I thought the idea of Brawler's Guild was awesome, but it was made for damage dealers, and I'm a healer/tank.  However, with Proving Grounds, I can do MY spec - healing - AND I can do it with nobody watching!  I used to worry when doing Brawler's that people could watch me and I was scared they'd laugh at me because I was doing such poor damage or standing in bad, but with Proving Grounds, I can do it all by myself and make mistakes and nobody will ever know!

Naturally, when there are achievements involved, that makes it even more enticing.  So this week I went in there looking for achievements, and seeing what kind of healer I was.

When you talk to Trial Master Roton, you will be teleported into your solo scenario, and you can get healthstones, reforge, buy some cheap food (+200 to various stats but no really good ones like spirit) as well as Tomes of the Clear Mind.  It's a good place to practice your healing if you want to try out a new spec.

As they are tests of your ability and not your gear, your gear is scaled down, like in Challenge Modes, to 463.  This is rather cool because it means everyone is on the same playing field and it gives you a better idea of how you compare to others for your skill level.  Things like hit and expertise remain the same as your current gear, but all the good stats for a healer (haste, mastery) are all scaled down so now you end up underneath the haste break points, if you want to do it seriously.

The Bronze one is your standard entry level.  If you have any experience with healing, then Bronze healing is easy.  For those who don't heal, it's really good practice for healing to get the hang of a pretend 5 man.

You are the healer in a 5 man group of Pandaren
Oto the Protector (Prot Warrior)
Ki the Assassin (Assassination Rogue)
Sooli the Survivalist (Survival Hunter)
Kavan the Arcanist (Arcane Mage)


They do bad stuff like stand in fires but not for very long, and also need dispels.  As a druid, you can use symbiosis on them and get their abilities, but I didn't really find any of them useful - maybe the iceblock to get rid of the debuff on myself (but you don't need to worry about that on Bronze).

In Bronze there are 5 waves.  In Silver, there are 8 waves.  In Gold, there are 10.  And Endless, well... it can go on until you've had enough!

I did Bronze and Silver reasonably easily (I've been a healer for at least 7 years in WoW now on the SAME class LOL) - Silver was a bit hairy towards the end, but nothing that a tranquility can't fix.  There were new adds throwing fire stuff around that hit the ground.  However, my first look at Gold was really hard - I was out of mana by round 5 and I realised that I should do something about that.

I hadn't been eating any buff food or flasks, so just starting up on that helped a lot.  Also, I hadn't looked closely at my gear.  Legendary procs don't work, so having the legendary meta in your helm is no good.  Fortunately for me, I had somehow forgotten to use my legendary meta and had been raiding with a normal meta in my helm, so that was fine for challenge modes and proving grounds.  The cloak doesn't proc as well, but I wasn't so fussed about that since the stats on the cloak are still very nice.

I decided to push haste and reforged and regemmed a whole heap to also try Soul of the Forest for raid.  I was worried about using it because I'm pretty wasteful with mana in raids, and SotF eats mana up.  What better way than to try in Proving Grounds?

So scaled down, my haste was now tolerable and I took Soul of the Forest with Nature's Vigil, and Glyph of Efflorescence, Rejuvenation and Regrowth.  I might take Healing Touch instead because I am not using much nourish here. Efflorescence on your mushroom out ALL the time is just awesome on mana!


Genesis seems to be pretty pathetic at 463, so for the same mana I think I'd rather use a regrowth or a healing touch to top someone up.

So, I was finally ready.  With my flasks and watching my mana, I managed to take Gold down easier than without all the good stuff.  There were a few different things - double magic debuffs for one which meant you had to prioritise the dispel and let the other person take it.  The big add hit harder.

Now onto Endless.


I feel so frustrated because I'm so close to reaching the title (30 rounds of Endless) but I keep stuffing up in round 27 by not using tranquility fast enough and OOMing myself.  I should have remembered that - waves 7-8 are heavy and I used tranquility each time!  I tried later at night, but I did worse than before so I think I was tired.  During the day with the kids around talking to me, asking me to wipe their bottoms after doing poos in the bathroom and asking me to "Mummy come look at this!" did nothing for my concentration!  My best score was 2750 and though I was personally very proud of it, I wanted to get MORE! I want that title!


I tried the damage one in tank spec but my damage is a little bit short.  Maybe if I ate some food it would be faster!  The adds just stand there and don't do anything, so without vengeance to buff up my damage I wasn't going to get much damage out.

Then I tried the tank one which involved me protecting a mistweave monk and taunting adds off her and killing them.  I managed to do Bronze, but I was a bit slow for silver, so I shall try that again some time.  Boy was I glad I didn't have to subject any REAL people to my crappy tanking.

So if you have some time to kill and want to test yourself, or try to improve yourself, I highly recommend Proving Grounds.  You can do it yourself, with nobody watching, and the only person you have to beat?  Is yourself!

(oh and of course, WowProgress and GuildOx has world and realm rankings for Proving Grounds Endless - it boggles me that number one in the WORLD has done over ONE HUNDRED rounds of Endless Healer.... damned OP monks!)


2 comments:

  1. Ooh the comment form looks different.

    Nicely done. I need to try it again. I tired it early on by haven't been back since.

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  2. Grats and good luck making it to 30. I've hit gold but haven't had a proper go at endless yet, just one try to see what it was like. It's something I'm planning on revisiting though.

    I think it's one of the patch's biggest successes really. I'm about to go on my first proper raid since the start of Cataclysm this Saturday and beating gold help boost my confidence that yes, I can actually heal a raid again. It also made me think about all my tools and got me using things which I use in pvp but tended to ignore in pve like disarm, kick, stuns etc.

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