Tips for Transitioning to a Different Healing Class

Many people who decide they are main spec healers, wind up having several healing classes to choose from in their day to day play.  This can get confusing, particularly if you play one healing class more than the rest…I still try to fade on my druid!  With the overall current feel of the classes, this isn’t as hard as it could be, but may take some work.  How you set up your keybinds and UI can play a big part in this.

Compare your Skills
Each class has a cheap slow heal, an expensive quick heal, and a long cast big heal.  It is called different things for each class, but everyone has it.  There are other comparisons, such as a druid’s rejuvenation to a priest’s renew to a shaman’s riptide.  Once you’ve compared your skills, and get a real feel for what is the same, then you can focus on what is different.  What has really helped me, is to then key-bind the similar spells first.  If my right-click is always my long cast big heal, then that is what I bind it as on every healer I have.  My mouse-wheel is always a quick instant heal (Prayer of Mending, Swiftmend, ect).  I use shift right-click for my magic dispel on every healer. (or decursive, I still use decursive!)  This makes your key-bindings become less of an issue and second nature no matter which class you are playing.

Compare your Cooldowns
I generally try to compare my cooldowns.  My go-to spell when the poop hits the fan?  Yep, always on my action bar, but really close to my healing frames!  My mana regen?  Macro’d by the oh poop spell…macro’d because of all the times I’ve cast it on the mage by accident….!  I tend to fat finger sometimes…so they were taken off my mouse, your mileage may vary.  On my paladin all of my “hand of” spells are used with the mouse-over macro from last week.

Sort out the rest
Once you’ve figured out what is comparable and what is not, you can work on building each healer’s ui in a way that is the most useful to your own individual style.   Some people need more information at their disposal to heal well and others don’t need so much.  Since I am the raid leader when Kurby isn’t available, I tend to err on the side of lots of information.  What is most important for transitioning is that it is smooth.  Though two years later I do still wonder why my shadowmeld doesn’t sound like fade.

 

For my fellow altoholics, how do you transition?  Do you keep with a plan or play each character differently?

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Healing Mains is transforming…ish

Just a heads up that I’ve been working on the design and layout and all that jazz (even the links to the right!)  If I have your blog under the wrong category, or you’d like me to link to you, drop me a line here.  Also yes…I know…..its REALLY orange.  I’m working on something different, I promise!  

So the next few days may show some random changes throughout the blog, be patient and it’ll get to where it’s going 😉  

Especially since I can’t draw so the background I had in my mind, hasn’t made it to the interwebs yet!


Silly Screenshot Sunday

Eluna’s husband (and our raid leader) was having a graphical error one night while we were working on Warmaster Blackhorn in Dragon Soul.

WTF happened here?


Raid Leader Perspective: Leading as I heal

A healer??  Leading a raid?  NO WAY!!

Yes way!  Eluna and I have both been raid leaders.  We’re women.  We’re healers.  And we’re darn good raid leaders, too.  BUT, be prepared for a different experience, because we are not tanks.  And our view of these fights is decidedly different.

If you haven’t healed, you may not realize that healers often have no sense of what the space actually looks like in dungeons and raids – at least not at first.  While you (as DPS or tank) are running around smooshing the bad guys and wandering the halls of some immense Dwarven cavern, we are chasing you trying to keep that darned health bar somewhere over 75%.  There have been many a night where I finally get the chance to really look around and be at awe over the graphics in a particular place.  And generally, my guildies chuckle because they noticed that stuff ages ago.

For example, did you know that as you cross the bridge between the first and second bosses in Well of Eternity that you can actually see down to the ground below.  The actual Well is beautiful and I didn’t notice it until at least my 5th or 6th run.  Only because I was usually so focused on the health of the group (and keeping up since I always seem to lag behind) that I never actually looked down!

Something else we are frequently unaware of is the name of the mobs as well as the names of their spells.  We know what they do, but we don’t always know what they’re called.  We don’t target them – we target you.

So, for me anyway, when I think about leading a raid, I prefer to have been there.  At least once or twice.  I can better coach my team when I can actually describe what I need from them.  If I can not (or have not) had the chance to run the place, I will read about it.  Heck, even if I have been there, I read.  A lot.  A ton, really.  Any article I can find, I’ll read: Wowhead, WowInsider, TankSpot (I love when Ciderhelm narrates…), LearnToRaid… and many more.  For me, knowledge is power.  The more I know about the fight mechanics and raid needs, the better (and more confident) raid leader I can be.  Confidence isn’t just sexy – it’s powerful.  People will follow confidence.

I used to read the various guides and then write out my own notes for our guild.  Because we all know that each guild has different people in it – and those people have different strengths and… quirks (I refuse to call them weaknesses).  And what works for Ciderhelm and Lore and Aliena from TankSpot… yeah… that’s not really how it’ll go for us.  But, it’s enough to help me make informed decisions.

Going back to the thought that we don’t always know what the mobs names are or what the name of a particular spell or ability is…

Even being well read and knowing the fights backwards, forwards, and inside-out… I still don’t call things what they are.  Just last night in Firelands, I was caught saying things like: “Is this the snake-dude that we have to stack for?  Or is it the other one down the road?”  We’re 6/7 in FL and 8/8 in DS.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve healed us through those snake kills (and their annoying lava buddies who blow us up).  But I still cannot remember their names or the name of the ability that hurts so much.  What is important is that I know what we need to do!  We need to stack.  Does it matter, honestly, if it’s called [Explosion of Doom] or [Swipe of Kills-the-lonely-tank]?  Nope.  What matters is that I know it’s coming and I know how to mitigate it.

This actually makes for some fun “Story Time with Brae” moments.  I’ll be talking more about “Story Time” in my next RLP post.

It may surprise you to know that tanks aren’t the only people who can lead a raid.  Sure, they’re the go-to-role, since they’re the first one into a fight (usually).  BUT… healers – who are trained to look at more than one person at a time and focus on the entire encounter and not just our rotation – healers can be incredibly good raid leaders.

Just be ready to stand in that spot over there (near the thing-a-ma-bob) and pew-pew the bad guy until the puddles of owwie come out.  THEN MOVE!  😉


Mists of Pandaria Cooking–an early look at healing food

Thanks to El’s Anglin’ we have some really good information out there about the MoP Cooking specialties available!

The original post is here:  http://www.elsanglin.com/news/mop-cooking-specializations.html for all it’s glory, but I’m only posting what pertains to the healing classes here.  All Mists of Pandaria information provided here, I got from El’s post, it is not my original work at all.

For healing, it looks like we will want to go with one of these two specializations, as each specialization offers one type of food buff for all the recipes they offer…

  • Way of the Pot – Intellect
  • Way of the Steamer – Spirit
I’m not sure which will be better overall for healing classes, but I’m going to guess that we’ll start with Steamer and then move to Pot once its maxed out. (That sounds illegal in some states!).  As we usually tend to focus on Spirit when we first hit max level, then move on to Int later.  Also, good to know is that feasts are an exception: Every specialization offers 2 feast dishes, each of which grants precisely the same buff – 275 Useful (class-specific) stat. This means one only needs to train one specialization to be able to cook raid feasts.

Check out the full post over at El’s Anglin for more information, it’s a really great write-up describing how the cooking profession is looking in Mists of Pandaria!


Guild Leader Perspective: Scheduled “Fun” Events

One of the things that both frustrate a Guild Leader along with bringing us joy:  Fun Runs.  Why you may ask?  Attendance.  The most fun things can be ruined simply because people say they want to do them, guild leaders schedule them out, and so few appear, you can’t make the run happen.  As a leader, we have to try to keep activities going to meet the needs of the guild, or it becomes a stagnant wasteland of raiders logging in to raid and casual players feeling like they have no value in the guild.  Cross realm grouping can help, but it can also hurt.  This leaves the guild leader in a tight position, schedule runs ahead of time and hope enough people were interested in running them or wait and see who’s online and risk people thinking that there is nothing planned.

I have tried to approach fun runs several different ways over the course of the past two or so years that I’ve been in charge of them.  Even before I took over the Guild Leader position, I was Co-GM and still had the charge of fun events.  I have polled the guild to see what they are interested in….which unless it was an actual poll instead of an open discussion, led to arguments.  Do I guess what people want (poll choices) or leave it open for discussion (arguments)?  I have just scheduled things based on guild achievements.  We did happen to get most of our raid and dungeon achievements this way (Vanilla, BC, and quite a bit of Wrath), but when we got closer to the end of Wrath content, attendance dictated if we could actually complete the objective or not.  Sure we can 3 man Illdian, not so much Heroic Ruby Sanctum.  I have tried not scheduling things and then just typing in guild chat around our usual time “hey who wants to go do some mount runs?”.  This has had some success, but then leaves people who aren’t online at that time feeling left out, because it wasn’t on the schedule.

When it comes to cross realm grouping, that opens up another can of worms.  People lead differently, different servers have different “norms” for how they handle loot, and what one person takes seriously, another is in for fun.  In general, cross realm grouping can make the worst raid finder look organized, quick and drama free.  Not to say you can’t have fun with cross realm grouping, there is a lot of fun to be had, but its like organizing a guild run except without voice chat and with raid chat turned off.  It takes an extra layer of communication and understanding, or people wind up frustrated without really understanding why.  We have slowed our cross realm experience down quite a bit just to give the guild members a breather.

The options then become, do you make “fun” runs mandatory, so that you can actually schedule them out and be inclusive to people who don’t’ normally raid, or do you maintain that as “fun” runs they are optional?  That, my friends, is one of the most frustrating things about keeping a guild active.  I maintain that fun runs should not be mandatory, but I will change the destination if it will not be “fun” to run it with the handful of people who regularly show up when attendance is low.

How are fun runs (or casual/alt raids) handled in your guild?


Death to the Madness!

deathwing kill

We got him!

One night of real attempts, then got him the next raid night!  Wheee!