Jan 14, 2010

Healing ICC thoughts

I've managed to heal through ten man ICC up through Saurfang on my discipline priest, my resto druid and my resto shaman. I also heal 25 man ICC on the druid. It's been... interesting. And a school of hard knocks. Here's what has been going through my mind when facing this huge payload of damage I have to help heal.

My main is the druid, and I've done far more 25s with her than 10s, I've also simply been in there more with her. I have affiliations with other guilds on the server and have pugged the priest and shaman into their tens when they were short healers or doing alt runs. But the most pain has been felt on my druid.


Because with a good raid, the trash is EASY sauce heal-wise. At least with my co-healers. Most nights we run 2 holy palys, 1 disc priest, 1 or 2 resto shamans, and me. Yeah that's a lot of friggin heals. And they're all awesome at their job. So me and my measly little hots are brushed aside pretty easily. And, I try to hurricane or Faerie Fire or roots but with heavy melee and aoe damage, basically I stand there and look pretty. (Good thing my druid is damn fine!)

Last night I was talking in our guild healing chat channel. And I said "honestly, at this point, I pretty much view my job as putting up healing buffers to keep people alive until the palys or the shamans or even the priest let loose a heal bomb. I know the heal bombs are there and I know it's going to come. I just gotta keep people alive til then." A very forgettable job. :( My heal numbers look like crap. My overheal is insane. The numbers don't bother me since I know and accept my role. But I know my RaidLeaders don't really get it. How'd I go from uber heals in TOC to nada in ICC? Well we went from 5 to 7 healers. And 1 shaman to 2 most nights. My hots are overwritten so fast, it's only on fights that are freaking crazy to heal (Marrowgar and Deathwhisper) that I might actually put up a good show numbers wise. I mean, I'm still doing my job. I'm healing to my best. But it's hard to show that until everyone in the raid is nearly dead and my hots helped keep them alive. Luckily, one of the uber paladins that heals our raids saw my chatting and loosely agreed with me, then later on in our 2healed 10 man he complimented me because we healed that to death and rocked it. The best compliment is when he says "I like not having to stress about the healing situation." Yay?!

In TOC I loved my crit, even at a lowly 22%. I didn't even have the (4) T9 that let Rejuv crit, but in TOC it was WG that went a little crazy. My healing strategy was Rejuv and Nourish heavy with WG every time it was on cooldown. But now that I'm in ICC with more healers that heal like mack trucks, I've switched to Rejuv and Regrowth, and pulled Swiftmend out of the cobwebs. I mean, it was on my bar, but I barely had to use it. In ICC despite the Chill of the Throne damage is intense and fast heals are king, I think. Well fast heals and bubbles! And my heals... are not fast, unless I nourish spam, which makes me just another healer like the rest in my healing crew. I want to heal my best, but I want to really bring something useful to the raid, and I think my methodology now is good, given the other awesome healers I raid with.

Marrowgar and Deathwhisper are where I really love my glyph of Rejuvenation. Whatever it's proper name, it boosts heals when targets are below 50%. That thing has saved lives on Marrowgar, I know it. GCD annoys the piss out of me in ICC. Did I mention I'm not haste capped yet? Not by a long shot. And the one upgrade I've gotten to drop in ICC10 (last night) has crit on it. #%!@! I actually traded out equal ilevel bracers from TOC and lost 2 sockets just for some haste. This is making me sad. But I refuse to gem purely for haste and I love my socket bonuses. So I'm up a creek without a paddle, basically, until I can get more upgrades.

I learned on Deathwhisper that I simply HAD to change my hot keys for ICC. Which is tough as I try to make my cleanses across all my toons on the same hotkey. My aoe heals on the same hotkey. My bigger heals on the same hotkey. Because of this hot mentality I'm focusing on with the druid, I really had to shift away from that. And I have to bring in my decurse for this Witch. It's aggravating and pushing me to set up clique and get it working. And it was Marrowgar that made me reconfig my Disc Priest's buttons.

On my druid, this is where I'm at with my hot buttons.

I really feel I should probably switch Nourish and Swiftmend, but then I use Swiftmend when I intended to nourish and I get confused, mostly because of my keybind setup across all 4 of my healers. I may have to macro Swiftmend to my Rejuv or Regrowth buttons with a modifier. I don't use many macros at all so this is a big undertaking for me. But like I said, ICC is pushing me to become a better healer. Clique may be needed to transform my cleansing life on all my toons.

As for my Discipline Priest had her share of keybind shakeups to get through ICC. I've only been in ten man a few times with her, but the first was extremely rough for a number of reasons and really bushed me to get the most out of my healing there. I learned from that escapade and next time in made some changes.

After the experience in ICC, and leading to a successful 2 heal 10man clear through Saurfang with my resto tree buddy (@xparanormalityx) I used this setup instead.

I have to say, healing ICC with the priest was HELLA FUN. On my druid I feel weak and too slow, and shaman is.. awesome in an epeen sorta way. But I felt my most versatile and best on the priest. Even as a tank healer, two healing it with my druid buddy made me intensely happy to heal again. Maybe it was just that that ten man had a certain ambiance that made everything fun and good. Not sure, but it was great.

The shaman? She's OP. Walked into a 25man ICC pug and chain heal stomped holy priests that overgeared her, though I was fighting with a druid for pure numbers. The drops that druid got made me cry inside for my main, but the shaman got a suuuuuper shield so I was happy. She's not the first to get tier 10, as the druid got her gloves for some sexy haste, but she's undoubtedly the sexiest of my toons, even if the most underplayed. Life in my bank guild is quiet.

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