Monday, December 27, 2010

holy power and procs

Holy Power and Latency

Something I've noticed is that there's a tiny bit of latency involved with Holy Power. Using Holy Shock (on anyone or thing) tends to be a pretty instant bump in my Holy Power bar, but gaining Holy Power through Tower of Radiance takes a little bit longer.

Blizzard has stated it's working as intended, I believe (though I can't seem to find the link). I imagine it's got the same Beacon lag we're already used to working with- the client has to check to make sure the heal lands before it awards the Power.

It used to frustrate me - I want my HP and I want it now!- but after getting used to it, this lag can work in your favor as well. If you've already got two holy power and Holy Shock is on cooldown, you can cast two DL or FoL, immediately spend the 3 HP you have built up, and you'll still have 1 left from the second direct heal (or 3 from an Eternal Glory proc).

However, Holy Shock will not work this way. If you have 3 HP and Shock, then spend your HP, that extra one is "lost".

A side note: Protector of the Innocent can proc Conviction, which is neat because pretty much every heal you cast has a chance to keep up Conviction the whole fight, and will likely get it rolling sooner.


Between Daybreak, Holy Power, Eternal Glory, and Infusion of Light, we've got a lot to watch out for. I have been looking for a one-size-fits-all answer to how to handle all of these things but the more I play the more I realize that it really does come down to the encounter, the people you play with, and what is happening around you. Which means that Blizzard may have done a fantastic job with "the right spell for the job" after all. No complaints here. :)

Anyways. Here are some general guidelines I try to follow to "boost my HPS" but there will be a lot of times in five mans where it's really not about HPS at all but being aware. So here's my priority (which goes out the window when I need to move):

Holy Power x3 gets spent ASAP
Eternal Glory gets spent ASAP (as soon as I see if it procced or not, so usually I will have one direct heal cast in between Holy Power expenditures)
Infusion of Light

Daybreaks when you need to move are a god-send. However, I have found myself casting those two Shocks in a row and getting two crits (wasting one Infusion). Okay, so it doesn't happen too often but often enough that I'm trying to program myself, when ideal, to Shock > Divine Light the tank (if he needs it), Shock for my Daybreak proc.

I'm sitting at almost 19% critical strike rating, which I believe is over 20% raid buffed (though in this brave new Shattered world I am still a bit shaky on what buffs are available) and gives me a 30% chance to crit with Holy Shock. That gives me an almost 10% chance that both of those Shocks will crit. So as our crit-from-gear goes up, it will become more important to put a Divine Light in between Shocks. A fast Divine Light is a ton of healing.

And again, if I have to move, I use all my instant-cast tricks up as I'm moving and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. Daybeak may be "lowest" on my proc priority but that doesn't mean it's the weakest because it's not, and I use it right away if I have less than three holy power.

Looking Ahead

And I haven't gotten into raiding yet, which may change everything I've ever learned about Holy Paladins. We start next week! My guild is just beginning to spec-check our raiders. I am hoping for a couple more upgrades before I make any declarations that I'm "ready".

Now that other raiders are getting into the raids, I've been grateful to look at WoL parses for some of the first kills to get more of an idea of what we will see. I'm hoping that my post for next week will be me tearing apart my own performance (though I hate making promises because stuff happens. But that's my plan.)

How are you managing your procs?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

random tuesday thoughts: wednesday edition

There's maintenance this morning so now it feels like a Tuesday even if my clock's computer saying it's Wednesday.

I want to experience more of the game before I blog about it because everything I do ends up teaching me something. A lot of my initial thoughts have been changed, though some have been reinforced.

We went into our first raid (Halfus in BoT) last weekend, and I was hoping to go back in there one more time but with Christmas this weekend it's likely to be another full week and a half before we do it again.

I gotta say, though. I was feeling pretty good about myself before we went in there. Most of my gear is heroic blue and I am a few upgrades away from BiS. I didn't go in expecting us to kill a boss or anything, but I certainly didn't expect to feel so... powerless. Humbled. Unable.

The tank damage for Halfus Wyrmbreaker is insane. That's the only word for it. 50k hits, and that was on 10 man.

(Though that leads me to another discussion point entirely: is one raid format going to be harder than the other? I'm running on the assumption that tank damage will be even higher in 25, but that's purely speculation on my part until I can look at WoL.)

I mean, I know that damage taken by both the raid and tanks will be affected by the dragons/whelps we get. And maybe we didn't get that part of the fight down, but even when we had it, I only barely 'had' it. I felt like I couldn't solo-heal the tank. And maybe that's part of the design, but the other tank healer was having problems as well. Are we supposed to bring three healers and have all of them focused on the tanks?

It's possible that when we go back in, our tanks will have a couple more upgrades (though only a couple. Our tanks are in GREAT shape to raid). And to be fair, I have a couple of things now that I didn't have before: a helm with a meta, two crafted epics, and the plan to get two more from rep before January 4th and at least one new shiny from valor points. (Thanks, random daily!)

With the upgrades we've both gotten the "easier" heroics have gotten a lot faster. Two days ago we went into Lost City for the first time, only we thought we'd already done it. So we didn't talk about fight strategies or even know what we were getting into, and it wasn't until the second-to-last boss that I realized this was new stuff. The achievement confirmed it. Yesterday, we got it for the random again, didn't bother with CC, Lux chain-pulled and I drank once.

To be fair, it was a guild run.

I keep hearing that pallies are OMG overpowered but I really feel that no matter what healer I had, I would have been able to keep up with him. I'm getting away with mostly HL spam, which any healer should be able to sustain.

And I'm also using Divine Plea between pulls and my JC spirit trinket on cooldown. Other abilities like the banana man, HoP, HoSac, and DS are all seeing liberal use as well. So it's not like I'm playing poorly. Or maybe I am because in a good group the healer's job is pretty easy and how can I trouble-shoot myself in a group that never goes south?

(I'd promise to pug more, but even my pugs have been awesome. Most often we've been placed with three other DPS from the same guild on another server, and they are just as prepared to play as we are. And believe me, I'm not complaining that I can't find any PuGs from hell. I am not, I swear!)

Sometimes I wonder if I am holding my blue bar too tightly, afraid to use anything other than Holy Light/Shock. I use WoG far more than LoD (in five mans, there often aren't enough people clumped together to make good use of LoD), and I only pop Radiance as a response to whole-party damage auras specific to a few boss fights (like the first boss in SFK, the sunbeam boss in lost city, the control room boss in HoO, etc.) I am loathe to use AoE heals in too many circumstances. On a 30 second cooldown, I don't want to use it before the boss's mechanics, and using it more than twice a fight means I'll run out of mana.

So I definitely wonder if I'm not having mana problems because I refuse to let myself spend, but I'm still learning. Our raid date is January 4th. In some ways, that feels like a long time, though it will be here before I know it.

I'm hoping to get into a 10 man or two in the meantime (something more than Baradin Hold. I don't really feel like that counts since on the first try we hit the enrage timer). But anyways. I'm devouring any and all posts that bloggers make about raiding the new content. If you've been writing, I appreciate it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

heroics are the hard mode of five mans

Preparation to raid in more ways than one...

There's a slight disconnect between the difficulty of the normal version and the heroic version for instances like Stonecore. In the vein of Icecrown Citadel, the heroic fights are ramped up difficulty with extra boss health, more raid and tank damage, and added fight mechanics. The fire on the ground will not be ignored. Neither will those adds, or the spikes. These fights must be executed the way our Blizzard Overlords intended, or there will be no justice points or loot.

And if you haven't gotten the memo, our blue bar is pretty flimsy. We are absolutely unable to heal through stupid; we lack both the brute force and the energy to do so.

It's been near impossible to train myself, but really, those dps do not need to be at full. Everyone just needs to stay alive. With the massive stamina boosts on gear, a 35% full health bar is painful to look at, but enough health for a DPS to survive if someone else is getting hammered or focused. I haven't seen many unavoidable damage types, so these encounters place emphasis on personal survivability and situational awareness.

Situational awareness and You

The less I stare at health bars, the better this whole Cataclysmic healing thing gets. The graphics for what's happening are everywhere, and with two second cast times on my bread-and-butter spells I can start casting and spend almost two full seconds watching the fight. I feel less like I am playing my own mini-game of whack-a-mole while everyone else is playing World of Warcraft than I used to. For now, we're all playing the same game: surviving the encounter.

It's true that the graphics have always been that way, but it has affected my decision-making in new content as though I were raiding. A lot of the attacks that are going to hurt the DPS are visible in the field before they ever tick on the health bars (tank damage, not so much, but properly-geared tanks are lasting so much longer without a heal. It's refreshing).

It's important, at these lower gear levels, to use all the tools available. Cooldowns are godly. I use HoSac quite often now. LoH is amazing if glyphed - 10% mana when the tank needs a huge heal. Divine Favor can potentially burn a lot of mana, but it's great to recover. Freakishly, I've been using it as a mana-saver, when the damage ramps up to still get away with casting Holy Light. Your mileage may vary.

(I'm a bit underwhelmed by our giant glowing angel, but I'm still finding uses for him.)

It's inferior from a time-management standpoint to cast Word of Glory with only one stack of Holy Power, and yet I find myself using it as an emergency on the move so I can use the self-healing of Protector of the Innocent. I haven't decided yet if this is a bad habit or a worthwhile use of time I couldn't be healing otherwise. I know some holy paladin theorycrafters are down on PotI, but I'm finding it well-designed for the encounters and I'm grateful to have it.

(I originally said it was mathematically inferior to cast a 1 HP WoG, but ithilyn corrected me. See comments below for some clarification.)

What are you experiences in the new heroics?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

queue queue moar: finding BRC for the first time

One of the newer features of LFD is that for the new instances, we have to discover them. Let's start with Blackrock Caverns, since that's the least-intuitive to get to. It's in Blackrock Mountain, so there are two ways to get there.

The first is a Mole Machine in Hyjal. If you're doing the quests there, you'll find a gnome (not a goblin: Shintar corrected my failing memory, it's a gnome), Finkle Einhorn, that says "This can only mean one thing..." and there will be a mole machine right next to him. I went back to take pictures, and he was phased out since I'd already done the quests. But he should be there (unless I'm clearly mistaken, which is possible), so if you could please pretend that the douchebag with the giant drake is actually just covering the NPCs, I'd appreciate it.

Goblin here:

Mole Machine here:

When you zone in, you'll be on top of this platform here:

You'll want to go up and out, not down and out:

Keep going up:

And up the chain (you can mount up here):

Take a right after you've crossed the lava:

There will be a hallway to the right after this archway, next to the Summoning Stone.

At this pile of junk in the hallway, take another right:

The portal is in sight!

When you get close enough to the purple portal, you should discover BRC.

If you're just flying in from the Eastern Kingdoms from the regular Blackrock Mountain entrance, you'll want to follow the chain that's held by this dwarf (the one with the flailing hand).

Don't worry, this is by far the most confusing instance to get to. The others can reasonably be reached with a map location.

healers and helms pre-raid

There are plenty of pre-raid gear lists floating around for healers of all stripes, but since I put together this list for my guild I figured I'd share it with you. There are a bunch of helms available, but if you're looking to raid, I hope you'll consider a helm with a meta. The bonuses from the meta gems are just huge, especially at these starting gear levels.

I've only seen one head enchant, available from Hyjal revered. The standard healing meta gem from Wrath does not have a Cata equivalent, so our needs will be changing. I've seen three options that are PVE-centric. Kurn's got a meta gem list here, but I cherry-picked these three from the list as the one that will probably win for PVE.


Paladin BiS has a list here, but I only see two options with a meta. Got 2,200 justice points? Otherwise be prepared to spend lots of time in Heroic SFK.


Resto Shaman Flow put together a pre-raid loot list. There are 3 (4 if you're an engineer) options with meta sockets.


Lissana at Restokin has a boomkin/resto pre-raid gear list here. All three helms have metas.


World of Matticus has a Quick Priest Gear list. Three helms with metas.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Janyaa started this with a blog post over at Muradin's Musings. Here we go:

1. Disk or Download? DL

2. Did you experience any difficulties? IE: Login servers crashing, late delivery, etc? I had to wait a whole 12 minutes on the login server to let me in at 2:00! I want my money back!!

3. What are you doing first? IE: Speed leveling to 85, rolling a new race, completely avoiding the new content, etc? Almost 83, with a smidgeon of mining to support my crafting habit. Hey, it's just a habit. I can quit any time I want!

4. Mt. Hyjal or Vash'jir? I got Coming Down the Mountain AND a frickin' seahorse!

5. Worgen or Goblin? Paladin?

6. Questing, dungeons or both? Both!

7. What was the first piece of gear you replaced and with what? Yeah, about that...

8. Did you take any time off from work or school? I wish I could have.

9. Will you be keeping the same spec and main, or changing to a different toon? I am resistant to change.

10. What's been your favorite aspect of Cataclysm so far? It's not Icecrown.

Read more:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

are you 85 yet?

I'm kidding.

There are a handful of folks who are already max level, but I am not one of them. I just hit 82 last night and saw that I the XP needed to level went up quite a bit. Three people in my guild got the achievement, and I've seen a handful of bloggers put up their obligatory "I'm 85!" post.

I put up my first poll in the sidebar. Are you leveling as a healer?

Since my paladin is a team character with Mayhem (who, after a Worgen change, is now officially known as Luxinterior), I decided to keep (both) my holy spec(s). Considering how busy the quest hubs are right now, it hasn't mattered too much. It's been more important for me to tag mobs than it is to mow them down (which Lux does with efficiency anyways). Turns out all those hours camping HNMs in FFXI with keyboard spam weren't wasted after all!

As a side note, I was surprised at how many players don't understand how tagging in WoW works. I mean, I shouldn't be surprised. Yet, I was.

Post derailed! If you wouldn't mind taking the poll, I'd appreciate it. If you have nifty experiences to share while leveling your healer, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Monday, December 6, 2010

the real shattering

If you thought Azeroth being rent in two was painful and full of burnination, I have news for you. My guild is going through a shattering of its own. Months ago our healing officer announced that Wrath was his last WoW. His final raid was last week.

Which means. Ahem. They had to promote someone... Or something. So, "enlynn is an officer", take two!

I'm excited, I really am. I mentioned last week I had missed being healing lead. I enjoy it, even at its worst. You'd think being a leader when you're wiping all night is harder, but it's actually easier (for me at least) to keep plugging away and stay positive when I can hold myself to my ideal leader-like self. I say leader-like because, let's be honest, most healing teams really do take care of themselves once cooldowns, dispels, and buffs are coordinated. So I get all the perks of officery-ness without having to purge the grays from the g-bank or deal with the website. Sounds like win to me.

I look forward to blogging from an officer's perspective. And I really look forward to pushing Hard Modes in Cataclysm and writing about that. We finished up this expansion (and raided until the very last week, which should be an achievement in and of itself) 9/12 HM ICC 25, #2 on our server (yeah, yeah, Malf is marked for new players. Doesn't change my Lady D/Dreamwalker kills!).

I'm excited for Cataclysm because I've never hit the ground running with an expansion in an MMO like this before. When Wrath came out, Mayhem and I were still leveling up on this server/faction. I don't even think we purchased Wrath right away, we didn't need it until we were 68 and it was time to leave the Outlands. It's funny to think about how much has changed in the last two years.

It all changes tomorrow. Farewell, Lich King, The frozen wastelands of Northrend are soon to be wastelands again!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a year, already?

Wow. It's really been a year of blogging?

A Year In Review...

I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I still don't, not really, but it's been fun. I made my first post the week after I started raiding with my first twenty-five man raiding guild. After a few months of membership, the healing lead quit the game and I was promoted to officer. I'm sure that the other officers regretted that decision ever since, because I went from being quiet to having an opinion about everything.

The guild ended up being more casual than Mayhem and I were looking for. We stuck it out as long as we did because the healing team really kept me going. The healer channel is definitely the coolest place in the game!

Back in September, we joined another guild that does hard modes. One thing I haven't enjoyed is being the low man on the totem pole, but we knew what we were getting into. It's the way of things for raiding guilds. It's been weird to go from officer to nobody, especially now that 4.0.1 has changed everything so I feel less like a healing expert than I used to. Not that I WAS an expert, mind you, just that I feel like even less of one now. I doubt anyone has forgotten that my second week in the guild I used DIVINE FRICKIN' INTERVENTION on the tank and wiped the raid.

Oh, and another stupid yet funny thing I did. I noticed that the Innkeeper lady in Stormwind has Sparkling Oasis Water for sale. I saw that, yet it never occurred to me that "requires level 80" meant "USE THIS NOW ENLYNN!". Anyways, just FYI.

A few interesting stats about bubblespec...

My top four (most visited) posts are:
quick thoughts on holy pallies
Healbot, Unashamed
yet another paladin preview post
Guest Post: Use Your Brrain

I've created 89 posts, but probably only half of those actually had any information in them. I've am thrilled to receive 79 comments!

Looking ahead...

I'm definitely gonna keep pestering Mayhem for some more guest posts, have no fear. With Cataclysm only a week away (it's Blizzard's way of congratulating me on a year of blogging!), there will be plenty to post about. I've been tightening up the tags/labels to make older posts easier to navigate, and updated my blogroll because there are some bloggers I enjoy reading who hadn't made it to my page.

Anyways, the long and short of it is: Thanks for reading.