Making the Wrath to Cata transition

I've seen a lot of threads in the past week or so lamenting the new healing model. Frankly, if you feel that it is just broken and you don't want to bother with it anymore, fine, that just means more loot for me.

But if you are interested in working with it and learning to adapt, as a player who enjoyed Wrath healing and is currently enjoying Cataclysm healing, I thought I could offer some suggestions.

This is probably the most dramatic shift in the healing game that we have ever seen, or the most dramatic shift in the entire game, period. Blizzard has taken the car, pushed on the gas till we're going 100 mph, and then put the car in reverse. We've gone from a world of infinite mana, 30% buffs and epics raining from the sky to trying to do content that is designed for players in epics (who will be chain farming these heroics in their spiffy purples 1 or 2 tiers from now) while being in undergeared blues. That means you have to throw *everything* you know about healing out of the window and start over. You are learning a completely new class and role. It is NOT just Vanilla redux, or BC again, it is Cataclysm. Kill all the Sacred Cows.

Specific suggestions:

Use Greater Heal (and its equivalents).

It got to be vogue in Wrath to dump your Greater Heal equivalent (Healing Touch, the spell formerly known as Healing Wave which is Greater Healing Wave now, and of course Gheal itself), unless you were a Paladin. This was mostly because it was just too slow, and you didn't need that much healing anyway. My Gheal would crit for half my tank's health, generally I don't need that much healing, and when I *did* need that much healing in Wrath, Gheal was waay too slow.

In Cataclysm, these spells are a huge part of your healing. If you've ever said to yourself "self, I cast a heal now, but it just seems like the tank's health keeps going down" that is when you need to use your Gheal equivalent. These spells are midway between Flash and Heal equivalents in efficiency and HPS. That big spike will really help you catch up, and they are not nearly as expensive as Flash equivalents. A good rule of thumb would be to use them whenever they will be 100% healing, and you know the target won't die within their cast time.

Use, but don't abuse, Flash Heal equivalents.

Flash is for saving your target from dying. It is also for gaining momentum, so that you can go back to using Heal or Greater Heal equivalents.
Edited by Felade on 12/12/2010 3:02 PM PST
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Develop some tank healing "rotations".

- Renew refresh - Lowest HPS, Highest HPM

- Heal spam in Serenity, keep HW Serenity on CD and Renew on the target - Low HPS, High HPM

- Gheal spam, keep Serenity Chakra up, HW Serenity on CD, and renew on the target - - Medium HPS, Medium HPM

-Flash Healx2 -->Greater Heal-->HW Serenity, keep up Renew - High HPS Low HPM (This can *easily* top off a tank in about 3 GCDs or so)

-Flash Heal spam - O GOD ITS THE END OF THE WORLD AUGH!!! :)

You are no longer required to top players off.


In Wrath, we lived by the rule that we kept healing and healing until everyone was at 100% or the boss died. This was because most boss abilities were likely to kill anyone who was not at 100% health. Neither one of these situations are the case in Cataclysm. There are very few mechanics that will kill players if they are not at 100% health, and generally the ones that are are completely avoidable, so the onus is on the healer's target, not the healer. Watch incoming damage, and try to do as little healing as possible that will still keep the player alive. A lot of times, that may be no healing at all. If you are running out of mana, you are healing too much (or the group is doing something wrong, or you are not geared yet).

Triage is a very nice way to say "let people die".

We can't all be Priests and have Leap of Faith. Sometimes, people make mistakes, and they die. Get comfortable with practicing triage, or the fine art of "that guy over there has a 90% chance of dying in the next 2 seconds, while this guy over here has a pretty good chance of living, but only if he gets healing immediately". People need to learn, and when you heal someone through their mistakes, you are teaching them to be dependent on their healers.
Edited by Felade on 12/12/2010 3:05 PM PST
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Don't pug.

Don't use the Dungeon Finder the moment you have an average of 329 ilvl. It is not your God given, inalienable right to be able to complete a daily heroic with a minimum of fuss. If you *want* to complete your daily heroic, get your gear, get it gemmed and enchanted, learn the bosses, and run it with a guild group. If your group can't complete it, that's okay. It doesn't mean they're overtuned. Go back to normals and get more gear, save up more justice points or farm more rep.

CC spells happy healer.

In BC, CC was there to help the tank out. In Cataclysm, CC is there to help out the healer. Use it, ask for it, nag when it isn't being used. Learn which mobs *really* need to be CC'd.

Ask for mana breaks.

Help break the tanks out of their chain pulling mindset. Ask for mana breaks regularly.

Remember, you may not be able to complete all, or even many, of the heroics currently. That's intended. Go back to normals, farm JPs, get crafted gear, and get it gemmed and enchanted. Then go back to heroics.
Edited by Felade on 12/12/2010 3:04 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Priest
6490
I like this thread.
I think WOTLK just made thing's too easy people.
I love this new expansion, make's things interesting again.
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86 Goblin Shaman
0
Its a shame following these guidelines isn't really enough for resto shaman.

They are severely lacking the correct tools to heal right now.
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Its a shame following these guidelines isn't really enough for resto shaman.



They are severely lacking the correct tools to heal right now.


That's what the Priests were all saying about a month ago when our last beta changes went out. You can do it, you just have to change your habits. And sometimes you will wipe horribly, but it is highly likely that it has less to do with your class and more to do with something your group is doing or not doing.
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90 Night Elf Druid
12055
But, see, I am required to top players off, if not now, later, because the same unavoidable damage mechanic that took them to 30% in the first place will come around and kill them again.

Assuming they don't stand in the fire.
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85 Night Elf Druid
4310
I like this thread too.
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But, see, I am required to top players off, if not now, later, because the same unavoidable damage mechanic that took them to 30% in the first place will come around and kill them again.



Assuming they don't stand in the fire.


Sometimes that's true, but sometimes, your(and my) Wrath brain confuses rate of incoming damage with level of threat to a player's life. The two are not conflated often in Cataclysm.

And sometimes what you think is unavoidable damage may actually be avoidable.
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90 Undead Priest
6120
So I'm really glad I'm not the only person that was having issues with my holy priest. I shall attempt the new strategy but it's definitely going to take awhile for people to realize when everyone is undergeared that crowd control is making a comeback.

Let me ask you this: In a 5-man dungeon when I don't necessarily know the trash pull or boss fight, I'm currently assuming there will be more AoE damage (versus single target damage on the tank) and thus using Chakra: Sanctuary; I hate the fact that to be as efficient as possible I must know the fight/pull beforehand.

Obviously, its probably a good thing to know the fight beforehand but I don't like that as an absolute. It's kind of nice to wing it and to be REACTIVE to the situation at hand.

My question to you is how did you approach the pulls without the knowledge prior to the fight (for 5-mans)?
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85 Goblin Shaman
7430
12/12/2010 3:18 PMPosted by Felade
Its a shame following these guidelines isn't really enough for resto shaman.



They are severely lacking the correct tools to heal right now.


That's what the Priests were all saying about a month ago when our last beta changes went out. You can do it, you just have to change your habits. And sometimes you will wipe horribly, but it is highly likely that it has less to do with your class and more to do with something your group is doing or not doing.


See in this case you would be wrong though, shamans truly are the gimp of the healing classes at the moment our throughput is absolutely abysmal.
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12/12/2010 3:36 PMPosted by Drfaust
So I'm really glad I'm not the only person that was having issues with my holy priest. I shall attempt the new strategy but it's definitely going to take awhile for people to realize when everyone is undergeared that crowd control is making a comeback.

Let me ask you this: In a 5-man dungeon when I don't necessarily know the trash pull or boss fight, I'm currently assuming there will be more AoE damage (versus single target damage on the tank) and thus using Chakra: Sanctuary; I hate the fact that to be as efficient as possible I must know the fight/pull beforehand.

Obviously, its probably a good thing to know the fight beforehand but I don't like that as an absolute. It's kind of nice to wing it and to be REACTIVE to the situation at hand.

My question to you is how did you approach the pulls without the knowledge prior to the fight (for 5-mans)?


When in doubt, Serenity. 9 times out of 10, that's the right answer. As you get to know dungeons, you'll get a feel for when you can afford Sanctuary. Mostly, though, you will curse how terrible an idea Chakra is, especially in 5 mans, and how much you wish you didn't have to sacrifice one side of your healing for the other.


See in this case you would be wrong though, shamans truly are the gimp of the healing classes at the moment our throughput is absolutely abysmal.


Saying it doesn't necessarily make it so, or rather, any more or less so than other healers. Compared to Wrath healing, all of our healing is rather abysmal.

Your idea of "appropriate healing ability to clear content" needs to be adjusted. Don't blame your class instead of adjusting.
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82 Goblin Priest
3370
Don't forget the other types of heals:

Reactive heals - casting something that instant-heals someone once they're hit is great if you know that a burst of dps is coming. The priest version (the bouncy heal) works wonders on certain area or alternating damage burst patterns, and I believe resto shaman has something similar for single-target rapid blow sequences.

Mitigation spells- shields are the obvious ones, but there are all sorts of wards spread over the classes that mitigate one type of damage or another in the short term. Knowing what exactly they do, the duration, and the cost will save you a lot of headache and mana.

Also remember that practice makes perfect... honestly, running in pugs has made me a better healer than any amount of coordinated raiding. Well, except WotLK pugs, since even the heroic dungeons were so easy you learned nothing.

Dying is good for you, teaches you what not to do and improves your reaction times.
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85 Draenei Shaman
11130
Your forgetting that its just a game, the way you make it sound, is as if it was work. Its a frickin game, a lot of people dont have a need to stress the mind over a video game. If WOW instance content is meant for elitist like you then blizzard needs to say so, they may lose half thier paying crowd but hey they made you happy now that you got your challenge. And if you want to get down to it, its all about waiting because with the way the majority isnt elitist they'll favor who gives them more money, the small elitist crowd? or the simple easy going crowd that just wants to have fun. It'll change just like it has every expansion, learning to do it the hard way now would just be a waste of time. I say this because i see more complaining about the way healing is now(not that i disagree, even using "Greater Healing Wave" doesnt accomplish much when it comes to everyone taking massive amounts[still super expensive]) which the more complaining we do the faster they change what we dont like, or they lose money to console gaming. Its all about pleasing those who pay.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
5735
As a holy priest who isn't anywhere near going into heroics, just doing the 5 mans has made me stop and reconsider my healing style. I have always been a creative healer and have always used all the tools given to me, so it wont be as hard to adjust to this new style of healing. Wrath made my reaction times slow, I have healed in plenty of games and have always been a good healer, but healing in wrath in this game made me lazy. I utilize lightwell and yell at my group to do so as well. I use serenity as the go to heal, I start the fight with it running and do my best to keep it available at all times and this seems to work very well, keeping me away from spamming flash heal. I had a DK dps tho who was being oneshotted in the 5 mans, i just let him keep dying *shrug* i cant stop him from dying anymore if he is determined to. Dps has to play a bigger role in the group now, that is all there is to it. Once i get into heroics i will probably sing a different toon, but for now, as long as my group is smart and i can pick up the pace and my reaction times, the holy healing is doable.
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