Healing before Level 25 Revised

This is revised post of an earlier post. It has been organized into a more coherent form.

So much of what you find on the forums is for the end game players. You learn about equipment, spell rotations etc. that are for 85 level players. This is very good, and much needed, however the beginning healer will have a hard time getting information about the lower levels .I know, because I love to level toons and have tried to find advice at the beginning of a class. No matter the class, the response you get is often things like...."Who cares? At the lower levels in is just a face roll." Or...."Do not worry, you will only be there for a few hours at worst."

But I have been booted at level 18, I have been booted at level 20, and I have blocked other players from booting healers at as low as 16. Players need to know how to play a healer in Wailing Caverns, or even Ragefire Chasm. (Usually your first healing run.) True it is not hard, it is not anything nearly as complicated as healing a Dragonsoul Raid, but for the beginner, it can mean the difference between being encouraged and excited or discouraged and wanting to abandon this vital role.

A quick story first. Last weekend, I was running Shadow Fang Keep with my level 18 elemental shaman. The heals were terrible. We wiped on the trash before we even got to the first boss. (Seriously) The healer made the comment that this was their first time healing. We made it through the first boss with me helping heal and were clearing the courtyard when we wiped for a second time. This time there was a vote to kick the healer. I voted no; after all, this is where you learn. I whispered the priest and told him I healed on other toons and would he mind some advice. He accepted and I whispered to him what I knew about that class at that level. With me doing some occasional coaching we were able to finish the dungeons without another wipe. True, I assisted healing with my elemental shaman when I could see he was not keeping up, but the last fight was his. It is one of the toughest heals you will have before you reach level 20 and the machinegun barrage has wiped many a team, but he healed it alone. The point is that, with a little help he learned the healing basics. He was not kicked and ended the run a better healer. So I hope to share this knowledge with the beginners.

What follows is an edited version of a series of posts that were made a week or so ago. There were several players who added really valuable information to this post and actually made this thread a valuable aid to other players. I would like to thank OLDWOLFE for providing the best information I have seen. Also RHYMETHA, SEKOYAH, SYLTH and PEWFY who made significant contributions to the original thread. Thanks to ACHEIRAN and CORISSANDE for your two cents worth as well. And I need to give a nod of the head to SELLYS who would remind us all that there is more than one way to approach the game, no matter what level you play.

Basic Points 1 and 2
Basic Points 3-5
Specifics of Play: Priests
Specific of Play: Druids, Paladins, Shamen
Other Game Playing points
Listing of all Classic Dungeons. Also Ragefire Chasm and Deadmines
Wailing Caverns Part 1
Wailing Caverns Part 2
Shadowfang Keep
Blackfanthom Deep
Stormwind Stockades and Closing
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 10:09 AM PDT
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Basic Points 1 & 2

First some basic points. The first perspective is mine, and I have placed an alternative views after each point. While I do not agree with Sellys on many points, it is an alternative style of play and worth knowing about if you are a new healer.

First point:
Know that all wipes are your fault. It is not true, it is not reality, but most players expect to be healed no matter what they do. You will be blamed, you have to know that this comes with the territory.

Sellys’ view of point one:
One of the most important things a healer can do is understand what's going on around them, how to interpret recount/skada/combat logs to figure out what actually happened and whether it was their fault. If it is your fault make adjustments so that doesn't happen again, if it isn't your fault don't let people bully you into feeling bad about yourself.

Second Point:
Your priority has to be healing the tank. Gathering quests, looting, and healing DPS are all secondary to keeping the tank alive. My priorities are: 1. Tank 2. Me 3. DPS 4.Foolish DPS 5. Other

Sellys’ view of point two:
Eh. If someone runs off before I'm ready it's 50/50 whether or not I bother to save them. Usually I'll save them the first time and ask them to pay attention but after that if they dash off while I'm switching specs they're on their own.

Oldwolfe’s view of point two:
You want to keep the Tank alive above all else, and if that means letting a DPS die, do not feel bad. If doing so prevents a wipe or tank death (or worse, Your death and likely wipe), then it was necessary and unavoidable. After the tank there is yourself to keep alive, followed by good (cooperative) DPS, then finally at the bottom of the list, bad (uncooperative) DPS.
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:26 AM PDT
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Basic Points 3-5

Third Point:
Communication is vital.
In Game Play: You have visual communication in the form of the health bars of your team you must watch them intently. Not only must you be aware it is dropping, but its speed. Amazingly enough one shot kills are rare at this level. (The tank has to be hugely under-geared for that to happen), but fast kills are possible if you do not watch that health bar. (Don't forget your own.)Also keep an eye on the battle itself. Is the tank moving so that he will be out of your line of sight? Is the hunter backing away and about to pull a mob nearby? Are you getting aggro (Your name badge in the upper left will glow yellow then red.)

Written: While a tank should be watching your mana, it is often not going to happen. Remember at this level they can be learning too. So tell the tank you need mana. "OOM" or out of mana is the easiest way to do this. But remember he may not know what it means. I have a macro that not only puts the written words up, but uses the emote which has my toon actually say it out loud. If you have problem with a team member, Whisper them. Do not use the group chat. Communicate to the tank that he is pulling too fast, or pulling too many, in a whisper. Using group chat is often perceived as an attack and will often turn into a drama session.

Sellys’ view of point three:
I'm not going to whisper a tank and ask him to put a shield on. I'll do it in party chat so the DPS know what is going on. I'm unlikely to tell someone they're !@#$ing terrible, but I'm not going to passively sit back and work 10x as hard because someone else doesn't have a clue to what they're doing. If I forget to change specs on my druid and get hit like a truck because I don't have “thick hide” in my spec I'd prefer someone let me know.

Oldwolfe’s view of point three:
Communication of difficulties (whether Mana, damage intake or speed), is essential. The group is there to work TOGETHER. If you are struggling, let them know, and hopefully things will ease up. If things do not ease up, DON'T lose it, keep a level head and continue to try to reason with them. If reason fails, and the run isn't close to finishing, just leave; you do NOT have to put up with abuse or idiots, and definitely not both.

Fourth Point:
Use your least expensive heal spell as much as you can. By expensive I mean, your mana use. Keeping people healed up with your most expensive heal will result in no mana by the end of the fight and a probable wipe. (Stock up with mana potion or at least drink so you can be ready if you run low on mana)

Sellys’ view of point four:
I don't like this advice either. Use whatever you need to use to keep people "safe". If I'm tanking and the healer is letting me sit at half health because they don't want to use anything other than HL/Heal/HW even though they have full mana I get very nervous. Tanks at half health are much less likely to survive unexpected adds/damage than one at full health.

Fifth Point:
Respect the players. Being rude, or arrogant is not really helping the situation. Calling a tank out in public, (Group chat) , about his paper armor, or his failure to protect you, is not going to help. Letting players die to teach them a lesson is also a form of disrespect. Simply put, treat them like you want to be treated.

Sylth’s view of point five:
Leave abusive groups. Even if it means getting the debuff. (Can be 30 min wait to queue for another group.) There are enough great players in the game that no one should feel "required" to put up with players that are detrimental to sanity, or even enjoyment. (Abusive groups - and players - I have found far and away to be the minority, so if you are seeing a lot of it, you might want to question why. But if it's one group, out of the blue, ignore it and move on ) Stick with it. It's hard to get over some of the humps, but worth it. Some people are barely human (a small percentage, fortunately), ignore them, move on - but stick with it. A truly great run, with a bunch of great players, is some of the most fun you will ever have.
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:26 AM PDT
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Specifics of Play


Holy Priest : Healing as a holy priest you will have renew, heal (at level 16) and flash heal. (Also resurrection which should not be needed.) Keep “Renew “on the tank and use the slow “Heal” to keep him topped out. (green health bar is full) Use “flash heal” to catch the tank up should you fall behind in healing, or should they pull too many. In addition, a “paper” tank might require more healing and therefore more ”Flash Heals”. If the DPS need healing and it is not too severe, take a second and cast “Renew” on them then return to the Tank. If it is severe, then use “Flash Heal” first. If that does not restore all the health, then top off with renew and move quickly back to the tank. Watch yourself and cast shield at the first sign of agro on yourself.

Discipline Priest: Use” Power Word: Shield”(PW:S) on the tank right away, if it breaks or someone takes damage, first respond with your spec specific spell “Penance”. If that isn't enough, the following priority occurs: If the person is in no danger of dying in the next 10 seconds:” Renew”. If the person is in danger of dying in the next 10 seconds, but has no “Weakened Soul” debuff: “PW:S”. If the person is in danger of dying in the next 10 seconds, and has “Weakened Soul” debuff: “Flash Heal”. Use “Penance” to heal whenever possible, and at 16, use “Heal” in place of “Renew”, unless more than one target needs healing at the same time. (Thanks to Oldwolfe for the information on Discipline Priests.)
Also if you are under severe attack, run to the tank. NEVER RUN AWAY FROM THE TANK. Running to the tank gives him a chance to pull them off of you. Running away means he will have to chase you and them . This risks pulling more mobs and also leaving the other DPS to fend for themselves.

General Priest information : Spells: You have “Flash Heal”, “Power Word: Shield” and “Renew” at level 15, “Heal” comes in at level 16. Holy: Use “Renew” on the tank right away and keep it up, supplement “heal” with “Flash Heal” or “Heal”(16) when “Renew” isn't enough.” PW:S” can be used if you need a break healing someone to heal another person at the same time. Watch your mana for both specs, and try to get Spirit on gear, in addition to Intellect. Focus on Cloth gear with Intellect, other stats, apart from Spirit, are secondary. (Oldwolfe)
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:30 AM PDT
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Specifics of Play

Shamen Paladin Druid

Shaman: Basically the same, except use the “Earth Shield” on the Tank instead of “Renew” and “Healing Wave” instead of heal . Always use the lower cost heals first and the high cost only as needed. “Healing Wave” and “Earth Shield”(Restoration bonus spell). Healing Surge is lvl 20.Keep Earth Shield on the tank constantly, it is a buff applied to them with stacks, recast when the buff reaches 1 stack. Use Healing Wave to supplement your healing, use to heal whomever needs healing. Healing Surge is your emergency heal, use to heal when someone is in danger of dying. Gear: Intellect and Leather are available to you, Mail at lvl 40, focus on Intellect upgrades, with spirit as a secondary focus. (Oldwolfe)
{Note: “Stacks” indicates that the spell has so many times it can be used before it is used up. It appears in the list of spells under the player name and picture to which it is applied. It is a tiny square with a number in it. (9 in this case). As the tank gets damage the spell uses one of its “stack”. You can see the spell number decrease as the tank gets hit. When it gets to 1… recast.}

Paladin: No “HOT” for you. (“Heal over time” such as the “Earth Shield” or “Renew”.) Paladin: Spells: “Holy Light”, “Word of Glory”,” Holy Shock”(Holy bonus spell), “Flash of Light”(at level 16) and “Lay on Hands”(at level 16).Use “Holy Shock” whenever it is off cool down, this will acquire you Holy Power, which is required for “Word of Glory”. These two spells, “Word of Glory” and “Holy Shock”, are your MOST efficient healing spells, and should be used whenever they are sufficient healing for the damage incoming. “Holy Light” is your next go to heal, it is mana efficient and generally sufficient to heal medium levels of damage. “Flash of Light” is your next heal, intended for emergencies and high levels of damage, use when the person would die otherwise, generally before” Holy Shock” comes off cool down. “Lay on Hands” is your big "OMG!" heal. Its long cool down makes it essential to use sparingly, but it can save someone’s life if required. Generally best to use on the tank if the tank is getting pounded and is about to die, can also be used on yourself, but it will prevent you from being able to use your other defensive cool downs(“Divine Shield”, “Hand of Protection”). But even with that you must stay on top of the tank’s health. Since you do not have an HOT, you cannot leave the tank on “auto” for any real length of time. (Oldwolfe)

(Note: Cool down is exactly what you might think. It is the time it takes for a spell to recharge. You cast a spell then must wait a period of time for it to be usable again. It’s cool down time is noted in the tool tip information box when you run your cursor over the spell. When cast the spell the icon will go darker and have a clock type hand gradually sweep the face of the spell icon to show it is not usable.)

Druids: You have “Rejuvenation”, “Regrowth” and “Nourish”, with “Swiftmend” the Restoration spec spell bonus. Keep “Rejuvenation” on the tank constantly, using “Nourish” to supplement your healing on him. “Swiftmend” for spikes on a target that already has “Rejuvenation” on it (avoid doing this often until 25, when you can Glyph Swiftmend to remove consuming Rejuvenation). “Regrowth” if you need to emergency heal. (Use on targets who are in danger of dying soon and just took a large hit). Gear: concentrate on Intellect above all else, Cloth and Leather gear are available to you, take whichever is the better Intellect upgrade. Spirit is useful too. (Oldwolfe)
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:33 AM PDT
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{A note about the use of Addons: (While I do not use addons, I have used them in the past, I do not recommend them one way or the other. You need to do what works for you. )

Addons are programs you download from other sites like “Curse” that are “added on” to your game. There is a process to get the addon downloaded and it will change how you play the game. These are not created by Blizzard, but are allowed. Use of an addon from “Curse” and other approved sites is safe and will not violate your user agreement with Blizzard. However, please note that it can slow your game down, particularly if you are using an older computer. If you have an addon and find that the game loading is slow, or teleportation freezes up or the game becomes jerky, then you need to disable your addon before contacting tech support as that will be one of the first things they ask you to do. Having said that, here is Oldwolfe’s recommendations.}

Addons :A healing Frame addon will significantly ease your initial healing experience, whether it is Healbot(my personal choice), Vhudo, Clique & Grid, or some other addon, they all essentially function the same: allowing your to bind spells to your mouse buttons, then with a simply hover over the corresponding party members health bar, to use a specific mouse button to cast the bound spell on them. It is both fast, intuitive and often gives your the information you need to keep the group alive. You can bind a great many spells in this way, with Shift, Control and Alt modifier keys for more spells than your mouse has buttons(I use a 5 button mouse, but a standard 3 button mouse works just fine took).

Quartz is a addon that replaces your cast bar, adding a total cast time timer, pushback tracker timer, Global Cooldown tracker and a latency tracker, allowing for more effective casting.

Recount can be an effective tool to look at your total healing, overhealing, mana gained and spell use, and can even be used to figure out what killed someone in the event of an unexpected death.

Decursive, while a redundant addon with a healing frame addon, it allows you to quickly monitor debuffs and to free up a binding on your healing frame addon. This addon allows a simple click to dispel function just by mousing over and clicking the appropriate mouse button. (It is also customizable)

Huntah agrees with Oldwolfe and notes that in their opinion, it is the default UI (The unchanged version of the game) that “sinks” most new healers.

Sylth had quite a bit to say about addons:
Most of the basics are included above, but I'll add a couple that are less about the mechanics, and more general in nature. An add-on or two can make healing a ton easier. It's well worth spending the time looking at Vuhdu, Healbot, Grid+Clique, etc. before piling into dungeoning. At the very least, change the option to use Raid-style frames so you can actually see the health bar without squinting past the unit frame clutter.
Edited by Angikin on 6/8/2012 10:25 AM PDT
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Other Game Playing Points

Sekoyah noted that they healed with a priest and wanted to stress the importance, at this level , to… …drink drink drink mana water between pulls, even if you only get a couple seconds in. Yes it does waste your gold, but if you have a tank that likes to go fast this could be the difference of not wiping. I will get tanks that are in full heirlooms, but have no idea what they are doing and are tons harder to heal then a non-heirloom tank. However this gear gives them a sense of invincibility and they pull very fast and very big. So I drink drink drink (mana water, not liquor hehe) and can keep the group from wiping.

Acheiran agreed with Sekoya and said….learn to go for your drinks as soon as you see you're out of combat. Skip looting if you must (if you do loot, select Autoloot in your interface options, and you can do it much faster).

Sylth also suggested you … Choose a casting method - keybind/mouseover/add-on, whatever - just pick one of the options that you might want to do long term so that you aren't constantly looking at, mousing to, and clicking on action bars to heal. (This way, you won't have to relearn it all later, and so you can pay more attention to what's going on around you - critical at higher levels.) Yes, you will - guaranteed - change what you've decided between 5 and a dozen times before you are done (if you ever are!) , but start down the path now.

Practice on yourself. Aggro a mob much lower level than yourself, and let it wail away on you as you practice each of your heals, over and over. Build muscle memory with your spell casting so you aren't having to remember which spells are which and where to find them to cast them in the dungeons. A new player - or any new healer - generally has a very difficult time determining if problems are because they or the group is sub-par. You aren't alone if you spend half your time wondering. But know this - if you have a good idea what to do and are doing it to the best of your abilities, chances are 99% of the time if there are problems, it's not your fault. Don't expect perfection of yourself or your fellow players, we all flub. And a flub or two means you are learning.

I cannot leave out Pewfy who noted the following:
I really like the suggestion of getting beat up while healing yourself. (Sylth described this above.) You'll learn quickly whether the display is conveying the essential info clearly. That's imperative. Make the adjustments to size, position, colors, etc. Learn to use both the mouse and keyboard, and the sooner you can put macros to work, the better. I like to observe causes and effects while healing. I find I do much, much better if I relax and not worry about a health bar not being full.

DPS, especially melee, are going to take some damage. And yes, there'll be some DPS getting a shellacking and when you try to help all your group… you will see… "target not in range" or "target not in line of sight." Just make sure that it isn't the tank, lol. Afterwards, think about the run and how you might improve it.
If you have guildies or alts that can sew you some gear? You might carry some upgrades (unless the dungeon offers better) that you can don as soon as you level up. I intend to have glyphs ready for when I can use them. Also, a reference sheet with your ultimate talent tree is handy for when you ding and can spend a point. Thank goodness we don't have to train spell ranks anymore. Nevertheless, keep your training up to par and apply your new abilities as soon as practicable.

Rhymetha points out a rather new change to the game. This is not necessary in every dungeon because sometimes the quest giver shows up at the end or you get the window popping up after you kill a boss, but it can be useful most of the time.I'm going to throw in one more basic piece of advice for new dungeon runners. When you kill the last boss in a dungeon, you can simply right-click the little green eye icon on the border of your min map (upper right corner) and teleport out of the dungeon. Then you can just teleport back into the dungeon and be automatically taken back to the beginning of the dungeon.
Edited by Angikin on 6/8/2012 10:09 AM PDT
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These can be spoilers if you want to be surprised, then stop reading now.

This brings us to the actual dungeons themselves. The order of the dungeons if you go from easiest to most difficult are as follows:

Ragefire levels 15-21
Deadmines 15-21
Wailing Caverns 15-25
Shadowfang Keep 16-26
Blackfanthom Deeps 20-30
Stormwind Stockades 20-30
Gnomeregan 24-34
Scarlet Monastary 26-45
Razorfen Kraul 30-40
Maraudon 30-44
Uldaman 35-45
Dire Maul 36-52
Scholomance 38-48
Razorfen Downs 40-50
Stratholme 42-56
Zul Farrak 44-54
Blackrock Depths 47-60
Sunken Temple 50-60
Blackrock Spire 55-60.

I have found Shadowfang to be the toughest, as you could sure use some spells you do not get until you are 20. This is particularly true for Shamen.

In this order then… here are the basics for navigating the earlier dungeons.

Ragefire Chasm
This is a Horde dungeon that has quests at the beginning for Horde only. However , Alliance get to run the dungeon though they cannot get the quests. Your group might choose to run the whole dungeon (particularly if you are Horde.) Or may just go for the Dungeon Achievement. This occurs when you kill Taragaman the Hunger. You will also kill a lesser boss, Oggleflint, but that is all. The full run will include killing Jergosh the Invoker, and Bazzalan. All these bosses have decent drops so it is worth it to me to run the whole dungeon. (It is short even with all 4 bosses.) Special note, there is a nice robe for transmog as a quest reward to Horde players. This is a straight forward dungeon. No tricks up the bosses sleeves. Just eliminate the trash, isolate the boss and burn them down. Wait…you’re a healer so heal the others, while they eliminate the trash and burn them down.

This has always been one of my favorite dungeons. Even with the changes it is still a great romp. This time you will start to see some fancy moves from the bosses. Even some of the trash have talent so stay on your toes. (Special note. For Alliance the lore here is great as it ties in with the Westfall storylines.) Also in this dungeon the DPS can jump on the cannons and fire them, as well as ride the mechanical reapers when they come up. As you go through Deadmines there will be a few things to watch out for, but you should have your healing pattern down.

That being said, your first boss, Glubtok, will float in the air and cast circles of death around the room. The danger here is the DPS who may stand in them and die. (You too will need to move around.) Still it is not a tough fight and you should do fine with a good tank.

Next you go into the sawmill section. (A good weapon to be had here for melee toons), Helix Gearbreaker is the Goblin gone bad. (We all cannot be sweet and loveable like me.) Hopefully the tank will clear the others around the room before attacking Helix who is riding on the shoulders of a big oaf. Helix can be tricky as he will jump on the head of different party members as he also casts insults and more importantly, bombs. Lots of bombs. It is important to move away from the bombs and most of the damage you heal will be the tank and slow moving DPS.

Next you enter the mechanical room. Here the Foe Reaper is a giant robot. He can do some serious damage, so be ready to get the big heals for the tank. It is possible to have the DPS jump in the defeated smaller robots so watch for that. Their health indicator changes so do not be alarmed. It actually reflects how much life is left in the robot, not the team member.

The rest of the run is to get to Admiral Ripsnarl. (If you are Alliance and quested through Westfall, you might have witnessed his imprisonment and freeing earlier. Now he is to die.)The path to him is fairly basic, just watch out for the cannon shots that are on the dock as you run to the ship. They are clearly marked and will blow you into the water if you are in one when a cannonball strikes. If you get into the water swim back to the entrance to this section and climb out. Also the birds can cause some minor damage to everyone so you may need to “top off” some of the group before you go onto the ship.

Ripsnarl is a different kind of fight. He too will bring adds (Ghosts) that go after the DPS (and you). Just protect yourself and stay on the tank. You can actually lose a DPS and do fine, though that really should not happen if you can cast an occassional spell on the unlucky DPS. To make it harder, Ripsnarl also disappears and it is all in a fog. (literally).Cookie then appears and it is an anti-claimax. He tosses rotten food out, just heal the tank and it is usually a short fight. (Nice stirer though for a drop.)
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:49 AM PDT
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Wailing Caverns

Wailing Caverns is the longest dungeon you will encounter up to this point. Do not start it if you have to leave soon. There are 5 bosses and 2 other fights that you might as well get while you are in there. The intial run takes you to the river that runs through the whole dungeon. Now there is no right or wrong direction to take at the first decision point. Most groups go left and destroy the first boss, Lady Anaconda then clear the rest of that area for the quest items. (Deviant hide and serpent blossoms.) I have been with teams that ignore her and come back for her at the end. Since you will have to come back this way again, it really does not matter.

Lady Anaconda has one assistant with her, but will summon adds. (Large Python looking snakes.) This will not be a hard fight. The basics will apply. Leaving this area you can go up river or down river, again it will not matter, you have to pass this way again. If you move up river you will run into Kresh. He is a turtle minding his own business that has the misfortune of dropping a very nice shield for tanks. No problems here for you.

Eventually you will run into Pythas. Pythas, Serpentis and Cobrahn are all essentially the same fight. They will cast sleep, lightning and summon the occasional add. It is important to note there can be some really nice drops for you with these guys.

Cobrahn has a little extra fight in him and will turn into a snake and do additional damage. Watch your tank closely when this happens. Also melee DPS can take some real hits here. He also casts poison and this can affect you and other ranged group members, so be careful. If you are not alert here you can lose a tank or even die yourself.

Either way you run this dungeon the last boss on each leg, has a short cut back to the start area. After Serpentis you will face another fight with Verdan the Everliving. A giant plant creature that has some nice loot and experience. Hope the tank or DPS does not pull him while you are fighting the boss, or healing will be a real challenge. Behind him is a hole you jump into and then run back to the start area. No healing should be needed there.

The other leg is Pythas and it takes place on a cliff or large ledge. Many players just jump off the cliff and take the damage, but if you are careful you can jump to a lower ledge, then to a slightly lower ledge and finally to the main floor.

I have left out Skum, he is a dino you will encounter on one of the legs. His room is important as it has alot of serpent bloom and some players will not fight so they can get the blooms before anyone else. However, Skum is not a hard fight. He does lightning bolts and can get you, but not enough to kill you.

Either way you went, now return to the start point. (If you opted to skip Lady Anaconda earlier you have to kill her now, or the last escort fight will not begin.)

Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 8:57 AM PDT
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Wailing Caverns part two:

Again Rhymetha has good information on this dungeon ending….you may want to warn the party that the dungeon isn't over yet. (after killing the last of the four smaller bosses) A lot of people think Verdan is the last boss.

Make sure that no one talks to the Tauren NPC until the party is ready. Ideally the tank should be the one to talk to him. Once you start the escort quest, your main challenge as healer is going to be keeping up and making sure everyone is in your line of sight. The NPC starts fights with raptors, but then runs on ahead. This may lead to a confused situation where half your team is fighting the first raptors, but the other half has run on ahead to keep up with the escort and defend the NPC. So stay aware of where everyone is so you can help everyone (and you can heal the NPC too if needed - FYI). Watch out for DPS who get left behind and accidentally aggro more raptors. It's easy for them to die if you don't keep an eye on the stragglers.

I will finish up Wailing Caverns with this:

There are two small fights before the last big fight. In the final fight there will be three waves. Serpents, slimes and then the big boss: Mutanus the Devourer. It is important to know that the waves come from all directions and will come to you as well. If this happens, protect yourself and run to the tank. Hopefully he will pull them off you and you can resume healing. The last boss is a Murloc. (I like everyone else hate murlocs....smile) His fight is not hard at all. Just heal the tank and collect the loot at the end.

Finally it is not uncommon for lower level players to go up two levels in this dungeon and to pick up some good loot.
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 9:01 AM PDT
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Shadowfang Keep

The first real challenging dungeon as a healer. It can break a healer (As it almost did in the story I told in my OP).Essentially the healing process is the same as already noted above. The difficulty on this dungeon comes with line of sight and tough fights. While Ragefire Chasm, Deadmines, Wailing Caverns all have broad and open passages....Shadow Fang is full of narrow halls, sharp turns and surprise mobs. In this dungeon you must stay close to the tank. He can round a turn and be at 1/2 strength before you get him in your line of sight again. It is not uncommon for DPS to be out of your line of sight so do not waste time recasting a heal on DPS if you get the line of sight message Wait until you know they are in sight again.

The first boss will scare the pants off you. He is down in the jail area and will suspend everyone in the air and drop everyone's health to 0. But stay calm. He will not kill them at that moment. Casting any heal on them, (When you are released) will shoot them back to near normal levels. If the DPS is weak, you might go through this little death and resurrection episode two or more times. But do not panic and do not spam flash heal. You will use up mana too fast and it is not really needed.

The next boss is perhaps the first real fight you will have as a healer. Not only is he tough, but he will generate some additional adds (minions, evil henchmen etc.) which will make healing yourself and the DPS more of a problem. BUT STAY ON THE TANK. Silverlain is his name and he has caused many a disorganized group to wipe.

Next up is Commander Springvale. Hope they clear the room of the trash before going after him. He will reach out with flames (from his shield Rhymetha reminds me) as well as create a green circle on the floor. Stay out of the circle. (Going green here is not a good thing.) Be prepared to heal the DPS who do not understand the green circle effect.

The next boss, Lord Walden is in the laboratory and will be fairly straight forward fight. But I will let Rhymetha tell you about him…. “He wears a pointy hat and is found in his lab. He shoots ice shards into the air that fall to the ground where the small blue circles of light are. Avoid standing in those circles, lots of damage. As healer on both the Springvale and Walden fights, the healer needs to be on the lookout for anyone standing in these pretty glowing graphics of doom. The rule with these two bosses is - if it's pretty and shiny where you are standing - MOVE. But some won't, and you'll need to be ready to throw BIG fast heals on them to keep them from dying.”

The final boss, Lord Godfrey, is the toughest boss you will see before you get to Level 20. I have been in more wipes with him as a Mage or DPS Paladin than any other boss. But he need not be so tough. In the best case scenario, the tank will eliminate the two hulks down stairs then pull the boss to the lower level. It is possible to kill him upstairs but you have less room to maneuver. The key to this fight is to stay behind the boss. Stay on the tank.
Godfrey will give a warning that he is about to use the machine guns, and this gives you a second to make sure you are behind the boss. He shoots to the front on a 90 degree arc.
(Newbie DPS die fast here.)

You will also be attacked by ghouls (adds) and must be prepared to run to the tank. Priests need to shield themselves, the others need to defend themselves as best they can.

Once again Rhymetha has some good points. “…One way to control the damage with Godfrey is to have the tank move him so he's facing a wall. Tank has his back to the wall, and Godfrey is facing him. That way, his pistol barrages only hit the wall, and you only have to worry about healing the tank. “Once he is downed. And if you did not lose the tank, then you can be feeling good about your healing.

Next up: Blackfanthom Deep and Stormwind Stockades.
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 9:05 AM PDT
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Blackfanthom Deep.

This can be a long dungeon and has some tricky fights, but with an average group you should not have any problems. After Shadowfang Keep it is almost a vacation. The beginning has some quests but note that this dungeon is well known for not having enough drops for everyone to complete the quests. This will lead to players who are so eager to get the loot that they will quit fighting early to loot and even attempt to down mobs by themselves so that they can loot before anyone else does.

The first part leads to a large lake. There are two ways to get out of the lake, but the easiest is to swim across and then jump from pillar to pillar. This will lead to another big cavern with an island in the middle.

On the Island is Ghamoo-Ra, a large turtle. This is a straight fight and you just need to keep the tank healed. (There are other turtles but they will not attack unless they are attacked,)

On a side cavern, there is the next boss, Lady Sarevess. She is back in a small cave nook and has nothing that difficult to face. Just keep up with the tank and since she can hit the ranged party members, watch them for damage too.

Leaving the Island Cavern, (after finding a chest with another quest item in it.) you travel to another water filled cavern. This one is shallow and has Gelihast as the boss. This is not a tough fight but the Murlocks are real sensitive and the group can pull multiple mobs before they know it. Be prepared for some costly heals as you may have to use the big heals to keep the team alive, particularly if they try to pull the whole room. (Drink up and make sure your mana is full before going in.)

From here you go to visit the Twilight Faction. They have control of the temple and will dazzle your team with the inadequate number of Twilight Medallions (or talismans or something) that drop. Here is a place where you team will loot rather than fight if they are aware of the shortage of these quest items. Going into the temple can be a chore as you have to go down into a narrow hall so line of sight can be a problem. But just keep your eye on the tank and you should do fine.

In the temple you will have your biggest fight, so be sure the tank clears the trash before going after Lord Kelris. He is a tough fight and will dash off and hit the ranged players from time to time. So watch out for yourself, as well as the DPS. Of course, keeping the tank alive is most important. (Be sure to loot his head if you have the quest at the end of the fight.)

In the same room, you now have waves of giant assorted seafood. This can be a tough fight as some players will pull to many and since you do not have any area heals, you will have to use some big heals to catch up DPS who are up to their necks in crabs. I have also seen these fights go quick and easy, but it will depend on the group.

After killing these mobs, the back door opens and you go down to face Aka’mai. This multi-headed hydra can deliver some heavy damage and also sends out attacks to ranged players, but after the waves of attacks in the temple, this will not be hard. Just stay on the tank.

Odds are you will get to run this again if you want to complete the quests, so pay attention the first time. There are two additional bosses that are not required for the dungeon achievement. One is “Old Serrakis” who is outside the temple underwater. This is not a hard fight, and has some decents drops. The other boss, Lorgus Jett, I have never seen, so I do not know about his fight.
Edited by Angikin on 6/5/2012 9:09 AM PDT
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Stormwind Stockades

The last dungeon before you reach 25 is Stormwind Stockades. It is like Ragefire Chasm in that it is an Alliance Dungeon that Horde get to run. This has got to be the simplest dungeon to navigate. In the shape of a “T” is has side rooms to clear, but it is impossible to get lost.

You go straight to the top of the “T” clearing the side rooms as you go. The only problems you might encounter here, is your team members pulling too many. They will be fighting in the main hall, then accidentally pull a side room, or vice versa.

At the top of the “T” is the boss, Randolf Moloch. He will disappear and reappear. When he is invisible, nothing can attack him, so the surprise comes when he reappears and does damage before players can target him again. Just watch out for the tank and help the DPS if you can. (You usually can.)

Going to the right arm of the “T” will take you to Lord Overheat. He can do some serious damage and again, you need to watch out for yourself as he has ranged ability.

On the other end of the “T” is Hogger. (He is legend to players who had to kill him in Elwyn Forest before Cataclysm.) His comment about the “Forest was just a setback” actually refers to the recent changes where you no longer get to kill him in the forest, and he is captured instead. Once captured he is brought to Stormwind Stockade where he is the big boss of the uprising. He is a tough fight and you will need to be fully charged with mana before going in, but really has no surprises. The wipes I have seen here occur when someone on the team pulls some of the mobs from the side rooms that are around the main room Hogger is in.

I have killed Hogger in the woods (level 9 toon) which is no longer possible, I have helped capture him in the woods and I have downed him in the Stockades. Hogger is a worthy opponent in all situations and deserves a nod of respect….just before you help kill him!

Summary and Thanks

This thread will prepare any healer for the early levels of healing. (I guess I should mention that Gnomeregan will allow level 24’s in, but I have not hit it before level 25 or 26.) My thanks to all who posted in the original thread and I hope this revised thread will be more useful to new players looking for help.

May the tank always live, may the DPS stay out of the fire, and may you never have to run back!

Edited by Angikin on 6/8/2012 10:19 AM PDT
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90 Dwarf Priest
Reported for sticky!
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Thanks Pewfy,

Thanks for the support and help.
Edited by Angikin on 6/8/2012 10:08 AM PDT
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65 Troll Priest
another really great and easy addon, especially for 5 mans is "Healium" which is available at curse dot com..i use it and Decursive along with my razor naga mouse and its instant happiness!
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Sticky requested as well.

Though I would suggest using a little more line breaks in the addons section, it looks a bit like a solid block of text. = )
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90 Pandaren Shaman
I liked the idea of your first thread, and I REALLY like what you've done here. Well done on the compilations. Like Oldwolfe said, you may want to try to break up some of the bigger chunks of text, but I really wish I'd had something like this when I was leveling a healer, and I'm sure I'll use it when I (inevitably) roll another healing class!

Thanks for your hard work :) Sticky requested!

EDIT: chunks of texts* is a really awkward thing to say
Edited by Ffraid on 6/6/2012 3:23 PM PDT
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Wow, thanks for the great comments.

I really hope this is useful to beginning healers. That was the purpose.

Thanks again.

(By the way, you all did the work, I only pulled it together.)
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10 Night Elf Rogue
I applaud what you are doing here. It's easy to forget and/or dismiss how intimidating, confusing, and difficult healing is to a new player. When I started this game I knew from another MMO that i wanted to be a healer, but that was it. I wish I had a resource like this in those days when I didn't know how to use macros (especially not mouseover macros), or raid frames, or even how or why to download an addon. Your use of "Quotations" left me scratching my head a bit but certainly won't stop me from voting this up for a sticky.
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