The Full Healy-Blog List
I follow a lot of healing blogs. I mean, a lot. Big or small, I’ll add most any healing blog to my feeder to at least give it a shot. If you’re wondering what my resources are for pointing out goings-on in the healer blogosphere (especially if you’re wondering if I’ve missed something), here is my full healer specific blogroll.

I don’t limit my list of resources due to popularity, size of readership, or any politics. I don’t care if the writer bashed me in a post that one time, or if they are smelly and a big jerky mcjerkface. If people post something I don’t like, or I’m not interested in… well then. I just don’t read that post.

The purpose of this list is to keep me up to date with what healers are saying in the blogosphere – from the small bloggers to the big ones. I don’t care if you only have 2 subscribers, and I’m one of them. If you post something that is good, I want to know.

This is a direct list from my feed-reader. If you know of a healy blog that is not on this list, please let me know so I can add them to my personal feed-reader. (comment or email: missmedicina at gmail dot com)

If you go through these links, you may find there are bloggers who have stated they are closing up shop. If the blog is still open, I am going to keep it on this list until after Cataclysm's release, because until the massive overhauls to our world and our classes, there may still be lots of relevant information on their blogs. Also, a lot of bloggers and players choose to find other things to do during the pre-expansion doldrums, so some may come back to the blogosphere.

If, however, you click on a link and it is broken, please let me know.


Druids
Pallies
Priests
Shammies

Multiple Class Healing Coverage

ETA: Last updated September 1st, 2010.

I will continue to keep this list updated (though I'm slow), so feel free to leave comments with suggestions :)

Image Overload
I don't often post screenshots, but I was going through some of mine last night looking for killshots, and figured I would share some of my more... entertaining experiences!



Fuu and I helped my aunt do her Pally mount quest old school style. As the only holy resident without a super fancy fairydust pony, I felt very left out.


But... I got over it pretty quickly. Pansies.



This is why Zodrick is not getting an invite to the next raid.


Chillaxin.




Small Dwarf, big throne.



Sky-swimming.



Violet Hold Gone Wild


Don't you dare close your eyes!


This is what happens when only one server is up.



I'm actually not sure if I find this frightening... or vulgarly offensive. Something about C'thun's eye just make me feel like I'm sitting in a Georgia O'Keefe painting.



You know, some people just can't sit politely on their insect mounts for a nice killshot.




I've got wings. And a pail. AND I WALK ON WATER. I am the priest your priest could spell like.


Best of the Healing World
ETA: Added a good priesty link!

This week is incredibly skimpy on healing class-specific posts. Fuubaar keeps sending me frowny faces over gchat, wondering why I'm not posting as much, even daring to ask me if I was done with the blog. WHAT?! Hell naw.

The general answer across the blogosphere is that times are tough, folks. We're in the late-patch lull that even patch 3.3.3 can't really fix. There weren't that many changes for healers. We'd already talked about the changes to t10 for priests ad nauseam. People are bored.

That's not my issue. Mine is more of a personal thing. I have 7 posts half written, bookmarks out the wazoo providing content for relevant posts. I cannot bring myself to post a piece that is not fully researched and completed. I'm having more of an issue where my brain is asleep. I cannot seem to maintain focus or interest in anything, and all I want to do is sleep and/or watch Law & Order. I went to the doctor today, and I have been on my SAN character trying to level, but nothing that feels particularly exciting.

No, I am not abandoning this blog. If I only make 2 or 3 posts in a week, that is never meant to suggest I'm leaving the blogosphere. It usually just means I'm very tired, and having my own personal version of a relapse.

So to the meat - there's only a couple of things that stood out this week as particularly helpful to specific healing classes, but they are good reads anyway.

Druids


Paladins

Priests


Shaman


Patch 3.3.3 LOLNotes
There's nothing relating to my priesty audience in the patch notes that I haven't already covered.

And so I direct you to Amber's in-depth and totally analytical and relevant explanation of the patch notes. That is all.

ETA: Here's a linky to the real patch notes, posted by Zarhym. They are too long for me to C&P here for now.


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Dear Greater Heal, We're Over
Dear Greater Heal,

I've long been a staunch defender of you, heal-bomb.

I have held on to you and your friend, my dear sweet Divine Fury... from the 80 levels spent Holy as I quested and killed mobs, all the way to 10 man ICC. All the way through to Festergut...

Where my love for you wiped our group.

We have a very strict 11pm cut off time. We were stretching it for a couple of minutes to try and do a quickie Festergut to close out the night. Final inhale, and my eyes are squinted, my shoulders tense, as I weave my way through a very strict tank healing rotation. Tank is at full health, so I decide that at my next Borrowed Time buff, I'm going to squeeze you, Greater Heal, into my rotation. Raid buffed, even without Borrowed Time, I've got 35% haste. The cast time on you with Borrowed Time is approximately 1.6 seconds.

And you just weren't fast enough.

I don't know how much mitigation value was on the tank at the time. Pain Suppression had probably worn off, and during your precious 1.6 second cast, I'm sure any bubble (Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis) he'd had was gone. But nothing makes me angrier than having my heal land a microsecond after the tank dies.

I'm livid. And I may be abandoning you from here on out, Greater Heal.

Granted, that was definitely not the best situation in which to use you, and I fully recognize that. But when my eyes are squinted and my shoulders hunched, sometimes my snap decisions aren't the best. It's the analysis I do afterwards that makes me a better healer.

Here's the thing. You're very powerful, Greater Heal, and I certainly can't deny that. You heal for somewhere between 11k and 17k, depending on whether or not you crit, stacks of Grace, etc. You're great for filling up the tank when he or she takes a big hit. So in general, to be effective, I prefer to use you when the tank is low on health (or when I expect him to be low on health by the time the heal hits). That generally means they are going to be below 50% health... which is where your arch enemy, Improved Flash Heal, kicks in. That extra bonus to crit means I have a 10% higher chance to proc that yummy Divine Aegis on the tank.

I was already planning on dumping you, Greater Heal, once I picked up the two piece t10 bonus but it looks like I may have to abandon you sooner. You may be more mana efficient... but I just can't rely on you. You just aren't dependable. You weren't there when I needed you, GHeal. How much crit have I sacrificed in your name? Five talents points that could make me a stronger, more independent Dwarf... and I have given them to help you be a Better Heal.

BUT NO MORE. We're done.

No love,
Jessabelle
This is What a Troll Looks Like
ETA: Don't worry. It's not real.

When SAN first started, there were a lot of people who were excited about the prospect of a drama-free social space. I believe at some point Gevlon even commented that it would be a boring guild, because there would be no drama.

There is absolutely no way that a guild with over 400 human beings in it can completely avoid drama.

There is absolutely no way that a guild full of bloggers whose hobby is based on their ability and desire to express strong opinions clearly would ever avoid drama.

A completely drama free guild WOULD be boring, but there's no need to worry about that - we have no such lofty goals as far as I can tell.

So. We might as well have a sense of humor about it ;)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I was shocked - SHOCKED I tell you - to find that I am the target of some truly cruel and unfair words by some weird dude with a fascist name like Klepsawhatit or something.

I don't have to stand for this. Here is proof of his vicious attacks against me last night in SAN chat.





You're right, jerky mcjerkface. I don't have to put up with this... this.. HARASSMENT.



If you support me..... Tweet it! #TEAMME

STOP THE TROLLING EPIDEMIC
Best of the Healing World: March 12 - March 19
This edition of "Best of the Healing World" is dedicated to my friend Crankyhealer - in my mind, you will always be part of the community that I value.

Druid

  • Another great guest post from Beru on Rejuvo, where Beru gives her thoughts on the differences between 10 man healing and 25 man healing. My experience between the two are somewhat different than Beru's, but I found it really interesting to read it from the perspective of a Druid as opposed to a Priest.

Paladin

  • Leveling a Holy Paladin - Healadin's Tear (with details on heirlooms, what gear to snatch from the AH, and the Dungeon Finder tool)
  • Tips for holy pallies healing the boss. Which, normally, would not actually be a good tip in and of itself. But, you know, Valithria and all that... seriously though, Valithria is your chance to shine, Pallies. Enlynn tells you how to do it right.
  • Pallies have a number of super special add-ons just for them. You can find a solid guide to CLCBPT, arguably the worst named addon ever, at The Physician's Log.

Priest

  • Domni provides some very good survivability tips for Priests - remember, we're squishy!
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS OF THE WEEK. Our dear Tamarind (the writer) has made some switcharoos and produced... CALIDORE THE DWARF PRIEST. Tamarind has switched to being a Pally, and did I mention dwarves rule? Also, Milton sucks, just sayin'.

Shaman





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WoW in an Hour
A couple of weeks ago, Gameldar at WoW in an Hour asked me to answer some questions about how I spend my in-game time; Particularly in regards to my ICC10 2-hour-a-week raiding schedule.

If you are interested, you can check out the interview here, and while you're there... pop around WoW in an Hour to get some tips on things you can do to maximize your in game time if you're on a tight schedule!
I think I Need a Makeover
There is a crisis in the Priest community right now. It's regarding gear.

Am I talking about improper itemization for shield spamming Disc Priests? No.

Am I referring to the bait and switch for our tier bonuses? Nyet.


WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE?

Now, I don't consider myself precisely a fashionista, and I'm quite proud of the fact that in general my lovely dwarf eschews all forms of vanity but... Really?

A turtleneck?

80s shoulderpads on crack?

Dominatrix inspired chains on my skirt?

My head is not only ON FIRE, but it also appears to have sprouted wings. In fact, if you look at it from behind...

I appear to be a very brightly dressed vampire.

I know I am not the only priest who feels this way. Must we be so poorly dressed?

And apparently there are some Pallies who feel the same way. The Light shines down and illuminates our crappy wardrobe, apparently.
Moar Tier Drama!
I'm watching the changes to the Priest t10 4pc bonus closely. There was a very strong reaction to the change initially proposed on the PTR, but I think it's really important that people recognize how often tier bonuses change on the PTR. It's not uncommon for Blizz to start a PTR cycle with a fairly blase tier bonus, and then tweak it. Currently, the initial 5% bonus to Power Word: Shield and Renew has been changed to a 5% bonus to Power Word: Shield and 10% to Circle of Healing.

That is a fairly powerful bonus, though I still don't really like how it's being changed from a really interesting bonus to a boring buff. I can understand the argument for it, however. The truth is, the default WoW UI is not very good at alerting the player to procs - and Blizz really does need to design their tier bonuses with the default UI in mind. That doesn't mean I'm not still sad about the change. Maybe it's an indicator that Blizz needs to spend more time tweaking the UI - there are lots of weaknesses from the perspective of this healer!

I definitely approve of the change from buffing Renew to buffing Circle of Healing. I realize that Renew is becoming particularly popular among Holy Priests, but Circle of Healing is the trademark Holy spell. Buffing Renew is a buff to single target healing - even if you heal several people, one at a time. The more druids you have in a raid, the easier it is to argue that Renew is not as useful. Instant cast burst AoE heal? That's Circle of Healing - and that's the signature Holy Priest move.

The post on the forums announcing the changes appears to have an error, but check out the test realm patch notes on the PTR site to see the change.



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Best of the Healing World: Feb 26 - March 11
The past couple of weeks have been a bit light on healer specific posts, mainly because we've all been wrapped up in <Single Abstract Noun> fun, so I skipped my "Best of the Healing World" post last week, and am combining the past two weeks into this single post. Let the healing begin!

Druids
:
Priests:
Shammies:
  • Nim provides an overview of all the different glyphs a resto shaman might choose.
  • Rahana gives detailed tips for resto shammies healing Forge of Souls.
  • There's just so much good stuff going on at Flow, but over in SAN, I've been listening to Wugan as he tries out this leveling-as-resto experiment while I try to level a shammy as well, so I find this series particularly interesting.
Paladins:

All healers:




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Outhealed by the PvPer
Last night I had a humbling VoA pug experience. For the first time in months, I tank healed alongside another Disc priest who actually knew what the hell she was doing - and that is an incredible understatement.

I know this, because her tank target actually had weakened soul on them the whole time. In fact, one time I was slow on the uptake, my tank target's health plummeted, and she shielded my target. I imagine she was probably wondering what the hell I was doing, and, while hesitant about shielding my target, figured it was better to be annoying than dead. She was the best Disc Priest I'd seen in a raid in a very long time.

But what has me totally fascinated, is that she's not a raider - she's a PvPer.

She was in full PvP gear (966 resilience). She carried a PvP heavy disc spec. Her glyphs and talent choices and gear priorities were nothing I would ever recommend for a PvE healer. Her gems were full of resilience and stamina. She had 128 hit rating. Everything about her gear, talent, gem, etc choices screamed PvP. And she healed just as well, if not better, than I did.

Her spellpower: 2569. Mine? 2840.
Her haste? 162. Mine? 716.
Her crit? 17.5%. Mine? 31%.

She matched me almost exactly on pure healing output, though I had significantly more mitigation/absorbs from peppering bubbles throughout the raid (because rapture procs make me smile). This makes sense, because her spellpower, crit, and haste are lower. She would, in theory, spend a little more time casting and have less Divine Aegis procs.

But the end result was the same. In full PvP gear, she matched my healing ability, and her tank stayed up just as well (sometimes better) than my own.

I shot her a whisper after we finished the fight, and told her she was amazing, and it was nice to heal next to someone who actually maintained weakened soul on the tank. She laughed and thanked me, and I'm sure she'll never see this post. She'll be too busy in Arena, kicking everyone's ass.

You might see her doing her daily random heroic, accruing emblems of frost. It looks like she does the weekly raid every week, and obviously pugs VoA (not surprising for a PvPer anyway). I'll think of her next time I see someone laughing at another pugger's PvP gear.

As someone who is completely oblivious about PvP, I admit being pretty jealous of the people who are good at PvP - I am awful at it. I personally think it requires a lot of quick thinking and maneurvering at which I am simply awful. So, I'm not ashamed I was, in my mind, out-healed by a PvP Disc Priest. I am, however, a little embarassed that I was surprised.

Everyone Loves a Farmer Joke
I recently acquired the patterns for Leggings of Awesomesauce and Sandals of Consecration. I am hoping to craft those boots for myself soon, but do not, as of yet, have the required Primordial Saronite. Therefore, I've been offering up my services in crafting the afore-mentioned pieces in Trade channel (using trade for trade?! Me? It's a first!) in order to save up some cash to purchase the Primordial Saronite I need.

So there I am in Dalaran, bored, occasionally clicking on my macro announcing my willingness to craft these items for people, with their mats, for 300g. As I'm sitting there debating over whether I should lower the price to 200g, I get a tell from a level 72 hunter, asking why on earth I would charge people for crafting something with their mats.

I close my eyes, count to ten, and then calmly explain to him that those patterns cost me the price of the Primordial Saronite needed to purchase the patterns themselves, the months spent in ICC getting reputation high enough to purchase them, not to mention all the time and effort I spent in leveling my profession. "Wow u must b rich!" is his response. I ignore this, thinking to myself how after purchasing these patterns I am most assuredly not rich anymore, and then he continues by asking me how much gold I have. For some reason this strikes me as particularly rude, coming from a stranger, and I tell him that is none of his business, and he responds "lol im not going 2 rob u", after which I simply stop responding to him at all.

I am not a gold maker. When I have a large supply of gold, which is rare, it is usually due to weeks spend grinding dailies. Truth be told, I rather suck at it because I simply do not have the patience. I can run dailies every day, but for me, that is less an issue of patience, and more a chance to play around with my shadow spec. I learned to play shadow by doing dailies. When someone asks in trade chat if someone can craft something for them, and I can, if I'm not busy I will help out, and usually I just do it for free if I'm just standing around bored. I suck at making money.

Having said that, I have a very extensive list of patterns for both Enchanting and Tailoring. I don't talk about it here much, but I'm slightly obsessed with professions. They are quite possibly my favorite part of the game. When I played Aion, I would sit around all day and craft things. So I really should probably spend more time selling combines in trade chat.

We share a small chat channel amongst the folks who make up our core 10 man raiding group, simply because we've all grown pretty close, and we're not all in the same guild. I was relating this story to our resident ret pally, and he commented about me farming. Confused, I asked him what he meant.

Tordun: "You said you were doing combines. So... you were farming. GET IT? GET ITTTT?"
Me: "..."
Tordun: "Are you seriously telling me you don't get that?"
Me: "..."
Muffincups: "I got it, but then.. I'm from blahblah county." (A county near where we live that is largely made up of farmers)
Me: "... OH IT'S A FARMER JOKE"

The more you know.




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Single Abstract Noun Bloggers!
By popular request, I am making this post as a placeholder.

If you a member of the Bloggie guild Single Abstract Noun and you have a blog, please comment here with a link to your blog, as well as the name of your character(s) in the guild - and if you are EU or US.

In order to keep this a bit tidier than our guild bank, excess comments will be deleted - please just comment once with the above information.

LET THE COMMENTING COMMENCE
The Most Annoying Proc of All Time
So on Friday night I managed to get into a pugged 25 man ICC rep run. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this entails, it involves clearing all the trash up until Marrowgar, and then resetting the raid and doing it all over again. There is a lot of initial trash, so you can get quite a bit of rep this way. I managed to get myself to Revered with Ashen Verdict, which meant I could upgrade my ring, as well as spend some Frost Emblems on Primordial Saronite to buy a couple of Tailoring patterns.

This new ring is the first in its specific series to have a proc on it. The proc in question?

"Your helpful spells have a chance to increase your spell power by 285 for 10 sec."

For most healers, this is probably a perfectly satisfactory proc. Granted, I'm not a big fan of random spellpower increases for healing, since you can't really depend upon them, but it's still not bad. You can use it as a good opportunity to blow some cooldowns, like Tranquility or Divine Hymn.

Unfortunately, for Disc Priests, all this does is make me want to punch someone.

"A more powerful spell is already active."
"A more powerful spell is already active."
"A more powerful spell is already active."
"A more powerful spell is already effing active, stop spamming your shield key in rage."


ARGHHHH.

I know that the bubble on that mage only has an absorption value of probably 10-20 health left on it. I have a tool on XPerl that gives me a good indicator of how much shield someone has left. And I cannot put a new shield on that mage.

This isn't a bug. This is an annoying error message that people get all the time with spellpower procs. Thorns is a good example. There is a little thread over on the WoW forums that talks about it a bit. Why is it a particular problem for Disc Priests?

Because it's more than just annoying. The current combat log system does not seem to actually record the absorbtion value of the shield on people. You can't hover over the Power Word: Shield icon in your buffs and see how much shield you have left. All that matters to the combat log is that you have the buff. Period.

I get a spellpower proc, and I put a shield on you. You take enough hits to wear down 99% of that shield. In fact, you only have enough shield left to absorb about 20 hit points of damage. Weakened Soul drops off, and I go to bubble you again, only to find out that I can't put a nice fresh bubble over the one you currently have that only has about 20 hit points left to it... because the combat log still considers the old bubble "superior" to the new one, since the original shield I cast on your was larger than the one I'm trying to cast on you now, due to having more spellpower when it was cast. It doesn't matter how much shield value actually remains.

So instead of having a shield on you that will absorb 10,000 damage, you are stuck with that nasty old used up one that will only absorb 10 points, until the buff times out, you take another hit, or you have the presence of mind (and nothing better to do I guess) to right click off the old buff.

See the problem here?

Again, we find ourselves in a situation in which tank healing Disc Priests have much less of a problem with this than raid healing ones. The tank will almost always use up that original shield before Weakened Soul drops off anyway. For shield spammers... be prepared to get very frustrated with a proc that will mostly just screw up your shielding rotation.

Hopefully an updated combat log reporting system will accompany Cataclysm - shields are not recorded in a very good way with the current system.



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Things About Which I Pre-Emptively Panic
I have kept a journal since I was in the single digit age bracket. Since college, most of my self-philosophy has been via online journaling - previously livejournal, and now here, though I do try to keep things relevant to WoW.

It is usually fairly entertaining to read my Deep Thoughts as a pre-teen... but sometimes it's actually quite frightening. Sometimes it helps me put things in perspective.

Within the month, I will be creeping one number close to the big three oh. 27 is really not that big of a deal, so I'm not going to flip out about it. I keep telling myself this. But then, on occasion, I hear the very loud ticking of a biological clock, and I start to panic again. I should be married. I should have a career settled. I should be preparing myself to have kids. SHOULDN'T I? I'm running out of time! TIME!

And then, in an effort to "soothe" myself, I pull out one of my old journals from when I was 15 years old. And I read the entry that always reminds me, in a somewhat calming way, that I am simply fucking insane. At the risk of humiliating my 15 year old self, I will share it here.

"And Lilly," (yes I called my journal Lilly so just shut up) "I'm wondering if God would forgive me if I went out and had sex just enough to get pregnant. Because I really want to have kids. And I'm quickly running out of time. I mean, if I don't do it soon, I may miss my chance entirely!"

Did I mention I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD when I wrote that?

Due to that somewhat enlightening recognition of my internal panicky nature, I have decided that I just can't worry about this crap, or I will drive myself insane. Or at least... I will try not to worry about it, but I'm not always successful.

Why am I even bothering to mention this on a WoW blog (aside from the fact that, let's face it, that's pretty entertaining)? Because I have a tendency to have this panicky attitude in every facet of my life - not just the ticking biological clock.

Bornakk announced some "hot fixes" on the WoW forums yesterday (oh hai thar you sexy orc with an Amish beard) and when I read them, I grew very suspicious. And that suspicion grew into panic, which then degenerated into all out heartbreak. All in the span of 30 seconds. That's how I roll.

Why wait so late in the ICC game to make these fixes? In fact, I might venture to say that these aren't really "fixes" at all, but mini-nerfs. Maybe they were justified in some scenarios, but plenty of people were able to move past these difficult encounters with little complaint.

It's one thing to have a nerf-buff that can be turned off. But I can't turn off hot-fixes. I can't turn back time and ensure that my raiding team gets the same epic experience in ICC that so many others did. In a way, I feel like we've missed our chance. Apparently the real challenge of ICC was to clear it out before it stopped being as challenging. We haven't even conquered Plagueworks yet due to ID resets and time. I was determined to make this ICC10 group work, and work well... and now I feel as though I've failed to get what I really wanted out of this whole experiment: The same experience that hardcore 10 man raiding guilds got.

A lot of people seem to think that the people raging over nerfs are the e-peeners and the elitists.
And I will agree that there is plenty of that going around. I will be the first to step up and admit that Blizzard opened the raiding doors to people like me and gave us more accessibility. I don't think I'm a poor player - but I refuse to leave my friendly little guild for a raiding guild.

Not all of us who are upset about the "easy-ing up" of WoW are hardcore e-peeners. Some of us are just your average players who occasionally dance naked on mailboxes. Some of us just care more about the process than the end result. Some of us want to know, for ourselves, that we achieved something truly spectacular, against all odds. It's not about showing off to others, it's about proving it to ourselves. When I got my GRE scores, I was excited not because I could flash the number in front of grad schools - but because I had proven something to myself, even if it were just a standardized test. I hate how easy it is for me to gear myself up, yet I don't begrudge others for doing it. It's just a giant let-down for me, because I don't personally feel as though I did anything all that great to get my epix. I just queued up. It doesn't have any value to me unless I found it difficult to achieve.

It's not uncommon for 10 man ICC teams to struggle on Rotface for six hours. The difference is that for them, that may mean two days. For us? That means three weeks. Since we aren't a raiding guild, people weren't picked for this raiding team based on "Are you available during this time slot?" - they were chosen first, and then asked "What time will work best for you?" and thus we have two hours a week that works for everyone that I wanted to join me in ICC. I could have picked people based on schedule availability, and run with entirely different people. But I wanted to achieve this great feat with my friends, so I did everything I could to make sure it was my friends who joined me.

And here I am, quickly running out of time to "do it right". My chance at conquering a challenging ICC is passing me by so quickly, and I feel like I'm missing out.

Or am I just being that silly 15 year old girl again?






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Single Abstract Noun is Recruiting Stateside!
So, in the interests of fostering that "community thing" you always hear us bloggers nattering on about, Tamarind (who will always be Tamarind to me, no matter how many name changes) decided it would be a lovely idea to start a guild specifically for us bloggers and blog-lovers and readers and commenters - the WoW blogging community at large. Basically, all of us social folks who just love to chatter.

It's almost like the antithesis of Gevlon's Blue Guild... we have absolutely no real purpose EXCEPT to be social.

Unfortunately, EU players are separated from US/Oceanic players by more than mere ocean. We are unable to play together on a single server, sadly. However, <Single Abstract Noun> has both a US/Oceanic charter as well as an EU one! Tam is taking up the lead for the EU side, and I've started up the US end. Both are on our respective Argent Dawn servers.

If you play on a US/Oceanic server, you can join us by rolling up an Alliance alt on Argent Dawn. If you are EU, you will want to roll a Hordie toon on Argent Dawn, and see Tamarind's post for more details. For US/Oceanic, I've set up a chat channel. Simply /join simgleabstractnoun, and ask anyone in the channel to shoot you a guild invite. I *think* I've set it up properly so that everyone can invite members.

You do not have to be a blogger to join us!
Part of the fun of this adventure is in getting to interact with other bloggers AND our readers. If you DO have a blog, you can add the URL in a public note on your character under the guild UI thingie. There is a guild tabard if you'd like to pick one up. (Quick note about the tabard - Tam told me exactly what tabard icon he had in mind, and it was intended to be somewhat reminiscent of PPI... but I'm not sure he tried it on a female character. So... be prepared for "Nice jugs!" comments!)

If you enjoy RPing, Argent Dawn is an RP server. If you want to level your toon, I'm sure others will be happy to do so as well. If you just need a break from your home guild or raiding, and want to go chatter with other similar-minded folk, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Several folks have offered up their vent information as well so we can chat with one another in real time. Maybe we can eventually chat with our EU friends via vent as well!

Aussies! Kiwis! Canucks! Americans! Calling all of you - come join us for completely frivolous socializing, and occasional Hogger raids.

And, it wouldn't be a guild without RULES amirite? So I'm going to copy and paste Tamarind's rules, since I consider him the REAL leader in all of this!

The guild rules of Single Abstract Noun are as follows:

1. Anybody with even the vaguest passing interest in the blogging community is welcome – which is why it’s a blogging communities guild, not a bloggers’ guild.

2. Single Abstract Noun is a pantocracy – which means, not only that pants are encouraged, but it’s rule by all. The guild belongs to all who belong to it.

3. Use the guild however you like, as a meeting place, for conversation, for running the occasional dungeon, have a million alts, have a single character, whatever you like.

4. There are no rules about respecting other people because GODDAMN IT I’M TAKING THAT AS READ.

5. Leave your wowcock in the stand by the door.


I am going to add my own additional rule in there. You must accept the fact that, uhm, people will likely blog about this guild. Just sayin'.

Also, please pass the word around. The problem with being a healy blogger is that... well, all of the members of this guild thus far are healers. Lots of interesting healing discussions going on but... in the interest of conversational balance, let's try to get some non-healers in there too!

I will try to be on at random hours so that I can shoot out invite to several of you in different time zones. If there is no one on when you log on, either shoot me a Twitter DM (MissMedicina) or an email to missmedicina at gmail dot com.




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To Bonus, or Not To Bonus

So, about that T10 4piece change.

Haven’t heard about it?

Well, the most recent PTR build has a change for Healy Priests’ T10 4 piece tier bonus. The current, live version, is this:

Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells.

I always thought that was rather confusing, but then let’s be fair. I’m slow. I had decided to forego that particular tier bonus for two reasons:

1) By a strange twist of awesomeness, whose details I am not at liberty to discuss, I miraculously acquired a free Leggings of Woven Death. Since I now have those, I figured what the hell, and went and purchased Meteor Chaser’s Raiment, because Dwarves look oh so hot in a turtleneck. Cough. This essentially killed my opportunity for the 4 piece bonus anyway.

2) Did I mention I’m slow? I don’t even want to see the stats on how many times I would miss the reset cooldown on my Penance. It would likely just throw off my tank-healing rotation, and confuse me.

Now, there was a lot of outcry about the crappy set bonuses for Disc Priests, because it just looked like Blizz was completely out of touch with what Disc Priests actually do most of the time. In 10 mans they may tank heal (and both tier bonuses for Disc Priests are very much directed towards tank healing IMO), but in 25s it is much more common for them to be raid healing – Pallies are just that much better in 25s. The tier bonuses don’t really do much for shield spamming – but to be fair, gear itemization in general does not do much for shield spamming Disc Priests. It’s a bit of a mess. Borrowed Time means you don’t need haste. Shields can’t crit, so you don’t need crit. You don’t need mana regen. So basically, everything that’s not Spellpower or at least Intellect is just *yawn*.

Okay so let’s take a look-see at what the PTR may have in store for us in terms of a new T10 4pc bonus:

Priest Tier-10 4-Piece Healing Set Bonus: Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield and Renew spells by 5%.

I feel very ANH about this bonus, but it is definitely superior to the previous set bonus for shield spammers. It’s pretty irritating to change the bonus so late in the game though – quite a few people have already made their badge choices for tier or non-tier gear.

For Holy priests, I think it’s utter crap – and my main reasoning for that is coming directly from something Zusterke (for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration - who doesn't?) pointed out on the PlusHeal forums:

I'm confused by the idea that we get a FHeal bonus in the 2P and a Renew bonus in 4P when those spells seem to be competitors as filler spells.

I see Renew being touted more and more as a replacement for Flash Heal in many ways for Holy Priests, and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. As someone who always ran with a lot of Druids, I hated it. Druids are better at HoTs, so it's better for me to focus on more burstiness while they deal with ... uhm, health pool softening. If you aren't druid-heavy, then yes, Renew is great.

In a raid, I do not heal in a vacuum - I heal as part of a team, and therefore, I consider the strengths of others in my team when making my own gear and talent choices. When I'm holy and healing next to a Druid, I rarely use Renew.

In conclusion though, if the PTR changes go through to live, it won’t really affect me personally, though I am sad for all those who saved up the emblems to get the bonus and will not like the change – Holy and Disc alike. If you had a good way to keep track of the free Penance or Circle of Healing proc, and if you were a tank healing Disc Priest, I would have thought it was pretty good.

As a side note… every time I read comments about Dawn Moore (the Healy priest column writer at WoW.com) I breathe yet another sigh of relief that I did not get that job. I may not always agree with her evaluations of things but… I know for a fact I would not handle that much criticism very well. Yes, yes… I’m a wimp.

I REJECT YOUR PITY BUFF
Yesterday when I woke up I fell right into a mental pit in the ground, so bear with me as I try to climb my way out over the next couple of days. I guess there's only so much srs healing philosophy posts in one week, it appears. Also, the debate rages on about Holy Pallies and Disc Priests in the comments section of my Single Target Healing post, and I'm reading it with great interest.

So, first on the docket: ICC nerf buff. Luckily, it's optional, because I'm with BobTurkey - WHY SO SOON? I want none of that nonsense. As soon as I heard about it yesterday I alerted all my ICC10 team members via a very professional, thoughtful, and mature email, that consisted of only one line.

"I REFUSE THE 5% PITY BUFF"

Of course, some of the DPSers who shall remain nameless were totally in favor of utilizing that buff. If we were really struggling with the content, maybe - but we aren't struggling any more than the average raiding guild. The only thing limiting us is time. But wouldn't it make more sense to wait until a lot of different guilds have completed it on Heroic? No one on our server has yet. As far as I know, there's no way to differentiate between achievements gained with the buff or without it. My achievements are a mark of pride for me, especially since my guild is so small.

See, I'm that annoying person that never wanted to use the door exploit of Shade of Aran in Kara. I refused the "walk behind the Lich King in Halls of Reflection" cheat long before purple lightning of death doomed its existence. I never wanted higher level players and friends to run me through dungeons or quests. I am, quite possibly, the most irritating person ever... BUT I DON'T WANT YOUR PITY BUFFS.

In all seriousness though... it does seem rather soon for the buffs to me. I realize we're slow on progression, but... really? Hmm. Maybe I'm just ridiculously out of touch with the raiding scene.



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Cataclysm Stat Changes
If you cannot access the full text of the incoming stat changes for Cataclysm that was posted on the forums today, mosey on over to BigBearButt where he has kindly provided the full text of the announcement.

(If you can't access it from work, add http://thebigbearbutt.com/ to your feedreader)
Healing Roles: Single Target vs. Tank Healing
You'll hear a lot of people talk about how Paladins or Discipline Priests are tank healers, or how other classes are subpar tank healers. I mean, everyone knows that Druids and Holy Priests are raid healers, and Shammies are Chain Healers, right?

The biggest mistake a healing lead can make, especially in a ten man raid when you only have 2 or 3 healers, is to pigeon-hole your healers based on their perceived niche. The larger the group, the more healers you have. The more healers you have, the more each healer can be specialized based on their niche. Thus we find ourselves in a situation where healers often have very specific roles in 25 man, but require a bit more flexibility in 10 mans. And too many people equate the strengths of each healing class in a 25 man to what their abilities will mean in a 10 man scenario.

Yes, some healers are better at certain tasks than others. However, never fail to recognize individual player style in combination with the flexibility of their class. A very important thing to remember is that all healing classes are balanced with abilities to heal single targets in addition to group heals. They absolutely have to be designed this way so that they can solo heal 5 man dungeons. Therefore, all healing classes can potentially do a stellar job with a tank healing assignment.

In order to break this down, we need to systematically break down the descriptions of single target healers and tank healers, and we also need to learn to differentiate between raid healers and AoE healers. Today I’m going to discuss single target healing.

Single Target Healing is an ability. It’s a niche that some healers, by design, excel at better than others. Tank Healing is an assignment. Got it? Wondering what the difference is? Well, it’s a subtle difference, I’ll give you that. The two classes most often referred to when discussing Single Target Healers are Disc Priests and Holy Pallies.

Last week Kurn had a post that discussed this conundrum with Holy Pallies, and it really got me thinking. Here’s a snippet of what Kurn said, but you can also read the whole interesting post yourself:

Single-target healing is our focus. True, this will generally be a tank, but that’s not always the case. Tank healing does not equal single-target healing. Apart from anything else, calling us “tank healers” completely ignores paladins who like to engage in PVP and arenas. There’s no way a mage, for example, can properly be called a “tank”, unless they’re tanking Krosh Firehand in Gruul’s Lair… Tank-healing is a subset of single-target healing.


I agree completely with Kurn (though I would probably flip that 3rd sentence and say that while tank healing IS single target healing, single target healing is not necessarily tank healing). And I will take that one step farther with Disc Priests.

When I was in charge of healing assignments in 25 mans, we had far too many Holy Pallies, and not enough raid healers. Therefore, when we had a Disc Priest, it was a challenge for me to come up with a specific assignment for them at first… and then I realized that most encounters have a situation in which a single player aside from the tank will start to take considerable damage.

Slag Pot. (Ulduar - Ignis)
Stone Grip. (Ulduar - Kologarn)
Bone Spike Graveyard. (ICC - Lord Marrowgar)
Mark of the Fallen Champion. (ICC - Saurfang)
Mutated Infection. (ICC - Rotface)
Penetrating Cold. (ToC - Anub'arak)
Legion Flame. (ToC - Jaraxxus)
Incinerate Flesh. (ToC - Jaraxxus)

Our resident Disc Priest could easily focus on these individual targets and allow the tank healers to continue doing their job and the raid healers to continue with theirs. It worked out fabulously – that is the strength of single target healing, and it does not necessarily need to be tank healing. I'll bet Kurn would agree that Holy Pallies would also do an excellent job at taking on these single-target non-tank healing assignments.

The Discipline Priest versus the Holy Paladin


There have been a lot of discussions lately about Disc Priests simply not being up to par as tank healers. Personally, I do not see a particular problem with tank healing as a Disc Priest in 10 man ICC (though I’m not a Hard Moder), but I can definitely see the argument in a 25 man raid.

The issue is actually less to do with single target healing ability, and more to do with the fact that most fights are two-tank fights to some degree – and Grace in effect punishes Disc Priests by 9% when we switch healing targets to try and heal two instead of just one. That is a significant gimp on our throughput. Pallies, on the other hand, can simultaneously heal the Main Tank AND the Off Tank through Beacon of Light (though they may not always choose to do this – see Saunder’s post).

Therefore, anytime there is a two tank fight, Pallies have an advantage over Disc Priests. In a 25 man environment, Disc Priests make better support healers for tanks, whereas Pallies can really do the brunt of the throughput healing. In 10 man, the problem is less extreme – Binding Heal, a Power Word: Shield, a Renew or a Prayer of Mending along with a splash heals from the raid healer will often be enough to keep up the OT until an actual tank swap occurs.

So, fine, Disc Priests are weak compared to Holy Pallies in terms of Tank Healing, at least in 25 man. Even Ghostcrawler has admitted this, albeit somewhat cautiously and grudgingly.

Personally, I suspect that it’s not so much that Disc Priests aren’t very good at it, it’s that we just can’t compete with Holy Pallies. For a vast portion of the healing public, that competition factor doesn’t really come into play – but for those who are in progressive raiding guilds, it does.
Therefore, the problem with Disc Priests as tank healers is that we are quite possibly the perfect example of a Single Target healer – whereas Holy Pallies are dual target healers. And current fights are usually designed around dual- tanking.

Other Classes as Tank Healers

As I mentioned before, all healers can adequately tank heal when necessary. I’ll repeat myself here – it is a requirement of designing healers that they be able to maintain the tank and group because healers are not just designed around raid encounters. They also need to be able to do their jobs well in a 5 man scenario in which they are the only healer. This was the most important thing I learned from the Circle of Healers survey – most responders who were not of the “tank healer” category commented that too many people don’t understand that they CAN tank heal.

Of course they can. There were plenty of times when, as a Holy Priest, I had to tank heal. This is one of the strengths of the Holy Priest, for the record – the ability to slip into ANY healing role at a moment’s notice without any significant gear or talent changes. If the tank healer goes down, the Holy Priest can slip right in to the role quite easily. Yes, a Holy Priest can definitely keep the tank alive and do a damn good job at it – they’ve got the burst and the single target throughput abilities to do it. They have a solid, and yet simple, rotation – as well as some “health pool softening” talents with Renew (side note: how do you like the word I chose to describe HoTs? Health pool softening – yay? Nay?).

For most raiding purposes, what sets the role of Tank Healing apart from other roles is that of sustainability.

Holy Priests can slip in and do an admirable job. However, they are not usually the best permanent choice for the role because of sustainability. In many situations, a Holy Priest will really struggle with their mana if forced to heal a single target for the entirety of a boss fight. It’s much better than it used to be, of course – now that we don’t have to pop in and out of the five second rule to stretch our mana, we can do a better job of it. But even still, Holy Priests just don't generally have the mana regen capabilities of a Disc Priest or Holy Pally unless they really go out on a limb to gear specifically for it.

I regret that I’m not as well versed in the styles of Shammies and Druids, but I suspect that in order to perform at their best as a tank healer, it requires a specific talent and gear selection. I rather like Druids as tank support healers, but burst is not the strength of a Druid. In my opinion, the best tank healers are the ones that have a reliable burst throughput and sustainability.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this though – especially from you Shammies and Druids. How do you feel your tank healing abilities compare?

Later this week we will discuss raid and AoE healing.
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