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.
As my friends and I were doing some table top gaming on Friday night, our newest WoW playing member mentioned that he was nervous about using the LFG tool, particularly once he hit level 80, because he has a great fear of walking into a group, and having the not a-typical "omg... WHAT are you WEARING?" response. I hated to say it... but his concern is valid - and I find it very frustrating.
A Year Ago...
Remember when Heroics were hard? I'm not even talking about TBC-Heroic hardness... I'm talking about when you leveled your first toon to 80, and you were gearing up to raid not long after Wrath was released. Back when Naxx, VoA, and OS were our only raiding options. Did you jump straight into Naxx in your quest blues and greens, with one or two crafted epics?
For most of us, in order to gear ourselves up for raiding, we ran heroics. We ground our way through an entire dungeon, picking up one or two blue upgrades along the way, mostly in the hopes of getting a nice shiny epic to drop at the end that might be what we want. Heroics didn't always give badges, if you recall.
Remember when Heroics were genuinely a challenge for you? In our guild, we fought amongst ourselves, arguing with each other over the specs we were using, or the spells, or who ought to be healing or tanking or whatever. It was draining, we got frustrated, and often felt like we couldn't do it. Utgarde Pinnacle and Culling of Stratholme brought us into several raging arguments, and for some time, we just stopped running Heroics altogether.
It is a lot easier to gear yourself up now, and I think we can all agree on that - even before the new LFG tool, people could chain heroics in a pug, and pick up enough emblem gear to be ready for the latest tier of raiding content. This is intentional, and exactly what Blizzard wanted to happen. The entire point was so that people wouldn't have to spend weeks grinding through old raiding material that raiding guilds didn't want to touch in order to be ready for the current content. Love it or hate it, it is working as intended.
However, in order to get to that end game raiding content gear level, you still have to somehow bridge the divide between Fresh 80 In Quest Greens And Blues and End Game Gear Level. And the best way to do that has always been, and still is, running Heroics.
So why do end game raiders seem so shocked and appalled by the mere presence of people using Heroics to do exactly that... gear up?
In an LFG PuG earlier this weekend, I landed myself in a HCoS run. Everyone except for the elemental shammy was very well geared. In fact, the tank was in a recognizable raiding guild on my server... a guild that includes a few realm first type things, if I recall properly.
The tank whispered me and said "looks like were going 2b carrying this dam shammy lol". He then made a point to tell all the dps to pump out the damage in order to make up for the shammy who was in unenchanted and ungemmed blues and purples. Since healers and tanks usually have some sort of strange bond, and since I was fairly well geared, I guess he thought I would sympathize with his devastating woe.
The shammy stayed out of fires. She even did a healthy 2k dps in her gear. We finished the run with 10 minutes left to the timer, and she even passed on the drake to someone else who wanted it.
Despite the fact that the tank continued to send me tells bitching to me about the crap dps, we had absolutely no problems. Maybe the tank and I carried the others through. So what? No one died, they all did enough damage that we were successful, and I got the badges I wanted.
I can imagine it would be more frustrating if you are a very strong DPS with a weak tank and healer combo, but luckily, in all but the newest heroics, my heals are strong enough to where I can make up for a lot of errors others make, and get what I want from the heroic. As long as everyone is courteous and friendly, or at least honors the "if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all" rule, I'm perfectly content - you can even stand in the fire on occasion, and I don't really care.
Before you jump into a pug, consider this: There are generally two types of people using the LFG pugging tool to gear up. Those who are gearing up solely via grinding heroics for the badges, and those who are gearing up via the items that actually drop from these heroics. Even for a lot of the raiders there are some good drops in the new IC 5 mans, but I'm not even talking about those. You may just end up with someone who still considers the epic that drops from the final boss in Heroic Utgarde Keep an upgrade.
(I'm not sure yet if the tool matches people of similar gear quality, as this has been up for some debate and anyone who can provide a source confirming the subject gets personal Power Infused thanks!)
If you want to chain grind heroics on high speed, that's fine. Blizz thinks that's okay, and so do I. But you should also respect the fact that for people who have just hit 80, they have a right to use the LFG tool in an effort to gear up as well. Don't be a jerk.
You could even follow the Tamarind Method of Wanker Prevention if you're feeling especially generous. For the record, I read his post several times before I understood it properly. If you play alliance, don't forget that everytime Tam refers to the DPS with whom he partnered a "cow", I'm almost positive he's pointing out that she was a Tauren, and not some other less courteous descriptor. Unless my context reading udderly failed. (CWUTIDIDTHAR)
I generally detest blogging about… well, blogging. It’s like making drama about drama. A topic, squared, does not necessarily increase the amount of interest on that topic. Meta-blogging is really not my thing.
Be that as it may, I am currently having a previously only internal debate regarding the direction of this site. No, I’m not going to stop writing it anytime soon. I have 12 drafts in my blogger queue, 7 drafts sitting on ScribeFire, and 18 emails I have sent to myself with other column topics I’m working on. And let’s not forget the giant Healer Survey data analysis that glares at me angrily every time I sit down to my macbook with the intention of running dailies. This brain, it’s like a fountain I tell you. A FOUNTAIN OF SPLENDOR. There’s no risk of drying up anytime soon.
But… what is the purpose of Miss Medicina? If I had a mission statement, what exactly would it say?
When I originally began to write this (with lots of encouragement from Fulguralis and Fuubaar), my premise was simple - a blog about healing philosophy. Not traditional theorycrafting, because math is like, hard, but a different kind of theorycrafting that comes from finding overarching general patterns amongst how healers heal, how they play, and the nuances of healing style. I planned to start with healing as a Priest, expand into Holy Healing (by progressing into Holy Paladin information), and then slowly begin integrating Nature Healing with Druids and Shammies. First and foremost, I wanted to write a blog that would be a resource for new healers. I wanted to help them cover the gap between “l2play n00b” and an Ensidia application.
The progression never happened. It’s not because I don’t love resto shammies (why does Word keep trying to change this to shimmies?) and druids, but more because I struggled with my Paladin, and then kept going back to my lovable, huggable, femdwarf priest. There are plenty of people who are altoholics, who simply love playing lots of different classes. I, however, judge everything against my Priest. I love everything about the Priest class. I love my class so much that when I play OTHER games I always pick the priestliest character class I can find (such as my 4e cleric). When I try to level a new alt, I never get past the early teens… unless it’s another priest. Yes, that’s right. Arguably the most detested class to level, and it’s the only class I’m interested in leveling. That having been said, I certainly enjoy reading about other healing classes.
So therefore, as it happens, I have posted a lot more information specific to Priests – yet even here I’ve made a distinction. I’ve completely ignored that shadowy spec, because I wanted to restrict my focus to healing (hello… Medicina?). So now I’m in something of a conundrum that really grates on my type A – I-like-things-in-neat-little-categories brain. If I’m going to focus on priests, shouldn’t I include more shadow priest discussion? If I’m going to focus on healers, shouldn’t I expand to more than just Priests?
This is one of those things that makes Priests a somewhat tricky class about whom to write. Of the four healing classes, you have two full blown hybrids that can cover every role (Druids and Paladins), one class that has 2 DPS trees and 1 healing tree (Shaman) and then you’ve got Priests, with 2 Healing specs, and 1 dps spec. I don’t read a large number of Shaman blogs, but of the ones I have seen, there seems to be some struggle with this as well. For priests, most of the time you find people either writing solely about the Healing Priest (Holy & Disc), or the Damage Priest (Shadow), and ne’er the twain shall meet.
Before dual spec, it seemed that we Priests had something of a standoff. Many who were healers were adamantly opposed to Shadow, and many more Shadow Priests were sick of being asked to heal. The lines have blurred a bit with the release of Dual Speccing. Many of us who were once solely healers picked up a Shadow spec for the purposes of grinding dailies, or other every day tasks.
Dual Spec has allowed me to play around with shadow in ways I never had before. I have a lot of questions, and a lot of topics I could write about shadow priesting, especially as I have recently begun raiding as shadow (the irony is that these are alt runs – everyone else brings an alt, and here I am, just running a different spec on the same toon). But is this really the place for it? Can Miss Medicina bear the weight of so little focus?
Ideally what I would prefer is a place to regularly write about Priests specifically (all different manifestations), and another place for Healing Philosophy in general. Until such an opportunity presents itself and is settled, however, Miss Medicina remains as it has been – a healer’s blog, with a special interest in Priests of the non-shadow variety.If, however, I were to have a weekly post specific to Shadow Priests, would it merely annoy my readership?
What a heavy Friday topic. I am having an identity crisis, it appears. Which role am I first? The Healer or the Priest?
Do you remember the first time you met that weird kid that didn't like chocolate ice cream?
Maybe it happened to you while you were in Elementary School. Dessert for the day consisted of chocolate ice cream cups, and the freak was trying to trade you his chocolate ice cream for your strained peas. Perhaps you thought you were being tricked somehow.
Now, picture the face you gave to non-chocolate-loving-freak kid. That is your "WTF IS WRONG WITCHOO" face.
Fast forward to present day. You're sitting in Dalaran, scanning trade chat for, oh I don't know, something actually trade related (lol noob), and yet another argument breaks out about how people who don't like to PvP are wimps. Or people who don't think the ease with which new raiders can get gear is lame. Or one of yet another bajillion different arguments that all are based on the same thing - one person not understanding WHY or HOW someone can get enjoyment out of a game doing something different than they do themselves.
If we could actually see each other's faces in trade chat (and for the love of God thank everything holy that we cannot) there would be a lot of WTF IS WRONG WITCHOO faces.
Ever had a Tuesday where your server is down, so you figure what the hell and roll up a toon on an RP server? I like to do this on occasion. I'm not really an RPer, but I'm... well, RP-curious, so I like to sneak on their servers and see what people are doing. I confess to being somewhat fascinated... the same way I felt about D&D before I finally started playing. I try to be sneaky and quiet. Not everyone is like that. There is always that teenage kid who plays a rogue on a PvP server who comes to the non-PvP RP server while his is down to roll up a toon and type in all caps in the starter zone general chat various verbal translations of his WTF IS WRONG WITCHOO face. He doesn't get it. He never will, because he's too busy refusing to understand someone else's perspective.
I like to heal. I don't like to PvP. I like to level professions. I like to run dailies. Depending on how the stars align and my mood at any given minute, I like to raid. I get a lot of WTF IS WRONG WITCHOO faces about all those things (particularly the fact that I like to run dailies and level professions) and it leaves me wondering... why? Why do you care how I choose to play my game?
I mean, if it's something that you are genuinely trying to understand (Such as Fuubaar's comment on my post a day or so ago, sincerely asking what the interest is in having multiple players of the same role) then that's fine, and most of the time I am happy to explain. But if, like the PvP rogue who re-rolled on an RP server to ridicule, you have no interest in learning, and simply want to boggle and berate, just GTFO. I'm too busy doing things I genuinely enjoy to try and explain to someone who demands an explanation but has no intention of actually listening to it.
I don't understand why some people like guns, or NASCAR, or expensive makeup or French food that does not fall under the heading of Gumbo, but to each their own. I don't know why weird kid doesn't like chocolate ice cream... but I do know that since he doesn't value it, that makes it easier for ME to get.
But I DO understand why Mortigan made the difficult choice between a guild that will definitely get shit done... and a guild that might struggle to get it done, but will be a lot friendlier in the process.
Gevlon translates everything into opportunity cost - how much money you can make in an hour, for instance. While this makes sense to me, he places no value on the idea of "pleasure" which is in and of itself a perfect example of opportunity cost. I tried the AH game, and I was incredibly bored. I found I much preferred running dailies - no, I don't make nearly as much gold as Gevlon, but I imagine I have just as much fun running my dailies as he does playing the AH - and I place a lot of value on that concept of "pleasure".
Isn't it something of a moot point to debate how people are morons for not maximizing their gold making potential in a game that not only costs money to play, but is, in effect, an absolute waste of time and money? If you place no value on the idea of pleasure, then I must say, the complete hypocrisy with which you chastise someone who does not make as much gold in an activity that translates into absolutely no real world monetary value just boggles my mind. Not that it doesn't make for an interesting read.
I have nothing against hardcore raiders until they take up arms against raiders like me, who will occasionally run at Hodir instead of rezzing dead bodies shrieking "THE LIGHT WILL PROTECT ME" into vent a split second before I go splat. Or the Tree who is bouncing around on flames around Sartharion as everyone else is buffing up, gets thrown right into Sarth, wipes the whole raid, and whispers "Whoops." into vent. The times when I've wiped miserably or had catastrophic failures are so much more memorable to me than the successes, because, let's face it, they were fucking funny. As long as I'm not doing it in your hardcore raid, why do you CARE how I'm goofing around in my own?
I'm glad if you don't like dailies, because that means there is less lag in Icecrown. I'm pleased you hate leveling professions, because that translates into getting more use out of my own. And the fact that you find healing boring means there are more raid slots left for healers such as myself, who love it.
But in the end, all that really matters is that I get all the chocolate ice cream.
All DPSers are beginning to run scared from my blog, as they fear all the pent up passive-aggression we healers have harbored against them. We may heal you during the raid, but we're secretly cursing your entire existence? No, no, truly, it's not that bad. No really, we love you. Just, like, gtfootf. <3
I mean Ful never even stops by anymore, though I can always depend on his much holier wife. I think he's convinced that the healers have formed a mob and he'll be stormed out should he step foot into Miss Medicina's house. He suggested to me this weekend that the healers in the blogosphere have really become a powerful force, and much more vocal. I think he just never read healing blogs before he got me into blogging and now here I am, forcing it upon him ;)
Seriously though, I just want to step in and say that despite my teasing, I don't think all DPS is easy. Obviously. If I felt that way, maybe when I DPSed on my Pally I would no longer be that chick in the corner on the other side of the room trying to figure out why I can't use Crusader Strike. True story, I'm that bad. Melee iz hrd.
In other news, anyone know of a place where I can find a complete listing of all the different healing spells? I'm getting exceedingly frustrated by my inability to do some serious comparisons between healing classes because I lack the knowledge. This is the sort of thing that resulted in my trying to triple major and double minor in college... I hate not having all the information. I'm even debating putting my raiding on the back burner just so I can finish leveling my druid and shammy so I'm not constantly having to ask Kelly or Zigi to tell me what spell I'm trying to think of.
Oh also. Seriously, the Shaman T10 set? So worth the wait, amirite?
A big thanks to everyone who responded to the no-seriously-this-is-not-a-meme healing survey! I hope that those of you who are linked on the page will benefit from the extra traffic, and be encouraged to post more useful information! It probably goes without saying, but the survey became vastly larger than I expected, and despite my best efforts, I just can't keep up with finding everyone who has responded and linked to the post, unless you left a comment for me - too many WoW.com hits have flooded by statcounter log. Not that I'm complaining... it was like having a big weekend party at my house. I will try to continue posting links to blogs that responded as long as you leave a comment, however.
I'm still trying to work my way through all the responses... I've been trying to copy and paste them all into a word document, but after crashing word a few times, I gave up for awhile. I do fully intend to finish reading through them though, and I am pleased that all the new material will hopefully help everyone who reads them become a better healer.
So far, one of the best things I've seen to come out of it is a post over at MoarHPS. Noting how few people really understood how the stats that come from meters work, Moar posted a really informative guide explaining how all those measurements work, and what they are good for. I think the point is that while meters are not the end-all, be-all for healers, they can definitely be used to help you figure out where your strengths are, and where you need to tweak - as long as you understand what they mean. I'm exceedingly grateful to Moar for the post, because I wasn't willing to admit how poor my understanding of those stats was >.>
On a slightly less happy note, there was a pretty nasty comment over at WoW.com referring to my own answers to the survey that I wanted to respond to here. Had I known the survey would become so big, and so many people would be looking at my own answers with such a critical eye, I might have explained my answers better. So, from the perspective of this holy priest, I'm going to respond to the criticisms leveled at my answers - because it's my site and I'll do what I want to, even though I know that some people just want to rip others apart, even though they may have no better answers themselves. So there. Suck it.
Lack of Burst Healing for Holy Priests
One of the questions on the survey I wrote was "what is the biggest weakness of your class?" Some of you might have found this very difficult to answer! I know that I did, because the thing about Holy Priests is that we can do a little bit of everything, and quite well. We can fit into any healing role. But, as with every jack of all trades, there are none for which we are truly the master. One thing that I have desperately craved since the days of Kel'Thuzad is a solid single target instant burst heal. The critic in question insisted we have plenty of burst heal options, and for each spell they mentioned as an example, I will respond accordingly:
Power Word: Shield - This is NOT instant burst heal, and to say that it is is so ridiculously silly that it barely warrants response. This will reduce the next incoming damage of course, but I'm talking about green-bar-go-up type mechanics when I say burst healing. Is it something that can be used in an emergency scenario to keep the target from dying from the NEXT hit? Of course it is - but that was not what i was talking about.
Prayer of Mending - First of all, as Matticus discussed in a post that all Disc Priests should definitely read,Prayer of Mending doesn't go off if the damage is absorbed from a shield instead. Prayer of Mending needs to be cast BEFORE the damage hits in order to heal. The target CAN die from the damage before benefitting from the PoM heal, if I understand the mechanics of this spell correctly (if this is not the case, please correct me). Therefore, this is NOT instant burst healing that makes the green bar go up immediately - it is a response to the next bout of damage. I am talking about the desire for something to respond to a massive damage input that has already happened.
Surge of Light - Sorry, I don't always have a surge of light proc sitting in my pocket. It's great when it procs, but because it is a proc, and because it is based on crit, which in and of itself is based on chance, you cannot rely on a surge of light to be there when you need it.
Circle of Healing - This is a viable answer - and this, in addition to Empowered Renew, is what I currently use when an individual needs an immediate burst of healing. With any luck, I can CoH, Renew, and have a SoL proc - but all of those are subject to global cooldown, and do NOT aggregate into a single target instant burst heal. And yes, this works quite well, but I suppose it really grates on me to use an AoE spell to respond to single target damage.
That was the biggest criticism the commenter made that I felt warranted a response, but in answer to the other comments he/she made, yes, I realize Divine Hymn is a very powerful spell, and that I should use it more. Obviously, that's why I listed not using it as my worst healing habit (eyeroll). I love having druids and their innervates and b-rezes and HoTs around not because I expect a druid to give me an innervate or B-rez - but because when it is needed by someone in the party, I appreciate knowing that those options are there, since aside from Hymn of Hope, I don't have a way to return mana to my fellow raiders - and IMO, Hymn of Hope is somewhat weak unless coordinated very well with others. The final criticism was in regards to my insistence that Holy Priests CAN do main tank healing, despite it not being optimal. I've already discussed that topic ad nauseam, however, so I feel no need to delve further into the topic.
I will be the first to admit that I am far too sensitive to criticism, but despite that, this comment reminded me of the same thing that always annoys me about so many players - that the vast amount of wow players are not in the upper echelon of raiding. Why do I rarely use Divine Hymn? Because I'm serious when I say that I'm rarely in a situation in which that powerful of a healing spell is needed - usually a CoH or a Serendipity-hasted Prayer of Healing will more than suffice. Were I currently working on TotGC 25 man hard mode, I'm sure my answer would be different. But I'm not. I am probably one of those average WoW players, really. I do 10 man raids regularly, I do 25 mans on occasion, and I do a lot of 5 mans. I like to think that were I interested in participating in hard core raids that I would perform fairly well, but the truth is, I just don't want to make the commitment that requires.
There are a lot of new subscribers to my blog, so it probably bears repeating here that while my focus is on Holy Priests, and to a lesser extent Disc Priests, I do discuss a lot of the issues relevant to assembling a strong healing team for raiding, as well as some officeering topics. However, I am not solely interested in raiding - if you prefer 5 man content, I always try to consider that aspect as well when discussing Priest mechanics. I see too many people give advice to priests that completely ignores the differences between a 5 man scenario, and a 10 man or 25 man scenario. Healing a 5 man all by yourself is actually quite different than healing in a raid. I do try to always keep that in mind when I dish out Medicinal Wisdom :)
NB: For those of you wondering, part of the reason why I'm not using pictures so much in my posts these days is due to the covert way in which I am forced to blog at my current job. Pictures of WoW related things seem to be a bit of a red flag on google reader when my boss walks by. I would apologize for the walls of text, but I feel apologies should carry an intention of stopping the crime with them, and since I have no intention of stopping... well, you see the dilemma.