Identity Confusion
As the only class that has two talent trees devoted to healing, it is inevitable that some priests who try to understand both healing trees will confuse things along the way.

It’s no secret that it can be very tricky to switch from one healing spec to the other. You’d think it would be fairly simple and straightforward; After all, most of the spells are the same for both specs. Binding Heal, Flash Heal, Prayer of Mending… these are all spells that should get quite a bit of usage no matter which spec you choose as a Priest.

However, the different synergies between talents for each tree means that the healing style is completely different for a Disc Priest as opposed to that of a Holy Priest. Or rather, it SHOULD be in order to use your talents in the best way.

While I’m sure there are some Disc Priests who respec to Holy and don’t adjust their healing styles properly, it seems to be a much bigger issue for those going in the opposite direction.

There are three distinguishing features of the Disc Priest who is still healing like a Holy:

  • Rarely Casts Power Word: Shield – It’s not that Holy Priests don’t ever use bubbles, it’s just that in a raiding environment they aren’t really that useful, and they are expensive. We only have one gimmicky talent that ties in with Power Word: Shield. This is undoubtedly one of the more difficult things to become accustomed to when you switch from Holy to Disc, so expect there to be some learning curve for new Disc Priests as they figure out a good bubble balance. In a raiding environment, at the very least, a Disc priest should be bubbling often enough to maintain Renewed Hope on the whole raid.
  • Tries to be a Burst Healer – Holy Priests are designed to do burst healing and too many respec to Disc just to get the awesome Penance, and still heal exactly the same - nothing says healing burst like Penance! Of course, this can work – particularly if the group outgears the instance. I told a story not long ago of a Disc Priest who did exactly this. However, if you are trying to be a burst healer as a Disc Priest, it is highly likely you are not taking full advantage of your abilities and strengths. Power Word: Shield and Penance are the two staple spells of the Disc Priest – and both need to be used.
  • Proudly tops the Healing Meter – There are reasons a Disc Priest could be at the top of the healing meter that are completely legitimate. In general, however, there's a good reason why Disc Priests usually show up at the bottom. If you have a Disc Priest who is proudly spamming the healing meters and bragging about how they are at the top of the healing meter, then it is quite likely they are officially Missing The Point. When I'm specced Disc, if I'm at the top of the meter, I'm asking the other healers what's wrong.

All of these features tie into the same basic concepts. Holy Priests are bursty healers who can top charts and focus on green-bar-go-up abilities. Disc priests are mitigators, and until healing meters accurately reflect that ability, they will likely continue to be at the bottom of the healing meter.

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I'm Thankful... I live across the country.
Ah yes. Family visits. I find myself going to bed about 4 hours earlier than usual, and waking up about 4 hours earlier than usual... and sneaking open my laptop to get in some nice early morning daily grinding. And then finding out that my mother has insomnia. That's not so bad though, it's better to spend some one on one time with my mother than play WoW of course.

My sister has already teased me about 5 times regarding my love of world of warcraft.

"So Jessica, still playing warcraft?" Me -> eyeroll.
"Oh see, she's so over that. Thank God." ::headdesk::

"So Jessica, have you finally stopped playing that stupid game?" "Oh I don't know, have you finally stopped being a self-absorbed nosy shrew?" Pandemonium.

Me laughing non-stop at Tam's uneasiness towards "Pants of the Soothing Touch"... Five people around the table: "Jessie, what's so funny?".. me -> "Uhm. Funny British guy. He said bollucks. Bollucks are funny?" The rest of my family smiles and nods, and begins a conversation about how they don't really understand British humor anyway.

So ready to go home. Between dodging conversations with my sister who is apparently deaf due to long extended periods of hearing her own obnoxiously loud voice, three younger cousins chasing me around to play on my iPhone and then requesting I lend my expertise towards Hangman, my brother groping my ass and then being shocked when he realizes it's his sister's ass he's been grabbing (have another beer, bro!), and my father watching football at truly dangerous volumes while snoring away... I completely lost the point of this post. I think I was just ranting non-sensically. I suppose all those idiosyncracies of family is what makes them great. I am glad my family isn't boring. I do wish I could share with them my hobbies and make them understand, however.

Hope everyone else who celebrates had a Happy Thanksgiving!

And for those of you who aren't American... you can be thankful you aren't stuck with family for thanksgiving ;) (Disclaimer: I really actually DO love my family!)

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iDon't Like Airports
Looks like the general concensus from those who have experienced 10 and 25 man OS who commented yesterday have found the 25 man version easier than 10 man. How intriguing!

In non-wow news, I am sitting on an airplane fondly remembering how much I uses to enjoy flying. I really hate it these days, even considering the fact that my fiancé and I always upgrade to business class. The pressure change makes my sinuses go nuts, and no matter how much gum I chew, my ears don't pop properly without agonizing pain. Whine.

This is also my first attempt at blogging from my iPhone so we'll see how that goes. Speaking of, I love the wow armory app - especially the ability to accept and look at calendar invites. Too bad you can't make new ones. I also have the authenticator app but I don't use it because I actually have one of those original authenticators and I prefer it.

Any other good wow apps? Especially free ones! I wish wowhead had an app.

Random thought of the day: Why yes mister security guy, I DO carry my d20 with me everywhere I go. You know, in case I find myself in need of a saving throw on the airplane...
I'm ready for Turducken!
Tomorrow I leave for Tejas for Thanksgiving with my family. I love my family very much, but since I don't see them very often, it's a bit of an overload when I do.

So normally this would be the part where I would say "Posts may be sporadic until Sunday when I get back into town!" but... who am I kidding? I'll likely look for any excuse to get away for some time to post on my blog. I felt I needed the disclaimer anyway.

Today Matticus gave me some link love, which was a nice thing to wake up to after getting dumped. Sniff. Yesterday he mentioned something on Twitter that I thought was pretty interesting, and I wanted to pass it along to you guys and see what your thoughts are!

Do you think 25 man Sarth 3D is easier than 10 man Sarth 3D?

Having not yet accomplished either 3D, I don't feel as though I'm really able to say one way or another - however it would not surprise me if I found 10 man to be harder, because so far, that has in fact been the case for me. Less buffs = more mana challenges. However, I don't know how much this would apply for hard modes.

For those of you who have that 3D achievement, what say you?

Want to follow me on Twitter and hear all about how I'm eating gumbo for t-giving? Well I'm all super secret in my protected tweetness as Elimeny, but shoot me a message or leave me a comment here, and we can make sweet tweets together!

And maybe then I'll even explain what a Turducken is for those of you far too sophisticated to know ;)
Bubble Smart: The Five Man
One of the most difficult things for me in regards to switching from Holy to Disc, is learning how to bubble properly. Since I rarely use Power Word: Shield when I run Holy, and since I'm a habit-based healer, I knew that training myself to bubble properly would be tricky.

I originally suspected that I would not bubble enough, so when I started as Disc, I forced myself to bubble all the time. As I mentioned before, this actually turned out to be a bad thing - I bubbled too often when people wouldn't take damage, and therefore spent far too much mana on bubbles without benefiting from Rapture. In effect, it's no different than overhealing. I was bubbling often enough to try and keep weakened soul up on every member of my five man at first, before I began to realize that was over-doing it.

I ran several heroics this past weekend, and my primary intent was to learn to bubble properly. Here are some of the tips I picked up for bubbling in a 5 man:

  • It's usually a good idea to keep a bubble up on yourself, whether or not you know you will be taking damage, but I don't think you need to worry about bubbling often enough to maintain Weakened Soul.
  • If there is not a lot of group wide damage, and all the damage can effectively be picked up by the tank, then do not waste your mana bubbling the rest of the DPS.
  • Squishy, high threat DPS (i.e. mages) who may have occasional trouble with aggro, particularly when there are multiple mobs and they are providing AoE damage, are good candidates for full time Bubblage. However, again, I do not find it necessary to bubble enough to maintain constant Weakened Soul.
  • When there is group wide damage, it is then a good idea to bubble all members of your party. If everyone is likely to take a fairly large amount of unavoidable damage, this may warrant maintaining weakened soul on everyone, as best as you can.
  • Regardless of the circumstances, be sure to bubble people often enough to keep up Renewed Hope buff for the whole party.
Bubbling properly is one of the trickiest arts to master as a new Disc Priest, so I will likely be posting more information about various Bubbling tips and suggestions as I gain more experience.

I know there are several Disc Priests who read this blog, so please provide more suggestions about proper bubbling procedures for the five man scenario in the comments - I'd love to hear them! I'll post about bubbling in raids at a later date.

Eventually I intend to put all of this information together into one long guide specifically on the art of bubbles for new Disc Priests. It's become something of an obsession with me, because as a healer, mana usage and mana regen is always on my mind - and for Disc Priests, bubble management is fundamental for mana management. I hear all the time about how Disc Priests should not have problems with mana, so I am trying to get to a point where I feel I can say that about myself as well.
Dear John,
I am obsessive about checking my number of readers on google reader. It's the best indicator I have (that I can figure out) that lets me know how many people read my shiznat on a regular basis.

So imagine my despair when I checked my count tonight. On Friday the count was 122... AND NOW IT IS 121.


Someone left me!!! Did I use too many exclamation points? Did I post TOO often? Did my newbishness regarding hunter pet training turn you off? Was it because I abandoned Holy and went Disc?

I think my heart just broke a little. I feel like I just got pseudo dumped.

I wonder if this means I *might* be a little too sensitive?
Faction Champs EZ Guide for the non PvP Holy Priest
For all you holy priests who say LOLWUT to PvP like myself, you may find the Faction Champs particularly difficult. Here are some simple tips that may or may not help you. I don't actually know, but hey, I DIDN'T DIE (nor did anyone else).

  • Put on your DPS gear (assuming you have no PvP gear). The hit rating comes in handy. Or at least, put some hit stuff on, somewhere, but your spec can remain the same.
  • If you have a resto shammy, ask for Earth Shield - it's quite possible this is the only reason I survived.
  • When things come at you, net.
  • When things come at you, and you can't net, run.
  • When things come at you, and you can't net or run, FEAR.
  • If there are three healers, you can probably just spend your time casting Mass Dispel the whole time.

Or, respec Disc. Teh End.
Adventures in Utility: Disc Priest, Hunter, and Uvuros
One of the fun things about playing a Disc Priest is the amazing amount of utility. Because our best abilities take place before damage actually happens, and because this immediately makes us vastly different from other healers, there are all kinds of fun things you can do in the game that would be a lot trickier to do as a traditional healer.

Friday night I was sitting around Dalaran, Divine Hymning and chatting, and generally bored. A level 70 Hunter was begging in trade chat for a priest to help him tame a beast, offering 100 gold. To be honest, I normally ignore those kinds of requests, but my chatty friend nudged me and said that if I were bored, I should help the guy out - that he was likely trying to tame a beast, and a Disc priest would be perfect for it. I shrugged, and figured why not.

As it turned out, he was trying to tame some giant flamey green dog thing named Uvula. Or whatever.

Having never really helped a Hunter tame a beast before, we struggled for some time before I really figured out what the problem was. I didn't realize that Hunters had to keep aggro on their target for the entire time in order to tame it, but that was the biggest issue we were having. Since I'm level 80 and he was level 70, that certainly presented something of a problem - one shield on him after combat began, and I had aggro. He knew enough to recognize he needed a priest (Fear Ward against Terrifying Roar), and some heals, maybe a shield. The problem was the level differential.

But Divine Aegis saved the day! That and down-ranking... oh and Fade.
  1. Buff hunter with Stamina and Fear Ward.
  2. HealyHealyHealy until Divine Aegis shield procs!
  3. Power Word: Shield (highest rank)
  4. Go Hunter, Go! Tame that tonsiltosser!
  5. Once Weakened Soul dropped off, cast a lower rank Power Word: Shield
  6. Immediately cast a lower rank Renew
  7. Immediately Fade baby Fade!
  8. Receive lootz (well not exactly, but the hunter was happy)
IMO, the key to all of that was actually the Divine Aegis bubble which gave enough extra protection to the hunter with no aggro for myself that it enabled us to finally finish off his tame beast cast. The lower ranked casts were necessary so that I could get them both off and have time to Fade before it broke his tame beast cast.

After the Hunter cheerfully tipped me 100g (which I originally thought I wasn't going to take, but after all that effort I changed my mind), Uvula respawned and I pwned his ass out of bitterness.

Have any great stories featuring the utility of a certain type of healer outside of the instanced environment?
I'd love to hear them!

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I'm so gonna get fired.
How to look busy at work while other people walk by when what you are really doing is secretly reading WoW blogs:
  • Copy and paste the blog into a notepad document, make it small, and read it next to the Powerpoint Presentation you are supposed to be creating. (psst if you were wondering, this is usually how I write my blog posts)
  • Send the blogs to yourself in an email that includes a very large picture of your company's logo.
  • Copy and paste the text of the blog in question into that word document you are supposed to be editing, and fiddle around with the font of it while you read it.
  • Whilst reading from the little notepad C&P of your favorite blog, highlight and unhighlight random pieces of text from whatever document you're supposed to be working on, so that it looks like you are moving around and adjusting text.
  • Randomly resize images in a powerpoint file.

As proof that I actually do all of the above things, I provide for you a screenshot.

Your entrails would make a fine necklace.
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.

Disc-Organized Thoughts
Well last night I gave Disc spec a solid try. Not that I had never tried it before, obviously, but this time I had a new air of determination... this time it was NOT going to be "spec for a day", or, "if this goes badly, I'll just go back to Holy"... No. I had decided that no matter how miserably I flailed about waving hands full of bubbles, I was going to stick it out, and learn how to do this damn thing properly. I will no longer permit myself to despair, and run back to the safety and comfort of my Circle of Healing when things get tricky.

It went... alright.

True, this was not raiding. I felt it was best to start with some five mans. My guildmates and I spent an hour in heroic ToC, all of us learning a bit more each time. I've run it dozens of times on my priest, as holy... but my guildmates had only done it a handful of times, and I was certainly not as comfortable as a Disc Priest. I had, in fact, even tried it once as Disc... and the results provided the basis for my present day hesitance towards Disc Priesting.

Of course, that was before I had a lovely Meatloaf Macro.

There were a few things in particular with which I struggled, though I improved on the way.

  • You actually CAN bubble too much - who knew? Or rather, bubble improperly. I began having mana problems due to bubbling other members of my party who never took any damage... therefore Rapture never kicked in. After I realized this, I started bubbling only myself and the tank until I saw others begin to take damage.
  • I need an addon that lets me know, in a non-annoying way, that the cooldown for Penance has passed.
  • Pain Suppression can be a tricky little bugger. After using it on the tank, I guess he must have lost aggro on the hunter, because the troll quickly shot me down immediately after I used the spell. As a matter of fact, Pain Suppression is one of those spells that has me convinced that Disc Priests can handle certain types of raid healing - just not in the way to which most of us are accustomed, a la via strong AoE heals. To me, PS just screams "use me on the mage! The MAAAAAAGE!" It's definitely no Guardian Spirit.
  • Now that I've mastered the art of remembering to use Divine Hymn (well, most of the time... it saved our butt at the end of the Black Knight), I now have Inner Focus and Power Infusion to remember. I've heard that others use macros for these... such as a combination of Inner Focus and Penance. I'm not sure if I want to bind Power Infusion to a macro, however. Any suggestions?
  • I still do not have a solid rotation down for healing the tank. I am not utilizing Borrowed Time to its fullest extent, for certain. However, I don't believe I will really get to learn this well until I am assigned to heal the tank, and only the tank - as opposed to in a five man where I persistently need to break my single target rotation in order to heal other members of the five man. I was certainly unable to maintain Grace on the tank for the entire duration of any fight.

So there you have it. My intial deep thoughts about converting from Holy to Disc and the 5 man experience. It helps that I know a lot of the theory behind Disc Priesting, though my hands on experience was insubstantial (Look at me, I'm Hermione Granger! Bushy hair and all...).

As a final thought on this topic for today, I would like to add that if you start getting bored with your toon, be it priest or otherwise, a solid respec will breathe new life into the journey. It feels almost as though I'm playing a completely different class, though many of the spells are the same. Though the spells are the same, their use is almost completely different... and in some ways, that's even trickier than playing an entirely new class.
Multi-Healer Organization
You know, just a thought regarding my post yesterday on Divine Hymn, I also think that if you are Holy or Disc, your shadowfiend should be renamed Muse.


So I have decided to try something dangerous and scary.... Jessabelle has respecced to Discipline. /cower

Despite the fact that I've written about healing as Disc, and that I understand it in "theory", I actually have had very few opportunities to raid as Disc. We've just always had far too many Pallies to justify it. Now I have an opportunity to take advantage of it, and I'm pumped... and nervous! Granted, my gear is directed more towards a Holy priest than a Disc priest (way more spirit and regen than a Disc priest should ever need), but I think it will be okay for the content I'm currently raiding. Besides, until I get into the swing of fanatic bubbling, I'll need some of that extra regen as a crutch, particularly in 10 mans.

Scariest thing of all... I skipped Divine Fury. My goal is to try and MT heal without using Greater Heal. We'll see how that goes... surely there are other Disc Priests who don't need to use Greater Heal? I'm now debating on whether or not this was a good move. I guess I’ll find out tonight when I get to see my Disc spec in action. Or rather, myself, in Disc spec, in action. I’m not raiding tonight, but I do have plans to hit up heroic 5 man ToC with some guildies – which is a pretty decent challenge for something easy to throw together to try out the spec.

Regardless, expect more posts in the coming days/weeks regarding an adjustment from Holy to Disc, and possibly back again.

The Habit-Healer’s Crutch

As someone who heals by habit and reflex more than anything else, the scariest part of changing specs for me is readjusting my habits. The biggest issue? My keybinds (I use Clique, for reference). When I (try to) heal on my Pally, I organize my keybinds so that they are as similar to my Priest binds as possible. Obviously, the spells are different – but some of the concepts are the same.

The above are how I currently have my keybinds set for each healer/spec/whatever. There are a couple of things you might notice.

  • Left Click – My short heal.
  • Right Click – My big heal.
  • Middle Click – An instant cast heal. As holy priest, it has a little bit of burst healing with Empowered Renew, as holy pally, it is an instant burst heal. Thematically, it’s a bit different for Disc Priests, but my fingers know this is renew, so I don’t want to change it.
  • Alt Right Click – My panic button combo. It’s a combo I never “accidentally” hit, so low risk of my blowing the cooldown on accident. However, no matter what healer I’m on, my fingers know that this is the combo to use when someone important is about to die.
  • Shift Right Click – Shield of some sort. Damage Mitigation combo. Not as fitting for my Pally, but strangely enough, I think once I get myself into the habit of using this key combo more while running Disc, I’ll start remembering to use it more on my Pally as well, and work it into my rotation.
  • Control Middle Click – Just ignore the Hands thrown in for the Pally right now, as I’m still sorting those out. But this is a problem for my Priest. I use this button all the time, obsessively, on my Holy Priest. Thus, I am a bit worried about putting Power Infusion here for my Disc Priest, because there is a very high risk I will accidentally cast it when I don’t want to. It’s likely I will move this into the combo used for Levitate or Fear Ward.

My point in showcasing my key combos like this is to give you an idea of how someone who is a habit-based healer tries to minimize potential mistakes when switching between healers. If I don’t know where a spell is in my key-combos, it can have disastrous effects as I scan my spell bars for the spell or try to open my spellbook to find it, etc. If my key-combos have vast differences in the kind of spells to which they are bound among my different healers, I will constantly be screwing up and getting confused. The key to my ability to heal well in a raid is my trigger finger response, which comes from training my fingers via pure habit.

My next step will be to organize my toolbars with my other abilities so that they are similar across healers, particularly with mana regen abilities.

So, for those of you who have multiple healers... how do you differentiate your spells in the heat of the action? Do you ever mix up spells from one healer to another?
*popcorn* wtf
When did *popcorn* become a legitimate emote?

::wanders off to ponder::
What does YOUR Divine Hymn sound like?
Last night, in the heat of yet another ToC battle, as the music notes tripped from my fingers, bouncing into the previously dwindling little green bars of my allies, I thought to myself, what does Divine Hymn sound like?

So, I looked at the tooltip... "You recite a Holy hymn..." What? You can't RECITE a DIVINE hymn in the heat of battle - that's not nearly passionate enough. I want to BURST FORTH with previously unknown musical talent, ripping through octaves and difficult notes with Mariah Careyish fervor, thank you very much.

(While it saddens me that my other healing friends cannot sing along with me in battle, I like to imagine that those swaying trees are backup dancers for my powerful rockingoutness. Dance trees, DANCE!)

So... What does YOUR Divine Hymn sound like?

Need some inspiration? I've spent this morning debating various genres that might represent Jessabelle's nightly solo. Perhaps an historic hymn like Amazing Grace with a nice Dwarven take? Or maybe a classic southern gospel that would make momma proud like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot? Maybe a choir of sweet angelic voices, from the Vienna boys choir?

Nah. Jbizzle wants to rock.

How about some Metallica, baby! Okay, not sure if I want to rock that much (plus, Hetfield's singing face is not what I want to see when saving the lives of others). Maybe something more in the Beatles realm? Hm, not sure if I'm really the "whispering words of wisdom" kind of gal.

Oh no, I've got it. Jessabelle would do ANYTHING for love. There is nothing more divine than Meatloaf.

Your turn! Leave it for me in a comment! I claim no credit for the throngs of women (and possibly even some men) throwing their lacy underthings at you whilst you Diving Hymn.

So, here's my new macro.

/cast Divine Hymn
/in 8 /emote cracks open a Dr. Pepper.

(Thanks Erinys!)

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A Healer's Thesis
Well, for those of you who are linked via Circle of Healers, you may have noticed an increase in your traffic this weekend, due to's post about the DPS survey version that I am pretending doesn't exist, and absolutely refuse to link to.


Pssst Hinen, how are you liking trying to keep up with all the responses?

Mike Schramm, who wrote the article, also noted: "it'd be good to see this put into a spreadsheet or graph, and maybe give us a more quantified look at what people think of their class."

That actually made me feel really bad, though I know that was not the intention. The schoolgirl side of me kicked in, and I've been spending most of the weekend assembling the data, which is a lot more involved than you might suspect.

I will no longer be adding responses to the list, though if you do respond, feel free to continue adding a comment with a link to your response! At some point I have to demarcate an end to the responses so that I can try to put everything together. I currently have over 100 survey responses I am translating from text (copied and pasted from websites, emails, and comments) into a spreadsheet format - and that does not necessarily include the people who made responses for several different healers in one survey, as that will require a bit more effort. I even tried to include people who had provided their survey responses in comments on OTHER people's posts.

19 Holy Priests.
18 Disc Priests.
19 Resto Shammies.
30 Resto Druids.
20 Holy Pallies.

That's a rough estimate of the number of responses for each class. I COULD be working on my thesis, eh? Yet, here I am, trying to figure out ways to convert anecdotal and multi-faceted answers into something that can be quantified. As much as part of me feels guilty for procrastinating assembling all this information, there is another part of me that is glad I didn't put it together earlier. As a person who deals with this kind of data quite a bit in real life, it is very easy for people to look at the graphs and charts put together at the end, and completely disregard the surveys themselves, which provide a LOT more information than the combined results ever will. The assembled final data will not be able to capture the myriad of different anecdotes given by players regarding the different things they love about their class, their habits, the things they hate, etc. I basically have to attempt to water everything down into the most easily quantifiable answers, which means I may misrepresent some people's intentions - especially since there were two questions on my survey that were poorly written, and I am still trying to figure out how to translate the answers to those questions.

Despite the fact that one person did offer to help me (thank you Saunder!), I have decided to put it all together myself in an effort to keep the methogology clean and consistent through all the questions and answers. There are approximately 300 pages spread through 6 different word documents full of responses. I have my work cut out for me!

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Raid For The Cure
Thanks to my favorite butt of a bear, a fantastic event happened this weekend - Raid for the Cure, in honor of a WoW player named Julie who recently discovered the has Breast Cancer. All the details can be found at BBB, but I wanted to share some of my own screenshots of pinkness for you folks!

I was running late (literally - it's a long haul from Ironforge to Darnassus!) so I met up with the group in Auberdine... and this is what came off of the boat to greet me!

We made our way slowly, but surely, with guards from Sidhe Devils to protect us, through Darkshore.

After safely transversing Darkshore, we paraded through the Barrens to meet up with our Horde companions in Crossroads.

(PS nothing hotter than an Orc in pink!)

Combined Alliance and Horde forces continued on to Ratchet to jump on a boat.

One quick overseas voyage, and we arrived at our final destination: Booty Bay!

And there, we assembled on the bank roof and danced, yelled, shrieked, lawled, and generally emoted our attempts to raise awareness about cancer. As if all the pink shirts weren't enough.

And then Fulguralis, Fuubaar, and myself decided to have a peaceful game of hearts... before I got disconnected ;)

Thanks for everyone who joined in, and thanks to BBB and Sidhe Devils for organizing such a great event.

During the run, lots of people were telling, in various channels, the stories of those they know who have suffered from all forms of cancer - not just Breast Cancer. Here, I'll share mine.

A few years ago my father informed me he had been diagnosed with Lymphoma, and that it was most likely due to his time in Vietnam and Agent Orange. He is, thankfully, in remission. I know Veteran's Day has now passed for us Americans, but please think of the Vietnam Vets that you know, and call them and remind them to go to their doctors and be on the alert for signs of Lymphoma. I thank God every day that my dad chose to fight the disease, and is still around to show that he won. Not everyone is so lucky.

If you are a smoker, consider switching to vaping in an effort to quit. My fiance and some of the guys from Save or Die Radio have started recording a podcast all about vaping - all of my friends and I have switched from smoking to vaping, and I strongly encourage you to do so as well. If the health benefits don't convince you, then maybe the cost benefits will. No one here will judge you for being a smoker - but seriously, vaping is so much better for you, and a helluva lot more fun!

Cancer is one of those diseases I can't abolish, and dying from it is one death I can't rez. So stay out of the damn Cancer-fire!

::grumble grumble grumble YEESH::

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Random Friday Tidbits
A little bird told me that it was mentioned on The Instance podcast that the pets available for purchase from the Blizz pet store do NOT count towards the pet achievements.

Can anyone confirm this for me? How sad is it that I find that strangely comforting?

In other news, Llyra over at Healing Way suggested that Resto Shammies receive some buffs to their damage mitigation abilities. I think this is a very interesting idea - of all the healing classes, it feels that Resto Shammies are in greatest need of some tweaking to give them more specialness. What do you think?

P.S. My fun little MSPaint chart I made yesterday was intended to be a little tongue in cheek... no, I certainly don't think that Rotation and Reflex can be graphed as simply as all that... but it was hella fun to try ;)

I'll be healing on my cleric, Helja Huffinuff with a bit of D&D tonight, so I'm pretty pumped! Yay Fridays...
Ask Miss Medicina: Holy Priest & Mana Regen
I'm so excited! My first email request for aid! It was like a little christmas gift in my inbox, and I giddily unwrapped it, squealing the whole time.

Yes, yes, I'm a dork, shut it.

So! My first emailed question was from a holy priest who was looking for help with some problems she found herself having with mana regen. As someone a bit new to the whole raid healing thing, she sent me an email with the following request.

"I don't do much raiding, I'm mostly healing five-mans, but I decided to really go for it and respec for raid healing. I followed your suggested build but I have one huge problem: my MP5 is only 348 during a fight. I don't think my gear is terrible, but I enter ToC-10 and I find myself popping my mana pet before the impaler is down. Heck, even in a heroic I see my bar get hit hard (albeit I mostly see this with under-DPSing pugs). "

(For privacy reasons, I'm not revealing her name, but she reads this blog, so if she wants to step up and say hi in the comments, she's welcome to do so /wave!)

I took a look at her gear and her stats, and the 348 number seemed to come from in "while casting" mana regen, unbuffed. I let her know that there was some tweaking she could do with her gems and replace some items with a bit more crit and less haste, but aside from that, it didn't look like gear was the real problem here. 348 while casting is similar to what I have, unbuffed.

I wanted to pass along the following considerations I emailed to her, because I think a lot of Holy Priests struggle with mana regen in the beginning of their raiding career. People can look at your gear and stats and spec, and tell you to pile on more spirit or intellect, but that's not always the problem. So if you're having mana regen problems as a Holy Priest, and you can't find anything really wrong with your gear, consider the following:

  • What sort of buffs are you running with? In a ten man scenario, it can be a lot trickier to get the right raid balance that will give you all the mana regen buffs you would ideally like to have. Because of this, I usually have far more mana problems in a 10 man than in a 25 man. In 10 mans, i have the flask of pure mojo and spicy fried herring for personal mana regen, but I also depend quite a bit on getting a blessing of wisdom or mana spring totem in there somewhere, and always, ALWAYS Replenishment (frost mage, shadow priest, ret pally, destro lock, or survival hunter). The raid makeup may be something that you have absolutely no control over, but take a look at what you've got in your raid mix. If you're running with a pretty steady group, and your buffs will likely always be the same, then you can make adjustments to your gems, enchants, and talents accordingly.
  • What are the other healers doing? What is the healing makeup? are you running 2 healers or 3? If you're running with just 2, then you probably will run into more mana problems. If you are running with a pally, are you wasting your mana having to help on the tank too much? If there's a druid, are you spending a lot of mana trying to heal up targets that are hotted when you don't need to? I'm not fond of pointing fingers at other healers when there's a problem, but healing should be a team - if one person is running out of mana, then it's a good idea to talk about it with the other healers to see what changes can be made.
  • What is your casting style? I can throw in a couple of pointers on mistakes I've made in the past that left me mana starved, and you can check to see if you are doing any of the following things.
  1. Overusing Serendipity stacks - Everytime I see 3x Serendipity, i desperately want to use it properly. But the truth is, if you do this in a ten man you are going to go OOM pretty quick. Dont feel like you have to use it just because it's there. Use a Circle of Healing if you can, because it's cheaper and pretty powerful. You shouldn't need to use Greater Heal at all if you're on raid heals (except for Incinerate Flesh), especially if there's a third healer.

  2. Are you catching all your surge of light procs? Unlike Serendipity, the proc for SoL is much shorter, so you have to be sure to use it faster - and you definitely want to use it since it's free! If you find that you're missing a lot of the procs, pick up an add-on like SurgeTrack.

  3. Are you bubbling too much? For disc, you can never bubble too much, but for holy, our bubbles arent that great, and theyre kinda expensive too. In a 10 man, the only person I ever "pre-bubble" is the tank when he's pulling, and a feisty mage here and there - if you try to bubble too much, you will end up OOM.

  4. How are your overheals? If you run with a druid, check their overheals as well with recount, because often the overheals credited to a druid are actually due to another healer healing over their hots. This is inevitable, and to a certain extent completely acceptable - but if someone has a HoT on them, and they are unlikely to be in any immediate damage, let the HoT do its job. Make sure if you are running with a tree that you have an addon that tracks who has HoTs on them. If you aren't running with druids, are you and another healer often going for the same target? There are addons that will let you know who the other healers are healing (Healbot will do this if multiple people use it), but sometimes you just need to watch them, or have better assignments, or communicate more, that sort of thing.

She responded to my email to give me a little update about how things are going, and she mentioned something that I wanted to address as well... but this post has already gone on long enough, so I'll save it for another day ;)
Reflex versus Rotation, Figure 1

Admit it. You're impressed by my awesome MSPaint skillz.
Diplomatic Relations
I hate phones.

No really. You likely do not understand or appreciate the depth of my tele-hatred. It goes beyond all reason. In fact, in an effort to encourage me to actually use a phone and be somewhat reachable in an emergency (since my previous cell phone had sat in my purse, dead and unopened for the past 6 months though I still paid the bill), my fiance gifted me an iPhone. It has been largely successful - I answer when someone calls. Most of the time I'm just surfing the internet or playing Civilization though.

I do not do telephone conversations. They frustrate me. Tell me the information I need, and then let's be done with this, eh? The problem with this is that I'm also FEMALE. And for some reason, other females seem to think that, like them, I will enjoy nattering on endlessly on the telephone with them. I DON'T. But no amount of trying to explain this to the other women in this world makes any difference. It is beyond comprehension to them. I guess this is especially the case with my own family.

I called my parents yesterday to tell my father I was thinking of him on Veteran's Day, but unfortunately he was not home. So what followed was an incredibly awkward 45 minute "conversation" with my mother (whom I dearly love, don't misunderstand me) who was trying to get me to be talkative. Every few minutes she would ask me another variation of "What have you been doing lately?", to which I would respond with some new variation of "Absofriggilutely nothing, momma." Our entire 45 minute conversation dragged out like this.

The irony is, from the outside, nothing IS going on. There is nothing going on in which my mother would have any interest, after all. Of course, had I been honest, I could have said something like this...

"Well, I wrote up this survey on my blog for other healers to get to know some information about other healer classes, and it just TOOK OFF and this big website linked to it, and now I feel all this pressure to actually write something decent on my blog (not that I wasn't trying to do that before) and every day there are all these comments, and it's super exciting! I would have thought by now I'd run out of things to write about, but I just keep getting all these ideas! The strangest thing is that I'm not even playing WoW as much as I'd like, because our raiding alliance was going through a rough time, and I've recently decided that perhaps 25 man raiding just isn't worth the effort for me, so I've been working on putting together smaller 10 man groups, but I'm thinking more and more that what I really need to do is just focus on leveling up my other two healers so that I can be more informed when I write about things on my blog, because that's quickly becoming my new passion, although I've been spending so much time on my blog, I haven't invested ANY time on my novel!!!!!"

My mother -> .....

She would be so confused and lost. As a matter of fact, I vaguely mentioned that Friday night we would be having our regular D&D 4th edition session, and that I was considering stopping by for my friends' Saturday night Pathfinder session to learn more about healing classes in tabletop gaming, and there was a stunned silence as my mother struggled to find something to say that would make it sound as though she had any idea what I was talking about. Actually, I think she was trying to figure out if D&D was somehow related to S&M and whether or not she should be horrified.

It's kinda sad, when you think about it, that the S&M would be something more easily understood than the D&D. Or... well maybe it's not sad. Actually maybe it's just creepy, since it's my mother. NAAAAAAAAAH *thinks happy thoughts*

I really did have a point. Somewhere.

Oh yes. Outside of the gaming universe, my life is incredibly dull. I work. Or rather, I go to a place and hope that maybe this time they will give me work. My fiance works. And we come home, maybe watch some TV together, and talk about our hobby, and maybe play some of our hobby - gaming. I suppose I'm a bit spoiled on having people to whom I can relate in regards to my hobby. My fiance is a gamer. All of our friends are gamers. There is never a shortage of people with whom I can discuss gaming.

But now I'm one of those people who, when faced with a non-gamer, has nothing to really talk about. Well, we could discuss politics or religion... two subjects I love that are simply not polite conversation - especially not with my mom. Perhaps if my job were more interesting, I would have more to discuss on that front. But I'm a hobbyist, I'm engaged to a hobbyist, our friends are hobbyists, and I'm left wondering, what do hobbyists talk about with non-hobbyists?

When speaking to a non-gamer, when they ask what you do, it's just "gaming". But that one word encompasses so much. Entire worlds are encapsulated in a two syllable noun. I suddenly have so much more sympathy for folks who play WoW a lot and are in relationships with non-WoWers. I'm really very lucky. I am off in my own little world, this alternate universe. I have likely abandoned all those who do not appreciate this world, or speak the language, and I'm blessed that so many people I *do* care about are on the voyage with me. I never realize how separate this world is until I'm forced to try and conversate with foreigners.

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Geek OD
This is what happens when Geographers who play WoW get reeeeally bored at work.

I dedicate this to you, Jasmine.

Now, to verify topology...
Reflex versus Rotation, Part 2
In true Miss Medicina form, I started writing my piece on reflex and rotation yesterday, and it just got way too TLDR, so I tried to split it up a bit. This chunk seemed the easiest to divide from yesterday's post.

The Theorycrafting Behind it All

I've posted before about the problems with theorycrafting, and I wanted to bring it up in regards to my continuing topic of reflex and rotation, because all my pondering on the difference between these two has affected how I see theorycrafting for healers.

Of course theorycrafting is useful, but how you use it, or perhaps when you utilize it differs slightly between the rotational and the reflex healer.

Much of the theorycrafting used to prepare your character takes place outside of a raid setting - how you choose your talents, the enchants, gems, and gear you choose, the consumables you will bring to a raid. It comes down to min-maxing your gear, and choosing your talents based on what you expect you will use most during a raid. Or, perhaps you choose the talents you think are best, and intend to train yourself to use the proper spell combinations that will benefit. Either way, once you're actually in the raid, that is where your efforts come to fruition.

If you are working on a rotation, you are working the theory in as you cast... because your rotation is based on maximizing your potential. Perhaps you know the exact moment when it is best to pop your cooldowns, knowing when they will be available again. You will make the choices needed to keep the target alive while simultaneously maintaining Grace, or building stacks of Serendipity.

But when you are a reflex healer, you need to put more preparation into the theorycrafting before the raid, and the best thing you can do to improve your healing skills are to develop the proper habits. Trigger fingers need training! When you are responding to unpredictable damage, or popping a reflexive reaction to something, you may not have the time to calculate in your head what is the best spell for you to use to maximize output while minimizing mana usage. My use of Circle of Healing on one target who takes damage? Perfect example. I don't think about how wasteful it is - I respond. I have developed a bad habit, and trained my trigger finger that way.

This is not to say that Rotational healers do not have to train their fingers, or make snap decisions. Nor do I mean to suggest that Reflex healers do not come into a raid with an expectation of what spells and cooldowns will work best in combination. All healing classes have a combination of both Rotation and Reflex based methods in order to allow all of them to be effective as the sole healer in a 5 man scenario. At end game, however, each class begins to display more strength in one realm or the other.

For instance, I've used Pallies as an example of rotational healing... but all those "Hand of..." tools are indicators of different methods of "emergency response", if you will. If all you ever consider is the best rotation for healing single or dual targets, you won't know what your "extra appendages" are for (you know, like me).

If the Holy Priestess does not work some rotation into her raid healing, and intends to respond purely by reflex, then she will not be adequately prepared when massive raid damage hits everyone. If she has not built up her stacks of Serendipity, if she's already blown her Divine Hymn cooldown, then she's left scrambling to top people off before they find themselves dangling limply and lifeless from Kologarn's fists, because a Circle of Healing may not be enough, and the cast time on a non-hasted Prayer of Healing is painful.


Thanks for humoring me in one of my biggest rambling "philosophy of healing" segments ;) If you ever needed proof that I love theorycrafting (perhaps sans numbers), this was for you!
Outwardly We Heal You, Inwardly You Die
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?
Rotation versus Reflex, Part 1
My catastrophic, and somewhat traumatic experience the other night on my Holy Pally was incredibly humbling. Normally in my 10 man Sunday night group, I'm running as shadow, which is something that previously I had never really done much in a raid. As someone who has ALWAYS raided solely as a healer, it has opened up an entirely new concept to me (don't you dare laugh, all you DPSers!) - the Rotation.

Sure, sure, I'd read about the theory behind it... making sure you have 5 stacks of shadowy thingie goodness, timing your Mind Flays with Mind Blast, etc etc etc... but knowing about it in theory, and performing it well in practice are two very different things (as my experience trying to heal as Disc has shown me!). Once I finally get my rotation down, however, I'm completely bored. The challenge is gone for me now, and I'm looking around for any emergencies that might require me to do a little backup healing...

But I digress. I really do have a point.

When I'm running holy, I'm johnny-on-the-spot. I am, by nature, a highly caffeinated, fidgety, jumpy person. I may not always have the most appropriate response to a stimulus, but respond I do - my reflexes are definitely there, sending limbs akimbo and random curse words spewing from my mouth. BUT AT LEAST I REACT QUICKLY. That's what's important, after all!

So therefore, I do well as a raid healer. There is very little rotation involved, and even with the small amount that Blizz has pushed on us through Serendipity, it's more of a nice bonus effect for something I would likely be casting anyway. Raid healing is generally more of a Reflex response.

Types of Damage and the Proper Response

There are many levels of predictability in raid healing, and they all require different amounts of preparation, and a different mix between rotation and reflex.

1) The Predictable Raid Wide Damage. E.G. XT's tantrum. You know when this damage will hit, and you know exactly whom it will hit. So for instance, for a Holy Priest, you can build up your Serendipity stacks beforehand to get a hasted Prayer of Healing off during the damage. Perhaps a Disc Priest will start pre-Bubbling people into safety before the inevitable tantrum.

2) Unpredictable Damage, Predictable Target. You might also simply call this spike damage on a tank. Think Patchwerk. You don't know the exact second the off tank will be hit with a Hateful Strike, but perhaps you know it will be the offtank who gets it, you know it will be happening often, and therefore you can just keep heals up on that target constantly. Usually, the best way to handle this type of thing is just steady healing, or keeping the potential target shielded, or buffered with HoTs. This isn't really that significantly different than the next type of damage, and they go hand in hand with one another...

3) Predictable Damage, Predictable Target. This is almost always the tank, and this is the damage that is healed best through rotation. The most optimal single target healers have solid, if somewhat more complex, healing rotations, and that is part of what makes MT Healing a bit more interesting than it might be otherwise. For instance, if you stick a Holy Priest on MT healing, they will spend most of their time working with the one rotation mechanic we have through Serendipity - Flash Healx3, Greater Heal. It's not that complex, but it is something - it is our only real rotation. But put a Pally Healer there, and there will be some funny business with a Sacred Shield and a judgment somewhere, some Flash of Light thingies... well you get the idea. (Obviously if I understood the rotation for Pallies better, I would not be so horrible at it)

4) Predictable Damage, Unpredictable Target. Think Slag Pot. Light bombs. Kologarn's fists. Frost Bombs. All of these mechanics are things you expect, but you cannot exactly prepare the target, because it could be anyone - so you simply have to respond quickly.

5) Unpredictable Damage, Unpredictable Target. Everyone screws up sometimes. Everyone steps in the fire on occasion (at least at first!). You can choose to ignore people who consistently do this, of course, but usually we just need to forgive and flash heal.

More than Simply Single Target and AoE Healing

Any time you have an unpredictable target for damage, powerful, reflexive single target healing is needed. You don't have to be an AoE healer to pick this up - and this is one of the reasons that so many Disc priests actually do well on raid healing. Their ability to respond quickly to bombs and fight mechanics makes them valuable to a raid, even if they aren't focusing on the tank. But, let's not forget that Pallies as well have one of the best single target burst heals available - Holy Shock is instant, with a reasonably short cooldown.

The idea that those who heal the Main Tank are just spam healing is not accurate. It is possible to simply spam, but from what I'm beginning to understand about the different healing classes, if you are spamming the tank, you are either not playing your class properly, or you are not really built to focus your heals on one target. A good Main Tank Healer weaves in their abilities through a solid rotation to make the most use out of their spells, talents, and cooldowns.

Raid Healers are built for reflex and rapid response. AoE heals are also important in raid healing of course, but I think sometimes we focus too much on the power of one or two spells, be it Wild Growth, Chain Heal, or Circle of Healing, and forget to note the synergy between our spells and talents. Main Tank healers need to know how to build a strong rotation, whereas raid healers need to know which abilities will work best in a split second situation, with an eye on cooldowns and procs. Both are challenging, but in different ways, in different scenarios, and for different people.
Confessions of a Pathetic Paladin
You know how this blog was really supposed to focus on priests and pallies?

Well, see, the way that actually works is that I try to give helpful advice about priests, and present to you my stories of utter fail with my pally. And so, today I would like to showcase a tale of holy pally craptacular goodness.

It was VoA. Voa is a cake walk, I run it every week. Actually, that was part of the problem - because I run it every week on my priest via PuGs, I was saved, and after our little Sunday night 10 man group finished up Naxx, we thought we'd give VoA a try, since we had plenty of time left on Wintergrasp. So, in utter trepidation, I hopped onto my Paladin, with the intent to DPS.

We started with the easiest boss first, and Archavon went down without a hitch. Then we moved towards Emalon.

Our gear and experience on our alts wasn't enough to quite cut it on Emalon, and as I felt somewhat useless flailing about wildly with my giant mace and usually just facing the wrong way anyway (OH HAI WALL), I offered to switch over to heals so we would have three healers.

What followed was a successful takedown of Emalon, sure, but there was a lot of yelling going on in the basement of my home. The druid healer in the raid was my fiance. And he gave the healing assignment, which I did not like (helloooo? that's MY JOB mister. BACK OFF), because when he's leading he just barks out orders and takes control of everything (control freak!) so he put the disc priest, Abigora, on the add tank (aka Ful!), the druid on the MT, and me on the add tank with Abigora. He said he would handle raid heals as well. lolwut. Fine, fine. You look cute in black, so I'll shut up and let you have your way. As a side note, I wonder if there was as much yelling going on over at the Fuus' place as there was at ours? Hmm.

And then the real yelling began. "If you're going to have two MT healers on one tank honey then STOP PUTTING YOUR HOTS ON MY TARGET" to which he yelled that he wasn't paying attention to names, just health. Every time I saw a HoT, I yelled at him, and then he'd yell back insisting it wasn't him, and I remembered that Disc Priests DO have Renew. Whoops.

Not much later, he's yelling "Who the hell is healing the main tank with me? His health keeps jumping up!!!" me-> "LAWL PWNED BY BEACON OF LIGHT BITCH"

And so on, and so forth. No one expects a Beacon of Light heal. nomnomnom.

So yeah, yeah, that all sounds well and good, but then we get to fire dude. No, I don't remember his name. This time I glared angrily at my tree fiance and insisted I do the healing assignments. He rolled his eyes and agreed, so I told Abigora to focus on the MT and OT with me, and let the druid take care of the raid.

First, we didn't have much time, and my Treedude was having problems with Healbot, which he was sure could be fixed by running in and out of the instance... repeatedly. He glared at me when I suggested he simply type /reloadui, and then proceeded to run in and out even more.

Finally we get started, and proceeded to wipe three tmes. Each time was more fabulous than the last, let me assure you.

The thing is, if you've never played a holy pally before, you may have the following misconceptions:
  1. That pallies don't run out of mana and
  2. that they only have three spells.

So, so, so wrong.

Granted, maybe a pally that doesn't suck as badly as me doesn't run out of mana, but I am all badness. Also, I am awful at keeping track of my cooldowns. Sacredshieldwut? LOLJUDGE. I can't tell you how many times I would finally remember to judge, and then be like "Ooooo this is nice and speedy. I should really do that more often..." I probably cast Beacon of Light every 30 seconds, even though I also have the glyph. Oh and Sacred Shield every 2 minutes. Sigh.

My mana would get low and I'd just hit every magic proc buff button I have - Divine Favor, Divine Plea, Mana Pot, Avenging Wrath... you name it, I would just hit it. I have no idea what I'm doing here.

And let's not even get me started on hands. What? Hand of what? HOW CAN I POSSIBLY HAVE THAT MANY APPENDAGES?!?!?! Should I tie all these thingies to hotkeys or something? My current strategy is just to completely ignore that row of buttons and pretend they don't exist. Lalalala I can't seeeeeeeee you! Again, I have no idea what I'm doing here.

I mean, I probably could try to learn but... what would I post about then? FailPally is way more fun and entertaining, don't you think?

... Anyone?
How I Learned to Use Divine Hymn
I think I've confessed on multiple occasions to my fellow priests that one of my worst healer habits is my neglect of the obscenely powerful Divine Hymn. I believe I also mentioned somewhere that I am going to start forcing myself to use it, even when it's a waste, just to get myself into the habit, and remember where the damn button is.

Then Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs posted his response to the Healer Survey, and responded similarly to the question regarding bad healer habits, except with much cleverer terminology. Since I just can't get enough of his response, I'm quoting it to you for the second time is only a handful of days...

"I’m another divine hymn reprobate. I’ve literally never ever used it.
It’s embarrassing but there never seems to be a situation in which some
other healing spell wouldn’t do the job better. Also it’s just got a
rubbish name. This is a fucking battle, no time for singing!"

Since I can never read that response without laughing and smiling, I finally decided that this is the key to getting myself to use DH.

So I requested the aid of a friend of mine who shakes his head at my complete inability to write any type of macro, and he helped me create my new Divine Hymn macro. Here is is, if you'd like to use it too:

/cast Divine Hymn
/say This is a bloody battle, no time for singing!!!

(I changed it from the f-bomb in case it might upset others who are caught unawares by a cursing priest)

Just for the record, due solely to that macro, I used Diving Hymn about 15 times in one day. Sure, half of those were standing on the fountain in Dalaran, but at least I now know where the button is.

I think that as a tribute to our hilarious priestly RPing comrade on the other side of that giant lake called the Atlantic Ocean (at least, it is for me!), all of us healers should start a Tam-Fad, and make similar Divine Hymn macros. If I see anyone else using this macro, I will know right away that they are either a blogger or a blog-lover!

(psssst, word on the grapevine is that Death Goddess has begun a DPS version of the healing survey. I'm totally ignoring it. No, I refuse to link to it, don't even bother asking. Nyah.)

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This Boss Doesn't Drop Epics
This past weekend I was complaining in guild chat about how much I really dislike my job, and miss the days when I was just a lowly cashier at the home depot. One of my longest WoW friends piped in and told me something she learned a long time ago that has helped her get through a bad day in the office, and develop a healthy attitude at work.

Before I divulge the secrets of her genius, I'd actually like to start by pointing out why I like RPGs in the first place, and some of the ways I'm different than many other players.

I have a lot of respect for hard work and long efforts that may only reward small payoff. I've always felt the joy is in the journey, and as feel-good and hippieish as that philosophy may sounds, it's how I play. It's why I don't mind long reputation grinds. It's why I like leveling my toons "the right way". It's why I think people ought to be polite to one another. It's why I enjoy healing, and helping others - but it's also why I dislike giving people gold for no reason, or running lowbies through dungeons on principle. I translate my values from the real world into my game universe. I did this long before I ever started playing WoW, but WoW has definitely been the best reflection of my personal values. Think of it like Gevlon-gone-nicey-nice. After all, even Gevlon's action in game reflect his own personal values.

So in a strange twist, my friend-who-is-like-a-sister told me that she gets into a gaming mindset for work. It sounds kinda backwards, it may even sound like one of those things that gamers get harassed for all the time, the uber geek mentality. But it makes sense to me.

She gears up to go to work. She grinds faction reputation with her coworkers, clients, and bosses. She does her daily quests every day, and pursues various different achievements. Much like WoW is something she plays in a way to enjoy her life, work is a "game" she plays that enables her to enjoy her non-work life. All that reputation and daily grinding can be exhausting and tedious, but it enables her to pursue the other things she truly enjoys. Perhaps she can buy a fancy new mount. She needs a certain steady level of gold for repairs for raiding, and consumables of course. When she meets people that are rude and thoughtless, she reminds herself that she does not have to deal with these people outside of that realm if she does not want to. Much like rude people online, who you will inevitably have to deal with online, perhaps if we're lucky, we only have to deal with the work-jerks while in the office. 

I asked her if that meant if I ran over my boss I would get ten achievement points and a few epics, and she said I might, but then I might also get banned. Damn, there goes that idea.

So I started thinking about this in terms of my current hateful work situation. I am currently employed as an intern - stuffing envelopes, fetching coffee, that kind of crap. So I've decided to think of it like Naxx, or heroics. I strongly dislike both, to be honest, but in this analogy, I need them both to gear up for something better... like Icecrown. Maybe if I run enough stupid heroics and starter-raids (aka internships), I will be better prepared for the real fun, the real goal, Arthas (oh and a job at the US Census Bureau plzkthx).

The idea of going from someone who brings her real world values into a game changing into someone who brings her in-game values into the real world is something of a frightening transformation. Have I gone off the edge of gamer extremism and fantasy world inundation? Am I going to wake up tomorrow, single, unemployed, undateable, living in my mom's basement? No, I don't think so (and it's not just because my Texan parents don't have a basement). Perhaps it's just a coping mechanism. I'm not sure how healthy it is, but surely it's not healthy to go into work and leave work utterly miserable with your life because you hate your job so much, either.

So I think I'll give it a shot. What do you think? Have I gone off the edge? Is this the crowning moment of my avoidant personality disorder? Will the non-gaming faction of the world soon come with the whitecoats and toss me into a padded cell? Am I distorting my real life to accomodate a mere hobby?

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im in ur corthows shardin' ur hats
Couple of random tidbits floating around in my head.

So many bloggers getting involved in NaNo! You are much more courageous than I. I'll try to hold down the fort so you can write your novels this month, and therefore I'll probably be posting a bit more frequently. My usual schedule is about once a day, but I'll probably be making shorter posts a couple of times a day for a few weeks.

Tier 10 preview is out. Rogues continue to leave me gasping for breath as I guffaw rudely. I think Blizz is trying to make Druids happy that their armor can't be seen while they are in form so that they will stop whining. Do you *really* want people to see your gear, Antler Head? Pallies in skirts just make my day. What about the Priest t10? Yawn. Completely and utterly booooooring.

Mongrr made a fabulous post at Save the Lightwell yesterday with all kinds of information refuting common complaints about the love-it-or-hate-it Holy Priest spell Lightwell. I added a link to it on my page discussing the merits of speccing into Lightwell, but the StL post is far superior to my own.

I had a very delightful surprise last night when a healer of the non-squishy variety (!) sent me a tell last night from a level 1 character, offering to help out with the Healer Survey data entry. I might actually take him up on this... I'm going to see how far I can get this weekend, and if progress is still painfully slow, then I may take him up on his offer. If anyone else is interested in helping out with this project, please leave me a comment - I haven't decided if I'm ready to relinquish control of mah baby yet, but I also do want to get it all taken care of.

The Christmas spirit is upon us! Between BBB's Raid for the Cure (which is an awesome event because BBB is not telling everyone they should donate to one organization - you are eligible for the drawing even if you choose a different organization to handle your donation), or blame Syrana for Twitter being so annoyingly popular. Or even better, split your donation to Make a Wish Foundation by giving half of it to Blizzard, and you get a free pet! Wait... did I say that backwards? Ah, well, Freud is a bitch.

More later on endangered talents. The title of this post is a reference to a statement Gordin made regarding the recently ousted mayor of Fifth-Third, Ohi... oops, sorry, Dayton, Ohio. Damn, there's that Freud again.
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