Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jessabella's meme-that-I-refuse-to-call-a-meme

So there I was, minding my own business, doing that druidly thing of hanging out with my fellow trees in the forest (/ducks from several guildies pointing out my gleeful killing of the trees on Freya the previous night)... when BAM out of nowhere, some shaman runs up and hands me a baton, a baton shaped into the form of (predictably) a totem. Written along the side of it was a url and some very bolded text that this baton was most assuredly NOT a meme. Hehe. :)

Zigi from Twenty-Five Boxes has tagged me in a new and fairly interesting healy-blogger-get-to-know-you-webring-kinda-meme-thing, started by a priest/pally over at Miss Medicina. While I go through the questionaire, I'm going to have to figure out a non-druid healer blogger to tag... as Jessabella made the rule that I must tag a blogging healer not of my own class!

If you'd like to see a full list of those that have replied, check here for a full link list :)

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Kaelynn, druid, tree! I'm one of those 14/0/57 specs. Though my character's name is Kaelynn, everyone just calls me Kae, which works well enough for me as that is the name of my first druid (even though that one's feral!).

  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
10-man pve raids. I pug some 25's and heroics on the side.

  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Hmmm tough call. I've always kinda liked rejuv: quick to cast, and long-lasting, like a warm hug that leaves someone open to a swiftmend. I didn't like having to shove it aside for lifebloom in TBC, and have felt rather proud of the spell as it came into its own place of prominance in WotLK.

  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Tranquility. It's a long-duration channeled spell that is party-only aoe healing; HoTs will usually drop off of people while it is being cast, leaving them without the HoT buffer they need to survive after Tranquility is done. I usually only cast it while out-of-combat and goofing off, because even if it's useless, it's still pretty.

  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
HoTs to counter steady damage going into our heal targets. The sheer number of HoTs we run with make us a pretty unique class among the healers, and makes us very proactive in our healing: our overheal is ridiculous because of it, now that HoTs are included in the overheal meters! We have different kinds of HoTs that are useful in different situations, and HoTs are among most druids' most-used heals. They are pretty powerful alone, and together they can weave a complex web of over-time healy awesomeness.

  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
No true shield ability for anyone but ourselves. All those times an enemy fires up some huge-burst ability on our tank, all we can do is keep our normal heals going and pray we're given a chance to use Nature's Swiftness before they die or are one-shot, unless we have the option to cyclone the enemy through the duration. Huge amounts of burst damage are not something druids, as healers, are equipped to mitigate.

  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
For *me*, or for a generic member of my class? :) Most 25-man raiding druids are raid healers. As for myself... I perform best without an assignment! I tend to have a good eye for the holes mid-combat and adapt myself to fill them: helping to focus on tanks when needed with a flurry of HoTs and Nourishes, or just spamming the raid with rejuvs, WGs, and lifebloom. I will point over from here to my post earlier this week about the different kinds of tree druids...

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
That's a really tough choice, and honestly depends on the situation... but overall, I'd say *not* another resto druid, at least for my ten-mans. Doubling up on our weakness of no shields for the tank puts a lot of stress on both of us. I've co-healed with pallies, priests, and shaman, and have successfully downed new bosses and hardmodes with all three. Can't say as I honestly have a preference among them, as classes: as long as the player behind them knows they need to help heal both the tank and the rest of the raid rather than only one or the other, in most cases :)

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
As I said above, I don't like 2-healing a 10 man with another druid, unless the tanks are geared enough to not take heavy chunks of burst damage in the instance.

  • What is your worst habit as a healer?
Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce.... :) To speak truthfully, it may be that I do more than bounce around the room (occasionally into a cleave if I don't know the mobs well): I can bounce around my healing focus on a fight, too, letting hots drop off of a tank who might need them to be continuous, because I was pouring myself into saving a non-tank. I understand it can throw off my co-healer as the tank is suddenly taking more damage than before, and possibly confuse the tank and raid leader, too, so it's something I've been working on smoothing out... and trying especially to not let it happen when the tanks are stacked up with a huge dot debuff!

  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
People running away from me and going out of heal-range when they're dieing (from some dot, debuff, or aggro).

  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
We have a lot of raw healing output that offsets our lack of shielding abilities, so I think we are.

  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Did someone die, why did they die, and could I have prevented it without letting someone else (especially a tank) die instead?

Once upon a time, back in the land of Blackwing Lair, I used to evaluate based on overhealing. That was when we used Healing Touch (rank 4!). There's no point in doing that anymore with all of the HoTs, because I have little control over when they tick when I lack the ability to see into the future and know exactly when the boss' swings will manage to get past the block, parry, etc of the tank, and I can't force my HoTs to tick exactly in-time with a damage aoe or debuff. There will be overhealing, and I just have to ignore it now, unless I'm letting too many Lifeblooms bloom off as overheal, or using nourish or swiftmend or NS+HT as all overheal (being the non-hots of my arsenal).

  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That resto druids are all only raid-healers. Even other druids often have this misconception. In PuGs I don't mind it so much, because it leaves me free on the healing assignments to fill in where I want, but in other cases (like spec/talent/gear discussion or non-25-man raids) it can be frustrating.

  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
How to handle lifebloom in WotLK. Lifebloom has seen so many buffs and nerfs that many guides on its use are out-of-date, and the generic "let it bloom when the tank needs a heal" is even pretty vague, because it relies on a last-second decision on whether to renew the stack of three, let it bloom, whether you need the mana returned, whether you can sustain the mana cost of rolling it, whether OoC is procced for its use to make it have no mana cost, whether you'll be able to get a fresh stack up on the tank in time, etc. It's not an easy spell.

  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
High healing done, high overheal. A pure raid-healing druid would have even higher overheal. A tank healer may be lower in raw healing done, but given the hots needed to buff nourish and shelter the tank, they'll still have a lot of overheal. Either way, a resto druid will have a lot of overheal, usually out-doing the holy pallies on it.

  • Haste or Crit and why?
Both, for me. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but I do have a use for crit where pure-raid-healer druids do not, because I regularly use spells that can crit (nourish, regrowth, swiftmend) rather than only HoTs. Haste is commonly a friend to resto-druids, however, to the point of lowering the global cooldown to the 1-second minimum.

  • What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Resto shaman. There tend to be fewer of them around than any other class. My husband played a holy pally, and I've had extensive experience raiding with both pallies and priests over the years, but I honestly don't know shaman that well aside from "chain heal lawl" and earth shield and mana-tide totems.

  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
My guild sometimes refers to me as the macro queen. I use Grid with mouseover healing macros that are keybound (rather than click-bound via Clique or HealBot). You can browse through the guides linked in the menus at the top of the page to read about the mods and macros that I use, and copy them for yourself, if you'd like. I have a very point-and-shoot system to my heals, using the mouse to target while using my keyboard to fire off a spell, using modifier keys and nearby unused keys (rebound q,e, etc. ) so that I don't have to leave my standard wasd movement keys.

My main mods are Grid, Power Auras, Bartender, Lunarsphere (with the random speech res announcements), Quartz, and Bindpad; I also use IceHUD, Pitbull, Sexymap, Chatter, Cowtip, and Buffalo to help streamline my interface. DBM, Omen, and oRA2 are my boss mods/threat watch/raid cooldown monitor/tank targets. Oh, and there is kgpanels and buttonfacade to personalize my UI and make it look prettier :)

  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Spellpower > Spirit > Int > Haste/Crit > mp5, generally speaking. The gear itself always tends to provide some amount of int and stamina, and when given the option between two similar pieces, I'd rather focus on one that gives me more spellpower or spirit over other stats. If it's a choice between spirit or mp5, I'll take spirit. If it's a choice between haste and crit... well, then it gets messy, cuz I have to look at all those charts I made on haste and GotEM and consider upcoming changes and decide whether I should focus on haste, or deal with my GCD being 1.1 rather than 1.0 seconds, and again wonder if latency means it doesn't even matter, and what'll happen when NG procs and what buffs I might have from totems and pallies and omg I'll shut up now.

...and now I shall tag someone and pass it along. This is the hard part, because I only really follow druid blogs and a few non-healer blogs that have caught my attention. I think I will go with a disc priest, Ambrosyne at I Like Bubbles... she always digs up such humorous stuff. I'm also going to look rather pointedly at two guildie shaman of mine, in case they may wish to take part as well ;)

Upon finding that I have been beaten to the punch and someone has already tagged I Like Bubbles, I'd like to tag another blogger that had actually done a post about my blog *blush*... :) He's an elemental main-spec, but I know he likes that healing thing, too!

TAG to Chayah at Planet of Hats!


Zigi said...

Yeah I only know lifebloom as "the only spell druids cast at 70" and "the spell no druid casts at 80".

Also I'm gonna check out some of those mods you mentioned. I obviously already know Grid and such, but I'd never heard of LunarSphere, and it looks just like an old mod I used to use on my Warlock that is no longer updated.

Charles said...

Thanks for the tag, gives me something other than elemental spell mechanics to write about :D And I'm not offended that I was second choice ;) It's really interesting reading all these different answers too - though I think all healing bloggers secretly suspect their class is the best...

Anonymous said...

Was great to read another druid reply! I giggled at how many things you and I answered similarly and what we answered to see what Lath and the other druids had to say!

Verile said...

Ran across your site via the Circle of Healers. Very impressive.

Kae said...

Yep, it's definitely been interesting to read through all the other druid responses... I've also learned a lot about shaman healing through this not-a-meme, as well!