Monday, December 13, 2010

Tips, Notes, and Miscellany on Resto and Mana

So I hit 85 and started hitting up heroic modes. Here's a collection of things I've learned from healing the 5 mans:

  • Omen of Clarity is your Lifesaver
Use it for your expensive spells. It won't be consumed when you use nourish, though, so you don't need to cancel a nourish should it proc during a cast. Regrowth, Swiftmend, and HT will all consume OoC procs. Mana cost in order of expense: Regrowth (35%), HT (30%), Swiftmend (10%).

  • Roll that Lifebloom
Keep it going all the time; only drop it if you've got an extended period between pulls from explaining tactics or going afk. Especially if you get that Gale of Shadows trinket :) It not only provides replenishment for your party, but it also is our cheapest heal, which is ironic after the WotLK version. Other bloggers have pointed out that we can keep two stacks rolling using nourish or HT to refresh them even after our ToL has ended. If the tank is taking very light damage but dps/yourself are feeling kinda squishy (some circumstances of this HAVE happened for me) then pop your LB on them instead for a short time.

  • Innervate Early and Often
It's such a small mana return even in blues and greens that you don't want to wait until you're near-oom to use it. The longer you wait, the longer you're waiting on the cooldown when you're on your last dregs.

  • Leave the CC to the DPS
You will rarely be able to spare the mana and GCDs to keep CC rolling on a mob, and without much in the way of +hit on your gear, you have a high chance of your CC missing anyway. If you want to try to CC something during an initial pull, assuming your HoTs are running already on the tank, then it needs to be a CC that is not 100% necessary. If it misses, just ignore it and move back to your primary job healing. The time it takes to successfully get your CC on a mob is time that your tank may die.

  • Don't Cleanse Everything
Cleanses are expensive and can often be healed through. Some of them stack and these stacks are sometimes all purged at once with one dispel (ie: poisons in Vortex Pinnacle) or are cleansed one at a time... don't waste your mana and GCDs.

  • Don't Forget Tranquility
It is a super-powerful AoE heal that can and will save the party, assuming you have the mana to be able to cast it.

  • Take Care of your Gear
...and don't be like me and forget you can go buy iL346 blues from the points vendor when you hit 85. >_> Talk to your guild enchanters and feed them greens rather than vendoring them, so that they can provide you a few enchants that are also skill-ups for themselves. As for gems, while they are expensive at this point, you can, if necessary, socket cheap gems from earlier expansions just to net your socket bonuses until you can replace the gems with something better.

Run aggro towards them. LoS casters you have healing aggro on. Let them know if you need to drink; thank them if they're paying attention to your mana pool. If you need them to be popping more cooldowns, tell them. If they're being terribad and they're leaving mobs punching on you or casting spells at you in spite of your efforts to get them off (like standing right next to them and saying "HEY TAUNT THIS"), say so, or ask for CC on them. If all else fails, blacklist a bad tank and avoid having to queue with them ever again.

  • Play Triage
If the DPS pulls aggro, it's not up to the healer to keep them alive. It's up to the tank and the dps to manage their threat. If you have the mana, then certainly save them, or buy them some time, but a healer's mana needs to go to keeping themselves and the tank alive. DPS can always CC aggro that is on them, anyway, and most have some form of threat dump. In addition, if they're being idiots who stand in cleaves (flayers in stonecore) or fire, let em die. They need to learn from their mistakes rather than be carried by kindness. As one of my res macros says: "I simply found it more mana-efficient to res you."

  • Teach and Share
In spite of my above sentiments on the stupidity of DPS, it's only fair to give people a chance. A little note like "the flayers cleave, don't stand in front of them" and "if you jump mid-cast during quake, you avoid the damage" (both Stonecore) can go a long way to helping your sanity, assuming they listen. If they don't listen, that's when I take the "let em die" approach. With quests, sharing the limited quest spawns also helps lower frustration: if you're waiting for a spawn, take the time to toss a party invite to the players around you. Saves time and angst by lowering that competition, and engenders a more positive feeling of comaraderie among your fellow players.

  • WATCH.
That rogue that just took damage: was that a cleave, incidental AoE, or did they just get knocked back into another pack of trash and your act of healing would draw them onto you? Keep your eyes peeled on the environment. I have had this happen during a boss fight (hello, Stonecore again), and I was able to with-hold my trigger-finger long enough to watch him vanish the aggro off (letting the trash reset) before I healed him, and that moment's wait on my part saved us from a messy wipe as I would otherwise have gained healing aggro.

  • Thank those PuGs you Enjoyed
It will make them want to continue their good behavior. Things like a warlock saying "If I have aggro it's because I'm saving the healer," or a tank saying "Are you good on mana?," have stood out in my mind as PuGgers that I would love to play with again. Conversely, complaining about loot that didn't drop will make everyone else roll their eyes and think you're just greedy.

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