Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry the tank died because my beacon wasn't refreshed....

Dear Blizzard,

The Beacon of Light is amazing and has made paladin healers rejoice.  Using a entire global cool down (GCD) to refresh The Beacon  can sometimes be a problem.  You see, now that I don't need to just stare at the Tank's health bar constantly, I've started dropping heals on the raid.  A warlock life taps, BOMB goes the Holy Light.  The resto-druid gets hit by an orb, BOMB goes the Holy Light.  In fact, I'm so busy healing the raid, I sometimes forget about the tank and The Beacon expires and the Tank stops getting my Big Heals. This is usually not good.  So, I suggest the following change to the Beacon of Light.  In same spirit as say a Warlocks corruption being refreshed on every shadow bolt, shadow word pain being refreshed by mind flay, the Beacon of Light can be refreshed whenever a Holy Light is cast on The Beacon's target.  It still takes a GCD to refresh it, but the tank gets a Big Heal at the same time.

Thanks and Sincerely,
Big Healer

Dungeon Finder Grind

The dungeon finder is a boon for every healer (and tank).  With a queue time of <1min for most healers, it's just a matter of grinding to get more badges then you will ever need.  The grind will bring you different healing challenges.  I've earned over 2000 triumph badges since it went live.

My first rule about any attempt is to be positive. Avoid the dark side and use the force (Luke).
  1. The geared group will be fast and need hardly any healing.  This group is fun, because you can see how much damage a Big Healer can output.  Pop the wings whenever you can, make sure you have Shield of the Righteousness on a key bind to use when everything else is hot (waiting for cool down).  The tank in this group might get bored and start pulling insanely large groups.  Be ready to switch back to Big Heals when this happens.  I had a tank pull every mob in the first Protodrake room of Ramparts once.
  2. The geared damage versus under geared tank (usually a DK!).  This happens a lot now, because everyone is looking for a shorter queue time and switching to a tank spec gets you that.  This group will have your Big Heals flying as the tank won't be able to hold aggro and the DPS will end up tanking.   It's more like raid healing since you'll be bombing heals on everyone.  Hand of Protection can be very useful in this group.  I sometimes mark a Skull and X in pulls to help the tank and DPS coordinate.   
  3. The under geared group.  I get these groups a lot.  Their alt just made level 80, and they jump into heroics immediately (who doesn't do this!).  The damage per second is less then 2000, if not worse.  The tank needs constant attention to stay alive.  I can carry this group with my Big Healer, but I feel sorry for a new healer when they get in this group.  Encourage the tanks in these groups, give them props and back slabs aplenty.  The more tanks in the dungeon finder the better. 
  4. The slow tank group.  Can be any of the above groups, but the tank seems to be preoccupied and the pulls come slow.  The party might get impatient and start pulling just to get the tank to move faster.  Healing can be challenging if this starts happening.  I like having a two-monitor setup, so I can be browsing the web when things get slow.
  5. The timid tank.  This like the above group will be slower.  The tank will ask if everyone is ready before every pull.   They will diligently mark up every mob in the next pull with a kill order.   The healing in this group is usually easy and boring.  Like first group, I can usually add some damage of my own into the mix.
Note that I never drop a group because it's under geared, but I will drop a group if the players are rude.  There is nothing worse then a player constantly abusing another player for what they consider bad play.  If a vote to remove this player doesn't work (it usually does), then I'll excuse myself.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How to HoP for fun and profit

The Hand of Protection (HoP) is a valuable tool in the pocket of every Big Healing Paladin.   It can save the life of a aggro pulling toon with a quick immunity from all physical damage.  The mob will turn in disgust back to the tank, just waiting for the Protection to end.  I can't count the number of times I've HoP'ed a caster who pulled aggro on a big AoE pull.  It's not unusual for my HoP to hit right as they Ice Block or Soul Shatter.  Too bad most mages don't know how to cancel their own ice block (hint: cancelaura Ice Block, macro it to the same key that ice blocks, hit once to block, hit again unblock) to take advantage of it.  I've also saved a lot of Fan of Knives crazy rogues.  The rogues usually don't like it because it prevents them from doing damage until they remove it or it ends.  For a paladin it's a must have tool, since it can quickly save the life of DPS or Healer that suddenly has aggro.  I practically use it on every CD during the Faction Champion encounter.

Don't wait for special occasion to pass out this protection.  Often there isn't a lot time between getting aggro and getting dead.  I tend to HoP quickly and often.

The HoP can also be used to clear of some debuffs.  Cast HoP, then quickly cast Hand of Freedom (HoF).  Since a player can only have a single Hand on them, the freedom will immediately clear the HoP off of them.

Just remember it only protects physical damage, if the attacks are magically, they will need Big Heals instead. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trauma shouldn't go to the Holy Paladin first...

Blessing of Kings: Trauma and Paladins

I have seen Trauma drop twice and haven't bothered to bid on it. Instead I made the case that if anyone should get it, then it should be our Resto-druids. Both drops went to druids. Looking at the parses, it appears they are getting 2-3% of their heals from it.

The only upgrades besides this are, Lockjaw and H-Lockjaw from the 10-man version of ICC. Of course getting a battered hilt would be a nice upgrade, but my luck on those hasn't been great. I will just have to stick with Heartsmasher, until our guild gets back into farming TOGC.

I'm guessing that there are also drops in ICC which haven't been revealed yet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Holy Paladin 2pT10 bonus and some mouse over nonsense.

While your divine illumination talent is active, your healing spells are 35% faster.
That's 35% more heals at 50% the mana for 15secs every 3mins making Divine Illumination (DI) a very valuable 1-point talent.  So why not maximize the uptime with a simple macro:
#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast Divine Illumination
/cast Holy Light
DI does not cause a GCD, so there will not be a delay on the Holy Light.  This macro can be used as the main heal Nuke.  A version that allows mouse over targeting is here:
#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast Divine Illumination
/cast [target=mouseover] Holy Light; Holy Light
Just move the mouse over your raids unit frames and bomb the raid with Big Heals.

I actually have another line in my macro to clear the spell not ready error that pops up while DI is on CD.  I also have error speech turned off, so it doesn't say anything to me about it.
#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast Divine Illumination
/cast [target=mouseover] Holy Light; Holy Light
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear() 

I actually have three Holy Light macros on my action bar.  The first is just a basic mouse over Holy Light.  The second the DI version above, the third does a DI and Avenging Wrath.  This allows me to increase my heals more selectively by just shifting to a different heal button.  This level of control is only necessary on the hardest fights.  For the most part the above macro is great when the plan is to just bomb away with Holy Light.

I heal while wearing plate armor (mostly)

A Paladin healer can wear cloth, leather, mail, and plate armor. This is a talent that should be exploited. I know the shaman healer is going to complain if you bid on the mail boots, but it's not the paladin's fault they rolled a class with limited armor type selections. A paladin no matter which role they are filling needs to look at every armor type as a possible upgrade or "best in slot" for them.

For example, from Ice Crown Citadel raid zone, there are crafted healing boots for all the armor types. Two of them have no spirit or spell hit. The mail Earthsoul Boots and the plate Protectors of Life. Comparing the two feet warmers gives the following differences, if a paladin decides to get the mail boots.

  • -799 armor
  • -16 crit
  • -red socket
  • -blue socket
  • +16 haste
  • +yellow socket
  • +yellow socket
The socket bonus on these booties are the same, +7 spell power. Unless the paladin is a PvP or Flash of Light speicialist, those yellow sockets are going to be very attractive. Slot in two +20 Intellect gems and get some extra spell power.

The Paladin then has to decide if +16 crit is worth more then +16 haste/+7 spell power. Assuming of course, they are going to plop in the Intellect gems regardless of the socket bonus. The answer will be different for each paladin as they try and fine tune their gear. But, for a lot of them a pair for non-plate boots will be the best pick.