I love long weekends. Seriously love them. They give me time to play WoW and also do other things I love (cook elaborate turkey-based feasts, work on NaNoWriMo, watch the toddler tease the kittens, check out the Playstation Move Gladiator Combat game [ow, stiff arms today!]). Mostly play WoW though.
This was definitely a healer-centric weekend for me. From least advanced healer to most:
My Gnome Priest, Elucidate, dinged 80 yesterday. That makes four pairs of 80s for Reversion and me. Three pairs of tank/heals, including one pair that’s tank/heals/heals/tank. Huzzah! We got them enough gear to get into regular TOC and the ICC 5 mans (did anyone else notice they raised the gear requirements on heroics and such?) by raiding the guild vault, buying a piece or two, and crafting a couple ilvl 200 pieces. Then we ran TOC and FOS/POS on regular a few times for some gear. Yeah, it’ll be obsolete but hey, a few pieces will make leveling to 85 easier. And my trinkets were really really bad.
The best bit was, I’d been queueing all day as dps/heals. Halfway through our third TOC I was thinking how easy it was to heal this time. Then I saw a Living Seed on myself. Then I noticed the druid wasn’t showing up on Recount. Ooops. I’d forgotten to check what my role was, and I was supposed to be dpsing! I switched to Shadow, apologized, and dotted the Black Knight to death. Ahem. Ooops.
So she’s disc/shadow. I’m not sure I’m good at disc yet, at least not beyond “bubblebubblebubbleSMITE” but I can keep the party alive most of the time. And PW:Barrier is cool. Too short, but cool. Even if people always run out of it. Sigh.
Divergent, my Holy Pally: this is backwards chronologically but I want to whine about druid heals at the end so, Saturday we did an alts run on ICC and I brought Divergent. I like paladin healing right now. Charging up Holy Power and using either Word of Glory or Light of Dawn feels amazing. With Beacon and my self-healing, I can keep myself and one tank alive with basically no effort. It’s very nice. We went 9/12 with a couple heroics but the group wasn’t our normal one, we had alts and some guildies who don’t really run with us and while it was fun I didn’t feel like we made as much progress as we usually do. Still, I like having the pally heals available.
Analogue the Druid. Oh, my. Friday night’s ICC we extended a lockout that had just Sindy and LK. Try as I might I could only get 9 guildies in (turkey casualties were high this weekend) so we ended up bringing in a friend of one raider as a third healer. So our heals setup was druid, paladin, disc priest. I thought we were in trouble when the other healer observed that the disc priest wasn’t gemmed and enchanted. Oh well; the two of us were well set up.
It took a couple tries to get Sindy down but it always seems to. I don’t know if that fight ever feels really clean. Well, I’m sure it does if you’re really good raiders but ours always feel chaotic.
Then we went up to Arthas. Reversion explained the fight, we got into position, I prepared for the usual slowly progressing wipes. I was confident in our ability to get him down though. I mean, we had most of our normal raid, the dps looked fine, the heals were fine…
It was a nightmare.
Infests were killing us. I’m not going to assign blame there: all three of us could have done better. The disc priest could have pre-bubbled us, but he wasn’t running any raid frame addons (sigh. And insisted he didn’t need to. Sigh.) Multi could have timed his Light of Dawns to have three holy power and go off at just the right second. I could have timed Wild Growth and Swiftmend perfectly. As it was, we were wasting cycles healing Infest victims back up (and, as the disc priest couldn’t freakin’ see the debuffs, since he WASN’T USING RAID FRAMES, he wasn’t helping at all there. Can you see I’m ticked about this one?)
Then we started getting into the transition and I realize that I popped Innervate already and I’m at 17% mana. In transition 1. What the heck? Well, it’s a wipe anyway. I’ll pay more attention.
Next attempt I watch and notice that I can see my mana pool go down every time I cast anything. This should not be. I have a mana pool that makes paladins cry. I end the LK fight with 70% mana. I haven’t worried about mana in a year. What is wrong?
I’d noticed a mana problem on Sindy, and asked the arcane mage to switch to frost so we’d have replenishment. Had she switched back? Nope, there’s replenishment right there. I ask Multi and he’s hurting too.
Wipe after wipe, we’re struggling to handle infests and running out of mana. We’re not even getting into phase 2. I’m starting to tear out my hair: I can heal the infests back up, but if I do, I won’t have any mana for later in the fight. As we’re buffing up from a wipe, we discuss strategies. Multi pulls out some flasks of pure mojo. I take one, and then look at my stats.
Oh. There’s the problem. I’m regenerating 600 mana per 5 in combat. Rejuv costs 900 mana. If I can cost 3 rejuv in 5 seconds, that means I’m using three times as much mana as I’m regenerating. Innervate is basically worthless, I get one potion – and they freaking nerfed replenishment; it returns half the mana it used to. Wow. No wonder.
Ok. I understand this is the Cataclysm healing philosophy. And I know the 4.0.3a changes to druids hurt and they may have to change us back. But I realized as I stood there, staring at my stats, that we had probably seen our last LK kill until we were 80. The math just doesn’t work any more.
My mana pool, all buffed up, – I forget what the numbers were this week; I think they were lower than usual. Let’s say 40k. That’s 45 casts of Rejuv. With replenishment and Revitalize, let’s pretend I’m regenning 700 MP. That means if I do my usual Rejuv spam, I’ll be OOM in…. let’s see. Math. If I cast 3 Rejuv in 5 seconds, not counting mana gains I would go OOM in 75 seconds. However in that time I’ve regenned 10,500 mana. That’s another 12 Rejuvs. So there’s another 20 seconds. Say I popped innervate and a mana pot in there, and be generous and say that buys me another 45 seconds.
Total: 140 seconds. 2 minutes 20 seconds. Or, Transition 1 of LK.
(Math not intended to be theorycrafting, just envelope calculations like I did in my head standing there on the platform)
So don’t rejuv spam. But how am I supposed to get everyone over 90% health every time Infest ticks?
That is what makes me angry. Not what I might or might not be able to do at 85. That’s weeks away. I care about today, about those last chances to down the Lich King,the Kingslayer title for some of my friends, the fun I can salvage at the end of an expansion. I have faith that if the numbers are really bad, Blizzard will fix them not long into Cataclysm. But right now, I feel like they cut my legs out from under me. They gave me the new healing model while I’m still trying to play encounters designed for the old model, and it just doesn’t work any more. Spout your lines about wanting us to use all the tools in our toolbox, Blizzard, but sometimes that nail really is a nail, and darn it, I want my hammer.
Anyway. I’m not really angry. I obviously had a lot of fun this weekend. I just wish I thought this next Friday, which hopefully will be our last ten man night before Cataclysm, will go better than my last attempt to raid on my druid. I think we’ll just work on the Lich King and see if we can kill him one last time. I’ll adapt my strategies, we’ll work even more closely as a team and we’ll see what happens.