What I Love About Cataclysm – Heroics

I feel it is an appropriate day for me to talk about the difficulty of the Cataclysm Dungeons.  Ghostcrawler has just done a blogpost entitled, “Wow, Dungeons are Hard!”. It’s a good read (especially if you are not liking the new content and wondering why Blizzard ruined everything).   You’ll find my comments on it below…

First, let’s review.  I am currently playing a Discipline Priest – arguably, the worst spec/class combination for healing Cataclysm content at the moment.  Gone are the days of my bubble spam, gone are the days of my unlimited mana.  Discipline is extremely gear dependant.  Without an appropriate amount of spirit we go OOM.  It’s just what is happening right now.  Not to say that our spell priority and triage healing is not important.  Even with an acceptable level of spirit, you will still go OOM if you aren’t prioritizing heals and anticipating damage.  The Discipline Priest’s spell arsenal is just not as strong/mana efficient as some the other healing classes.  I’ve also heard/seen that many other healer classes received new talents that allow for them to dispel magic.  Did Disc Priests get a talent to help with poisons or curses? Um, no.  We still have mass dispel, which helps us to stand out from the pack a bit, but really, without glyphing it appropriately you won’t be getting it off in enough time anyways to make a difference.  I could go on with things that piss me off about it, but Disc is broken right now.  That’s just the way things are.  I have confidence Blizzard will make changes in an attempt to fix it. 

MY POINT IS…. I have still been succesful in healing the new heroic dungeons.  I would say my strongest ability as a player and as a healer is my ability to predict incoming damage and player/mob activity.  This is something that Discipline Priests have always had to do.  We are damage mitigators.  Dispel quickly, bubble before a big damage spike, pop Pain Suppression, etc etc.  Discipline priests are the Prophetic Healers of WoW.  The new content is forcing all classes to be predictive.  We can’t just run in and FANOFKNIVESFANOFKNIVESFANOFKNIVESFANOFKNIVESFANOFKNIVES.  You have to CC.  At least when I am healing you do.  It’s of high possibility that I will not be able to heal the tank through the full force of 6 mobs.  I’ll have no choice but to let a DPS die if they are standing in stuff.  My mana just cannot support your stupidity.

“If you feel like you can’t cast anything but your efficient heal or you’ll run out of mana, then something is going wrong with the fight.  Likewise, if you feel like you must spam your inefficient heals to the exclusion of all else, then your group is ignoring key mechanics or is just undergeared. ” — Ghostcrawler 

Let’s review again.  I began my priest 4 months after the release of WOTLK.  I have never played BC or Vanilla content when it was new.  I don’t know how it used to be.  How am I able to heal current content when I’ve not experienced “tough” content before?  I would say it’s a mix a few things.  One, I’m willing to learn and change my behaviors.  Two, I PVP, and I PVP a whole hell of a lot.  PVP has made me be more mana efficient, made me better a predicting incoming damages and most importantly made me quick to react to new/changing situations.  Also having a support system of a strong guild filled with helpful people, who all try their best is a wonderful thing. 

Let’s talk about a player I met in a recent Heroic Vortex Pinnacle run.  We’ll call him “Duster Shaman.”  DS had ok gear.  He wasn’t faking it with PVP stuff or wearing cloth when it should be mail.  DS was doing around 4800 DPS.  He was standing in the bad on nearly every fight.  He was rarely targeting skull.  He was standing in the wrong side of the wind on the Dragon fight.  Even after being politely coached by the tank, things did not change.  I was forced to do something I have never before had to do.  I 100% blocked out his health bar from my vision.  To me, he did not exist.  Yes, he still received the benefits of my AOE heals and random heals.  I cannot help that.  But seriously, I just stopped healing him all together.  I honestly, did not have a choice.  My priorities are keeping up the tank/myself and then those DPS that are putting out the most damage/cc/awareness of the fight.  I didn’t do it to be a bitch.   I seriously had no other choice.  Now, DS never got angry about dying the few times he did.  I always rezzed him and rebuffed him.  But I’m sorry.  Again, I can’t heal stupid.

–In Summary–

*Are you finding that healing the new content is not challenging your skills enough?  Roll a Discipline Priest.

*WOTLK babies are not all bad.  The player base that was gathered during that time had their expectations set for how to react to the content and how the loot system works. Now, all that has drastically changed.  Ghostcrawler does an excellent job of coaching/explaining why changes were made and why they were necessary.  Hopefully the babes will read it, but that may be expecting too much.

*Blizzard has given every class the ability to be succesful in Heroics.  Each DPS class has new CC, healers have new tools to use and tanks have new ways to manage aggro.  When you are failing at Heroics over and over it is due to someone not making use of what is at their disposal. 

*We have been given the opportunity to have FUN playing WoW again.  Let’s make a Vegas comparison.  WoW is no longer your chain-smoking Granny’s game. If you just want to press one or two buttons mindlessly and have the chance of a big reward go play the slots.  I have always preferred a game of No Limit Texas Hold’em, myself. 

I like to have control over what is happening to me, use my ability to read people and situations – be predictive and sometimes deceptive.  I like to earn my rewards.  It makes them that much more special.

So, C’mon WoW playerbase, time to put on your Pokerface.

11 Responses to “What I Love About Cataclysm – Heroics”

  1. Thinking bout that song by Nyhm, Hard like Heroic.

  2. Wow that was spot on. I rofled at the fan of knives. My first toon in vanilla wow was a rogue. I look back at my playing style and hide my face in embarrassment. I never assisted the tank, I didn’t know what sunder was and how to wait for it until level 60 .. sad I know right.

    Then I made a healer and all of sudden it’s like I saw how the fights work, and when they work right and when they don’t and why that is.

    I can always tell when I am healing for a pug group with others that have never played a healer based off their play style and I agree you cannot heal stupid.

    I left my priestess behind in Lich King before they got some of the changes that helped their group heals. I found the heals didn’t cut it. So I made a druid. I have been hesitant healing the new stuff because I have noticed the need to be smarter with the mana and who gets what heal and when. I’m not afraid of my ability to do that I am afraid of getting in a pug group that still goes balls to the walls with the dps like in Lich King. I’m still finding those groups in lower levels so it’s not making me want to heal actually.

    I use to get so tired of everyone screaming look at my dps look at my dps I’m so awesome as they would pull the next group without waiting for the tank to pull and get aggro but hey I would get us all healed through it and I don’t think some groups knew how close some of those times almost went bad.

    I use to be so stressed out with some dps feeling like it was their own little dungeon and we should all keep up and keep them healed. So I envision artards like that in the new content and have yet to jump into the healing mode.

    • I’ve pugged both regulars and heroics at this point. I would actually say you are better off pugging a heroic than a regular. Regular’s reek of WOTLK, but gear and mechanics of the fights don’t allow for that mentality to be successful. One wipe and you will usually lose the tank or healer if not dps too. The only reason DPS stick around is because of their 40 min queue times.

      The difficulty of the regulars are starting to weed out the WOTLK mind-set players. After seeing a few regular dungeons you have to make the choice to change the way you’ve been doing things or /ragequit.

      The unfortunate thing is, before they leave the game, you will find them in your regular dungeon failsaucing all over the damn place. Just know it’s for the greater good… this is the only way for them to be weeded out.

      I pugged 1 heroic Throne of Tides in which the group just couldn’t get down the mechanics of the first boss. We had some problems with the hunter in the party doing interrupts which are so very very important. We attempted the boss several times though, no bitching. Finally I did link recount “interrupts” which prompted the hunter to leave (showing 1 over 6 attempts) (and because the tank was in the same guild, he left as well). At that point the group fell apart. We did attempt the boss atleast 6 times though. On my next PUG of ToT I was confident in the mechanics and I joined a group of another server guildmembers. They were CCing, and properly interrupting. The new the mechanics of the fight. It was succesful with no wipes.

      The regulars are where people are learning. They find out really fast “oh shit, I need to make some changes.” Or they just give up. That’s when they tab over and start writing posts on the official messageboards about how hard the new content is. They aren’t even giving it a chance. To make things worse you get nasty and raging DPS because they have had to wait so long and can’t leave easily.

      So what is the solution?? Try to not PUG. Stay within your guild. I think Blizzard predicted this was going to happen and that is why they made guild membership so important and beneficial.

  3. Bee, you are awesome.

    And everything you say here is everything I was thinking but couldn’t put into words without seeming like I was raging or belittling people. Thank you for putting it on paper/screen.

    For a summary go here: http://cowandbones.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/just-becoming-a-statistic/

    Thank you Bee!

    • I’m super sick and tired of people telling me to roll Holy.

      I can appreciate Holy. I have no problem with people that play Holy. Guardian Spirit is muy bien.

      It just doesn’t feel right to me. I’m sorry. Blizzard created this content so any healing class could do it. So far the word is Disc is OK for 5 man and 25 man, but not viable in 10 man. Well that’s what my guild runs.

      I can only hope the upcoming buffs will get people off of our backs. It will just cause us to be OP’ed.

  4. You said “Blizzard has given every class the ability to be succesful in Heroics. Each DPS class has new CC, healers have new tools to use and tanks have new ways to manage aggro.”

    I’m looking all over for the CC that fury warriors have. And same for DKs. And boomkins. just to pick three dps classes that used to be well-represented in the raiding base.

    Not that long ago, Blizzard had a stated philosophy of “bring the player, not the class”. How is a DK/warrior/rogue trio going to fare against Corborus in H-Stonecore when crystal shards come out? How long is the fight going to last against Erudax in H-Grim Batol and are you going to have enough mana to last the fight given the not dps-ing while standing in the shadow gate and not dpsing while waiting for the adds and not dpsing while running from where the adds were to the boss and not dpsing while chasing after the boss knocks the tank bank and applies the armor debuff that requires the tank to not attempt to mitigate the knockback or close the gap afterwards?

    Things are not good for melee this expansion so far, although casters seem to be doing well enough. It isn’t a matter of “mark targets” or “use CC” or “communicate” … it’s a matter of “pick a better class next time”

    • I agree with you completely. I don’t play melee DPS but i’ve seen the challenges they are facing. I would absoultely hate to be playing a fury warrior or DPS DK right now. I know that Boomkin have that ray of light thing they can do, and cyclone… but the cooldowns are long and if you happen to miss a hit with your cyclone… welll….. Their CC nothing compared to sheep/hex/sap.

      I’m semi familar with DK’s and I know they have silences and chains of ice, but yeah, not the best for long term CC. And poor poor fury warriors.

      Funny you mention them though… that unsuccessful Throne of Tides run I spoke of in my post? Who had the most interrupts? It was the fury warrior. He was not CCing anyone… but he was the only reason we ever came close to downing that boss. He stayed out of the bad, he listened to direction. I’d play with him again anytime.

      But if I ended up in a group with a DK tank and 3 fury warriors? I’m bolting. LFD isn’t perfect.

      Only thing I can say is run with your guild. Then you can chose the classes you want. 2 fury warriors and DK and a shaman/mage/warlock? Not preferred, but on the fights you mention above, it would be doable.

  5. Nice write up! My opinion may not mean much as I’m not playing Cataclysm. But I rolled a priest on day one of Vanilla WoW and played her discipline the whole time. That was back before discipline became popular, which I think was sometime after BC came out.

    Like you, I never wanted to play holy spec. In all the years I played WoW, I never once went holy spec. When I did my dual spec, it was with Shadow. Being able to heal as a discipline spec just takes more prioritizing and anticipation, exactly like you said. It’s much easier to heal holy after all as they have all the boosts for healing.

    I can’t believe a discipline priest would have problems with manna! Like I said, I haven’t looked at Cataclysm so the changes must have been pretty big. That was the one thing I remember about my discipline priest. Even undergeared, I had a huge manna pool. I hope they fix discipline for you soon!

    • Mana issues are being caused because the cost of our spells have gone up dramatically. I find the most mana problems in fights with a lot of need to dispel and group heal. Dispelling is very expensive now — it also requires a steady hand. It used to be if you cast a dispel on a player who did not have a dispellable debuff (or buff) on them, the spell would cancel — all you would lose is a cooldown. Now, if I cast a dispel and there is nothing to dispel on the target the spell is still cast and the mana is wasted. I have glyphed my dispel magic to heal the recipenent for 3% of their total health. That has been helpful in the fact that the cast is not 100% wasted. It has really just taken patience and learning when to dispell, what can be dispelled…etc. When you first start out in dungeons its hard to recognize what debuffs are dispellable and which aren’t. I hate when I waste a cast on one that is not able to be dispelled!!

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