Piloting, from hercs to mechs.

Piloting, from hercs to mechs.
A running recap of what I'm doing for fun, between active duty flying, technology, gadgets, and some of my favorite games.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lessons learned: More heroic 5 mans

Well, I'm limited to 5 man instances mostly, here in Iraq. I'm limited by bandwidth and schedules, so I've been healing a TON of 5 man instances. How many? Well, since I've been here, I've purchased the healing Zabra's gear AND Furious PVP gear, as well as trinket, both rings, and wand. And I have about 200 emblems of triumph left over. I have EVERY single piece of cloth healing gear available. The only 2 healing items I don't have from heroics are the trink and OH from Halls of Reflection (don't get me started).

OK, so, how about some lessons learned from 5 man healing thus far:
1. A tank with a gearscore under 3000 on a heroic is a disaster. If your tank opens up with "I just hit 80 today" you are wasting your time, and you will soon find out why.
2. The only 2 instances that will give the average 5 man any trouble whatsoever are Halls of Reflection (HoR) and Pit of Saron (PoS). This doesn't mean they're "hard" but if you have an average group where your 5 players average about 4500 GS (gearscore), those instances are going to be some work for you as a healer.
NOTE: In PoS, Forgemaster Garfrost and Scourgelord Tyrannus will typically have more damage to heal, as well as the 4 pulls leading up to the tunnel. Garfrost has been significantly more difficult as disc than holy, imo. Tyrannus significantly easier as disc.
P.S. If your group in HoR isn't high on dps, that actually will wipe you. It might look like a healing problem, but dps makes a huge difference. Once again, I've found the 10 waves in the beginning to be significantly easier as disc.
3. I love knowing who is getting us killed. If you don't have Recount, I recommend it as a reasonable way to track who might be failing epicly. If all your dps is doing great, it's never a bad idea to look inward! THERE IS NO INSTANCE THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HEAL ONCE YOU HAVE A 5000 GS. If your average itemlevel is 219-232, you have all the gear you need to successfully farm any heroic 5 man, and you are well-geared enough for normal 10 man instances, without question.
4. You don't have to take crap from a tank who criticizes you. BUT...don't make the same mistake I have made a few times today and criticize people in your party if they make a mistake. About the time I get all high-and-mighty and feel bulletproof is when our Iraqi satellite connection will drop and I'll wipe another group in HoR.
5. USE COOLDOWNS. Specifically, if your tank pulls 3 groups and proceeds to hold aggro on most of them, do everything you can to keep the group alive. After that, call "mana" and make sure to message the tank and let him know that it was too much and to slow down a tad.
NOTE: on this note, it is one of the most common mistakes of new players to rarely use something that has a 2 minute cooldown or more, such as Pain Suppression, Power Infusion, Divine Hymn, Inner Focus, and Shadowfiend. Use these things! Be aware of your healing threshold, have an idea of what qualifies as "oh snap!" and USE THOSE.
6. Keep yourself alive!!! As disc, you have no excuse. Shield, Desperate Prayer, and yes, use POTS if you need them. In a 5 man, I use Pain Suppression on my tank or my self, pretty much exclusively. I have started using Clique to spam bubbles on my party, and I have Grid set up to simply show when someone has weakened soul on them. I almost ALWAYS have a shield up on me, and I never have mana problems in 5-man instances EVER. Keep in mind, ALL of my gear is from 5-man instances/emblems so far!
7. Binding heal makes a lot of sense. I am trying to find a good button for it that is more accessible than "shift-1."
8. As disc, I gain haste from casting a shield...I LOVE shielding and then ripping through a Prayer of Healing at reduced cast time right after that if 4 or 5 people need to be topped off.
9. In 5 man instances, you don't "dedicate" heals to your tank as much as you might in a raid. It's great to tag a flash heal on someone before a penance so that they have the faith proc...BUT, sometimes you need to use that penance on player other than a tank. Maybe nobody else will have this inclination, but I began using penance almost exclusively on the tank, almost saving it. I LOVE this spell and I now use it on just about anybody. I have also been leaning more toward flash heal now too.
10. If you are playing wow with high latency, like I am (I am usually seeing 900ms to 1500ms in 5-man groups), I recommend playing a class or spec that is not reactive. Holy is TOUGH when you are constantly reacting and you're already at a disadvantage. Disc is a fresh breath of air because much of it is pre-casting shields and Prayer of Mending.
11. 5 mans became healable ONLY after I used the Leatrix latency fix OR when I used an http tunnel...I could NOT heal with 2500ms latency, try as I might.
12. If you need a piece of loot, ROLL...you will likely not encounter those players for the rest of the day, and they would roll if they needed it. On this note, if you are a new level 80 and you are pulling some of the weight as a dps player, ROLL...you need the gear!!! This is how I got decent enough gear to be around 5100GS (average item level 238).
13. If you want really rewarding gameplay, dish out complements to players and if you party with someone from your own server via random queue, add them to your friend list if they are decent! I admit I'm currently reading "How to have power and confidence in dealing with people," but I can definitely tell you how good it is for someone to thank you by name in party chat for healing. Pay that forward and you'll get more recognition for doing some of the hardest work in the instance.

OK, this is the beginning of a list of lessons learned from hours of 5 man play every other day. I typically fly every other day, so I love to log into wow and blow off some steam after a long day of flying in a real warzone.

No comments:

Post a Comment