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Anyone got any advice for a first time disc raid healer?Follow

#1 Jun 30 2010 at 9:46 AM Rating: Decent
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Hi all,

I just joined a raiding guild and will be healing a raid for the first time Thursday night. And just to make things really fun, it's going to be ICC (10 man, normal). I've been watching videos of fights, I have my flasks and buff food ready.

What I'm looking for here is little info that the videos don't show. Such as, I know as disc I'll be on tank healing duty. I assume that means I'll be assigned one tank? Or will I be in charge of keeping them both up? (Obviously these thing can vary by guild, I'm just looking for general advice.) If I see other raid members getting low in health should I heal them, or trust in the raid healer to get to it? I know it is good to bubble anyone in need and I plan to do that.

I've run about 552,234,096 randoms as disc, and they are so easy I may have gotten in to bad habits. I know the basics, Bubble, PoM, Renew at pull. And of course penance when it is off CD. In randoms I find I use GH often, and from what I've read by many a Disc priest a lot almost never use GH.

Finally, I've never been sure when is a good time to use Divine Hymm (I think that's the name of the group heal I'm thinking of).

Any tips would be much appreciated!

Here's my Armory link if anyone has suggestions for changes I should make either in gems, enchants, or talents.

http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Quel%27dorei&cn=Chancresore

Thanks!

Edit: Ignore the ICC activity in my Armory. That was done as DPS.

Edited, Jun 30th 2010 11:48am by ChancreSore
#2 Jun 30 2010 at 10:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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First off, Disc priests are not necessarily tank healers.

In fact, we are quite possibly the best raid healers out there for current content. We have our limitations and problems but generally we're amazing. I will just assume they'll put you on bubble duty eventually because that's what all Disc priests do nowadays, at least from what I have experienced.

That being said, from your armory I can see a few things you should change.
I'll assume you aren't going to fight the Lich King all too soon, so I'll tell you what I'd change gemming and enchanting wise at your current point of progression. You don't want any spirit gems. You obviously need one blue gem to activate your meta, use an SP/MP5 gem wherever it gives you the greatest socket bonus (and ignore socket bonuses that aren't spellpower). For red sockets, keep gemming SP, for yellow switch to SP/Int gems gradually as you see fit (if you find yourself running out of mana, get more intellect). Seeing as you are a tailor, get a tailoring cloak enchant and the cheap leg enchant. Seriously, I wouldn't even have let you into a raiding guild without everything enchanted properly.

Now then, as you progress through ICC you will find that later boss mechanics enable you to exploit Rapture to a point where you don't need any throughput anymore and where 75% or more of your healing will come from Power Word: Shield.
This means that you only need haste till your GCD reaches 1s (which is at 5% with raid buffs, so ridiculously low), crit becomes almost completely worthless because your most important spell cannot crit, and mana regeneration becomes a complete non-issue. Which means you want to gem for spellpower and spellpower only down to the meta and also get a new cloak enchant. This will probably get relevant at Sindragosa at the earliest, mostly it's just a better option for the harder hardmodes.

Your talent spec is also definitely not the cookie cutter for raiding. This is what it should look like by the book, there really isn't much choice. You do not want Divine Fury as Disc as GHeal is really pretty much worthless unless you take all the GHeal talents (thinking Serendipity here), and Penance, ProM and PW:S are still much much better in every way.
Now you can vary stuff a little bit. You can move the talent point from Desperate Prayer into Absolution. You can move the same point as well as the Healing Focus ones into Spell Warding if you want to be a bit more defensive. You don't really want to change anything else.

Spell priority is as follows: Power Word: Shield is your most important spell by far. Use Prayer of Mending as much as possible, too. Really do use it every time the cooldown's up on fights with heavy and constant raid damage like Festergut. Penance is good when you see your tanks drop too low, I find myself using it as often as the cooldown allows on a few fights. It's also awesome for Valithria.
Feel free to use Flash Heal whenever you have breathing room or someone really needs some healing urgently and has Weakened Soul.

If you have breathing room, you can also Renew the tanks.

Don't forget about Divine Hymn! It's awesome for BQL heroic, for example. You should also keep an eye on your other healy/mitigating cooldowns. And Power Infuse the Holy paladins (they are our friends), they love it! Or DPS casters, when there isn't any need for more healing.

Now, that is how I do it and there are some variations since we don't have a set rotation for most fights, but in any case I generally suggest looking at what better Disc priests than you are doing and looking at their logs over on World of Logs. And that tells me that I'm doing something very similar to the Disc priests in the really high end raiding guilds, so I don't think I'm completely wrong here.

Edit: Forgot a couple of things (you're probably thinking of gagging me by now, but it needs to be said).
1. Look at your own logs, and learn from them. Are you using every GCD? Do you find yourself not using Prayer of Mending as much as you thought?

2. IMPORTANT! Welcome to Disc, enjoy the ride.

Edited, Jun 30th 2010 4:39pm by Kalivha
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#3 Jun 30 2010 at 10:40 AM Rating: Good
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Awesome, thank you for the tips!

I definitely wasn't planning on going in with the enchants/gems I now have, many thanks for those pointers.

I need to remember to get World of Logs. And to get rid of my macro that automatically puts power infusion on myself after, I think, flash heal is cast.

About Pain Suppression, is that safe to use on a tank what with the threat reduction?

Thanks again!
#4 Jun 30 2010 at 10:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Unless your tanks are crappy, it is, yeah.

I don't use it all that often to be honest, the only place where I use it really regularly that comes to mind is the Keleseth tank on Blood Prince Council.


And yeah, Power Infusion is something that is a complete waste on yourself, unless you use it right before Divine Hymn (my favourite being PI > Inner Focus > Divine Hymn > see everything getting healed back up in no time at all), or before Prayer of Healing on Precious/Stinky.


I should actually go more in-depth on Divine Hymn, I think. First of all, you use it on those pesky dogs mentioned above. Then you will find that in some fights, there is massive AoE at some point - I think LDW's Frostbolt thingy qualifies as the first thing where it makes sense. It will make more sense in heroic modes. Festergut, Valithria and BQL come to mind.
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#5 Jun 30 2010 at 10:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kali said most of it, just wanted to comment on the Divine Hymn thing. What I generally do is save it and time it along with other raid cooldowns we have. I've found that Divine Hymn is so incredibly baller that it alone is basically as good as a Divine Sacrifice+Tranquility+WhatElseYouMightHave together. Which means that on most fights, we save our cooldowns for the harder phases and spread them out well. For the easiest example - BQL has two flight phases, which allows you to pop all raid cooldowns you have in the first one but save Divine Hymn for the second one.

If you have multiple priests, whether I spread out the Divine Hymns or group them up really depends on what's going on. On BQL, that second air phase often has so much damage going around that you can fit two Divine Hymns in there (and effectively prevent anyone from dying during that entire phase), but on for example The Lich King, I generally find it more helpful to not match them up as never during that encounter is the raid-wide damage so high that you actually need two.

In regards to Pain Suppression - you can generally always throw it on the tank, even on fights which have some sort of odd threat mechanic for tanks. The only exception might be if you need to throw Pain Suppression on tank B in Lady Deathwhisper's phase 2, just as tank B has outaggro'd tank A - but realistically such a scenario will simply not occur.
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#6 Jun 30 2010 at 11:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Mozared wrote:
Kali said most of it, just wanted to comment on the Divine Hymn thing. What I generally do is save it and time it along with other raid cooldowns we have. I've found that Divine Hymn is so incredibly baller that it alone is basically as good as a Divine Sacrifice+Tranquility+WhatElseYouMightHave together. Which means that on most fights, we save our cooldowns for the harder phases and spread them out well. For the easiest example - BQL has two flight phases, which allows you to pop all raid cooldowns you have in the first one but save Divine Hymn for the second one.


Actually Moz, since my memory is a bit foggy on this, I want to ask - is this even necessary in normal mode? I don't remember doing it, I haven't done the fight non-heroic in over a month since PuGs always either clear her on heroic or don't even get beyond Putricide.

I realise that if healers are undergeared or not very good, it's still a great thing to do but I just don't remember her flight phases being all that problematic on normal.
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#7 Jun 30 2010 at 11:48 AM Rating: Good
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Nah - if you do everything right, Divine Hymn is never 'necessary' (except maybe in some 25-man hardmodes without the buff, haven't tried that). It's just an I-WIN button and if I can turn a phase of usually frantic healing and trying to keep up into pushing two buttons and completely "checking" it off in my mind, I'd definitely do so.
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#8 Jun 30 2010 at 12:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mozared wrote:
Nah - if you do everything right, Divine Hymn is never 'necessary' (except maybe in some 25-man hardmodes without the buff, haven't tried that). It's just an I-WIN button and if I can turn a phase of usually frantic healing and trying to keep up into pushing two buttons and completely "checking" it off in my mind, I'd definitely do so.


I disagree. I think you need to have an insanely great healing team to get through the flight phases on BQL heroic without stuff like DH or Tranq without letting people die. Even with those cooldowns, it doesn't always go as planned.
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#9 Jun 30 2010 at 3:55 PM Rating: Good
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Kalivha wrote:
Mozared wrote:
Nah - if you do everything right, Divine Hymn is never 'necessary' (except maybe in some 25-man hardmodes without the buff, haven't tried that). It's just an I-WIN button and if I can turn a phase of usually frantic healing and trying to keep up into pushing two buttons and completely "checking" it off in my mind, I'd definitely do so.


I disagree. I think you need to have an insanely great healing team to get through the flight phases on BQL heroic without stuff like DH or Tranq without letting people die. Even with those cooldowns, it doesn't always go as planned.
Those teams exist though.
Only they still use those cooldowns and take a healer less for more dps and easier beating of any enrage timers. Or otherwise make use of those cooldowns in a way that shortens the fight and/or makes it easier.
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#10 Jun 30 2010 at 4:04 PM Rating: Good
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Obviously, it doesn't. But what I'm saying is that every boss fight is technically a formula where the tank's threat needs to be greater than the DPS' threat, the damage done must be at least equal to the boss' health after X minutes where X = enrage timer, and the healers have to outheal Y damage applied to different raid members over duration X.

Realistically and obviously, you don't always get that situation since none of us are robots. But it is possible to get close enough easily enough for the idea to be actually applicable, especially with the buff. Which leads me to say that cooldowns are in no situation really 'necessary'.
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#11 Jun 30 2010 at 4:14 PM Rating: Good
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Take less healers, make use of cooldowns, kill stuff faster. Smiley: schooled
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#12 Jun 30 2010 at 5:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Take less healers, make use of cooldowns, kill stuff faster. Smiley: schooled


I like solo healing level 80 raids.
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#13 Jul 01 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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Well, I got tossed into the mix sooner than anticipated. Last night the guild decided to take a stab at Ruby Sanctum. I had managed to get all my enchants taken care of, and all but one gem (I was about 20g shy of getting it). We managed to get down one of the bosses, the guy that clones himself or whatever) after only two wipes. We then tried the dragon over by the lake/pond, but after a wipe some people had to call it a night so we ended there.

The biggest problem I had was getting used to healbot. Ever since I started playing I've used XPerl and a bar mod, currently Dominoes, with all my bindings to my 7 button mouse. So to heal, I'd click a player, then the corresponding modifier (if needed) and mouse button. Works like a charm in 5 mans, but 10 mans seem to need quicker response. So my plan was to setup healbot and run randoms all night to get used to it for tonight. But that didn't play out as planned.

But then after the raid I gave Vuhdo a chance. Since my extra mouse buttons aren't natively supported in WoW, so I use its software to map its extra buttons to the keyboard. So, I setup Vuhdo to replace my bindings in Dominoes. Seemed like it would work fine, though I felt awkward not having my spells with the keybindings displayed on my bars. But I've got them all memorized, and besides now with Vuhdo I can hover over its beautifully compact frames and heal with reckless abandon!

So, I get into a random normal. Figure normal is a good start in case I f things up too badly. As luck would have it, it puts me on HoR. But we get through without a hitch and Vuhdo makes my life much easier that I could have imagined. Ok, one more normal random and I'll be set. This time, ToC. WoW hates me, as it knows I hate jousting. I suck it up, get on my horse and hit ALT-MouseButton5 to get my shields up. Nothing. Oh sh*t! I no longer have ANY of my vehicle bindings on my bars as they are all on Vuhdo. So now I have to point and click the jousting abilities. We get through the instance fine, but I realize something has to give.

After that I notice that Vuhdo has made macros for all the abilities I put in its keyboard bindings. Sweet! All I have to do is modify them slightly and put them on my bars as rebind my bars to how I had them before. I can still use Vuhdo's compact frames and click to cast abilities, but still have my bars just the way I like em!

Anyway, tl;dr version: After tinkering with addons all night I think I am now ready to run ICC like an old pro. Thank you all for the pointers, Kalivha especially!
#14 Jul 01 2010 at 11:02 AM Rating: Good
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Heh, not to brag here but I pugged RS10 last night and got all the mini bosses down. A couple of friends of mine actually wiped on Halion on purpose at 2% because he's so easy on normal mode, so I'm kind of disappointed that we didn't get him down, but that was largely due to people not understanding the strategy (which, by the way, is much less complicated than quite a few in ICC) at all.


Anyway, this thread has inspired me to actually look into the math behind the gemming I use - and so I sat down and tried to devise some kind of formula, succeeded partially, then suspected I might really need a spreadsheet if I don't want my head to explode, and got confirmation from a maths teacher (it's really easy to call "number of talent points in Twin Disciplines" t).

So now I am totally motivated to make a comprehensive spreadsheet that enables any lovely disc priests to determine what stat weights are appropriate given their spell distribution as per World of Logs. Let's see how long it lasts.

I've tried finding a good spreadsheet for Disc on the Internet, and there doesn't seem to be one, so if I finish it and get it into a presentable state, I will let you know. And post it here.

I realise how bad spreadsheets are for healing, but it really makes more sense if you've got logs to run through them, apart from just putting in a bunch of random stats.



Oh, also, have you stopped and startled at how ugly the VuhDo config menu is yet? I personally find there are far too little options for some things with it and I don't want to spend any time on that menu. Ever. Again.
So, little bit of advice incoming - and this is really mostly my preference - but get Grid and Clique. Or just Grid and make mouseover macros, if you're not as lazy as most people.
There are a couple of bad things about Grid - mostly the fact that you can't move individual groups within your raid to different positions, and the lack of customisation options when it comes to opacity of various stuff, but generally Grid can provide you with far more information at a glance than any other raid frames I know.
Clique just adds the click-healing thing to it, and I've got macros clique-bound, too, although that is not strictly necessary. Alternatively, use mouseover macros and bind them to your mouse keys via action bars. Actually, since VuhDo seems to have done that for you already, go and get rid of it and get Grid for the awesome display of everything you need to know and more.
Then... action bars in general! Those are not necessary. They try to suck you in and force you to click stuff. That's a disgusting habit. Resist!
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#15 Jul 01 2010 at 11:15 AM Rating: Good
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I may try Grid again. But man, I spent sooo much time getting Vuhdo just right that it might physically hurt to not put it to good use. Though maybe you can clarify why you prefer Grid over Vuhdo, other than the config settings.

Using Vuhdo I see what I think is important:

PW:S
Weakened Soul
PoM
Who has a magic debuff
Who has poison
HoTs
If a player is in range

And each is pretty easy to determine at a quick glance. One thing I haven;t found yet is a way to highlight the player frame I'm hovering over.

As for action bars, I should clarify...I NEVER click in combat. Everything is keybound. Well, all abilities I'd need in combat are. The reason I have bars showing is so I can quickly glance to see the bindings in case I get flustered. I have dual spec on my priest and DK, so it's easy to forget what does what. Also I like to see the CD on certain spells like Penance. I know there are addons that help with that (and if you recommend one I'd love to try it) but I've been using this method since I started (soon after TBC launched) and it would take a long time to break the habit of glancing at my bars to see CDs.
#16 Jul 01 2010 at 11:42 AM Rating: Good
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Grid doesn't take up much space and gives me the ability to see up to 9 things (buffs, aggro, debuffs, whatever) inside the frame and one as a border. I actually have stuff set up that PW:S overlays PW:F and such to save more space. It also gives you the ability to clearly see tank cooldowns and boss debuffs. I have tank cooldowns set up as the middle icon and boss debuffs (as all debuffs) as the frame. I have them all colour coded and know which colour does what to the affected raid member. I also have low mana displayed as a frame around the unit frame but set it up so that it gets overwritten by any debuffs. I've managed with other unit frames but Grid is the only one where I can have a vital piece of information displayed on 7x7 pixels without having difficulty reading it.


About action bars - I'm a bit of an advocate of Ctrl+Z style UIs, at least to some degree, so I like to not have them displayed.

For cooldowns I personally use CooldownTimers2, I think it's called, for the longer ones and PowerAuras for Prayer of Mending and Penance, as well as showing me when to rebuff Inner Fire when I forget.
On my priest at least, I prefer those because they are not in button form and my Priest UI is really quite button unfriendly. It's all about the bars! CooldownButtons gives it to you in normal format, but you can move them individually and such, as far as I know.
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#17 Jul 02 2010 at 8:58 AM Rating: Good
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Well that was awesome. After all the time I spent rushing to get ready for last night, the raid gets canceled. No biggie, it happens. But another guildie is pugging ICC ad invites me. Cool deal! Only, I'm needed as shadow. And it was a complete disaster.

I've never run Rotface, but I had watched all the videos and listened to the RL's directions. I knew that if I got the ooze debuff to join up with the off tank around the perimeter and let the oozes combine. Not that difficult. Apparently it was to quite a few people seeing as we never got more than like 3 oozes combined before someone borked it up and we wiped.

So then we decided to try something different. We decide to go for the dragon that needs healed. We kill that one miniboss just before it after just one wipe! Go us! Then failed on the dragon and called it a night.

All in all it was a success, despite the failures. I got some good experience and a frost emblem.
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