Challenge rating

So I’ve been a little embarrassed to update.

Seems everywhere I look on the blog-o-spheres there are people talking about how normal difficulty Dragon Soul is so very easy. And yet… we only just got Ultraxion down last night. Last week’s raid hit a wall on Zon’ozz again, and on Ultraxion we had a couple of folks who seemed to enjoy sharing the hour of twilight with our tanks. Sweet of them, to be sure. I may or may not have been one of these folks… which was a bad thing, given that I was half of the healing team for this fight.

We 2-healed Ultrax. This is a pretty big step for me – I’ve only really 2-healed farm bosses before, not progression. It was insane near the end. I was running the Gift of Life, while the other healer – a holy priest for a change – ran Essence of Dreams. Got him down not long after Source of Magic spawned. Just as well, my mana was completely tanked. I’m pretty happy with my performance on the fight.

I have a suspicion on what the issue was with pressing the button – simply, the button doesn’t automatically cancel any cast that you’re busy with and doesn’t activate if you’re busy with a cast. So if you click it halfway through, say, a Prayer of Healing* then you’re SoL.

There seem to be a couple of similar small things that our group needs to refine. Zon’ozz, for instance, we’re going to try a strat next week that involves keeping the tank the hell out of dodge when that doom-ball gets rolling. Hopefully that’ll cut down on the sudden tank death syndrome we’ve been seeing. We also read up on how the ball’s timing works, so we’re going to try and be more consistent on our bounces. Hopefully with this we’ll be able to scale the healing load to at least be a bit more predictable.

On the plus side, we’re steadily progressing on bosses that haven’t been nerfed** and are a reasonable challenge to the group.

Someone mentioned last night that we could maybe try 3-healing with an atonement-specced priest as our third for the extra DPS. We don’t actually have anyone who runs with a build like that. So last night, after the raid, I took a short while to spec into AA/A and test it out. The game actually crashed on me, so I don’t have proper logs, but with the group I had in Well of Eternity I was pushing about 13k hps on average. Thing is, though, I dislike spirit and combined with my tendency to push greater heals rather than their base cousins, I tend to go through mana quite quickly. Running atonement… my mana was permanently full. I could heal the place with a shield kept on the tank, PoM, holy fire, smite and the occasional PoH or Penance. On the downside… well… I have no idea what my DPS was, but I feel a bit like a cut-price caster, and it seems like it’d be quite hard to maintain my previous HPS standard.

This is part of why the monk class doesn’t really capture my interest as far as healing goes. “I hit it with my Shiv of Healing +3” doesn’t seem as epic as swiftly but surely ministering to each green bar in my fuzzy green flock. On the upside… great mana efficiency, no need to manually target party members, I can compensate somewhat for low DPS, and I have something to do in low healing moments.

Ah well. I’ll give it a shot on Ultrax this week if we need to, and see how it all works out.

 

* totally hypothetical example here. cof.

** even if some say they were released prenerfed…

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5 comments
  1. Arioch said:

    There is a way around the button not stopping your cast. Use a macro in place of it with /stopcasting as the first line and /click ExtraActionButton1 as the next line. This also allows you to key bind it if you are so inclined.

    After running most of FL in 10s, I still run my priest as Atonement, but I’m back in 25s now.

    It is still a viable spec, but don’t plan on just smiting the entire encounter unless your other healers can already handle the load, in which case you should most likely be in a proper DPS spec anyway. In a 5-man, depending on your gear, the encounter, and how often you had to directly heal, you may have been around 5k DPS.

    It’s very helpful for situations where you can be dedicated to an add tank (think baby birds on Aly) or for extra burst when needed (tendons on Spine). But there is a LOT of raid damage that goes out in DS and Atonement has a tendency to drop a heal on a bloodworm when that rogue really could have used it. If no one needs a direct heal it’s great, but (in 25s at least) you’ll still have to devote a good chunk of mana to direct raid healing. Its strength lies in having that little bit of mana boost and healing power surge ready when you need it. Get your stacks ready before a big blast, pre-PoH groups to get DA up, pop wings and clean up what broke through.

    After everyone gets a bit of gear and you have some more wiggle room, you can spend more time smiting.

    • Leit said:

      Was considering perhaps using the macro thing and adding it to my Big Trinket Bar™. (I have my trinkets and pots on a bigger bar above my actionbars. otherwise I forget to use them. thing is, I – gasp – *click* them.)

      Tried some more atonement healing last night. It’s tremendously reliant on the damage that the tank takes. Found that I could build up to AA slowly with HF even while doing some heavy healing on the party, but it feels less responsive than my usual bubblespec.

      AoE damage in DS worries me as well. Specifically, they wanted a disc for Ultraxion, which is basically a massive PoH fight with an occasional Penance, bubble and flash on the tank. There’s no real burst where you can take advantage of AA, so it’d boil down to the aforementioned HF on cd and then popping AA whenever available for MOOOORE POWAAAAAAH. No damage benefit that anyone would notice.

      (still, maybe not a bad idea. the AA boost might be worth more than SoS et al on that fight, actually. hmm…)

      On the topic of heals hitting the wrong targets… have you noticed any odd behaviour with your priest 4p fire-puddle? I’ve seen it trying to heal mirror images when there were damaged players available, healing *itself*, etc. Makes me wonder if it’s actually worthwhile at the moment.

      • Arioch said:

        I’m not following you about Atonement being reliant on the damage the tank takes. Just spam the hell out of it. If someone needs the heal, great. If not, oh well, it’s DPS.

        In 25-man I can DPS for the first little bit on Ultra, doing about half a million before I step up to start PoH spam.

        And yeah, the puddle is odd, but I lurvs it.

      • Leit said:

        Last night I had a couple of groups where the tank was just constantly getting beaten like a two-bit mule. Smiting would never have been able to keep up with the damage intake for those guys. That’s more or less what I meant about damage intake dependent. I kept my stacks going with HF – the heal from that is pretty good as well – but my word. Would’ve felt a bit more comfortable with a traditional straight-heal style.

      • Arioch said:

        Ah.

        Then just heal directly.

        There are some encounters where I almost never get to smite and it’s almost all direct healing – at least until gear gets caught up. When we started Baleroc in FL, there was no way I could smite. Shortly after we were 2-healingit I was able to pick up smiting in the rotation again.

        It’s really meant for when you have nothing to do or the damage is light enough to be taken care of. Atonement was never intended to be a full replacement for direct healing during damage spikes or questionable quality tanking.

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