Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Life As A Healer: Week One

Well, I’ve a week of raid-tank-healing on Mingle under my belt, and I think I’m off to a good start.  (Translated: when the tank died, it wasn’t my fault)

Yes, Mingle is going places.

I suspect the situation would be different for someone in a guild that isn’t one of the better-known progression guilds on their server, but it’s fun being able to enjoy fights that left me gritting my teeth as shadow.

In the week past I’ve healed 10-man and 25-man Ulduar, along with 10-man normal, 10-man hard-mode and 25-man normal ToC.  Admittedly the 10-man Ulduar only consisted of doing Razorscale, XT, Kologarn and Auriaya while the main raid did the first three bosses in 25-man ToC (and I was the raidleader for it – talk about stressful).  And on 25-man Ulduar I sat out for Yogg-Saron+3, but I’m proud to have successfully tank-healed up to and including General Vezax.

The way we tank-heal on General, we rotate through three healers who each heal the tank until they’re down to 50% mana, at which the next in the series takes over and continues until they reach half mana.  When the third person in the sequence starts healing, the previous two go stand in a saronite pool to regain their mana and get ready for the first person to take over from #3.  Anyway, I was #3 in the sequence, and was quite surprised when the boss died just after I hit 50%, and before I got to engage the saronite-boss.  Bear in mind that I’m still pretty inexperienced; enough so that I don’t know how much of the time I spent healing (which felt like I was in there for ages) was due to very-well-geared and skilled DPS, how much is due to well-geared and skilled healers, and how much is me not screwing up.

While I was only in for the last 25-man ToC boss, Anub’arak, I was in for the full 10-man normal clear, and the first two 10-man heroic bosses that were downed.  No pretty loot for Mingle, but some other new raiders got some upgrades and one of our priests finished making Val’anyr.  (Why yes, I am just a little jealous)

The Heroic Beasts encounter was pretty full-on to heal; the tweaks between normal and heroic change the substance of the fights quite a bit, especially that change to Icehowl that changed the fight the most, namely removing the speed-buff you gain after everyone is stunned and knocked back to the wall, right before he charges someone.  (The tank wiped us twice by not running out quite fast enough; she’ll probably be very happy to hear that they’ve added an extra half-second before he charges)

The Faction Champions are even harder on heroic than I expected, and they’re such a hard fight on normal that it’s already (sometimes) remarkably difficult – it’s probably the most unpredictably difficult encounter I’ve come across, with the difficulty of the fight being almost completely reliant on their group makeup.

Still, I’ve managed to pick up one piece of nice badge loot (the non-tier badge shoulders, not to be confused with the horde equivalent), and I’ll probably be looking for the badge ring next.

It’s the start of Week #2 though, so hopefully it’s more of the same, but better this time.

Oh, and I’ve managed to reach another personal milestone.

Yay for Darkmoon Faire and Greatness Cards!

Ding 50k.