Thursday, January 21, 2010

Swing Man

After the raid, Boston talked to me about filling in for Lakini as a swing man and being the 3rd healer. Blueshield is our DPS Warrior, I think he’s Fury this week but he changes specs often. On nights that Lakini wasn’t available, Blue would switch to Tank and I would heal on fights that needed 3 healers. It was made clear to me that the decision was mine alone. But as we saw on Tuesday night, the lack of a third healer makes it really tough to kill certain Bosses.
I’m actually sort of excited about doing this. I’ve got tanking on my Paladin down pat. I could do 969 with my eyes closed. I know exactly what to do in every situation a Tank faces. I know how to gear for threat, avoidance, and effective health. I know how to balance the three in a set.
Healing is a new challenge. I’m learning about completely different stats, and seeing fights from a completely different perspective. It’s new and I’m both nervous and excited about it. I'm still primarily a Tank for our group and it doesn’t sound like I’ll be needed often. Basically I'll only be healing when Lakini can’t make it to fill in the role, and the fight needs 3 healers. So right now we're only talking about Blood Princes and Festergut.
I’ve got some gear, mostly spell power plate and mail that was headed for sharding. In my Holy gear, I’ve got about 30k mana, and around 2.2k spell power. The ‘shared’ slots like Neck, Back, Rings, and Trinkets are really weak.
I do have concerns about doing this.
The main concern is that I haven’t healed on my Paladin for the entirety of the expansion. Well, I healed a couple of Heroics when I was bored tanking them. The Tanks barely needed any heals. I have picked up healing on my Druid alt and I’m really enjoying it. He should hit 80 sometime this week. So I have a basic concept of how to be a healer, but I really don’t know how to play a Holy Paladin. There is no muscle memory, no innate sense of what button to push when things go squirrely. I’m going to make mistakes. I'm going to get Tanks killed.
I’ve read some guides online, but most seem to just go over what the different spells do. There isn’t a lot of what I would call a game plan.
So this is what I’ve come up with. Beacon Tank, Sacred Shield tank, Flash of Light tank to get HoT going. Then it gets a little fuzzy, but it's basically heal everyone tanking damage as needed.
We’re going to wipe, and it’s going to be my fault. Man, I don’t want to let my teammates down.
It doesn’t really matter to me anymore if I Main Tank, Off tank, or heal for a boss fight. Well that isn't entirely true. There is one fight were it actually does matter to me. That fight is Arthas. I want to tank that guy something fierce.


Anna said...

I've got a big post on some of the cooldowns/oh shit buttons/macros you might want to look at for Holy Pallying (see it here: )

That said, beyond how to basically set up a fight (who to beacon, who to Shield, FoL Hot and Light's Grace), it's all up in the air. There is no rotation, because you never know who is going to get hit or how hard - even the tank, who might get lucky and duck just in time, totally avoiding a smash hit. It's part of what makes healing fun!

Turiel said...

Welcome to the Light side!

I find it amusing becuase I act as the same swing man in our 10 and 25mans, but in the opposite role. I sit as our 4th Tank and 1st Paladin healer.

You will find that even being great in your main role, sometimes your role is slightly insignificant for certain fights. (For me when single target heals are not useful and tank damage isn't high... Faction Champs? I felt useless.)

And hey! Try it out, if it isn't for you, then no worries!

Turiel said...

Also, becuase you asked specifically for it and it provoked thought... You are right- It's all about this spell and that spell. Stack Int and go nuts.

Nobody really defines to a person new to healing what "go nuts" really means, outlining our jobs and how it changes in certain scenarios. I'll try to get this done here in the next day or two... I like the idea.

Dracomage said...

If you are used to tank-stress, healing is not that bad.

Totally different way of approaching each encounter. You have to be much more aware of what the rest o the raid are doing, keeping them alive, and keeping your own body out of the bad stuff.

Good luck with swinging it!

Hybrid FTW!

Adgamorix said...

In my experience, a good paladin healer can free up healing in other areas - especially on fights where you've got two tanks taking a ton of damage (like Anub).

A great thing you could do say for Princes is put your SS on your ranged tank, BoL on the tank on the far side of the room, and just spam the ranged tank. You'd be w/in 40 yds of each of them, but they're closer to 60yds apart. If you can get a druid (kitty is perfect for this) dedicated to innervating you - I'm pretty sure you could drop back down to 2 healing this.

What's my main Again? said...

My advice is go get a friend and run some BG's together. Consider him your tank and try and keep him and everyone around you alive. Heroics are dull and boring (with the exception of the new 5 man's) when it comes to healing but BG's someone is always on the edge of dying... and if they die it isn't a huge deal. Healing in BG's will get you very familiar with your emergency buttons and on prioritizing healing.

Just my 2 cents.

Erik said...

Somebody already mentioned it, but BGs are a great way to get comfortable with pally healing. Recruit your guildies and make them go bging with you, stick together and see how long you can keep the group alive...

Hana said...

What's my main Again? has a good suggestion. I cut my teeth on raid healing in Alterac Valley. Nothing quite prepares for you unexpected burst damage and on-the-fly triage quite like PvP.

I think one of the biggest issues I've seen among new paladin healers is that they get the beacon and ss going at the start of the fight, but then they let them drop and may or may not get around to refreshing them in a timely manner. And admittedly it can get chaotic enough during a raid that a new healer might not find the mental bandwidth to remember to keep them up.

During one of our early Deathbringer Saurfang attempts we lost someone to a Mark of Blood due to a Beacon not being refreshed when it was supposed to have been.

But pally healing isn't that hard once you get the hang of it. Nothing teaches better than practice.

Jon said...

My main is a hunter but I recently levelled a 2nd toon to 80 - enter the Holy Pally.

Now I'd never had any experience of healing but what seemed like the biggest choice at the beginning was as simple as how to cast spells.

My brother at the time was playing a raiding Holy Pally and swore by Healbot for click based healing - I tried this and really didn't like it, just much too different from having everything key-bound on the hunter.

So my main piece of advice - which you may already be doing - would be to set up mouse-over macros for your main spells like the ones below (from memory).

#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast [target=mouseover,noharm,nodead][target=target,noharm,nodead] Holy Light

#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast [target=mouseover,noharm,nodead][target=target,noharm,nodead][target=player] Cleanse


Additionally being able to judge usefully without having to worry about targetting each time can be achieved using a focus macro similar to below where you can set your focus to the boss or the tank (later is especially useful for heroics).

#showtooltip Judgement of Light/Wis
/cast [target=target,harm,nodead][target=focus,harm,nodead][target=focustarget,harm,nodead] Judgement of Light/Wis

Of course the priority of the target choices above can be tweaked.

Sythe - 80 Hunter - Anachronos-eu
Dominoe - 80 Pally - Anachronos-eu

Crofe said...

Like Hana said, letting the Beacon fall of is normally a bad thing. I would suggest some sort of timer (I want to say I used DoTimer, with everything turned off except to watch for Beacon of Light). This will give you a timer for the duration of BoL, since it's not a buff you cast on yourself. I know it helped me a lot.

apokteino said...

if you're looking for a timer to track your beacon and judgements of the pure, check clcbpt on curse. i track mine through vuhdo but w/e works for you.