Getting up to speed, part IV

Since my last update I’ve

  • Helped down Ragnaros.
  • Stepped into Dire Maul (but been pulled out to help down Ragnaros).
  • Made it through to the big boss with all the eggs in AQ20.
  • Run the arena in Blackrock Depths so many times and so quickly that we hit the hourly instance limit.

For all of these activities I’ve been a healer and I’ve observed one key thing that you just don’t notice in earlier instances; Boss battles are long and if you’re not very careful, to the point of needing to prep beforehand, you will run out of mana.

More details follow.

Priests, and indeed tanks, know how badly a battle can go if the main healer runs out of mana. But early instances, such as Scarlet Monastery, are mostly trash mob grinding where you’re unlikely to hear “out of mana”. Even during the boss battles, it doesn’t happen that much.

However, once you hit the end level instances, the nasty battles are closer together and much longer. Moreover, many of the things you can do to address this are best started early. Here are a collection of tips for maximising your mana if you’re a healer followed by one item for almost everyone.

  • Leather wearing healers should not be afraid to wear the odd bit of cloth. I have a nice hat.
  • Once you’ve got a heap of “+ to healing” items, casting lower level healing spells can be more mana efficient.
  • Learn to fish. You want to be able to fish up Nightfin Snapper, because….
  • Learn to cook. You want to be able to make Nightfin Soup — Both the Sagefish recipies help too, but really, they’re not that useful until well after you should be able to produce Nightfin Soup.
  • Find a source for Mana Oil.

(At this point, I’d like to ask anyone who knows what food, potion and oil mana regen buffs stack to please post details or a link in the comments. Anyone that wants to discuss mana regen buffs/items vs + to Spirit is welcome too.)

This last suggestion applies to everyone who isn’t tanking.

  • Learn First Aid!

Do it while you still have ready access to all the various cloth scraps necessary. During boss encounters there are lots of effects and mob behaviours that will cause you to take damage every so often, even if you aren’t involved in the main melee battle. The healers do not have enough mana to heal anyone but the tanks, as tanks last about four seconds without a heal. Healers don’t really even have enough mana to heal themselves, so even they need to learn how to bandage — and they need to know the best bandages because they don’t have time to channel for the full eight seconds. I’ve been casting Innervate on myself (I’m not proud) so my major aim in this Friday evening’s ZG run is to only cast Innervate on the Priests. Hopefully with three or four times the amount of + to healing that I had last Friday, and the odd mana regen buff I should be able to be much more helpful. We might even down Gahz’ranka this time.

Oh, and while you’re levelling First Aid, try to keep a stash of Heavy Silk, Heavy Mageweave and Heavy Runecloth bandages — there’s a quest in Silithus that needs 30 of each of those that’s a PITA if you’ve just vendored a whole heap.

9 Comments so far

  1. Peebers (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 7:21 pm

    up to speed my ass! lol werent you 55 a week ago? nice job man way to git er dun =)

  2. Chris J (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

    57 and it was two weeks ago.

    I’ve been very lucky on two counts. I have an experienced, friendly guild that has good relationships with a couple of major raiding guilds.

    I have a character class that can do low-aggro stuff at range, ie; I suddenly learnt how to be a healer Druid.

    I hold no illusions that I would have progressed at the same pace had my character been a Warrior or Rogue. With a Mage or a Hunter I know I would have had aggro issues of a similar magnitude to my Druid’s, except that whenever I screwed up there I would have a very high chance of wiping the encounter. I have no idea what I could have offered as a Paladin.

  3. Peebers (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 1:45 am

    Pally heals have way less aggro, the opposite of druis lol. good druising m’man. my druid alt is almost 54. im not gonna start collecting healer gear til people start taking me to the blue drop instances. i think i can handle healing. hopefully it’ll be more fun tha my GF’s mage. frostbolt frostbolt frostbolt frostbolt frostbolt. =P

  4. Rocklaw (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 2:42 am

    As a 60 Pally, I’m usually up with the best of the druids and sometimes even beat a priest or two in healing 20 and 40 mans. No pally worth his salt is doing much melee in a 40 man and Divine Favor is a free crit heal every two minutes. Oh, and the &*^%ing buffs. “Can I get Kings?” Arghh – I know my job! Grats on Rag!

  5. Andrew Campbell (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 3:02 am

    Indeed, never underestimate Pally heals. Not only do they have the lowest aggro in the game, but they’re good.

    I’ve got well over 300 +Healing and there’s nothing like spamming Flash Heals on people, 550-600 health every 1.5 seconds, it’s like an Uber HoT? It really isn’t anything to be sniffed at.

    I also have almost 10% crit on my spells, which means that 1 in 10 of my heals cost no mana.

    People often class Paladins as a “Jack of all trades, master of none”, try using that argument with me when I top the healing charts on my Guild’s MC runs. That combined with the fact, that the attrition of a Paladin is unmatched with my lovely Plate, aura’s, bubbles etc …

    If only I could persuade people to throw me an Innervate.

  6. Burnside of Kargath (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 5:30 am

    My guild recently finished BWL, and I can tell you that we Innervate paladins all the time. Nothing is as important as cleansing in BWL. Chromaggus is the worst. But I digress… hang in there, your Innervate is coming.

  7. phoenix (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 8:39 am

    Christ that’s some hard work. Must be nice to have a good big guild to help out. :)

    Have to admit my main and my alts are in a smaller, more familiar guild, too small for any of the big dungeons-so I’m jealous, but still, very nice job!

  8. Burnside of Kargath (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Not sure what kind of server you are on, but my server (Kargath) has been open for a long time. We’re to the point where the majority of players has been in Molten Core, and probably has gear from there. Most of the small family guilds have made alliances with other guilds so they can do Molten Core. It’s kind of a pseudo-PuG. Don’t give up yet, you may get in MC sooner then you think.

  9. Chris J (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

    That’s great about Paladins being capable healers in the end game. It means it’s worth transferring my 40-something Paladin from Silver Hand to Proudmoore.

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