Previous LFR and Scenario Queue? – Issues Abound!

methodInterview

As the Alpha continues to sizzle, we learn more about a topic speculated on and discussed since Blizzcon. In the latest build, it appears that the option to enter previous versions of LFR and scenarios is accessible via a specific set of NPCs. Whether their presence, dialogue, or models are expectant of a release has yet to be seen, but what is resounding is the ability to do so, given a new set of rules.

First of all, if you don’t get around much, lets explain what the previous system was all about and then we can relate it to the new means of entrance.

Starting with it’s invent in Dragon Soul, LFR allowed players to queue as a role and be entered in a massive pool of hopefuls, being paired with 24 others, with 6 healers, 2 tanks, and the remainder DPS. The queue itself became notable quickly for its extreme length, especially as a DPS. This only got worse with the onset of Flex difficulty, and when this return feature was announced, I assumed it would be even more impossible to find enough people. On top of this, I wondered just what type of player system they would seek to control, and whether or not there would be a cap to enter.

With the announcement and testing in the Alpha, we learn that this is all a thing of the past for the equally past LFRs. Now, they will simply operate as any other dungeon, just instead of being able to walk in you will still queue. A bit of a vestigial structure is this system, at least in my eyes, but I suppose its no surprise. This is really nothing more than fan service when you examine exactly what LFR has been and is meant to be in this coming expansion.

However, it will give those who missed an interesting coloration, especially in Dragon Soul, a chance to return to the past and collect their just rewards. Or maybe not.

The next question posed by myself and the community is how loot will work. Let’s once again discuss it in its current state for completion’s and comparison’s sake.

Currently, when you enter LFR and complete a boss you roll against yourself to see if you shall be awarded loot. This is a system known as “personal loot” and was implemented with MSV Looking for Raid. Previously in Dragon Soul, the system was as it always used to be. When thinking about 25 man raiding, you can understand why this was a mess all around, especially for pieces of the tier set gear that was acquired in the form of a token for up to 3 other classes. Having 25 people all roll for 6+ pieces of gear every boss got very confusing quickly and elicited some changes as the tier went on.

The first change we saw was a system to help people rolling for main spec gear have an advantage over those looking for off spec or perhaps simply to troll. This system was quite archaic, but effective to some degree, allowing an extra 100 points to each roll when it was for a piece you were currently speced into. This marked further issues, as a lot of people only did LFR for off spec gear, but they had to be in that spec when the loot dropped, otherwise they would not receive the bonus. Obviously, if any one player needed on it as it pertained to him, no off spec player could win it, so it quickly devolved into people just sitting in the wrong spec for the entire raid. After there were enough complaints about 6 tanks or 2 healers, it became obvious this would not work going forward.

Eventually, we come to the world we live in today, where you can select your intended specialization as well as loot preference, AND can avoid the mess that was DS LFR loot, rife with trading, trolling, and high rolling!

So, back on track here, we then finally come to the answer of how the current loot system will be implemented across legacy content that requires an NPC to queue for?

Our buddy Ion, the Perisian Torpedo, answers it for us via twitter.

We learn a few things from this set of tweets, but alongside this, a few more concerns arise.

Ion confirms that the current system would stay, but does this mean that the DS loot will drop 6 pieces as it did back when it was current? Had the personal loot system actually been implemented by 5.0, or did that not make it in until MSV? I honestly cant remember. Feel free to reply if you know this answer.

Either way, the next set of concerns become obvious from there. Often times, being able to transmog pieces of gear require access to loot tables not relevant to your class.

I, for one, don’t see myself up in arms about this, but that doesn’t mean that thousands of people wont be. Currently, given the personal loot system, it is absolutely not possible to get pieces other than your that applicable to your available specs. The best example is that a shaman can not acquire a tanking mace or axe, no matter what they do, given the current system.

This can be address one of two ways. First of all, and the least attractive of the options, you can allow trading of the items. This sees to be something a lot of people want, which makes sense, especially for the LFR MSV and higher. Its unlikely average players will be able to solo them, so if personal loot stays it would be extremely beneficial to be able to trade any loot you get amongst those with you in the party, especially considering it will be likely that on most bosses with 2-4 people, no one will get anything.

Just thinking about that alone makes me cringe. Part of soloing old raids is the fact that a high amount of gear drops each time. The fact that you can often get two pieces of each boss that you are after is a huge attraction. I feel if they are going to stick with personal loot here, they better make it so you always get at least one piece, as well as a chance to get two. Something has to happen either way, otherwise soloing these places will feel very unrewarding if you come out with nothing but the miniscule amount of gold they offer comparatively.

The second option is (when ruling out simply removing personal loot) to make it possible to select roles you aren’t able to fill as well as make these pieces BOA. If they did something along these lines, it would be near the same chance to get any piece in the game, and then you could trade it to which ever toon you prefer. This is very unlikely, however, as there has been very few cases of BOA transmog opportunities, but it seems plausible to think the out side role options may make it.

Ion reminds us that changing these LFR loot constraints is no small task, but I think implementing them with the current issues is simply backwards. There are far too many drawbacks to soloing a raid where you may not even get a single piece of gear drop, let alone the ones you want, as well as none of it being pieces outside your class’s specializations.

I look forward to following this feature as it develops, but for now be sure to stop by our forums and discuss this or any of the other features of the Alpha you are interested in. Feel free to suggest anything you would like to see as well. It will be our pleasure to help our fans out!

Check out Meoni’s Alpha look at the concept:

Metro Responds – Blue Tweets about LFR/ Flex Raiding.

1892070-519pidove

Alright, everyone it’s time we sit down and have a chat. Before I say anything, let me express my love for this game, the people who play it, and its creators. I cannot say enough how blessed it has been not only meeting people who are also passionate inside the game, but also people through Youtube, and various other forms of media such as Stratics!

In fact, it is because of this that we have to have this talk. It is because I care so much about the game and its community that I can NOT sit here any longer and just watch this happen.

Every day I read more and more of it as well. Constantly I find my self looking at threads with 400+ responses about the game being “too easy” or “LFR killing WoW,” then when they bring out flex and push more people towards it you get the exact opposite. Is this real, or am I dreaming it all up? Is it possible that this many human beings, who are actually paying money to play World of Warcraft can be this clueless about things?

I suppose a learned man like myself should realize it’s a microcosm of the world. I imagine this is what politicians see every minute of their careers. Just droves of people complaining about things they clearly have never actually come in contact with, or arguing about policy they haven’t even read. Perhaps the issue with both situations is the media.

The media portrays all these things in glossy textures, and never really explains the meaning unless it benefits them. I’d imagine this certainly to be the case in the real world examples, but probably the unifying culprit for the video game world as well. Especially with large monopolistic sites, this shouldn’t be surprising.

Regardless, with all that said, its time we take a look at a few recent tweets that have actually received replies from people who work at Blizzard, especially our buddy the Perisian Torpedo Ion Hazzikostas. I would say that it’s pretty ridiculous to even reply to people this out of touch, but I suppose it’s his responsibility, so I’ll leave that one out of this.

What I will do is go though each of these, and omit the replies from Ion, and insert my own reply and reasons why this worth discussing. Once again, I apologize if anyone is offended by this. I know its opinionated and even belligerent of me, but it’s important for these people to realize they are wasting time and obviously do not understand what they are even asking about. Its likely none of them will ever see it, but it’s the best chance I have to clear my head on the topic.

I find it hard to get flex grps. Get 1 maybe every 2 weeks or so. Flex matching is bad. LFR is only reliable raid [Source]
My Opinion: What is this person even talking about. I can fill a flex group in less than 10 minutes. Literally the only thing that ever takes some time is finding two tanks, but to say it takes TWO WEEKS!? I must be missing something. Are they insinuating that they only ever see groups in trade ask for one every two weeks? Are they saying that their gear is so bad that its very rare anyone ever takes them? No clue, it’s just absolutely baffling to me.

What I would respond, if I were Ion: Perhaps you have missed our in-game raid finder feature added a few months back. By pressing O (the default keybind for Social Tab) and navigating to the Raid Tab, you can find the “Other Raids” section, which allows you to find any players interested in Flex, among other things. Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even at off peak, as its all cross battlegroup. If you are having trouble finding groups, put your own together!

the problem is, if you give exclusionary tools to the players many don’t even get a chance to even try. [Source]
My Opinion: If they don’t try then they are morons and have no right to complain. If this is the stance you take in life, just quit now. You will never get anywhere with that attitude, in game or otherwise. Imagine this situation in real life? Imagine if only those that fit the supreme niche could play sports, even at a low level. Do people actually say “Well if you aren’t 6’8 don’t even bother playing basketball.”
Like what? If you quit that easily just because you don’t think you meet the requirements of something, then this is the wrong game for you!

tweets

# you noob bro?

What I would respond, if I were Ion: Actual problem is we did not “give” anyone any tools! This is how the game always has been, and unfortunately, there is no sound action that can be taken. I encourage you, and everyone else, to look past those players with unreal expectations. However, if you do not actually find yourself prepared for the difficulty you are trying to complete, then take the initiative! Only you can fix this issue!

What are you doing to prevent players from having silly reqs like today 560+ to do normal SoO. [Source]
My Opinion: This is my favorite comment in the world and makes me laugh every single time I see it. I saw one even funnier where the person said 540 for normal SoO, but at least 560 makes some type of sense. Regardless, it cracks me up. The answer to this question should be “NOTHING” in all caps. First of all, 560 for Normal SoO is completely logical for me. Our guild was at least 560 if not closer to 565 when we first started Heroics, so if the group leader is looking to go deep, this is completely acceptable. Especially when you consider the fact that there is a 608 Legendary cloak that everyone should have, Normal SoO non-warforged 2x up is 561, and that there are warforged pieces from Ordos, what really is the point here? More so, if you are just close enough, no one is going to turn you down. This isn’t a friggin hard cap here people. It’s just a recommendation. These item levels are set so they know the people coming have experience here. If you have no experience, start your own group or find one that is more in tune with your skill set. Don’t expect blizzard to fix this.

My Response: Unfortunately, we don’t have any authority to prevent players from this type of action. It’s the same as someone selling a used car for 1 million dollars. If they want to, they have every right. It’s up to you, however, to realize this is a farce and find a group more in line with your skill set. I understand why you think it’s something we would take action on, but its just a product of the social development of the community. Having trouble starting a group? Make your own using the new group finder tool with 6.0!

Personal loot brought a breath of fresh air and new life to pug raids, I feel making it optional will hurt more than help. [Source]
My Opinion: I can see the logic, but the person is missing a HUGE part of the puzzle. I am hoping that they don’t realize that this loot system will transfer into difficulties that are important for progression as well, making this an absolute necessity. I understand why it might suck for Flex, due to ninjas and whatnot, but it’s simply not discussable. You cannot do what they are suggesting and force raiding guilds to suffer through it.

My Response: We hear you, but since personal loot and flexible difficulties go all the way through Heroic, we don’t have many options. There have always been greedy players, and while personal loot has deterred this, it’s not something that can ever be eradicated entirely. If you want to avoid it, be sure to run with reputable players and don’t stand for them going against their word. It’s on the community to make sure this runs smoothly!

To commit full time to raiding just because yall want to listen to the forum neckbeards will be terrible. [Source]
My Opinion: Then don’t dumbass. What is this person even talking about? Who is being listened to that something has changed for this comment to even be made? Is this person actually saying that the removal of tier items from LFR is FORCING them to commit to a raiding schedule? It is utterly unreal how confused some people are. NOTHING IS CHANGING IN LFR. YOU JUST NO LONGER GET SET BONUSES. WHO CARES? Is that clear enough for you?
Ion responds saying that they will make the difficulties easier to access with the new dungeon finder, and then they go on to respond:
That simply is wrong. Even with flex, you need a core group and a schedule.
My Opinion: This person has gone from dumb to braindead in my book. I don’t know what’s worse: this person, or the one who said it takes 2 weeks to find a flex group. Let’s do this. Raise your hand if you do flex weekly with a set group. If you do, I will give you 5 dollars. Contact me to claim your prize, and link your armory as proof. Didn’t think so.
Flex is for pugging. Nothing about it is scheduled, and nothing about it requires a core group. It can be done around the clock, doesn’t even have a lockout, and has been fully cross-realm enabled since day one. Stay clueless.

My Response: I’m sorry you feel that way, but I have to insist that it is you who are wrong! Flex’s difficulty is tuned so any players can complete it with the proper experience. More so, it is fully cross-realm enabled, and has no lock out, so there is no down side to pugging what so ever. If you are having trouble finding groups, I suggest using the current raid browser in the social tab. Look forward to 6.0, which will make this even easier to organize!

why will PuGing thru this tool be better than LFR? Harder content exacerbates issues with PUGing, doesn’t solve it [Source]
My Opinion: Flex isn’t actually difficult, LFR is just that easy in comparison. Flex is the difficulty raids should begin at, so pugging through this tool is better by default. If you want to sight-see, then do LFR. If you want to raid, this tool makes a decent system into a good one.

My Response: Flex is a challenge, but should be accessible for everyone! Its tuned so that all players with some knowledge can complete it. The big issue that seems to persist in LFR is the lack of actual leadership. When everything is done by committee, you see these issues clearly. In reality, you will use the group finder to find something you already wanted to do. You will do LFR if you want to do LFR though.

LFR changes will gate raiding away from avarage players and return it to a toy for elite players only. Thanks for nothing [Source]
My Opinion: I hate you. Anyone who has the balls to say “Thanks for Nothing” to the man who essentially in charge of all things PVE should have his account banned. What a clown. Can’t even spell “average” correct, and has the nerve to make a comment like that. On topic, what are you even talking about? No one who raids seriously gives a damn about LFR for any reason. Furthermore, “average” players don’t do LFR either. This is such a retarded notion. If you want to do real difficulties, you can do it. It’s not defined by birthright. Nothing is stopping you except your own ineptitude. I mean, we raid 2 nights a week and have killed all but one heroic boss this tier. Just go out and do it!
“Organized” raiding is still not a thing for many of us – LFR *is* our endgame. And the so-called epic loot won’t be tier loot.

tweets

#hashbrowns

My Opinion: This is from the same guy who said the previous, and it makes it even more laughable. Organized raiding is not something you are born into. It is a “thing” for every player, if they choose to make it such. If they choose to make LFR their target, then nothing has changed. I can’t stomach people who act like they have been somehow delegated to ONLY do LFR. If you can play enough the hours a week that it takes to do LFR, you can do Flex or better. In my experience, LFR takes far longer than it takes to do actual wings of Flex.

My Response: I’m surprised the tier set bonus is such a sticking point for so many people! LFR will still drop the same ilvl loot compared to how it is today, and will have unique gear sets, as well as heavily increased drop rate. I understand why a lot of people are upset, but I promise once the expansion is out, you won’t feel like LFR has changed at all. If you chose to do LFR you will sympathize with those who choose to do Mythic, and do not wish to have to do 4 difficulties in order to get their set bonuses!

Increasing loot yield=LFR players not interested in stepping up unsubbing sooner once they have all their gear. Sound business? [Source]
Honestly, I’d rather someone take a break until new content rather than leave frustrated after grinding for loot that doesn’t drop but of course we want to offer diverse content to appeal to players, that isn’t tied to just ticking off a list of raid drops. – ION
There you go LFR people, if you’re not interested in stepping up Blizzard are happy to see you unsubscribe, you have your answer.

My Opinion: I hate you as well. Once again, if you aren’t interested in “Stepping up” and doing real raids, then you have no place in this conversation. LFR is still the same as it always has been. If you are that upset about gear in it, then you should be doing higher difficulties anyway, ESPECIALLY now that the group finder concept is in.

My Response: Sorry you feel that way, but our content is designed as a set of stairs. If the first step is leveling, and the last step being Mythic raiding, then you’d find LFR somewhere in the middle. It’s not designed to get all the gear from it and then consider yourself BIS and quit the game. If you enjoy LFR, you can do it. If you enjoy gear progression, then keep progressing into normal and heroic. They are much more accessible now, with the group finder.

I will NOT be able to raid in #Warlords now. Thanks for that. Every1 is getting bumped up except LFR raiders. my core fun = gone [Source]
My Opinion: There have been some dumb ones, but there is a reason this is at the end of the list. This is akin to “I will quit WoW because of no Flying.” These people are so out of touch with the game, its systems, and the actual purpose of the things they are complaining about, they should be banned from Twitter so people don’t see this and think it’s a valid concern. This is another prime example of a person who thinks there is this supposed blood right that people who do raids weekly have. I just don’t understand it. Even if you do find LFR now undesirable, just do normal or anything else really? Why are so many people saying “LFR is my only option, so now that game sucks because you changed its gear drops slightly?” They must have low goals in life as well.
Do you at least understand/care that for many, LFR was the tops and that taking that (tier gear) away feels immensely shitty?
My Opinion: NO. NO. NO NONONONONONONO. LFR is NEVER “tops” no matter who you are now that “flex” or WoD Normal are available. ESPECIALLY in WoD with the dungeon finder. It takes me the same amount of time to do a wing of LFR and a wing of flex now a days, and with the group finder feature going in, it will probably be quicker to find a group as well! Just try it! Why are so many people fighting this… It’s so silly. Regardless, if you are choosing to ONLY do this difficulty, then you do not acknowledge the gear pyramid in WoW and thus have no place complaining. It still drops gear, and I imagine it will be as good as anything else has been in LFR.

My Response: I quit.

 

So there we go. What’s the message to take away from this mess?

TLDR:
LFR is not end game. Stop selling yourself short and go try other difficulties. There will be a new group finder feature that will make doing everything so much easier. You will realize that when raiding has actual mechanics and people who want to be there, it’s a lot more fun. Don’t blame time, or schedule. It will take less time than LFR will, and you can still leave when you want. There are no lock outs. Saying things like “My endgame is LFR” is just you being lazy.
However, if you still want to do LFR though, you can continue doing so. There will still be a LOT of great gear to be had, but we had to remove the set bonuses because they are too strong for Mythic raiders early on. Sorry, but the truth is, if you ONLY do LFR for gear you are ignoring the gear progression in the game, and shouldn’t be so upset in the first place.

tweets

LFR Caliber player.

LFR Loot Changes – Are you FOR or AGAINST?

LFR changes

I wrote about this topic as news a few days back and thought nothing of it. When I read the change, I immediately thought “Hey that’s smart, its better for everyone involved now!”
I then went on my merry way, made some lunch, drank a beer or two and never thought about it again…

Until recently, that is. Then I opened my eyes and saw alllll the massive posts on the official forums, and on every fan site under the moon. That is around the time that my confusion began.

So how do you guys feel about this? I’m typically not one to bash on LFR because I recognize its place in the game, but the fact that so many people suddenly want its purpose to be more than it should really gets my blood hot.

To recap, LFR will now have gear that is not equatable to the actual raid drops, meaning no tier set bonuses or trinkets or the like. Instead, it will be an alternative to 5 man heroics for the casual players looking to see the content, but still faceroll it and get some gear on the side.
When I say the word “faceroll” along side the word “gear,” do you think this change is bad? How could you? This is the way it should have been from the start, and here is exactly why.

When you have tier set bonuses and trinkets in LFR it opens up a lot of player’s eyes towards their availability. Imagine the first month of WoD, the four set for Resto Shaman is just mandatory. So good that it makes everything else seem weak, as is often the case for the first tier of a new expansion. People will then be near forced to run every difficulty under the sun just to get the set bonus, no matter the item level of the pieces. This creates the constant instability that rests with the first month or two, as people are scrambling to replace blues as fast as possible in order to push Mythic progression, and growing frustrated with many of the game’s systems. (A clear example of this was with Dailies in MoP!)

Another evident benefit of this change is funneling more people into Flexible difficulties now known as “Normal” and “Heroic.” The goal of the end game PVE model has always been progression, and LFR had its role in that until Flex came out and usurped it. It made it so LFR’s item level gear was completely by-passable and people would simply start with Flex when gearing up, but continue to do LFR to control their fate a bit more. This led to more petty grievances with LFR popping up by the week, chock full of the typical name calling and flame that you would expect. The more LFR goes down this path, the worse it gets, essentially being devoid of its true purpose, which is to help casual players see the content as their own pace. When a majority of the players in there are all immature self-entitled children, who really wins with those arguments?

So realistically, funneling people into Flex will be of great benefit to everyone involved, at least in my eyes! Now, players who only care to see the content, not have any challenge associated with it, can continue to spend their time in LFR. Those who are interested in good gear and character progression will work towards doing the new “Normal” difficulty, and likely fuel interest into further progression. This helps everyone involved, by adding more pool for recruitment for guilds building from 10 to 20 for mythic, as well as revitalizing the raiding scene and eliminating the stigma that its become too easy just because of one difficulty.

So if you are actually upset about these gear changes to LFR, what is your argument? I really can’t even think of one that makes much sense to me.

Facts are, if you are doing LFR weekly, you are doing it because you want to. If you are choosing to do this difficulty at the moment you know what comes with it. Near irrelevant gear comparatively, essentially no challenge, and a lot of impatience.

What changes in WoD? I’d imagine they make it even easier now. But what else?
Slightly less relevant gear? Marginally so, but even if that’s the case, does it actually matter? Even now, if you want good gear, you do Flex. It drops significantly higher item level gear and really is in no way challenging unless you have your brain on the table instead of in your skull.
I just haven’t seen a single facet of any argument have anything relevant to say here, yet soooo many people seem to be up in arms about this topic.

You can still do LFR friends, no reason to get so upset! Really, nothing changes except a small quality of life concern for those raiding at the highest level.
There are no even unique models for LFR gear, something that could not be said with SoO!

But anyway, what do you think? Let’s hear about your thoughts in the forums!
Get the conversation started over at http://stratics.com/community/threads/lfr-loot-changes-are-you-for-or-against.315398/

 

Heirlooms Removed + LFR No Longer Has Raid Gear!

heirloom changes

More coupled news today, and this time a bit more serious as we approach a patch 6.0 and look towards the actual release.

Garrosh Heirlooms Removed with 6.0

The Perisian Torpedo continues to be our main butter and egg man, but still can not resist breaking big news over twitter. This weekend, we learned via this post from Ion Hazzikostas that Heirlooms from Garrosh would be removed with 6.0, as its trivializing the difficulty. It says Flex+ so I assume that’s all difficulties, but even more of an assumption is that they will significantly nerf this place beyond belief. Why would they do that, you might ask? Because they would have to. If you haven’t read my healing guides you may not realize exactly how Thok, Juggernaut, and Malkorok operate, but there is no possible way that they can remain the same as they are now, especially Thok, once spirit is removed from most our gear and all the other healing coefficients change.

Now, at face value, a lot of people may fail to understand whats happening here. Examine some of the responses to Ion’s tweet and you will realize this yourself. Christ, look at them as well. People complaining left and right about everything under the sun, having the nerve enough to say something so idiotic like “More like punishment for not being in a raiding guild.” How clueless can ya be! Hell, maybe you are one of them as well?! OK, OK, let me enlighten you!

Gimme' back my Heirlooms. Put 'em right back where they belong.

Gimme’ back my Heirlooms. Put ‘em right back where they belong.

Start to finish, these heirlooms were our reward from the raid to carry on into WoD. This isn’t rare, so to act surprised when things get removed like this shows you don’t pay much attention. Examine the mounts from Firelands, ICC, or Dragon Soul. All essentially the same thing, just not equip-able. Of course, those were actually guaranteed rewards, where as now these are rare from the start. You can’t make them more rare, so the only option if you are altering them is removal.

That is the first thing to understand. The next part that another select few special butterflies don’t seem to realize is that 6.0 means 5.4 is over. Not sure how its possible to overlook this fact, but it is indeed fact. Once a tier ends and the next one begins, that’s it for special rewards such as this. Some people look at 6.0 pre-release as a continuation of the previous expansion, but its just not the case. EVERYTHING will be different, so its best to examine the tier as closed. I for one just hope the mount isn’t nerfed too heavily, as I’d like to get it out to as many people as possible before the expansion hits.

The third and final thing to realize is that these are actually meant to be good pieces. Its mostly guesswork, but a lot of signs point to these being BIS pre-raid in WoD by a considerable margin, and it may not even be relevant whether they were obtained in Flex or Heroic. Time will reveal that answer, but the point is, if that IS the case, they have to remove it. Otherwise people will spend time doing Flex Garrosh instead of actual WoD content, and that just can’t be allowed to happen again.

So, I’m sorry to those that got unlucky but this tier will likely be at least 10 months old when this patch deploys. You had your chances, so don’t blame anyone but your own luck. I have not nearly maximized my chances, yet I have both the mace and the shield for my main spec after doing only our progression raiding each week. Never took any alts in anywhere, but I know people who did and have 8-9 pieces. Its all a gambit, but if you actually raided you have one. For most classes that’s all you need.

LFR Raid Loot-viability Removed?

This one is less of an announcement and more speculative (as usual!) but it does appear to be the case. This weekend, MMO-champion discovered pictures of gear sets tagged for LFR distribution and posted them via their armor level sets. Now, when we are breaking down gear sets by “Cloth” or “Plate” and its labeled LFR, this can mean only one thing! Well maybe it can mean other things, but for the purpose of this article, we will be narrow-minded.

If this truly is the case, and LFR will no longer reward raid gear, then I can say with a smile that this is a major step forward for the raid system. When Flex difficulty was announced and implemented, they should have just removed LFR. Flex is what was needed from the start: a weak difficulty that has actual mechanics that matter, and can be done easily with pugs using an in-game group finder system. Albiet its just the queue up system, but you can still find a group by going to the raid browser function and be raiding within minutes. That’s the way it should be, and that’s the option players not looking to do progression raiding should exercise each week.

This became blatantly obvious once the 90 boost was released and all these morons were crying about how LFR got so much worse. Of course it did, because people doing it are clueless as it is! You shouldn’t be doing LFR to get gear unless you are either partially AFK or really need a certain trinket or set bonus, thus having to maximize chances. Those are the only two reasons in my mind, because Flex is EASILY doable at 515-520 item level, especially the first part. Anyway, back on topic.

So ya, how it looks now is that both 5 man heroics and LFR will yield the same results. They will get you the same type of gear, potentially even the same quality and item level, and will prepare you for actual raiding, which has its lowest difficulty now set to flex. Previously, LFR was the lowest, and five man heroics (463 ilvl) were precursor to the 476 they dropped or above. Of course, this is pretty much irrelevant a few weeks into actual progression, but one of my favorite times is pre-raid gearing especially through 5 man content. I LOVE challenging five man content, almost more than I love raiding honestly. The fact that its not going to be overshadowed by LFR tells me they are really going in the right direction. They have already said that the WoD Heroics will be more challenging, and now that they wont be immediately trivialized tells me that they will make big plays to revive 5 man progression. Can’t wait to see them, especially in Challenge difficulty!

 

Anyway, thats it for this round-up of news. Unless we want to discuss Donald Sterling and how his comments effect WoD. We can, you know. Just let me know if you want that. I will make it happen.

Stay tuned as WoD approaches.

[Discuss This Article!]

25H Kor’kron Dark Shaman – Metro’s Healing Guide!

f2vz

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

200px-Kor'kron_Dark_Shaman

Understanding the encounter –

The Kor’kron Dark Shaman encounter features a variety of mechanics that, on paper, seem quite potent. When looking at this fight coming from normal difficulty, most would imagine a very hectic, hard to control encounter. Unfortunately, for both us and Blizzard, it seems that NOTHING about this encounter played out how they expected!

This is what we are looking to avoid!

This is what we are looking to avoid!

I’m sure if you are considering this encounter on 25 man Heroic you will be implementing the split strategy, but if you aren’t its likely time to either quit that guild, or stage a coup d’état and get someone in there who cares about the healers. The fight will be completely random and near unhealable at times if you keep the bosses together, but if you separate them, it turns into a very planned and predictable encounter. Obviously, this guide will be describing healing mechanics for the former.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

The healing role itself is not very complicated, compared to other fights in the raid, but distributing healers accordingly, as well as tanks, may present issues. Let’s make that the first thing we discuss!

In order to properly split your raid, you will have all melee DPS on Haromm on the Ramp side, and all ranged DPS on the Flat side. With this in mind, the next concern is tank and healer distribution. The best option to solo Kardris is a DK tank or Monk Tank, but regardless it’s important to understand that whoever is tanking on the Flat will be taking a massive amount of damage regularly, while the two on Ramp will be taking no damage comparatively. Because of this, the most logical designation for separation of sides would be:
Strong Single-target Healers on Flat, Strong AOE healers on Ramp.
However, while it seems logical to split up three and three, we find it much more realistic to have four on Ramp, and 2 on Flat. This is nearly only because of Toxic Mist, a mechanic which Haromm does to deal massive magic damage to “several” players, which usually translates to 75 percent of the group on Ramp. Another complication that essentially requires four on Ramp, is that if there aren’t three people out of melee range from Haromm, the Iron Tomb will cover melee, making the strategy require a tremendous amount of movement. We do not want this for any reason ever so on the off-chance that one healer does die we will have enough to make sure it does not.

Our Split is as follows, for reference.

Flat – Holy Paladin, Disp Priest
Ramp – Holy Paladin, Holy Priest, Resto Druid, Resto Shaman

Provided we agree on this, the next topic is explaining the start of the fight, as well as the actions taken to ensure to split.

The Pull –

It’s very likely that all four targets latch on to one tank for a few seconds, so keep an eye on this. Regardless, the bleed from the dogs hurts quite badly, so while they are alive, the tanks should be the priority. The rest of the group will be spread out, and should not need healing until the first round of mechanics go out – happening at 95 percent health. This case should be the only time both sets of mechanics are present from the Iron Totem on the entire group, so be sure to be aware of who receives the Iron Prison debuff if you are assigned to the Ramp team.

From this point, load up any targets with hots or shields that have the prison and will be split from you, and prepare to use a speed boost to get to your location ASAP. Once split, the roles will be entirely different, so I will explain them as such.

"Ramp side," Where Haromm will be tanked.

“Ramp side,” Where Haromm will be tanked.

Ramp and Haromm Healing –

The first challenge to overcome is getting everyone with the Toxic Mist and the Tombs where they need to be as you all arrive at the location chosen. This can be exceptionally dangerous if both are on the same person, as even if they survive the prison comfortably, the tick from the mist will kill them without preparation. It’s your job to monitor this and make sure it’s not a factor, preferably with an external CD if applicable.

Around the time this clears, the real mechanics will begin, so make sure you have all your healers stacked up in a good location for the tomb and AOE like crazy on whichever pile needs it most. It’s easy to forget about yourself in this case, so be conscious of when 3-4 healers get the Mist as you’ll likely not be receiving much healing by default.

Unfortunately, as alluded to at the start of the guide, the Foul Stream mechanic functions pitifully and will pretty much be an issue every time it’s out, even if handled correctly. It’s possible it’s due to being on the ramp and the ground wasn’t tested for the mechanic, but whatever the cause just be aware of it as an issue and don’t be surprised if a few melee get smashed when they shouldn’t have even been hit. Because of this issue, on top of the Toxic Mist, it’s extremely common to use all three Battle Rezes on Melee, and still have some dead for the end of the fight.

Given our DPS pace, once three sets of Tombs go out the first Ashen Wall will be deployed and force the entire group to move. Once again, be prepared for the movement, and move to the pre-designated location. Be sure this location is still far enough away from the hitbox of Haromm, otherwise the tombs will cover melee.

Around 10 seconds after the first wall and movement, you will encounter the first Falling Ash. This is the part of the encounter where healing begins to really ramp up, and it would be optimal to discuss CD usage. You will see upwards of six or seven Falling Ash mechanics, so unfortunately they can’t all be covered, but either way one solid CD is a huge benefit. You do not want to layer CDs, as it is too short a window, so talk amongst your healers present on Ramp side and decide what best route there is for dealing with it.

From this point on, it’s quite repetitive. You’ll still have the Mist, Foul Stream,  and tank damage, but also the Ash, so provided you can keep the tanks alive and none of the healers die because of the Foul Stream or Tombs, it should be smooth sailing!

"Flat Side," where Kardris will be Tanked.

“Flat Side,” where Kardris will be Tanked.

Flat and Kardris Healing –

Regrettably, I have not completed this sub-role on a kill attempt, so take my offerings with a grain of salt. As always, if you have something to contribute, leave a comment and it will be my pleasure to amend the article with you accredited!

As the flat team, you will have more room to navigate, but less room for error, as the mechanics will move slightly and otherwise take up a lot of space. In terms of healing, it will be mostly single target, as the tank will be constantly pelted with Froststorm Bolt (getting much worse during the Bloodlust) and the few DPS who receive the Prison mechanic.

The Iron Prison itself will likely be the truest form of death for most people, as with 100 percent of the group being ranged DPS, most will be cloth and mitigate nothing of the initial physical damage. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to monitor who gets the debuff each time it goes out, and to have each of the players with it fully healed and prepared with a CD if needed. Many times, a tornado or other source of damage will complicate this, so give your best single target heals to players who need it.

I find the Foul Slimes to be more of a nuisance than a real source of damage if handled correctly, and provided you have a DK or Monk, they should always be exactly where they need to be. However, its pertinent to expect some stragglers, so if you see them creeping towards the stack, expect to heal through the damage.

Once Falling Ash comes out, things really get complicated. Players will continue to get the Prisons, and the tank will continue to be hit hard by the Bolt, so if a few things line up wrong, the two healers down here will have their hands tied. Hopefully, when you assumed the healing role, you realized that sometimes you simply can’t save everyone, and this will be a case of such. If it’s between the tank and a mage… well let’s hope you choose the tank otherwise you had better be prepared to taunt!

With only two healers, the falling ash will be much harder to CD through, so this is one distinct drawback to the method. Hopefully, between the two, you have 2 good reduction CDs, otherwise just keep trucking away. I can’t say it enough – if the tank dies the fight ends; if a caster DPS dies the fight continues. If you play by this rule, you should have success on Kardris.

Class Specific Tips –

Fight them in here for added challenge!

Fight them in here for added challenge!

Holy Paladin: Great for either role! Make sure you have at least 1 Holy Paladin on Flat, as Devo is mandatory for small healing group. Hand of Sac will save Prison target 100 percent – immunities will not.

Resto Shaman: Decent for Flat, amazing for Ramp. Healing rain on melee especially as Foul Stream comes out. Spiritwalker’s Grace to heal during Tomb Movement. 2 CDs make them great for Falling Ash no matter position.

Resto Druid: Ramp only, unless really needed. Hots are great counter to Toxic Mist. Mushroom explosion to counter one Ash, Tranq for another! OP Ironbark can and will save a person with Iron Prison and Mist.

Holy / Disp Priest: Disp 100 percent must be Flat, Holy must be ramp. Disp bubbles mandatory for tank survivability in Bloodlust with Ash falling. Holy Hots are hard counter to Mist. Lifegrip someone if they are caught in a bad spot – especially behind the ashen wall!

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) Not exceptional for either role. How does Fistweaving effect this? Can’t fistweave on ramp, as negating the 4 man stack for the Tombs, especially if one is already dead. Can’t fistweave on Flat, as risk spawning tornadoes on the tank, and would be covered in the Slimes. Does anyone have experience as a monk on this fight? Would honestly love to hear what is best.

TLDR Recap

Disp Priest, Holy Paladin for Flat. Resto Druid/sham, Holy Priest, for Ramp. Others can flex. Be prepared for Iron Prison, especially if on ramp side, as it can kill you with Toxic Mist easily. Foul Stream is buggy, don’t get frustrated. Tank above all else, especially when bloodlust on Flat. ZZZ pot tough to use on either side, shouldn’t run oom though. CD every opportunity for Falling Ash – call it out in voice coms.

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

 

25H Iron Juggernaut – Metro’s Healing Guide!

juggernaut

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

Understanding the encounter –

It’s not often you fight a giant tank, but in the 6th encounter of Siege of Orgrimmar, we do just that. It’s important to understand this when people die, as they died to a tank so it’s less bad. Did I mention the tank is a tank?

Anyway, on a more serious note, it’s important to understand the possible strategy differences for this encounter on Heroic from Normal. Any group without a death wish should be employing a strategy that knocks you back all the way to the other side of the room to avoid the Heroic-only Mortar Barrage. The mechanic itself is just absolutely absurd, and to even try and navigate it with the rest of the damage going out is suicide and not worth any damage you could potentially gain.

If your group is foolish enough to be attempting this, I can’t help you, but assuming you are following the same strategy as I am, let’s move on to the healing portion.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

This fight is absolutely the most healing intense in the raid thus far, and will questionably remain so until Malkorok. In order to complete this encounter your healers will need high levels of coordination of CDs that need to be used at the exact times when needed. I will preface this by saying, multiple weeks after our first kill, we still wipe every once in a while because people forgot to use a CD when it’s their turn.

The fight will be broken down into two very distinct phases, so let’s approach it that way.

Assault Mode:

In this phase, your job is to quickly patch the group up. There will be a variety of mechanics happening at once, none of which need to be understood by name, but all of which can kill people. It sounds logical to say “avoid this” or “move out of that” but if at any point one of these mechanics is failed outright, another will finish them off immediately.

RIP bads, omg spread plz...

RIP bads, omg spread plz…

The best advice I can give you for this is to spam single target heals with your head on a swivel. For once in your life, this phase will benefit those who can react, not prevent, as none of the mechanics are predictable in terms of who they will hit and when. To complicate this, you will need to be dodging them yourself, otherwise expect equal death-treatment!

If the damage happening to the raid randomly wasn’t enough, your tanks will constantly be taking 70+ percent of their health in damage. This is because of both the melee and mechanics from the boss itself, but also because of the bombs. So once again, keep your eyes open and your mind alert. DO NOT simply afk AOE heal like you did on Galakras. This fight is all about the right Flash of Light on the right player at the right time, and if you land it successfully, you will save their life. Everyone will be too spread out to effectively AOE heal, and it will literally be 1-2 people taking damage at a time so just listen to me for once in your lives, alright? If you do nothing else in this phase but cast your quick single target heal, then you’ve still done a great job.

As a healer, you can also handle the bombs, but without armor you will get oneshot, so this is more up to your raid than you. Just realize that as a Shaman or Paladin it is absolutely on the table every time it happens. You just need to be prepared.

Siege Mode:

Welp, here we are. Time for the insano-retard-mode phase…

In order to complete this phase properly, understand that there will be multiple sources of damage throughout, all which can and will kill you easily if not CDed through. I will break the sources of damage up so it is easy to understand.

1-      Seismic Activity: This ability happens essentially whenever he is not doing Shock Pulse. The entire phase will be made up of this mechanic, which does 84k Nature Damage every 1 second to every player in the raid regardless of positioning. It’s best to treat this mechanic as “incidental” damage, and not use CDs specifically for it, with one very distinct exception. The mechanic will begin to happen immediately as you enter the phase, so there is a very high chance that people are still low from the Assault Phase mechanics. For this reason, I strongly recommend 1 healing throughput CD (like tranq) to get you topped off and end right before the shock pulse. Healing Tide is also great, as you can set and forget. Just make sure its last tick is up before you get knocked away from it.

2-      Shock Pulse: This is the mechanic that will decimate the raid, as not only does it do an absurd amount of damage, but it will knock everyone back. It’s important to know exactly where you want to be knocked back to, and to make sure you are actually being knocked to that location, otherwise expect death. This mechanic MUST be CDed through, and immediately after, to avoid death to the next Seismic round.

3-      Demolisher Cannons: This mechanic complicates the whole strategy of all being knocked back to one location, as it will splash 225k fire damage to anyone it hits, and then to anyone within 6 yards. You MUST spread from this, but stay close enough to remain in healing range, otherwise certain death is upon you. This is best looked at as “incidental” damage, and unless handled wrong, is only a complication, not a cause for concern.

Even the blind recognize this as an easy mechanic comparatively.

Even the blind recognize this as an easy mechanic comparatively.

4-      Explosive Tar: The least dangerous mechanic unless you have people who use Seeing Eye dogs to raid. The tar itself will plop down on random places, and unless you are standing it, will do nothing. It will slow movement speed though, so if it lands on you gtfo.

5-      Cutter Laser: This mechanic should seem obvious, but can still cause problems. The damage from the laser is dealt to anyone it comes in contact with, so since you are constantly moving and spread, it’s quite possible that 2-3 people can get in its way. It will do 300k every second to anyone standing near it, so it’s up to your raid how you want to handle it, but either way make sure the 24 people who do not have it following them aren’t running near it. We have the player with it run towards the boss, and as long as they aren’t RPwalking, they shouldn’t have damage done to them. Obviously if this is run through the puddle you lose. You will take massive damage, and won’t be able to recover so stay away from the tar at all costs in this phase.

6-      Crawler Mines: Same thing as previous phase, but can be difficult to notice if they are stuck in the oil. Keep an eye on the tanks as they handle these, as they can be silent killers when your focus is diverted to the mage iceblocked in the oil with the laser chasing him.

7-      Mortar Barrage (lol): If you thought the other combination of mechanics were bad, try dealing with this one as well. No chance in hell, literally impossible IMO. Not sure how any group could heal with this in the mix as well, unless maybe they were all 6 druids. If you aren’t avoiding this mechanic by being knocked 100+ yards from the boss, then may the lord Jesus Christ bless your soul. Even he may not be able to deliver you.

Cooldown Usage:

So with all this in mind, hopefully you understand how important healing is in this phase. If 1-2 healers die early, you can’t complete it. If 1-2 healers miss their CD queue, you can’t complete it. If 1-2 healers are significantly behind in gear, this may not be possible, unless the other 4 are monsters. I’ll explain our rotation in-depth for your benefit, and you can make your own based on what classes you have available.

–          Initial Seismic Activity: DPS shaman use Ancestral Guidance (only opportunity, make sure it’s happening.), Resto Druid Tranquility.

–          First Shock Pulse: Devo Aura (only reduction option, as people are still spread), Divine Hymn when we land, DPS shaman Healing Tide after that.

–          Second Shock Pulse: 2nd Devo Aura, PW Barrier, Priest 90 Talents, Healing Tide from Resto Shaman.

–          Final Shock Pulse: 3rd Devo Aura, Spirit Link, anything else. Once this hits, the phase is essentially over, so no need for major CDs to prepare for another.

Also worth noting that Smoke bombs and AMZ should be used regularly if available. Not mentioned here, as we have 2 strong reduction cds already.

Once the third one happens, everyone will be a bit trigger happy and start running towards the boss again, but be careful, as the damage is still happening. It’s important that everyone moves together at this point, so heals can still go out, even though it’s not major.

Only other thing that may present a problem is the tanks getting in their position before you are in yours. This is pretty logical as a lot of tanks will roll / charge/ sprint, etc to get there asap and start building resources. Just be aware of their health and use a speed boost to avoid them being out of LoS for too long.

In terms of potion options, this is probably a good fight to consider using a regular mana potion. No matter what phase of the fight you are in, standing still for zzz pots can be a very bad thing. In assault, you may end up dead due to the sawblade or the red circle. In the Siege phase not healing for 10 seconds in between shock pulses can result in deaths, let alone if oil and the lazer target you.
Only time when you can’t get yourself killed is after the third shock while everyone is running – but this means you will be lagging behind on position to continue healing. Tough call, choose wisely!

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: Great fight for Paladin utility. Double BoP and 20% physical DP for soaking mines to avoid damage elsewhere. Beacon is OP, put it on the tank taking the most damage and it will do 40 percent of your healing in phase 1. Flash of light spam until oom in Assault phases – can regen during knockback and running around. Use Divine Shield as he does Shock Pulse to avoid getting knocked back!! Speed of Light to get back to the fight asap. Hand of sac on tank constantly.

Resto Shaman: Extremely tough fight for shaman, healing rain near useless in Assault and chain heal may miss bounces with spread. Consider single target spam, and drop Mana Tide early. Use Spirit link for damage reduction, not health equalizer. Spiritwalker’s Grace OP for the knockbacks. Earthshield on squishiest tank, + 2 set will do crazy numbers.

Resto Druid: Time to shine, hots are king on this fight. Spiritwalker’s Grace from Symbiosis allows Tranq to be used directly as the Shock Pulse happens. Ironbark to save tanks or allow you to eat a bomb with Barkskin. If timed well, mushrooms can be exploded directly as shock pulse hits. Place them about 5 yards behind the group and hit it as the knock back happens – healing everyone passing over them for a crazy amount.

Disp / Holy Priest: Level 90 talent is so OP for siege phase. Life grip can be used to help someone being knocked back in the wrong direction. Be sure to add a PW Shield to anyone soaking a bomb, regardless of your spec or theirs.

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) Revival is amazing for use immediately after knockback. Land with near full health! Can place orbs down where people land for some burst healing. Use Roll as they knock back to negate. Life Cocoon plus CD to eat a bomb.

TLDR Recap

Nazgrim, Upset we Killed his Tank.

Nazgrim, currently upset we killed his tank.

Without question, most difficult healing fight in the first 8 bosses, maybe 10. Be ready for anything in Assault Phase, don’t blindly AOE heal. React to large damage and hit them with your fastest heal, regardless of mana. Tanks will be obliterated, keep their health on focus, especially since it’s easy to get lost keeping cloth DPS alive. Need intense coordination of CDs for Siege Phase – Don’t fall asleep! Know your limits for taking a bomb, but do so when possible. Careful with zzz pots, they can cause a wipe in Siege phase, or get you killed in either phases.

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

 

25H Galakras – Metro’s Healing Guide!

drake

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

That's Polish for "Badass Mount," I think.

That’s Polish for “Badass Mount,” I think.

Understanding the encounter -

The fifth encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar does little to differ from the normal encounter for the healers. To understand the normal mechanics are to understand the heroic, but it bears repeating that this encounter suffers the same damage increase as the previous, and thus needs to be taken as serious as any other.

Also like Sha of Pride, we find ourselves in a position to help the DPS do their jobs easier, with the amount of downtime we have, and should consider this as much a part of the job as actually casting spells.

For those participating in the tower groups, familiarize yourself with the new mechanic there and lend what you can to its completion. This doesn’t affect healing so it will not be discussed in this guide, but it’s important to know exactly when you are going towards the tower, and then going up.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

It's acceptable to queue your mic to laugh at noobs who get knocked off by this.

It’s acceptable to queue your mic to laugh at noobs who get knocked off by this.

The healer’s role on this fight, as touched on earlier, is more support than actual throughput for the first phase of the encounter. We immediately find ourselves in another position like on Sha of Pride, where opportunities for AOE damage and AOE healing are hand in hand, and should be treated as such.

For this reason, Monks, Priests and Paladins can do a lot to impact the fight, as it can be a very strenuous dps back-and-forth type encounter. Specifics will be discussed in the class section, but in general, any AOE dps you can lend that also supplies some healing is extremely useful.

The first specific change you should make to your intentions here is handling any of the banners or totems that are placed. The Dragonmaw Flagbearer will drop a Banner that increases damage exponentially of all mobs, and since they are literally one-shotable, you should make it your priority to handle them, as they can’t be killed by AOE damage and having DPS specifically switch off to hit something that has negligible health is a massive dps loss. The Dragonmaw Tidal Shaman will drop a Healing Tide Totem,  that will heal percentage based health (20 percent flat) every 2.5 seconds. Once again, this should be your priority for the same reason.

To understand why I feel like this is the Healer’s job over the DPS is because the nature of the encounter and the nature of the objects. The banner itself, if left alive, will do considerably more damage than any one heal could do in a global, and that’s all it takes to kill it. A DPS could handle it surely, but losing DPS on this fight is not something I would foster. The healing totem is the same issue. Its percentage based health being healed, so if it’s not reacted to immediately, it can and will heal the bonecrushers up a huge portion of their health. As a healer, one global towards the totem’s death means less time on the bonecrushers, less stuns needed, and less we need to worry about the NPC’s survival.

In order to properly handle this task, you should make a macro to quickly target and destroy them. There is an option to make two macros separately, but I would simply recommend this:

/tar Healing Tide Totem
/tar Dragonmaw Banner

“/cast SPELL NAME”  can be included as well.

This will tab through the targets, so if there is a totem and a banner up, it will target the totem first, which is far more volatile.

Attack the Hostile version only! ;)

Attack the Hostile version only! ;)

From here, the next task you can take on is interrupts and stuns. This will be exclusive to Paladin, Monk, and Shaman healers, with varying degrees of success and will be discussed further in the class specific section. The long and short of it is as follows:

Bonecrusher – Stun when Fracture is channeled.
Tidal Shaman – Interrupt Chain Heal cast, Stun on CD to keep Tidal Wave casts from happening.

The tidal wave will do solid damage to anyone it hits, so once again a global to lock them down is better than healing 15 + people afterwards. It’s extremely likely that the tidal shaman will be the kill target though, so interrupts should be going out from DPS already attacking it.

Past this, the fight is exactly the same as it was on normal. If you are a part of the tower team, recognize the fact that the tank is going to get man-handled up there, so be prepared for huge heals and external cds.

Kogra’s damage should be considered lethal, and if not killed quick enough, be ready to use CDs. I’d recommend Tranqs or Hymns, as they won’t be needed again until the very end.

The reason I reserve Devo Aura, is because of the Drakefire mechanic which is absolutely the biggest silent killer I’ve seen on any fight ever. You have no indication its happening until it does, and it can’t be helped other than to heal through it. If your tower team falters at all, this can reach near 600k hits, so I would recommend using a Devo when you see people starting to get obliterated. Chances are one 6-second window will enough for the tower team to finish its job and the disaster will end.

In terms of potion opportunities, make sure you are getting one in before grounded, as there won’t be time to waste. You realistically may never need a zzz potion here, but if you do, make sure it’s not used during Thranok’s appearance, as his hook can break it, or his crush will break you! When the Demolisher is out is my preferred time if needed.

Grounded –

Once the beast is grounded, the fight turns into a numbers check and there are a few things you should be prepared for as healers. It’s essentially your typical burn phase mechanic, so to sit here and discuss exact times you should use CDs and when would be trivial, as you will need healing steadily through the phase, increasing as it gets longer.

The exception is the Pulsing Flames mechanic. DBM will inform you of when you need to be prepared for this, but this is absolutely the most volatile part of the phase, as it scales with the fire damage she does and makes everything else more complicated. Amongst your healing team, you will want to discuss options here, whether it is Devo Aura or Tranq, you will need something. I would spend more time on the topic, but its jut not that complicated, so as long as you and the rest of the healers are awake, the 2 minutes you are in this phase will fly by. Rule of thumb: if you see pulsing flames, use a CD – just don’t overlap!

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: Holy Shock to one shot any totem or banner. Rebuke / Fist of Justice to handle interrupts and stuns discussed. Make sure beacon is on the tank staying down if you are as well, and on the one going up if you are as well. Cycle Favor and Wings with Light’s Hammer = amazing aoe dps and hps/mastery spread. BoP people if you see them fall from tower like noobsrofl. Use Devo to survive Drake fire if it’s getting dangerous. Guarding and Light’s hammer at the end will be insane hps – make sure you have it coupled for a Pulsing Flame.

Perfect time for Double-dipping AOE!

Perfect time for Double-dipping AOE!

Resto Shaman: Amazing fight for Healing Raid + Chain heal. Keep it down in the flamestrike. Earth Shield the tank on the way up the tower, even if you aren’t following him. Spirit Link will split health percentages with the NPCs = Lay on Hands for the group towards the end. Use it wisely! Make sure to wind shear as much as possible, and drop cap totem in anticipation of the Fracture.

Resto Druid: Knockback the bonecrusher when channeling Fracture to break it – careful not to knock back the adds from the flamestrike. Eff+mush perfect to keep down in the flamestrike and consume when the aoe pulses happen or a tidal wave gets off. Tranq will be the reason you don’t wipe if she is Pulsing Flame and throwing fireballs.

Holy / Disp Priest: Divine Star is just insanity on this encounter. Will do a ton of damage and healing if timed right. Barrier can be used with Drakeflame intensify to save lives. Lightwell is great for this fight as well. Life grip a player who is about to fall from the tower if they roflnoobomg. Throw feathers up the tower ramp to help the tank get there first.

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) Amazing AOE double-dip fight. Fist weave for the win! Life Cocoon can save the tank’s life on the way up, as he will often reach the top while you are still out of LoS. Leg Sweep is OP, can be used to break two fractures at once, or in conjunction with interrupts on Tidal Shaman.

TLDR Recap

Make macros to /tar banner or totem and handle that for the DPS. Double dip any damage and healing you can as much as possible – the more the group gets ahead the easier it is to heal. Stuns and Interupts on Fracture and Tidal Shamans is more important than healing up the mistakes.  Know which tank is going where and be prepared for him taking massive damage if you are in tower group. Be prepared for Pulsing Flame and use CDs appropriately. Pray heroic warforged staff drops so you can get the mace from Shamans ;)

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

 

25H Sha of Pride – Metro’s Healing Guide!

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

 sha-of-pride-header

Understanding the encounter –

The heroic version of the fourth boss in Siege of Orgrimmar is where we start to see huge, game-changing mechanics being introduced, so for argument’s sake, it’s important to realize how the fight’s pattern will go, as this rhythm directly affects you as a healer.

Unfortunately, this is not a strategy guide for the raid,  so I cannot speak with certainty about the plan you will employ, but I will describe ours through my eyes with an attempt of creating a linear comparison.

Fight begins, I spread out near the front right quadrant. First stack for Gift, then quickly vacate before Reflections. All adds are Gorefiend’s Grasped in, and I watch the melee closely. Run to my prison assignment in back right of the room, close a rift before. Return to front, interrupt / stun Manifestation and prepare for Swelling Pride.

This is the pattern I follow 4-5 times a fight, until the fight is complete, so now that you have seen it you can compare it to your own obligations and fill in the blanks where needed.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

Once you have done a few attempts on this boss you will immediately realize the facts of this fight: there is little healing to be done until Unleashed, but a hundred mechanics you could make trivial with your downtime. Let’s examine each mechanic individually.

pride-norushen

Norushen – Important Lore Character, Near Meaningless Contribution to Encounters.

Consistently throughout the fight we will see Mark of Arrogance being distributed, but unlike in normal, this is a very deadly mechanic. If you do nothing in this encounter at all, dispel this every 8 seconds, REGARDLESS OF THE GIFT. It may seem like a bad idea, but even if you dispel every single time it’s up, you will still not become Overcome unless you have already missed the enrage timer. Doing this is greater than any amount of healing you could ever do in the first phase of the fight, as the dot will plague any DPS, especially with Swelling Pride on the horizon. If you have all the healers in your raid of this mindset, you will run into even less issues with Pride. Just make sure you are aware of the Projection mechanic, as well as the Aura, as they are things you almost never see in Normal and will wipe the group if not handled.

The dispels are important, but closing the rifts is just as useful at preventing damage. The heroic-only blue gashes in the room can turn into a huge burden, so as a healer doing very little on a heroic encounter, this should be your time to shine! I personally love mechanics like this, because you realize just how much damage and uptime you can save the DPS by doing it flawlessly. Unfortunately, as the fight grows longer, if all available players aren’t making an effort, your work is wasted. Either way, closing one every minute will save a ton of movement and potential damage from the melee so consider it a primary task.

Next up are the variety of adds that spawn. Don’t belabor on this, just understand as a healer with downtime you can do a lot to facilitate them dying cleanly. The large packs of Reflections are likely the most obvious of cases, as when they all get gathered up, you’ll have a lot of players in one area, as well as a lot of things flying towards them. Its highly likely that with 5-6 melee all clustered like that, a lot of damage may be going out, so this is the perfect time for double dipping damage/healing abilities. For example, Divine Star or Light’s Hammer line up perfectly with this. The damage done will make the mechanic slightly quicker, and the healing will create a buffer for those that are taking damage they can’t see. The other adds can follow the same principle, but won’t be available for AOE so if you can fistweave or smite, consider this a good time.

Swelling Pride would be the next topic for discussion, and is easily the biggest issue the fight presents, but the easiest to deal with. Obviously, it is a massive amount of damage so if you are walking into this fight without preparation of cooldowns, just leave that guild and start your own. It only happens 4 times for us each encounter, but if I remember correctly our first kills may have included a 5th. Regardless, if you are getting a 5th, just throw everything at you have at it, as it will be within the last seconds of the fight. No matter what the situation, it’s good to line up a reductive cd with a throughput cd for every single one of these.

Our pattern looks like this:
1 – Devo Aura, Tranquility

2- Devo Aura, Spirit Link, Divine Hymn

3 – Devo Aura, PWBarrier, Healing Tide

4 – Repeat 1.

Also, we have DKs and rogues using smoke and AMZ, as well as dps shaman dropping their Tides throughout. The ability does do a massive amount of damage, but is so blatantly predictable that it should pose no real threat, UNLESS you are letting Mark of Arrogances stay on the target. I find it quite necessary to dispel anyone with a mark before the Swell, otherwise they are near death from both happening.

The most common cause of deaths here will be ranged-LOS issues, as if people aren’t making it a priority to return to the front of the room after the prisons and the Manifestations, a large portion of the room will not be covered the Devo Aura.

Past that, the prisons are the only other issue in the main phase. They don’t really need to be discussed, but just make sure whomever receives the Mark gets dispelled immediately, as if they are also imprisoned, it will be very difficult to keep them alive.

Unleashed -

The Unleashed Phase itself presents only one change, that being the barrage of damage, which can be quite substantial. At this point, it’s time to go full ham, and set in as you would to heal any other encounter. You can still seek to close rifts, especially if you have speed boosts and heals on the go, but if you aren’t conscious of your health, you will die from the damage happening plus that done from the rift’s closure.

Inscription reads: GROSH Wuz Here ROFL

Inscription reads: GROSH Wuz Here ROFL

By this point in the fight you’ll be running on instinct anyway, so the only thing I can offer as advice is to watch people’s range from your position.. AOE seems like the best option, but I find myself casting way more single target heals here than most other fights. You’ll need all 25 alive to beat the actual enrage as well as keep surviving the soft enrage the Unleashed mechanic presents so do whatever you can to keep an individual alive, even if it sacrifices AOE potential.

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: Devo Aura for Swelling Pride is a MUST – make sure everyone is in range. Light’s hammer times perfectly with Reflection, feel free to use Wings or Favor to increase damage and healing done, as it’s the only time you’ll be able to line up CDs outside of Swell. Tank damage is hilariously low, I beacon myself on this encounter. Speed of Light is a must for closing portals / getting to prisons!

Resto Shaman: Keep Rain on the melee / where the adds will be stacked. Good fight to make use of Spiritwalker’s Grace and ghost wolf, especially when travelling between prisons and rifts. Cap totem excellent utility to AOE stun the large packs of Reflects. Place down as they spawn so it goes off as soon as they are gripped in.

Resto Druid: EV /mushrooms can stay in one place whole encounter. Ursol’s vortex can prevent adds from scattering after the aoe-grip. Excellent fight for resto druid – able to never stop moving. Able to avoid rift blasts, close rifts, and run to Gift stack without lose throughput.

Holy / Disp Priest: Lifegrip people on to prisons! Body and Soul amazing talent when running to prisons – shield targets straggling behind, or shield targets that have debuff while cd. Smite healing good option, as dps is needed, but not much to heal reliably.

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.)Great dps/hps double dipping encounter. AOE the Reflections and watch the numbers soar! Mobility and Renewing mists makes monks a great option for this fight. Leg Sweep amazing utility for packs of Reflections – on Demand AOE stun is as good as healing in this case!!Upfront heal from Revival can make a huge difference during the burn phase.

TLDR Recap –

Little healing to be done, so use the down time to handle mechanics, giving your DPS more uptime and slack. Offer to 4-5 heal if DPS is an issue, as you shouldn’t need much healing until the very end. Be sure to have a very set schedule for CDs with Swelling Pride, and make sure people are close enough to benefit from them. Consider dispelling, even if you don’t have the Gift – should never run into issues with pride if your dps is on time. Make sure you understand the full list of pride mechanics associated with Swelling, as you likely have not seen them in Normal mode.

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

25H Norushen – Metro’s Healing Guide!

WoW_Norushen-buffed

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

noru-shenheader

Understanding the encounter -

The third encounter of the raid is where we begin to see more devastating numbers come in to play, as well as the first real enrage of the tier. The healer’s job is simple, yet incredibly demanding in terms of raw numbers and mana usage so it’s important that you are prepared for all sources of damage.

The damage itself will come almost exclusively from the ability “Icy Fear” which deals Frost damage every 3 seconds for the entirety of the encounter, increasing as the Amalgam gets lower health. The tanks will be swapping and handling their mechanics, but will see large spikes of damage distributed via Self Doubt stacks + Unleashed Anger, all while attempting to pick up the  Manifestations that will be spawning as DPS complete the trial.

The Essence of Corruption, the smaller floating adds, will use Expel Corruption, a projectile that can be intercepted, but likely won’t be very often, as the only way to beat the enrage is to continuously have adds spawning. It’s important that you understand this mechanic, and pay attention if the boss has taken multiple, as this will make everything more potent.

As a raid, we have opted for selecting one person to stack the entirety of the group on. This will allow for easy AOE healing, as well as give a tank an easy funnel for the Manifestation adds. I find entering the test as a healer more of a bother than a boon, and in our progression kill we have decided to send 4/6 healers down once throughout the fight. From here on out, it’s their job to keep the buff and not get any corruption, otherwise it was a near-wasted effort. Regardless, this buff does little to impact the strategy, so the only thing you need be aware of is the fact that you have it.

The only other factor then is the ball of corruption, but as long as the leadership has a plan for picking them up, damage from it should not come into play. If it’s out for more than 2-3 seconds you will likely struggle to survive and have to take measures to recover.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

This fight offers one of the more basic healing roles in the instance, and can easily be summed up into: AOE heal every global. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but if you walk into this fight expecting insane AOE damage for its entirety you won’t be surprised.

The only real advice I can give healers in general is use CDs as often as possible, especially at the start. If you do choose to send healers down, expect times with only 4 healers out to be quite difficult to complete. I take the liberty here to immediately use Devo Aura about 15-20 seconds into the fight and whichever other healer is staying out permanently (if applicable) should use a throughput cd afterwards. Once the healers return with the buff, things will be easier, but still hectic. I would recommend those returning healers discuss a CD being used immediately as well, if only to make sure everyone stays topped off, especially with the now constant stream of small and large adds joining. Once all 6 healers have rejoined the fight, use what CDs you have remaining and continue to AOE heal.

norushen-purifying-light-object

It’s extremely important to be vocal about positioning as well, so whenever the group moves due to the beam or perhaps other reasons, make sure the ENTIRE raid team is aware. This gives a chance to drop ground AOE heals preemptively, but if the DPS are not cognizant of this, it’s a wasted effort.

The damage will continue to grow, but with 6 varied healers and other DPS cds like smokebomb or AMZ, you should have something up steadily throughout the encounter.

The real challenge is of course meeting the healing demand while staying in mana, so be conscious of the length of the fight. It’s a very strict enrage timer so plan use of ZZZ pots and personal CDs or conservation methods with it in mind.

I find the best time for a ZZZ pot in this encounter is right after the cutter beam dissipates, as you should have a large enough window before the next. Any other time is unpredictable, as the beam may spawn on your face, cutting either your potion or life short.

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: Devo aura is amazing here, as everyone should be stacked. Use liberally, and around other throughput CDs. A great tip as a Hpally is RF anchoring the adds like we did on Immerseus. This way, you can be sure a hunter or other healer won’t have threat, assuring they get to the tank. If the tank is slacking, you can also salv or bubble. Use Fist of Justice for this, and stun every Manifestation possible off CD to prevent as much damage as possible. Small adds can be stunned as well, but shouldn’t be high priority. Sac on tank when 2-3 adds + boss on him.

Resto Shaman: Healing Rain and Chain heal dominate this fight. Be sure to know exactly where and how your group will move, and never miss a global rain tick. Use Spirtwalkers Grace liberally, ideally when Ascendance popped, or the group is taking high damage yet moving from the beam. Capacitor totem is unreliable for the large adds with other on-demand stuns from other classes, but can be huge for the small Essences. Drop in a pack of 4-5 to really relieve the pressure. Avoid Spirit Link when beam timer is up! Healing Stream will be 100 percent efficient here, use as much as possible.

Resto Druid: Efflorescent mushrooms will be nearly as potent as Rain, so be sure you know the group’s intentions of movement. Wild Growth and Rejuv spread should dominate as well. Ironbark tank if 2-3 adds out as well as boss.  Spiritwalker grace from Sym on shaman is great for this fight, to assure Traq doesn’t get clipped by the beam.

Holy/Disp Priest: Disp truly shines on this fight, as small constant damage can be eaten up by absorbs. Smite double dips from low corruption as well, so consider going down. Holy can carry with well-placed Holy Word: Sanctuary, PoM, and CoH. Lifegrip can save a person from the beam or help get someone back to the stack point after returning from trial.

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) Another good AOE fight that allows the monk to double dip. Would imagine the buff applies to them as well 2x, so make sure you go down and keep it. Life Cocoon tank with 2-3 adds and boss on him. Roll through hitbox to easily navigate the circular room.

What's up guys, I'll I think I'll just watch...

What’s up guys, I’ll I think I’ll just watch…

 

TLDR Recap

Straightforward mechanically, insane number requirement. Stack up, and AOE heal your brains out. Consider the trial especially if your healing double dips from damage. Important to know where the group will be at all times to maximize AOE ground heals. Discuss usage of CDs beforehand, allowing you to have a cd every 20-30 seconds. Caution with ZZZ pots, use after you know the beam will not be an issue. Conserve mana early, and pray you coin HWF Shield!!

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

 

25H The Fallen Protectors – Metro’s Healing Guide!

LotusCouncil

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

the-fallen-protectors-detailed-strategy-guide-620x400

Understanding the encounter –

The Fallen Protectors, the second encounter within Siege of Orgrimmar, is a fast paced encounter that reminds us of any “council” type fight, while the Heroic encounter presents some interesting difficulties.

From my experience, I typically find these council type fights to be my least favorite fight to heal, having a complicated number of mechanics that all intertwine with poor RNG to make the job harder than it needs to be. Fortunately for us, from our perspective this encounter is literally the exact same as its normal-mode counterpart, with the only real difference being the mechanical severity of the encounter actually matters now.

The fight will be discussed following two routes: the first being the “main phase” with all three pandas active, and then an individual explanation of the 3 “split” phases, where the adds from each panda come.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

When first coming through this fight, you will likely find it to be quite a challenge as a healer. This is because in normal mode, the damage most of the mechanics did was so trivial that you could just cast your AOE spell on the largest density of player for the entirety of the fight with no real recourse.

This changes immediately, as ALL the mechanics the fight offers have the potential to wipe you at any time. This is important for the healers as well, as keeping yourself alive is mandatory to be able to heal others, but also because the DPS will be bogged down with multi-target dps and will inevitably take a barrel to the face, or be stood in poison at least once.

maxresdefault

DBM will remind you of your spacing on this fight, and it’s for a good reason. It is extremely important as a healer to find a place where you will be in range of all other players, but also safe enough to only have to deal with mechanics that target you, so you can focus on healing. This will be step one of the encounter for every healer, as when the damage ramps up later on, if you are all bunched up you will find it impossible to heal.

In terms of actual sources of damage, let’s examine the middle mechanic each panda presents constantly. The first of the three is Rook’s “Corrupted Brew” projectile, which does the same thing as it did on normal, but will hit you for 425k health, likely well over 3/4ths of anyone just starting heroic progression. The complication here is that it targets the ground under players, so if you see multiple people stacked up, be ready to heal them or yell in them at vent to spread out. The mechanic itself becomes quicker as the fight goes, until he “splits” and it will be very obvious when people take damage from it, so be alert.

The next mechanic on the list is Garrote, which will attribute to a solid portion of the incidental damage that makes the fight a quick-paced encounter from a healing perspective. No real preparation is needed for this mechanic, as it will be a steady source of incoming damage, but it’s important to understand the incoming sources of damage in order to be able to react to them properly. Note it is a bleed, so this is likely the only use for a Holy Paladin’s BoP on the encounter. Use them wisely!

The third mechanic on the “constant” checklist is the most important for the healer. The mechanic is known as Shadow Word: Bane, a Damage over Time Dispellable magic debuff. The debuff deals 135k Shadow Damage to each player with it, of which there will initially be 6 at once. The catch here is, it will spread each time it deals damage. Now, this is how it is in normal as well, but the damage these dots do is sizeable, and the jumping effect further makes this a problem.

The only logical solution is to simply have all six healers waiting to dispel immediately. It’s quite often that 1-2 will spread, but it’s not the end of the world. However, if all 6 tick and spread, you are now in quite a bind, as the 8 second dispel window will prevent this from ever being dispelled entirely again unless outside sources are used, or it falls off. If at least 3 are dispelled immediately, than the other 3 that do spread will equate to another 6 that should be dispellable within the 8 second window.

It’s quite easy to forget about this mechanic, especially when the Desperate Measure phases happen for the other two, but if you have learned anything here, let it be that this is PRIORITY NUMBER ONE! The damage from the debuff will be too high if it’s not dispelled and once it’s out of hand you are forced to simply heal through it.

Now that we have beaten that to a pulp, let’s move on to the three big mechanics that will happen periodically. Like the first set of three, these mechanics may pose a variety of issues if people are not aware of them, but unlike the first set they happen at a large interval, so as a healer this is your time to shine!

fallen-protectors-rook-corruption-kick

The first on the list is Rook’s Clash. The ability will essentially emulate the Brewmaster Monk’s clash to a T, and be followed up by a super-charged spinning crane kick variant. He will pick a random person to do it, so when you see it happen this is your queue to not only move away from, it but be prepared to heal those caught in it, which is inevitable, at least for a tick or two.  The bigger complication is when it happens during Sun’s stack-up, as it can drag the kick right into the middle the pile and nearly wipe the raid. This is on the leadership to figure out and make sure it doesn’t happen, but if it becomes an issue, as healers it will be your job to overcome it.

Next mechanic to understand is He’s Gouge. This should only ever become an issue if a tank makes a mistake, but weekly we have one of our tanks complain that he handled the mechanic correctly, yet it still punished him. Once it happens, it is now the Healer’s problem, and if handled properly, deaths can be avoided. I’ll explain in more detail in the class specific section, but the long and short of it is make sure the new target’s health doesn’t reach zero before the tank has recovered. (Fast forward to the specific part for some ideas on the matter. )

The final, yet most devastating mechanic of the three is Sun’s Calamity. This ability does a tremendous amount of magical damage, specifically 30 percent of your health in shadow damage. This is complicated as the more times it happens before she pushes to her Desperate Measures, the damage increases by 10 percent more. So theoretically, this mechanic can one shot the entire raid, but if it gets past 50 percent you might be doing something wrong either way.

So with this in mind, it’s important to establish some reduction rotation. The first one in each cycle is the least volatile, so it can be skipped if you are getting more than 4 each cycle, but we have it line up so that it happens 4 times roughly every 2.5 minutes, while she resets every 3rd. Since the first is staggered, this means that if I use my CD on the first, and our 2 other paladins take subsequent, we will have gotten all three in the first set, and then get three out of four in the final sets.

Suggestions for this include Devotion Aura first, as it will hit everyone in the room easily. Next is Barrier, as it will reduce the most damage, but will be tough to place, as most of the group won’t be near it. And finally we have spirit link as the third best option, for the same reason as Barrier, but worse as it will contribute less either everyone around the same health.

We are lucky enough to have 2 holy paladins and a retribution paladin, so we are satisfied with that in terms of reduction, but it’s important that the healers with raid-wide throughput use them properly as well. If it lines up so you do not have quality reduction CDs in your 25 man raid, then have a druid, monk, or holy priest step in with their CD. Tranquility, Divine Hymn and Healing Tide Totem are used best defensively, so begin to channel them the 2 seconds before the damage begins, so people are as close to max health as possible when it happens, and are healed up immediately afterwards.  With a designated combination of abilities it should be easy to survive, but if you aren’t using these at all, it will become extremely obvious towards the end of the cycle.

Desperate Measures Phase and Implications -

These phases should change little about the way you approach the encounter, but some good planning will help both your raid as a whole, and yourselves as healers.

The main point of discussion here is a reminder on Sun’s Desperate Measures. If you recall the discussion pertaining to CD usage for the Calamity, this should go hand-in-hand with it. Essentially, any CDs you choose to not designate for those times should be used here. This phase will happen twice in the encounter likely less than 3 minutes apart, and last for a good 20-30 seconds depending how quickly you can get out of the phase.

fallen-protectors-sun-dm

Stack ‘em up, heal ‘em up, bang bang!

With this in mind, be liberal with your CDs. I would also recommend paying attention to the “Clash” timer, as if it does end up in the middle of the bubble, you’ll want to use a CD as it happens to reduce the chance of deaths.  Regardless, no CD should go unused, and after multiple attempts you should know where you need what and when. Remind others to be careful of the poison on the ground that may be residual from previous phases again.

As for the other two Measures, neither should present a challenge that needs to be prepared for, but once again it’s important to remember that the dispelling will need to remain 1st priority. If you slip up one of these sets, have a Calamity coming up, and are dealing the damage from the Measures, you will quickly find yourself behind the 8-ball, using CDs where you don’t need to be.

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: BoP off the Bleeds, Salv or sac those who receive the boss if tanks get gouged. Freedom can clear the movement speed debuffs, but likely too situational to rely on. Should receive the mark of anguish whenever possible; take for 3-4 seconds with DP and self-heals, then bubble. Beacon tank that is furthest away from group, especially in Sun’s Measures. Great fight for Light’s Hammer, lines up perfectly for AOE healing/dps to adds in Sun’s Measure.  Devo best CD for Calamity.

Resto Shaman: Healing Rain is godlike, be sure it’s placed correctly. 3 different types of CDs mean lots of options, coordinate with group. Mana Tide is a must, especially in low gear this fight will tax the mana pool. Spam heals on fixated target after gouge to give them the health they may need to survive a melee from the boss.

Resto Druid: Efflorescence attached to Mushrooms and down in the right spot will rival Healing Rain’s efficacy. For Calamity, use Tranqulity to top people off 1-2 seconds before the damage, as it is near lethal without reductive CD. Tranq used in Sun’s Measure is best used to negate damage from a potential kick mishap. Ironbark on the fixated target of the gouge can save his life.

Holy/Disp Priest: Life grip may save lives! Can be used on fixation target if gouge happens to buy enough time. Divine Hymn follows same rule as tranq, and barrier is best saved for Sun’s Measures if you have at least 3 Devos, as it will hit a low percentage of the group.

Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) GREAT aoe fight for dps/healing double and triple dipping. 90 talents can shine with the amount of cleave that is possible. Revival can be used to dispel all debuffs as well as top people off before or after Calamity. Life Cocoon on the fixated target after Gouge can save a live.

TLDR Recap

Dispel above all else. Coordinate CDs for Calamity as well as Sun’s Desperate Measure stack. Be ready to catch people’s mistakes and correct them with appropriate spells and utility. Keeping a player alive after a mistake WILL be the reason you do or do not land your first kill. Calling out CDs for Calamity and other mechanics will help keep the team focused during a fast-paced, hectic encounter where you see the same mechanic many times. Pay attention to DBM timers for Gouge and Calamity – anticipate, don’t react! Rinse + Repeat = Loot!

There is not actually a chest on this encounter, but it is important to symbolize success in some manner.

There is not actually a chest on this encounter, but it is important to symbolize success in some manner.

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!