To my treeform, I heal therefore I shapeshift! Dammit Blizz, give me back my treeform, I’ve not logged into warcrack since 4.0.1 dropped (I’m not sure the realms are up yet) but I’m missing my proper healing form already.
The only plus is that MMO Champ have datamined some new TOL forms from the current beta build, so finally Blizz give us a new model and then tell us that we can only have it for 30 seconds at a time.
Now that’s done let’s have a look, on the plus side we’re seeing the new shiny, more polygons, more detail, generally better in that regard. It’s not a friendly free, hell it looks even grumpier than the previous form. It’s falling in with the Ancient model so there’s some consistency across the land of druids but I’m not entirely convinced. For starters it looks like it’s a hunchback, while I can see some logic to a top heavy design (have a look at an oak or any similar tree, all of the ‘size’ is at the top) this seems a little ‘odd’ in the balance of the form. It’s too solidly top heavy for my tastes.
However we know that the first model mined out of a build isn’t always the final version, so we can only hope this is a first (if somewhat complete) stab at a new form and that they’re planning on a minor glyph for those who wish to retain tree form while healing.
[Edit: Larísa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn has a good point I hadn’t thought of, this is a change in the mechanics for PvP, though I have to admit that I rarely used ToL in battlegrounds anyway as it’s enough of a “Oi! Kill Me!” flag to be standing at the back waving your hands without being a tree, but for some people this will be a good mechanic change]
A quick summary of the changes to Paladin healing in the forthcoming 4.0.x patch
So, another week of raiding is done. I missed out on Wednesday (most of the farm content) due to being ganked by RL, it happens. RL > WoW, always. Anyway Fri was largely a washout, Princes down but no attempts on Putri as we were bodies short. Saturday was better but was a 200g wipe night.
The team was sub-optimal, but we had multiple 1-4% wipes. So where can things be better?
Trees and Priests rock but they’re not really designed as heavy tank healers, so 4xTree and 2xPriest is possibly not an ideal setup for the group.
- Green mutations (Phase 1)
Ranged need to be further back from the green one when is spawns, melee need to be camped right on top of the spawn point. If it’s going to reach the ranged target we need to have as many as possible stacking on that player.
- Green mutations (Phase 2)
Spread, spread, spread. Please ranged camp spread out. The issue here is Malleable Goo (aka ‘flubber’), we’re seeing regularly enough to be a problem a double whammy of the green ooze target getting walloped by flubber which was targeted on a player in close proximity. So stay spread, stay back until it looks like the green will reach the target then get into close range for the explosion.
- Gas clouds
The kite path is the key here and don’t get caught, the raid damage is usually enough to take out 3-4 players in one hit with others possibly following as other damage lands before the healers can catch up.
- Flubber (phase 2)
Dodge it, please dodge it. If only because getting hit is usually death and if not the casting debuff is a pain and hurts HPS & DPS
- Phase 3
Avoid the bottle bombs, avoid the flubber, blow cooldowns, pop potions, hit trinkets, nuke and heal for all your worth. Damage avoidance appears to be the key we’re missing at the moment.
Putri, if we can get that close with a non-optimal raid… you’re going down boyo.
Thanks to a combination of events (taxi service for the short one to have his head checked on Wednesday) and being short on heads, particularly team heal for Friday & Saturday I’m going to be raiding on Unferth this week. So Team Heal, you’ve got the epic tree with you for another week, maybe a Putri kill will be his swan song.
So… Guys… (and girls)
Learn to dodge the bloody flubber.
 We should hear soon if there is a brain inside the head, I’m betting on “no”
Wednesday night is raiding night since some shuffling happened a few months ago, it’s been working out better than Sunday raids. Last night was particularly good.
Marrowgar, one shot
Deathwhisper, two shot
Boat, one shot (still the best encounter by far on the ‘fun’ scale)
Deathbringer, four attempts I think.
With enough time left to get in the weekly raid (Razorscale) and still finish early enough to get in a guild daily random run done (Hall of Stone..) with one of the guild who’s only recently started playing regularly again.
I promised some thoughts on healing the Deathbringer on normal. It’s not a trivial fight but now we have a strat it’s coming together. We’re using the “let people die” approach, the logic behind this is that the more marks which are up the greater the rate of gaining blood on the boss resulting in a shorter time between new marks. At 30% he hits a frenzy which increases the damage rate. Typically trying to keep all marked players up resulted in having 6-8 marks during frenzy, which is brutal to heal through and trying to get a decent triage failed. Normally seeing two go down together (10% health back on the boss), and from there it’s all downhill.
Now the first two marks are left to die, unless it’s someone we cannot afford to lose (the current swapped tank for example). Providing dps are on the ball nuking the blood beasts this results in 1-2 marks on hitting frenzy and I think 4-5 marks by the time we can get the kill. On the kill I think we actually lost two after the frenzy but managed to pull it back.
One problem which caused the first few wipes was our healing make up (tree heavy), which resulted in the first two marks taking a long time to go down due to the size of the ticks the HoTs were delivering. So the toon marked for death must clear all healing buffs and the healers need to be on the ball and ideally avoid AoE heals (Wild Growth for example) until the mark is dead.
Towards the end of the fight the healing (from a tree perspective) turns into “make sure there’s a hot up and nourish the hell out of the marks” with the occasional WG for the rest of the raid as necessary.