Glow's branches

Ramblings of a resto druid

Tag Archives: Maloriak

A close look at mana potions

Managing mana is one of the fun things about healing that I’m glad Blizzard have added back into our game.

There’s a school of thought that any mana left at the end of a fight is mana wasted, and that if you’re managing your mana well you should be using every consumable, cooldown and trinket available to you to squeeze every last heal out by the end of the fight.

Well. The main game is beating the boss. Our role in that is to keep people alive, but if I can’t do that because I’m doing my utmost but running out of mana then I need to take stock of the consumables and cooldowns I’m using and make sure I’m optimising that.

So a close look at the three mana return potions available:

  • Mythical mana potion
  • Mysterious potion (alchemists only)
  • Potion of concentration

I’ll review these below, using their raw numbers, not adding in any alchemists bonus in order to keep it simple and generally applicable. It doesn’t change the *relative* value of these potions.

The options

Mythical mana potion: Restores 9250 to 10750 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 10000 mana)

The stock-standard mana potion. As with all potions, useable once per fight. It doesn’t matter when you use this, as long as you have a deficit of at least 10750 mana and you aren’t in the middle of an innervate (or mana tide or similar) that will overfill your blue bar.

Mysterious potion: Restores 1 to 30000 health and 1 to 15000 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 7500 mana)

This is an alchemist-only potion, and in any case unless you are after an instant health boost as well, doesn’t seem worth it. Also, as the range of possible returns is so large, it’s not something you can rely on. And reliability is a huge factor when we want mana back and want it back now. (But it is cheap to make if that matters to you.)

Potion of concententration: Puts the imbiber in an elevated state of concentration where they can restore up to 22000 mana over 10 sec, but they are defenseless until their concentration is broken. (1 Min Cooldown)

This delivers more than twice as much mana as the standard potion…. but what’s all of the defenselessness about?!

Concentration

The concentration potion puts you to sleep for 10 seconds. Anything that would break spell casting, like moving, being stunned, silenced etc will break the effect. While you sleep you regenerate 22000 mana. If your concentration gets broken half way through, you will have regenerated about half of that. Clearly the best way to use this potion is to get 10 seconds worth of sleep out of it, and hence the full 22000 mana.

“But hang on, Glow!” you’re saying. “When can I afford to sleep for ten seconds?! The raid will burn to death, the tank will die, and the other healers will point at me in rightful indignation!”

This is a good question. When can you afford to sleep for ten seconds?

When to sleep

Any time that you don’t need to move for 10 seconds, and your heal assignment isn’t taking much damage. If it’s a possibility for another healer to cover for you in that time, chat with them about it before the pull and see if it’s okay, then call over Vent when you’re about to take the potion.

Some specific times I use mine:

Magmaw: During vulnerability phase. This is a no brainer. Raid damage can be heavy on magmaw, plus I keep HoTs rolling on the tank, so I often have mana issues on this encounter. I innervate early on, and usually use my concentration potion in the second vulnerability.

Maloriak: During a blue phase. This will depend on your role and the random order of the phases. My role for the fight is healing the add tank, and off-healing the raid. If the second round of blue/red has blue first, my add tank will not have adds yet, and the raid damage is light, and I don’t need to move, so I can safely sleep knowing the other raid healer will cover the iceblock targets.

Chimaeron: During feud. Yes, you read that correctly, during feud. I’m tank healing for Chimaeron (I’m guessing lots of druids reading this are too). For the first feud I pop WG Tranquility WG and innervate myself. For the second feud our shadow priest pops hymn and PoHs. I throw a WG, sleep for 10 sec and then start hotting up the tanks.

Snoozing during Feud

I haven’t used Potions of concentration in Bastion, all of the bosses there have so much movement that I haven’t seen a good ‘window’. Open to suggestions though 🙂

In summary

If you haven’t tried sleeping during raids yet – it’s time to start! Quite a few of the BWD fights have healer ‘downtime’ phases where movement isn’t critical, so look for an opportunity to use a Concentration potion. And discuss it with your other healers, you might find it helps to coordinate when you’re each sleeping. Nothing like a nap rotation 🙂

4.0.6 – More druid healing thoughts

Firstly, I have to admit: I chickened out in my “less healing, more survival” build and didn’t end up spending the two points in Nature’s Ward. I popped them into topping up Gift of the Earthmother. My current build looks like this:

Glow's respec for 4.0.6

My rational for this was the extra heals on the LB bloom when I’m a tree, but I’m still not 100% sold on this. I started comparing my healing profiles from our Chimaeron kills pre and post 4.0.6, but the differences were SO hilarious (just way too hilarious), and I remembered we swapped from having a warrior soak tank to a DK soak tank so things were a little skewed.

So I pulled up logs for our Maloriak kills to compare. At least there the tank I’m healing is exactly the same each time, and my role and the raid composition is pretty much identical between the two weeks. Ok so here are the two graphs for my healing. First one lokos like this:

Glowberry's healing spells v Maloriak, pre 4.0.6

and then:

Glowberry's healing spells v Maloriak, 4.0.6 version

These are a week apart, my role in each case was to heal the add tank, but of course I’m spraying around HoTs as well.

First thing that stands out to me is how much less is going on in the second one. No Living seed and no Effluorescence. Did I notice the difference? No.

Well, except that I wasn’t casting any Swiftmends just to put green circles under people, so my Swiftmend numbers were way lower in the second week. Actually how much lower scares me a little. I use swiftmend on frozen targets to rapidly top them up before they are broken out, so it worries me that I only cast three SMs on the kill shot. Perhaps I was just trusting our other (excellent) healers more, and panicking less. Or perhaps I was just less attentive. Something to watch for this week.

Third thing I noticed is the huge difference between WG and RJ each week. they’ve swapped places. Wild growth is stronger after 4.0.6, but I didn’t realise how much difference it would make. Also, I actually cast maybe 20% fewer RJs on the second week – maybe this was due to the slightly increased mana cost from the week before, or maybe WG was filling the role of RJ in some cases for me. Again, one to try to be a bit more aware of this week.

I spent the extra two points in GotEM, so what am I getting out of that?

Lifebloom was about the same across the two weeks, though the bloom was slightly higher the second week (the bloom is the second spell marked as lifebloom in each list).  I only pop into tree form in Maloriak during the last 25%, so there won’t be a huge amount of blooming. I DO let LB bloom as an emergency heal if my tank is out of range or I’m on the move and he’s low, so I get an occasion bloom out of treefrom, but it’s rare.

I’m getting a small amount of extra from the initial RJ heal as well (again the second spell marked as Rejuvenation in each list) but again, 30k extra over nearly 7 minutes… I’m not completely sold on it. Also, it’s not like I feel it will be saving lives at any stage either; despite being an instant heal it’s still only 1800 a pop.

Another standout is that I’m casting Healing Touch a lot less and Regrowth a lot more. That kind of blew my mind.

I wondered if it was a change in my tank-heal style, now that regrowth refreshes LB, or whether it was from using it more on the raid (which would be insane!). So I dug out my actual heals on my add tank to see if that’s where the difference was.

First week:

Glowberry's add tank healing on Maloriak, pre 4.0.6

and second week:

Glowberry's add tank healing on Maloriak, after 4.0.6

It seems that although I am using Regrowth more on my tank, I’m also using it a whole lot more  generally.

This shocked me.I’m not a Regrowth spammer, and never have been… but I’m sliding down the Regrowth chute here without even knowing!

I was also concerned as I noticed my effective HPS on my tank had gone DOWN from one week to the next! Well, I was concerned until I dug into the tank’s damage taken and realise that he’d taken less damage from the adds in the second week. Phew. I guess we’ve all gotten some better gear and some more experience in the fight under our belts, and that all makes a difference.

Apart from the difference in effectiveness between some of these spells from one week to the next, the real thing I’ve leaarnt (and relearnt) here is how much of how you heal is completely under your own radar. If you’d asked me how I healed the second week I would have naively said “the same as last week”. In fact, that was my whole rationale for choosing these two fights.

The difference in the Chimaeron logs between the two weeks I laughed off as a difference in tanks: the difference was an outlier, a once-off.

But maybe a shift in talents and spell effectiveness has a bigger differnece in how I actually play then I had ever realised. It’s hard to be self-aware when you’re still learning fights, so much of your spare ‘concentration GCDs’ are spent staying alive.

Time for me to step back a little this week and use some of those spare GCDs to look a bit closer at how I’m healing, not just who and when.

Healing Maloriak 10 – resto druid thoughts

Having twice defeated Maloriak in 10 man, I’ve started to get my head around this encounter a little, and feel the need to put some of this to paper.

My role has been healing the add tank, we have a holy pally healing the main tank, and a shaman healing the raid. Of course our tank healers help out with raid healing as needed as well.

We used one tank on the adds, and let out 9 gradually during red/blue phases. There was clearly some complicated plan involving interrupts that I never really followed, mainly I listened on vent for our MT (who was looking after the abberation release interrupts) calling ‘next wave of adds’ for our OT. Then I knew I needed to ramp up my heals on our OT.

Our positioning for the blue phase had the healers fairly central to the room and the ranged down the sides.

Our blue phase positioning- MT centre, add tank roams door side of the room

For the blue phase while healing my tank, the main thing I watched for was the flash freeze target. When the target is frozen they take 60-70k damage, then when they are broken out, they take another 40-50k damage, so you need to be fast getting that person above 60k health or so or they will die. The cooldown on this seemed to be about the same as swiftemnd, as I always managed to get a RJ/SM on the flash freeze target, but I was also desperately watching it slide off cooldown every time. A ‘Flash Freeze’ debuff warning on your raid frames will help here.

If your addtank gets Flash Frozen, this gets very tricky, especially if dps are extremely alert and pop him out very fast – you’ll get a very sudden 120k damage on your tank so heal hard to get them back up, even letting LB bloom if it helps. You may also want to pop barkskin, as you may end up with an add beating on you while the tank is stunned.

For the red phase, everyone except the offtank collapsed to stand behind the main tank, the target of consuming flames strafed off to one side to avoid Maloriak’s conal fire breath. Be aware that if that person is a bit slow the fire breath will hurt them a lot, so try to throw them a RJ as they move away. Also, if your offtank or yourself get the consuming flames, you might have range issues if you aren’t aware of where each other are.

Finally, by the time you get to the green phase, damage on the off tank is at its maximum, and as Maloriak transitions to the door side of the room, movement will be bringing its own inherent risks, so be alert and heal hard. As the adds die in the aoe, the add tank takes less and less damage, and the risk of the main tank being hit hard goes up with the number of adds left…. so I would hot the MT and then switch to Hurricane once I was sure the offtank was safe. YMMV on that one 🙂

The other risk in this transition is that you may have an aberation beating on you that the tank hasn’t managed to pick up yet. We collapse loosely to the door, but if you do have adds on you, make sure you run them right into the aoe, they’ll soon get picked up that way – and also any adds left over at the end of the green phase are BAD. I didn’t want to be the one responsible for adds outside the aoe hehe.

And then there’s the last 25%, when Maloriak gets a wee bit more upset and starts shooting fire jets and ice bubbles all over the room. I kept healing my add tank who picks up the two prime suspects, as well as trying to help out on the main tank as much as possible. Keep at range and your camera facing Maloriak at all times, if he stares in your direction too long he’s going to shoot a fire jet your way, so time for a judicious strafe. 🙂

Here’s my healing for our kill last night:

Healing breakdown on Maloriak

Again, I was mainly tank healing, so I’m surprised how much Rejuvenation I’m actually throwing out. I also have a screenshot showing my Mastery stats using the awesome Druid Mastery mod, and some screenies of the actual encounter, but they’ll have to wait till I’m home.

Edit:

Druid Mastery is an interesting and thought-provoking mod that calculates howmuch of your healing is affected by your mastery. You can download it from WowInterface: http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info19274-DruidMastery.html

Here’s the output for my healing 2/3 of the way through raid last night:

Druid Mastery, addon output

Useful to analyse how much you’re ‘making use’ of your mastery. How much that’s possible is quite encounter/role specific, but it’s great food for thought.