Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's Going On - What's a RetPals' Role?

Thanks to Tamarind at Righteous Orbs I have a couple topics to ramble on about...

This first one is a follow-on to my diatribe yesterday about how raids can be an "omgwtfbbq!" experience for me. Some of it may be due to the lack of good play by others, but much of it is my own fault. But, before I go into my failings, party failings and "bangin & blaming" anyone, let's take a step back.

What are the "core" abilities of a Ret Paladin?

- DPS (though 2 equally geared/skilled DPSers, a Ret and say Mage, Lock or Rogue, and the Ret will probably be 5-10% lower in DPS/damage)
- Buffs - Blessings of Kings, Wisdom, and Might.
- Survivability - We're plate wearers and can self heal
- Raid/"Oh Shit" healing - We may not cast quickly, but 7k+ heals can get the Tank (or anyone else) through a rough spot
- Cleansing - We have some of the fastest, most thorough debuff removers in the game
- Taunt/Righteous Defense/Repentance -We can pull Aggro off clothies and (hopefully) survive until the situation is "fixed"

Now, in 10 man (and even moreso in a 25 man) raid, there are dedicated raid healers, and off tanks to help deal with many of the smaller oh shit moments. The flexibility of the Ret might not be as helpful.

But, in a 5 man, (which is all I've done so far) it seems to me that each player has to be on their toes a bit more. I know it's a *bit* of a joke, but the roles in raids, 5 man especially, seem to be as follows:

Tank - don't let the healer die
Healer - don't let the tank die
DPS - don't let yourself die and STAY OUT OF THE FIRE! Oh, and kill the bad guys.

Now, because this smaller player pool, having the Healer taking care of the Tank AND doing raid heal can be a problem. Mana, cast time, damage spikes and such can make it difficult for them to raid heal. Let alone do cleanses, etc (if they even can)

And with Pallies being as "self sufficient" as we are, this *can* be a help because the healer can (should?) be able to focus elsewhere. The hybrid aspect of Pallies is there to work well in multi-functional roles.

That being said...

During a recent run through 5 man ToC Heroic, we had a Tree healer that wasn't really doing that much healing. While eating after one of several wipes I glanced at the healing page of Recount. During the previous fight/wipe, I had roughly 75,000 healing, and the Tree had about 200,000. THAT is truly a failure of the healer (one of our guildies mentioned that the guy had ToC 25 man gear, so gear wasn't the issue). But that much of a failure is rarely the case.

So, now to my "opportunities" as a player...

I am bona-fide A.D.D. I was diagnosed way back in the mid 70's, WAY before it became the trendy thing. One of the things that ADD-folks (me) do to compensate for being easily distracted is to hyper focus. We have learned to focus VERY intently on something, so that we can avoid the temptation of the other distractions. The world can fall down around us, but we won't notice. The only problem is that, well, I'm focusing on one thing. (ok, maybe 2 or RARELY 3) This means that I will NOT be able to:

- maintain rotation - (watch the bars light up and do the FCFS thing)
- watch the aggro meter
- watch my own health
- make sure my target hasn't run away
- make sure I'm always targeting something (the [tab] key doesn't always work)
- keep an eye for any debuffs *I* may have
- watch deadly boss mods for phase thingies
- watch the chat window for instructions
- make sure I'm not standing in the fire

Let alone watch the rest of the group.

This isn't a problem that Ret Pals face alone. EVERY player has a similarly long list of things to watch/take care of. And when you list it all out like this, AND see someone doing it well, you get one of those "holy SHIT that's awesome!!" moments.

Now, learning to scan the screen, to keep intent, partly focused and such is a learned skill. And I *am* making progress. My biggest bugaboo is that I sit and stare at the cooldowns on my action bars, and not watch the rest of the screen enough. (*blush* or at all)

Driving is a good analogy:

-Watch the road
-Check left side mirror
-Watch the road
-Check gauges/speed
-Watch the road
-Check rear mirror
-Watch the road
-Check right side mirror

etc, etc

I just need to incorporate the same scanning/awareness in WoW.

Could having a better UI help? Most likely, but that's a topic for a different day... ;)

EDIT - I forgot to actually discuss how this all applies to my rotation/jobs that I mentioned in my post yesterday.

A significant part of those issues/crises are "helped" by the fact that I don't see thing happen early enough. "Better late than never" applies, but "early Bird gets the worm" or, um, "doesn't get waxxed", may be more appropriate. Being "in the moment" and reacting to things as they happen, not AFTER they happen can make a HUGE difference:

- watching the Aggro meter can help PREVENT the boss from chewing on my face
- watching the fight (and not my cool-downs/action bars) will help me stay ON the target, and not lose it
- watch the fight so that I can AVOID the fire, instead of seeing/hearing the low health warning after I've been standing there for 5 seconds, THEN running away, THEN having to heal

As for the Healer getting eaten, well, during the Black Knight fight, the undead spawn phase, there's not much a healer can do to avoid the ADDs. They just spawn and chase him/her down.

1 comment:

  1. << Healer - don't let the tank die

    Like you pointed out for your DPS role, the healer normally has the same list of priorities, that he's trying to keep working all the time:
    1. don't let the tank die
    2. don't die yourself
    3. don't let the DPS die
    The third one could be split up further, like don't let the top dps die. ;-)

    So you should try to assist your healer in that way, that you avoid taking damage and try to keep the fights short.

    For instance in ToC you could use your bubble in the last phase of the Black Knight fight. Plus Lay on Hands on yourself or someone else, if you happen to notice them drop reeeeally low.

    But normally I'd suggest to just trust the healer, that he/she can do their job well enough. Concentrate on getting the boss down.

    From my healing experience in ToC the time factor is crucial. When you get the 2nd boss Goldilocks (or whatever her name) I've experienced groups which just weren't capable to put out enough damage to the nightmare mob - so the fight took minutes. Healer will go oom, which is usually the end of it.

    TLDR: Take the mobs down fast, avoid unnecessary damage and your healers will love you. ;-)