Raid healing vs 5-Man healing

With 2 weeks of Kara under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my expirences and observations about the differences of raid and 5-man healing strageties. In our few forays into Kara I’ve been in all 3 of the healing roles we use (I’ll get to that in a minute). We have a very casual guild and we take whoever can go on any given night. We have 4 healers: me and another priest, a resto druid, and a holy pally. I must say that I like the combination of the priest/druid/pally better than 2 priest/other healer set-up. There’s a lot more flexibility with all 3 classes, but any combination can be made to work.

Ok, the 3 roles I mentioned earlier… these are very flexibile and very fluid. Basically heal whoever needs healing, but it’d be chaos if you didn’t have pre-determined targets. The Main Healer is responsible for the Main Tank, Off Healer is responsible for the Off-Tank and Group Healer is responsible for the rest of the group. Like I said, these are fluid roles. If either tank needs some extra heals, the GH adds a couple. There won’t always be a need for an OT, in that case the OH and GH would take a group and focus their efforts on their group. If the group is taking a lot of damage but the MT is topped off, the MH can throw around some HOT’s. I don’t mean these assingments to create tunnel vision, but there has to be some planing.

To me, MH is the most like 5-Man healing.  All heals on one target and throwing HOT’s or PoH when time and mana permit.  It’s fairly straight forward and since there’s 2 other healers you don’t have to think about the rest of the group as much as you do in a 5-Man.  Most fights that I’ve expirenced in Kara (with exceptions like Attumen and the larger trash pulls) don’t require an OT, because of that the OH, in practice, will spend most of his time split between the MT and the group, and I’d like to see them doing their best to conserve mana in case the MH runs out.  GH is the hardest in my opinion, espcially if you don’t have CoH.  While filling that role I usually spend a lot of time wishing that I had it, but alas, I don’t really want to give up Imp DS.  In this role I don’t usually worry about the tanks except to try and keep HOT’s on them (yes, Renew does stack with another priest) and throw the occasional Frisbee to help out with threat generation.  Each of you focuses on your role but you have to keep an eye out in case a fellow healer gets overwhelmed.  There’s a fine line there too, you have to develop trust that your partners will be able to do their job and they have to trust you will do yours.  Like I said earlier, these roles are fluid and flexibile but you have to be organized.

Ok, all that said, I’m going to mention a few generalizations.  The damage comes a lot harder and faster in Kara.  I can say that until I’m blue in the face, and I read it a lot before I went in there… but you can’t understand it until you see it.  You have to be on your game.  You have to be paying attention.  You have to anticipate what’s going to happen next.  You have to know your assignment and what everyone else’s is so you can fill in when they die.  It’s HARD!  The flip side: there is no better feeling in the game when you down a raid boss for the first time.  There’s just nothing else quite like it.  Heroics give you a feeling for what it will be like, the incomming DPS is comparable, and most of the Heroic bosses have quirks like the Kara bosses do (there aren’t really any tank-n-spank fights in Kara, they all do wierd stuff) but Kara fights are longer.  Management of your mana and dancing the 5 second waltz become more important so you can keep going to up to 10 mins. 

As I said before, I can say all this stuff but it’s mostly meaningless until you get in there.  Be prepared with 2-3 times the consumables you would take on a normal instnace run (see my article on pots for instancing, also I take a stack of Golden Fishsticks, and at least 10 mana pots, a stack of Mana Oil, 60 Sacred Candles if I’m the only priest, 40 if there’s another, and make sure you have cash for repair, my record is 14g but I’m sure it can get even higher than that), be ready to get kicked in the head a few times while you get used to the speed of Kara, and be sure to have fun.

The moral of the story is:

  1. Stay organized, know your healing assignemnts but be ready to fill in gaps.
  2. Know the fights so you can heal extra when needed and lay off to regen when possible
  3. Be prepared, it’s even more important in Raids than 5-Mans

Tune in next week for:

  • Probably some thoughts on Guild management, but we’ll have to see what’s on my mind later on this week.

***  “I’m disgusted and repulsed… and I can’t look away”  name that movie for 10 SuperCoolPoints  ***

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8 Comments on “Raid healing vs 5-Man healing”

  1. Kestrel Says:

    Good stuff, Gala…*sigh*…almost too good! We’re just starting to jell on 5-mans, and I’ve been resisting the desire to ever do raids (we’re a casual guild, dammit!–and small!). But articles like this make me start thinking “How cool would that be…”

    🙂

  2. Galadria Says:

    lol, I totally understand :-). Raiding is hard to resist *jedi hand motions* You want to raid… *more jedi hand motions* You want to get all that phat lewt…

    j/k it’s a lot of fun but also a lot of work. If you don’t have a group that’s ready for it… it’s just painful. My recomendation is to make sure that everyone is comited to play their best before going too far. Although I know a lot of people who can have a lot of fun wiping 🙂

  3. Trite Says:

    Preparation is the key to raids. For one weeks of raids in kara (which is 3 3hour raids, almost down to 2 3hour raids) I bring along 60x super mana potions, 20x elixir of draenic wisdom, 20x elixir of healing power, 40x blackened sporefish, and usually 4-5 brilliant mana oils (which is like 20-25 applications of it). Back when we were still learning the pulls I’d replace the elixirs with a few flasks of mighty restoration.

    In terms of healing in raids, if you don’t already cancel-cast heals I’d suggest you get into the habit of it. When learning and under-geared there are going to be times when a few large spikes of damage can drop a tank before you have time to get a Gheal off.

  4. Kirk Says:

    Excellent points. One more addition of ‘things I didn’t expect in raids’ is movement. In 5-man the battle stays concentrated in pretty much one spot – there are rare exceptions, but they’re exceptions. In 10+ (25, 40, whatever) raids, if you’re Group Heals you will always have SOMEONE out of range unless you pay attention to location. Oh – but carefully, because usually the ‘best’ place to heal everybody is standing right under the boss. Which I think we all agree is not a good place to stand (grin).

  5. Galadria Says:

    @Trite
    Yes I forgot aobut that one. When I’m on the MT I’m usually spamming, even if I don’t let the heal land, as soon as I cancel I start the next one and I’ve never had to cancel more than 2 in a row. Thanks for the input!

    @Kirk
    Yes you are correct, most of the fights are stand and fight types. In fights like Curator if you ran around you’d just bring the chain lightning down on more people so you have to stand still (there are lots more, that one comes immediatley to mind). I’ve not had too much trouble with members being out of range of the group heal, the only fight that comes to mind is Moroes, we usually have a warlock kite one of the adds so he’s out of range fairly often.

  6. Nobs Says:

    The nice thing about Kara over say Heroics is though you have other people for support. I am our only Holy priest. We bring 2 paladins + me. I heal the raid they get MT/OT.

    While I don’t feel I have enough HP/MP5/+Heal to solo heal a heroic, I can heal our raids in kara with little effort.

  7. Galadria Says:

    @Nobs
    Yea, in that sense Heroics are harder. You can’t screw up, while in Kara there’s 2 others to pick up the slack. It seems to me that we priests get Heroics a little easier too. I would bet that a druid would have a hard time healing in a Heroic. I don’t see HOT’s taking care of the damage and you have to pay a lot more attention to the group in a Heroic than regular 5-Mans since they hit so freakin’ hard.

    What I would consider min stats for a heroic +1200 +Heal, you could probably get away with 1000 with a well geared tank, 6k health and at least 100 mana while casting, 120 would be better. You can fudge on the MP5 if you’ve got a large mana pool (over 8.5k mana unbuffed). In case anyone’s wondering mine are 1374 +Healing, 6141 HP, 8820 Mana, and 122 regen while casting.

  8. Galadria Says:

    I forgot to add, those are unbuffed.


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