Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Monday, 26 January, 2009

Get out of the fire!

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:56 pm

Or should I stay or should I go now?

After the last post I fielded a couple of whispers from concerned guild mates. These raised quite a bit of guilt, thumb I didn’t want to get into a whole debate about why I should stay, so most of my responses were very non-committal bordering on the outright lying. I *do* appreciate them taking the time. The problem is that I have still not decided, I may be a third rate healer, but I *am* a first rate procrastinator. Also I hate any kind of drama, I really don’t want any of that. Which makes me wonder if I should be posting here at all!

At the moment I’m paid up until the 3rd of February so I’ve set a decision date of the 1st (see end of post!) which should give me a few more days thinking time and couple of days to put my affairs in order if that’s how it goes.

What are my options?

Quit the game when my time is up:

This has been the #1 option, though not the only one. It’s certainly on the cards. I’d have to decide what to do with all that gold I have, it would seem wrong to quite and not give the 15k to the guild. Giving up would be an enormous change, I’ve been playing the game now for well over a year, I’ve even managed to get an emotional attachment to this fictitious creature called Flowersz. Not as strong as if I’d been RolePlaying her, but still, you know, I quite like her.

Fortunately for me “when my time is up” is a bit more flexible than simply in a week’s time. There’s a procrastinate sub-option available (press ‘3’ after the tone), I’ve still got a 60 day game card so that’s another 8 weeks of not deciding, and it means I’ve not wasted ¬£20! Win Win?

Get better!

The preferred option obviously. A few ways of doing this are available, with varying likelihood of success… As it stands I either completely miss incoming AOE or spot it, but start moving too late. What I’m looking for is to reduce the three components:

  • spotting AOE
  • physical reaction time.
  • thinking

Change my screen layout:

This has some potential, on the last run simply dragging my healbot below Flowersz feet made it easier to keep an eye on what was happening on the screen. OK, when I tried this I kept stopping before I’d fully moved out of the AOE, but that’s an easily cured habit. Maybe I should look at one of these clean “all-in-one” setups so I can declutter the screen. This¬† will only help a bit, but maybe it will help reduce the “spotting” delay.

Change my hardware:

I could try seeing if dusting off my Nostromo N52 would improve my gameplay, word on the street suggests that it may help a bit, though that comes almost exclusively from DPS ers, and usually rogues at that. It may help reduce that fraction of a second while I move my hands back onto the strafe keys from wherever they’ve wandered. So ideally this might reduce the “physical reaction time”. One issue with the N52 is that I use a different set of spells when in a dungeon from anywhere else, so I’d need to practise somewhere, potentially putting 4 other people at risk (can I hear someone saying PUG?). Certainly changing from using the trackpad on my laptop to using a trackball made a huge difference, I doubt I could heal without a trackball, so maybe the N52 will help.

Practise Practise Practise:
This would be the thinking time aspect. One way to get practise is to Pug it up… Guild runs are off the cards until I gain a lot more confidence. Maybe do the Nexus a few billions of times! This will also give me a chance to get used to the N52. Actually guild runs are not completely off the cards, I think I’m ok to do some pre-80 normal instances, and I know I can handle Heroic Utgarde Keep – gear makes up for quite a lot!.

Can anyone recommend a questline (preferably daily) that has tons of avoidable AOE? This seems to be an integral part of many boss fights, but I can’t remember seeing it in any quests. My quest strategy has nearly always been plant my little grove of trees and stand and fight. The fight is nearly always the same too, Earth Shield, Lightning bolt pull, Flame Shock, Lava Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Earth Shock, LB, LB, LB, EShock, repeat until mob dies of boredom. Occasionally I drop a different totem, but I NEVER EVER MOVE.


I found verbal anouncements for destroyed totems really useful, and if I stay I should rewrite the code. Perhaps I can add a mod to BigWigs to sound a big bell when AOE is due. Of course this requires AOE to be “signalled” in game by an event that can be hooked. If I could get a second’s warning to look at my screen I’d probably do a lot better. In line with this would be a big fat “focus” castbar so I could see when the boss was going to bang out something serious. This would help with overall healing as it might give me a second or so’s warning that the tank is going to take huge damage.

Avoid the Problem

Go DPS! Don’t know if this is going to cure my problem, I’ve not been DPS in quite a long time, I know I’ll have to watch omen and learn kill orders, but maybe I’ll be watching the screen instead of playing whack-a-mole.

Writing all this junk has helped settle my mind, there *are* things I can do to improve, I haven’t tried everything yet. If I’m lucky it will pull me out of third rate healing and into the second rate league. And if it doesn’t, well maybe I can become one of those scrubby DPSers!


  1. Okay.

    Option #1: Sucks… Forget it.

    Option #2: Very Possible – As a Pally, a few screen alterations and an addon or two, and a coupl eof practice runs to get used to it, and my healing shot through the roof.
    SpartanUI – All in one screen cleaning. Stick to that and fuBar / Titan panel.
    BigWigs already has the features you’re talking about, maybe you just haven’t turned them on? Or else, try Deadly Boss Mods instead. More info, but more complex.
    As for a big focus bar – Quartz. Shows you whatever you want to see, wherever you want to see it, and as big / small as you like. It even shows you your own potential latency as a red section at the end of the bar. I swear by it for healing. You can easily start casting your next heal before the last one has even fired. As a healer, half a seconds advantage can save a wipe.
    You’re still going to be playing whack-a-mole though. it’s the nature of being a healer.
    Who cares how cool that boss looks, all you can see is a row of little coloured boxes that you have to click on at the right times.
    (Also, if you’re not already using something similar ‘Clique’ is a very helpful addon for healers).

    Option #3: Not as good as option 2, because we seriously need plenty of healers. But ‘hey’ it’s miles better than option 1.

    Sorry though, can’t think of any AOE specialist dailies to get you used to it.
    Maybe you could try solo’ing / 2-man’ing TBC dungeons though for the bosses that do use AOE. Just to get the practice in.
    People are usually quite happy to run some of the old dungeons, just for the achievements, or rep grinds.

    Comment by Smyth — Monday, 26 January, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  2. Soloing old dungeons sounds pretty plausible. Doesn’t have the distraction of the health bars, but I’ll still have to jump. I’ll have a dig around.

    Comment by Andrew.Rowbottom — Monday, 26 January, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  3. Don’t be fooled… trying to 2/3 man something like Kara, or the old heroics, is still pretty diffcult. And you’ll still have to watch the health bars.

    Comment by Smyth — Tuesday, 27 January, 2009 @ 11:25 am

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