Before ever installing WoW, I had been a healer for a long time. The single biggest difference coming to WoW was raiding. I had RvR’d in Dark Age of Camelot (large-scale, 3-sided, realm versus realm PvP which I desperately miss) and I had also done the open-instance raids and dungeons it employed, as well as 5man instanced dungeons. These were a great precursor, but did not really prepare me for the WoW-style of raiding.
I love raiding in WoW.
Let me edit that: I love raid healing in WoW.
One thing I have come to learn over the past three or so years, since late Wrath, is that a lot is expected from healers. Large damage phases. Healing while moving out of fire/void zones/tornadoes/bad. Spike damage. Cleansing. Healing amongst being feared/stunned/MC’d. NOT healing at certain points. NOT cleansing at certain points. Managing cooldowns, either on my own or per callouts.
Above all – not panicking. :)
One thing I have come to know is even though much is expected of me, certain mechanics do NOT effect healers. Up to this point, the most incapacitating mechanic I have dealt with to interrupt the flow of my healing is mind control. And in previous expansions. this was usually only if I personally did something to screw up (ie. Blood Queen).
Mists of Pandaria has kind of set that standard on its ear – most specifically with the Amber-Shaper Un’sok fight.
I am not complaining, really. I just found this to be a most jarring surprise.
On Ultraxion, as a healer I was immune to his Fading Light. On Putricide, I never had to learn how to function the Abomination (but at least that one was a choice, except for those working toward Shadowmourne). On the Blood Queen fight, I only had to get bitten if I REALLY wanted to and wanted the other half of my achievement. All those were healer exempt, as well as many other mechanics I cannot recall at this exact second.
Un’sok, on the other hand, his Mutated Constructs affect everyone.
In all of my LFR runs, I have never been pulled into a construct. So when watching the video for the fight before trying it with our 10man, my stomach did a tiny flip-flop. I had an “Oh eff” moment. I was totally unprepared.
I am horrible at vehicles. I have STILL not mastered the drakes in the Malygos fight. Quests with vehicles are usually those most annoying to me.
Holy crap. What a rude awakening for a healer.
Holy crap. What a nightmare logistically for a 25man raid!
I have noticed a trend with the Tier 14 dungeons, and that is breaking all the bounds of our previous comfort zones. For me, first off and as a Resto Shaman, is the utter lack of stacking – a total 360 from Dragon Soul (my Spirit Link Totem feels so ignored!). The tornadoes on Bladelord are a good example. Attenuation on the Vizier is another. The entire raid mechanic revolving around Garalon is certainly high on that list. Fracturing the raid in the Sha of Fear fight. A constant theme of splitting DPS is another oddity I have noticed.
So let me give the tiny bit of advice that helped me through through the Amber-Shaper fight… (And even then I tunnel-visioned and forgot to eat off the floor in Phase 3.) A quick how-to on managing the Mutated Construct:
Smash the ever-loving crap out of Button 1, and hit Button 2 AFTER the DBM countdown ends, to interrupt Amber Explosion. Using the Construct was compared to beating down Wild Crops on your farm, and that comparison helped me a lot.
Yes, there are two other buttons – 3 and 4.
Button 4 is only to be used in Phase 2, while the giant Amber Monstrosity is up. You use it once your health drops below 20% to leave the Construct. (Tanks use it in Phase 1, where they are the only ones who get put into the Mutated Construct.)
Button 3 is only to be used in Phase 3, after the giant Amber Monstrosity is dead. In Phase 3, you want to stay in the Construct for the remainder of the fight. So use Button 3 to slurp up bright yellow goo from the floor to maintain your Willpower. Willpower is what allows you to use your abilities. Eating the goo also heals you. So eat to live!
I know operating the Mutated Construct has a bit of a learning curve. I am still working on it myself. So these are just some more thoughts to help others along.
Note: For an actual guide to the Amber-Shaper Un’sok fight, as opposed to this opinion-laden editorial version, see here.
Completely off-topic aside brought about by thinking of Dark Age of Camelot: There I played Midgard, which was blue. Here, I play Alliance, which is blue. My favorite color is blue. Coincidence? Hmm.
Here are some kill shots from the past week! Yay! The Queen is our last remaining boss for Normal 25man!