Light & Leafy

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Oh, hello there! Don’t mind me; I’m still cleaning out the cobwebs surrounding the pages over here. It’s amazing how much dust you can accumulate over 6 months.

I had lost the motivation and inspiration to write for awhile. When Cataclysm first came out, I was so interested in playing the game, that I didn’t want to divide the portion of my week devoted to WoW between playing and writing. Well, that’s kind of changed recently. I’ve found myself with an inordinate amount of free time at work, and with so many ideas bouncing between synapses that I’m fairly certain my head might spontaneously implode if I don’t write some of it down. (Clearly, not only about WoW, but as I have other outlets for those, they won’t take up too much space here).

So what have I been doing in the interim? My healers are all 85 and in varying states of progression. I still favor my priest above all else; I love being holy and I’ve put so much effort and attention into her that I’m quite attached. My guild is still on Terenas, and we’re the same little incestuous family we’ve been for years. As much as I’ve reached out to the community, and made some wonderful new friends, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

Oh, and the Matticast! Around December or so, Matt from World of Matticus, put a call out for cohosts for the companion podcast for his site. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky that he chose me as one of the people to work on this project with him. I have an absolute ball recording with him, Borsk, Brian, and Chase every week. They are all so incredibly fun to talk to and smart! So, if you haven’t already given it a listen, check it out on WoM or iTunes sometime.

I don’t know where my new motivation will take me. I think, for the time being, most of my inspiration is coming from personal dilemmas and experiences. I have ideas regarding healing and encounter strategies, of course, but there are also so many wonderful resources out there that I might just be echoing those who have written before me. And there may or may not be a certain dwarven priest who would probably do a little jig of joy if those miraculously appeared on another site. Either way, thank you for being along for the ride.

After defeating the dreaded Lord Marrowgar, the next deranged lieutenant of the Lich King you will encounter is Lady Deathwhisper. The Lady is the supreme overseer of the Cult of the Damned, reveling in the power the Lich King appointed her after she elected to dispose of her corporeal form.

Lady Deathwhisper is similar to many lich fights we’ve seen in the past. She primarily uses frost and shadow spells, and like Kel’Thuzad, her first phase mostly involves being able to control the numerous adds that spawn on the sides of the room. Once your team is able to make it through the first phase and break her mana shield, you’re certain to take home some pretty purples.

Phase One

When you first encounter Lady Deathwhisper, she’ll be wrapped up in her mana barrier, a protective bubble that causes all damage done to eat away at her mana rather than her health. The dps must burn through her mana before she will become vulnerable. When the mana barrier is depleted, phase 2 begins.

During the first phase of Lady Deathwhisper’s fight, adds will spawn on a 60 second timer.  In 10 man, the adds will alternate which side of the room they spawn on, while in 25 man they will spawn from both sides every time.  There are two types of adds that can be spawned:

  • Cult Fanatics – Melee mobs that will occasionally buff themselves with Vampiric Might, increasing their damage done and healing themselves.
  • Cult Adherents – Caster mobs that will occasionally shield themselves with Shroud of the Occult, absorbing spell damage and making them immune to interrupts. The adherents will also cast Curse of Torpor, which will cause the victims’ spells to have an increased cool down of 15 seconds unless it is dispelled.

Meanwhile, Lady Deathwhisper will constantly be adding to the chaos. She will target random raid members and place a Death and Decay at their feet. All members within in the green goo of doom must run away the second they see it; at 4500 damage per second, it doesn’t take long to die. She also will cast random shadow bolts on the raid group every 2 seconds. They’re really just a nuisance to heal through rather than anything truly worrisome.

Dark Transformation will cause one of her Fanatics to turn into a giant, shirtless green blob that runs around wearing purples shorts. They do a bit more damage though, so it’s best to have a tank kite them around the room while the dps smush it to smithereens.

Animate dead will resurrect a fallen Fanatic or Adherent. Resurrected fanatics will need to be killed by casters in your group as there are immune to physical damage. Resurrected adherents are immune to spell damage and will need to be killed by hunters or melee dps. See, the kitteh and warriors ADHERE to their targets, while the mages and lockies…FAN AWAY from theirs?  Curse you, fanatics. Ur in my blogz, ruining my mnemonic devicez.

Dominate Mind: Oh, and did I mention in the 25 man version she mind controls? Yep. Get out the polymorph:baby penguin! Unless you’d rather have your little ball of fury arms warrior come up to your holy priest and turn her into a fail angel.

Once a wave of adds is finished, all dps should move to Deathwhisper to bring her mana barrier down until the next set of adds spawn.

For healing the first phase of this fight on 10 man, usually one healer is assigned to watching the tanks. The other 2 cover any incidental damage from her AoE spells, and help dps her mana shield when the raid feels stable.

On 25 man, the healing gets a bit complicated. I will give each tank their own personal healer, with a pally beaconing the tank in charge of kiting any Fanatics that are turned into the lumbering green giants. There is usually no room for healers to dps, as the death and decay and shadow bolts seem to take the majority of our respective mana pools. Keep healers near anyone capable with a taunt or a crowd control mechanic; you will usually be the first to catch the attention of your insane team mates, and as most classes will be able to one shot the squishiest of healers, it’s better to have someone around who can protect you when the giant purple gnome is running straight for you.  You’ll want to have someone (or multiple people) dedicated to removing the Curse of Torpor, or your healers will be in for a nasty surprise.

If you’re having trouble getting into phase 2, it might behoove you to set one of your dps (preferably a ranged so that she doesn’t cast death and decay within her footprint) to attack her throughout the fight. Another trick you might want to try is to cast heroism when her shield is at or below 20% and just burn through.

Phase 2

This is when Lady Deathwhisper comes to deal with you bothersome scrubs herself!  The adds will stop spawning, but Deathwhisper gains 4 more abilities: Touch of Insignificance, Summon Vengeful Shade, Frostbolt and Frostbolt Volley.

Touch of Insignificance is a debuff placed on your tanks that will reduce their threat by 20% for each stack (though sometimes an impatient druid or warrior might get a stack – that just makes them gleeful). This requires some tank switch-a-rooing, but all in all it just means that as healers, you need to know which tank is getting frostbolts to the face when.

Summon Vengeful Shade will…wait for it….SUMMON A VENGEFUL SHADE! Crazy idea, right? Basically the shade is a little purple ghostie you need to get away from or it will explode and hurt you and everyone around you. You can’t damage it, you can’t root it. You just need to run with your robes hiked up and shrieking like a little blood elf… *ahem*

Frostbolts are 2 second casts that can be interrupted. If not, prepare for your tank to take some pretty heavy damage.

Frostbolt Volley has a 4 second cast that should be interrupted as many times a possible, or count on your entire raid eating a 13k icicle simultaneously. Even if you’re a resto shaman, now’s a good time to have Wind Shear on your bars.

During phase two, the most important task for healers is to be aware of their surroundings. One Vengeful Shade exploding around the same time as a death and decay or uninterrupted Frostbolt Volley is pretty much a guarantee for you to be spending the rest of the fight on the floor, tasting the death and decay (hint: it does not taste like pistachio ice cream).  Also, because the tanks will probably have to move Deathwhisper out of death and decay occasionally, it’s imperative to watch where they’re leading her; the pillars on the top of her platform make excellent line-of-sight obstructions.

The healing assignments are likely to stay the same as phase one, as Deathwhisper really isn’t any harder on the tanks than her minions were.  Focusing Deathwhisper and having her cast bar visible can be a really helpful way to prepare for a Frostbolt Volley, allowing you to queue up any AoE heals before everyone has already gotten a snowball to the face. Mass dispel is also handy to have on hand to dispel the slowing debuff that lingers after the frost spells are cast.

The most important part of the Deathwhisper fight is being able to knock down her mana shield in a timely fashion; after that it’s a simple awareness game as her health isn’t very high and her damage can be very manageable.

Good luck and happy raiding!

My little not-so-little hunter and her bestest friend Desja, managed to make it out to Howling Fjord other night. But alas, it was time to cook dinner, so the little mage had to entertain herself while the hunter went off to the kitchen to make them some delicious baked potato soup. But a soup of that tastitude takes quite some time to make, even though the hunter came back every now and again to make sure her new puppy was still happy.  She found the puppy and the mage were in cahoots, determined to wreak havoc in the dwarven inn they were resting their tired heals!

Look at how Desja convinced Penelope to stand on the table so she could get on top of the inn’s lantern! The tricksy frost mage knew Hyacinthe couldn’t follow her on top of the candle!

When Hiacynthe came back from the sweltering kitchen, Desja was no where to be found! She searched at gnome level for nearly a quarter hour before Penelope barked cheerfully at the doorway. Hiacynthe slowly lifted her gaze much, much higher, and found the cheeky mage giggling from a top the doorway.

While Hiacynthe made her way back in to the kitchen to add the wild shoveltusk bacon to the bubbly stew, Desja craftily cast Invisibilty and snuck her way onto a shelf above the cutting block.

Desja got hit over the head multiple times with a frying pan when she scared the panties off of Hiacynthe. Luckily, Edainne was just a hop, skip, and jump away to bandage up Desja’s wounds.

And that, my dear friends, is what happens when you get an antsy gnome who asks her hunter to make dinner rather than just conjuring up some delicious strudel.

Love (n.): a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection

To understand where I’m going with this idea, I think it’s crucial for you to know the definition of the word love that I’m using. Also, it probably behooves you to know a bit about the person who’s writing this blog. **Also, I’m really not trying to be a creeper in this post. I’m just honestly expressing an emotion that usually gets set aside in video games**

I am a firm believer in love (of any kind, but specifically the above definition), and I am extremely affectionate. Remember when you were in kindergarten, and you met your first real friend? You were always excited to see her and unabashedly admitted you loved her and she was going to be your bestest friend forever.   I guess you could say I never grew out of that; people become my friends, no matter how quickly, and I love them.

To put it shortly, I’m a social, warm-and-fuzzy, chi-loving hippy.  I love to love people.  And, loving people, for me, is easy. By that I mean I am quickly able to care for someone I might have just met a few hours before.  It’s not automatic; I can be as judgmental and snarky as the next person, as exhibited last night when I sat fuming at a priest in my random dungeon. But, sooner or later everyone exposes themselves to be human, and that’s usually around the time I realize they are no less deserving of my care and kindness than anyone else (it turned out said priest didn’t speak English, and after some Spanish-Portuguese piecing together, I ended up being able to help him a little bit, but until I realized he spoke another language, I was completely annoyed at his lack of responses and general noobish play style).

How do you express love in a game?

I think, as a female gamer (omgawdnowai!), it can be hard to determine how to appropriately express your affections. I know in person I can always bake cookies or run up to greet my friend with a hug, or approach someone who’s looking miserable to make sure they’re ok.  As a young woman smaller than most large dogs, I can confidently say that a cartoon chipmunk looks more threatening than I. But that’s where the trouble in game begins.

In a game like WoW, other players can’t see me, and I can’t see other players. I can’t tell if my actions and words are making them uncomfortable or confused, and they can’t tell if I’m genuinely caring for them, or if I’m nothing more than the ever-present caricature of a female gamer that insists we’re all attention-starved emotional train wrecks that just want people to dote on them.  Then, there’s always the fear that your innocent love will be misinterpreted. You can be labeled as creepy, or maybe give people the wrong idea of the nature of your love. It’s a fine line to toe. And there seems to be an attitude amongst a lot of players that where it’s ok to criticize and berate players extensively, it’s not ok to love them. You don’t know them irl, after all.

Only, you do. Whatever you’re doing in game, however you’re using it to escape your normal life, it’s still YOUR LIFE. The people you meet are still REAL PEOPLE. And just because you can’t see someone every day face-to-face doesn’t mean you’re not really their friend.

So what’s an affectionate gal to do?

Usually, I break it down into two categories. For the people who I’ve known long enough to hope they’ve caught glimmers of my personality, I /love. For everyone else, from the random pug to the hordie who stood still so I could shower him with rose petals,  /hug will suffice. It lets them know I appreciate them without making people feel awkward about being emotionally involved with a stranger.

I think personal boundaries are where the essence of this rambling boils down to. My boundaries, in terms of honest affection, are few. I’m willing to be loved and to love. I know others whose personal bubbles are much thicker. And I’ve learned to respect that. But it doesn’t mean I care about them any less.

Looking back, I wish I had thought about this post during the Love is in the Air festivities. It would have fit in so nicely with the themes floating around the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it didn’t really hit me until this weekend.  I met a bunch of really new, and awesome, people in the WoW community, and I wanted to find some way to express my gratitude and joy in meeting them, but without making myself out to being the crazy chick who can’t find her way out of the social paper bag.

I guess I’ll end this with a proposition: if you have ever cared about you’ve met through game, even if it was in one Sunwell Achievement pug, let them know.  Even if it’s just a small emote. Everyone, I think, feels good knowing that someone out there likes them.

So, to anyone reading this, I ❤ you. Yes. You. You are a friend, a guildie, a new acquaintance. And you are loved and appreciated. It might not be the strongest love of a thousand suns that will be infinite and everlasting. But somebody, even if I’m just a relative stranger, cares about you.  And I’m willing to be honest about it because from what I’ve seen in the WoW community is that people are generally good and ready to care about one another.  And that kind of gives me hope for the rest of the world.

I may or may not have been sucked into twitter over this past weekend.

>.>

Alright, that was kind of an obvious fib. It’s not my fault that there were so many new people to meet and coo over!

If you’re on twitter, and I didn’t know it yet, say hi to me @LightandLeafy.

And because I’m a blogger, and therefore slightly (very?) egocentric, I signed up for a formspring.me account so people could get to know me better. Answering random questions is just a fun idea!

So, if you’re as bored at work as I am and have some burning question you’re dying to ask me, click here =)

Ok, enough with the self-promotion. Time to get back to the REAL post I was writing.

*waves shyly*

*shuffles back to work*

Last week I wrote a post looking at the lower spire of Ice Crown Citadel from the perspective of a holy priest who occasionally likes to be discipline. Now, because I promised, here are some tricks and tidbits I’ve picked up while healing on Sairyn and Fluffikins. Again, if there are any other tricks you can think of (and I’m sure you can!), please post something in the comments! I’m still learning the in’s and out’s of healing with leaves, so any other suggestions are highly welcomed!  For organization’s sake, each fight follows the format of what both shamans and druids can do, then druid specific tips, then shaman specific tips. Oy vey.

The Trash to Lord Marrowgar

Like I’ve mentioned before, the trash to Marrowgar is pretty simplistic, but there’s always something you can do to make these fifteen minutes of rep go smoothly

Hotting up the melee. It’s kind of like being a priest spreading out the renew love. Only it’s better on a druid because you can toss around hots faster than those shiny necklaces at Mardi Gras. I swear, the first few times I did the trash in ICC I didn’t even realize the packs of skeletons exploded because the druid had the melee so hotted up. Usually I go with a rejuv and 1 to 2 stacks of lifebloom, depending on how many melee dps I have in the group.

Or, you can just chain heal. No matter how hot your healers may be (oh oh, I went there!), normally your group will want to make sure each of the exploders die individually. I have my chain heal set up as a mouse over macro so that I can keep an eye on the current target’s health, with my trigger finger ready to go as soon as the skelly’s health gets to about 10%.

Interrupts! Sure, you can chain spam shackle undead to interrupt the Nerubian’s from casting their dark binding spell. But what if you have no priests?! The heals shouldn’t be so demanding that you can’t take your eyes away from grid/vuhdoo/x-perl for a moment to catch a interrupt or two. I feel a lot of the time we forget moves that don’t come into play in our day-to-day instancing/grinding. Now’s the time to work on your Wind Shear muscle memories.

Instant casts are teh best! By this point, we know the big guys will try to interrupt our spells. To those big guys I say, eat my instant casts! The only sure fire way to not be locked out if you can’t be bothered to pay attention to your boss timer warnings is to cast spells that can’t be interrupted.

Lord Marrowgar

Keep a rejuv/riptide on yourself. It’s common knowledge that Marrowgar has a crush on my druid. So, every time I see that his bone spike is coming off cool down, I plan ahead to have a rejuv on myself. Worst case scenario is that I did a bit of over healing. Best case is that the other healers don’t need to worry so much about their limp tree impaled next to Marrowgar’s butt. I’ve started to do the same with Sairyn’s riptide just in case Marrowgar decides that draenei are just as cute.

Stick to single target healing. It gets a little messier here. I admit freely that maybe my raid teams are just not as coordinated as others’. If you all manage to stay pretty close together during the whirlwind phase, please feel free to skip this and move on. If your team also runs around like litter of kittens during bath time, this might bear mentioning. On fights where everyone is taking damage, it’s instinctual to cast one spell to heal them all. Your intention is admirable, but the reality is that even if you have 5 people within your heal radius, it is unlikely they are going to be close enough to one another to bounce a chain heal all 4 times or to receive the splash of a wild growth. Generally is just simpler and more effective to hit each individual player with a quick heal and be done with it.

Guess what has the same length cool down as BOOONEEEE STORMMMMM? BARRKKK SKINNN! Not quite as epic as I had hoped. Oh well. You can still pop your skin at the beginning of his whirlwind phase in order to get safely away from his twirling axe. And it’ll be back up and ready to use the next time Marrowgar decides to bring out his inner ballerina.

Tanks aren’t the only ones who can use Earth Shield. Yes, you’ll want to keep it on one (generally the squishier tank) while Marrowgar is standing in place and saberlashing, but think of where it could be most effective during his whirlwind phase. Is there a certain dps who seems to lag a bit getting out of the way of the cold flames? Or a clothie who always gets caught behind one of the candelabras? Maybe they would be better candidates for a little earthy loving than the tanks with stacked armor and quick cold flame reflexes.

Totems are tasty.   Choosing the right totem is a topic for an entire post, but I’ll share 2 I love for this fight as a resto shaman: Frost Resistance and Stoneskin. Now, the way I see it is this: you can either use both totems throughout the fight, or you can plan ahead a little bit and set up 2 of your totem calls – one for the stationary phase and one for the whirlwind phase. Since no one’s really doing much damage during the whirlwind phase, there’s no reason to keep Flame Tongue and Strength of Earth down.  Use your second call to give your raid a little extra frost resistance and armor until Marrowgar settles down again!

Lady Deathwhisper

Curses are the most important thing ever! Both shamans and druids can remove curses. And the curse of torpor is no exception. Essentially, it will increase the cool down of spells cast by the inflicted player. Imagine my surprise when my regrowth had a cool down associated with it. If you are cursed at the same time as another player, be sure to remove your own first. If there are multiple players cursed, follow a hierarchy: healers then tanks then dps.

Hex and Entangling Roots can be used in the 25 man version of the fight. If you see a mind control running towards you, a hex can be a great way of preventing your team mate from smiting you into oblivion. Entangling roots are also a useful tool, but try to root your rather large friend somewhere away from other players so she doesn’t start slapping people around.

Purge, baby, purge! Kind of like how I mentioned priests could dispel the buffs from the purple short wearing monstrosities, only with purge! I think it might be a little harder for restos, though, because purge isn’t generally a spell I expect to be using (then again, I rarely pvp). Just a friendly reminder though: if you have a mage, give him a little time to steal the buff before you purge it. If he still hasn’t and it’s been a good 5 seconds, it’s probably a good idea to remove it before you tank ends up sprawled out on the floor.

Use heroism/blood lust when you’re on the verge of breaking her mana shield. You have 24 seconds until the next set of adds, and Lady’s mana shield is sitting around 16%. Now is the time to heroism and pop cooldowns to help you easily transition into her second phase. Don’t worry about wasting it on the shield and not on the Lady herself; if you’ve made it to phase two, you’re likely to succeed.

Frost resistance is great for phase two. If you have a paladin, an aura is wonderful to help mitigate the damage her aoe frost bolt does to your group. Luckily, you don’t need a pally to provide the resistance if you don’t happen to have one kicking around. Drop a totem, forgo the flame tongue buff, and be happy when you’re chain healing through the frost damage that people aren’t getting hurt more.

All hands on the poop deck! (hehe I wrote poop in my blog. I have the mentality of a 4 year old. /shame)

If you’re on the main boat, stand near the edge so you can heal the jumping tank as he careens towards your ship. If you’re set to be standing on one boat anyways, it pays to be somewhere you can reach both tanks. You’ll be able to spam heals on the tank who’s getting axes chucked at him as he tries to safely land back on your ship.

Trees should probably stay on the main boat. Ok, maybe I always turn into a bear so I can have the rocket butt bear. But generally speaking, I don’t bother flying over from one boat to the next. I stay on the edge of our boat to help heal the tank handling Saurfang, but unless it’s dire, I refuse to jump from one boat to the next because the jumps always switch me out of tree form. It gets expensive after awhile, and for whatever reason it lags me to hell when I’m on the way down. It’s just easier, and a bit safer, if I bounce (rocket-free) around the deck of one ship.

Honestly, shamans, I don’t have much else for you here. Sorry. *averts gaze bashfully*

DBS (Does Bake Snickerdoodles? Hrm not quite right. I need to work on effeminizing Saurfang’s abbreviation).

Healing through Marks. Typically, I assign one healer per mark. There’s not too much you can do to get through the damage except to time your cool downs to the duration of the fight, and focus on your assigned target. Marked players will require heavy healing, and even the slightest distraction could mean death. On my druid, I normally roll all of my hots, followed by nourish spam and swift mend on cool down. On my shaman, marked characters get my earthshield and lesser healing wave spam. Sometimes, if the mark happens to be near another player, I will bounce a chain heal off of him to help keep the raid topped off. On both characters, I save nature’s swiftness for that oh-dear-lord moment that usually occurs near the end of the fight.

Helping your ranged dps, one root at a time. I found that healing really wasn’t intense the first half of this fight, no matter which character I was on. So, I took to keeping my druid in her caster form to help root the blood beasts, buying the ranged dps a little more time for kiting the adds. You’ll just need to be careful to make sure no one is in melee range while the add is rooted, or the beastie will turn to nomnom on your friend.

Rawr! I’mma big scary bear! If you’re confident, you can shift into bear form and taunt a blood beast to you to get it away from the tanks and melee. Because you’re not normally a bear, it’ll be easy for the ranged dps to pull the beast off of you. You can also use this in an emergency if you see a beast ready to chow down on someone in range. If you do taunt the blood beast though, remember to start running away. It’s not doing your team much good if you’re allowing yourself to become a snack to an overgrown blood worm.  This can also be a useful strategy if you’re running with a very low amount of ranged dps.

Let’s talk about rebirth: don’t use it if you don’t know how they died. If a person died because of a Mark of the Fallen Champion, it’s pointless to battle rez them. They’ll only come back to life with the debuff again, and likely die to the amount of damage done in the seconds it would normally take to fill their life bar. This means Saurfang gains an additional 5% of his health back, and it’s a risk that’s usually not reasonable to take. There is an alternate strategy using a paladin that I’ve heard rumor of, but as I have not tried this myself, I’d rather not recommend it to any of you. If you’ve heard anything about the divine intervention strategy, I’d love to know if it was actually a plausible strategy or not.

More totem talk? Right, this probably seems like a no-brainer. But I want to remind you that you can use Earthbind totem to control the blood beasts, much like a druid’s entangling roots.  I recommend placing the totem between the stairs and your kiting dps so that it likely will not be trapped anywhere near something it can gnaw on (i.e. your teammates).

So, I believe I’ve covered everything I’ve thought of in the last few weeks. Clearly, I don’t have as many tips for my shaman friends as I do for my trees, but I’m  hoping to see more Sairyn action in the upcoming weeks, and if I find any new tricks, I’ll be sure to update. Also, apologies for the wall-o-text. I tried to cut it up a bit for the sake of space, and that plan backfired on me.

A few days ago, Professor Beej posted a guest post at World of Matticus asking readers which of the healing classes they chose, and why they felt it was the right match for them. The answers were insightful, and got me thinking.

Do I feel like any of my healers suite me better than others?

I couldn’t really answer this question. There are some I feel more comfortable with, sure. But if I were to go with familiarity, well then Edainne in her discipline spec would probably be on par with Nesme. My reaction time feels about the same for both, and I’m still forgetting some spells that I really should try to use more consistently.

“Why I love healing” is a topic for another post another day. Simply stated though, I do. And though I’m not sure if I can ever suffer from “healing burnout,” I think one of the things keeping healing fresh for me is the ability to switch from one healer to another and have a completely different experience. In the end, I’m just using a different spell to keep the green bars verdant, but haven’t we always been told it’s not about the destination but about the journey?

My healers can reflect my mood, my inspirations for playing at any particular point in time. They each bring something unique to the table, and have lessons to teach me.

Edainne

She is indisputably my main, and as far characters go, I’m most comfortable with her. I like keeping her holy spec versatile so that I can fill whatever role is most needed at the time. She has all my really exciting achievements, all my nostalgic mementos. When I created her, I put a lot of my heart into the process. Before I even got the game, I researched names that would be appropriate (hers is a re-spelling of a Celtic goddess of healing), created her back story and a central idea for the character, and decided that if she was going to be a healer, I was going to pick the class that had the most options (this was before Wrath when most of the healing classes had only a few spells while the priest had, like, a bajillion).

When I’m on Edainne, I love that I have the versatility to do, well, anything! I can blow bubbles, I can punch people to heal them, I can even jump around casting holy nova! Sure, she’s hella squishy in PvP, but I like to think that it was just encouragement to react more quickly than they could kill me.

I learned to heal on Eda. She was my springboard, and as a character she still has loads for me to learn and improve on. Right now, learning to play as a discipline priest has got me thinking about healing in a completely different way: prevention is as important, if not more so, than response. I’m learning to expect damage instead of just fixing it after the fact. I feel like it’s a nice correlation to outside the game experiences. And because of being that priest who always takes lightwell and that priest in Burning Crusade who took Circle of Healing rather than spec into Divine Spirit, I’ve learned to be ok with being different, that I can be just as effective and knowledgeable without being the same as everyone else. Funny how a video game could teach a life lesson…

Sairyn

What I love about Sairyn is that I feel like I could heal through any kind of AoE damage if I casted chain heal fast enough. I love that I can make pulls easier just by knowing which totem is the best for the job. Also, chain heal just LOOKS fun. And the idea of healing everyone by linking them together just fits my mentality nicely.

I tried for a long time to force Sairyn into being my damage-dealer. Everyone else was going to be a healer, but Sairyn just HAD to be elemental; I think I truly felt that people would think I was crazy if all I did was heal on each character. Through lack of practice, no doubt, whenever I dps’d on her I felt like she was underperforming. So, I wouldn’t play her as often, which would lead to her gear falling behind, which would lead to even more performance issues. A pretty nasty cycle I had gotten myself into, no?

Just before 3.3 came, I decided it was time to stop pretending that I was some well-rounded, can play anything well sort of player (like Osy is). I’m happiest when I’m tossing chain heals, and that’s ok.  Sairyn encouraged me to be honest with myself, and I appreciate her so much more for it. I no longer toss her to the side to play with other characters first, which also helps me deal with guilt I felt after abandoning her at 70 until Wrath came out.

Fluffikins

Fluffi never fails to make me smile. She was the first character I leveled completely by myself, and I’m really proud of that. When I started playing her, I thought moonkins were the most adorable thing in the game, and I couldn’t help but want one. Around 70, though, I had watched Osy’s druid heal for long enough to know that I wanted a tree too!

After playing a priest for so long, having multiple hot’s and instant casts was something I really had to get used to. Fluffi taught me the value of having patience, and I learned a lot about timing. She gave me a lot of experience in preparing for in-coming damage since I could hot everyone up before a pull even began.

I think I enjoy party healing the most on her. I feel almost as versatile as I do on Edainne; Fluffi has tremendous capacity for healing output, even if her gear isn’t as tricked out as others’. And having tree form lets me focus on healing 100% time; the cost of shifting in and out of tree form is too great to want to dps while bored.

Then, of course, there’s the bouncing. And the fact that everything I heal with looks like a flower. But, oh god, the bouncing!!!!! I feel like I’m a little kid again skipping down the cold, Scourge infested hallways of Ice Crown!

Nesme

Nesme is kind of like the final piece of an abstract jig-saw puzzle: with her, I can finally see the entire picture, though I still might not understand exactly what I’m looking at. She has helped me understand that paladining requires so much more than binding holy light to every key then unceremoniously rolling my head against the keyboard. Which of my spells will save the person with aggro? Which will save the person entombed? How fast does my holy light actually get after I’ve casted it the first time, and how long until my haste buff wears off and I need to judge again?

She makes the game feel new to me again. I know nothing about paladins, really, except that I can spam holy light on a tank like nobody’s business. And that Patchwerk becomes the most funnest fight evar when you’re a holy pally. Hellooooo beacon!

I’m not comfortable playing with her yet (zomgwings!), but that’s what makes her such a breath of fresh air every time I do. I have to work to save people from their own stupidity! And it made me give much more credit to other pallies who I thought had the easiest job in the world.

Maybe I’ll play Eda when I need to have the fast reaction time, or Fluffi when I’m exuberant and just want to bounce. Maybe Sairyn will come out when I’m feeling kind of enchanted by nature, and Nesme when I want a challenge and learning experience. Each of my healer’s has a special place in my heart. And I’m lucky enough to feel that, in some way or another, they’re appropriate for me.

I’m luckier still to have enough friends to let me heal on as many characters as I want. ❤

So, what about you? Does a particular character, healer or not, resonate more with you than others?