The People Vs. Heroic Nefarian

25 May

This will be the second or third week of attempts that my guild has spent working on Heroic Nefarian.  We have come a long way since we first started, but we still have a lot of work to do.  This mostly revolves around interrupt coordination and pushing out the most DPS possible, in order to get 2 Electrocutes in the first phase.  Healing is not the issue here

However, I do try to be aware of my performance and so I’m usually one of the first people to pore over the logs once the raid is over, to see how I did and what I can possibly improve on.  At first glance, I could stand to improve quite a bit.

Overall, I was #6 on the meters for the entire night’s worth of attempts.  I was a bit perturbed by this, for obvious reasons.  I don’t often show that low on the meters.  I know we tell ourselves that the numbers don’t matter, but they do.  You may not be asked to sit or get benched, because you’re showing lower than other people.  But it does matter and to a certain degree it should matter.  How much is the question. 

Let’s take a look at my overall healing done.

From looking at the previous chart, you can see that I was the healer with the highest Active Time and in that time I put out about 46.3 million in healing.  I was slightly below our holy paladin and above our discipline priest.  Our resto shaman and at least two of our resto druids completely blew me out of the water (or lava) on this one.  According to the chart above, I ended the night with about 34% overheal, which is not bad. 

Our strategy right now revolves around seven healers and in P1, I was assigned to heal the raid and help heal the add tank, along with our holy paladin.  Our paladin was able to keep up the add tank mostly by himself and I provided assistance with PoM, Renew and the occassional shield or two.  Most of my energy was spent on the raid and healing through Tail Swipes and people who took too much damage coming out of Dominion.  I was also in charge of handling raid damage from Electrocute.

Our raid leader would call out when Nefarian was about to reach 90% and 80%, indicating an Electrocute was on the way.  I would pre-emptively drop Sanctuary and pop Stoneform (for the first one) and then begin casting PoH,  so that it would land on a group slightly after Electrocute hits.  I would then use CoH and heal each remaining party with PoH to help top them off again. 

The second Electrocute was much trickier, because people were going from being near Nefarian to racing across the room towards Onyxia to finish her off before she blew up the raid.  Most of my heals revolve around people being somewhat near each other and they just weren’t.  They were either out of range before I could get my PoH off, there weren’t nearly enough around to warrant using Sanctuary or CoH wouldn’t manage to reach six people.  So that one became much more difficult to clean up after.

Once P2 started and the lava began to rise, I would get on my pillar and immediately pop Divine Hymn.  While that’s channeling, I would prepare another Sanctuary and cast that once the Hymn was finished.  I would drop a Lightwell in whatever corner of the pillar I could find and call it out on Vent.  This was followed up by PoM and CoH on cooldown and repeated use of PoH and sometimes Binding Heal.  Typically our P2 attempts would go south because of people not being aware they had Cinders and blowing up their pillar or interrupts were not being sorted out to cover those who had Cinders and couldn’t otherwise do their jobs.  I think we only saw P3 once or twice last night and it felt outstanding to get that far and to know we were making progress.

So what can I do to improve my performance or my throughput?  I have a few ideas.

Swap my regen trinket for another throughput trinket.  I have been using Darkmoon Card: Tsunami and the Vibrant Alchemist Stone ever since I was able to craft and equip it and it served me well, for the most part.  Heroic Jar of Ancient Remedies dropped and I was quick to try that out and it helped me through a handful of encounters.  I feel like I had a lot of mana to spare last night and that I maybe didn’t need as much or I could have used more raw healing instead.  The extra haste probably wouldn’t hurt, either.

Suggest we take 6 healers instead of 7.  I feel like the only time we really need a 7th healer is for P2 and possibly P3.  But if P3 is anything like P1, which I believe it is, then I’m not sure we would need that many.  Maybe swapping that 7th healer for another DPS would be a vast improvement and provided we can clean up our interrupts and how people react to the Cinders and being in the lava, we would naturally require less healing to be done and it could be much better all around.

Promote more Lightwell usage.  I know it’s tough to find a spot on the pillar that’s already not occupied by someone or something and that people are able to see.  I realize that.  But I do feel like the lack of Lightwell usage also seriously cut into my overall healing done.  On a good night, Lightwell healing can be my top 3rd or 4th heal.  Last night it was my 10th highest.  As luck would have it, the Lightwell Geespot add-on that I couldn’t get to work for the life of me the other day magically turned on last night.  Needless to say, I had to issue an apology or two for the add-on telling people they shouldn’t have clicked on the Lightwell because they had too much health.   

I’m open to other suggestions, because I was really not pleased with my performance last night.  I know I did well, considering the circumstances.  But I do feel like I can do more and do better and maybe I’m just suffering from tunnel vision and not seeing the big picture.  Let’s see if I can make some improvements tonight (along with everyone else) and maybe post some happier Tweets that include the news that we have finally downed this fucker.

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20 Responses to “The People Vs. Heroic Nefarian”

  1. Zelmaru May 25, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Hehe, yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to use Lightwell Geespot before it had a config menu. I did not want that feature and did not want to use the addon until I could turn that feature off. Just set it to “false” or announce to self only.

  2. Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Oh it had a configuration menu and I tested it extensively over the weekend (or I thought I did). I tried using it in a raid, in a party, by myself. Nothing.

    All of a sudden last night, I see a whisper show up on my screen that appears to have come from me and telling one of our DKs that he shouldn’t have clicked the Lightwell because he had too much health. Talk about mortified!

    I also added a link to your Geespot guide to this post. Thanks for reminding me!

  3. Derevka May 25, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Some notes for you…

    Phase 2 is the hardest Phase from an execution standpoint; one missed interrupt could spell disaster. Healers should do whatever they need to do to be sure they enter P2 with as much mana as possible… you’ll potentially bleed through all of it, but you’ll get those CDs back in P3. (you’ll want an EARLY P3 Mana tide if available)

    Transition from P1 to P2:
    DPS on the pillars should/can assist with healing. (Feral/Boomkin Tranqs, SPriest Hymns) to make the transition easier and stable while everyone gets up on the pillar and healers get everything under control. If a pillar has more than one CD, save that CD for when 1-2 healers on that pillar are cindered.

    Cinders:
    Not being aware of cinders is fail on those people’s shoulders. DBM, RW2, or whatever boss mod you use should be configured (out of the box) to be able to manage to alert you when you have cinders.

    Power Auras also will– my aura has a big Cinder Icon complete with a countdown to explosion and an audio cue notifying me. Cindered folks should wait until 4-5 seconds remain, JUMP out from their pillar away from other cinders swim out (keep moving) explode, then return. Players who can immune cinders should do so (Pally Bubble, Cloak, etc…)

    Lightwell:
    I typically cast Lightwell on the lip of the pillar during the transition. Lightwells should be clicked if/when one (or both) healers are Cindered and have to move from the pillar.

    Be certain groups are assigned to pillars and party make ups are there for maximization of Vampiric Embrace and POH efficiency.

    Interrupts:
    MUST be handled, have a primary interrupt and then back up assigned. Watching the timer for your cinder, and jumping at 4-5 seconds could allow you to get that interrupt– however you’re better off calling for your backup if needed. (Remember Shaman you can Wind Shear from range as you swim away) If you are cindered and will miss your interrupt… CONCISE vent calls are needed. “Interrupt 10:00” is sufficient instead of calling “Derevka Cindered I need Oestrus to interrupt on 10:00!” It clutters vent, and potentially could speak over another call out.

    From a priest POV on the pillar, POH, and yes… renew can be your friend. I often weave normal Heal in on my pillar. We usually run 2 healers per pillar, and have at least 1 hybrid Hymn/Tranq available for each pillar. I also will GS a target if we get 3 cinders at once on my pillar, just to allow for me to focus on the other players taking bigger damage.

    • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 9:26 am #

      Hey you!

      Our P2 would honestly not be an issue, were it not for the interrupts and the Cinder management and I believe we had a few issues with the timing of some pillars DPSing faster than the others.

      Our healers that we have could do the job, but we can’t heal through Blast Waves. So I really don’t feel we need to tweak too much on *our* end, but I do like some of the suggestions that you have made and have considered one or two of them, myself.

      I typically go into P2 with about 75% or more mana (usually more) and I have a Jar cooldown up and everything else (HoH, fiend, pots). I was using GS on healers who got blown off by Cinders, so I could make sure they could come back and help me keep the rest of the pillar up when they returned. I could maybe stand to use it on others, too.

      Lightwell was being cast on the lip, but it wasn’t being clicked. I can understand why it may not have been (tough to see, interact with), but I don’t know what else I can do to change that.

      I was actually tempted to go Serenity for the pillar, like we do in 10 man. I could probably keep a few Renew rolling and then CoH off cooldown. I wasn’t sure if that would be more helpful than Chakra: Sanctuary or not.

      Speaking of… do you advocate using HW:S reliably on the pillars or do you feel the mana is better spent elsewhere?

      • Derevka May 25, 2011 at 9:36 am #

        Call for Lightwell use. For example if we have one (or forbid: BOTH) healers Cindered in p2 you’ll hear on vent: “10:00 Both healers cindered, click holy bowls”.

        Sanctuary… If you can spare the mana, its still some healing. But, you’re still over the 6 person diminishing returns. The POH/COH/Renew buff is worth being in Sanctuary Chakra alone.

        • Derevka May 25, 2011 at 9:37 am #

          Also… you should not be expected to heal through a Blast Nova… Is it POSSIBLE? Sure… but it shouldn’t get through.

          • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 9:48 am #

            Don’t get me wrong. We’re not *expected* to heal through them. I was just saying that we do well up until that happens and then it all goes south. It’s not really the healing on each pillar that I feel needs to be improved. We just get overwhelmed because of factors outside of our control.

            I look forward to seeing your videos about this one and other hard modes, too!

            Will you be speaking in them?

          • Derevka May 25, 2011 at 9:58 am #

            I might do 2 versions… 1 with just music, the other with a walkthrough/explanation of whats gone down.

  4. Beruthiel May 25, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I don’t know how many of your guildmates run Power Auras (we require all of our raiders to have it) but here is a huge, obnoxious cinders aura with timer:

    Version:4.12; anim1:4; buffname:Explosive Cinders; x:2; bufftype:2; texture:10; alpha:1; sound:59; y:190; timer.h:3; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:114

    It should be white, but for some reason when some people imported it, it was green – so you may have to adjust the color 🙂

    As far as phase two goes, have you guys considered lusting in that phase to help get out of it more quickly? Additionally, I will also reiterate what Derevka said about having Offspec healers help out in a pinch. It’s by far the hardest phase on healing.

    As for interrupts, it’s the bane of the encounter, and it sucks. For the interrupters, for the raid when they fail, it’s just terrible encounter design in my mind. The only suggestions that I can give on that front is the have lots of clear, concise communication and work out back ups in advance. Interrupts in this encounter even spawned my one attempt at flow charting:

    As for 6 vs. 7 healers – don’t discount that 7th healer until you’ve had more time delving into phase 3. Phase 3 is really nothing like phase 1, there is a lot more healing coming a lot more rapidly, and you will likely come out of phase 2 low on mana. By the end of most of our Nef kills, any healer not assigned to the Nef tank is going “OMG ARE WE DONE YET I’M SO OOM”.

    Don’t hesitate to nudge me if you have questions!

    • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      I’m sooo sorry about the blog eating your pictures! I really don’t know what happened or why it did that. That’s embarassing.

      >.<

      Anywho. Yes, they should be using BigWigs or DBM or Power Auras and I don't know why they're not or if they are and just ignoring it. I do know it's something that the officers are clamping down on, so I would like to think that should get fixed soon. It does come up in conversation often that people should be aware of the Cinders and such.

      I'll recommend your Power Auras import and I'll also post that spreadsheet (because it's brilliant) on the guild forums, too. I tell ya, between linking your video and this stuff they are going to *know* who you are!

  5. Beruthiel May 25, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Bah – it ate my HTML code for my flow chart 😦

    Here is a link!

  6. Amyranth May 25, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    You said you’re ‘in charge of handling raid damage from Electrocute.’ That’s not a one person job so I hope the other healers are doing what they can to help. It sounds like you personally are doing everything right.

    We require all raiders who don’t have a personal damage reduction CD (like stoneform) to have and use the TB trinket (both for electrocutes and swimming in lava with cinders) so that is one thing the raid leadership might want to look into. Also be sure you are using raid cooldowns effectively when you can (aura mastery, spirit link, disc bubble thingy, etc.) Obviously a lot of those are limited by range though.

    I strongly agree with the other comments that setting up power auras/tweaking your boss mod(s) is really important. If it’s not immediately obvious to someone that they have cinders, that’s a UI problem. Either there are too many other things going on on the screen or the important debuffs just don’t stand out enough. For me adding sounds (MIAO!)to my power auras helps a lot. 🙂

    This is one of those fights where the healers just have to be patient while the dps/interrupters get their shit together.

    • Amyranth May 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Oh, about lightwell in p2-
      Everyone generally stands in the same places on the platform every attempt. Ask the DPS what the most convenient location for the lightwell would be and be consistent. And yeah, the most important part – Tell them to click it. If you don’t want to clutter vent you can make an obnoxious /yell “CLICK THE FREAKING LIGHTWELL” macro. 😀

    • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Yikes! I probably worded that wrong. My apologies. No, we’re *all* responsible for healing people up from that. What I was trying to say was that other than helping to heal the add tank (which required very little effort from me), it was mostly Tail Swipes and Electrocutes on my end. Sorry if that came out differently than I intended.

      There was talk of asking people to get the TB trinket, but it was never mandatory. I think it was more along the lines of “If you have the marks or could have the marks soon, please get this.” Not “Start farming, bitches!”

      I think I’ll add that bit about Lightwell to the thread on our boards and see if we agree on a half of the pillar that we can all stand on or something.

      Thanks for the tips, Amy!

  7. Troll Toes May 26, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Another option to consider for your trinkets if you have it is the TB trinket (mirror of broken images). It’s really great for electrocutes – especially for add tank healers during P3 who are often out of range of the raid – and easing the pressure off a bit during phase 2 if there are unfortunate cinders.

    Best of luck getting him down!

  8. Mellamo May 27, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    I looked you up and did a quick audit. Now I know it is personal preference and play style of why some holy priests go for haste vs. mastery but for Heroic Nefarian you will see much more throughput if you lean towards more mastery. Holy priest’s time to shine is on the pillars. As long as you coordinate with your raid leader and make sure you are in the same group as your pillar and the 3 additional are also in a group your numbers will go up.

    I now go disc instead of holy for the much loved barrier for crackles but when I was holy here was my rotation: Lightwell on pillar pre-transition, PoM/renew/bubble on me swimming up, Bheal + PoH g1,CoH,Bheal + PoH g2, rinse and repeat. Switch to Inner Will, throw out some renews and then call out to your healing class DPS to use his/her tranq/DH/HR and pop a concentration potion. I also use the trinket from TB to make Cinder’s a little easier when it is on me along with crackles. Yes, you lose intellect but the mastery makes it ok to equip.

    Another suggestion would be for when you do crackles to make sure you are PoHing each individual group in succession rather than multiple times on the same group, this will boost your numbers because of the Glyph of PoH ticking on everyone + mastery at the same time.

    Hope this helped and Good luck!

    • Oestrus May 27, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      Hi there,

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t think I’ve seen you on here before and it’s always good to hear new opinions and see some fresh faces on my page.

      We were doing something similar to what you suggested. I would drop the Lightwell before the pillar started to sink and then I would cast Divine Hymn once I got on the pillar safely. Were you casting BH to get 2 stacks of Serendipity and then using PoH or was that not a factor in that decision? I tend to get locked into doing 2 BH and then a PoH for that very reason. I may need to talk myself out of that habit, if it doesn’t work.

      I also notice you didn’t mention Sanctuary. Do you not drop it on the pillars at all or do you put the mana towards other spells that could be more useful?

      And I’m definitely not casting PoH over a group that I just cast it on. I’m very mindful of letting the mastery and the Glyph PoH tick down. I’m a big fan of those!

      Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      🙂

  9. Mellamo May 27, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    With the Bheal it was really dependent on the situation but usually it is just the once. Haha yeah I am new, I did a google to see what the priest community had to say lately and yours popped up 🙂

    I am not a big fan of sanctuary. I love mastery and with there being 8 people on the platform it seems to bring the overall ticks down from my other heals :(, not to mention I would rather spend the mana elsewhere like you said.

    With the PoH comment I made, I know a lot of priests overlook the usefulness of having the glyph, glad to see you are not one of them! 🙂

    • Oestrus May 27, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      I just checked out your blog and thought to myself “How did I not know this existed?” I will definitely be keeping an eye on you, from here on out!

      Good to know about the BH usage and Sanctuary. Some tiny part of me wanted to try going Chakra: Serenity on this one, but it still sounds like Sanctuary is the way to go.

      I do love the Glyph of PoH, but I still wish there was a way to get the HoT to track on VuhDo. They still haven’t added that yet and I don’t know how to customize it myself. Do you happen to have any suggestions on that?

      • Mellamo May 27, 2011 at 9:06 am #

        I use healbot to track all my hots/custom debuffs/buffs but I know the other priests do not use what I use, I will ask around and let you know what I find out! I do know if you watch the mastery ticks from PoH it lines up with the glyph so that is something to think about if you track your mastery.

        I did try the Chakra: Serenity once or twice on the platforms but found it overwhelming to try and keep renews rolling on that many people with our lovely slow heal and fheal/bheal that often seemed too mana inefficient.

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