Posts Tagged ‘ Healing ’

Protting, Good For The Laggards

I don’t heal anymore.  I just don’t.  I can do it if pressed, but it’s a job I’d much rather foist on an unsuspecting hero.  However, I still haven’t completely lost my lust for support (my antics as a carnage-crazed sword-wielding Mesmer maniac to the contrary).

And that’s where Protection comes in.

Protection and Healing go hand in hand.  As a Protection Monk, it’s my job to make the healer’s job easier.  In essence, I’m supporting the support.  I can’t even operate on my own.  In a pinch, a healer can run her energy dry by propping up the crumbling tower that is her teammates, but as Prot I have no recourse to recover my team from heavy damage.  I can soften the blows, mitigate the damage, even take pressure off the healer by strategic use of Heavan’s Delight and Divine Healing, but once that large hurt has happened, to one target, I’m not very useful.

Why, oh why, then, would I want to play like this?  One word: Lag, both biological and electrical.

My reaction times have never been my strongest feature.  When I used to heal I always felt frantic, like I was bailing a leaky boat and always trying to catch up.  Protection isn’t at all like that.  Let’s take a look at basic play styles.

Healing

Reactive.  You must watch your party’s health bars and refill them when they drop.  Sometimes you use delayed heals and heal over time skills to anticipate damage.  You need to make sure you stay well back because you squish easily and, as a result, it’s easy to be out-run by the front line.

Protection

Proactive.  You must watch your party’s health bars a little, mostly for conditions or hexes.  You must watch the mini-map for applying skills like Aegis and your weak group heals.  To ensure everyone benefits from area-of-effect protections, you must often be in the mid-line.  You are more vulnerable than an elementalist, but not so vulnerable as an assassin.  You also have protection skills to make yourself a little more difficult to squish.

It’s where my attention ends up being focused and my activity level that marks the greatest difference for me as a Protection Monk.  As a prot, I’m watching the mini-map far more often than actual health bars.  Three of my skills are area of effect, two are direct-target ports, one is condition removal (If you’re hexed you’re SoL with me), one is energy management, and one is Unyielding Aura.  That’s half my active skills being area of effect, three-fifths if you discount the condition removal (which has a decent heal attached which is, incidentally, the best way for me to prop up a fading melee by way of extra Divine Favor heals).

Because I’m so hyper-aware of where I am in relation to my whole group, I’m almost never left behind.  When we encounter monsters I’m immediately casting Glyph of Lesser Energy and leading straight into Aegis, followed by a Protective Spirit on whoever I think is going to be getting it in the face (Assassin) then it’s just a matter of rolling around protections, meting out condition removal, and topping up the group as a whole with Heavan’s Delight and Divine Healing.

Very little of what I do is time sensitive.  As long as I’m keeping up a steady rhythm, if I don’t get a protection out right this instant, my party isn’t going to instantly die.  As opposed to if I were healing and someone took a big hit I would then need to immediately heal them or they’ll be eating dust.  As a prot if I ever let it get to that point I’ve already lost.

Which is why protection is particularly good for when I’m lagging.  Even if everyone on screen is skipping about like epileptic humming birds, I can still sit myself down in the middle of everything and steadily toss out protections.  I can be useful without compromising my group, and it feels fantastic.

The other night I did a bunch of disparate runs with Hamstorm Nation [PIG]   .  They hooked me up with a baby black moa in record time, showered me with brotherhood cloths, and even hauled me through a dungeon.  I think it all took only 3 hours.  I got to do a little bit of smiting but, towards the end, I gravitated back to my familiar role of letting the Assassin die Protection.  Those folks are a blast.

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Got Your Back: A Love Letter to Mhenlo

Yesterday’s Zaishen Mission (daily heroic for you WoW folks) was the Dragon’s Lair. For the uninitiated (un-attuned hurr hurr) the Dragon’s Lair is a mission just after a grueling campaign in the desert that culminates with a mano-a-mano fight against your doppleganger (this sucks for healers, btw).

Each Guild Wars mission has an optional bonus. Complete the bonus and you’ll get more experience plus credit that counts towards something-or-other. (I haven’t really been paying attention).

This is the chronicle of yesterday’s mission:

To: Mhenlo (Healer Henchman)
Postmarked: Droknar’s Forge • Routed Through: Rata Sum

My Dearest Mhenlo,

I hope you are doing well. I am writing to you from the scenic slopes of the Southern Shiverpeaks. The climate leaves me wishing for something a little more substantial than tattoos, but after the punishing sun of the Crystal Desert, I find it a relief.

Having defeated my doppleganger, I headed to the Dragon’s Lair to seek Glint’s blessing so that I may take the fight to the vile Mursaat.

I found fighting companions quickly (I’m sure you’re aware that those such as us are always welcome). The warrior in the party nearly brought me to tears, however, when he demanded that all members make use of their innate self-healing abilities. He said this was to give myself and the other monk an easier time of things. Though I would love to say our success was due to my unparalelled ability as a protection monk, I suspect this thoughtfulness was the real deciding factor.

So, equipped and ready, we set off through the Dragon’s Lair. Each facet was more difficult than the last, yet we persevered. Halfway through, I believe after the Mesmer facet, our other monk was struck with a terrible malady. As we passed into the new area his body was stiff and unresponsive. We were forced to continue without him.

I would be lying if I said that I was not afraid. I have not followed in your healing footsteps, dearest Mhenlo. Dwayna calls me to be a shelter for those needing protection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure but, no matter. My skills were sufficient until the very end.

You see, someone (the assassin I suspect, hot-headed fools that they are) decided to collect a souvenir. One of Glint’s precious eggs.

Her fury was such that I have never seen before. Even with my best sheltering spells I could not keep my comrades alive, and the healing spells I did have weren’t enough to staunch the damage.

Instead, I did my best to stay out of the way and resurrect my fallen party members. Unyeilding Aura is really a fantastic ability, quickly able to turn the tide of a battle such as this. Honestly Mhenlo I don’t know why you haven’t adopted more modern ways.

Well, it appears some young Elonian refugees have gotten their hands on some rockets and need my services. Please give my regards to Cynn.

Affectionately yours,
Morgan Ascot

Weekend Highlights!

Why? Because I CAN!

Within the space of thirty minutes I did two things in WoW that I’d swore up and down I’d never ever do, not in a million years.

  1. I bought another Kodo.
  2. I healed.

But Tigerface! You use trees for scratching posts! Your fur is your bond! You only don feathers for fun or profit!

Well, I didn’t change my spec, but I did run to the bank and withdraw the motley assortment of resto/balance gear I’d managed to obtain in my relatively short raiding career. I think the only pieces on me that were still feral were my trinkets and my rings. Really, I was quite suprised by how complete my healing ‘set’ had become.

You might be wondering why, of all people, I was asked to heal. Well, I found myself in an early-morning guild group going to kill the Headless Horseman. We had a hunter, a warrior, two mages, and myself. The only other option was to ping-pong tank between myself, the warrior, and our hunter’s scorpid pet (scorpids are not tenacity pets, and should not really be tanking)

So, I kept my furry build, but donned my tree/feather suit and off to Scarlet Monestary we went. I think I gave the warrior a heart attack the first time. He was wishing for some ‘lock candy and, while nobody died (yay), admitted that I had him rather scared.

The first and second fights were the only ones in which I needed to use my innervate skill, and the second only because that thrice-cursed ghoul lit me on fire while the tank was at 50% and I had to scramble to catch up. It was fun! Could I see myself trading my fur for some bark? No, probably not. Maybe if I was absolutely needed for something, but my spell gear will always take a big backseat to my feral gear.

The kodo? I make no secret of the fact that I dislike kodos. I dislike kodos in the way a tank dislikes it if you leave growl on your pet. I dislike them muchly. But, I was in Mulgore, riding on my spiffy new broom to go trick-or-treat at Bloodhoof village and the kodo handler was right there. I just… couldn’t resist! I bought the other lvl 40 kodo and my first lvl 60 kodo… (wait, that’s lvl 30 now isn’t it?). For you druids who prefer to be part of a secretive cult-of-the-moon as opposed to tribal back-to-the-landish, we only get two flavors of low level kodo. It kinda stinks, and they’re ugly, and look like slugs and… I’ll stop complaining about them now. I still can’t believe I bought not one, but two, and then proceeded to ride my fast one all the way to that little tauren camp south of the crossroads.

Other highlights!

My hunter, little Kowbelle, renamed her pink tallstrider the other day. Her name used to be Ella, now his name is Floyd. Yes, I have a pink tallstrider named Floyd, you got a problem with that? One of our other hunters named his Orange Core Hound Clifford! Does anybody remember Clifford? I think it’s an awesome name for an orange core hound. Tigerfeet whole-heartedly approves.

ALSO! I got new pants! I love new pants. New pants fit properly and are not in need of mending. Yay. Loosing weight rocks, pants that don’t fit anymore don’t.