Monday, April 21, 2008

How to Improve My Game?

So Reclaimed denied my application on Wednesday. They cited poor healing and poor situational awareness as the reasons. And quite honestly, looking at the WWS reports for those raid nights, I agree with them. I had very low total healing, and did a poor job overall.

I'm not sure what it was, maybe it was a bad week, maybe it was because it was the first time I had seen Mount Hyjal and Black Temple, maybe it was adjusting to the speed of their playstyle or maybe it was because my skills are simply not good enough. It's probably a combination of all those factors.

One thing is pretty clear: I need to improve my game. However, I'm not sure how to go about doing that.

Gear and theory-wise, I believe that I am solid. It's more the intangible parts that I need to work on. And kind of honestly, I'm drawing a blank as to how to improve them. Should I do more heroics? Try PvP in earnest?

Any suggestions you guys have would be appreciated.


  1. Quite shocking to hear you been denied on a guild application.

    Not quite sure what to recommend. But I guess if your to improve at something then I can only think you do more of what you want to get better at or do it more oftenti get better at it.

  2. Rohan, if you're having a problem with healing in raids then jumping into heroics and PvP isn't going to solve that problem. The only way you can get better is by doing more raiding. Play to the strengths of your class. I don't know what they asked you to do but I do believe you're at your best when main tank healing with spammed flash of lights.

    Otherwise, poor healing and poor situational awareness doesn't give a whole lot of details. Were people around you dying? Were you dying? Were you taking damage when you weren't supposed to? A lot of it could simply be attributed to inexperience.

  3. Aye

    It was probably situational awareness that got you mate, and the pace probably didnt help. Its tricky for a pala especially to get out of the fire and heal.

    If it was down to raw healing stats then if youre not already using Grid and Clique cast i would try it out. Assign left click to FoL and right to HL (make active only on grid frames) and your away.

    Im prot now but can still pawn some slackers using this and a few mana pots when i put the healing gear on.

  4. I'm following you blog since long ago, and I find your comments always very interesting.

    Your's are not usual reassonings, going almost always one step ahead, so I consider you a clever person and for obious reassons a good player (this is a game, not an engineering degree).

    Your poor performance must be due to lack of experience and poor team coordination (which is also your teammates fault). How many outstanding players (in any sport) need weeks to addapt to a new team?

  5. I agree with the above.

    Doing as good as or better than the rest of the usual team is always hard when they have played together before.

    First time in any place is a lot of: "Oh my god - does this place look cool", "Where the hell is the tank", "My LoS is blocked but to whom?", "Who's the the bomb again?", "WTF - adds from this direction!?!" etc etc.

    What I wonder is: Was you on MT heal duty or raid-heal duty? Or some kind of mix? From my pre tbc healing experience, raid healing is a hell of alot harder. Especially since some range dps dont think about positioning that much.

    And secondly - how many runs did you attend? First run with a good group is more or less follow mode. To actually see what you can do you should have joined on a SSC run or whatever you have experience with so you could show your spatial awareness since that takes experience. You are still imapired since they are used to each other but you are not. But it would be more fair.

  6. One thing I've noticed in my brief forays into healing is that the best means for improvement is simply practicing in the environment you hope to excel in.

    Although, in my experience, PvP healing will, to some extent, help increase your reaction times and situational awareness.

    In PvP, things happen so quickly that reaction time and knowing what's going on around you is absolutely key. But, the mechanics of healing vary quite a bit from PvP to PvE. In PvP, you're going for quick heals, not necessarily mana efficiency over longer periods of time. Why? Faster heals tend to be more reliable for keeping people up in PvP. The heals may be smaller, but by the time a longer-cast/bigger heal goes off, chances are your target's already dead. Also, mana efficiency isn't such a big deal because a full mana bar is only a death away. I've often gotten myself killed intentionally on my priest in the battlegrounds, simply because I was out of mana. You just can't do that in PvE.

    There are a lot of differences between the two environments to consider, but if reaction time and awareness are your concerns, then PvP might be the place to hone those skills.

    Just my two cents.

  7. I agree with the previous comments. It's really hard to be at your best in a new environment. Where should I stand? What is the boss doing now? The more "brain-time" you need to spend on that is less time healing. Especially for a pally that must stand still and heal 99% of the time. The move-heal-move-heal is hard the first times on a new boss. (Thinking of my first times at Aran, Zul'Jin and others, brrr ;-)

  8. From my own experience, having a healing addon (Healbot in my case) makes a big difference in your possible healing output. But you probably already have a setup that works for you.

    I'd recommend PvP to help with situational awareness, reaction times and such. It requires that you max out your class skills as well; use your stun, bubbles, heals, holy shock etc. As others have already noted it's not the same as PvE healing, but it preps you for the unexpected, and that's never a bad thing :)

    Aside from that, well, raiding is an odd beast. Some teams work, some don't. You might get into a group where one or two healers are spamming big heals all the time .. meters aren't everything, and many focus on the meters too much.

    I have to disagree with Matticus when it comes to heroics too, lol .. heroics are great to hone your skills as well, since the damage input is much greater, things are a tad more unpredictable, and you are the only healer there. No one else will pick up your slack.

    Also, playing all three major roles (tank, dps, and healer; i also have a druid, warlock, and hunter) has helped me quite a bit in whatever role I'm in. One gains a better understanding of tanking, CC, and the limits thereof.

    Aside from that, well ... seems like they're a bit harsh. One raid in content you haven't been to before? Yikes. Not exactly the best recipe for top performance ;)

  9. Yes, I have to agree with Jarviz.. Making a decision based on a run in a new raid instance (for you) is not a very helpful or fair.
    There is a lot of stupid arrogance with big raiding guilds (I know because I'm in one..) and a tendency to forget that when we first walked into BT we all had poor situational awarenes, poor healing, dps and everything else.
    Guilds however want ready made raiders without much patience for training which makes it hard to jump from a T4 to a T5 or T5 to T6 guild.. What I would suggest is trying to find a guild that is itself just learning that instance so you have a little more time to get accustomed to it. Best of luck in trying to find that right guild for you.

  10. Come heal for me Rohan. I'll find you a roster spot =D

    Honestly, awareness is about knowing the fights. Expecting someone to conform to a strategy your guild has been doing for weeks on their first night isn't fair and shouldn't be expected. Quickly learning the strategy is though.

    If you want to improve, I can only suggest pugging heroics or 2 man heal Kara with the worst possible groups you can find. If you can't figure out a way to push your own game, go find retards that will.

  11. All of these other comments are right - a couple of experiences in new content with a new team is not going to accurately reflect your ability. The best thing you can do to improve your game is not to let it affect your confidence. I'd say you need to find a guild where you can feel among friends and able to stretch yourself at your own pace.

  12. Someone mentioned Grid with an alternative, I would suggest looking at Healbot...I have a hard time seeing grid well. Healbot has a slight larger layout that fits my vision a little better. And has click casting builtin...

  13. I would say that this just shows everything that is wrong with raiding in general and elitest guilds specifically. Quite frankly its why I switch to only doing PvP where I don't have to go on job interviews to have fun.

    Based on your posts I find it very hard to believe you are not a decent healer and you seem to have a lot of experience with the Tier 4/5 raids. Most likely the newness of the dungeon and unfamilarity with their rush style held you back a little on the healing.

  14. I find it a bit interesting to see all these "Not your fault" comments... implying that the guild were doing the wrong thing when testing you.

    Now, I'm the GM and healer coordinator of a raid guild, we do trials by taking our recruits on raids to our normal-level content as well. We also expect them to perform well there. Sure, we do take them to more runs than one or two, but really, the trials really excel show the first run.

    So, since some people can really handle it the first time around, why shouldn't that go for anyone, really? A top-level raid guild is looking for the very best; they're doing exactly the right things to weed out those who aren't as good. And that probably includes failing you if you dont meet the expectations right away.

    What do you need to do to improve? Give the WWS link to someone who can help you analyse why you ended up so poorly. Think it through yourself, and maximize your potential in any way you can. Ask someone in the guild even, see if they can provide you with more information on what you did wrong. And practice, really... apply for another guild and keep trying.

  15. Yeah, if you could post a link to the WWS in question so we could look at it in conjunction with your armory it would help in forming more specific feedback.

  16. Yes, I'd have to see the WWS in question as well.

    For those saying it's unfair that he was denied, how else can a guild check out someone but by taking them along on a run.

  17. As an aside, this might also be the time to look at what it will take to get to that next level. If that top-tier raiding is what you want to do, then it's likely going to take a larger time commitment. If you can do that, that's great.

    But if this is want you want, research some of the top-tier healers out there and get some advice from them.

    @relmstein Regarding the elitest comment, I don't think that's fair, as long as they are being straightforward about it. You may not want that kind of pressure, but, as long as they aren't jerks, there's no reason they can't roll that way.

    I have a lot more peace with the game when I realized/decided that I don't and will never have the time and skills to be an elite raider or pvper. I can still do well, but knowing my limits and not being frustrated by that is a blessing.

  18. BT/MH is a big change in the role/ability of paladin healing. It is a transition from FoL spam with occasional bursts of HL spam to much closer to 50% or higher HL. In BT/MH raid damage is high enough that paladins' can't/shouldn't be doing raid healing and no longer pwn the healing meter.
    Had you watched video's for the fights and know what was supposed to happen?

    Check with the guild and post the WWS as people have requested. You are good at theory craft but have plenty of readers who have more progression experience.

    But another thing to note is the WWS is probably not the real answer. WWS is important but I would assume you are significantly behind them in gear so your healing should be low.

  19. Honestly, applying to the best raiding guild when you have little to no experience with BT or MH probably wasn't the best idea.

    I'd recommend applying to a guild that is starting out in those areas so you can learn at a good pace, get geared up properly, and enjoy the experience.

  20. WWS is very telling of performance. As an example, having over 70% overheal with holy light probably means you could have just been flash spamming and been more effective. Sounds like a lot but its happened to some applicants I've seen in other guilds.

    PvP would help a lot with the situational awareness problem. In particular, most healers are too busy staring at health bars to notice environmental effects. Healers do have more to pay attention to than DPS, but that isnt a valid excuse for say, dying to void zones.

    A WWS would be telling of what went wrong. I dont think this is a "teamwork" problem. Healing is almost never a teamwork problem, you heal life bars that you think will be going down soon, or those that are already down but likely arent covered by the prior case. Other healers are probably just beating you to the punch for heals, which means you're anywhere from a tad slower or a lot slower in reacting to damage/timing your preheals. This probably puts you at a ton of overheal, and low effective heal. If I were to app for a T6 guild I would be sure to "play the WWS" and heal competitively to stay on top of meters. Its not practical from an actual raiding standpoint, but for an interview process where you will be judged on that sort of thing, its necessary.

    If you were a restoration shaman I'm sure they would be more lenient in their recruitment standards, but a holy paladin is a bottom tier healer for T6 content. You really need to be at the top of your game to be considered for gear-up.

    While I don't raid anymore, this is what I see my former guild doing(BT farm currently on SWP). Dying to environmental damage is a huge nono and almost always results in an immediate rejection.

    Halad - Mug'thol

  21. I find it hard to beleive that gear is not an issue in this case coming from an guild that was in SSC/TK to an Sunwell guild is a huge jump. If the guild you apped for has been farming Illidan for a few months I expect the gear gap to be huge around 400 more healing and 5% more Crit not factoring in the godly T6 2pc and 4pc set bonus. When I first did BT I had to make adjustments and used downranked HLs much more I found it a little mana intensive at first with full T5 but as i got more gear it mana wasnt an issue. I just don't see how gear can not be an issue for anyone with less than full T5 quality gear.

    Also some of the fights in BT are really hard for a Paladin to keep up with on the meters in healing just because of all the aoe damage out in those fights even with full T6 its a challenge to even stay close just because of how much HPS Chain Heal and Circle of healing can put out.

    As for awareness a lot of it has to do with knowledge of the fight I know most progression guilds expect you to research all of the fights you do ahead of time so less time has to be spent explaining details to new people.
    Besdies that the only other thing
    I can think of is were you on top of your game with cleanse, BoPs, and BoFs?

  22. @Grumpy Misanthrope

    Sure grid isn't very good for healing with the default setup. That's why its so customizable. Change the layout, and maybe get some of the extra additions and it's great.

  23. I think focusing more on doing your job, and only your job could increase your performance. Too much theorycrafting can be a bad thing at times. Making sure other people are doing their job (keeping FF or demo shout or sunder up) should be the raid leader's job, not yours. I realize you just want everyone to play to their max potential, but it comes at a cost.

  24. WWS healing and healing meters in general mean jack shit (other than showing ho goes AFK for trash).

    Overhealing doesn't matter. Effective healing doesn't matter (unless that person really did nothing). All that matters is that your assignment stays alive. That is it. If your assignment was alive at the end of the fight and you didn't run out of mana you did fine. Topping meters should never be your goal as a healer; when people try to rule the meters it leads to double dipping on assignments which increases the chances people will die.

    I think bringing potential apps to a T6 instance for their trial run is entirely justified. Tier 6 guilds rarely run T5 instances because of gear levels, so it wouldn't do them any good to see how well someone preforms in an instance they seriously overgear. It may be harsh to deny someone after the first run (and personally I would take a new app to Hyjal instead of BT), but I personally can't speak for the guild's management.

    The more important question is how do you think you did? Did your assignments stay alive? Did you die often to easily avoidable things? Did you wipe the raid on a Teron ghost because you have no idea what's going on (everyone has done that, don't worry about it)? Take this opportunity to look at what you need to improve and work on that for the next application.

  25. I guess there are several factors, why you did not perform at the top of your game.

    The first is the part where you did not know what to expect. You didnt know how hard the Mobs will hit, you didnt know when to expect burst damage, you just didnt know the encounters. You can only get better by playing the instance a few times. I think the guild "rushing" through multiplied this problem for you.
    When i test new applicants for my guild (i am the Paladin CL), i usually try to get them into a run where they have previous experience at least on a few bosses. Thats how i can see how they perform in comparison to our usual members who also know the deal.
    Of course this is a problem for you, if you apply to a MH/BT farming guild and have never set foot into those instances before. You can not learn this kinda stuff just by watching videos and reading up strats.

    The next problem is the gear gap. If the guild compares you to their other healers, which will be equipped 1 tier above you, there will be an obvious problem for you. I dont know, if they took that fact into account. The 2pc and 4pc T6 boni are an even bigger upgrade then the already strong "non set" items - a Paladin will gain more then 20% HL crit compared to the T4/5 mixed gear you are in.

    This leads to the last problem. I would need to see the WWS parse, but what i notice from the applicants we get from "lower tier" raiding guilds is the FoL spam attitude they carry over from those instances.
    BT/MH is the end of the FoL spam Pally. Literally. You have to switch playstyles. You have to make the transition to HL11 (with downranked HL7 and the occasional FoL if your tank is at full HP).
    I write "your tank" because MT healing is the ONLY thing a Paladin in T6 content is good at. And there should be no Paladin on raidheal duty. It's just a waste of a slot. A single Shaman or CoH Priest could do the job of 2-3 Paladins on raid heal duty.

    So here is my advice: Stack up some spellcrit rating, there are a few items available as badge rewards. A HL build Paladin heavily relies on spellcrit, because HL scales much better then FoL with spellcrit. And then switch your playstyle - your duty is to keep the tank alive and to have Lights Grace always up and running. Of couse you can get back to FoL for trash clears, but even then you should throw in the occasional HL7 to keep up LG and save someone from the burst damage which will happen now and then with a big HL11 crit.

    And dazanna is right. Overhealing means nothing. Effective healing is way overrated by most people who look at the WWS parse. Paladins will never be able to keep up in the meters when there are encounters with Splash/Raid/AE damage, which are like 100% of all T6+ encounters.
    The most important thing is, that you do your job well, and that means your assigned tank will not die.

  26. oddly enough i think that both parties are right in a way. its not really fair to you for them to expect that you do really well the first time ever seeing a boss, but they probably really want someone who knows the fight, and to them it was fair. I have always known you as a tanking pally, sure we are all called upon to heal, but if you don't do that day in and day out you are going to do poorly compared to others. mods help, other things help, but when it comes down to it, you need what a bicyclist would(or might) call t.i.t.s time in the saddle. you need time healing in a demanding world to become better at healing. also gear wise... i know you think you are strong, but how is your spell haste? i noticed in my raid that there is a pally that can blow me out of the watter healing (1.7k unbuffed + heal and ok mana regen) which is far lower than what i have for those numbers (im running over 2k+heal and nearly double the casting mp5) the thing he has on me is haste, and experience. the haste lets him land the reactive heals before i do, and more importantly he has been doing it much longer than i have (hell a year ago i was 40, and prot, 4 months ago i was prot and 70) so he knows better who is about to take heavy damage...... anyways the point is consider a haste set (look at what the other healers they have, if they are running with haste, then they are going to beat you to the heals all the time)

    as for situational awareness.... thats where i think They are really full of bull to say that your's was poor, you have to have a clue about the situation before you can be aware about it. ask the pally and healing leads how quick they wiped that night they decided to try hyjal once they had finished atunement.

    anyways, don't let the man get ya down, apply to another guild, hell reapply to them in a few weeks (unless they are complete asses and its a one time shot sort of thing, and at that point f*($ em AND the mounts they came in on)

    but hey what the hell do i know im just a prot pally hiding in a t5 holy pally's clothes

    good luck


  27. Honestly, applying to the best raiding guild when you have little to no experience with BT or MH probably wasn't the best idea.

    The situation was a little more complex than that. Skywall had 4 Alliance guilds that cleared BT/MH. There were 2 guilds in the early part of BT, and a bunch of guilds at Vashj/Kael. Since my previous guild was at Vashj/Kael, I was looking at the T6 guilds. Of the two starting guilds, 1 wasn't looking for paladins, and 1 had raid times I couldn't make.

    So that left the top 4 guilds. Reclaimed was looking for paladins, and had raid times I could make, so I just started applying at the top. You can always apply downwards if rejected by a potential guild, but it's pretty hard to apply upwards.

    As to fair or not, I think it was fair. I wasn't playing at a level that they would need for Sunwell.

  28. Honestly, applying to the best raiding guild when you have little to no experience with BT or MH probably wasn't the best idea.

    It depends on what the guild is looking for: if an already experienced and geared player, or a player with low experience/gear but with high potential.

  29. give me a break with that crap rejecting you cause your not good enough....get real! 25men raid require 7-8 healers, everyone helps out that guild is a complete fool to reject someone whos willing the learned find another raiding guild...o btw 5men dungeon healing require way more skill than 25men healing, if you didn't try alrdy make 3 macros one for target of target heal during trash, 1 for main tanks 2-3 for offtanks you'll be all set in 25men make sure you have pally power, decursive mod thats all you need. healing is one of the easiest job in a 25men raid.

  30. Hmm, my advice would be to switch servers. You really need a guild that is just entering BT/MH. I've never done T6 stuff, we just started 25mans a month ago. But I am really glad I didn't try to jump into a guild who was farming T5 content, I would have been so lost. As it is, everyone is entering this fresh (or the vast majority of the raid), so I don't have to play catch-up. We downed loot below and loot reaver last week. Which doesn't mean we are uber, just that we're all on the same page, learning the fights together. If you need to switch servers for that to happen, do it. Otherwise...Healing palys should be very useful, i dont see you struggling to find a guild like a hunter (i'm a hunter).