I’m not usually one to have a hissy cow when I’m having a bad night on an encounter. Ok, let me rephrase that: I might be yelling at my monitor, but I don’t usually come screaming at the universe in print. Instead, I’m usually left with frustration at myself. Not my team, not my class, not the encounter being difficult, but how I could do something different, something better, to get the result I want.
Today is different. I don’t feel like I could have done anything better. I healed my little heart out, I tried every trick I could think of, and I still didn’t get the result I wanted.
My nemesis: Heroic Yor’sahj
My raiding team has been off for a couple of weeks for the holidays. We expected to have our full raiding roster again last night, but our resident holy paladin got stuck at the airport (or so I heard) longer than we expected, so we were down to myself and the lovely resto shaman. Mor’chok went down with his accustomed ease, and we headed over to Yor’sahj, which we had gotten down right before our break. And we stayed there for the rest of the night.
Last time we faced bug-man, I was decked out in feathers and happily placing boom shrooms and orbital laser beams around the room. However, with one healer out, I was back to healing and a bit anxious. I’ve heard bad things about Yor’sahj and restoration druids. I’d seen him plenty on normal though, and I thought I was prepared.
As the night went on the whispers between myself and the shaman teetered between frustration and hopelessness. At 11:57, as we wiped yet again, we gave each a huge high five because it was over. Finally, finally over.
Some of it was bad RNG. Although it might be technically feasible to handle black-purple-random phases back to back to back, I just don’t see it happening. I was so proud that we managed to get 5 people through that last one. Like practically cheering to myself that half the raid survived.
We worked out major cool-downs. I put on leaves and danced when we managed to not get a purple blob o’ doom. When we weren’t so lucky, I pre-hotted my heart out. She dropped healing rains. The rogue spammed recuperate. We were using Gift of the Naaru for crying out loud. Our attempts got better and better, but we couldn’t nudge that sucker past 30%.
Tonight, the paladin is back. I took the night off, seeing as we were a little over on dps and I think it’s only fair that I put myself in the rotation for warming the bench. First, and I mean the very first pull of the night, and the sucker drops like a light. I wanted to have a temper tantrum in the living room. I toyed with the idea of burning my druid in effigy. Or maybe, in a more lucid moment, I thought maybe I should burn the paladin in effigy!
I know damn well I’m not a bad druid. I might have entertained the idea a few months ago when I was still getting comfortable with the class, but now, when I can swap from being a dps only character on a heroic fight, and then step into healing that same fight because we have a healer out? There’s very little anyone could say that would make me think I suck. Could use some work, could be better, more polished, more effective, more consistent. Sure. But downright bad, and incapable of filling in for another healer? Nope, not going to happen.
Last night I went to take a look at paladins healing Yor’sahj. What could our paladin friend be bringing to the table that I wasn’t? And I found that it wasn’t something I was failing to do, it was something I downright couldn’t do. I don’t have bacon. No, that’s not right, I always have bacon… Beacon, that’s it. I don’t have Word of Glory. These are frankly, powerful healing tools that don’t stack the debuff that I can’t bring to the table. Every single one of my heals does bad things. I can’t keep Lifebloom on the tank during a purple phase. I don’t feel comfortable casting Swiftmend on anyone (which is why pets are awesome). Rejuv, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Healing Touch, Nourish: all add stacks. And don’t even go near your Tranquility button or you’ll be watching an explosion of your raid mates across your screen.
My shaman co-healer had the same issues. She was keeping a beady eye on the tank and trying her best not to lose him. We were probably the worst healing combination it is possible to conceive of for that particular fight, and last night, there was absolutely nothing we could have done to fix it. Just, nada.
I’m really glad that my raid team didn’t have another night of *head desk.* But I’m really pissed that we couldn’t get him down last night. It wasn’t that I was a druid. If I’d been in instead of the shaman I’m sure it would have been rainbows and unicorns too. It was the fact that we didn’t have magical,
nummy bacon beacon healing to keep our tank from diving face first into the floor. And in a world of take the player not the class how can things like this happen?
Developers chose which spells would add stacks. They chose to make healers’ spells evil. But they just forgot WoG? They didn’t think about the impact of Beacon being on a tank? Why did every Lifebloom stack have to count as a debuff instead of just once? Frankly, I’d much rather the bloom counted as a stack. Maybe I should have been on the tank instead of the shaman, but I can’t see it making that much difference. I’m just so thankful that her major cool-down doesn’t actually heal all the things or we would have been in for some major hurt.
I’m sure as our gear sees improvement and we tighten up the fight bit by bit, it will one day in the future be possible for myself and the shaman to heal this fight. But that’s not our progression point, now is. And right now, gazing at Yor’sahj with leaves in my hair and a master of water by my side, I just don’t see how the fight can be done.