So yea, Fio went ahead and made a nifty post about Aggro.
It's great fodder to think about, and he gives good math for DPS Pew Pew'rs, but where does this help you my squishy bantam?
Ok, basics. Aggro is the term used to describe a mob's attention. You want your meatshield to have it, because they are the best equipped to handle it. That's why they are your meatshield. DPS can follow Fio's advice and hold off while your tank is getting all that lovely aggro... but you're the healer! To get aggro, your tanky is taking damage, and as soon as you pop that Renew/Flash Heal/Greater Heal... BOOM! You haz aggro!
But the mob doesn't come running right away (if your tank is worth their salt in plate, they better not) because you ticked it off by association (though honestly, I'm surprised healers don't generate more aggro... I know they piss me off in BGs... /grumble). No, if you're doing the smart thing and staying back as far as possible, that's one aggro mitigation. I'm not a number cruncher, but from what I do understand, there is some mechanic that deals with range aggro: the closer to the mob you are, it generates a little bit of aggro. All your healing spells are going to generate aggro in some way, shape or form on all mobs in the brawl. Some spells generate more than others. But if you're using a Threat Meter (like Omen or KLH Threat Meter) you can see just how much aggro every one in your party is generating.
Oh and another term for aggro is threat. Just what kind of threat should you be generating? Let's face it, no matter what the situation, your going to be generating threat from the beginning of the fight. Tanks can tell DPS to wait for however many sunders/lacerates before they can start whaling away creating their own threat, but you don't have that option.
So what do you do?
There a few things in combat we can do to mitigate what threat we generate and then there's some out of combat things we can do.
In combat, The Frisbee is your Friend. "But Squeekie! What about before Level 68?!" I don't know how I got along with out the Frisbee, but here's a bone to the pre-68 healers. Renew is usually the first thing you want up, because for a little mana it goes a long way. And it's a slow aggro gain. Which is fine, cause while you may generate 100 pts of aggro, your tank should have doubled or tripled his/her aggro with the mob, which makes your "little" heal not look so enraging. Squishy butt saved. But if you have a Frisbee, ho ho! Things change. That first hit and your tank will probably heal it all back with the Frisbee spell. And all that healing aggro? It's the tanks. It counts as healing s/he did, and so they get the threat. It's a beautiful thing. This is why you want to start a few seconds before the fight with a Frisbee, and then when your CD is up, toss another one. It pretty much solidifies your tanks aggro way ahead of yours. Now you can get down to business.
Frisbee's done, refresh your Renew every 15 secs, but if you see your tank getting hit harder and faster, don't hesitate to GHeal when s/he's at 50%. As long as the mob isn't doing 25%+ damage every second, your 2.5 sec cast should be enough to get out of OH SH!T territory. But now, you've just done a major heal, and that gets lots of threat. If you see yourself passing the tank in threat, Fade. Its only a temporary threat fix, but I usually save Fade after big heals like 2 consecutive GHeals or a Prayer of Healing. That usually gives the tank enough to get aggro back. If you happen to be in the OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and your tank needs that heal 2 seconds ago, Flash Heal. Yes, it's horribly mana inefficient to use FHeal, but a FHeal followed by a GHeal usually saves the day. Oh and then Fade ^.^
Don't just use Fade because the CD is up. Doing that isn't efficent aggro reduction. Really, you should just be using it when either you've passed (or are about to pass) the tank in threat, or when you've just finished a Big Heal. Because remember, Fade is a spell, and casting it means you're just another second away from the 5SR we all love and adore. /snuggle
Out of combat, priests have a second tier Discipline talent called Silent Resolve. Max'd out at 5 pts, that's 20% threat reduction on holy and discipline spells, as well as a 20% chance that your spells won't be dispelled. That last part is awesome for PvP, but the reduction in threat to your healing spells is a must have for the holy healer. Trust me, you can afford the 10 pts into it. Also, as of this patch, a Subtlety to Cloak enchant is available from the Honor Hold/Thrallmar Quartermaster if you're Exalted with said faction. (Btw, I hates Shattered Halls... so I don't have it yet T.T)
Now that you have a little bit of an idea of why mobs are coming to hit you even though you aren't DPSing, here's a way to have fun/strategically help out the group in case the damage coming in is greater than the healing you can produce.
I'm standing at max range, and the tank has 3 guys on him. My group is pretty good in watching out for me, teh squishi, because they love healz. Tank is getting hit extra hard and all Crowd Control that can be deployed has been, so what do I do? GHeal, GHeal, and no Fade. I've peeled off two mobs and they're making a bee line for me. One of two things can happen. I let them come running to within 5 - 10 yrds of me and either 1) Fade, which will send them running back at the tank. Congrats, thats enough time to get off another GHeal and lessen the load of damage tank has taken, or, if there's room you can 2) Psychic Scream and then Fade. The Scream generates some aggro too, but the Fade after gives you and your group time to get things under control. Also, if you happen to have a mage in your group, then the peeled mobs can be Frost Nova'd into place, and since no one's beating on them to break it immediately, well, it's yet another breather for you and your meatshield.
Now, don't do the above if you think it'll tick off your tank. Some tanks don't like people intentionally pulling off them unless it's the hunter for their trap. So make sure your group is cool with your unconventional Crowd Control ^.^
Any one else had some fun tricks with their Priestly Aggro? Lemme know ^.^ I always like hearing new tricks.
Commence celebration! /dance
So yea, as Kitty has probably made clear, AC took out Gruul on Monday. Skin of our freakin' TEETH! At 3% We had our 5 rogues Evasion tanking since all three tanks were down. It was a big rush. ^.^
I have a vid up on Youtube, but sorry working people. I've realized a bit late that by linking the uploadable version to my website (also our guilds site) I'm close to going over my bandwidth usage T.T
So will have to deal with crappy Youtube until I can find a place to put the 64MB file. Any suggestions?
My initial thoughts on Gruul... well, our group make up was as follows: 3 tanks (MT, OT/Hurtful strike soaker and 3rd Oh SHIT tank), 6 healers (pretty much who ever we could get to log in) consisting of myself and another holy priest /cheer, 2 pallies, a shammy and a tree, and the rest DPS (tons of rogues, a smattering of casters and hunters).
Now, all you Gruul's vets are probably having heart attacks over the numerous melee guys. Well, couldn't be helped, unfortunately. But our rogues did a super job. We had very little in Shatter casualties once some of the new people to the fight got used to it, and Cave ins on the melee were rough... but having 6 healers there (with a pally dps/Off healing) helps.
But yea, back to my initial thoughts: I think the next time I go, I'm going to equip my DPS staff for the first part of the fight. If you see the video, there are many things I had to cut out for length, but I was Wanding/Smiting/Mind Blasting initially in the fight. The two pallie healers and the Tree were assigned to the tanks, with the Shammy, myself and Val spot healing the raid. So initially, Snow, Val and I didn't have much to do other than DPS. Which is where I noticed... damn it, I'm getting resisted a lot! T.T So yea, going to try that next time. It probably will be such a small contribution as to not matter, but I'm going to try anyway (stubborn, moi?)
I could really afford to cast DPS there too. Since the 5SR and I were getting lots of action together, well, mana wasn't an issue. I'm kinda relieved there, too. I thought Mana was going to be my biggest prob. Thankfully, it isn't. I am, however, sorely missing not having any +hit... /grumble...
Oh and our illustrious Raid Leader is jealous of my Ground Slam hiding nook. I luff's it. I don't get tossed half way across the screen ^.^
So yea, this is a little mini summary of my advice on Gruul. I'll post soon on a healing guide to King Maulgar soon, but first, something I've been inspired to write due to my husband of the Boom. Oh and a revised Addon post is upcoming. I've got some new ones since the 2.2 patch.
If you haven't watched AMV Hell 3 ... you're missing out. Go watch it. XD
This post today is going to be broken, revised and is going to be very fluid. I'm writing it in between different PCs and they don't let me save a draft... or Blogger does, I'm just a tard and can't find it.
Anywho! Where the hell have I been?! Umm, not doing very priestly things, thats for certain.
AC is still kicking ass, taking names, all that guff. Last weekend, we had Gruul's on Sunday. Maulgar pwnd us. Repeatedly. It was a sucky, sucktastic day. Then Monday rolls around and Celliana, our Rail Leader of Awesomesauce, smelled blood in the air, and we proceeded to One Shot Maulgar that night and go on to get Gruul down to 5% (new low!) So Monday > Sunday. Hooray!
To be continued... on another PC
Right, so I was thinking of the Gruul vid, planning ahead, when I forgot what it was that I wanted to do. Don't you HATE that!?! I know what the beginning vid is going to be like, but there was a part in there with me and Celli talking... that I just totally forgot. Ah well, hopefully, it'll come back to me. Meanwhile, I must stealthily figure out a way to record our prestigious Raid Leader's voice and said phrase without him being the wiser... man, I still wish I had voice being recorded during our first Maulgar kill. He was so excited, and sounded so adorably cheesy. When you get moments like that guys, treasure them. XD
Ni Hao - I have this song stuck in my head. Thanks Dem. ;P
Over at Doom's, he started a lovely thread about random thoughts of violence. Honestly, I just think this is something our brains do to A) keep us sane, 2) keep us honest and III) keep us entertained. A boring day at work, the brain wants to play. So let it. No one knows where your strategic body hiding spots are except you - and maybe your psychic SO. But that's a story for another time.
Did I mention that this post wasn't going to have much of a point? Why haven't I been doing my duties in writing about my priestly ways? Well, to be honest, I'm in a bit of a writers funk. I had a spew of ideas, and then I found these awesome priestly blogs that also have a spew of ideas... and then things I think of have pretty much already been said, in a much more entertaining and better way than I could think of. That and I just haven't had an urge to really play Cay for a bit, unless it's raiding. Heroics are a yawns fest now, we actually cleared Kara from Moroes to Prince in 3.5 hours last night (wewt!). DO not get me wrong: I lurv my healing job. Lurv it to bits and pieces. But I'm bored. So I play on my alts. Who right now need some lurvin's.
My Giddglet just got her Retainer's Blade (Huzzah) and I'm working on getting the Riftmaker. She's about 14K Keepers of Time rep from it. Which is fine. While Doom will curse me till the day I die, I have the Hourglass for her, but I could use the gloves in the Assassination set for the set bonus for our Arena team (Spanish Inquisition: two druids, 2 rogues, you do the ZOMG MONTY PYTHON reference ^.^). That blade is Giddg's second purple ever. It makes me warm and fuzzy. She was my first toon, so she's near and dear to mah heart.
I'll tell ya too, after taking a break on her, it feels like going home when I get to play her again. Though I still feel slightly noobish. I mean, everyone and their mother has a rogue. But trying to figure out how to play one well again, after healing, is fun.
Then there's Sashara, my big butt'd bear (XD) who's gotten some recent upgrades to her tankiness. Specifically the Idol of Ursa from Heroic Under Bog. Celliana and I basically have a role reversal in there. I'm tanking, he's healing on his pally. It's funny and weird and... well silly all at the same time. Oh and last night I totally noobed it up. I'm wondering why the hell I'm getting hit so damn hard in this first pull... I got to pop my trinket... the penis looking one... shoot, lemme find a link... this one, anywho, I got to pop it... and realize it's not equipped.
Yea, I was in kitty gear.
(PS: You cannot tell me that this doesn't look like a phallic! Ok, maybe this looks more like one... a Cthulu one, but ZOMG it does! You have to be looking at the tiny icon in the game to get it maybe... the WoWhead pics are larger.
More thoughts on another PC...