Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Worst Class to Heal

This past weekend, I got in a Durnholde run with my lvl 66 priest. The group was mostly higher level, and with the high demand for healers that most servers tend to have, I was an easy sell. I was able to do the tour quest while we waited to get our 5th person for the instance. For some reason, I didn't get credit for the quest of setting the houses aflame, so that also meant that I couldn't free Thrall. Oh well.. not like that's the only time I'll ever be in Durnholde being that I still need a lot of experience to hit 70 and whatnot.

The point of this post is more about who I was healing though. The group itself was a pretty good group. We had a couple of 70's, and the druid tank was super easy to heal. Right outside the castle after saving Thrall, we even pulled two groups, but avoided a wipe. The thing that I found the most strange was that besides healing the druid, I had to heal the warlock a lot. This struck me so odd that I thought I better pay attention to exactly what he was doing. I knew he wasn't doing Hellfire... I believe that's the only warlock spell that inflicts damage on self in the course of doing damage. But what he was doing was life tapping... a lot... even in the middle of combat... when he still had over 50% of his health mana!!!

Now, I probably wouldn't have thought too much about it if he had life tapped out of combat or when he was out of mana. I would have gladly healed him for that. But if I'm much lower on mana, and I'm drinking... shouldn't he be drinking too? Besides which, I'm level 66, he's level 70, I'm sure he had a much larger mana pool that I do.

I was once told that stereotypically, warlocks are jerks. They're inconsiderate, and rude. I've had enough of my elementals banished up on Elemental Plateau to know that this is at least true for some warlocks. I don't know if I would use the word "jerk", but I would put this guy in "the group" for being inconsiderate.

As a whole, I don't believe the stereotype. We have a number of warlocks that are really nice guys. But I suppose there's always going to be exceptions. I'm just glad our warlocks aren't stupid like that.

Oh, and I let the warlock die a few times after I realized what was going on. If it was either heal the rogue who was trying to avoid damage or the warlock that was intentionally inflicting damage on himself. I choose the rogue every time. Ahhh.... revenge. heh.


Rohan said...

From your description, the Warlock was actually being considerate.

He was Lifetapping early, so that he would take a small hit to his health, and still leave him with enough health so you didn't have to heal him immediately.

The opposite, where warlocks use up all their mana and then Lifetap very low, is extremely annoying. If you're only watching health bars, it looks like the lock has gotten aggro and needs an emergency heal. Warlocks dropping from 100% to 20% trigger crazy healing reflexes.

In general, if a warlock starts to Lifetap, just drop a Renew on them. A good warlock will Lifetap in time with the Renew ticks.

Nibuca said...

Yah.. ok.. I'm going to be the voice of warlocks. We're not bad.. we're misunderstood ;)

For a warlock, life==mana. A good warlock will spend most of the fight at ~80% health. We cast spells..and they're actually pretty mana expensive.. and then tap to get our mana back. Cast cast tap tap. In the end you have a warlock with high mana (good for dpsing) but lower health.

On the surface I can see how this seems inconsiderate.. BUT at this point it can go one of two ways.

Way 1: Healer heals warlock up to full. Full health, full mana, warlock starts casting Shadow Bolt at mobs.

Way 2: Lower health, full mana. Warlock can either cast siphon life on the mob (long duration dot that sucks health away from the mob and gives it to the warlock) or Drain Life (channeled spell that heals the warlock).

Way 1 is actually better for the warlock's DPS. Shadow bolt > Drain Life and Siphon Life. This is preferred in raiding where there is excess heals available.

Way 2 is better when healing is tight. It's less preferred because siphon life has a long duration.. the mob often dies before it completes.. so it's mana inefficient. Drain Life is a channeled spell so the Warlock can't do anything else while draining. DL has lower DPS than Shadow Bolt.

SO.. If you have a spare HoT.. and the time to throw it.. the warlock will appreciate it. BUT don't feel compelled to heal a warlock up to full.

If the warlock has aggro -THEN- you should heal the warlock. But other than that.. they're pretty self-sufficient.


ryan said...

I play an affliction Lock. I try to gauge how my group is doing. If we're good I'll cast all my DOTs. If poorly I will cast a weakness curse (against a melee) or tongues curse (against a spellcaster) then keep hitting them with volleys from my wand and Imp. In both situations I normally end the fight with 80% health and 75% mana (90% mana if I cast a curse and use wand).

I have to wonder what sort of warlock you had to deal with. Affliction warlocks use very little mana, while Destruction Warlocks eat mana for breakfast. It sounds to me like he was a Destro Warlock.

In the future you might want to ask a Lock what their talent spec is so you can understand the dynamic of their health meter...

Logan said...

To be fair to Leiandra, it sounds like the warlock was a bit tap-happy. On trash pulls in regular instances a warlock shouldn't be coming close to going OOM. At most he'll have to tap once, maybe twice over the course of a pull, and if he's semi-skilled and paying attention to his health/mana, he shouldn't have to do two consecutive taps... he should space them out and only use them as necessary.

That being said, Old Hillsbrad is a tough instance for locks' mana pools because Thrall is on crack and basically chain pulls every group of mobs from when you release him until you get to the second boss. Staying topped off in this instance does require a bit more lifetapping than usual. Regardless, he should've said something to the healer before hand, because even though healers usually know what lifetapping entails, they usually have a preference as to when they're cool with warlocks doing it. Some want us to wait until we're out of combat, some only want us to do it when the tank is topped off, others just say "tap away, I've got you."

The warlock in this situation, though, sounds like he fails. How is he dying anyway? As long as you have a competent tank and make smart pulls, DPS should be taking little to no damage through most of the instance. Was the warlock pulling aggro or trying to drain-tank mobs or something?

Leiandra said...

I made a typo, which I corrected, so I think some of you guys were missing the point I was making. He was never below 50% mana on the trash pulls, and that's when I noticed, and minded, the life tap. I understand that in long fights and especially during raiding, I would almost expect a lock to life tap. It's the difference between Leiandra using mana gems: in normal, non-heroic instances, I rarely use them... there's no need. But I use them all the time in 25-mans... and especially for boss fights.

I didn't look at his spec.

If I recall correctly, he died on the 2-group accidental pull after we rescued Thrall and then on the very end boss. So, a lot was going on. But again... he still had plenty of mana to take care of business.

Wow... I got the wrath of the warlocks today, didn't I? Maybe it's because I'm a mage and the whole mage vs. warlock thing. lol.

Leiandra said...

Another point of clarification: He only drank after a semi-wipe. That's it. Maybe he was out of water. If that's the case: ask for some.

Logan said...

"He only drank after a semi-wipe. That's it. Maybe he was out of water. If that's the case: ask for some."

yeah... or lifetap and l2bandage.

Personally, I lifetap every one or two dot rotations (so I don't ever get into an "oh crap, I'm OOM" situation), so my mana is usually above 50% when I do it. But I only lifetap once, and if dark pact is up, I do that instead, so there should rarely be any huge chunks of my health taken out. It sounds like this guy just needs to learn to lock.

Much love to mages, except when they get crit happy and pull aggro when I'm sitting at 100%-129% aggro, then they iceblock. Then I get squashed and yelled at by the RL for the mage's mistake... but just like good locks know when to tap, good mages know when to stop casting. :)

Jimbo said...

Warlocks are lazy, selfish, mean-spirited, OP'd jerks!!!
(That was for you Lei.)

Yes, I have noticed how warlocks are more important than healers. Warlocks in general will life tap to get their mana back when they are out of combat. I think they can't eat mana biscuits. It must be disabled by blizzard for all locks, or it's poison for locks and lowers their hp even more, or it just plain tastes bad and is unsuitable for consumption by these fine epicurians.

I love how locks will sit there after an out of combat life tap, knowing the healer will heal them. This of course slows the raid down because now the healer has to get their mana back up, but hey, it's better than forcing the lock to click on that drink!

I think I'm going to adopt this strategy on my tankadin. I'll just switch my gear from tanking to healing and back again after a fight if I'm low on mana. Then just sit there waiting on the healers. They have nothing better to do, why should I sully my tongue with those tasteless conjured crumbs? On second thought, I'm going to start tanking trash mobs pantless. This will enable me to take more damage and thus get healed more, giving me even more mana! Yeah, that's the ticket!

In the end, we can all clearly see that it's really the healer's fault. They are enablers of the Warlocks masochistic ways! Don't blame the poor warlocks, it's an addiction. All that mana flowing through them, all that fire power, all that DPS!!! It's hard to resist. Darn you healers! It's all because of you!

Leiandra said...

@jimbo. I lol'ed. I want to see you tank all the spawns on the Al'ar fight tonight pantless. :) They're kinda trash, right? lol

Logan said...

...no one said here that warlocks expect to be healed after lifetapping. People just said that we appreciate it IF and WHEN we get thrown a renew. If locks are on top of their games, they know how to keep themselves alive. If they're in an instance or raid at level 70 and not at 375 first aid, carrying some food and water, with a healthstone and some mana pots in hand, then they need to learn to play. If they're standing there between pulls expecting to be healed after lifetapping, just don't heal them. Take the next pull and see if the lock can survive.

Jimbo, while I realize that you're speaking in jest, I do get frustrated when people generalize their bad experiences with bad players to an entire race, class, or faction. From my experiences in WoW, I could easily say that all hunters are worthless in groups because they don't bother to learn how to trap, or all mages are crit-happy aggro hogs, or all rogues are only concerned about topping the dps charts, or all night elves deserve to die because they're shameless gankers... you see where I'm going. I used to make many similar observations until I started raiding semi-seriously, and realized that pretty much every single class is helpful if not necessary to be successful in endgame content. Try killing Anatheron without wound poison from a rogue, or Magtheridon without warlocks banishing/fearing the abyssals, or Maulgar without a mage tank, or Kael'thas without a hunter to misdirect the adds, or Illidan without a night elf to... well... okay, night elves still suck.

See, I still can't get rid of some stereotypes. I guess I'm a hypocrite. :-/

Rohan said...

Leiandra, I still think you're missing the point.

A good warlock doesn't wait to Lifetap until they are out of mana. They Lifetap once as soon as they've used enough mana to get the full benefit out of it.

That way, they don't need healing right away, they can start getting healing from Siphon Life (if they have it), they still have mana to spend.

Warlocks that play that way don't really expect more healing than a Renew tossed their way once in a while.

It's not discourteous to the healer, and is actually much preferrable to the other style, where the warlock uses up 100% of the mana, and then does 4 or so consecutive Lifetaps to get it all back.

Leiandra said...

I understand that if the fight is long enough to warrant him to regen mana (by life tapping), then I completely agree with you that that is the ideal way to do it.

My argument is that his gear was sufficient enough for that instance that he could have done most of those pulls by simply spamming Shadow Bolt (or whichever nuke depending on the spec) and not gone oom. If he life tapped down to 50% health (about 10k total health)(which he did most of the time), there's no way my lvl 66 renew is gonna even come close to healing him near full.

Jimbo said...

Leiandra, that lock sacrificed his pet for you, you need to sacrifice a little for the team too! I don't care if you go OOM, keep the lock's mana up, the bear can heal himself!

Logan, I completely agree with you (except for the night-elves part. It's gnomes, man, GNOMES!!!). All classes are needed at some point or another. Blizzard has done a good job creating dungeons that lean towards specific classes at certain times, forcing guilds to be well-rounded.

Nibuca said...

Please don't think of it as the wrath of the warlocks. More of a defensive knee jerk. I play a warlock but I'm not a jerk. I also play a holy paladin so I'm aware of the potential healing issues.

A warlock who is new to instancing may not be aware of the most mana efficient way to DPS trash. Trash dies quickly. Dots take time. If a warlock fully dots up trash chances are the mobs will die before the dots have time to fully go off. This would lead to the warlock wasting alot of mana on the trash and potentially needing more tapping.

On a normal trash pull I will cast Immolate and Corruption then shadow bolt 2-3 times then tap. Before the tap I'm probably at ~75% mana. After the tap I'm probably at 90% mana. Ideally I'll tap as soon my mana drops below the value of the tap. (ie, if I tap for 1k and my mana pool is 10k I'll tap as soon as I hit 8.9k).

If there's a lot of mobs then on mob 2-3 I'll start using Drain Life instead of shadow bolt. It's normal for me to be at ~75% health and 90% mana. I'm not worried about it.. and I don't need heals.

After the last mob dies I'll normally tap to full mana and then bandage. I do this because bandages take 8 seconds and eating/drinking takes 15 seconds. It's a habit that comes from questing/soloing. Faster is better.

The only time I'll eat and drink is when I'm low on both health and mana or when I want buff food.

I'm a warlock. I'm going to tap. In fact I'm going to tap during combat(yes, even trash combat). Not doing so makes me a bad warlock. I'm a warlock, not a mage. If I have aggro I need heals. If I don't have aggro.. then throw me a heal if you have the spare time/mana. Otherwise don't worry about it.

I'm sorry that seeing me at 75% health makes you panic-y and feel the need to cast heals on me.. but honestly I can take care of it.

AND.. if I'm a bad warlock.. and I can't take care of it.. well then rez me a few times and I'll get the message.


Leiandra said...

Okay... The scenario is this: You're a warlock. On a trash pull (5-man instance mind you), you consistently tap down to 50% health even though your mana stays relatively high and would easily be sufficient even if you didn't tap. Are you a bad warlock?

Furthermore, if you do this and you do not eat/drink/bandage after the fight, are you bad?

Everything you're describing, Nibuca would not put you on my "bad" list. You're not the bad warlock.

Nibuca said...

Oh.. well then yes.. he was bad.


Anonymous said...

Logan, you were right about rogues, we are all about the topping the DPS meters.. it's what we do ~.^