I joined Executus during Wrath of the Lich King. Kershocker, my dwarf paladin, hit 80, completed 5-6 heroics and got his first epic on the same day. As soon as I entered a dungeon, I only had to wait 4 seconds for the tank to establish some aggro, and then I could start facerolling spamming Divine Storm and Consecration. Sure, I was quite happy back then, but now that I have tried the new dungeons and have tested how a true heroic should be like, I can confirm that Wrath of the Lich King was quite a weak expansion, PvE-wise.
Here at LoreHound we have a few guides about different aspects of the game, so why shouldn’t we post some about the new 5-Man Heroics? Some of you may have already reached the iLvL required to queue for Random Heroics, but, where to start? Well, let us help you! We’re going to write the guides in order of difficulty, starting by the easiest one. Actually, let’s start by the basics of heroics, things you should know unless you feel like wiping a lot.
In this expansion, I’ve leveled a DPS and a healer to 85. I haven’t leveled my tank yet, but I do know the new mechanics required to be a successful tank.
Damage Dealer [DPS] :
In Heroics, DPS’s job is basically the same as in Wrath. Huh, let me rephrase that. In Cataclysm, DPS’ sjob is basically how it was supposed to be in Wrath:
- Don’t stand in Fire/Poison/Ice/Etc: Healers no longer have an infinite mana pool, help them out by avoiding any type of incoming damage. Really, if you are the guy/gal who likes to attack the boss while standing in that big green circle, then you won’t receive many heals. On the other hand, if you’re the one who knows how to DPS correctly, but you find yourself in a position where you can’t really move without standing in bad stuff, I’ll use Leap of Faith, heal you and make you a sandwich.
- Don’t break the Crowd Control: We’ll talk about CC later (I think it deserves an entire article), but just an FYI, you should never, under any circumstances, attack a sheep. Same rule applies to turtles, monkeys, frogs shackled undead and pretty much anything that is not attacking someone.
Everyone says healing is hard. I say healing is EXTREMELY HARD challenging. I’m not going to lie, it can be tricky at first to get used to the new healing mechanics, but once you do, it’s a pretty amazing role. Whenever my guild downs a new heroic boss, everyone in vent celebrates. I don’t, I’m usually quiet, trying to get some breath back and /whisper-ing to myself “Carlos, you’re awesome”.
- Mana Conservation: This is probably the biggest change when it comes to a PvE mechanic. As you may have heard, healers no longer have infinite mana pools. Now, you should never see a healer spamming a fast heal such as Flash Heal [Priest] or Healing Surge [Shaman]. Instead of that, now you will (or should) see healers casting Heal or Healing Wave. How do I get mana back? How do I keep up 5 targets that are been constantly hit by an AoE? To answer your first question, learn your class! Check your talent tree, most healers have an ability to get some mana back, Rapture comes to mind. Let’s tackle the second question now…
- 50-60% is the new 100%: When I’m asked to heal a heroic, I pretty much know exactly what I’m going to do. During trash pulls it is easy: Keep the group alive. I don’t care if they all end up with 1% hp, they can and should eat/drink between pulls if they consider it necessary. Once we face a boss, I try to keep the tank between 80-100% hp, DPS between 50-60% and myself at 70-90%. Well, if I have some extra mana or a free cast, I’ll probably heal some of the DPS, but remember that the tank is your main priority. If he/she dies, you’re next and then it’s a wipe. If a DPS dies, sure, it does get harder, but it’s still possible to defeat the boss.
Tanking is probably the role that has changed the least between Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm. Still, tanking can be a very frustrating job if you’re under-geared and/or your group is not collaborating with you. Well, that’s what I’ve heard from a certain protection warrior who keeps complaining about PuGs!
- Use your cooldowns: Pretty please? Okay, I’m not asking you to pop a 5-min Cooldown such as Shield Wall, but Shield Block, Guardian of Ancient Kings or that extra Rune Weapon DKs use have a relatively short cooldown. Use it during trash to have a smoother run and everyone will be very happy.
- Click enemy’s portrait, click Raid Target Icon, choose an icon and win: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always considered the tank as the leader of the group, no matter what the LFD tool says. As the leader, it’s your job to mark. What do you want to kill first? What do you want to CC? Moon=Sheep? Square=Ice Trap? You are the one who is supposed to make all those decisions, because you’ll be pulling the mobs. You should also have some basic knowledge of the specific dungeon you’re running. If one of those monsters heals, you probably want to CC it first. If you see that a monster is a caster, don’t ask the druid to root it!
These are some advices that I can offer you. It is not comprehensive, but that’s why we’re still on the 101 level. What would you suggest to someone who is running a Heroic for the first time?