When Arena Gear only takes you so far

Matticus just posted a story about a ZA run with an undergeared pallie healer. Immediate disclosure: no, it wasn’t me. But it resonated with last night’s WoW session.
I logged on my pallie, intending to go fishing some Golden Darters, which is more or less the only thing I can motivate myself to grind for cash these days. The guild had just wiped on Prince and one of their pallies had to log, so they asked me in as a replacement.
My “PvE” healing gear is still quite far from where it should be: green chest with +123 healing, green head with +110, S1 mace, PvP feet, hands and bracers, all for a grand total of +1340 healing unbuffed.

Now I believe I have always been open with the guild and raid leadership about the limitations in my playtime, my interest in arenas, and hence the other shortcomings on my kit, so when they get me in, it’s only because they would have to call it otherwise. But still, last night was a bit of an embarrassment, for lack of experience. Namely, in potting. Like I’d do in a normal instance, I drank my first mana potion when Parrot gave out the Low Mana warning, at about 2300 mana. Two minutes later, I was almost dry when I could pot again. The inevitable came 1 minute later: OoM and useless like an idiot who started realizing that if he had drunk his first potion at 6000 mana, he’d still be healing for another 3-4 minutes.

Not knowing the fight also wasted quite a chunk of my mana (running with two PUG priests whose healing habits I don’t know didn’t exactly help either) on overheals – where other quick boss stunts I did I managed to keep a light touch in this respect, I sat at a whopping 40% (!) last night, according to the WWS I ran.

Lessons learned:

  1. Pot early, pot often
  2. Get back to gearing up for PvE if I want to remain helpful in similar circumstances

And how did the fight go? We had an SPriest who got hit by a Shadow Nova while enfeebled at roughly 3 minutes into the fight: Minus 1 DPS. Our MT went down with Prince at 1%, at that stage only our GM, a pallie herself, wasn’t mana dry.

The rest of the guild started dropping like flies (and here I was, still OoM). And then our new Raid Leader, a BM hunter, landed a 3.2k crit, ending the show.

TeamSpeak errupted in wild cheering, tank and dps kit dropped, got three badges, rezzed raid, we called it, happy ending.

Still, Matticus’ point stands. No matter the circumstances, gear up for the task. At some point, it’s better to call a raid than get an undergeared player in who will, in practice, generate higher repair bills for everyone – even if we all know the drive for “just another try, we almost had him” will push the entire raid to get me invited against the interest of their pocketbook.

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7 Responses to When Arena Gear only takes you so far

  1. Someone (31 comments) says:

    Why don’t you gear him up a bit?

    My main is a 70 feral druid, and I followed BBB’s guide to starting gear and, between crafted (=bought in AH!) and quest rewards, I now have an (almost complete) set of reasonable tanking gear! Sure, I spent a few hundred gold there, actually, more like a few more hundred gold, and I even don’t play him much, but after an embarrassing Old Hilsbrad run where I performed sub-par due to being under-geared, I took on that challenge and geared up! I haven’t set a foot in another instance yet, but when I do, I’ll go much more confident! Still miss a couple points of defense, but not many, and have decent hp/armor pools now…

    Maybe somewhere out there exists a similar guide for a healing pally?! :)

  2. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    Of course there are guides for that, a lot of good ones for that. Lack of motivation to PUG these days is the primary reason for slacking gear, as for investing cash, well, I still have the hope of getting my epic flyer.
    Plus, I’m having a lot of fun with my mage.
    Still, last night was a warning, and while I’m in no way part of the raiding cadre, no help at all is better than inadequate help, so it’s going to be back to PUGs for a while.

  3. Galoheart (46 comments) says:

    I would go with the no help at all is better than inadequate help. But thats just my personal way of looking at things. Yet all you can give is your best in said gear and trying to last as long as you can in mana.

    Gearing up isn’t all that hard. The commitment to do so in considering all things is i would say.

  4. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    The real question about the “no help at all” though is, what will piss off your guild more: declining because you don’t want to put them at risk and thus forcing them to end their run, or going and wiping with them? And the logical and pragmatic answer isn’t necessary the best one.
    Plus, as I recounted, although it was a close call, we actually made it and one of our tanks improved his gear as a consequence. It’s just that looking on how things have gone, I’m far from satisfied by my contribution.

  5. Matticus (15 comments) says:

    Buddy, I would’ve taken you in a heartbeat over my guildie that we had.

  6. megan (28 comments) says:

    For “farmed” status encounters, when there is a choice between 9 people/calling the raid and 10 people/fight is a bit tougher due to gear, the latter is ok.

    The first time our guild downed Gruul, I had to bring in my PVP spec’d, PVP geared Resto Druid for those key HOTs during silences—way undergeared, think I had ~1100 Healing, ~60MP5. I helped offset this a little by way of consumables, but it was clear that I could only stick to my maintank/offtank lifebloom and rejuve rotations, anything more would be really stretching it for my gear.

    From then on, seeing how I did bring in my Druid sometimes for class balance reasons, I worked on my PVE gear for those just in case days—I have now safely healed as a Druid with 1 other healer in Kara, full clear, ~1600 Healing and ~140MP5.

  7. Hochopepa (Blackhand) (1 comments) says:

    My priest has good PVE gear and 1600ish healing with buffs and I still don’t like healing the Prince fight. I would much rather be on my hunter calling out Infernals… lol

    If it is a choice between calling the raid or giving out the lighter healing assignment to an undergeared healer, I would much rather give it a try.