There’s nothing like spending some time away from WoW to put our community in an extremely harsh light. Over the holiday, I tried out a different MMO – the Secret World – and thoroughly enjoyed my time hacking my way through zombies, ghouls, and evil Nordic sea dudes. But as is always the case when I play another MMO, I am only too happy to return to WoW thanks to the many ways Blizzard has improved player quality of life over the years. The one thing I wasn’t so happy to return to was the poor attitude that so often pervades our community.
It’s easy to forget, or even be completely unaware, that not every MMO playerbase treats beginner questions the way we do in WoW. The first questing area in the Secret World is regularly frequented by more seasoned players, and the General chat there is constantly flooded with questions. Often those questions are extremely basic – things that players could learn through a simple Google search or sometimes even from an in-game tutorial video. Despite this, the majority of players answered these newbie questions accurately and without a hint of sarcasm. This was the rule, not the exception. It made me wish that, in general, the WoW community could see fit to return to a time when we weren’t all so jaded, and such unfailing experts on every aspect of the game.
Currently, this attitude is nowhere more prevalent than in LFR and in our discussions of LFR. Not to pick on the blogosphere, but I am sick to death of reading posts about how terrible everyone’s LFR experiences are. I would say that I have been lucky to have relatively few bad experiences in LFR since this expansion was released, but I truly believe that it’s more than just luck. In the interest of trying to actually DO something about the climate of the community and particularly in raid finder, here are a few tips to make your weekly “obligation” less of a trial:
1.) Use the tools Blizzard gave you.
There is plenty of bad behavior in LFR, but there are also plenty of ways to deal with it. First and foremost, the relatively new feature that allows us to right click on a player’s name and report them for language has an awesome side effect – it also essentially ignores that player for a stretch of time. You’ll notice that as soon as you use this report feature, that player’s text will disappear from your chat window. I’m uncertain as to how long this temporary ignore lasts, but it has never run out in the time it’s taken me to finish the raid so it must be at least an hour or so. It also means that you don’t waste space on your actual Ignore list on someone you may never see again. Of course, your actual Ignore list remains a fantastic tool for hiding those repeat offenders, especially those on your home server who you are likely to see much more frequently.
Use the vote to kick option when a problem is serious enough to merit it. I generally give a person 3 strikes (unless, obviously, they are being particularly crude or doing something that is directly causing the group to wipe. For example, this past week I had a Ret Paladin who I noticed went AFK at the beginning of Feng and was still AFK as we were about to pull Gara’jal. As we progressed through the trash after Feng, I whispered the paladin to see if he was returning. A few minutes later, I addressed him in Instance chat (being sure to use his name, not simply “paladin”). When he was still gone as we finished the trash, I put it to the raid group: ”[Paladin's name] has been AFK since the beginning of the Feng fight. Please vote to kick him.” The raid did, the vote passed, and we got another DPS for the final fight.
If you aren’t using the vote to kick tool, you’re basically helping to screw over yourself and the rest of the community. I’ll pick on my guild members for a moment, since one of them recently told me a story about leaving a Mogu’shan Vaults LFR after two wipes on Will of the Emperor because the tanks refused to move the bosses to opposite sides of the room. The group explained to the tanks what they needed to do, and the tanks ignored this advice both times. For some bizarre reason, no one (including my guildmate) initiated a vote kick. Instead, the majority of the group simply dropped.
Now, I can understand why people do this. Two wipes can feel like a huge waste of time when you are used to easily one-shotting the fight, and waiting for two new tanks to fill the empty slots could take a few minutes more. If, however, you choose to drop out rather than vote kick the offenders, you’re really causing several new problems. First, the people at fault aren’t going to learn anything. Sure – they may not anyway, as is likely in the aforementioned case, but being forcibly removed from a raid group is something that is more likely to give a player pause than a few choice words in Instance chat. If you leave the group, you have also screwed up your own chances of finishing the remaining encounters in that portion of LFR this week. The LFR tool is smart enough that, by default, it attempts to find you a group that has completed as many bosses as you have. While this is intended to be helpful (and it CAN be helpful, sometimes), it often results in a ludicrously long queue time. What time you believe you “wasted” sitting through those two wipes and then waiting for the system to get new players is a drop in the bucket compared to how much time you are going to waste waiting for the queue to find you an in-progress raid. And remember – if you don’t finish that final boss encounter, you won’t get your Valor points.
2.) Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Some things are really worth getting angry about and/or kicking someone from your group. A lot of things aren’t.
If someone is spouting truly hateful and offensive trash in Instance chat, then I am absolutely going to vote to kick them. If they are just being generally obnoxious (swearing constantly, demanding that someone link meters, linking their own meters), then the report language/spamming and ignore features are really enough to do the trick.
Some things are really bad form and really bad playing, but probably aren’t worth the hassle of vote kicking. Recently I had a warlock who didn’t seem to understand that her Wrathguard shouldn’t have his taunt on while she was in a raid group. Normally it would hardly be an issue, but this was in the second half of MSV, and every one of those fights has some sort of mechanic that means the boss needs to be facing the way the group expects it to. I used my 3 strikes method, and whispered her multiple times with no response. As frustrating as it was, it probably wasn’t worth vote kicking her. We had a few close calls on Spirit Kings because the pet would taunt and Qiang would turn during his cleave, but most of the time her pet died so quickly that it didn’t even matter. Is it bad playing? Sure, but it wasn’t going to cause us to wipe, so who cares?
One of the worst offenses I see on a regular basis are players who queue as healers but who DPS once they actually get in a group. This is really bad form and really obnoxious, no question. But it is also significantly reducing the amount of time non-healers have to sit in LFR queues. Now, I am in no way condoning this behavior. It sucks. But if my LFR group isn’t wiping due to a lack of healing (which is something that almost never happens), I could care less. The issue is that we really don’t need 6 healers in the majority of LFR groups, but the system is set up to slot for the worse case scenario. An LFR group might actually need 6 healers if they were all very undergeared and inexperienced, but most fights can easily be 2 or 3 healed by healers who know the fights and have relatively good gear. So while I hate feeling like these non-healing healers are getting away with something, I can also recognize that it will waste more time and effort to kick them than it will to just let them stick around. This isn’t a problem we can solve – it’s a tuning issue that Blizzard needs to take another look at.
Essentially, when you are deciding whether to try to vote kick someone, remember this: every player you kick has to be replaced by someone new. That means that the new person may be entering an in-progress group and may queue again to try to complete the earlier bosses, and may then drop out after completing those fights. Their spot will then have to be filled by yet another person, causing exactly the same problem and perpetuating the cycle. If possible, it is always better to educate or resolve a problem than to kick.
One final note about vote kicks: For as much as I’ve stressed tolerance when it comes to minor bad behavior and any level of performance issues, there are absolutely some things that no one should tolerate. Hate speech of any kind, shaming, and harassment are always reasons to get someone out of your group. If the worst happens and, for some reason, you cannot get the person kicked out be sure to immediately write down their character name and server. Then, put the person on Ignore and report them as soon as possible. The majority of the responsibility for making the WoW community what we want it to be rests on our own shoulders, and we have to make the Game Masters aware of unacceptable behavior.
3.) Queue as Raid Leader.
I get what you’re thinking – LFR is supposed to be fast and easy. Why should you want to be the one in charge or take responsibility for anyone learning how to do the fights correctly?
I know it sounds like a ton of work, but since I have started queuing as a Raid Leader, I’ve had much better experiences in LFR. You’d be amazed how much of a difference it makes when someone is actually willing to mark mobs, mark the tanks, and put down the ground markers where people need to stand. Having that dark orange text also tends to lend some authority to what you say, even if there are dissenters in the ranks. The raid finder fights have been tuned so that there are only a handful of abilities that anyone has to get right in order to complete the fight. All you really need to do is explain those two or three abilities in raid chat before each fight. Do not wait for someone to ask for help – the people who really need the help probably won’t ask for it. (They either don’t know they need help or have been conditioned to assume that requests for help will only be met with sarcasm.) Before each fight, simply type a few quick sentences explaining what people need to do, and drop any marks that are needed. If you aren’t a fast typist, simply drop the sentences into a Wordpad file so that you can copy and paste them.
I know this sounds like more trouble than it’s worth – I promise you it’s not. It’s hardly any work for you, and it will increase your group’s likelihood of success. If you’re so inclined, you can also think of it as an investment in the LFR community. Anyone who learns something from your limited time contribution is also likely to perform better in future groups.
All that said, it is not your job to teach people in LFR how to raid. To make your LFR experience successful, it is your job to teach them how to do the LFR encounters without dying or otherwise wiping the group. If your expectation is that everyone in LFR should be capable of playing at a level that would make them successful on normal difficulty, then your expectations are too high. You don’t need to berate them for taking too much avoidable damage. You don’t need to fuss that they have ungemmed or unenchanted gear. Gems and enchants do not make the difference between success and failure in LFR because the tuning of the encounters is already beyond forgiving in regards to DPS and HPS requirements. You also do not need to tell anyone why they are playing their class wrong, which spec they should play, or complain about how low their DPS is. If you want to love (tolerate) LFR, make this your mantra: As long as we are beating the encounters, everything is peachy.
4.) Bring your own healers.
Healers are what hold up LFR queues, so obviously bringing your own healer(s) will make your queue that much shorter. More importantly, one or two good healers can forgive a multitude of sins in any LFR group. If you group has just one or two healers who are geared and paying attention to what’s going on, they will be able to make up for just about any other deficiencies. Low tank health, abysmal DPS, failure to avoid damage – all this can be glossed over by decent healers. The only thing healers can’t really compensate for is utter disregard of the mechanics of an encounter. (So we can’t save you if you fall through Elegon’s floor, we probably won’t be able to keep it together if the group breaks CC at the beginning of Wind Lord, etc.) Fortunately, there aren’t too many cases like this. Now obviously this isn’t an ideal raiding situation – but LFR isn’t an ideal raiding situation, and we have to learn to accept that. (Don’t forget your mantra!)
5.) Queue with friends.
I can’t stress this enough. Not everyone has a guild to run with, but you can use Battle Tags to group with people from other servers (and the WoW community on Twitter is a great place to find people who might be interested in this). My guild has made it a point to set up weekly LFR runs for all of the instances since the expansion was released and it has made a world of difference for us. Obviously, we appreciate being able to talk in Vent and coordinate what we’re doing, and we go into LFR certain that a large portion of the group understands the encounters. Also, since we queue as a group of anywhere from 5-20 people, I am almost always able to get the Raid Leader role (as far as I can tell, if you queue as a large group then the person who is lead of that group seems to have a much higher likelihood of being Raid Leader). Most importantly, having so many people means that we always know that we have the numbers to police our group when it needs to be policed. When it has to happen, initiating a vote kick is very easy.
Perhaps the most important tip of all is this: If you absolutely hate LFR, don’t do it. There are many other ways to get gear, many other ways to get Valor, and it is no good to allow a leisure activity frustrate you so much that you are berating total strangers. The angrier you get, the more likely that feeling is going to spill out into Instance chat, and from there it’s nearly always a downward spiral. Otherwise, if you’re ready to give “positive LFRing” a shot, then grab a few friends (at least one of whom is a healer), queue as Raid Leader, turn a blind eye to that rogue who has been auto-attacking since the first trash pull, and always remember: As long as we are beating the encounters, everything is peachy.
I just loved this post from Aunaka Heals in which Aunaka created a mixed drink for each member of her raiding team. In fact, I loved it so much I had to try it out myself!
(Milric – Raid Leader and Holy Paladin)
Ingredients: Gin, lemon juice, and club soda with a lemon peel garnish. Yell “Hooooooooly … SHOCK!!!!” as you pour.
Story: Milric likes to Holy Shock things to death, including his own raid team. Anytime I get mind-controlled he likes to yell, “DIE, TZUFIT, DIE!” It’s a really comforting trait in a healer.
(Hanani – Raid Organizer and Windwalker Monk)
Ingredients: Combine whiskey (it’s going to need to be Bushmills and if you have to ask why we probably shouldn’t be friends), sugar syrup and lemon juice. Heat, then add hot water. Drink until your ears are smoking, then munch on a mint leaf to calm yourself down (you’ll have some time until the healers rez you).
Story: Hanani manages the schedule for our raid group and makes sure that we stay on task and on time. So let’s just get through this trash and move on to the first boss and GODDAMMIT GUYS I WILL F*#KING PULL IF YOU DON’T STOP TALKING IN VENT GOSH.
(Sashan – Protection Paladin)
Ingredients: In a shot glass, layer 100 proof cinnamon schnapps over hazelnut liqueur and ignite. Extinguishing the flame before consumption is optional. Multiple stacks/shots will increase your damage done.
Story: Sashan enjoys taking avoidable damage because he says it helps him build stacks of Vengeance. We’re sure that’s why he does it.
Line of Sight
(Bluebaloo – Guardian Druid)
Ingredients: 1 bottle of bourbon, 1 shot glass. May impact RL line of sight. Avoid stairs after drinking.
Story: Blue has died once, maybe twice, because he was tanking mobs on stairs and his healers couldn’t keep him in LoS. We will never let him forget it.
Sha of Inebriation
(Azandir – Sometimes Discipline Sometimes Shadow Priest)
Ingredients: Drip chocolate into a martini glass. Mix Kaluha, Bailey’s, and creme de cacao and pour. Top with chocolate shavings (and the fears of your enemies).
Story: Azandir was the first person in our group to get one of the weapons that is a part of the legendary questline. Now his Shadowfiend is one of those black and white Sha minions. He tells us it’s a happy Sha, but … we only know of one Sha of Happiness.
The Pro Mage
(Felanima - Mage / Angler extraordinaire)
Ingredients: Combine vodka, melon liqueur, coconut rum, and pineapple juice and blend with ice. Garnish with a paper umbrella - pro mages need to kick back and enjoy some tropical deep-sea fishing on their off days.
Story: Fel is our awesome Fire/Arcane mage who is always willing to drop what she’s doing and fill in when we need a 10th person. (Luckily for us, she and Milric are married so we are always able to summon her.) She is also the guild angler and LOVES fishing … we don’t actually know why.
(Soulthirst – Warlock)
Ingredients: Sour apple schnapps, amaretto, lime juice. Garnish with 4 slices of lime (3 if you aren’t using the glyph).
Story: Maybe you haven’t heard about it because warlocks don’t mention it often, but some warlocks want green fire. And you should probably give the warlocks what they want. Before every pull, Soulthirst kills his felhunter. We know it’s for the DPS from Grimoire of Sacrifice … but, killing your dog? Damn, that’s cold. Keep that in mind, Blizz.
(Pollia – Frost Mage)
Ingredients: Mix champagne and blue raspberry vodka, and pour over frozen melon balls. Serve in a chilled champagne flute, and line the rim with sugar.
Story: Pollia has been a Frost Mage since before it was COOL – you get it?! Cool! He named his water elemental “Bubbly” because apparently it’s actually made out of champagne.
(Chrixus - Mostly Boomkin unless you want him to go Bear/Cat/Tree today)
Ingredients: Vodka, gin, and triple sec. Cranberry juice if you have it, pineapple juice if not. Maybe both, actually. A splash of rum unless you’d rather do tequila, and then some sweet and sour mix for good measure. Oh, wait. Do you have grapefruit juice? Maybe add that too. Actually, why not do an orange wedge while you’re at it. Did anybody buy Kool Aid packets while we were at the store?
Story: In Firelands, Chrixus was a Boomkin. And then in Dragon Soul he was our off tank and sometimes a Boomkin and sometimes a cat. And now in t14 Chrixus is a Boomkin again except when he’s a Tree – oh, or if we’re short a tank he can just go back to a city and spec Bear for tonight, Ok?
The Ginger Dwarf
(Emelaine – Hunter whose pet wolf Scraps does all the work)
Ingredients: Ginger beer mixed with your choice of ale or lager. Drink 1, head to ICC, and see if you can successfully disengage back onto the platform after a Val’kyr picks you up. If you can, have another. Feign death, reset the ecounter, and try again. If you still can, have another. Repeat until death, at which point you can properly say that you’ve had a few shandies.
Story: It is a well-known Fact that Scraps soloed Deathwing AND the Lich King AND Nefarian AND Onyxia AND a couple of Shas with two paws tied behind his back. Scraps pretty much carries our raid. He has to since Emelaine is usually busy Disengaging off the Frozen Throne.
(Hachidori - Mistweaver Monk, a.k.a. Tzufit)
Ingredients: Kahlua, brandy, creme de cacao, and hazelnut liqueur. Guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Story: There is a common misconception in the guild that I never swear. The reality is that the guild never hears me swear because my Vent is push-to-talk. When I do swear in Vent, it seems to become a major *thing* and I like to believe that it makes the rest of the raid get ready for SERIOUS RAIDING BUSINESS. (It doesn’t.) Any and all profanity comes from a place of love (probably).
Side note: What a nicely transmogrified bunch we are! It’s no coincidence – Hanani threatens to kick us from the raid for Fashion Reasons on a regular basis.
So, go on! Now that we’re all good and thirsty … what’s YOUR mixed drink?
Like most things Mistweaver, our system for mana return is vastly different than that of every other healer in the game. Priests, shaman, druids, and paladins all have some sort of ability they can use every few minutes that will return a chunk of mana to them. Monks, on the other hand, must constantly manage our mana-return ability throughout an entire fight. It is a significantly more active system than for other classes.
The Mistweaver’s only way to regenerate mana is through our Mana Tea ability. The ability requires stacks of a buff by the same name to use, and this buff can stack up to 20 times. We generate 1 stack of Mana Tea for every 4 Chi that we spend.
Let’s go back and review that again:
In order to return mana, we have to spend Chi.
This is extremely important, and makes up a significant part of what we need to learn to be effective healers. At first glance and during leveling, Chi may seem somewhat optional for us. The vast majority of our direct healing spells require mana to use, not Chi. But the introduction of Mana Tea at level 56 completely changes the importance of our second resource.
In order to efficiently generate stacks of Mana Tea, Chi should be spent as quickly as we generate it. The only exception to this is when we know that there is large spike in damage coming soon, and we want to hold on to 2 or 4 Chi to use Uplift on our raid group. Aside from these situations, there is essentially no reason to save Chi nor to allow it to cap.
To Glyph or Not to Glyph
Unglyphed, our Mana Tea ability returns 4% mana for every 1 second that we channel it – up to a maximum of 80% of our mana over 20 seconds. The obvious downside to this ability is that we must channel it, meaning we are able to do nothing else during that time (think of Potions of Concentration/Focus as a parallel). Stacks are not wasted if we cancel the channel, so we can easily cancel the ability and resume healing if we need to (unlike the Potions mentioned).
Given the difficulty of using Mana Tea as a channeled spell, however, the vast majority of Mistweavers choose to Glyph Mana Tea. The glyph makes Mana Tea an instant cast, and uses up to 2 stacks of the buff each time (it will always consume 2 stacks unless we only have 1 stack when the ability is used). It also gives Mana Tea a 10 second cooldown. Basically, the Glyph of Mana Tea can give us 8% mana back every 10 seconds – assuming we have enough stacks of the buff to constantly support this.
In order to track when I should use Mana Tea, I have created a Weak Aura that checks for 3 variables:
Is the Mana Tea ability off cooldown?
Do I have 2 or more stacks of Mana Tea?
Do I have less than 85% mana?
If the answers to all 3 variables are “yes,” then my Weak Aura will appear to remind me that I should use Mana Tea. The import string for this Weak Aura is provided below:
Overall, I find myself enjoying this system and the added complexity it brings to the Mistweaver spec. I really appreciate how much thought went into the way that mana use, spending Chi, and returning mana all interact with each other. It makes for a challenging, interesting, and incredibly unique healing model.
A quick tip today for all the new Mistweavers out there. You have probably noticed that one of the annoying side effects of channeling Soothing Mists is that your camera follows your healing target all over “Hell’s half acre.” The same is also true for other channeled spells like Penance, Arcane Missiles, Mind Flay, and many more. Chances are good that this is driving you bonkers.
Fortunately, it is very simple to turn off this camera option. If you are planning to raid (or, really, do any level 90 content on your Monk) I would go so far as to say that doing so is necessary. Having your camera constantly turning – and it will be constant, since you will be using Soothing Mists a lot – is a sure way to get yourself killed by a void zone or other ability that you need to watch closely in order to avoid.
To disable camera turning on channeled spells, simply copy and paste the following into your chat window:
/console cameraSmoothTrackingStyle 0
Should you want to re-enable camera tracking, the command to do so is:
/console cameraSmoothTrackingStyle 1
So you’ve created a Mistweaver Monk and hopefully read my earlier post on the pros and cons of the spec. Now it’s time to start leveling.
If you have chosen to create a Pandaren Monk, you will find that the Wandering Isle does not have mailboxes (this is because of the problems that come from Pandaren being essentially faction-less until they complete all the quests on the Isle – also, can you IMAGINE the shipping costs to send something to a turtle in the middle of the sea who’s constantly moving?). Low level Pandaren, therefore, will not have access to heirlooms until they choose a faction and are ported to their new home city. At that point, and at level 1 for all other races, the following heirlooms are available:
- Preened Tribal War Feathers - Available if your guild has reached level 20, purchased from guild vendors for 1,500g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Preened Ironfeather Shoulders - Purchaseable for 2,175 Justice Points, 110 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 60 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
- or -
Lasting Feralheart Spaulders - Purchaseable for 2,175 Honor Points. (These shoulders have + PvP Resilience.)
- Preened Ironfeather Breastplate - Purchaseable for 2,175 Justice Points, 110 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 60 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
- Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak - Available if your guild has reached level 10, purchased from guild vendors for 1,200g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Preened Wildfeather Leggings – Available if your guild has completed the achievement Working As a Team, purchased from guild vendors for 1,750g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Discerning Eye of the Beast - Purchaseable for 2,725 Justice Points, 130 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 75 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown. You can equip 2 of these trinkets at the same time.
- Dignified Headmaster’s Charge - Purchaseable for 3,500 Justice Points, 160 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 95 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
(The staff is preferable to the 1H Intellect mace, which your Mistweaver can also use, only because using a 1H weapon while leveling means that you will be dependent upon quest rewards and dungeon drops to fill your offhand slot. The Headmaster’s Charge is also generally preferable to the Grand Staff of Jordan, which is weighted more toward defensive stats for PvP.)
The shoulders, chest, trinket, and weapon(s) will all increase your experience from levels 1-80, meaning you will benefit from the XP gain until you hit 81. The helm, legs, and cloak will all increase your experience from levels 1-85, meaning you will benefit from the XP gain until you hit 86. Remember, however, that heirlooms count as an iLv of 1, so you may have some difficulty queueing for dungeons beyond level 70 if your heirlooms are equipped.
Before you are able to choose your specialization, you will have a chance to get used to the way your damage abilities work to build and spend Chi. For these first 10 levels, your primary resource will be Energy rather than mana. You will learn:
|(1) Jab – Your basic attack that grants 1 Chi|
|(3) Tiger Palm – A stronger attack that costs 1 Chi. It also grants the buff Tiger Power, causing your attacks to ignore 10% of enemies’ armor for 20 sec. Tiger Power can stack up to 3 times, for a 30% armor penetration buff. (In Patch 5.1, this ability will no longer stack.) Tiger Palm will be the best way to get rid of excess Chi for the much of your leveling experience.|
|(5) Roll – Allows you to roll a short distance. You cannot change directions while you are rolling, nor can you stop yourself (unless you run into something). You can, however, roll backwards if you are moving backwards when you activate the ability. Roll has 2 charges, and those charges begin to regenerate after you use the first one.|
|(7) Blackout Kick - A strong attack that costs 2 Chi. While you are leveling, you will find that Blackout Kick is not significantly stronger for a Mistweaver Monk, so you can mostly ignore it and spend your Chi on Tiger Palm instead. This will change slightly after level 34.|
Choosing Your Specialization, Level 10
Upon reaching level 10, you will officially be able to become a Mistweaver. Doing so will grant you the following abilities:
|(10) Stance of the Wise Serpent – This is the stance you will always use when you are healing. It converts your Energy to Mana, increases your healing done by 20%, grants hit and expertise equal to 50% Spirit gained from items or effects, and your attack power is equal to 200% of your spell power. Essentially, this is the ability that makes it possible for you – wearing caster leather – to effectively deal melee damage.|
|(10) Eminence - Your Stance of the Wise Serpent also grants this passive effect. When you deal damage with any ability (except auto-attacks), Eminence heals the lowest health target within 20 yards for 50% of the damage done. This is what makes it possible for you to heal by DPSing.|
|(10) Soothing Mist – Your first healing spell, Soothing Mist is a long, channeled spell that heals for a moderate amount. Each tick has a 25% chance to generate 1 Chi, and this is the only direct heal you will have until level 32. At low levels, it is best used when the tank or another group member is taking a steady stream of incoming damage. Otherwise, you will find that it is equally effective to use your damaging moves to passively heal with Eminence.|
Leveling with a Mistweaver spec is perfectly viable. You really don’t take any longer to kill mobs than a Brewmaster or Windwalker would, and you have the added benefit of always being able to heal yourself. Particularly if you are using heirlooms, you are very unlikely to run out of mana while you are questing.
Most of what you learn for the next several levels will be utility or situational abilities (and I have only included those that are likely to be relevant to a Mistweaver):
|(18) Resuscitate – Your resurrection spell.|
|(20) Detox – Your dispell, which removes Poison and Disease effects. Because you are speced as a Mistweaver, it will also remove harmful magical effects from a friendly target. Like all MoP dispells, this ability is on an 8 second cooldown.|
|(20) Zen Pilgrimage – A teleport spell that brings you to a Monk sanctuary at the top of Kun-Lai Summit. Every 10 levels, you will have a class quest to complete that rewards you with a weapon or belt and, more importantly, a 50% increase to your XP gained for the next hour. These quests require you to defeat a monk NPC at the temple, and usually teach you about using your CC spells. They can also be repeated once a day to get the 50% XP boost back. There are also trainers at the temple should you need to respec or change your glyphs and talents.|
|(22) Legacy of the Emperor – Your raid buff, it increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect by 5%. This is the same buff as Blessing of Kings and Gift of the Wild, so it will not stack with either of those.|
|(22) Touch of Death – This ability costs 3 Chi and “instantly kills” a non-player target with equal or less health than you. What it really does is deal physical damage equal to your maximum health that ignores the target’s armor. If you have the 3 Chi, it’s helpful to use on cooldown while questing to quickly take out a quest mob, and the same goes for dungeon groups.|
|(24) Fortifying Brew – This is a damage reduction cooldown you can only use on yourself, increasing your health by 20% and reducing damage taken by 20% for 20 seconds. It’s been a lifesaver when I have an overzealous tank who can’t hold agro on everything he pulls.|
|(26) Expel Harm – A nifty self-heal, this spell is on a 15 second cooldown and is quite cheap to cast. It also generates 1 Chi and damages a nearby target for 50% of the healing you receive. If you are at anything less than full health and Expel Harm is available, use it.|
|(28) Disable – A helpful snare to keep you away from melee in PvP, or from angry mobs. Disable reduces your target’s movement speed by 50%, and its duration is refreshed if the target remains within 10 yards of the you. If you use Disable on a target that has already snared, they will be rooted for 8 seconds instead.|
Once your Mistweaver gets into the 30s, you’ll really start to see more of your healing toolkit. The spells you learn between 30-60 are the ones you will use the most often for direct healing and group healing.
|(32) Spear Hand Strike – Our interrupt, which can also silence a target if they are facing us when we hit them.|
|(34) Surging Mist – This is somewhat like a Flash Heal for monks. It is expensive, heals for a large amount, generates 1 Chi, and becomes an instant-cast if we cast it while we are channeling Soothing Mist. This is part of what makes monks so much different from other healers – the way that many of our spells work differently if they are used while we are casting Soothing Mist. There is really never a reason to hard-cast this spell; it should always be used while channeling as an instant-cast. Use Surging Mist during periods of high damage when you need to quickly top up the tank or someone else in your party.|
|(34) Enveloping Mist – A HoT which both heals its target for a moderate amount over 6 seconds, and also increases the amount of healing done by Soothing Mists on the target. Just like Surging Mist, Enveloping Mist is instant-cast if used while channeling Soothing Mists and, again, never should be hard-cast. This is doubly true with Enveloping Mist, since the idea is to cast it on a target who you will then continue to heal with Soothing Mist. Enveloping Mist costs 3 Chi.|
|(34) Teachings of the Monastery* – This passive skill enhances 3 of your DPS abilities: Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick, and Spinning Crane Kick. Our Blackout Kick will now provide the buff “Serpent’s Zeal,” which makes any auto-attack damage we do heal nearby party members for 25% (or 50% at 2 stacks). Our Tiger Palm ability will now grant the buff “Vital Mists,” which reduces the cast time and mana cost of our next Surging Mist by 20% per stack (up to a total of 5 stacks, at which point Surging Mist will be instant-cast and free). Finally, our Spinning Crane Kick will heal nearby injured targets in addition to causing AoE damage. If you heal at least 1 target (other than yourself) with Spinning Crane Kick, it will also generate 1 Chi.|
* Teachings of the Monastery is the ability that makes so-called “Fistweaving” (a somewhat awful name for the Monk style of healing that involves actively damaging an enemy rather than traditional, cast-based healing) a viable way to heal in many fights. Whether Fistweaving is an effective way to heal at max level is a hotly-debated topic among Mistweaver monks right now. For leveling purposes, however, you will find that healing through melee abilities is certainly possible, and often more engaging than casting.
The 40s will give us access to our group-healing spells, as well as a few additional utility abilities.
|(42) Renewing Mists – Easily my favorite monk healing spell, Renewing Mists is a very unique HoT. Not entirely unlike Prayer of Mending, Renewing Mists jumps from its initial target to 3 additional party members, applying its HoT to each of them. The HoT lasts for 18 seconds, but only has an 8 second cooldown – meaning it can be rolling on several people at the same time. Casting Renewing Mists generates 1 Chi.|
|(44) Paralysis – The monk’s CC ability, which lasts 30 seconds against PvE mobs – or a full 1 minute if you cast it while behind your target. In PvP, this ability lasts 4 seconds if cast from the front and 8 seconds from behind. Unless you choose to take the Deadly Reach talent, you must be within melee range to use this spell.|
|(45) Dematerialize – A handy emergency passive during PvP or when unruly mobs decide to smack the healer, Dematerialize causes you to “phase out of existence” when you are stunned. This effect lasts for 2 seconds and temporarily causes all melee, ranged, and spell attacks to miss you. It has a 10 sec cooldown.|
|(46) Spinning Crane Kick – As cool as it sounds, Spinning Crane Kick puts your character into a whirlwind that both damages enemies and heals friendly targets. Unglyphed, it will also slow your movement speed by 30%. For fights in which our party or raid can be tightly stacked, this is a very strong AoE heal.|
Levels 50-90 will be covered in the second half of this guide. Questions, comments, and corrections are more than welcome!
Like many of the WoW bloggers out there, I’ve been a little absent recently and the reason is pretty simple – Mists of Pandaria is a LOT of fun!
Though I spent the first 2 weeks raiding on my Resto druid, I also leveled a Monk (in record time for me), and brought her to heal our 10-man group this past Thursday. I’ve definitely caught the Mistweaver bug, so you’ll be seeing some Monk healing and leveling guides up on the site before too much longer.
I hope that you’re all enjoying the new expansion as much as I am, and I’ll leave you with one parting thought: