November 28, 2009

WoW Raid Rx: Maximizing the proc

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the idea of using spells based around procs or on-use trinkets. Now I don't know about you, but I sometimes tend to forget that I have these on-use abilities. Other times I never notice procs going off.

But first, what is a proc anyway?

A proc is short for procedure. They are events that happen when conditions are triggered. For example, Val'anyr will trigger a buff for the user when they heal players. This buff then grants the player to place shields on anyone they heal.

Chance on use procs

These ones are a bit trickier to base spells around of. They're random and the effects will only kick in after you meet a condition (heal a player, damage a target, etc). Something like Solace of the Defeated will kick in every time. All a healer needs to do is continue casting, and the mp5 buff will always be up. However, if the healer stops casting for a prolonged period of time, the buff falls off and they'll have to develop their stack again.

In contrast, you have the chance trinkets. A good example is Pandora's Plea (which has eluded me in 5 months of Ulduar farming). Your spells have a chance to increase spellpower by 751 for 10 seconds. It's good for any DPS or healer. I seem to have this problem where my trinkets will activate after a boss dies or during moments when I'm busy running around trying to survive. However, in the off chance that I'm in a good position where I'm not distracted, this is where you'll want to pop your strongest heals to take advantage of it.

Raid take a whole bunch of damage? If Pandora's Plea goes off, start dumping obscene amounts of Prayer of Healing or some other raid wide heal (Tranquility? Chain Heal? Glyphed Holy Light spam?). That's 10 seconds where your spells gain a massive bonus to healing. Take advantage of the situation.

If you're forgetful like me, there's a few addons out there that'll flash stuff on your screen to help remind you when they're active. Power Auras Classic is the standard that many players like to use in order to track what buffs happen to be up. I personally found it a bit too complicated for my taste, so I relied on something simpler like Surgetrack. It's the same idea where it'll show the icon of the proc in the middle of your screen when it's up and a timer that shows when it's going to run out.

Activated procs

Now activated procs are a different story. You get to control when these benefits occur. Talisman of Resurgence is a trinket that's accessible to any healer. Use it and gain 599 spellpower for 20 seconds. Spellpower boosting trinkets for healers should be saved when things get hectic in fights or when spike healing is required. An example of this would be say if Incinerate Flesh is active on a player and it needs to be removed at once. Activate the spellpower boost and unload your largest heals. When these trinkets should be used is largely situational and up to the player to decide.

A common question I hear players ask themselves (especially in the heat of battle) is should I save the activation of a trinket for later when I need it or use it now?

Here's a great guideline to follow when deciding trinket use that has served me well over the years.

If you have to ask yourself if this is a good time to use a trinket, it probably is.

Don't kick yourself in the butt later when you reflect and think that you could've prevented that wipe if you had that slight extra boost. It's happened to me too many times to count.

One more thing I want to add is in regards to mana regeneration trinkets. This typically applies to Druids and Priests as they're less reliant on mp5. If you're in possession of a trinket that adds a lot of Spirit like Spirit-world Glass, it's best to use it when you're not doing anything. Let the Spirit regeneration take effect without interfering.

Anything that provides stacking mp5 buffs such as Meteorite Crystal is better off used as often as possible. Mana per 5 regeneration is a constant no matter what you're doing. Use it early and every chance it's available.

Again, I'm suffering from not remembering to use these trinkets. There's two strategies behind trinket use and I'll let you in on a few tips to use these at key moments.

If you prefer manual activation, I suggest making a bar that contains your trinkets on them. Make the bar larger than your usual ones and place it somewhere prominent (perhaps in the middle of the screen but off to the side). There should be 1 or 2 icons there tops. I like to add a bit of transparency to them but that's just aesthetics.

If you prefer automatic activation, create a macro that combines your class cooldown spells with trinket use. They usually last the same amount of time (although most trinkets are 2 minute cooldowns and some classes have 3 minute cooldowns).

As an example, you could macro Talisman of Resurgence and Inner Focus together. Something like this:

/use 13
/cast Inner Focus

13 refers to the item slot number. In this case, 13 is the trinket in the top slot. 14 would be the trinket in the bottom slot. Between the two methods, you shouldn't have any difficulties with trinkets. Good luck!

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