Everyone knows that Cataclysm Heroics are not the faceroll that heroics were in Wrath.However, it is still possible to run any dungeon quickly and efficiently. The trouble that most people are having is because the Wrath method of achieving this goal is currently not viable and the method I am about to layout would have slowed down groups in Wrath. There are also some changes people need to make in the way they play and the abilities they use.
I'll start with the role I know best, the healer but will move through the holy trinity of healer, tank and DPS and in doing so giving everyone something to learn or be reminded of.
Your role is to fix people that take damage. But right now our heals suck and mana is precious. All healing classes have 4 types of heal slow/efficient, slow/big, fast/inefficient and a group heal (efficient for 3 or more targets. Spamming big, fast and group heals is going to put you out of mana real quick so unless the fight is ending within 30 seconds don't do it.
The strategy you employ should be one of triage, healing the most needy first and if someone is not at risk of dying in the next 5 seconds, all is good. I work on 4 facts in order they are :
- Am I going to die?
- Is the tank going to die?
- Is one DPS going to die?
- Is more than one DPS going to die?
one of 1), 2) or 3) are true will heal them with the most appropriate heal, small, large or HoT;
only 4) is true use the group heal even if it is only 2 DPS, the chances are the other 3 group members will not be at 100% and you'll not be wasting much mana per HP healed if any;
1) and 2) or 1) and 3) are true I cast a binding heal, which is godly for priests. Lesser healing classes have to heal themselves and then revisit the list and hope the tank/DPS didn't die or choose an ineffiecient group heal;
1), 2) and 3) are true the good old group heal is the only option;
If none are true and your mana is at 50% or below regen mana as you wand to add some DPS or position yourself better;
If none are true and you have the mana heal people to 100% health in order of tank, you, DPS;
Now sometimes you will have someone die on you because you made a wrong decision, learn from it. If it didn't cause a wipe its no loss if it did apologise to the group. But remember, you can't heal through stupid so don't try to keep the guy standing in the fire alive he is just a mana drain.
Heroics right now are not easy for anyone. You take too much damage, the DPS is low and the healers can't heal through it. Learn to accept crowd control (CC). It can turn horrid pulls into laughably easy pulls nearly all classes have CC and those that don't can always off-tank a mob. Learn the CC each class brings:
Druid - Cyclone, Root, Hibernate;
Hunter - Freezing Trap, Wyvern Sting and pets can off tank;
Mage - Sheep;
Paladin - Repentance;
Priest - Fear (glyphed!), Mind Control (best for shadow priests) and Shackle Undead;
Rogue - Blind, Sap and Evasion off tanking;
Shaman - Hex and Bind Elemental
Warlock - Banish, Enslave Demon, Fear (glyphed), Seduce and pets can off-tank
Mark mobs up, define a kill order and assign people a symbol to CC at the beginning of the run and check they all understand.
My preferred kill order is:
I like to assign the icons based on class colour, which works most times but mages/shaman or multiples of a class mess that up but just get creative. I'm an old fashioned kind of guy and I always prefer a sap and a sheep although hunter traps are great and hex is also very good as it allows some damage absorbtion.
Now once the mobs are CC'd drag the live ones away from them so you don't break them. Learn to appreciate the value of CC and you'll soon learn it is faster than wiping and once we're in Tier 14 we'll be able to slack off a bit if we feel the need to go back into heroics.
My dear damage dealers. You have a little bit of a learning curve Wrath was a zergfest, Catalysm is more of a team effort. We still need you to do maximum DPS, it makes the healers and tanks happy when you kill stuff really quickly. But, now we need a bit more brains than we did in Wrath. Firstly, Uncle Ghostcrawler gave you some crowd control be ready to use it when the tank asks for it (see tank bit above for details) and also stick to the kill order, nuke the primary target hard, if you have DoTs, apply them to the secondary targets as well but make sure to wait a few seconds so the tank has threat on them and do not DoT the ones marked for CC.
Once upon a time, only priests, shaman, druids and paladins could heal, but now many classes have self heals Drain Life, Recuperate, Death Strike, Enraged Regeneration, Victory Rush it seems only hunters and mages are left with no ability to self heal. So if you are hurting give the healer a hand and heal yourself a bit. Living longer will mean you do more damage overall, honest.
Also, damage avoidance is better than any healing. If you can dispel something from yourself or a team mate do so. If you can interrupt the spell cast from the mob do it, especially if it is a heal as NPC heals are way overpowered, a kick, counterspell, or stun works even a CC spell works.
and of course, the "fire", don't stand in it!