Sugar skulls and Marigolds

When I first read about the new Day of the Dead festival coming to Azeroth I was really excited. We spent a couple of months travelling in Mexico and fell in love with the people, the culture and the food. So the first thing I did on returning from Halloween celebrations was log on and rush off to see what was available.


Candy skulls and marigolds, flowers of the dead

What can you do?

Visit any graveyard outside a major city (so Goldshire, Azurewatch, just outside Darnassus, Dun Morogh) for the Alliance along with Dalaran and Shattrah and emote /dance at Catrina. That nets you the only achievement available.


It also gives you a 12 hour buff turning you into Catrina if a female character or Chapman if male. As per usual with this type of seasonal thing, druids will lose the illusion the second they change form.

Then talk to Chapman who sells a variety of bits and pieces festival related stuff. I’m fairly impressed with the way they catered for all levels. Lowbies with a gold shortage can pick up the orange marigold rather than having to shell out 1g for the bouquet.


To go along the one achievement there is one quest, which requires you to make Bread of the Dead for a ghost. In order to see the quest you first need to head along to your own race’s graveyard or to Dalaran (Dead mages obviously don’t care who feeds them) and then use the marigolds to see the quest giver.

In order to complete the quest, you will need to either buy the bread recipe and make your own, or buy bread off a passer-by (since you buy the ingredients in 5s, most people will have 4 more than they need). The ingredients are easy, just ice cold milk and simple flour. Its also possibly worth picking up the materials in town, because tracking them down in the various villages can be tricky. You can’t cook it over just any fire either, it has to be made over the bright blue flames of a ghostly cooking fire found in any of the graveyards Catrina and Chapman are currently visiting. As a side note, the bread of the dead skills up cooking until 40 cooking skill.

Your reward for the quest is a cute little marionette which unfortunately only lasts the duration of the festival plus either gold if 80 or experience if lower level.


Catrina wannabe, Evil mask eating Nightelf and 2 marionettes planning on world domination

My big issue with this festival is the fact that virtually everything is temporary. I want to keep my cute little skeleton friend, I want to make dead man’s bread all year around if I feel like it. I hate being given something and then having it taken away. Yes, I know I sound like I’m three years old but that’s beside the point. In fact it seems like the only tangible item we get to keep is the bouquet of marigolds, although the use part will only work during the festival.

What I would like is the following:

  • Make the pet a proper pet. Dancing skeletons fit in with Azeroth just as well in December as they do now
  • Add more cooking recipes. I would like to be able to make sugar skulls for my friends for example

All in all though I have to admit brief though it is, I enjoyed it.


Above we can see the celebrations taking place on Azuremyst Isle and below, those from Darnassus (the graveyard is in Darnassus itself. If you are riding out towards Dolanaar, you want to take a left turn after passing through the Warrior’s Terrace but before the final city gate).


Holy Nova Batman, its a circle of healing!

Whilst wandering around the internet I came across Miss Medicina and a fascinating meme which isn’t a meme about healing. Reading through the various responses, my interest in the results got the better of me so I decided to gatecrash. After all, the more data the better right. Also I have to admit, its reassuring to see there are still plenty of holy priests out there. On my server at least, we seem to be a dying breed.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Erinys, primarily holy priest

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Almost 100 percent 25 mans. I tend to roll as disc for 5 mans and 10 mans.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Prayer of mending. It might be annoying in the sense you have no control over where it goes and it has a tendency to get stuck on pets, but its a joy to behold zinging around. Although I admit, I actually found this question a bit hard to answer (failing on the easiest question…). There were other contenders, but prayer of mending won out because of its uniqueness.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Greater heal. Even with a three stack of serendipity, its just lacklustre in both its casting speed and the amount it heals for. I often go for entire raids without casting it once. In fact unless we screw up on trash and lose half the healers and I need to spam the tank, I just tend not to cast  it.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Our versatility. We have different ways of approaching each fight. We can handle burst damage like shamans and periodic damage auras like druids. Obviously the trade off is that we have slightly more pitfalls in using those tools, i.e like party specific heals and less ticks on our hot. But to balance that we also bring a tank saving cooldown.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

Being the primary tank healer in 25 mans. Yes we can do it, but we aren’t designed for it and other classes handle it better in my opinion.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

Raid healing. With our 4 multiple target heals (divine hymn, circle of healing, prayer of healing and holy nova) coupled with a hot and the totally awesome prayer of mending, we are designed for it. Of course raid healing does include the tank so they should always be looked after as well. I tend to keep a renew at the very least on ours.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Druids. They bring the stabilising comforting blanket of hots and we provide the burst safety net. A marriage made in heaven really. Plus some times I get their innervate which means I can spam even more and if we fail to keep someone up, they can combat res them.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Shamans, smart heals get in the way of prayer of healing 😦 Plus ours cast heroism with no warning which is bad for timing shadowfiends.

What is your worst habit as a healer?

A tendency to bounce. I think thats why I like using instants. Plus I’m a control freak with a bad habit about not trusting people to heal others, specifically me. We play a trust game on Mimiron sometimes, where you aren’t supposed to heal yourself if you get napalm…. I fail at it badly. Which is unfair and something I’m trying to fix.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

People who blame the healing without taking a moment to analyse what actually went wrong. If someone stood in a rocket thingie on Mimiron, it really wasn’t the healers fault and so on. I find fairly often people are too quick to blame the healers for things. Also in PuGs non healers assigning the healers, when there are two holy paladins and one holy priest, telling the paladins to cover the raid and beacon Mr non tank pug leader and the priest to cover the tank is “interesting”.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

On the whole yes. However there are a few small tweaks I would like to see. A slight reduction in the cost of prayer of healing for example and a change to surge of light which would enable it to crit, but not chain proc of itself.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

Recount primarily. I like to see the percentage of spell usage, as it varies from fight to fight. I like trying different strategies on fights to see if I can improve my performance. This also includes swapping gear around and using cooldowns at different points.

I’m also interested in overheal (although given my current regen its more to do with curiosity than anything else).

I look at the damage taken tab to make sure I did a decent job of avoiding damage because raiding isn’t just about the amount of healing you can throw out. If I die, I want to know why to make sure if it was my fault, I won’t repeat it.

When I first started healing in vanilla, I used to take it personally if anyone else died, but luckily (given my current raid group and its suicidal melee), I’ve mellowed. Now I check what damage they took and what their death looked like before I start blaming myself.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

I’m beginning to get the feeling that people think we are substandard to shamans/druids for raid healing (based on a couple of conversations in guildchat). We always used to raid with multiple holy priests and now we are down to one (me). In fact we seem to be heading towards the Sunwell days of stacking shamans again.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

Which of our many spells should be used at any given time to ensure you get the maximum out of the class. Its not helped by the fact that there are multiple ways to reach similar results.

What’s best for regen, after all we have three potential regen stats now, int, spirit and mp5.

Maximising procs and cooldowns. What with surge of light, holy concentration and serendipity combined with the fact that the game doesn’t display them very well without addons, I think its tricky. It looks like our tier 10 set bonuses are only going to add to the confusion. That’s before we even start looking at cooldowns, both hymns should be used on every fight. Hymn of Hope is great when used with other priests or shaman’s manatides so you need to pay attention to what others are doing as well as their mana bars. On some fights shadowfiend can be used twice, so you need to get a feel for the duration of combat. Guardian spirit, when to cast it… Inner focus should always be coupled with divine hymn but its 3 min cooldown means you can usually use it twice in a fight. There is a lot of juggling to do for all priests, I would imagine its a bit of a nightmare at first.

For new healers of all types, I would add setting up a good interface which is comfortable. Whilst the basic Blizzard one can do the job, there are so many better (in my opinion) options out there. Yet, you have to go digging around on the internet to find them.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

That it really varies on a fight to fight basis. My healing output is usually up there in the top three depending on the fight and my overheal tends to be on the lower side. No higher than 50 percent on average (which in a guild of druids and paladins is on the low side), I tend to aim for around 30 percent, but with my current regen, I have a few bad spammy habits.

On fights like the Faction Champions/Yogg, I tend to be fairly high up in terms of dispelling done.

I think they would also see how much my spell choice varies on the encounter which I think is a strength of the priest class. They would also notice that I do pay attention to the tanks, especially on hard hitting fights. Prayer of mending usually starts off on the tanks for example.

Haste or Crit and why?

Crit up to around 30 percent raid buffed and then haste. 30 percent ensures a decent crit rate which means I get a decent mileage out of holy concentration and plenty of surge of light procs to throw around whilst moving.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?

I’ve raided on all four at various points in time. Priest and Druid in vanilla, Primarily Paladin and Shaman in the Burning Crusade and back to my Priest now so I think I have a basic understanding of all of them. However, the one I find myself questioning my performance the most, would be the holy paladin. There is just something about the class which doesn’t click for me.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

Grid and Clique. Best things I ever discovered on the internet. I’ve also just found Deus Vox encounters which I like more than DBM as a raiding addon.  Then there is eventalert which I’ve customised slightly for my procs and prayer of mending tracker which I adore.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I’m fairly balanced at the moment I think. I’m happy with where my regen and crit are, so now I’m looking to boost my spellpower and haste. If anything my int is probably slightly higher than I would like, but until the trinket I have my eye on decides to drop, there isn’t much I can do about that.

As for tagging people, I would be interested in reading the responses from Hermia over at Tree of Doom.