Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Click the Lightwell not to die!

The Lightwell is a funny thing, much maligned when it was introduced back in… actually I can't remember when it was, but let's just say a long time ago. Rightly so, in my opinion, when it was first introduced, the healing it did was negligible, and you had to be stood close enough to lick it to be able to use the damn thing. This relegated it to nothing more than a glorified range marker and subjected it to the derision of most of the WoW world.

Not so any more, HAURRAH I hear you say… the Lightwell ticks for 6 to 8k with average heroic gear three times, with 10 charges unglyphed (15 glyphed), and more importantly is clickable from up to 18 yards away, and EVEN MORE importantly you can use it while you're stunned, blinded, casting and pretty much any other situation you can think of. This means that it is not only a viable healing option but also, if used correctly, COMPLTELEY FREE, simply stick it down before the fight, and watch you're adoring party colleagues heal themselves, only stopping to whisper you and tell you what a good healer you are! Not a chance. It might be the most efficient healing spell in the game, it might be extremely useful given the movement dynamics of most boss fights, but can you hell get people to click it consistently?

I've tried a number of approaches in getting people to see the light, well, click it, with variable success. Guildies are easy, simply scream abuse at them over Vent until they cotton on J but in PUG's it's another matter. I've tried explaining the benefits of the Lightwells wholesome goodness before a boss fight, nothing. I've tried reverse phycology "you won't want to click the Lightwell and stay alive would you?" and much more. Sometimes people cotton on, wither because they're good players already and understand the changes, sometimes they're even better players and have the ability to learn and adapt (these types of players are the best in my view) but mainly they're completely oblivious.

My current approach is to drop a Lightwell on the first trash pull of an instance and explain what it is in a slightly tongue in cheek manner (me sarcastic? Nooooooooonnonono), then drop it at the star of each boss with a macro that announces its existence. I then proceed to spam another macro which yells to "click the Lightwell not to die" at points in the encounter where DPS not being thick would be desirable. Generally this has a reasonable effect, especially when combined with my relentless mocking should we wipe and the Lightwells still up. I've only once had someone take my word literally and click the Lightwell "not to die" BEOFRE the pull!!?! "But you said I had to click it else I would die" I'm still not sure whether this guy was a comedy genius, or a cretin, I'll leave it to you to decide.

I now understand the pain of the Warlocks suffering, not that they don't deserve it, but for years they've been dishing out health stones, only to see them go wasted as the party wipes with the boss on 1% health, again. We're even further disadvantage in that players can't simply sling it on the cast bar and click it, they have to actively search for it on the floor, make sure they're in range, and then click. (Ok, I take it all back, it's far too hard, don't bother even trying to click it…).

I recently experienced a novel approach to 'coaching for performance' (can you tell I work for a large corporate? J) from a healer at the first boss in HoL whilst brushing the dust off my mage and having a run out. "If you're shit and stand in the blue fire, I'm not healing you" again I'm pretty sure it was tongue in cheek, or perhaps he was just as scarred as I am on the stupidity front, whatever, it worked. So I'm tempted to steal his idea and threaten not to heal anyone until they've clicked the Lightwell at least once.

Ideas for improving the use of a Lightwell

  • Make macro's to encourage its use and spam them relentlessly.
  • Keep it friendly, I've found a little humour goes a long way.
  • Drop one early on trash to acclimatise your party to it, it might be the first time they've seen one…
  • Always drop it before the fight, have a drink, pull boss – free heals.
  • Drop it in a sensible place, where it can be seen and where it'll generally be in range; midway between the melee and the ranged is ideal
  • Don't give up, if at first you don't succeed, bitch and moan until somebody listens.
  • Practice what you preach! You too can click the Lightwell; don't think you're special and thus exempt.
Who'd have thought it, I've written an essay on the damn lolwell, I'm off to petition the government to install 'vote kick' functionality to trains.

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