Today we have something a bit special, a guest post by Matt “Matticus” Low on the difference in healing between Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel.

I should underscore the fact that my only experience in Icecrown Citadel has largely been on the PTR. As such, the healing numbers and damage numbers could be different by the time the patch is pushed through live. I do not know if any changes or tuning will be made to the various encounters to ease or harden the bosses.

Suffice it to say, there is a marked difference between healing in normal or heroic Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel.

For one thing, it’s not spiky. Gone are the days when the tank can get rocked in half a second or less where the only thing that would save him was a clairvoyant Power Word: Shield. As it stands right now, it’s possible for current tanks to get 1 or 2 shot depending on the encounter in ToGC. This is largely due to the amount of avoidance that most tanks have. Chill of the Throne is a blessing for healers in disguise.

Consistency vs Inconsistency

The damage is manageable. Heals can be timed to the point where you can land them right after a hit on tanks.

“Weapon swing, heal, weapon swing, heal, weapon swing, heal, we- Oh, special nuke, Power Word: Shield”.

The incoming damage is fairly consistent and you’re not going to experience any spikes from 20k to 45k on the same tank or anything like that (with the exception of boss abilities).

AoE is… well, AoE

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the whole heal the raid mechanic isn’t going to leave any time soon. Expect several auras or boss abilities that will hurt the entire raid. The environment is reminiscent of Sunwell when Resto Shamans and Holy Priests were the leaders of healing. Don’t expect this to be super avoidable stuff either. It’s no longer a question of avoiding the fire. It’s a question of who do I heal first so that they don’t die?

No dozing off on trash

You could get away with sleeping while clearing trash in Naxxramas and Ulduar (to an extent). But the trash mobs contained therein will be a test on their own. I don’t say this to try to scare you or build up hype. I’m doing this so that you can be prepared and gain an idea of what to expect. Our buddy Gluth has been converted into several trash packs complete with zombie chow and 90% health chomps. You’ll be fighting other Val’kyr who are related to the Val’kyr Twins in some fashion.

First ever healing oriented raid boss

There has never been an encounter like it. For once, we healers get to play a central role. Instead of killing a raid boss we get to heal a raid boss. I’ve already instructed my guild to keep a stockpile of bandages on them in case they haven’t. In the past, healers would chip in with DoTs or instant cast damage spells on the boss whenever they had time. Now it’s time for DPS to return the favour and squeeze off bandages during periods of no combat.

Again, I want to mention that this is the PTR and it’s used primarily to determine bugs in mechanics and the zone. Numbers can always be tweaked and adjusted later. It’s possible that damage dealt by bosses could be amplified.

Icecrown can’t come quick enough. I’ll be waiting.

Matt writes for a number of blogs such as his own World of Matticus and, be sure to check him out