A small matter of timing
[Miraye finds a pretty significant flaw in the following. It will still work, but not in the order I originally gave, and not quite as fast. Oops, and thank you Miraye.]
Pretty much every priest knows the five second waltz – certainly every priest who teaches passes it on as it’s such a critical part of our repertoire. But there are other timing intervals of which to be aware, and I’d like to glance at one that can have interesting repercussions.
Specifically, when does combat begin? That is, at what point are you “in combat” and no longer eligible for certain actions? It’s a fairly short list, actually:
- When you do something that directly affects an enemy (mob or player) unless the action is specifically exempted;
- When you do something that directly affects a friend (mob or player) who is already in combat, again unless specifically exempted;
- When an enemy does something that directly affects you (certain exceptions apply);
- When a friend in combat does something that directly affects you.
Four things, nice and simple. There’s a loophole we can exploit, and I’m going to show it with an example.
Your party’s ready for the pull, but have given you permission to call it. For showoff purposes, you have two melee (one is the tank), two ranged (one is a hunter, and so adds pet to melee), and yourself in your party. Everyone calls ready, and so you begin:
Shield self, caster1, hunter, pet, melee2; Renew pet, melee2, tank; PoM tank; drink AND call “pull”. Let’s do this right, remembering the 4 second cooldown on shield, shall we? Shield caster1; shield hunter, PoM tank, renew pet, shield pet, renew melee2, renew tank, shield melee2, drink AND call “PULL”.
Nine “instant” spells
– call it 10.5 seconds [edited: with four of them having cooldowns. Excluding Caster1′s shield and wait, we’ve got 9.5 seconds spent – and caster1′s shield is still good for about 15 at “pull”. Between a quarter and half my mana (more or less depending on pool and talents). “Wasted” ticking renews. But… it is all, every bit of it, out of combat. I started drinking and so the mana will be restored — or very close to it. At worst I’ve had two ticks go off on the pet and melee2 – unless my team drags the pull, in which case it’s three. BUT…
For a minimum of 6 seconds and as much as 15, the healing situation is panic free – and I will be full up mana before it’s necessary.
Panic free? The tank is getting the frisbee and three renew ticks. The other two melee have a thousand or more (maybe lots more) free health (shield) plus two or three renew ticks. The hunter has a bad trap? Big deal – a thousand point shield is enough (and he can’t be interrupted by the hit). Same for the caster on a resisted sheep – and the non-interrupt is even better for her.
You have guaranteed that for the first critical seconds everyone has TIME to cope with the oops. Including yourself at FULL MANA.
There are other ramifications of this timing interval – this period when everyone else can be in combat and you are NOT – provided it’s not squandered. Let’s run another I’ve gotten to do ONCE – luck, really, but it’s what led me to recognize the obvious.
Our party (lower level) was facing a boss. Due to a stupid pull, the mage was one-shotted. I noticed that my resurrection button was still active, and too new to think of how much mana I’d burn and so not have available for healing — yep, I rezzed the mage in the middle of combat. There are a lot of stupid things about that – almost no health or mana for the mage, myself down by half – but… Remember level 25 or so? Remember when you pulled off something that had everyone go “woah” midbattle, and everyone’s game just seems to jump up a notch? heh – “combat rez? How did you do that? Don’t care, KILL!!”
There are undoubtedly other opportunities in that still small breath at the beginning of battle. Look for them – they’ll allow you to do some things unexpected.