I am still in a bit of shock as I write this.
This evening I managed to get the “Proven Healer” title for completing 30 waves on endless difficulty in the Proving Grounds. I have been working on this achievement since Mists of Pandaria. This has been about 3 years in the making. And today I finally did it.
I know so many people have done this and found it a piece of cake. Not me. I always had mana issues (in that I had NONE), I had nothing that would keep the tank alive when he was getting wailed on, and it just seemed that the dps would stand in everything in the world and die at the drop of a hat. Today I figured out why. I was always too over geared and the scaling was screwing me over.
Like I said, I’ve been working on this since it was available in Mists. Back then I was trying mostly on my paladin (which should have been a lot easier by default) but could never get it, no matter how hard I tried. I tried for awhile on my shaman as well during Mists but still failed. I tried again in Warlords briefly – still failed. I had looked at guides, I had tried all different stats, gear sets, talents/glyphs etc. Failed every time. I got in the 20s a couple of times but always fell flat. It was a very disheartening feeling, because so many people I knew managed to get the achievement without any troubles at all. Even people who didn’t main a healer. It was demoralising and I felt that I must just be the worst healer. It honestly made me question whether or not I was good enough as a healer to raid at all, and more than once had me on the verge of calling raiding quits.
I was inspired to try again today by this post on reddit from a user who has managed to get endless wave 30 on every single class, on every single spec. Amazing. I figured it had been some time since I’d tried again, so why not? I read through this guy’s advice. The way proving grounds works in Warlords is a bit different to Mists – in Warlords the mobs scale to your gear rather than your gear scaling to the instance. The goal is to get gear as close to about 615 ilvl as possible (some people say you can go as high as 635 – it’s whatever you can get really). In the end I was at 627, which was a bit on the high side, but still worked for me. The other trick is to use your legendary ring (the proc won’t work but the stats should be good) and use 2 great trinkets.
For most of my gear, I actually ended up using the Shaman set from the Salvage yard. It’s at 610 and suited me just fine. Also, I already had all of it for transmog (except the legs) so that was easy. The rest I either crafted or got from the Auction House. (And of course I transmogged it all, because everyone knows you heal better when you have a new outfit!)
My gear was as follows:
Helm: Streamtalker Coif
Neck: Heirloom – Eternal Horizon Choker (has an on use heal ability, however I didn’t realise this was a shared cooldown with healthstones, which are a stronger self heal, so you may prefer something else here)
Shoulders: Streamtalker Pauldrons
Back: Embroidered Wolfsfur Cloak
Chest: Streamtalker Tunic
Wrists: Streamtalker Armbands
Hands: Streamtalker Gloves
Waist: Streamtalker Belt
Legs: Packrunned Leggaurds of the Fireflash
Boots: Streamtalker Boots
Ring 1: Whispering Blackrock band of the Feverflare
Ring 2: Etheralus, the Eternal Reward (legendary ring)
Trinket 1: Corrupted Egg Shell (from a Timewalking Dungeon. Has an ilvl of 660. Has a mana regen ability)
Trinket 2: Demonic Phylactery (heroic) (Reduces mana cost of all spells)
Weapon: Soultwisting Staff
I got a bit ahead of myself and started the event before I had changed my talents or eaten any food (silly me!!), so I didn’t get a chance to change my talents. I figured I’d wipe pretty quickly and could change them after so went ahead anyway, but I managed to get this on my first attempt tonight. Here’s what my talents were:
If I were to do it again, I would probably keep most of it, however I’d change the level 100 talent to the Cloudburst Totem, as I was trying to avoid using chain heal as much as possible to save on mana. Elemental Blast is a brilliant talent for this, especially if you have mana shortages. It also helps to buff up some of your other stats for a bit which is nice 🙂
Glyphs weren’t anything special, although the one that I would definitely recommend is Glyph of Healing Wave, which also heals you for 10% of the heal you do on an Ally. Free heals for yourself means you’re spending less mana.
Don’t be a dunce like me and forget to eat – I’m sure it will help! Also, I realised part way through that I (still!!) hadn’t put a Chomp! identifier on my vuhdo bars. I highly recommend doing this as the target with Chomp will take constant damage until they are healed to full. It helps knowing who has that on them as soon as it goes out.
Don’t be afraid to use your cooldowns. People have set times in the fights that they prefer to use them, but I just used them as I needed them. There were times I would have been using a CD when it wasn’t needed if I had have done them at specific times and would have gone to waste. I also threw out my Fire Elemental to help out with DPS to push the wave through quicker.
So I just went for it. I managed to get through the first 10 waves no worries at all. Which I thought was a little weird but figured it was only the first difficulty so it would get harder and I’d fail soon. When I was at about wave 17 I thought that I might actually be able to do this. Going in to the 20s and I start getting nervous that I’m so close and I could really get it. And so I did. I started crying when I hit wave 30 (relatively easily in the end, mind you!) and it all fell apart at wave 32 because my eyes were all welled up. But it didn’t matter – I had finally done what I had set out to do so many years ago. And I worked my butt off and I did it.
I know it’s stupid to be emotional about this, but this has really been playing on my and my confidence as a healer. Tell you what, I’m never taking this title off. Ever.