Monday, August 29, 2011

On Healing

For those of you who are looking for running updates, you'll have to wait until Wed or later; my personal healing is not going as well as I had hoped. I fear my ab workouts have not allowed my groin to heal like I would have liked.

I now have enough healing experience in World of Warcraft on three different classes to write my impressions of each, but first, let me tell you about how I like to heal.

I'm a preferred passive/reactive healer; I like Heal over Time (HoT) spells and instant heals. I would rather heal a person up than try to anticipate incoming damage. I prefer passive mana regen as opposed to actively doing something to gain mana.

That pretty much covers it, so here are my impressions of the Pally, Druid, and Priest classes as healers. Oh, also, I use Healbot.

I have healed the most the last week or so on my Pally. I am still trying to get used to the play style as it is radically different than any other healer that I've played. As far as my preferred play style, it only meets the reactive part.

I feel like I'm always casting when healing with the Pally. There are no HoTs to fire and forget; I have to actively heal up all the group's damage. Thankfully, I have a number of instant casts that I can use to get people healed up (and that on the move too!), but usually, if you're getting a heal from me, I'm standing still.

Because I'm casting so much, I have little time to stand around and regen mana, which from what I've experienced, is the design. I have to actively do things to trigger mana regen, and the easiest thing that I've found is to judge Insight every time it's on cooldown. Well, easiest, if
a) I remember to do it and
b) I'm not frantically smashing buttons to heal everyone up.

Judgment has some quirks of its own; I like the fact that I will automatically acquire a target if I don't have one. I don't like the fact that I sometimes acquire a target (and judge it and pull it...) that is not currently in combat. Talk about your huntards...

If I remember to judge throughout the fight, I usually end the fight with plenty of mana, if not all my mana. If I don't remember to judge or don't have time, I find I go OOM fairly quickly. I can see why Spirit on plate armor is laughable.

Another observation is about Beacon of Light. I put BoL on the tank so that all of my heals do something for them. I do not like the fact that I have to recast the stupid thing through the instance as it falls off after 5? minutes. That seems pretty lame, and I have no idea what the developers are trying to prevent with such a short duration.

I don't believe BoL has a cool down, so I just thought (as I'm writing this) of moving my Beacon around to heal up the group if the tank doesn't need the heals. I'll have to investigate this idea further.

And finally, group heals are teh suckzors in my opinion. One requires the group to be close to me to get effective heals and the other requires them to be either grouped up or in a cone in front of me. Yuck yuck and yuck.

This is pretty much the opposite of the Pally and meets all of my preferences as to healing and mana regen.

HoTs? Yuppers, in spades. At 64, I'll get Lifebloom which will make 4? HoTs that I can use. The druid is the king (queen) of HoTs and can be sitting around scratching their behind (if they're a Tauren) for most of the instance. I like that.

Group heals are very nice with Wild Growth, Tranquility, and the proc that puts the circle thingy on the ground. Rapid fire Rejuvs are also a nice alternate form of group healing.

The one lack that I've seen so far is no good big heal. Now, I know I get something in the 70's, but until then, I prefer to throw a Regrowth instead of a Nourish because it's just as good, and it's faster. Oh, and it leaves a nice HoT to boot!

Mana regen is fairly passive with good Spirit gear, and I have Innervate to help out. Not much more to say other than I get a lot of standing around time in.

Priest (Holy)
I still think that this is my favorite, especially with the Cata changes. As far as sheer variability of spells, priests have it all covered. We have a HoT, a number of instants, a couple of group heals, an instant group heal, a big heal, a fast heal, a damage preventer, AND teh frisbee!!!

As a priest, I can have several heals going on all at once: Renews on whoever needs it, the frisbee (Prayer of Mending) dinging around, and whoever I'm actively healing at the time (and myself if I'm casting Binding Heal!) That's a lot of throughput!

My favorite combo for overzealous DPSers is PW:Shield + Renew; if they need more than that, they need to trigger their aggro dump! I don't really like using it on certain classes as they tend to get the invincible rogue syndrome...

The Cata change that I alluded to is the Chakra mechanism. I always trigger the...uh, Serenity(?) option so that I get another instant heal...that also refreshes the Renew on the target. I love that. Most of the time I use it for the secondary reason rather than the instant heal.

As far as mana regen, the Shadowfiend is ok, although using it on trash is next to useless, and Hymn of Hope is ok; I just wish I could fire and forget it rather than stand still to channel it. Most of my regen is gained through high quantities of Spirit on my gear and...standing around.

My little Hordie priest just hit 80 and has snagged some gear to qualify to heal the new Cata instances, so hopefully tonight I'll get a chance to see how well my play style meshes with the Cata damage. I'm thinking that it should go pretty well.

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