Circle of Healers

February 19, 2010

It was inevitable I suppose. No-one can resist Miss Medicina’s powerful memes for long.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Runcible, Priest, Discipline
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) Casual raiding – 10 and 25 man, focus on the 10 man which I find more fun. For as long as end-game emblems are available in 5 mans, I’ll grudgingly Holy Nova spam my way through one of those a day too.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Divine Hymn (even more so if it times with Inner Focus and Power Infusion!). Disc priests excel at “saves” – reacting fast to prevent a death that few other healers could pull off (at least with the same frequency as disc can manage). DH can do this for a whole raid – it’s like a reset button for when it all gets too overwhelming and it’s so much fun watching all the healing it does. My most used spell is PW:S, which is also utterly wonderful. Meh, I’ll have two favourites.
What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Divine Hymn. 8 minutes is an eternity! Actually its probably Desperate Prayer, as that only gets used on the move with an already weakened soul.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? For the Priest class in general its our lack of weaknesses and multitude of options that make us very versatile. Having two distinct specs to choose from adds to this. For Disc spec in particular its our powerful combination of passive mitigation, pre-emptive shields and instantly responsive burst healing that combine with this priestly versatility to make the spec feel very vital, responsive and just plain awesome.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? For Priests? No real weaknesses that worry me. For Disc, its the problems that can occur with more than one disc priest in a raid. We don’t stack well together.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? As a disc priest I try and get an exemption from fixed assignments. The footballing term “libero” is apt. We’re at our best switching between whatever task is needed, whether thats getting shields up before incoming raid damage, joining the tank healers during big boss damage phases, and generally keeping a sharp eye out for trouble of all kinds. I’m a firm believer that Disc can and should use every GCD for a worthwhile cast, but we need some freedom to be able to do that. The raid will generally understand it as primarily a shielder, with hair-trigger healing bursts.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Shamans, Druids, Paladins. I think disc is the only spec that can happily let any other healer play to their own strengths at the same time as we play to our own. I most commonly heal with a shaman in 10 mans, and mostly shammies and pallies in 25s.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Priests, specially other Disc Priests. Disc and Holy priest isn’t a bad combination, but certainly doesn’t have the same cool synergies that we get when partnered with another class. More than one disc priest is horrid though, it just imposes limitations.
What is your worst habit as a healer? Ignoring any assignments that I’m given and playing disc the way I think it should be played. Not that I let people die or anything – if they need heals they get heals, but I do tend to step outside my assignments a lot.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? I’m a bit of a peeve collector, particularly in 5 mans. The new Looking For Peeve tool has greatly helped this. In contrast my raids are mostly peeve free. I guess in raids it would be unannounced pulls.
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Yes. I think all the healing specs are strong right now (can’t say for PvP, but certainly in PvE) with better balance than ever.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? My favourite tool is World of Logs. It allows for such a depth of analysis that I often come away from reviewing a raid with good ideas about how to approach things next time. It also gives detailed insight into how the very best players of my spec approach the same fights, which is a wonderful resource to plunder.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? I think Disc priests have spent so long suffering so many misconceptions that right now seems like a golden age of understanding! More people than ever “get” disc, more or less, though there are still plenty manning the bastions of ignorance; disc is for PvP, shields stop rage generation, disc is for tank healing, judging disc performance by the “healing done” tab on recount, etc.
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? My take on it is there are three aspects to being an effective healer: Proficiency with your spells and abilities, awareness of what’s happening, and developing your judgement. New healers will naturally tend to focus on the first of these, and the third develops from the first two. I think this makes the second one the most difficult for new healers. “Awareness” is notoriously difficult to teach and learn, the tools to help (addons, etc) can be technical, and it’s all too easy for each step to better awareness to bring with it issues of tunnel-vision as learning it demands concentration.
If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? They’d need to check both “healing done” and “guessed absorbs” to get any realistic evaluation. The ratio of each to each will vary by fight (some fights invite shieldspam, others need lots of heals), but the combination will always be competitive with any other healer. I’d also expect to be lowest in terms of overhealing (as unused shields don’t factor in this – might look different if they did).
Haste or Crit and why? A mix of both, with a preference for haste. Admittedly haste is wasted for shieldspamming, but in this circumstance crit operates at just 20% of its usual value too (assuming the PW:S glyph). When spamming heals on a tank I much prefer the guaranteed throughput boost of haste than the RNG boost of crit. More of both is always good though.
What healing class do you feel you understand least? Holy priests, oddly enough. I still think of Holy as /stopcasting GH and juggling the 5 second rule (never looked back after switching to Disc). I know things must have moved on, but am not really sure how. I keep meaning to respec to see (but then again I keep meaning to do the Benediction questline and never get around to that either).
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? Grid, with mouseover macros for all healing, decursing, visibility of buffs/debuffs etc. TellMeWhen + OmniCC for cooldown notification, DBM for boss warnings. I’m very particular (and quite minimalist) about what I want to see in my raid frames, and also hate click-casting, so Grid is perfect for me. I use other addons and macros, but nothing else is crucial to my way of playing.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? I’d go spellpower crazy if I could, but those amounts seem to be fixed. I found that I needed to supplement my Int with some gems in T9, but T10 has enough that I no longer need to. I have little interest in Spirit/MP5 as I prefer Int as a regen stat anyway, so my preferred gear would be combined haste/crit. I’d sacrifice both for more Spellpower though, as it is the only stat that scales PW:S.

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2 Responses to “Circle of Healers”

  1. added to the list! :)

  2. sheqeri said

    Great stuff! I find I’m having trouble keeping up with three tanks in a 10 man raid on Blood Prince Council. I looked at my 3.5k spell power and couldn’t figure it out. I think you just pointed out my problem: haste. Thanks!

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