Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Relearning Healing.

Being it is dead at work today (snow day in new york) I've been doing a lot of reading.  I want to get back into healing so badly but the mana issues with priests have been scaring me away.  To compensate for this I am going to ask my guild for some assistance.  Helping me relearn how to heal.

I was never a great healer but in LK it was a lot easier due to the mana regen being through the roof.  It made up for a lot of mistakes on my part.  Now those same mistakes could very well be a wipe if I make them as I need to make every point of mana count.

I like to play as Disc.  I tried Holy and I did not feel very comfortable with it.  It felt like a much stronger healing spec but it went away from my feeling on how I personally like to play.

I play every game I've ever encountered defensively.  A solid defense wins battles every time.  Once you can create a solid defense then any added offense just makes it easier.  This is why I seemed to gravitate to the Disc spec.  It is, as I consider it, a defensive healing spec.

A shield stops damage before it comes.  In my own opinion it is always better to not receive damage then it is to try and respond to damage.  This is the reason I love Disc.  This is also not as possible as it was in wrath.  In wrath I could shield anyone that lit up red and most likely they would take one or two hits at most before the tank got the mob back and I never needed to worry about them.  That does not seem like it will be the case any more which means I need to change my train of thought.  It is why I must relearn how to heal.

While reading on the forums and over at plus heal and a few blogs I go to that are Priest or Disc blogs I've seen that there is not a lot of love lately for the Disc spec as a whole.

Some people are swearing by the AA spec with smite healing while others are saying that while gearing up it is not a very effective way to heal.  I can understand that.  Running out of mana seems to be an issue for every Priest out there and throwing some smites here and there becomes harder and harder as people are taking more damage and the heal is not exactly what we would call a smart heal.

As a few people stated they can go completely AA spec in a 5 man with no melee DPS.  The smite heal will always get the tank.  With a shield and a prayer and smites flying left and right their numbers prove that they are doing the same amount of healing as they would when direct healing but they are also doing damage at the time time. 

This type of healing makes your offensive ability a defensive ability in a sense.  If you are constantly spamming smite you are creating a situation where you can pop your angel when you need the big AoE heal with some extra power and regenerate some mana at the same time.  If you know the big AoE heal is not going to come you can pop it any time it is five stacks just for some mana regeneration.  Being it is not on the GCD you can pop it mid smite and not lose even a moment of cast time.  That is the biggest plus.

What the problem comes is when there are some melee in the group.  The smart heal is not exactly smart and it could start healing melee or even worse, healing melee that do not even need a heal.  This would keep the steady flow that is going to the tank from happening which means time for more direct heals.

Being I can not make sure that I get a good party, and by good party I mean all ranged, I am going to have to shy from that type of healing for the time being.  This will be another time to relearn how to heal.  After the changes I was doing ICC as all smite heal most of the time.  With unlimited mana it was never and issue.  In dungeons when I would do a random just for fun I would sometimes even pull top DPS while healing everyone.  Now that is really fun.

I have two specs for my Priest.  It was Disc/Holy and it was Disc/PvP Disc but now I am thinking of making it Disc/AA Disc.  This would give me both options when I enter a dungeon.  I get to see the make up and decide how I should play it.

The problem I seem to be having on the forums right now while trying to learn is the same problem I mentioned about the AA spec.  People love it and people hate it.  No one has any concrete data on if it is good or if it is not.

What I see most often is people saying the make up of their group and the gear level of the group and the awareness of the group and so forth.  Being all those things are potential wild cards I can not exactly go out and choose a spec and hope for the best.  That is like betting on a horse race.  If everything goes right the favorite will win and if everything goes wrong the horse will break its leg when it steps out of the starting gate.

Everything is still so new that no one knows what would be best to learn with.  Every guide talks to people as if they were light of dawn healers before the buff came out.  I need to find a guide for me.  A guide for someone that only started healing in the last 6 months of wrath.  A guide for someone who can learn and does learn quickly but does not assume that I already know everything they are talking about.

I read one post that had such fantastic information but everything was prefaced with lines like "when you would do xxx back in BC but have not used it since you need to go back to doing it that way".  Thanks for the fantastic information but don't you understand that not everyone was healing in BC?  If you are going to make a statement like that then please explain what you mean by it for the noobs like me.

I do not want it to be like wrath.  It was not a great deal of fun just shielding and throwing a flash heal once in a while.  That is why I loved when the talent changes came.  It gave me something to do again.  I could smite.  I was not just sitting around waiting for things to happen, I could do things.  Now healing is all about doing things all the time but with limited resources.  I like that.  It gives me a chance to prove to myself if I can do it or not.  I like the challenge.  Kind of like how my most hated character, the rogue, was my second 85.  I did it to prove I could do it. 

I like a challenge and sadly I can't get that any more as a DPS.  First off it is impossible to get into groups as a DPS because of various reasons and secondly it loses its fun when I am running as MM (which is considered the worst Hunter spec) and I am still destroying everyone in highest damage, lowest damage taken, most interrupts, etc.  There is no challenge there any more.  Focus was a huge challenge for me.  I hated it, still do really, but I met that challenge and it is time to move on.  If I could raid it might be different but on my server, which sucks about more then any other server in the game, that is not going to happen for at least 3 months.

So with the want for a challenge and the desire to find something fun about this so far horrible expansion I am going to try to pick what is hardest and that is heal.  And my Rogue, I hate the class mechanics, energy is worse then focus.

I might even go full tilt and make all four of my healing classes healers.  Number one however is that I want to heal with my Priest.  I like healing with my Priest and as I always tell people that I raid with that have offspecs I want them to do what they enjoy.  People always do better in the role they enjoy.  So I think I would be a better Disc Priest then I ever would be a Resto Shaman or Druid.

I just need to get used to the fact that I can no longer heal like I used to.  I used to heal preemptively.  I was able to mitigate all damage from everyone save the tank which needed more work some time.  I love that defensive style of healing and I will miss it being as effective as it was but I welcome to challenge.

Now to just find some Disc guides to relearn from that are aimed at LK healers and not life long healers.  I know I am at a disadvantage but I believe my desire to learn will make up for a lot of that.  Not to mention having one hell of a great Priest healer in my guild that I can pester with questions once in a while.

I am however convinced that for the start at least I will go with the Standard Disc Spec and the AA Disc Spec to start out with.  Maybe I might have a future in Holy but that is unlikely.  My Paladin would be my Holy healer, not my Priest.

Now to try and find more sites to read from.  Damn it is boring as hell at work today.

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