Circle of Healers 11/03/2009
Many of those that walk in the shadows also dabble a bit with walking in the light as either a Holy or Discipline Priest, and currently, there is an effort to improve healing all around the WoW universe, especially with the healing bloggers out there. This effort to improve healing is taking place in the form of a blogpost survey, here's my contribution:
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Spazmoosifer, (primarily Shadow) Holy Priest
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Split between 10 and 25-man raid healing, with the occasional 5-man.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Prayer of Mending is by far my favorite healing spell, not only does it heal for a decent amount, it also jumps around like a kid with ADD. It also reminds me of Ron Popeil, where you set it, and forget it (for like 10 seconds).
What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Noobishly, I tend to not use Binding Heal very often, which is most likely due to the fact that I am rarely taking damage, because I avoid the fire like the plague.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
I definitely think that the biggest strength of a Holy Priest is the ability to adapt to various situations. During the course of a night, I may be asked to raid heal, tank heal, or even just jump into healing while I am specced Shadow.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
I would say that the biggest weakness is the comparatively low amount of healing that we do, which is likely due to shields and efficiency, however, this low "amount" of healing, can often cause a pick up group to choose another class instead (which is why recount sucks).
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Personally, I don't care to be a tank only healer, as I feel like my abilities are being wasted. I prefer raid healing, because I have found that I am quick to getting heals on the people that need them the most.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
I absolutely love healing with Shaman healers, because I have found that I mesh well with them, and usually end up having less overhealing and having better mana efficiency.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
While I love Druid healers, and their ability to throw out HoTs, I absolutely hate being on a healing team with them. This is due to the fact that, while their HoTs will usually do the job, during my quick reaction, I often toss a heal out that will basically cancel out the HoT, ultimately wasting mana and time of the healing group.
What is your worst habit as a healer?
My worst habit is probably my overuse of Flash Heal, I rarely use Greater Heal, even when it may be the more effective spell to use.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
DPS that doesn't do anything to help out the healers, which I have found is more of a problem with the non-hybrid caster DPS classes. They tend to get overly focused on pumping out the damage, that they end up dying from purely preventable damage (which is I still haven't been in a group that has gotten the Cheese the Freeze achievement on Hodir).
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I think that there are some minor issues regarding balance, but overall the balance is pretty decent. However, I think the main balancing issues currently exist as encounter design issues rather than with the classes themselves.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Our guild uses World of Logs, and I often take a look at what I can do to improve by taking a look at those logs. I also personally use WoW Meter Online to do some additional comparison, which has helped me to notice a few issues in the past that I missed on WoL. I also do like to take a look at Recount after various fights to see if I can determine who is "slacking" on our healing team, and what changes can be made to improve success.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Holy Priests can't main tank heal. While a Holy Priest may not be the best person suited for main tank healing, we sure as hell can do a decent job when the need arises, however, I find that main tank healing is a waste of both the talent and the spells at the Holy Priest's disposal.
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Coming into WotLK, I had never healed more than tossing out a few heals here and there while I was DPSing. I found that learning how to heal was easy, but learning how to heal while not going out of mana, not overhealing, and using the right spell for the job has by far been the most difficult thing to learn. Gear itemization and finding the right balance of Intellect vs. Spirit vs. Spell Power and Crit vs. Haste was also an issue.
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)?
The first thing I look at is how many (if any) deaths occurred, and what breakdown occurred that caused the death (did the person just not receive any healing, or were they standing in the fire?). Specifically in regards to Recount, I take the results with a grain of salt. I learned long ago that I should not necessarily compare my healing to that of other healers (though vast differences can indicate an issue). I have also found it useful to compare my HPS with my overhealing, and look at if I run out of mana to determine if I was properly conserving when I needed to be. I also like to take into account what other utility I am providing, such as dispelling, and factor that in, as it can sometimes be more important than the actual heals.
Haste or Crit and why?
I like to work on a balance of both, but it really depends on the situation. If the encounter requires kneejerk reaction and fast heals, I will stack haste. If I have to land larger heals, I will stack Crit. However, I have found that balancing the two is usually the best method, as it keeps people alive while not going out of mana.
What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Holy Paladins are probably the class I understand least. I know they are effective main tank healers, however, I have seen some that are incredible raid healers. I have not played one at all, and don't know what they all have in their arsenal.
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I am what I like to call an add-on junkie, if there is an add-on for something, I have probably tried it. That in mind, I personally use HealBot as my healing addon of choice. This is due to a couple reasons:
1. It displays things in vastly different colors (depending on your set up), which I have found more effective for me when compared to viewing buffs.
2. I can move it out of the way when I am not healing, but still have it handy if I need to off-heal.
While I have tried other add-ons, namely Grid + Clique I didn't care for the setup, and found HealBot to be a much easier interface to learn when I started healing.
As far as macros are concerned, the only one I really use is my /focus macro, so that if I accidentally click somewhere, I can get back to my target quickly. I do however, use a ton of macros for my DPS spec, just never found the need for them while healing.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I have found that this is very situational, at least for myself. In total, I have somewhere around 12-16 different gear sets (with intermingled gear) that I use for various situations. I try to keep the names of my gear sets (using ItemRack) applicable to how I use them, and have gear sets with the following names: