Monday, November 2, 2009

Circle of Healers (or I can't believe I'm doing this...)

Okay, I give in. I can only hold out for so long.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Keleili, 80 Human Priest, Disc-specced (on Khadgar!)

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) Primarily 5-man heroics, with an occassional 10-man PUG or 25-man Kittenraid.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Penance. It has no casting time, so in a pinch, I can start healing people immediately. And the 'shwoop' sound is awesome!

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Heal and Lesser Heal. Greater Heal & Renew only get used out of combat, when I'm topping people off or healing up the party after a wipe. Flash heal and Penance get used in combat.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? What Lilitharien said - damage mitigation (in fact, I'm going to agree with her on most of these questions, I'm sure). I much prefer stopping damage before it starts because it makes my life less stressful - I can keep shields up most of the time and not have to feel my blood pressure spike when the damage spikes. Also, PWS is awesome for catching a dpser who takes a little bit of agro/AOE damage. It is instant cast, so I can immediately get back to healing the tank, and I trust it more than a renew in the case that the dps takes a bit more damage (I have no idea if he/she will take more damage than the renew will heal). Throwing a renew on top is just the icing on the cake, but isn't usually necesary if the dps is decently geared/played.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Healing the raid. Not just raids, either. Put me in a 5-man for heroic ToC that is made up entirely of melee dps, and I will cry tears of blood.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? Tanks, definitely, but I would even say that I prefer MTs over OTs. I have a habit of shielding anyone who is taking damage, and if I see the MT taking damage when he/she doesn't have the weakened soul debuff, it drives me crazy. That's damage that could have been prevented from ever happening, guys! (To explain, I HATE it when someone else shields my target - it takes away my bonus healing - so I try not to shield a tank unless I know there aren't any disc priests healing them).

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Priest. I've done a little healing on my lvl 70 shammy, and even less healing on my lvl 62 druid, though, so I don't really have enough experience to compare them.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? I tried healing on my shammy during BC, and just couldn't get into it, but that might change later if I gave her another shot. I'm working on getting my druid up to 80 and then will probably go resto with her. But I have no desire to try a holy pally.

What is your worst habit as a healer? Probably that I can zone out if things get boring. If I'm running with a good group and a well-geared tank, I can get bored enough that I zone out and then come back to, "Oh, crap!" To this day, I have never let anyone die, but... *shrugs*

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? Most of my experience is with 5-mans, but I would have to say that my biggest issue is... the whiner. I can't think of a better name for them. And it's not any one thing that they do that makes me angry, but rather running with them exhausts me and puts me in a bad mood. Let me see if I can come up with some points of distinction for them:
  • They usually are not well geared for the instance being run
  • They are impatient
  • When they type, it's never in complete sentences
  • When they type, they rarely say anything that benefits the group/run
  • If things don't go the way they want (such as you decide to bow out due to wipes), they beg

I can't describe it better than that right now, but I have come across this type of person so many times and I have seen how they will suck the energy right out of me, and leave me feeling like a raging zombie. In short, not fun.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Yes, and no. In 5-man, I think the class is very well balanced. With the exception of HToC, I have never had trouble healing AOE damage in heroics. In 10- and 25-man raids, the tank & raid healer distinction comes into play. Most raid leaders seem to understand these distinctions, but I've run into problems several times where I am competing with other disc priests for raid spots in PUGs. Disc healing appears (at least on my server) to be more popular than Holy healing, and that is making it difficult. So, it's not exactly a balance issue, but a popularity issue.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? Honestly, I don't have any. I just heal... and if my target(s) don't die, I have succeeded as a healer.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? Hmm... I don't know... in the world of 5-man heroics, I haven't come up against many true misconceptions. I guess sometimes I have to explain to tanks in heroics that I heal partly through mitigation, and that I'd rather shield them before they pull than heal them after.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? For me, when I hit 80, the challenge was grasping what gear I needed and what stats I wanted. Disc priests are unique enough that what is right for just about every other healer might not be right for disc priests (gear-wise).

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)? Low healing output, most likely, because I don't think recount has figured out how to measure damage absorbed by PWS as healing - has it?

Haste or Crit and why? Crit crit crit crit. I've actually just started adding some haste to my gear, but I prefer crit over haste when I'm given the choice. Why? Of my three most commonly used spells (penance, flash heal, PWS), only 1 has a casting time. But all three have added benefits when they crit.

What healing class do you feel you understand least? Hmm... druid, I think. Despite the fact that I have a druid and have no wish to play a pally, druids are almost as different from priests as you can get, and I haven't actually started healing on my druid.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? VuhDo is <3!!!>

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? I'm at a point where I can finally start tweaking my gear based on what I need. I can't remember the last time I went OOM, so I've started to sacrifice MP5 for spellpower/crit. I'm also starting to add haste to my gear, though it's a slow process because I'm not willing to sacrifice much crit (or any SP) for the added haste.

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