Piloting, from hercs to mechs.

Piloting, from hercs to mechs.
A running recap of what I'm doing for fun, between active duty flying, technology, gadgets, and some of my favorite games.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Circle of Healers survey

OK! Miss Medicina's Circle of Healers is where this all started for me in WotLK, so here is her initial healer survey (meme):

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Smoogee, UD Disc/Holy Priest!

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

For now, 5 mans. I have been able to accomplish a few 10 man pugs while in Iraq, but I am severely bandwidth limited. I started trying to be a holy reactive healer, but 1200ms latency made that impractical. I LOVE disc prevention-type healing for my current conditions, so that is where I now put myself. Over time, I expect this entire survey to evolve, btw, especially once I return to the States!

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

I absolutely love PW:Shield. As a holy priest, I was given the good advice that I should not use this as much. So, when I specced Disc a few days, imagine my surprise! What a great bubble. If you don't count PW:S as a "heal" per se, then I lean toward flash heal. I keep MANY spells in my arsenal, though, so don't take that out of context.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Lolwell, of course. But I'm using greater heal less these days too (and not just for latency reasons). I'm favoring flash heal as my staple "baseline."

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

I think our greatest strength is raid utility OR healing on the move. But keep in mind that Disc and Holy are almost entirely separate classes once in a raid.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

We're very squishy. And, maybe it's just me, but I sometimes feel as though I lack the "Oh snap!" power some other healers seem to have. That might just be a "grass is greener" mentality though, and I will NOT switch classes.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

I had extensive experience in 40 man raids pre-TBC and some heavy raiding during TBC. My best assignment was always raid healing. I was an outstanding positional healer and raid booster. I never like the pressure of main tank spamming, nor do I think my class was designed for that BACK THEN.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Like most healers probably would say, I like any other competent healer. One important disclaimer: too many bubbles is bad, obviously. I love good shammy or paly.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Another same-specced priest. The redundancy, as far as I've seen so far, in small groups...it's not a plus.

What is your worst habit as a healer?

I click a lot of things because I haven't developed new habit patterns for the new spells that my class has in WotLK. Keep in mind that I just returned and have not raided much since my return.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

I do not like being criticized unnecessarily, and I HATE being blamed for a wipe if I was honestly doing the best my class could have done. If I'm not standing in a fire or chaining a cleave, committing suicide, or disconnected...well, then I'm healing my butt off and burning every cooldown and consumable I can to succeed. You want to see an angry priest/pilot... just try placing blame when you should be shouldering the responsibility yourself. I will LEAVE and let you find another healer.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

More now than ever before! I love the disc and holy dichotomy, and I have asked many successful guilds and all of them agree that both priests have a place in most 25 man raids, even at the highest levels.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

I evaluate my performance in Holy via meters, but I compare myself to people who have a similar role in the raid. In Disc, I don't have a clue. If people aren't dead or someone says "thanks" then I'm performing well. If it's not a wipe, I performed adequately. (I'm always shooting for better than "adequate")

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

The generic expectation that a healer should be able to take a 10% health pool and make it 100% full just by looking at that character. It takes TIME to replace 25k or more health that has been lost.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

So far, I can only speak from my own perspective, as I am not teaching any new healers the ropes yet. For me, it was understanding how to use your spec effectively in certain environments. As 5 man heroics have been my primary stomping ground since I've been here in Iraq, I had to learn how to effectively heal 5 people with holy, especially with a fast-paced tank. I was using PW:S and getting groups wiped because I thought that the shield was more effective than some of my other healing tools. Well, it may have been good when I was 60, but for Holy in a 5 man with AOE dmg or aggro going nuts...that's a GCD lost on something I wasn't specced for. A very wise pally in a 5 man gave me one simple suggestion that increased my healing effectiveness tremendously..."don't use shield as much, keep renews and ProM up." A world of difference. Oh, and for a brand new healer, understand pacing, where to stand, and when to expect heavy damage...knowing when the party simply must be topped off and when it's ok to pace heals a bit slower. There is a "feel" for healing, I believe, and a good healer develops a knack for saving people consistently. (Sometimes that means educating people on what not to do, but I rarely pipe up)

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)?

In years past: overhealing and top of the meters. Now: I have no idea. In Disc, significantly less "healing" but a whole ton of bubbles. I'm always good with dispels, even with high latency. In raids, I typically have been falling short of shammies when it comes to raid healing as holy, but recount would show prayer of mending, circle of healing, and renew as commonly used spells.

Haste or Crit and why?

In Holy: a balance, both are great. In Disc: haste, I think. The jury is still out, and this is a question I'd like the answer to.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?

Druids. I have a marginal understanding of the spells available to each class, although the finer elements and assignments of healers in raids is no longer my strong suit.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

I use Grid. (In Holy, ThankGod shows me my Surge of Light procs) I am currently researching new healing and survivability macros, new Unit Frames, and click casting addons. I have to say that in 5 years of playing, I have never once used a click cast addon, and I may start now.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

As a priest, I am learning that spell power, spirit, and intellect all have a primary role. Haste and crit depend on the spec. I reference Miss Medicina for some great insight into which stats are most important. If you drudge through the WoW class forums you will find people often say things like "Spell Power > Spirit > Intellect > Haste and Crit > MP5. I tend to agree, although I am gemming to boost spell power primarily right now because I feel like I need to pack a heavier punch and I don't seem to have mana issues as a Disc priest.

Edit: I stand somewhat corrected! BobTurkey has an outstanding report for 3.3 on priest stats here.

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