Monday, January 25, 2010

Keeping Up to Snuff

I was talking to the Twins yesterday and they were asking me why I like my priest so much.  Holy has always offered variety and challenge as a class.  There's so many different ways to approach it.  healing in general is more about planning and prediction, as opposed to twitch reflexes.  You kids and your FPS make me look like a slug when I'm trying to DPS.  When I told them I was a healer at heart and had been playing holy since level 1 pre-BC they were surprised at how long I've been playing, especially the leveling as a healer part.  Mechanics wise, holy is a lot more difficult and annoying single player, but back then you could do at-level dungeons all the way up.  Not having to depend solely on solo questing made it a lot easier.  And L2Heal in the process.

Even being as comfortable with the class as I am, there are things I have to work at constantly.  Holy Priests have changed a lot since the pre-BC days.  Holy Fire's not a long cast anymore, Holy Nova can actually be useful, downranking is a thing of the past, Circle of Healing is no longer the only thing to spam, the Discipline tree isn't just for buff bots, and the Five Second Rule is no longer a necessity.  That's just what I can think of off the top of my head.  There are tweaks in every major patch that change which spell should be used in which situation based on mana consumption, speed, and healing power.  It's difficult to keep up with it all.  I use heroics to play the mana efficiency and overheal minimization games.  It's easy to get complacent having played Holy for so long, it's a lot of work to know how everything fits together.

I've done relatively little raiding, though when I get a chance to do it I can do it well.  My biggest struggle is keeping to my role.  Doing primarily solo quests and 5 man raids makes me want to heal everyone to max all the time.  When the tanks start dropping in health it's a real challenge for me to trust the the tank healers to take care of it.  Because of this I prefer raid healing, but I'm going to get some practice since it looks like I'm going to have to tank heal for our Saturday raids.

I feel gear is important but not as much as knowing your skills.  Gear just makes it easier for me to focus.  If I'm undergeared for what I'm doing I have to worry about mana, throughput, and my own health.  This causes a big drop in my healing efficiency.  Fortunately, I'm currently at a balance point where I can dump things like the Glyph of Flash Heal and still breeze through ToC 10 and keep up with (reasonable) damage in the Marrowgar fight.  That helps a lot when I'm trying to run away from the spikes.  It remains to be seen if the rest of Icecrown will make me add those mana saving talents in again.

Being a healer is important, and even after being the Holy Troll for many moons it is still a challenge for me.  Most of all, I'm good at it because I enjoy it.  My gaming philosophy is if you're not having fun, do something else.  I think I've managed to keep that in sight.


  1. I haven't been a longtime player (actually somewhere in the midst between 2.1 and 2.2 is when I started playing), but I have been playing a raiding holy priest (troll as well, heh). Our guild has a philosophy on raid healing (especially since we've done numerous progression fights with only 5 healers in 25mans): Tanks are part of the raid. Period.

    I'm mainly a raid healer as well (I *hate* Disc, and I *hate* tank healing), but we've all come to the conclusion that raid healers should always be cross-healing; tank healers should only cross-heal if time allows. I'm not sure why it would be a struggle to keep from healing the tank, or why it should be avoided?

  2. Well Altaholic, I've been having a good discussion about holy priest tank healing over on and it turns out that I already have the talents and am doing the techniques (like stacking Serendipity) that I need to tank heal. Which doesn't surprise me, because like you I consider tanks part of the raid. Grid makes that really easy :-P


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