Want to chat with We Know members outside of WoW? Come join us by clicking the "Chat" tab above, or connecting through your favorite IRC Client to:
Server: irc.freenode.net
Channel: #weknow
Early Cata healing experiences as a holy priest
  • Here's some info I've been collecting about healing in Cata. First, I've been having fun following the blog LFM, and although she's a resto druid, she's written two useful pieces describing her early experiences (even though not a priest).

    In this post she has some good comments:

    The first few dungeons on the way up healed like Wrath dungeons, IMO. People took big hits and had to be healed up all the way or the next big hit would kill them

    and

    Around 84 the health pools suddenly got big enough to take a hit or two, but at the same time my mana regen went through the floor. I had thought it was bad before; now, some of my spells were using 5% of my mana, or more. I was ending every fight OOM

    She finally makes some adjustments:
    We hit 85. I started getting gear and tweaking performance. I’d already trained myself that pre-hotting was bad, that using hots on slightly damaged people was bad,

    I'm not to 85 yet, but have had a similar sort of change of style that is working better as holy priest. The first time I ran TBC I was level 81 and was lucky enough to heal Ninen at 85 with 120k HP. My GS was up significantly from WoTLK and combat regen was at an (amazing or so I thought) 850. Even so, healing was pretty white knuckle. I did my usual rotation, pre-loading a PoM, being pretty liberal with renew when non-tanks took damage and making free use of Gheal when Ninen started dropping in health. My mana was low at the end of most trash pulls and I was having to use my fiend and mana pots on boss fights and ending them either OOM or almost OOM. It was a real eye opener.

    Fast forward 5 days, I dinged 83 while doing two different runs with non-guild tanks last night (all guild DPS though which helped!). I was nervous going in, these tanks had like 50 - 60k health, a level 82 DK and then a level 81 Paladin. I.e much less than Ninen, and since I had trouble keeping Ninen up I was worried. Mitigating my anxiety was that in the meantime I had focused on getting spirit gear (just quest drops plus a honor-level piece from the Hyjal quartermaster), had leveled Alchemy a bit and had a good stock of Ghost Elixir (+225 spirit), and also had spirit food (Blood Shrimp Gumbo). Fully fed, elixiried, and buffed my combat regen had jumped from mid 800s to 1200(!). Still, I found careless use of spells meant fast trouble on the mana front.

    So last night I made a determined effort to master at least one chakra state. I had been trying to learn these in WoTLK, but they weren't really needed so I played around with them but didn't really get good at it. For one, they're a bit problematic in my grid+clique GUI, and they're also complex enough that you have to really spend some time with it. So last night my goal was low, start using "heal" vs "gheal" more and use the associated Chakra state. What a difference! My new rotation went like this -- PoM on tank, when starts taking damage drop a renew (to give you time to setup the chakra), then Chakra plus regular heal. I like the renew first because heal takes awhile and doesn't deliver a huge punch, it prevents you from dipping too far down in the tanks health. Then the cool thing is that every time you land a direct heal (heal, flash, or gheal), it refreshes the renew interval. I found I could go complete fights (sometimes two complete pulls), refreshing my renew via a heal. If there was splash damage and I was healing DPS and the tank was OK I'd just keep an eye on his renew bar, when it got to 5 or so secs I'd drop a fresh heal on him. This turned out to be a really big win for 3 reasons. 1. Fewer renew casts saves mana, time and attention. 2. No renew downtime on tank (if you are busy when the renew times out) means better overall health profile for the tank meaning less need for big saves. 3. Using heals is drastically less mana than gheal or (of course) flash heal. Now, my spellpower is up a bit from last week (around 3500 now), so the regular heal is hitting for more (and the +10 crit chance in Chakra: Heal state helps). I found in many fights I could start this rotation and then either spam heal or even leave some intervals between heal and keep the tank in good shape. The Twiglight Evocators with the big shadow hits were an exception, I had to hit Gheal there. With this technique I now found instead of ending fights LOM I was actually ending them full up! It was tremendous. In fact it was a tad disappointing not to have send in my fiend on some of the boss fights -- didn't need the mana.

    I've got a few things still to master. For one, I don't have a keybinding that works with the Holy Word:Chastise morphs. I don't quite know what's wrong, but I have a binding for Holy Word: Chastise on my button bar and mapped to a click. But when the Holy Word morphs with the Chakra and becomes Holy Word: Serenity, the keybinding doesn't work anymore. Maybe I need a hovercast macro, or maybe I need to config a special click for each of the Holy Word variants (which would be a bummer), but they're not in the spellbook and Clique doesn't see them. More work is needed, and the Chakra state will be even more powerful once I get this config'd and get the new Holy Word: Serenity instant heal into daily use.

    Anyway, hope this is interesting for some of you holy priests out there. My plan for now is to perfect this one Chakra state, get the Holy Word: Serenity working, learn the conditions needed to keep the Chakra alive, etc. Once I get this Chakra state mastered I plan to move to the Chakra: Renew state, and then when we get to raiding I want to master the group heal Chakra state. I think that being fluent with each Chakra state will be an absolute necessity for raiders and heroics.

    So, my bottom line learnings so far are:
    - Have lots of spirit elixir and spirit food
    - Have lots of mana pots
    - Use Chakra state always
    - Avoid high mana cost spells unless necessary
  • I have found that Spirit is a big deal. Specifically, I wasnt super concerned about it... if I saw a blue cloth piece drop with no spirit, but didnt have hit on it, I'd jump for it. But you have to be careful that you dont have too many pieces like that, b/c your mana regen will tank if you dont have enough.

    Also, I'm planning on reforging some stats for spirit as needed. I really need a meta helm for the mana restore meta!

    I was running Holy for a while, but now I'm back to Disc... I just like the rotation better... Chakra feels way to clunky to me.
  • I was peeking around at the quartermaster list that was posted in that other thread and found a cloth helmet with a meta slot available from one of the quartermasters - i think it was the twilight highlands faction.

    edit: nevermind, it was a mail helmet not cloth. there is a cloth one available from the earthen ring qm but it has hit.
    Post edited by Shivan at 2010-12-16 15:35:10
  • Reforge the hit to spirit. Not Optimal but it might end up better than what you have.
  • Derevka is back with Tales of a Priest Blog!

    It seems like there aren't as many resources for healing priests compared to other classes,so I'm always excited to find new resources. I also read Dawn Moore's blog over at WoW Insider.

    I still use Elitist Jerks priest compendiums for reference but unless you're willing to wade through dozens of posts to glean updated information, the main sections are out of date.

    Would love to hear what other resources you all use.
    There exist only three respectable beings: the priest, the warrior, the poet. To know, to kill, and to create. -Charles Baudelaire
  • Derevka is also the forum admin over at Plus Heal which is not specific to priests, so you'll find healing info for other healing classes as well.
    There exist only three respectable beings: the priest, the warrior, the poet. To know, to kill, and to create. -Charles Baudelaire
  • ive been healing as Disc on my goblin and i find Atonement healing amazingly fun. i never run oom and holy fire is basically a greater heal with a 1.2 second cast with a short cooldown. gonna see how it plays out in cata zones though but so far it looks promising.
    image
  • I dusted my Disc spec off last night and ran a few regular H runs - Atonement healing is way fun. There are some die hard Strength of Soul (SoS) healers out there, I think mostly because they don't feel like they can get enough smiting/HF in to make Archangel worthwhile. I haven't tested the SoS spec yet. It's hard enough for me to get used to Disc again without switching it up. My thought is to try Disc on some fights in Cata now that we have the fights down. I think it will be helpful in upcoming content if I can swap depending on the fight, but I have to freaking practice regularly or I totally lose my body/finger memory. We also have to be patient while I switch specs. There are definitely advantages to Disc on some fights. Disc tank healing is strong too. Dereveka said something interesting in one of his posts:

    Disc in 4.3 won’t see much change at all. Disc will continue to be a very versatile healer– both as a Raid Healer and a potent Tank Healer. The trick for Disc Tank Healing is to continue to educate Healing Leads and Guild Management the importance, viability, and arguable need for a Disc Tank Healer in 25 Man Raids. So many guilds still favor Paladins, which I attribute to tier after tier and patch after patch where pallies are the only ‘real’ tank healing option. (In fact, our first HM Ragnaros kill had zero Holy Paladins).

    But then I tank/raid heal in Sanctuary often. I rarely swap anymore. I used to stay in Serenity for Shannox to heal Bel (boring fight for healers) and help out with raid here and there. Now I stay in Sanctuary and heal the tank and raid without swapping. Something I hadn't considered until today is on Heroic Shannox - when we're all running to the other side is to be at max distance from the tank and just Leap of Faith him. I'm going to try it it Wednesday. Trying to decide if I'm going to let the tank know...be so much more fun if I didn't. I are so evil. :D

    In holy, I can shield for run buff which helps the tank hustle.
    There exist only three respectable beings: the priest, the warrior, the poet. To know, to kill, and to create. -Charles Baudelaire
  • Harpin said:

    Trying to decide if I'm going to let the tank know...be so much more fun if I didn't. I are so evil. :D



    This made me laugh uncontrollably this morning. LOLOL
  • Harpin said:



    But then I tank/raid heal in Sanctuary often. I rarely swap anymore. I used to stay in Serenity for Shannox to heal Bel (boring fight for healers) and help out with raid here and there. Now I stay in Sanctuary and heal the tank and raid without swapping.



    That's interesting. I've been reading and thinking about this too. EJ more or less says stay in Serenity for 10 mans. But I don't know that I agree. But it's the bible, so I've been trying to use Serenity that for some fights, and keeping Hots alive on two tanks (sometimes only just by using the instant holy word). I've still been switching a fair bit though, some fights seem to work better with Sanctuary, basically any time you have people group up, like with parts of Beth, Domo, end of Rhyolith, parts of Alys, etc. Baleroc is one fight were Serenity seems to be preferable for sure, in that you want all tools for the tank. Of course decimating blade is the only real problem, and I save my guardian spirit for use after the first hit.

    I've also taken to starting Rag in Serenity until the phase transition, then hit Chakra for my next Tank PoM which switches me to Sanctuary for when we run to the other side and group up. It works well and makes me feel fairly clever :)



    Something I hadn't considered until today is on Heroic Shannox - when we're all running to the other side is to be at max distance from the tank and just Leap of Faith him. I'm going to try it it Wednesday. Trying to decide if I'm going to let the tank know...be so much more fun if I didn't. I are so evil. :D

    In holy, I can shield for run buff which helps the tank hustle.


    I need to vuhdo keybind Leap of Faith, it has a lot of uses. Some of them even help the raid (ha ha ha). And good reminder about the 4 sec speed increase on Shield, that will be useful when we start the Heroics.
  • Disc is a pretty fun spec to play.

    When I ran the leveling instances with Varrovia I did so as Disc. It's great as you can plan your healing strategies around certain sequences of spells to maximize throughput and minimize mana use. Divine Aegis, Atonement and Archangel have great synthesis which makes the spec interesting as you can see how all the jigsaw pieces are supposed to fit together. With a well behaved group its a fun and rewarding healing experience.

    The downside that I found is with badly behaved PUG groups. If the group was being jerks (poo standing, aggro pulling, not letting the tank get aggro) they you are forced to fallback on bigger direct heals which wrecks your mana bar.
    Post edited by Zoriana at 2011-11-07 13:15:29
  • Jurace - It all depends on whether or not your tank healing, IMO, and how bad the incoming damage is. If you're assigned to a tank, it makes sense to stay in serenity. If you are assigned to raid, then sanctuary is great for those fights where you're grouped up, as you said. I am sometimes assigned to a tank and sometimes to raid, or both, depending on the fight and whether or not we're attempting Heroic. On Baleroc, I'm definitely in serenity to keep the tank from going boom. Disc would be great on that fight as well, but i haven' tried it. Interesting, I haven't tried staying in serenity only...maybe I'll give it a shot. I just don't see why you have to choose when you can swap and optimize both. I used to do that on Nef - I'd heal the add off tank and then swap to sanctuary for group love.

    I used to swap back and forth in Firelands depending on the phase of the fight, but I do so less now because I'm much better geared than when we started so I don't have to now. Having the option is great, I just don't need as much as I used to (unless we're working on heroics, of course). In reality, the group healing comes in handy when we're learning new fights because we are less than perfect at staying out of the poo. :P

    Zoriana - that's the same experience I had with Disc when I ran a few runs after not playing it for a long time. With a good group, it's a beautiful thing. With a sloppy group, it was difficult. Disc is not at all intuitive for me anymore, it will take me a while to get the swing of it again. It also seemed slow. I'm heavily weighted in Mastery though. I wonder if some haste would perk me up.
    There exist only three respectable beings: the priest, the warrior, the poet. To know, to kill, and to create. -Charles Baudelaire
  • If you need more sloppy runs, you know who to call. ;)
    If you want to stop being called on your bad behavior, stop behaving badly.
  • Lol - We had fun! Quick way to get those intuitive skills back. I hadn't been in some of those dungeons in many months.
    There exist only three respectable beings: the priest, the warrior, the poet. To know, to kill, and to create. -Charles Baudelaire
  • I have a disc and a holy spec. Currently I am using healbot. Right now it seems that I can only have one set of bindings? That is if I am in Holy and have CoH bound to mouse button 1, when I switch to Disc it still has CoH bound to mouse button1. Is there an option (profile perhaps) that allows you to store key bindings per spec? and/or is there a better healing add-on recommendation?

    Dr.O
  • I think you have to re-set up your bindings when you are in the spec that is not already set up. after that I believe that your bindings should be alright.

  • Hi Milo, don't know about healbot bindings so can't help you there. I'm now using Vuhdo, as are some of the other healers in the guild. I like to click-cast, and used to use Grid for frame display and Clique. But Vuhdo seems better supported and was a bit easier (read "still hard") to get the config for displays for hots and debuffs just right. I offspec shadow, so I haven't figured out if Vuhdo would let me set up two different bindings.
  • Vuhdo will let you set up 1st spec and 2ond spec bindings.
  • I believe there is a Dual Spec thingie you can download for Healbot as well.
  • Excellent. Looks like I have some playing around to do. Thanks everyone for the timely, and valuable feedback.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

   WeKnow.to © 2006-2017 All Rights Reserved