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Low Level Healing: Your Priest and You

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My playtime this weekend centered around levelling my previously level 18 priest through instance healing. I picked up Deadmines, Stockades, Blackfathom Deeps, and Razorfen Kraul. I also made it to *almost* everyone in Gnomeregan — a long, annoying, and deadly slog.

I’ve decided I really really love healing. DPS, it’s hard to know if I’m doing well. Yes, I can top the charts in DPS, or Damage Done, but neither of those feels particularly good to me. If I’m hitting all the wrong targets, I might get perfectly high DPS, but not be actually helping the healer and tank, who are taking a beating from the mobs I’m supposed to be focus firing on. If I’m getting hit more than I should, then the healer is wasting time healing me instead of the tank.

Healing is easy to figure out. Either the tank dies, or the tank lives. Either the raid wipes, or the raid doesn’t. Sure, if I keep all the DPS alive, that’s cool too — but I’ve not had a problem with a DPS or pet dying when the tank doesn’t, to be honest. Watch the party bars, see if any of them are going down, toss on flash heals. When the tank is going to run in, toss a Power Word: Shield on him. Watch the Fortitude buffs, make sure they stay up — especially easy at low level, since +20 stam is ~20% of the health of your target.

All of these things are easy to understand. I had the joy of actually having the same tank through many of these runs — a Prot-specced warrior named Dingodawg. He was great — and as we levelled up side by side, I saw him getting much better in his block, defense, etc. As we finished last night, we talked a bit how much easier he had gotten to heal throughout the instances. Basically, I no longer had to heal him — some renews and a shield every now and then, but even when the shield wore off, unless he was in the middle of a mob, I had no real reason to Flash Heal him. In BFD and RFK, I spent a lot more time healing the Warlock we were playing with, who was quite Life Tap happy.

Some things I learned about through my experience:

  • It is possible to three-man BFD with a group at level 27. (Warrior, Warlock, Priest) Having Water Breathing of some sort is also helpful to the beginning of this instance.
  • Warlocks trade life for mana. When you blink, and all of a sudden your lock is at 5% health, that’s not usually your bad work as a healer.
  • People who disconnect partway through instances without saying anything are really annoying.
  • Also, please talk in /p when you’re in a group, especially when people are talking to you. Even if it’s to say “Lo Siento, no hablo ingles” or something — I understand feeling intimidated, but having an entire instance run where people are talking directly to you and you don’t respond — even when you do start casting buffs in response to what we say — just kinda sucks.
  • Stocks are really easy, with one exception: Dextran Ward and his damn fear. Fear Ward helps with this… *if* the group is actually paying attention and not pulling random rooms without thinking.

The weekend included something like 8 stocks runs — possibly more. Shortest run was 20 minutes. Longest run was more than an hour, and we still didn’t finish. (When a level 20 druid invites you to run stocks, says they’re going to do DPS, and starts hitting the first target as a bear… be afraid. Be very afraid.) With a good group at 23-24, you can 3-man stocks. With a bad group at 25, you can’t five-man the stocks. (This is likely true of *any* dungeon. I just noticed it with regard to the stocks. :))

RFK and BRD were fun to run — had a decent group for both. Stocks varied from fun to not fun, depending on the quality of the group. The group with the hunter who kept pulling half the room out into the hall wasn’t so great. “I’m chain pulling! This is what I do when I’m grinding.” No, chain pulling is when you pull the *entire* next pull, in the same way that we would. Not when you pull two guys out into the hall, pulling adds when they run, while we’re still two rooms back, and leave the other half of the room untouched.

This is the first time I’ve spent a lot of time in instances, and although I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to pick up the Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator (more on that in a later post), I was happy to get to experience healing in so many different situations. Stocks is a real treat for learning LoS, and how to recover from a fear. Running with a warlock taught me to not be quite so scared when the life drops — so long as we’re not near enemies. Gnomeregan taught me that Gnomeregan is hell — and to watch out for pulling aggro from behind. RFK was just plain fun.

In my first weekend as a healing priest, I can say that I like doing that a lot more than I like DPS, so far. Obviously, at higher levels this may change, but overall, I find the experience gratifying, and I look forward to more healing in the future.

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Written by wowthoughts

May 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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