WoW Thoughts

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Healing ICC10 as a Disc Priest

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I had my first real experience as a healer last night, healing ICC10 through the Lower Spire and Festergut as a Disc priest with 4 guildies + 6 PUGs.

Overall, it was an interesting night. We were three healing because our druid’s internet connection was somewhat flakey, and we didn’t want to suffer too many wipes over disconnects. (All in all, we had a pretty bad night for DCs; Off-tank, dps, healer, etc. all suffered disconnects at one crucial point or another.) So we had myself (TOC10-ish geared Disc priest), a resto druid (TOC25/ICC10ish geared) and a resto shaman (~Uld25/TOC10 geared).

Overall, my favorite fight to heal was Festergut. Having done a lot of research on that fight, the ‘ebb and flow’ of the fight is *very* obvious; knowing when to *not* heal someone was more important than knowing when to heal them. (One aspect of the strategy: get everyone healed up right before third inhale. During 3rd inhale, just don’t bother healing anyone until he starts casting Pungent Blight; with three healers, you can get everyone hit with enough heals to keep them alive, so long as everyone was properly spored.)

One thing I learned from looking at the logs afterwards is: My healing doesn’t totally suck.

As an inexperienced disc priest, I’ve had two significant problems.

  1. Healing too much. I have a very strong tendency to overheal. Not in terms of actual overhealing numbers, but simply in terms of healing people when they don’t really need it, or taking the task of healing *everyone* on. Recent comments in an Epic Advice question on learning to heal better basically led to me doing a lot less healing of raid damage, either via Prayer of Healing or anything else. In fact, in combat, I don’t think I ever used PoH — the one time I tried, the tank died, so I learned my lesson pretty quick.
  2. Measuring performance. Without difficult fights, it’s hard to say “if the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault” as a primary way to learn, since … tanks don’t usually die on farm content. As a result, my measurement of healing success has largely been in the form of looking at recount, which is a pretty terrible way to go about being a disc priest. World of Logs has proved much more useful, showing that my effective healing was greater than that of the resto druid or shaman on some harder fights. Additionally, as the evening went on, I saw a significant growth in the effectiveness I had in healing; I went from feeling lost to feeling successful as the night went on. This is a huge boon to my personal feeling of success as a healer, something I had been suffering due to for a while.

Overall, I had a great time, and I think that I can say I would be more comfortable going into ICC again knowing what I do now. With more experience healing, I’ve been able to really understand a lot more about how the disc priest class plays, and heal more effectively as a result.

Things that I now use more than I did when I started last night:

  • Prayer of Mending. Oh, PoM, how I love you, and how neglected you have been. In some fights, this spell accounted for > 30% of my total healing. On Saurfang after the first mark went up, it was terrific — the timing of damage on a tank and a mark was ideal for PoM bouncing.

Things I use less:

  • Flash Heal. Well, maybe not less, but more wisely. No more do I bubble people, and immediately flash heal them; instead, I’ll bubble and let them be taken care of by another healer.
  • Prayer of Healing. As I said, the one time I tried to use this in combat, the tank died. No more of that. Instead, I’ll simply bubble bubble bubble anyone who’s looking low, and let other healers take care of them.

I want to thank the EpicAdvice community for helping me to really understand the one core thing that I didn’t understand in practice, even though I knew it in theory: It’s not my job to keep everyone topped up. It’s my job to keep everyone’s health meter above 0.

I only came close to running out of mana twice last night. Once on gunship, when our druid DCed mid-fight and my shadowfiend was largely wasted because I couldn’t keep him on adds enough to pick up a useful amount of mana, and once on our second attempt at Festergut, where I was too concerned about keeping the DPS at full, and only realized that I was low (and SF on CD) just before the  third inhale, with no chance to Divine Hymn. In general, with a more steeled tendancy to not top off DPS, I found my healing to be much more effective than in the past.

Those interested in critiquing my performance can check out the log on World of Logs.


Written by wowthoughts

March 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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