Healing of What Flavour?! – Questions and Answers!   6 comments

It’s been an incredibly busy week for me this week, and I’ve had the good fortune to catch the office bug and have been quite ill (hence my lack of posts :().  I actually had a fun post planned for today about the adventures my priest is having, but much to my delight Tam has asked me to chime in on a questionnaire that Ms. Medincina posted about, to get a feel for why we heal, how we heal, and well just healing in general!

So, I thought I’d graciously take Tam’s light nudge, and give the questionnaire a spin!  One thing that I’d like to do that is a bit different though, is I am going to answer the questionnaire from the perspective of all three of my healing 80s with raid experience: Druid (Beru), Paladin (Dannie), Shaman (Mynn).  I will refrain from the priest, since I haven’t priest healed since BWL and while I am quite enjoying healing with lasers beams of light, she’s only level 73 🙂  I am also going to post my answers, and then go back and read what everyone else has written…so I don’t get outside influence on my replies!

Before I get going, I’d like to offer my own gentle nudge to the following bloggers who I’d love to see respond: Lath over at Hots and Dots (*grumble about being days behind and seeing Lath already tagged!*); Lissana (if she hasn’t been tagged yet) from Restokin; and The folks over at Divine Aegis.  I’d also like to invite anyone who reads this, wasn’t tagged, but IS interested in participating!

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
    • Beru  – Resto Druid, this is my main and primary healer for progression content.
    • Dannie – Holy Paladin
    • Mynn – Resto Shaman
  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
    • Beru – 25 man progression raid content.
    • Dannie – 25 man non-progression content and 10 man raids (Normal and Heroic).
    • Mynn – 10 man raids (Normal and Heroic).
  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
    • Beru – This is actually a really difficult question for me.  It was very easy for me to pick one on both Dannie and Mynn, but for Beru I really had to think about it.  I think right now, it is probably Rejuv.  It’s a powerful spell, has the ability to be swiftmended for a huge chunk, and is a solid buffer to both raid and tank damage.  Of the things in my arsenal, it is definitely my  “go to” spell for this expansion because of its strentgh in the current content.
    • Dannie – Honestly, I think with Dannie, I love Holy Shock.  While Holy Light is my most frequently used healing spell and potent healing ability, I love the versatility that Holy Shock provides me as a paladin.  It’s my only instant cast ability, and with a crit, it gives me an instant Flash of Light.  It is fantastic for when I have to move, but need to still get a heal off on the tank, or for when I have a GCD available to hit someone in the raid that needs the heal.  Maybe this is just the druid in me coming through, I don’t know!
    • Mynn – Hands down: Riptide.  Ok…I love my jesus beams A LOT too, but Riptide is my favorite.  Why?  Well, completely unrelated to healing, it has the best animation of any healing spell in the game (shallow…I know!).  However, I think I like riptide for a lot of the same reasons I like Holy Shock so much.  It gives me a little bit of mobility (albeit not much).  So many of my heals require me to plant myself to do my job, that it’s tremendously helpful to have something to be able to toss out while on the move.  Although, from a more practical stand point Chain Heal is probably the best spell in my arsenal.
  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
    • Beru – Tranquility.  The mechanics of this spell are just flat-out bad.  It’s a channeled spell, so you must stay rooted to use it, it only hits your party, and it has a 10 minute cooldown.  I have gone entire raids with never utilizing this spell, I think it is the only spell in my tool kit that I can say that about.  It has the potential to be so much better than it truly is, so I really hope that Blizzard makes some changes to make it a more attractive spell for us.
    • Dannie – Flash of Light.  It’s just weakly balanced right now.  I generally only use this spell on trash, to keep my Sacred Shield HoT up on the tank, or when it’s instant due to a Holy Shock proc.  It’s an extremely cheap spell to cast, but it heals for so little most of the time that it’s not a viable option given my general healing assignment (tanks).  I do try to mix it in when I can, but frequently it just isn’t enough.
    • Mynn – Healing Wave.  Again, it’s just a poorly balanced spell.  It’s hugely expensive, has a massive cast time, and a glyphed Lesser Healing Wave on a target with earth shield will heal for an equal or higher amount for far less mana and half the cast time.  Of all of the spells in my arsenal this is the only one that I almost never use (the only time it generally sees usage is if Nature’s Swiftness is available).
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
    • Beru – Mobility.  One of the things that makes druids such great healers is that we are rarely tied into one spot very long to have to complete our job.  90% of what we can do can be done on the run, which in turn can help act for as a buffer of other healers who do not have the option of mobility when they have to move.  Even when I don’t have to be mobile with Beru, I often am, just out of habit.  We are the only  healing class with this level of performance while mobile, and I think it is our hugest asset as a healer.
    • Dannie – Single target healing.  It is my opinion that paladins are, hands down, the best single target healers in the game (with disc. priests a close second).  You will find no better healer on any fight with multiple tanks.  With Beacon of Light paladins can often be, quite literally, two healers on multi target tank fights.  They have massive  class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”massive “>mana, and phemoninal regen abilities.
    • Mynn – This is a tough question to answer for Mynn, and I don’t know if it’s because she has the least amount of experience of my healers, or because it’s hard to pinpoint a huge strength/weakness for her.  A little bit I consider shaman to be a “jack of all trades” of healers.  They can be fantastic raid healers in the correct settings, and also quite strong tank healers.  I guess if I had to pick, I’d probably say their ability to do any job well in the proper setting.
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
    • Beru – Single Target (tank) healing.  While we are certainly capable of doing a formidable job of this, we are far from the ideal class to be performing the task.  We offer zero additional mitigation as a priest or shaman would, and we don’t have the bomb healing/regen of a paladin.  While we are certainly better at it with the addition of Nourish to our tool kit, we are far from the best class for the job.  I would love to see something like a castable barkskin on our target (similar to GS or PS?) to help even out our ability to excel in this role.  But as it stands now, we are a much better buffer and multi-target healer when there are other healers in the raid that can do single target healing better.
    • Dannie – Multi-target healing.  Quite the opposite of Beru, I feel that paladins struggle with multi-target healing.  While beacon of light and glyph of holy light do help this quite a bit paladins still remain single target healers with little panache for taking care of multiple people at the same time.
    • Mynn – Positioning.  As I mentioned above, shaman can excel really well in both the tank and raid healing categories.  I think their biggest weakness lies in the fact that the mechanics of chain heal require a lot of grouping to maximize it’s potential.  While the recent changes to the bounce range of chain heal helped, shaman will still excel at raid healing when dealing with groups of people bunched up, rather than spread out, which isn’t always possible for every encounter.
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
    • Beru – Raid healing.  I think that right now resto druids are probably the strongest raid healers, followed closely by holy priests.  Our ability to offer a buffer on so many people in the raid simultaneously really lends itself to putting us on the raid.
    • Dannie – Tank healing.  I feel that paladins are the strongest tank healers in the game right now.  They have the ability to deliver fast, very large heals, almost indefinitely.
    • Mynn – I do not have a lot of experience 25 healing with Mynn, but in the limited experience that I do have, I find that if there are paladins and disc priests in the raid, she is best suited to raid heal.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
    • My druid.  I absolutely love druid healing more than any others.  I love her versatility, and the huge arsenal of healing spells that I can choose from.  I also like that of all my healers, she is the one that I have to make the most decisions on while healing.
    • edit!!!!  I *totally* mis-read this question…and realizing it after I read over some other folks’ replies, I thought I’d add in another response more appropriate to what the question asked 🙂  In 25s I really do not have a preference on who I like to heal with most.  In 10’s I think I definately like healing with a paladin or priest (someone that is a strong tank healer) as I feel we compliment each other the best.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
    • I actually love all my healing classes, but if I had to pick a “least favorite”, I would probably say my shaman.  I think of all of the healers she has the most limitations, and is “good” at a lot of things, but other classes are “better” at them…if that makes sense.  I certainly think that I’m a decent shaman healer, but I just feel a lot weaker when I’m healing with her than I do with either Beru or Dannie.  There have certainly been times when I’m raiding on her that I’ve said to myself “If I were on blah blah, this wouldn’t even be an issue”.
    • edit!!!!  I again mis-read this question!  So I am going to offer a second response.  Like the above reply, I don’t have a preference in my 25s, as we have a diverse grouping of folks.  However, if I’m on Beru, in 10s I think I like healing least with a resto shaman.  While the combo is certainly doable, I feel like we step all over each others’ feet trying to get our respective jobs done.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer?
    • Trying to be superwoman.  I am often guilty of trying to do too much, and not trusting others on my healing team to do their part.  It is quite honestly my biggest flaw as a healer.  We have a very strong group of healers for our progression raids in general, but I still feel that I have to carry it all.  It’s something that Hard Modes have helped me get better at, because I do not have the option to stray from my given healing assignment without losing someone.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
    • People disregarding the bad shit because they know some healer will come in behind them to save their ass.  “Get out of the fire”.  “It’s fine, I’m still alive”.  “No it’s not fine, I just had to neglect someone else because you didn’t want to move efficiently”.  I saw a forum signature someone that I’ve often thought about stealing for our guild boards that said “Healing through stupid, one raid at a time”.  So many times I seriously feel that way.  I think a close second would be “You are out of range of heals”, “so move to get me”.  This is hugely annoying when I’m on Dannie, as I don’t have the versatility to be very mobile.  A lot of the ToC heroic fights have helped people learn to be in range of the healers (all of their healers) or risk wiping the raid/dying, which I honestly really like.  I think more raiders should be aware of where their healers are in relation to them.
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
    • Beru – For what we do, and our uniqueness as a healer, yes I think we are fine.  Perhaps slightly too strong, but not so overwhelmingly that there need to be drastic changes.  There are often others that can give me a run for my money healing wise (a good holy paladin, holy priests), which makes me think that we are in a pretty decent spot.
    • Dannie – Mostly, yes.  I do think we are extremely good at what we do.  I think that the divine plea and illumination nerfs were a bit over the top (could have probably not hit illumination quite so damn hard), but I think I perform very competitively.
    • Mynn – I think resto shaman could probably still use a bit more love.  They do a lot of things “well”, but have lots of limitations on doing “great” I think.  Even when reviewing our healing parses from our 25 man raids, our resident resto shaman, who does a fantastic job, can’t always compete with the druids and priests if they are on raid heals…largely because of the positioning of the raid.  Take a fight like heroic twins 25…our resto shaman is a beast, but then again we are all bunched up and he can maximize his chain heals.  So, I guess, I’d like to see resto shaman buffed up a bit to be competitive with some of the other healers.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
    • Violation – for current effective healing breakdowns.  Recount – for current spell usage/death cause breakdowns.  World of Logs reports – for in-depth breakdown of what happened, or didn’t happen, in any given encounter.
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
    • Beru – That we are completely overpowered.  I think there is a lot more to druiding than most people think.  It’s not all about facerolling my rejuv/wild growth buttons.  Because of they type of healing we do, it’s important to watch everything that is going on.  Time when to use what spells and on whom, know what to cast and when to cast it.  There is a lot of keeping an eye on HoT timers to know when it’s time to refresh a spell.  A lot of new druids will struggle or be confused until they have all of the tools and experience needed to master their class.  I know that I’ve seen druids in the top of a lot of “what class do you like healing you the least” posts on tank sites.  This is largely because druid healing is  complex and takes a lot of time to master.  Young druids will often struggle as they “learn the ways of the grove”.
    • Dannie – That we have an infinite mana pool.  I know I’ve even said it at least 10 times in my replies “have mana to sustain”.  Well, that is true…and it isn’t.  Dannie has ~30k mana fully raid buffed, but I still have to manage my mana, especially on longer fights with lots of Holy Light spamming.  There are a number of things I have to do to make sure I can make that mana pool last.  I use my divine plea smartly, I glyph wisdom, I stand in melee range of the boss when I can and whack him for mana in between GCDs.
    • Mynn – That I can bind everything to chain heal and roll my face across the keyboard.  FALSE!  While chain heal often makes up a good portion of my healing every raid, I have to be smart about how I use it, work in riptides every cooldown, and manage my earthshield on the tank!  There is a lot more to shamaning most fights than just spamming chain heal.
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
    • Beru – Timing, and what you can, and cannot, do with HoTs.  Druids are largely pre-emptive  healers, we have to have our heals working in advance of when damage is going to be coming down the pike, because most of our healing isn’t front loaded.  This is largely counter-intuitive to most people intuition of “OMG LIFE BARS EMPTY MUST CAST NOW!”.  I think this is probably why a lot of tanks opt for any class other than druid for 5 mans.  Druid healing takes time to work out all the intricacies and finesse.
    • Dannie – Multi-target healing.  My number one piece of advice for new paladins?  Get a beacon timer.  Period.  You can do SO much in a smaller setting as long as you always keep your beacon of light active.  Beacon the tank, and go to town on that idiot rogue who is attacking the wrong target and tanking it.  If you frequently let your beacon drop, you will have a rough go at it.  If you never let your beacon drop you will be imba as hell in 5 mans!  Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to group up for Glyph of Holy Light healing.
    • Mynn – Finding a balance.  One of the first things that I ask people to do in a 5 man like ToC or HoL is stand on the tank.  Shaman’s can be super group healers, as long as everyone understands the mechanics of how their healing works.  Sometimes you just need to educate people, or help them help you.  One of the hardest things for me to figure out as a shaman (and that I’m still trying to figure out), is when do use what.  When all else fails…chain heal through the tank.  Also, make sure to use a cast bar, like quartz, since chain heal has such a beefy cast time, make sure you know when you can cast that next heal.
  • 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)?
    • Beru – I will always have overhealing, with the new HoT tracking.  It is unavoidable, and I flat out do not worry about it.  I am generally in the top two on healing in our 25s, but I am also on the beefy assignment of healing the raid so it’s a bit unfair to judge based solely on that.  I pre-emptively heal quite a bit, and always toss HoTs on the tank when I can afford to do so, regardless of if they need the healing at that moment or not.
    • Dannie – Likely someone would also see a lot of overhealing here as well.  This is in large part because of the limited spells a paladin has in their arsenal.  Flash of light is often not enough, and Holy Light is often too much, resulting in the high overheal.  Dannie will outperform a lot of healers on any fight with multiple tanks due to the power of Beacon of Light.  She usually floats around the top 3 in 25 man raids, and often tops in 10 man raid.  But to be fair, I do have that “superwoman” complex I talked about earlier, and sometimes stray from my healing assignment when I can afford to do so.
    • Mynn – Since Mynn is mostly raids in a 10 man environment, she has to be fairly diverse in what she does.  I don’t think that I see the huge amounts of overheal with her that I do with both Dannie and Beru, and I tend to be more re-active when I heal with her, as I am more the “buffer” healer in my 10 man groups.  She performs competitively with the other healers, but almost never dominates the way that both Beru and Dannie do with some regularity.
  • Haste or Crit and why?
    • Beru – This is a trick question, right?!?!  Actually, Blizzard is in a bit of a “wtf do we do with these stats for druids”.  Right now, with the T9 gear, they are trying to make crit a more valuable stat for us as raid healers, by letting rejuv crit, but it’s still not a hugely valuable stat for me in 25 man raids (although I could see it being more valuable to 10 man healers that have to share the burden of tank healing with more regularity).  With the current Gift of the Earthmother, you need so little haste to be haste capped, that it’s not valuable to stack large amounts of haste.  So…I guess my answer to the question is, neither?  With 3.3 I think that haste will become a much more valuable stat for druids, and I will probably seek more haste gear out.
    • Dannie – I would say that I value these about equally.  Crit is mana back, and fatter heals.  Haste lets me get the heals out faster.
    • Mynn –  I would say that I again value these about equally.  As a healer with a cast time, anything that lets me get heals out faster is great, and crit gives me bigger heals, bigger chain heals.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least?
    • Having one of each healer, I think I have a pretty solid understanding of each of the 4 healing classes.  However, of those four, I think that I still have the most to learn about shaman healing.  I feel, personally, that I’ve yet to completely master the art of shamaning.
  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
    • Grid (and an army of modules); Clique; Pally Power; Beacon Counter; DBM.
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
    • Beru – Spellpower.  As a druid it gives us the most throughput of any other stat.  Because of the way we heal, and what our heals do, we want them to be as big as they can.  I suspect that we will see spellpower start to split some with haste in 3.3, but I think that it will still be our number one stat.
    • Dannie – Intellect.  It’s more mana and crit…which in turn is more mana.  Oh…and our int converts to spell power!
    • Mynn –  I’m in a bit of an odd spot with Mynn.  I was stacking her with a bit more int for the mana and crit and spellpower, but have started to lean a little bit towards spell power/int with her.

Well, hopefully that wasn’t too insanely boring, and was somewhat informative!  I look forward to going out and reading other people’s responses 🙂

Posted October 30, 2009 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, eh?, Healing, Paladin Healing, Shaman Healing

6 responses to “Healing of What Flavour?! – Questions and Answers!

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  1. “I am often guilty of trying to do too much, and not trusting others on my healing team to do their part. It is quite honestly my biggest flaw as a healer. ”
    I know whatcha mean there. And I’m constantly nervous on non-healing toons expecting someone’s gonna let me die. lol

    Hi back. 🙂

    • I think it’s just a part of druids’ pre-emptive healing style: we fret when someone starts to drop, and feel like we have to go prevent it from happening.

      Pug healers let my rogue die 😦 I stood in a corner and bandaged myself once, without ever getting a heal. I wanted to smack them. The healers all claimed they were just tank healers, and therefor they didn’t need to heal anyone but the MT/OT. From that point on, I’ve never trusted a pug healer I don’t know, heh.

  2. Hey Beru-

    In response to your question on my blog; prior to 3.2 I cast LHW all the time, and never cast Healing Wave. However, after they changed Water Shield so I don’t have mana problems ever, and they changed Tidal Waves so it doesn’t reduce the cast time for LHW now.

    Keep in mind that I cast CH and Riptide enough that I am never casting HW without the Tidal Waves buff. With my levels of haste, the cast time differs by about .15 seconds, which is almost a non-issue to me. Remember that also, with the Tidal Waves buff, Healing Wave is going to get over 200% of your spellpower added as the coefficient; by comparison Lesser Healing Wave gets less than 100%, even with the Tidal Waves buff.

    LHW – with its increased crit and lower mana cost, this is great for fights with mana concerns.
    HW – with it’s high healing, this is great for throughput.

    So there are definitely situations where it is appropriate to use LHW instead of HW; but the tradeoff is just mana efficiency, which just hasn’t been a problem for me since 3.2. I’d rather be a little inefficient, and get my large nuke heals off; even if they overheal, they cause a nice little splash heal with Ancestral Awakening, which is pretty nice as well.

    To answer your other question, I’ve stopped using the glyph of LHW ever since 3.2 for the reasons I mentioned above. I glyphed for CH- even though this is probably a waste in 10 mans, it makes me feel not useless when I do 25 mans.

    I don’t think that my way is necessarily correct, but it works for me; I like that resto has become very customizable recently– every resto shaman seems to have their own style that works for them.

    I also love that Jessabelle’s little non-meme has started this great dialogue between all these healing bloggers!

  3. Cheers for the shout out Beru 🙂 I don’t know about you but I am loving reading all the different resto druid responses to this questionnaire! It’s amazing that considering we all start out with the same arsenal the answers are so varied and unique.

  4. Pingback: My turn in the Circle of DPS! « Tusks!

  5. Pingback: Circle of Healers Take Two! « Falling Leaves and Wings

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