Monday, November 09, 2009

Circle of Healing for a Holy Paladin ?

Ok no, we're not going to get a new awesome raid healing ability, sorry. It's just an interesting project launched by Miss Medicina that you can follow on this page.
She wrote a questionnaire for all healers to give some of their views about their class and healing in general in raids (mostly).
Looks like Almaster from Lux Legis tagged me and as I liked reading other healers views, I'm adding mine :)

First a short introduction to my healing team. I have 3 lvl 80 raiding healers, they have very close gear, mostly because I use badges to gear all of them more than raid loot (not that I don't like loot but I really don't run for it unless nobody wants an item).
My experience with each of them is different though, I've played Shazalyn, my Holy Paladin, since the beginning of WotLK (was prot before) and I've hours and hours of raiding with her.
My Discipline Priest, Syriel, has seen a good bit of raiding too, and she's the only one with which I've been able to finish Yogg (which I really really want to do again). But Discipline priests are rarely used as they should (and always perform poorly on recount), so I only raid with her in friends groups where I can play as I like (aka I don't end up having to raid heal as disc ...).
Velours, my Restoration Druid, is the one I have the less raiding experience with, and the one I have yet to really get used to. I'm sure I could get better at rotations and awareness with her, but druids are so strong with a spellpower built that she's more my "lazy heal" character :P

Now, my Holy Paladin is the character I've played the most, and the one I started this blog with, so I'll answer with her.

* What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Shazalyn, Holy Paladin is my main character and healer.
* What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mostly raiding, normal 25 Man & 10 Man, a little bit of 10 Man Hard modes (I love that).
* What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Holy Shock, instant, fairly strong, has lots of synergy with Flash or Holy Light if you crit with it (which is expected if you have an old crit build like me).
* What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Paladins don't have so many healing spells, we're not druids. I can't see a healing spell I don't use at least a few times in a boss encounter. Probably Judgment of Light if I'm not the only paladin, I'll judge wisdom and let the protection or ret paladin judge Light.
* What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Endurance and healing spam. Paladins are probably the best healers to maintain a constant influx of relatively strong heals for a long time on a target, and very strong heals for a fairly good time. That's also what makes them kind of boring to play sometimes :P
* What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
No raid healing spell, we can raid heal ok with the new Beacon of Light, but all our heals are single target and we're hence very limited by the gcd. Mobility is also a big issue for paladins, you have to learn the timing of fights and your positioning more than any other healing class, because the more you have to move, the less you heal.
* In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Paladins have always been tank healers, and still are best suited for that. Even though 3.2 made us less crappy at raid healing, which is very nice for 10-Man.
* What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
That's a very hard question. Sadly Paladins don't really go well with other healers, it's more a question of raid assignment. Though I usually like to have another Holy Paladin with me, I tried a ToC10 with 3 paladins, it was really not the best thing. Have raid healers with you will be much nicer. The thing is we have very few instant heals, and even with add-ons like Incoming Heals, we still end up overstepping other healers. Only solution is to have confidence in your other healers and have good healing assignments.
* What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Any other healer when I try to raid heal. And with the 3.2 Beacon of Light we should be raid healing all the time as we heal the tank at the same time. So we end up overlapping raid healers, that are often more effective and faster than us, much overhealing and probably some frustrated druids & priests & shamans ... The thing is, if we don't spam the raid, we spam the tank. It's the same for us so it doesn't cost us any more mana, but I'm sure it annoys other healers.
* What is your worst habit as a healer?
Not keeping my judgments up enough on bosses and not using my cds enough, I'll like the T9 bonus.
* What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Feeling powerless when people stay in the fire and die ... not that I can do anything but seeing people die and not being able to ever save them is frustrating.
* Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I think that PvE healing balance is ok right now. Not that I think all healing classes are as fun to play, or as good for all fights, but overall it's ok.
* What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Recount is fairly decent for a paladin now that Sacred Shield is a single target spell. I still advise world of logs that can cope with bubbles & absorption. All in all, if the raid worked, if your tanks didn't die too much, well you did your job ok enough.
* What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Holy Paladins are fairly simple, they've always been tank heals and I think that's what most people expect of them. Now few people realize how much a toolbox we are. Hands of Protection / Freedom / Salvation ... are great tools that little people think to ask for.
* What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Timing. Paladins can't heal on the move, and the first heroics in GT4 or Utgarde Pinnacle are going to be real tests for a new Holy Paladin.
* 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)?
I try to really use all the tools I have, so I'm fairly balanced between Beacon, Flash and Shock. I try to limit my use of Holy Light now, nerfed Illumination and int makes it much harder with my "limited" gear. Overheal is high, but that's inherent to the Beacon that I maintain at all times. I have mostly an int/crit build so yes my crit will be over 45% in raids and I like it for my Holy Shocks.
* Haste or Crit and why?
Before 3.2 I would have said crit (and int) without question, until you reach about 40% unbuffed. Now crit is much less useful for mana regen and you will need some mp5 or alternate mana source (trinkets & the like). Haste is really increasing your hps, so yes, balancing both will be good.
* What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Resto shamies are the only one I've not played at 80 in a raiding environment, but I'm going to start one soon :P
* What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid (and Grid_Raid_debuffs for raid frames), Decursive (cleansing tool), Classtimers (with focus frame to keep up Beacon & others at all time), Pitbull (character & target & focus & target of target frames).
* Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Spellpower to 2000+ first, then int/crit/haste/mp5. Haste being the only one that won't help for mana regen but that will partly reduce your mobility issues.

And now I have to tag two people, always hard to do when you're late in the bandwagon .. hum ... bandcircle ? Let's give tags to two people that I like to read then.
Averna @ Nerf This Druid
One of my best druid references since Resto4Life closed.
Coriel @ Blessing of Kings
A long time Paladin blogger that I always enjoy reading.

Go to the main circle page and give a look to other healer answers, that's often reassuring and interesting, if not fun ... like this way too pink one.
Have fun healing and keeping all these little green bars up :)

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