Seeing as how everyone and their Felguard was dying for me to do this, I figured I would take the initiative and fill this thing out. It sounded like a lot of fun, but I didn’t want to assume I would get tagged and then be the last one picked for dodgeball, sorta speak.
So, without further ado – here are my responses!
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Oenomel. Tauren holy priest, currently 6/32/3
2. What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I heal mostly in a 25 man raid setting with the occasional 10 man raid on the side. I also do 5 man Heroics for Valor Points and such.
3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Binding Heal. I think there’s nothing else like it in the game right now and I love how it interacts with Chakra: Serenity, in that if both targets have Renew on them that it will refresh the duration on both people. It’s also been shown to trigger Surge of Light more and that absolutely knocks my socks off.
4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Leap of Faith. I know it’s not technically a healing spell, but I think it’s terrible. I feel like it enables people to partake in bad or reckless behavior and that’s not really something that I’m into. I didn’t even have it on my action bars until recently and even then I only put it there to fill up the space left behind by not having Stoneform anymore.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Survivability. We have Desperate Prayer, Binding Heal, Blessed Resilience, Inner Sanctum. We can use Body and Soul to get out of sticky situations. I feel like we should be one of the last people standing when things start to go south.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
As a holy priest, I feel like my spec doesn’t have enough ways to regen mana or to increase our mana pool. Other healers seem to have a number of options, aside from stacking intellect or spirit and we don’t. Holy priests only have Holy Concentration and that doesn’t really cut it.
I know I have been fortunate enough to not have issues with my mana throughout this expansion, but others have not been so lucky. We could really stand to use something else to depend on, besides that.
7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
I would like to think I can tackle any healing assignment that I’m given. I’ve been asked to tank heal, which I love doing. I usually get asked to raid heal. If I had to say which one is “best,” I would say raid healing. If I had to say which one I enjoy more, it would be tank healing. Simply because I don’t get to do enough and I get this great feeling of satisfaction when I do it and when I can do it as well as a disc priest or another healer can.
8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
I really don’t have a preference, regarding what class I’m asked to heal with. I tend to run with a variety of specs and classes in my raid, so they each bring something unique and valuable to the table. I can tell you that there are certain personality traits or behaviors that I look for in people that I’m asked to heal with.
I like working with aggressive healers, who aren’t afraid to blow their cooldowns or who know how to go all out if need be. I like healing with people who like a challenge and aren’t afraid to push themselves or be flexible with their assignments or their roles; people who ask for different assignments than they usually get. Healers who support other healers is big with me. I think we should be encouraging each other to be better or help one another out, if someone is struggling with their role or their assignment.
9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Again, I don’t think it comes down to which class I enjoy healing with the least, but more what personality types drive me up the wall.
I don’t like healers who don’t know how to or who don’t like to communicate. I rely on having a chat channel for the healers and it feels weird to me when the healers don’t utilize it. Nothing creeps me out more than a silent healer channel. We should be talking, we should be trying to see if we can do things to improve a bad situation; even if the wipes aren’t necessarily our fault.
On that note, I don’t like healers who don’t announce their cooldowns. I want to know when you’re ressing someone or you have dropped Mana Tide totem, etc. Certain people base what they do on your actions and I think that goes a long way towards helping them out with that. I find this particularly annoying with ressing, but this isn’t such an issue now that most guilds have Mass Resurrection and use that instead of a single target res.
I also don’t like healers who set a bad example, in regards to survivability. We can’t very well gripe about tanks or DPS standing in bad or soaking up healing when we do it, too. I think we have a certain responsibility to be better than that and it makes me sad when I see other healers not displaying that.
10. What is your worst habit as a healer?
My Guardian Spirit timing has always been terrible. I either use it too much and the tank was nowhere near in danger of dying or I get it off a second before they drop and it’s too late, which means I either GS myself or they do get it and it didn’t make a difference. I could also stand to find a better time to use Potion of Concentration. It never feels like a good time, when I do use it.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
The assumption that people are entitled to heals, especially now that we sort of outgear a lot of the 5 man Heroics. Yes, I have the mana. No, it doesn’t mean I’m entitled to heal you through stupid. For the most part, people are good about not pulling threat, DPSing the right target or not standing in bad. But every once in a while, you get someone that just assumes you’ll heal them through it and I won’t. If you allow that behavior to go unchecked in that environment, that’s going to tell them it’s OK to do it everywhere else and it’s not.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I do. I can’t say that I have had any moments in this expansion where I have felt like I wasn’t comparable to other healers or that I felt like I was lacking. I may joke about certain classes being OP, but I have never felt like I was “less than” by being a holy priest. Quite the opposite, I feel like I can tackle just about anything that my raid throws at me.
Don’t get me wrong, there are things that could stand to be tweaked or improved with us. But I don’t think we have it nearly as bad as some might say that we do.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
World of Logs. I’m usually the first healer to ask if the logs are up and to spend a good half hour after the raid poring over them and such. I admit I’m still learning how to really dig into them and see some of the smaller details, but I love doing it.
I like reading about other people’s experiences and seeing if I can relate to them, seeing how other priests or other healers handled certain situations. You can get a lot of ideas from that or things to take away to improve your own performance. I try to stay in the loop with other healers as much as I can.
And of course I look at the raid, itself. Are the people I’m asked to heal dying early? Can I do anything to change that? Those are questions I ask myself as the encounter is happening.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That we can’t tank heal or specifically that holy priests can’t. I have been crusading against this pretty hard for a while now and I still believe it can be done. We certainly do it differently than others do, but it’s possible. I think it’s something that not every holy priest wants to do or can do, but those of who do should be given more of a chance to do it. I would really like to see more from Blizzard either in defense of this or setting the record straight against it.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
How to manage their mana and I still think that a lot of older healers struggle with it, too. There are certain fights where triage healing comes into play and you don’t need to top people off. Then there are fights where you do have to do that. Finding that right balance of regen and throughput is an endless struggle and not one that many healers ever figure out how to really manage.
As a healer, I think it’s important to always be willing to look at yourself and to pick up on those things about yourself that could stand to be tweaked or changed a little bit. If you know you’re drowning in mana, shed some of your regen and put more towards greater output. If you’re healing up a storm, but you can’t last or endure a long fight shave some of that power down and direct it towards making yourself last longer. Keep your finger on the pulse of that kind of thing, if that makes sense.
16. 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)?
They would probably see that I’m usually assigned to raid healing, so you wouldn’t find a lot of single target direct heals on my logs or anything based on being in Chakra: Serenity. Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending and Prayer of Healing tend to be my top three heals, but Renew has recently worked its way up there.
My mastery and Holy Word: Sanctuary (when I use it) tend to have a high amount of overhealing, which comes with the territory and depends on which fight you’re working on. They would see that I’m good about using defensive cooldowns or spells, like Desperate Prayer, Binding Heal, Lightwell, etc.
17. Haste or Crit (or Mastery) and why?
This a tough one and I think it depends on personal preference, more than anything. For me, haste is useful on more fights than mastery is. The fights where mastery is strong, it is very strong. The fights where it’s not, it’s really not. Overall, I feel like I have enough mastery on my gear that I don’t need to go out of my way to get more and I don’t feel that the few fights that it shines on are worth the trouble of making sure I have more of that than haste.
18. What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Paladins. That’s the one healing class I don’t think I could ever get the hang of or enjoy playing. If I had to sum them up with one statement it would be “Their simplicity is their complexity.”
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I try to run light on add-ons, but I do use Deadly Boss Mods, VuhDo (a must have for me), Bartender, Quartz (which I think is better for healers than people realize), Raeli’s Spell Announcer, and Power Auras.
I’m a big fan of mouseover macros, which I didn’t discover until this expansion. I have Circle of Healing, Prayer of Healing and Binding Heal bound to my mouse buttons. I tend to play with my left hand on the keyboard and the right hand on my mouse, so Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew and Heal are also easily within reach.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
The only real balance that I pay close attention to and strive for is the one involving regen and throughput. At times, I feel like I’m spinning the knob on a safe and trying to turn it ever so slowly to find the right combination. Right now I’m trying to get used to the idea of not having as much spirit as I’m used to and seeing how much I need, in relation to how much intellect that I have. Those are the only stats I’m concerned with right now.
In terms of secondary stats, it depends on what each piece of gear comes with. If something comes with just mastery, I’ll shave some of that off into haste. If an item comes with pure haste, I tend to leave that be. Anything with crit on it gets turned into haste first or mastery, if haste is already present. I don’t follow socket bonuses too closely, mostly because they’re not usually worth the trouble of getting your gems to match each particular socket requirement.
I’m choosing to tag the following people to fill this out next, despite the rules saying I should pick people outside of my own class/spec.