Friday, July 8, 2011

Circle of Healing

I was touched when I read that I had been tagged by Tzufit from Tree Heals Go Woosh for the Circle of Healing questionnaire that has been going around the blogosphere. I decided to answer the questions from my paladin's perspective, since I'm really trying to get into that mindset! BE the PALLY!

Before I start, I would like to say that it's been awesome to read everyone else's answers (especially the druids who want to HEAL ALL OF THE THINGS - I totally understand your point of view!). Also, I'm still working on revamping this blog. I suspect I'm going to go with something more personal, which will allow me to feel like I can write more often (and less pressure). I'm having trouble coming up with a name, though!

On to the questionnaire!

Here’s how it works:
Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Zaralynda, holy pally

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Up until 2 weeks ago, it was 5 mans and occassionally filling in for a raid (10 or 25). Now it'll be 10 mans (and 5s to cap VP).

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
It's a toss up between Divine Shield (because pally bubbles are so iconic) and Light of Dawn (because I can't help yelling "FLASHLIGHT" every time I use it... I amuse myself very much). In terms of function AND form, Avenging Wrath. How can you not love a 20% boost to your heals with a great visual (Avenging Wrath gives you WINGS!).

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Probably Guardian because I'm just not sure what are the conditions that I should be looking for to use him, but because he has such a long cooldown (5 minutes), I worry about not having him available if I want him, so I don't use him enough.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Utility. We have a cooldown for EVERYTHING! Movement debuff on the tank? Let me fix that for ya. Dps getting above the tank in threat? I'll help you out there. Want a debuff cleared or a mitigation cooldown? Check and check. We have the best emergency heal in the game (Lay on Hands), plus a variety of auras and Aura Mastery for a short boost.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
AoE/raid healing. We have some tools (Light of Dawn, Holy Radiance) but times of heavy raid damage leave me whimpering behind my keyboard "Tranquility... Tranquility... I miss you!"

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Tank healing, because of our lack of good raid healing tools. We can help out here and there (Aura Master and the like) but it's not a main assignment I would feel comfortable with.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
I feel better with a druid in the raid, since everyone seems more stable. I've had that for a very long time and now that I'm not providing it, I've found that I miss it when our druid healer is out.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Whatever class I'm healing on. I like a diverse healing team to handle a wide variety of abilities.

What is your worst habit as a healer?
Trying to HEAL ALL OF THE THINGS. I think it comes from being a raid healer for so long, and in Cata being given the ability to also tank heal. I think I can do everything and now as a pally, I can do a lot of things, but not the throughput of the druid. I have to unlearn that habit.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
People calling for heals. Seriously? You think I didn't notice? One benefit of switching to the paladin is that pugs no longer stand in fire, die, and then demand rebirth. If you couldn't stay out of the fire in the first 5 seconds of the fight, why would I waste my time rezzing you?

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Balanced can mean different things. I don't think that all of the healing classes are equal (which was Blizzard's stated design goal). I think that we are closer to that than we were in LK, but we still aren't there. Last night when my raid leader assigned me to the raid and the holy priest to the tank, I literally facepalmed and sent him a fast whisper that those assignments were NOT the best use of our resources. Could we have pulled it off? Probably (since we were running through BoT to get some folks their titles/achieves), but it's much smarter to play to the strengths of the individual classes.

I do think we're well balanced in that a healing team can be made up of very nearly any combination of classes and it'll work. Gone are the days when you must take a pally healer for the tanks, or struggle, and I think we're better for that.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Instant, in game feedback is "did my target die?" and looking at my spell distribution, specifically cooldowns. Right now I'm mostly trying to get in the habit of pressing my bazillion buttons and seeing how they all interact, and once I'm in those habits I'll work harder at making sure I'm pressing them at the right times. For example, I was healing a pally tank last night and every time I Hand of Sacrificed him, he used his Divine Shield (I think? I didn't get any damage transfer through HoSac). We need to communicate better, but some of that is also in getting used to a new team.

Out of game, I use World of Logs to look more in depth at my spell usage and the effect of my cooldowns (to try to plan things out better).

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That the only thing we can do is pump out big numbers on a single target. I'm totally enamored of the cooldowns available (perhaps because as a druid my solution to everything was MOAR HEALZ).

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)?

Right now we've mostly been doing T11 mop up and trash runs (I've seen a few attempts on the spider boss), so I've been bored and Holy Light'ing the tank going straight to overheal but putting a shield on him. To play with that mechanic.

I'm not sure how things will even out once we're doing more progression. I guess I'll see on Sunday!

Haste or Crit and why?
Haste makes me more responsive while crit (sometimes) makes me heal harder. I like haste!

What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Priests. I leveled one to 40 in vanilla (when dwarf priests were the rage) and haven't touched them since. Plus, since they have 2 different healing specs, I can't keep straight which spells go with each spec.

Since the husband and I have an open RAF setup (for leveling a pair on a server with some local folks), we decided to roll new toons on the new server so I could have a priest (or maybe I bullied him into it).

I have a shaman at 77, but when we faction changed I made her a goblin and can't stand them. I guess I have to make her another race before I can play her again. So, I haven't played her since Cata and have only the vaguest understanding of shaman'ing.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
The essentials are Vuhdo for frames and mouseover macros for spells. I have a G13 keypad so that I can have a ton of buttons within easy reach (and a joystick for character movement). One of the issues with using the paladin cooldowns is teaching myself where they are! But, the biggest thing I like about mouseover macros is that if I want to rearrange things, I can just drag and drop on my bars rather than having to go into a menu of options.

Other addons I use for healing...

  • Can't Heal You sends a whisper to a target if they're out of range, out of LoS, etc and is SUPER helpful in PUGs, and dealing with the uneven ground in Firelands.
  • Power Auras helps me keep track of what cooldowns are available. Some addons (like ForteExorcist) will show you when they become available, which works for me when I want to use something on cooldown (Holy Shock, Judgement), but other spells with cooldowns that I want to know if they're available (all of the hands, for example), I don't want to have to look and say "well, it's not shown as being on cooldown, so it must be available". I'd rather look in one spot to say "yes" or "no".  I know some folks are switching to Weak Auras (less overhead), and since my computer crashed now would be a good time for me to switch, but I'm hesitant.
  • Quartz to show my my GCD.  This is less important now than it was on a druid in LK (where it was super important!), but it's still a good thing to know.
  • Raven to show my tank buff through a Focus frame (as a druid it was Lifebloom, as a pally it's Beacon).  I use it for all of my other buffs, too, but that's the most important one.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I believe I'm going to go for balance with everything besides crit and see how that goes. As a tank healer, mastery helps a lot (now that they changed it in 4.2), but it's not worth stacking at the expense of spirit or haste.

And now, to tag a few other healing bloggers … or blogging healers!
I would love to see Tomaj from Holy Troll answer these questions, since I don't know much about priests.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your answers. I've added them to my list of all the responses I have found ;)