I’m working on leveling up my second healer. After working on my druid through the recruit-a-friend program and leveling up feral with a rogue, I decided to switch to restoration around level 56. Once I hit Outlands, I put myself in queue to heal death knights, I mean, Ramparts. Fortunately the death knights are overpowered which allowed me to get the hang of druid healing. I’ve only done instances since then. When ever I log in as my druid I immediately throw myself into LFG and pray for a group. Trying to do any quest as resto is just short of fruitless.
I’m not claiming I’m any sort of expert at druid healing at level 65 (nor disc priest healing for that matter) but I am starting to adjust to the difference and the similarities to my discipline priests healing. I’ll start with the major, an probably obvious differences.
Priests have all of one heal over time (HoT) spell, renew. Druids have three. This major difference in base abilities sets me up for confusion right away. I’m learning that as a druid I can’t wait until the damage has fallen, like I used to as a holy priest. You don’t want to recover the damage, instead you load up the HoTs and keep them up so the damage is constantly being recovered.
A holy priest will use their greater heal to recover massive damage, however, the druid doesn’t really use their healing touch spell as it simply takes too long to cast. The only time healing touch seems to be used is when you couple it with nature’s swiftness as your “oh crap” buttons.
So here’s where I start to get confused as a druid. So all my HoTs are up and ticking, and I keep them up, but the tank takes some of damage, the HoTs are still ticking, but I panic, as a trained priest, seeing damage on someone immediately makes me think, heal them now!! I’m confident that the HoTs that are all there are about to tick off and heal them up just fine, but I panic and cast regrowth again. Is this the right move? It seems to get done but am I just over healing? The way I see it now, overhealing is better than having the tank die. I know that eventually I’ll get nourish (which seems similar to the flash heal?) and this will maybe ease my mind at these moments, it seems wasteful now to overide the HoT part of regrowth.
For AOE, a holy priest will have several spells, prayer of healing, circle of healing, and prayer of mending, the last of which is dependant on the target taking damage in order to jump to the next target. Druids seem to have wild growth, and that’s it? So far that’s all I’ve learned and know of. When my party members start taking damage, I cast either rejuvenation or lifebloom on everyone and get back to the tank, which I choose depends on what kind of AOE it is, burst or constant AOE damage.
I don’t play a holy priest though, I play a disc priest. And here’s what I miss as a druid. Power Word: Shield. I instinctually found myself looking for it every time. Since as disc it’s become such a core spell, it’s one I really miss. It buys me time while I toss of a flash heal or penance, in hopes that divine aegis will be apply. As disc, it’s all about the shields, between divine aegis and power word: shield, I pretty much want people in bubbles all the time. What disc lacks though is circle of healing, so our only AOE heal is prayer of mending. Let me tell you it’s the longest 2.5 seconds of your life. Fortunately, there’s always haste.
What I notice is the same though about my two healers, disc priest and resto druid, is that it’s all anticipation and preventative healing rather than responsive healing, which is what I found myself doing as holy. To me, bubbling up a target and loading them up with HoTs comes with the same mentality, which may be helping me out. Both disc and resto druids have a lack of AOE heals, though I do really like wild growth and probably use it more than I should, I’m not even sure how much effective healing it’s doing right now.
I’m still getting the hang of this druid healing. I haven’t tried paladin, but I imagine it to be much like disc priest as well, lots of fast short heals and weak AOE heals. Shaman healing is also something I’d like to try sometime, but Borka is enhancement now and no signs of going resto, maybe one day he’ll sell enough glyphs to buy dual spec.
While I’m still getting used to the HoT style of healing with my druid, I feel that the preventative nature of both disc and resto druid keep me in the same mindset while healing. Hopefully this will play to my advantage while healing in the future. Playing a healer is something that I’ve really enjoyed and I’d like to explore all the different styles, so far though, disc has proven to be the style that suits me the most. I never went full holy, the closest I got was 23/38, I’m just happy that as a priest I have two playing style options for healing. I’m looking forward to learning more on the healing with a druid and how it will change my perspective on healing.
Oh bubbles, how I love thee.