Last night I did something for the first time since the release of Cataclysm.  I healed a dungeon.  No not a heroic, Elgar doesn’t even qualify yet.  But he does qualify for all the normal dungeons, so I tossed myself in queue and thought, what the heck.  I asked in guild if anyone wanted to come to a normal, but no dice.  So I went it alone.

I got a great group, they were a guild group, 4 people, and I explained that I haven’t healed any instances in Cataclysm yet and please let me know if there is anything I should do or anything I need to know about the fights.  They went slow, were very patient with me, used CC.  All good things.  But…

It was horrible.

I was going near OOM on most trash pulls (oh this was Halls of Origination) but I had read this was sorta typical for most healers, so I wasn’t too concerned.  We get to the first boss.  Chaos.  People are out of range, I can’t find them even, I am panicking to keep everyone alive, my heals seem so trivial to their 105 to 145k health pools.  I’m trying to work in smite to keep my heals larger and get back mana, but there isn’t time.  I’m using Inner Focus every 45 seconds…it’s just chaos.  The tank dies.  I keep mashing buttons and somehow between the two hunters pets we tank and kill him. 

I am less than encouraged at this time.  I didn’t even let a tank die the first time I did ToC 5-man on heroic.  Clearly things have changed.  I try to remember this, but I feel literally sick to my stomach as I’m rezzing the tank.  I want to cry and barf.  I make some comments into guild chat and soon people are telling me that disc priests are broken, it’s not just bubble people anymore.  And I do realize this already, and I think I’m doing the right things, but all my heals cost so much mana and heal for SO little.  But basically it’s a resounding, disc is broken or you need high gear to play it.  Great.

We continue on, it’s horrible.  By the end of the instance (we killed everything – there are optional bosses??) my recount is showing that there have been 20 deaths, 6 of which are the tank.  I was literally barfy.  I wanted to delete Elgar (don’t worry, I didn’t, I won’t really do it).  Someone suggests that I try holy, but unfortunately disc wasn’t the only think broken last night.  My spirit and confidence in healing was also broken.  I literally sat there stunned in my chair, ready to barf, and possibly my hands physically shaking.

Is this what healing has become?  Or is it just that disc really is that broken?  Either way, I couldn’t believe it.  Something I used to love so much has now become something that I never want to do again.  And I sat there thinking that Elgar’s endgame experience is going to be transmuting, fishing up Mr. Pinchy, farming up herbs, and digging up artifacts.  Hardly what I expected. 

I logged over to Rossini to DE a staff Elgar won.  I like Rossini, but he’s not Elgar.  No one is Elgar.  I logged out and looked at the loading screen.  I know Elgar still has some gear improvements, but this was a normal dungeon.  Normal.  And it was so horrible.  I looked at him.  How is it that my favorite character has now become a placeholder on the log-in screen?  I truly am broken. 

I guess the one positive thing about the night is this:  I know what NOT to dual spec the shaman, paladin, and druid as…heals.


40 Responses to “Broken”

  1. Analogue Says:

    Oh, man, I am so sorry you had to go through that without a guild group. Listen, ask us sometime and we can go through and treat you RIGHT.

    You had two hunters. How often did trash mobs get iced?

    Disc isn’t “broken”. You just can’t spam bubbles and do nothing else. Granted it’s been a bit since I healed on my disc priest but it’s very viable. It just takes a little relearning. Healing is very very different in Cataclysm but believe me, when you’ve got a good group it gets fun again.

    It’s possible that you just don’t have the gear yet. I know that’s a terrible answer but it’s true. What I’ve found is first I need a mana pool to support some frantic-heal-spamming, then the stats that make my heals hit harder so I don’t have to frantically spam.

    But. I will lay you odds that the tank wasn’t doing what he should have to help you out, the dps weren’t ccing and using self heals, or even, the dps weren’t killing things fast enough. EVERY failure of EVERYONE else in cataclysm ends up looking like “Healer went OOM/Healer couldn’t keep us alive” but that is NOT what’s really going on. DPS takes too long? Healer is OOM. DPS stands in fire? Healer “lets them die”. Tank is not using his debuffs right? Takes too much damage, healer’s fault.

    BUT – it does get better. Don’t give up yet, and don’t delete Elgar!

    • Troutwort Says:

      Ha ha, I’m not going to delete Elgar, but I can promise you it’s going the be a long time before I queue for anything as a healer again.

      The hunters did a really nice job keeping mobs CC’d in ice, on pulls there were ALMOST always two mobs in ice traps on the pull.

      I didn’t really spam bubbles in LK (boring) and I’m certainly not doing that now. I try to use ‘Heal’ to reduce weakened soul and save mana. I actually felt that sometimes I was so busy actively healing that I don’t get out enough bubbles! I have read some guides, I look at my talents and such, I use smite often to get archangel…it’s just well, I didn’t have any fun, and I wanted it to be over SO badly.

      20 deaths. Because I couldn’t keep one person up, let alone 5. Lucky hunters at least had feign death to avoid a few deaths. When bosses died I felt relieved not excited. It broke me.

  2. Ado Says:

    From what I’ve seen disc is best as a support heals or single target heals. If you’re healing a group, holy is the way to go. One thing that I try to keep in mind when healing is that flash heal is my enemy and the less I use it the better!

  3. koalabear21 Says:

    Ok first of all are you gemmed, enchanted and using stat food?

    When I first started healing normals on my druid I made sure I had at least green level gems and the lowbie enchants. I was rocking a mojo flask from Wrath and was nomming on Whitecrest Gumbo.

    What you need to do is focus on one person, using the cooldowns that you have. It is possible to heal as Disc even without the gear. Yes Holy is easier, but Disc is doable.

    When you first start healing you have to focus on the tank and yourself. The DPS will die or watch themselves. Trust me, they learn quickly.

    I wouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. As Analogue said, it does get fun again. 🙂

    • Troutwort Says:

      Ha ha, yes, I am gemmed (only one socket) and I have more enchants than I would on gear that I would replace. I normally don’t spring for enchants at this point, but I decided to make sure I was ready. I always use food–max cooking, and since I’m alchemy I have plenty of flasks/potions at my disposal. I used mana potions as needed. I did focus mostly on the tank and myself, but there was SO much AOE at times–like some sun burst thing?!? The whole room seemed filled with fire and oh man that was brutal.

      So I’m pretty sure I was stacking things in my favor, but I still couldn’t keep up.

      I was using cooldowns liberally, I don’t think I’ve ever used pain suppression so much before and PW:Barrier during every boss. Shadowfiend couldn’t come off cooldown fast enough and Inner Focus every 45 seconds hoping for a crit on Greater Heal for big Divine Aegis.

      It just all felt futile. Like no matter what I tried to do, no matter how I adjusted it was bad. I felt really bad for the group that they got me as a healer. I wanted to give them all money for having to have to go repair during the middle of the dungeon. It was just…well terrible. 😦

      • koalabear21 Says:

        That particular boss is BRUTAL! There are interrupts that need to be done and DPS has to burn him, or you will die, a lot.

        That is when you have to blow cooldowns. I usually saved Tranq for that fight.

  4. wolfgangcat Says:

    I feel your pain 😦

    I love my Disc priest but I can’t seem to keep up either, and there’s really no place to “practice” healing that doesn’t involve putting everyone else through hell.

    *polishes up Jeweled Fishing Pole for End Game”

  5. slice213 Says:

    Ouch trout.

    I feel ya better my main is priest and for 95% of wrath i was disc. cata comes out and boom…it was painful. I switched from Disc to Holy.

    regardless of Holy or Disc…early healing is rough. Everything about Wrath has to be forgotten and relearned. I had to learn…dont top people off if they are not the tank etc.

    It does get better and easier, Trout! Believe it!

    For disc..shield the tank only. Only shield others as needed, its kind of like using FH, only when absolutely needed. Penance, PoM all the time. rememeber Grace can be applied to multiple targets now. PoH as well, as it always applies Divine Aegis.

    Heal, heal, GH, seems to help stabalize tank dmg. Heals on other members/renew.

    Once you get the gear…heal can be regulated to somewhere else. I don’t even use it atm.

  6. slice213 Says:

    Looking over your gear looks ok to me, only recommendations I would make would be if a piece has not spirit on it, to reforge to get some spirit on it. Crit is a good canditate to reforge away.

    • Troutwort Says:

      Yeah, I’m still trying to get spirit on everything, but it’s a lot harder than it seems it should be to get that. It would be better if they had craftable armor that was better other than that crappy PvP stuff.

  7. Grimmtooth Says:

    I will say this: IT GETS BETTER. All off our guild’s healers seemed to have went through the same shock and awe phase as we started to run intances, but as gear has improved, they seem to be getting the groove back.

    • Troutwort Says:

      Thanks, I guess that’s part of the beef I have with it too, why is there such a steep gear requirement for a healer when a DPS can basically roll face and do alright in all greens? (I’m sure I’ll get some lash back there – but even classes I’m bad at–hunter–I still was always able to pull my weight)

      Why is it that healers need to have awesome gear in order to accomplish things? I’ve felt that in past expansions I was able to make up for gear gaps by play style, by being a good healer, but it seems that’s not an option anymore or is much harder? And since I’ve really never been “gear driven” this really is a paradigm shift for me.

      I really want to try again and believe it will get better, but Elgar has been a healer since his first talent point, I leveled as holy back in the day, and I’ve never EVER had a healing experience this bad. I think that’s why I’m taking it so hard…it’s really killed my spirit…no pun intended. 😛

  8. Rades Says:

    Hey there! Sounds like it was rough going, but don’t let it get you down! I’d really recommend healing an earlier instance first rather than the 85 ones – those are NOT easy, despite being regulars! In my opinion, even if you’ve been gathering a nice healing set on your way to 85, leaping right into 85 regulars without time to get used to Cata healing is like going from the ICC 5-mans right to Heroic Lich King. That step inbetween is so, so crucial for learning, especially if you’re still relearning the ins and outs of your various abilities and how they all relate to each other. Having a level 85 mana pool to deal with level 81 incoming damage will be a nice buffer to let you get used to Cata healing. Even if you don’t need any gear from the early 80 dungeons, the healing experience will be invaluable!

    As Smite spec, I found the rotation very straightforward: Put up PW:Shield on tank if able, Penance anyone who needs it if it’s up, and otherwise spam that Smite button! When I was Smite spec I didn’t bother with Strength of Soul because I never cast any of the related spells. I relied very heavily on the healing from Atonement to keep people topped up.

    As for popping Archangel, I actually found it useful to pop it as soon as I was able to when my mana was below, say, 80%, for the instant mana regen but mostly so that its CD would be up again sooner, likely when (in a long fight) I would really need the mana again.

    I saw in a comment that you leveled solely through Archaeology? What is your gear like? I did this as well my druid with gathering XP and found myself completely screwed at 85, since I didn’t have the nice assortment of quest and rep gear I would have had if I had leveled normally. I had to go back and knock out a good chunk of Uldum/Twilight Highlands quests to get some replacements for my ICC gear that I was still packing around.

    • Troutwort Says:

      Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I might have to re-evaluate Strength of Soul. A lot of my healing last night came from Atonement, which seems to be appropriate, so that’s good to hear. I feel like I try to use smite whenever I can get it in to keep Archangel ready for mana regen and boosted healing. I try to use Inner Focus during Archangel too, especially during AoE.

      My gear isn’t “too bad” I got myself pretty much in Cata blues at this point–a few are PvP, but not much. Weapon from the Ring of whatever in Twilight Highlands. I knew I would have been screwed right off the bat which is why I waited so long to acquire gear before attempting to heal. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough. >.< Thanks for the comment.

      • Rades Says:

        Something else you may want to do (if you haven’t already) is pick up some of the healing BOEs, nothing crazy expensive or anything, but I’ve noticed a few blues dropping quite a bit in price lately. I was also extremely anxious about my first Cata healing attempts, and used +90 Int food from my main, leftover spellpower Wrath flasks, semi-decent Cata enchants, you name it. Oh! And be sure to bring the best water available, which is super cheap. I chug Starfire Coffee at every free moment to top up my mana, so as to reduce actual downtime. 😀

  9. potatoe Says:

    what were your hps numbers?

    I’ve been disc since wotlk and never went holy in cata.
    I’ve healed my way up through regulars and heroics and am now at ilvl 350.

    You are doing regulars so I don’t remember what numbers should be there.
    In heroics, 6k hps should be enough for most trash and bosses with some exceptions.
    If you are doing more hps than that and people are dying, it’s probably the group’s fault.
    A big part of it as well is the gear of the rest of the group and ESPECIALLY the tank.

    If the group isn’t taking as much damage, then you don’t have to heal as much.
    If the tank is awesome you barely have to focus on him.

    When I first went into Vortex Pinnacle on Regular there are some AOE star things that killed the group before I even knew what was happening.
    Now, as groups have better gear (including me) I can heal through those on heroic with no problem.
    Of course, I use a power word:barrier and tell ranged to stand in it.

    So it’s definitely a combination of familiarity with the encounter mechanics and gear.



    • Troutwort Says:

      I’m not sure what my HPS numbers are. I’m not really a numbers guy, I didn’t really look at any of the other information but I am now hearing I should have. I just looked at the total deaths count.

  10. Chandrilea Says:

    i didn’t heal heroics … i let a guildie heal the group so i would get carried through and ninja the 346 spirit gear. :()

  11. khizzara Says:

    Hi there! I just started a blog about WoW, and I quoted you and then linked to this post in my first post. You probably won’t get much traffic from me, but I wanted to make sure that you don’t mind being quoted on someone else’s blog. 🙂

    This is also the first time I’ve replied to someone’s blog here since getting an account, so I’m not sure if it will automatically link back to my blog… So here’s a link, just in case:

    Don’t lose heart! Healing will get easier for you, I promise. 🙂

    • Troutwort Says:

      Thanks for the comment and the link! I realized I had a punctuation error in the part you quoted, whoops! He he. But your article was very well put.

      • khizzara Says:

        I honestly don’t even see the punctuation error myself, so maybe it’s one that I would make too. I’m glad you liked my article.

        Oh, and I absolutely love the names Elgar and Rossini! Are all your toons named after composers?

      • Troutwort Says:

        Not all my characters are named after composers. But 7 of my 10 are. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: