Healing Again

The other day before I logged in after a weekend of fishing, I decided I’d check out some WoW news since I can’t read anything at work and it had been a long time.  With patch 4.2 I swear I was the last to know things and still don’t because I don’t get to read as much as I used to.  Anyways, I happened to see the news about  the world-firsts for heroic kills of Ragnaros on 10 and 25-man.  They had lists of the raid members and so I thought I’d check it out and click on the armory profiles of a few people..specifically to see if any of the priests were disc. 

As it turned out, two of the four were disc, one shadow, and one holy.  I took a look at the disc specs to see how they compared to me.  The first thing I noticed is that neither one was smite spec.  Hmm.  I took a look around to see where they put the extra points and basically could understand the logic behind the movement of the points.  This freed up some more points for holy and shadow as needed.  The last points seemed to be a matter of preference…reduced cooldown on shadowfiend vs. 1% haste or self heals.  So there was some flexibility there.  I decided that perhaps running smite-spec was part of the problem I was having with disc spec.  I would have trouble switching between the boss to smite and my party members when they would need direct heals or bubbles.  I’m sure there is an add-on that makes this much easier, but I don’t like add-ons that much, they always seem to clutter up things.  That’s just my opinion, and I haven’t found a healing add-on that I like. 

So I logged onto Elgar and decided to spend the 33g to change from a smite disc spec to a non-smite spec.  Then, what the hell, I better try it out.  I queued by myself for a normal dungeon.  Best not to take on more than I can handle.  I moved about my toolbars and got myself ready, I got a group almost immediately.  HoO.  F, I hate that place, and I always seem to get it.  I zone in and I’m in the middle of the beetle gauntlet towards flaming marrowgar.  The conversation goes like this:

Elgar:  Uh oh.
Tank:  What?
Elgar:  No offense, but I always get nervous when I come into a group as a healer in the middle of an instance.
DPS1:  The healer just left without a word.
DPS2:  Yeah, we don’t know why.
Elgar:  Okay.  Well, let’s do this.

It didn’t take long for me to start guessing why the healer left.  Aggro seemed to be all over the place as the mage and rogue were not attacking the same target as the tank.  It was not easy to keep everyone alive, bosses seemed to go much better.  The rogue and tank both stood in the flames on the fire elemental boss, fortunately on normal that won’t totally kill you.  It was sloppy.  But it gave me a chance to try healing with the new spec. 

Regardless of the sloppy play, it was much easier for me to heal without worrying about smite and archangel.  It felt more like “normal disc” I remembered from patch 3.0.  Going back to purely healing suits me much better, if there’s no healing needed, I’m okay just standing around or stopcasting greater heal. 

I later did a heroic with guild members, after feeling more confident, and that went pretty well.  Like Mohawk Troll, I tend to PUG over running with guildies because if things go badly, I can drop or get kicked without much consequence, but running with guildies has more weight to it, sure it’s supposed to be more “acceptable” but I hold myself to a high standard when healing and if I were to let a guildie die, even if it were their fault, I’d feel pretty bad about it.  A tank death probably means hours of crying*. 

So that went well and I feel better about the disc spec.  I may end up playing Elgar more now, he’s always been one of my favorites and best geared, but now he’s 3rd of the 85s and just doesn’t get to do much more than transmute.  It will be good to get him back in action now and then. 

* Not really, probably.  😉


10 Responses to “Healing Again”

  1. repgrind Says:

    Yay! Glad to hear that went well. I liked smiting things in the window of time between the changes to the talent trees and Cata actually dropping … but once I got into content that I didn’t severly overgear and actually had to heal … well, I just couldn’t make it work for me. I’m enjoying it in the leveling dungeons, but I suspect I will go the same route as you once I get past Northrend.

  2. koalabear21 Says:

    I don’t know if you have given Vuhdo a try or not, but that is what I use to heal on all of my toons. I have it set up to where I can keep the boss targeted and not have to switch to whomever I am healing when I heal. This way I can Smite without losing my target.

    • Troutwort Says:

      Okay, I have two dilemmas with add-ons.

      1) I usually hate the way they clutter my screen.
      2) I don’t believe that the game should require you to use add-ons to be successful. If Blizzard is counting on that you are using these then IMO it’s a game design flaw and why not build it directly into the normal user interface? That again, is my opinion. I shouldn’t HAVE to have trouble switching between the two if they design it this way.

      Mostly though, I’m just slow at getting back to a smiteable target. I wonder if you could do a smite target of target macro without changing targets??

      Anyways, aside from all of that, I do like the way the way it healing feels in non-smite disc spec. Since I don’t really raid, this will work for me most the time as I shouldn’t be bumping into mana issues in 5-mans.

      • ReversionLFG Says:

        First: /cast [target=targettarget] smite
        /cast [target=focustargettarget] smite (If you focus the tank this one will smite his target and you dont have to keep him or anyone else selected)
        I am not sure but it will look similar. I used a macro like that when dual boxing for RaF

        Ok, addon rant time.
        First off clutter. Yeah, you can get your screen cluttered at the drop of a hat using addons… but you can also reduce clutter. You can make things auto hide, or get addons that are specifically aimed at making things cleaner and more simple. To me now the default interface looks cluttered. It has things that are fluff and wasted space and they get in the way of seeing the world or seeing information I need to see.
        To set up things for reduced clutter you have to tweak things and then tweak again until you get them the way you like.
        Game design flaw. As someone who has done design work on aircraft cockpit interfaces I can tell you there is no such thing as a perfect interface. There is ALWAYS a way to tweak it and make it better. And, reference to clutter, for every 1 way to improve things there 99 things you can do to make the interface worse. Having played games with an non customizable interface I think blizzard was pure genius in how they set up the API. They knew they were not omnipotent gods of game design so they built in a way other people could try new things. Then, to make it better they take the best ideas other people come up with and bring them into the game. For example now there is s a built in raid frame system you can use to display much of the information that 3rd party ones have been offering for years. It is not a design flaw that Bliz did not think of everything. Plus different people like to see their game different ways. If everyone was stuck in the same UI the game would have died much sooner. Some ‘wow killer’ game would have dropped with a few UI improvements and eaten their lunch. Instead Bliz kept adding more and more features and kept taking the best UI ideas from 3rd party stuff.
        There are a lot of pieces of information that are hard to spot in game play. Not impossible, but unnecessarily hard. For example in Vudo you can set it to show how who you have your hots on, how many stacks of each they have and if they are using a tanking cooldown or not. That is all really useful stuff for healing. Do you HAVE to have that to heal? Well no. But given a choice, why not have that info available? Sure it is possible for me to find a dead player, target them, and then click ‘rebirth’… but if I am tanking and I have to drop out of bear the fraction of a section I save with the one-click brez in vudo can literally be the difference between a wipe and not a wipe. Do I HAVE to have that to battle rez while tanking? No… but I don’t think I have ever seen another bear do it.
        Some people simply turn off the default party frames and use a healing/frames addon so that things are cleaner. The built in frames are far from clutter free.
        CAN you play the game without them? Sure. And you can play it without macros of any kind. Or with ONLY using single button bar and no extra ones turned on. Or without a mouse. Or with only a mouse and no keyboard using the click to move or double mouse button press. If blizzard thought there was one best way they would not have given us multiple options for movement. I have played games were there was just one option and I can tell bliz went out of their way to put in several ways of doing most things. If they had thought they had a perfect interface they would have not written in the API system. APIs are a lot of work and a big risk for exploit. They put a lot of effort into having one in the game and have done a lot with it over the years.

  3. wolfgangcat Says:

    Very encouraging – I’m not completely sold with the smite spec for healing, although I haven’t really tried it since I can’t remember a time when I had nothing to do while healing.
    I can see it being a nice alternative when one over gears the content or knows every fight in detail.
    I used Vuhdo when I was healing and it really doesn’t clutter up the interface (very customizable) and for me, grid healing allowed a significantly faster reaction time with the most-used spells bound to the mouse.
    I recently tried Bartender and that really cleans up the interface to leave a lot more screen real estate once the default scroll bars and graphics are gone.
    Yes, I might give healing a try again. It would be great to be competent in both a healing and dps spec 😀

  4. Disc annoys me « Mohawk Troll Says:

    […] priests and it’s funny because I’ve been thinking about holy priesting a bit lately. Troutwort even recently talked about some troubles with […]

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