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Raid Rx: Thoughts on the next expansion and healers

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Wow, what a truly fantastic BlizzCon! Had a blast at the WoW Insider party meeting all of you. I want to take a moment to fire some shout-outs to everyone who approached me just to say hello. It's quite humbling!

With the new Mists of Pandaria expansion on the horizon, has anything really changed for healing? We didn't really experience much in terms of a philosophy change. In fact, healing itself was hardly even addressed at all. So what gives? What can we expect for healers going into 5.0? Not much, sadly, but read on anyway.

Healing changes or (lack thereof)

I don't remember anything of significance healing-related being asked during the Q&A's. The one on Thursday with the developers wasn't any better. I guess we'll know more about healing at a later date.

Either way, from what I can tell, the current healing philosophy and approach is going to carry over into the next expansion. This means there isn't going to be any new ridiculous learning curve again. You're not going to be frazzled going into the new dungeons or anything like that. You've had at least an expansion to learn and get used to the present healing model. We'll be going back to using our small heal, medium heal and big heal again for single-target burst healing requirements. It isn't like Firelands, where we can afford to be a little more inefficient. I think once we set foot inside some of the normal mode or challenge mode encounters, we'll start getting some additional healing varieties.

Are you ready to heal heroics with next to no mana again? I know I am! That's OK, though. Just like in the current tiers, once we get some heroics these levels of mana management can be relaxed a little. We just need some gear; then we can go back to being inefficient again.

New talent system

It is extremely early to be critical of something like this. I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll turn out positive for all of the healing classes. I personally think priests and shaman won this one. I didn't see much in the way of druid healing talents, though. There was quite a large number of talents related to DPS stuff. Naturally they're far from over yet. But I certainly see the potential in such a system like this.

Priests will virtually be the ultimate trolling class now, between Life Grip and Void Swap. From my understanding, though, Void Swap will automatically switch health with a target player. I'm guessing when that effect ends, the health pool switches will occur. Notice we've gotten a few more healing cooldowns now, with examples like the new Shaman Healing Tide totem.

Paladins are already getting several big changes in the 4.3 patch to some of their healing spells and abilities. Not sure if holy is going to experience similar shake-up in the new expansion. Doesn't seem like there's a whole large selection of holy talents everywhere.

The monk

Hands up how many of you plan on rerolling a monk? I'm one of them. At least, I would like to powerlevel one from 1 to 85 within days. I'm just leery of the fact that we have yet to see any monk healing tool kits out there. From my understanding, their "healing gimmick" is going to be different than the other healing classes we have going on right now. Having another class other than a discipline priest that can heal while DPSing could be fun. We know that DPS healing is a possibility. It is frowned upon in some circles, but we know that DPS healing is a possibility (and for some, a standard). Makes me wonder if it'll end up being something like where monks can smash in the enemy's face and then simply use their healing spells on the rest of the group. Who knows?!

I did get a chance to demo the monk while at BlizzCon. These furry guys are fun to play. I only wish I had more hands-on time with them as they level up, but they were gradually pulling out monks fairly early. Rerolling as a Pandaren is going to have to wait until after I recover my raid symptoms.

Oh, one more thing.

Raid Finder tool

Not exactly expansion-related, but the new Raid Finder tool came out on the patch 4.3 PTR servers and I wanted to give it a spin. After clicking through the some 14 times that a player dropped the group and prompting me if I wanted to continue, I said yes and was able to get in finally. Looks like the Raid Finder composition uses two tanks, six healers and 17 assorted DPS players. Appears to be a really intelligent system, actually. The only downside is getting all 25 players to hit ready at the same time. It might take a while, as there are some players who just like to keep dropping and such.

The Raid Finder is going to be a nightmare on live if it stays the way it is during a stream.

Anyway, that's all I have to add for this week. Did you have any specific healing-related questions or any thoughts of our current healing meta-games? I guess we're just keeping the current healing approach the same for the time being.

I for one cannot wait for this expansion to be over. Anyone else just want to kill Deathwing and move on already?

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to mattl@wowinsider.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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