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2-06-2012 @ 11:06PM
Wow this is a horrible habit to encourage. Disc priest is about mitigating damage when it counts not getting their numbers up. When I think of a disc a priest I don't think through put, I think this player is going to save my characters life at some point. Healers, if people are not dying you are doing your job. If people are standing in fire they are not doing theirs. My healers have standing orders to let those people die so they can learn the lesson to not do it in the future.Heal don't hand hold.
2-06-2012 @ 8:21PM
This wasn't completely about healing meters, but rather how to be a more aggressive healer, and to increase your actual healing output. Meters now count shields (absorptions) as healing.This guide was not meant for a novice just learning how to heal, this looks to me more like for the people out there who have been healing for a year or two and are looking at how to step up their game a little bit. Also, as long as you're keeping your assignments alive, there's nothing wrong with a little meter whoring. Again, not recommended for a beginner healer, but for a more experienced healer who wants to push the envelope a bit.
2-06-2012 @ 8:57PM
Yeah, I'm actually really surprised to see this article. Why on earth should you change the way you heal just to look better on a healing meter?! What are you accomplishing? This is a terrible example to be setting, I'm so disappointed to see this article written in what is usually such a great column.
2-06-2012 @ 9:44PM
While that's absolutely true, and I agree entirely Dimmak, the meters can be used as a gauge for performance, like they can for DPS--not just to stroke epeens, which is the most common use. But it's not so useful if you don't have another person of the same class to compare--I know I'm usually healing with paladins, a shaman, and/or a druid. If the other priests are healing, it usually means I'm tanking! But if I can compare myself to another priest of my spec, it can help to check the breakdown to see what's being done differently that may be more efficient or helpful in some situations.There's also the trouble with elitism LFR; I ran into it a few weeks ago where "bad" heals were booted based on meter counts, despite a lot of it being DPS (and people taking more time to smack talk in chat than pay attention to their jobs, I think)--it didn't help another disc priest in the raid was much, much higher on the meters than others. They may have been using some of the tactics here, and using that to be a jerk to anyone they sniped healing from to pad their own meters (I didn't get to check their gear, but I also suspect they had better than average).It may be one of those things where in something like LFR, try pushing your meters a little; it's a good place to practice it, anyway, and can keep jackasses off your back for a bit (unless they're just *really* determined to be jerks). Like Pyro said, though, this is something for more experienced healers to try to test themselves, since it seems to fly against all the Cata healing advice of Don't Shield Spam and staying on one's assigned targets.I know I could probably stand to be slightly more aggressive in my own healing, but I don't think this article is endorsing "try to solo heal it all using these methods!" either; a few of them at the right moments could be handy though.
2-06-2012 @ 9:46PM
Being aggressive is very important as a healer. Way too often I see people who heal responsively, when they see people bars go down. Instead people should be healing for the future. Watch your dbm, watch your RL's calls and heal for that.
2-06-2012 @ 10:19PM
I just started running a DK in the new heroics and on the boss that uses smoke bombs, I quickly learned smoke is BAD, like other stuff you are not supposed to stand in. How? The pally healer let me die. Had he not, I would have kept standing in it because as a ranged dps previously, I had thought its only mechanic was to obscure ranged targeting. I had no idea it also did damage.So there I was wailing away and BAM! I dropped. I right away was trying to figure out why and luckily the mage in the group had one of those announcer addons that said I had been killed by standing in the cloud of dust.I learned a good lesson and next time I fought that boss, I stepped out of the dust and lived. I appreciate that the pally let me die the first time so I would think about it.
2-06-2012 @ 11:34PM
Everything said here SHOULD be used, but was phrased as if its bad.Don't be the useless healer in LFR who does 1/5th of #1s healing. You offer nothing to the raid.What the article really means, is work on throughput. Any healing you don't do, you force upon others to do. Overhealing matters only if mana matters, and in many fights now, it doesn't.
2-06-2012 @ 11:43PM
"Healers, if people are not dying you are doing your job."As a group, this is true.There are still 1-2 healers that do the job more than the others. Don't be the others, be one of the healers that keeps everyone alive because YOU saved them.When you start doing heroic raids, you'll see that you need to be working constantly on keeping everyone alive. Prove that you can do it on normal and your group may be able to reach heroic.
2-06-2012 @ 11:45PM
Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I've been catching up on some much needed sleep for the past several hours. Got woken up unexpectedly this morning to go rescue someone locked out of their car.Anyway, it should be noted that I don't really encourage you doing this, I'm just telling you how to do it. Everyone shuns it, I shun it (I'm surprised no one has really considered the paragraph where I talk about even if you do it well you won't have any extra mana for anything outside of ideal circumstances) but it doesn't change that people do this and that many people want to do this. If you're going to do it, here's my advice on how to do it effectively. I'm guess that makes me the sorta "bad parent" who tells their kid what sex is when they ask, instead of letting them get knocked up at 15.And unfortunately, some of the additional writing I included in this article where I really talk about how you don't need to do this were cut this morning due to length. Articles are supposed to be 1500 words long, mine was 1900. The following is the first part of the post script of the article that is missing, in which I basically explain how I don't do this and that I'm still good."Earlier I mentioned that the priest's e-mail struck a chord with me, and the reason for that is that I also don't produce very much output as a healer. I can, mind you, but I choose not to. Instead, I focus on keeping my targets alive, and also keep an eye out for players who truly need my heals. Often I'm the lowest in my raid on effective healing, but I am always the lowest player on the meters when it comes to the percentage of overhealing done.Like the reader who wrote me, my lower numbers have caused me some stress over the years. In the wrong guilds I'd been harassed and belittled endlessly, repeatedly benched for trial members, and generally assumed useless to the success of the raid. No one in those guilds ever seemed to notice that when I was actually in the raid for progression, things generally went smoother. In the right guilds, however, I'm always considered the most trusted and reliable healer by raid leaders, tanks, and healing leads. When assigned to a player who needs to be healed through this ability or that debuff, I never hear any complaints that I'm not doing my job. And when everything goes to hell, and I suddenly find myself holding everything together on my own through that last 1 or 2% before the kill, the right guild always notices and praises me accordingly. I can't use a meter to prove how skilled I am, and it's often hard to prove how good I am to a new group of people, but when I'm with the right guild I really prefer to heal the way that I do. It's up to you to decide what's best for you though."
2-06-2012 @ 11:59PM
Two more things, replies to people in this thread.AltairAntares - I really do agree with you. Anticipation is the most important skill a healer can have, and preparation is the best skill a disc priest can bring to assist the raid. Shielding people before a huge blast to get a huge credit on the healing meters will limit what other players have to pick up.Twill - I agree with you, and this is the counter argument I've turned over in my head many a times when I wondered if I should keep being a passive healer (like I describe in my above comment) or join the club. Everything I don't go after, someone else has to, and that diminishes the mana in one part of the raid faster instead of evenly across all the healers. In my personal experience, however, I found that it was still better for me to play like I described so that when the players competing for meter performance didn't have to make hard choices between juicy AOE healing on all of group 5 and saving a random rogue in group 2 who would die. By prioritizing people who need my heals, the rest of the healers inadvertently get to have a bit more fun because I'm covering their asses when they're being greedy. When I can't cover everyone, that's when the raid leader does and should yell, and you have to reel in the meter healers a little. It's probably something that works best in an environment with the same people over and over, you know if you can trust people to ignore that group 2 rogue or not, etc etc.I guess overall the best thing to do is find a balance. Know when it's right to heal like this, and know when not to.
2-07-2012 @ 3:50AM
What you think about disc healing =/= what everyone else thinks or *should* think about disc healing.The letter writer already accomplished your view of disc healing - they wrote in essentially asking how to be a more aggressive healer. If they can heal agressively, keep up their assignments, and maintain their mana, then more power to them - there is nothing wrong with that and they shouldn't be made to feel bad or looked down up for doing it "the wrong way".
2-07-2012 @ 5:23AM
Hey Dawn, I'm hoping you see this and can answer, something popped into my mind when you commented the following:"Everything I don't go after, someone else has to, and that diminishes the mana in one part of the raid faster instead of evenly across all the healers... By prioritizing people who need my heals, the rest of the healers inadvertently get to have a bit more fun because I'm covering their asses when they're being greedy."This reminded me of the occasional time where you will end up out on an island solo healing. And not just because other healers have died (although that may be common), but because of actual mechanics. I haven't kept up with heroic healing mechanics in cataclysm, but I think you know where I'm going with this: 10-man Heroic Sindragosa. Remember that bad-boy? Phase 3 ends up being a rotation between each healer taking a turn pretty much solo healing the entire raid. Because even with three healers, if one gets debuffed, and another gets iced, that means all the sudden the final healer is the only one that can actually cast a healing spell. So wouldn't it be good to have some experience in healing like this, to prepare you for those types of dire situations?My point in saying this is that there are some occasions where you HAVE to heal the tank, the ranged, yourself, the melee, everyone, and you HAVE to have maximum output for a short period of time, your original assignment be damned. Besides 10man heroic Sindy, you can also find yourself at the end of a raid with healers dropping like flies where you have to pick up the slack for dead healers, especially on high-damage heroic encounters. Heroic Cho'Gall comes to mind as a ridiculously hectic end-stage fight.In other words, wouldn't practicing these skills actually be helpful for those occasions where you are called on to heal like that?And I'm also wondering how well you did on 10man Heroic Sindragosa back in the day? Because I remember that fight really separating the women from the girls in terms of healing.
2-07-2012 @ 6:25AM
@PyromelterYou bring up a good point, and I definitely agree that there are times when you are called upon to be the single healer, even in ideal raiding environments. I'd counter this notion however with heroic dungeons, especially the Troll heroics.Those dungeons were a nightmare to heal unless everyone was on top of their game. And certainly good practice.Maybe I'm just hung up on the discussion of aggressive healing as being the same thing as snipe healing but overall I just can't support all of the advise in this column. And I'd argue that five man heroics are where healers should learn the ropes of being the sole healer, not in a raid environment where team work will always be superior to star healing.Just my two silver, (you know... because of inflation).
2-07-2012 @ 9:22AM
While I don't agree with the idea of making the meters the primary focus, and Dawn has made it clear she doesn't think that way either, anticipation is a crucial part of disc healing and agressive target prioritisation is somewhat part of that.I've found I understand the damage patterns of a fight much better than other healers because I need to anticipate it to use shield, barrier and pain suppression. The other healers tend to be more reactive, at least the ones in my guild. I've always attributed it to the fact I'm trying to stop the damage, rather than deal with it after it occurs. I'll use shields after damage to buy time obviously, and I tend to shield people who aren't at full health if I know there's an incoming aoe so they have a better chance of surviving etc. I prefer the disc approach compared to my other healers, but it does seem to lead to more awareness of how the damage plays out through a fight rather than just healing back.
2-07-2012 @ 9:24AM
It's not just about "looking better" on the meters. It's about DOING MORE HEALING! the more healing you do the sooner you will be able to drop down to less healers and clear the encounter faster. sure you can ignore all of Dawn's' advice, but if you do, you are never going to be the sort of healer that gets spots in hard mode raids.The anti meter bias for healing has its roots in reality but it has gotten out of control. Dragon Soul has a bunch or raid wide, unavoidable AoE, this isn't ICC where you boosted you numbers by standing in shit. IN DS you boost your numbers by being aggressive and healing your pants off. Cata healing is different than it was before, like it or not the meter is no a pretty important now.I guess I can understand "don't feel bad if you are not at the top". fight mechanics and class weakness/strength play into that. All of us have to get used to the pink bar at the top of recount (or the orange bar in T12). But, if you are not at the top of your spec (highest HPS disco e.g.) than you should try to tighten your stuff up. If you don't want to, better get that shadow spec worked out, because when the time comes to drop down to less heals, guess who is gonna get the boot?
2-07-2012 @ 4:11PM
As far as I'm concerned, all healers should shoot for 100% uptime, unless they're close to being oom. This doesn't mean hots on people that don't need it. It doesn't mean bubbles for the hell of it. It does, however, mean that you should at least be casting your basic, mana-efficient heal, if nothing else. If somebody is damaged or about the get damaged, even if it's only a little, there's no reason you can't cast heal. It's dirt-cheap and your regen outpaces it. In my mind, this keeps you sharp and preps you for the times when there is massive incoming damage. You just swap your small heals out for your big heals and keep on rollin'.If you're a healer that's truly opposed to this type of gameplay, we disc priests are lucky in that we still have an easy 100% uptime tactic to keep us busy: Smite healing. I'm not saying this is the best method of healing, but if the alternative is doing nothing, you should be smiting. A little dps on the boss, a little smart healing here and there, and a not-so-little 15% healing buff that you can activate if/when you need it. A discipline priest that stands around waiting for action is making a mistake and could add so much more to their raid if they put their mind to it.
3-06-2012 @ 5:35AM
I really don't get the PoH being situational and pre-emptive healing with shield part. Normally PoH is a lot stronger if you are good at maintaining your DA stacks on 2-3 groups in a 25 man setting. Seeing as how this article seems to be targeted at a midrange skill level, that should be something those interested should be able to accomplish. This is coming from a priest that started raiding at the end of T11 and is now in a guild that goes deep into heroics early every tier. Even with ilvl scaling there are few encounters in DS that don't favor DA stacking over rolling shields on potential targets. Also recomending penance to be used on anything other than the tank to ensure easy Grace maintenance is actually counterproductive to high hps. You'll want to be healing the tank as little as possible when boosting your numbers and knowing you have penance to restack Grace gives a lot more leeway in how many PoH you can cast every 15 second(DA's duration on target's). Also DA stacking becomes even more powerful to the disc priest that is smart enough to not proc their cloak enchant or power torrent until the start of a fight. Pre-potting and PI'ing yourself, along with 2 raptures while you're under 3 int boost effects at the beginning of the fight allows you to stack a very large amount of DA and end up with 95% of your mana 20 secs into the fight. That is how you boost your #'s as disc, shield rolling on 3-5 targets is more mana intensive even when done properly with more risk involved.
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