Jessabelle, aka Miss Medicina, recently came up with a great initiative to encourage some of us newer healing bloggers to get to know each other. While I’m not technically a healing blogger, I do find myself talking about paladin healing more often than I talk about tanking. Besides, I’m so flattered and excited about being tagged that I would gladly write about anything asked of me. Yes, anything.
I’m a bit run down with a fever, so my brain is soggy, but I’ll do my best to provide coherent and thoughtful answers.
So here’s how it works:
Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.
1- What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Rykga, paladin, mainspec prot, offspec holy, bubble spec
2- What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mainly 25 man raiding, but I do 10s about once a week, 5 mans a few times a week and the occasional BG healing. Note that I’m primarily a tank in pve, although I do run as a healer rather frequently.
3- What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Hmm. Our pure healing spells are kind of crappy! I’d have to say Divine Sacrifice, which isn’t exactly a healing spell. I just really love gadgets and anything gadgety. While situational spells tend to be despised by the average player, they’re generally my favorites. It’s fun to plan around: “ok, I’ll use my DS on the first Frozen Blows, no wait, I’ll save it for the third when the healers are low on mana”. It’s not powerful enough to use as an “oh shit” button, but I love giving the healers a little cushion whenever I bubble. Trying to figure out how it works is also loads of fun. Bonus point about DS: I can fit it in all my specs!
4-What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Um. Not really a healing spell but Divine Favor. Why? Because I haven’t macroed it into a combo with my Holy Shock and I rarely think to use it. Hey, we all have our weaknesses!
5-What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
We have rock solid, toe-curling, in-yo-face spells. Lots of sustained and burst tank healing. We can keep a tank up – or save one that was neglected, without breaking a sweat. We can also heal two targets at once, perfect for those 2 tank fights.
6-What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Can’t move, dammit! Every time I end up in the fire, I have to interrupt my holy light, move, lose whatever haste buff I had, start casting again, only for the tank to die 0.0001sec before I’m finished the spell. I exaggerate, but moving is difficult and your timing has to be perfect. We’re also not great at raid healing. When 2-3 people take damage at a time, it’s no biggie, but when the entire raids decides to hang out in green goo, my little AoE splash heals aren’t much help.
7- In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
As a paladin, tank healing all the way. As a person, I especially enjoy doing little tasks that call for a bit of extra situation awareness. Healing Kologarn’s fist or Jaraxxus’ Incinerate flesh help me stay awake during those late, late raids. Funny thing is that my healing leader discovered that I liked those things before I did. First time I was assigned to heal Kolo’s fist people, I was indignant: “what do you mean I’m not healing the MT?!?!” After the fight, I whispered him: “you were right, I loved it.”
8- What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
It really depends! When we’re sharing a target, I’d have to say Disc priests. The damage on the tanks just seems less spikey with a disc priest nearby. If I’m 2 man healing a 10 man, then either druids, shamans or certain holy priests. In my experience, personal style has a larger impact on who makes a good partner than their class.
9- What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Again, it depends! In a 25 man, I really don’t care who I’m healing with. If I’m 2 man healing a 10, then I find it most difficult with a disc priest or fellow pally. But for the most part, it depends more on the individual I’m healing with than their class.
10- What is your worst habit as a healer?
I always forget Divine Favor! I’m also terrible at mana management. Because I don’t heal regularly, I’m not in touch with my mana bar. I either end the fight at 95% mana, or meleeing because I’m dry. There’s no in between.
11- What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
I have to agree with Jes here- I really hate when people say “so and so needs heals!” over vent, as if I wasn’t staring at health bars. But then, I’m guilty of calling out when I need heals too. I do, however, wait until I’m at low health for quite some time before inquiring if my healer fell asleep. I also have trouble when I’m raiding with other holy paladins because I get very critical about technique.
12- Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
With other healers, yes, I think we’re neither inferior nor superior to other classes overall. We are probably the most challenged class when it comes to raid healing, but we make up for it by being such strong tank healers, and we have cool buttons like Hand of Salv and Hand of Protection.
13- What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
When my target doesn’t die before I do, it’s usually sign that I’m doing a decent job! I make sure that I used my Hand spells (Salv and Protection, sometimes Freedom), my bubble and DS at the right times. I do look at my stats, but evaluating paladin healing isn’t straightforward. On the more difficult fights, I’ll make sure that I kept Judgments of the Pure and Light’s Grace up most of the time, I check to see how much I was using Sacred Shield and Beacon and I compare my use of Holy Light and Flash of Light with the amount of damage taken by the tank.
14- What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Hmm, I’m not sure! I don’t hear people talk about holy paladins that much. On the Plus Heal forums, there will be the occasional thread from a raid leader wondering why he should take a holy paladin on a raid when he could take a disc priest. Never having been in a guild where all the healers min/max, I can’t speak from a theory crafting perspective, but in my casual raiding experience, a good holy paladin and a good disc priest are pretty much equal. If you have to pick between the two based on class, pick the one that could supply whatever buffs are missing from your raid.
15- What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Oh boy! The hardest thing for competitive-dps-turned-holy paladin to learn is that the meters represent very little of how good you are as a healer. You can have the HPS of a monster, if you can’t work with other healers, your timing is off and you don’t use your spells appropriately, you’re not getting the most out of your class. For people who are new to raiding all together, then it seems to be remembering to keep Beacon up and use it. Also, Flash of Light tends to be greatly overestimated. FoL is great in 5 mans, pvp or when you outgear the content, but if your target is constantly dying, for the love of the Light, use a stronger spell!
16- If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
It depends on the fight. On fights with a lot of tank damage, we shine and look fabulous on overall healing output. Otherwise, we’ll usually be somewhere in the middle with a lot of overheal. My guild has a casual approach to raiding, so how each player looks on recount is more due to their personal style than to their class.
17- Haste or Crit and why?
Haste. We’re pretty good for mana supply, so the faster we can pump out our consistent, big heals, the better. Crit used to be godly for paladins, but it’s role in mana regen has been significantly reduced, which lessened its appeal. I also run with a bubble spec (as opposed to a crit spec) so I prefer to focus on timing and reliability than crit.
18-What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I’m terrible with other healing classes. I just can’t keep them straight! Shamans are probably the class I have the least grasp on because the ones I play with are very quiet and don’t get involved in mechanics discussions.
19- What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid+clique. Amazing what you can configure those addons to do for you! Otherwise, I like Omen because it tells me who’s about to pull aggro (Hand of Salv FTW!). I think that’s pretty much it.
20- Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Intellect above all. I love having a delicious mana pool I can swim around in. After that, Spell power and Haste. I don’t ignore mp5 like I used to, but I still don’t find it as important as the previous 3 stats.
So now I need to tag another blogger! The thing is, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world so I have no idea if these people will ever know I tagged them. But here are some newer healing bloggers that I would love to hear more from:
Leafie over at Leaf-Head, who is a healing druid and, according recent posts, experimenting with the arena world.
Andracon from Empowered Healing, a newer member of the priest community who makes great posts that always leave me wanting to hear more!
(Quick, everyone spam click on the links so they know they’ve been tagged!)
Also be sure to check out the other people who’ve answered this questionnaire!