May 7, 2008

I Can Has Tanking

Well, last night was an exercise in being out of our comfort zone.  Fozec got Val all set up for some major tankage, while I dusted off Martaliti and tried to remember how to heal as a priest.  We did normal MaT for a test run.  We wiped at least twice due to me underestimating the cast time on some heals.
When I pulled Mart out of retirement, she was Shadow while wearing a really random set of partial healing gear.  By random, I mean apparently I had been having some fun because there were T2, T3, T4, Kara, SSC, and craftable healing pieces sitting next to heroic and kara dps items.  She was a mess.  I found some bits and pieces in her bank.  And sifting through her bank's T0, T1, T2, and other random healing gear took some time, especially since I wasn't even sure what I was looking for.
I spec'd Mart CoH and tried it out a bit.  The per person healing was a bit lower than I expected, but I guess you can make up for it by spamming.  It did really well on the first boss, healing everyone back up after a crystal drain, and was much easier than single-target healing.  I also was pretty impressed with Binding Heal on the next to the last boss pack.  It was like dual Flashes of Doom!  It's been a while since I could heal more than one person at a time.
The key to being a really good priest is making split second decisions on which heal you should use and then reacting almost instantaneously.  On both of these counts I was too slow, and my spell selection was probably not the best choice 50% of the time.  This lead to some touch-and-go situations where I barely managed to keep someone alive.
I felt clunky and noobish, especially when I'd find myself relying on paladin abilities I no longer had.  For example, I died to a ball on Kale because I was looking for my bubble.  Likewise, I was getting some pretty severe casting pushback because the imp conc aura and corresponding talents were MIA.  Combined with heals taking much longer than I mentally calculated, a number of my party mates would just bleed to death in front of me.  I tired Flash healing as much as my 9k mana bar would allow, and that seemed to help some.
Valyre with Foz at the controls seemed to be doing just fine.  I don't recall seeing anyone die to loose mobs.  In fact, we had the opposite problem on Kale when Val's consecrate snagged the phoenix and wouldn't let go.  She also barely took any damage aoe tanking 2 packs of mana worms at a time.  PoM plus Renew, then watch the show.  I think the only thing that Fozec really had to test and work out was managing his mana pool.  Efficiency will only come with time, though.
I crashed on the couch after MaT but word on the street is they only missed getting a bear mount in ZA by about 60 sec.  That's a great accomplishment as far as I'm concerned.  It'd be too stressed out to even attempt something like that.


Christopher said...

I've often wondered about the finer details of priest healing. It seems to me, but a simple paladin, that they have gobs and gobs of spells at their disposal. At the very least I've ready Vonya from Team Ego rant and rave about both the frisbee and binding heal. Why, then, is it that more often than not I will pull the Recount summary on my co-healers in Karazhan and Zul'Aman and see that they're casing Flash Heal 80% of the time?

Isn't that my job?

Christopher said...

@christopher: "At the very least I've read..."

There's my oen typo for teh yeer. It won't happen agian. =P

Anonymous said...

Hi, I forget how I found your blog, but have found it really interesting to read about healing from a pally pov. I play a Troll priest in a BT/MH guild, in the farming stage before going into Sunwell more prepared.

re: flash heals, hehe, it's for trash. Greater Heals are ridiculously slow for the quick small damage during Kara or Zul'Aman. There's plenty of time to sit and drink (except for bear runs of course). If a tank is below 50% health, a priest switches to flash heals. For maintaining a tank's health when there's plenty of hots and it's a long fight, then g-heals.

Valyre said...

Thanks for the priest help. I raided with Mart for over a year before switching to healadin. But when I stopped raiding with my priest, it was basically cold turkey. So to pick such a complex class back up again was tough.

I heal by memory math. I know how much each rank of each heal will land for, so I pick based on the damage my target has taken. Part of that equation is an inate feel for how long each heal takes to cast. So like for Val, if a person takes 3.5k dmg, I need to use my downranked Light unless I have time for 2 Flashes.

All of those mental values for Mart are long gone, so a big issue last night was me not knowing how much that spell I just cast was really going to heal for. lol It was like Russian Roulette, except with everyone else's lives.

Cynra said...

Stumbled across your site, Valyre, and as a self-avowed priestaphiliac this post is what caught my attention. In my time in-game, I've raided as a Restoration shaman, a Holy paladin, and a bevy of healing priests of varying builds. By far my favorite class to raid as was a priest, just because of the sheer versatility of the class.

Many people complain that priests aren't at the top of the healing charts any more and that raids are more likely to stack every other healing class due to their inherent synergy. Paladins excel at single-target healing while each paladin brings a unique class buff. Shamans are lord and high master of raid healing and each have unique group totems. Druids put our paltry HoT to shame and have some little synergy in the form of Tree of Life Aura.

Stack healing priests and what do you get? No unique buffs that can't be handled by a Discipline or Shadow priest and heals that are inferior in any one area when compared to other healing classes. However, no other class can rival the versatility of a priest. I have at my disposal three single target heals of varying speeds and mana efficiency, a HoT, a group heal, a specced raid heal, a preemptive heal, a retroactive "heal" that prevents damage, and the list goes on and on if you pick a different race. And with the changes in 2.4 that created a Spirit-based mana regen, we're veritable mana batteries these days (I hit 1,000 mana regen OO5SR easily as a human priest with Spirit of Redemption and full raid buffs and 1,500 with my trinket!).

A priest that relies exclusively on Flash Heals should be smacked upside the head. Post-2.4 it's not as much of an issue, but pre-2.4 that would have resulted in a lot more pain than was necessary. Y'see, not only do we get minimal bonus healing with Flash Heal (a mere base 42% compared to, say, Greater Heal's 86%), but it's also our least mana efficient spell since it possesses the lowest HPM. Flash Heal is for trash or emergencies during extended boss fights only -- or those priests who want to get on the healing meters and try to get heals off before paladins and shamans. And those people are absolutely asinine.

In general, priests should be using most of their talents, with liberal Renews, PoM, and even PoH thrown in when needed. A single-target healing priest (usually some variation of 23/38/0) will rely heavily on Greater Heal and a smart one will downrank that spell. A raid-healing priest (almost universally 20/41/0) uses Circle of Healing as her number one spell.

Priestly rambling aside, thanks for the opportunity to babble. I'll probably be back to check out the site again in the future. Luck with getting your priestly groove on again!