Friday, 16 May 2008

Pre Vs Post Burning Crusade – A Healing Comparison

So I posted in the middle of the night that I had just done my first stint of healing on my priest since the release of TBC. However I just wanted to talk a little more about how the game mechanics seem to have changed.

See before the burning crusade I would run instance after instance, but no matter how well geared I got, healing a five man could still be quite challenging from time to time. Flash heals were a priests bread and butter, we simply didn’t have the time to cast greater heal, that extra 1 second cast was the difference between a wipe and a boss take down.

I’ve read a lot of blogs about peoples healing styles, but generally now the flash heal has become obsolete in boss fights (although still a legitimate tactic for trash), and no matter how many times I read this, I still couldn’t really believe it. Until last night.

Now, this could have been because my tank was particularly well geared (although I suspect he was in kara gear, possibly pre kara), but damage taken seemed less intense. By that, I mean there were very few damage spikes, where I would have to rush for a shield or a flash heal. Through the trash I just used renew with the odd flash heal, and for boss fights I did the same, just replacing flash with greater heals.

I probably need to run some more instances before making any real judgement, and im sure that in burning crusade raid battles healing will be just as intense as when I first ran BWL, but to me it feels like damage mitigation has been buffed to a point that healing a tank has become even more sustainable without real strain.

Gone are the days where Flash Heal is a priests only hotkey, healing just became a bit more interesting.

How did Healing change for you after the burning crusade?


Cynra said...

The pure unadulterated joy of playing a healing priest (whether she's Discipline, Holy, or some hybrid) lies in the fact that we have so much versatility. I say this having also played a Holy paladin and Restoration shaman before. We have numerous single-target heals, a HoT, a preemptive heal, a way of preventing some damage, a group heal (and a specced raid heal), and more if you start looking at racials. A good priest is the one who uses all of her skills and knows which one is right.

I'm very vocal against priests that Flash Heal and only Flash Heal. It's our least mana-efficient single target heal in terms of HPM (Health Per Mana) and it gains very little benefit from our Bonus Healing, especially when compared with Greater Heal (42% to 87%). They scale differently as you gain higher Bonus Healing, with it becoming more obvious as you get better gear. For example, lets look at the following information:

Bonus Healing: Flash Heal // Greater Heal // Difference
100: 42 // 87 // (45)
500: 210 // 435 // (225)
1000: 420 // 870 // (450)
1500: 630 // 1305 // (675)
2000: 840 // 1740 // (900)

So, as you can see, the difference between a Flash Heal and Greater Heal increases as you get more Bonus Healing. By the time you get 2000 Bonus Healing, you'd be wasting about 900 health per heal if you chose to Flash Heal instead.

Concerning the mana inefficiency, post-2.4 it's much more forgiving that it was before. The new mana regen system favors classes that stack Spirit and our new badge gear reflects that. Furthermore, you gain more benefit as a human priest since you get the added 10% increase to your Spirit that is a human class racial. That's beautiful, especially when you start wearing more Spirit and pick up Spirit of Redemption (5% increase to Spirit).

However, as an avid theorycrafter and someone who has been playing a priest for years (four priests to 60 or beyond, though I've never ever had a damned Benediction!), if I look at something like WWS to see how my fellow priests are performing I'm going to think poorly of the priest who has spent most of the fight Flash Healing over anything else.

Also, I seem to remember rarely Flash Healing pre-TBC. In fact, downranking was lord and high master of healing, since there were no penalties involved in downranking for the longest time. As such, you could spam a rank 1 Greater Heal all day long and still do a significant amount of healing while having lots of yummy mana left! I do remember, however, spending much more time OO5SR pre-TBC than I do now.

That said, glad to have stumbled across your blog. I'll be back a lot -- so watch out!

cavalla said...

First of all, thanks for the comment, it’s a huge weight of my shoulders to get comment no.1 out of the way!

In terms of your response, you make some very good points, and when you do the math it makes my original theories pretty senseless. It begs the question however, was I taught wrong in the first place.

Variation of heals is very important though as every encounter is different, and you have to feel comfortable in what you’re doing. Understand exactly what each heal and rank does, how long each cast takes, but most importantly, remember practice makes perfect.

Matticus said...

Healing changed for me in one way: It added way more options and tools then I ever thought I'd need.

Aylii said...

In TBC, healers were more defined into roles. Whereas in Pre-BC, it was a bit of a gray area.

Priest - The one all be all, heal the tank pls
Paladin - Gimme my blessings!
Druid - Made to innervate the priests
Shamans - Totem and afk

Priests - Pushed back into the mix, the healer jack of all.
Paladins - Made for steady healing on a single target or burst healing with holy light spam.
Druids - Lifebloom stack tanks and hot raid.
Shamans - Bread and butter in Hyjal and TBC. This class makes all healers sleep while shamans do all the work.

Healing didn't change that much for me after TBC, but it did become surprising how everyone (when playing my priest) wanted me to go shadow. :)