Monday, January 4, 2010

Honors Heals

I thought I'd start off by regaling you with the story of Honorshammer healing.
We've really dialed back the raiding over the holidays, but most days I'd get on to run the daily heroic. I was getting pretty bored with tanking these heroics that I've been tanking for over a year, so I decided I'd dust off the healing set.
Now I haven't healed on Honorshammer since late tBC and that was under protest. I didn't want to heal back then, but I was forced to. My other option was not raiding. So for Council and Archimonde I healed.
Wrath of the Lich King brought many changes to Paladin healing and most of them I wasn't familiar with.
I did a little research and found a nice Holy/Prot Bubble spec and made sure my gear had some gems and enchants. It was a mix of 200 to 219 gear that I had picked up in Raids. I spent some Emblems to shore up the particularly weak points of the Cloak, Trinkets and Rings, and grabbed the weapon from the Argent Tourament.
There's a real dearth of Holy Paladin Basic Training on the web. Holy doesn’t' have a set 'rotation' like Ret or Prot, but what I came up with was Beacon of Light on the Tank, Sacred Shield on the Tank, Flash of Light to start the Heal over Time and heal whoever took damage. Most of the time I'd just Flash of Light to get them back to full, and rarely use Holy Light or Holy Shock.
I didn't want to subject some poor random Tank to my Holy newbness so I somehow convinced Blueshield to tank a run for me. Blue plays an Arms Warrior in our Raid and is our 3rd tank. We grabbed a couple of DPS from the guild and headed off to Gundrak with one Random who turned out to be an Elemental Shaman. Donk, our Arcane Mage, was very happy about that.
Blue did a great job tanking and our DPS took down mobs in no time. I managed to get the Less Rabi achievement thanks to Blue and the random Shaman having all those stuns and interrupts. I never let Blue die although I did lose Donk a time or two.
With that experience under my belt, I decided to go alone into the LFG as a Healer. No one in this group would know I was an extremely inexperienced healer. This time we got Drak'Tharon Keep. The Tank was a Deathknight and our DPS consisted of a Shadow Priest, Hunter, and Enhance Shaman.
We managed to clear the place with only a couple of deaths. For some reason the Enhance Shaman did almost as much 'tanking' as the DeathKnight. I didn’t have any trouble keeping the party alive and the run was over in short order. I don’t think anyone had any clue I was healing for basically the second time. I never had any issue with mana and most of the time I’d have about 60% over heal. Towards the end I started to try to see how low I could let the DK get before I healed him to prevent the overheal. My Holy Light could heal him for nearly half his life, but I was pretty nervous letting him get that low, so I stuck with mainly Flash of Light.
Paladin healing isn't as bad as I remember it. It's actually a different look at these heroics. I learned some new things like to stay away from the Rhinos at the end of Gundrak because they silence you and that's rather bad when you're the healer.
I've also learned that if you queue as Tank or Healer, you will get assigned to tank.
Every. Single. Time.
If you queue as Healer or DPS, you will get assigned to heal.
Every. Single. Time.
What might be fun now is to get into one of those 'PST with Achieve and GS' PuGs. I have every Achievement they could be looking for, and a decent gear score. Of course, I've never healed one of those raids in my life. I've tanked them all, but Tanking a raid and Healing it are two very different things.
Generally, I would get my two Emblems of Frost on Honorshammer, and the Hunter, and then spent the rest of my playtime leveling my Druid, who is now up to Level 75.
Speaking of the Druid, I'm finding that I enjoy Tree Healing much more than Paladin healing. Ultimately, what I'll do is have Honorshammer for tanking, the Hunter for DPSing and the Druid for Healing.


Crofe said...

I'm also leveling a Druid and find healing on him better and worse than when I was healing on my Paladin and now healing on my Shaman. I like the mobility of the Druid, but the HoTs scare me cause I like to see topped off health bars.

Also, I was only healing BRD (on level) so that might be part of it...

CyphirX said...

Pally healing I've found is definitely interesting. After healing on my 65 shammy I definitely miss some things that pally healing gives, such as Beacon.
I think I'm going to go the same route though and leave my pally as my sole tank, hunter as my DPS and a shammy as my healer. To be able to seperate them out that way to me just makes life easier and then you don't have to try to gear one toon twice.

Jacko said...

Handing a mage an extra 5% crit (shammy totem) is like handing a water gun to an 8 year old. There will be messes, people (bosses/trash mobs) will get pissed. Lady RNG is a cruel's how the world (of warcraft) turns. I often let a mage die in PuGs, not necessarily to be mean but more because their recklessness deserves its own punishment. They have iceblock, invisibility and they can just plan ol' stopcast. Don't feel bad for Donk, I am sure he is used to it. =)

Thanks for the healing post. I am also leveling an alt, my paladin hit 78 yesterday. I have been following your blog for a while and really enjoy and appreciate all of your insight and shared knowledge. I also read Paladin Schmaladin (grats, btw) for healing/tanking tips. I have leveled as prot since 70(?), well, at whichever level I learned Divine Plea. I am a healer at heart but love to tank on my warrior when the opportunity is there. So I figured a paladin would be perfect for me. ("You could have been a druid!" I know...but I like plate, I like a shield and I think it's fun to worry about a defense cap.) I offspec'd as Holy when I hit 40 just to stay up with the abilities and the synergy of the talents/skills but rarely use them. I will have to farm my badges in PuGs so it's good to know that when I queue as tank or healer that I will get tank, every. single. time.

I enjoyed the healer post. Thank you!

BigFire said...

Honor, I think the LFG system start building the group in this order: Tank -> Healer -> DPS. I've pretty much given up trying to queue as anything other than tank for my Paladin and DK. I don't have any option on my mage.

Honors Code said...

Donk does seem to die alot, even in raids. Not as much as Ofn though (our Combat/Mutilate Rogue).

Darraxus said...

I actually got assigned to DPS one time while queing up as a healer or tank. I still ended up healing the run after I phased in as a tree and the paladin was like "WOOHOO, YOU CAN HEAL".

Gravity said...

I also prefer druid healing, having healed as a paladin also. Something about it just more fun.

I'm tempted, a little, to level an alt in a few months, once Gravity's all sorted out, and it'd be a healer. The new LFD whilst levelling, plus BGs giving experience, should make for an enjoyable healer-levelling trip.

That said, with Cataclysm, I wouldn't want to miss any of that new/revised content.

Dorgol said...

Strangely enough, I prefer Paladin to Druid healing. The mobility is nice, but I miss the brute-force POWER of the Paladin. It's exactly like playing a Mage - those big numbers can be addicting (especially when you are chaining them).

That said, I dropped my Prot spec with not-a-little sadness. I love tanking, and it's even a better gearset than my Ret set (well, until getting 3 or 4 upgrades in HToC25 in the last two weeks). But the raid doesn't NEED another tank and we do NEED another DPS.

So when I queue for my daily Frost emblems, I do so as Heal / DPS. I get assigned to heal. And if the heroic is anything EXCEPT Reflection, I heal it in Retribution spec and holy gear. I pull a steady 600-800 DPS and use Art of War to keep the tank alive. Oh, and NEVER run out of mana thanks to the massive mana return Ret gets.

One day I'll go REALLY crazy and heal a heroic in Ret gear and ret spec. I'm just afraid my 7k mana pool isn't up to that task. :)

Capn Skillet said...

I am also finishing my druid (79) and absolutely love healing with him. My other spec is cat dps, but I have a feeling I'll be spending most of my time as a tree. I just wish they'd redo the tree skin soon!