Here I Come to Save the Day!

I was thinking about this after my run in ICC with the undergeared-yet-overperforming shaman…1 Which healing classes can perform beyond their gear level? To a certain extent, you are limited by your gear for pure maximums, but at the same time… sometimes there are miracles.

When I say “miracles”, I don’t mean numbers.   At the end of the day, on a log, the numbers might be the same for a miracle-worker and an ordinary mortal.   I’m talking about being able to save the day.   To be able to squeak out a victory under circumstances that normally constitute a wipe.

The Player or the Class? Or the right class for the player?

How much of the “miracles” are the class and how much due to the player meshing with the class?

Discipline Priest: I’ve always felt that I could pull miracles out of my butt (so to speak) on my priest (discipline), at the obvious risk of being completely OOM really really fast.  But if I’m on the ball and remember all my tools, I can save a suicidal squishie and get the entire group out of a sticky situation.  It’s also terrifying to know that you can save a situation, and then fail to do so because of one screwed-up misclick.

Holy Priest: I’ve felt like I was looking at the situation in slow motion, like I could totally, handily, easily save the day with my giant toolbox of awesomely powerful spells if I could just stop time.   Why does COH have such a long cooldown?  What is this Serendipity crap?  Then I respecced to disc.

Druid: With the druid, I feel more limited by my gear. I can only cast one hot per GCD, WG only when it’s off cooldown, and the hots are gonna tick how they tick, based on my gear.  I feel to a certain extent that once I anticipate damage, apply my hots, and then start casting direct heals… sometimes it’s out of my hands.  At the same time, there’s far less stress in mobility fights as it affect my healing almost none, which is a great allure.

Shaman: With my shaman, I feel completely helpless and frustrated. I can stand there pre-casting and cancelling in an annoyed manner until the damage comes in – and when it does, I feel like I can’t keep up.  I cast and cast and cast as fast as I can and I don’t have a prayer.  I am not necessarily running OOM.  I just feel like there’s a “cap” on my healing potential, likely due to user error. Any shaman who is awesome at it obviously cheats.  Obviously.

Pally:  I don’t know what pallies do.  I think there’s breakfast food involved.  I’ve seen them performing miracles, but I suspect that they are dirty cheaters.

Those of you with multiple healing classes, how do you feel about “miracles”?

  1. omg! Cheats!


Praise Freya, it's a miracle! — 10 Comments

  1. Most of my healing experience is on my resto druid; my adventures in Holy Paladin-ing are recent and my Disc priest is only 71 but… the druid can work wonders in 10 mans if either there’s someone else keeping up the main tank, or the main tank is awesome. I’ve pulled out wins against bosses where one tank and the other healer went down thirty seconds into the fight, if my husband was the tank still alive because we could communicate. You’re right, druids feel very gear limited. There just aren’t that many “oh-crap” things for druids.
    Paladins feel overpowered except when they totally can’t handle things at all. For keeping up two tanks at once and not needing anything? Yup, paladin all the way. Healing a five man where everyone is taking a lot of damage all at once? I died three times trying to heal FoS yesterday on my paladin because my instincts were all wrong.
    Disc priests – what you said. Levelled from 54 to 70 almost all in dungeons. If my mana was ok, I could do anything. Once it was gone, whoops, nothing doing, and all the really cool moments of “watch me keep everyone alive!” went through my mana fast.
    Definitely I prefer druid healing. I like disc healing a lot but I suspect I disc priest like a resto druid! To me, damage mitigation is the same whether it’s a protective array of HOTs quickly restoring damage passively or a shield proactively .

    • I do like being able to prevent damage and react to it too.  I think the reason why I’m currently hesitant to play my disc priest is, while I’m a miracle worker, I hate tank healing and feel like I suck at it compared to raid healing.

  2. Maybe it’s just a virtue of having done all the raid content I’ve ever seen on my paladin, as a healer, but I KNOW I can save the day. I’ve done it several times.
    1) Picture it. Serpentshrine Cavern. Lady Vashj. Late in Phase 3. Our MT died in poison and got a battle rez — into more poison. We have one tank left, no more battle rezzes up. All heals to the single tank. Who, all of a sudden, gets static charge. And rooted. In poison. A pally (not me) gets Blessing of Freedom up on the tank, so he gets out of the poison but still has static charge. I’m on the other side of the platform and am charging towards him as his health drops dangerously low.
    BAM, my Lay on Hands crit for 14,000+ health (ended up only overhealing for 9%).
    Ten seconds later, Vashj was dead for the first time ever for us. /flex
    2) Picture it. Icecrown Citadel. Professor Putricide, 25m heroic. Late Phase 3. All three tanks have 2 stacks of Mutated Plague. Tank 1 gets three stacks and the raid damage suddenly becomes insurmountable. Tank 2 gets three stacks and everyone starts dropping like flies. Putricide dies by the time Tank 3 gets three stacks and who’s left standing?
    All 3 tanks, a handful of DPS and yours truly, who has popped every single cooldown she knows how to pop in a heroic effort to keep the tanks from dying. All the other healers? Dead. /flex
    Lay on Hands is a great ability to have “just in case” and Beacon of Light really makes a difference in terms of healing needed for the encounter. We’ve now changed our PP strat so that holy paladins beacon THEMSELVES after all 3 tanks get 2 stacks and just focus on the active tank, which means the pallies live, the tanks live and it’s up to the other healers to try to keep themselves and the DPS up. :)

  3. I think a large portion is just what you mesh with as a player.  I know awesome paladin healers, but if I had to heal as a paladin I’d shoot myself.  Which is… odd considering my main at the moment is another “turret” healer with a similar breakdown (holy shock/riptide–LHW/FoL–Bacon/ok, it’s not Chain Heal, but it does a similar job).
    I haven’t managed to get a druid high enough to try out as a healer (that’s on my Cataclysm list) but as for the two types of healer specs–I think it’s a comfort thing.  Add to that, you really must be with a raid team that trusts you to heal as holy.  Usually someone will just snipe your raid assignment as they wait for your *OMG super huge heal* to come through and you’re stuck looking around going ‘bastard.”

  4. I think it depends on how comfortable you are with the class. I feel capable of working miracles on my druid. We don’t have the amount of life-saving cooldowns some other classes do, but I know how to make the most of what I do have.
    Last night I did an alt ICC run on my shaman, who is mostly in Naxx-level gear, and I did feel held back by it.  Although everything went smoothly, I felt like if damage ever got out of hand, it would be hard for me to handle it. I just don’t have enough haste and every spell I cast seemed sooo slow. However, I rarely play my shaman now. If I was more used to it I might feel much differently.

  5. I’ve pulled off many miracles in 10 and 25 mans.  That natures swiftness+the one that gives 100% crit+healing wave macro has saved more than one tanks life.  With rip tide critting for over 6K right now I’m pretty good at saving squishies as well.  I am also completely decked out in 25man ICC gear w/ sancitfied pieces.  W/o that gear…yeah I think shamans are severly limited by what gear they have especially considering we are the slowest healing class. 

  6. Paladin miracles are totally possible.  The first thing is to recognize that you usually can’t catch up on all of the healing, even if t10 haste lets you HL bomb 5 people in 6 seconds while ‘ignoring’ your Beacon (tank) target.  All of the Hand spells, Lay on Hands, Divine Sacrifice, and Aura Mastery are pure awesome.  Bubble & Shield give you time to ignore your own safety while keeping everyone else alive.

  7. Sorry about the lateness of this reply, I love teh healz =)  Some are easier then others, but honestly it’s a mesh of things for me.
    I started healing as a Shaman, and fell in love with it.  Sure we don’t have all the cool tools… and no where near the output potential as other healers… but, the tools we do have can really rock =)
    I think the best stat I ever worked on was haste, and I’m no chain heal spammer either.  That spell actually bothers me a little… to much potential waste.  After a riptide (or CH) my LHW is at a 1.0 cast time; HW, 1.2.  This allows me to place some big heals in a quick way.  The hard part after that is just knowing what to anticipate and when.
    My #2 most loved stat is crit… Mmmm crits /drool…  Partly because it works with other mechanics and partly because its a great way to compensate for gear =)  If im critting an average of 40-50% that mean’s I’m actually like 1.5 more awesome then average!  I like appearing more awesome :)
    I mean… not like there isn’t more to it then that, but those are two big ones.  Earth Shield is still my #1 healer… and if PW:Shield showed healing numbers for damage completely avoided you might see disc priests have that as there #1 as well.  my 2cp anyway :)