Once you get to raiding, you’re going to have to move out of the bad a lot. If you can toss heals while you’re doing it, you should.  Mostly this applies to druids and priests who have multiple useful insta-cast spells.  Sorry, Pallies and Shammies.1

Now, intellectually, you know which heals of yours are instant, and which should be thrown when you’re moving out of the bad… however, practice makes perfect!

The Challenge

Go into an instance that you can reasonably heal.  Not total EZ mode but don’t try this on HHOR.

Do not stop moving unless you totally have to. Unless someone is about to die and you have absolutely exhausted all of your spells that you can use while moving.  Once you cast the cast-time spell, start moving again.

Always be casting. Even if you don’t necessarily need to.  Top people off.  Throw preemptive hots.  Whatever.

Why?

Simply put, muscle memory. It’s one thing to “know” what spells you can cast while moving.  It’s another to be able to start running and not even waste a gcd thinking about what to do next.  Get it ingrained.

Not the “best” spells

We’re used to using the “best” spells for the occasion so often that we forget about other spells in our toolbox.  Many druids don’t use lifebloom much.  But if you’re on the run, you’ll use it and you’ll like it!  Practicing this means that you won’t have to fumble for your lifebloom button in an extremely mobile fight.  Hell, I even broke out ye olde holy nova which I hadn’t used in months.  And you know what?  Now I remember it and hit it during Booooonestormmmmm.

Watch where you’re driving

If you’re not used to steering and casting at the same time, you may well hop from one bad patch into another (tail swipe, anyone?).  Practicing steering around while casting will improve your navigation skills.

Keep Practicing!

I say this is a “challenge,” but I do this during most instances to keep my skills up.  I’m damn good at it on the tree and I’m getting much better on my disc priest.

  1. While this post was totally written but the site was down, wow.com did a piece on “healing on the run.”  I am forced to assume that they employ mind-readers. Actually, if you’re a pally, you should read the wow.com piece, since I don’t know crap about pallies.

Comments

Healing on the Run: Practice Makes Perfect — 8 Comments

  1. I find PvP really helps me practise healing on the move, mostly because if I stand still for more than 3 seconds a time, I’m likely to die.

    • True, though sometimes the other side (in my case the other side is those damn dirty hordies) doesn’t notice a healer in the back.  I think it’s because so many people in battlegrounds are out for their personal glory that it’s INCONCEIVABLE that someone will be healing.  I’ve gone in there with a “buddy” and I just follow him around and keep him healed.  Those damn dirty hordies are very confused that the person they’re whacking on is staying alive, and don’t notice the priest 40 yards away slinging shiny penance of pew pew heals.

  2. I have to agree with Erinys, PvP seems to be really great training for healing—or indeed anything else—on the run. The pace is such that you almost never get to stop and do your “ideal rotation”. If you’re in PvP gear, your mana is lower, you’re probably running without Replenishment or raid buffs, and smart players are going to try really hard to kill you. You have to make do with whatever you can eke out.
    Also, PvP encourages you to know not just your own healing abilities, but also your self-preservation cooldowns and the abilities of others. I’m definitely not the world’s best PvP healer, but I’ve learned a great deal from playing in battlegrounds and Wintergrasp, and I think it’s really helped improve my PvE healing. Unlike a raid situation, where a wipe costs a lot of downtime, the turnaround on dying, resurrecting, and trying again is pretty short in PvP. Grab a dps friend or two, queue up for Wintergrasp, and try to keep them alive as they do something fun and useful like destroying towers, capturing shops, blowing up siege vehicles, or whatever. By comparison, even the most wild and crazy raid fights will seem pretty normal. :)

    • While I haven’t done much PvP, I actually got the idea for this “training” method from the Faction Champs in TOC… where I definitely had to use a completely different skillset and spell-set.  You’re right that you start to remember all sorts of junk that you forgot was in the spellbook (racials included).

  3. Even pallies and shammies benefit from the practice… I have an 80 of both classes, and to heal rotface successfully I had to master the cooldown on holy shock, I had to get used to using a crit holy shock to proc an instant flash of light, and I had to be able to cleanse and throw sacred shield on the fly. Since I click cast and I also move with the mouse, it took some finesse before I could get out of the angry poo poo while dispelling the rogue and holy shocking the warrior and keeping beacon on the tank. The skills are now standing me in good stead as we’re working on PP and the blood wing.
    For my shammy, I’ve noticed that knowing when I can safely move riptide from the tank to another target is key to mobile healing.

    • I am so inept with my shaman that I just PRAY that I don’t have to move, and that I can just spam heals from one spot.  When I have to move, people croak.  Practice would probably do me some good!

      • Haha, Zel… did you notice my Shaman section was a heck of a lot shorter than my pally section? It’s because I am bad on my shaman too. My moving strategy consists of dropping healing stream totem and moving riptide around and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
        I must be getting a little better at it though, this week’s weekly was Razorscale on my server and that has lots of bad to get out of. We ran it with one tank (a dk) and one healer (my shaman) and we killed her. Granted, the tank was dead at the end of it, but so was the dragon!

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