I decided that I needed to take a break from all things tree and get one of the alts in shape. I was debating whether to put effort into the disc priest or the ele/resto shammy, so hubby suggested I take them out for a spin for heroics. Phail ensued.
My disc priest has been my main since WOTLK came out, and I only swapped over to the druid shortly before 3.3 hit. I think I just burnt out after pounding our heads against the Mimiron encounter and didn’t want to see anything related to that encounter ever again, including my own toon.
Playing disc priest felt comfortable yet slightly unfamiliar. Like getting together for lunch with a high school friend. You have to dig in your memory for what to do, but it also comes back like muscle memory quickly.
According to my count as a druid I generally use 13 buttons while healing (including macros) As a priest I use 17.
After hearing Matticus talk about moving while casting holy nova as a viable raid strategy, I broke down and put Holy Nova on my raid bars. And my first instance of the night was Culling of Stratholme. Whoosh! Zombie-B-Gone.
FADE!! PRAYER OF MENDING FLYING FRISBEE OF SPROOOONG!!
Oh I missed you guys.
Haste: EJ can Suck It
I know, I know, EJ says to stack haste up to 11% and I parroted that back to Mongrr at Save the Lightwell.
I was so wrong! My priest has about 350ish haste and the druid has 650. What a difference! I felt sluggish and pathetic. It’s not about thoroughput, it’s about FEEL. I felt like I was drowning in my pathetically slow heals.
Apparently I had put all my stats into mana regen, which was over 800 out of combat. Holy crap! The druid’s is around 500-600. Next order of business – shed some mp/5 for some haste. I would kill for that kind of mana regen on the druid.
Humans are So Meh
Humans probably have the best priest racials at this point… but dang. I’m so tired of looking at their bouncy perkiness. Dorf incoming?
Whar’s My Healing Form?
I kept looking for my healing form. Noob.
However, I was pretty dang versatile compared to a tree. When we hit the last boss of Old Kingdom, I was able to easily crush my foes with shadow spells/penance while keeping myself shielded. I have more trouble as a tree, as whenever I get out of tree form to use offensive abilities I get my face gnawed off, so usually I resort to kiting, healing, and waiting for the other group members to break me out.
DPS Potential (Offspec)
I suck at shadow, probably because it’s like guitar hero, and as we all know, I suck at guitar hero, leaving the priest an essentially only-healing sort of toon.
The shaman was my main in BC. I leveled to 80 questing as Elemental and did a few raids. I quit when I realized that I would just be healing those raids anyway and never get to DPS- and well, I discovered that shaman healing was no longer my thing.
Moar Buttons (sort 0f)
A lot of Non Healing Dealies to Remember
I forgot heroism. I forget purge. And even though they ditched and combined some totems, I think there are still 20 to take account of.
Fewer Healing Tricks up My Sleeve
I find that I have fewer spells to choose from and that is frustrating. I found downsizing from a priest “bag of tricks” to the druid “bag of tricks” to be quite the adjustment – but downsizing to shaman was plain torture.
The Waltz Rotation
I get extra-special cranky when Blizzard tries to create a “rotation” for healers to avoid same-spell spam. I want to be free to tailor my spell to the situation, not be “encouraged” to use a certain spell because XYZ has procced. This is why I hate the serendipity mechanic of holy priesting, and I really hate tidal waves. Once my 2 tidal waves are used up, I’d better be casting a chain heal or riptide to get them back up again or I won’t get the most out of my heals.
(Why I think of it as the waltz – because you lead with the special spell followed by 2 little ordinary spells… BUM bum bum BUM bum bum… no?)
Also, as Codi points out, shaman suck for movement fights. (Partially my perception on this one – I’m so used to running about with a druid now that standing still makes me cranky.)
I’m actually pretty good at the elemental rotation, and a resto shaman is pretty survivable using elemental spells (gear ovelap ftw). I definitely prefer elemental DPS to shadow DPS, and vastly prefer elemental DPS to resto shaman healing.
Will I ever get to DPS on a heal-capable toon? Will I ever get to DPS if I have another heal-capable toon? Not freakin likely.
Will Healing on Another Toon Mess Up My Tree Mojo?
Part of being proficient in raiding is to be able to react swiftly without thinking. It was a lot of thought for me to put myself in the mindset of the disc spells again. It was surprisingly difficult, too, to just slide back into druid healing after that brief jaunt on the priest. Mostly, I kept fighting the urge to fling my frisbee of awesome every pull.
I don’t think any healer is any “better” than any other. It’s what you mesh with. I know shaman healers who think I’m absolutely batty for playing a druid because they just can’t “get” druid healing.
I may take a few more shots at priesting, specifically shadow priesting – but if my healing mojo takes any hits, I’m gonna quit that right away and level something innocuous, like a hunter, that has no danger of interfering with my heal-thoughts.
See also: Lissanna’s adventures in building a better resto shaman alt.