So yeah, we just might finally get around to finishing this up. Maybe.
Anyway… I’ve recapped what healing was like in Wrath, glanced at some of the new abilities available to priests in Cata, and looked at the monumental increase in the mana cost of providing even the most basic of support utilities: dispels and buffs. I’ll not kill you all with the math, but rest assured that the heals, especially AoE heals, suffered a similar inflation.
But truly, the most important part of healing is the mindset.
Healing is a beast unto itself, just like tanking and DPS require different schools of thought.
In the days of yore, disc healing had its ups and downs.
Those that played disc understood the value of a disc spec, those that did not play disc simply looked at the meters and called us scrubs.
Disc has always been an unusual creature in that it specialized in the mitigation of damage, not the correction of damage.
Tank or raid, I could heal it all. By design, disc excelled at HEALING a single target very well, but also at PREVENTING damage to 10-15 targets at the same time.
Playstyle through Wrath pretty much boiled down to keeping a PW: Shield on as many people as possible (or at least the targets likely to take damage), toss out a Prayer of Mending and Penance as they came off cooldown, read a magazine, and wait to start the whole process over. When the shit hit the fan, we still had a large selection of tools to choose from to heal single or multiple targets, but with enough gear, something had to actually bust through the bubbles first.
Unfortunately for the disc priest, the effect PW: Shield and Divine Aegis bubbles were captured horribly, if at all by the game. A few add ons made an effort to hazard a guess as to what was actually happening with that thin sphere of light that stood between the tank and his future as a pixelated smear on the floor, but without the support of Blizzard supplying hard data in an easily-accessibly format, it was nothing more than educated guesses.
So on meters, we generally were bottom of the pack.
We were also bottom of the pack for overheals. But no one looked at overheals anymore. In Wrath, mana was such a non-issue that you weren’t perceived to be doing your job unless everyone was topped off at all times. ZOMG! The rogue stubbed his toe! He’s down 1 HP! CAST GREATER HEAL, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!! Efficiency meant nothing.
The mana issues was even less of an issue (how can a non-issue be less of an issue? I don’t know, but it was) thanks to the mechanic of Rapture. Rapture is a spiffy little talent in the disc tree that returns a portion of your mana whenever a bubble is popped. Pre-Cata, we were seeing 2.5% of total mana returned with every popped bubble. Hmmmmm Lich King Infest…. 10 bubbles, 25% of my mana… /drool. Even if your bubbles weren’t all being popped, the mana return from that and the dozen other sources of mana regen available in the raid was more than enough to keep the blue bar near full.
Health pools were a lot smaller. Getting tanks with 70k health was pretty cool. I remember my mage being ecstatic about hitting 20k life. A Renew that ticked for 10k over the course of its life could keep most clothies in the green. At least the smart ones.
And then Deathwing fucked up the world.
Come back tomorrow for what may or may not be the exciting conclusion to the “even as disc” post!
Well, I hope it’s exciting, I just can’t promise it will be the conclusion.
And of course, as I’m writing this, the next patch notes are out with changes to all of this. But that’s just too bad, it’s my rant and I’ll finish it because I want to, so there.