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To catch you all up:
Lunaris did a major shuffle-around recently because some people realized that the mains they had chosen in anticipation of Cataclysm weren’t always as fun as they had hoped. Our holy paladin (formerly a resto druid, formerly a DK tank, formerly a mage – can you see a pattern?) decided he’d prefer to play his hunter. Our resto druid wanted to be a boomkin instead. Our bear-butt tank thought maybe he’d like to try out healing, but on a priest instead of a druid. I also wanted to play my priest, so our holy priest? Switched to her holy paladin. My boyfriend kind of rolled his eyes at all of us, but he also switched mains, from his hunter to his frost DK with a lovely tank offspec, just in case, since we’ve just got two full-time tanks now.
All in all, it was a crazy couple of weeks, filled with heroic gear-grinding and farming like whoa for a Darkmoon Card: Tsunami (which, incidentally? Is a sexy sexy healer trinket).
Well one of the results of all this is that I’ve realized how two holy priests, with similar talents and gear, can heal TOTALLY differently, and be equally effective. I am an instant-cast junkie. I run around with Inner Will on, sprinkling Renews, abusing glyphed Prayer of Mending, loving the hell out of Holy Word: Serenity, and popping Circle of Healing every time it’s up and there’s been raid damage (which, in my experience with Cata raids so far? Is almost always). I even use my Power Word: Shield because speedy bubbles are made of win. Our other priest tends to have either Flash Heal or Prayer of Healing at the top of his heal meters, with nary a Renew or Prayer of Mending in sight.
Well, patch 4.06 brought a few new changes to holy, most notably the buff to Desperate Prayer. Prior to the patch, this wasn’t even considered an “optional” talent because the heal was so pathetic with Cataclysm’s new inflated health pools, even for the squishies. Now it’s pretty significant for a mana-free self heal, even with the hefty cooldown. Of course, now I want it. I also want Improved Power Word: Shield and Veiled Shadows. I want all the talents, goddamn it. Give to me more talent points!
My current spec is 6/32/3.
I’m seriously considering changing it up to be 7/31/3, giving up Spirit of Redemption for Desperate Prayer, and losing Rapid Renewal and a point in Mental Agility for two points in Improved Power Word: Shield. I’m not sure yet if I’m willing to sacrifice 2% haste for a reduced cooldown on both Fade and my Shadowfiend, but it’s something I’m also considering since I’m currently above the haste soft-cap of 12.5% raid buffed, and with some light reforging, could get back there even with 2% less from talents.
It’s kind of exciting to be playing a spec where your talent choices really are dependent on your style and personal preference, rather than just taking most of your points for max DPS and then having a handful of points to spend by preference (yes, I’m looking at you Elemental Shaman talents). I don’t know that there is a “right” cookie-cutter holy priest spec right now. Yes, you have to put at least 31 points in the holy tree, but there aren’t too many talents that don’t feel tied to playstyle, and therefore, all optional. The opinion of your raid leader, of course, may differ if you decide to give up things like Lightwell, Circle of Healing, or Guardian Spirit, but overall, it feels very fluid to me, and probably one of the best examples I’ve found that actually feels like Blizzard made choosing talents dynamic and impactful.
Dear tanks and DPS,
I realize that first aid is a royal pain to level, but making gold in this game is not that hard. Please, for the love of all things holy, buy some food. Vendor food isn’t that expensive, but if even that’s too much for you, Sharptooth are cheap and abundant, and can be made into Fish Fry, which is equivalent to all the level 85 vendor foods.
If you die in a heroic and I rez you? Plop your ass down and eat something. Chances are, unless you’re painfully stupid, if you died, I was having to triage or risk running out of mana entirely and causing a wipe. Resurrections are not low-mana cost spells. Once everyone is alive, I am going to sit down and drink. You standing around looking at me while I do so (and while you’re at the paltry amount of health you rez with) does not endear me to you, because I am then left with the choice of healing you to full, and then drinking AGAIN, or running into the next pull with you at half-life because you failed to realize that you are responsible for your own health levels out of combat.
If there is a generous mage in the party who had dropped a table for us, and you still don’t eat? I have to wonder what exactly it is you have against food.
Finally, if the lightwell is still down from the fight – CLICK IT. I can’t pack it up and take it with me, so feel free to use up any remaining charges.
While I understand that as a holy priest, I have rather good mana regeneration, my mana is not infinite. I must sit and drink to replenish it. If monsters are not eating our faces, and especially if I am sipping on a tasty coffee, your health bar becomes your responsibility. Do something about it.