Friday, February 3, 2012

Priesting 4.3

I remember posting about playing my Priest a year or two ago, but haven't really touched her since then, ending up raid healing in Cataclysm mostly on my Paladin.

Last week I realised if I got 50 Elder coins on horde-side toon I could grab a very valuable pet to sell Alliance-side, so I with my priest being my highest-level Horde toon, I logged on, and somehow got distracted and instead ended up playing the game for a while, levelling from 78 to 82 as of last night.

I always enjoy learning a new class-- working out what skills are transferrable from Paladin [and to a lesser extent, Shaman] healing and what mechanics I would need to learn from scratch, and set up my bindings in the most brain-cohesive way possible.

Penance is on my Holy Shock key as the "use on CD" heal. Power Word: Shield is on my Word of Glory key as the semi-situational instant heal [but mostly this is a "learn from scratch" spell]. Prayer of Mending macroed to cast on the tank is on my pre-4.3 Judgement key as it requires little thought to use on CD whenever there is any kind of group damage going out.

The rest follow standard spell archetypes: Heal, Greater Heal, Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing, Pain Suppression-- all map precisely to Holy Light, Divine Light, Flash of Light, Holy Radiance, Hand of Sacrifice.

At this point I would like to pause to sigh anew about Holy Radiance being changed from a unique and in my opinion really fun Paladin mechanic to a bog standard casted AoE heal. Now it and Prayer of Healing [and for that matter Chain Heal and Wild Growth ] are practically identical in useage.

I'm really enjoying learning Discipline healing. Priests remind me a lot of Paladins in the sheer number of support abilities they have but rarely find themselves in a situation to use. Atonement healing is a really well-designed mechanic: Smite heal in periods of light damage with the ability at any point to switch modes to heavy healing and get a powerful buff out of it.

I feel like I have yet to fully master using PW:S efficiently, but that might just be my own ridiculous standards. I'm still just not really sure if I should be using it on the tank on Rapture CD for mana efficiency or keeping it to use as an emergency save. I suppose that's what Blizzard calls an "interesting choice." Therefore: gameplay! But I'd love to have a chat with the Priest healer in my raid to see how he handles this kind of stuff.

Assuming I don't get bored in the next few levels [and I might, with Shadow being the most boring solo spec ever and only a finite number of levelling instances to heal] I think I would really enjoy tackling some Heroic dungeons as an undergeared healer again. I just need to remember to bring plenty to drink. And if I eventually get bored with that, I can always respec Holy.

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