Healing in Cataclysm?

Hey, I've decided to try and take up healing in cataclysm. Being as I've only been a DPS since BC. I just have a few questions.
Is healing really... Stressful? The reason I like being DPS because everyones not gonna be constantly pointing fingers at me if something goes wrong, (And yes. I do realize Im a hunter.)
How do I know what healing class I would enjoy most?
Id prefer a class a Goblin could be (Goblin = Best Race EVAR) but I'd play a differnet race to..
If its a priest, which spec Holy or Disc is better?

And thats about it :) Thanks for the help to anyone who answeres meh.
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85 Tauren Shaman
I've healed SOME raids (not many but get over it largely casual player here), I wouldn't call healing stressful. It is A LOT different in terms of how it is rewarding though. You have to be able to think on your feet and pick the right heal for the right situation and for your role as a healer. I mean whether your tank/raid/off heals. It is an art where DPS is more of a science, prepare to throw out any idea you might have had about a rotation.

Goblin eh? Shaman dude. We rock.
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I was acutally thinking of rolling shaman *cough op cough * :) But ive tried, and the whole totem thing confuses the F out of me. ><
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85 Tauren Shaman
With the Totem bar, you'll end up with a standard set of totems that You drop for every fight because they help you best. Especially as you run through dungeons to get started as a healer. I believe I usually throw down: Strength of Earth, Windcaller, Flametounge, and Healing Stream/Mana regen. With multiple shamans in a raid, you just have to make sure that there is none/minimal overlap.

Totems are easy peasy once you are used to dropping them and picking them up for fights. I also don't really know who is OP for healing come cata. I can tell you though that what I saw was that skill mattered a lot more for who was the best healer in the raid. The only time I thought a class was OP for healing was when a druid in blues and greens was outhealing me in Ulduar. That was kind of nuts but druids got changed a lot, as have every healer. The days of CH spam are probably gone. MMMmmmm give me some more Riptide.
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If only I knew what you are talking abuot with the shaman spells >< D: I already have cloth BoA. Now i have to grind for ages for JP.
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Cloth wearing Shaman ftw?! :D
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85 Blood Elf Priest
Well, healing right now is a little imbalanced among the classes in terms of throughput. I have a healer of every class at 80 and some decent raiding experience on each. Here's what I've noticed.

Holy Priest: Wide variety of spells. Has a nice spammable AoE heal. Kinda weaker in the single target healing compared to the other healers, but makes up for it with some unique spells like Prayer of Mending(a heal that jumps from person to person when they take damage). Also provides Inspiration(10% reduced physical damage when most of your spells crit). Circle of Healing is probably our signature spell, even though it's been nerfed pretty heavily. Very weak in the mana department right now, but that can be easily changed with some number tweaking.

Disc Priest: All through WotLK they were basically bubble bots, spamming PW:S on everyone they could. The cata healing design is supposed to be switching away from this design. Disc priests are stronger in single target healing than Holy. The numbers might not be as high as a paladins, but with every crit heal you put Divine Aegis(a talent that places a bubble for 30% of the amount healed when you get a critical heal) on the target. So basically Disc is more single-target oriented than their Holy counterpart. Pretty good on mana.

Druid: Playstyle is pretty similar to Holy Priests. They rely on HoT's as their main source of healing. All through WotLK they spammed Rejuvenation and Wild Growth on the raid and were very effective at doing so. In cata they have some pretty decent single target throughput and are pretty well off in terms of mana(I haven't raided on the beta since the changes to Revitalize and Rejuv, so they might be more in line mana wise with priests). Druid is a solid choice if you want versatility in your class.

Shaman: Shamans are unique in their own way, they have strong single target and a really good group spell. They also provide the Inspiration buff, for shamans it's called "Ancestral Fortitude." Shamans are very good in their single target heals. Earthshield is great for passive tank healing. Chain heal is amazing for group healing, the only bad thing about chain heal is that the group has to be stacked closer for it to be more effective. Shamans have been pretty good mana wise, they are more dependent on crit for their regen though. Pretty solid choice if you want some versatility with other specs.

Paladin: Paladins all through WotLK were the kings of single target healing, but that's pretty much all they could do. Cata is making some pretty big changes to the paladin class. They have 2 resources from which they can use spells now, so their mana is pretty excellent right now. They still have the best single target heals by a decent margin, but now they have 2 pretty valuable raid healing spells. You really can't get the AoE healing spells until later on in the leveling process (Holy Radiance is 85). So far the paladin is the standout healer for Cata, yet they could get the nerfbat at any moment.

As for leveling, they've made some pretty big changes to all of the classes since I leveled my toons. So I'm really not sure which would be easiest to level nowadays.

I hope this helped.

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Thank you Eirwenn, that was very helpfull. It seems to me that I would enjoy Disc Priest. Seems to be a more relaxed? sorta of healing. As of leveling (even though you said you dont know) Does it seem as though Disc would be good in 5 mans?
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85 Blood Elf Priest
Disc was very mana efficient leveling in dungeons at 70. I leveled when there wasn't off specs though, so I basically healed dungeons pre-70 as shadow. I'm sure that Disc would be more efficient mana-wise though. Also, disc when you're solo healing can be stressful at times. Once your bubbles wear out you have to rely on your lower healing output. The changes to Prayer of Healing will probably help out disc a lot in 5 mans though.

Good luck to ya.
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100 Dwarf Paladin
It's not really stressful, just different.

Raids are pretty fun to heal on beta given the tweaks done in the past month or so.
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Thank you all very much :) Ive decided to roll a Goblin Priest Disc main spec, and Shadow off spec at 40. The only thing I was worried about is it being like stressful, but people seem to be saying its not soo :D
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90 Night Elf Priest
Really, the only stress I've had so far (only 65 now, so I have much more to experience) has been:

1. Getting used to it the first few times.
2. Bad tanks.

#1 you'll get over quickly. Find your flow and go with it.
#2 can be very stressful. If your tank isn't paying attention, he can easily put himself (and your group) in "no win" situations, then blame your healing when s/he dies. The good news is that most experienced players realize when it's the tanks doing, so you're only feeling stressed until someone votes to kick. :) [BTW - this doesn't only apply to tanks. Sometimes you'll get some overzealous DPSers who force you to concentrate on them more than your tank...that gets stressful.]

Personally, I enjoy not having to worry about DPS and just focusing on the heals. (Though I admit, I get a little sad if I do less than 1% of the overall damage...I love slinging the wand during the down time.)
Edited by Klare on 11/12/2010 3:12 PM PST
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100 Draenei Paladin
Healing is only stressful when you have to make up for too much fail. Otherwise it's pretty rewarding when you're on challenging content with competent players.
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80 Dwarf Paladin
it's not to bad just keep you on your toes wen you think your tank is about to go down and you pop wings and loh and he full health youll be filling like your on top of the world!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
Great post, Eirwenn, aside from one minor detail i saw.

Holy Radiance is 85
Holy Radiance is at 83.
Edited by Pallykillo on 11/12/2010 7:50 PM PST
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100 Troll Priest
Just remember not to take it personally when someone blames you for the wipe in an unwinnable situation. If the tank chain pulls when you're OOM (or near OOM), and you run out of mana, it wasn't your fault (unless you told the tank to continue). If a DPS dies because everyone in the group chooses a different target and the tank can't maintain threat on all of them, it isn't your fault.

The cardinal rule of healing in 5-mans is that you always heal yourself and the tank first If you die, the tank will die and the rest of the party will follow. If the tank dies, you and the DPS will die shortly after.

And when people decide that you should be the only one to do the corpse run back to the instance, kindly remind them that it takes far less time to get set back up if everyone runs back, especially if they're just going to stand there and wait to be healed after the rez.
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85 Night Elf Druid
I think I was pretty lucky when I started healing. The PUGs I got were "mostly" helpful and patient. As long as you learn from your mistakes and take constructive critisism in your stride you will gain confidence and compitence fairly quickly. If you wipe, check the combat log and see whos fault it was and why. One big bonus with heals is that you get to see what everyone is doing, which I think helps with your overall knowledge and performance. Dont be afraid to ask questions during play. Just like tanking, heals can be pretty full on compaired to dps because of the responsibility but is equally rewarding when you save the group from wiping.
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80 Troll Rogue
Priests are supposed to be getting some much needed buffs soon to both specs, so dont just go another class because priests are in the gutter right now.
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85 Tauren Druid
The trick to being a great healer is not letting dmg stress you out! Keep chanting to yourself, it's a game, it's a game and eventually it'll be like whack a mole. You'll see the dmg, you'll whack the right spell and all will be well. It's fun. Go disc priest, bubbles are brilliant.
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1 Dwarf Paladin
Id either do healing now or avoid it.

Cata healing is supposed to be stress on a stick, you loose power at each level, you cant heal everyone often so have to let teammates die for no fault of their own, every fight ends with oom so every wipe is going to be pointing at the healer no matter who messed up.

Dps low, healer goes oom, healer takes blame.
Tank doesnt have enough mitigation healer goes oom, healer takes blame.
Dps stands in fire, healer goes oom, healer takes blame
Tank overpulls, it looks fine till healer goes oom, healer takes blame
Healer levels, healer's mana costs go up without healing going up, same fight as just 30 seconds ago, healer goes oom, healer takes blame for LEVELING!

Every single wipe in every party will be the healers fault, enjoy, the only good news is as a healer you will have instant queue if that matters at all.

Cata healing is the worst healing model they ever done.
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