12/02/2010 10:08 AM
Posted by Vares
In terms of 'ease to learn', I'd rank them: Shaman > Discipline Priest > Druid/Paladin > Holy Priest.
I mostly agree with this too.
Paladins used to either spam one button if tank healing (HL) or use three if doing 5 mans (SS+FoL, HL if that wasn't enough, rarely HS if needing to heal while moving.) They were pigeonholed as tank healers spamming HL, but it was something that they could do easily, with great efficiency allowing them to never run out of mana (even greater efficiency with FoL, but it was too weak.)
With the addition of Holy Power and the removal of efficient and potent spells, a Holy Paladin heals in much more complex ways now. There's actually call for stopcasting, reminiscent of old school Vanilla Priests, and there's a lot of watching your HP to see when you have 3HP and having to decide if the particular situation will allow you to use it or if you just NEED to get a HS or FoL on someone right quick to prevent a death (which may cause you to "waste" a HP you'd otherwise use.)
I'm not going to say it's hard, just...different. You're managing your mana, your HP (including generating it), procs on HS/WoG (Daybreak and Eternal Glory), and so on. This makes it far more complex and takes away the "comfort" of knowing you had the right tool for your assigned job...but at the same time has the potential to allow Paladins to do more than just tank heal (depending on how Holy Radiance turns out.)
Druids have always been a more...subtle...healer. It goes with their lore and fits their class very well. Hence all the HoTs. Druids right now are more different than any other healer, as they don't EXACTLY follow the, "Medium/quick/inefficient heal, small/slow/efficient heal, large/slow/somewhat efficient heal" paradigm that the other healers (possibly excluding Disc) do. So they have a lot of utility in HoTs, but also there's some weird stacking and the whole Tree of Life CD which is just...a little weird at present. (As healing CDs are wont to be.) It requires a little more forethought in picking your spells, but it's also a unique way of healing, if you're up for it.
Though you CAN be quickly overwhelmed if you fall behind in healing, and you don't have quite the tools other classes have to make up for it. That said, you have Barkskin+Tranquility...
Priests...I have a 76 Priest I leveled as Holy to 50ish, Disc to 70ish (I liked bubbling my team as they crossed the bridge to assault the Alliance base in AV. ^_^), and then Holy again to present.
Overall, the Priest is nuts, lol. Holy is probably THE most versatile healer in the game, but with great versatility comes great complexity. To play a Holy Priest well, you need to be well versed in all your different heals, how they work, and what would then be the best situations to use them in. A pretty tall order for a new healer. Though the cool thing about Priests is you have the option to start as Disc and change to Holy later if you so choose.
Disc was cool because it played (before 4.0.x) very much like a variation on the then HPaly. Just instead of the awesomeness that was Holy Light, you had Power Word: Shield that could be quickly cast on several people, a powered up Flash Heal, and still had access to all the tools of a Holy Priest, just with less efficiency/potency (well, excluding some of the talented AOE heals.) It was quick to pick up and pretty useful both in BGs and 5 mans. And, again, you have the option to change to Holy later.
Though with 4.0.x and the addition of Archangel and Chakra (the former both Holy and Disc can get, the latter just Holy), there's an added level of complexity there too. It has some cool applications (Chakra is a bad-arse spell which amps up a Holy Priest's versatile healing EVEN MORE), it also adds a LOT more complexity to the specs. Disc less than Holy, though.
Due to its relation to pre-4.0.x HPaladins, I'd say Disc is probably the second easiest to use right now.