Holy Healing Needs Work

85 Human Priest
3585
I have healed the first two Cata instances.

Let me start by saying- I think the healing is really fun. I have not had this much fun healing since vanilla. I love that the avoidable damage is just devastating, while the regular damage is healable. It really highlights the responsibility of the group to mitigate damage wherever possible.

With that said- I am very unhappy with holy healing right now. Disc healing is quite fun... but the extreme mana problems with holy make the spec a drag. I find that most of the time I feel like I am spamming a huge set of weak heals, and fighting with mana to stay afloat.

Summary of my complaints with the spec:

1. Spells are too expensive. Using a huge toolbox of expensive spells drains mana quickly (even avoiding flash heal).

2. Spells are weak. The huge toolbox is a detriment when the spells are individually weak. It requires more casting to keep up with damage. Example of a weak spell: Circle of healing. I find this spell to heal for an incredibly small amount relative to scaling health, and I use PoH and other heals if I actually need to move a health bar.

3. Reduction in fun due to less use of good mechanics. PoM is one of my favorite spells in the game. The increased CD, due to loss of divine providence means less use of a fun spell and less fun. CoH used to be kind of fun (post nerf)... but with the longer CD and weak strength, it is really not very fun, imo.

4. Chakra- This is a complete stumbling block for the spec. When I play disc or other healers, healing is now challenging enough without having to micromanage a mechanic to make the most of my spells. I REALLY REALLY feel this mechanic is obsolete. In Wrath, holies were the versatile healer, and I could see t his mechanic being used to make the most of a diversity "niche". Now that all healers are versatile, I really don't see the reason for an additional burden on the holy spec.

These are my feelings so far with holy. Put simply, I think the spec is overburdened with inefficient spells that, while novel in concept, have little practical impact and are causing the more useful spells to be too limited for balancing purposes. I think the mana management of the spec is less about management and more of a drain.

I really enjoy healing in Cata, and I am incredibly surprised at how great of a job devs have done with the new model. I have a great time healing with disc, druid, and even my pally friend is loving healing. (I haven't tried shaman). Holy is, at this point, just glaringly weak when compared to other specs, imo.
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85 Undead Priest
7975
I associate Chakra with the Devs trying to make Holy Priest more like druids in keeping LB on a single target and using nourish or HT to keep it going. But that is just a general analysis I made from the start. I have not tried to heal yet but am looking forward to the challenge that will come with being holy.
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85 Troll Priest
2660
Holy have so many passives and bored talents D:

Improved Renew
Empowered Healing
Divine Fury
Inspiration
Tome of Light
Holy Concentration
Serendipity(Mana Drainer)
Blessed Resilience
Test of Faith
State Mind

In my opinion those are reeeally bored talents... :(

in the other hand disc have so many procs/cooldown that make it so much fun.
Edited by Aluhana on 12/8/2010 8:21 AM PST
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85 Human Priest
3585
Well for me it's more of an issue of whether the heals are effective.

Disc: Shields work. They might end up getting weaker... but they are useful. PoH works, it does it's job (mostly). The direct heals work.

Druid: Rejuv works, WG is a bit weaker, but still works. Direct heals work. Lifebloom works.

Pally: The heals work, they move bars.

Shaman: Same as pally, fewer options but healing causes a definite result.

Holy has so many spells that are weak. CoH? Not much happens, health barely moves. PoM? If it crits, but it's just "out there" uncontrollable. The direct heals work. Shields? Not much happens, weak.

So with holy you are just stacking up tons of weak spells, that individually just don't do much. You end up using those niche spells, just because you need to press some button. There is too much redundancy, and the result is a spellbook full of milquetoast and mediocre spells that cost way too much.

I would rather just get rid of renew, get rid of CoH, get rid of binding heal lower CD on PoM, reduce costs of spells (basically get to where core disc is)... and then figure out what exactly they want holy to be "good at"... because right now the "holy" spells are way too weak, the costs way too high... and the mechanics are just not fun. The spec is bloated with obsolete spells.. and these questionable spells drag down the useful ones.

I also agree the talents are really "meh". Most of them are just bland- Improved death? Bleh. Chakra Talents? Bleh. Renew talents? Too much to produce a mediocre spell.
Edited by Vidomina on 12/8/2010 8:50 AM PST
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90 Human Priest
6245
Point #4 is pretty much why I stopped playing Holy. Between how awkward or forced it feels to use Chakra and having two "crowning" talents which range from semi-useful to useless (both entirely outside the Priest's control), the spec feels less fun than it used to be.

Agreed on Cata healing - most fun I've had healing things since the start of Wrath. I've already had a few DPS understand the concept of "it's not my fault if you die, stop standing in the lightning storm". Smite-2-Heal definitely contributes some fun as well.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
3950
Got to agree, have done dungeon runs so far leveling to 84 and the spells that use to make holy a raid healer are so costly to use and do so little I end up using spells that would just work better as disc to conserve mana.

As it is now disc is the only pat open or go OOM all the time in dungeons and I would not even want to see how bad holy will be in raid for going oom or doing so little healing that they are not worth it to bring :(
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1 Human Priest
0
Macroed Chakra to Prayer of Mending and never looked back. Yeah it's dumb but it's the right Chakra 95% of the time for me.

Also I haven't found Holy to be underpowered at all, it seems perfect for healing the instances so far.
Edited by Feedback on 12/8/2010 9:09 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Priest
7755
12/08/2010 9:08 AMPosted by Feedback
Macroed Chakra to Prayer of Mending and never looked back. Yeah it's dumb but it's the right Chakra 95% of the time for me.

Also I haven't found Holy to be underpowered at all, it seems perfect for healing the instances so far.


So where did you use Chakra to come to that opinion?

I have used it on every encounter in ICC 10 and 25 hardmode, and I do not share the opinion. I have also run probably 50 random LFDs using it in wotlk as well.

I have not used it at all since CATA went live.

So I am seriously interested in where you used it to determine it was not underpowered at all and perfect for healing instances.

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85 Human Priest
3585
12/08/2010 9:08 AMPosted by Feedback
Macroed Chakra to Prayer of Mending and never looked back. Yeah it's dumb but it's the right Chakra 95% of the time for me.

Also I haven't found Holy to be underpowered at all, it seems perfect for healing the instances so far.


I would contend that if a system like chakra that requires substantial talent investment is so inconsequential that you can just macro it to a spell and forget it... then it is a bad mechanic.

The reason for my logic is that the purpose of the mechanic is to make a player choose a state to be in... if it fails to motivate the player to make a meaningful choice, then the mechanic has failed. (... and a failure that costs a lot of talent points!)
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
3210
12/08/2010 7:42 AMPosted by Vidomina
1. Spells are too expensive. Using a huge toolbox of expensive spells drains mana quickly (even avoiding flash heal).


I haven't found this to be a concern. Spells have roughly comparable costs to those of other classes; I only had mana issues on my holy priestess when the tank pulled both fire elementals in BRC (mana issues meaning that I dropped to 60% mana by the end of the fight).

Yes, once she's getting past the 80-81 range, mana costs will start to hurt more, but you seem to be talking about the level 80-81 experience, too.

2. Spells are weak. The huge toolbox is a detriment when the spells are individually weak. It requires more casting to keep up with damage. Example of a weak spell: Circle of healing. I find this spell to heal for an incredibly small amount relative to scaling health, and I use PoH and other heals if I actually need to move a health bar.


All spells are weak for all classes relative to the larger health bars. This is not a problem specific to priests.

As to Circle of Healing, it's not meant to be more powerful than Prayer of Healing, because otherwise you'd avoid casting the latter. Circle of Healing has its advantages (it's instant, which means you get a health increase right now, and not a couple of second later, it can be cast while moving, and in a raid setting it's a smart heal).

Note that I'm not saying that holy doesn't need work; I think it does, but mostly related to the Chakra issue. But the basic toolkit seems in pretty good shape, all things considered.
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85 Undead Priest
6975
^^ GTFO of this thread Paladin. Let us priests QQ - not all of us healers are Blizzard's favorite.
Edited by Epohlast on 12/8/2010 12:55 PM PST
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85 Undead Priest
5720
Yeah, just healed Stonecore with holy spec. I'm all for challenging (hard =/= challenging) mechanics and fights that require versatility and quick thinking, but it was just a borefest where I was constantly on edge and low on mana. At least I was complimented by the party as the first of four healers in our battlegroup that managed to complete the dungeon without giving up.

I'm respeccing disc, which is a pity because I really like holy's many options and variables. But as pointed above, right now it's just a bunch of weak choices that clutter your action bar. What am I supposed to do with 2-3k hp circle of healing? 4-5k heal that takes a week to cast?

As a whole, Blizzard said that the lower mana regeneration took place because healers supposedly didn't have to manage resources like the dps classes (we did) and the challenge wasn't "rewarding" enough. The examples mostly revolved around druids that used 2 skills to heal entire raids. I think they just forgot that if a healer fails at his job, the whole party/raid likely dies, and that instead of scrambling the whole healing scene, they could just have fixed the rejuvenation / wild growth issue.

No wonder I got a 15 sec queue for random dungeon...
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85 Human Priest
3585
12/08/2010 12:49 PMPosted by Angelique

Note that I'm not saying that holy doesn't need work; I think it does, but mostly related to the Chakra issue. But the basic toolkit seems in pretty good shape, all things considered.


The basic toolkit is the same for all healers at this point. The difference is that holy is less mana efficient than the other healers and the extra spells holy gets are incredibly weak compared to the extra heals disc and the other healers get outside of the basic ones, and all of the other healers have complete access to their full toolkit without a chakra mechanic.

Just think... what defines holy? CoH? Renew? Lightwell?
Disc? Shield/Penance?
Druids? Rejuv/WG/lifebloom?
Pallies? LoD?/Healing Hands of Goodness spell?/ Improved basic heals?
Shaman? Chain heal?ES?

The defining heals of holy are comparatively incredibly weak and come with chakra and major mana issues. I think the spec needs serious help. I feel it doesn't have an identity because any "flavor" spells are really just not effective. I healed on disc, holy, druid, and pally. There is a huge difference in holy overall effectiveness and mana.
Edited by Vidomina on 12/8/2010 3:08 PM PST
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12/08/2010 7:42 AMPosted by Vidomina
1. Spells are too expensive. Using a huge toolbox of expensive spells drains mana quickly (even avoiding flash heal).


Yeah, some spells do feel pretty expensive. The thing to know is that you can't top everyone off any more, except for the tank, possibly. You pretty much just leave everyone at a health that's high enough for them to not die, otherwise you go oom.

12/08/2010 7:42 AMPosted by Vidomina
2. Spells are weak. The huge toolbox is a detriment when the spells are individually weak. It requires more casting to keep up with damage. Example of a weak spell: Circle of healing. I find this spell to heal for an incredibly small amount relative to scaling health, and I use PoH and other heals if I actually need to move a health bar.


Other healers pretty much have the same problem. CoH may feel weak, but when I did some testing on Beta in a raid, CoH was consistently among my top 3 heals. It doesn't feel like a lot, especially since it got nerfed, but it's still pretty useful.

[quote="13057953436"]3. Reduction in fun due to less use of good mechanics. PoM is one of my favorite spells in the game. The increased CD, due to loss of divine providence means less use of a fun spell and less fun. CoH used to be kind of fun (post nerf)... but with the longer CD and weak strength, it is really not very fun, imo.[/quote]

Eh, to be honest, I think the addition of mechanics, such as Holy Word make up for the extra cd on those spells, to be honest. But that's just my opinion.

[quote="13057953436" ]4. Chakra- This is a complete stumbling block for the spec. When I play disc or other healers, healing is now challenging enough without having to micromanage a mechanic to make the most of my spells. I REALLY REALLY feel this mechanic is obsolete. In Wrath, holies were the versatile healer, and I could see t his mechanic being used to make the most of a diversity "niche". Now that all healers are versatile, I really don't see the reason for an additional burden on the holy spec.[/quote]

Agreed. It feels really limiting. Any other healer can seamlessly swap between tank and raid healing, but a priest must spend at least a GCD in order to switch. Otherwise, we're weaker. It'd be justified if being in a Chakra state made us stronger in that role than the other healers, but that's not the case, and frankly, i doubt it will ever be, because then everyone would just stack holy priests. It's just a limitation right now. I like the idea of making Chakra a stance or aura you can swap between so it's more dynamic and fun than going "Damn, I just switched to help tank heal and now my raid healing will suck for the next 30 seconds until I can switch Chakra again".
Edited by Flintte on 12/8/2010 5:20 PM PST
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85 Troll Priest
7090
12/08/2010 12:55 PMPosted by Epohlast
^^ GTFO of this thread Paladin. Let us priests QQ - not all of us healers are Blizzard's favorite.


God forbid someone with multiple healers post in a thread without switching to the appropriate one.

Oh and don't imply that all Priests need to QQ.

I haven't healed all the dungeons yet but I've enjoyed what I've done and did not feel gimped. It just took some adjustment since I'm used to being able to move health bars faster - but I also realized HP is going down slower too. I'm only 83 so I expect more mana problems later, but I have not yet felt pressured and Shadowfiend has been more than enough help when I've wanted it.

Only Holy Priest complaint is with the clunkiness of Chakra, but as someone said I'm just macroing it to PoM since Heal Chakra has been entirely unnecessary so far. In raids I imagine I'll stick to my assignment and its appropriate Chakra, or have my Chakra switches planned out ahead of time.

If Holy Priests aren't showing up in raids we have a reason to QQ, but the devs are pretty good at healer balance by now - throughout every tier of Wrath all heal specs were represented in raids, and not just for gimmicks. That's pretty huge when you think back to Vanilla.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
3210
12/08/2010 12:55 PMPosted by Epohlast
^^ GTFO of this thread Paladin. Let us priests QQ - not all of us healers are Blizzard's favorite.


As someone who has healed on every single spec in ICC except resto druids (and is currently working on playing several of them in Cataclysm dungeons), I think I have a much better basis for comparison than someone who's never seriously played more than one spec.

If you absolutely insist, I can post on my priestess instead (one of my priestesses, to be precise).
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1 Human Priest
0
12/08/2010 9:25 AMPosted by Shylena
12/08/2010 9:08 AMPosted by Feedback
Macroed Chakra to Prayer of Mending and never looked back. Yeah it's dumb but it's the right Chakra 95% of the time for me.

Also I haven't found Holy to be underpowered at all, it seems perfect for healing the instances so far.


So where did you use Chakra to come to that opinion?

I have used it on every encounter in ICC 10 and 25 hardmode, and I do not share the opinion. I have also run probably 50 random LFDs using it in wotlk as well.

I have not used it at all since CATA went live.

So I am seriously interested in where you used it to determine it was not underpowered at all and perfect for healing instances.


I used Chakra in the Cataclysm normal instances she was referring to, duh. So you are just not using Chakra? Oooook. That is ridiculous; you are being balanced around using Chakra perfectly. You are miles behind other healers by just not using it at all.

Yes, Chakra is not perfect. That's what I meant when I said just macroing PoM to it was dumb. But it's the best we can do right now. Unless you are some sort of robot, you will let Chakra fall off and you will have reduced throughput due to that. I know you can't switch to Heal Chakra quickly and you are locked into it for 30 seconds, but just not using it is insane.
Edited by Feedback on 12/8/2010 7:31 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Priest
6445
Just go ahead and take flash heal off your bars for the first tier of content it's unusable I assume until we have raid gear. I find myself asking what I could have done differently, how i could have saved a little more mana and how I basically wiped the group healing that dk (it's always dk's) standing in the fire. I see what blizzard is trying to do and so far so good. I think the insane mana cost of a few our spells will balance out with better gear but in entry lvl 85 stuff 6k flash heals on a 60k mana pool is just not going to work. It's just a little bit of shock not being able to carry groups anymore but it doesn't need to change.
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100 Human Priest
19865
Healing just seems really boring at this point and I'm spamming Heal in 5 mans just as much as I spammed any spell during WotLK, except now I can use up my entire mana bar and it barely does anything for the group's HP. Hopefully things improve with gear and raids or I don't think I'll get any enjoyment out of healing for this expac. Which is a shame as the heroic fight mechanics themselves are interesting and fun, but spamming slow weak heals is just boring and unfun.
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85 Undead Priest
6235
No 85 priests have posted here yet.

Look at my gear, I have better than most people doing heroics right now have.

My average item level is 335. I have reforged everything to spirit to try to heal through damage.

My flash heal, greater heal, and circle of healing HIT FOR LESS HEALING than they did at level 80. I have 2k more spellpower than I did back then. Im talking about ICC : I would get 14k flash heal hits and 20k greater heal. I now get 12k and 18k respectively.

Circle of heal is 6k mana for 3.5k healing on 5 - 6 people. Absolute trash.

Prayer of mending is 6k healing a tick for 4k mana on a max of 5 people. Useless.

Prayer of healing is 9k mana for a 6k heal on 5 people, plus a hot with the glyph. Terrible.

The only good spell I have is holy word serenity. It is instant, cheap, and buffs other direct heals. It is the only spell I have that heals for a reasonable amount per mana cost.

And holy is MUCH better than disc. I tried disc and respeced after one instance : almost everything does aoe, and disc has no aoe healing. It just doesnt work. You cant use prayer of healing at all.

I mean, if you look at the spell toolsets of every other class, the problem becomes obvious:

Paladin : Holy shock is near free but weak. Word of glory is always going off for sizable heals at no mana cost. Holy light is buffed by holy shock with a cast time reduction (nothing similar for any priest spec) and holy light gives you 2 holy shocks. All together, you get lots of holy power quickly, and your main aoe heal is using holy power : it isnt gimped as hell like holy word sanctuary that costs 15k mana on a 45 sec cd. Its constantly usable and does good numbers (much more than circle of healing, like 3 times as much). Meanwhile, flash of light heals for ALOT more than my flash heal, and you can DPS as holy (omg!) because exoricsm doesnt cost 5k mana like smite (I use mind spike, but even then its 2.3k mana, its lvl 85 exorcism like 1.5?) and judgments return mana. My mana return is on a 4 min cd, and restores less than crappy divine plea (which does suck and needs overhaul).

Shaman : riptide is dirt cheap and applies a hot. Earth shield is more pricey but isnt spammed and heals for alot over its duration. Shamans get even more synergy than holy paladins out of riptide (compared to holy shock) with tidal waves making their entire healing rotation downright elegant. And remember that 25% extra healing on chain heal they had on riptide pre cata? Its useful now! Riptide off tanks for good chunks of extra healing on aoe fights, since you would riptide them again instantly anyway. Mana wise, imp water shield is by far the best regen in the game.

Druid : Weakest besides priest, but lifebloom is still dirt cheap. Priests have nothing to compare to this. Nourishing a lifebloom can usually keep a tank up no problem. They get divine aegis and their nourish heals for 20% more than my heal because it benefits from hots (its base healing IS roughly the same as my heals). Rejuv heals ALOT MORE than renew, like 1.5k more, and only costs around 400 more mana. Wild growth heals much more than circle of healing (3 times as much again) and effloresence is the downright best aoe heal in the game because its practically free. Mana wise, revitalize blows anything I have out of the water.

Now lets look at priests.

You have no go to cheap spell. Renew is expensive, heal is available to everyone. Holy word serenity isnt available if you are aoe healing, and is nothing healing wise compared to any other cheap heal from any of these classes in terms of throughput. Serendipity is useless entirely as a talent investment : YOU ARE NEVER USING FLASH HEAL. ITS TOO EXPENSIVE.

For disc, all healing except penance is outright terrible. The tree has NOTHING to make any spell not suck. Power word shield absorbs 12k as disc with 13% mastery, which is ALOT at level 85. Thats like, one swing from a mob. And thats for 4k mana. Absolute garbage spell. Penance is huge cooldown and heals less than the crappy flash heal. Smite healing is broken because the range is so short it doesnt heal the tank half the time and you are less efficient with it (and heal randomly which is bad) than with heal, you lose more mana because how ridiculously expensive it is.

All in all, I was skeptical going into cata, because I thought holy had some unique mechanics.

The entire state of chakra: sanctuary is unusable because prayer of mending by itself costs too much to cast, and when you activate the state there is no spell to use that isnt ridiculously expensive. I HAVE NEVER USED IT IN 15+ INSTANCES AT 85. When there is aoe on a fight, I need to heal the tank, and I need to use chakra serenity. My aoe healing is simply whatever I have left over. I cant use this aoe healing state because it costs me all my tank healing. It doesnt work.
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