Best way to learn healing?

85 Human Warlock
8835
Hello, I was wondering what would the best way for me to get into healing. I have a soon to be level 74 druid(feral tank) fully decked out with heirlooms and I also have a level 32 Shammy (also fully decked out with heirlooms) The question for me would be is it better to level up my druid and go through "baptism by fire" or work my shammy from the ground up? I learned tanking on my dk at 85 after jumping into pre nerf cata heroics (no x3 luck of the draw and other crap). It was a painful experience at first but it got better quick. Are there certain instincts I have to pick up from running countless dungeons as I level or is it something a player with several 85s can grasp quickly enough?
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85 Goblin Priest
2175
It pretty much depends on you. I would look into healbot for you healing and as to start with dps then go heals at the end, up to you. Obviously healing from the ground up would give you more information and skill at the start, but you can do that at the end as well.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
10580
I don't think running countless dungeons as a lower level will teach you very much about healing, except you might learn the keybinding for you highest hps heal and how to twiddle your thumbs.

If you want to soften the blow, try some healing in a pvp battleground like Alterac Valley. That might give you a chance to pick up some instincts in a place where no one is going to yell at you if you die. It's not quite the same but it's a great place to become familiar with things. It's like the healer's training dummy.
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100 Undead Priest
14475
Nothing has taught me more about healing than going into the dungeon finder alone and healing through all that dumb. Once you can keep a bad pug alive, you can keep nearly anything alive.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
1855
I just geared this guy up for holy about 4 days ago as an 85, read a couple of guides, and jumped right into it. It went surprisingly well, but everyone has a different way of learning
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85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
Run around with a skilled but undergeared tank that doesn't let you drink. Wipe until you get it. You'll learn *ALL* about mana management, spell selection, HPM, cooldown management and positioning real quick.
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87 Dwarf Priest
11245
The best way to learn healing is heal a lot. If you want to learn all aspects of healing priest is a good class because they are generalists and contain in them bits of all other healers.
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85 Human Paladin
5790
The best way to learn how to heal is keep practicing, assuming you know how your class works.

Healing is all about the mindset. The more you heal the more natural it becomes. The more natural it feels the faster you can make decisions.
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90 Human Paladin
9050
Healing is something that can be picked up at 85, but the people who have success with that usually already have a healer. You do pick up some instincts while leveling, and you also get accustomed to watching health bars while watching your feet.

It'll probably be about the same as picking up blood tanking at 85, but take a bit longer to get used to. If you go that route, you should have a friend tank a few dungeons with you and invite someone along who can critique your spell selection and overall performance. I did that for my brother while we were on vent and it worked pretty well.


Also, there's no need to start with an addon and then switch. Start with whatever one you like the features of and then customize the settings more as you get more used to healing. Or start with the default, doesn't really matter.
Edited by Janaire on 10/28/2011 2:20 AM PDT
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21 Blood Elf Rogue
100
low level dungeons don't really matter. for me it's more of knowing the dungeon and what type of damage is going to happen. you could learn fine from 80+. just join dungeons and start healing
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85 Gnome Priest
1675
10/28/2011 03:16 AMPosted by Stereohearts
low level dungeons don't really matter. for me it's more of knowing the dungeon and what type of damage is going to happen. you could learn fine from 80+. just join dungeons and start healing


^This^

Healing is trivial when leveling. It will help with your reaction time but not much more. Practice makes perfect.
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100 Dwarf Priest
14265
After fumbling through it on my own these are the steps I'd recommend for anyone starting out, particularly if you're changing spec at 85:

1) Read up on the spells you should be using. It is not always intuitive which spells should be used every cooldown and which are just never worth using. For instance, it is easy for a Holy Paladin to ignore judgement because that's a damage dealing spell, not a healing one; but in reality it's absolutely vital because of talents in the holy tree.

2) Queue up for specific, easy dungeons so you can commit all your spells to muscle memory. Once you have eliminated the "search" portion of your spell casting you're halfway there.

3) Move on to more difficult dungeons to learn mana management. At 85 the earlier normals are a joke to heal but you'll find mana becoming more and more of a problem as you move to harder dungeons. Notice which spells drain mana fast and which are integral to your regen. Learn to use all of your regen cooldowns.

I've heard that Shaman is the bottom of the healing tree right now and Druid at the top for what that's worth. I haven't healed with a shaman at 85, but the thing I had to learn with my druid was to let people be under 100% health. If you try to direct heal people up to full you'll run out of mana way too fast, just throw a hot on 'em and wait.

I've never had any problem with healbot and I would recommend it, but I've never used Vuhdo or Grid so I can't really compare them.
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I'd say start healing on your Druid now. Buy healer gear from the AH; read the guides; set your key bindings; figure out which healer add-on you want (if any, I use default raid frames + Decursive + Clique and a few mouseovers); and then practice at your current level.

It's true that dungeons before lvl 80 are a joke to heal, and as a Druid you just spam Rejuv and WG until you hit lvl 80+ instances, but healing in lower level dungeons will allow you to get used to your key-bindings and your "healer rotation".

Overall, I think it's best to learn how to heal before hitting lvl 80 and while I learned to heal in lower dungeons I would challenge myself by trying not to let any one go below a certain percentage of health or not use CDs or pots. Of course you can't always do these challenges due to DerPS, but I found it helpful in learning.

Good luck.
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92 Night Elf Druid
11290
Read the healing sticky in the forum. Get in-game and configure your bars, macros, addon and whatever else you have. Then just practice healing yourself; put all the heals you read about in the sticky on your bars and practice casting them on yourself until your fingers know where each on is.

Once you know all your macros, addons and fingers work correctly just jump into it. Cue up for a random dungeon and get to work, you'll have the basics in no time. As you hit bumps in the road adjust your play style.

Instances are the practice of WoW, jump right into them, make mistakes and don't worry about it. Don't bother starting from scratch it isn't worth it taking four days to level a character when it only takes a few hours to get comfortable with healing.
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I came up as retribution and learned to heal at level 80. Then relearned when cataclysm came out. I decided that I wanted to eventually have 5 raid ready healers and started leveling the others (both priests have shadow as their second). I quickly discovered that I had to concentrate on leveling them one at a time and leveled my druid first. On the druid I ran virtually every dungeon in restoration. While you do become familiar with your spells as you learn them if you heal as you level, healing at end game is radically different. You will end up with lots to learn in any case.

1) Do your homework...Find a mentor. Pick a druid healer in your guild that knows what he's doing and talk to him in vent. Check Elitist Jerks and this forum. Identify your spells and become familiar with both the healing they do and their manna costs. Set up whatever healing add-on you pick based on this information. Make the efficient spells easy to use. Come up with a system that makes sense to you. Healing on both a paladin and a druid, I have arranged things so that the key strokes for each toon perform similar functions. On both toons I have set up the same keystrokes to target my heals. You will almost certainly have more spells than keystrokes available. Target lets you use the others through key bindings. I have made my single target heals bound to the click combinations in Healbot and use key bindings for the AOE Heals...That works well for me.

2) We don't have healing dummies...the best alternative is to heal battlegrounds. this is a great way to get down your heals. Just find a crowd and heal everyone in range. No one would every think about flaming a newb healer in a battle ground. Get your spells down here, then take it to the next level in dungeons.

3) I would start running dungeons with guildies. They have a stake in your development as a healer.

If it were me, I would start healing on both right away. Have fun with it.

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85 Draenei Shaman
3920
Best way to learn healing is to use Vuhdo addon (need to set up spells to your liking after you install it; it beats healbot in ease of use and aesthetics) for your healing needs and reading about your class and spec at elitistjerks.com. Beyond that, go there and heal. It is easy to heal low level stuff up to heroic cataclysm so it would be good to practice there first. Learn which spells are mana efficient and which ones are not, but more powerful for urgent situations. Get gear with intellect and spirit.
Edited by Zarotustr on 10/28/2011 11:30 AM PDT
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100 Gnome Priest
11495
BG's are the best place to get used to keybinds and addon's. Once you have the muscle memory to know where everything is and your UI is showing you the information you need, than I would gather up a few friends and try a few dungeons.

Like tanking, your mistakes will be noticeable and have immediate results. You just have to learn from your mistakes and move on. However, if you have learned how to tank, you should have no problem learning to heal. It is just a different mindset.

I would also recommend not healing heroic PUG's until you are really comfortable with healing. Healing stupid can be stressful for even a well seasoned healer.
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