Healing Basics and New Healer Advice?

90 Night Elf Hunter
Alright, so I have tried healing in the past with a holy priest and it is pretty safe to say that this didn't go too well. However, I would like to try again! I was thinking of holy paladin this time or a resto druid, I'm still unsure. So, my question is : What is your favorite healing spec and why? and : Is there any advice you can give to someone who's never really healed before? Any helpful addons would be greatly appreciated as well. Thank you!!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
10/09/2012 09:37 AMPosted by Moebag
Is there any advice you can give to someone who's never really healed before?

Disable recount/skada. Grow a very thick skin. Make friends with a good tank.

e: Any real advice would be dependent on your class/spec. My preferred is Disc, but until the train wreck that it is right now is fixed, I'll be healing as Holy. Some other basic advice is learn the fights. While we just stand in the back and put up green numbers, there are lots of things that healers need to know that DPS couldn't care less about.
Edited by Cynise on 10/9/2012 10:13 AM PDT
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90 Troll Warlock
Make green bars longer. Also, Cynise nailed it on the head:

Disable recount/skada. Grow a very thick skin. Make friends with a good tank.

One very important thing to realize very early on about healing compared to DPSing (which I assume is your norm, based on the char you posted on) is that maximum output is not necessarily the goal. Healing is like being on the most hellish AoE/target-swapping fight ever invented, at all times, while also requiring you to keep track of mana. On the plus side, your toolkit is designed with precisely that in mind, so it's really just about finding the right tool for the job.

Actually, that. Use the right tool for the job. For DPS, it's nearly always use the largest tool you can get your hands on. For healing, it's all about judicious use of smaller, more precise tools.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
Get to the know the fights inside and out so there are not as many surprises when it comes to damage spikes and mechanics. Learn triage, you have to be alive to heal the tank, the tank has to be alive to keep everyone from getting tent spiked. If you have to let someone go dps goes first with melee dps being the preferred body bag because in general they tend to take more damage than your ranged dps but that is not always the case which goes back to knowing the fights etc. Don't wait until you are on fumes to use your mana generating abilities and cool downs. Get a good UI setup to make things easier on you. I highly recommend elements of Twistedmind's UI. He has a youtube video on what he uses etc.

Edited by Hemorrhagic on 10/9/2012 2:52 PM PDT
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100 Gnome Priest
If I may humbly reply to your question about how to heal as a Holy Priest:

You are not the first to discover that Priest spells have specific uses. If you use the wrong spell you waste mana, cause less healing, and usually fall behind. I wish to explain how I use each spell and when.

First my spec is as follows. Halo, Divine insight, Angelic Bulwark, Mindbender, Angelic Feather, and Psyfiend.

For Glyphs I use Renew, lightspring, and power word: shield.

One other note: I use Inner Will because it reduces the mana cost of several important, expensive spells. I use Sanctuary chakra.

I prioritize the following stats:

Int: until the mana cap then spi/int evenly because more spell power does not help if you have no mana
Spi: mana regen is so vital
Mastery: Echo of light is essential
Haste: NOT a priority most of my best spells are instant cast.
Crit: Never

Renew: Cast frequently on tank or melee dps. Wait for 90% health or you waste the empowered renew heal and don't refresh until it falls off or you waste a tick.

Prayer of Mending: great to use on tank first then it bounces to other injured party members. Casting Greater heal or Prayer of Healing will proc Divine Insight; that allows prayer of mending to jump 5 times in a row.

Circle of healing: aoe smart heal. great to use on cd but not if only 1 ally is injured because it wastes mana when other options are available.

Power Word Shield: the mana cost per heal is comparable to flash heal but it's instant and heals for 20%. Use during emergencies and when you fall behind on tank healing.

Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Binding heal. Mostly used on tanks. They cost the exact same mana cost but flash heal is faster and heals less. when you are falling behind use flash heal 2x then serendipity into greater heal. The same is true for binding heal but use it when you are also injured (it also stacks serendipity).

Mindbender: this little guy is very important for our mana regen always use when your mana is below 90% on cd.

Halo: Most people see halo's mana cost and say "no way" but remember we use inner will so that cost will go down. Also most people stack then use halo but that is not effective. Halo heals the most at it's max range when the halo is largest. So if the group is stacked and you see everyone take damage run away about 20-30 yards (inner will increases movement speed and so does angelic feather) and use Halo. When the ring hits the raid it will be quite large and heal for about 3-4x as much. It takes a while to get used to but it's very effective.

Prayer of Healing: Greatly effective on whole groups that are damaged. It procs Divine Insight (which makes Prayer of Mending jump 5 times quickly). Arrange your raid members by groups so you can easily see if this spell will hit at least 4-5 targets. if only 1-2 people are injured use a single target heal or click circle of healing.

In summary the spells I use most often and which top my healing chart are the following:

1) Renew 24%
2) Prayer of Mending 13%
3) Echo of Light 10%
4) Circle of Healing 10%
5) Greater Heal 10%
6) Power Word: Shield 9%

The only other advice I have is to use Healbot with a macro mouse so you have all your spells at your fingertips quickly. I use the world of Warcraft macro mouse by Steelseries.

If you have other questions please feel free to ask me. I hope you found this useful.
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90 Troll Warlock
Int: until the mana cap

Wat. Mana pools don't scale with Int. At all.

Renew: [...] don't refresh until it falls off or you waste a tick.

You can refresh it within the last ~2 seconds and not lose a tick. Like all HoTs and DoTs, clipping between the second-to-last and the last tick results in no lost ticks, as the last tick is simply rolled into the new HoT.
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100 Gnome Priest
Thank you for correcting me I had forgotten about those 2 changes.
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99 Blood Elf Priest
If a quarter of your healing comes from renew, you may actually want to consider haste, because if you stack enough you can get an extra tick out of it. In addition, you will save a ton of mana if you are in serenity chakra if you use renew a lot, because you can use your serenity spell (really mana efficient) or any direct heal to refresh renew so you don't have to spend mana casting it again. In five mans I like to stay in chakra serenity for this reason, and keep renew rolling on the tank.

I'm also interested to see you using power word: shield a lot, I find that it is too expensive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a holy priest's shield much weaker than a disc priest's?
I would add to your guide to use lightspring on boss fights, especially if there are mechanics you know will bring your party below 50% health.

OP, if you reconsider the holy priest (it is obviously my favorite!) I hope this helps. A pally or a resto druid would also be a great choice. I would reccomend healing dungeons as you level up rather than waiting to get to the cap to start healing. It helps you get familiar with your toolbox in a lower stress environment.
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