Healing difficulty/complexity?

90 Draenei Shaman
10575
Just curious where all the healing classes and specs line up in difficulty and complexity these days?

I have all 4 classes and at one time or another healed on em all but my shammy was my main at end of Cata and out of my 11 level 85's its the first I leveled this xpac to raid, so now i'm trying to work out what the next 1 or 2 I level are gunna be haha.
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90 Human Priest
6510
Discipline is by far the most complex but the most rewarding if played correctly. You really need to know the fights really well and utilize all your cooldowns perfectly to perform.
While I don't pvp, disc looks like it is underperfoming at the moment in regards to pvp.
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90 Orc Shaman
HC
16485
No healing class requires more than the other, as healing is about knowing mechanics and how to use your toolkit to adapt to said mechanics. It's hard to say X is harder than Y for that simple fact, I've played 3 different healers and none was harder than the other just different. This is WoW, classes don't mean as much as mechanical difficulty especially not in MoP where everything was dumbed down.

Anyone who says one healer is harder than another is simply being egotistical and trying to make themselves feel better because it's simply untrue.
Edited by Sensations on 12/23/2012 7:26 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 07:22 PMPosted by Sensations
Anyone who says one healer is harder than another is simply being egotistical and trying to make themselves feel better because it's simply untrue.


It's semantics. There are classes that take more getting used to. Such as a disc priest or hpally's cd juggling, or the insticts required to get the most out of druid's hots. On the other end, there are more user-friendly healers like shamans or holy priests.(easy to pick up, hard to master.)
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90 Orc Shaman
HC
16485
Anyone who says one healer is harder than another is simply being egotistical and trying to make themselves feel better because it's simply untrue.


It's semantics. There are classes that take more getting used to. Such as a disc priest or hpally's cd juggling, or the insticts required to get the most out of druid's hots. On the other end, there are more user-friendly healers like shamans or holy priests.(easy to pick up, hard to master.)


I don't see it in any sense of the word, it's a different playstyle yes but I don't see how it makes one healer more difficult/complex. Sure personal opinions come into play with this discussion and that's all they will ever be, but it's almost impossible to put a difficulty # on each healer as they are not only completely different but require completely different playstyles.
Edited by Sensations on 12/23/2012 7:35 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 07:34 PMPosted by Sensations
I don't see it in any sense of the word, it's a different playstyle yes but I don't see how it makes one healer more difficult/complex. Sure personal opinions come into play with this discussion and that's all they will ever be, but it's almost impossible to put a difficulty # on each healer as they are not only completely different but require completely different playstyles.


But some playstyles are less "clunky" and don't take quite as much effort to wrap one's head around. I agree that it's impossible to put a number on them as parts can be debated, but i think what the op is asking for is people's experiences with healing classes.

Complexity is definitely a factor for some. It's not DIFFICULT to play any healer, as long as you know what to do. Some of them just have a bit more to do than watch mechanics, and/or have weird mechanics that require babysitting (some of which are easier to keep up than others), such as renewing mists for monks that has a weird AI and doesn't always behave correctly. In the case of these flavor mechanics, some might say a class is harder, etc.

I currently play one of each healer and i will definitely say that some of them have playstyles that reward good play and punish bad play more than others. Like, say, a monk that doesn't stay on top of everything they need to will lose a lot more healing than a shaman would. Forgetting to use riptide on cd doesn't neuter you as easily as missing a RM cd. That's where the term "difficult" comes in.
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Discipline is by far the most complex but the most rewarding if played correctly. You really need to know the fights really well and utilize all your cooldowns perfectly to perform.
While I don't pvp, disc looks like it is underperfoming at the moment in regards to pvp.


Disc isn't complex at all in PVE, People taking damage? press prayer of healing. People are spread out? use holyfire/penance/smite.

Rapture tracking is too hard so I don't really take advantage of it.

Mained as a disc priest in cata (where rapture actually mattered), then swapped to monk till 5.1 hotfixes and now back to priest.

Summary of current priest play : Press spirit shell when you think damage is going to happen.

Press prayer of healing for aoe.

Press Greater heal for single target damage or smite/holyfire/penance.

If you don't know what to do : just use smite /holyfire / penance.
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90 Human Priest
17065
That's a horrible way to put it. Why don't you say "watch green bar go down, push button, watch green bar go up" instead? And that is totally not how disc is.

12/23/2012 09:21 PMPosted by Venomheart
Rapture tracking is too hard so I don't really take advantage of it.


Saying that alone you just admitted that the class has at least some sort of complexity that you simply don't do because "it's too hard". To then say the spec isn't complex at all and try to devalue it with blanketing "push heal when damage is coming" just makes you come off looking like a fotm-esque player...:<

No heal class is 'hard to play'...they are all relatively easy to pick up.

currently play one of each healer and i will definitely say that some of them have playstyles that reward good play and punish bad play more than others. Like, say, a monk that doesn't stay on top of everything they need to will lose a lot more healing than a shaman would. Forgetting to use riptide on cd doesn't neuter you as easily as missing a RM cd. That's where the term "difficult" comes in.


That's basically it. It comes down to a matter of personal opinion.

Personally I think disc is 'hard' - for the sheer number of CDs I have to juggle for max performance, but I manage and it works.

Holy doesn't have half as many CDs and the spec itself is (imo) a really really simple "heal when HP bar drops".

Shaman has more of a rigid 'rotation' and buffs to keep up as you heal for higher output. Also has a lot of utility totems you have to keep an eye on, and while not as many as disc, still has a few mini CDS to juggle.

Levelling a monk right now and I STILL can't wrap my head around trying to heal with one. Highest performance comes from meleeing boss as you heal and even at low levels I can't imagine how raiding monks can play as a melee, avoiding melee mechanics and STILL manage mana and rain healing down on a raid.

etc etc etc

Personally I'd say a meleeing monk is hardest just becaused of meleeing-while-healing in a raid scenario. YES, evade that whirlwind and fire while you try and heal 25 people!
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Saying that alone you just admitted that the class has at least some sort of complexity that you simply don't do because "it's too hard". To then say the spec isn't complex at all and try to devalue it with blanketing "push heal when damage is coming" just makes you come off looking like a fotm-esque player...:<


Well "too hard" being relative given rapture seems not enough benefit to bother tracking it. Not worth bothering to track for me atm, I have enough as it is, I suppose once I find I need more mana then I will bother to track it.

Personally I'd say a meleeing monk is hardest just becaused of meleeing-while-healing in a raid scenario. YES, evade that whirlwind and fire while you try and heal 25 people!


Monks are hardest right now because they need to heal with inferior tools, absurd mana costs.
Edited by Venomheart on 12/23/2012 10:00 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 09:54 PMPosted by Venomheart
Well "too hard" being relative given rapture seems not enough benefit to bother tracking it. Not worth bothering to track for me atm, I have enough as it is, I suppose once I find I need more mana then I will bother to track it.


It is a BIG benefit when you get to fights where you have to spend mana more than in the average fight.

The reason you aren't seeing much benefit is because you don't have enough spirit to make it a decent amount of regen. Where you're at you are just getting at the very most the cost of the PWS to proc it.(outside of mana tides and trinket procs) Most disc priests gear a significantly higher amount of spirit atm and use rapture to play a bit more aggressively than you most likely are.

My usual rapture proc gives me 4k extra mana to play around with. Considering 4 a minute across a 5 minute fight (no one's gonna get 6, although it's possible), that's 80k more mana, which may not seem like much to some, but it gives a lot more leeway to preshield and/or buffer people who drop.

Also, if you're using any power word shields at all, you probably are getting a few raptures and just dismissing them since you aren't tracking them.
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Well "too hard" being relative given rapture seems not enough benefit to bother tracking it. Not worth bothering to track for me atm, I have enough as it is, I suppose once I find I need more mana then I will bother to track it.


It is a BIG benefit when you get to fights where you have to spend mana more than in the average fight.

The reason you aren't seeing much benefit is because you don't have enough spirit to make it a decent amount of regen. Where you're at you are just getting at the very most the cost of the PWS to proc it.(outside of mana tides and trinket procs) Most disc priests gear a significantly higher amount of spirit atm and use rapture to play a bit more aggressively than you most likely are.

My usual rapture proc gives me 4k extra mana to play around with. Considering 4 a minute across a 5 minute fight (no one's gonna get 6, although it's possible), that's 80k more mana, which may not seem like much to some, but it gives a lot more leeway to preshield and/or buffer people who drop.

Also, if you're using any power word shields at all, you probably are getting a few raptures and just dismissing them since you aren't tracking them.


oh, I am getting raptures.Just once in a while.

for my longest fight of the day today 7mins 57 seconds grand empress shek'zeer. Power word shield used 23 times, Mana from rapture : 237k

edit : actually elegon heroic was longer at 8mins 38 seconds.

190k mana from rapture, pws used 23 times again apparently.

My guild insists on keeping it's logs private ;/ My spirit isn't high enough for mana positive raptures yet.
Edited by Venomheart on 12/23/2012 10:18 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 10:14 PMPosted by Venomheart
oh, I am getting raptures.Just once in a while.


It's not that it's not worth tracking, then. It's that you aren't noticing it and doing it automatically. 2 very different things. :P

And at 23 in an almost 8 minute fight, you're getting about the right amount for a 6 minute fight, so you're getting relatively close to optimal usage. But as i said, running low spirit means less benefit from it.
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oh, I am getting raptures.Just once in a while.


It's not that it's not worth tracking, then. It's that you aren't noticing it and doing it automatically. 2 very different things. :P

And at 23 in an almost 8 minute fight, you're getting about the right amount for a 6 minute fight, so you're getting relatively close to optimal usage. But as i said, running low spirit means less benefit from it.


Haha, I suppose, anyhow, disc priests are vastly better than other healers atm. Especially when your old healer was a monk.

This toon's been 90 since dec 7th. Hastily leveled in response to monk nerfs.

As for my rapture usage, 23 PWS, not 23 rapture procs. There's a huge difference.
Edited by Venomheart on 12/23/2012 10:29 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 10:28 PMPosted by Venomheart


It's not that it's not worth tracking, then. It's that you aren't noticing it and doing it automatically. 2 very different things. :P

And at 23 in an almost 8 minute fight, you're getting about the right amount for a 6 minute fight, so you're getting relatively close to optimal usage. But as i said, running low spirit means less benefit from it.


Haha, I suppose, anyhow, disc priests are vastly better than other healers atm. Especially when your old healer was a monk.

This toon's been 90 since dec 7th. Hastily leveled in response to monk nerfs.

As for my rapture usage, 23 PWS, not 23 rapture procs. There's a huge difference.


Ah. I thought you meant 23 procs. And the whole disc priest thing is actually funny. We aren't doing much more than other healers per se (I'm not big on numbers but going by overhealing+healing done in most of the raids i've been in). We just get the first crack at it so other healers end up doing a lot less when we're around so we seem much stronger. And our mana situation allows us to play more aggressively with the absorbs, allowing even more sniping.
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Ah. I thought you meant 23 procs. And the whole disc priest thing is actually funny. We aren't doing much more than other healers per se (I'm not big on numbers but going by overhealing+healing done in most of the raids i've been in). We just get the first crack at it so other healers end up doing a lot less when we're around so we seem much stronger. And our mana situation allows us to play more aggressively with the absorbs, allowing even more sniping.


The big draw of disc priest for me is not only because of their absorbs to nullify every dangerous threat before it even happens,(that said if you don't, you can still heal through it) they also do good dps.

I did 50k dps (without the smite glyph apparently) on heroic elegon. that said this fight seems to have a few damage multiplier fights (Elegon, windlord, ambershaper) which disc priests excel on with ease.

Right now disc priests can not only heal through every threat reactively, but they can start preemptively shielding stuff before the damage even happens.

That's 3 things disc has going for it :
Absorbs,
Ability to reactively heal if you can't anticipate correctly.
DPS
I suppose a fourth - mana. But I've seen all classes of healers operating with low spirit so idk if that's a bonus or not.
Edited by Venomheart on 12/23/2012 10:52 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/23/2012 10:52 PMPosted by Venomheart
Right now disc priests can not only heal through every threat reactively, but they can start preemptively shielding stuff before the damage even happens.


We can heal through it but it's suboptimal and our tools for doing so aren't quite as strong as another class's. That being said, we still CAN. It's just better to shield something than to heal through it.

And yeah our dps on damage modifier fights is really really nice. On elegon it also happens to be part of the highest throughput we can put out (+100% damage which then heals for that amount multiplied by an extra 50% ftw)

And yeah we do have a lot going for us... We were all expecting... hell, embracing a nerf come 5.2 but so far no real hint of it. SS nerf is sideways, rapture is buffed for people who don't have a mana tide and we're getting another atonement option that can replace mindbender.
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90 Night Elf Druid
9645
12/23/2012 07:31 PMPosted by Keirisonis
It's semantics. There are classes that take more getting used to. Such as a disc priest or hpally's cd juggling, or the insticts required to get the most out of druid's hots. On the other end, there are more user-friendly healers like shamans or holy priests.(easy to pick up, hard to master.)


I'm not a huge fan of the last sentence. I don't find discs, rdruids or even hpal to be non-user friendly. If anything mistweaver ain't too bad either. The only complexity in the class appears once you have to jabweave juggle over say strictly meleeweaving or casterweaving. With that said though meleeweaving is very easy to pickup, just quite suboptimal and casterweaving also is user friendly.

I mean at the moment, bad discs can still do great not even pushing their spirit shell button. An almost-optimal rapture can be done simply by PW:S a tank on CD (assuming you are not on tank duty because then you would reduce the debuff duration) but let's be honest, PoH, PoM, Cascade and SS are so strong a RL would be crazy to put a disc on tank duty.

In a similar way, bad hpals can do completely fine not using any of their healing cooldown (they still need to use divine plea obv). The class is not by any mean any harder than rsham from a user-friendly perspective.

What I'm trying to say is, as it's been said already, this is such a subjective debate. I agree that "complexity" can be a mean to make the debate somewhat more objective...O wait complexity highly varies from an individual to another so not really. To some players, "complexity" when healing comes down to "when to use what cooldown" making hpals and discs sightly harder from that perspective. To others, complexity comes from having a tighter rotation in which you must use a given spell (or a few given spells) on CD (like the ReM discussion about monks...or riptide on shamans...holy shock). Then again, most classes. Furthermore there are some players that find complexity in juggling friendly+enemy targetting juggle putting priests and MW as hardest.

Anyway I've played every healer class although definitively at a different progression level (few mostly as raid pug alts) over the years. I'm currently playing MW main and after the nerf I rushed my disc up in case we'd need a solid disc for progression. I definitely don't find either to be any harder than proper execution of riptide and unleash+healing rain which is what generally seperates good rshams from bad ones.

*EDIT*
As to help the OP chose his next healer class to level, here are my advices, suggestions.

To a classical "healers only heal", mistweaver will appear to be the hardest to pickup from scratch and it would help your main raid if you have a MW cohealer as you would then know their mechanics :P.

If you wish to gear at a superfast pace (for a strong alt run or good pugs etc), take Hpal. The 4pc pvp bonus is so strong you can leverage the gearing process doing a little bit of pvp and pve. Learning to optimize their countless amount of cooldowns is also quite refreshing whilst not really forcing you to change your playstyle too much.

If you just wish to %@@@*%#% LFR meters. Go disc. Preemptive healing > all. It is also a wise choice as a potential future main even should they nerf them simply because absorbs have always provided means around specific encounters mechanics making discs "encounter breaking" on HM progression.

If you want to put up to a challenge, try competing with similarily geared/skilled friends while playing a Rdruid alt :(. You could also just pick that class because by the time yours will be geared for content, 5.2 will be out and your class should have changed quite a bit!
Edited by Keau on 12/24/2012 12:08 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
10550
12/23/2012 05:45 PMPosted by Sundarella
Just curious where all the healing classes and specs line up in difficulty and complexity these days?


Complexity and difficulty is highly subjective. If you are adept at one healer, likely all others will be easy to learn.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
I can't play resto druid for the life of me and I've played Holy and Disc for the longest time on my priest. Anyway all healers are at a great level of complexity at the moment really - they all have a large toolbox and a skilled player can get a lot out of his character that, for example, somebody just blanket PoHing or spamming Rejuv/WG won't get.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
16385
Most difficult healer - the one i play
Least difficult healer - the ones i don't play

it also works for strongest and weakest class when advocating for buffs and nerfs
Most underpowered class - the one i play
Most overpowered class - the ones i don't play

see how that works!!!!
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