healing tips

100 Pandaren Priest
Hi all! So im thinking about being a healer, but i'm a little nurvous about it. i've never been a healer before so this is all new to me. Does anyone have any good tips that might help me out?
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100 Blood Elf Priest
For PvE raiding, healing is about three basic tasks:
1. Don't stand in the fire
2. Don't run out of mana
3. Use your cooldowns as instructed by your raid leader

Everything else constitutes maybe 5% of your usefulness to the raid.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
Seeing as how you are level 13 I am betting you want to know about LEVELING as a healer. Here are my tips, keep in mind I use Blizz raid frames so if you like info on healing addons, others will help you there I'm sure. Blizz raid frames are perfectly fine for learning though, shows you debuffs and you can see how much the heal you are casting will land on them for as well as some other stuff.

1-Stick with your tank. Find SOME way to easily heal the tank no matter what you were doing/had targeted. Personally I set the tank as my focus and use a focus cast key, you can set this key in the interface menu and then right click on the tank's portrait and pick select focus in the dropdown. you can also move where your focus is about the screen to wherever is best for you. Having a friend is ideal but not always possible. If dps run off, stay with the tank and tell them they should too.

2-Get a thick skin. Maybe your tank is new to tanking. Maybe some dps is pulling and making your life tough. Maybe all the world is going wrong and people are standing in fire and when they die they tend to blame healers even if it is not their fault. So learn to take punches in stride, but still defend yourself when necessary, don't be a doormat. The more you heal you will likely be able to point out to others where THEY were doing things wrong. And even if it is your fault, it's not the end of the world so don't get too disheartened. Pick yourself up, dust off, keep calm and heal on. Be sure to call out when you need mana and are taking a drink, alot of groups will not notice your blue bar being empty and you sitting down.

3- Don't make yourself tired. If you begin to feel a bore of dungeons or have a particularly bad one, go vent about it on our "things you don't want to hear healing pugs" thread, and take a break. Nothing is fun if you burn yourself out on it. Go do some quests, level professions, play pokewow, make a sandwich, whatever, and come back to healing when you feel you are ready for it again. No group likes a cranky healer.

4- Learn the dungeons. The in-game dungeon journal and the wide vast internet can help you with this if you have never leveled another alt in dungeons before. Knowing which way to go in some of the maze-ey ones is a good thing, they updated all the old dungeons in game with better maps than they used to have too. Know what bosses do nasty things to look out for, or even what trash pulls are nasty to look out for (I'm looking at you Scarlet Monastery). Being prepared to drop big heals, pop cooldowns, etc is better than doing so in a panic OH CRAP GOTTA HEAL mode.

5-Have fun! I hope you enjoy healing. Priest is a good class to start with, with two different healing specs, but if you think you enjoy healing I encourage you to try the other healing classes as well, you may find another you like better. I like all the healing classes personally, and generally play whichever one suits my mood. There are other threads about the differences between each one if you are curious.

So good luck! Have fun! Keep calm and heal on!

Edit-6- Know your spells. I should have said this sooner. Whenever you get a new one or a new passive ability be sure to read it and understand what it does so that you know how best to use them and in what situations. If you ever decide to switch from Disc to Holy, do this again. Holy and Disc have some of the same spells, but different ones also and different passive interactions between them. Again, if you ever play another class, do this too.
Edited by Aestyr on 1/27/2013 9:09 AM PST
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90 Gnome Monk
I'll keep it simple for you.

For starters, make a mouseover macro for every heal spell. If you don't know what a mouseover is just google it. It makes healing a LOT easier and let's you target enemies while healing.

And learn which spells are your efficient spells for single target/aoe, that's really what healing is all about is stretching that mana pool.(e.g. monk not using surging mists, priest not using flash heal if possible, etc)
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100 Human Priest
1. Get a healing addon and learn to use it well... BUT also practice healing with just your hotkeys and the default unit frames. The addons like Healbot or Clique give you reaction speed like no other but there might come occasions where you won't have an addon available and so you'll have to figure out how to heal using just what Blizz gives you by default. You don't want to be caught with your pants down when that happens.

2. Healing in 5-mans is about situational thinking and reasoning. You'll have to learn to prioritize, especially when a pull goes wrong. What separates the great healers from the good ones is their ability to think on their feet - to know when a 2.5 second cast time heal is going to be wasted on a DPS, when it's appropriate to bubble vs. dropping an actual heal, adjusting to different tank and their degrees of squishiness, adjusting your healing to the mechanics of a specific encounter, learning to anticipate incoming damage and timing your casts so that the heal drops a millisecond after the damage occurs, etc. Most of this comes with practice and finding what works for you.

3. Tanks come in a variety of skill levels and squishyness. If you're constantly healing instances, you'll run across the entire spectrum as you heal. Don't get frustrated with bad tanks. Instead, think of them as a challenge to for your healing skills. A great tank means you mostly stand around and watch your thumbnails grow. A bad tank gives you a chance to show off by keeping the entire group up DESPITE the tank. Trust me, it's pretty darn fun at the lower level instances and you might even receive a few compliments along the way.

4. Know your spells inside out. Get a feel for how much they hit for and the advantages/disadvantages and then learn to weave them into a style that works for you. For example, Penance has a 10 second cooldown and hits for a fairly large amount so I tend to save it for when the tank needs a top-off... BUT I'll use it on a DPS character if I feel that the tank won't need it for a while. Another example: people tend to cast Prayer of Mending at the beginning of a pull so that the tank gets a heal after the first hit and so they don't have to monitor the DPS as much if there is group damage going on. However, Prayer of Mending is also a fantastic insta-cast heal in emergency situations.

5. Since you're disc, Atonement is probably the most fun you'll ever have as a healer. Also, try out Holy when you can. It's a completely different playstyle from disc but it has a different bag of tricks that you might like.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
You're actually at an advantage deciding early into levelling.

It's MUCH easier, IMO, to adapt to using a whole toolkit when you're getting your tools a bit at a time and can integrate them one at a time than levelling to 90 and deciding "I want to heal." Starting fresh, you get your spells at a pace that's manageable.

When I decided last xpac to heal on my pally I actually rolled a new pally and levelled to 80 just to get the feel of the healing with holy power. And I felt it made a world of difference.

At the lower levels, most healers are pretty efficient killers as well. No, they won't two shot things like a pure dps might - but with damage buffers and heals, they can take a lot of punishment. So don't be afraid to quest in heal spec.

Low levels you probably won't have mana issues. That will change at various break points, so as others have said, don't mindlessly mash buttons, get a feel for what each spell actually does, and how long it FEELS to cast it effectively.

Battlegrounds are great learning tools - you won't lack for targets taking a decent amount of damage, and your awareness will get sharper as well. You don't have to be an arena junkie to benefit from low level BGs.
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90 Gnome Monk
The biggest most important thing to learn about being a healer:

The ability to ignore people giving you crap in groups. No matter how well you play there will always be some jerk that dies through their own stupidity and then proceeds to start mouthing off about bad heals...
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90 Pandaren Shaman
The biggest most important thing to learn about being a healer:

The ability to ignore people giving you crap in groups. No matter how well you play there will always be some jerk that dies through their own stupidity and then proceeds to start mouthing off about bad heals...

This is actually very important. You need a thick skin a lot of the time, because there are going to be people that no matter how stupid they are, they will blame you for them dying, or the group wiping. Just shrug it off and move on
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87 Blood Elf Priest
I recently leveled ym first healer. She was my first toon as well, so not only did I have to adapt to healing, but I had to learn all the fights.

First, I second getting some thick skin. It's a lot of fun, now that I think about it, to have some "interesting" 5-man groups. I used to get incredibly frustrated with tanks that aren't properly geared (which is okay, just let us know you're undergeared!). Or dps that don't know mechanics and stand in mechanics that kill them faster than I can heal.

But soon I developed a happy go lucky mentality. LFG 5 mans are not raids, and shouldn't be taken with such a serious mentality that if someone goofs you're no longer having fun.

To ensure you have the most fun possible:

1) Make sure you understand what gear you need. What stats are you looking for...etc. This will make your life easier.

2) Learn the fights, so you can be better prepared. I will ask if anyone knows the fight and try ot get a head start if I don't already know it. It's nice to know that a huge portion of incoming dmg will happen.

3) Know your class. Read up on your skills, when to use them and why. This will save your life, and the groups life. If you don't know your best situational CD's, you will be having a bad time.

4) Get a rough understanding of tanking. They need you just as you need them. Know that DK's need to build up runic power, and that Pally's have some powerful self-heal CD's. Know that your brewmaster might have trouble with inc damage, but he too also has some power self-healing capabilities. Be sure to understand that you can pull agro yourself, just by being in proximity. Making their job easier, makes your job easier.

5) Use mouse-overs, add-ons or the blizzframes. DOn't let anyone tell you how YOU should set up your game. Honestly, unless you're a serious raider or doing progression, whatever anyone says is a suggestion. It's your choice becuase nothing is at stake. That doesn't mean be rude when people offer you advise, but also don't let someone tell you a certain addon is "easy mode healz". Do what works for you.

Have fun!
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90 Human Paladin
At the top of this forum is a sticky, http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4015354204, which will tell you all that you need to know about every healing class and spec.

Also, you don't become a competent healer by switching classes after every patch, you become competent by adapting with that class with every nerf and buff. Find the top healers in your class on your server and ask them questions or if you do LFR, ask one of the healers there for advice.

There are many examples in every class of healers who excel at healing.
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100 Tauren Druid
It's MUCH easier, IMO, to adapt to using a whole toolkit when you're getting your tools a bit at a time and can integrate them one at a time than levelling to 90 and deciding "I want to heal." Starting fresh, you get your spells at a pace that's manageable.

Absolutely agree. I have a priest that went from level 13 to level 80 from the Scroll of Rez bonus, and I have no idea how to handle her. Going from having half a dozen spells to a huge toolkit isn't easy. It was so much more managable on this toon, where I slowly built up spells, and had a couple levels with each spell before getting something new to learn to use.

Enjoy yourself. Some people don't like healing, but others really do. This toon was rarely used alt for almost six years. Then as MoP approached, I decided to retire the warrior tank that I'd been raiding with since TBC. Having use a change of pace in raiding has reinvigorated me. As much as I love raiding, I had started getting a touch of "ugh, more tanking" feeling.
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90 Troll Shaman
Just heal
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90 Blood Elf Priest
01/28/2013 07:55 AMPosted by Collosius
if you do LFR, ask one of the healers there for advice.

BUT take the advice with a grain of salt. They could be idiots who are just sniping the damage and playing poorly.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
1. Carry water. At least 2 stacks of level-appropriate water at all times. You may not need it at some levels; you might really need it at others. Just keep it with you.

2. If you know the instance, stay ahead of the tank. If you don't know the instance, stay next to the tank. Even in combat (obviously don't stand in the fire or the cleaves, but be within 10-15 yards). Don't fall behind or the group may run off ahead and die.

3. Read your spells when you get them.

4. When you get cooldowns, use them on cooldown. Every time. Whether you need to or not. Get to know what they do and where they are on your bars. You'll eventually run into situations where you don't want to hit them on cooldown because you need them for a specific situation, but it's going to be a lot easier to adjust to that knowing your CDs than it would if you ran into the same situation and were like "I've never used that before, let me drag it out of my spellbook."

5. Use all of your spells. Yes, you can heal every instance from 1-80 doing nothing but autofollowing the tank and rolling your face on a keyboard with every key bound to Flash Heal while you randomly click around your raidframes. You should not, however, actually do that. (OK, maybe just once or twice.)

6. Don't be afraid to experiment. Leveling is great for experimenting and doing silly things and making mistakes, because even the "wrong" spell choice is almost always good enough.

One of the things I used to do to get to know my spells was to pick a random healing spell and try to heal an entire instance with nothing but that spell. I'd ask myself: How does this feel? What kind of damage can I handle easily? What kind of damage is hard to heal with this spell? Do I have mana problems when I use a lot of it? Do I have infinite mana, but just can't seem to do enough healing? How do my cooldowns interact with this spell? Are there any other abilities I have that interact with it? What kind of situations force me to use something different, and what do I reach for then?

7. Experiment with a few addons. See if you like them. Take some time with each one, run it alongside the Blizzard frames, take note of any new information it's giving you. While you're sitting in LFD queues, play with your current addon's configuration UI to see if you can make it look pretty, or if you can configure it to make it easier for you to cast spells. If in the end you just don't like it, uninstall and try another. No loss.

8. Have fun! Healing is creative and fun and adaptive and you should take advantage of that. Don't let anyone tell you a "rotation" or some sort of rigid recipe for healing. You may eventually get to the point where numbers matter, but even then you can't SimCraft a whole healer; human judgement is the key. Develop your judgement by playing around and being creative and having a good time with your character :)
Edited by Kaels on 1/28/2013 11:26 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Shaman
The biggest most important thing to learn about being a healer:

The ability to ignore people giving you crap in groups. No matter how well you play there will always be some jerk that dies through their own stupidity and then proceeds to start mouthing off about bad heals...

Yep I totally agree with this. You will find some really good groups, but a lot of the time, you will get a group that has no idea how healing mechanics work. Or, you will get a tank that has no regard for the group. They will port in, and start pulling mobs even before the rest of the party is in the instance. Tanks dont care if you want to pick up quests (not all of them, but you see this a lot). They will use their speed abilities to rush ahead and pull without the help of the group, and then die because you are back with the group healing them. Then you get the "what a noob healer" because they wanted to be Rambo and rush off by themselves.

Just take this all in stride. Its all part of leveling a healer in LFD. When you are in a guild, and learn to work together, its a whole lot more fun. Just be prepared for a lot of drama until then.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
Tips I have found helpful when learning to heal.

1. Take everything in stride. You will get groups or individuals that sole purpose is at it seems to die. Do your best in those situations.

2. Do not be afraid. In a good group you should never be hit by a mob, in a bad group you will find they enjoy the taste of you too much. If you are getting attacked DO NOT PANIC .. get to the tank and hopefully they will pull off you.

3. Do not be afraid to speak up. If you need mana, say so, if the tank is pulling too quick for you say so, if the DPS is standing in every bad, pulling and making your life harder say so.

4. Be Prepared for the worse. Some Tanks and DPS especially BOA ones then to think they are invincible and will do stupid things (like pull entire areas and attack the boss with out clearing anything). Heal until you run out of mana in these cases then die gracefully or do like I do and run for the door.

5. Keep a real life drink and snack handy. As silly as it may sound rewarding yourself for keeping 4 other people alive even though they tried to die in every possible way, can make the difference between tossign yoru computer off a wall and being able to sit back and smile.
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