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Before you say anything, I know you are probably thinking "this is another one of those dumb fotm posts" but honestly that's not what I'm asking. I have played wow since vanilla, and have always played dps. I played resto druid a bit, but not for very long or very seriously. I am currently a bit bored with all the dps classes, and healing sounds new and refreshing. I am looking for an all around good healing class, that is good in PVE and PVP. Right now I have 3 that I am considering ( Hpally, Priest, and Rshaman), but I am open to other possibilities. How are the play styles different between each healer? Any advice would be appreciated!
Paladin is the most solid of the healers and has no forseeable changes. They do great tank healing, adequate raid healing, and amazing spot healing with eternal flame and DP talented.
That being said, I would try all 3 out and see what you like best. The three you named are the most sought after for raid groups, so you'll no doubt be able to find a guild.
Priests: Two specs. One absorby, one healy. At least one of the two is always good in PvE. There's usually a decent PvP option, but neither priest spec is particularly good in PvP right now. Supposedly this might be improving in 5.2. The two major things they share are: You have to set up groups before the fight so that your AoE heals work, and you have to know the fights quite well so you can be prepared for incoming damage.
Absorby spec: The only constant is that there is no constant. Changes every patch. If you like learning a new spec every 3 months, this is the spec for you. DPS-to-heal is the main toy right now, along with fairly large absorbs that are applied in one way now but will be applied in a totally different way in 5.2.
Healy spec: The polar opposite: only changes significantly about once every 2 years. And even then the changes are small. Chronically feels short on mana long after other specs have become comfortable. Has some awkward mechanics, like one that forces you to specialize in either AoE or single-target healing on a 30-second minimum interval, but is otherwise generally a fairly straightforward spec that can handle most anything you throw at it (other than a CC chain and focused burst).
Paladins: Tough, resilient healer with lots of instant casts and cooldowns. Very strong in PvP. Very strong in PvE.
Play involves Holy Power, which is sortakinda like combo points except it's on you instead of your target and you can store 5 but only use 3 at a time. Most of your play revolves around maximizing your Holy Power availability and effectiveness. Very rotational; reactive healing is mostly limited to single-target "triage". AoE healing can be difficult and often involves creative use of single-target heals.
I'm still learning to shaman, so I'll leave them to someone else to summarize, but balance-wise they're great in PvP and solid in PvE with a couple of minor drawbacks.
Holy Pally. Period.
Very good in PvE and the best in PvP. To sum it up, They're always near the top. Every expansion or patch.
Whatever you do, avoid the Mistweaver Monk. Already difficult to manage because of the Mana issue yet in 5.2 they are going to make it significantly harder. (I do not understand this, apparently all the complaints about mana issues for this class have not made it to Blizzard yet.)
No, look at Priests or Paladins, unless you like playing a class where you have to use potions, and stop after every pull go get mana.
I have Priests (holy) Paladin, Shaman, Druid and Monk. The best for me is Priest.
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