Tips for a brand new potential healer?

25 Draenei Priest
160
Hey guys!

I'm very new, I just started playing WoW two days ago and the healer classes really interest me! I was just wondering, during group play, what is usually expected of a good healer, and if any good healers have tips on becoming a good healer like them! I would really love some advice so that I can get the full experience out of the game. Thank you so much!

P.S. I originally posted this on the new player boards and got a few answers, but was told that I may get more in depth/better replies from you guys, so any help would be appreciated for a healer just starting out!

Thank you! ^_^
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90 Troll Shaman
17270
Expectations: Heal everyone through everything.
-Exceptions: If you have to choose, keep the tank up, then yourself, then the highest dps dpsers.
-Exceptions: If someone is blatently standing in fire and not getting out, and it won't wipe you if he dies, let him die.
-Exceptions: Sometimes stupidity makes it impossible to heal through the encounter nomatter how good you are.

Expectations: Keep up with the group, if you need mana and the tank is chain pulling say "MANA" right before a trash pull ends / boss dies. If you wait it is too late.

Important Starting tips:
-Get an addon like healbot or vudho. Configue your player targeted heals and your magic dispel into those such that you can use your mouse buttons + modifier (holding shift/ctrl...etc) to cast your heals. Having a mouse that has 2+ bumpers buttons helps a lot here.
-Read the class guides under the individual class you are playing.
-If you are healing while leveling, figure out what the minimum you have to do to keep people alive is. It is ok to do nothing if nobody needs healing while leveling. In fact, it reduces the chance you have to drink between pulls. Also, if you aren't twinking yourself you should try to keep some fairly currently level-required water in your bags just in case.
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
Just to add a bit to Pitkanen's list:

Expectations: You are in charge of dispelling everyone. Removing fears, Dots (Damage over Time spells) and the like

Expectations: You should have whatever water or potions you need for mana regeneration. Which is a bit unfair as it is not expected that the dps bring their own food for HP, because they expect you to take care of it.

Expectations: You are going to Rez dead players. They get antsy sometimes. Tell them you will get them once you are out of combat if you are deep into an instance, or they may try to be helpful and run back.

Keep up with the group, if you need mana and the tank is chain pulling say "MANA" right before a trash pull ends / boss dies. If you wait it is too late.

OOM "out of mana" is generally understood also. Some tanks will keep going because a. they are making a mistake, or b. they know the instance and can continue for a while without you. Either way, once you sit down to get your mana back, don't stop because the tank goes on without you, catch up when you are ready.

You will find the smart tank standing out of range of the first challenging thing he runs into, patiently waiting.

The other tank will just be dead, and the dps will need you at full mana.
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25 Draenei Priest
160
Thank you guys! I really appreciate both of your responses! Are there certain stats that I should be focusing on as well? I know that spirit and intelligence are important for healers but is there anything I should prioritize or focus on?
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25 Draenei Priest
160
Oh! and if it helps for more specific advice I'm trying to use the holy priest that is my avatar currently. ^_^
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90 Human Priest
5860
Thank you guys! I really appreciate both of your responses! Are there certain stats that I should be focusing on as well? I know that spirit and intelligence are important for healers but is there anything I should prioritize or focus on?

Until you get into the 60s and 70s levels, focus on getting what has the most intellect, with spirit on the side as a bonus. Spirit won't really matter until the later levels (after 80, but starts to matter 70-80). I wouldn't worry much about crit vs haste until at least Cataclysm content.

For awhile as Holy you'll only have flash heal and power word: shield to heal with. Put the shield on the tank right before or as he starts attacking, and then heal up damage with Flash Heal. When you get Renew start using that on the tank or healing light damage on raid members, as it's more mana efficient than Flash Heal.

Regarding addons: The important thing is to have an easy way to see that status of the party/raid and be able to heal them. The addons mentioned are aimed at doing this, but if you don't want to muck around with addons just yet, the Default UI does a well enough job for 5 mans if you go into the Interface Options -> Raid Profiles and enable them in parties, as well as showing dispellable debuffs. (party frames are difficult to see exact hp value and debuffs on).
Edited by Evry on 3/15/2013 1:19 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Shaman
12770
Excellent, excellent information in the replies so far.

I'm new to shaman healing; I came from healing as a Disc priest. The healing forum (here) is a great place to get advice, but the Priest forum is also an amazing class resource for you. No need to pick one over the other; just know that both are good resources for you :)

The advice I'll tack on is as follows:

When you *do* get a tank who's insistent at running the instance at warp speed, the key is that everyone needs to move along with him. He will stop running when he's pulled everything he wants to pull; he left it in the dust because so long as no dps hit it too much, it will stay aggro'd to him, and it *will* chase him until it catches up with him.

If the dps'ers don't realize this, they will stop to try to kill things (usually casters, since caster mobs don't pull as fast as melee mobs). Eventually, they'll put enough damage on the mobs that the mobs will aggro to *them*. Except your dps'ers haven't continued running with the tank; they stopped to kill the mob. Now the tank has no way of re-establishing aggro on the dps.

New healers (or even experienced healers who intensely dislike tanks pulling like this) make the mistake of hanging back with the poor, lagging-behind dps to try to save them, and then try to catch up to wherever the tank is, hopefully in time to heal him up if he's managed to round up as many mobs as he'd wanted to. You may be lost, by then, though, in some dungeons.

The ideal thing to do in the situation of a tank who's hellbent on pulling multiple trash packs is for *everyone* to keep up with the tank. The rogue, the hunter, the mage, *and* you. Don't stop until he does. No one should dps *anything* until the tank stops. Once all the mobs have caught up, dps can start AoE'ing their butts off with little worry of grabbing too much aggro, and you can focus on healing the one person taking the majority of the damage - the tank.

Now... this falls apart if the tank doesn't know how to tank, and thinks all he needs to do is collect a bunch of mobs and hit them with random abilities. Also, at extreme low levels, some tanks have trouble keeping threat on a group of targets. But most of the time, it's a winning strategy.

Sometimes, I'll hop into a 5man on one of my lowbie alt healers, and the tank will be pulling like crazy, and the dps will not understand that they need to stay with the tank. If the tank hasn't said anything, I'll say "hey guys, I'm going to be sticking to the tank like glue. Just keep running with us, and you'll be in range for heals if you end up needing them. Don't worry about the mobs chasing us - so long as you don't dps them until our tank stops to fight them, they'll be completely aggro'd to him." That often helps.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
12880
Hang out here - there are a great many skilled, knowledgeable people here, most of whom have Priests as a main, or an alt.

Ask as many questions as you like, most of the people that frequent this forum are of the helpful stripe.

The best tips that I can give:

Find a mentor, preferrably one of your class, but any skilled healer will do.

Get your UI set up so that it shows you what you need to see without being overwhelming. This is subjective, so use whatever works for you.

Spend some time in Battlegrounds - this will help you tweak your UI, and give you real-world experience with situational awareness, and healing in a group without you being solely *on the hook* like you would be in a dungeon. It will also help you learn to use more of your tookit, instead of getting into the bad habit of leaning on 2-3 spells.

Riôt
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100 Blood Elf Priest
8790
*Ahem* Stupid people are often unhealable. That's the best piece of advice I can give you and it should stick with you for ALL of your healing career. <3
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
Another good resource that you may be interested in.

http://howtopriest.com/

Good luck.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
A bit of advice I wish someone had given to me sooner:

Enable Enemy Health Bars. Usually this is bound to the v button on your keyboard.

Do it. It, more than anything else, will save your life so many times because you will be able to see where the mobs are in relation to you. Red bars = bad!

Stay -behind- the tank as much as possible.

Understand that the moment you heal someone who has been hurt, or you damage a mob, you will gain "threat" on that mob. If your threat ends up surpassing whoever they are eating at the time, they will come after you. This is why the tank should have all the threat - a good tank can hold threat until he dies.

If something shows up and starts eating you, run and stand on the tank. If it is a ranged mob, and there is a convenient spot near the tank to duck around and hide behind, do that instead. This will draw the ranged mob into the tank's AOE abilities and is normally enough to have him pick up the aggro on that add.

Mobs generally can't pot-shot you through walls or buildings, but they CAN shoot through trees. o_o
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90 Night Elf Druid
7815
As you are leveling, learn your entire toolset. It's easy just to spam one spell at low levels and you'll heal half a health bar per cast and never run out of mana. Then you hit near or max level and don't really understand many of your spells. If you are leveling shadow after you can dual spec, still heal a dungeon every level or two so you can see what your new abilities do and how they work.

It's easier to hit 90 and learn how to heal knowing your abilities than it is to have to learn all your abilities and how they work with other healers.
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96 Human Priest
4510
I'll also add:

Don't expect every group to be perfect. You're going to run into a LOT of bad players, tanks and DPS alike. Some are just plain mean, others are just plain incompetent, and some are both. You're going to have to learn to deal with both.

I'll also second getting a good healing addon. It made a HUGE difference for me when I began healing.

Priests have a ludicrously large toolbox. It might get overwhelming to figure out when to use what heal but really, it comes down to a matter of style and preference. As long as people are staying alive and you're not going OOM, don't let others dictate your healing style just b/c they think they know better than you.

When you hit 40, dual spec in disc. It's a completely different play style and if you're like me, it's going to drive you nuts for your first 3-4 instance runs but over the long run, you'll have more fun b/c you can swap specs to do different things while still being a healer instead of sitting around spamming the same spells.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
When you hit 30, dual spec in disc.


Fixed that for you.
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25 Draenei Priest
160
Wow guys. Thank you so much for the overwhelming amount of responses! This is all extremely helpful and I'll take it all into account as I begin to level up, especially practicing all of the different spells and your advice also made it a lot clearer as to what a healer's job is and now I'm more excited to start! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

You have no idea how much I appreciate everyone's help!

:)
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
Wow guys. Thank you so much for the overwhelming amount of responses! This is all extremely helpful and I'll take it all into account as I begin to level up, especially practicing all of the different spells and your advice also made it a lot clearer as to what a healer's job is and now I'm more excited to start! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

You have no idea how much I appreciate everyone's help!

:)


*waves hands around*

This is the Healer Forums. We're nice here.

Except me. I'm really mean! >:|
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90 Draenei Shaman
12770
You have no idea how much I appreciate everyone's help!

:)


*waves hands around*

This is the Healer Forums. We're nice here.

Except me. I'm really mean! >:|


Tiriel beats people with sticks, it's true

/solemn nod

edit: me? I just fail at quoting. I better run off quickly, or she'll find that stick and commence the whacking ;)
Edited by Ellarix on 3/15/2013 7:50 PM PDT
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25 Draenei Priest
160
Haha thank you!! ^_^
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93 Tauren Druid
4140
Just remember, as the saying goes: a healer is like a coach, you get the blame if the team fails, and you don't get a single bit of credit if the team succeeds.
Edited by Wolfthorn on 3/16/2013 11:34 PM PDT
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90 Undead Rogue
8480
I just want to say, as far as healers go, a priest is a great first choice, they have a huge variety of heals to choose from (both disc and holy), more than any other heal.

This is a double-edged sword because while you have the perfect tool for any job, you better be able to quickly pull it out of the tool bag.

And since priests have at the very least a little splash of everything a healer can have (efficient heals, big heals, fast heals, aoe heals, giant cooldown heals, shields, HoTs, bouncing heals, ground aoe heals, linked heals, vampiric "heals", utility moves, mobility, damage, control...) this means that if you REALLY like a certain mechanic or spell you can switch to a healer that specializes in that area. For example, if you just love casting renew you might try a druid.
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