Things to do to be a better healer

90 Draenei Priest
14625
These are some things I do to help me stay on top of my game as a healer.

1. Turn off your meters. It's hard, I know. But from my experience, most healers (or players for that matter) tend to focus too hard on meters to the exclusion of doing their job well. A good healer might be the bottom of the meters but they dispelled every debuff in the raid and they used their heals more effectively, rather than topping off a bunch of DPS who were only down by 1% or so.

2. Run PUGS. The worse the better, both 5 man and LFR. If you can keep a really bad group up through stuff that they shouldn't survive then you know you're a good healer. If you can't do that, then PUG some more! I hate bad PUGs as much as the next person, but they have made me a stronger healer. Plus, I get free goodie bags!

3. PVP. This is something I need to do more of. If you PVP you'll have a better understanding of what to do in a variety of situations. It's especially great because you can learn how to defend yourself in a tight situation, and then you won't panic when a dozen mobs start running towards you in the middle of a raid. You will also learn to think on your toes and incorporate spells you might not normally use in a raid setting.

4. Force yourself to change your healing style. If you're a disc priest, try running an LFR without using Atonement at all. If you're a monk, run an entire raid as ranged, or melee, whichever you are least comfortable with. Familiarizing yourself with methods of healing that you aren't comfortable with will absolutely pay off down the road.

5. Watch other healers of your class. Whether good or bad, you can see what they are doing and either avoid bad practices you see in others or adopt new things you see someone else doing. I learned something last week by watching a really strong discipline priest and now my throughput has shot way up, and I thought I knew everything!

6. Be open to new ideas. If someone comes to you and tells you you've geared all wrong and you should do something else, listen to them and try it out! It might not work for you, and they might be completely wrong, but if you don't try it you will never know. And even if it doesn't work for you now, there may be an encounter in the future where it will make the difference between victory and defeat.
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
3. PVP. This is something I need to do more of. If you PVP you'll have a better understanding of what to do in a variety of situations


This, so much this.

I learned how to root adds, fade out of roots, stop casters, actually use my fearward, where to use my fearbomb without messing up the tank, pull stunned people off the fire, dispel buffs, all in PvP.

PvE had me in a tunnel vision of healing meters for a long time.
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90 Tauren Druid
9425
04/10/2013 05:03 AMPosted by Purl
2. Run PUGS. The worse the better, both 5 man and LFR.


This isn't very true any more. I learned to handle bad situations while tanking PUGs during TBC ... but since MoP heroics are:

1. Tank charges in
2. DPS attacks everything in sight
3. Healer watches TV while pressing some buttons

... you don't learn much from heroics any more. And LFR only helps you as a healer if half the queued healers are actually in a DPS spec.

But other than that, I'm in agreement. Trying new things is certainly a good thing.
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90 Human Paladin
11480
I watch the meters, still dispell 90% more than anyone else in the raid, including using my utility spells like hand of sacrifice and hand of freedom. Watching meters doesn't make you bad or just make you concerned about "heal sniping" or topping off someone with 1% health gone. I legitimately heal to keep people alive, it just seems 2/6 of the healers in LFR seem to not be concerned about healing at all, or are too concerned about dispelling and not healing.

But yes, good suggestions. But Heroics aren't as nice as they were in Cata IMO. Half of them are too easy, even the bad ones. Like someone said, half of my LFG run I just go on youtube and click in to cast a few heals. Sad, but true. Why waste my time when I can watch other things and waste my time!
Edited by Aleaina on 4/10/2013 12:09 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
10335
It's a genralization... The world doesn't revolve around you Aleaina.

Wish I could +rep for OP
Edited by Gaudrik on 4/10/2013 12:21 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
14235
Healing meters aren't really a useful source of information while a fight is going on. Everything important is on your raid frames.
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90 Human Priest
11345
4. Force yourself to change your healing style. If you're a disc priest, try running an LFR without using Atonement at all. If you're a monk, run an entire raid as ranged, or melee, whichever you are least comfortable with. Familiarizing yourself with methods of healing that you aren't comfortable with will absolutely pay off down the road.


In a somewhat similar direction is something I've frequently given as advice to people learning how to play disc: Heal LFR using only abilities that have a cooldown. You are allowed to do the following:

shield for rapture
penance
holy fire / solace
pom
level 90 talent
mindbender / shadowfiend
actual cooldowns (such as pain suppression)
whatever you want while spirit shell is active

Once you can do that, work on filling in the gaps between those abilities with poh, smite, or the occasional single target heal.
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