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Hey folks, about to roll my first healer. Not sure which to go with. Shaman and Monks look interesting but I'm really open to any of them. Looking really which would be the easiest to learn. I'm pretty new, no heirlooms or anything like that, but I plan on leveling through dungeons.
90 Pandaren Monk
If you start healing from scratch, you can pick up any of them. After 90 levels, you will have at least SOME understanding.
You should pick the one whose healing sounds most appealing to how you would like to play and then learn to play that.
Healing is different from DPS so you have to learn anyway, might as well invest the effort into the class/spec you want.
PERSONALLY? I think Monk has a bit of a learning curve compared to the others mostly because it doesn't play quite like the Cataclysm "triage" healing system.
The learning curve for all of the healing specs is really about equal. You can learn any of them pretty well while leveling. In the end, which one's going to be easiest for you to play well is a very personal thing.
The two major things you should consider, if you don't know anything about healing, are:
1) Make sure your chosen class has a DPS or tank offspec that you can tolerate. For instance, don't play a paladin or a monk if you hate melee.
2) Play a character whose appearance, lore, sparkles, spell icons, etc. make you happy. The best healers are the ones who really enjoy their class.
- Shamans need to have a very good sense of positional awareness. If you have a hard time keeping track of where people are, a shaman will be frustrating. Cooldown management is also very important for shamans.
- Monks need a very good sense of time. If you're not good at anticipating events ~30 seconds in advance, a monk will be frustrating. Secondary resource management is also important for monks.
- Paladins need excellent cooldown management. If you're not good at using cooldowns and utility skills effectively, a paladin will be frustrating. Secondary resource management is also very important for paladins.
- Druids need patience and a good sense of time; they need to know when damage is coming and be able to trust that their heal-over-time spells will get the job done. Playing a druid is a lot like playing a DoT class in an AoE fight - complete with the frustration of your targets being 'killed' (i.e. fully healed) by burst classes before your HoTs can tick. If you're not good at predicting damage, predicting other people's healing, and being patient and trusting your HoTs to work, a druid will be frustrating.
- Disc priests need a good sense of time and an understanding of the severity of damage. If you're not good at anticipating not only when damage is coming, but how severe it is and who's most vulnerable, you'll struggle to play a disc priest to its full potential.
- Holy priests need self-discipline and an understanding of the severity of damage. A holy priest needs to put a lot of thought into selecting the right spell at the right time. If you're fidgety and always need to be casting something, or if you're twitchy and want to heal every time you see the bars move, you'll find Holy frustrating.
If you're pretty new and have no clue, go priest.
Two different healing specs and a dps offspec. Gives you the most options so you can see what you like.
As far as difficulty goes, for someone who's never healed before and is very new, it won't matter what healing class you go. Just go priest so you get the most bang for your buck to try 2 different healers.
Edited by Tonydanza on 4/13/2013 11:51 PM PDT
Shaman is a great choice for new healers in pve.
For beginners all you need to do is keep earth shield on tank, as well as riptide (amazing HoT heal, use riptide all the time on people) and drop your totems when needed (healing stream can be dropped off cd even). Chain heal when AoE heals are needed. I have all the healers except monk at level 90, and shaman is a great healer to level up and gear.
It takes a little while to get used to all the totems and cooldowns, but once you do you will see how powerful shaman can be when your group is low on hp and needs big heals fast.
Now keep in mind I don't raid much anymore since I have been working a lot lately, but for LFR and heroic dungeons as well as leveling and just casual content Shaman is the choice for you! Need a dps offspec for dailies? No problem just switch to your offspec elemental with the same gear and pull reasonable dps for questing.
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