Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 06, 2009
 
Goodbye, Greater Heal

Dear Greater Heal,

You and me go a long way back. For 4 years you were my main spell, the king of mana efficiency, the defining spell of the holy priest. At level 60 you got me all the way from Lucifron to Nefarian, and at level 70 from Karazhan to Mount Hyjal. I couldn't have raided without you. But lately I feel that things have changed between us, and I think that we must part and go our separate ways.

Last raid night I cheated on you. I cleared 3 wings of Naxxramas without using Greater Heal once, except on the understudies of Instructor Razuvious. You're still doing a great job in that fight, healing up to 15k health on a crit. But those 15k crits that are so useful on that understudy who has 404k health, are pretty much useless on a tank having 30k health. Do you really expect me to wait until the tank is below half health before I start casting a spell that even with all talents and bonuses still takes over 2 seconds to cast?

Lets face it, big and slow spells don't cut it any more in today's raid environment. Raid healing is a competitive business nowadays, and if I ever let somebody get wounded enough that casting a greater heal on him would make sense, some other healer in the raid with faster spells would have healed that person before my greater heal landed. Sorry, Greater Heal, but you went from being the king of mana efficiency to being the worst of the overheal stack.

The whole mana efficiency concept went out of the window. The other holy priests point fingers and laugh at me for having gemmed and enchanted my gear for maximum mana regeneration. Last raid I got outhealed by another holy priest who had a full 350 mp5 less than me, because he had put everything in spellpower and had 200 more healing power than I did. He simply didn't need that much mana regeneration or mana efficiency any more. My 1268 mp5 is an anachronism, and so is my relationship to you, Greater Heal.

I'm seeing somebody else now, called Flash Heal. With the right talents and glyphs, flash heal ends up being a more effective healing spell than greater heal. And the latest news is that there is a future for holy priests in AoE healing: Blizzard announced that starting with patch 3.1, Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party, Holy Nova's mana cost has been reduced, and Circle of Healing now heals for more. There is nothing to suggest a future for greater heal.

So goodbye Greater Heal! I'll keep you on my hotkey bar for good times sake, and for the Razuvious fight, but I don't expect to see much of you in the future. It was fun while it lasted, but it is time that I let go of you. Enjoy your retirement, I'm off with somebody younger and more dynamic.

Yours truly,
Tobold (holy priest)
Comments:
The spellpower-priest might regret not getting more mp5 when 3.1 comes along:
http://blue.mmo-champion.com/1/14910422908-upcoming-changes-to-mana-regeneration.html
 
Get ready to say "Hi Greater Heal" in 3.1 if you are Holy, they are making Serendipity reduce the cast time of GHeal after you cast a Flash or Binding Heal.
 
It seems that 3.1 will revitalize f your relationship...^^

Just take a lover for the time being. :)
 
Hmm, I agree that with the new Serendipity you can argue that GH will be more usefull on occasion (5 mans, certain bosses) but I have to agree with Tob on this.

By the time you wait for the heal target to get low enough for GH to make sense, it's sniped by another...meaning you overheal or stopcast if you have time. I'd rather stick to FH to save my sanity.
 
Perhaps it would be worthwhile considering a Tenacity style buff to players in raid zones. If players had say 100k to 200k health pools it would give more scope for using the full arsenal of healing spells without constantly running into overheal problems.
 
"Do you really expect me to wait until the tank is below half health before I start casting a spell that even with all talents and bonuses still takes over 2 seconds to cast?"

As a holy pally I chuckled when I read this. This is how we HAVE to heal.
 
Raid healing is a competitive business nowadays, and if I ever let somebody get wounded enough that casting a greater heal on him would make sense, some other healer in the raid with faster spells would have healed that person before my greater heal landed.

I understand this all to well having played a Priest (both holy and disc for awhile to pick the now-everyone-gets-it-in-3.1-spirit-buff), but I still don't 'get it'. If other healing classes are topping you on the healing meters, yet you still defeat the encounter/challenge, what's the deal?

When I evaluate the performance of healers, I seldom look at meters. I focus more on the in-game intangibles, such as personal survivability. When I was raid healing, I seldom topped any meters, largely due to my spec and the presence of 'faster' healing classes, but it was uncanny how I found myself often the last one standing on that difficult encounter, new boss, etc. I also value the utility of the healing class. Priests have plenty of utility, and unique talents, like Mind Control for some Naxx encounters that has unquestionable value. Meters only show numbers but don't tell the whole story.

I'm fortunate to roll with some great healers in my guild. Having switched over from healing to dps (moonkin) I often don't know how our healing corps is getting it done. The healing seems much faster paced than TBC, leaving spell like GH by the wayside in raid situations. I'm looking forward to the priest changes, may give me good reason to try my hand at the healing racket again.
 
Wow you actually used greater heal? That may explain a lot of your problems Tobold :)
 
For massive amounts of incoming damage, nothing beats GH. There is no way FH can cope with the massive amounts of damage from e.g. Patchwerk, and I can think of several other fights of a similar nature.

That said my experience is in 10 man raids where the number of healers is more limited so it is more likely your GH will actually heal (and not over-heal). Things may be different in 25-man land...
 
I like the format of this post. :)

Is Greater Heal worthwhile when groups are split up, and you are the sole healer for your group (no longer worrying about others sniping your heals), and mana regen becomes a bigger deal? I'm thinking Four Horsemen, especially 10-man.
 
If other healers being faster is your problem, you should just take along less healers ...
By the way: You don't have to wait before starting to cast .. but that you know. You just wanted to be more convincing by denying it ;)
 
I like the format of this post. :)

Thanks for noticing. I like to experiment with different formats and writing styles for the blog.
 
I stopped using Greater Heal the day I hit 80 and switched to a 58/14 Discipline healing spec. Penance heals for more faster and costs less! Plus if you're lucky you can get more mana back through Rapture than it cost to cast the spell!
 
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