Along the road to 85, we picked up three new spells.
At lv 81, we got Mind Spike.
I hate to admit it, but at first I thought it was a lacklustre spell. What did I, a Holy Priest want with yet another dps spell. However when out questing, I started to experiment with it and in a complete about face, it’s become my favourite spell of the whole expansion.
Relatively, it’s cheap, fast to cast and if interrupted/kicked in pvp, your healing school is fine. I did a quick test on the target dummies, smite plus both dots being refreshed when they ran out versus mindspike over 45 seconds. Not only did the mindspike spam do more damage, it was also cheaper to sustain. Then of course, with my haste there is the 1.88 second smite cast versus the 1.41 cast time of Mind Spike. I wasn’t weaving in Mind Blasts, simply because as Holy, my Mind Spike hits harder than my Mind Blast crits for.
Next up was Inner Will, a new type of armour.
The movement speed is nice and of course so is the mana reduction of our instants but when I put it into practise in dungeons, I was a bit underwhelmed. As Holy if I need to get somewhere fast, I use body and soul. I also found that most of my healing in the dungeons I’ve run so far (no heroics yet, still gearing up), has been cast time stuff so no benefit to be gained there either. My top spell over a bunch of five or six dungeons was Heal, followed by Renew, then Greater Heal, with Prayer of Mending coming fourth. Ghostcrawler would be proud of me. Yes, I’ve been using renews but I’ve been trying to keep them rolling using Chakra: Serenity rather than recasting them repeatedly.
If we compared it to good old Inner Fire, which now provides 531 spell power and 60 percent more armour, it’s really going to depend on the fight. To put that into context, without Inner Fire, I have 5188 spellpower and 7143 armour so using it is a fairly decent spell power gain. With Inner Fire, my armour jumps up to 11429 which makes it my default armour of choice in PvP. Luckily neither of the armours cost mana now, so switching on the fly is going to have to become normal behaviour both in PvP and PvE.
Finally we got Leap of Faith.
If you struggled to know when to use Divine Hymn, Guardian Spirit or any of our other highly situational cooldown spells, well Leap of Faith is similar. With hindsight, I realised there were lots of places using it would have made my life easier in the dungeons, but so far I’ve used it mainly for “playing” with guildmates. Definitely going to need lots of practise here. The graphics are amazing though.
Random Healing Related Thoughts
- Whilst I haven’t got as far as a Heroic yet, I really don’t think that Archangel/Evangelism will be required as Holy. It definitely isn’t for the higher level normals.
- Dps stood there at half health whilst I drink should be thrown in the Murloc Parliament’s Bee Pit.
- Most people only click on the Lightwell out of combat. Which is a real shame because with our vastly inflated health pools, you hardly ever see it break on damage, even on the tank.
- The brief amount of PvP I’ve taken part in so far, (Tol Barad) seemed ok. People weren’t dying too fast and my own survivability wasn’t an issue unless three or four people were all focusing me. Luckily there are lots of pillars/bits of buildings for ducking behind and drinking though.
- Carry lots and lots of water, you’re going to need it.
Healing does feel different that’s for sure. However once you get used to the damage levels and wait a suitable amount of time before healing, I didn’t find it too bad. Plus my overheal has decreased considerably as I’ve been playing a lot more attention to what I’m doing. Across those five or six runs, my over heal worked out at about 6 percent. I don’t remember it being that low since Classic WoW. Instead of casting renew when people are at full health for example (bad habit I know), now I’m waiting until they are down roughly 20k so I know none of it will be wasted.
I quite like our mastery too, especially for 5 mans. Not sure how it will play out in raid environment but it was accounting for an average of 12 percent of my effective healing today. With a bit of practise, that could probably be a bit higher and my overheal slightly lower.
All in all, the sky isn’t falling, it’s just going to take a bit of getting used to. Plus I definitely need to lose some of the bad habits I’d picked up, like not caring too much about overheal and attempting to over-compensate for my group when they were doing stupid things.