Sunday, January 30, 2011

How can I improve my priest?

There are always things in which one needs to improve. Listing them is an important first step, and then you actually have to do something about it. I can often think "oh that keybinding doesn't work very well, have to fix that after the raid" and then when the raid ends I am dead tired mentally and have forgotten all about it and only remember it when I start healing again in the next raid. This can go on for weeks. So yeah, I've already found one thing in which I need to improve. What else is there?

So I mentioned keybindings. Tweaking my keybinds so that I have what I need when I need it as handy as possible is an ongoing project of mine. My biggest issue right now is Prayer of Healing, which I have bound on the same key as I have had for the last years, namely button 6. It worked well in Wrath since I didn't use PoH that much, but it's my main spell in raids, and usually number one on healing done. So I will press number 6 a whole lot of times and that makes me ask if it doesn't deserve a better placement. Well actually there is no question about it, it must get a better placement! As it is now I have to actually lift my fingers to press that button. Sometimes when things go heated I press 5 instead which is Heal and well that won't have the desired effect at all. I don't even use 5 to cast Heal since I have Heal bound to my Vuhdo! So... where could it go? I can't have it at 4, because that is where I've got my Binding Heal. 3 is for Flash Heal, which I don't have bound to Vuhdo since I use it only for emergency healing. 1 is my Holy Word: Chastice. And on 2 I have Holy Nova, which I use quite alot. So where could I put PoH? You see my dilemma here. Sure I could place it on 5 but that won't do much of a difference, and I don't want a double keybind, like shift/alt/ctrl + something because that's too tricky for a spell I use that often. I see no easy solution. But I will have to find one.

Not waste my spells on the wrong person
Speaking of Prayer of Healing, I have to become better at judging who to cast that spell on. A good example is the other day when we were doing Atramedes. Usually I just target the player on top of his group when I want to heal the group with PoH. But this time Love was on top of his group, but he was also the only melee in the group. All the rest were ranged. So targetting him meant using PoH to heal only him, and that's extremely wasteful. So even if the best solution would be to ask the raid leaders to sort up the groups better (and it feels like I do that constantly) I still have to become faster at noticing something like this. This time I must've used something like 3 casts on him before I noticed it was no good. "Damn, why isn't the group being healed?" I thought. The same goes with Prayer of Mending. It's not always easy to see, but I should try to aim at becoming better at not using it on people who stand all alone. Maybe wait with throwing it on the tank until I see that some melee are in the vicinity to further benefit from it. On the other hand I will give myself recognition for good handling of B&S and Leap of Faith.

I suck at getting food. I am totally spoiled. During all of Wrath I got all my food from people who brought fish feasts or Love. He used to fish alot so he always had loads of mats for good food for me. But now in Cata we don't usually have anyone who brings a raidwide food buff, and Love isn't fishing as much. So I really should learn to bring my own food to the raids, lazy bastard.

I'm a goblin!
I should really learn to use my gobliness to the max. I think until today I have still yet to use Rocket Jump in a raid, and I sure know plenty of times when it could be useful. To my defense I've often made it with B&S, but on the other hand there are plenty of times where Rocket Jump would've done a better job or I was playing disc and couldn't use B&S. The other day I did some tries on Nefarian (which seems like a fun fight btw) and the Rocket Jump would've been nice when trying to get out of the lava in phase 2. Did I use it? Nooo? Shape up!

Where should I place my DBM timers?
There's not only an issue with keybindings, there might be some other things about my UI that need to be fixed as well. I have yet to find a good spot for my DBM timers. The problem is that whereever I place them they seem to be in the way of something. Or fall behind something. Right now they're in a pretty good position, but maybe a little too far away of my regular visual focus so that I have to switch focus quite alot to look at those timers. I could probably improve that a bit.

And after all that whining, maybe we should look at some of the things I actually do fairly well;
I already mentioned the usage of B&S and Leap of Faith. I think I usually very good at acknowledging when it is needed and use it accordingly. Another thing I've really improved is healing while moving. I used to limit those heals to PoM and Renews/Shield (depending on spec), but now that Renew/Shield isn't as spammable as back in Wrath I've had to figure out new things to do. Usually I use Holy Nova, if there are enough people around me. And CoH of course (if I am holy). There is usually quite alot of healing that can be done on the run, and although we don't have skills that allow us to use casts while running, like Spiritwalkers Grace, we don't really need it. One thing I really sucked at back in Wrath was to use my Lifeblood cooldown. I think it was because I had hardwired into my brain that it just wasn't very good. Back then it only healed, and for a rather modest amount. Still, using it is only a gain so I should've have learned to do that. Interestingly enough, now that it also gives haste, I use it all the time. Just need the proper motivation it seems. And lastly, I am quite proud of my general environmental awareness. I rarely fail on killing half the raid by missing out on some debuff that I've got or moving from fire. Fortunately this is true of most of the people that I raid with, but I still think I deserve a /pat for being so good at avoiding damage. One does deserve to feel good about stuff occasionally aswell.


  1. One thing that I found help with keybindings when I was raiding, was to free up RTFG, and use those for the last pair of spells on my first and second actionbar; having an extra four spells available was quite handy.

  2. @KiwiRed
    Yes, RTFG are good keys, that really shouldn't bed used for their default uses. I've already remapped F and G (fade and guardian spirit/pain supression respectively) but I should consider remapping R and T for sure. R could actually be the answer to my Prayers. See what I did there *chuckle*

  3. I'm always wanting to improve my healing (especially since healing has past tanking as my main WoW activity recently), so I always read this kind of posts with interest.
    One question. Somewhere in the tekst you mentioned, in some sort of side note, that you use Holy Nova quite a lot. What is the value of this spell for you and how do you use it? For me it's still a pathetic spell with a fairly high mana cost.

  4. @Asverze
    (I wrote an answer, and now I am editing it)
    That question is so good, I think I will make a post from it ;) But I will give you a round up of it right now - Holy Nova heals for as much as Circle of Healing, but it costs way less mana.
    CoH: 21% base mana
    HN: 15% base mana

    EDIT: This healing is divided among the targets however, which actually means holy nova is alot less mana efficient than circle of healing.

    CoH is getting a buff which will make it heal more. HN also has a way shorter range and emmanates from you, you can't target anyone with it. So how to use it? The best way is to "spam" (I use the word spam lightly, as your mana always should be take into consideration) HN anytime you have to move together with the raid while there is damage going around. A good example is Atramedes, Chimaeron (when people gather), Magmaw and so on. This is especially true for Disc who don't even have CoH (and yes HN can proc DA).

    In dungeons people usually aren't stacked enough to get the most out of HN however, it is mainly a raid healing tool imo.