Need your help healing!

As most people who read my blog would know, I have been contemplating switching to my Druid come MoP.

This are two major factors to the decision – I have a viable O/S and account wide achievements and mounts etc.

The issue being, I would like to be able to heal, but given I have never healed before how do you get into it? How do you start learning the skills, at what point do you know you can heal well?

I tried healing on my priest in lowbie dungeons and in the end switched her back to damage because it was just too hard for me – no mana = no heals and I felt useless for it.

My Druid however already has a pretty good boomy set which at worst case I could switch to resto, and of course I am going to read everything I can about doing it..but I need suggestions about how to go about actually getting started ๐Ÿ™‚

It isn’t like you have a rotation like dps does, and it’s not like you only have to keep mobs hitting you…if healers screw it – people die and I don’t want to have that happen…..

Maybe I am just not healing material….lol

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16 comments on “Need your help healing!

  1. I prefer Grid for my healing raidframes. As far as the actual art of healing goes, while I can’t speak for druids (having only done paladin and priest healing), I can tell you that the first thing you’ll have to do is learn triage. If you’re in a tight spot mana-wise, you may have to let someone sit at less-than-full, sometimes for an extended period of time. In rare cases, you may have to make the decision between letting someone die or gambling that the tank will get a few lucky dodges in, etc.

    Healing is a thankless job, but there is a quiet nobility to it. Most of the time, if you’re doing it well, you’ll go unnoticed. If you screw up and someone dies, the focus will be on you, and in a very negative light.

    Don’t let that discourage you, however, as you will occasionally run into a situation where the tank or DPS will do something stupid, you’ll save their asses, and they will, in turn, be vocally grateful.

    “Great heals” is often all you’ll get in those situations, but it’s enough.

    There is a lot of responsibility in healing, and your effectiveness is increasingly determined by the awareness, gear levels, skills, and general intelligence of the 4-24 other people around you. As they get better gear, your job will be easier. As they become more aware of that pesky fire they’re standing in, your job will be easier. As they become able to dish out more damage or avoid more damage, your job will be easier.

    In healing, your quality of life is *heavily* influenced by those you group with. That’s just the nature of the beast.

    Also, stack spirit like your life (and the lives of your groupmates) depends on it. Cause, ya know, it does.

    By the Light, I’m rambling a lot. Hope this helps you make your decision.

    • Thanks for the tips, I do use Grid now and it works quite well with my mouseover macros, although I suspect there are easier ways of healing, I find it the most enjoyable method for me ๐Ÿ˜€

      From what you say here, I don’t think healing will be my bag, I am not happy laying my skills in the hands of the retarded groups I tend to get ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL If i want to suck, I like to know it is because I am screwing my rotation and not because of anyone else….I shall have to ponder this though.

      I do wish I could queue up for LFD with lower level instances for practice…I don’t want to do cata dungeons…maybe some Classic or BC ones would be nice :p

      • If you’d like to dip your toes in, have (or can get) somewhat decent Intellect gear, and are uncomfortable with the idea of attempting high level stuff, I would encourage you to try some of the Cata normal dungeons. At 85, you can still directly queue for Blackrock Caverns, which is a level 80-82 dungeon on regular, and has an ilvl 226 minimum requirement. At level 85, it shouldn’t really be bad at all, and would allow you to get your feet wet.

        It’s not the ideal method from the perspective of trying to get points for gear, but at this point, getting in there and just getting used to healing will pay big dividends. It’ll be different than end-game healing, because you will likely be doing less triage and more overhealing with your HoTs (this happened to me when I did it on a level 75 toon with level 69 friends in some of the Auchindoun dungeons). But it can help conquer some of those initial fears, and you can work your way up from there. (The other party members will also probably be excited to have a level 85 healing them!)

        My other suggestion would be to try jumping into Tol Barad battles, particularly early in the week when more people are (theoretically) running it. If you locate yourself with what is usually the largest group, you can get accustomed to the whole whack-a-mole aspect. PvP can be a great way to learn skills on a new spec, because it forces you to be aware and to use your toolbox.

        I highly recommend both of these. If you try them and then find that you don’t like healing, then there’s no harm, no foul, and you can still decide to do something else in MoP. Now is a great time to try out new things, because you won’t be affecting your own progression, and have time to make a decision before MoP.

        At any rate, hope this helps. Good luck with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • The early Cata dungeons are ideal if you want to start at 85… BRC and Throne have barely anything to worry about for a lvl 85, and you can still queue for them. As Mushan says, PvP is *the* place to hone your hot-button skills… but, and you may want to throttle me for this, I’d actually suggest queueing for LFR before putting yourself through BGs.

        LFR healing’s odd. Quite often half of the healers are actually DPS queued as heals for the faster time. On the other hand, I’ve two- and three-healed most of the bosses before with geared toons. If you get a party with a good complement of healers, you can hang back and learn when to use which heals. (or just become really good at sniping heals >.<) And if you're actually trying, you'll already be a lot better than some of the creatures that queue.

        Other than that… skip the release cata HC 5s, and only queue for ZA and ZG when you want to know if you're good. Go straight to the HoT HCs. They're much easier to heal and a lot shorter.

        I'm willing to bet you're not going to see a whole lot of specific advice on what spells to use and when. Healing's a very personal playstyle, and there's no wrong way to do it provided you're coming out of encounters with people still standing. That said, resto druids particularly have a number of strong communities online, and they tend to insist that "only a druid can help a druid". Maybe take a look around for some advice from those – tree healing's very different, and especially at the beginning it can feel like you're spamming buttons without ever seeing bars go up, then hitting direct heals and OOMing instantly. Above all, resist the urge to constantly hammer Regrowth or Healing Touch.

        Basics:
        Make sure your frames display what HoTs are running on the party. You don't want to clip rejuv/regrowth if you can help it, or throw direct heals on someone who'll be fine with the HoTs they have running on them. You'll also want to keep track of 3 stacks of Lifebloom on a tank at all times – apart from the healing and other benefits, it's your mana regen tool. Find out your haste breakpoints, and follow them religiously! I can't quote them by heart, but the haste breakpoints make the biggest difference to druid healing that I've ever seen from any stat.

        [Crit: Wall of Text: 9001 damage]
        [You have died.]

      • Disclaimer: healing is my preferred playstyle. So I have ALL THE WORDS to talk about it.

        Healing outsources some of your effectiveness to the rest of the party, yes… but you know you’re good when that doesn’t matter any more. You can leave people to die and heal the party members with actual brains through anyway. You can just heal through anything short of a one-shot if you can’t be bothered with the hassle. YOU HAVE THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH. Illegitimis non carborundum. And when everything goes smoothly, it’s the most relaxing playstyle ever.

        I’m not normally a fan of meters, but DPS particularly tend to respect them. Be sure to run Recount or something so that you have figures to link if someone’s accusing you of being bad, but bear in mind that to a healer, big meters don’t really mean anything if you’re not keeping the party in the fight.

        If you want to learn in older instances, that’s pretty easy. Don’t know about your server, but on mine there’s almost always a pug looking to go do achievement runs in Ulduar or ICC. Bonus points if you get guildies to go.

        I forgot to address Tol Barad in my previous post. Normally PvP healing will teach you about triage, movement healing, dealing with being beaten on, and cooldowns. In TB, on the other hand, you’ll mostly be left alone to heal until you OOM. Unfortunately, your party members are likely extending the enemy healers the same courtesy. >.< Welcome to the battle of the mana-bars. It should teach you healing rhythm, how to get the most from your mana pool, and how to deal with spike damage, so don't discount it. And if you die you just respawn to go all over again. No pressure at all, and not even a repair bill.

  2. The only way to learn is to get in there and do it. Even then, read and experiment. I raised my priest from about 30s in 5mans all the way, and some points were a struggle and some levels (and some PUGs) weren’t – still the poor thing has hit 5man Cata heroics (not DS) and fallen in a heap.

    Hmm, what am I saying here… just get out there. If you do a crap job in a PUG chances are you won’t see them again anyway…. or better still get your guildies on a run and get them to help guide you.

  3. Thanks for all the replies guys!! I really appreciate it. I am going to do some research then head into some PVP since our guild doesn’t really have anyone online at the moment thanks to Diablo ๐Ÿ˜€

    I may try some LFR as well, as I can drop that pretty easily without feeling bad about it! 5 mans i may leave for a few weeks until I get the hang of it.

    If i do pvp as a healer do I still need resilience gear?

    I am so nervous at the idea of healing and all the words of guidance have been great! i cannot thank you enough!

    • Tol Barad: no, you categorically don’t need resi until the opposing side learns to recognise you, but that’ll take weeks. Battlegrounds: qualified yes. People are much quicker to realise when you’re the critter keeping everyone alive, but it’s touch and go whether they’ll switch to you anyway. If you’re good at blending into the background, you can usually get by. Bear in mind that resilience trades off throughout stats for defense, so you’ll heal less overall and have a harder time hitting your breakpoints if you’re in resi gear. Don’t worry if your healing seems low compared to what you see in dungeons – PvP is dynamic, and healing requirements reflect that.

      One thing you do absolutely need, without question, is a PvP trinket. Being able to remove CCs/fears/etc is extremely useful, and trinkets have the best resilience per point spent out of all of the PvP gear.

      Remember that you can trade justice for honour at a rate of 2/3 with no cap, and valour for conquest at 1/1 up to the limit of 1650 weekly.

      • Cool! Thanks for the info, I will just go in without resi gear and see how i fare ๐Ÿ™‚ It shouldn’t take me too long to get a trinket so tanks for the advice I would have just forgotten clean about it ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. I started out in TBC as a druid and have never looked back. For the past 3 years I’ve been resto in PVE exclusively with 5/8 HC DS (hopefully 6/8 by tonight :P). I healed Cata heroics before the nerf with 76k mana without wiping the party (though with casualties ofc, i’m no Paragon member) – I’m saying this as to have some affirmation that I have a slight idea of what I’m going on about.

    I want to clear a misconception that someone stated here; you shouldn’t stack spirit as a druid since
    – spirit only gives regen, intellect gives regen ร nd spell power ร nd spell crit = stronger (bigger) heals = less mana used. The more intellect you have, the less spirit you need!
    – still fearing for mana issues? The base resto spec has Moonglow (reduce healing spell costs by 9%), Furor (increase max mana by 15%) and Heart of the Wild (increase int by 6%) = huge mana pool!

    The stat priority is haste until soft cap > int > mastery = crit > spirit atm. “Soft haste cap” requires some reading, but in short you need 1603 haste (= one extra Rejuvenation tick) for dungeons, 2005 (2 extra Wildgrowth ticks) for raids. Hence, more healing without extra mana.

    Gemming and enchanting: stack intellect! Only go for the socket bonus if it is 20 int or more.
    For instance: gloves have a blue socket and +10 int. Neglect the socket bonus, gem 40 int. Never gem int+spi unless it’s for a +20 int/+30 int bonus.

    Rule of thumb is always have lifebloomx3 up on a target, usually the tank in 5-man groups (I’d stick with this until you are more comfortable healing). Keep in mind that when your target has a heal over time spell on them, Healing Touch, Nourish and the initial heal from Regrowth will heal for more. Oh, and don’t spam Regrowth as it will get you OOM before you know it, unless you think people will die if you don’t spam it ofc. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I wouldn’t recommend going resto druid in pvp at 85 or you might get immensely discouraged from playing resto.. They’re currently the most gimped healers out there and die the fastest out of all other healers, so players are usually going for the druid once they notice he’s resto.

    But, as has been mentioned, practice is the only way to learn! Don’t worry if you’re having trouble in the beginning, we all suck when we have to do something new for the first time ;>

    • Donโ€™t worry if youโ€™re having trouble in the beginning, we all suck when we have to do something new for the first time

      That’s what worries me the most ๐Ÿ™‚ I hate being crap at anything i do….Thanks for the advice. I will do some research this weekend and have a play ๐Ÿ™‚ You know I am going to post about it :p

  5. If you enjoy PvP at all, I’d suggest doing a lot of that as well as running 5 mans. As Toki says Resto Druids are the acknowledged weakest healers right now and whilst it can be horribly frustrating at times, random battlegrounds and Tol Barad can still be a lot of fun whilst making you think outside the box. In the hottest fires the hardest steel is forged! Whilst my true love is my Priest, I still pvp quite a bit on my Druid and in randoms it’s not too bad, as long as you’re comfortable using cat/bear and doing a lot of running away. Also if you’re a Nightelf, shadowmeld is a lifesaver.

    This weekend is AV weekend, the perfect opportunity for practising healing in a fairly laid back fashion. You’ve got “tank” healing practise if you choose to follow the main group and you’ve got heavy raid damage to deal with if you end up in stalemate type game.

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