Circle of Healing: 20 Questions
A big thanks to Laerith, guildie and shaman blogger over at Totemic Grace, for tagging me to participate in the fantastic “Circle of Healing” questionnaire that’s been circulating for the last week or so. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses, so I was pretty excited when Laerith tagged me to participate as well.
On a side note, I’ve spent a lot of time away from my blog lately thanks – in part – to summer things like vacations, travel, work, and generally being busy. The other part of my absence has been a result of feeling more apathetic than I care to admit about the new Firelands content specifically, and max-level WoW in general. I’m in an odd spot in that I have still been playing WoW regularly – I just find myself hiding out on low level alts on unnamed servers where I can explore the new “Old World” content and experience the joys of leveling sans heirlooms. My guild has begun our slow progress on Firelands bosses and I’ve been a part of both our 10 and 25 man raids, but I find myself waiting for some spark of inspiration that will really get me excited and working hard on this new tier. So on that uplifting thought …
Here’s how it works:
Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Tzufit, my restoration druid.
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I spend the vast majority of my time on my druid healing raids, and that’s usually about an even split between 10 and 25 man. I really enjoy PvP healing, but am still basically a beginner when it comes to BGs and arenas, as I don’t spend nearly as much time on it.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
I love Swiftmend. I love that it’s an instant heal, I love when it crits for 200%, and I love that it procs Efflorescence.
What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Regrowth is pretty low on the totem pole for me now, just because it’s so expensive and the HoT is so lackluster. I find myself using Nourish pretty much exclusively in 5 man dungeons at this point, since I usually find Healing Touch to be more worthwhile in raiding situations. Yes, I know that Healing Touch is crazy expensive, but I find that Nourish just doesn’t seem to do very much at all for me in both 10 and 25 mans. Then again, I don’t spec into Nature’s Bounty, so it’s probably not surprising that Nourish and Regrowth aren’t as attractive for me.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Flexibility. I feel just as comfortable tank healing as I do raid healing. I really like that druids now have a wide variety of both HoTs and direct healing spells to do our jobs effectively.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Unsurprisingly, I feel that our complete lack of any kind of mitigation cooldown is a giant problem. Druids may be throughput monsters, but there are plenty of situations and boss encounters where MOAR THROUGHPUT is not going to save your tank.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
As I said above, I think that druids are well-balanced to be excellent tank and raid healers right now. I think that this mostly comes down to a matter of personal preference, and I generally prefer to be assigned to tank healing. I like the coordination that happens between a tank and a healer who’ve gotten used to each other, and who play to the other’s strengths and weaknesses.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
As Laerith pointed out, I enjoy healing with specific people more than I do specific classes. However, given the choice I would prefer to have a disc priest with me since I’m so painfully jealous of their damage reduction abilities.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Again, there’s never been a time that I’ve zoned into an instance and thought, “GEEZ! I have to heal with ____ class tonight?!” I do feel that druids, holy priests, and resto shaman have some redundancies in our strengths that would make those two classes slightly less desirable to heal with than disc priests or holy paladins. Shaman and druids probably have the most in common, and also have the least possible ways to save a tank who’s about to die.
What is your worst habit as a healer?
I heal everyone and I dispell everything. Bars should be green and they should be full, healing assignments be damned.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Aside from the usual things like, “What no heals?!” or “Rez please,” I’m not a big fan of tanks who don’t use their cooldowns. Tank healing is a two-way street: I heal you when you take unavoidable damage, you use cooldowns to mitigate the big spikes to help make my job easier.
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I do. I know that there’s a fair amount of discussion on the forums and elsewhere that druids are OP because we often top the healing meters. Tranquility can make it seem as if we’ve done much more during a fight than we really did, and can also make it seem as if other healers are doing at lot less by comparison. I think the people who have complained about this really misunderstand how Blizzard has designed druid healing. All of our healing is based on throughput, so if we’re doing our jobs right you’ll usually see that we have a very high HPS. As much as I would like that damage reduction cooldown, a part of me wonders whether druids shouldn’t actually get one because it might very well make us too strong in relation to the other healing classes.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
I run Recount and check it from time to time during a raid night, but I try not to be concerned with numbers when we’re working on progression content. World of Logs is really the best way I can evaluate myself once the night is over, just to make sure that I’m using the spells I should be, and maintaining a high uptime on Lifebloom and Harmony. Beyond that, I ask myself whether I used my cooldowns at the right times and if I used the mana I had available without OOMing myself.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
It seems like many people still think that druids are primarily HoT healers who are best assigned to healing the raid. While our HoTs remain some of our strongest spells in our toolkit, druids have to use many direct healing spells now if they want to do their jobs well without OOMing early in an encounter.
If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
They would see a very high healing output, a mid-level overhealing, and an obsession with healing tanks, DPS, other healers, and anything that even looks sideways in my direction. I fail at healing assignments.
Haste or Crit and why?
Even with the recent changes to healing criticals, I still prefer to stack haste. My reasons for this maybe include some flawed logic, but are as follows: Stacking haste means a shorter GCD, more ticks of our HoTs at certain breakpoints, and faster cast times, which are all Very Good Things. Stacking haste is a guaranteed return, whereas stacking crit still requires you to pray to the RNG gods. The RNG gods make me nervous.
What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Holy paladins are the only class I’ve not raided with at max level. (I’ve yet to even level one past about 40.) I know very little about them in comparison to all the other healing classes, and I really don’t even know the names of all of their spells!
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I use VuhDo for my raid frames, healing bars, dispels, buff/debuff information, and probably for doing my taxes. I doubt I could live without it.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
As I explained above, haste has been my stat of choice since Wrath. I’d finally reached the breakpoint of 2005 haste just before 4.2 was released, and now I find myself slightly below it due to some Intellect upgrades I’ve taken since then. My goal now is to get back to that magical 2005 number, and then to begin to focus more on mastery, since Harmony has made it a much more desirable stat for us.
And now, to tag a few other healing bloggers … or blogging healers!
First, Zaralyn at Middle of the Forest. Zaralyn has been writing from the perspective of a resto druid, but has recently decided to start raiding primarily on her holy paladin. I’d be interested to read her answers to these questions from either class’ perspective.
I’d also love to see Oestrus‘ take on these questions at The Stories of O. I’m familiar with priests, but I feel like my little holy/disc gnome has a lot of work to do, so I’d like to see how Oestrus does things.