Since I was tagged by @OriginalOestrus, I felt I should finally get down to filling this thing out. I doubt I have contributed much, (other than a couple of rants) but what follows are my honest answers to the questions:
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Alethiar, Priest, Holy (Currently 6/32/3)
2. What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
5 mans. I’ve never gotten the courage to do anything more demanding as a healer. A combination of factors make raiding seem impractical for Alethiar, and I really don’t feel confident enough in my abilities to make that leap.
3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Lightwell, when the group know how to use it! It’s such an amazing spell, and unique to our class, yet it suffers from the need for others to be pro-active. When you have a group who know about it, it is simply awesome in its efficiency and healing abilities. The best moment I ever had was being in a PUG and being asked for a Lightwell. When players understand it, they really seem to appreciate it. Besides, it looks so pretty ^.^
4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Divine Hymn. To be honest, I just never find a use for it, especially in Cataclysm. There tends to be so much movement going on, that a channelled heal is never going to be an effective use of mana.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Versatility and survivability. Priests are a great class, and provide a number of different ways to achieve the same goal. We are also immensely survivable, which is a great feeling. Having two separate trees dedicated to healing puts an amazing arsenal of tools and abilities at our disposal. I can’t honestly think of another class which offers so much utility and choice in healing.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Versatility and mana regeneration. I know I mentioned versatility as a strength, but it can also be a weakness. The options open to us as healers makes it a bit easier than some classes to choose a bad spec. I also feel we tend to be pigeon holed because of our versatility. For many, the opinion seems to be that Holy is for raid healing, and Discipline is for tank healing. In truth, both specs can work for either situation, depending on the player behind the character. I also feel our mana regen abilities are a little less favourable than some other classes. We get a ton or regen from spirit, and we have Hymn of Hope and our Shadowfiend, but that’s about it. I certainly have moments of envying Druids their innervate, or Mages with their evocation. However, as a Blood Elf, I also have the racial to fall back on, and things are not all bad.
7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
I’ve never done a 25 man raid, so can’t comment.
8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
Definitely Priest, though I haven’t yet played all the healing classes at end level. I love our utility, our direct reactive spells and the sheer fun of the class. I also love that there is no single cookie cutter way to play a Priest. We have to think to play well, rather than mash buttons and hope for the best!
9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
I can’t really answer that, as I haven’t played them all yet.
10. What is your worst habit as a healer?
Taking things personally! When I get a bad group, and get blamed for things going wrong, I really take it to heart. If there is one single piece of advice I could offer to prospective healers it would be, “grow a very, very, very thick skin”!.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Being the target of idiotic abuse. In some ways Cataclysm polarised things, and made us an even more open target. When people can easily die to their own stupidity it seems far more common to blame the healer, than to accept personal responsibility. I was recently called out for not de-cursing the group on Asaad, (when he cast Static Cling) despite the fact that not one person jumped during the encounter. We wiped 5 times on that boss, because not one person would learn from their own mistakes. Instead, guess whose fault it was?
Oh, and people who don’t click the damned Lightwell!!
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Definitely. We seem to be in a pretty good place so far, and there’s nothing major that sticks out as needing fixed. Overall I’m pretty happy with the Priest class.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
World of Logs, though I am still in the early stages of learning to use it effectively. World of Logs is an amazingly powerful tool, and can show you so much about what was going on in a fight, and highlight the areas in which you were weak. I also like to read how other healers are tackling a problem. Sometimes it is easy to become blinkered in a problem, and fail to think laterally. Reading how others deal with things can sometimes be an eye, and mind, opening experience. Learn from your peers!
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That Holy priests can’t tank heal! If I have another PUG “kindly suggest” that I should be Discipline, because they’ve read that Discipline is better for tank healing, I may just scream. We are more than capable of tank healing, and have a number of mechanisms that allow us to do so.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
In Cata, I would say the hardest thing to learn is mana management. It’s all too easy to run out of mana if you try to keep everyone at full health, and keep healing stupid. Learning to triage effectively, and let idiots die, is certainly a tough lesson. In more general terms, I’d refer to an earlier point and say it is difficult to learn how to deal with idiots. At least, it was for me. As a healer you’ll be exposed to far more than your fair share of abusive idiots. Learning to filter the constructive criticism of your abilities from the abuse is a very important skill. Sometimes your group will spot something that you could be doing better, or differently, and that is hugely beneficial to you. Other times, you’re an easy target, and they are simply not prepared to accept personal responsibility.
16. 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)?
From my most recent activities, there is likely to be a trend of overhealing. Despite my best efforts, I am still a bit guilty of trying to keep people topped off when I can. As a result, there is a lot of wasted healing flying around in my groups. I need to work on that.
17. Haste or Crit (or Mastery) and why?
For me, Mastery. At this point I still have some mana issues, so Haste merely makes me run out of mana sooner! Crit is a pretty useless stat, so Mastery is king. The additional healing that Echo of Light provides is lovely, though it can also contribute to the overhealing mentioned above. So, for now, Mastery is my pick.
18. What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Probably Shaman and Druid, since I’ve played them the least. I get the feeling that both will require a very large adjustment from playing a Priest.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Currently, I use Grid, Decursive and Clique. I keep meaning to try out Vuhdo, but I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. There are a ton of other non-healing addons that I use, but those three are my main healing addons. I also use a number of macros, and aim to try more mouseover macros in the near future.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Mostly, I try to aim for a balance. At the moment I am leaning more heavily towards Spirit and regen stats, because of my mana issues. In general, though, I prefer a balanced approach.