A thank-you to Miss Medicina for starting the survey circling the healer blog community and actively trying to keep up with the number of them out there. I was not tagged myself, but I’ve read enough of the other’s answers that I thought I’d add my perspective as well. Also, since I enjoyed Squidly’s and Gnome’s answers so well, I felt I’d do something similar with my healers…
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Druid: Restoration Druid (non-standard spec) and primarily raiding geared healer.
Priest: Discipline Priest and does both raiding and PvP (with the same spec right now, so a very non-standard spec).
Shaman: Restoration Shaman and still leveling (currently level 73) but I felt like she was high enough level to include “lessons learned”.
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Druid: Mostly 10-man raids and 5-man heroics.
Priest: Gets a wider variety with 10-man raids, lots of 5-man heroics, and PvP battlegrounds and a little arena.
Shaman: Still leveling but I’ve done a couple of 5-man regulars with great success and I do the daily pvp battleground whenever I get the chance.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Druid: Swiftmend doesn’t get the credit it deserves for it’s awesomeness, it’s almost like it’s slipped through the cracks with many druid healers or something. Come on it’s like a druid’s version of Penance.
Priest: Penance because it’s a great burst heal and has a chance to proc and stack Divine Aegis as well as Grace.
Shaman: Earth Shield and Riptide oh how I love you, these two together make Shaman great healers in my opinion.
What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Druid: Healing Touch, because with Nourish available, it’s mostly used in a Nature’s Swiftness+Healing Touch macro.
Priest: Greater Heal, because it takes forever to cast and it’s not worth the mana and cast time compared to Penance.
Shaman: Healing Wave/Healing Stream Totem because I’ve not found myself needing them except in extreme situations while leveling.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Druid: Lots of HoTs. We have basically 4 different hots in our arsenal, plus a direct heal that uses those HoTs to heal more.
Priest: Damage mitigation. We absorb or buffer the tank to prevent damage from even getting to them.
Shaman: Totems. A healer that can provide a cleanse utility while casting (this is more critical than you may realize). I’ve found that a key totem drop can make a huge difference in some situations by mitigating extraneous sources of damage and allow a clinch heal to land.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Druid: Not being able to dps while in tree form. Try running a timed H CoS as a druid versus a priest and tell me if you don’t find yourself detesting zombies. While a very situational “weakness” it is something that I’ve found myself considering on occasion.
Priest: Raid healing. Our only good AoE type of healing spell is Prayer of Healing, which is slow and requires you to target a party member and only heals nearby party members to that target our other is Holy Nova which does have some usefulness but very situational.
Shaman: I’m not experienced enough to say for sure, but so far the biggest weakness I’ve found is the situational usefulness of Chain Heal, if I have a situation of 3 nearby party members great, if I don’t not so great.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Uhmm. I don’t do 25-man raiding with my guild. However, I’ve done a couple of pugs and we’ve had a couple goes at alliance guild raiding 25-mans back in Naxx and in those cases my druid got a chance to raid heal.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
Since I’ve seen several different interpretations to this question I’ll try to give a couple of answers to meet these different interpretations. First, of my three highest healers I think I enjoy my druid the most because she was my first max level toon and I’ve seen so much healing with her. Secondly, from the perspective of which types of healers do I feel compliment my healing the most, I would say Paladins, because their “bacon keeps my bacon from becoming crispy”, or their healing style complements the HoTs and Mitigation the best.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Sorry, but as you may guess I like all healing classes bunches, so really the only type of healing I don’t enjoy are healers that don’t know how to play their class compared to others. I’m looking at you random holy priest in VoA that couldn’t handle raid healing when part of a group with a disc priest and a holy paladin.
What is your worst habit as a healer?
Oh dear, I have to confess that my worst habit is forgetting about the mana regen sources I have available to me. My druid doesn’t run into the problem of mana very often considering she isn’t doing “progression” raiding as most would define the term, but when she does run out of mana I almost always forget I have innervate.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
See my class response above in terms of group environment, but I have to agree with most of the other healers’ responses. First, I’m watching multiple cues to indicate low health, trust me, I know you need a heal. Mostly this isn’t a problem with my groups, the biggest problem for me is when our RL yells at me to heal myself at the same time the tank is taking damage. Trust me I’m well aware my health is low, but if there is no AoE expected I’m getting the tank up then I’ll stick a heal on myself. Also, I hate when someone runs out of range of me or when the ranged dps won’t group up for situations when group heals are needed (especially on my priest).
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Yes, I think most of the healing classes bring unique strengths and weaknesses to the PvE environment. However, I agree with Lilitharien that Discipline Priests are still the only healing class and spec that does not get spellpower from a base stat.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Everyone in the party is alive + I have mana to move onto the next pull = success.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Druid: I have a lot of guildies comment that druid healing is harder than say paladin or priest healing. That’s because it is much more pro-active rather than re-active, so it’s a completely different style and you need to give it a chance to really understand it.
Priest: That a Discipline priest is not as good a healer because their mitigation doesn’t show up on traditional meters.
Shaman: That people don’t really know or understand resto shamans because there are so few vocal resto shamans out there.
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
In general I would point you back to my Healing 101 post to get a feel for my perspective there.
Druid: How HoTs work and that druids are not really reactive healers, but provide lots of over-time healing.
Priest: Not sure as I’m the only disc priest in my guild, but I would guess it would be the ways in which discipline differs from holy.
Shaman: So far the biggest difficulty for me has been doing more reactive healing than I’m used to with my druid and priest.
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)?
You do know that meters are a bad measure of healers right, since different healing roles will perform differently on the meters even? However, in general there are a couple of points that I would like to mention since they relate to other answers.
First, on Recount and Skada the damage-absorbed and healing-done are on two separate tables (with Recount requiring a separate ‘plugin’) so you’ll usually see lower healing output from a Discipline Priest. Secondly, Paladins heal more constantly than other healers so their output and overhealing are going to be very high (if they aren’t they are probably doing something wrong or are in poor gear). Also, Druids have high overhealing since our HoTs are ticking whether the target is taking damage or not. Finally, Holy Priests and Shaman are going to depend on their healing style and assigned healing role, so they could fall anywhere along the spectrum.
Haste or Crit and why?
Unfortunately the answer to this question depends on your healing style and role, but I’ll give you the stat that I’m currently looking at on each.
Druid: I’m happy with where both are on my druid for the most part but I’m edging close to soft cap for haste so I’m leaning more towards Crit right now.
Priest: Crit to get more uptime on Grace and Devine Aegis.
Shaman: I’ve not reached a level where this really plays a role yet, but I feel Haste will likely be slightly higher priority at first.
What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Well, hmm, that would be Paladins because my paladin O is only level 23, but I ask our guild Holy Paladin lots of questions.
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
This is my favorite topic and worth many more posts, but in general I recommend Mouseover macros to non AddOn users. However, those comfortable with using AddOns I recommend Decursive, a UnitFrame AddOn (e.g., Grid/XPerl/oUF), and your healing addon of choice Healbot/Grid/VuhDo.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Druid: Spellpower + Haste
Priest: Spellpower + Crit
Shaman: Spellpower (so far)
Hmm, I think I see a pattern here…