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Priest Healing Discussion: Cataclysm


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#1 Rosin

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:51 AM

This thread is for discussion of healing strategies for Cataclysm encounters. Priest healing has changed enough that there will be things to discuss that will apply to both specs, but are not theorycrafting and would either be hidden in or clutter up the Compendium threads. Basic priest questions should still be directed to the Simple Questions thread. If you are having trouble with an encounter, including log reports and some details of the healing composition being used will be helpful to generate more helpful responses.

You should kick a puppy and see if it compares. Then have a control person kick something they think is a puppy, but isn't a real one. Then have another person kick something else, like a senior citizen or toddler. Then compare your results scientifically. This would probably prove something, although I'm not sure what.


#2 Mahtasooma

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:24 AM

I have done quite well with my not-so-ordinary spec, based primarily around the fact that we will NOT be PW:S spamming anymore, so a LOT of our talents are useless or very useless, yet I still see a lot of WotLK priests spending talents there: Borrowed Time (15% haste for ONE spell every 15sec, yeah, right, awesome talent...), Soul Warding (no spamming, remember?), Improved PW:S (somewhat).
Check my Profile for the exact spec, I also find Focused Will very handy for PvE, but you can really spend those last two anywhere.
This is an Atonement / AA strategy.
So here we go:

Have an UI where you can mouseover the tank's target, so you can hover over the target and spam smite with a mouseover addon or macro. This helps keeping your eyes on the screen more and less on the raidframes, which helps in not-standing-the-@##!-in-fire ™.

When there's some raid/group dmg, spend PoM on the ranged classes, as you will be healing the melee classes with Atonement.

Use Archangel on CD after the latest hotfixes (Atonement being affected by AA) for regen and 15% bonus to healing.

Try to avoid healing the raid with stuff that takes Grace off of the MT. Use Penance only on the tank to keep Grace up.

Heal the raid with things that DON'T take off Grace:
* PW:S
* PoM
* PoH
* glyphed and talented Renew, which is almost as good as PW:S HPM wise
* as soon as you yourself have any damage, your next spell should be Binding Heal, which doesn't use up Grace and is as manaefficient as Heal.

You CAN use GH on another partymember than the MT if Penance is running off of CD, casting GH and then Penance on the tank to get Grace (3) instantly back on the tank. This is VERY useful for healing the raid.

Use your cooldowns!! Even when not under stress. They are there for using, not for sitting around, and you have so many you will not be out of ALL cooldowns when one is needed. I use PW:B, PainSup, Power Infusion a LOT, even on trash, just to get accustomed to using CDs and speeding up pulls.

Greater Heal is your main healing spell for the tank.

Make mouseover macros for GH, FH and PoH so that you use Inner Focus ALL the time when it's up (see below).

There should never be a time for you to use Flash Heal, as it's the only spell with no synergy whatsoever and horrible manaefficiency.

Don't use Heal. Just use Heal once after a shield if you're specced 1 point in SoS for faster Ruptures. That's what Atonement is for. Tell your raid to stand 15yards to the mob when the encounter allows it (which it often does and makes sense for the other AoE heals of other classes, as well).

Do not pre-shield the tank for a pull, as your first Rapture will be wasted as you will be sitting around with full mana when Rapture procs the first time.

Use Ingela's Rapture Timer for knowing when to shield again, PoM Tracker, Vuhdo as raidframes ideally (yes, it's a pain to setup, but you can really set it up in a way that's 100% suited to you). Have your raidframes rather in the middle of the screen for not-standing-the-@##!-in-fire ™.


Using these tactics, I'm sitting around 90% mana after a trashpull, 50% mana on double add pulls in heroics, having Atonement heal for around 25% of my healing. Also, I find crit to be much more useful than most here, but that's personal preferrence I guess. Divine Aegis is just TOO good not to have proc very often.


As for Macros:

This is the macro for Inner Focus. Make one for GH and PoH. And it stops this silly "Ability not ready" spam. The one for PH gets too long for a macro so you'll have to skip the #showtooltip line.

#showtooltip Greater Heal
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast Inner Focus
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
/cast [target=mouseover,exists,help,nodead] Greater Heal; [help,nodead] Greater Heal; [target=player] Greater Heal

You should also create mouseover macros for the rest similar to the one above.

In addition, make a macro for Power Infusion to avoid giving it to the tank or whatnot.

/cast [target=player] Power Infusion

And this is the Smite macro:

#showtooltip Smite
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,exists] [harm] [target=targettarget] Smite


So that's all the ideas that come up on the top of my head, will add some more probably.

#3 Hegen

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 12:36 PM

I have done quite well with my not-so-ordinary spec, based primarily around the fact that we will NOT be PW:S spamming anymore, so a LOT of our talents are useless or very useless, yet I still see a lot of WotLK priests spending talents there: Borrowed Time (15% haste for ONE spell every 15sec, yeah, right, awesome talent...), Soul Warding (no spamming, remember?), Improved PW:S (somewhat).


If you don't want to use "Heal", investing at least 1 point in BT is far better than 1/2 Strength of Soul, even if you only use a few shields.

Regarding the value of Pw:S talents overall, I think you're a bit too hasty. When you heal tanks, you will use Pw:S. If you do, BT makes the first GH cast with 15% haste. That's a pretty good deal for 2 talent points. In AoE situations, having 15% haste in the pipe for a big and slow PoH is also a pretty good deal.

The simple fact is this. We are told to concentrate more. But we can only do that if we are allowed to go considerably faster.


#4 Elerion

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 01:23 PM

1/2 Strength of Soul is a significant mana regeneration talent, if you're good at managing your Rapture cooldown.

BT is a throughput talent. It is not comparable with Strength of Soul, as they do completely different things. It is a significant boost in output even if PWS is only used to proc Rapture. It also has significant value for healing sudden and continuous damage on a non-tank, where your cast pattern will almost always start with a shield to stabilize and then refill health with a heal.

There is a lot of solid reasoning in Mahtasoomi's post, although I would urge him to study his logs and see how much those two talent points in Improved Renew actually contribute. In an atonement/AA spec, there are rather few cases where renew is the correct spell to cast, especially when you move into raids.

#5 Hegen

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:10 PM

1/2 Strength of Soul is a significant mana regeneration talent, if you're good at managing your Rapture cooldown.


Of course it is, but only if you actually do use "Heal". If you don't, then it's worthless. And if you assume you do use Pw:S and Heal once every CD for a maximum of Rapture, then the whole premise of "Pw:S talents aren't worth it" breaks into pieces. Especially for an Atonement spec - this just doesn't fit.

There are a lot of points here that look good in isolation, but I'm far less convinced about the whole of it being a compelling package in raids.

The simple fact is this. We are told to concentrate more. But we can only do that if we are allowed to go considerably faster.


#6 Skallewag

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:39 PM

Well the question "if" you use heal ought to be replaced but the question if you "should" use heal. If you have one point in weakened soul you have the option to cast one extra heal per rapture cycle simply to make the cycles shorter. So what´s interesting is rather if its a good idea to spend a point there and cast one heal every 15 sec, and if so where to pinch the talent point from.
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#7 Diablo771

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:16 AM

Well the question "if" you use heal ought to be replaced but the question if you "should" use heal. If you have one point in weakened soul you have the option to cast one extra heal per rapture cycle simply to make the cycles shorter.


You should deffinately use it for a higher tank damage encounter, because the 1/2 SoS will reduce the time it takes to proc your BT which will give you a quicker cast GH on the tank.

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:15 AM

You should deffinately use it for a higher tank damage encounter, because the 1/2 SoS will reduce the time it takes to proc your BT which will give you a quicker cast GH on the tank.

But instead of that Heal, you could have casted a Gheal - and on a "higher tank damage encounter", I'm sure that Heal's cast would feel mightily slow.

#9 Hegen

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:31 AM

You should deffinately use it for a higher tank damage encounter, because the 1/2 SoS will reduce the time it takes to proc your BT which will give you a quicker cast GH on the tank.


The discussion is about Mahtasooma's Atonement spec, which does not use BT at all. The remaining use of 1/2 SoS really only is the shorter Rapture cyle, if one is willing to also invest the "Heal" cast.

Also, if serious tank healing is needed, I wouldn't recommend an Atonement spec at all.

The simple fact is this. We are told to concentrate more. But we can only do that if we are allowed to go considerably faster.


#10 Mahtasooma

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:42 AM

I still don't think that throughput is what we need in Cata. If GH and Penance spam on the MT doesn't cut it (which is still very manaefficient) and you are not able to cast a Smite once every 20sec, you are simply severely undergearing the content imho. Should we need haste, we still have PI or PW:B for mass reduced raiddmg on melees.

My point is that you are giving nothing up with an atonement spec once you realize that all (or most) PW:S related talents are somewhat wasted.

I will try, however, if one point in BT counts towards haste for the next Renew, which I think it does. Should this be the case, I will reforge back from crit to 5.5+ haste and include one point in BT for Renews after PW:S, as 12.5% haste gives you an extra Renew tick (5.5 base + 7% from BT = 12.5% haste).

#11 TrlstanC

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:34 PM

But instead of that Heal, you could have casted a Gheal - and on a "higher tank damage encounter", I'm sure that Heal's cast would feel mightily slow.


I'd actually be interested if anyone's found an encounter in any of the raids where they casted Heal more than once or twice. I tried using heal for the first time in a week or so, hoping that my new gear would raise it's throughput enough to make it worthwhile, but sitting through a 2+ second cast time to watch 7k hp disapear in to the tank's healthpool was disapointing. At this point it feels like it's wasting space on my bars, am I just missing something?


I still don't think that throughput is what we need in Cata. If GH and Penance spam on the MT doesn't cut it (which is still very manaefficient) and you are not able to cast a Smite once every 20sec, you are simply severely undergearing the content imho. Should we need haste, we still have PI or PW:B for mass reduced raiddmg on melees.


I agree that GH spam should be able to keep a tank up, and with PI and IF is acceptably efficient, but it looks like most of the first tier of raid encounters have some serious raid wide damage going on that's designed to be unavoidable, and basically to soak up a lot of healer time and mana. Dealing with this seems to be more of a problem, both for throughput and for efficientcy, than tank healing at this point.

#12 Elerion

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:27 PM

I've cast Heal many times in every raid encounter I've been there for so far (8). There are always lulls where damage is slow.

That's Holy. Heal is near worthless for Disc, as explained multiple times in multiple threads here. Its only purpose for Disc is to speed up Rapture procs (if you have SoS) and top someone off when there's nothing else useful to do.

#13 Raiek

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

Also, if serious tank healing is needed, I wouldn't recommend an Atonement spec at all.


This is something I'd like to hear elaborated on, because from my standpoint it seems like a fantastic tank healing spec. You just need to go into it realizing that Atonement isn't your primary tank healing method, it's Greater Heal. The way I view the spec, I'm using a combination of Penance and Greater Heal on the tank, while smiting during lulls to pop an Archangel for a welcome 15% healing boost for 18 seconds. The cooldown on Archangel is so short, and it ties into the Penance/GH with ToT method of healing so well I can't see why you wouldn't recommend it. Not to mention you get to enjoy the full benefit of ToT, decreasing cooldown on Penance with Smite and Inner Focus with GH.

#14 MADMark

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:15 PM

Many people seem to feel that there isn't much time to Heal or Smite in challenging content. Yes, there are lulls where you can smite/heal, but some would say they don't occur often enough to make Atonement especially useful. Yes, there are only a couple of other places to put those points, but it's really up to each player to decide how much time they spend casting extremely mana efficient slow heals that have very low throughput. Yes, most of those places fall under the category of utility or improving PW:S, but some see more value in that.

... it just begs to be repeatedly reported, over and over, as though reporting a post could somehow be analogous to stabbing someone in the face with a knife forged out of their own concentrated stupid.


#15 Hegen

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:28 PM

This is something I'd like to hear elaborated on, because from my standpoint it seems like a fantastic tank healing spec.


I'm willing to elaborate a bit, though I'm not interested in a full discussion at the moment, as some key things are not objectively provable without a good set of comparable combat logs and complete modeling, both of which we don't yet have. This usually leads to an endless back and forth of opinions.

So, one issue is the talent build. If you look at WoW Talent Calculator - Sigrie., this is what I would call the canonical Atonement based spec for tank healing. You don't have access to Darkness, Veiled Shadows, SoL and SoS. Of course you cannot have all of these in a regular healing spec, but you really trade things away (SoL getting interesting with the announced change).

The next thing is the randomness of the Atonement heals. While the range problem has been fixed, you still do not have control over which target gets the heal, which gets worse as the melee group grows. While Archangel looks good to have, don't forget you significantly drop the chance of Inspiration and Grace being active on the tank. So, yes, there's a downside. The randomness also means you need to be very careful to actually switch in time to "real" healing instead of hoping the next Atonement heal will hit the tank.

My personal recommendation would be to use Atonement specs solely for the N+1th healer, who does splash healing with smiting, throws Penances around and to use BT+Archangel to boost PoH healing in AoE phases. But we shall see how things develop and how well healers do with the various options.

The simple fact is this. We are told to concentrate more. But we can only do that if we are allowed to go considerably faster.


#16 Snowy

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:30 PM

Right now we're veering a bit off topic -- this thread really should be more orientated toward talking about specific encounters. For example, if you're talking about Archangel and Atonement, point out reasons and situations where this is useful, instead of just saying that it is.

Lets say I'm talking about Nefarian-10 and the virtue of being Disc vs Holy, and more specifically how do you manage the transition from phase 1 to phase 2 when the damage flies around. That's a discussion that's worth having in this thread. Theorycrafting should largely belong in either the Holy or Disc threads.

#17 Carnathagia

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:38 PM

Halfus Wyrmbreaker
10 man kill log (I believe this was with both tank damage drakes)
Healing this encounter varies greatly depending on which Drakes are up. The Behemoth will always put out fairly significant raid-wide AoE, so unless the two tank damage drakes are active that week and the tanks are dying, Holy is probably the way to go, utilizing Prayer of Healing spam and Prayer of Mending to keep the raid out of the danger zone. The majority of the damage seems to come at the beginning of the fight, so blowing your mana up-front with heavy handed PoH and CoH, coupled with an early Divine Hymn if a Shadow Nova gets off means the raid stays alive until the drakes are subdued and damage tapers off substantially. Make sure you save some mana to quickly recover the raid near the end of the fight between stuns.

Valiona and Theralion
10 man kill log

Again, Holy is great for this fight. The tank damage is very light, but the raid is constantly pelted with damage; Blackout, Meteors, Pink void zones, etc. The downside is that we can be pretty destructive if selected for Engulfing Magic with all of the Mastery ticks on the raid going off instantly, so Discipline has an advantage there if you choose to utilize Aegis PoH instead. Also, Circle of Healing and Holy Nova are very useful during the stacking meteor / void zone / Engulfing Magic portion of the fight, since the raid is in the most danger when you have to move.

Twilight Ascendant Council
First 10 man kill log
2nd 10 man kill log

I choose Holy for this fight as well if you have competent tank healers in the raid. Look for good PoH opportunities such as Rising Flames. Body and Soul is incredible for helping spread the Heart of Ice or Burning Blood buffs (Also, the Lightwell makes a great rally point for sharing the buff and healing up!), and for helping with sticky situations where people need to get Grounded or levitated with the Lightning rod debuff. Be sure to save plenty of mana for some HEAVY PoH spam for the last phase. The longer you can keep putting out healing, the better you chances of a kill. Also, has anyone successfully levitated a player after Gravity Crush? I tried several times and couldn't seem to pull it off.

Cho'Gall

Disc is probably the better choice for this fight, but I've only attempted it with a 2nd healing Priest that is Disc only, so I've done it as Holy. The damage switches from heavy tank damage (Fire buff) to heavy raid damage (Shadow buff) faster than you can switch Chakra stances. Psychic Scream is one of the best tools for breaking Worship casts on MC'd players, and the glyph is recommended so you don't throw people too far out of position before you can dispel. Make sure you save mana for phase 3, so you can carry your raid to a kill with Prayer of Healing.


Hopefully this is a good start, let's get the discussion in this thread going in the right direction.
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#18 Lahiri

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:28 AM

With all the damage buffs flying around in the Halfus encounter atonement is likely the strongest healing spec available for that fight. I am of the opinion that Atonement in general isn't all that great, just this one exception.

#19 TrlstanC

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:49 PM

If anyone that's made it through the first two bosses of BWD could weigh in with any tips, I'd expect this is where a lot of priests will be seeing their first Cataclysm raid encounters.

I've tried Magmaw as Disc, doing raid heals and found that I didn't have the throughput to deal with the consistent, heavy damage. I'm going to try it as Holy, but in my testing so far it seems that while my HPM while in Sanctuary should be fine, I'm running out of mana noticably faster. My "rotation" is pretty much PoM, CoH, PoH, a renew or two, yelling at people to use lightwell, and ignoring most of the other spells that have lower HPM. Will Shadowfiend, HoH and a pot be enough to keep this up through the fight, or do I need to look for more efficiency somewhere?

#20 Shych

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:53 PM

If anyone that's made it through the first two bosses of BWD could weigh in with any tips, I'd expect this is where a lot of priests will be seeing their first Cataclysm raid encounters.

I've tried Magmaw as Disc, doing raid heals and found that I didn't have the throughput to deal with the consistent, heavy damage. I'm going to try it as Holy, but in my testing so far it seems that while my HPM while in Sanctuary should be fine, I'm running out of mana noticably faster. My "rotation" is pretty much PoM, CoH, PoH, a renew or two, yelling at people to use lightwell, and ignoring most of the other spells that have lower HPM. Will Shadowfiend, HoH and a pot be enough to keep this up through the fight, or do I need to look for more efficiency somewhere?



Just downed the first two bosses in BWD yesterday as holy priest. I did was out of mana on both bosses at the end though for Omnitron one healer died at 30-40% or so. I've stacked spirit(2739unbuffed) as much as I can since the buff to holy concentration and it seems to be working so far.

I was assigned to raid healing so I only used GH, BH and POH/COH with POM being used when I rememberd and ocassionaly threw renew/GH on tanks. Very important to stand in the manapool from Arcanotron to get the 250/sec mana tics.

Well, i've uploaded the fights to worldoflogs.com hope they can help.

Magmaw:
World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

Omnitron:
World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

*Edit*
If someone can show something I do wrong on the logs i'd appreciate some pointers, Thanks!




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