Despite having a crazy busy month both in game and out, I’ve spent some time reading at the official forums, the HowToPriest.com forums, Twitter, and a number of emails I have received… and there is a very large negative cloud over the healing priest community right now. These negative statements seem to mostly revolve around our output (both as Holy and Disc) as well as our mana regeneration.
In all seriousness, people need to KEEP CALM. The state of the priest is not as dire as some of the forum posts I have seen might suggest. Perhaps the biggest question I am seeing all over forums (official forums, H2P, and otherwise): Why are priests so under-powered and horrible right now?
This. Is. A. Fallacy.
I am sick of seeing all that garbage. Are priests in need of a slight buff here and there– sure. Do I think it is as dire as the forums would let you believe? No. Did Discipline need a buff to its output to compensate for Holy’s Chakra Scaling on our Level 90 abilities, and larger raid healing toolkit? Yes. Does Holy need the throughput increase (coming in 5.1) to compensate for the lack of utility? Sure.
Holy is doing well when played well, use Lightspring, find the correct places to use your Hymn, when and where should you be using Cascade/Halo/Star? Are you playing too cautiously? Could you be healing more aggressively? Do you have the opportunity to swap Chakra stances for certain fight mechanics/phases? (e.g. Serenity for Day Phase Tsulong, Sanctuary for Night Phase). Figuring out which Chakra stance, and when will be even more critical come 5.1 when Chakra stances are buffed 10%.
Disc now can blanket a raid (10 and 25) with Spirit Shells in preparation for incoming damage– this playstyle is exceptionally powerful. (Perhaps too much so?) In fact, you are already starting to see Guilds stack multiple Disc Priests to stagger/chain DA and Spirit Shells to “STOP DAMAGE NOW”. (I’m looking at you Force and Verve!)
Simply because these buffs just came out/are coming, does that mean Priests are in a bad spot right now? No. Our output is pretty solid, heck, the image in the masthead has myself and my priest-partner in guild holding our own in one of our first Heart of Fear kills. (Disc/Holy combo) Not once have I thought, “Man, I should sit out of this fight there is nothing I can bring to the table of value.” And that includes 4 healing fights on 25 man.
I do think a lot of the doomsaying about priests is directly related to the perceived FOTM-Status of Mistweaver Monks. Are Mistweavers powerful healers? Yes. Are they being nerfed in 5.1? Yes. Is a lot of Mistweaver healing overstated and overhyped? Yes. Are Mistweavers great additions to your healing team? Yes. However it does not mean that “reroll MW or GTFO” is what we should be thinking here— quite the contrary. With Monks as the new class, you’ll be damn sure that Blizzard has all eyes on Monk performance and balance. Priests have ALWAYS been well rounded healers, not once in my long tenure healing in WOW have I felt that Priests wouldn’t land on our feet. We always have.
My guild, Something Wicked, is doing a great job our Heroic 25 man progress (as of this post we are Realm 1, and in the US top 50) and we have ZERO Mistweavers in our healing team. Yep…. zero. Mistweavers are by no means “required”. Play your priest well, and leverage your abilities… you’ll be fine!
Keep Calm, Keep Healing, and Keep Learning.
Post Publication Edit:
In a twitter conversation with Chase, a rather good point was made. A lot of this priests suck/reroll or GTFO mindset is infecting the community as a result of people only looking at WoL/RaidBots for data. What we all need to keep in mind Healing Meters on WoL/RaidBots does NOT account for differences in raid comp, strategy, healing role, skill, or healing style. These all can dramatically affect the Parse results. Healing logs/parses simply do NOT paint the whole picture and we should NOT live and die by them— regardless of what people are yelling about on the forums or trade chat.