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Keep Calm and Keep Healing

Despite having a crazy busy month both in game and out, I’ve spent some time reading at the official forums, the 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.

First let me just say…

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.


Written By: on November 16, 2012
  1. Awesome post, and nice to read a bit of sanity amidst all the doom and gloom.

    As you write, we are always ok. There are occasionally a few tweaks required, but we are a pretty consistent class.

    I haven’t done as much healing as I’d like to yet, but I feel Holy is definitely in a nice enough place right now. I haven’t tried Discipline healing at all this expansion, but I may be encouraged to do so after reading your post.

    Thanks for remaining such a strong voice in the Priest community, and for helping calm everyone down.

    1. Give Disc a spin, I think you’ll like it. As I have always said, the trick with Disc is to learn the fight and PREP your raid with DA/Shell BEFORE the damage goes out. Have fun!

    2. I love this post it makes so much sense lol. i was recently in my realms trade chat which i don’t really like to associate myself with as we all know its full of semi-tryhard trolls. But they where talking about priests and how bad they where and like my guild we run with 3 healers one of which goes elemental during 2 heal fights we have a holy pally shamen and me holy/disc. atm I’m at 491 and the pally is 496, and sham is at 494 but even with me being last i still pull more hps and overall healing than them no matter what spec I’m in holy or disc. And why i hate reading wow forums and shit its just people who want to find an excuse to reroll the OP class. They go on forums and read how bad priests are and instead of trying it for themselves and taking the time to learn the class they automatically jump ship and make a monk, shamen, druid because those are the “easy” healers according to forum post after forum post. Like i come from vanilla where if you didn’t have all your healers holy you weren’t going to raid holy priests where the equivalent to monks. back in the vanilla days. Now its crazy like don’t get me wrong i know monks are OP. but have you seen what a good monk player has to do to keep up his/her numbers, its actually 10x more than a conventional healer has to do, people think that disc was weird for atonement healing, as a monk you have a full blown rotation. I personally love monks it has 1 mechanic i wish all the other healers had and its mana tea. that is hands down the best mechanic brought into wow. But like dev and everyone else has said if your on this site and you are getting deterred away from priests due to forums and what your realm says and what not don’t listen to them half the people out there just join what others say, don’t be a follower. Seriously. Play the class you want and put your full effort into it.

  2. Our disc priest thinks disc is overpowered and expects it to be nerfed. After she gets to know a fight she absolutely owns healing. She has had some top 10 (overall) logs since they buffed mana regen for disc.

    1. Our Disc priest feels the same way…and she felt that way before the first buff.

      Healers would do well to stop worrying about what other guilds are doing with other comps and figure out how to maximize their own abilities. As Derevka mentioned, look at how underutilized Holy is in everyone’s rush to adopt another Mistweaver.

    2. I agree with Moshne on this one. (not just b/c he’s my GM). Disc could do well pre-buff, and now when played well (leveraging DA/SShell correctly) can put up big numbers. But always remember… ‘meters’ are only one piece of the picture.

      1. Yea as it stands, Disc feels way better than Holy and slightly overpowered in general, I too am expecting a nerf.

        First and foremost Rapture working with Mana Tide will be the first to go, unless it would be a recoding nightmare for blizz. Getting 2 70k+ mana return raptures per mana tide is absolutely ridiculous(if timed right), and we have 2 resto shamans so even more OP. Not to mention on StoneGuard, even though its farm content it’s still lawl to see 220k mana raptures, with an overall avg of 1.5mil mana returned for the encounter each week.

        I’m glad they increased rapture to 200% spirit, but DA probably did not need to be buffed. I find it odd how Blizz goes from, using this example, an extreme bump of 30% to 50% instead of taking smaller steps and see how it plays out. My fear is, and it seems to be the circle of wow, they will now overnerf something else because they overbuffed DA and Rapture(could have easily done 175% instead and see how that felt for regen).

        Only time will tell…at the moment I’m immensely enjoying Disc.

  3. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of our output loss (for me at least) seem to come from the ridiculously high healing of mistweavers. When our mistweaver is raiding I chill out under our the pally and shaman and monk on the chart, but when the monk is not there I am usually higher output than the shaman and pally. The same is true for our druid.

    I feel that with the upcoming mistweaver nerfs, and our buffs that the overall healing will normalize a bit more.

    With a well played mistweaver in our 25 man it often feel like there isn’t much to heal.

    1. I agree with this. I have only done LFR so far but generally I find that I just relax, keep the tanks up (Why does nobody heal the tank anymore?) and use my cooldowns when they are needed. This fairly relaxed style gets me 2-4 in the meter (Usually Mistweaver miles out in front) and sees me having a reasonable amount of mana until it all gets hectic and the other healers seem unable to cope.

      I think our perceived issue is because some classes can spam away without worry (I really watch my overhealing, and am often out overhealed by a DPS or a tank let alone the other healers) but at least as Disc I know I am having to watch my output (Only ilevel 47x so far so only 7k spirit).

      Having said that in my inexperienced opinion I have always thought I was playing a well balanced class. I don’t even think SS is overpowered, it is just that it looks extra good on the meters because the fights seem to be fairly predictable in the raid wide damage stakes at the moment. If things were more random we wouldn’t look so great.

    2. Our Mistweaver played a Holy Pally last 3 tiers. He is a solid healer, got ranks on WoLs and did great burst heal on all those crazy raid damage phases. We were always neck and neck(me as Disc).

      This tier I have been consistently higher than him on most, maybe even all the fights. Below me, when I cheese the encounter as Disc OPness lol, are our two resto shamans, holy paladin and him(Mistweaver). Their percentages are relatively equal. He usually does quite a bit more overhealing but that’s the nature of their HoT.

      When I look at logs of those ranking Mistweavers that do absurd HPS I always see 1-3 healers dragging really low HPS. To me it just feels like those teams are ones that carry weak link healers, and Misteavers are there to pick up the slack, which obviously they’re incredible at it.

      So I don’t understand all these ‘Mistweavers are so powerful’ posts and hearsay. If every healer plays correctly then overall healing should even out between them.

  4. Mistweavers are rather ridiculous in one niche: 25 man raid healing. And just because they’re ridiculous doesn’t mean another class can’t handle it or it isn’t very dependent on player sill.

    Add mistweavers’ poor performance as tank and spot/spike healers and you’ll find you’re looking at parses of healers in mostly above average guilds, doing the job with the highest potential HPS(raid healing), and their class just happens to be highly efficient and slightly overpowered at that job.

  5. You alluded to it but by far the biggest factor affecting Disc “numbers” on places like Raid bots is Spirit Shell use. If you find a way to use Spirit Shell every minute to its maximum potential your “numbers” are through the roof! Of course not every fight sets up that well for it but some really do. The “Numbers” are just that, they aren’t really the same as DPS numbers. When SPI levels were really low, like 450-463 gear Priests felt kinda helpless and healers with alternate resources had a fall back. 496 gear is three tiers greater in power and it feels like it. Its so much of a difference I am wondering if anyone will care about Spirit by the time T15 or 16 comes around.

    Bottom line is you are absolutely right, Keep calm.

  6. Great post. Unlifting and encouraging, yet at the same time I can’t help but think you are sort of late to the QQ party :( Alla trying to douse a fire that have already died off because of the rain that came earlier.

    Disc had problems…a month and a half ago, when MSV first started and forums were flooded with cries of agony. With walking into HOF, those cries went away because by then, geared had already rolled in and hotfixes were done (HUGE hotfixes and buffs to discs). So by now, week 3 (walking into 4) of HOF, most of the QQ threads in the official forums had disappeared and replaced by shadow threads and disc-PvP threads. Discs are powerful but still clunky as hell (mechanic wise), holys are decent and getting more buffs…etc

    But while I understand your point that ‘holy priests are fine, L2P’ and agree with it, the fact that you use “my guild doesn’t have a mistweaver and I am doing fine” just doesn’t come off too well – it actually devalues your attempt to quell the fire. So your guild doesn’t need a mistweaver to kill things – that itself is a good example that mistweavers aren’t crucial. But at the same time it means you’ve never felt the sting when healing a 25 with mistweaver in town. It doesn’t add to your argument. You never had to compete with a mistweaver for HP healed and thus, never really experienced the pain of the holy priests that did. Or the pain of a holy priest that was SAT for a mistweaver because of the sheer HPS difference between the two. So to go ahead and say “it’s not a huge deal”…it just doesn’t feel right.

    Are mistweavers abilties overhyped? Maybe. Are they OP? Looking at the size of the nerfbat that’s coming to greet them, I’d say they are. And I’ll like to say that the fact Holy is getting buffed means Blizzard acknowledges the fact that the spec needs help and thus, right now, isn’t in too good of a shape. Having witnessed a monk myself as a priest with a really good mistweaver in raid, I can at least testify that much (and even he agrees that mistweavers need a nerf). Yes, they are changing for the future – woot, but the damage has already been done and it will be some time before things recovers and the dust settle.

    We don’t really raid in a vacuum, and folks are going to compare classes regardless. With the buffs coming to holy (disc already got theirs via hotfixes…thus their borderline OP situation now), I think holy priests will be in a better place than before. Yes – we have always landed on our feet…the law of Blizzard balance (yes, I have faith in them…strangely) will always come into effect and no one single class is going to be shafted for long. I just sort of wish we didn’t need to wait until the next tier for a fix. I’m getting bad Cata flashbacks =| When the community’s perception of a class is fixed, it usually takes an OP buff to get it back into the fold and be ‘noticed and acknowledged’, sort of where disc is right now…

    Oh well.

    1. Great commentary, thanks for taking the time to write it, but I think you might be misinterpreting a few of my statements– and Im commenting more to clarify.

      By no means am I saying I am high and mighty, but haven’t “experienced the sting of raiding with a MW”. The point my statement in that paragraph was making is that MW’s are by no means required, and a holy priest can easily fill that role– and that I do it regularly. (And well, I might add!) Sitting players just because they arent a MW is not good raid leading, IMO.

      And no where did i say its “not a huge deal”– its just not nearly as dire as people are painting it to be. WOL/Parses are ONE piece of the picture, and to look at the healing world that myopically is a dangerous path to follow.

      1. Oh don’t get me wrong – your posts aren’t coming off as high and mighty. I guess I’m just raising eyesbrows at the “I don’t raid with a mistweaver” and then immediately following “(I believe) they are overhyped and overstated”.

        It just feels like you are not actually ‘feeling’ what those are have been stung are feeling and addressing their concerns. My initial, really brunt gut feeling was “dude you don’t raid with one, how would you know?” Of course you can do fine without a monk, all healing classes do fine without them – in fact I’ll say we all do better (on the meters) without them (it’ll be like cata!). The real question is whether you can do fine and still hold your own WITH them and not have them come in and reduce your 100k hps to 25k hps – which, looking at the above posters, seems to be the problem at the moment. Holy priests seems to have been hit especially hard in that department (slightly underpowered spec with rigid healing spells + absurdly overpowered spec with spells seemingly designed to mess with said rigid spells = ???). Thus the nerfs and buffs.

        Of course, meters and logs aren’t everything. Without a mistweaver everyone would be 34/33/33 instead of 50/20/20/10. Unfortunately not everyone has that sort of insight when reading logs and if it comes to a point where you have to drop a healer for a fight, it sure won’t be the one on top.

        I’d argue a current holy priest can never fill in a mistweaver’s (pre-nerf/buff) boots 100% – those are mighty large boots (and you can’t say you can do it because you don’t raid with one and can’t compare :p). I have no doubt a holy priest can replace the mistweaver’s role as ‘raid healer’ competently but the individual will not be able to reach the MW’s potential healing done…instead, as per above poster, the ‘excess’ will be spread out between all the raid healers and there will be balance…instead of having a MW rocking 120k hps and everyone trailing behind at sub 100k – which I really don’t think is healthy.

        Progression is progression…and if somebody is pulling much higher DPS/HPS than somebody else, regardless of class or skill or time of day, sitting and swapping happens. I can’t call that bad raidleading at all. If the class itself is that powerful, there is no reason to not pull that class in (if you have it)…which means somebody has to take the fall (yay heroic spine). I’ll say it would be BAD raid leading to NOT pull that class in and let the bottom liner stay because it’s ‘morally wrong’.

        As said, with the buffs and nerfs in 5.1, there should be more of a balance between all healing classes and there will (or should) be peace. The only thing is whether the already-jaded community can accept holy priests being ‘on par’ and give them a chance instead of sticking with what they already have…or tell them to go disc.

        1. Derevka’s point is still valid. It still is bad raidleading if your RL just stares at the WoL parse, sees who’s churning out the highest HPS and concludes that is the player/class he needs and not the one dangling below him.

          If it is a good RL, they’d either A: know why the discrepancy exists and also knows that bigger numbers don’t equal better heals. B: try to find out why the discrepancy exists by researching online sources or talking to the players/classes he’s looking into. After which he’d understand why the phenomenon is there, and he can’t just go by the meters.

          At this point in time, I think any self respecting raiding guild should have at least 1 dedicated person that takes the time after each raid, or before the next one, to browse through the parses, look for inconsistencies, things that stick out, reasons why wipes are happening and perform some general analysis on their members performance. If this is not the RL, this person should be an advisor to the RL for decision making, changing of tactics, changing of assignments, … And a RL should welcome that information and use it to the raidgroups advantage.

          Knowledge is power!

  7. Great post Derevka, everyone needs to just quit hand wringing over WoL.

    For all the folks freaking out – try healing 10 mans with a Paladin, then lets talk underpowered. (Eternal Flame Blanket the raid FTW?)I originally decided to go with my Paladin for this expansion, and quickly regretted that mistake. After switching to my Disc priest? Raid is way more stable, I’ve actually got mana during fights and people aren’t dying.

    I’d say Priests are just fine, thank you very much!

  8. p.s :) Can we have your ui updated: )!!

    Cheeky bid I know :)

    1. Not until after 5.1 as the base I am using is being reset by the mod developer in 5.1

  9. Thank you anyway matey :)

  10. Having got my disc priest, shaman, & druid all up to lfr in mop, I’m having a difficult time with this. Mostly as a matter of mana, in fact. My druid & shaman are having ZERO mana issues, running along through 5 mans & lfr with a full bar and never needing to stop to drink. While my priest has to hit Fiend every time it’s off cd, and her gear is 10 ilvls higher. It’s demoralizing. You’re right though. I’m just gonna wait and see what happens after the next major patch. Thanks. I needed this article.

  11. Glad to see someone with their head screwed on straight. Priests have been the Cadillac of healers since WoW was released, and probably always will be.

  12. Thanks for the post.
    Now I can breath a little deeper, because now I have a place where I can point, when a random raid says “what healing class are you? disc priest? no way, they are too bad.”.
    It’s really hard for me to find a random raid because of this attitude.
    And because of this I don’t know the raids as good as DS for exapmle, so my SS isn’t as good as it could be.
    But now I have some hope.
    Thank for that.

  13. While Chakra works out more for holy priests in 25 mans, the mechanic gives me a really bad taste in 10 man raiding. That plus class/gear balance has me raiding on a mistweaver in our 10s this expansion. My priest runs 25s for guild unity (and does well there… however, a fair number of people are less skilled in the 25s group – hence the 10s for more progression). In a 25 man, I can more easily stay within the “cast only the right spells for the current Chakra”.

    Yes, mistweavers are crazy OP in 25s (although I’ve only done LFR there). Yes, I can put out very high aoe healing. Garalon (with a pally and shaman cohealers) looks really unbalanced, but it plays to my strengths. Single target healing is painfully mana intense and can be easily topped by either the shaman or the paladin (with their eyes closed). The 5.1 should bring both back more toward the middle for monks (aoe lessened especially in 25s, single target improved).

    5.1 should improve holy priest throughput in 25s. It should also make 10 man raids more painful for holy priests. The 10 man format requires much more switching between single target and aoe healing than is allowed with the Chakra cooldown. Holy feels like playing from a gimped hand… the increased buff to Chakra makes it more so.

  14. Happy to read, and I absolutely agree. Raiding as a fast progressing Heroic raiding Disc/Holy priest in 10mans, I’m having an extremely good time. Despite having some absolutely top class healers of other classes in my raid group, I rarely (and if played right, never) get outhealed in terms of pure numbers, and more often than not, I often feel I bright great clutch play and snap-reaction healing to the raids as well. A snappy health swap, PW:Shield, life grip, Pain Supp/Wings, etc, they all have the potenial to be worth so much more than the number their tooltip would suggest.

    And on top of that, it’s just plain fun to abuse the numbers on some fights as well, Vizier heroic for one, it’s definitely entertaining to play Disc on that fight. Heroic Windlord as well, esp. come 5.1 with super Atonement healing range I can imaging having a great time healing off of debuffed Windlord… 800k crit Atomenets, yes please!

    So all in all, what I’m trying to say is, I’m a Heal/Heal specced priest, and I’ve had an absolute blast so far in MoP – and I have no idea why some players are calling Priests out to be in an apparently bad position. Glad to see I’m not the only one who raises an eyebrow and wonders why that is.

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