Which healing class...?
I've recently been lucky enough to get a "recruit-a-friend" 300% experience bonus while leveling with my friend. She chose a mage and I, having wanted to have an end-game healer for quite some time, chose a priest. Now we're both leveling pretty fast (especially fast thanks to the new dungeon finder!) and I've nearly caught up to two of my alts levels. I have a 40 druid and a 40 shaman. I'll soon have a 40 priest as well. My question is, seeing that I'll finally have the motivation to level a healing alt to 80, which one would be the most desirable to bring with me?
I'm not to familiar with the end game of each of the 3 classes and I'm wondering which one would offer the most to a group/raid as of patch 3.3.
All the healing classes are versatile and powerful. Each has their own little niche, and each is wanted in raids.
Unfortunately I have no advice besides "try them all". I think priests are the most versatile healing class as they have two healing specs with vastly different playstyles, but shamans and druids give you more options for offspecs, especially druids.
ooh a toughie!
I had a druid healer which was get at HoTs (Heals over time) but not great at dealing with massive spikes of damage
I've got a holy/disc priest - you is very versatile (flip to holy for raiding healing and disc for raid tank healing or HCs)
I've never had a shaman but have two great shammie healers in the guild who make healing look easy (probably a lot to do with epic skills but I'd NEVER say that to a shammy...they're bad enough as it is! lol)
Based on personal experience would say for purely healing..go priest. If you want to be the most popular person on wow, go druid and do healing MS and Tank or Boomkin OS...you will never be lonely :P
Any and all of them, really, if played well. Personally, I'd go with whatever you enjoy the most (granted, this can be hard to decide at level 40 when they're still missing half their tools).
Originally Posted by Ervanna
If you just want to cold-bloodedly maximize your chance of getting into PUG raids, I'd pick whatever healer type is most lacking on your server.
As to strengths and weaknesses, all three are strong endgame healers if specced and geared right. You will see certain classes getting pigeonholed into certain narrow roles, but that's largely because of the prejudice du jour, not because of actual capability. (Of course, there are roles where one class is actually stronger than the other, but rarely to a degree where it is crippling.)
Druids and shamans have the advantage that they can, by and large, cover all roles with a single spec (with minor variations if you REALLY want to minmax). Priests generally need two healing specs to maximize their healing potential, but have unrivaled healing versatility if they do.
Druids and shamans will often be stuck on raid healing in PUGs, unless there's no holy paladin available. Priests are similarly generally relegated to raidhealing by PUG leaders, either because of the extremely high raidhealing throughput that holy priests have or because shields everywhere are so attractive in preventing damage, or they are assigned to co-heal the tanks because of Discipline's strong mitigation effects.
In an organized raid that is not so much governed by preconceived notions but by people actually knowing each other and their strengths and weaknesses, healing roles can get mixed up quite a bit more.
Awesome! Thank you all for your input, it has been very enlightening. I believe I'll stick with my priest now. I was a little unsure of which class, but now I feel more confident! I also learned that my recruit-a-friend can grant up to 30 free levels to a sub-60 toon once they themselves reach level 60, so I can bring both the druid and shaman up to near 55ish just in case I change my mind.