Good analysis- and advice. FH used to be our bread and butter heal right after penance. If Spell rotation for the Disc priest are like the changes in the Resto shaman heal rotation- then slower heals take priority because they conserve more mana... I'll have to resist the urge to FH
As far as the haste/mastry/crit question- i find a equal balance on these stats important to handle the changing dynamic of healing demands thru boss encounters.
Especially if you are getting into end game progression you should really look at stat weights a fight at a time. Zevia definitely hit the nail on the head when he said there is no single, always right way to gear a Disc priest. Mastery is a great stat if PW:S is a large amount of your healing. Haste is also a strong throughput stat when raid healing like this. Crit is actually not a strong stat in the situation that mastery is it's strongest. When tank healing however, mastery offers much less throughput than either haste or crit. I highly recommend not getting locked into one way of gearing. Reforge and reglyph for a progression encounter! It doesn't cost much.
I have tried out devoting most of my stats to mastery I ended up with around 16% ish from gear and 29k shields while raid buffed in 10 man it wasn't too bad but with the reduced crit and haste I was physically healing less and procing less DA which made healing very stressful so atm I will stick with haste and crit as my main stats.
As for bubble spam as it used to be it's not possible cover 10 people with shields when possible and you most likely wont make it past phase 1 on any encounter an oom priest is a useless priest.
imo bubble spam for today relates to using a key talent to reduce weakened soul down to around 4 or 5 seconds, for me atm I use heal or Gheal 2 or 3 times and pop shields as soon as the first breaks it makes for very stable single target healing plus with enough crits and haste DA will be up on the target 90% of the time re-stacking and refreshing before it is fully absorbed.
As a 10man disc healer with 6/13 heroic progress I can say that haste is a good stat to stack. At least it works well for me. My gheal is 2.09s cast without BT. On most encounters DA+PWS makes up only 20-40% of my healing. Boosting this by small amounts would not be so beneficial than boosting ALL spells - that's what haste does. Haste also gives more time to keep moving and lets more spells be cast in small time windows (engulfing shadows in Maloriak hard and Chimaeron pops into mind) which are extremely important in heroic encounters.
I started using Inner Will (specced 3/3 inner sanctum) as selfbuff on all heavy movement and/or heavy mana use encounters and it really makes a difference. I also recommend speccing desperate prayer, it's awesome good now. I macroed healthstone to desperate prayer, it brings me from near dead to near full in a keypress. Crazy good.
Use PI on yourself if you need the extra througput and/or mana savings. Countering large raidwide aoe with poh spam or healing tank during Feud - these are excellent times to pop it.
Disc priest mobility is horrible. Swiftness potion is hotkeyed now, it's almost mandatory on Atramedes hard.
These are my observations, folks. I hope it helps someone.
Last edited by Delicatesse; 04-07-2011 at 12:02 AM.
Regarding Inner Will vs Inner Fire, I have them keybound to F1 and F2 respectively. I keep Inner Fire up 99% of the time, but it's nice to have Inner Will ready when those movement phases occur. I switch back to Inner Fire as soon as the movement is done. I'm a mastery stacker (32k+ PW:S absorbs), and the lack of throughput from Inner Will is noticable if I forget to switch back to Inner Fire.
You may be getting better results from Inner Will because your haste stacking puts a higher demand on your mana pool, but keep in mind it does nothing for your non-instant heals. If it's just the run speed you're interested in, I would recommend the Lavawalker enchant for your boots (it doesn't stack with the speed from Inner Will). I personally use the 50 mastery enchant instead, as I'm a mastery whore who can't let 15 points go to waste, but whatever helps YOU down content is what matters.
I must march to the tune of a different drummer here. I use Inner Will almost exclusivley since I rely on my bubbles and the reduced mana usage is nice - not quite a bubble spammer, but close. I also went to an Attonement, Evangelism spec and I'm loving it. I find in normal 10 mans, I can pretty much bubble the tanks, Smite spam, and take advantage of the Evangelism proc for 1% mana and 15% buff to heals and throw out a PoH to help with raid or a Pennance on one of my tanks if he's getting a little low.
In this limited context, Inner Will vs Inner Fire roughly translates into "do I need more shields, or bigger shields?". If your primary concern is bubbling the tanks, then bigger definitely wins due to Weakened Soul. If you can't cast more, trying to optimize for more makes no sense. If your raid comp dictates you should be mitigating raid damage, then maybe more wins, but it's not that simple. You are giving up 531 spell power if you forgo Inner Fire. The throughput dropoff is comparable to replacing a 359 Chelley's staff with a 333 blue, and that throughput affects all of your spells. There's also the fact that PoH is a better raid healing tool if you can get 5 hits per cast. PoH does not benefit from Inner Will.
So what I'm getting at is this: don't fall into a justification trap! It's so easy to say to yourself, "Well, I cast PW:S a lot 'cause it's pretty baller, but I keep running out of mana, so I guess I'll use Inner Will." It is one way of solving your problem, and it might even lead to success, in which case great! Regardless of whether something works, you should consider if there are more effective ways of solving the problem, such as tweaking your spell selection so you don't need to cast as many mana draining bubbles, or finding better cooldown timings to get the most out of your regen abilities.
Most importantly, you need to consider not just the benefits of the choice, but the costs of the choice. In this case, giving up Inner Fire is a tremendous cost. Yes, the reduced mana cost from Inner Will is "nice". But how nice? And how nice are the other options? When you start to quantify just how nice things really are, then you can make more meaningful comparisons.
...and yes, PW:S is pretty baller.
To me the choice is fairly simple. IF when healing tanks, IW when healing raid. The advantages of bubble spam are pretty huge on most fights when raid healing. That said I don't like giving up my 6% magic damage reduction from IF which I find absolutely critical on Hard Modes and/or Nefarian but the 16% movement speed should not be underestimated either on fights like HM-Magmaw/Omnitron.
I'm normally placed on a tank or kind of a tank and a half let's say since our healing comp is normally, me (Disc), Shammy and Holy Priest or Druid. The Shammy takes one tank, I take the other and everyone gets raid. Usually, I'm throwing bubbles and a Renew around to the raid and the other tank when my tank/tanks are stable and I see anyone getting low. I try to buy time for the raid heals; naturally when all hell breaks loose PoH gets spammed.
That said I am perfectly willing to give IF a try, you make a pretty good argument for it.
We're still only doing normals, we're 7/12 (although I've gone 10/12 on my hunter with another guild), so as we work together we'll refine things. I'm noticing as we all gear up, it's getting more and more trivial to heal the first 7 bosses - I can see going to 2 heals on most fights by the time we get to 12/12.
In fact on Halfus last night, I was kind of bored as I bubbled the tanks as they they'd take Halfus (we had Nether, Storm and Slate) and Smite spammed, I was looking for damage to heal; Magmaw was a joke: "hey, worm can you bite harder on my tank please I'm looking for something to heal".
More and more it's getting like the old WoLK days, in the sense of comfort with the fights.
You yourself are also getting more comfortable. You know which bosses hit hard and spiky and can mentally prepare for those spikes ... it requires less bandwidth to pull off. Also of the inefficiency we all experience when learning is effectively being scared shitless of letting someone die. A big spike comes in and you just don't know if there's another one coming shortly. Eventually you learn that, yeap that big spike comes in once a minute and you have all the time in the world to heal those people up efficiently or whatever.
But yeah my point was more around the frustration other healers feel when competing with your bubbles. Its very hard for a druid or holy to efficiently raid heal when there's a bubble blanket on their assignments, specially in low DPS/HPS situations. I mean its fine if it's your assignment and it's clear (they know to roll hots on the other people and only target your group with their smart heals), but you know what I mean. There's efficiency to be gained in the cracks.
Can we get this stickied so it's at the top of the page?
I find myself going OOM when raid healing. Especially on 25. Any suggestions for how to do this?
Note: I'm a bubble bot, not a smiter.
A common mindset is, "I need to cast as many shields as possible to carry my weight in the raid." Having excess mana at the end of a fight is taboo and considered a sign of needing to cast more. While this is true to a point, the value of a shield is not its contribution to your HPS. The true value is to make heavy damage phases less punishing. Spamming shields in low damage phases will pump up your HPS, but it will also waste mana. If the other healers on your team are competent, they should be able to heal through those low damage phases without the shields being there. My advice is to focus more on recognizing damage patterns. Use efficient heals to fill the low damage phases, and time your heavy PW:S usage to coincide with the large swells of damage.
When I am learning a new fight, I start out by going nuts with PW:S. I do anything I can do to reduce damage so that our guild makes it further and sees more mechanics. As we progress through learning the fight I typically start to reduce my PW:S usage. In other words, it's not a matter of casting more shields to produce better results, but rather casting fewer, tightly timed shields to achieve a better result (that result being "the group is still alive, and I have more mana than I would have otherwise"). The key to mana management is knowing when less is more, and when it's necessary to "beast out". I don't consider it wasteful to down a boss and have excess mana. Instead, I view it as a sign that I've mastered my mana management for the fight.
I do need more practice. I just need ideas for what to do when, say, 10 members of a 25 man are significantly below 50% health. They're gonna need healing. I've tried the PoH spam but that just does not work.
Next up I think I'll try the Inner Focus/GH/PW:S route with Penance on cooldown for the more desperate cases.
The idea being IF gets me a free GH+crit chance. PW:S gets me a faster GH. GH shortens the cooldown on IF. Penance is always a bucket of win for peeps in trouble and it is fairly cheap.
I'm typically a tank healer, but when the situation calls for me to raid heal I usually do a PW:S > PoH > PW:S > PoH rotation. This lets you get some large shields on the people who are lowest in health, while adding a nice chunk of haste to each PoH. Also, while PoH might not top people off as easily as some other class's AoE heals, don't discount the value of DA.
The AoE heals from the Shamans and Druids I raid with are incredible - especially if the raid is stacked - so I can usually just focus on the tanks and toss the odd PW:S on somebody who dips low or gets targeted by a damaging fight mechanic. On the occasions where there is too much burst for the raid healer's AoE + HoTs to keep up (Majordomo comes to mind), I tend to pre-bubble the raid with DA from PoH before the big damage spike. It's more efficient in that role than PW:S while covering more targets in less time, and often it's just a small amount of mitigation that's required to prevent the spike damage from killing somebody.
If PoH isn't cutting it for you, do some checking to see if it's hitting all its possible targets. You may need to have some words with your raid leader about rearranging who is in which raid group. On fights where the raid assumes their positions before the pull, I typically will cast a few PoHs pre-pull and count the DA bubbles I see pop up to make sure I've got good coverage.
Turns out it is mostly just practice. It seems most of my mana problems are coming from not using my cool downs enough. Things like Inner Focus, Power Infusion, and Shadowfiend simply have to be used more often. I shouldn't think twice about using Penance on anyone below 75% or so. I should keep PoM bouncing around the raid more.
I made some power auras to show me my cool downs.