My Chars

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Solidfaith Goes (Back To) Discipline

When I joined Nightmare-EU I was asked to come as Shadow, as they had enough priest healers at the time.
Although I have never played as a raiding Shadow Priest I was willing to give it a try and gave it my best effort. I read blogs, forums and various sites, worked on my gear and rotation and generally tried to output the best DPS that I could.

Results were... frustrating, to say the least. On some fights I could output very nice DPS - but only if they were overwhelmingly AoE fights where I could spam Mind Sear. On single target fights (most boss fights) I was sadly behind most of the other DPS in the guild.

It was not a gear issue nor was it rotation (I think). I think the problem is a combination of two factors. One is that Shadow DPS is behind in general, you can see that in in the Rankings, Shadow Priests are almost nowhere to be seen. The other factor is I think that Shadow Priest damage is just more susceptible to being hurt by high latency and since I usually play with 300ms-500ms lag I was hurt more by this.

Anyway, I noticed after a while I was not really improving relative to the rest of the DPS-ers in the guild. I also noticed we were usually lacking a Discipline priest in the raid. Putting 2 and 2 together I approached the GM and suggested I would go main-spec Discipline. He agreed and that very night I raided 10man Ulduar as Discipline :)

Since then I've had only one other fight as Discipline (25man Mimiron normal mode), as I was needed as Shadow during the other fights. But I have to say I enjoyed going back to Disc - my last time was after LK was released when I realized as a fresh level 80 that my low gear just didn't support Holy very well. I enjoyed being Disc also back then but was tempted to Holy by high healing output especially in fights with lots of raid-wide damage, of which there are a lot in Ulduar. Since then I've seen Holy HPS nerfed a lot with the Prayer of Healing nerf while Disc has not suffered as much (although the Penance nerf did hurt). In addition we have enough Holy raiding priests but not as I said Disc priests.

In terms of actual healing, the main HPS spell I have is PW:S - just cast it on as many raiders as possible, especially in AoE damage intensive fights. Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal make up my other main healing spells, with other spells such as Penance or Renew being used a lot less often.

Mana regen is just fantastic, I just don't see mana as being an issue currently. Of course I still haven't tried out Heroic ToC-25 as a healer which is where the real test will be.

In fact the only gripe I have so far as a Disc healer is that Recount doesn't measure bubble healing so I have to wait for the post-combat log parses to see the real healing picture. But of course this is not a problem with Disc healing itself :)

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