I never healed in classic wow; only ranged DPS. However, having getting addicted to healing in MMOs like SWTOR, GW2 and ESO I want to give healing a go in classic wow.
However, I've been watching some old videos/beta videos, and it seems that all healers do is click UI, and then maybe sitting around for 5 seconds to kick in mp5. It could just depend on the kind of healer (I'm still trying to pick between priest or shaman).
For those of you who actually healed back then, how much of it is UI clicking? How fun is it? Is it actually more than just standing and healing (forgive my ignorance here).
I healed on a resto druid, but that was all I did. I used Grid, which allowed me to literally move the group closer to my action bar. So click on group/raid member, then heal. Watch out for chit on ground.
Today though, with the whole min max thing, it is a different game. I stepped out of healing once what I will describe went from being something as an added bonus to expected. This is healing when needed and DPS when not healing. I am unable to do instead of listen to the negativity, I just stop playing the healer class.
You're not wrong, a lot of healing is playing whack-a-mole with your raid UI, but there's a little more to it than that. Every healing class needs to balance their mana and that means downranking their spells. This obviously reduces your healing-per-minute and could get someone killed if you do it at the wrong time. Balancing efficiency and throughput will often change depending on the boss, with faster enrage-style bosses requiring you to dump HoTs and other spells you wouldn't normally use.
Shaman is one of the more involved healers because of totem twisting. Dropping a windfury totem buffs everyone in your group for 10 seconds regardless of the totem being destroyed, so you can drop windfury and follow it with grace of air to give a melee group both buffs. Between this and deciding what rank of chain heal to cast next and who to target you will be very busy. If you have mana tide you'll also have to be hot-swapped to a caster group so you can run over to them and plonk it down at some point.
What do you mean by UI clicking? If you mean cycling through player unit frames and healing them, then yes, this is your primary job as a healer. However, there's nuances to healing that you may not know - being a DPS player after all.
I won't go over the entirety of every healing class, but I'll casually explain how it functions.
There's three aspects (ranking from most to least important) especially early on in your gear cycle:
Managing mana as a paladin is quite simple. You can either quit casting all together, or simply cast lower rank spells. Depending on the damage your targets are taking, you'll be using differing ranks of healing spells. Clearly lower ranks cost less mana making you efficiently utilize your mana pool, and it should be taken into consideration that for every time you begin casting, you temporarily pause your non-casting mp5. In this case, as a healer, you should be considering how much damage your tank, dps, and so on, are taking - and the correct amount to heal them for. This is the only true learning curve of a healer, as it's the difference between a bad healer - and a good one.
Choosing your targets is typically simple - if you're assigned to heal a tank, then that's your job. However, if you're a raid healer, or a simple dungeon healer, you need to be aware of your surroundings, and the DPS of your targets. If you have a Rogue standing in the fire, and refusing to move, then there's little to zero reason to waste mana healing him. If two DPS are going to die, and you can only save one, we'll say a Rogue and Hunter, then you must quickly decide which class is more beneficial not only in DPS, but in said fight. Keeping track of high DPS targets who don't stand in the fire throughout the raid/dungeon is something that a lot of healers tend to skip over, but it's still an important skill to learn.
Proper use of cooldowns
The proper use of cooldowns can determine whether or not someone lives or dies. As a paladin you have a few different skills up your sleeve. If you're in a dungeon, and one of your DPS is being chased by a mob that can be stunned, your https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5589/ ... of-justice could be the difference between life and death. Another important cooldown that should be considered is the proper use of https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5599/ ... protection. If you have a DPS pulling threat, then that's your go-to ability. A tank can also utilize this spell by taunting as soon as the https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5599/ ... protection begins; granting him immunity to physical damage, however it should be noted that once the initial taunt phases off he should immediately drop the buff. It should be noted that this method is extremely dangerous in raids, and should be avoided at all costs. I personally only use https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5599/ ... protection with DPS who pull mobs who deal physical damage.
There are other cooldowns, specifically in the holy tree, that can be utilized properly, but that's all situational, and I won't be going over them.
So, from the breakdown of how a typical Holy Paladin will function in a raid/dungeon, you need to consider these things:
- Mana management
- Your character's placement
- Average damage taken and mitigation of Tank
- Prioritized heal targets
- Threat generated by DPS (not very important in raids)
- Proper heal rank
- Observation of surroundings
- Cooldown management
Most of this becomes second nature after a little bit of time playing, but this is the gist of it. PvP is it's own beast, and I won't be going over it in this post unless specifically asked.
Hope this helped
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Great info above. I will add that the difficulty of healing will also be dependent on your raid and the competence of players you are playing with. This will be more impactful than any addons you will be using. Unfortunately for healers, the better your guild is, the easier healing becomes. I suppose this is true for tanking and DPS as well to a certain extent. When bosses are getting downed in 20-50 seconds, there isn't much room to DPS let alone heal. The argument here would be that a great guild will slowly prune their healers to add more DPS, increasing their throughput which will preserve some semblance of difficulty for healers, but that isn't the best outcome for healers either as they may end up being the ones who are benched. As the game progresses healing becomes increasingly difficult and engaging. I would struggle playing as a healer in anything pre AQ.
Thank you all very much for all of the amazing information and anecdotes above. I really appreciate the insight.
While my desire to do healing has wavered a little bit, this has given me a lot to think over. Still undecided on the healing class but this is certainly helping me narrow it down.
Healing is anything but UI Clicking. In PvE maybe a bit, but you still have to pay attention to a lot of things.
In PvP the healer is one of the most important, positioning is extremely important, a priest is often the one who opens the fight. With dispels as an example.
I've played some classes in my long career in Classic WoW but have always returned to the priest because he is just one of the most versatile characters in Classic.
Twitch Channel, feel free to take a look :)!
I won't point out normal stuff or googlable stuff that everyone knows like how holy paladin's need to observe threat to know when to use Blessing of Protection, bla bla, innervate, bla,
Instead I'll tell you stuff that not many people know.
- Paladins can equip T1 and go full auto attack on the boss and passively heal. (produces 85% healing of a normal healer all the while dpsing)
- Priest can heal and apply the Shadow Weaving debuff (you get to cast shadow spells as a healer)
- Resto druid have their own unique "mini-game" by not trying to overheal (VERY hard, but can get you on top of meters)
- Shamans can totem twist (this is more common)
- Resto Shamans with sufficient gear can go melee the boss w/Hand of Edward and instant heal (very fun)
So no... its not just clicking UI.
If all you're doing is clicking your UI you're not going to be doing a very good job. @Nenski did a very good job of going into depth on the matter. However, there is also learning your raid -understanding which players are more likely to take damage from what mechanics- and learning your healing roster -understanding the priorities of your other healers. That along with understanding mana management, all encounter specific mechanics, how to effectively utilize the ranks of your spells, optimizing your output on the raid, and of course your own personal awareness are the marks of a good healer. To become excellent, all that has to be second nature.
OP - you're not wrong.
Source - was Priest raid healer for 2-3 expansions, Paladin, Monk, and Druid healer in PVP.
Resto druid for all of Legion Raiding.
"Whack a Mole" aka make the small bars into big bars and dodge some graphics.
All above being said, you can macro the whole raid into keybinds meaning you don't have to click with your mouse, but this is annoying because raid setups don't always look the same so there will be a lot of adjusting names in your macros. However it's nice to have one on main tank and offtank so you don't have to manually click in case of panic. Same goes for your group if your only focus is 4 players.
As a hybrid being dps, it's also nice to have a macro for either a healer or the tanks just in case.
When I healed in Vanilla, I used all the standard blizzard UI settings and possibilities.
Aka, i didnt have any mods, addons or anything, I wanted it simple, I only had threat meter.
I had all the groups displayed on the screen and I clicked the ones to heal if they are in range.
For the main tank i would just click on the character on the screen since he usually is in front of the boss alone.
I was always active unless my focus was the main tank then i didnt help anyone.
I would try and click all warlocks that were life tapping and slap a renew on them and try to save the rogues from getting annihilated because they wouldnt move from the cleave lol.
I was always on my toes and always out of mana at the end of the fight because i tried to do too much and save everyone and heal everyone even though we have other healers in the raid!
There were probably better ways of healing with macros and mouseovers but i had more fun clickings and trying to save everyone i didnt care
The Burning Crusade is coming soon
I had a shaman in vanilla and got to 12/15 naxx with it.
As others pointed out already, healing is basically 'whack a mole' in raidframes. I would say it's stressfull and simple, but also very satisfying, because you control who lives.
But sometimes you ignore all encounter mechanics, especially as paladin, so it's not suggested if you want to experience the raids in all mechanics.
So back then we tend to say you hide your weaker players in the healing crowd and for MC that is correct. But starting with Vael you need to deliver too and that is one of the reasons why raids are staying in the 'MC guild' tier.
Later, especially in Naxx or Deep AQ40, you need to be pretty skilled, because your raids wants/needs to kill fast and are bringing more DPS or Tanks, so the remaining healers better be proficient.
If your choice is healing, I still suggest going priest, because of spells like https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10938 ... -fortitude, https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25315/renew and the reliable https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25314/greater-heal. Shaman raid healing is later indeed different ranks of https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10623 and a https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16188 ... -swiftness macro for your assigned tank.
But if you want to have alot of fun supporting your group and always having the right tools, then shaman is the right choice.
For addons I strongly suggest every raid healer some raidframes with healcomm and proximity check like https://github.com/gnwl/NotGrid.