Back to the Glory Days of Tank Healing

  I got Shanghai’d into Bastion of Twilight last night. I wasn’t prepared and I got drug into the last little bit of the raid after I got home. (With no hope for anything other than repair bills since they had already downed bosses before I got home.) I wanted to do my TB dailies because we had control over it and then do the regular dailies. This was not to be. I had no idea I would be raiding and wasn’t prepared in the slightest. I thought I would get home, put on my brand new DVDs of the second season of Genshiken, do some dailies and then some Archeology before bed. It would be the perfect end to a stressful day at work but instead I got thrust into something I know next to nothing about. I just wanted to sit in my Eeyore jammies with my feet up and space out for a few hours.

To say I was not prepared is an understatement. I haven’t even begun to think about raiding. I don’t know what the new flasks are. I don’t know where any of the entrances to new raids are. I have no idea what any of the bosses are or even what loot they drop. I’m still on the heroic grinding stage of things. I still haven’t done heroic SFK, for fuck’s sake and here I am standing in front of Halfus Wyrmbreaker with no clue and only 20 minutes left in the raid. I had no time to look at anything.

They tried to explain the fight to me. It was stressed that I would be healing Adlin and only Adlin since there would be a healing debuff. OK, I can do that. Heal the tank – it’s kinda what I’m good at. We make the pull and Adlin drops like a ton of bricks. “Healing Debuff” is a nice way to say that your Greater Heal will hit the tank for 48. Yes, just 48. Not 4800 – only 48 health. It was like I was back at being level one with the original “Heal” spell. It was crap.

We tried again and the same thing happened. Apparently there is a tank swap but we just could not pull the timing of it off. We kept wiping on it for another 20 or minutes before calling the raid.

From what I saw in my brief Cata raiding it seems like we will be going back to the glory days of Disc Priest on tank healing. I mean that we will be healing the tank and no one else. I took my finger off Adlin for a GCD to bubble Bags and Adlin was one shot. I can’t be doing anymore spot healing or helping out on raid heals like I used to. I truly think the days of being a “Bubble Bot” for the raid are over. Hurray to that!

Back when TotC first came out I had a special relationship with my Pally tank, Kells. He was awesome. We had an odd connection – I would always know that he would be in my range and he knew when to use his own CDs. It was a glorious thing. We raided a good long time together and it became that I got a true sense of pride when healing him. I would not let anything touch “my tank” and he would not go down with out a fight from me. Every GCD was spent healing him and only him. I would be damned if he was going to die on my watch. The damage was pretty hectic for me back then and there were some times that I didn’t know how on earth we survived it. I look back on it and it seems so trivial compared to what we have now but back in the day it was horrible.

Then ICC came out and was nerfed into the ground. I came to have spare GCDs for the raid. I could contribute to raid healing and not constant tank spamming. I began to think of Disc as an excellent HEALING spec and not just for tanks. I began spreading bubbles and Renew around the raid to help out my Resto Druid. I was at the haste soft cap and with BT up my Flash heal was down to a 0.9 second cast time so I was spreading bubbles and flash healing tanks just to get a DA proc – not because he really needed to be healed. It was nice and we began to 2 heal encounters. I became the jack of all trades – I had the good damage reduction and the good, raw healing.

Then Cata came out and everything changed. This may just be a gear thing. I can testify that healing heroics is much easier now than it was even a week ago because I have gotten my gear in order – stacking spirit and reforging haste has done wonders for me. (I now have 1065 haste and 3451 MP5 out of combat.) Perhaps once we have our Professor Plums it will be easier and I can go back to helping out on raid heals. But right now, I just cannot afford to. We are truly back to heal spam on the tank just to keep them on the beveled edge of surviving.

I’m also seeing that the Smite Spec is not for raiding, at least this early in the expansion. The healing through doing damage is a lot of fun for me. I especially like it on bosses that require DPS on the adds. I can stay on the boss and make the encounter not as time consuming at least in a small way. Sometimes I am just yelling in my head “Kill it already!” so I like it when I can be useful in getting the boss down not just healing the group up.

I didn’t have the opportunity to even think about Smiting during my raid time last night so I think I will go to the Shield spec and drop Evangelism/Atonement the next time I go in there. I really wish Blizz would give us Triple Spec – not just Dual Spec. I don’t want to drop my Shadow spec but I need to have a good raid spec and I also want to have fun in dungeons with Smite. I also want a good PvP spec so maybe Quad Spec would be better… I really don’t look forward to carrying around 3 sets of gear again but I can’t wait to see how long I last with some good resilience going.

But, anyways… The days of Disc Spam on the tank have returned with a vengeance. We have Blizzard talking of bringing us in line with Holy in shear numbers and flexibility but then we get pigeon holed back into a main tank healing role. Blizzard, make up your damn minds already. I can’t be both at the same time like I could in ICC a month ago. I cannot be everything to everybody all the time anymore.

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