Oh, Lightwell, You Are So Misunderstood
At level 40 under the Holy Tree, for precisely 1 talent point, you can pick up a really nifty spell: Lightwell.

Also known as LOLwell.

ETA: Save the Lightwell! has, perhaps unsurprisingly, made an excellent post about the value of lightwell, discussing all the arguments against it and defeating those very same arguments! Check it out - it's most likely much better than my own post hehe.

Why do so many people scoff at this awesome spell? The HPS is amazing. It does a lot of the healer's job for them in a way. You can precast it before a fight, and lay it out ahead of time. It has a wealth of charges and it can heal a large number of people simultaneously. Why wouldn't you want such a great spell?

Because its benefit is dependent on non-healers having the awareness to, and taking responsibility for, healing themselves. And, quite often, you cannot depend on others to do that - it's not really in their job. In order to get the benefit of the healing provided by Lightwell, the DPS or tank needing the heal must:
  • figure out where the Lightwell is.
  • reposition themselves (and potentially the mob) over to it
  • click on the Lightwell, thereby deselecting their current target.
  • If there are multiple mob targets, they then have to retarget the proper mob.
  • If they use a rotation, it potentially screws up their "system"
I could be like all the healers who complain about lazy DPS and tanks who won't make the effort to save their own virtual arses, but to be honest, I don't actually think that's fair. I, and a vast portion of raiding healers, use an addon that enables me to heal others without requiring me to actually target individuals. When I do try to DPS, I struggle with targeting properly - I'm completely out of practice. Screwing up one's rotation is a bona fide PitA too, and depending on the class of DPS or Tank, it may simply not be worth the loss in damage or threat to get that heal, when in all likelihood, the healer is just going to heal them anyway. And let's not forget that business of finding the damn well and running over to it in the first place.

That last problem at least can be helped by thoughtful placement of the Lightwell, and I could offer many suggestions for how to improve usage of a Lightwell, not to mention to the spell itself (seriously, did Blizz but that Lightwell in ToC just to PISS US OFF?), but those issues are for another post, and actually Matticus already wrote a pretty good article about how to make the best of this spell. My point here is to recognize the valid debates within the Holy Priest community regarding the value of this particular talent.

If you can figure out the best way and situations in which to use it properly, and if you can "train" the other members of your group to use it, then here's what I say - it's ONE damn talent point for a potentially awesome spell. Hell, skip Desperate Prayer, pick up Lightwell, and just park it near yourself. (Yes, yes, I say this partially in jest, because I know the alternatives to Desperate Prayer, talent wise, are pretty crappy)

My own personal verdict? Spec it.

As an ending note, here are Ghostcrawler's comments on Lightwell from the Priest Q&A.

Q: Do you have any plans to improve [Lightwell's] functionality?
Ghostcrawler: [...] The basic root of the problem is that most dps classes seem unwilling to have to take the time or spatial awareness to make use of the Lightwell, even if it provides great healing. [...] We don’t like that dps characters focus on dps at the exclusion of even their own survival and just assume that’s the healer’s job [...]. Lightwell heals for a lot. The problem is just getting players to use it. Encounters currently are very fast-paced, in terms of both dps and healing required so you have trouble finding room to use it. "


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7 Responses
  1. Bojangles00 Says:

    Doesn't the lightwell have a limited number of charges? I usually spam right click on them just to piss them off >:]


  2. Fuubaar Says:

    I've always found them to be MUCH more useful when I'm tanking a stationary boss where I'm not Fearing for my life every other hit.

    Since I'm a paladin tank, my threat is usually so high that I could start the fight, get a full rotation in and take a nap. As long as I kept my block up (and didn't feel like I was really struggling to keep myself up) I would totally use a light well.

    The catch is if I have to readjust the boss to use it, I probably wont. Some Bosses are just too plain hard to move around and once you get them situated, I wont move em until they fall over.

    An example of this is Maxxi the spider with WINGS! When you position her, she turns around and faces everyone then decides that she is happy with her location & turns around again.

    I would never dream of moving her if I really had to.

    Moral of this story, for a tank to use the lightwell, it would have to be a stationary fight, the lightwell would have to be within reach of my clicking, and if the boss hit too hard, I wouldn't click on it because I want to keep up my rotation for the best possible mitigation & avoidance.

    With all of those things in mind, there are very few situations that I, personally, would us one while tanking.

    Now, for those lazy bum DPS, if there is a TON of Raid Damage, NO EXCUSE! An alive DPS doing 500 less Damage per second is better than a Dead DPS.

    Back to you Jess :)


  3. Jessabelle Says:

    @Bojangles00

    Yes, it only has ten charges. In other news, you're a dbag. Although, in all fairness, it's possibly you'd be the only one using any of those charges ANYWAY sooo...

    @Fuubaar

    I was actually really hoping you'd weigh in on this, since you are one of those awesome tanks who actually uses Lightwell when practical.

    The most important thing to remember when casting Lightwell is to think of the mechanics of the fight. It's good for Malygos, for after the vortex when everyone falls, for instance. It's also good for Archavon, if you set it next to one of the tanks.

    But it's kinda useless on fights where the tank has to move the boss around a lot.


  4. Fuubaar Says:

    Or you can use the A-Hole technique and tell the DPS that they will not recieve raid heals from anyone else unitl that lightwell is used up ;)

    That's just me.


  5. Jessabelle Says:

    @Fuubaar

    You know, I've threatened that in the past, but like, communicating that command to my Flash Heal Trigger Finger has not been so successful.

    I am unable to resist.


  6. Bojangles00 Says:

    At least I'm getting the worth of it then. ;]


  7. Mia Says:

    I couldn't decide whether or not to take this talent.
    The other holy priest who used to heal our 10-man raids set it down exclusively for the healers and the more squishier caster dps to use when they were just standing there, nuking, which seems kinda useful to me - like Fuu said, it's only really good if you're stationary.
    After tweaking and teasing my holy spec, however, I kept it in, left it out, realised I'd left it out, then decided that maybe that one talent point wasn't worth losing the points I wanted elsewhere, and so passed up on it.
    Just doesn't seem to be valuable enough to make an exception to add it into my spec


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