Well last night I gave Disc spec a solid try. Not that I had never tried it before, obviously, but this time I had a new air of determination... this time it was NOT going to be "spec for a day", or, "if this goes badly, I'll just go back to Holy"... No. I had decided that no matter how miserably I flailed about waving hands full of bubbles, I was going to stick it out, and learn how to do this damn thing properly. I will no longer permit myself to despair, and run back to the safety and comfort of my Circle of Healing when things get tricky.
It went... alright.
True, this was not raiding. I felt it was best to start with some five mans. My guildmates and I spent an hour in heroic ToC, all of us learning a bit more each time. I've run it dozens of times on my priest, as holy... but my guildmates had only done it a handful of times, and I was certainly not as comfortable as a Disc Priest. I had, in fact, even tried it once as Disc... and the results provided the basis for my present day hesitance towards Disc Priesting.
There were a few things in particular with which I struggled, though I improved on the way.
You actually CAN bubble too much - who knew? Or rather, bubble improperly. I began having mana problems due to bubbling other members of my party who never took any damage... therefore Rapture never kicked in. After I realized this, I started bubbling only myself and the tank until I saw others begin to take damage.
I need an addon that lets me know, in a non-annoying way, that the cooldown for Penance has passed.
Pain Suppression can be a tricky little bugger. After using it on the tank, I guess he must have lost aggro on the hunter, because the troll quickly shot me down immediately after I used the spell. As a matter of fact, Pain Suppression is one of those spells that has me convinced that Disc Priests can handle certain types of raid healing - just not in the way to which most of us are accustomed, a la via strong AoE heals. To me, PS just screams "use me on the mage! The MAAAAAAGE!" It's definitely no Guardian Spirit.
Now that I've mastered the art of remembering to use Divine Hymn (well, most of the time... it saved our butt at the end of the Black Knight), I now have Inner Focus and Power Infusion to remember. I've heard that others use macros for these... such as a combination of Inner Focus and Penance. I'm not sure if I want to bind Power Infusion to a macro, however. Any suggestions?
I still do not have a solid rotation down for healing the tank. I am not utilizing Borrowed Time to its fullest extent, for certain. However, I don't believe I will really get to learn this well until I am assigned to heal the tank, and only the tank - as opposed to in a five man where I persistently need to break my single target rotation in order to heal other members of the five man. I was certainly unable to maintain Grace on the tank for the entire duration of any fight.
So there you have it. My intial deep thoughts about converting from Holy to Disc and the 5 man experience. It helps that I know a lot of the theory behind Disc Priesting, though my hands on experience was insubstantial (Look at me, I'm Hermione Granger! Bushy hair and all...).
As a final thought on this topic for today, I would like to add that if you start getting bored with your toon, be it priest or otherwise, a solid respec will breathe new life into the journey. It feels almost as though I'm playing a completely different class, though many of the spells are the same. Though the spells are the same, their use is almost completely different... and in some ways, that's even trickier than playing an entirely new class.