A big thanks to everyone who responded to the no-seriously-this-is-not-a-meme healing survey! I hope that those of you who are linked on the page will benefit from the extra traffic, and be encouraged to post more useful information! It probably goes without saying, but the survey became vastly larger than I expected, and despite my best efforts, I just can't keep up with finding everyone who has responded and linked to the post, unless you left a comment for me - too many WoW.com hits have flooded by statcounter log. Not that I'm complaining... it was like having a big weekend party at my house. I will try to continue posting links to blogs that responded as long as you leave a comment, however.
I'm still trying to work my way through all the responses... I've been trying to copy and paste them all into a word document, but after crashing word a few times, I gave up for awhile. I do fully intend to finish reading through them though, and I am pleased that all the new material will hopefully help everyone who reads them become a better healer.
So far, one of the best things I've seen to come out of it is a post over at MoarHPS. Noting how few people really understood how the stats that come from meters work, Moar posted a really informative guide explaining how all those measurements work, and what they are good for. I think the point is that while meters are not the end-all, be-all for healers, they can definitely be used to help you figure out where your strengths are, and where you need to tweak - as long as you understand what they mean. I'm exceedingly grateful to Moar for the post, because I wasn't willing to admit how poor my understanding of those stats was >.>
On a slightly less happy note, there was a pretty nasty comment over at WoW.com referring to my own answers to the survey that I wanted to respond to here. Had I known the survey would become so big, and so many people would be looking at my own answers with such a critical eye, I might have explained my answers better. So, from the perspective of this holy priest, I'm going to respond to the criticisms leveled at my answers - because it's my site and I'll do what I want to, even though I know that some people just want to rip others apart, even though they may have no better answers themselves. So there. Suck it.
Lack of Burst Healing for Holy Priests
One of the questions on the survey I wrote was "what is the biggest weakness of your class?" Some of you might have found this very difficult to answer! I know that I did, because the thing about Holy Priests is that we can do a little bit of everything, and quite well. We can fit into any healing role. But, as with every jack of all trades, there are none for which we are truly the master. One thing that I have desperately craved since the days of Kel'Thuzad is a solid single target instant burst heal. The critic in question insisted we have plenty of burst heal options, and for each spell they mentioned as an example, I will respond accordingly:
Power Word: Shield - This is NOT instant burst heal, and to say that it is is so ridiculously silly that it barely warrants response. This will reduce the next incoming damage of course, but I'm talking about green-bar-go-up type mechanics when I say burst healing. Is it something that can be used in an emergency scenario to keep the target from dying from the NEXT hit? Of course it is - but that was not what i was talking about.
Prayer of Mending - First of all, as Matticus discussed in a post that all Disc Priests should definitely read,Prayer of Mending doesn't go off if the damage is absorbed from a shield instead. Prayer of Mending needs to be cast BEFORE the damage hits in order to heal. The target CAN die from the damage before benefitting from the PoM heal, if I understand the mechanics of this spell correctly (if this is not the case, please correct me). Therefore, this is NOT instant burst healing that makes the green bar go up immediately - it is a response to the next bout of damage. I am talking about the desire for something to respond to a massive damage input that has already happened.
Surge of Light - Sorry, I don't always have a surge of light proc sitting in my pocket. It's great when it procs, but because it is a proc, and because it is based on crit, which in and of itself is based on chance, you cannot rely on a surge of light to be there when you need it.
Circle of Healing - This is a viable answer - and this, in addition to Empowered Renew, is what I currently use when an individual needs an immediate burst of healing. With any luck, I can CoH, Renew, and have a SoL proc - but all of those are subject to global cooldown, and do NOT aggregate into a single target instant burst heal. And yes, this works quite well, but I suppose it really grates on me to use an AoE spell to respond to single target damage.
That was the biggest criticism the commenter made that I felt warranted a response, but in answer to the other comments he/she made, yes, I realize Divine Hymn is a very powerful spell, and that I should use it more. Obviously, that's why I listed not using it as my worst healing habit (eyeroll). I love having druids and their innervates and b-rezes and HoTs around not because I expect a druid to give me an innervate or B-rez - but because when it is needed by someone in the party, I appreciate knowing that those options are there, since aside from Hymn of Hope, I don't have a way to return mana to my fellow raiders - and IMO, Hymn of Hope is somewhat weak unless coordinated very well with others. The final criticism was in regards to my insistence that Holy Priests CAN do main tank healing, despite it not being optimal. I've already discussed that topic ad nauseam, however, so I feel no need to delve further into the topic.
I will be the first to admit that I am far too sensitive to criticism, but despite that, this comment reminded me of the same thing that always annoys me about so many players - that the vast amount of wow players are not in the upper echelon of raiding. Why do I rarely use Divine Hymn? Because I'm serious when I say that I'm rarely in a situation in which that powerful of a healing spell is needed - usually a CoH or a Serendipity-hasted Prayer of Healing will more than suffice. Were I currently working on TotGC 25 man hard mode, I'm sure my answer would be different. But I'm not. I am probably one of those average WoW players, really. I do 10 man raids regularly, I do 25 mans on occasion, and I do a lot of 5 mans. I like to think that were I interested in participating in hard core raids that I would perform fairly well, but the truth is, I just don't want to make the commitment that requires.
There are a lot of new subscribers to my blog, so it probably bears repeating here that while my focus is on Holy Priests, and to a lesser extent Disc Priests, I do discuss a lot of the issues relevant to assembling a strong healing team for raiding, as well as some officeering topics. However, I am not solely interested in raiding - if you prefer 5 man content, I always try to consider that aspect as well when discussing Priest mechanics. I see too many people give advice to priests that completely ignores the differences between a 5 man scenario, and a 10 man or 25 man scenario. Healing a 5 man all by yourself is actually quite different than healing in a raid. I do try to always keep that in mind when I dish out Medicinal Wisdom :)
NB: For those of you wondering, part of the reason why I'm not using pictures so much in my posts these days is due to the covert way in which I am forced to blog at my current job. Pictures of WoW related things seem to be a bit of a red flag on google reader when my boss walks by. I would apologize for the walls of text, but I feel apologies should carry an intention of stopping the crime with them, and since I have no intention of stopping... well, you see the dilemma.