The strangest thing has happened over the course of the past week or so. Somehow I suddenly became - dare i say it? - a good healer.
Now, I'm not saying I wasn't a good healer before. To be quite frank, I really don't know if I was a good healer or not. I tried to make up for whatever I lacked by being generally jovial and apologetic. Oh and being a dwarf, and therefore awesome. It's not like you have to be some expert WoW player to surf on over to blogger.com and create a healing blog after all. Don't be fooled by all the *sparkly* rhetoric.
While this revelation did not occur to me until last night, it began on Monday night in our regular 10 man ToC run.
For various reasons, the entire night was somewhat frustrating for me because I am the kind of person that really needs to focus in order to do well. Some people can pay attention to 18 different things at once, and still do a great job - not me. One thing I canNOT multitask is conversation. When one person is talking to me IRL, someone is asking me questions in vent, I'm trying to keep up with both raid and guild chat, and then multiple people are sending me tells, I just lose it. It probably comes from deep seated guilt issue involving a childhood friend and a dog, or an abusive half aunt twice removed or something, but I can't drop a conversation when someone is talking to me. I feel like I need to keep up my end, or else I'm a total failfriend.
Yet somehow, through the tears and frustration, and arguments, we got to Anubrekhan for only the second time in our short ToC10 experience, and we two shot him. And it was the best New Patch Eve raid ever. I was finally able to accept that 3.3 was coming, and embrace the new content knowing that I had finally seen the last of the old. True, it wasn't hard mode, and it wasn't 25 man, but I don't really care.
And the best part is, we successfully made it through phase 3 the very first time we'd ever seen it. I thought for sure it would be a struggle for us healers. But as a Disc priest? It's just awesome. I spent the entire time throwing bubbles and making last second saves with uber bursty Penance. Three times I let someone get below 5% health before I finally blasted them with a Penance. It was like this delicate ballet, and I was in the middle doing my Penance Pirouette.
And just as I'm really starting to have fun and get my groove on, SHAZAM I have a new achievement, and I'm looking around me saying "What? That's it?"
Yesterday I successfully pugged several of the new 5 mans as well as some other random heroic dungeons.
The crowning moment each time for me was Ick & Krick. Similar to the rogue in ToC 5 man, there are pools of poison that spawn in which you do not want to stand. But what I noticed was that you can see the pool splurge poison thingies being thrown at you, so you can move out of the way before they land (although you do seem to take one tick of damage before they even land, which is rather annoying).
I guess to many others this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but to me it was. For once, I proved that I am capable of good situational awareness. Before I specced Disc, I was always staring at healing bars, and never noticed these things. The difference is that as Holy, you are reacting to the damage people take, whereas for Disc, you are primarily trying to prevent it. Since you are attempting to prevent the damage, you need to be more aware of what damage is coming in - and if you have everyone shielded, you can afford to spare a few more glances around instead of glaring at green bars the whole time.
I'm not saying one spec is better than the other. But, having now healed higher end content in both specs, I'm integrating the lessons I learned from both of them and becoming a better healer because of it. (I was also quite proud of myself for spontaneously remembering to use Shackle Undead during Halls of Reflection on annoying random ranged ghosts.)
The point of this post is not to toot my own horn. My entire premise for writing this blog, and for reading so many other healing blogs, is that I firmly believe that we become better healers by learning about other healing classes. Although Holy/Disc are not two different classes, they are vastly different specs. And I can say, without any hesitation, that learning both specs has improved my healing skills for each one. It goes beyond healing better with members of different classes and specs, and relates more to the different skills used for each healer type.
Holy taught me trigger finger reflex response.
Disc taught me awareness of incoming damage.
Shadow taught me that just because a spell looks weak on the tooltip doesn't mean it's not super strong in practice. (Why hello there Vampiric Touch, so nice to meet you.)