Outhealed by the PvPer
Last night I had a humbling VoA pug experience. For the first time in months, I tank healed alongside another Disc priest who actually knew what the hell she was doing - and that is an incredible understatement.

I know this, because her tank target actually had weakened soul on them the whole time. In fact, one time I was slow on the uptake, my tank target's health plummeted, and she shielded my target. I imagine she was probably wondering what the hell I was doing, and, while hesitant about shielding my target, figured it was better to be annoying than dead. She was the best Disc Priest I'd seen in a raid in a very long time.

But what has me totally fascinated, is that she's not a raider - she's a PvPer.

She was in full PvP gear (966 resilience). She carried a PvP heavy disc spec. Her glyphs and talent choices and gear priorities were nothing I would ever recommend for a PvE healer. Her gems were full of resilience and stamina. She had 128 hit rating. Everything about her gear, talent, gem, etc choices screamed PvP. And she healed just as well, if not better, than I did.

Her spellpower: 2569. Mine? 2840.
Her haste? 162. Mine? 716.
Her crit? 17.5%. Mine? 31%.

She matched me almost exactly on pure healing output, though I had significantly more mitigation/absorbs from peppering bubbles throughout the raid (because rapture procs make me smile). This makes sense, because her spellpower, crit, and haste are lower. She would, in theory, spend a little more time casting and have less Divine Aegis procs.

But the end result was the same. In full PvP gear, she matched my healing ability, and her tank stayed up just as well (sometimes better) than my own.

I shot her a whisper after we finished the fight, and told her she was amazing, and it was nice to heal next to someone who actually maintained weakened soul on the tank. She laughed and thanked me, and I'm sure she'll never see this post. She'll be too busy in Arena, kicking everyone's ass.

You might see her doing her daily random heroic, accruing emblems of frost. It looks like she does the weekly raid every week, and obviously pugs VoA (not surprising for a PvPer anyway). I'll think of her next time I see someone laughing at another pugger's PvP gear.

As someone who is completely oblivious about PvP, I admit being pretty jealous of the people who are good at PvP - I am awful at it. I personally think it requires a lot of quick thinking and maneurvering at which I am simply awful. So, I'm not ashamed I was, in my mind, out-healed by a PvP Disc Priest. I am, however, a little embarassed that I was surprised.

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12 Responses
  1. Klepsacovic Says:

    PvP is great practice for everything else. The reflexes, quick thinking, and adaptability are universally applicable. Might even be useful in many real life situations to be able to make effective decisions on the fly; though hopefully those decisions are significantly less violent than the typical arena.

    Did you ask about a PvE dual spec? Perhaps she just forgot to switch after her last match and had to compensate for her mistake by playing twice as well as usual.


  2. Ruhtra Says:

    In all honesty if you are a good healer, then you will be able to perform to the task at hand. I love hearing stories about this since back in the day I was a straight PVP geared Holy Pali healing the raids that folks said you could not heal in PVP (pretty much did it to show them they were wrong).

    I will admit that having a PVE spec makes life a lot easier and those little mistakes are not nearly as costly when wearing gear that was made for the type of content you play, but it definitely was done in the past and I am so happy to hear of something like this in the present. Thanks for sharing that with us!


  3. @Klep

    I agree with this - I think PvPing really helps in all player skills.

    I checked her dual specs, gear, achievements... nothing but PvP baby! Item level wise, her gear is roughly equivalent to mine - everything enchanted and gemmed with the best choices - just the best PvP choices. She has gone into a few raids but not very many aside from VoA.

    @Ruhtra

    I agree - the PvE spec makes it easier because if you go in with a PvP spec, you will be missing some of the talents that improve PvE healing, obviously.

    We were roughly equally geared - but what she lacked in Crit, SP, and haste, she made up for in resilience. So, while mathematically I did more healing than she did through mitigation... I'm positive that if she had been wearing my gear and my spec... she would have completely trumped me!

    What blows me away is that I was so excited because it was the first time in forever since I had seen another tank healing Disc priest who A) obviously knew what they were doing and B) came close to matching my numbers on the meter (I don't consider myself the best Disc priest, but my gear is good, and I know enough about my class to spend most of my time frustrated with other pug disc priests).

    I was going to post about it anyway in pure joy... it wasn't until I inspected her that I noticed her gear, and that's what makes it even more amazing. She did all this in a PvP spec with full PvP gear.


  4. Fealen Says:

    Not that the content matters, but VoA is kinda suited for PvP toons as it is in a PvP zone.

    Also, what Klep said. PvP isn't scripted, they get really use to drasticly changing enviroments so scripted events can sometimes become trivial because the reaction time of a PvPer can be absolutely absurd.

    I know a PvP boomkin I catch on VoA runs sometimes that has no hit in his gear, just talents and he pushes like 500dps less then me. Makes me cry....he just reacts quicker to CDs and adds when necessary.


  5. Ophelie Says:

    Everyone is bad at pvp when they don't do it often. Reflexes, understanding of utility spells, knowing how to react to an opponent are all skills that develop with practice.

    I do find that good pvp healers are better healers overall because they have a deep understanding of their class utility as well as other classes', they have the most efficient key bindings, they know how to move properly and their reflexes are amazing.


  6. Codi Says:

    Ophelie hit it right on the head. :D PvP is probably the -best- learning tool to increase your skills with your class. (Which is ironic, since I don't PvP on my main anymore, just on my priest. LOL) I'm still terrible at arenas, but my reflexes and my ability to pay attention to more than just HP bars has improved 200% since starting to PvP on a regular basis. XD


  7. Wikwocket: Says:

    As they say, skill >> spec > gear. Someone with a brain and experience (any experience) will always outperform a chimp at a keyboard, even if they are wearing all greens and have any old spec.

    And I agree it's always nice to find someone refreshingly competent in a pug. :) You just can't beat jumping into LFG/LFR and having the RNG assign you a 65k HP tank or 8k dps!


  8. Zan Says:

    You should get a few friends together and go heal in some battlegrounds. It can actually be fun with good company.

    I actually started out my healing career in classic as a holy priest in the 20-29 bracket, then went to 40-49, then joined the Benediction club at 60.

    I adored PVP healing, on my Paladin at 70 I got exalted with all 5 factions by turning in blood, meat, and armor scraps.

    Arenas, BC Arenas, Druid + Warrior in blues with half hour long battles vs me and my hunter buddy who had far superior gear, are what killed it for me.

    I still PVP sometimes.


  9. Alex Says:

    If you're judging just by pure healing output, it could just be that her tank was taking more damage than yours. Healer HPS is obviously limited by the amount of incoming damage, and maybe your tank was better geared or better at using cooldowns.

    On another subject, it should be pretty easy to keep your tank's soul weakened all the time by keeping PW:S in a "rotation". Whenever I'm bubbling the raid and come back to the tank, unless they need an immediate pennance, I always refresh PS:W, PoM, and renew immediately if they're off cooldown/more than half gone.


  10. Jakkru Says:

    You found your own Mr (or in this case, Mrs)Neeson! Mine was a BM hunter who was rocking the dps in ToC10. Even inspired a blog post of my own.

    It's wonderful to find someone who is genuinely skilled enough to play with different gear or a different specc and still keep up.


  11. Chastity Says:

    I know a bunch of other people have said it, but PvP really does teach you about playing the game in ways that PvE doesn't.

    I think the thing about it is that PvE goes off exactly the same every time (at least if you do it right) which means that being good at PvE is very much about understanding the specific mechanics of a particular fight. By comparison, PvP requires you to respond to anything another, real person might pull out of the bag, which is much tougher to deal with.

    I think the other thing is that the PvP skillset looks extremely impressive to a PvEer because we're not used to it. To a PvP healer, I suspect that shielding another healer's target is a no-brainer: the other healer could be silenced, stunned or dead, after all.


  12. Matticus Says:

    The thing about PvP healing is that it isn't a scripted encounter. You can't simply follow a set of rotations, keys, and movements and expect to win. There is no singular formula for victory because not every situation is going to be the same. PvP healing is often a game of chess on fast forward. The winners tend to be the one who not only out heal, but outsmart, out think, out move, outcooldown, and just simply outplay the opposition. The variables aren't just classes and skills, but what actions the different players (friendly and hostile) will do. Transfered to a PvE healing environment, it's like time just slows down for them. Things become a little more predictable. There's less variance in things that can happen.

    And gear probably has a factor in there somewhere. I can't heal a guy with 100 resilience staring down a Ret Pally with a Bryntroll :\.


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