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Spiritual Guidance: I guess we're perfect

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. With no major changes to Priests in 3.2.2, is this an indication that we're fine the way we are?

The only thing priests have left to look forward to at this point is patch 3.3. The recent 3.2.2 patch didn't do much for us other than a fun bug involving Power Word: Shield, along with other bug fixes.

Shadow priests got a slight bump up in this patch. Healing priests didn't have much to look forward to. This leads me to conclude that from a developer perspective we are okay the way we are. I am hard pressed to find anything really wrong for healing priests. I'm going to hold judgment on shadow priests though since I don't know enough to comment. I'll wait a while before asking around with other shadow priests to get their thoughts.

Now healing wise, gone are the days where we'd be able to generate enormous amounts of healing throughput. We can't compete from a heals-per-second perspective. Here's a snapshot of the WoW Meter Online healing scoreboard for an idea.

The scoreboard shows all healing output. It doesn't matter if it's effective or overheals. Paladins basically rock this. It's also very encounter dependant. The fights used to compare this are Anub'arak on both normal and heroic modes. Note that paladins predominantly make up the entire leaderboard.

Props to the one lone resto druid by the way.

The one above is a shot of the effective healing scoreboard. Again, this is on Anub'arak normal and heroic. druids are going to have an easier time

On a side note, isn't it puzzling how resto druids rock the normal Anub'arak modes but are overshadowed by paladins on hard mode?

If I were to hypothesize, I'd say since the damage on hard mode is much more significant than the incoming damage on normal, there's more to heal. Druid HoT spells take time to kick in, but paladins are able to drop huge heal bombs quicker which override whatever druid spells are active on the raid.

Again, Anub'arak is just used as an example here. There are different results depending on which encounters you examine.

In any case, I digress.

What's missing here? Where are the priests? There's resto druids, many holy paladins and that one lone resto shaman.

Are you offended? Or hurt? Or dismayed? Maybe a little disappointed?

There's no priests. But that shouldn't bother you. The reason for it is because the variety of spells we have at our disposal is our strength no matter if you are holy or discipline. We can fill in whatever gap the raid or guild needs. We had our time at the top of the healing meters throughout Sunwell. That's not the role of the priest anymore.

We're not excelling like the two classes above on healing. That's fair enough. But we're also not lagging significantly behind either. The strong advantages of playing healing priests cannot be adequately explained with any meters at all. Meters will always tell part of the story but not the whole story.

Look on the bright side. We don't have to completely regem our gear or re-enchant our items because we have to shoot to maximize some specific stat. We don't have to learn new healing styles or how to work in certain spells. No news is good news. There's nothing we need to really learn. It feels like after every patch is deployed, there's some ability or stat change that changes how a certain class needs to be played. I'll use retribution paladins as an example. I had to learn to weave in Crusader Strike more often due to the shortened cooldown. That might be easy for some of you, but it takes practice for me since I've played nothing but healers most of the time.

Let's just accept the fact that healing priests aren't broken. Nothing radical had to be introduced. Nothing had to be significantly changed.

Although it's not likely we're going to see changes in the upcoming patch 3.3, what would be on your wishlist?

Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!

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