Well folks, after realizing that holy priest healing is the suck, I've decided to switch to discipline and give healing one more try before hanging up my healing hat and resigning myself to a life of dps-ing.
Yesterday I made the switch and the results were... astounding!
First, here's the spec + glyphs that I have at level 75: 57/9/0.
At level 80 I plan to have something like this: 57/14/0.
I ran two random dungeons yesterday and couldn't believe how the difference between holy and discipline seemed like night and day.
The first run was impeccable. My performance was excellent even though it was my first time healing as discipline. Well, to be fair, the spells are about the same as holy with small variations.
The second run might have turned into a disaster if not for the healer, i.e. me. We almost wiped twice.
First time it happened, the tank disconnected in the middle of fighting a boss. I didn't realize what had happened but for some reason the group was taking huge amounts of damage. Two of the dps died and at that point I noticed that the tank was frozen in the same spot. The ret paladin picked up the boss and started tanking it. I healed the pally. After a while the tank reconnected and between the remaining three of us we downed the boss.
The second time it was a very close call. The tank (a different one, as the first one disconnected for good) decided to tank a group of mobs while the rest of the group was elsewhere. At one point I realized that the tank wasn't in range of my heals and she was taking damage. I located her on the minimap and raced to her location. By that time she was close to dying. I popped a quick PW: Shield on her and then blasted with Penance. That saved her life. The next minute or so was total chaos. The rest of the group followed but they aggroed another bunch of mobs so now we had to fight two groups. I was clicking and pushing buttons like mad but in the end we pulled through and no one died. I felt really proud of myself. I'm damn certain that I wouldn't have been able to heal these two situations (or at least the second one) with a holy spec.
I don't know what is about discipline, whether it is made for me, or I'm made for it, or it is simply awesome, but we seem to have hit it off on a very positive note.
I have to mention that I did practice "dry healing" on myself before jumping into the first dungeon. My biggest problem is that sometimes I forget the click-key combinations for the various spells that I have bound to Healbot. Practice makes perfect though and after these two runs I feel very confident in my abilities.
One of the things that make discipline incredible is, of course, Penance. This is (excuse the language) one fucking wicked spell. Not only is it the best oh-shit button ever (it has helped me save a whole bunch of near-dead groupies already) but I can use it to dps a little when no one requires heals and the mob/boss is almost down.
I also love that discipline is very mobile, what with PW:S, Renew, Prayer of Mending and even Penance. Who needs Circle of Healing when you can just pop bubbles on everyone who might take damage? In fact, I have already adopted the habit of putting bubbles on the melee dps and even the rest of the group in boss encounters. I call it "preventative maintenance". I've also learned to substitute Holy Nova for Circle of Healing. Although it admittedly heals for less and it has a smaller radius, it's an instant AoE heal and that's the reason why I plan to fill my 3rd glyph slot at 80 with Glyph of Holy Nova. This will make Holy Nova almost as powerful as CoH but with a smaller radius.
It seems that I have already settled on a "rotation" of sorts. I will start by putting a Prayer of Mending on the tank before he starts the fight. As soon as he starts taking damage I'll place a Renew and then monitor his health carefully. Depending on how much damage he takes I might either use a Flash Heal or a bubble. If there's a big dip in health, Penance will save the day. As I already mentioned, I also bubble the melee dps while I'm sitting idle and will refresh Prayer of Mending if needed. I've also used Penance plenty of time to save some poor dps who swallowed more damage than they could chew. Oh and I will also put a bubble on myself because I've already been in several fights that have nasty trash which try to grab you or have some sort of AoE damage.
If I seem overexcited that's maybe because I am. I had given up on healing after holy couldn't cut it for me anymore but it seems that discipline has taken the slack with aplomb. Time will tell if my new-found excitement is justified. Now I'm off to disco-heal some randoms!
Former WoW player, current Diablo 3 fanatic, I love the finer things in life such as PC games, beer and computers. While playing a good game is a spiritual experience, blogging about it is almost equally rewarding.