I wanted to respond to Ego’s Post (and try out this spiffy trackback function). She asked for player’s definitions of a good priest. Amazingly, gear was not on the list of responses that he had received (although I would argue that it is still somewhat important).
This is what he’s got:
“Timing, attentiveness, and care”
“fast reactions, the ability to prioritize between healing dps and keeping the MT up. Ability to remember encounters and boss events that can kill a tank in a few seconds.”
I daresay that sums it up fairly well. But I wanted to add more to this discussion. Healing a party is one thing, healing a 25 man raid with spells flying off, ceilings caving in, and murlocs running rampant throughout the area is another (Tidewalker sucks). I consider myself the Roberto Luongo of the raid . Just like Robbie Lou, I need to hit that save when your raid needs it the most. A timed Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew and max rank flash heal spams will almost always do the trick.
But here are some other things that I feel good priests bring to the table:
Awareness: Did you ever wonder how Gretzky scored his goals and set up the most beautiful plays? It’s the simple fact that he was aware of where his teammates were, where the opposing team was, and who had possession of the puck. How does this apply to WoW? Be aware of where you are, what’s going on, and where your raidmates are. If the boss fears, apply fear ward. If everyone in your party is taking hit from an AoE, start casting prayer of healing. If you’re taking on Nightbane and the ground’s on fire, move! I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve had to yell at a fellow priest because his eyes were too busy glued onto the side of his monitor at his raid frames and wasn’t noticing that his feet was on fire. These kinds of things kill you.
Perseverance: Never give up. No matter what circumstances, keep trying until you get the encounter down. Nothing beats the feeling of getting that raid boss down for the first time and knowing you played a key role in solving the encounter. Good priests are prepared to die to preserve the health of their tanks. In raids, there are typically seven to nine healers. But there is only one main tank. Even if you’re taking a beating, keep him up as best as possible. Once the tank is down, it’s game over.
Precognition: A little psychic ability never hurt anyone. Time your heals so that they land just after the next attack hits. Try to predict what will happen next so you can get ready for it. Actually, this would apply to any player. Especially in PvP environments like arenas, knowing what move the opposing player will do is beneficial. Knowing that mage’s next frostbolt is about to hit you can be mitigated with a shield on yourself, or a fear next to him. Knowing who your Paladin is healing next can save you precious mana against a raid boss. If your assist window shows three of your healers on the maintank who is at 60% and you were about to heal him too, then you will end up overhealing when you finish casting. Better to move onto the next target and make your heals count. Of course, there is someone who is going to say “but what if those three players weren’t enough?”. To them, I say know your healers and know what they’re capable of. Being aware of how skilled and geared you are relative to other players is a boon.
Preparation: I bring 20 super mana potions, 10 TK potions, and 10 SSC potions. I keep two stacks of Brilliant Mana Oils on me at all times. The Guild Bank supplies me with Marks from SSC and TK so I can turn them in for flasks. I ensure I have a steady supply of Blackened Sporefish within my inventory. Don’t ever be afraid to use consumables.
I could sum up this entire post by simply saying only good priests aren’t careless or lazy. But if I did, I would be careless and lazy.