Yep, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. There are two different healing issues that I’d like to discuss.
Healing and Add-ons
Using add-ons helps me heal. I am far more effective using Healbot than I ever was when just using the basic UI. Dwism‘s comment to me truly hit home:
I’m sort of baffled. Years and years ago, this was up for debate. “real” healers didn’t need addons, only slackers. The end back then was (at least in my guild, and on my realm): “people who raid without addons, should not raid at all” – and in healing circles, this was even more true. This was back in frikkin molten core.
I don’t think this is what Codi was implying with her post. I think she was implying that using healing add-ons creates a dependence on the add-on, so that when/if the add-on breaks the healer has severe difficulty healing with the basic UI. And I think this is very true. At least it is true for me.
When I started healing I had never heard of Healbot or any other healing add-ons. I healed with the basic UI up until about level 50 on my Priest. When I installed Healbot and began using it, I could see more of what was going on. I could react more quickly. It greatly improved my performance.
Then came a very short period of time during early Wrath when Healbot broke for me. I tried to run a heroic with no healing add-on. I found that missing the extra information and losing that extra reaction time made healing far, far more difficult for me. We got through it, but I was miserable the entire time. Healbot was fixed the very next day and I haven’t looked back.
I don’t think that using Healbot makes me a bad healer. I am worried that one day all the healing add-ons will die and I won’t be able to heal to my best ability anymore. This is the crux of the matter for me. I feel badly for the possibility of becoming a severely inferior healer if my add-on breaks, but that is all it is, a possibility, a what if. Until that what if becomes reality I will continue to use my Healbot and enjoy every moment.
Ardol at World of Warcraft Philosophized posted about the changes to mana coming in Cata, and his concern that healers (and tanks) are going to resist the changes, and attempt to stack their stats in order to increase MP5 (health pools for tanks).
Blizzard had previously announced that in Cata they were going to attempt to make mana management important again. Essentially, if you use your inefficient heals too often you will go OOM.
I am looking at this change in the same way that I am looking at Blizzard’s proposal to bring back Crowd Control. I’m excited. My Priest grew up in BC, a time when mana still mattered. It was a huge shock to me with Wrath to find that I never ran out of mana. I was amazed that Flash Heal became my bread and butter as a Disc Priest. In BC I avoided it like the plague unless there was an emergency. Flash Heal is fast but inefficient, or it used to be.
In a bigger way and moving beyond healing concerns, I truly hope this brings about a change in which we are able to tell the good from the bad players, or as Gevlon would say, the M&S from the beginners. I think this could open up a whole new world, where Heroics matter again, where we make a friends list so we can run heroics with good players instead of random scrubs. Where heroics can’t just be AoE’d and plowed through in 15 minutes.
While I recognize how nice it is to have quick Heroics, I found I missed running real dungeons. Leveling my baby druid has made me realize how much fun it can be to get lost in a dungeon for 1-2 hours and actually have to think about what you are doing. Current Heroics are not this. They are a mindless chore. There is a reason my GM calls them LoLHeroics.
Bottom line: I am optimistic that the changes Blizzard will be implementing are good for the game and good for the community.