So I’m level 85, and have been since the 8th, I’ve just needed some time to take in the new content and really wanted to think about this post. There have definitely been some ups, some downs, and some absolute hilarity, but of course, also those things that just make you want to stab someone. Overall, though, level 85 has definitely been interesting and a pretty fresh experience overall, at least in comparison to Wrath – definitely reminiscent of The Burning Crusade, which I am perfectly okay with.

And by the way, Potion of Illusion is great fun, but it costs a few Volatile Lifes, and only lasts two minutes, and it is worth a lot of fun, but also makes you question what the devs were thinking with the mats and duration.

At any rate, healing has definitely been pretty interesting, though I’ve definitely decided against PUGs for the forseeable future. People just don’t seem to understand yet that crowd control is king on certain pulls. Or, moreover, that priests can’t dispel curses. Apparently, some mages are too busy killing things to actually, you know, decurse. Yes, that was his excuse. And he wasn’t even a fire mage, he was arcane. Yeah, pushing a fourth button is hard, amirite? So, in regards to actual healing, though, there have been numerous complaints about the “difficulty” of healing. Here’s my take on it.

Healing is a new game altogether. It’s not about keeping people topped off anymore, so much as keeping people from dying. Blizzard succeeded in one of their goals – making healing a triage game instead of making sure people are topped off before they get two-shotted by some unavoidable mechanic. However, they have completely failed in their other goal – getting away from the “spam healing” game. I find myself almost constantly casting heals, which I’m perfectly okay with, but it really doesn’t resolve what the actual stated goal was supposed to be. I’ll take halfway there, though, it’s definitely a change from the Wrath “OMGTHEY’REGONNADIEHEALTHEMNAO” mentality that many of the players from TBC and vanilla had to retrain themselves for. It’s back to basics, and this is not a bad thing, at all.

Here’s something from Nethaera on the General Discussions forum:

It’s definitely challenging to heal in Cataclysm and that’s by design. We want players to pick and choose what spells to use and when. Those in your group will also need to be conscious of whether or not they’re putting out enough DPS, taking too much damage, and more. You’ll probably be pulling out more “tricks” from your bag than you’ve been doing in awhile. You’re also going to miss a time or two, run out of mana at a bad time and find yourself trying to figure out just what went wrong. Even experienced healers are going to have to dig their heels in a bit.

That said, we’re keeping an eye out for how healing is going and should we feel there need to be adjustments, we’ll make them. As many have noticed, we’re starting to get a larger population of level 85 players who will be running through the content and getting better gear to compliment their spells and abilities. That should help some.

Source

What I see in this case is two things: First, healers are going to be expected to do some things, like crowd control, a little more often. This is obviously a lot easier for paladins and druid (Hammer of Justice, Turn Evil, Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Hibernate) than priests or shaman (Hex, Bind Elemental, Psychic Scream, Shackle Undead) simply due to having more options available on a larger variety of mobs. While I have tried my damnedest to use Shackle Undead in Halls of Origination (the only instance that actually has undead type mobs), a lot of times people ignore it completely. Psychic Scream, however, remains pretty much unused unless I’m soloing, because in general, if I’m getting beaten on, the tank has died and we’re all fucked anyway.

The second thing I see though is that Nethaera is saying that healing is, for the most part, fine. There will most likely be some minor tweaks here and there (mana costs, throughput, etc.), but I don’t personally see any real major changes going through right now.

As one can see by even looking at that thread, there’s a fairly heated argument, with many on both sides of the fence. The funny thing that I see, though, is that most people arguing for making healing easier haven’t taken a lot of time to get their gear and reputation up to where they need it to be. I’ve actually started collecting trinkets, because I am trying to think of some other uses for some of the various trinkets, especially haste and spirit procs, but also spellpower and mastery procs. I am wondering, however, how things will turn out. As it is, I’m liking healing right now, even as somewhat simple as it may be, as it’s still a nice challenge, and very different from what Wrath was.

Oh, and one last note: Admiral Ripsnarl is not to be trifled with. The bastard.