Friday, February 6, 2009

Goodbye, Greater Heal

Dear Greater Heal,

You and me go a long way back. For 4 years you were my main spell, the king of mana efficiency, the defining spell of the holy priest. At level 60 you got me all the way from Lucifron to Nefarian, and at level 70 from Karazhan to Mount Hyjal. I couldn't have raided without you. But lately I feel that things have changed between us, and I think that we must part and go our separate ways.

Last raid night I cheated on you. I cleared 3 wings of Naxxramas without using Greater Heal once, except on the understudies of Instructor Razuvious. You're still doing a great job in that fight, healing up to 15k health on a crit. But those 15k crits that are so useful on that understudy who has 404k health, are pretty much useless on a tank having 30k health. Do you really expect me to wait until the tank is below half health before I start casting a spell that even with all talents and bonuses still takes over 2 seconds to cast?

Lets face it, big and slow spells don't cut it any more in today's raid environment. Raid healing is a competitive business nowadays, and if I ever let somebody get wounded enough that casting a greater heal on him would make sense, some other healer in the raid with faster spells would have healed that person before my greater heal landed. Sorry, Greater Heal, but you went from being the king of mana efficiency to being the worst of the overheal stack.

The whole mana efficiency concept went out of the window. The other holy priests point fingers and laugh at me for having gemmed and enchanted my gear for maximum mana regeneration. Last raid I got outhealed by another holy priest who had a full 350 mp5 less than me, because he had put everything in spellpower and had 200 more healing power than I did. He simply didn't need that much mana regeneration or mana efficiency any more. My 1268 mp5 is an anachronism, and so is my relationship to you, Greater Heal.

I'm seeing somebody else now, called Flash Heal. With the right talents and glyphs, flash heal ends up being a more effective healing spell than greater heal. And the latest news is that there is a future for holy priests in AoE healing: Blizzard announced that starting with patch 3.1, Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party, Holy Nova's mana cost has been reduced, and Circle of Healing now heals for more. There is nothing to suggest a future for greater heal.

So goodbye Greater Heal! I'll keep you on my hotkey bar for good times sake, and for the Razuvious fight, but I don't expect to see much of you in the future. It was fun while it lasted, but it is time that I let go of you. Enjoy your retirement, I'm off with somebody younger and more dynamic.

Yours truly,
Tobold (holy priest)

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