Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

Per the rules of this questionnaire, I can’t really forward it on. My apologies, but I only read priesty blogs! So I shall break the rules. Raesa, tag, you’re it. (And thanks to Fuubaar for the link.) And here are the tallies of the webring questionnaire.

Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Paolo, disc with shadow leanings.
  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) Hard to say now. It had been 25s, but time commitments are forcing me more towards 10s. Also, because I’m no longer able to raid regularly with my guild, I’ve been leading pugs (10 and 25), which means I need to reserve 50% of my attention on any given fight to raid leading. (Which is a whole other kettle of fish!)
  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? See URL.
  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Divine Hymn. I love it but generally forget to use it except for fights that I’ve trained myself for (like XT).
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? Toolbox variety. Other classes have big toolboxes too, but ours covers the field like no other.
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Honestly, I can’t think of one. That’s not a copout, really! A skilled, well-geared, creative disc priest can do just about anything. I no longer refuse assignments “because I’m disc.” There are of course classes that do jobs better than discipline, but I don’t consider that to indicate a weakness of the class. However, because of the versatility, disc is no longer a top-shelf tank healer or a top-shelf raid healer. Again, not necessarily a fundamental weakness.
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? Floater. Tank assist with raid support. This role doesn’t work at the beginning of each gear reset, when you really need to pick a role and run with it. But midway and later in each patch, floating is the best use of disc. Now, that could be because I run in two types of groups: guild runs (in which the other healers are disgustingly good) and pugs (in which the other healers are disgustingly bad). I’m either making my partners’ jobs easier, or covering for the weaknesses of pug healers. (Disclaimer: I just ran Toc10 with a holy priest and holy pally, and I outhealed them both. Before you count absorbs. So I’m more than a bit cynical about pug healers on my server.)
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Trees, no two ways about it. Holy priests are not too far behind. The synergy between disc priests and trees is perfect.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Pallies. Because I do both raid and tank healing, I prefer to run with other healers who can also do both, allowing us to dynamically adjust. Pallies are the worst at raid healing (in most situations), and all other classes can serve both roles.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer? Straying from my assignment on progression fights. I can get overconfident, and have to really focus when I’m on tank duty on difficult encounters.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? Other healers who aren’t prepared. See my post on Kel’Thuzad…I still routinely run into healers who use DBM to tell them who has Incinerate Flesh, or who have no idea who has Penetrating Cold. Also, priests who do not immediately pop Inner Fire when it drops.
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? No question about it.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? Honesty. I usually know when I gave it my all, when I made the right choices. I check meters occasionally if I’m curious about my spell choices. But I have no idea what my HPS (or DAPPS) is or should be on any given fight. Like asking a guitar player how many notes they play on average during a two-chorus solo…those numbers are not only meaningless, but really meaningless. In other words: to answer this question, we need to define “performance” – and that has very little to do with numbers, and it has only a bit to do with whether or not the boss went down and the tank lived. (Succeeding at a boss fight is far too dependent on group play to use it as an indicator of my personal performance.)
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? I can’t think of one. Gone are the days when people still believed disc was for pvp, or that disc was a dps spec. I no longer have to explain myself to pug leaders.
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? It  depends on how they got their start. Priests who are learning disc from a long time being holy have a hard time giving up Renew and picking up Shield. Priests who are learning disc from other healing classes have a much more natural learning curve through the spec. They have a hard time getting comfortable with the big toolbox, but that’s pretty hard for everyone. And all new disc priests have a hard time thinking offensively (e.g., Power Infusion, dispels).
  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? I have no idea. Assuming they didn’t miss the Big Obvious (factoring in absorbs), I really wouldn’t know what they would see in terms of overhealing, HPS, etc. Simply because the notion of evaluating performance via Recount is 99% flawed as a question! To clarify: when I run with other disc priests, I never know beforehand what I would expect to see from their healing profile on any given fight. I only compare it with my own profile, filtered through Honesty, Flexibility, and Creativity.  
  • Haste or Crit and why? Both.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least? This is the only healing class I’ve played, the only one I have any grasp of. I’m pretty stupid on pallies, druids, shammies, rogues, mages, warriors, and hunters. And holy priests.
  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? Grid/Clique for healing & dispels. Information displays are provided by CooldownWatch, MSBT, GhostPulse, DBM, Quartz, and Shadowed Unit Frames. I have a ton of macros, but mostly they’re just simple ways to bind multiple spells to one key (via shift/control/alt). The only macros of significance are for PI and PS, covered here.  
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? Linking again to my long-winded answer and its followup. TL;DR: Balance is not a goal in and of itself. For tank healing, there is no limit to the amount of spell power, haste, or crit I would take, so I end up looking balanced in the end.

(10) Comments

  1. 10/28/2009 9:40 PM Fuubaar

    Ok, you're going to have to explain something to me:

    "or [thought] that disc was a dps spec"

    Ummm what? Who on Earth thought Disc was EVER a DPS spec? I understand the whole joke about us not being "healers" but this is new.

    I honestly believe that if someone "lol"ed me telling me "Disc dont do healz demz DEEPS" I would chalk them up to as being insane and move on.

    10/29/2009 5:45 AM Ho Ho

    I wonder if all priests have forgot about their heal and lesser heal spells that they list gheal/hymn as least used spells :P

    10/29/2009 9:16 AM Sinespe

    Heal and Lesser Heal are just Greater Heal ranks -6 to 0.

    10/31/2009 3:47 PM Paolo

    I'm changing my answer to the pet peeve question. I have no idea how I forgot about people who run Failbot announcements during a raid. Getting spammed by 100 messages about "DeathXXXnite fails - standing on lava cracks" will get me to put a raid member on ignore in a heartbeat. There's a time and place to call people out for sucking, but auto-spamming raid channel during a raid is Fail in the extreme.

    10/31/2009 11:40 PM Miss Medicina

    Thanks for responding :)

    My fiance uses that stupid add-on, and most of the time it really annoys me too.

    1/14/2010 10:36 AM Logtar

    I can't consider myself a healer just yet... maybe one in training? lol

    You have a great blog here and I am looking forward to following it.

    3/05/2010 8:23 AM Sarah

    I just hit level 80 last night on my priest and found your blog this morning. I am learning so much! I started out healing as a holy priest around level 40 but really did not enjoy it. Holy can be boring, IMO. I switched to disc and loved it! In the mid 70s when random dungeons came into the picture I stopped questing and just ran dungeons and PVPd. Although everyone was alive and well, my random groups kept complaining that I was disc. Being a new healer (my main is a hunter), I'm lacking the confidence to tell them that they are wrong and to stfu because, afterall, they are ALIVE and well and didn't even have to pop a health potion. After being told again and again that I was wrong for healing a 5 man in disc, I gave up and changed from dual spec holy/shadow to dual spec holy/disc. Ultimately I went back to disc/shadow for grinding out dailies with more oomph from shadow. Now I'm 80 and I want to heal disc, but again I know folks are going to whine no matter how much health they have left.

    My brand-new baby priest question for you is this, are they right? Is disc not viable for healing a 5 man heroic or healing a raid? I read again and again that it IS and quite honestly I feel I do just fine. Not great yet, but I'm getting there.

    Healing takes skill and I am a much more skilled priest than hunter. I want the challenge of getting my heroic group to think "wow she did that as disc? I thought only holy could heal like that!" :-D

    Do you have a post around here about mana regen? My GM (disc priest) just told me I should stop stacking mana regen gems or enchants. I'm looking for some reading to confirm this.

    Thanks again for your blog.

    3/05/2010 8:28 AM Sarah

    PS...I mistyped. I have been dual specd holy/shadow since a tank, who also had a priest, ripped into me for being a noob and healing disc at level 74. I have quite successfully healed all dungeons in holy since that time, but I want to try heroics in disc. My current spell power (unbuffed) is 1500, mana regen 385, spirit 640 ish. Most of my gems/enchants are mana, but again was recently told this is not the way to go.

    3/05/2010 10:36 AM Paolo

    Hi Sara -- thanks for your comments. I'll give you a quickie answer, but you should head over to a forum web site where you can get more discussion going (and answers from many people, not just one!).,, and the official priest forums are all great places to ask questions.

    Here's your answer from me though: Disc is AWESOME in 5-mans. In fact, many people find that discipline is more forgiving on lower-geared people than holy is. Unfortunately -- and I find this hard to believe, but it's true -- there are many people who don't understand that a disc priest works very differently than other healers. Mitigation is not the same thing as healing... in fact, it's BETTER than healing.

    Just toss out a lot of shields, use PoM whenever it's up, Penance your tank, and Flash people back to full health. You'll probably be using plenty of Prayer of Healing as well... try to haste it with Borrowed Time. And don't forget Binding Heal!

    Good luck & have fun :)

    Oh, almost forgot: I don't have a post about regen. The short answer is to get as much as you need, but not more. How much is that? That's something that only you will know. But while you're still gearing up, you may find you need to use a few hybrid spell power / intellect gems, just to ensure you don't go OOM.

    3/15/2010 1:09 PM Emcee

    Do you mind explaining the benefits of a Disc priest on Valithria Dreamwalker heroic? How does Divine Aegis play in heroic mode?


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