I apologize in advance for the length of this, but this is what happens when I try something totally new and it turns out to be awesome.
Some guildies needed a healer for heroic SL, so I thought I'd give it a try. I have no healed an instance in months, and that was on my shaman. My paladin hasn't healed anything in almost two years and that was Karazhan. I wasn't even holy then. In other words, I am a healing noob.
It actually went well. Well, it was messy. There were a lot of pulls of two groups, or groups and demon pats, or three demons and a group. I think I learned a lot, for example, I'm not as bad at healing as I used to think. Also now that I've actually played holy, I can have slightly less ignorant opinions.
Bacon: I love this spell. This is a game changer. I had to learn a new way of healing, which I'm still getting used to. Stick it on the tank and then don't heal the tank, heal everyone else as they take damage. The efficiency and output from it is impressive, as would be expected from an ability that effectively doubles heals. Healing the slightest bit of AoE used to be a pain. Now I honestly look forward to it so I can take advantage of bacon. Also I like the green pop up numbers. First it hits my target, then a second later there's a pop over the tank. It sounds silly, but it's strangely fun.
It's not perfect though. For one the duration is pretty short. I think two minutes would be a lot better. Five might be too long, ten is definitely too long. Still, it seems like the sort of thing that you almost always want up. If it was a blessing it would be more toward the blessing side rather than the now hand side.
It's expensive. I know the efficiency balances out, but it feels like a lot to be dropping 1k mana every minute. 400-600 would feel better.
Holy shock: this is not the crap that I remember. This actually heals! Crits get pretty big, and then allow for a fast holy light, so overall it can put out some major burst healing. The pew pew isn't too bad either, and I was surprised to see that offensive crits trigger infusion.
I can only imagine that sacred shield will make holy even more enjoyable and efficient.
After the run I tried out some AoE grinding for the sporeggar quest to kill Naga. It was a lot more effective than I expected. It was not even comparable to ret, but really, that's a high bar that I wonder if any class or spec could reach.
After that while flying back to Shattrath I noticed that Halaa had some action. My first move was to heal up a warrior getting beaten up by a ret paladin. My second move was stupid: I chased down the ret paladin. In retrospect, I'd have done better with a PvP trinket equipped since without HoJ I was able to survive his burst. Plate and heals seem to be the best counter to ret overpoweredness. P
I met a frost mage and eventually lured him to the ground. I think we was trying to kill the newb that I had just rezed. He popped his elemental, threw out a frost nova, and started trying to hurt me. Apparently he had very low health, because a pair of judgements a couple shocks, and a HoW were more than enough. My memory is blurring already, but one of those shocks might have been self-healing.
I dueled a guildy prot warrior after we capped. They have a lot of interrupts: shockwave and concussive blow, shield bash, which silenced me too. They hurt a surprising amount as well. And he kept knocking off my seal. I won, but I forced myself to bubble after shocking during spell reflect.
I noticed my G.N.E.R.D.S were going to run out by the time I woke up tomorrow, so I hopped into AV. I know I can get more with alts, but I was afraid I'd forget and then never get the achievement. The start of the battle was greeted with strategy spam from another self-declared master of BGs. Once seems fine, but it was at last 10 lines and he hit it at least three times, in between flaming people for being bad. We lost, but I got my gnerd rage. It was a surprising amount of fun, throwing around huge heals that turned fights around completely. 30 yard range on JoJ is great. Long range damage and neutralizing speed buffs? Wonderful. Holy shock did some decent pew pew as well. Hammer of wrath barely crit (after all, as ret I was running with over 80% on it), but it was still doing around 1-1.5k non-crit, a decent amount for being instant.
The high point was fearing a demon form warlock. I think he then died from DoTs from someone else. The irony made me giggle and clap my hands like a kid presented with cake and a carton of ice cream, with a bag of candy for dessert.
I'm going to stick with holy for a little while. If my schedule does ever fit raiding better, I'd probably have a guaranteed spot since everyone seems to be going ret.
As my final note, on the subject of ret, I tanked the headless horseman as ret. Aggro was extremely easy. Baseline 90% RF is great.
Guest post: The mind of a tank
10 hours ago