This past week my guild decided to run Blackwing Descent on the Beta realms to get some experience on the changes coming in Mists. This gave me a pretty good opportunity to test out the healing on Beta with a group of players that I feel comfortable with.
Before I get into talking about how healing felt, keep in mind that this was on Beta and many of us, myself included, were playing without many of the add ons that were used to. I know I personally didn’t realize that I didn’t have Seal of Insight up until part way through Magmaw. Since this was all done at level 85, you wont see use of any of the level 90 talents or 86+ abilities. For reference, we all limited ourselves to a 372 item level because of the greens at that level that were available in the Valley of the Four Winds.
Here is the log for anyone who wants to look it over.
One of the main things I was interested going into this raid was how my mana felt throughout the duration of the run. I was also very interested in testing out the Glyph of Illumination.
I read this post (Also where I got the graph, so credit for it goes to Joe Ego) over on Leveling Holy which broke down mana regen with and without the glyph.
He also does a really good job of breaking down regen in general, so I’d advise you to read his whole post if you’re interested in what our regen will look like come MoP.
Since I was level 85 for my test of the glyph, the spirit values he uses are far out of reach. I was running with 2,400 Spirit and 39% Holy Shock Crit which would produce different outputs.
Throughout every boss fight my mana regen felt very good. I never felt like I was running low and was able to cast more expensive spells when necessary. That said, I did try to avoid casting the expensive spells where ever I could. Looking through the logs, I only use Divine Light on Atramedes and Chimaeron and I didn’t cast Flash of Light once throughout the run. In retrospect, I probably should have casted those spells more to purposely push my mana, but I didn’t think of it during the run.
My feeling of comfort in regen may have been due to not casting these expensive spells because they weren’t needed, but I can’t be sure of that. I think that the gear we went with was far too high level, even without my using enchants or gem sockets, for the content we were doing. We will be running Firelands on Beta this week though, so I will come back to the topic of regen after that.
For this run I stuck to using Eternal Flame, Unbreakable Spirit, and Holy Avenger. I didn’t make much use of Unbreakable Spirit or Holy Avenger though, as the need for cooldowns didn’t come up much at all.
As far as Eternal Flame (EF) goes, I was very impressed with this spell. It was my second strongest source of healing behind Illuminated Healing for every boss except Atramedes. This leaves it as my strongest casted heal for all of those fights, and likely the biggest source of Illuminated Healing and Beacon procs. I didn’t have a timer for it either, so it may have fallen off entirely at times or gotten overwritten prematurely which would both cut down on its healing. Any fight that included a decent amount of tank damage made great use of this spell. While on certain fights I found myself having to decide between Light of Dawn or EF, I never felt constricted into picking one over the other. I tried my best to keep EF up on the tank I didn’t have Beaconed and then use Holy Power as needed, and I felt very comfortable with the use of Holy Power I had.
As much as I thought Sacred Shield would be the go to talent in this tier, EF is an extremely strong spell.
There are situations where I see it falling behind though: any fight with a large amount of AoE damage or more group damage than tank damage is going to call for casting more LoD and will leave little room for EF. I already think that H Will of the Emperor, the last boss in the Mogu’shan Vaults, is going to be one of these fights. I may be wrong, but I simply don’t see how I will be able to spend Holy Power on a single target heal for a fight I know is going to have intense raid damage.
I also think that Sacred Shield will become much stronger as the expansion progresses due to its huge scaling. I know that I’m hoping this is the case as I don’t want to have a talent tier with a definitive choice no matter what the circumstance.
This run was very much meant to be more for playing with our new toys and having fun than for serious testing of the mechanics. I think that I got some good experience with how things will work out, but we also out geared the content we were doing so the feel was far from what it will be during current content progression. Based on this test, I am very excited for Mists though. Holy seems like it’s in a very good place and every raid I participate in only helps to solidify that view.
If anyone has questions on any mechanics or abilities, leave a question in the comments and I will do my best to test and discuss the mechanics.