So yah, see above for my overall reaction to my first night back to actual, real 25man raid healing. (LFR is good for practice, but it really does not count, which I proved again last night. heh)
At the beginning of Cata I felt I was flailing to no avail, spending all my mana on spells that just did not heal enough.
At the beginning of Mists, I now feel like I am once more flailing, once more spending all my mana, but people are at least getting healed. Additionally, I am constantly in a state of, “OMG, I have all these cooldowns! Should I use one? OMG, what if I need it MORE between now and 2-3 minutes from now and everyone dies cuz it is on cooldown??”
In fact, at one point, I even asked in healer chat.
When CDs are needed, they are called for in vent. In Cata, this meant my Spirit Link Totem. I had no issues there, no question on what to contribute. Now… uhm… Does “Effy, cooldowns!” mean Healing Tide Totem or Spirit Link Totem or Ascendance… or all of them??
I just do not know, and no one could answer me. (Or I got lost in the chaos of the moment…)
I did feel I was getting more into my healer groove last night. The beginning of fights was awkward, but once the damage started rolling in, and my heals started going steadily, I felt it was fairly smooth. My numbers were okie and my mana management was much better.
I am still flirting with the bottom third of my mana bucket, and my “Low Mana” notification is certainly doing its duty of annoying the crap out of me. 😉 But I was not bottoming out too much. There were a few crazy moments where extra healing was needed to cover some slip-ups, but I was able to recover from them. Mana pots and alchemy bonuses are my friend. heh
For my first raid back to healing, I was pretty pleased with myself. Even as the night went on, I felt my performance improved.
I am not completely sold on Chaining. I think it might be wasted on my mostly organized 25man, who are all good about stacking when we need to stack. The CD on Chain Heal was really screwing me up too. I tend to focus mostly on the melee anyway, so range is not really an issue and I will probably drop it, but I am not sure what to replace it with, since I am not sold on the Riptide glyph either.
I may just go back to Healing Wave.
Totemic Recall is great, though. 100% mana return. Using it in the last 1-2 seconds of the totem means free healing. The issue: timing. I can remember to use it like no one’s business when things are calm. But when things are calm – mana is not an issue. It is when things are crazy that I need that extra mana. I think the key is finding the ideal place to set up my totem timers on my screen (which is an issue, cuz screen real estate is a highly sought after commodity right now, especially in a 25man setup).
The looming problem is all these cooldowns. Right now, they feel more oppressive than helpful, because I feel like I should be using them all the time, but using them all the time is both time and mana consuming. Also, using them consistently would improve my output, but then it would leave me without when I really need them.
I need to find my happy balance.
What to do? What to do?
Does anyone else feel overwhelmed with healer cooldowns?