#0 - 2010/09/20 07:27:43 AMI healed six or so instances this weekend, and I wanted to leave my take on healing 5-mans before I head into work tomorrow.
First, I have a gnome premade with nearly 70k mana, 4900 spellpower, 6.19% haste, 2200 in combat regen, 9% crit, and 10 mastery. I'm using a 6/33/2 build, at the moment (http://wowtal.com/#k=tb0BRaDB.a0o.priest). The average item level for my gear is 324.
I have to say to anyone with a premade character, get the staff from Halls of Origination--the one with 1500 spellpower. The default staff that came with the premades has no spellpower, and it will really give you a bad impression of healing instance. From memory, I had about 3500 spellpower before the better staff, and just under 5k with it. That extra 1500 spellpower makes a lot of difference.
In terms of throughput, my heals (even at 5k spellpower) feel about 70% of what my heals are on live where I have more than 3k spellpower. My heal after the latest build heals for around 6300; Renews tick for 2600; Flashes for 12,400; CoH heals each target for 3600; PoH for 6200; and Lightwell ticks for 6800.
Mana goes fast. In all of the instances, I was out of mana after nearly every pull. I could tell some groups were frustrated about this. No dps seemed to need mana as frequently. (On that, the level 85 water should be available at more vendors.) We used little cc, and I tried to encourage my groups to cc mobs, but that didn't go very far, and honestly I could heal through it with a drink afterwards. I believe most people are accustomed to go-go-go runs, and until there's a shift in mentality, healers are going to feel the brunt of the pressure from other players.
I wasn't being foolish with my mana consumption. I saved AoE heals for moments when everyone in the group had enough damage to heal through. I saved Renews (and the renew chakra) for tanks and mobility encounters. I used Binding Heal smartly. I kept PoM bouncing, and I pre-shielded tanks and anyone who was about to take a damage spike (though shields seem to be bugged atm--they aren't absorbing very much).
Aside from high mana consumption and low throughput, I enjoyed the style of healing. Holy priests really have a lot to think about, and it feels like a very active healing spec with lots of interesting choices to make. I didn't get to use the AoE chakra, but I love the Heal and Renew chakras. Also, I didn't have a need to ever use Life Grip, though I think I should have on a couple hunters.
tl;dr: I LOVE the playstyle for holy, but I'm spending too much mana and my healing numbers are less than spectacular.