Back not so long ago, I got fussed at by a guild member for not having a healing toon. We were short on healers and I was very good at leveling toons quickly. A friend of the guild had a disc priest that I was super impressed with and we needed more priests for Razuvius25, so I opted to pick up my little level 28 priest and have hubby drag her through instance after instance as I quested on her what I could. I figured it would serve a dual purpose.
Leveling a priest in a healing spec sucks. I had tried holy back when I first created her and that failed miserably. I hated shadow because I had to drink after every single kill and I could often barely down the mobs. So at level 30, I went disc. Discipline, I had been explained to, was about avoiding and preventing as much damage as possible. As a tank, I understood mitigation and know how much of the damage done to me falls. Perhaps that’s why disc priesting worked for me… I most often heal tanks on my priest and with my main being a tank, I know where the damage hits me and where it is likely to hit other tanks.
I see many many former holy priests/healers of other classes trying out disc and being disappointed or disillusioned with how it worked. It’s a different mentality from everything I’ve seen and am told. I will admit that I have not and do not have any desire to try out holy spec – at least with my current priest. She’s DiscPVE/DiscPVP. In addition to the mindset difference, it also looks like crap on the healing meters and in our LFD “meter maid” world that’s all that matters to some people is how they and everyone else looks on the meter. Trust me, if a holy priest, druid, shaman or pally are below my disc priest on the meters – THEY are the one with the problem, not me. Discipline should be the bottom of the healers on the meter. I recommend taking a gander at skada that at least attempts to track absorbs and will give you a little better image of what you’re doing for the raid though it is not 100% accurate. But yeah, if you’re tied to being on top of the meter, disc priesting probably isn’t for you.
If Tanks are the stars and dps the other players in a movie, with healers being the cameraman making everything going smoothly, disc priests are your writers – even more invisible to the general population and adding plenty when properly played. We set the scene with our 3% damage reduction and our powerful bubbles but we don’t need the limelight – we sparkle regardless :D
Some Discipline Basics:
Discipline priests are a raid wall against damage. We are mostly single target/tank healers but we can function as raid healers with practice and such. Ambrosine has a great guide over at I Like Bubbles on how to raid heal as disc. Raid healing has never been my forte, but eh it’s been made to work. Our shields are our greatest strength – we absorb the damage and prevent as much as we can. We use our Penance and Flash Heals to repair damage done and provide even more mitigation. We have Prayer of Mending [the bouncy heal] to help with some of the raid damage – use it! Probably the biggest rule you can ever follow on a discipline priest is Always Be Casting. Not only will it provide maximum raid coverage and damage reduction but it can also boost your spot a bit on those accursed meters – that really honestly don’t matter.
There are definitely people who specialize in the discipline priest more than I so I’m going to throw a couple of links out here in case you’re interested. These people live and breathe the bubbles in game :D so their experiences and insights are much better to look at in terms of the ins and outs of the spec. This was only meant as an introduction – to set the stage – and because my husband said I should do a post on how to disc priest because I get so frustrated with trying to explain it to others in game – probably because I took to it somewhat intuitively – analyzed it less.