Resto Druids and probably Resto Shamans are definitely thinning PvE wise. ....
I would also add...
The only aspect of this game that is rewarding as a Healer is raiding (I'm just excluding the terrible PvP in this game entirely). 5 mans are a boring joke. You can't sanely perform the day to day things as a Healer (well, Mistweavers and Priests can... others not so much). So... you have raiding. Something you do a few nights a week, if that. A generally thankless job that is always in jeopardy anyway as people love nothing more than to drop healers/force them DPS for either progression or farm. On top of all that... far fewer people are raiding now than have in the past (actual, non-lfr raiding) and those that do raid are finding the raids quite difficult. There's just less and less space for a Healer to actually do anything these days.
I'm playing resto druid right now and I partly agree with what you say about not being very compelling to play those classes, right now I sill play resto because of my gear and I like to beat other healers with the less powerful class, reason I won't play holy paladin in a raid environment, HOWEVER rewarding challenge and fun? Challenge modes, you can do them with any healer and is a different puzzle, I know people don't like them because of the timer or the lack of gear, but the feeling that I'm getting better by trying this and that my healing is making the difference, challenge modes beats raiding at this moment, if you want a reason to continue enjoying the healing role, CM are the way to ge (hard to get a group of dps and tanks tho).
Originally Posted by grovely
I have been playing holy paladin since TBC and I must admit that healing back in TBC and wotlk was more fun than it is now. I cant really put my finger on what's wrong but as I said it was more fun back then.
One thing that was better back then was that every healing class was more "unique" than they are right now all healers got more or the same 4 "basic" healing spells.
I think that the core of the wotlk is the best thing for healing, not because it is the max in skill or something, but is the more engaging, is what more people want to play, like the comment I quote below.
Originally Posted by Totaltotemic
A lot of healers got off on the power fantasy of spamming the most powerful heals non-stop through all of WotLK and were very soured when Cataclysm made mana more important again. However, mid-way through Firelands, Int mana scaling made mana once again a non-issue and everyone got back to their ridiculous spamming. Now that the final nail is in the coffin to make mana a permanent part of healing consideration, a lot of players don't find it as fun anymore because it requires a lot more effort to do the same job.
I still do because I was always in it for the puzzle and the strategy of it anyways, but healing just takes a fundamentally different kind of interest than DPS, and the overlap has been shrinking more and more over the years.
Yes, I think that we need something closer to WotLK to engage more players, however something else like triage at the same time (working this idea for 2 months, haven't finished yet) to engage the skilled players too. Idle time, because I need to wait for my better spell to come out of CD, or I can't cast my filler because my total mana is fixed and I have to cast a "better" spell worth of my mana isn't engaging, when pushing spells all the time is a bad thing we have a problem with the healing model (hint if you are casting Nourish you are doing it wrong). That said, I think most of the classes will spam whatever the next tier, I'm not there yet but there are reports in EJ that resto druids can spam rejuv all the fight with 17k spirit and the LMG (hint 2: until you can't reach and confirm this, reforging out spirit is the way to go, maybe even instead of full rejuv spam more throughput is the way to go).
I'm playing resto druid right now and I partly agree with what you say about not being very compelling to play those classes, right now I sill play resto because of my gear and I like to beat other healers with the less powerful class, reason I won't play holy paladin in a raid environment, HOWEVER rewarding challenge and fun?
On the flip side, if you play a powerful class, then you are expected to be at top no matter what, or you're bad. It's a different sort of pressure indeed. (I've played on both ends of the "good" and "bad" class spectrum).
Originally Posted by thigan
Challenge modes, you can do them with any healer and is a different puzzle, I know people don't like them because of the timer or the lack of gear, but the feeling that I'm getting better by trying this and that my healing is making the difference, challenge modes beats raiding at this moment, if you want a reason to continue enjoying the healing role, CM are the way to ge (hard to get a group of dps and tanks tho).
CM reminds me of PvP-style healing to an extent; (relatively) little concern for sustainability/mana, a lot of concern for throughput and mitigation. Which isn't necessarily bad (I find it fun).
Originally Posted by thigan
Idle time, because I need to wait for my better spell to come out of CD, or I can't cast my filler because my total mana is fixed and I have to cast a "better" spell worth of my mana isn't engaging, when pushing spells all the time is a bad thing we have a problem with the healing model (hint if you are casting Nourish you are doing it wrong).
By casting idle heals, most healers will build resources (Holy Power, Chi, Evangelism) and/or put a minor benefit on the raid (illuminated healing, divine aegis, echo of light, gift of the serpent, ancestral vigor).
I'm not sure what needs redesigning (or if both do), but Living Seed and Harmony don't seem nearly as compelling as the above especially considering LS is meh, and Harmony is pretty much freely up all the time anyway now.
It's understandable. It has become very boring staring at raid boxes for several hours clicking random spells. It also doesn't help that, being a druid, I'm greatly outshined by the 2 disc priests we routinely have. Also the "you only need 1 tank and 2 healers for this fight" has continued so I get to go be mediocre in other specs (with the 10 point lower ilvl offspec set I have). It's just not fun anymore.
Because following a strict prioritation of spells and handling mechanics is a lot harder than reaction based healing and handling mechanics. (Haha).
But if you can provide an armory link to your mistweaver and logs. I'd be happy to judge you, based on the statement about healing being childs play.
If you're relying on reaction based healing as a monk, disc priest or resto druid, you're doing something very wrong. In fact if you want to be a good healer with any class, you will have to be able to predict damage and be prepared.
This is why I'm getting tired of my MW monk. If you're progressing on 1 fight all night, you will just end up casting the same spells at the same time in every fight. Meanwhile I'm classed as melee that doesn't really have any reason to stay in melee range so half of the fight mechanics don't even apply to me.
But one of the main things that turns me off of healing is that if you perform extremely well vs. just well it will almost never have any impact on the outcome of a fight. The only thing that changes is that your other healers will just overheal/idle more. Or even worse, you can play extremely well but the disc priest in your raid is also playing unusually well and you end up doing less healing than you do normally.
Healing is only really fun if you're forced to take the absolute minimum amount of healers. With dps checks this tier not really being an issue, every guild will just take an extra healer to avoid unecessary wipes.
It's kind of hard to say something like "a lot of healers have quit", we don't really have numbers.
I always preferred healing as a role really, though my main's a warlock. In every expansion, I've had one "main alt" who was always a healer, usually a druid, this time a paladin. I'm barely healing anymore though. I always had like 3 decently geared healers. Now I have one.
The truth of the matter, and this is all personal reasons why I'm not healing so much anymore is because it's become incredibly boring. There's a lot of reasons for this, but mostly it's because healing has shifted to not be a role with a specific task of itself, but has become the "fuck-up fixer". Any encounter, and that includes some (but obviously not all) heroic encounters are just incredibly boring if the raid is doing it right. if nobody stands in shit, if your tanks are good, there's simply nothing to heal. I'd go as far as claim that a lot of 10man normal fights can be solo healed. We were going to try that, but our guild merged and we haven't had time. It's just so boring, I don't think I can describe effectively how boring it is. Just imagine staring at your grid and just sniping the occasional heal and never feeling really useful.
In LFR, obviously, this is even worse. If you join as healer and all the other healers are shit and some are going DPS, then you may have a little bit of work. That's the best kind of LFR as a healer. If however you join and all healers are there and you have another good healer, you may as well afk.
With the new tank mitigation system, this has become even worse. The thing is, Blizzard obviously doesn't want bad tanks to get gibbed every other second. They want bad tanks to be viable, but good tanks to "noticably take less damage". Well, make that no damage. If your tank know what he's doing, and if you as healer know what you're doing, even stuff as Talon Rake or the flame dot won't do much. But the game has to be playable by tanks and healers who don't know what they're doing.
Again, I realize this may be different for heroic modes. I haven't healed many heroic modes, as our altruns have stopped for now. I think we did 2 or 3 heroic on my healer and it was equally boring, but I realize the more interesting fights come after. It's not really important though, most players don't do heroic modes, they do LFR and maybe normal and my experience in those modes is that you end up wondering why you're here at all.
Edit: I want to add that Mudgy above me has a very valid point as well.
It's a huge shame. Healing used to be awesome. I loved having intense healing mechanics AND a raid that was fucking up. It was great, brought the best of me up. Now the first barely exists (and if it does it's always in the form of "plan your raidcds properly") and the only healing ever required is when the second happens.