I recently dusted off my priest and I'm a bit concerned with how fast my mana pool disappears. I'm specc'd Holy and only 84, so hopefully this levels out once I hit 85 and start gearing up. Ignorant DPS will suck the mana right out of your mana pool. You really have to pay attention to your surroundings and staying mobile helps. Now if there was only some way to make the use of Lightwell mandatory.....
Don't look for a more "newbie friendly" style. Start to focus on what you really want.
It will only take a few days of extended wiping at ZA/ZG to achieve a good control over both specs.
First question ou should ask yourself is: Do i care about healing meters? If yes, then go Discipline. If no then ask yourself some more question.
What's your favourite playstyle? A way higher array of healing spell resulting in a wider spell selection or a gamestyle more oriented on procs tracking (u'll see guide about that) and more raid/personal CDs?
Do you like to Tank Heal or Raid heal?
Holy is about "tool of the trade" thing. 4 types of AoE Spells (group healing, bouncing one, radial, Chackra stance Sanctuary --> HW:Sanctuary) Only one real CD (wich ain't that good to be honest). A good potential Single target healing/raid healing via Flash (or binding) heal X 2 -> G.heal or Prayer of healing.You seriously have one spell for every situation.
Single target wise is very under par and disappointing. Raid healing is kinda fun, but to be honest, numbers are lower then Disc counterpart. Mana management is all about passive spirit recs, so if u find urself OOM, well, u gonna stay there struggling with low mana. All about spell selections, use the right spell and u'll do the job. A bit linear even considered the huge healing arsenal, mana severe.
Discipline is a different world. You can either be a extremly good tank healer (actually the best if ur duty is to focus on just a person) or good AoE Pump machine, if no druids around, of course. Atonement / Evangelism mechanics works brillantly in discipline. You can heal thru damaging spell (u'll learn more following guides) and when huge damage is incoming pop up a serious +15% healing CD (with a fair 5% mana back, to minimize the loss of building stacks using smites, mostly).
The idea behind its very cool, especially on dungeons where you'll easily outgear the content.
Discipline has a higher number of CDs: Inner Focus for 0 mana cost big heals, Power Infusion to boost yourself (or a dps) with +20%haste -20% mana cost for 20sec, the awesome huge yellow bubblegum (power word: barrier) wich is just that insane on majordomo :P, pain suppression to reduce damage incoming on a tank.And Archangel, of course.
Spell selection tho is a bit limited: Bubbles (very mana hungry) Peneance, G.Heal, Prayer of Mending and Healing. These are the spell u will mostly cast. Selection is lower. Mana wise once u learn to not abuse about shields, manage ur rapture proc and possibily build ur evangelsm by using just holy fires then u're pretty good to go. You may even dismiss spirit for even more throughput stats, as it won't be an issue. Beeing good on keeping Grace on as many friendlies as possibile is also tricky and rewarding. Yeah i strongly agree with those that say Disc requires a higher skill cap. Not so much, but a bit higher.
I storngly raccomand you to get a Discipline guid and work over that spec. In my opinion, both performance and concept behind the healing style just make Discipline that far ahead.
p.s.:i gave up cd reduction bubbles talents along with haste talents from shadow tree and desperate prayer [i never run on fire :P] and got basically a full tankhealing & raid healing spec both at once. Never had so much fun healing like i have with this toon, altho i have little experience on healing FL content ending up on occasional bad choices like building Evangelism stack during an AoE burst damage. Well at least at start, now i'm just slightly behind the druid, and pissing my mate holy pala when fights need to be handled with 3 healers.
Pretty much sums it up, you could try and mix it up though.
I took it more as follows:
If you plan on doing any PvP - you'll have an easier time making the change as disc as it's the go to pvp spec and its playstyle is similar in pvp and pve
If you have no intentions to PvP then holy may be a better option for you.
Granted my priest is an alt but it all comes down to preference and the fight. With minimal damage going out to the raid (i.e. Baleroc), I go disc. However if you have considerable aoe damage going out (Rag for example), I play holy.
If you want to do PVP, then go disc. While holy is fun and all, it's not exactly a powerhouse in PVP. Any spec basing itself on dying to be able to heal awesomely isn't going to win anything.
If you want to do PVE, then the short answer is 'go disc'.
These two specs are not going to be the same spec however.
The long answer is more complex. Both specs are fairly involved; Holy will need to deal with an insane amount of healing spells and do on-the-fly patternmatching and tight mana management control to play well. Disc will have to deal with a huge amount of cooldown tracking, and required proactive thinking. Holy wins hands down in the "fun" department, while disc wins hands down in the "being useful", "saving the day" and "chance of getting a raidspot" departments.
Holy needs a lot of spirit for regen, while for Disc the biffer your manapool the more mana you get back from rapture as your main source. I would recommend Disc just cause its easier to step up with out of a shadow gear perspective
I personally found holy easiest when i first dinged 80 and 85 because I found with disc i was running out of mana. This could be down to me not really knowing much about disc. As you get geared it is down to which style you prefer.