When I picked whether to tank heal as Disc or Holy (while healing alongside a druid) I had the choice of picking Disc, or Holy. I have played both and feel I can handle both. However, when I looked at what the different specs can bring to the table, Disc was the stronger spec, especially when coupled with a strong AoE healer, for instance druid. That is not a "spec war" as I respec depending on the circumstances. Last week I was Holy for Ragnaros (normal, we are not yet there on heroic).But defining a healer's capability around *only* the litmus test of being able to affect Effective Health is a fairly myopic way of approaching what defines a healer's ability to tank heal is not just adding to the effective health but the overall ability to keep up with incoming damage over all.
I don't see a necessary "omg I hate spec X and it can't do Y"; but a discussion about what spec brings what to the table and a list of reasons for picking one over the other. Picking things apart, getting to read the impressions from people who actually run these specs in raids are useful, since it helps my reasoning for picking one over the other. In the end though, it has to be up to each player which one they can handle better and which spec they can get the most mileage out of.
I'm not sure why this is relevant to refute? Of course you can shield as Holy, if nothing else B&S is built around it. The reason PW:Shield is a staple of the Disc tree is how it works in synergy with the other talents, with the Disc mastery and with Rapture. I don't see the contradiction on holy being able to shield (and often it can be quite useful since B&S can have quite a few applications) with Disc's Shield being deeply integrated in the spec and healing pattern. It's how the entire package works, instead of one certain thing. It has actually been my main beef with the Holy changes for Cata: the lack of synergy within the tree. (Sidetrack to some degree, but I think still something to keep in mind.) The main absorption effect is normally not PW:Shield anyway, but Aegis, which also seems to have a very high up-time.Also, you've failed to address my point that a Holy priest can use PW:Shield if the need for an absorb arises. The current content doesn't have a need for this, but if it ever situationally arises it's there. PWS isn't a 0 dmg absorb for Holy.
This is true, good enough will do fine in most encounters, but often people aren't interested in what is good enough, but how they can squeeze out the most from their character. This may be because of cutting edge content, but more often because if can help cover shoddy play, a less than ideal setup, lack in raidleadership, poor latency, an old and slow computer, etc. Or maybe as you say, there is interest in dropping a healer cos the DPS can't handle their job.Never did. It went something like this though:
1) I said I'm holy and I tank heal
2) You said Disc is better b/c of *Stuff*
3) I said, it doesn't matter if Disc is better than Holy .. only that Holy *can* do it.. and Disc's *stuff* isn't all that.
4) You said I didn't say Holy can't tank heal
And then I stop and flail around with my arms raised b/c I don't want to get into a pointless spec comparison discussion. This isn't DPS, more healing isn't perpetually better. Once a certain level of healing is reached, it's 'good enough'. Any more than that is just epeen and circle jerking unless the discussion drifts toward dropping down to one less healer, and in that case the goal post of 'good enough' simply moves back by a specific amount.
I think for most players, what I described is the reality, not that you're (a general you) in a top 250 guild pushing for progression kills with ideal setups of really skilled players.
I'd also argue that Disc's "stuff" as listed above and in other places, still makes it come out ahead. Closing the gap between the specs = good thing in my mind.
If the changes to Holy can bring it so it's only slightly less optimal as tank healer than Disc, I think it has come a long way and that it's worth re-evaluating the spec as again, since on some encounters, incoming tank damage is not the main issue to deal with and Holy's versatility as a raid healer can be useful. This is definitely true on ten man at least. It all depends on what you mean to achieve and in what way. In function and optimisation, regardless of the buff to Holy, Disc is still my standard choice for tank healing. However, it makes me happy Holy is getting the buffs, since it opens up possibilities to utilise Holy in a different way and as tank healer as well, with high efficiency.
But you know, if it turns out that in 4.3, Holy's new efficiency and larger possible throughput trumps Disc's absorbs for that content, I will be speccing Holy as well. Exploring new possibilities is exciting, not a conflict.