1. #1

    [Disc] How to keep changing your focus? (Not talking about /focus)

    Cross-posting in the Paladin forums for similar topic.

    I used to heal on a Holy Paladin when it was a more traditional “tunnel health bars” healer. Ever since they changed the spec to be a melee healer where you want to be attacking and doing damage, I’ve had trouble adjusting and have mostly just given up trying to heal as a paladin. I’m having trouble changing my focus back and forth and back and forth between “Healing mode” looking at health bars and “Attack mode” looking at the battlefield, attacking, target swapping, avoiding melee mechanics in the melee mosh pit if I’m in my paladin, etc. I’m looking for some advice on things people did to help them adjust to a more damage-oriented healing style.

    I’m comfortable doing one or the other, but constantly swapping between the two repeatedly hasn’t been easy. I get caught up in doing damage and I don’t heal enough. I heal too much and I don’t do enough damage and don’t get enough crusader strikes in to reset holy shock. It’s been hard to learn. Looking for advice.

    Similarly, I’m very comfortable as Holy Priest, but it always kinda sucks so I need to learn Disc or Holy Pally to progress what I’m able to accomplish. Even standing at ranged, I have the same issue with disc. It’s been hard for me to learn to swap between healing and doing damage. It’s like my brain can’t process it. And it’s not like, say, shaman where maybe I can just cast some lightning bolts, flame shocks and lava bursts in downtime. That’s easy. But doing damage *to* heal... I just haven’t been successful in picking it up. Any advice? Anyone have the same problem?

    Hope I explained that correctly. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Discipline priest has one big advantage over other healers - it does not need to stop doing damage to heal. Your damage is not a way to proc your healing, your damage is source of your healing. The downside is that atonement healing is not that strong to keep your group up at all occasions, so you really need to know when it's time to damage and when it's time to spam heals or use your CDs.

    Firstly, you shall realize your atonement healing is more of a maintanance. You spread your atonements and then do damage. Usually, it will be enough to keep your party topped.

    Secondly, knowledge of the content you are doing is really important for discipline. Once you are doing some content, you shall really learn to foresee what's about to happen. In raid environment, it's usually not that hard, since boss abilities have timers and are triggered at certain circumstances. In m+ environment, it's harder to foresee what's about to happen, it all depends on what affixes are on at the time, but once you run m+ more often, you will find out what trash is problematic in each dungeon, what to expect of other classes in your party, etc.

    The biggest issue for disc is unpredictable damage. Bad pulls, people not following mechanics, taking unnecessary damage and not using their defensives/self heals hurt you more than other healers. Back in Legion, we had Light's Wrath to do some emergency burst healing which could get us out of trouble. We lacked that in BfA. In SL, Venthyr ability Mindgames is shaping up to be fine addition to our burst potential, mimicing Light's Wrath if used with Schism.

    I would say that you really need to practise a lot with disc. The playstyle is really different to other healers, it's a challenge, but it is fun, even thou it's kind of clunky thanks to the constant need of atonement reaplication. I also struggled when I began with the spec, but it got way better as I did some dungeon runs.

  3. #3
    Thanks, but that doesn’t exactly answer my question. I’m not really asking about the healing style and how to do it. I know that part. I’m asking what people did to help them adjust from “health bar whack-a-mole” to the more active healing + damage combination that is required, given that your attention now needs to be divided between attacking enemies and attacking “health bars.”

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ham on Rye View Post
    Thanks, but that doesn’t exactly answer my question. I’m not really asking about the healing style and how to do it. I know that part. I’m asking what people did to help them adjust from “health bar whack-a-mole” to the more active healing + damage combination that is required, given that your attention now needs to be divided between attacking enemies and attacking “health bars.”
    Well, then it is the matter of your interface. There are tons of addons which can you help watch health bars and help you better handle healing and dealing damage at the same time. I would advise you trying out some of them and see what you like most.

  5. #5
    I know what you mean. When I've started playing my druid alt, I was in the same situation. I would go in to healing mode and forget to DPS for half the dungeon, or shift to cat and let half the party die cause I've been watching my energy regen. But for me it was mostly a matter of time and practice. And a bit of muscle memory.

    I don't know your situation, but try giving it more time. Maybe run normal/heroic raid with a bad group, so that you're wiping on the same bosses over and over, to the point where any decent player would be able to do it with their eyes closed.

    Don't really know what else to say. It was time for me, always. When healing on the priest, I feel like there is nothing to do, because class mechanics don't really take up my attention any more. But that's over a decade of playing it speaking. When I play other classes, I get flustered all the time, but it goes away with time.

  6. #6
    Well, it kinda helps to have help/harm macros and target of target so you dont need to change target from the person you´re healing.

  7. #7
    I lazy heal with modern paladin, the only damage I do is judgement and aoe when I can.

    I also don't use add-ons to heal and am able to heal mythic dungeons just fine.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ham on Rye View Post
    Cross-posting in the Paladin forums for similar topic.
    Similarly, I’m very comfortable as Holy Priest, but it always kinda sucks so I need to learn Disc or Holy Pally to progress what I’m able to accomplish. Even standing at ranged, I have the same issue with disc. It’s been hard for me to learn to swap between healing and doing damage. It’s like my brain can’t process it. And it’s not like, say, shaman where maybe I can just cast some lightning bolts, flame shocks and lava bursts in downtime. That’s easy. But doing damage *to* heal... I just haven’t been successful in picking it up. Any advice? Anyone have the same problem?

    Hope I explained that correctly. Thank you in advance.
    For me(when I was learning it), It wasn't a focus issue. It is a POV issue. I came from druid healing(Hots with a few bursts). So I see disc from that point of view...
    Atonement is a hot(You put it on a target that is about to take damage or needs to slowly be topped off). Just like with druid...if you don't have the hots on BEFORE the spike damage...your tank will die
    Direct damage is just a healing spell...It works just like any other heal. I cast it...my allies heal
    Pain is just a hot...It works like any other hot...you put it out...it heals over time...

    I just think of them as healing spells and ignore the fact that they do damage. It helps that I use macros that let me heal in the same way I used to. (Target of target)(or focus target). I want to heal the tank? then I select the tank and atonement and cast my "heal spells". I want to heal a dps. I can do the same. I never target a mob unless damage is really low(then I do Pain spam)...

    So for me it isn't a swapping focus. I just consider all of my damage spells to be heal spells. I measure their healing based on how much they heal. I target allies to heal them... Same idea...I just get to do it slightly differently then druid.

    Food for thought: Are you sure the "focus" is what you are having trouble with? You are coming from Holy and Shamen(the two most reactive healers) to Pali and Disc(the two most pre-active healers)
    Last edited by dojichan; 2020-09-17 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Xummy View Post
    Well, it kinda helps to have help/harm macros and target of target so you dont need to change target from the person you´re healing.
    I use vuhdo to heal. I never need to change target off the enemy we’re fighting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dojichan View Post

    Food for thought: Are you sure the "focus" is what you are having trouble with? You are coming from Holy and Shamen(the two most reactive healers) to Pali and Disc(the two most pre-active healers)
    I’m sure that is a large factor. It’s a different way of thinking.

  10. #10
    I've had the same problem as you did, when I tried out my HPally, coming from a Resto Shaman background, and then once more when I had to go even further with it when I began trying my Disc Priest out as I'm becoming a Disc Priest in Shadowlands.

    To start things up: Disc Priest has a somewhat steep learning curve. You won't be playing optimally at first, but the most important thing is breaking it down to small digestible parts that you can train separately, all the while building little by little until you become good at it. Most of the tips I'll be giving ARE NOT AIMED AT BEING OPTIMAL. They are just small stepping stones that you'll have to learn, and then they'll build up on top of one another until you can get everything fledged out.

    The first thing that helped me the most were mouseover macros for healing spells. Stuff like mouseover macros for each single healing spell has helped me A LOT. This way I don't have to worry about juggling between targeting allies and enemies to weave in damage. This will take some time to get used to, but you'll feel like a huge burden will be lifted when you just have to mouse over the party member's portrait and not worry about clicking the enemy or hitting tab many times before you get to your desired target.

    The next thing I'd tell you to do is to not treat your damaging spells as damage, but as a heal. For M+ where you have to be a bit more reactive sometimes, saving up your Schism/Solace/Penance combo for a bit of AoE healing is ok until you get the hang of things. The biggest thing about it is the mentality, treating your damage as atonement healing. Paladins work in a very similar way: you treat your Crusader Strike not as a damaging ability, but as a healing tool.

    Once you become used to it, then we can introduce these spells as actual damaging abilities when nobody really needs healing. As you do your rotation, do not really look at your button CDs, but look at the party's health bars. You are not topping the meters, so they shouldn't matter. I know it's not the correct mentality for super high end, but for us mere mortals, treat any damage you deal as extra. If you are afraid someone might take damage, it's okay to preemptively stop damaging and shield. The sequence of Schism -> Solace -> Penance will become muscle memory, and you'll be able to not have to think too much about how to use them. And as you do them, keep looking at health bars, and take a glance at how things around you are shaping up.

    Creating this routine of looking at the battlefield when you press a spell, look at health bars when damaging, they are all a matter of practice and consciously making that decision until you no longer have to. It just takes time and practice. It took me 2 months to get used to HPallies. And a month to get the hang of Disc Priests. Practice everyday, and you'll eventually learn it.

  11. #11
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    I hope this helps but I fear it may not. For me, disc is more of a preventive/hot type of healing that is obtained through atonement & shields. You use your damaging abilities as your hot and only pop out "real" heals when people get dangerously low. Holy priest is more reactionary with a hot. They/re the healer that brings pople back to full HP after spike damage that the disc priest wasn't able to mitigate fully. With that being said, throw your damaging spells out there and focus on what you're killing and keeping your atonement up. Let your direct healers worry about healing that rogue that decided to stand in front of the boss and get cleaved and who has 1000 HP now. I don't use any addons for healing or any action bar addons. I use the default WoW raid frames so I can see people's health bars, mana bars, and special resource bars and then I set the boss as my focus so I know who its targeting so I know which tank needs to always have that renew and POM put on them and who I'll need to direct heal too. I haven't played around with healing on my pally in a while so I'm not sure what changes 9.0 came for holy pallies but I'll be honest and say that on him I stood close enough to judge on CD and played him like a "regular" healer. I was never a fan of fistweaving on monk and if holy pally is now similar to that, I won't heal in that style on pally either. I prefer to stand at range and heal instead of being all up in the boss's shit and having to move around.

  12. #12
    I dont think many players realize, but this game revolves around paying attention to multiple things simultaneously. Tunnelling is a fast track to sucking.

    You will get better with practice, id suggest forcing yourself to 'role swap' every two globals for a bit till you create a hybrid mindset for doing well in both roles. That means healing when you might not need to.

  13. #13
    Record a M+ run and/or raid encounter and analyze your mistakes. If you don't know why/how/when you're making mistakes then you'll never be able to correct them. From there you can attempt to correct your mistakes by making a mental note of what happened last time and adjusting your gameplay when it happens again. For example, you're playing a paladin in melee, get a mechanic, run out, and never get back in to CS making you lose HP generation. Next time, go into the encounter knowing beforehand that you have to get back into melee after X mechanic.
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