Category: Holier Than Thou

Examining information from discipline priestly sources around the ‘net

Circle of Healers Questionnaire

There’s a revived meme going around, originating with Miss Medicina, that consists of a questionnaire about how and why you heal. I’m glad it’s making the rounds and have loved reading the responses to it, and was delighted when fellow guildmates (and classy guys) Rades and Snack tagged me to join in the fun.

DAS RULES: Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Liala, Disc Priest. Natch.

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

10-man raids.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Penance. Penance is a huge Ohshit healing spell, but also turns you (and your camera) in the direction of your target. I know a lot of people hate that, but I frequently Penance people just to figure out where they’re standing.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Heal (the irony!). It now costs too much and heals for too little to be a part of our toolbox. Oh, and I use Flash Heal much, much less than other Disc priests, preferring to give Renew time to tick in most cases.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Instant response time. Disc healers can plug several health gaps at once- not just on the tank- while waiting for a big group heal to come in from a Shaman, Druid, or Holy Priest. Of course, all that requires you to be more communicative than any other healing class, which can be a good or bad thing depending on the company you keep.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

Instant response time. The other side of the hyperactive, short-term healing coin is that if you look away for more than two seconds- your mind wanders, say, or you sneeze more than once in a row- you’ll come back to find everyone is dead.

In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

On the off-tank with an eye on the rest of the raid. If a large healing spell is incoming from a fellow healer, it’s easy to bubble several melee or more than one tank to bridge the gap between casting and healing. When a raid co-healer knows that, and lets me know they need a few seconds of preventing additional damage without necessarily healing everyone up (“Big heals inc, need ten more seconds!”), I get all misty-eyed.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Shamans. The offical reason is that Chain Healing works amazingly well with that whole You-Prevent-Damage-While-I-Poo-Out-A-Huge-Heal situation described above. The unofficial reason is their totems. I like to stand in the middle of ’em. Makes me feel safe.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Paladins. The standard answer to this is, I think, Disc priests, and that can truly be abysmal if you don’t like the other Disc priest you’re healing with, but you can actually work with another Disc priest to coordinate your bubbles. Paladins, though, rely on someone NOT preventing damage on their targets (and I frequently bubble their targets in a confused panic). It always ends in tears and recriminations.

What is your worst habit as a healer?


What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

Unsolicited advice. This makes me want to punch a fool in the face. I don’t give anyone advice on how they play the game they’ve bought to pass the time in the manner of their choosing and certainly don’t want it. On the other hand, I adore it when people give me feedback when asked, and it’s nearly always spot-on (Corollary: I’ve found people who give unsolicited advice invariably aren’t worth listening to.)

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Not at all. We’re dominating, unadulterated, masterful MACHINES of PvP!! /flex

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

I check my World of Logs records against the WoL records of the same fight for the top Disc priests (Ensidia, etc.) and the logs of friends whom I know to be solid Discos.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

It’s hard to say. When I first started playing in Wrath, people kept expecting me to raid heal, which was completely impossible and very perplexing. Now, we’re just as firmly pigeonholed as tank healers, but I really think our best utility comes from tank healing while simultaneously bubbling the occasional raid member to give a raid heal time to finish casting.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

The variety of spells. Blizzard’s spoken intent for Cataclysm was to improve the ‘granularity’ of healing for Disc priests, and I think they succeeded well in so doing. However, increased granularity does mean increased choice, which in turn makes life more difficult for beginners. That, along with the fact that Disc priests really have two specs within one tree- the SmiteSpec (using Atonement) and the ShieldSpec (no Atonement), as I think of them- and there is really a lot of choice and experimentation required that may not be to everyone’s liking.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

Like most Disc priests, my overhealing is pretty low, and total healing looks abysmal (until you add in prevented damage through shields). My use of Renew is higher than most, just because I like it, and I don’t cast Power Word: Barrier nearly as often as I ought to. In general, though, I blow all my cooldowns- needed or not!- because I’d rather use them too early than wait until I really need them and potentially not use them at all.

Haste or Crit and why?

Crit. Balance in all things, sure, but you can manage your casting choices and time to minimize the effect of Haste; you can’t manage anything to get a big heal.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?


What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

I don’t use many add-ons at all. The only raiding add-ons I use are Skada to check trends in damage taken and DBM to get the warnings. I do write a huge number of my own macros, though, and think that the most useful macros for Disc priests are (a) smart Shadowfiend to lock in a target for him to attack, (b) a Warning Yell before casting Hymn of Hope and (c) a raid announcement for casting and on whom you have cast Pain Suppression. Other than that, I use the default raid frames and no key modifiers! SACRILEGE!

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I tend to overstack Crit Intellect and understack Spirit and Haste. By not prioritizing Haste, my mana situation rarely gets out of control since I’m not casting as quickly. Conscious casting can, I think, minimize the need for more mana, reduce overheals, and forces you to play a very rapid-fire class with more deliberation- which, in turn, I think makes you a better Disc priest.

The tendency for Discos is to shoot out a huge number of spells incredibly quickly, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. It’s what makes us so different and fun! However, playing to deliberately minimize that aspect of Disc priesting, once you have mastered doing it that way (that bit’s important), creates a zen state quite unlike any other class I’ve ever played.

But, of course, I’m biased.


Many thanks to my prompters, Rades and Snack, for their kind prompting to participate in this questionnaire; it was very fun to do and absolutely fascinating to read the responses of the many people who have participated thus far! I’m now supposed to tag someone not of my class to do their own version of this, so I’m passing the baton to Vixsin at Life In Group Five, a Resto Shaman.


The Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt II Redux

Kamlia (of Kamalia et Alia fame) and Angelya (of Revive and Rejuvenate fame) provided the energy behind this year’s Second Annual Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt. Participants hid some variation of ‘egg’ (in word, thought, or deed) in their blogs, and the hunters were tasked with finding every instance of ovoidation. After reading over the list of hiding places, I can only stand in awe at the creativity employed by my fellow writers!

Kamalia, who is a wonderful artist of all things Azerothian, even gifted Disciplinary Action with a fabulous portrait of Kachunk and Liala as a thank-you gift for providing one of the prizes. She also immortalized Fyreuni’s characters for her work with the contest, and everyone looks their best in Noblegarden finery. Do check it out.

Congratulations to Rades for winning the contest and his record THIRD personalized Disciplinary Action (I think at this point he just needs his own series). Work has already begun on a work for his Death Knight of such surpassing beauty that I feel certain he’ll treasure it forever, or at least wait until his next hard drive cleanup to delete it.

Hider participants included: Azeroth AppleBag OverflowbubblespecCannot Be TamedChristine’s BlogCynwise’s Battlefield ManualGreen Tinted GogglesDaily QuestsDwarven Battle MedicElfi’s WorldFel ConcentrationFlavor TextFuzzy_Magicz Magical ParlourJaded AltKamalia et aliaManaliciousMuradin MusingsOddcraftOrcish Army KnifePerish TwiceRaid Traumared cow riseRevive and RejuvenateScribblings on the Asylum WallThe WOW DebutanteTop Rosters, and World of Saz

(Which comprises a great list, by the way, of WoW bloggers to check out!)

Holier Than Thou: Basic Priestsources

The web abounds with resources for priests, but separating out the wheat from the chaff can be an exhausting slog. The following is a brief but comprehensive list of priest-centric resources that don’t suck, won’t give you a virus, and don’t try to sell you gold.


PlusHeal: Extensive forums for all healer types, with excellent priest-specific boards.
World of Matticus: A group-run blog from multiple healing perspectives.
BobTurkey: Theorycrafting and healer math.
Spiritual Guidance at A dual-author column focusing on priest healers on Mondays and priest DPSers on Wednesdays. The healer writer is dull as ditchwater, but the shadow priest is ace.


Disciplinary Action
Tales of a Priest
– Righteous Orbs

Priest Is The Word
Holy Form
Holy Fire Spec: A blog dedicated to DPSing in a Holy spec. So weirdly fab I had to include it (though even he admits he’s not a meter-topper).


Pugnacious Priest
Twisted Faith: A super-helpful comprehensive guide to raids, leveling, and the like.


Vudho is an excellent healer add on but can be (well, was for me) extremely intimidating to start using. Check out Tamarind’s idiot-friendly guide to Vudho setup at Righteous Orbs.

Have a great go-to blog or guide? Share the love here!

Reposted from the Mortem Vitae Sequens guild priest guide.

Holier Than Thou: In Which I Entice You Away From My Blog

Underwear Optional is turning a writer’s block moment into an opportunity to learn more about her fellow bloggers, which I think  is a fantastic idea. She’s verbalizing the very questions I’ve often wondered about my favorite blog authors, and I’m terribly excited to read the results.

The only omission I can see is that she fails to ask what kind of underwear you wear while blogging, but I won’t hold it against an otherwise stellar execution. Head over to her entry and answer the questions in her comments section!

1. What kind of blog are you? (ie. healing, hunter, general wow blog)

2. What kind of information do you usually post about? (ie. raiding, rp, your ingame life, pugs, etc)

3. What type of schedual do you use for your blog postings? (ie. once a week, once per day)

4. How did you decide on your blog’s topic?

5. What do you hope your readers take from your postings?

6. Is there anything else that goes into your blogging behind the scenes?

Elevated Discourse: Eleventh Hour Challenge

– Cataclysm Zone Change Spoiler Information Follows –

Cataclysm Zone Changes
Oh, The Humanity!

WE KNOW THAT multiple zones will be destroyed, remade, or otherwise rendered differently once Cataclysm drops on our delicate little noggins. So far as we know, those zones are:

  • Darkshore
  • Azshara
  • Darkwhisper Gorge
  • The Barrens (South)
  • Stonetalon Mountains
  • Thousand Needles
  • Stranglethorn Vale
  • Blasted Lands
  • Felwood
  • Ashenvale
  • Durotar
  • The Barrens (North)
  • Desolace
  • Feralas
  • Eastern Plaguelands
  • Wetlands
  • Westfall
  • Swamp of Sorrows

We’ll miss these areas when they’re gone, and sit around the Inn in Ironforge talking about how newbs these days don’t appreciate the lushness of Thousand Needles and wouldn’t know Auberdine if it fell on their heads.

With that in mind, I’d like to issue an open challenge out there for all bloggers to visit a randomly assigned area and run with it… with a catch. Your character’s mission, should you chose to accept it, will be complicated by a randomly assigned obstacle, tribulation, and/or dilemma facing you in your exploration.

The List of Adversities is is already created, but I’m keeping it under wraps so that everyone’s approach to their tribulation can be a surprise.

THE CHALLENGE: Visit, on your main or a beloved alt, your given zone. Record your thoughts in a visual, verbal, aural, or any other way while referencing your given obstacle (and any successes or failures with which you meet).

THE LOGISTICS: Email me at or post a comment here to get your Zone & Tribulation. Post your results on your blog!

Aaaaand… go!

Holier Than Thou: A Giant Sucking Sound

Hug It Out, Bitches
Let's Hug It Out.

THIS PAST WEEK, I’ve seen a truly staggering number of WoW blog posts on the subject of WoW burnout. Three blogs I love- Altoholics Anonymous, The Angry Healers, and Wildgrowth– are on extended hiatus, if not mothballed for good. The phrases “pre-expansion malaise” and “I’m just trying out LOTR Online for a bit” are bandied about with abandon. Larisa is saying it, Linedan is saying it, Jaedia is saying it.

It’s all getting me down, man.

Instead of letting this deluge of sad wash us all out to sea, I thought now would be a good time to link to some of the people whose posts and activities of late have kept me interested in WoW, inspired to do new things (or old things I never got around to), and generally are cheering me up no end:

  • Pilfkin at Moar Alts is doing her priest quests, a thing I never finished. She’s killing Ragnaros. She’s RPing in a new and fun way.
  • Dreambound sets out some seriously good strategies for building your new badass ten-man raid team (something we’re all going to wish we had in place when the dragon hits the fan).
  • Murloc Parliament is fun in general, and a resurrected piece of fine healer bloggery, but I particularly like her Monday Morning Haikus.
  • OstensiablyWoW takes great screenshots and then tells you how to take them, too! Much joy.
  • Big Bear Butt is turning into a Blizzard Kool-Aid drinking fanboy, and it tastes so right. He’s getting me all excited about Cat’s changes, and even excited about Wrath raiding. Plus he quoted the Wonder Pets for super secret bonus points.
  • Dawn Moore at plays Azerothian tour guide to check out all those soon-to-be changing areas in a nice round-up of Screenshots We’ll Wish We Had Later.
  • Shayzani at 2fps takes a really cool look at DKs… and all the changes they’ve gone through before all this recent hubub. A good read.
  • The Fridge is a new blog, a new blog! I always like to happen on them, especially after reading a few “So long…”s, and hers is a good one. This week, guild drama FTW!
  • Safrocentric, a big, gentle cowgirl with a penchant for picnics in dried-out gulleys, never fails to lift my spirits. She actually has me dusting off my picnic basket and haul it around Azeroth with me, leading to many amusing moments. I like the Saf worldview: Slow down. Enjoy the view. Pick some herbs.
  • As always, View Through The Branches‘ tourism posts remind us of those little leveling nooks and crannies we haven’t seen in ages (or at least since we tried to visit all the Elders) with a fun spin.
  • And finally, Sounds of the Universe by Ercles over on Barrens Chat is a fantastic post about the music of WoW and the appreciation thereof.

So no more sulking, no more qq, no more Pre-Cataclysm angst for this priest! To the Picnic Tables of Booty Bay!!

Holier Than Thou: Eye of the Beholder

Northrend is hell on Cerulean Blue stocks...

I’M A FOOL for screenshots. Show me a striking cliffside view or the fading light fanning out from the edges of the Tanaris desert, and I’m yours. I have enormous respect for those photographers of WoW (WoWtographers) who can truly set up the ultimate shot, and in so doing remind me of the truly striking beauty of Azeroth.

OstensiblyWoW: Unreal. My all-time favorite WoWtographer. His Worldview series made me actually like Azshara, a thing I could not conceive of doing before I set eyes on his shots.

Around Azeroth:’s long-running column featuring screenshots from a wide variety of wowtographers.

Postcards From Azeroth: For when you care enough to send the very best… virtually.

Sector2X: A small basic repository of stock character images without a word of explanation.

Need moar! Please let us know if you know of a great wowtographer.