So it turns out my suspicions were correct, I can heal in a raid. I've asked for the opportunity in the past and last Sunday my wish was granted and there I was healing 25 man Naxx. Good thing I found out a few minutes before we started so I had time to grab a couple enchants I'd been putting off. Got a couple hundred bonus healing off those which seemed nice.
I'd been gearing up for this day since before I left Teldrassil. Up until dual specs I healed as a feral. Good practice I suppose to get used to healing without any fancy cooldowns or abilities. Healed a few heroic after dual specs, but I was so overgeared by that point there was never really a challenge.
So off I go having never healed in a group before, I am used to being solely responsible for the lives of those around me. I was assigned to heal the raid for most the raid and for bosses I was assigned to the primary tank along with a holy pally.
Starting off on trash my first thoughts were that there is always someone to heal. None of the downtime you get in 5 mans. Even tanking and dps roles have more downtime in raiding than the healers. Healers are always going. Between pulls tanks wait with the dps getting ready for the next pull, healers are still topping folks off from the last fight.
I have no doubt right now that healers have the most intense role in 25 man raiding, followed by the tanks then the dps. This is very different from 5 man situations where I would say the tank has the most intense role followed by the healer and then the dps. In 10 man I feel the tanks and healers are about even. This of course assumes an equally qualified tank/healer. Certainly an under qualified player will have more difficulty in either role.
So raid healing is basically tossing a bunch of hots on people pretty much non stop. I keep an eye out for people that require more attention and pump more heals thier way all while keeping a full stack of hots on the tank(s). I noticed very quickly that I cannot cast spells fast enough to deplete my mana, or even get close. I found that a little annoying since I like to try and conserve mana.
Moments I was most proud of were the couple times I had the opportunity to blast a couple instant big heals at people and save dps who pulled aggro from death. That is always fun for me in any healing situation.
I was also quite pleased with my performance on Heigan. The dance is 2nd nature to me at this point so I was healing constantly as I ran. Turned out top for heals that fight, I'm sure because of healing on the move. Turned out 3rd overall, but healing meters are really not good for much given the way healing changes from fight to fight. All I got out of it was that I was compitent.
One place I saw I need work on was on Lotheb where my healing was lower than the other healers and I wound up losing my group toward the end of the fight. It was my first time healing the fight, but I was well aware of the healing timer involved. My strategy was the stack lifeblooms on folks and let them bloom during the healing window, but my timing may of been a little off. I was also sticking rejuvenation and wild growth up, but my group was half ranged and half melee so the wild growth never did get everyone. Need more practice with that one for sure to get the most from the healing window.
The other thing that I feel I was partially responsible for was on a couple of fights I lost my tank right at the end. He died like exactly with the boss on Maexna and Patchwerk. I was looking over the logs and I noticed there weren't any "big heals" between the last overheal and the death. It happened in a split second of course so there really wasn't time to do much since I had use my big instant heals earlier and they were still on cooldown. Next time I will certainly do more overhealing in hopes of sneaking a big heal for moments like that. I was the lowest for overhealing which I was originally proud of given I like to conserve mana, but it seems overhealing has its merits.
Overall it was a fun night and I look forward to healing in a 25 man setting again sometime.