Tips for Transitioning to a Different Healing Class

Many people who decide they are main spec healers, wind up having several healing classes to choose from in their day to day play.  This can get confusing, particularly if you play one healing class more than the rest…I still try to fade on my druid!  With the overall current feel of the classes, this isn’t as hard as it could be, but may take some work.  How you set up your keybinds and UI can play a big part in this.

Compare your Skills
Each class has a cheap slow heal, an expensive quick heal, and a long cast big heal.  It is called different things for each class, but everyone has it.  There are other comparisons, such as a druid’s rejuvenation to a priest’s renew to a shaman’s riptide.  Once you’ve compared your skills, and get a real feel for what is the same, then you can focus on what is different.  What has really helped me, is to then key-bind the similar spells first.  If my right-click is always my long cast big heal, then that is what I bind it as on every healer I have.  My mouse-wheel is always a quick instant heal (Prayer of Mending, Swiftmend, ect).  I use shift right-click for my magic dispel on every healer. (or decursive, I still use decursive!)  This makes your key-bindings become less of an issue and second nature no matter which class you are playing.

Compare your Cooldowns
I generally try to compare my cooldowns.  My go-to spell when the poop hits the fan?  Yep, always on my action bar, but really close to my healing frames!  My mana regen?  Macro’d by the oh poop spell…macro’d because of all the times I’ve cast it on the mage by accident….!  I tend to fat finger sometimes…so they were taken off my mouse, your mileage may vary.  On my paladin all of my “hand of” spells are used with the mouse-over macro from last week.

Sort out the rest
Once you’ve figured out what is comparable and what is not, you can work on building each healer’s ui in a way that is the most useful to your own individual style.   Some people need more information at their disposal to heal well and others don’t need so much.  Since I am the raid leader when Kurby isn’t available, I tend to err on the side of lots of information.  What is most important for transitioning is that it is smooth.  Though two years later I do still wonder why my shadowmeld doesn’t sound like fade.


For my fellow altoholics, how do you transition?  Do you keep with a plan or play each character differently?


7 Comments on “Tips for Transitioning to a Different Healing Class”

  1. Erinys says:

    I keep my keybinds the same across all four healing classes wherever possible. I also try and make sure I find the time to play the ones who are currently “alts” as regularly as I can to keep up to date and comfortable with them. Right now that translates as running at least one battleground per week on each character. I find that nothing focuses my mind like pvp.

    • Prinnie Dood says:

      Running alts regularly to keep comfortable with them is a good idea. I quit WoW for awhile and when I came back, I just can’t bring myself to play my 80 priest because I have no idea what I’m doing!

      • Erinys says:

        I made myself do it after I had to swap to my then barely played Shaman in our arena team. We lost the first game because I was totally out of touch with the class and er thought I was still playing my Priest :p

        I’d also add that when you make a brand new healing alt character, take the time to think about keybinds then. It’s easy to put the first few abilities where they’re handy at the time without thinking about how your spell usage is going to change as you gain more abilities. Having to relearn binds when you hit say 60 or so is annoying.

  2. Elunamakata says:

    I should play my priest more…I just don’t feel the same for her as I did before I made my druid. Really none of my healers feel the same now. They feel slow and clunky. Though I miss having heal bombs!

    But having my keybindings and macros similar across all the classes have helped. My poor shaman hasn’t healed since before wrath was over, and only a bit then…she kinda got a lot of agi gear leveling up this go around.

    My pally is currently in prot gear and had bad luck with holy drops. It should be interesting to see how easy it will be to “fill the gaps” with the MoP gear vendors.

  3. holybrae says:

    It also helps to have a friend to talk it out with. Eluna and I are often helping each other with our alts – since we have different perspectives and different strengths. My druid stopped having mana issues once she pointed out I’d picked the wrong heal as my “Heal” spell – I was accidentally using my druid “Flash Heal” all the time! Oooops!

    • Elunamakata says:

      🙂 hey, who else in the world would understand me when I’m like…you know the DING spell…you cast it on the tank and it dings around 5 times before it finishes!! (prayer of mending for those who aren’t familiar with eluna-speak!)

  4. Ninevi says:

    I definitely agree about trying to place similar spells in keybinds, etc! I use similar mouse buttons as you — long cast heals on right mouse, instants on middle, short cast on left, and then dispel/shields with button 4. (So many heals…not enough mouse buttons sometimes it seems!) I do the same for keybinding cooldowns and trinkets as well.

    I also second Prinnie Dood’s in the above comments about playing (somewhat) regularly to remember the spells and settings. While I don’t have much difficulty switching back and forth between my druid and pally heals, I always feel rusty and sometimes unfamiliar with my priest because I don’t spend hardly as much play time on her as the other two.

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