New to wow, not healing

Hello Priest community,

I just started playing wow yesterday. I decided to roll a priest, as healing is my favorite character type. I’m no stranger to the healing classes in mmo’s.
I made it to level 12ish and decided to try my hand at healing in wow. I think the name of the instance was freehold. We zone in and there was a bear tank so I’m assuming a Druid, the tank proceeds to pull the first pack then the next. They begin to take some big damage so I begin to heal with flash heal, I should have stated that I’m holy spec, well the flash heal was healing for 113 that’s all. Then the dps begins to take damage and things went down hill from there.

Well the tank left after the wipe and the group fell apart! Is healing while leveling always this way or am I just not geared enough as a fresh character and account and no toolkit to work with. I most definitely felt I didn’t have the healing power or toolkit to finish that instance. Any tips to help a new player would be great!

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If the tank is doing their job proper, and the DPS aren’t pulling ahead of the tank, they really shouldn’t be taking damage in those earlier dungeons.

You want to save Holy Word: Serenity for when someone takes a big burst of damage and then use it to counter. It’s good for those unexpected drops in HP because it’s instant cast. In between Serenity’s you just keep casting Heal on anyone who isn’t at full health. You can also make sure the tank has Renew on them while in combat to help out.

A more advanced trick that helps a lot of healers in this game is: casting a heal on someone you think is going to take damage by the time the cast is over, and then canceling the cast if your ally never took the damage you thought they might, and then repeating (you can cancel cast by moving or pressing esc).

You’ll get in the hang of things as you heal more and get a feel for how much healing each spell actually does so you can be proactive. As long as you’re equipping the higher item level gear you get from completing the dungeons and casting back to back heals while in combat (and the tanks/DPS aren’t over pulling) you should definitely have the throughput to get through the early dungeons.

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Your toolkit is pretty limited at low levels. As Holy you’ll be casting Flash heal often but don’t forget your Holy Word: Serenity. Renew is generally not a great spell for a Holy Priest, something casted on the move mostly but at lower levels when your kit is still limited I think it’s fine to use, you can keep it rolling on the tank.

A big part of playing healer in wow I think comes down to building a good UI that allows you to be efficient, while there are some good addons for that, the built-in tools should be good enough to get a pretty decent UI to start with but the default settings are very bad so I’ll advise you do some modifications:

THIS ONE IS A MUST: Make sure to enable raid-style party frames, then adjust the sizing and positioning so they look nice, move them closer to the middle of the screen where the action happens, either below or to the side of your character, you can also enable class colors.

Then over time you can incorporate more things like mouseover macros so you don’t need to target whoever you want to heal (just hover over the party frame), track cooldowns, buffs/debuffs, defensives, etc… But that’s something you can incorporate latter, start by just the raid-style party frames.

One more piece of advise if you are new is that lots of wow players tend to assume everyone they group with is a veteran who already knows the dungeons and has been doing it for a long time and can sometimes be very impatient, but also most players will be a lot more understanding and helpful if they know you are a new player so at the start of the dungeon you can say something like “Hey guys, I’m new to the game but I do have experience healing in other MMOS, I’ll do my best to keep up but please be a bit patient if I fall behind a little bit sometimes” (or that’s the idea, there are probably better ways to phrase it).

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Thank you Both for the advice,

The UI I also feel is very important, I did a little homework and found some good ideas to adjust my UI. I did a bit of research on some healing addons also. I’m going to give vuhdu a try, I believe it has built in mouse over, play with the settings and find a layout I like.

I do have another question, when I’m higher level will you ever use heal or it it going to be your instants and their cool down mechanism spam for mythic dungeons.

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Vuhdo is great, that’s what I use for my raid frames it’s very powerful and can do a lot of things but it’s a bit of a pain to set-up and learn, totally worth it once you learn it though.

I didn’t mentioned initially because sometimes new players tend to be a bit anti-addons at the start, glad to see you are open to them.

As for mouseovers yeah you can do it with Vuhdo that’s how I used to do them, I do them a bit differently now but no complains tbh Vuhdo is pretty good for that too (and I think I probably still have a few with Vuhdo).

Generally as Holy Priest you have your high priority spells (Holy Words, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending) that should be used off CD (or close to as long as they don’t going to overheal) and your lower priority “filler” spells to use in between which also reduce the CD of your Holy Words, unless damage is very low you’ll need to use those fillers.

Depending on tunning and borrowed power it tends to change what spells you use as fillers, we have had the binding heal meta, the PoH meta, even Flash of Light meta, right now at max level there’s a very strong legendary that pushes you towards casting lots of “Heal” with the eventual Flash Heal to keep the stacks of a buff you get.

I’m not sure how things are right now for leveling but probably a combination of Heal and Flash heal in between your big hitters.

I’d join battlegrounds to learn healing myself. If you are learning, and have trouble, it is not so likely to cost you as much because in pvp groups are not so dependent on healing–and you may even have a few healers. In dungeons if you are struggling to heal, it can cause you and the group immense frustration, and some groups will even eject you.

Also I’d think about Grid2 + clique. Madskillzz has a great guide video as well to steer you through set up.

It was probably your gear. They are all green, hard to heal when tank pull multiple mobs.

I suggest leveling with shadow spec through questing.

Late-game healing is a lot better (and more fun) than early game, trust me on this one.


Yea kinda, but it’s scaled so you aren’t super far behind.

Big yes here, low level healing is so bad because you literally don’t have 90% of your spells that would help you in situations like these.

I dunno. I have levelled half a dozen priests from one to 60, and mostly healing dungeons. You just have to know a few tricks. Like, honestly, check your auction house regularly, or better yet, just make your toon an enchanter. I have found loads of super cheap enchants for gear that you can use to beef up your toon. You can also use mana oil or wizard oil (and other oils) to really boost your hps while leveling. You can also make your second profession tailor, and make set gear. I have done that, and gotten nice stat bonuses. You can even buy food or make it yourself, and also potions–all of this stuff adds up to huge bonuses to your HPS, which can amount to making your healing incredibly strong, with lots of room for error while you are learning.

Do many people go to this trouble? I doubt it, but I don’t think that many people who play wow are very smart. It might cost you 50 gold every ten levels for enchants and oils and pots and that kind of thing, which can make healing better to a staggering degree. And for disc priests, not only healing, but also damage. In fact, in a lot of cases, I have had killer HPS while leveling, plus have been top, or second highest dps in the majority of pulls and fights, and all the way up.

Good luck.

It helps to tell people up front “I’m new to wow”

It sets a lot of expectations for others to be patient and offer useful advice. Otherwise, people assume you know wow and know how to play your class (yes, even though you’re low level they assume you know what you’re doing).

I think a problem that you are facing when trying to heal in dungeons at level 12 is that the default dungeons that you queue for are way too advanced for your level. These dungeons were originally meant for max level characters in earlier expansions, but are now scaled for all players. In my opinion, the scaling doesn’t always work too well. Flash heal just isn’t enough of a toolkit to handle the massive damage that is thrown at you.

My recommendation is to find Chromie in your capitol city (Stormwind/Orgimmar) and switch timelines to Cataclysm. Then queue for random dungeons. These are designed for low level characters, and the healing will be easy. Then you can properly learn to use your spells as you level in a much more manageable pace. Once you feel more confident and get a full set of spells and better gear, then you can shift back into a later expansion or the current time and try a more challenging dungeon.

Honestly, Freehold and Atal’Dazar are a mess for new players. It’s really easy to think you can do a double pull and get trashed. Or to pull stuff that you could easily skip. Or to just die because you don’t know the mechanics - even if they aren’t ‘hard’, they do need to be respected in those BfA dungeons. Tanks and healers are lacking too much of their toolkits at that level to make big mistakes.

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I would add that when you are healing anything but higher end keys you can regularly get players who really do not know what they are doing. Sometimes it is the whole group–like some guild groups you heal in keys.

If you are not even healing keys, your chances of getting a tank who lacks skill and knowledge is very high. That alone can make healing a daunting task–especially if you yourself are unaware of the difference between a skilled group and/or tank and the opposite.

Go speak to chromie in ogrimmar and change the timeline to cataclysm. That should allow you to que up for classic dungeons.

Classic dungeons are a better place for new players to learn their class.