I love the quests and the scenery and the music of this expansion, but I am feeling more and more disappointed and concerned with the direction healing is taking. I feel like they are dumbing things down for people who don't have the reflexes to heal, and I can't help wondering whether things will improve or worsen.
Did they give us smart heals so we could spend more time watching the fight? I have to be honest, I'd rather have a challenging fight that I barely get to watch than have the game pick my targets for me while I watch an entertaining show.
I want to manage my healing and my targets more, not less. I want to feel as though my healing comes from skill, not because the computer chose the target with the greatest health deficit.
Remember old Decursive, that they broke because it chose the correct target to cleanse? They didn't want mods making decisions for you.
...wait a sec..
I heal because it can be stressful and challenging, and at the end of a fight you feel like you really pulled it together for your team. Everyone is important in a raid, but really, the group begins and ends with its healers. If you have great healers, you're set. I enjoy being one of those healers that people can depend on because they know I'm good at what I do.
If the game is choosing my targets, where is the challenge? If we can stand in one spot and cast a heal on ourselves/the MT/the boss and have heals splash on whoever needs a heal the most, where on earth is the challenge and the skill there? We've gone from whack-a-mole (which at least required you to watch what you were doing) to shooting fish in a barrel. With dynamite.
I just feel bitter at the moment because I feel that they are making it easy for bad healers to do okay because they don't have to think... which in turn completely cheapens the efforts of those of us who actually put in a lot of effort to be good players.
I really strive to be a good player, and when they allow people to heal without needing to think, it makes me feel very frustrated.
Blizzard keeps saying that AoE damage is there to challenge the healers - yet give us spells that remove any and all challenge. Then the next logical step is to stop us from using those ezmode heals too often. But will nerfing these smart heals (by adding a cooldown) fix the problem? I don't think so. I think people will be able to use them less, but it doesn't change the fact that they can still stand there with themselves targeted and have the game choose the right targets (provided of course the group is bunched up, which, oftentimes it is).
Leave the damage in place. Make WG and CoH bounce off the target's party (and don't give me that rubbish about the raid not wanting to take Hunter #3 because they didn't "fit" into a group for CoH). That will force more decision-making.
Druids everywhere will probably cringe when I say this, but maybe there should be a 1.5s cast time (or similar) rather than a 6 second cooldown. We have plenty of things we can do on the run, and other healers don't - perhaps part of the problem with WG is that we can do it on the move. If we had to stand still for a second, it would lower the amount we could "spam" on fights where we have to move. The other healers are losing healing uptime because they have to run, stop, and start casting again. Making it a 1.5sec cast would also mean that people can't just "draw circles on Grid" while spamming an instant cast.
I would just love to see the intelligent part of the spells ditched. Smart heals are making people into bad, lazy, unskilled healers by letting them blindly hit spells (whether on a cooldown or not) without having to think or aim or care... while the good healers out there wonder where the challenge and skill has gone.