I’ve been having a look back over my posts over the last few weeks and it struck me I’ve not mentioned my primary topic; priests, nothing, nada, not a drop. Possibly something to do with priestly ways being done to death by the blogsphere until the next patch drops, and possibly something to do with me playing alts more, and being generally slack…. so in an attempt to redress the balance a little, here we go, a post on dispelling for Shadow (and any other) Priests.
Dispelling (and decursing or curing poison etc. I’ve decided I’m going to use dispel from now on to cover every generic kind of ‘remove something’ simply for my sanity, don’t come whining to me ok… deal with it) like interrupts have made a bit of a resurgence since Cata, yes they were used in previous versions of WOW, but I can’t ever remember an occasion when they were needed so heavily. Yes, back in the days of Molten Core and Lucifron as a mage(which I was at the time) you’d find yourself decursing 40 people. Back when decursive was ‘legal’ you simply mashed the button 40 times and carried on. Then it was outlawed and there was uproar; dispelling classes would have to do more than just mash keys, oh the pain!! to placate people (I assume, or perhapse they realised that, actually, selectively dispelling tens of people was quite hard, and actually VERY dull). Blizzard introduced mass descurse/spell/poison Prior to Cata there was the occasional boss fight which required this, but it was occasional, and it was generally restricted to raids, not 5 mans, and you’d generally have a designated mass dispeller who did nothing but dispel. In Cata, as a healing priest, I constantly find myself dispelling nasty crap, even on trash, to mitigate healing needs, there’s some quite nasty stuff which gets thrown about. In Grim Batol, Throngus really needs to be dispelled, the end boss, Asaad, in Vortex Pinacle is one example who requires the use of mass dispel, and a whole host of others.
Gone are the days when dispelling was the sole responsibility of one unfortunate in a raid, and gone are the days when only the healers are responsible for dispelling. I still occasionally see the ‘we always used to do it that way’ from the DPS, but I’ve found more and more that when I’m shadow, I need to dispel to help my healer out. It’s quite polarising actually, the good DPS players tend to be those ones who know how to use their classes secondary abilities like interrupt, dispel, and to some extent crowd control (though most classes have had some form of crowd control for years so are generally quite comfortable with it).
I use healbot when I’m healing, binding my most used healing spells to direct mouse clicks, my lesser used spells with a shift-click and my dispel abilities an alt-click. I replicate this across my alts, so on my druid my most usual heal is the left click, my ‘panic’ heal is shift right click, my dispel mechanic is alt-click and so on, this really helps (I find) with the muscle memory. I used to disable healbot when I was playing DPS to give me more screen space, but recently I’ve kept it active so I can see when people need dispelling; if the healer is doing it (and not struggling) I’ll ignore them and melt away. If we’re having problems then theres an easy indication both because the debuffs are highlighted and I can see peoples health bars more clearly.
I’ve actually since re-skinned healbot so it’s not so big when I’m playing DPS, I still have all of the same keys bound so I can not only dispel, but also drop out of shadow form and start healing if I’m needed.
More generally, I’m not a big fan of mass dispel (in heroics) there’s for the bosses like Asad in Vortex Pinnacle where several classes can get out themselves, and anyone with any nouse is able to jump to avoid the debuff in the first place so dispel is simply used to pick up the stragglers. In most other scenarios its simply a case of knowing the debufs that mobs dish out on knowing whether they’re worth getting rid of; for instance a melee speed debuf on a caster can be left. This has got me wondering if there's any intelligence built in to healbot (or any other mod) or any other add to tell you if you really need to dispel someone. I’ll have to break Google out when I get home. Clearly in raids it’s a different story, its a case of choosing the most efficient method, be it mass or point dispelling.
I think my point is, as a class who can dispel, you should always look to dispel, if possible, (and beneficial) whether you’re the healer or DPS; don’t assume someone else will do it, they’re probably assuming you will. Know your debuffs too! know what might be coming, and be ready to deal with it. Oh and when some muppet spams the DPS meter at you, spam the interrupt / dispel count back at them.