Prayer of Mending: the best spell ever

By this point, I have played many healers in many MMOs. Each game has tried to put its own twist on healing, from Tera’s position-dependent spells to RIFT’s crazy multiple soul configurations. But no matter what game I was playing and what kind of healer I was, I always missed one thing: the WoW priest spell Prayer of Mending.

On a visceral level, the spell just feels good. It shoots out from your hands to the target like some kind of starry healing bullet, and their character animation buckles slightly when it hits. Doing this also makes a great, solid sound that you can clearly hear even in the middle of combat. (If you’re totally unfamiliar with PoM, here’s a very quick video demonstration.)

I would definitely count it as one of the most fun spells to use simply for cosmetic reasons, but it also is useful in ways that other games don’t seem to have. The key is that you can apply it before the target takes damage, and it will hang out for 30 seconds waiting to heal something. Once it does, PoM shoots over to another party/raid member, and sits there for 30 seconds or until they take damage. Repeat 3 more times.

This gives PoM two distinct advantages that most other healing spells don’t have. First, you can just release it into the wild, as it were, upon cooldown and rest assured that even if you are doing something else your heals are still out there to a degree. Second, pre-healing. Other games have shields (although they’re still relatively uncommon, in my experience) but the benefits from having a heal already sitting on the tank the very first second they takes damage cannot be over-stated. Often that first pull is totally chaotic enough as it is, and having an extra second to start casting a big heal is very useful.

I’m a little ish on smart heals in general — if nothing else they reduce my ability to grudge-heal puggies, dammit — but no matter what MMO I’m playing my PoM finger is always itchy.

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Sorry I’ve been talking about WoW so much lately. (Hi, Corr.) Well, not THAT sorry. Some non-WoW specific things:

* Milady on the politics of tanking and healing
* Syl has organized a poetry slam for the newbie blogger initiative!

I met the super nice folks behind Escape Goat at PAX, and they kindly sent me an alpha version of Escape Goat 2 to try. I made a video of the first 8 levels or so, seen below. If you like puzzles and/or goats who are accused of witchcraft, I highly recommend putting this on your future shopping list!

Author: Jessica Cook

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4 Comments

  1. I recall my Templar back in EverQuest II had a couple of what I called “pre-paid” healing spells. They hit the target on a timer, during which they would heal up to a certain amount of damage as they came in. Not as cools as the bounce around that PoM has, but I used to like those sorts of heals as they would give me a buffer when it came time to wind up for the big heal during a fight.
    Wilhelm Arcturus´s last post: CCP to Attempt to Explain EVE Online to New Players

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  2. Yes, my favorite priest healing spell ever!

    It was even better when it first came out with TBC, because (a) spammable, and (b) the “healing threat” got assigned to the heal-ee instead of the heal-er, which was situationally super important (e.g., High King Maulgar pull).

    I’ve been thinking about glyphing for Focused Mending and Shadow Word: Death just to bring back the ability to bounce Prayer of Mending between myself and a tank more easily.

    Good times, good times. Now get off my lawn!

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  3. I remember a couple of years ago healing on a priest and lamenting how “dumb” Prayer of Mending felt compared to the actual “lowest health raid member” smart healing that other classes have.

    For me, PoM always seemed to jump to the person who needed it the least. I’d shoot it to the tank and half the time it would shoot straight back to me to sit there until it expired, taunting me about how inefficient a healer I was.

    I feel like I’ve seen this paradigm across a few healing classes; the spells with weird designs but which are so mana efficient that you will almost never not want to cast it on CD.

    Front-loading hots/absorbs is also something nearly all healers have to do now. For Mistweavers, not casting your main HoT on CD (regardless of who it goes on) will drastically reduce your throughput potential for up to the next 30 seconds. I still get caught out from time to time and have to blow a Revival to catch up.

    Reading Mangle’s comment above makes me lament the loss of threat as a gameplay mechanic for non-tanks. One of my favourite things about Earth Shield was that it generated threat for the tank. Ditto Thorns, I fucking loved Thorns, especially the Cata version. If I still played a Druid I would be livid that they removed that spell.
    Coreus´s last post: Player versus player

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  4. The only thing I love more than PoM is Cascade. Holy shit I love Cascade.

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