Two Words (Great Excuse)

30 06 2009

Being a healer is awesome. Why? Because you get invited to everything. The best excuse ever to be included in stuff, to feel loved… to have e-friends.The Death Knight spree brought down the tank shortage and with no Healer Hero Class in sight, healers are still in a drought. Most people don’t opt to become a Healer by choice. Out of all 3 roles, it is the most stressful, but sometimes the most rewarding. Depending on the rest of the group composition you can just hang back, throw the occasional heal, and hope that they don’t see you are the bottom of the healer charts/meters. If you do end up the situation where you actually want to heal and you just so happen to be a shaman, this is a good place to start.

NOTE: If there are 2+ Shamans in the raid, both alive, and you are the healing type, don’t cast Heroism/Bloodlust. The other two specs have expendable mana, your mana is precious.

Chain Heal Spam, amirite?

No. Now shut the fudge up and get the fudge out. The days of CH spam are long gone. With the grandiose fights in Ulduar there is no real way to make it viable if it is only hitting 1 target the majority of the time. 3.2 is gonna give it a little boost: More mana efficiency, larger bounce range. Some people don’t think it is in a good place, but they can go fudge themselves. So how do I heal? In order for a Shaman to heal, we are going to use a few talented abilities and our weakest heal.

/shrug

/shrug

Yeah, I don’t get it either. Actually, I do. I shall explain. Riptide is awesome. It is instant, it heals, it leaves a HoT (maybe 2), and it procs Ancestral Awakening. It also boosts Chain Heal effectiveness by 25%. It also makes HW and LHW 30% faster (In 3.2, it will give a 25% crit boost to LHW). This hasted cast allows a quick 20k+ heal, depending on the tank. At all times, Earth Shield should be up. You should also Glyph LHW to boost effectiveness of LHW by 20% on ES’d targets, as you aren’t raid healing anymore. You are dairy creamer… I mean half and half. Mind you, there is no rotation for Shaman healing (as there is no true rotation for any healing class, I speak from experience that is very little to none). If you want to tank heal, follow this checklist:

  • Is Earth Shield up on one of the tanks? If no, please apply. Mana efficient reactive heal FTW. Kinda wish it did have an absorb effect to it, but meh.
  • Are any melee/ranged going down because they pulled aggro? If there is more than one, Riptide one, then LHW the other two. Once Tidal Waves procs are gone, continue to heal them with LHW until Riptide is back off of CD, recast on Tank (as you’ve been neglecting him/her), and LHW any that is not topped off.
  • Melee heavy group? Use Chain Heal to your hearts content. If you can guarantee that it hits more than 1 person, it is still a good heal. Riptide up one of the melee targets first, though.
  • Ranged heavy group? Ask them to stop being stupid and stand closer together (unless range is a factor, ie: KT, XT) to gnab them all with one CH. If they don’t want to or can’t, follow the instructions from the second bullet.

Oh snap, the tank is dying quick. This is when we use another talented ability known as Nature’s Swiftness. It is your Oh-Shit button and can be used in conjunction with Tidal Force, another Talent, to give you a very close guaranteed crit (but not always, as it is only 30%). In this situation:

  • Is Earth Shield on the tank? If not, it should’ve been. -50DKP minus.
  • Cast Nature’s Swiftness (I tend to have it bound to a mouse button to get it quick) and any other thing (Tidal Force) and then cast Healing Wave. Riptide for hasted LHW or HW (Tidal Waves current brings my LHW to 0.9sec cast, HW to 1.6sec cast) which may crit more effectively due to Tidal Force. Boom, massively healed tank.
  • Sidenote: In a fight like Auriaya or Kologarn where Melee is gonna be on top of the tank, it might be better to Riptide (won’t consume Nature’s Swiftness) and then Chain Heal to heal a bunch of them at once after a Sonic Screech or a Sweep.

I followed your instructions and still suck.

Yeah, I am a mediocre Shaman. It has taken me a while of testing on my own to learn how to heal effectively with this class. Maybe I don’t explain it right, but just take some of these notes and head out there into Heroics and Normal dungeons. If you are ever unsure of yourself, you shouldn’t be going into raids. Most people treat them as srs bzns and are willing to punt you for a friend and the like. Even after explaining it, I’ve found some people that still don’t enjoy the healing style and that is okay. Just respec Elemental or Enhancement and push buttons in a sequence, occasionally strafing. 😀 I enjoy it from time to time.





Grey Dawn (My UI)

27 06 2009
So sexy.

So sexy.

That is all. Just tweaked it today. Used to have my frame and target frame at the top of the screen, moved them to my feet so I don’t have to really move my eyes too much (some say it makes you a better healer, but I am an awesome healer when it was the normal way… so…). Probably gonna have to adjust it after 3.2, due to Shamans getting a stance bar (or so I assume it will be, Bartender, be up on that).

Addons used:

  • Pitbull 3.0
  • Chinchilla
  • Quartz Castbar
  • Bartender4
  • Totemtimers
  • Prat 3.0
  • Fubar
  • Satrina Buff Frames
  • Minimap Button Frame




Ban the Tube Top (PTR 3.2, pt 1)

26 06 2009

I decided to hit up the PTR, both with my toon (for gem analysis and the ability to see more of the JC stuff with my tokens) and a premade Shaman. Here are some pictures from my trip.

Gems are a girl’s best friend

39 SP, nice.

39 SP, nice.

As you can see, the Dragon’s Eyes have received a nice buff. It may only be 7 points, but is still really nice to make up for having to put a lesser Hybrid gem into a blue socket for us Shamans.

4... I thought you were 3?

4... I thought you were 3?

This is a very small buff, but I guess it goes along with the 25% increase to MP5 items, I didn’t realize that extended to gems as well. Shouldn’t really notice an increase, what with all the extra MP5 we are getting.

Ooh, an extra 3sp and 3 Stam.

Ooh, an extra 3sp and 3 Stam.

This is the upgrade from the 9SP, 12Stam Glowing Twilight Opal, this being the Glowing Dreadstone. Oooh, ominous.

I can tank now? Thanks for the Stance Bar!

So with the 3.2 Patch Notes, Shamans were given a little taste of what it is like to have more free GCDs in the form of the Totem Bar. I whipped mine out and slapped it around a little bit in Ironforge. Might not by safe for work.

totem_bar

In ascending order: Call of Fire, Call of Water, Call of Air. Left to right: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Call of Earth (Totemic Recall).

If you’ve ever used a Totem Management addon, such as Totem Timers, the totems fan out in a similar fashion. Will it be an actual Stance Bar and work with Bartender? Don’t know, Bartender has Stance Bar greyed out for my Shaman. I will have to wait.

Free Gear!

So, with my premade character, they gave me lots of epic gear because I am just that awesome. Pretty much got Tier8.5 for every spec, as well as a bunch of PvP items. Swapped gear around for a bit and got a nice picture of the whole “Shift Click Item comparison”:

ZOMG! Time to get rid of RatingBuster...

ZOMG! Time to get rid of RatingBuster... (Click for better clarity)

There are already addons out, such as RatingBuster or Pawn, that do this already in the tooltip, but not needing to have so many addons installed I guess is the direction of Blizzard (RE: Quest icons on Overworld Map).

Thanks for all the fish!

The only time I will see myself on this mount...

The only time I will see myself on this mount...

Check back for Part 2 in which I haven’t decided what I am going to do! Probably gonna log into my live Shaman and tinker (I bought T9 for 150g, Blizz is making this game too easy) or possibly the premade Druid that I got.





This Is Not A Test

24 06 2009

Naxx10 last night was fun, albeit kinda late. Not enough people to do a full run… so we go for an achievement, “The Dedicated Few.” We even got “Shocking,” but that is because the group was rather awesome. Cleaning the rest of it out tonight for the achievement. Hopefully we can start to get more people into the guild and begin 25mans, because that’d be awesome.

Thanks to Blizzard resetting all the quests and me being extremely diligent the first couple of hours of the holiday, I’ve made lots and lots of gold, as well as being able to purchase both the pet and the Brazier of Dancing Flames. Yeah, I am just that awesome. Druid is about to hit 50. Maybe I will take her through a bunch of these for some extra cash for her mount training.

Hmm...

Clickage for a bit better image quality.





The Metric System (Gemming and You)

24 06 2009

Or “How I learned to stop stacking Agility because I went Resto”

Note: If you don’t feel like reading some rubbish, scroll to the bottom.

So, you started to get your epics, but even though you have so much purple, you still don’t feel like a pretty princess. Well, there is lots of gear out there that sports these nifty things called “Sockets” that allow you to get a nice stat boost, along with a bonus, and the ability to equip a Meta gem. Oooh, let’s go in-depth.

So, you just downed Thaddius and you got your Tier pants. Congratulations, but if you want the most out of them, you are gonna need some gems. If you aren’t a fidgeter, you have managed to click the proper pants, Valorous Earthshatter Legguards, which contain a Red socket and a Blue socket. Let me preface this extremely late by saying that Blue gems are not your friend, but they will be on your gear and you will have to manage. If you are a JC, you got lucky (at least until 3.2, then you will have to tweak).

For any and all Red sockets, you are gonna find that a Runed Scarlet Ruby is going to give you the most throughput. If you want a larger mana pool for Replenishment or for better Mana Tide usage, go with a nice Luminous Monarch Topaz (9sp, 8int). If you want a quicker heal, then go with a Reckless Monarch Topaz (9sp, 8haste). Never socket a Purple gem into a Red slot, as you get more throughput with Red and Orange gems.

Save the Purple for your Blue socket in the form of  a Glowing Twilight Opal (9sp, 12stam). Stamina is good for survivability. A dead healer can’t heal, but generally your stamina will come from gear, so only gem for it if you are having problems staying alive. Once again, if you want a larger mana pool, go with a Green Timeless Forest Emerald (8int, 12stam) same argument for survivability. Blue is an extremely lackluster socket for Shaman healers, so use any sort of +12stam gem to get around it. Since mana regen should really come from your gear/mana spring/water shield, don’t gem for it. And since MP5 is getting a buff in 3.2, please don’t gem for it. But, there is another choice.

If you chose Jewelcrafting as one of your professions, you got a nice little Super Gem sitting around for you to cut. It does suck that they aren’t going to be Prismatic (matches any socket and acts like the color to meet Meta requirements), but for now, you are in lucky. If you have a Blue socket, you have options. Once again, Runed Dragon’s Eye is going to give you nice throughput. Want a larger mana pool? Brilliant Dragon’s Eye. Realistically, for a Resto Shaman, these are the only Dragon’s Eye cuts for you. You can only have 3 of any type on your gear, so plan accordingly.

Holy Carp! You downed Malygos25 and got yourself a fancy Tunic of the Artifact Guardian. Huzzah for you! But, there isn’t a Red or Blue socket in it. Hmm… What do you do with Yellow sockets? Brilliant Autumn’s Glow. Intellect is awesome because it provides more mana, more SP through Nature’s Blessing, more Crit for more Proccing of Ancestral Awakening, Ancestral Healing, and Improved Water Shield. But you should never gem crit, as Int will passively give it to you, not as much, but it also benefits you more than pure crit.

As a Shaman, you will find yourself sponging up a lot of gear. Being the only Shaman in a Naxx25 (happened for me the first week of being 80) is/was awesome. So much Mail gear in Naxx. So, you are being the awesome healer that you are, you just decided to Roflpwn Gothik the Harvester and the Helm of Unleashed Energy drops. It has a Blue socket, we know what to do there, but what is that first gem? A meta gem… interesting. If you were gonna grab that Ember Skyflare Diamond, I am going to punch you in the knee. 2% intellect is only gonna give you around 20-30int and that 25sp is nice, but there is a better way. Pick up an Insightful Earthsiege Diamond. 21int beats out your Ember Skyflare Diamond and chance on spellcast to restore mana. Every time it procs, you get 600mana. It procs nicely and it procs often. It procs from setting your Earthliving Weapon, is procs from heals, it procs from the random Magma Totem you place down to pwn some Zombie Chow. It is the definitive Restoration Shaman meta gem and if someone else tells you otherwise, tell them the Big Bird said otherwise. They will laugh, but know you made someone’s day brighter.

TL; DR –





Down in Flames

22 06 2009

So, I’ve gotten Flame Warden. Now to do dailies to get enough to me one of them braziers. Pets are kinda dumb. The staff didn’t drop off of Ahune. Please. Lords of Blizzard, stop hating on me. I am willing to forgive that whole Southfury incident, just give me an Amani War Bear.

I am the full ensemble.

I am the full ensemble.

Once again, I don’t feel like Flame Warden is a good title. Horde get Flame Keeper, that is cool. Alliance title: Flame Warden… sounds like I am the administrator of a gay prison. Which I wouldn’t mind. I really do need a job. Just got done doing some SSC with only 5 people. It was nice. I miss healing. Ah well, shit happens I guess.





Under My Voodoo (Glyphage)

21 06 2009

Subtitle: What are all these circles in my Talents window in the tab called “Glyphs”?

So, you decided to roll a shaman, eh? Think you got what it takes? Well, Shamans do what… Nintendon’t. That doesn’t make sense, but you should probably reroll. We used to be a very overpowered class. We could do it all, tank, heal, DPS, make small things pop out of the ground, etc. Just kidding, we couldn’t tank effectively. Yet, we still have a shield. I call it a Stat Platter, holds some nice stats, an intellect enchant, it slices, dices, and blocks 5% of the time. I guess we are in a good position (an even better position in 3.2, resto-wise). Any good Shaman will take up the mantle of healing  because it is an enjoyable experience. Stressful, yes. But mildly enjoyable. Frantic, yes, but not really enjoyable. Ah well, let’s get you Glyphed. That came out of no where.

So, as a Shaman, your Minor Glyphs are gonna be a complete crapshoot. I enjoy bagspace, I really do. I want there to be an updated backpack, but Blizzard hates me (RE: Southfury River).

  • I take the Glyph of Renewed Life, screw Ankhs.
  • I need to get somewhere quickly, not really, but I like to feel that I am important. Next, I use the Glyph of Astral Recall. Then in the extremely rare event where everyone is in KT’s room, no Mage, all their hearths are down (extremely rare), you can /point /laugh that you have a 7.5 minute Hearth.
  • Finally, the only one that is absolutely awesome for Restoration Shamans, the Glyph of Water Shield. This one won’t really matter in 3.2, as Improved Water Shield isn’t gonna take our precious Water Shield charges, but for now, it is balls.

As for other options, if you like to walk on water, take that one. If you like to breathe under water, take that one. If you PvP, which I don’t, take the Ghost Wolf one. For any sort of Shaman, except Elemental with the Thunderstorm glyph for PvE, minor Glyphs are gar-bahge.

Now, there is much to little debate of what Major Glyphs to choose. I roll with a whole lot of awesome, so I come prepared.

  • Glyph of Earth Shield: Our most mana-efficient heal deserves to heal a little bit better. As my favourite Informercial use to have as a catchphrase, “Set it and forget it.” At least until it drops down to below 3 charges, then reset it and forget. Rinse repeat.
  • This next one is debated, but I tend to enjoy an extra 30mp5. It won’t really matter that much in 3.2, what with an over 25% increase to all items that give mp5, but if you are having mana issues, take the Glyph of Water Mastery.
  • Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave: 20% extra healing on targets that have your Earth Shield. Pretty nifty. Since this is your primary heal and Shamans have shifted to a more tank healing role, might as well grab it up.

Possible replacements for the last 2:

  • Glyph of Chain Heal: Meh, it is okay. By the end of the Chain Heal whip, you are only going to be healing for 1k, possibly an Earthliving proc, no proc of Ancestral Awakening. If you run really melee heavy, it might be a nice investment.
  • Glyph of Riptide: I guess an extra 6 seconds is nice, accounts for an extra 1200-2400 on our only castable HoT. Also is nice for fights like Loatheb. Scenario: Riptide a target prior to Necrotic Aura lifting, chain heal quick to land right as it lifts, riptide another target, Nature’s Swiftness another Chain heal to get a nice bit of healing done. Can be done without Glyph, though.

As for the rest, I don’t find any of them useful. Healing Wave is one of the least casted spells by any good Shaman. Too high of a mana cost, too long of a cast time. In 3.2, we are getting a talented 25% boost to its effectiveness, but until then and even after, it won’t be cast enough to make the Glyph beneficial. Earthliving is garbage. It is already in a good place to not need a 5% increase to proccing. Mana Tide is more geared towards PvP, unless you aren’t being mana efficient. Healing Stream is rather nice for AoE heavy fights or random AoE crud that a boss does (I am looking at you, Hodir and XT-002), and a 20% increase might be nice, but since it is little used (unless you are running with multiple resto Shamans) I wouldn’t recommend it.

Speaking of Glyphs, open letter to Blizzard: “Please adjust the Auction House to display Major and Minor glyphs in their own dropdowns under their respective class. Come on, we know you have the time.”

Warning: I may be wrong at any time. In fact, it happens a lot. If you disagree, let me know. Boom, headshot.