A Whole New Ballgame (Restoration Shamans in Cataclysm)

13 09 2010

The PTR just came up recently with 4.0.0.1, which will be the pre-Cataclysm patch to lay some initial groundwork. Contained within is class changes, talent tree changes, and glyph changes. Nothing really else of note. The night it was announced, I was able to get my Shaman over before it became a 3 day way, so I decided to take it for a spin earlier today and here are some of things I’ve seen.

A recent Beta build had Blessing of the Eternals stripped of its 4% extra crit, basically making the talent close to useless. The tree is kinda… restricted. Once you hit a certain point after scooping up all the “necessary” talents, you have to choose between some gimmicky ones (heal on dispels, shocks decrease mana cost and increase effectiveness, or reduced damage while casting).

  • Cleansing Waters is really only useful when you have something to dispel. Since poisons AND diseases have been taking away from us, we only have Magic and Curse. If there is a bunch of dispels needed, this will be an awesome talent (especially if it can crit, which means procs of Ancestral Healing and Ancestral Awakening, though the latter would probably only happen if it were considered a direct-healing spell once talented).
  • Focused Insight sounds good on paper, but without Hit rating on gear anymore, you’d have to spec into Tier 2 of Elemental for any hope of a 100% on this talent. Which means you would be fraught with losing the benefits of going into Enhancement for Improved Shields and Elemental Weapons. The mana cost of the heal will be dropped by 75% of the mana cost of the Shock, which works out to be around 600 (at level 80). If you scroll down the page, you can see mana values (at level 80) for the various healing spells in our arsenal.
  • Ancestral Resolve is only good if you are casting a majority of the time. Since Blizzard has stated that they want to move away from spending every GCD casting a spell, this talent becomes a lot more situational. Boss is about to whip out a big AoE or something, you can start casting along with him/her to reduce damage and save the raid. /hero

These talents are situational and best left up to your own judgement. Of course, you can take them all and get something like this: http://www.wowtal.com/#k=fvVzYfIv.9zi.shaman. But then there is Telluric Currents, which sounds really nice, but falls into the same pit as Focused Insight. If you miss, you’ve wasted a GCD and Mana. Also, it appears to be broken on the PTR, haha.

For myself at level 80, just rolling into Cataclysm, I will probably use this spec: http://www.wowtal.com/#k=f1AA7roH.9zi.shaman, until I can get my feet wet with the new system. At 85, it will probably be something like this: http://www.wowtal.com/#k=m1Am7roH.9zi.shaman, with 2 points to play around with. Realistically, you can put them into Totemic Reach, Telluric Currents, drop a point out of Cleansing Waters and buff up Focused Insight, put them into Ancestral Resolve. I will probably go with Totemic Reach, only because I am the only Shaman in my current 10m raid group and it’d help immensely on various fights. I don’t find myself DPSing that often while healing, but it might come up as I near 85 and begin raiding.

Stats have kinda dropped in some areas, yet oddly risen in others.. On live I have around 35% crit, then some 9% that isn’t on the character sheet due to wording. On the PTR, I am at 28.6% crit chance. Mana has increased by about 8k, which is pretty nice. Health has increase by around 10k, which is nice. Mana regen has gone up from around 300mmp5 (with Water Shield) in combat to 533mp5 (with Water Shield) in combat, though Water Shield appears to be broken, as well.

We have been given Concentration Totem, haha. It acts as a Water Totem. Nature/Fire/Frost have been rolled into Elemental Resistance Totem, which is also a Water Totem. Earth has 6, Water has 5, Fire has 4, and Wind has 3. I think some of them should be redistributed.

As far as Healing goes, Healing Surge is what they renamed Lesser Healing Wave and heals for a bit less than Greater Healing Wave does. Cast time values are with 1137 Haste and Wrath of Air totem down. Healing amount values are with 3429 SP (6% from Flametongue Totem).

  • Healing Surge (1114 mana, 1.06s at 80): Hit 10k, Crit 15k
  • Healing Wave (247 mana, 1.41 at 80): Hit: 7k, Crit: 10k
  • Greater Healing Wave (1238 mana, 1.41 at 80): Hit: 13k, Crit: 20k
  • Chain Heal (702 mana, 1.77 at 80): Hit (1st bounce): 6k, Crit (1st bounce): 10k
  • Riptide (412 mana at 80): Hit: 4k, Crit: 6k, Tick: 1.3k

So as it stands, Tidal Wave procs will haste Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave and increase the Crit Chance of Healing Surge. The 30% haste drops the cast time to 0.825s, which is nice to drop a big heal. Nature’s Blessing is our old Lesser Healing Wave glyph, dropped by 5% yet made to work with all our direct healing spells. Also, it is vaguely worded, so it may work with other people’s Earth Shields.

I’ve only had about an hour with the PTR and since no Cata content is really in there, I can’t really tell you what lies beyond level 80. Curse Blizzard for forgetting all about my Beta invite.

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