Cataclysm for the Shaman

19 12 2010

It has been 2 weeks since Cataclysm came out. I hit 85 on the Wednesday after launch. Got up at 3, played until work, got home at 3:30, played for 12 hours, did the same thing until 11:54 on Wednesday night when I hit 85 and then logged off for bed. Not really worth it. The rest of the guild is just now hitting 85, so now we can start doing normal/heroic farming to one day raid again. But, enough about me. Let’s talk about the state of Resto Shamans right now.

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A Whole New Ballgame (Restoration Shamans in Cataclysm)

13 09 2010

The PTR just came up recently with, 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.

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Old Buddies, you and I (Restoration Guide 3.3.5, addendum)

10 08 2010

Let me tell you a story… (and talk about how to use those spells in your book to heal people)…

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Thoughts about Haste

22 11 2009

I’m gonna tackle this from two sides, just because I can do that. I’m an experienced Restoration and Elemental Shaman, topping charts whatever kind of situation I am in. One stat that is key to most casters is Haste, but Shamans moreso… or at least, that is what I am hearing but not practicing. I see in various places, “You need X amount of Haste in order to compete with any other healing/damage class.” I call shenanigans… but I might be a bit misleading, and I’ll get into that. First, let’s take a look at Elemental.

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Circle of Healers – Just for fun…

6 11 2009

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Nagrarok, a Restoration Shaman.

2. What is your primary group healing environment? I used to raid 10s and 25s every week, but kinda had to go full-stop after getting called back to work. Now it is just the occasional PuG.

3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Earth Shield. Like that one infomercial I used to see 5,000,000 times a night: Set It and Forget It. Would’ve enjoyed the implementation of Soul Link, but ah well.

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Tidal Focus. I never really use it… 60% would put me over 100% crit for the first, then it only lasts for 3 casts. Meh. Already have Tidal Waves giving 25% Crit consistently due to Riptide and using CH to get my SP buff.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? The ability to switch from tank healing and raid healing at the drop of a hat.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Even though we did go through some minor changes with the ~25% boost to MP5 items and Water Shield proccing differently, I think our longevity is kinda cruddy on certain fights. Though, Earth Shield is still an extremely mana-efficient heal.

7.In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? For me, I tend to not pay attention to healing assignments as they generally aren’t given out. For my current playstyle and gear, I enjoy Tank Healing and occasionally Raid Healing.

8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Holy Priests. I have played with every healing class, but Holy Priests just seem to be the archtype Healer. Not a fan of Druids because they are all, “Look at me, I’m a tree, running around without a care in the world.” Jerks. Plus, I got denied entrance to ToC25 the other day because they wanted a Druid… which they never ended up finding.

9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Druids, for reasons stated above, and I tend to not see HoTs rolling on targets, so I heal over them. Maybe I’ll fix up Grid one day…

10. What is your worst habit as a healer? I use Chain Heal to see were a person is. Haha. The other day in VoA25 I was wondering where a person was so I could run over and make sure my Mana Tide was in proper placement. Fired off a Yamoto Cannon to see which general direction.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? Not a big fan of people stepping on my toes to get things done. I understand people need heals, heals are on the way. Not a fan of doing other people’s jobs, like interrupting/purging when there are better equipped (people with hit rating) to do so.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? From the general idea that I gain from various forums, Shaman healers are supposed to not be able to compete with Priests or Druids, but I have yet to find a parse that I’m not performing above and beyond the #2 from the parse. Chain Heal is really OP, but I enjoy it that way.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? I was using World of Logs for in-depth analysis, but then I stopped raiding, so it is just Recount Overheal vs. Effective Heal, what were my most used heals? How is my mana doing at the end of a fight? Everyone I was assigned to take care of alive?

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? I think people have a stigma about Shamans as being a utility for Bloodlust/Heroism, Totems, Purge, etc. I’ve been denied spots in 5-mans because people are like, “Shamans can’t heal effectively.” I’ve healed 5mans with just Earth Shield and Riptide. Hilarious.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? Figuring out how to compete. I tend to get tells from Shamans all the time, “How are you doing so much more than me/him/us combined?” I know, I know, it sounds like I’ve got the largest ego ever. We are a simple healing class, 5 heals to manage. Also figuring out stat weights for various types of healing, realizing that MP5 isn’t always the best course of action and to get irked when SP/Haste/Crit gear is few and far between.

16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? My performance, personally? Hmm… managed overhealing, high effective healing, high cleanses. There is that delusional talk again.

17. Haste or Crit and why? I enjoy crit for all the proccing effects, but I won’t turn down Haste. I’ve seen Shamans with high haste and low crit for raid healing with Chain Heal. I balance it nicely.

18. What healing class do you feel you understand least? Druids. I don’t see the appeal of rolling HoTs on targets and no matter how much gear you get, you will always look like a tree.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? Grid for raid frames, Clique for healing. 5 button mouse, all healing spells bound to it. Haha.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? I have too much SP, according to a general theme I see in Shamans today. I lack Haste, and my Crit is pretty outrageous. I enjoy SP for the fact that it improves consistency. Haste is cool for fast casting, but too much kinda pwns the ole mana bar. Crit is good, but it is rather unreliable.

Dismantle Me (Tidal Waves in 3.2, PTR pt.2)

7 07 2009

Since Khadgar happens to be down for Super Mega Death Maint today, I decided to hop onto the PTR and screw around with one of my questionable Shaman changes in 3.2, which happens to be the change to Tidal Waves. In good ole live servers, Tidal Waves procs from Chain Heal and Riptide with 2 charges, expended upon cast of Lesser Healing Wave or Healing Wave. Currently it carries a 30% haste to both spells, which makes it awesome for very quick heals (lowers the cast of LHW to around 0.8-0.9 for me). In 3.2 it is only going to haste HW and instead of haste for LHW, it will give a 25% crit boost (proccing Improved Water Shield, Ancestral Awakening, Ancestral Healing).

I’ve noticed that on live servers when casting Riptide and then two quick LHW I sometimes clip the GCD and am left with a “Spell is not ready” error message. Rather annoying.  So with an extremely simple healing setup on the PTR (Grid, Clique, default SCT) I decided to take it for a spin.

On my premade, I’ve got this stat setup (full T8.5, Guiding Star, Pulsing Spellshield, various 226 equipment, Eye of the Broodmother, Pandora’s Plea):



They gave me shit for enchants (resilience enchants on PvE gear? Srsly?) and my meta is garbage. So, here we go. With the current amount of haste on this toon my HW is a 2.08sec cast (with Wrath of Air Totem up), LHW is 1.25sec cast. Tidal Waves proc pushes HW to a 1.46sec cast for around 10k (16k crit) [with Healing Way] and 1044 mana and LHW still at a 1.25sec cast for around 4700 (6700 crit) for 626 mana with a 55.53% chance to crit.

Logged in to my live toon on the PTR to test it out with proper meta and enchants:

Live Epoch.

Live Epoch.

With the Meta gem proc, the mana stealer that is HW seems to diminish quickly. With less haste, HW cast is 2.14sec cast and LHW is 1.28sec cast. Lost around 4% crit, but gained around 120MP5. HW is hitting for around 8.5k and critting for around 13-14k (missing the Healing Way talent on this build). With LHW glyph, LHW is hitting for around 5.5k and critting for around 8.5k. I relaly need to get something like Sif’s Rememberence or Soul of the Dead for one of my trinkets… I’d like to be able to throw mana around willy nilly.

So if HW crits on the 30% chance it will have a total mana cost of around 600 (500 with Totem of Misery, the totem I DEd a while back) 100% of the time, making it heal for around 2-3 times more stronger than LHW for the same cost, but is only that way 1/3 of the times cast. Whereas LHW hits for 2-3 times less than HW but crits 55% of the time with a 60% chance to proc IWS on crit, which lowers its mana cost to around 200. Mind you, I have no glyphs so LHW would be healing for around 20% on ES’d targets.

With this change and the change to Healing Way (giving a flat 25% increase to HW), I see is highly viable to use HW on Tidal Waves procs for MT healing, switching off with LHW during Tidal Waves procs for patching the raid or a bit better mana viability. I’ll have to see how it works out during a raid/instance situation. 2 charges isn’t a lot and I find myself casting LHW without Tidal Wave procs (especially on a 6sec CD with 0.8sec cast LHW). If I need to get a tank up quick, I can see HW being used a bit more often, but it won’t surpass LHW in the spotlight of Shaman healing. It is quick on its own, has a kickass glyph attached to it, and with new Tidal Waves will proc a bunch of awesome stuff.

Currently, LHW is a Shaman’s main heal and even with Tidal Waves as it is, I don’t find it used with HW, but the removal of the haste to LHW is going to be interesting, even if it is replaced with awesome crit. I enjoy the quickness of the heal, but it clips my GCD some of the time. Probably going to have to change my click-cast setup for healing to put HW in a more accessible place. I need to get to know more people on the PTR and actually run stuff. I need moar! Kinda feel like Blizzard is giving us a bit more toolage and pushing us a bit more towards Tank healing. Might as well give us Plate already. 😛

PS: If you are on Broxigar, let me know. I want to get into some stuff.

older crowd (Time to Ask for Help)

7 07 2009

So, you’re a Resto Shaman, but things just don’t seem to be going right for you. I guess this applies to any class, really. Unless you are me, the most mediocre and delusional Shaman in the world, and aren’t doing well, you are going to need to ask for a little help. I’ve had quite a few Shamans come to me and ask for help on how to heal better, how to DPS better, how to be an awesome Bird person, how to blah blah, etc. Every once in a while you will come across the person that wants to be a dick.

Nag: Howdy, may I have a minute of your time?

Person: Fuck off, scrub.

Nag: I love that show! JD is so hawt.

Person: Fag.

Nag: I don’t understand how a sexual orientation plays into this… but okay.

Person: *fap fap* I am so cool for being awesome on the intrawebs.

A lot of people have this kind of mentality, “If I help this person, they may become as good as me, so then I won’t be as good or notable on a video game which is srs bzns.” Hopefully you can find a good enough person. Growing up with my Shaman, I haven’t really had a mentor figure to ask for help. Anything I have learned for my toon has been from trial and error. And even from inspecting gear of various Shamans on Khadgar, I can’t really understand where some of them are going. Then again, you can’t use gear as an indication of a skilled player. I’ve outshined better geared players many times and I can rarely understand why, outside of the fact that skill and timing play a key factor in it.

If you find yourself doing poorly next to another someone of your own class, ask for their help. A lot of the time you’ll get a nice person who will tell you how to do something properly. If you are stubborn, learn to not be. Your performance directly impacts those around you and if you are unwilling to change, some RLs may be willing to pass on your inclusion. If you still aren’t getting it, continue to work at it. If it still isn’t working out, try a different spec. Then reroll, then quit WoW. Then leave the planet. Learn that your stupid Martian wife/husband can’t take out the garbage and kick her butt to the florgnagkh.

Though, I can also point to the fact that I never did anything past Kara back in BC. I actually only ran Kara 2 times while 70. I’ve done Hyjal and ZA at 80 and they both seemed like fun raids at the time, but were probably a bit more stressful back in the day. Ah well. I’ll never see any of those old raids outside of YouTube videos and to be honest, I don’t really care. Maybe I’ll do a post on my thoughts of the current status of WoW.