LFD Tips and Tricks

17 05 2010

Remember back in the day when you got your gaming magazine or you popped over the cheat code central? Well, there are no cheats in WoW (except for the secret easter egg menu accessed by Alt+F4). Let’s say that there are no legal cheats in WoW, except for the various exploits that have yet to be patched, even though they have been around for years. Okay… this is the 2nd worst analogy ever. Tips and Tricks for the LFD: ENGAGE!!!

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Sleep Now in the Fire (Elemental Shaman, eh?)

3 07 2009

So, healing just isn’t cutting it for you? No. You purchased Dual Specs because you love healing so much, but want to DPS every once in a while. Melee is dumb, so go ranged. Seriously. Let’s take a trip down the lane of learning and figure out this spec that was once absolutely stupid and never specced in to. Also, we can celebrate the Midsummer Festival since, thanks to WotLK, Shamans got an awesome Fire spell.

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Gyration… I mean, Rotation

As a DPS class, you are gonna have to use a rotation of sorts to have consistent DPS. Unless you are a faceroller.  The Elemental rotation is more priority based. It is “How many spells can I fit between Lava Burst CDs?” Lava Burst is a nifty spell, as it requires a Flame Shock DoT to be up on the Target at all times for maximum effectiveness. I use the addon Power Auras to track it, but I am sure there are many others that do a fine job. Flame Shock gives Lava Burst a 100% crit chance, but consumes the Flame Shock. So, the first thing you are going to need for this spec to work is the Glyph of Flame Shock. It’ll extend the duration by 6 seconds and make it so Lava Burst doesn’t consume the Flame Shock, allowing for 2 Lava Bursts per Flame Shock application.

Lava Burst = LvB, Flame Shock = FS, Chain Lightning = CL, Lightning Bolt = LB

Standard Rotation is: FS, LvB, CL, LB until LvB comes off of CD right as you finish casting LB, then LvB, CL, LB until 1 GCD before LvB comes off of CD, FS, rinse and repeat.

Now, it is really dependant on Haste. The butter zone for Haste is around 500-550 and at that point, you can easily fit 5 LBs into 1 span, which stops you from using CL (unless there are adds around the boss), and helps with mana consumption. Also, it helps to get the Minor Glyph of Thunderstorm for the mana regen in a PvE setting and work that in every once in a while. It is all about keeping the Flame Shock DoT up and you should be golden.

Statisticians wet dream… well, not really.

Hit Rating: If you’re a smart Shaman, you rolled Horde. If that is the case, check around to see if you have a Boomkin or Shadow Priest. If not, you are gonna need lots of Hit Rating, 368 to be specific. If you do have either of the two aforementioned classes, you will only need 289 if they keep their debuffs up. If you’re a Space Goat, you’re gonna need 342 to hard cap, 263 to soft cap. Anything more than that, you are hurting yourself. Extra Hit Rating won’t aide you and you are missing out on stats that you could stack instead… such as…

Spellpower: Spellpower is where your spells get power from… yeah, I’m a numbnut. Lightning Bolt scales the best with SP and it is the most cast spell in your little spellbook. Lava Burst does well from spellpower, but it is an odd spell. One cast for me can hit for 7k and the next can hit for 11k with no buffs changing on myself or the boss.

Haste Rating: Haste Rating is something that will general come from gear and you may need to hybrid gem it to get it to the butter zone (500-550, depending on latency). Anything under you are going to have to put in Chain Lightning to seal the spell rotation. Anything over you are gonna end up with the same as being under, that being a sloppy rotation.

Crit Rating: This is gonna come from Intellect on gear, as well as crit strike rating from gear. I wouldn’t implicitly stack it through gems. It helps with mana consumption, as having a good Clearcasting uptime will keep you from going OOM quickly.

Specialization, or as the cool kids call it, “Talent Build.”

This is what I roll with: Elemental DPS. To aide the healers, it might be a bit more beneficial to drop 3 points off of Convection and place them into Elemental Warding. If you are having mana issues and they haven’t been resolved from cooling it on the CL throws, it might be more useful to keep those points in Convection, thought it shouldn’t be an issue.

Glyphs, or how I learned to get Glyphs (I got nothing)

Major Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flame Shock: Mandatory. Saves you a GCD and is made of win.
  • Glyph of Totem of Wrath: Gives you a nice 5 minute buff for a decent amount of SP. Some people swap out this one for Glyph of Lava and I believe you need around 4k SP for Lava to be the better Glyph.
  • Glyph of Lightning Bolt: Lightning Bolt is the best scaling spell of the Elemental Spec. This glyph used to be better, but it is still decent.

Minor Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Renewed Life: Die in a fight? Don’t make the Druid Battle Res you, res yourself… with no reagents.
  • Glyph of Thunderstorm: Increases the mana gain to 10% and removes the knockback. Bad for PvP, but your tanks will love you in PvE.
  • Whatever you want.

And that is it. Maybe. Might add more.





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.