Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


Philosophy

December 4, 2010

A WotLK Resto-spective

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Written by: Vixsin
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As Wrath of the Lich King winds down, and the days of Northrend slowly tick away, the WoW community seems alive and boisterous once again, a mere couple of months after the summer lull. Players tick the last items off bucket lists, goblins stock up on materials, and posts abound on the where’s, why’s and how’s of the coming expansion. But, as all eyes look forward to Cataclysm and all that it has to offer, I’m sadly reminded of everything that I’d hoped to have accomplished. Faction reps, pets, and even a Red Drake were on my list of “things to do when I have time”, but they were upended by a heaping helping of work, alts, and some recent and very addictive game titles (darn you Black Ops).

Among my to-do’s in the end of the expansion was a 30-question survey, half serious / half humorous, that I had intended to distribute to some of the Resto Shamans out there from top US and EU guilds, in an effort to pull some of their voices into this all-Vixsin-all-the-time world. Unfortunately, a new project at work (which doubled my monthly billable hours, yeouch) meant I didn’t have the time to see this one to fruition.

So, instead, I’m going to give you some of my own thoughts and reflections about the expansion, and hopefully spark some memories of all those places we’ve been. All you Restos and non-restos out there, feel free to chime in, and remember the best and worst of these past 2 years.

 

Healing In General

1. What encounter really showcased your [class’s] healing potential?

There are a couple of fights that really stand out in my mind as having demonstrated various key aspects of Resto Shaman healing. First, and probably closest to my heart, is Razorscale. If anything, I honestly believe that Shamans’ performance in this fight was one of the reasons that Tidal Waves was changed to affect the crit chance of HS (then LHW) instead of haste. With the way RT+LHW combos worked at the time, we could simply out-snipe our healing compatriots (while being dangerously close to the GCD). Secondly, I’d go with Lich King—Yogg 0 and Anub HM had nothing on the level of complexity and focus this fight required. For resto shaman, it was a great demonstration of the value of utilizing a complete toolbox. Not to mention, Infest challenged Restos to actually give a hoot about the timing of their CH, instead of just relying on mindless spam. When we finally managed to down Heroic Lich King, I was shivering with excitement and, of all things, I remember that my feet were so incredibly sore, because I had been clenching my toes for the entire thing.

2. What was the most challenging fight for you and/or your guild?

I don’t even need to think about that one—Firefighter. Bar none, it was the most movement that I’ve ever been asked to do in one encounter. For a shaman, there’s no greater challenge than needing to heal and move. And the level of controlled chaos it orchestrated through each of the phases really tasked healers, and the rest of the raid, to be aware of everything that was going on. That’s why it was all the much sweeter that Firefighter was also the fight which convinced one of my former guilds to keep me as Resto (instead of having me play through Ulduar as Elemental). I stutter-stepped and micro-managed my way into a raid spot!

3. What was one talent that your class underestimated in WotLK beta which turned out to be amazing?

Tidal Waves, for sure. When I first got into Resto Shaman healing in BC, our “tank healing” rotation consisted of exactly the same thing as our “raid healing” rotation—Chain Heal. It was the solution to everything at that point.

  • Are you taking damage? Chain Heal
  • Is someone else taking damage? Chain Heal
  • Is the stuff hitting the fan? Chain Heal
  • Is nothing going on? CHAIN HEAL, DAMMIT.

But when the “new” 51-point talents were introduced, along with the tree revamps that accompanied 3.0, we actually had motivation to stop casting Chain Heal at every opportunity. The long, clunky single-target heals that had been a leveling staple made a reappearance, and Resto Shaman started pulling some more tank healing weight. Ultimately, Tidal Waves is what I think enables the synergy that exists in the Resto Shaman toolbox (and it’s why, after all the Beta testing, I still feel like Healing Rain sits on the fringe of our arsenal—because it has no relation to Tidal Waves.)

4. Were there any changes to the class during WotLK that really improved your functionality as a healer?

Even though I think we’ve all forgotten about it by now, but I remember a time where we spent the first couple of GCD’s in a fight dropping totems, one-by-one. In terms of class changes that had a huge, yet subtle, impact, I think the “Call of the …” multi-totem drops take the cake. It was such a natural, common-sense change that I oftentimes forget about the days where I’d use a cast sequence macro depending on the group’s buff needs.

5. What is one thing you personally struggled with as a healer?

Mana, above and beyond everything else. In Ulduar I was bribing druids to macro their innervates to me. Even after the changes to Water Shield in 3.2 (when a good number of shaman, myself included, transitioned from Intellect to Haste gemming), my mana bar still felt the pinch of chain casting. It wasn’t until the middle of ICC that I actually had sufficient regen to be able to cast with actual abandon and stop using Alchemist and Nightmare potions. All through WotLK, whenever someone would post about “healers’ endless mana supplies” I always wanted to shout “not me!”

Granted, part of that was adherence to the ABC (Always Be Casting) practice but part of it was trying, sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully, to find that fine line of “just enough but not too much” mana. I’ve no doubt that Cataclysm will prove to be a pretty big challenge for my leaky mana bar, but I know at least when I scream “Gah, I need mana!”, that I won’t be alone.

6. Name one thing about the class that you know now that you would have liked to have known when you originally rolled your toon.

I’ve mentioned this one before, but it always rings most true to me, because it’s something that I think a good number of players have a narrow-minded perspective of—that the difference between a good shaman and a great one is knowing when to chain heal spam, and when not to. I can’t explain how much it irks me when players say “Only bad shaman spam Chain Heal” because in reality, sometimes that is the best response to the problem at hand. Really, who looks at the AOE damage going out during Sind or BQL and thinks “I should single-target heal this!” Likewise, your answer to single-target damage shouldn’t always be “GoGo Chain Heal!” It’s finding the balance between the two that really sets a great resto shaman apart.

7. When was your latest “Ah-ha!” resto moment? What sparked it?

In beta, while healing phase 2 in the Nerfarion encounter (your raid breaks into smaller teams with one healer responsible for a group of people) and being solely responsible for the lives of this small group, I realized that I didn’t need to spam heal to keep them topped. The first couple of attempts, I poured CH after CH into them, fearful that if I stopped, they would all die a quick, painful death. But then it dawned on me—they’d be just fine with a couple hots. And I found myself thinking, “I hope the rest of the Cata encounters are like this …”

8. New class/race combos: will you be making the switch?

I’ve seriously considered it; I love the look of goblins and I really do like their casting animations. But I’m having trouble justifying the loss of troll’s Berserking, which at this point, serves as my only healing CD. So, as much as I like playing as a little anti-gnome, I think I may just stick with my big blue amazon (for the start at least!)

9. What’s one spell/talent from another healing class that you’d like to poach, if you could?

Actually, I’d like to poach a couple and mash them together. I’ve always liked the visual that Peter Jackson gave in LotR when Gandalf utters those epic words “You shall not pass!” and slams his staff into the ground. I’d love to poach that for shamans, add a cast time and make it into our raid CD. Think a 360-degree Tidal Wave—let’s call it a Tsunami—that, after the cast completes, crashes out in all directions from the shaman, healing everyone one time but for a goodly amount (equal to the total effect of Tanq or Divine Dymn). I think that would be one hell of a CD; even if the heal wasn’t the strongest (maybe 10-15k), I guarantee that animation wouldn’t get old. I suppose I can dream, right? :-P

 

Shaman-Specific

1. Do you think Riptide filled the gap as our defining Resto 51-pt talent? Why or why not?

Since it was introduced, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with our former 51-, and now our 31-, point talent. Like I said above when talking about Tidal Waves, Riptide is one of those spells that encourages shaman to use their full array of heals. Its application to both single- and multi-target healing makes it an easy, quick heal to weave into a rotation. On the other hand, I do think Resto Shaman in Cata will be constrained by their use of RT, because it has such a substantial impact to our throughput through its ties to Tidal Waves. Whereas in WotLK a shaman could get away with sub-optimal RT usage, that won’t be the case when we get into the next expansion, where you’ll need to eek out every last bit of healing you can.

But, all of this really dances around the question at hand—is it a viable “Preeminent Resto Talent”? A year ago, when it made up maybe 5-10% of my healing on a fight, my answer would have been a solid “no”. But, based on my experiences in Beta, and seeing it perform noticeably better in an environment where I was clocking only 10-20% overhealing, I might have to revise my opinion slightly. If a 31-point talent is meant to be something that shifts play onto a new level, then yes, it does its job well. It took me leveling a second resto shaman to remember what life is like without RT in my toolbox, and to think that my previous disparagements of the talent might have been a bit too harsh. On the other hand, if a 31-point talent is meant to be the “WoW factor” to a talent tree, then RT falls flat on its face. In the end, I guess it suffers from its own subtlety.

2. Ghost wolf indoors: only for baddies who have issues getting out of fire?

A good number of the raids that I tested were dynamic encounters, which required a good amount of movement from players; having instant GW really made some of those movement periods a lot less painful. It’s definitely something I’ll have to work at to get used to, but for those fights where you have to kite a beam of fire or run clear across the room, there’s nothing better than instant GW and run.

3. T10 Talbuks: fancy dress in the best set ever or largely overhyped?

Best set ever. I loved the aesthetics of this set and the proc was just amazing. Not to mention the fact that the 2pc and 4pc bonuses really complimented Shaman healing in a way that previous set bonus hadn’t done. It opened a door for shaman, complimented both 10- and 25-man play styles, and was about as far from the generic “5% crit on LHW” as you could get. T10 will go down as one of my favorite shaman sets to date.

4. Although at the start of WotLK Blizzard said they wanted Shamans “pushing more buttons”, do you think they accomplished this in Wrath?

I think it depends on the context and your frame of reference. Did we press more buttons than just Chain Heal? Yes. Did we still press Chain Heal a lot? Yes. As powerful as the HS+RT combo was, when compared to CoH, WG/Rejuv, and PW:S, it simply didn’t measure up; we weren’t given much choice aside from CH for raid healing. So, although I think the intention was there, in reality we fell back into a groove created by necessity.

For solo tank healing, which is something I never really did before WotLK, I do feel like they were more successful. Although it took a while to do away with Healing Way, which in its original iterations functioned like Priests’ Grace, I do think the design of RT’s interactions with our core single-target spells created a synergy that the class lacked before.

Now in terms of Cata’s healing environment, I do feel like we’re going to be given a bit more dimension as a healer. The inclusion of Unleash Elements and Healing Rain affords us a lot more ability to interweave our spells and use them to their fullest potential. Are there some encounters where we’ll still be casting a majority of CH? Sure. But at least that will be because it’s appropriate, not simply because we don’t have anything else available.

5. Far Sight: did you forget you had this in your spellbook?

/sheepishly … Yes. If it isn’t in the Resto tab, I don’t know it’s there.

6. When players think Shaman they immediately think of Chain Heal; do you think this association with a single defining heal has impacted the perception of shaman’s versatility?

Absolutely. I think Resto Shaman have been the one-hit wonder of the healing world post-Sunwell, much in the way I think Disc will experience some backlash to the perceived decrease in power of Power Word: Shield. After having such a bright spot in the sun, Resto shaman actually fell a bit behind other classes in the middle of Wrath (when the power of instant-cast raid abilities like Wild Growth and Circle of Healing really trounced Chain Heal in terms of speed and strength of response). That’s not to say that we didn’t excel at fights after that point—we definitely did—but I think it’s a bit hard to come back from Blizzard’s deliberate (but very much deserved) de-emphasis on shaman raid healing.

Curiously enough, I do think stereotype of the “Chain Healing Shaman” is subtly reinforced because Chain Heal is so noticeable in a raid environment. You needn’t have your eyes trained on the Shaman to see when a Chain Heal goes off, and there’s no more apparent representation of bad judgment than when you see a beam of light head off out of the raid and only hit 1 player. At least in the coming xpac, druids and priests will share our pain of bad AOE healing placement; I’m looking forward to Efflorescence and Sanctuary patches off in random locations. (heh)

7. How have shaman changed in terms of PVP performance, from the beginning to the end of Wrath?

Oh how I wish I had an answer to this one. If there’s one area where I fell short in terms of experience, it was on the PVP side of things. From what I’ve heard about beta tests of Shamans’ PVP performance, however, we’re well-placed to be viable partners to most combos. (And I have it on good authority from a dedicated PVP who shall remain nameless, *ahem* Mr. Tower, that Resto Shamans’ Cleansing Waters heal will “be absolutely OP”. It might, in fact, be enough to lure me back into the Arena ring—only time will tell.

8. To compensate for Shamans’ very long cast time for most spells, what sort of proactive healing strategies/techniques have you found most helpful?

Actually, I like to use a technique that they preach in almost every Drivers’ Education class out there—the 2-second rule. In essence, I try to plan my casting based on what will be happening in 2 seconds, instead of what’s happening in that moment. Naturally, this doesn’t always work as intended; when a raid starts slipping, I can easily find myself playing catch-up. But, keeping my mind on the future not only keeps me engaged for the entire encounter, but it also allows me to get around the fact that Shaman don’t have the luxury of an “Oh shyte” raid heal.

Secondly, and this isn’t really a healing strategy but more something I found incredibly useful, I rely on visual *and* audio cues for boss effects and tracking. As much as I try to stay on top of shields cooldowns, encounter milestones and my mana, I’ve found it’s easy to ignore a PowerAuras alert or boss mod timer, no matter how flashy, jumpy and/or pulsing I make it. Audio cues, on the other hand, are an absolute boon to healing because they give me the information I need without requiring me to take my eyes off the action. (This is also the reason I play with game sound on, instead of some deep trance or techno, because as much as I appreciate DXE’s timer for Goo Explosion, hearing Rotface say “It’s gonna blow” is much more of a motivating factor to move somewhere safe.)

 

The Blank Slate that Awaits

As I sit here in the airport, anxious to get home and get my last preparations in place for Cataclysm launch, the sound of Christmas music is playing in a store adjacent to the sole outlet in the boarding area (around which I, and naturally a few other techies, are gathered). Normally, I’d be a curmudgeon and find myself a new place to tip-tap away on my laptop, unmolested by songs that play constantly through the month of December. But at this moment, I don’t feel so much like muttering a proper “Bah humbug”. I know it will be with a slightly wistful look in my eyes that I’ll log onto World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King on Monday. I think we’ve come a long way, my friends, and as much as I’ll miss the icy chill of Northrend, I’m excited to go out and make new memories that we can reflect on in another 2 years. So, as the faint strains of that music reach me, singing “It’s the mooooost, won-der-ful time, of the yeeeeear …” I can’t help but agree. Tuesday is looking to be a great day, indeed. See you all at 85. (And yes, there will be a resto shaman guide will be forthcoming after the big ding).






13 Comments


  1. Monsieur

    I’m gonna have to chime in on this one:
    7. How have shaman changed in terms of PVP performance, from the beginning to the end of Wrath?
    4.0.1 is the holy jesus of resto pvp patches. Giving us dispel magic is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s so great it totally overshadows the loss of cleansing totem (until there is another aoe poison fight that is). And i agree on cleansing waters, its awesome to be able to dispell flameshocks and immolates and top yourself off at the same time. And that sums up pvp for 3.0 -> 3.4 as well, lack of magic dispell sucks. ooo, and hex being a curse is actually pretty awesome now. On a 30 sec cooldown glyphed :D And i would absolutely advice you to head into arenas next season, just remember to spam purge.

    For the rest, yea, its so much, i agree on all of it! it was awesome, and the class felt alive, every raid tier was a shakeup in playstyle. Even tho i ended up being the healer with a dps os :)

    And instant freedomwolf, was absolutely epic on sindragosa, so i can imagine having that on all raidfights will be even more fantastic.

    Aaaand (lots of ands here) for healing rain, i wasn’t in beta, but looking at the premonition raids on youtube it looks like if the raid is aware of the new healing mechanics it’s going to add a whole new level of healing and raidpositioning. Looking forward to that too!


  2. Nobal

    I once played a holy paladin. Since 4.0.1 I’ve switched to playing my enhance shammy fulltime. I’ve also played a lot on my wife’s resto shammy (and sometimes as elemental) and I can’t really say anything else but: Awesomeness.

    I’m sorry that I don’t have the time to fill out my personal answers for all your questions; besides, I don’t have much experience with shamans before ICC came out. But I will say this. Of all the healing specs that I’ve tried out, restoration shamans definitely are the most fun, most enjoyable to me. I’m still trying to get LK HC on 10 man down (last night of attempts will be on Monday) and I must say that I just absolutely love it. I’ts by far my favorite encounter and playing as a resto shaman, it’s by far the encounter where I feel most appreciated. If only because it seems I’m the only one capable of keeping the offtank up ;)

    About Far Sight: I’ve used it to explore the old world before it changed. I can’t imagine a better time to have used it. I didn’t forget about it, but in practise, I just don’t use it a lot. Makes sense, no?

    I’d like one moment to just honor our 31pt talent, Riptide. I personally feel it’s awesome and I use it profusely.

    The one thing that changed healing for me is Telluric Currents. It’s simply amazing and I would be very surprised to see it not get nerfed in a couple of patches. It’s does so much more than just enabling us to do some DPS while healing. On my average raid night, Telluric Currents gives me more than double the mana returned from Water Shield.

    One last thing: in my current build, I can’t seem to get instant Ghost Wolf. Does this mean my build is screwed up? Or does the resto tree simply have too many awesome talents?

    http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/eonar/nobal/talent/primary

    I love the new Armory btw. It just rocks.


    • Grookshank

      Only time will tell, but I think you don’t want both of Telluric Currents and Focussed Insight. This http://www.wowhead.com/talent#hhZbhMZfG0MsdfoGo would be my “Mana is no issue” spec and from there I’ll move the two points from Ancestral Resolve into Totemic Focus (longer Mana Tide) and/or one point each from Cleansing Waters and Acuity into Telluric Currents. I don’t assume there will be time for shocking and throwing lighning bolts during a fight. Instant ghost wolf is so fantastic, not only for the movement speed, but also for the removal of slowing debuffs!


      • Nobal

        That’s exactly my point. You would have to move points around, but there are just so many beautiful talents I’m not sure I’d want to skip!

        So in that regard, is it really worth it to respec and make sure to get instant GW? I’ve never had it as resto so it’s not something I’m missing atm. Tuskarr’s Vitality seems to do the trick just fine. Or am I completely wrong here?


  3. Just a quickie to say I loved this post, it was a really interesting and well thought out read.

    I am also at the *bounce bounce bounce* stage :)
    Issy´s last post ..20 Days of WoW – Day 15 Battlegrounds


  4. […] at Life in Group 5, a Resto Shaman blog I’ve been following for some time posted her retrospective on Wrath of […]


  5. Grookshank

    I’m picking out some of your questions – from a Resto Shaman perspective.

    1. What encounter really showcased your Shaman’s healing potential?

    I have to admit, that the Chain Heal heavy fights come to my mind, but let me try to think of something else: Earth Shield+Riptide on Vezax (hm) were very powerful, though the fight itself was boring as a healer. Healing Stream Totem on Anub (hm) was a big help. The alternating of spot healing and group healing on XT made me feel a really useful healer. Oh, and Dreamwalker with AA was nice.

    2. What was the most challenging fight for you and/or your guild?
    Yes, Firefighter. It only started working for me when I knew when and where I had to move beforehand and I have to admit it really took me a lot of tries until I could master it.

    4. Were there any changes to the class during WotLK that really improved your functionality as a healer?
    Agree on the Call spells. Also the change to Improved Water Shield not consuming charges was a big help not wasting GCD. All in all, not really many changes, but saving us GCDs.

    5. What is one thing you personally struggled with as a healer?
    I don’t remember any big mana problems throughout the whole expansion. I always struggled putting out much healing when having to move and I guess that will remain a challenge for us.

    8. New class/race combos: will you be making the switch?
    Not for a second! I am a Tauren and will stay a Tauren, no matter if it is suboptimal or not.

    9. What’s one spell/talent from another healing class that you’d like to poach, if you could?
    Pain Suppression. I miss having no defensive CD, since they are required on some fights.

    1. Do you think Riptide filled the gap as our defining Resto 51-pt talent? Why or why not?
    Yes, definately. I never understood people downgrading this spell. It gave us a small instant heal and a small hot. Yes, both are not fantastic, but it gave us two things we did not have before. Add in Tidal Waves and it is a fantastic spell.

    2. Ghost wolf indoors: only for baddies who have issues getting out of fire?
    If loving it makes me a baddie I can live with that. I make mistakes and a talent that helps me surviving when I make one is a good thing for me.

    3. T10 Talbuks: fancy dress in the best set ever or largely overhyped?
    Nice looks (I thought it were shoveltusks?) and I love the 4set bonus; it had so much synergy with Chain Heal.

    4. Although at the start of WotLK Blizzard said they wanted Shamans “pushing more buttons”, do you think they accomplished this in Wrath?
    Partly. On fights with heavy AOE damage it still was CH > all. On other fights we got Riptide; not much of a change.

    5. Far Sight: did you forget you had this in your spellbook?
    It is on a bar I don’t see in combat, like water walking and my trade skills. Nice for lore and screenshots.

    6. When players think Shaman they immediately think of Chain Heal; do you think this association with a single defining heal has impacted the perception of shaman’s versatility?
    Sadly, yes. It was very hard to get into people’s minds, that I can heal tanks too.

    8. To compensate for Shamans’ very long cast time for most spells, what sort of proactive healing strategies/techniques have you found most helpful?
    Same thing as above regarding moving fights. Once I knew where to move beforehand it worked. You could also say, it is finding a cast-move-cast-move rhythm. The Frostmourne Room on LK hm was a good example for that too.


  6. Nice Post!
    Concerning instant Ghost Wolf, it’s something I’m eager to have again. I raided with it in late BC, and even without the possibility to use it indoor, it was awesome. Since Ghost Wolf is useable indoor, I used it once with Nature’s Swiftness to kite the orange ooze on Putricide as I was a bit late, and I’m pretty sure it save me.

    In Cataclysm I suppose it won’t be as useful as our mana will be restrained and we’ll gain a base increased running speed if we pick the talent that made Ghost Wolf instant.
    Zahia´s last post ..Fail Hard Mode ICC


  7. Sekul

    Absolutely wonderful post and I’d love to chime in as well. I’ll try and keep my responses short (as even I don’t like to hear me ramble).

    1. What encounter really showcased your [class’s] healing potential?
    For me it was H Fester: We were fortunate to have raiders that understood how to stay 10 yards apart but not more than 12 so Chain still shined for the raid damage and I have to admit that I became a master at the RT+HW combo for the heavy tank damage portion of the fight. I just loved healing that fight and I think it showed.

    2. Ghost wolf indoors: only for baddies who have issues getting out of fire?
    Definitely not, I had instant wolf in BC and it was very valuable to me even though it wasn’t useable indoors. Now that I can use it indoors, I can’t wait to get it back.

    3. T10 Talbuks: fancy dress in the best set ever or largely overhyped?
    For looks, I actually really favor T6 over T10 but only because the T10 helm is gawd awful. For set bonus, T10 is totally freaking amazing. We’ve never had a set bonus as pertinent and useful as the T10 bonus.

    4. Although at the start of WotLK Blizzard said they wanted Shamans “pushing more buttons”, do you think they accomplished this in Wrath?
    Yes and No. We certainly weren’t just CH spammers with RT and more importantly, it’s effect on HW, but CH was still my main cast by far.

    5. Far Sight: did you forget you had this in your spellbook?
    Um, what is this Far Sight you speak of? hehe

    6. When players think Shaman they immediately think of Chain Heal; do you think this association with a single defining heal has impacted the perception of shaman’s versatility?
    OMG, reading this question actually made me angry. Not only does it impact the perception of our versatility (or the perceived lack thereof I should say), I’ve actually been told things like “Shammy healing is easy, you just spam chain.” or even better “You don’t have to be good to play a Resto Shaman, it’s just one button”. I swear to all that is holy I wish everyone that ever said anything like that could be forced to raid as a resto shaman for a week.

    7. How have shaman changed in terms of PVP performance, from the beginning to the end of Wrath?
    Don’t pvp, never have, so I’m not qualified to answer.

    8. To compensate for Shamans’ very long cast time for most spells, what sort of proactive healing strategies/techniques have you found most helpful?
    I’ve always done two things, one is the same “2 second rule” you spoke about, but I always called it “predictive healing”. One little thing that I’ve found to be useful in that vein of thinking is identifying the high damage melee guy. There’s usually one melee guy that seems to take more damage than the rest (usually because he didn’t stand in the right spot or didn’t move fast enough or loves his dps numbers more than avoiding damage), but when I find that guy I can usually get the feel for the damage he takes. When I have time to help with the tank or maybe throw melee a heal I will start my chain on the high damage melee guy even if he hasn’t taken damage yet. Many times this will just be overheal but when he takes that cleave he shouldn’t have taken half way through my CH and it lands with near psychic timing, well, let’s just say that women want me and men want to be me.

    The second is something I’ve always been surprised at how many shamans don’t know what I’m talking about when I bring it up. It is Chain Heal Groups. I always try to identify the chain heal groups in a raid. Melee is an easy one. With ranged it’s a little trickier but in our raids for some reason certain people seemed to hang out together in a fight. So I made an effort to identify that throwing chain on person W would also hit X, Y and Z. Seeing these groups in my bars helped me make decisions that I rarely regretted 1.1 seconds into my CH cast.


  8. drug

    For me personally, it’s hard to judge WotLK. I started playing WoW in late 2006, so I think it isn’t a big suprise that my interest in the game started to fade a little bit. Additionally my girlfriend stopped playing WoW in the beginning of 2010, and I had the best times in WoW without doubt when raiding with her. Last but not least, I raided in a rather ambitious guild for some time, which wasn’t a good experience and made me spend just too much time in game. Anyway, I’ll share some thoughts of mine.

    When I read your post, I realized how little impact the class adjustments for resto shamans have had on my overall verdict on my WotLK experience. From a resto standpoint I have to say, blizzard has done a pretty decent job. Not an overwhelming job though. I miss innovative ideas and the courage to risk game balance issues with class changes. Most resto changes improved resto gameplay in the sense that they added some depth to our healing, but nearly all were just old and unspectacular ideas that were aleady implemented in other healing classes.

    For me, it’s all about raid design and said so, I have to compare WotLK to BC. When I do so, I can’t say I liked WotLK a lot. Blizzard has achieved a great thing with WotLK, they made raiding an option for even the most casual player. For me personally, this has come at great cost. I didn’t like that there were 10 and 25 man IDs for every instance. I absolutely hate the way collecting badges has become a part of the game and replaced the excitement of random loot. I miss the times where good raiders would wear different armor than someone who runs heroic dungeons. Speaking of dungeons, from a healing or tanking perspective WotLK heroics are just sad compared to BC heroics. The achievement system is something I’m never going to understand. I don’t get collecting stamps as well so that’s probably just me. I won’t even start telling you what I think about the dungeon finder, but you can guess, probably. I don’t even like heroic modes that much, because at the level I play, as raid we often could clear an instance a little bit too fast to make it feel like a real achievement but were way too bad to make significant process in heroic modes. I won’t blame blizzard for all this, because I see a lot of people having fun. For me personally though, I was far away from the raiding experience I had in BC.

    Tonight I’ll login and have a look at cataclysm. I’m fairly optimistic, there’s tons of stuff I like. I’ll even try no to rush to 85. At the end of the day though, it will all come down to 25 man raid design, which is the only thing that really matters to me.


  9. Cruzo

    I don’t care what anyone says, instant indoor ghost wolf is the best thing ever. Why would it be for bad players only? Good players have to get out of fire and move around in fights too. And I love being faster than everyone else in wipe runs, even those poor druids who still can’t use cheetah form for some reason.

    And I guess I’ll be That Guy. You referred to Riptide as the penultimate resto talent; penultimate means second-to-last. Riptide is the ultimate talent.


  10. Charliekelly

    Great Post again Vix,

    I’ll chime in on a few; bearing in mind that all the only raiding I did on my shammy during BC was Kara as enhancement which I continued to play until ToC.

    1. For me, who has never downed HM LK, I gotta say HM Deathwhisper. I feel like that fight allows me to use my full compliment of abilities. Riptides, Chains, Hex, Swiftness, re drop totems, scrub curses. Lets just say I make my mousebinds work for me on that one.

    2. As I said I was enhance when you were all struggling through Firefighter. So I would say for me it was doing Hardmode faction champs the first time. I had just recently swapped over to resto, although I had pretty much a BiS Uld. resto set (minus Algalon pieces) I had never been much of a pvper, let alone a pvp healer. I remember really having my raid awareness develop in a few attempts to the point that at the end of that night’s raid, I had probably gone from a solid player/healer to one of the better resto shammy’s on the server.

    4. Agree with you, I remember leaving a trail of totems as I ran into fights

    5. Early on I would tunnel vision too much because I had been a dps, I think the biggest hill I had to climb was developing the same 2 second in the future view that you and some other posters said you have too.

    6. How many times you will die from falling off of things with no “oh shit” button

    7. My biggest was the faction champs night. But my most recent was while doing one of our last guild full ICC clears. With all of our healers and tanks so experienced and geared I found my self really anticipating when heals would be needed rather than just spamming, I think a night of choosing my heals carefully will help come Cata.

    8. Changing goblin, rocket boots to stop my problem from question 6, and I’m just ready for a change.

    9. Before they nerfed it, PW:shield, now Chakra. Glowing wings plus huge buffs to you heals for heavy dmg phases, sign me up. If there is one major thing shammy’s lack is a “high output” switch for when you really need it.

    Shammy Specific:

    1. Riptide: I love it, it took me a while to get used to it but now use it all the time. As someone above said, it doesn’t give a huge HoT or a massive instant heal, but we didn’t have either of them before.

    2. I love it, although I can occasionally be a baddy that doesn’t get out of fire…

    3. Set bonuses can’t be beat, as far as the shoveltusks, they grew on me. I still think T8.5 is pretty awesome looking.

    4. Never played resto before LK

    5. I occasionally use it in BG’s to see what is goin on across the map.

    6. If it wasn’t such an amazing heal with a very cool mechanic I might be bothered, but I love watching my beams go crazy :).

    7. Don’t PVP

    8. I found the upside in the longer cast times to be that I could take a split second to actually make a decision about who to heal next, rather than just making red bars go up.

    Phew, Longer than I expected, sorry about that. Going forward toward Cata I have to say I am ecstatic to be doing 10 mans again. I did them through Naxx and Uld because we couldn’t find 15 other skilled people to push hardmodes. Once we did, I quickly burned out because herding 25 cats is not my idea of a great time. But slaying internet dragons with 9 other people I’ve played with for a long while has always been a blast.



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