Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
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Philosophy

May 26, 2011

Musings On Resto Shamans’ 4-Piece Tier 12

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Written by: Vixsin
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WoW_TCG___Chain_Heal_by_UdonCrew(r)

With the Firelands PTR testing in full swing and 4.2 on the horizon, information regarding the upcoming patch seems to be flowing freely within the community these days. And amid growing anticipation for new quest hubs, new mounts and new titles, players have also been giving Tier 12, in all its fire-and-brimstone glory, a good hard look. When set bonus previews were released for Tier 12 at the start of the month, they were met with an onslaught of questions and concerns, from all classes and roles. So, Blizzard took another crack at it and last week released revamped versions of the 4piece bonuses, designed with community comments in mind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to chime in then because of a busy travel schedule, but you can bet that I’m not about to let this news pass by without adding in my two cents. So let’s take a look at where the Resto Shaman 4-piece T12 stood originally, what state it’s in now, and why I think 10-man raiders might be getting the short end of the stick.

Tier 12 – Round 1

Released back at the beginning of May, the original Tier 12 bonuses for healers looked a little something like this:

[Druid] Restoration 4 Pieces – When your Lifebloom blooms, it instantly heals up to 2 nearby injured targets for the same amount

[Paladin] Holy 4 Pieces – Your Divine Light also heals a nearby injured target for 20% of the amount healed.

[Priest] Holy/Discipline 4 Pieces – You have a chance when you cast a helpful spell to summon a Cauterizing Flame. Friendly raid and party members can use the Cauterizing Flame to be instantly healed for 4625 to 5375. Lasts for 45 sec sec or 10 charges. After using the Cauterizing Flame, players cannot benefit from it again for 10 sec.

[Shaman] Restoration 4 Pieces – Your Chain Heal spell will jump to one additional target.

As a first pass at tier bonuses, I don’t think these were a particularly bad set of ideas, and if anything else, there was one thing that this first iteration of set bonuses told us—with every healer 4-piece increasing effective healing, we can expect raid damage to take a step up towards the end of Firelands normal modes and the beginning of hard modes (which is generally where you should be when you get your 4-piece). But, these first design iterations did have a number of issues—druids would have to spend countless GCDs reapplying LB stacks, Pallies wouldn’t be encouraged to cast anything other than Divine Light, Holy and Disc priests would be left screaming about another player-controlled healing tool, and Resto Shaman’s cries about CH distance would be ringing in everyone’s ears. And thus, Blizzard went back to the drawing board to see if they couldn’t improve on their first concept.

Tier 12 – Round 2

Last week we saw the second iteration of the proposed Tier 12 healer  4-piece bonuses, an iteration which attempted to address those issues identified in the first draft while still providing the additional healing necessary to meet fight constraints:

[Druid] Restoration 4-Piece Bonus: Your Swiftmend also heals an injured target within 8 yards for the same amount.

[Paladin] Holy 4-Piece Bonus: Your Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Light spells also heal an injured target within 8 yards for 10% of the amount healed.

[Priest] Discipline/Holy 4-Piece Bonus: You have a chance when you cast a helpful spell to summon a Cauterizing Flame at the target’s location. Each second the Cauterizing Flame will heal an injured party member within 20 yards for 9250 to 10750. Lasts 5 seconds.

[Shaman] Restoration 4-Piece Bonus: Your Chain Heal spell no longer consumes your Riptide effect on the primary target.

Right off the bat we can see that the primary issues with the first iterations of the 4-piece bonuses are gone—Druids’ bonus is tied to Swiftmend (and thus Efflorescence), Pallies are free to use a larger spectrum of spells and still benefit from additional healing, and Priests’ Flame-wells are an automatic heal not requiring any sort of player activation. And on the face of it, Shamans’ bonus appears to be a pretty big healing game, since it means that you can boost your CH output by 25% by simply bouncing it off of a rolling RT target. More on that in a second …

But, by and large, I do think the changes made were positive because: a) they each offer AOE healing which is not tied to timing and is almost guaranteed to land, and b) they are designed such that the 4pc bonus will be activated through the normal course of AOE healing in both 10s and 25s. If Firelands is going to be an instance where raid damage is prevalent, then these two factors become vital to making sure that the healer in question receives a viable boost to their output. Unfortunately, and as you no doubt are expecting me to say, I think they missed the mark on these two issues when it comes to Resto Shaman.

Special Snowflakes, Really?

Now I am slightly biased here, but beyond my own personal preference there is one thing that makes shaman a slight bit different than other healers. It is something that affects our output very heavily, and it’s the reason why shamans have historically not performed as well in smaller raid teams—our AOE healing spells are heavily dependent on player density. In situations where players are clumped and stationary, the output from HR and CH can be incredible. However, when players spread out, shamans’ AOE spells are placed at a distinct disadvantage. (Believe you me, there’s nothing more embarrassing for a Resto Shaman than to have a CH shoot out to hit one loner in the corner—it’s like shouting into Vent, “I made a bad decision right there and spent way too much time and mana just to heal that jerk!” each and every time it happens.)

Consider other classes’ AOE healing abilities (non-CD):

  • Priest (Holy/Disc) – Prayer of Healing: group only, 30 yards
  • Priest (Holy) – Circle of Healing: 5 lowest targets, 30 yards
  • Priest(Holy/Disc) – Holy Nova:  5 targets, 10 yards
  • Priest(Holy) – Holy Word Sanctuary: no cap, 8 yards
  • Paladin – Holy Radiance: no cap, 20 yards
  • Paladin – Light of Dawn: 5 targets, frontal cone for 30 yards
  • Druid – Efflorescence: 3 targets, 8 yards
  • Druid – Wild Growth: 5 targets, 30 yards
  • Shaman – Healing Rain: no cap, 10 yards
  • Shaman – Chain Heal: 4 targets, 12.5 yard range

What’s important to note here is that AOE heals are generally divided into two categories—close-proximity and broad-proximity. And for Priests, Paladins and Druids, they have AOE heals in both categories—close-proximity being Sanc, LoD, and Efflorescence and broad-proximity being PoH/CoH, Holy Radiance, and WG. Shaman, on the other hand, have both of our AOE heals in one category. So, when other healing classes switch to a smaller raid team, which by its very nature has lower player density, those healers can switch to AOE heals with broad spatial constraints and still do comparable healing.

But, the switch to a lower-density environment is a little bit different for the Resto Shaman who, instead of swapping one type of AOE healing for another, will switch out of AOE healing spells almost entirely in favor of a very powerful combination of RT-Tidal Waves sniping. So, understanding not only that this switch takes place, but also why it takes place is key to understanding why, increasing Resto Shamans’ output is about addressing two entirely different methods of AOE healing.

Don’t believe me? Check out these comparisons showing the different healing distribution between the top-ranked 10-man HM shaman parse and the top-ranked 25-man HM shaman parse of the same encounter, and note just how much a 10-man shaman uses CH versus one who raids in 25s.

Fight 10 HM Distribution 25 HM Distribution
Valiona & Theralion 25% GHW, 23% HR, 20% RT, 9% CH (Parse) 37% CH, 36% HR, 16% EL (Parse)
Ascendant Council 27% RT, 21% HS, 13% GHW, 11% HW (Parse) 37% HR, 23% CH, 13% EL (Parse)
Atramedes 34% HR, 16% RT, 16% GHW, 12% EL, 10% CH (Parse) 27% HR, 25% CH, 15% EL (Parse)
Nefarian 22% HR, 18% RT, 15% GHW (Parse) 26% HR, 23% CH, 19% EL, 13% RT (Parse)

The Issues with Tier 12

First off, I think it’s worth saying that the change from the original T12 Resto Shaman 4pc bonus to the current one is a step in the right direction. While testing the Alysrazor encounter in 10s last Monday, my CH was struggling to hit 2 targets, nonetheless 5, leaving me to again default to RT+HW/HS sniping to pick up a group that, by the fight’s design, was required to spread out.  The original Resto Shaman 4pc would have done me absolutely no good.

But, that doesn’t mean I’m particularly excited about the 4pc bonus that Blizzard is proposing to implement either. Although I think it will be a boon to me as a 25-man raider (because it means that if I manage my RT’s accordingly, I can get a 25% boost a large majority of the time), what furrows my brow is how this additional healing translates to the smaller raid team. Hopefully, the table in the preceding section at least illustrated that CH is not a large contributor to shamans’ healing in 10s. In fact, for each of the 10 HM fights shown, CH made up *less than 10%* of the shaman’s healing done, and these are the top-ranked WoL parses for each encounter!

Furthermore, I fear that the 4pc bonus greatly encourages CH spam (through RT targets) as the solution to any group damage in both 10s and 25s. With Grid enabled to show precisely who has one of my rolling RT’s, those players will become my priority targets for any CH bounces—why sacrifice the 25% boost to heal with anything else? In 10s, this encourages (in my opinion) some horrible decision-making, because it means shaman will be more likely to gamble with their CH, in the hopes of hitting more than 1-2 targets, so that they can benefit from the added boost in healing. And with that, you get ever farther away from the Cataclysm Healing Mantra of “Decisions Matter”.

Instead, I think the solution to shamans’ Tier 12 4-piece predicament is to decouple the bonus from CH (much as I love the spell) and offer something a little more unique, possibly by altering the effects of some of our lesser-used spells or offering us a benefit regardless of spell type:

  • Your Unleash Life spell now buffs your next 2-3 casts, instead of 1 (which would allow shaman the *choice* of using single-target or multi-target healing), or … Using Unleash Elements grants you 10% haste for 8-10 seconds (providing us a mini-CD to use during AOE periods)
  • Your Healing Stream Totem’s effects now apply to the lowest 6-8 people in your raid, regardless of group (which would provide a mini hot on low HP players and have a much higher effective healing number than HST has currently )
  • Dropping Stoneclaw totem now places a shield on the 4 closest targets (which would allow shaman some mitigation and also reward more active totem-twisting).
  • Your healing spells have a chance to proc Soothing Waters on a target, which will absorb [X] damage over 10 seconds (similar to Val’anyr’s procs)
  • Your healing spells have the chance to summon a Guardian of Hyjal, who will boost your healing done by 15% for 20 seconds (although I could see the arguments against a random-proc healing boost)
  • Your Earthshield can now be cast on up to 3 targets (incredibly uninteresting, but would provide a solid boost to healing throughput of both single- and mutli-target spells and some set-it-and-forget-it healing).

Remember the Sunwell

We shamans have heard it over and over again since the end of Sunwell—the days of CH spam are gone. The days of turning to CH, no matter the circumstance, are done with. This is a new era where Resto Shaman are more than 1-button victors. And while I didn’t quite believe that at the end of Wrath (where I would hit nothing else but CH for most of ICC), in Cataclysm I’m actually willing to admit that we’ve come a long way since those days on the Isle of Quel’Danas. In fact, one of the things that I enjoy most about playing my Resto Shaman is that our toolkit has been markedly improved since then, to the point where it offers two very viable, and useful, playstyles.

But with a 4-piece bonus tied to CH, my overarching concern is that in the quest to boost Shamans’ AOE healing, we’re taking a step backwards and placing an emphasis on the very spell that we’ve been trying to get away from. And whereas 25-man raiders will likely see a fairly big boost to our output (one that I’m definitely excited about), I can’t put aside the feeling that our 10s counterparts will be shafted (much like they were with Tier 10’s 4-piece) with a bonus that’s beneficial in a select few encounters but the rest of the time leaves much to be desired.

Credit for the Slider Image: Udon Entertainment via DeviantArt






34 Comments


  1. Totally agree on that point about the new 4pt bonus.

    Just a suggestion that came to my mind:
    ‘Your Unleash Life spell now also empowers your next CH and removes the min. distance between each jump.’
    (CH will hit any target within 40 yards of the 1st target)

    This would be awesome but nevertheless weaker than the other classes bonus I guess.


  2. Shassara

    100% Agree with you. This bonus is very good for 25’s, and incredibly lackluster for 10’s. As a ten man raider, I’m thoroughly disappointed in it and have sincere hopes that it will be changed.

    The other thing that kind of irks me about this bonus is that it requires us to do a little more thinking/planning to use it effectively, whereas the other 3 specs just get a pure throughput bonus they don’t ever need to think about. Put your 4 piece on, heal, and you get your bonus. For Shamans, I need to be a little more careful with my Riptide placement and Chain Heal target selection. I’m not claiming that it’s hard to do, but it’s certainly not something I’m used to quite yet, as I’m a ten man raider and Chain Heal is not a spell I use often at all.


  3. Vixsin I looked at the 10m parses you showed, and it looks like every single one of those shamans was tank healing (they did 10% more healing or more on a tank than they did on their next most healed target, on two-tank fights, their next most healed target was the other tank). I’m not sure what that’s supposed to show. Shamans who tank heal aren’t using chain heal that much. Some top ranked shamans are tank healers… ?

    As a 10s Resto Shaman who has had a few highly ranked parses earlier in this expansion (I’ve been passed up now, and the rest of my healing team has improved to the point where I don’t have to crank it out that hard anymore, but I do know what I’m doing) I get a LOT of mileage out of chain heal. My raid is well trained enough that they know if spreading 8 yards is good it does NOT mean spreading 30 yards is better. I don’t always hit my full 4 targets, but as long as I hit 3 I’m happy, and most of the time I do hit 4. I’m not really sure how it’s that much different than a priest casting Circle of Healing when they know that the last hit is likely to be on someone who’s already at 94% health or something.

    I think the bonus will be great for me.
    Rhii´s last post ..In my other guild- we…


    • I think that’s a completely valid perspective to have–in looking through WoL there are a fair number of 10s players who get very good mileage out of CH. And note that I did only link a handful of encounters, because on some of the other ones, there would have been less of a difference between the 10s and 25s distributions.

      My read on those 10s parses is a bit different though; except for Nef, each of the fights was 2-healed, meaning that healers had to do double-duty. So the idea of a “pure” tank healer goes out the window because it wouldn’t make much sense to have 1 shaman on the tanks and then 1 other healer looking after 8-9 distributed players (especially given that tank damage is fairly light in most encounters–not needing the spam we saw at the end of Wrath). Combine this with the fact that I’ll generally do 10-20% of my own healing on tanks in 25s, and I felt it was fairly good support for the argument that shaman can have decidedly different distributions in 10s versus 25s.

      Granted I could have polled the top 25 or so parses for each 10-man encounter to bolster my argument a bit more, but –oof– the time that would have taken!


      • That’s fair, I suppose. I didn’t take two healing into account, we haven’t gone to a two-healer setup yet, and I’m a strictly normal modes player, so evaluating HM parses isn’t my strong suit.

        But I hear so much “chain heal is useless in 10s” talk. And it’s not. Your raid has to be a bit more aware of positioning, but there’s nothing wrong with not blindly following the Tank Spot video.
        Rhii´s last post ..In my other guild- we…


        • Absolutely agreed–Chain Heal has a place in 10s. My point was more that it doesn’t see nearly as much usage as other classes’ AOE heals, when you switch from one raid size to another. So trying to base a healing gain off it is going to be very unreliable. More so, it’s going to strongly encourage (maybe force is too strong a word?) players who would have otherwise made a decision about “appropriate spell for the damage” into choosing CH.

          And after saying all that, it’s possible I’m just being cranky and alarmist about the whole thing. ^_+


        • I *do* use chain heal in 10s. There are times for it. But my return on investment is much lower on average than it is for 25s. That could be ironed out with a simple range boost to 30 yards. Done. I’ll go back to my love-hate relationship with CH. It’s been more straight-hate since Cata though. Initially it was super weak, with little haste it took forever to cast, and still only tended to hit my MT and 1-2 Melee (We run 2 tanks, 3 heals, 2 melee, and 3 ranged by-and-large). Sometimes, with the hitboxes of some of the bosses being so big (I’m looking at you Atramedes), throwing a CH on the MT won’t even hit the melee!

          My CH usage by fight:
          Magmaw:
          Good mileage due to everyone clumping while leaving out 1 or 2 people to eat worms. HR is generally better, but it works. No real complaints here. Scale 1 to 5. I give it a 4.

          Trons:
          Way to chaotic. If I throw CH on the tank that has the active >50 energy Tron I usually hit a tank and 1-2 melee, maybe one more if I’m lucky. As long as they aren’t running from explosive slimes. Or the target of the flame thrower, yada yada. Overall : CH == Meh for me on that fight. Scale 1 to 5, I give it a 2.

          Maloriak:
          Good mileage during red phase, decent during the burn phase, poor during blue, I have no time during Green (spamming heals on the OT). Overall: Scale 1 to 5, I’d give it a 3.

          Chimaeron:
          During Feud, its the shiznit along with HR and our Mastery (for once). I give it a 5.

          Atramedes:
          Ground Phase: it works ok on the ranged clump only as long as I dont cast it on the one person who is standing over by the gong. :-P Air Phase: I’m using the ghost wolf glyph and am on gong duty. I ring the gong and run for it. So I don’t CH at all here. Overall: I give CH a 2.

          Nef:
          We’re just starting so I can’t comment.

          Conclave:
          Fairly useful on Anshal’s platform, very useful along with HR during the AOE on Nezir’s. Overall: 4.

          Al’akir:
          We’ve never attempted. No one cares about his gear really or badges and we’d rather get Nef down.

          Halfus:
          Good mileage from CH throughout. Other than fireball dodging there is no reason not to stack. I give it a 4.5.

          Valiona:
          Valiona’s ground phase: After blackout everyone scatters, so if you are the one who has to dispell, its not useful. If you are not dispelling and precast (because you were NOT the target) you would get good efficiency, but I don’t do that.
          Theralion’s ground phase: good mileage on the melee+ tank + 1 meteor target since they HAVE to clump. ;-) All too often I’m having to throw out bigger single target heals though. Overall 3.

          Ascendant’s:
          Poor mileage. There are people running every which way to dodge water bombs, spread debuffs, wipe waterlogged, tag whirlwinds or gravity wells. Just way to chaotic to get people clumped and to have the time to cast. I spend most of my time sniping until the burn phase where CH finally sees some use. Overall: 2.

          Chogall:
          We 2 heal this one. I throw down a Focused Insight HR just as we start the shadow sub-phase so I dont bother with CH except at most 1 cast. More sniping as I keep up the MT especially during fire sub-phase. Burn phase it is much the same. HR and GHW.

          So, at least for myself (which is admittedly a small sample), I don’t find CH to be so great. I would have been more excited with a buff to HR before CH. Again, making a Glyph to make CH instant (but have a cooldown) and/or giving CH a range buff would go a LONG way to making me hate on it less.

          I really like the Glyph idea. /PrayToBlizzGods


      • Well you’ve inspired me to write about using chain heal in 10s. :P What was supposed to be a smallish post has turned into a monster with boss blueprints showing chain heal friendly positioning and everything.

        Honestly, I don’t think asking your raid to accommodate to spreading as far as necessary and no further is any different than asking them to stand in the blue circle or click the lightwell. It’s just something else you have to learn to do in order to be an effective team.
        Rhii´s last post ..In my other guild- we…


  4. Shamans in 10s are nowhere near as effective raid healers as a properly played Druid right now on anything besides Chimaeron. It’s a significant difference, up to 3k HPS on an average of the top logs.

    There will always be guilds where your Resto Shaman is amazing and your Druid is only average, so you make it work and feel like you’re doing okay. But if you compare all top parses on something like StateofDPS.com, you see that Shamans in 10s are just not pulling their weight as a class. We are left either tank healing (and feeling like we should have rolled a Pally for that job), or struggle to keep up on raid heals with RT/TW in most cases, or HR/CH when we can manage to get people grouped up.

    I agree completely the the T12 4-piece only contributes to this problem, making 25 man Shamans even better at the job they are currently pretty good at, while addressing very few of the 10 man concerns. You can make it work as a Shaman in 10s, and more power to you, but that doesn’t change the fact that as an overall class, we struggle to find a place to shine in 10s. Don’t even get me started on Elemental DPS compared to all the other ranged classes. :)
    Wugan´s last post ..Give Raid Leaders a Chance- Restricted Free Agency


    • Great minds, Wugan! Stateofdps and DPSbot are the first places I went to when trying to evaluate how well shaman are doing in 10s and 25s because I wanted to see if I could correlate the switch to a Tidal Waves rotation to a decrease in HPS differentials. But interestingly enough, the distribution was remarkably similar on both fronts, with druids obviously leading the pack.

      Healers – 25man HM
      Druid Restoration 18,905.30 1.00
      Paladin Holy 16,810.90 0.89
      Priest Holy 16,057.30 0.85
      Shaman Restoration 15,547.70 0.82
      Priest Discipline 15,515.30 0.82
      Difference: -3,357.60
      Healers – 10man HM
      Druid Restoration 15,672.80 1.00
      Paladin Holy 14,203.60 0.91
      Priest Discipline 13,216.70 0.84
      Priest Holy 12,649.50 0.81
      Shaman Restoration 12,556.70 0.80
      Difference: -3,116.10

  5. As a 100% 10’s shammy healer, I can’t agree more. There are few fights where I get much output from CH. If I’m using chain heal, its through the ES tank onto the melee. Rarely are the ranged clumped together. If they are, its a short AOE phase and I’ll prioritize a healing rain instead.

    I spend a lot of time in the RT+GHW and RT+UE+GHW even while “raid healing”.

    My issues with CH:
    * Jump distance is much smaller than comparables.
    * The diminishing returns mechanic is incredibly outdated. This is a sacred cow I think should be butchered. Admittedly, the glyph helps iron that out a little, but really…not very well.
    * to a lesser extent, the number of targets issue.

    Is it just me or is CH’s one big advantage the fact that it is spammable? (which incidentally is one of the things that tend to make it the poster-child of ‘just hit 1 button and win’)

    So chain heal needs some rework. There is nothing “fun” about Chain heal other than the “do I send it through the ES target, one of my RT targets, or the person who is lowest on health” question. And the lines…the lines are kinda cool. Always have been.

    As for the T12: THANK YOU for making my point. For 25s, its potent and BORING. For 10s its weak, and STILL boring.

    Some other odd ideas for T12 4 piece (and I’m not thinking long and hard about balance, just setting ideas out): The iconic things about our class are Riptide weaving, Chain Heal, Unleashing Elements perhaps.

    1) Perhaps make HW or GHW refresh the duration of riptide. This could make for a lot of interesting decisions. It would give you more options for people to throw that CH through as well as give you an interesting (though perhaps complex) way of keeping riptides rolling.

    2) You could also consider having a HW/GHW on riptide target refreshing the tidal waves buff. Even for a 25s healer that would make them want to weave more of those in instead of relying so heavily on HR and CH.

    3) You could do the boring “your GHW/HW/HS heals an injured target within N yards by M%.”

    4) A Chain heal initiated on a Riptide refreshes the Riptide, and furthermore does not suffer diminishing returns. Or add additional jumps. Or add to the range. I think a lot of people forget that this also grants the tidal waves buff. I would be willing to weave this into 10 mans if it wasn’t going to point the link-of-shame back at me (measly 1 to 2 targets hit).

    Oh, and I’d like a Glyph of Instant Chain Heal that gives it a 6s or 10s cooldown but makes it instant cast. At least that would make it more useful in 10 mans. Again, by the time I’ve charged this baby up, the probability of people still being close enough to eachother has dropped. I can usually get 2-3 jumps, but with the low melee mix that 10 mans tend to favor now-a-days, 3 is usually the best I can hope for unless I park myself with the melee.

    Oh and maybe change the color of the links to blue if it gets supercharged in some fashion.


    • As much as I think it would be fun to play around with instant-cast CH or a wider range, I think we can safely consider these two ideas ones that will never make it in game. As an instant-cast, even with a CD, CH would simply be too powerful. For example, in Firelands testing, I’m already seeing crits that are upwards of 22k initial hits, a number that’s only going to increase as we gain more spellpower and crit rating. That would be a damn-powerful instant-cast, aside from being way too close to CoH. And although the proximity issue is a thorn in many shamans’ sides, it does serve to temper shamans’ output because it forces us to use something other than CH.

      I think if there’s one thing that has me all riled up about the t12 4pc bonus, it’s that Blizzard has been working so hard to get Resto Shaman away from CH and dispel the negative “1 button healer” stigma. We’ve got Tidal Waves buffs to manage, shields, RT hots, and a healing toolbox built around sequencing (where one heal buffs/ties into the next one). And then the solution for our tier bonus is …. more CH. I just looked at it and groaned, because I know I’m going to abuse the crap out of that 25% bonus as much as I can. Which means that the nice healing distributions that I had on some fights is just going to vanish. And it means when I do single-target heal, to help out on tanks or whatnot, I’ll be wondering if I shouldn’t have used CH just to get than additional healing in.


      • Based on the recent blue post about the range of CH, you are correct that it won’t happen. It must be prohibitively difficult to code. I know how that goes. :-P Yes, you are correct that making it instant cast would make it more like CoH, but they would still be plenty different. CoH has a much larger range. It doesn’t have the diminishing returns, it has a larger number of targets (by 1) for the advantages, but on the negatives CoH doesn’t have the fun interactions with riptide and ES and TWs. Making it instant cast would make it worthwhile for a 10s healer especially one who ends up healing the tank a fair bit.

        A change like that would allow me to concentrate more on the tank and the melee stack while leaving the ranged to my Holy Priest or Resto Druid friend.

        Tweaking of the effective healing and the cooldown are of course key.


  6. […] Vixsin has chimed in on the state of the proposed Tier 12 4-pc. bonus for Resto Shamans, and while I generally respect […]


  7. Aegle

    As a 10 man healer, I already despise this bonus.. Great, a bonus that is completely useless to me in at least half the fights simply due to their mechanics. Hadn’t even thought about how we’re already trying to avoid being one-button wonders.


  8. Nayruu

    I’m also one of those “100% 10′s shammy healers”. Besides, my hardware sucks so hard, I can’t even test restoshaman performance in 25s because my FPS would drop down to ~5 which makes healing impossible.
    While I think CH was usefull in most ICC 10s encounters too (except for maybe saurfang, rotface, ) I’m now having a hard time healing some cata raids. I can’t keep up with other healers when it comes to mostly single-target-heal.

    Looking at the data of state of dps one can generally say our healing is the lowest in every encounter apart from chimaeron. The really frustrating thing is: It’s not such a big difference in 25s -.-
    It’s never a shaman who’s on top of the healing (apart from chimaeron .. yeah we know that ..) not even on 2nd place.

    Don’t you think, there has to be a significant change in healing style of the classes? (nerf other classes.. buff shamans … dunno)


    • I share a number of your concerns, but I think what we’re seeing on stateofdps is the result of a number of factors:

      1. As content ages, HPS meters become more a function of throughput than anything else–who has the power and lonegvity to cast big AOE heals for an entire encounter. Shaman will always lose at this game because our pure throughput is the lowest by far.
      2. We’re not seeing the Mastery contributions that we were when we first got into T11, because players are sitting at higher HP now. So it remains to be seen if, once we go into Firelands, our performance will increase because we’re being pushed to our limits.
      3. The change to Tranquility. You’ll notice that after 4.1, Druids absolutely rocketed to the top of HPS, especially in 25s (http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall/25H/#1u00000) because with Tranq on a 3min CD, there is no reason to save it anymore. And there’s certainly no reason to deprive your raid of the 1M+ healing you can do in two full channels. It’s curious that Blizzard hasn’t modified that change yet, but I would imagine they’re waiting to see how the new druid Mastery will affect their output, because conceivably, with more reason to cast single-target heals, they’ll have less time to blanket the raid in hots.

      All this being said, I’m definitely keeping my eye on output during Firelands testing. There would be nothing more disappointing than to enter into the second tier of the expac and find ourselves lagging behind once again.


      • Nayruu

        You’re probably right that we would have a different statistic if we were at the beginning of the content. Considering that the rankings show players of worlds top-guilds, we have to assume that they the raid doesn’t run around at 30% hp or less so that we benefit much from mastery :)
        Do you know if the HPS meters looked different at the beginning of cata raids?

        Anyway thanks for your kind reply.

        and wtf@http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall/25H/#1u00000


  9. voltigeuse

    Thank you for making a point that has been bothering me in a cogent manner.

    Is there some way to see what the ratio of 25 man kills versus 10 man kills are? It would be interesting to see just what the balance is between 10 and 25 man raids.

    Also on a related note I wonder what percentage of players activley pvp versus pve, if they have scores in arena or rated bg’s that might be an indicator as well as boss kills. This might be helpful in understanding some of Blizzards design choices.

    Thank you

    Volti


  10. Greenwillow

    I’d love some compensation for the occasionally useful but mostly underwhelming SWG. :) how about something like, casting UE makes your next restoration spell or lightning bolt castable whilst moving. Mobility QoL in general is one of my pet hates about moving from my Druid back to my Shaman. Would much rather see that as a major glyph though. *mumbles*. I never thought we’d see a change like that but the new elemental focussed Prime has given me hope. C’mon Blizzard! We’re arguably just as hamstrung by movement (riptide, UE, NS) as Elemental is (FS/ES, UE, EM)


    • Firestyle

      SWG is a long buff, with a long CD. That really doesn’t match raid mechanics, which involve frequent short movement. I’d think SWG if it were a frequent short duration CD, would need to be on CD around every 15-20 seconds, lasting 4-5 seconds each – and off the GCD (not sure if it is now – I think it is). It’s exactly what would work, but it would be OP in PvP for sure.


      • Greenwillow

        A 4 piece PvE set bonus is the ideal place to put something that might be a little too strong in PvP. Go on Blizzard. You know you want to.


  11. Carrigan

    One thing I disagree with is that the density actually matters that much. Since CH can only heal four targets, and doesn’t actually care about the #/area-density above two, it’s a bit artificial to mark this as something important.

    CH only has two conditions:
    1. There is a density of 2+ in a 12,5y radius.
    2. There are 3 such pairings, sharing one element each in a chain-setup.

    What you mean, and what probably makes the difference in what most of us use to select our spells, is the random creation of such conditions in a raid where the goal is to “spread out”. When you tell a 25man raid to spread out, they can only get so far away from each other. There’ll be a lot of locations where you can fulfil the above conditions while players are spread out.
    However in a 10man, players tend to spread out over the *same* area, instead of the *same* per-player-distance. This is inherently bad behaviour in most fights (Lightwell-available goes down, in addition to CH / PoM being restricted and LoD being tricky to utilize for BoL-feeding), but will happen nonetheless. There’s the actual difference, in spread-out-people fights.

    Because if the raid has to stay close, those conditions *will* be fulfilled. Ofc, one thing one cannot ignore is that in plenty guilds Shamans fulfil tankhealing/snipehealing roles in 10man, but raidhealing roles in 25man, due to sheer availability. If your 10man-team has 1 shaman + 2 druids, you’ll probably have the Shaman on full tankhealing.

    My point being that while the numbers show plenty Shamans utilize very little CH in 10man, I think the spell is often wrongfully underestimated there. More often than not it will heal for full.


  12. Josefus

    I am astounded by the stats coming out of the 25man raids. Seriously? 25 man Shaman just spam chain heal? It’s like a completely different game for 10 man shaman. When GC came out at the end of Wrath saying that healers shouldn’t spam one button anymore, I thought he was only really talking about paladins and disc priests, since that wasn’t the experience of a 10-man shammy in the slightest. Looks like it’s still happening though, and has been happening since Sunwell.
    I know it has nothing to do with set bonuses, but still, this made my jaw drop.


  13. Firestyle

    I think the sunwell issue is deeper than just chain heal, it’s about simply using one tool for every problem.

    I want to chain heal more in 10 HMs, but I can’t really. Right now we’re 8/13, and 1) I’m dpsing more to let our driud heal, and 2) I am so heavily relying on RT/GHW it’s pretty bad, and I’d say it’s not that different from Sunwell, except I’m using GHW instead of CH.

    In fights with heavy raid damage, we’re letting our druid heal. In fights with heavy spike damage, I’m healing. Me not healing fights where our AE heals would be useful is definately part of what contributes to me feeling this way.

    Where’d the triage go?


  14. Hunaiam

    I am a 10’s healer and we use a 3 healer set. Since Cata release I very rarly use CH and when I saw the 4 piece tier set I was anything but excited and the new piece doesn’t do anything for me either. But I do like your ES suggestion and think that would be a great tier set bonus. Unfortunatly I doubt blizz will get away from the CH so I will hope that there is comparable gear to be had with better stats.


  15. As much as I agree with everything you’ve said in this post (especially regarding coming back to tying us to CH even further), there is an interesting post in one of the blogs listed in your roll regarding “training your raid.” I got a lot from that read even though I do not raid 10’s. Is there truly that many effects which require *everyone* spreading further than 12.5 yards?
    Nastiest´s last post ..Chogall HM


  16. Coraliine

    As a, relatively, new Resto Shaman (started in Cata) I don’t have the old, fond memories of CH. As a matter of fact I always resented it in ICC and Sunwell because I played a healing priest. Now that I am raiding as a strictly 10s Resto Shaman I see almost no use for CH. Yes, sometimes I’ll use it on H Magmaw (on the rare occasion I’m not in ranged healing the kite tank), H Chim (once again, on the rare occasion I’m not tank healing), and on H Halfus when I’m dropping HR on the melee/tanks/myself.

    I’m aware that Firelands is bringing much more AoE damage to encounters, and this is great, if you raid in 25s and it’s feasible foe you to drop HR and slam CH because of the player density. However, I spend most of my time RT+2xHW on the raid. If I’m tank healing or raid damage is particularly high RT+GHW and UE on CD. I see people in 10s using CH more and they are either running 2 healers or use different strays than I do. My RL is a big fan of spreading out unless needed, which is great, but now for my AoE heals. So I’ve pretty much had to adjust to that. I don’t do terrible, I have ranked in Top 50 RShaman on several encounters, but I know I can do better.

    When I saw the original 4pc I was disappointed, but not surprised. As someone who has raided 10s, 15s, 25s, and 40s I have found that Blizzard, in general, favors the larger group comps. And that’s great, but as an Officer, Recruitment Lead, Heal Lead, Ex-GM, and Ex-RL I’m not a fan of the larger groups just because getting 25 competent, talented players together is no easy task. My RL (who is also my long time BF) called me while he was at work one day and told me they changed our 4pc (He plays enh/Resto). I was ELATED! I rushed to my computer and looked on Mmo-champ and what did I find? A CH centered 4pc that was slightly better than the last. My heart sank. I’ve never felt disappointment like that.

    It’s particularly disheartening to see this when all the other healing 4pc changes are balanced with both a 10 and 25 environment. Not only this, but healers are a vital part to any encounter. One screw up by us, especially in 10s, and it’s a wipe. I say especially in 10s because in 25s you usually have several other healers doing your job that can pick it up for a few moments until you fix your problem. But in 10s it doesn’t work like that. You don’t see tanking 4pces that are almost solely beneficial in a 25man environment. Tanks everywhere would be furious and Blizz would change it.

    I feel as though Shaman are almost always being short changed. Whether it’s Ele not having great output and being based a lot on luck-based procs, enh having limited-to-no AoE, and Resto having their AoE in 19s severely hurt based on spread the hell out mechanics. I can see now why so many of my old RShaman healers switched specs or classes. It is seriously annoying to feel as though you are mostly ignored by the devs.

    Just my 2 cents. I know people may disagree. But this is how I feel.


  17. Honestly I would have prefered something like these for a 4pc T12 bonus:

    – Your Healing Rain’s radius is increased by 10 yards and it’s effectiveness by 5%.

    – Your Riptide also heal an additional lowest current HP target within 30 yards.

    Being a 10m Healer, I’m underwhelmed at the current one indeed.


  18. […] the time when tier bonuses were first announced, I wrote a post taking a critical look at the Resto Shamans’ bonuses, especially the application of 4pc Tier 12 in 10- and 25-man raiding environments. My supposition […]


  19. An easy fix in my opinion is just to copy the paladin bonus:

    Your Greater Healing Wave, Healing Wave and Healing Surge spells also heal an injured target within 8 yards for X% of the amount healed.

    Might even encourage us to start sniping again with Healing Surge, which personally i don’t use much after the nerf.

    It seems kinda hard for Blizzard finding a balance between our spells, Since one change seems to push everything in one direction. No more Sunwell they said. Well we paid that price in Ulduar. Boy what fun it was healing on the shaman next to the priest. But then I had sooooo much haste in ICC that I was giving those CH’s out to everybody, didn’t matter much if it only hit one.

    Now when I see that awesome green beam hit the one range in the far corner, well i get sad thinking of the time and mana wasted. As I should! So I don’t cast CH unless I’m 99% sure i’m gonna get 3 targets at least. Which sadly happens too rarely in 10m’s except in those hug phases. Therefor it doesn’t get much use, which saddens me a little because although I don’t like 1 button spamming I also like CH.

    So rolling RT’s + GHW is pretty much what I do, Which is for me the same spam as CH. I don’t bother much filling in with HW and no more sniping with HS after the nerf. So yeah RT+GHW for spreads and then I time FI with HR for those stack phases along with some CH’s.

    What has also bothered me a little since Cata is that Tidal Waves used to buff the crit of LHW which was pretty spammable and a great on the ES tank (the 20% bonus only worked on LHW). So putting ES on the tank, riptide and then a LHW with a 30% crit buff gave a pretty decent heal that was pretty spammable and procced AF+AA . You can argue that HW does that same job with the 30% casting time, but why cast a 30% faster HW when I can cast a 30% faster GHW and there’s less chance of AA+AF. I could use HS but that burns up my mana pretty quickly .As it should! There’ should be a spell that’s expensive and unspammable but fast so i can save the dps that was standing in wrong place at the wrong time.

    Now Tidal Waves buffs 3 of our spells and should encourage “decision matters” but it “always” comes down to GHW. So it’s not much of a choice. But why not give that 30% crit to Healin Wave? That would put it back in our decision making list and also help with mana regen which I still see a big difference between classes.
    Krakir´s last post ..Höfum áhuga á að skoða 1-2 spot í Firelands.



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