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


April 8, 2010

The Shaman Teaser: Deconstructed

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Written by: Vixsin
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At around 12:30pm yesterday afternoon, a loud <THUNK> was heard from the Resto Shaman community as jaws hit the floor and tall blue trolls fainted dead away from excitement. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that yesterday Blizzard released its teaser on what Cataclysm has in store for the shaman class. So, instead of depressing you with cautionary tales and statistics on how many Blizzard “concepts” hit the floor during testing, let’s just take a look at what all the fuss is about. (Sorry enhancement and elemental friends, I’m just interested in healing here!)

New Shaman Spells

Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels.

Don’t care! Get to the resto stuff!

Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we’re adding another spell to the class’s direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the “new” Healing Wave to be the shaman’s go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.

This reminds me of the priest’s single-target healing arsenal, with Flash Heal, Heal and Greater Heal. And while I appreciate the varying single-target selections it affords us, I know that (as Blizzard expects) towards the end of Cata, HW will become incredibly unused middle-of-the-road spell. However, if CH remains largely unmodified (in terms of relative mana cost and distance of the jump) the reduced applicability of LHW might mean that shamans will once again turn to CH as their base cast, favoring the potential for greater healing over fast reaction time. Remember, Blizz has stated that damage won’t be as spikey or healing as binary, so I would question why we would choose a low HPS spell even if only one person is in need of healing.

Another thing to note is that the cast time difference between LHW and HW currently isn’t that disparate, so it would seem likely that we might see some base cast time modification to further differentiate our 3 single-target spells. In which case, tank healing then becomes a race to obtain enough regen to sustain high throughput for as long as possible. I wonder, will we return to the days of Int/Spirit stacking to compensate?

Unleash Weapon (level 81): Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects (see below). A dual-wielding Enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both of their weapon enchants. Instant cast. 30-yard range. 15-second cooldown. Undispellable.

Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next healing spell by 20%.

I’m not so sure how I feel about this one, though I do note that shaman who have been maintaining relic (Totem of Shattered Ice) or Trinket (DFO) uptime through ICC will need less practice than the rest of us at interweaving buff spells with healing ones. A CD of 15 seconds seems very frequent, almost RT frequent, so I’m wondering if they’re planning on eliminating the instant-cast precursor spell we currently have in favor of this pseudo-judgement system. While I appreciate that they’re taking a page from the Resto T10 manual (using an instant cast to buff a subsequent spell), the problem that I see is that in intense healing environments it’s currently a significant drop in output to stop to cast RT, so I imagine it will come down to some HPS/mana theorycrafting on the usefulness and appropriate timing of the Unleash Weapon mechanic.

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

Not, not, NOT, psyched that this is AE. One of shamans’ major problems through this xpac has been our ability to deal with distributed raid damage over a very spread-out raid. Although I will note that with a 10-second duration and CD, this could equate to a rolling hot on the raid. So, it has good potential for frequency of use but I would imagine the there will be some limitations introduced to keep this from becoming the crux of a shaman healing “rotation” (Ghostcrawler has previously expressed concern over CoH/WG popularity and usage, so I would imagine that Blizzard isn’t about to introduce something that turns shamans in CoH priests, limiting us to using HR every 10 seconds).

In addition, I’m concerned over the additional emphasis this is going to place on raid positioning and grouping, but more than that I emphatically HATE manual target AE spells because they have issues on every unlevel surface out there, and as a healing spell, it would be horrendous to try to position an area target while operating in a dynamic environment (moving and positioning your camera for example). I genuinely hope they make this targetable off of a raid/party member or else work on projected and terrain textures. If you’ve ever tried to Blizzard in Vexaz’s room, or thunderclap on a set of stairs, or CH up a ramp, you know that terrain LoS can be a problem even in the most innocuous of circumstances. And while a slight annoyance is acceptable when trying to, for example mass dispel sparks off of melee, if I need to attempt to manually target areas during a boss encounter once every 10 seconds, I might need to sound proof my walls a bit more lest my neighbors start complaining about my nerdrage.

Spiritwalker’s Grace (level 85): When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP. Instant cast. 10-second duration. 2-minute cooldown.

(NOTE: the ability is instant-cast, the subsequent spells are not.) This is definitely a step towards dealing with shaman mobility issues, which I applaud. And while this will likely make me even happier that I switched to Clique (strafing and hitting keybinds at the same time FTL), I’m concerned that Spiritwalker has limited applicability. As it currently exists, it provides absolutely zero benefit in tank-and-spank fights. And in movement fights, healing while traveling has become an ideal time for NS or for stutter stepping in ~2sec intervals. So while good in concept (especially for Elemental shaman) I’m not sure I see it making a huge difference in resto. And again, I’ll reiterate my previous concern that while this would work incredibly well with NR, targeting an AE while on the move and under pressure is not my idea of a good time.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

Restoration shaman and other healing classes will need to pay attention to mana more than they’ve had to during Wrath of the Lich King. Spirit will be the Restoration shaman’s primary mana-regeneration stat.

*sigh* I would love to know these limitless mana Shaman they’re talking about. Moreover the fact that Blizzard keeps making the shaman-will-use-spirit statement as if to drive it home, makes me concerned about how much of a shock it will be. I do think it will be interesting to see how Water Shield is adapted to the Spirit mechanic, since it is currently a primary source of regen based solely in the mana per 5sec model. Frankly, it would be amazing if our WS scaled with gear level, but it’s highly unlikely since regen is more plentiful at higher gear levels anyway.

We’re making changes to which classes and specs are able to dispel magic, diseases, curses, and poison, largely for PvP purposes. Shaman will have Cleanse Spirit as a baseline ability, but it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman will have a talent that will improve Cleanse Spirit so that it also removes magic. Shaman will no longer be able to remove poison.

As GC mentioned, the PVP ramifications of this are huge. From a PVE perspective, so long as all the major fight effects are magic, I’m not going to sweat it. I’ll patch Decursive and move on.

Cleansing Totem will be removed from the game, as we want dispels to be a decision for players, not something done mindlessly. To that end, all dispels will cost slightly more mana, and you will waste the spell if you cast it when there is nothing to remove. (Currently, the dispel is only cast when there is something to remove, which encourages spamming “just in case.”) We will balance PvE dispelling with this new model in mind.

Cleansing totem, you will be missed. You kept me from wasting GCDs that I’m now going to have to use.

Totem of Wrath now will replace Flametongue Totem for all shaman, and dropping this totem will buff the group’s spell power by 4%. Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all Fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop Searing, Magma, or Fire Elemental Totems without losing their spell-damage buff. The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock’s Demonic Pact, so you can’t benefit from all of them at once. We’re also considering letting Elemental drop Searing Totem at range.

Elementals should be very excited about the dropping totems at range idea as it will keep them from losing dps due to travel time in and out of melee. For restos, and this is a slight tangent, I’m still not very psyched about the fire totems. I really would like to see a complimentary totem, maybe that was party-only and on CD like Mana Tide, that resto shaman could use to further buff their group and which would distinguish us from our Elemental kin.

New Talents and Talent Changes

Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept — and so did players — so we are trying to bring it back.

Spirit Link!! Although at first I read this thinking that Blizzard might go back to the pre-wrath model, I’m hoping that isn’t the case. Were it to be implemented in a way similar to Beacon, Spirit Link would simply replicate the problem that raids run into on heavy hitting dual tank fights when they lack a paladin or two. And while I’d love the chance to further flex my skills as a tank healer, raid stacking is definitely a thing of the past. What is a more exciting idea to entertain is that Spirit Link could be reworked into the CD that shaman have been hoping for, similar to a Divine Sac for tanks but unique in the way that it doesn’t prevent damage but simply evens it out a bit more. So if your tank would typically pop a CD to deal with an insane amount of incoming damage (Soul Reaper or high stacks of Gaseous Bloat, for example) you could use Spirit Link to distribute that damage to the raid and save your tank or other raiders from [squish].

Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating.

I’m really psyched about this change because it will make building offsets that much easier (although I’m sure dps trinkets will still be in rare supply).

Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect.

Booooooo. I guess we can take AK out of the calculation for spellpower and Int effects then.

With the Mastery system, we’re also considering removing a number of talents that grant passive bonuses, such as Mental Quickness, Improved Windfury Totem, Mental Dexterity, Call of Thunder, Tidal Mastery, Purification, Nature’s Blessing, and others, to allow players more freedom to choose more interesting talents.

With passive increases making up a good number of the Resto talent choices (and some in our typical enhancement subspec as well) it seems as if we could be in for some new and interesting talents.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses


  • Spell damage
  • Spell Crit
  • Elemental Overload

From just the mastery bonuses, it would seem that Restos will be shifting their sub-set into Elem and away from Enhancement. If that’s the case, then I hope they retool the Elem tree with this in mind so that the lower point talents have an appropriate benefit for healers and eles. Update: Mastery bonuses apply to one tree only, tied to the tree in which you invest the most points. Well shoot.


  • Melee damage
  • Melee Haste
  • Nature Damage


  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Deep Healing
  • Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target’s health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

I’m really skeptical about the benefits of this one, because it’s been my past experience that bonuses based on diminished health rarely come into play at their “powerful” levels. (Wasn’t this one of the reasons they removed the health scaling effect from Berserking?) Aside from seeming counter-intuitive from a healing perspective– I shouldn’t want someone to be at lower health because it means better HPS— it also makes my HPS dependant on the capabilities of my healing team to raise a group to near full. Not only that, this sounds very challenging to reasonably balance with other mastery bonuses simply because the sliding scale effect will need to assume an average raid health level to determine a comparable mastery bonus. First, consider that the effect would have to be multiplicative in nature because an exponential increase in scaling would mean that you could quickly bring a low health player back to full with comparatively the same effort. So, with a multiplicative effect, the mastery multiplier would have to start and end fairly low, which means that scaling would be nominal indeed. Also, when compared with a dps who gets a scaling 5% increase consistently through their mastery, a conditional mastery bonus would only further skew our performance on aoe-heavy fights and hamper our output on encounters with snipe or limited damage mechanics. Lastly, from a theorycrafting perspective, this creates a huge divide between modeling and reality, since you will always have to have an assumption about general raid health levels to calculate output. I sincerely hope Blizzard ditches this in favor of something that’s more easily scalable and predictable. I really shouldn’t have to do a mini mental calculation based on the target’s health every time I make a selection of what heal to use.

In summary …

In all, I’m pleased with the information that Blizzard has provided us with on the upcoming Cataclysm Shaman changes. While I may not agree 100% with the direction they’re headed, I’m at least grateful that they’ve chosen to share some of their design ideas with us. And, I know these changes are only the tip of the iceberg. Some of the things that they didn’t touch on:

  • Chain Heal. It was completely absent from the above discussion, whether because they were focusing on new mechanics or because they didn’t want to set off a firestorm. With HR at a 2sec cast time, one would think it would be the better choice when trying to address raid healing. It’s very worrisome … am I going to have to edit all of my WotLK posts which cite CH as our iconic ability?
  • Riptide. As I mentioned previously, with the introduction of the Unleash Weapon talent, Blizzard seems to be setting up the spell to be our “use on CD” personal buff, which when considering that it’s also a healing effect too means that it overlaps quite significantly with our RT niche. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean that our 51pt Resto talent is on the chopping block.
  • Synergy. I’ve always said that we have a very complimentary toolbox in that our limited grouping of spells all work really well together. I’m hoping that this design philosophy, where spell sequencing matters but isn’t a game-breaker, continues into the next xpac.
  • Restorative Totems. Can we have Healing + Mana Spring Stream Flowing River of Stuffz yet please?!
  • Mana Tide. I hope to gracious this is on the list of items to address. MT is incredibly underpowered when compared to other healer regen sources and as the only personal source of regen for restos, I’ve always chaffed at the idea of having to suffer through reduced value because I’m forced to share.

Ultimately, this preview leaves me wondering … is this the type of teaser trailer where they put all the good stuff in and then when I see the movie I realize that the only funny bits were in that 2min trailer? Or … is this a sign that I should pay to see the IMAX version of Cataclysm even though the ticket prices are insane and the glasses smell like cheese? Either way, I’ll still be standing in line for midnight release.


  1. A good and solid overview of the mentioned changes that might make it into Cataclysm.

    Looking at what came out of the priest preview, it does seem that they’re looking to make healing in general a very engaging role to play, something that I can only applaud. Especially the “shamanjudgements” look like they will add a lot of complexity to the game.

    The only thing I find myself wondering is, will playing on a default ui still be valid? I can imagine a legion of addons meant to make our work easier coming out a few weeks after Cata launches. Also, how easy will it be for the novice player and resto shaman to get into this new mindset/design philosophy? The amount of things we will need to keep track of has becoming staggering:

    – Our health
    – Our mana
    – Raid health
    – Good synergy/communication/relation/training with fellow healers
    – Lightning quick decisions
    – Raid/encounter awareness
    – Knowledge of our class!
    – 7 healing spells (LHW, HW, GHW, CH, RT, ES, HR), loads of on-use and proc abilities
    – …

    All these things seem to confirm one thing for me: A good shaman healer is and will remain a damned good player!

    On the subject of Mana Tide, the solution is simple: Glyph of Mana Tide: Your Mana Tide now ticks twice more for a total of 35% of mana returned, but doesn’t restore party members mana anymore. Combined with a buff to mana tide itself and we’ll see this become a serious decision, “do I go for more mana for myself or less but for the entire party?”

    In any case, nice review of the preview, looking forward to other people’s comments!


  2. Jäede

    First, I really hope that either RT is on the chopping block or, at least, on the block of things to be substantially changed. They gave us a 51-point talent that’s severely underpowered, then tried to make us use it by tying it into Tidal Waves, tier bonuses, totems and CH. RT in its current form is laughable; I only cast it because I have no other on-the-run heal or because I have an opening where I could use a TW proc and CH is too long a cast. Watching it tick for 1.2k at near 4k SP is kinda frustrating.

    Second, in terms of mana, we’ve finished up all but 3 bosses in Heroic ICC25, all but 1 in Heroic ICC10 and I’m not seeing any fight where I have significant mana problems. I called for innervate twice last night and both times we were sub 20% and it was more a precautionary measure than a “crap, I’m dry, pot’s used, tide’s used”. Most fights I find myself casting non-stop; I Tide around 70% then finish the fight without breaking a sweat in terms of mana. Which fights are you specifically having problems with?

    I was psyched to see Spirit Link back in for Cata, as I was looking forward to it for WotLK. A tank cooldown is sort of a necessity these days, and getting stuck with a druid/shaman pair shouldn’t mean no usable healer cooldown.

    After reading the priest review, I’m a little jealous…they’re getting some nice options, with the ability to manipulate their healing dynamically through Chakra.

  3. Hamlinn

    Very interesting overview. I had a lot of these same thoughts. My first reaction upon seeing Healing Rain was “Great, another spell I have to bug people to clump up for.”

    As to Mastery bonuses, Blizzard has already stated that you only get mastery bonuses for the tree in which you have the most points. So they won’t affect the choice of which sub-spec to take.

  4. Alexis

    You won’t get secondary mastery talents they say, only the tree you put the most talents in–so it wouldn’t do us any good to put more points in low lvl ele stuff to get some crit. You only get one tree’s mastery bonus.

  5. Just saw the update on Mastery; how disappointing. Theoretically, I liked the idea of having different bonuses to consider in addition to talent points, but I guess practically it won’t pan out.

    And although I like the Glyph of Mana Tide idea, I don’t think we should have to choose between our own regen and the group’s, nor consume a major glyph slot for something on a 5min CD. When I look at tools like Shadowfiend, Divine Plea, or Innervate, which give comparatively more personal mana on a similar or shorter CD, it’s clear that we’re paying a price for the fact that our MT covers 5 targets.

    Lastly, I agree with you Jäede that mana isn’t an issue currently. But I disagree with the perspective that it’s unlimited. It certainly wasn’t unlimited when I entered into ICC and certainly not when I started hardmodes, although now that my gear has shifted upwards it is decidedly more plentiful. But that’s a result of overgearing, not class design. My concern for Cata is that Shamans will suffer a similar effect as they did when the overlap between Spring and Wisdom was removed; most healers didn’t feel the pinch but for shaman with our ties to passive regen, there was definitely a mana drought.

    Of course, all my concerns and worrying may be for naught. But I definitely enjoy the speculation!

  6. Great thoughts Vixsin, and I like the new look. I’m also a little confused about how Riptide and Unleash Weapon will interact, since the seem to fill a similar role. I’d hate to lose the cool “let me dump a bucket of water on your head” animation!

    Zorko, I definitely agree with you on the complexity, although it’s something that I think is great. The healing game has the potential to become way too simple, and I like a challenge. But, for a new healer on a default UI, it’s going to be very hard to keep up (though it already is).

    Vixsin, I don’t think I share your concerns about Deep Healing. You understand the math on scaling more than I ever will, but in practice, doesn’t this just mean that all things being equal, a shaman will be more efficient when spot healing low health raid members? I think that’s pretty interesting, especially since we see that Priests have a different Mastery. I’m less concerned about the loss to our HPS (or the predictability of said HPS). Really, HPS is just a way to compete with other healers, not to keep the raid alive, which should be our main concern.
    .-= Wugan´s last blog ..Analysis of Initial Cataclysm Shaman Changes =-.

  7. (I understand I know crap about shamans, but since Healing Rain sounds a lot like a healy Rain of Fire, I wanted to say something.)

    As Healing Rain is an AoE, it’s likely to cost more mana as well. My Seed is 34% of base mana (compared to most of my spells which are 10-20% base mana), and my Rain of Fire is a whopping 57% base mana. The mage’s Blizzard is on the same scale with about 74% base mana. (I don’t know the name of the mage fire AoE, sorry.)

    I know base mana only equates to about 4k for shamans (now, anyway), but if you use it a lot, it adds up quickly. Contrast trash pulls with boss fights: after trash (using my AoEs) I have to Life Tap four or five times in a row to get mana back to a respectable level, whereas on boss fights (using my main arsenal) I’m more often Life Tapping to refresh my glyphed buff than I am for the mana return. With Blizzard focusing on making mana a resource you actually have to manage, they would have to make it not as mana-costly as the damage AoEs HR resembles if they wanted you to roll it over the raid continuously.

    As for the moving while positioning your camera and positioning this AoE heal…okay, you’ll have to deal with it for <2 sec, because I'm sure you're loaded on haste. Not a nerdraging big deal, IMO.

  8. Everything that keeps me from healing is nerdrage worthy … (heh) I do think your point, Poneria, about Rain’s mana cost and the parallell you’ve drawn to Rain of Fire are incredibly apropos. I agree that the mana cost of HR will be a major factor in determining if it’s a rolling hot or a conditional use.

    As to the scaling of Deep Healing and its comparative value, I think time (and PTR testing) will tell. You are correct in your assertion though, Wugan, that shaman would be ideal for addressing lower health raid members given the scaled mastery. (And the idea that suggests–healing assignments based on raid member health–led to a good 15 minutes of distraction while I wrote this response.) But the larger unknown factor at this point, which determines Deep Healings’ impact, is what the HP status quo will be in raids. Blizzard has mentioned several times that “topping off” a raid/party isn’t going to be the norm, so seeing that concept in action will likely either reinforce or complete negate my concerns.

    Ultimately, the optimist in me (which the pessamist locked in the closet while writing this post) hopes that I’m proven quite wrong on a number of the above impressions. ^_^

  9. […] In Group 5 grumbles about targeted aoe spells and uneven ground, and muses on the emphasis being placed on raid positioning, and ponders on the mechanics of the […]

  10. Duped

    Nice thoughts about the shaman preview. To be honest, I really expect a huge change in the HR mechanic. The few informations about this tool would benefit so far a “use on CD” spamming on the tank-melee group. I cant imagine alot of high movement based encounter. In every raid-instance you had alot of tank and spank in the end. So under normal conditions we will use it on CD, if the manamanagement wont be “the key”. Another question will be how are the HoT´s scaling. Are HR, RT, EL based on the priest HoT “haste” scaling ? Will we be able to perform a constant raidhealing by HoT´s ? At least on grp 1 and 2. I have to admit i was hoping at least for RT a change on the duration (so maximizing the amount of rolling RT´s) or the scaling of the HoT. Even under actual conditions a unleashed RT HoT would roll for ~1800-1900. This is rather weak compared to the Holypriest or Restodruid.

    Deep Healing has so far in my eyes the best options to be a compensation to our lack of skills. I am sceptic as you about the mechanic. It has a high potential to be bugged as hell. How often removed Blizzard already spells, because they didnt worked as intended. But, Deep Healing will be a scaling of our last two jumps of chainheal (raidhealing) and a scaling to our tankheal abilitie. And this was at least one thing wich needs to be balanced. The jumprange is also important of chainheal, but this can be fixed by the encounterdesign. For exsample deathbringer saurfang: we have to spread out (range DD), so chainheal is useless. Imagine we would need only a 6yrd range, chainheal would be usefull in some moments also at the range DD´s. If we would have a 15yrd jumprange, but we need to spreadout 20yrd in a specific fight, chainheal would be dumped aswell. So the encounterdesign (and also the guild tactic) is the base of the power of chainheal in my eyes.

    I dont think spiritwalker needs a high discussion, because this is so situational, that its mostly an elemental buff, then a restoration buff.

    So my major questions would be:

    – prio: manamanagement, as you already pointed out, watershield mechanic

    – will our HoT´s scale with haste ?

    – HR manacost and HoT spellpower coefficient, wasted or useful spell ?

    – Deep Healing mechanic, will this fix our concern about the low two last jumps of chainheal ?

    – does unleashed weapon trigger a GCD ?

    Well in the end its really exciting, we have alot of questions and im really thankful for this. It has high potential to fix some lacks of the resto and we will see what happens in the future.

    Eh, thanks for your work vixsin. I really enjoy your blogs, you have always alot of nice thoughts behind the scene.

  11. Jäede

    @Vixsin: “It certainly wasn’t unlimited when I entered into ICC and certainly not when I started hardmodes, although now that my gear has shifted upwards it is decidedly more plentiful. But that’s a result of overgearing, not class design”

    When you start anything new, there’s always a period where you need to acclimate to how damage is going to come in. I overheal at the start, but since we usually wipe a few times on a boss, I never see the end of my mana pool anyways. By the time you’re closing in on a kill, I assume both you and your dps have acclimated and are comfortable with how much damage/haeling you’re doing. That’s the point I’m talking about where I no longer have mana issues…not the first attempt.

    If by the time you get a kill you’re still having mana issues yet you’re doing everything you can to limit overheal, conserve mana and regen appropriately, I’d say there was a design issue. My original point is that I haven’t seen that. We’re 9/12 heroic ICC25, I have 3 heroic drops (that I picked up this week), and haven’t had any mana problems. I don’t overgear the instance.

    I don’t have enough of the heroic25 gear to consider it on farm. Just this week I picked up my first heroic drops: a heroic token, a belt and trinket, which is why I disagree with you that it’s a result of overgearing. I’d be more inclined to say that (in my case, at least) my mana pool is better now than it used to be due to dps becoming more comfortable with a fight and reducing its duration by performing better. I’d be interested in comparing how long our fight durations are on fights where you’ve had mana issues.

  12. Very valid points, Jäede. I think you and I are simply benchmarking “enough” mana at different points of kill progression. Ultimately it does come down to a number of factors, dps comfort and execution likely being a larger contributor that I give it credit for. And let’s not forget the pretty substantial ICC buff we’re all enjoying. (I admit to being absolutely floored when we clocked a ~3min kill on Heroic Marrowgar this week; my mana bar was barely even dented.)

    In any event, I appreciate the debate. All this speculation wouldn’t be fun if it was just me talking the paint off a wall.

  13. Kaelinh

    When I first saw Healing Rain I interpreted it as being a Mass Dispell like effect, not an aoe on the ground, which made it much cooler :) and then I read all the other comments. I’m hoping it will be changed to instantly put the hot on all the people in the targetting range, not a static area where there is … healing. From the way Blizzard is moving towards giving people fun things to do while bosses/players are moving, I’m guessing that we aren’t going to be standing in one place for a terribly long time on fights in the future, which means Healing Rain will be severly underpowered compared to other big aoe heals. (ALTHOUGH in my attempts on LK-H 25 last night I thought it was pretty funny that all the spells they mentioned would have been ridiculously helpful. Healing Rain right before infest hits, Spirit Link for the offtank so they don’t get gibbed, Unleash Weapon for the 20% healing buff before Chain Heal to top off infest targets. Or even making a macro with Unleash Weapon to use it and then Riptide for a heal equivalent to an untalented HW on a target still with infest…)

    As far as Deep Healing, my understanding is that they are trying to make us efficient tank healers. Meaning, because we would get added effect from our efficient heal, we can use it to heal the tank for longer before switching and using the big long expensive heal that is going to make all of us cry when we see the mana cost (because HW isn’t ridiculously expensive already). So it’s a little bit of a mana regen talent. But I do agree that it will cause problems in the future if it is to get into the game.

    I, too, am interested to see if the expansion brings heavy spirit stacking for all classes because we will all be going oom with our trained trigger fingers. :)

  14. What a great perspective on Deep Healing as it applies to tanks–I certainly glossed right past that angle when reviewing the spell! And it will be interesting to see how haste is going to effect our hots (and maybe even Healing Stream?)

    I couldn’t agree more about LK HM and how decidedly evil it was to release the shaman preview while we’re working on it. Good to know I won’t be the only one longing for Cata through all the litany of effects (and especially when I’m glaring at my cast bars trying to perfectly time CH to land right after Infest, cause holy heck the HM version is wicked.)

  15. Kaelinh

    On the totems topic, what do you think they might end up doing with Mana Spring due to some of the spirit changes? I’m a little worried it might be eliminated because of the removal of Blessing of Spirit and spirit from Kings … maybe it will become our version of replenishment? I suppose that would be pretty cool, but very limited with the 30 yard range.

    I hope we start getting some kind of haste benefit like other classes are. That would be a great change, especially for Healing Stream/Earthliving, but I don’t see it happening.

  16. Kaelinh

    @the Lich King comment, do you have him on focus by chance? What works for me is having a HUGE Focus casting bar with Quartz so I know to start casting a little after he has rather than a perfect timing.

    I guess my next question would be what comp you’re running with for healing on that, but maybe you aren’t allowed to say, haha. You might do something different that makes it a little more important to be perfectly precise.

  17. I honestly don’t know what will become of Mana Spring. I can’t imagine that they’ll morph it into replenishment, but with the whole “mp5” model out the window, it might be that Blessing of Wisdom and Spring are on the chopping block. What a horrible thought!

    As to LK, I generally have tanks as focus for my ES swap macro and Powa alerts. Thankfully, DXE includes a monster cast bar for Infest so I can plan my timing based on that, or based on my Quartz target cast bar, since I generally have him targeted throughout the fight. With Infest at a 2sec cast time though, my CH at just under 1.7sec, and the fact that I need the CH to complete subsequent to the application of Infest (instead of right at the cast time) this generally means I’m watching that timer like a hawk. Re: healing assignments/comp, we generally stick with 2 holy pallies, 1 holy priest, 1 disc priest, 1 resto druid, and 1 resto shaman with the shaman in charge of the (8 or so) melee. A perfectly timed CH (plus a quick subsequent one) works perfectly to keep melee up on phase 1, it’s when I have to drop a plague or when melee start splitting off to tackle Valks that I really start to grumble and get jealous of Prayer of Healing.

  18. On the totems topic, what do you think they might end up doing with Mana Spring due to some of the spirit changes? I’m a little worried it might be eliminated because of the removal of Blessing of Spirit and spirit from Kings … maybe it will become our version of replenishment? I suppose that would be pretty cool, but very limited with the 30 yard range.

    I hope we start getting some kind of haste benefit like other classes are. That would be a great change, especially for Healing Stream/Earthliving, but I don’t see it happening.

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