Archive for the ‘Shaman’ Category

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Shaman Healing is now more fun!!!

January 12, 2009

After the  wind changed…. I had a look at my Alliance Shaman!!!  I am always surprised when I hear Shaman are the least played class in WOW, because I think they are awesome!!!  Perhaps Blizzard should look at their tool bars and consider something similar to the excellent totemtimers mod, that’s why I think there are not more Shammies out there, it’s an interface issue based on how to access all your totems!!!

Anyway, someone asked me to heal a group for their alt as a return of a favour, so I dusted off my Shaman…..  In the last weeks of Burning Crusade I switched my Draenei Shaman over to Resto after raiding/running heroics exclusively as an elemental dps character.  I played elemental because resto healing was really hampered by the length of time spells took to cast, haste gear was not so common, and it was dull spamming Lesser healing wave throwing in the odd chain heal.  Even emergency Natures swiftness/Healing waves weren’t that exciting.  Spamming a quick cast healing spell is no fun, messing about down ranking spells more of a yawn, but all this has changed!!!

On my first impression of Restoration changes in WotLK looking at the talent trees I liked what I saw.  Riptide looked a nice instant heal with a HOT, a few people were moaning that the initial heal is not that big but it is a time buyer, talenting it also gives good haste/heal bonuses to HW/LHW/CH.  There was another another HOT through Earthliving weapon and the ability to remove curses.   My ‘try’ of the changes didn’t really give them a proper test because the players I went into Instances with in BC were really well geared heroic/raid players.  Healing on Easy mode in UK or Karazhan does the WotLK changes no justice at all…  I guess things would have been different if I went into the Black Temple with my shaman, I was also a bit blinded by wanting to tank as the new class, the Death Knight.  

So I’ve not levelled my Shaman first because I played other classes, and if I wanted to level now I’m in the position of going into Instances with levelling geared players and alts, and this believe it or not is a good thing!!! Healing groups flying by the seat of their pants is much more involving than healing ‘easy mode’.  A better way to hone my healer skills and much more entertaining than DPSing (it is believe me!!).  It’ll also be great for getting known on my server and into Pick Up Group Land for Badge farming, if my guildies are too busy raiding!!

My Shaman is pretty well geared at the moment as a raiding Elemental, in full 70 Epix with plenty of spell crit.  Playing as a Restoration spec with mostly under geared group through UK and Nexus has been a challenge as well as awesome fun.  Certainly not a dull experience, and made more so because of the interesting procs!!!  Blizzard note… we want MORE proc abilities!  They add an element of interest, far more than spamming a single heal!!

Luckily I’ve a decent mana pool, so I’ve glyphed Healing Stream for 20% more heals and I’m using it rather than Mana stream, only throwing in a manatide if I get below 60% mana.  Combined with Riptide/Earth Shield/Earthliving weapon procs, I’m HOT healing a load on my tank and my crits are throwing heals over to the group as well as giving me back mana.  No one has yet asked me to use Mana stream!!  Anyone with damage less than 2-3k usually do not need a direct heal, unless I know it is periodic damage or I can see they have aggro, the healing totem quite effectively heals up  small amounts of damage and they can also get splash heals from Ancestral Awakening procs or chain heal jumps, which I only use if a few players are in the 2-3k damage bracket.  I have not had to take a mana pot so far as well even without mana stream totem!!! 

Another great thing is Elemental gear seems to work great with the new Resto changes better than my old Resto healing gear.  Shaman healing is ‘enhanced’ by crit because of Ancestral Awakening procs (30% of the crit heal to the lowest HP party member!!) and mana from a talented Water shield.  A decent crit rate really helps ’splash’ healing (pardon the pun!).  

I also seem to be proccing my other talented abilities a lot as well.   I Glyphed Earthliving Weapon so I can have another more regular proc!!!  All in all I think a dual specced Resto/elemental will probably be wearing pretty much the same gear when we get dual specs in 3.1!!!  I’m enjoying resto so much I’ve even resisted speccing elemental to level.  If you knew me better you’d know how massive this comment is, it will slow down my levelling but give me much more instance time on the route to 80!!!!!

I thought before this weekend that Blizzard had saved most of their ‘Love’ for protection Warriors, but the job done on Restoration Shaman is at least equal!!!  I can only smile when I see a latent abilities proc, I love the sound of Earthliving Weapon, the graphics effects from Ancestral Healing, seeing the lowest HP player get a wee 30% extra heal from Ancestral Awakening!!!  Having lots of different things go off almost randomly really makes healing interesting… I like the ‘not knowing’ part of waiting for a proc, it is almost like waiting for a present!!!

Blizzard have really done Shaman Healing proud, especially if they were focusing on making it fun.  On top of this they have made Shaman a well rounded healer, no longer the awesome group healer, but ok tank healer they were Prior to WotLK.  Earthshield/Riptide and a few LHW’s mixed up with procs, natures swiftness, healing stream and chain heal = tank and group well covered.

Over the last few days playing resto, I’ve seen my class (and me!!) complimented by groups.  I’ve got a few new added friends (and /w for groups) from Pick Up Group land.  Overall WotLK makes 5 man healing with a shaman efficient, interesting and… well LOADS OF FUN!!!

I’ve gone from liking the changes, to absolutely loving them.  A few runs through UK and the NEXUS, and a few quests and my Shaman went from 70 to 73 just this weekend!!!!  80 in another 1-2 weeks?  And I haven’t even got my Hex spell yet!!!

Maybe I’ve left it too late to raid with my Alliance guild, as they are all flying, but who knows maybe when I’ve done my fair share of Heroics, I’ll be in there!!!

Is the wind blowing me back to a shaman main????

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Last Kara run…..

November 11, 2008

Well, as a 10 man anyway!! 

We did our last Kara run last night before we all shoot off into Northrend, start Death Knights and all level at different rates.  It was fun and a little sentimentally sad!!! 

It started off as a guild run into Hellfire Citadel to help two guild alts hit 70.  I was asked to respec my Elemental shaman Resto for the run, so it was also my first opportunity to play the new healing spec and see riptide etc.  WoW is all I can say, looks like Shaman healing is going to be lots of fun in Northrend, two HOTS with Riptide and Earthliving weapon, and all my Ele haste gear along with the new Spellpower mechanic will make shift back and forward from resto easy!!!! 

Our usual Druid main tank GM led and it was easy mode, he gets well over 20k buffed health and with the new Strength of Earth totem the two of us could probably have duo’ed it!!  I don’t think I went under 80% mana for the run except for a messy pull on the first boss and I wasn’t using mana stream (well one of the alts was a enh shaman!!).  So a nice easy reminder of playing healer, and a good while since I’ve been in a non heroic instance.  With the place cleared and some quest hand ins we saw the 70 achievement flash up in guild chat and our new guild 70’s decided to start a kara pickup group.  We only needed 3 additional players over the guild, shame all the old timers couldn’t have joined, but a few were already locked in another Kara run. 

The guy off tanking was a respecced fury warrior, who had fallen in love with the new Prot spec, and we couldn’t get a lock, but the hunter alternative did an awesome job, and topped out the DPS meter.  Shame he was from another guild!!

Cutting a long story short I loved every minute of the run, Kara is a breeze now although I did have a few random deaths and a 29g repair bill!!!  Ancestral awakening and high crit rate make keeping a group up easy, and procs of Earthliving on Riptide caused me a fair bit of overheal, but more is better than less!!!  

I was lucky at Prince, I finally got Helm of the Fallen Champion, almost fate to get the set piece at the end of the last week of Burning crusade. 

I wish in one way that healing wasn’t so much fun, or that I’d done a little worst, as I know what will be coming as I’m levelling my Death Knight!!!!!!