Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Name is Ashuna and I suck at Arena

I figured the support group introduction would be appropriate.

The title pretty much says it all. I'm good in BG's, I don't die terribly often and I'm good at keeping others alive.

So first a rundown of some pertinent facts.

I am on a 3v3 team.

I have like 50 resil, but it doesn't really matter because our ranking is so low that our opponents have sucktastic resil as well.

I have a tad over 1700 healing and a bit under 700 damage unbuffed.

With that said, I am lost as far as how to be competitive in the arena. I lack any HoT, Instant cast heal, or shield.

My 41 point talent (Earthshield) is gone almost the second I put it up. Usually I try not to start the fight with it up so as not to give up my spec right off the bat. I cast soon after combat has commenced in the hopes that a dispeller will miss it.

So what I need to figure out is, aside from more resil gear. What should I be doing?

What classes have good synergy with Resto Shammy's in 3v3. What tactics should I be employing?

For totems I usually rock Grounding for casters, Earthbind or Tremor to slow people down or mitigate CC, Magma totem for AoE and to break invis opponents, and mana spring/mana tide. (mana spring first to see how fast it gets nuked. If it stays for a couple of seconds I usually drop tide.)

I also drop Heroism fairly early on.

If I get jumped by say a rogue, what is the best way to stay alive/keep teammates alive?

Even if you aren't a resto shammy yourself, have you faced any in arena that were effective? If so, how?

In reality I'm in the "welfare epic" category. The current plan is to farm arena to get the healing chest and then from there gain the points to put together an Enhancement set.

Kara + Badges suck for Enhancement shaman. (And Ret paladins while we're at it)

All the mail gear is for hunters. AGIL / INT /AP. Nothing that is STR/CRIT/AP / INT. It really kind of sucks when you look at it. I don't know why they did it that way. I'm getting off topic here.

So, My name is Ashuna and I suck at Arena....

Admitting you have a problem is the first step in getting help right?

I need Meg from OOM to read this, she seems to have loads of teh knowledge about this stuff.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aran sucks

I haven't posted much because not too much has been going on.

We're through Curator pretty easily and are working on Aran. He sucks, actually, it isn't so much him as it is us.

We're working on the strat and such but there are a lot of moving pieces. We'll get it, it just takes some time.

Things I think we need.

1 - everyone to have a firm grasp on what to do and when to do it.

2 - A third dedicated healer

- we have 2 locks so when we get to the elementals they can be banished. The trick is to remember to get the banish off and continue paying attention to all the other crap thats going on.

We'll get it, it just takes some time.

Other notes -

A new graphic is incoming - I don't look like that anymore.

Also I plan on posting a pic of my updated paper doll. Yeah there's a link to my armory, but this is more fun.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kara This Week

We started on Tuesday and cleared Attumen with no problems,

Moroes we stumbled once and then downed him on the second try.

We moved on to Maiden, we were without our paly, we were heavy on Melee. Made it a challenge.

We had -

Prot Warriors x3
Holy Priest
Hunter (Shadow Priest for Moroes)

The repent sucked and we just weren't pulling it together. We decided to hold off on Maiden and head to Opera. We got Romulo and Julianne - I heard this is the worst one, needless to say we 2 shotted it. We cleared the trash that drops $$$ and called it a night.


Last night we had a slightly different group composition

Prot Warx3
Ret Paly
Rogue (Hunter for Maiden)

It took us many attempts but we finally killed Maiden and moved on to Curator. On the way to Curator our lock had to leave and we subbed in a hunter. We only managed to get 2 attempts in before trash respawned but the usual issue came up again - DPS. We just don't have it, granted our group make up was less than perfect for this fight, but on the inital attempt we did very well. Is getting DPS above 400 for DPS classes when initially doing Kara really that difficult because of gear or is it playstyle / spec?

I honestly don't know.

But as of right now my thoughts are thus - The first four will be on farm but Curator is going to pwn us for a while. I know we stubbed our toe on Maiden, but I think that will change.

Any and all help is appreciated.

WWS Kara 11-29

Monday, November 26, 2007



Long story short we downed Curator last week. I'll get to how in a sec, but first a rundown.

We picked up a tank that is friends with our GL and PuG'd an Enhancement Shammy to fill out the last DPS spot.

Attumen - 1 shot

Moroes - 1 shot

Opera (Crone) - 1 shot

Maiden - 1 shot

Curator - 3 shot

Edit: Apparently Curator was a 2-shot. In looking at WWS .

I guess we had the strat down the first time but just didn't execute. So basically lump attempts 1 and 2 together.

So how did we down Curator? Well the Enhancement shammy basically doubled our lowest DPS'r and pretty much counted like an extra person. You wouldn't believe what a difference it made. Also, the main tank was very well geared and has a lot of experience. Our first attempt went poorly because we weren't downing the bolts fast enough, and then DPS'ing Curator enough during evocates. The biggest problem with that is healer mana. Myself and the other healer simply ran out.

So, on the second try we had our paly put on the healing gear he has acquired and would be a supplimental healer. We didn't communicate effectively when he should start focusing on healing duty and we died with him at full mana.

Third attempt we stuck to the same strat and called out when we needed help. At this point people were also more comfortable with the fight and Curator dropped like a rock, or I guess you could say, like a brick.

We started at 9:00 server and finished right at midnight. Not bad for 3 hours work for a guild thats been in Kara for less than a month. We were just too tired to go for Chess and because of the holiday haven't had the numbers to get it done yet. We're going to try tonight. We'll probably have to PuG some people just to clear the trash to get to it.

I don't anticipate us going much farther once thats finished. Aside from getting a look at the encounters there isn't much point as we will be without many core group members.

Random notes - our guildie tank came up with a great new strat for moroes that plays to our strengths. We usually roll with 2 locks, to take advantage of this on Moroes we do the following.

The locks save their SS's for when someone is garroted. Healers keep them alive long enough for them to burn down most/all of their mana. At this point they are allowed to die and come back. We have a dwarf priest, a paly with BoP and 2 soul stones. When 2.3.2 comes out our mage will have iceblock as well. This encounter is officially on farm in my opinion.

Maiden died so fast that I wasn't ready for the repent's to come as quickly as they did. I'll be more prepared in the future.

One of our locks is almost ready to complete his Frozen Shadow set, and the other picked up his T4 gloves and his epic engineering headpiece. Almost everyone else has seen gear upgrades in one way or another as well.

We're implementing SWAPS this week. While not a major one, loot has already started to become an issue. We need a consisitent and fair approach to loot if the guild is going to thrive.

I'll have an update on that, and our Tuesday Kara run wednesday.

Also, I was on the PTR for 2.3.2 and the new watershield rocks. Its 50 Mp5, in addition to the 70 or so Mp5 from mana spring (talented). Which is awesome. The only thing that stinks is that right now on live water shield, manaspring, and paladin Blessing of Wisdom stack. Thats a whole lotta mana.

On test Mana spring overrides BoW. So my days of having like 300 Mp5 are numbered.

126 Mp5 unbuffed + 8 from food + 50 from water shield (3 globes*200 mana [procs after 60secs]) + 63 Mana Spring (25 mana every 2 secs) + 45 BoW + 25 Flask of mighty restoration = 317 MP5!!

Oh well, 272 is still pretty good. And not having to refresh water shield every minute will be pretty nice.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Savage Eidolon + Curator =

(this is a brick wall btw)

So, before we get ahead of ourselves. Here is our WWS report from last night.

As you can see our DPS is still sub par.

We stumbled on Maiden and got slowed down on the trash. So we needed to re-clear. We got the strat down and on one attempt we had her down to 4000hp when we wiped. It sucked. Regardless we downed her and i think now that everyone is accustomed to the fight (myself included) it will go much much smoother.

So we trudged on, we had a couple more wipes. Those two mech looking guys on the stairs before curator whooped us. And we Died again pulling some of the trash in Curators room.

There were a few other delays but eventually we got a few attempts off.

What did we learn?

We just don't have the DPS to take down Curator right now. The Arcane adds weren't dying fast enough and during evocates we were only doing around 15-20% damage to him. With how mana intensive the fight is, that just isn't going to cut it.

We had 3 locks with us this time, from what I heard I thought this would be a good thing. Apparently Curse of Doom can do some serious damage to him while he's evocating. I thought 3 of those going off at the same time might help give us an edge. It just didn't work out that way.

Unlike previous bosses there were strats we could try and things we could do differently. And while thats also true here, it was obvious that we just didn't have enough of what we needed to take this guy down. No matter how we changed it up.

One thing we did right, we had everyone make a macro to target flares. (Hopefully everyone did) and we were calling out when the flares popped and when to jump back on to Curator.

Things I'm not sure about.

All mana users should have 10 major mana pots on them. Also they should be using them as soon as they are out however much mana a potion restores to get the cooldown going.

We needed to get better timing on Curse of Doom, I don't think that it was going off at the right time.

Also, we probably need to sub out the second tank during this fight for another DPS. We tried this once, but I think its going to have to be the go to strat. If not another DPS, another healer anyway.

Now that we've had WWS up and running for a bit there are a few things I've noticed.

Compared to the mage, the locks have a very high miss rate. Is this common for locks or would it be worthwhile to have them get some +spell hit gear. What is the magic number for this?

Also, I noticed that 2 of the 3 are "hybrid" specs. They don't have any 41 point talents. For a PVE damage build, which is the most viable? Which is least?

The Paly also has a fairly high miss rate which hurts the cause.

So now the plan is basically to hold off on progression for a bit. We're going to farm the bosses we can do (Attumen, Moroes, Opera, Maiden), collect badges, run heroics, recruit tanks and healers, and get people keyed.

We're going to gear up, I don't think it will take too long and then try to move forward again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Working With What We Got...

Attumen down, Moroes down, Big Bad Wolf down.....

Yeah I'd say we're improving.

Attumen was a one shot.

Got Moroes on the third attempt. First attempt was quality but it didn't come together. Second attempt wasn't a quality attempt it just didn't come together correctly. (We subbed in a Hunter for a Spriest So we had 3 shackles) Third....well he died so its all good.

Big Bad Wolf - 2 shotted. When half the people had never done the encounter before and the MT gets turned in to the little gnome right off the bat. It was a bit of a learning curve. Second time around the same thing happend but we were a smidge more prepared so it all worked out. Basically we should have laid off all DPS that first time around so when the effect wore off the wolf wouldn't rampage through the DPS'ers because the tank didn't have time to gain any aggro.

The Clothies got beat on a bit the second time around too, but not as badly. Mainly just the Dotting locks.

So, things to notice.
Our DPS is still sub par, but we're finding ways to work around it.

Also, none of the kills would be considered "pretty". Attumen took out our mage fairly early on in the fight, so we had a substantial loss in DPS and no one to clear curses, but we just healed through it.

On the Moroes kill, we slacked on re-shackling mobs a bit. Which lead to some unnecessary deaths and taxed the healers trying to keep everyone up. To further illustrate this point - I was the one who got the killing blow on Moroes. We lost a priest, lost some DPS, shackles started breaking and we lost a tank. I managed to get a frost shock on him and he died. A few more seconds and it would have been a different story.

Ways to improve on this.

1 - One of the priests didn't have a focus target macro. That person trying to find their target, re shackle then go back to DPS just wasn't cutting it.

2-We had a hunter this time around in addition to the 3 priests. What we need is better positioning. Once the shackles are set the priests should run away from them and bunch together. The hunter should be standing next to them in between the shackled mobs and the priests and drop an Ice trap in case something breaks.

I think that would help greatly. Also, for the time being this is the setup we should use. Get the 3 priests in there and one shot Moroes. When we start getting better gear and really have the encounter on farm, then we can try to change it up more as far as group composition goes.

For Big Bad Wolf we just need to throttle back DPS until we know who is going to be turned first. If the tank isn't numero uno and he has enough time to get a good amount of threat then its all good. But until we know who it is, we should hold back on DoTs and such.

We stopped there and are going back on Sunday for Curator. If we can get a pally we'll probably go after Maiden as well.

Wish us luck.

Oh btw, here is our WWS report.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Moroes 8 (or so) ... Us 1!!!

So after trying many a different strat we were able to down Moroes.

One thing that I didn't realize would happen was that the adds changed when we went back on Sunday.

They switched to the Ret Paly, Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest, and Holy Priest.

So after one of our tanks neglected to show up entirely (only to log on and /gquit later that night) We had to fill in some spots. We started clearing in the hopes that the tank would log in, or we could find someone and be good to go. It didn't really turn out that way as we ran in to respawn and got delayed for a little more than an hour..

So we switch out one of the locks from Wednesday for his tank. We then PuG another lock. We get a few attempts off, but they weren't quality attempts necessarily. We had some aggro problems and some getting used to the pull again.

We buffed up again and went at it. Our Paly jumped on the Holy priest and feared the shadow . Shackling the other 2. We burned down 1, then moved on to the other. Once done we focused on Moroes. We downed him with only 1 death due to Garrote right at the end.

Here's the thing.

We got lucky.......

Our DPS is still sub par. Luckily Moroes Garroted the 2 tanks, the dwarf priest (stoneform), and myself. (Paly BoP ftw) Had we not gotten that combo, we wouldn't have won, I firmly believe that.

We just don't burn down the adds or Moroes fast enough.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that we got him down. I was able to pick this up:

I lose some stats and I gain some stats. Gain: Int, Stam, Mp5, and AC. Lose: +Healing, spirit, and some sockets.

The thing is, I just don't know if we won't run in to a wall all over again with this guy.

Thanks to BRK I now have WWS up and running and will have a log to view on Thursday. (Because of this, I probably won't have a Wednesday update.)

I'm not exactly sure what it is. It could be the locks not re-applying dots after Moroes Vanishes. It could be not switching / burning down the adds fast enough. Or worst of all, it could just be not enough DPS output. We'll have to see, and I'll keep my fingers crossed.

My one thought is that if we wipe even once on Wednesday will be to sub in another priest. Thanks to the 2.3 patch adding damage to healing we could have an extra shackle to get on to Moroes sooner and some sub par DPS with some back-up healing. The trade-off for giving up a pure DPS might be worth it.

All in all I'm really happy with how we're moving along and learning. After Moroes we made our way to Opera and gave one shot at Dorothy, The Crone, and the lot. We failed fairly quickly. Everyone was tired and no one felt bad calling it then and there.

So we'll see on Wednesday.

In the meantime hopefully we can recruit some......everyone. We basically need all classes. We don't have any Rogues for god sakes. Who would ever have imagined that.

Wish us luck.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Our First Kara...

So the new guild did our firs Kara run on Wednesday.

Group consisted of the following. (At the start anyway)

Prot Warrior x2

Warlock x2

Fire Mage x1

Ice Mage x1

Holy Priest x1

BM Hunter x1

Ret Paly x1

And Me...

Just to make sure everyone is completely clear (Resto Shammy x1)

So our start time was 8:30, invites to go out at 8:15. We didn't start exactly on time, but we were in there by 8:45.

Also, due to some video card issues and people /gquitting earlier in the week for no real reason other than they like purple drops more than the people they play with, we were short 2 people.

Luckily we had a back-up plan already in place. We picked up a lock and the ice mage from the first guild I belonged to.

The beggining was a total joke. 6 of the 10 had experience in Kara through prince (not me), with a couple of those having substantial 25man raid experience with their other chars. Namely the tanks, which is a great thing.

So we steam through the trash before Attumen. Then proceed to demolish him on the first attempt. The only downside was that Druid and Holy Paly gear dropped. :( Oh well, no biggie. Not that downing Attumen is a terribly huge feat, but it was good to get that first kill under our belts. Especially for the first timers who had never done any kind of content beyond 5-mans. (Pre-BC UBRS doesn't count.)

Moving on to Moroes....

Well, Moroes wasn't the cake walk that Attumen was thats for damn sure.

Our 4 adds were as follows:

Lady Keira Berrybuck – Holy Paladin

Baroness Dorothea Milstipe – Shadow Priest

Lord Robin Daris – Mortal Strike Warrior

Lord Crispin Ference – Sword n’ Board Warrior

So...the word from the more experienced peeps was that this combo kind of sucks. And it certainly did. I'll cut to the chase right now, we didn't down Moroes.

Our first few attempts were mainly getting everyone comfortable with the pull.

2 prot warriors tank Moroes, while 1 picks up The Fury(or arms not sure) Warrior and Moroes.

Shackle the Holy Paly

Ice trap the MS Warrior.

Burn down the Shadow Priest....

At least that was the plan.

Things were moving pretty fast so specifics are a little hazy. Here are my thoughts on what went wrong though.

-Mana was an issue in the beginning as I didn't want people dying and wasn't sure how much time I had to get a heal off. I used a lot of Lesser Healing Waves and subsequently wasted a lot of mana.

-We just weren't picking up the adds fast enough and weren't burning down targets quickly either. Also, when a target would drop time would be lost switching to the next target.

So after a few attempts we switched out the Hunter for a shadow priest.

We tried different combos of shackling off tanking and what not but nothing worked. Our best attempt got moroes down to 9000hp before we wiped totally.

We were able to get about 7 attempts in, and learned something from each one.

In all honesty, a huge problem was lack of DPS. One attempt, myself and the Priest were trying to keep 6 people up that had been garroted. Including myself. Luckily the priest is a dwarf and could use Stoneform when hit with it.

The paly didn't know to use BoP on me, and when we finally got that sorted out we weren't able to get quality attempts on moroes.

We simply needed to burn down targets faster. We tried to have the paladin use turn undead, but with a 20 sec timer and a 30 second cooldown, if we aren't burning the first add down fast enough its kind of a moot point.

This post is all over the place I know. We had so many attempts that now they've all blended with each other and I can't remember what we did each time so doing a well thought out write up is difficult.

We're going back Sunday to try again.

Here are my thoughts.

One thing is that everyone needs vent, prefferably with a mic. I know that 1 person wasn't even able to listen in, and if everyone has a mic its a lot easier to call things out if something unexpected happens.

As far as a revised strat, here's what I've come up with. Provided there aren't any glaring holes in it (probably) and we can focus fire the adds fast enough.

We pull,

Shackle the Holy Paly.

Ret Paly tanks the shadow priest, and uses a /focus target macro to fear the arms warrior.

We shackle the Prot Warrior.

Burn down the Shadow Priest ASAP (god willing before the fear is broken)

Then, the Prot Paly and one of the tanks switches focus on to the Holy Paly. And switching shackles on to the Arms Warrior.

Once the Holy Paly is down, keep both warriors shackled and focus all fire on to moroes.

If I get garroted then the paly will BoP me.

If we have the DPS for it I hope we can burn him down before the garrotes become too much of a problem.

Also, if anyone has a beginner-ish Kara raid group that has downed Moroes and has a WWS report that would be great. I would like to see what the damage output for the raid should be to finish this encounter for those new to raiding.

Any and all advice is of course welcome.

P.S. I know this post sucks.

Added some links

Check out the side bar for the links I read daily...

Kara write up soon to follow...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Guild Recruiting is Tough

So, I joined a new guild. Its a start up with friends/former members of previous guilds.

In the past I've always been the recruitee not the recruiter. I was the unguilded one in the PuG that would get the invite. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I find it difficult trying to get new members.

We're trying to focus on Kara, but we barely have the numbers for that at the moment. Because of this, its a tough sell to prospective members. The two things go hand in hand. We need new members to get Kara up and running on a consistent basis, but people don't want to join usually unless Kara IS being run on a consistent basis.

Long story short, I don't know what to do.

We are recruiting all levels 15 and up to put us in a good position long term.

We are being careful about getting Tanks and Healers first - simply because if we invite too many DPS first, thats a lot of people that need to sit out if we don't have the classes that are required (i.e. tanks/healers) to run the raid.

We are focusing on starting earlier and ending earlier - trying to appeal less to the hardcore college types and more towards the working folks.

I think I might run some PuGs this weekend and see if I can't find some cool people that might be prospective members.

If any of the 5 of you have thoughts on this, please help me out here. (We're back down to 5, I think I lost a few of you while I was gone.)

Whats a good way to recruit new guild members? Should we just focus on lower level players and put Kara on hold for the most part or is there a way to recruit those who are ready to do Kara immediately? We don't want to steal members from other guilds, but at the same time I know I've been in guilds that weren't progressing towards the things I wanted to do but I stayed simply because I didn't want to be unguilded or have to search for a new guild.

BTW - That'd be the guild thar.

We're doing Kara Wednesday. Expect that to be the Friday update.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I've Got Mail!

Ladies and Gents, a momentous day.

My first Question and Answer.

So here goes.

Don't play a Shaman, but I love your blog. I learned a lot about the capabilities of the resto-shaman I was running with at the time from reading your stuff.

Question for you: we're a guild of what I would call social players with some pretty good players who enjoy running together. Trying to get a critical mass of people through kara to be able to run the 25mans a bit more often. We don't have many shaman. And we have a whopping *one* enhancement shaman who we are trying to gear up with some early Kara bosses. I'm a big fan of letting people run with whatever spec they want, as long as they have put some thought into it. This is about having fun, after all. Unfortunately, our enhancement shaman seems a bit, um, ineffective (dps running about half of my slightly better geared BM hunter). And I just don't know enough about the class to make useful suggestions. There are some obvious points - his gear is simply not up to snuff. I also suspect his gameplay could use some major tweaks, and just from a cursory look he has the wrong gems. And more than a few wasted spec points.Not to mention the fact that he's skimping on enchants, inscriptions... (doubtless holding out for better gear). BUT... since there is no benchmark, I really don't have a tangible way to make it clear that his gameplay is subpar, and that at some point he will be holding us back until he improves. Nor do I know how to suggest he improve. We have great class leaders for every other class, but lacking greatly at shaman. (He has been fairly openly critical of some subpar hunter and mage play, where there are some high standards to measure against. Hard for some people to internalize a need to improve without some kind of tangible evidence).

So, after that long winded explanation, I guess the actual question is this: what kind of dps should we expect from a well-played shaman with early or pre-kara gear? And how should I/we suggest that he go about gameplay? I can read EJ until my eyes bleed, but most of it assumes some basic knowledge about where an enhancement shaman's damage really comes from. And I just don't have it.

So... assuming strength, AP, agi, stam... kind of in that order for stat preference? 2H vs dual wield? What kind of totems? Fight positioning... I just don't know where to start.

-Chuck of Unknown Server (Names changed just in case)

There is other relevant info between myself and Chuck that I will paraphrase below.

-Our Struggling Enh Shammy has DPS averaging around 350

- Here is his talent spec: Yowza

- He is using A 2.5 speed MH and a 2.6 OH (This is a good thing)

Now that we know what we're dealing with, here were my thoughts. Now granted I know I'm a Restoration Shaman, but I like to think I have a pretty good grasp on Enhancement as well. By no mean am I an expert. That being said, some (hell, all) of what I wrote may be inaccurate. If one of you guys sees something amiss, please call me out on it.

So here goes...

It is good for Enhancement Shaman to have a main hand weapon that is equal to or faster than your offhand. This helps it so that when Windfury proc's it doesn't do it from the offhand and suffer the dual wielding damage penalty.

(Edit: After re-looking at Elitist Jerks, the reason why a slower offhand is preferred is due to scaling and cooldown timing. Windfury is not "normalized". So slower weaps = higher damage. Also, Windfury is on a 3 second cooldown. So having a slower weapon prevents "missed" procs. Procs that couldn't go off because the cooldown on the attack wasn't ready due to a fast weapon.)

When gearing up, he shouldn't focus on the socket bonus that gear can provide. Often times the bonus does not equal the usefulness of using other more powerful gems (Str, Agil, Crit, Hit) and forgetting about the bonus altogether.

Make sure that eventhough he may be wearing "Shaman" gear that it is Enhancement Shaman gear. To that end, Tidefury sucks the big one for Enhancement Shaman. Just because its meant for a shaman, doesn't mean its meant for his spec. Specifically the Shoulders, some random green "of the bandit" with the Aldor/Scryer enchant would help more with his melee damage.

Getting revered with Cenarion for the DPS glyph (helm) you can buy from the quartermaster is a step in the right direction.

Weaps should have +15 / +20 agility or +15 str enchants on them. Until you have epic items, thats about as much as you need to think about it. I mention Str because Shaman AP is derived from the same formula as that of a warrior[ (Strength x 2) + (Character Level x 2) - 20]
No agility in that formula to be found...

However I still value the agility on the weaps more than Str for this simple reason. At level 70, 25 points of agility = 1% crit chance for a Shaman. This as opposed to a Rogue or Hunter that Require 40 points of agility =1% crit. Enhancment Shaman are crit animals, this is actually their greatest strength and their greatest weakness.

Many abilities like flurry (as well as a new one on the PTR) are triggered when a shaman crits, not to mention the unpredictable devastation that is windfury. These abilities can dish some serious damage but can also draw some serious aggro. Currently this unpredictability means that a Shaman either has to play it very conservative, especially at the beginning of the fight (i.e. not do anything) or throw caution to the wind and hope he or she doesn't go crit happy and get himself/herself obliterated.

The innate threat reduction that the spirit weapons provide is being beefed up in 2.3 to combat this problem.

Per Eyonix:
"It never applied to only white damage. I personally had this tested extensively. It's going to be 30% damage reduction from white damage, plus stormstrike, plus windfury procs. 15% was simply too low, so the additional 15% should help quite a bit."


His spec, its OK but it has a few glaring holes.

Re-link of spec

1 - Improved lighting shield? He shouldn't be getting hit anyway, and it adds a huge amount of threat if a mob hits him. Making it damn near impossible to get the mob off. In short, wasted points.

2 - Which brings us to...toughness 5/5 ?! This is widely regarded as one of the worst talents in all of the shaman trees. Even with 10% more armor a raid mob is still going to beat the bag out of him in no time flat. I mean maybe if it was 10% more stamina that would be one thing, but as is he shouldn't be getting hit anyway and 10% more AC isn't going to do a whole heck of a lot.

3. Anticipation 5/5 ...Increases dodge by 5%. I haven't played melee aside from PTR in a while. But I'm pretty sure that if you stand behind a mob, you can negate cleave type of effects and going back to point numero 2, he shouldn't be getting hit anyway aside from spell damage so its kind of a wasted use of talent points. At least for PVE.

So now that we have 13 points wasted. Where should they be going? Well for one, they should be going in to 2/2 improved weapon totems.

This increases the damage done by windfury proc's for the rest of the raid. Thereby increasing threat generation by the tank and allowing everyone including him to let loose sooner.

That leaves us with 11 more points.

We'll move to the resto tree, this is where the glaring error in his build lies. First he should put 3 points in to either ancestral healing or totemic focus. I have it in ancestral healing because I have 2 sets of gear and if I need to be a 3rd healer, having a crit heal on a tank that increases his armor by 25% is nothing to sneeze at, but its up to him. Its mainly to get to the next tier of talents.

Here is where he has a big problem. He should have 3/3 in natures guidance. Maxed, it is a 3% to hit with spells and with melee weaps. Combine that with the dual wield specialization in the talent tree (6% to hit while dual wielding) and his Hit rating from gear ( 5.26) and his hit rating is roughly 14%. Yowza! but here's the thing. Shaman do OK white damage, but our main sources of DPS come from windfury, stormstrike, and spells. (AKA yellow damage) the hit rating for these attacks cap out at around 9%. Basically he could swap out his gear that has hit rating for other stats if he wanted to. (agility, AP, stamina, Str)

So we now have 5 points left. I would place 2 in to guardian totems (enhancement). The talent sucks for the most part, but it lessens the cooldown of grounding totem. Key for fights like maiden, and handy in PVP.

Next I would slap a point in totemic mastery (restoration) It increases the range of his totems and therefore increases his utility.

The final 2 points are his call. He can put them anywhere besides improved lightning shield. Toughness is marginally less bad, but at least that talent doesn't create aggro havoc.

So there you have it. That's my assessment.

My suggested build

With regards to weapon types. I prefer dual wield for the +6% to hit. You get bigger / more frequent windfury hits with a 2H, but the trade off isn't worth it IMO.

- Totems -

Windfury, unless in an all caster group. Then Wrath of air.

Mana spring - Its a crappy amount of mana per 5 right now (getting fixed on test) but its better than nothing and his healing stream won't do a whole lot.

Strength of Earth - + str is good for him and all melee.

The flame tongue totem ( puts a fire attack on group melee hits) screws up windfury and shouldn't be used. And the totem that shoots fire is only going to boost his damage marginally

(Edit: Apparently - raid buffed Searing totem can add between 50 - 70dps. This is more significant than I had thought. If CC or mana isn't an issue and your Shammy can remember to keep it up in addition to his other duties this is a viable DPS booster.)

and might not be worth the effort trying to remember to drop it. Besides if it shoots a CC'd mob that isn't going to be pretty.

So for the most part, no need for a fire totem.

Make sure he has the totem timers mod.

It shows time left on all totems being used and gives warnings when they are almost up.

Why his overally DPS is so low could be attributed to the following:

He might be saving his shocks instead of using them to DPS.

We have earthshock which is the equivalent of the rogue's kick. However if you use any shock (Frost / Fire/ etc) it triggers the cooldown on all shocks, Earthshock included. Check out WWS when you get it up an running, it is a possibility that he's not using his shocks because he doesn't want to risk not being able to throw an interrupt in.

If that turns out to be the case, tell him not to worry about that and to focus on DPS until something arises where he should be on interrupt duty, and when that happens you'll let him know.

For Enh Shaman its pretty simple. Windfury on both weaps, use stormstrike when you can, and Make sure to always have the Fireshock effect up. Its a DoT that lasts through the Shock cooldown, so you can alternate Fire shock / Ice shock or Fire / Earthshock.

I went on the PTR last night and in my crap Enh gear I killed some Ogre's in the barrier hills (lvl70 - 72mobs) and my average DPS was over 500. Granted thats with the new Enh Shaman changes, but just the same, those changes aren't going to jump your DPS over 150 points so something is amiss.

The only thing I could come up with is that he's saving his shocks to 1: Manage his aggro in case of windfury crits or 2: Is saving his shocks in case something bad happens and needs to interrupt a caster.

One last thing when it comes to gear. Unless he's a loyalist he should feel free to look at leather gear in addition to mail. Not for every piece, but if there is a specific slot that just doesn't have what he needs that is mail, leather is a good option. Its not like the difference of 200 AC or so is going to be the deciding factor on whether or not he croaks.

A good way to find gear (not proven - just what I use) is to look at the Black temple armor set for enhancement shaman. This is the most uber gear in the game. Find the stats that are important in those sets, and check out the overall numbers for each stat. Which is highest, which is lowest. Then try to find less uber gear that fills those needs. Its not the most statistical or proven method, but I'm not elitist jerks and I would never try.

Skyshatter Harness

Notice on the Skyshatter Harness agility is omitted completely. I believe this is done with the notion that that agility is made up through other gear and/or at that level the need for agility is compensated through other stats (i.e. hit and crit). Regardless, I view agility as an important stat in the early stages of raiding.

So thats my take on it. I would get WWS up and running and crunch some hard numbers to see whats going on. Talk to him and let him know his DPS needs to improve. Open a dialogue with him that lets him know you want him to succeed as much as he does and that you are all in it together. Hopefully he is receptive to what you have to say.

My Update Schedule

Quick note -

My schedule for updates/posts will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

These probably won't show up until after 4:30 Eastern.

I'll have shorter posts sprinkled throughout but you can count on MWF.

And no, this does not count as my Friday post. That should be up by 5:30 Eastern.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Disco Is Dead, But I'm Not....

So Its been a brief *cough* (month and a half) *cough* hiatus.

Strangely when you are unguilded and not doing much your desire to play tends to go in the toilet.

Well, just like that nasty scene from Trainspotting I have re-emerged.

My old guildies and I have formed a new guild and are building for Kara.

We've already picked up some people that were simply burned out in their former guilds on 25 man content. The fun of the 25 man content just didn't compete with that of Kara at the end of the day. With Zul Aman on the horizon I don't think our timing could be better.

So, when not playing Bio Shock and NHL2K8, what have I been doing ?

Well, I've been playing on the PTR.

I'm not going to delve too deeply in to it here, but I'm working on a post detailing my Shammy observations for 2.3.

I don't know how others feel about it, but having played as my current spec (resto) and being able to heal and dish heaps of spell damage, and respeccing Enhancement and brutalizing things I'm pretty excited.

More on that later though.


To the 7 of you who may or may not see this. Sorry I was gone, I'm back and plan to be around a lot more. (I love how I sound like a deadbeat dad.)

Also, I expect the welcome back party to have plenty of beer and all the snacks I like.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fishing Sucks...


That pretty much covers it, but I feel I should elaborate.

So, needless to say, being guildless the past few day I haven't been doing very many instances. I've spent most of my time talking to people and browsing the AH. It occured to me that someone had mentioned fishing at later levels can be quite the cash cow. So, off to the fishing trainer I went.

I found a good spot in the dwarf noobie area and started casting. After about 15 minutes I had a skill of 25. It was at this time that I felt like gouging my eyes out and smashing my head against my keyboard.

Cast, splash, click. Thats all there is. Cast, splash, click over and over and over again. I can't even fathom maxxing this skill out. Having to cast multiple times just to get 1 skill point. Seriously, acid enimas sound like more fun.

I want to say "hats of to those who maxxed this skill out before they made changes to it", but I can't. In my head I'm thinking: "Why do you people hate yourselves so much that you would put yourself through such tedium?"

I guess some people enjoy it, but not me.

I had seen on the WoW forums someone suggesting a mini-game revolving around non combat pets, Pokimon style. Where your pet and someone elses pet could face off. That at least sounds like an interesting and enjoyable activity for lvl 70s that don't feel like instancing or raiding but don't want to start another alt.

This of course will never come to pass, but hey its still an interesting idea.

I'll have to do some research on how viable fishing really is as a money maker, certainly before I even consider leveling this skill up again.

If any of the 5 people (yes folks, we've expanded to 5) that read this blog know about high level fishing, please feel free to post your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Play how you want, screw em if they say different.

At the end of the day, WoW is a game. A game that should be played for fun and enjoyment. If for whatever reason you get in a position that takes away the fun of the game it's up to you to correct the situation.

So, I stated before that I was going through some guild fluctuation and should be in Kara soon.

I joined a new guild with every intention of going to Kara. I was set to go on my first run with the new guild, half hour from start when the following happend.

Some guild members were bagging on a Holy Paly wearing a piece of mail (not in our guild). To which I replied. I wear both leather AND cloth.

The GL - being a resto shaman himself. Stated that I would not be wearing anything except mail if I planned to go to Kara.

I reply that I still have more AC than a priest. There is very limited healing gear before T5 for Resto Shaman and that I shouldn't be getting hit as a healer anyway and that my current mix and match helped to make me a very effective healer.

His response?

"I don't care, I told you, you'd be wearing mail blah blah blah."

To be honest, I don't recall much after the "I don't care, do what I say because I'm the GM"

My retort?

"lol" /gquit.

See, the thing is he is also an effective healer. His problem? He thinks his way is the best way and is the only way. In a game like WoW this is of course not the case. Yet, the issue pops up for every class, every spec, and every piece of gear all the time. BRK on his blog always gets comments from MM hunters bagging on BM hunters. Prot paly vs. Ret Paly, the list goes on and on. This idea that the path you have chosen has to be the best and only path for the simple reason that you have chosen it is to say, as politely as possible, idiotic at best.

Apparently after I had hit the dusty trail, he made several legitimate points which I will paraphrase and counter below.

1. I had indicated to him that I would switch to mail.

Response: I never imagined I would switch to mail from what I was wearing to make him feel better. Why the hell would I want to downgrade? I assumed he meant that I would switch to mail when the items were upgrades. Who wouldn't think that? I am not tied to the idea of wearing cloth and leather forever and I do want to switch to mail, but not at the sacrifice of being the best healer I can be.

2. Me going with leather and cloth means I would want to roll on cloth and leather items at the expense of other classes.

Response: I am not a douche bag and would of course defer to those that are restricted to that armor type before even considering trying to roll on a given item. Also, in looking at the entire loot list for Kara on, I would want a total of 5 items. 1 trinket, 1 shield, and 3 pieces of MAIL GEAR. Hello my name is non-issue, have we met? And it becomes less of an issue after Kara, as that is where actual mail healing upgrades become available. Gruuls, SSC, etc.

3. He has something like 12k AC and claims that it directly contributes to having him live longer if he gets jumped on.

Response: Theoretically this is true. However talking to a co-worker that has a resto shaman guildmate in full T5, he still gets smacked down by mobs in Kara if things go wrong. Particularly after Maiden. His opinion that he is still alive whereas I would be dead is conjecture at best. AC is not the only stat that contributes to damage mitigation, everyone knows this. Yet he sacrifices other more important healing stats for AC when he shouldn't be getting hit anyway. And as I said before, what the hell are priests supposed to do?

His retort: Priest have other abilites to mitigate....blah blah blah.

Yeah they have fade, an ability that when its effect wears off restores the threat lost. I have reincarnation and am working on getting the Keepers of Time trinket that reduces threat permanently.

You see where I'm going with this?

He would actually prefer I wear:

Tidefury Shoulderguards
Mail489 Armor

+18 Stamina
+23 Intellect
Red SocketBlue Socket
Socket Bonus: +4 Spell Damage
Durability 70 / 70
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 19.Equip: Restores 6 mana per 5 sec.


Primal Mooncloth Shoulders
Cloth133 Armor
+16 Intellect
+15 Spirit
Durability 60 / 60
Requires Level 70Requires Mooncloth Tailoring
Equip: Increases healing done by spells and effects by up to 92.
Equip: Restores 7 mana per 5 sec.

Simply because he says so, and Shaman are "supposed to wear mail".

This opinion in my view is ridiculous, but it was his guild so /gquit for me.

Long story short, there are a lot of opinionated people out there, most have very little to back those opinions up.

Why have stats and numbers when "because its my guild and I said so" is a much easier card to pull?

So, for everyone out there feeling pushed in to a corner because of someone else. Feel free to get the hell out of Dodge and don't look back.

Now, there will be times when you'll be the one with the wrong idea, be open to what people have to say and consider the validity of what they are trying to tell you. You may very well need to change your tactics/gear/spec if it can help you be a better player. At the end of the day though, thats for you decide, not them.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

I apologize, I haven't posted in a long time.

Guild upheaval + Busy IRL = Lack of posting.

I will be posting more in the next week. Specifically my next part in my resto shammy guide. I just haven't had the time to devote to a well thought out legitimate post. To the three people that check this blog. Please bear with me.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Earth Shield and Healing Stream - Trinkets and Totems

I'll try to keep this short and sweet.

Earth Shield and Healing stream totem benefit for the duration of the spell from the total +Healing when cast.

So if you have trinkets or anything else that contributes to +Healing use them before you cast these spells.

It increases their effectiveness that much more.

So what do I do before a fight?

First, I cast wrath of air.

Wrath of Air Totem (Rank 1)
320 Mana
Instant cast
Summons a Wrath of Air Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster. Party members within 20 yards of the totem have their spell damage and healing increased by up to 101. Lasts 2 min.

And then I use the following trinkets.

You know how most trinkets that have similar effects share the same cooldown? Well these don't.


So what does that mean?

After I cast Wrath of Air, and use these 2 puppies (one is on a 1min 30sec cooldown, the other is 2mins btw, meaning I can benefit from their healing goodness almost every fight.)

This is where my +healing starts

And this is where is ends up..

When its all said and done, this is what it does to my Healing Stream totem.

I go from 120 per tick to 151. Not too impressive. However a potential extra 9000 healed for 95 mana is pretty sweet. (30 extra hp*60 ticks*5 group members = 9000.)

Bringing the healing potential of Healing Stream Totem to:

151hp*60 ticks*5 group members = 45,300 for 95 mana!

As I stated in a previous post, if your entire group is getting beat on at the same time, odds are things have either gone horribly bad, or the team itself is just horrible in general. So, the total potential for this totem may never be realized, but if a portion of it is, it is still a great benefit.

Moving on to Earth Shield.

With the 1559, Earth Shield heals for 788 per charge (7880 minimum total) and crits for 1181 for 900 mana.

With the 2111, Earth Shield heals for 962 per charge (9620 minimum total) and crits for 1441 for 900 mana.

Earth shield usually lasts a couple of pulls so the tank almost always has the improved healing values per charge.

So there you have it. If anyone out there knows of trinkets like the ones above that don't share the same cooldown let me know and I will add them / start a list.

As a side note, using the above trinkets/totem in addition to having

stacked 3 times (18% increase) and casting Healing Wave rank 12, my current record for a crit heal is 8469.

Contact Me!

While comments on my posts are always welcome. If you have a question or comment for something I should dedicate a post to, thats great too.

I set up the following email address that I will be checking.

I also set up an easy to use link on the righthand side of this blog.

- Ashuna

Being A Resto Shammy - Part 2 - The Stats Make The Man (or Woman)

In my previous post I covered the basic arsenal that a restoration shaman has at his or her disposal. Looking at each of the spells at face value one might say they look utterly unimpressive. However, the majority of people would say they downright suck. To keep a group alive using just those spells would be quite a chore to say the least.

Thankfully, we are blessed with things that augment our spells and unlock their full potential. We are given the ability to use and equip gear that increases our stats and greatly enhances the effectiveness of our spells and our ability to heal.

So before we can figure out what we should be wearing, we need to look at what stats are important to resto shammy's.

While most everything in WoW is debatable (this being no different), here are the stats I value in order from most important to least.

1. +Healing - The stat that increases how much our healing spells heal for.

2. Intellect - Increases the mana pool we have to work with. It also effects are chance to crit with spells. I don't put any stock in to crit as a healer. I need consistent sustained healing. If I can't count on it, I don't want it.

3. Mp5 - Mana per 5 seconds. As a healer I'm always casting spells to keep people alive. Because of this, I don't receive much benefit from spirit (i.e. - mana gained when not casting). In prolonged fights mana regained while casting is essential.

The above represent the most important stats we have. These are essential to be an effective healer. The following stats are still important, but to a much lesser extent. So, we've seen the best, here are the rest.

4. Stamina - Sometimes we get hit, more health means more time for people to get the mob off of me before I croak.

5. Spirit - While its true that I'm casting most of the time. I'm not casting ALL of the time. Spirit does provide a limited benefit.

6. AC - lessens the damage I take from mobs. Like Stamina its benefit is that it keeps me alive longer to allow time for other group members to regain aggro off of me.

So, if Spirit doesn't seem to do me much good, and AC can directly help to keep me alive; why then do I value AC the least? Simple, as a healer I shouldn't be getting hit anyway. To that end, I wear mail (highest AC) when I can, but other than that I go where the stats take me.

As shaman we can wear mail armor, unfortunately until higher tier dungeons dedicated restoration shaman kind of get the shaft when it comes to mail healing gear. The bright side to this is that unlike priests who are stuck with cloth, and restoration druids that can use leather and cloth. We have access to all three types. This gives us a much more diverse selection when it comes to healing gear.

As I said, I shouldn't be getting hit anyway as a healer. With this in mind, I let the stats dictate what gear to equip. It doesn't matter that I'm "intended" to wear mail. In order for me to maximize my potential as a healer, I'll wear whatever benefits me the most. In my opinion, this point is one of the most important things a restoration shaman has to realize. Can you be an effective healer wearing just mail? Yes. Can you be as effective as a shaman wearing various types of armor? Nope. Until the higher end game, you simply can't.

When I decided I was going to spec restoration at 70. I made a gear plan. I have a rogue that has done instances looking for drops and I found it frustrating and unfulfilling. So what is a gear plan? I searched Thott, Alla, WoWhead and the armory and found all the best quest rewards and crafted items that had the stats that I was looking for. I then set about gathering the mats, completing the quests, and banking the items. I decided that this character would be about having fun with the execution and completion of instances and less about the loot that never seems to drop. Getting a drop in an instance would be more of a pleasant surprise than a reason for going. At the higher end game (25 man raid content), the drops are far better than anything I have now, but seeing how my guild is just getting ready to do Kara I'm going to be wearing this stuff for quite a while.

So here are my current stats.



Mana Regen

I could have more healing, I could have more MP5, I could have more Intellect. The thing is, gaining one usually is at the sacrifice of the others. The key is to find a good balance. In looking at my armory:

Ashuna's Profile.

You'll see that I have exactly 1.
1! BoP drop. The rest are crafted, quested, rep rewards or, BoE items purchasable at the AH.

So, what does this mean? It means I have gear that makes me very effective as a healer, but did not take lots of repeated grinding in instances for drops. Not to mention that a lot of these crafted items are better than most stuff I would have gotten in instances anyway. Primal Mooncloth for example is some of the best healing gear in the game, because of this picking up mooncloth tailoring was a no brainer. So what if you rarely see a shammy wearing mooncloth. Buck the trend I say, wear the things that make you the best healer you can be.

Lets not overlook shaman can equip shields as well, that injects a good chunk of AC, and helps to compensate for AC lost to cloth and leather items.

So where does my sacrifice of mail for cloth and leather get me?

Lets take a second look at those 5 spells from my previous post.

Healing Wave then:

Healing Wave (Rank 12)
720 Mana40 yd range
3 sec cast
Heals a friendly target for 2134 .


My Healing Wave ranges between 4100 - 4900. With the average right around 4400.

Lesser Healing wave then:

Lesser Healing Wave (Rank 7)
440 Mana40 yd range
1.5 sec cast
Heals a friendly target for 1039 to 1185.

My Lesser Healing wave heals between 1900 - 2100, with an average of 1980.

Healing Stream totem then:

Healing Stream Totem (Rank 6)
95 Mana
Instant cast
Summons a Healing Stream Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster for 2 min that heals group members within 20 yards for 18 every 2 seconds.
lasts 2 minutes

Healing Stream totem now:

Heals for 120 a tick. Thats 120x60 ticks over 2 minutes. Thats 7200....but wait theres more! It doesn't just heal 1 person, it can heal all 5. Potentially, thats 7200*5. That would be 36,000 hp for 95 mana. Will that ever happen? I doubt it, and if it does, the group is doing something wrong. But it may heal the tank and a couple of melee during the fight for the duration. 21,600 for 95 mana isn't bad I'd say.

I choose Healing stream over Mana Spring depending on the Caster/Melee make-up of the team. In most cases, healing stream provides a greater benefit to the group than Mana Spring would. 720 mana per caster over 2 minutes, or 7200 health per person, caster and melee alike.

There is a rumor that Mana Spring is going to be greatly enhanced in an upcoming patch. Most likey 2.3, at which time my views on this may shift. Only time will tell.

Chain Heal Then:

Chain Heal (Rank 5)
540 Mana40 yd range
2.5 sec cast
Heals the friendly target for 826 to 942, then jumps to heal additional nearby targets. If cast on a party member, the heal will only jump to other party members. Each jump reduces the effectiveness of the heal by 50%. Heals 3 total targets.

Chain Heal now:

Heals initial target between 2600 - 2700. So, Heals Targets 1, 2, and 3 for 2700 / 1350 / 675 respectively. Not too shabby. Also, each jump has potential to get a critical heal. While I don't put much stock in crits when it comes to healing. It can be a nice little bonus.

And Finally..

Earth Shield then:

Earth Shield (Rank 3)
900 Mana40 yd range
Instant cast
Protects the target with an earthen shield, giving a 30% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damaged and causing attacks to heal the shielded target for 270. This effect can only occur once every few seconds. 10 charges. Lasts 10 min. Earth Shield can only be placed on one target at a time and only one Elemental Shield can be active on a target at a time.

Earth Shield now:

Heals for 787 per hit. 787*10 charges = 7870 healing over 10 minutes for 900 mana. Also, each charge can critically heal. The great thing about Earth Shield is that the amount healed per charge is determined by any plus healing bonuses when the spell is cast. Therefore, throw down wrath of air, use any trinkets you have, cast the spell and the bonus to healing will remain for the 10 charges. Unlike the Druids spell Lifebloom, if you recast the spell before the charges are up, the new charges are calculated from you current bonus to healing.

I plan on doing a seperate post on which trinkets are really helpful for the above scenario. I promise it won't be as long as this one.

So there you have it, thanks to my spec and gear this is what I ACTUALLY have to work with. It is a noticeable upgrade from the base spell values and makes me a very effective healer. In most Non-Heroic Instance runs I very rarely finish pulls with less than 3/4 mana. Many times I finish at full. Will things change with more Heroics and Kara? I'm sure, but I think I've put myself in a good position to deal with that.

In part 3 - I'll discuss what makes and shaman regardless of spec, a shaman. Namely our totems and non healing spells.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Being A Resto Shammy - Part 1- What We Do Well - The Basics

Being a healer, requires a few things.

The spells you use.

The gear you wear.

And the ability to think quickly and react accordingly.

The last point being one of the most important aspects to healing. Great gear and limited skill can get you to a point, but after that you'll need to be able to read a situation quickly. If things go bad, you need to do an on the spot mental triage and identify who needs to be healed most (including said healer), who needs to be healed in the middle, and who can take a beating for a few seconds while the others get their meds.

Ideally, you only want to have worry about the tank. In a best case scenario, the guy or gal with the plate on that wants the aggro is the one getting the aggro. Really though, whats the fun in talking about that?

What I'm talking about are the situations where things DO NOT go according to plan. Times when a runner goes for a stroll to visit his 6 elite pals. Or when the PuG mage forgets he wears cloth, doesn't mention what he's about to do to anyone, and sheep pulls a group of mobs while everyone else is sitting and drinking at half health and mana.

I'm refering to the times when things start out looking bad, often look worse in the middle, but turn out good in the end.Those instances when after all is said and done, no one needs a rez, but more importantly no one can believe the group managed to pull it off.

These situations take a great group effort, an integral part of this is the healer. If the group doesn't stay alive, there is no chance the group can succeed.

As a restoration shaman, we have 5 types of healing spells at our disposal with varying ranks of each of those 5 types. In this post, I'll only be looking at the highest rank for each type. However using lower ranks of certain spells is very important, but I'll get to that at some point in the future. Also, for the purpose of this entry, when I say healing I'm referring to the restoring of hitpoints after some monster has beaten you down and taken them from you. Shaman also posses abilities that cure diseases and poisons, but I won't be touching on those here.


Healing Wave (Rank 12)
720 Mana40 yd range
3 sec cast
Heals a friendly target for 2134 .

This the main spell for when things are going right. I let the tank get beat on, he takes all the damage and I heal him back to full. With each point healed only giving me half a point of threat, there is very little chance of me drawing aggro in this situation.

Lesser Healing Wave (Rank 7)
440 Mana40 yd range
1.5 sec cast
Heals a friendly target for 1039 to 1185.

For when things get a little dicey. If I see a mob headed for a clothie I need to be ready with this spell, or if the tank isn't going to last the 3 seconds to cast Healing Wave, I may need to spam this a few times until things calm down a bit.

Healing Stream Totem (Rank 6)
95 Mana
Instant cast
Summons a Healing Stream Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster for 2 min that heals group members within 20 yards for 18 every 2 seconds.
lasts 2 minutes

At this point it is important to point out, that so far these spells don't look all that great at face value. Especially numero 3, however these spells are not factoring in the other piece of the puzzle I mentioned at the top of the post: gear. I'll be getting to the gear in part 2 of Being A Resto Shammy. So for now lets just pretend that good tanks have 2000 hitpoints total, and most casters have around 800 or so. Well damn if all these spells don't start looking better and better.

So, lets say for example that we're in an instance and a Mob does an AoE ability damaging the tank, myself and that PuG mage we'll call Spazzie. If in this example I have 1000 total hp, and Spazzie the PuG mage has 800 and we each take 200 from the AoE. It is in the groups best interest to heal that damage in case something should go wrong later on down the road. Rather than switching my focus from the tank and waste time healing myself and Spazzie, I can drop the above totem and let the health regen over time. If neither myself nor Spazzie is getting aggro then we can let time and the totem take care of us. Not to mention the fact that this totem is also healing the tank, and while it may not seem like much to someone with a lot of HP, over time it does make a difference.

In part 3 I plan on discussing totems and other Shaman abilites in group situations. I will explain why in most circumstances I use healing stream over the other water totems. (For those that might be thinking "Healing Stream suxxors use XX water totem instead.")

Chain Heal (Rank 5)
540 Mana40 yd range
2.5 sec cast
Heals the friendly target for 826 to 942, then jumps to heal additional nearby targets. If cast on a party member, the heal will only jump to other party members. Each jump reduces the effectiveness of the heal by 50%. Heals 3 total targets.

Ahh, now we're getting to the good stuff. So what happens when we don't have the time for Healing Stream Totem to do its job? Or if there is a 6 mob pull and the warrior is having trouble keeping the aggro from all the mobs on him/herself and other group members are getting beat on? Chain heal, thats what. Chain heal is my go to healing spell. It allocates who needs the HP perfectly almost every time. If I target the tank (the guy with the most HP) it hits him for the full effect of the heal, jumps to the rogue at 50% effectiveness, then halves again and hits that hunter pet. Often times I'll use this spell over Healing Wave so long as I'm not worried about picking up aggro on to myself. Its a good way to heal the tank, and top others off as well.

It is one of the defining factors of Shaman healing. It can heal many people at once for a low mana investment and is more predictable than something like Prayer of Mending.

Speaking of defining Resto Shaman Spells.....

Earth Shield (Rank 3)
900 Mana40 yd range
Instant cast
Protects the target with an earthen shield, giving a 30% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damaged and causing attacks to heal the shielded target for 270. This effect can only occur once every few seconds. 10 charges. Lasts 10 min. Earth Shield can only be placed on one target at a time and only one Elemental Shield can be active on a target at a time.

That brings us to Earth Shield. This spell is simply amazing. Cast it on the tank and it removes the worry of him or her dropping too fast and you not being able to heal in a tough spot and in many situations removes the need to heal the tank at all. Also, unlike the priest spell Power Word: Shield, Earth Shield does not prevent the tank from generating rage as the tank is still taking damage, the spell just heals the damage back every few seconds. And the HP healed generates threat to the tank, not to the Shaman. Huzzah!

Or if there is a group of non elites that need some AoE smack down, just cast Earth Shield on Spazzie the mage and you don't have to worry about losing him either. Not to mention the fact that it lasts 10 minutes, has 10 charges (usually lasts a couple of pulls) and tacks on a 30% chance to ignore spell interruption. In short, its a beast.

So there we have it, when it comes to healing, thats pretty much what we have to work with. At the same time that doesn't quite cover it. To really understand just how good these spells are, we need actual numbers. Numbers that factor in the stuff that lots of people like to play this game for, namely the gear.

In part 2 I'll delve in to what gear a resto shammy can use, what gear a resto shammy SHOULD use (if serious about being the best healer he or she can be IMO), and just how that gear actually effects our abilities.

Before I go, here is a quick rundown of my plan on this series.

Part 1 - The Basics
Part 2 - The Gear
Part 3 - Totems
Part 4 - Talents
Part 5 - Bringing it all together.

These may not go one after the other. Odds are there will be many a random post in between.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The intro, thats not an intro...

Well it's my inaugural post.

I considered a proper introduction, gaming history, other characters in WoW, why I chose to create a blog for this character, etc.

Well, I don't really want to do that. However I will answer the last question.

So why did I start a shammy blog? Simple, I didn't see any others out there updated regularly and thought I'd give it a shot. So here goes.....

Shaman being a hybrid class are capable of filling many roles. Melee DPS, Caster DPS, and Healing. Each spec allows for group support with the totems a shaman has at his or her disposal.

Well, I leveled like pretty much everyone else, I specced enhancement. I did know that I would respec at 70 to one of the other trees. Mainly because there was a lot of bad press going around about level 70 enhancement shaman. Also, I wasn't really interested in doing content as melee DPS. Initially I thought of going elemental, but quickly changed my mind and decided I would become a healer. Why? Being alliance for my entire time in WoW I had never grouped with a shammy until the expansion. Even then, as the army of newly created alts began to shrink, and the novelty started to wear off, I very rarely encountered a restoration specced shaman.

So there it was, restoration was the tree for me. If only for the reason that I didn't know how it would work out. I didn't know what I would bring to the table when it was all said and done. If anything, it would be an interesting experiment.

In short, further tests need to be done, but results thus far are very positive.

The intention of this blog is to relate my experiences as a hybrid healer in a guild just starting its journey in to Kara. It seemed like the perfect time to start a blog of this nature. Nothing like documenting your awkward phase, eh? Just like looking back at photo's when you were 12 years old rocking a hyper-color T-shirt and a sweet rattail.
+= Awesome.

Anywho, in future posts I intend to write about such things as gear and stats, my role in instances, the fun of falling on our faces as a guild in Kara, and anything else I can think of.

- Ashuna