Blizz obviously wants Shamans to use Healing Wave. They're buffing Healing Way so that it no longer stacks, but instead gives a 18% healing buff to Healing Wave from the very start.
I think they should move slightly further on. Suggesting the following buff (one of the two):
- Make it work like the pally talent Light's Grace, meaning instead of giving a buff to the target, it gives a buff on the shaman which improves healing wave by 18%, refreshened each time HW is cast.
- Make Riptide apply the Healing Way buff.
I've posted the suggestion on official Suggestions forum.
I'd like to share my observations from levelling my shaman through Outland, lvl 60 to 70, post-3.0 (WotLK). This is the third character I've levelled that interval, but the first one after WotLK. I don't have a DK yet.
Oh, how I hate Nesingwary
I hate Nesingwary. Well, spesifically, I hate how Blizz is more or less forcing all shamans, druids and paladins to get through his quests in order to get a very nice healing ranged-slot item. It wouldn't be so bad if it were interesting quests with a good story and variation, but ... come on! We're talking 6 quests to kill 30 animals each, and then 4 elites. No challenge, lots of monotomy, just a boring grind. I did them with my druid and priest. The wand is very nice as well, but easier to replace than the druid/shaman/paladin-spesific item, as those only drops a few places. The only good thing about the quests is if you are/have a skinner interested in getting lots of skins. Just to add insult to injury, Blizz decided to make it a friggin' achievement as well.
In the end, I decided not to do it with my shaman, and that was only because I was lucky enough to get Totem of the Thunderhead in the Underbog. While said totem is more versatile, it is strictly less powerful when using Lesser Healing Wave as my main heal. Further, I refuse to dance Blizz' achievement dance. I don't do stuff because I get a nice achivement, I want to do stuff because it's fun. Thus, I intend to skip boring quests, boring grinds, and so on.
Want a 'mental or enhanced healer?
I levelled from some 50ish to somewhere around 63-64 as Enhancement, then switched to Elemental. At 69 I switched to Resto. And I've healed a lot of instances, as all specs.
Experiences while healing: Both enhancement and Elemental can heal fine when the tank holds aggro and takes decent amount of damage. None come even close to the huge difference Restoration can make when the shit hits the fan. I'm virtually unkillable when I pull earth shield to myself, riptide and spam Healing Wave. Of course, the group might still wipe, as I often have trouble keeping both myself and the rest of the group up. Very recently, while in the Nexus, we got a triple pull. But a Bloodlust, trinkets, Nature's Swiftness, Tidal Force and Mana Tide later, everyone was still alive. I was proud. Didn't even have to use my elemental, which I would have if it wasn't on cooldown.
Elemental has the best mana regen, probably thanks to Unrelenting Storm. Enhancement has the highest spellpower, as Mental Quickness gives a good chunk of spellpower even in healing gear. Strength of Earth Totem or Horn of Winter, one of which was always up, gave a good deal additional spellpower in combination with the talent.
Experiences while soloing: Enhancement and Elemental both works while soloing. More a question of personal preference. And without any elemental down, both had trouble soloing 3-man elites. While elemental, and unlike my experience as a priest, I literally never sat down to drink. I remember once when I managed to run out of mana. Conclusion: Elemental doesn't have any sort of extended downtime issues. When I respecced resto, my survivability went through the roof, enabling me to solo virtually anything. At the same time, soloing speed went through the floor. Go figure.
Water (glyphs), anyone?
At lvl 70, I have 5 glyph slots unlocked. I'm running Water Mastery, Water Shield, Water Walking and Water Breathing. For the last glyph, I've switched a bit around, using Flametongue Weapon while I was Elemental, Lesser Healing Wave after switching to Resto. I want to trade the last glyph for Healing Wave instead, as it'll benefit me both in PVP and PVE.
I just find it amusing that 4/5 glyphs has "Water" in it's name.
Same NPC, different spell
I also learned that a single mob can have some spells which are interruptable, and others which are not. For example, I couldn't interrupt Grand Magus Telestra's fire bombs, but I could interrupt her time stops. I'm not used to having interrupts at all. I like it. It rises the skill cap of how good I can do in an instance group. I think I'll have to write a separate post about healing styles as the three classes I've seriously experienced.
Revere me, baby
I've reached Revered with Cenarion Expedition, and that's as much time as I'm going to devote to that now. At 80, I'll try to two-man heroic Slave Pens to boost my rep while having fun, but I don't want to spend time grinding now. Besides, I can't even afford the training for an epic flying mount. According to wowwiki.com, a heroic full clear gives 2,319 rep, plus 75 for each Coilfang Armament that drops. I guess I need about 5-6 full clears to get Exalted. If I don't find it entertaining, then it's not worth it. Hello, how much value does a virtual flying chicken have anyway?
On the topic of rep
According to some article I read on Wowinsider, I don't need Outland rep. No? What about the jewelcrafting designs I need? It's not so bad, though. You only need to reach 350 before heading to outland, and that means getting friendly with Lower City, not a terribly hard feat. But since I now have lots of blue uncut gems, many of them from Brilliant Glass, I'd like to skill up on them before starting with Northrend stuff. Problem is, I lack the designs. Most of them are drops, but there are designs to be earned. Where, you ask? ... Shattered Sun Offensive. Why, oh why do you get designs at friendly which require 375 JC, while the earliest 350 one are hidden at Revered and Exalted? What kind of incredibly stupid design was this from Blizz' side?
Bottom line, I need to do a lot of dailies with Shattered Sun, or just move on to Northrend stuff immidiately. The third option is also possible, try to get the drop designs somewhere, but I'm not willing to pay (much) for them.
LFG? ... no. LFAchievement? Sure!
Here's a good thing about the achivement system... while hard, it's not impossible to get people to join lvl 70 instances which I haven't done. I still lack several, but I've gotten Steamvaults, Shattered Halls and Shadow Labyrinth that way. Still need the Tempest Keep instances, but I couldn't ask for people before 70 simply because I couldn't reach them.
Resto-spell or Resto-melee?
This is a honest question: Is it better to level as resto using spellpower gear and playing it like an elemental shaman, or using melee gear and playing it like an enhancement shaman? Obviously, spellpower is better for healing, but I don't mind carrying two sets... I do that anyway, just to have an enhancement set should I want to respec. "Know thyself" and I know that I'll try something else sooner or later.
I love Chain Lightning. Granted, it's worse than strict AoE spells for AoE pulls in instances and the like, but it's better for a few mobs when soloing. It's not like I can take on too many mobs anyway, resto or otherwise, because I'll run out of mana, unless I'm using my fire elemental to literally burn them down for me. I find myself using it much more than any other AoE I've previously had. I'll try soloing groups of mobs once Magma Totem is buffed, though.
Lvl 70 vs lvl 79
I've ran a few BGs at 70. Normally, that's not a big problem. Of course I die a lot more, but it can still be entertaining. However, did you know that alliance (at least on my battlegroup) already has 79 twinks? You're f'in' kidding me. That wasn't a lot of fun. Especially so since I seemed not to be the only one with that idea, we ran AB with 10 lvl 70s versus 2 lvl 70s on the other side. Needless to say, we got our behinds handed to us royally. Okay, I don't have a lot of resilience either, just somewhere around 100, but that hasn't prevented me from having fun earlier.
I had a lot of fun in AV once, though. Never died a single time, and we won without loosing a single tower. I also learned that a protection pally is a suprisingly good partner in AV. Sure, we couldn't kill stuff, but we could survive insanely long, preventing enemies from re-taking the flags we'd tagged.
And I think I'm in love with shammies. Again. I ran into a standstill where the horde and alliance where fighting heavily. Bloodlust, Earth Shield on a meleer, Trinkets, spamming heals, Mana Tiding, Strength of Earth, Windfury Totem and Flametongue totem to buff everyone up. And it seriously felt like I did the change that made us win that skirmish, allowing us to retake the GY.
Now, I have no less than 3 healers at lvl 70. Well, healer-classes. And for the moment, the shaman is the only one whose feet have touched the icy ground of Northrend. It feels a bit strange. I've had the other two for about 3 years, and my shaman is less than a year old, and have only been played seriously the last few months.
I've decided I want to try the "new" feral tree with my druid, and I'd also like to try soloing as penance-specced discipline priest. However, if I don't like either... perhaps I've found "my" class as a shaman.
By the way, I hate soloing as a priest. I need to drink all the time, can't solo hard mobs, take a lot of damage myself, and can be put in a plastic bag once I run out of mana. Anyone got a good suggestion of a talent build that might help? Discipline, preferably?