Ouch it’s been a while since I last posted here. IRL is tough and I don’t have a lot of motivation to write in my reduced free time. Plus, I spend about a month trying Rift outside of raids, so I didn’t have a lot to say. Anyway, Bati from Holy Nova Now! launched this Cataclysm edition of Circle of Healers a few
days weeks ago. I finally managed to answer all the questions :
What are the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Zahia, resto Shaman
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
10M raids, and of course 5 mans, as everyone have to run 5 mans nowadays.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Healing Rain ! It has a nice animation, and coupled with a few Chain Heal it makes a wonder in filling these health bars.
What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Healing Surge. With Tidal Waves, I don’t really feel the need for a fast spell. In case of emergency, I often prefer a 1.6 second cast Greater Healing Rain that’ll crit for 60k than Healing Surge. Of course, sometimes in the emergency I don’t notice that Tidal Waves just dropped, and in the middle of my looong Greater Healing Wave cast I just think “Oh crap, that was a good time for Healing Surge. To late now, let’s just pray my big heal will land in time!”
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Utility. In my healing environnement (5-mans and 10-mans), being able to bring 4 out of my 6 raid-wide buffs via totems, bloodlust, utility totems, an offensive dispel and the shortest cooldown interrupt of the game is very useful.
Of course, these tools are not healing tools, but they can change the issue of the fight in small groups.
Healing wise, I’d say we’re very versatile, but’s it’s true for about every class now. From my own experience, I think we have 2 main strenghs :
- Being able to produce strong and steady AOE heals
- Resto shaman can have about infinite mana, provided they can throw a lighting bolt on something. That’s pretty much unique above all healers.
What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Not defensive CD ! Of course, we now have our new Spirit Link Totem. But for now I think this spell would better suits an goblin engineer toolbox than a shaman spell book, as it has a lot of chances to fail.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
Hard to answer this one, as I only played with an holy priest a few times (plus he was a complete newbie), and I never played with a disc priest since Cataclysm launch. I’m raiding with Holy Pala and Resto druid most of the time. It went very well for now, even with the lack of defensive CD from druid and shaman. I’m finding than druid and shaman works very well together for raid healing, as our hots supplement each other to generate massive amounts of healing when needed, along with my Chain Heal for “spot” healing.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
As said above, I didn’t healed with priests enough to answer this question.
What is your worst habit as a healer?
As a healer, I don’t know. As a resto shaman, I always forget to use Unleash Elements on CD in the heat of the battle. That’s not a big deal most of the time, as it’s more a mana saver than a throughput spell.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
That hunter that don’t stand in the blue circle !! I don’t know why but it’s (almost) always an hunter.
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I think so. Again, I always heal with the same (great, by the way) healers, so I don’t have a lot of experience concerning healers balance.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
I’m raiding very casually, so “the boss is dead” is a good evaulation already. Sometimes, someone in the raid will upload a raid night on World of Log, and I’ll take a look at it. But making an in-depth analyse take way too much time! The best used I made of it recently helped me choosing my talent spec, as I could check the contribution of some talents to my overall healing.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
We’re Chain Heal spammerz ? I don’t know people continue to see shaman like this, but they should know that we’re drop-Healing-Stream-Totem-Earth-Shield-and- Healing-Rain-and-afk type of healer now !
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Back in TBC days, I would have said “learn how work your totems and what totem is the best in each situation, and know what rank of Chain Heal to use in each situation”
In Wrath, I’d have said “learn when you should use Chain Heal, and when you should use all your other spells instead”.
Now, shaman are faced to the most complicated spell ever: Spirit Link Totem. Learning how to use it effectively will take a while, be it for new or long time playing resto shaman.
If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
Well, it depends a lot on the fight. On Chiameron, they’ll see high hps and low overhealing, but effectively a big part of this healing was wasted, healing people above 10k hp. On Omnitron, I’ll just sit at the low end of the healing meter, generally having a lot of mana left at the end of the fight (except if the dps is so low that it takes 13 minutes to kill them)
What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I suppose druid. I didn’t play a resto druid at max level since Karazhan, so it’s been a while. Plus, paladin, and priest roles in a raid seem obvious to me : paladin = strong tank healing, disc = bubble love + good tank healing, holy priest = strong raid healing. But druids remains a bit mysterious for me, even if I raid with a resto druid most often. Generally he is on support role (tank or offtank + raid), so it doesn’t help to know what he’s best at. Plus, he’s a very good player, it looks more like he’s very good at every thing!
Haste or Crit or Mastery and why?
For now, haste. I may try reforging to mastery soon as it got a huge buff since 4.1, but I’m not sure it’ll work very well. As I’m alchemist and jewelcrafter, it’s very easy for me to get to the 2nd haste threshold (2005) with alchemist stone and +67 haste gems. So a while ago, as I noticed than players where not often below 50% hp in my 10-man normal raid, I tried reforging for haste. For now, it’s working very well. I love the short cast time, and instead of just spending more mana by casting more, it allows for more regen via Telluric Current too. And as I’m often on raid healing duty, haste do wonders with Healing Rain. It doesn’t heal for more, but it heals faster, thus you don’t feel the need to cast so much Chain Heals while Healing Rain is doing his job.
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I’m currently using vuhdo + mouseover macros. I was a long-time grid user, but finally I made the switch. I used to run with a lot of grid plugin, and became bored of having half of the plugins broken at each patch. Plus, in my guild we want to completely discover the bosses, so we don’t read strats or boss abilities before trying. I have to say vuhdo is way superior than grid for that. Vudho allow you to see all debuffs at a time, and most importantly to see debuffs tooltip easily. This helps a lot to see what’s happening, but isn’t available in grid.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
At the moment I stack haste much higher than other stats, because it’s the only possibility to get to the 2nd haste threshold. I generally don’t think too much stacking is good for a healer. But with our current gear level, you don’t have much choice, you need to choose your main stat and stack it. As a resto shaman, I have 3 gearing possibilities. Either I get to the 2nd haste cap, and have to reforge most of my secondary stats except spirit to haste. Either I gear for high mastery or for a mix of haste and mastery, crit being a very poor stat at the moment. Ratings being what they are, you don’t gain anything while gearing for mix of haste and mastery: you won’t gain additional hot ticks, and your cast won’t even be 0.1 second shorter. So your best bet is stacking mastery, or stacking haste up to the 2nd threshold.