Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RE: Jessabelle's Healing Questionnaire

Jessabelle at Miss Medicina posted a Questionnaire with the intent of spreading knowledge between healing classes, and among the healing bloggers. The idea is you answer all the questions, and then "tag" another healing blogger that plays a different class.

In typical priest ethnocentrism, she calls it a "Circle of Healing Bloggers", when I'm pretty sure any impartial observer would agree that "Chain of Healing Bloggers" or "Totem of Healing Blogs" would be a far superior name... but I suppose the damage has been done ;)

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
    Zigi, Resto Shaman.

  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
    At the moment, I am primarily healing in 10-man raids.

  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
    Chain Heal, because it's spammable, looks cool, and is a good example of a spell that Blizzard has made useful ever since level 60, and is still a staple of shaman healing today

  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
    Hmm, Shaman really only have 5 healing spells in our arsenal (6 if you count the totem), so there are no spells that I never use, but based on my meters since 3.2, I rarely cast Lesser Healing Wave. With the changes to Tidal Waves and a high level of haste, a Healing Wave cast is usually only 2/10ths of a second slower than a Lesser Healing Wave. The only benefit of that spell is mana efficiency (from the improved crit), which has not been a problem for me recently. I still use it situationally to top off raid members when CH is totally inappropriate, but it is not the go-to spell it was before 3.2.

  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
    Our strength is very high throughput in both aoe and tank healing roles.

  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
    Our weakness is mana management, and scaling to 25 man raids.

  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
    I haven't done a ton of 25-mans, but having read some of the big-boy shaman blogs, and from my experiences in PUGs, I do feel that resto shaman are better suited to tank healing roles, with backup AOE. If a holy priest is not available, then a resto shaman is pretty good at the dedicated aoe role too.

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
    I'm gonna second Jess here, and go with Disc priests. Their damage prevention buffs, passive talents, and spells, all make healing noticeably easier on everyone.

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
    I'm going to answer this in an extremely selfish way and say Holy Priests. Keep in mind, that this is JUST in the context of this question. Obviously I love holy priests because I played one for 2 years, and they do amazing throughput healing, but in terms of buffing other people in the raid, holy priests actually provide no raid buffs that a disc priest can't provide as well. Sorry Jess :(

  • What is your worst habit as a healer?
    Probably refreshing my HoT, Riptide when I don't have to, or even worse, Riptiding the tank and instantly Chain Healing it off instead of letting it tick a little bit. I definitely have to consciously think about it to get the full value of my Riptide, considering I have the set bonus and the glyph for it!

  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
    I have mentioned this in comments on Jess's blog in the past, but it's gotta be linking/asking for/bragging about healing meters. This is not to say I don't look at healing meters, or feel an irrational swell of pride if I top them, but I am also completely conscious of the fact that healing meters are misleading, incorrect, and can lead to bad healing habits. For one thing, disc priests are horribly represented on healing meters, as Blizz has provided no official way to track absorbs. If this caused all guilds to avoid disc priests, it would be a disaster!

  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
    At my niche yes; in 10 man raids, shaman shine. I do feel like we don't scale as well as any of the other healers into 25 man content, just because our AOE heal hits less than everyone else's; I know a lot of shaman feel like they get shoehorned into tank healing or sidelined, but right now I'm definitely enjoying my niche.

  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
    I think the most important metric for a healer is the ability to follow an assignment and keep those people you're assigned to alive. If there are no assignments, then my success criteria is no one dying.

  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
    I think that people who played WoW prior to WOTLK know shaman as AOE raid healers, and honestly, prior to playing one myself, that's all I thought they were good for too. However I was surprised at 80 to find that we're probably comparatively better at tank healing than raid healing.

  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
    I think mana management can be tough- especially coming from other classes. We only have one "trick" to get back mana, our totem, as opposed to Priests (Shadowfiend, Hymn of Hope, Inner Focus). Keeping up 100% uptime on Water Shield is ESSENTIAL. Get a mod for that.

  • 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)?
    My overheal is between 20 and 30% usually depending on the spell, which I think is probably a little high, but not the worst I've seen. I'm pretty happy with my healing output. If anything the criticism would be what I mentioned before- I probably use Healing Wave on some occasions that Lesser Healing Wave would be the right spell.

  • Haste or Crit and why?
    HASTE! All shaman now live and die for haste; chain heal spam is AGONIZINGLY SLOW if you don't have enough of it. NOM NOM HASTE.

  • What healing class do you feel you understand least?
    Well the only class that I have not healed at 80 on is a resto druid, so definitely that. They just have so many spells that seem very similar in function: Lifebloom and Rejuv; Nourish and Healing Touch and Regrowth.

  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
    I use Clique/Grid for healing, ForteExorcist for tracking my hots and buffs, and Power Auras to let me know when my shield or weapon imbue has fallen off.

    I use a TON of macros, but mostly just things like binding my two big cooldowns: Nature's Swiftness and Tidal Force into one giant OSHIT button.

    The other one I like, and this is just to save space on my bar, is I have a macro that casts Stoneclaw Totem if I'm in combat, or my Resurrection spell if I'm out of combat. The idea is I can't cast Res out of combat, and I'd never need Stoneclaw out of it.

  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
    Right now Shaman are stacking haste to the sky, and I'm not different. I do feel that when newer content comes out in 3.3 I may move back toward a more balanced approach with mana regen, if the fights are long.

So for choosing new bloggers to add to this questionaire, I would normally pick
BobTurkey or Healing Way, but I think Bob is on vacation, and Llyre is a Shaman so I can't pick that, so I'm going to go with a blog that I just discovered recently because of their awesome illustrated boss guides: Kae from Dreambound!



Jessabelle said...

Hurrah! I'm very happy to read this, as it was incredibly informative for me! Also, do you think Druids would refer to this ring as Wild Growth Blogging? And Pallies as Beacon of Lolwut? ::ponders::

The part about being very good tank healers was especially educational for me, as sometimes I feel as though I still struggle to figure out who should heal the MT when there are no pallies or disc priests around.

I was told by one of my shammy friends that resto shammies really excel at AoE healing for melee, because of the range on Chain Heal. DO you think this is true?

Zigi said...

RE: AOE Healing- Chain Heal's jump range is high enough that a shaman should be fine healing either melee or casters, but yeah, it is very good at that. Still, in a 25 man situation it is good, but not as good as a Holy Priest's Prayer of Healing due to the longer cast time, and fewer targets hit (assuming that your parties are set up in a somewhat optimal way).

Zigi said...

OK, the other poster on this blog Yigi, despite primarily identifying as a feral tank, has *gently* reminded me that he started off as a healer and still heals quite often. Therefore I'm also tagging him, entirely of my own volition...

Kae said...

Hehe, I was tagged, so I have made my response :)

Anonymous said...

I kinda cheated a bit and added a reply for all three of my healers (including my resto shaman), and I was most curious about your reply re: your least used spell.

I answered in almost the exact opposite as you, stating the Healing Wave is what I cast least, with almost exact opposite reasoning, lol. So, I'm curious for my own development as a shaman...do you glyph earth shield? (I cannot armory you from work =(). I find that healing wave takes FOREVER to cast (I'm also a bit low on haste), and that my glyphed ES/LHW heals for a comprobale amount.

Thoughts? Perhaps I am doing something wrong?

Ryan said...

Personally, as a 25 man healer i find i have the MOST healing output in raid healing/tank healing. For instance last week on twins i brought my hps up to about 10 000, with a 1% oh. Im always ontop of the meter, and shit dont die when im around. I find in ten man content, with two other healers in togc 10, me heals seem to go shorter then in 25. And i also agree with falling in the sense that with a t9 4 set, your ch is buffed 5% crit, so its far more efficient to throw one of thoes out then a HW. Where im sitting now with gear, my LHW hits for about 10k so in all honesty HW is out of use for me.