Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Free Respec!

Last week, shaman were bestowed with a free respec courtesy the WoW development team. This was primarily due to significant changes with the elemental tree, which really needed a buff. More on that in a bit.
I took full advantage of the free respec to tweak Salanthe's restoration build. Since patch 3.0, I've had Salanthe specced for pure raid healing and made a few small sacrifices to boost her raid healing. Notably, I gave up 3 points in Healing Way. As time went on, I began missing the talent more and more, particularly when I healed 5-man heroics. Such a small talent that can make a big difference in single-target healing.

With the free respec of 3.0.8, I decided to squeeze 3 points out of my preferred raid healing spec and toss them in Healing Way, particularly as the talent was buffed in the patch as well. Instead of requiring 3 Healing Waves to gain the full benefit of the talent, it now takes one. A most welcome change, as it makes it much easier for a shaman to keep Healing Way up on the tank (though Healing Wave itself is still a mana-intensive spell).

Without further ado, here is Salanthe's new spec. I dropped a point in Thundering Strikes, Ancestral Fortitude, and Tidal Force to accomodate Healing Way. I rarely used Tidal Force because I'm terrible about on-use effects like that (I even had it bound to my mouse wheel and I'd still forget to use it!). The extra point in Thundering Strikes wasn't a big deal to me, although I do love my crit. I am not however, particularly happy with losing a point in Ancestral Fortitude. It took much debate before I finally decided that of all the one-point losses I could take, that would be the one place I could do it without hurting my healing per second or mana regeneration.

I have yet to test this new spec in a raid, but it seems to be effective in 5-man heroics.

Now, my promised comments on the elemental buff. Let me begin by stating that I have not tried the new elemental myself yet. Anecdotally, from my observations of an elemental shaman I tank and heal for regularly, her overall damage and dps has improved significantly since the patch. Previously, she was doing fairly high dps but very low overall damage. Post-3.0.8, she seems to be doing competitve damage and dps. One of these days I need to get around to respeccing to elemental and try the changes out for myself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Proper Care and Feeding of Healers

Beastclaw of Clan Beastclaw's Blog wrote a post today that resonated with me as a healer. I strongly recommend you hop over to her blog and check it out. Take the advice in there to heart and your healers will love you.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Healers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where has Salanthe been?

I have been playing my fresh level 80 protection paladin. About the last time I posted here, I found a new appreciation for my then level 37 paladin. A month later, he dinged 80 and I've been gearing him up to tank heroics and maybe some Naxxramus!

As far as Salanthe herself is concerned, she's been in Naxx a handful of times. My new little 10-man guild, Nocturne, has been a bit slow in getting started and I haven't been interested in pugging on Salanthe.

I have gained a new appreciation for Healing Way, as my spec does not have it. When our talent points are refunded with the next patch, I may try very hard to pick it up, particularly as it will take only one application to gain the full benefit instead of three. Healing Way makes an enormous difference in 5-man instances.

Now that I have an 80 tank and healer, the debate begins as to which alt I should level next. Zgu, my dps warrior, is level 71. Miothe, my perpetually respecced druid, is level 74. And lastly, my death knight, Miyasi, is level 68. (I also have a 53 mage and a 35 priest.)

The obvious choice would be either the druid or warrior for dps. Then I can complete the holy trinity - tank, healer, and dps. However, I am tempted to level up another healer so that I have something capable of filling in for extra Naxx runs when Salanthe is saved to guild runs. When one takes into consideration the fact that the druid is also my farmer for Salanthe's professions, things definitely look stacked in her favor. The druid fulfills all of those ideals - dps, healer, and farmer.

We'll see what happens. The paladin (affectionately dubbed "Sally Pally" by my friends) wasn't even on my leveling priority list before I started playing him again. I may end up power-leveling a brand new rogue!