Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trees Rock (for now)

Let's be honest. Shaman healing is brutal this expansion. It's stressful, horribly reliant on replenishment, and just not fun. Five-mans are awful, raids are a combination of boring and stressful, and the mechanics are bad.

This may be due to burnout from all the healing I did in Burning Crusade, but regardless, I have come to loathe shaman healing with all my heart. I'd rather retire Salanthe and never play her again than heal anything else.

There are a number of factors that make healing awful for me. Mana regen tops the list. I find myself running dry incredibly quickly if I don't have replenishment. This is what makes five-mans particularly miserable. In raids, my heals are not fast enough or don't hit hard enough to make a difference. Not to mention a number of fights in both five-mans and raids in which standing still is very, very bad or very hard (e.g. Heigan, Sapphiron (sort of), Loken, Keristraza).

As a result of my disillusionment of the shaman class due to aforementioned problems, I leveled my druid up and healed my first Naxxramas run on her. I am testing her out to see if I can find a healing class that doesn't send me into an emo rage everytime I try to heal something. I have to say, despite being quite undergeared compared to everyone else in the raid, Miothe the tree did very well.

I wish I had taken screenshots of Recount after the run, so you'll have to trust that I'm telling you the right thing. My raid composition was no different than what it is when I heal on Salanthe. I duo-healed Spider, Plague, and Construct quarters with a resto shaman (I'm fairly certain that some of my frustrations with raid healing are due to the fact that the two healers play the same class and spec). I topped overall healing for the night by a slight margain and some fights went much better than they typically do when I'm healing on my shaman (Anub'Rekhan and Gluth, most notably).

Overall impressions are definitely favorable towards the druid, although I am not passing official judgment until I can heal Kel'Thuzad. That fight makes me want to delete the shaman, so it will likely be the watershed for the druid as well.

Mana efficiency was not an issue. I do need to break myself from the Burning Crusade lifebloom dependency and tweak my healing overall, but there were no glaring problems or stumbling blocks. Unless you count the two trash wipes, which may have been prevented if I were on my shaman. My AoE damage panic healing is definitely not as effective as it is on Salanthe.

There is one thing I miss about shaman though - dispelling. A shaman can cleanse three things (poison, disease, and curses) with one global cooldown. This is a huge advantage over a druid, particularly when you consider that druids rely on heavily on instant-cast spells, so it seems much harder to devote a global cooldown to cleanse than it does on the shaman.

I am quite nervous about the changes to mana regen that are coming in the Ulduar patch, 3.1. Shaman will emerge largely unscathed, but druids will bear the brunt of it. Since mana efficiency and regeneration are one of my major complaints about shaman, I am very afraid that druids will end up the same way.

I will definitely continue to report here as I continue this experiment. Next time I'll use Recount or WWS to back up my claims, too!

(This post was inspired by Aurik over at /hug.)

1 comment:

Eleazor said...

i have had a lot of the same problems when i tried out healing in heroics. i currently have a druid working it's way up the chain to try out healing in a different way.