The end of the school year as a teacher is a strange and magical time of exhaustion, anticpation, and bitter-sweet depression. Needless to say, it also makes raiding and keeping abreast of all that is Warcraft difficult.
So here's to that.
Now that summer is upon me, I'm revisiting this blog as an attempt to not only get back into the blogging spirit, but also to examine some of the finer points of playing a Resto Shaman in these difficult times.
Mek and Sixthy are yelling about this or that, raid spots are being stolen by those dastardly priests and druids, and the very core of our unique playstyle is being snapped up even now by paladins!
But hey, now we can drop 4 totems at once right? RIGHT!?
In all seriousness, these are very exciting times for the Resto Shaman.
To recap: the vast majority of Resto Shaman may be looking at the cries of 'Our HPS can't compete' and shaking thier head quizically. I know I was. Then I stepped into hard mode Freya (3 Guardians) and stared blankly as the holy priest I was with was pulling 5-6k HPS while I was struggling to manage 4k.
The clouds parted, the heavens poured out, and I suddenly understood what all this LHW / RT nonsense was really about.
Before, the facerolling wonder of Chain Heal, which got us through BC raiding with top marks, was all there was to playing a Resto Shaman. This attitude and muscle memory rolled right into WotLK raiding. Chain Heal held it's own in Naxxramas and, depending on your experience, OS + 3D. What's made all this so difficult for so many Resto Shaman is how stark a shift it's been from hitting Chain Heal over and over again to spot healing with hasted Lesser Healing Waves and Riptide. But this is the future.
In patch 3.2 significant changes are landing to two of our most useful talents when it comes to this style of healing: Tidal Waves and Improved Water Shield.
IWS is turning into a strange new version of Illumination, as no longer do procs consume WS bubbles.
Tidal Waves is also changing, replacing the haste buff on LHW with a 25% crit buff. This means no more .9 sec LHWs, but this means a few excititng things:
1) More Ancestral Awakening procs
2) Better uptime on Ancestral Healing (also changed to a flat 10% physical damage reduction)
3) More IWS procs
The current talk on the street is that, with these changes, we might be shifting to a primary tank healing role, especially considering the fact that Beacon of Light will start being affected by total and not just effective healing in 3.2.
These are exciting times. Let's all roll with the changes as best we can. Over the next few days I'm going to be posting guides to various difficult encounters in a variety of raids, especially Ulduar hard modes.
Let the totems roll.
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