Healer Form GO!

Wow over a month without a post! My apologies.

I have a few things of order to address first I suppose. Part of the reason I do not post very much is (as silly as it sounds) is that I’m never quite sure all what I want to say. I originally started this as a sort of general, catch-all blog to just go on about my adventures in Azeroth on my alts with nothing too serious. Which is awesome because I could talk about whatever I wanted…but it was bad because I didn’t have any direction in which to go. So for now, I think I’m going to dedicate this blog to mostly healing reflections. This blog is not and will not be a guide by any means. So, if you had come here to enjoy some super casual meanderings and maybe some huntering….I’m sorry to disappoint. For now the site will stay as it is. I’d really rather not have to create a new blog. However, I will always be Kandin 🙂

When I last left you, my shammy (Mertaka) was my focus for gearing and I had just moved my paladin (Crimiia) from Alliance to Horde. Healing was a struggle. Healing was a morale breaker. The horrors of my inadequate heals leaked their way into nightmares.

Now, I’m quite happy to say that Mertaka and Crimiia are both geared enough to handle raiding and I’m working on getting my priest (Roneka) geared up as well. I’m very very thankful I moved my paladin and started healing on her as she was the character that renewed my hope. So indeed things in regards to the healing have been going quite well overall I guess I would say. I was quite happy to see Shamans get a buff to their healing and to see that Blizzard is listening when we say we need an “OH SHI-” cooldown. I did not feel that the paladin “nerf” was as big and serious as quite a few people made it out to be and I could totally understand the need to balance Holy Paladins.

Looking forward to 4.1, I’m actually happy to see that Word of Glory will have a 20 second cooldown and that only Holy paladins will be able to reduce or get rid of it entirely. As evil as it sounds, I’m glad that Ret and Prot paladins will have one less cushion to fall back on when they want to do something silly. Like pulling the next mob while waiting for the healer to drink, or trying to “off-tank” a mob for a tank, or standing in Bad Shit because hey, they can just pop Word of Glory and be a-okay. Yes I can understand that some Ret and Prot pallies like to use it to take some stress off of the healer especially if the healer is a bit undergeared or having a rough day, but I do think that in a lot of cases it is/was being used to put off a mechanic just a little bit longer or to just not perform properly in a fight. I also like the added cooldown because now I feel that using this spell will actually mean something. It isn’t just another mindless button to press because you have a random charge of Holy Power to use. I almost like to think of it as if Elemental and Enhancement shamans got a version of Riptide. They wouldn’t be able to just HoT themselves and roflroll through everything.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Priest changes, mostly to due to not having spent very much time on a healing priest. Roneka is currently running Holy with a Disc off-spec that sits in the corner. I really originally wanted to play her as a Disc priest but it seemed that the people designing the class could not figure out what it is exactly that they wanted to do with Disc. The cost of Shields is a bit steep in my opinion, and I don’t see the increase absorption at all. Smite healing for a week was quite an experience; I definitely did not enjoy having my Smite crits wasted on someone’s pet however, and it felt a little awkward to say the least. I thought it was a great spec for leveling if you don’t want to level Shadow however and have considered leveling my lowbie Alliance priest as Disc-Smite just for something a little different once she can access the Atonement skill.

And they’re not buggering with Resto shamans at this point. Hooray.

 

Healing Reflections in Cataclysm

Almost a month! I am sorry for my lack of posting. My excuse? Leveling characters to 85, of course 😉

Sadly, Kandin is still sitting idly at level 81. I wish I could’ve leveled her first, but this way I know I’ll be able to take my time with her and really enjoy all the new content rather than rat-race to get to 85. I ended up leveling Mertaka and strangely enough Roneka first. The guild needed healers to start some dungeon running, so I is it.

I will say this now, to lay my cards out on the table. I started WoW with Wrath. Wrath is the only measure I have to go by. And I loved healing in Wrath – I loved the fast pace and the feeling of being able to bring things back from the brink…who doesn’t enjoy feeling like the hero? I liked that my ability as a healer didn’t hinge on the performance (or lack thereof) of my other 4 group mates? I loved that when I hit someone with a heal, it made a noticeable difference. I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with the fast incoming damage.

However.

I will not say that I totally and absolutely HATE the healing mechanics in Cataclysm. It *is* just a game, and hate is kinda strong for this. I am gradually adapting to the way healing works now (on my shaman at least; priest doesn’t have enough Spirit to dungeon run yet)….but it is certainly NOT fun. I have my good healing days where I’m the windshield, but I have many, many more bad healing days where I am most definitely the bug. There is quite a bit of hot discussion in the Healing forums right now on the WoW Community site between the Old School Vanilla players who absolutely LOVE the new system because it’s like The Good Old Days, and the people who started in TBC or WotLK who are adapting but not having fun or just hate the new system out right. Healing has been quite a chore – and I have been continually asking myself why I’m paying $15/month to do a chore. I am currently the only healer in our guild while our other two are out of the country visiting family, and I am worried as well that when they come back and try out the new healing mechanics that they too will no longer want to heal and then where will we be? It seems that there are already quite a few healers who have quit the game or tucked their healing spec and gear into a dark corner of their banks and I don’t want to bin Mertaka and Roneka. I don’t want to bin my entire account because I have so many other characters and aspects of the game that I enjoy so much.

Mana costs are up. WAY UP. Spell throughput is low – entirely too low for the amount of mana they consume. Mertaka’s Healing Wave spell costs 1981 mana and heals (according to tooltip) for 5727 to 6232. Factor into this now the fact that everyone has staggering health pools. Suddenly, that 5700-6400 heal spell doesn’t seem so great. It doesn’t even top off a hunter’s pet. But Blizzard wants this to be our auto-attack type heal; this is what we throw off when we feel like we need to do something but a big heal isn’t necessary and AoE healing isn’t efficient. I’m fine with using a small heal, but I do think that Blizzard needs to revisit the definition of “efficient.” On top of the meager amount healed and the mana cost for that amount healed, we have the cast time. Healing Wave is a 2.1 with the TW proc.  I understand that as a healer it is not my job to save people from themselves, but even in the course of regular healing the cast time feels cumbersome. Then there is also the aspect of shaman healing presently that while it hasn’t been borked too badly…it’s a little boring: Riptide, any two direct heals, Riptide, any two direct heals, Riptide, any two direct heals, wash – rinse -repeat. AoE heal as needed.

Healing used to make me feel excited to get in game and to be a strong pillar of a party or raid. I loved that I had the power to turn things around if they started to go downhill and that there was some margin for error (not necessarily outright stupidity). Now I just feel powerless; I feel like a weak point in a group because as a healer I feel that it is my job to save and to help…and in this expansion I can do neither. I feel that healers are now nothing more than a band-aid until a wipe happens and then we’re brought out for a public stoning. I really just can’t find the right words anymore to properly convey how utterly useless this expansion makes me feel when I’m healing. These feelings are compounded by guildies who upon reaching the minimum item level requirement for Heroic dungeons, want to run nothing but Heroic dungeons. None of them have played a healing class in this expansion yet and have not had any hands-on experience with new mechanics. So then I go from general discontent with new healing to anxiety as we claw our way through a Heroic dungeon. It’s sad because it’s starting to make me resent my guildmates a little bit as well. I want to see the end game content, I really do. I would also like to have all of my hair, sanity, and not develop a hard drug habit when/if I get there.

Upgrade!

Again, it’s been a while. I’m quite terrible about keeping up with a blog.

I’ve been busting my buns to get my shammy, Mertaka, to level 80. And as much as I am kind of loathe to do it, (so long as I don’t suck) it looks like she’ll be a Resto shammy. She’s already dual spec’ed for it, sure. But. I hate healing. I think healing is scary. I get sort of overwhelmed trying to keep up with my group’s health bars and trying to decide which heal they need exactly so I’m not blowing mana on overhealing. Not to mention the freaking 2-month long cast time for Chain Heal. Thankfully now I have her in a guild where I can round up some semi-willing guinea pigs folks to run some dungeons with me on heals to let me get the hang of it. I’m really excited to get her to 80 and get her geared and hopefully do some raids on her. When I rolled her, I really never thought I’d get her past level 25-35 because hybrid classes didn’t really appeal to me, and now here she is – chucking lava at Scourge and zapping Iron Dwarfs *tear*.

ICC has been warming up to Kandin the past few weeks. She has two nice, shiny new axes from last week or the week before, and tonight, she FINALLY got a bow upgrade!! HOOORAY!!!! It wasn’t Zod’s, but I don’t even care at this point. I’m just so happy to have something that isn’t the Felglacier Bolter. And she got a ring off of Saurfang (10man) and got rid of her Dexterous Brightstone Band.  So here’s hoping for continued loving from loot drops! She also got her Crusader title today as well 🙂 My hunter has been a very busy girl. Next up: Exalted with the Argent Dawn.

Speaking of hunter things, we got 2 new Marksmanship hunters in the guild yesterday. Ugh. We already have so many hunters. I’m glad I”m getting gear now, but…geeze. I think that too is influencing my desire to get Mertaka to 80 and geared. I haven’t done a whole lot with my DK, Gladran lately unfortunately. It seems I can juggle only two characters at a time and those two are Kandin and Mertaka, but I’ve been trying to also squeeze in time on Issica (Forsaken warlock) and Roneka (Troll shadow priest) as well. It turns out that Affliction warlocks are stupidly easy to level in the 30s (from my experience anyways. YMMV). Roneka has 5 more levels until she’s out of the Outlands and into Northrend so I will probably try to focus on her a bit more. Northrend will be a blast on her – so long as she doesn’t get her cloth-covered ass beat in too badly.