Sunday, September 23, 2012

Returning to heals (briefly)

So I decided to level Pantha the elemental shaman just to pass the time before Tuesday, but after 10 levels of slooow questing I was ready for a change. So, I got up my courage, respecced her as Resto, and enjoyed the instant dungeon queues until my eyes were crossing and my head was pounding (about level 68).

Actually, healing as resto shaman was surprisingly easy. First, there seemed to be little damage done overall under most circumstances. Most of my time was spent as in the picture above: watching five green bars that hardly moved. I found that this lack of activity meant that I could get away with lazy healing, using mana-expensive Healing Surge on the tank, and just hitting Riptide and Chain Heal whenever anyone else's bar began to go down, or Healing Rain for heavy AOE damage during boss fights. I never used Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave, not once. I think I ran out of mana twice over 8 levels of healing, and both times this was because I'd forgotten to refresh my Water Shield.

Still, nearly every group I ran with was GOGOGO, and I could get overwhelmed, especially if I was still in the last room looting corpses or if I was CC'd. So there were a few wipes. At one point the tank says to me "You just need to keep up," to which I responded "I'm an orc and I run very slowly." That diffused the situation nicely and I was proud of myself for not getting defensive.

I did get defensive when a mage complained about me needing on a spell dagger: "You're the only shaman I've ever seen that carries a dagger!" Really? I thought that any intellect one-handed weapon was fair game, and didn't see a single mace drop in eight levels.

One more set of observations: I found totems to be a real pain to use as Resto. It was hard to remember to even put down the basic ones like Magma, Healing Stream and Capacitor. Magma does such little damage that I often felt like it wasn't worth the effort to drop it. Tremor Totem had only limited use due to its extremely short duration relative to a long cooldown; I could save the group from one round of fears, but could do nothing for the next pull or two. Fire and Earth Elemental totems could be dropped on bosses, but I had to take the time to cast a shock spell on the boss to get the elementals started with dealing damage.

I have my totems keybound for Resto, and for some reason the Dominos add-on has been freaking out and causing my bottom row of keybinds to randomly disappear. Still, I found I could still heal just fine as the totems weren't turning out to be all that useful in most situations.

Overall though it was a good experience, although I'm ready to go back to elemental and do some questing in Northrend until Mists drops. So it's time to say goodbye to her home in Durotar for awhile.

One last thing though: new mount joy! With the recent increases in guild XP, Nachtmystium the DK reached exalted with her guild during all of her questing, and purchased this sweet, sweet scorpion mount! I've been drooling over this mount for ages, and I'm so glad to finally have it!

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