State of Chain Heal, Lodur’s Thoughts

State of Chain Heal, Lodur’s Thoughts

chain-heal

A couple days ago one of my twitter buddies linked me a forum post that has been going on centered around the state of Chain Heal. Here’s the thread if you want to take a look. I generally make it a rule not to troll the official forums for the sheer amount of flotsam that tends to be present, but I did read it. All 22 pages (at the time of this post). I have a few opinions on this topic (keep in mind this is my opinion), and I’d like to take a moment to share them.

(this will probably be a bit  of a rant. so apologies in advance I just hate gross generalization)

/soapbox

There seems to be a perception that Chain Heal, and Restoration Shamans are broken in general. Not broken in the “DUDE I totally need to roll a Resto Shaman” but broken as in not functioning correctly. I cannot agree with that, not even a little. As a true lover of the class and all it’s faults and strengths, I can honestly say we are better off then most classes and specs. Are we perfect? No, we’re not. Are we broken? Hardly.

In the thread people quote the musings of Mek from Ensidia. I’m going to copy and paste the opening statement from the thread here.

There has been theorycraft showing that CH isn’t as strong as the other options. There have been logs produced showing how shaman are HPS capped. I’m not going to repeat all the data here, because you’ve read every post. Further, you have some of the top guilds putting shaman on spot heals instead of AOE heals or even replacing shaman with other healers for hard modes.

Mek, the resto Shaman from the #1 raiding guild Ensidia, is abandoning Chain Heal in favor of spot healing with LHW/RT.
http://ensidia.com/community/blogs/cause-and-effect.html
Chain Heal cannot compete with the comprehensive AoE healing power of four highly skilled Priest and Druid AoE healers. This is simply because if you compare the relative spell combos they have many advantages.

Vis Maior, a Top 20 US progression guild recently replaced one of their shaman with a priest, because Chain Heal could not keep up. Sixthy, the other resto is spot healing the raid with RT/LHW. His Chain Heal for the raid was 6% of his total heals.
http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t49212-resto_best_practices_pve_healing_discussion/p12/#post1248740
Deconstructor hard mode (25) really made Chain Heal look weak in my opinion. We had a 2nd resto shaman in for a few attempts and CH just flat out couldn’t keep up with PoH / CoH / WG / etc / etc.

Mek and Sixthy are not scrubs that just started playing. They are some of the best players in the world.

While I respect Mek and Sixthy , and appreciate everything they have contributed to the Shaman Community as a whole (this is in no way a shot at them or the OP of the comment above), I cannot agree that Chain Heal fails to measure up to the other AoE healing. I also feel that they are taken out of context quite often and people take statements like “this spell is better in this fight compared to this one” as “OMG SHAMANS ARE BEING REPLACED CAUSE THEY STINK”.  With Vis Maior, pointing out that they replaced a shaman with a priest is fine, but that’s going to have a lot to do with their composition. ( I checked their site they don’t have a raiding roster posted) I did notice they had three Resto Shamans on their members list. Unfortunately I don’t have details as to whether or not they were all raiders, but looking at each toon’s loot page it seems likely they are. I can see that being a problem, not because of the weakness of the class or spells, but based on composition. As a Healing Lead I can tell you, too much of a good thing often turns swiftly into a bad thing, and there have been many nights a raid has suffered from too much of one concentration.

Second thing I would like to point out is quoting that Chain Heal for Sixthy was 6% of his total casts. That’s fine and all but is that one fight? I started going through the EJ post, there is a lot of information there, but all of it is subjective. Keep in mind your mileage may vary. I can produce WWS that show Chain Heal being 50% of all healing done, doesn’t mean it’s a “God Spell” by any means. Also, pointing out that the spell is HPS capped is moot. Technically all healing spells in the game are HPS capped if you have all the items/gems/enchants necessary to push that cap.

I’m going to quote Ghost Crawler here. He chimes in on the topic with the following.

We’re not convinced there is a Resto or Chain Heal problem in PvE.

Part of what we wanted to do was give shamans other spells to cast besides CH. Riptide is an awesome spell and seems to be fun for a lot of shamans. People are still casting CH, and probably a lot more often than priests are using PoH and druids WG (depending on the fight of course). We would want to make sure that any change to CH didn’t send shamans back to the Sunwell world of just using that one spell.

Well, I agree 100% with GC. Blizz gave us a multitude of spells so we weren’t one trick ponies. Back in BT / Sunwell days you could bind all your keys to Chain Heal and just roll your face on the keyboard and win (with the exception of keeping one key for Heroism / Bloodlust). Well… that just wasn’t fun. Now we have a lot of cookies, and they are quite delicious. Personally I think Chain Heal is just fine. Would I complain if they did buff it a little? No sir, I’d be grateful but I don’t expect it. I like the fact that unlike Wild Growth and Circle of Healing, there is no cooldown on the spell other then the GCD. I like the fact that if glyphed I can hit 4 targets at a time. I love the fact that it is a smart heal and not just blindly jumping to pad over healing. I love the fact that it feeds our other talents and spells with buffs and loving. I love the iconic spell, bottom line, but you can’t lose sight of every other tool we have at our disposal and say that we don’t measure up or that the spell fails. Math can be produced to support any argument, ask my buddy mike. He has a degree in Computational Physics. His entire job is to debunk the theories put forth by other scientists using math. His stance is

“I can find an equation to prove or disprove anything given enough time. Numbers change and statistics are subjective”

I agree with mike. In a game of Random Number Generation no numbers can be absolute. I can roll a 20 sided dice 10 times, and I can get multiple 20’s in a row. That doesn’t mean the die isn’t balanced, I just had a hot streak. Try to keep that in mind when applying numbers to the game. We can shift the tables, but at the end of the night it still boils down to RNG

/soapbox

Ok, now that I have the rant out of the way, lets take a look at the Resto Shaman’s Tool box and what we bring to the table.

Cleanse Spirit – While not a “healing” spell in the effect that it doesn’t restore health, it’s a reactionary tool to stabilize. It removes 1 disease, 1 poison and 1 curse for a 7% base mana cost. Well, thats kind of an amazing tool, and one that shouldn’t be looked over.

Riptide – Our instant cast HoT. This spell Is more amazing then people give it credit. As a HoT it’s admittedly not as good as some of the others available, but adding the T8 2pc bonus and the Riptide Glyph makes it a bit better for use as one. Lets not forget the spell gives your Chain Heal a 25% boost. Oh and it can trigger Improved water Shield. Thats hardly something to scoff at.

Tidal Force – This talent is on 3min timer. It gives you a 60% increased chance to crit on your Chain Heal, Healing Wave and Lesser Healing Wave with a diminishing factor of 20% on each successful crit. I know in a normal raid I run about a 31% crit chance. Poping this to give myself a 91% crit chance, and combining that with say Riptide on a target is a very attractive healing explosion.

Tidal Waves – This ability gives your next 2 healing wave or lesser healing waves a 30% haste increase after you cast CH or Riptide. It also gives HW a 20% increase in healing, and LHW 10% boost. Combine that with Tidal Force and you can have some big HW heals in clutch situations.

Earth Shield – This bad boy is a great little cookie. You toss it up on a tank and it gives you a little bit of a buffer for healing. It really shines on a tank that has a ton of avoidance (see Death Knight or Bear Tank). It has a few second internal cooldown between healing procs, but when your tank is dodging 70% of the incoming attacks that becomes less of a factor. Average healing is between 2 – 3k . I tossed this up on our Main Tank (DK) in Uld last week and after one fight he asked if he even got hit. ES was down 3 charges but no healers had to touch him. I think that says something about this spell right there.

Lesser Healing Wave – This is our Flash heal. It’s fast and works like our healing jab. Combine that with Tidal Waves and it’s that much faster while Tidal Force can give it a little more bang for your buck. You can also toss in a LHW Glyph and give your ES target a little LHW loving. It also triggers your Improved Water Shield to help with your mana regeneration.

Healing Wave – This is our Greater Heal. It’s slow and it hits hard. You can speed it up with a Tidal Waves proc and boost it with Tidal Force. It also can trigger IWS and you can Glyph it to heal yourself whenever you use it.

Healing Stream Totem – Since patch 3.1 this has become one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal. Combine it with the recent changes to Restorative Totems and toss in a Glyph of Healing Stream Totem and watch this puppy start pumping out massive AoE HoT healing. Using this with Chain Heal on top of it just becomes a ridiculous amount of raid healing.

Acenstral Awakening – This little puppy might not be the greatest tool we have, but it is definitely useful. It can proc off Riptide, LHW and HW and heals the lowest health target within 40 yards for 30% of the amount you just healed. Combine that with some of the aforementioned talents and you can get a decent amount of mileage out of this one.

Earth Living Weapon – Our healing weapon imbue adds 150 healing and has a 20% chance to toss a small HoT off the target of the heal. This can and does proc off of chain heal and taking Blessing of the Eternals can increase the proc percentage as well as the Glyph. It might not seem like a lot but free healing is free healing, and it does add up.

We have so much going for us now, we are a complete healer. Our strength lies in the synergy of spells and talents as well as our ability to compliment every healer in the game. I once referred to Restoration Shamans as the driving bass line that keeps the song moving forward. I still fully believe that. I think our spells are strong and I think they give us an ability to fill multiple roles in a raid at the drop of a hat. I think our versatility and synergy allow us a certain amount of freedom many classes don’t always have. I can go from raid healing to tank healing in the blink of an eye, and be just as good as any other healing class.

I don’t think chain heal is broken, I just think it’s not the crutch it used to be. I think people should stop looking to it to be the spell it was in Sunwell, and should accept that it is one of many tools to be used with great effect. You have to use every tool you have at your disposal to be effective or as the saying goes, the sum is greater then the parts. I think chain heal keeps up with PoM, CoH, and WG just fine. I think swinging to one extreme and favoring one spell or the other is horrible. You should never grow to rely on a single spell, nor should a class be defined by the strength of a single spell. For all the people who claim that a shaman’s worth lies in Bloodlust and Heroism solely, or that since chain heal isn’t a god-like spell that we have no use in a raid. That just makes me sad. As someone who truly loves the shaman class, and as a person who enjoys it so much that other classes pale in comparison to play I beg you. Please look at the class as a whole. Look at all the wonderful things we bring to the raid and treat us like any other healer. I beg you to keep in mind composition of the entire raid over individual classes. We stack up just fine compared to other AoE healing, don’t write us off.

I’m ok if you say one of our spells is not suited for a specific task, but it really sets me off when it degenerates down into a crude understanding of how things are. I know for a fact I can keep up on hard modes, I know my spells will be there to back me up. I know this because I use everything and the kitchen sink when healing.

What do you guys think? Do you think Shaman Healing is broken? Do you think we can’t keep up with hard mode healing? Do you still love your Lazer Beam of Love?

Until next time, Happy Healing

sig4

Image courtesy of Lize of <Gladius Dei> on Kilrogg
Found through official forums

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. Oh noes…seriously Ensidia is not bringing disc priests to raid because every priest in a discipline spec is a wasted raid spot.

    Oh yeah, they brought one, but they just had him shield a whole lot.

    Oh wait…I just poked at a 22 page qq holy pallie thread…they don’t want mp5 on their gear, so their gear is broken..or something…

    Ohoh!…I forgot…druids have to change all their gear around since spirit has become sooooo useless, now they all need int instead of spirit..spirit is useless it was the base of the class!

    Really, once everybody is QQing about their class…seems there’s balance to me 🙂

    Shyraias last blog post..Where am I?

  2. I could not agree more.Resto shammy is a great spec to play. Balancing spell power, crit and haste is very thought provoking. (ie is 16 spell power better than 8 spell power plus 6 crit?) My only worry is what WoW is doing to gemcrafting.

  3. I know our shamans and paladins were grumbling that Ulduar favours the instant cast side of priest and druid raid healing (too many fights with interrupts or slows, I think). Nothing wrong with chain heal though, it was a more general concern.

  4. There are two things in your post that many people out there mix up:

    1) Is Chain Heal broken?
    2) Is the resto shamanz useless now??!!

    1) Chain Heal is not broken. It’s just dramatically less useful than in BC. In BC it was a freakin’ UBER-spell. I guess shadow bolt and chain heal are the two most iconic spells for BC high-end raiding. Now, our CH is still ok, but compared to group healing capabilities of priests and druids, we really do a bad job.

    If you look at normal raid modes, you’ll probably do fine and won’t notice much. But if you get into hard modes, there are ton of encounters where chain heal just doesn’t do the trick. It is too slow, to position dependent and really an annoying spell when heavy group damage is combined with movement.

    There are still a good chunk of encounters out there, where chainheal does a decent job on normal mode (auriaya, freya, topping of melees etc.). But very often our real strength lies in Tidal Waves and its incredibly fast rescue heals.

    Chain Heal is not broken, it just transformed from the best group healing spell in the game to one amongst many healing tools of a resto shaman.

    2) Shamans are not broken. We are very good single target healers and still pretty solid group healers. We are probably the most-well rounded class in the game.

    But the harder the content, the more we suffer from the lack of specialization. I see it in my guild. We raid with 2 priests, 2 paladins and 1-2 resto druids/shamans. We are two resto shamans and we are guaranteed 1 raidspot per night. And it’s not really easy to convince officers to get more resto shamans in the lineup, seeing how we struggle with raid-healing and are still inferior in tank healing compared to Paladins.

    Also we suffer a little bit from the fact, that crushing blows were removed. Big magic Hits are the new guys in town, and the lack of a pro-active ability like Guardian Spirit doesn’t make our life easier, that’s a minor issue though.

    But I’m sure for most of you guys, the lineup tradition/social status in your guild will be much more important regarding raid spots than the actual state of resto shaman healing.

    I don’t think we need serious buffs. But I’d love a little tweaking, shifting us back into a more specialized role. Also, a lot of you resto shamans might still do a pretty decent job with facerolling CH. But I wonder how you see things as soon as you start doing serious attempts at hard modes.

    drugs last blog post..My Blogroll

  5. Big.Daddy says:

    I agree with you Lodur. I’ve been following that post on the forums, and it just makes me cry on the inside.

    We’re not broken, chain heal is not broken.

    Sure, I struggle with pumping out enough heals to keep enough people alive when people are too spread out to benefit from CH…. but that in no way implies that I’m broken. It just means the strategy and raid comp has to adjust to the fight. (Or that I need to put on my haste set and RP/LHW/LHW and continue the LHW’s to keep up my side of the room.)

    In our 10 man runs, I’m being asked to raid heal one fight, and to MT heal the next fight, and then on Iron Council, I’m healing the OT and throwing out interrupts AND keeping heals on the raid.

    Am I broken? Psh.

  6. AmIBroken says:

    > What do you guys think?

    I think you’re taking things out of context. Please realize that the post in question was about raid healing in hard modes.

    > Do you think Shaman Healing is broken?

    I would say so. Shaman’ niche was raid healing, and now we’re being pushed out of it by druids and priests.

    > Do you think we can’t keep up with hard mode healing?

    If we can, parses don’t show it. I’m yet to experience hard modes myself, but analytics is there to observe.

    > Do you still love your Lazer Beam of Love?

    No. Currently I’m resorting to sniping heals with RT/(L)HWs. It’s counterproductive (yes, Big.Daddy, sniping others’ heals is not healing), but what else can I do?

  7. manatank says:

    The question isn’t so much whether Shamans are broken, but whether chain heal is a lack luster AoE heal compared to what a priest can provide. The consensus is that chain heal can’t compete even in ideal situations (all the targets are in jump range and require healing), and there are many situations (especially in hard modes) where the spacing of raid members renders chain heal particularly ineffective.

    With that in mind, what else is a shaman good for? While they can tank heal, a progression raid would be better served by a holy paladin or perhaps a discy priest. So what’s left if they aren’t ideal for tank or AoE healing? Spot healing is really in my opinion where shamans currently shine. They can drop a boat load of healing in a short period of time with RT -> LHW/HW.

    So, I think shamans have a niche (spot healing), but I think many people still expect shamans to be dominant AoE healers and they simply aren’t the best choice for that role anymore. Chainheal may be the traditionally recognized iconic resto-shaman spell, but if you are bringing shaman to your raid to AoE heal using it, then you will be less effective than if you filled the spot with a priest (assuming the skill level of each player is equal, which is rarely the case).

    My ideal general purpose (different fights would favor different configurations) healing corp would include: 2 holy paladin tank healers, 2 holy priest aoe healers, 1 druid aoe/hot buffer healer, 1 shaman spot healer. If the fight called for dropping to 5 healers the shaman would probably be the first to go (if there were at least 1 other shaman in the raid to provide Hero/BL).

  8. manatank says:

    “No. Currently I’m resorting to sniping heals with RT/(L)HWs. It’s counterproductive (yes, Big.Daddy, sniping others’ heals is not healing), but what else can I do?”

    Work with your other healers so your quick rescue heals are expected. That way instead of it being a snipe that does nothing but stroke your e-peen on the effective healing meters it becomes your role so that other healers can focus on the strengths of their classes. We dominate on getting big heals to single targets quickly and with the weakness of chain heal we should be expected to be doing it. Let the druids keep rolling rejuvs, and let the priests keep pumping out AoE while you mitigate raid burst damage. It works a lot better than fighting each other to win a meta game (healing meter). Healing should never be a solo effort. Organize and specialize.

  9. AmIBroken says:

    manatank, basically you’re telling me how to cope with it. I’m not sure if I can accept your advice just yet.

  10. @manatank. I agree with statement about working with your healers to set up ideal situations based on what you have. I do this regularly as a heal lead. I don’t agree that the class only has a niche as a “spot” healer. That would be the same as saying druids can’t tank heal since they have a niche as a roll healer. All the healing classes are capable of filling each role. That’s sort of the point blizz wanted to get at. The whole bring the player not the class thing I find that important. Is it always the case? no, not really. But it is more often then not. I argue that it boils down more to skill then the classes.

    Personally I feel anyone with the gumption and know how can find a way to do it and find a way to do it well.

  11. Shaman might not be broken… But they are inferior healers for now, especially for hard modes when raids really need to min/max their make-up.

    Theres a reason why most of the early hard mode hodir and iron council and deconstructor kills had zero resto shaman (or just 1). They are less then ideal raid healers, they are less then ideal tank healers. They won’t be topping healing meters and they don’t have any cool tricks to bring to the the raid (aside from lust and boring totems, which a dps shaman can bring).

    But hey, I’m happy you’re happy. Living under the shamans brainless chain heal spam throughout sunwell was tiring, so its nice to watch them play in the mud for awhile instead while everyone else picks up the slack.

  12. manatank says:

    @Lodur:

    Oh, I agree with you. You have to make do with what you have, and shamans are actually very versatile healers. In less than ideal situations I’ve successfully tank healed, aoe healed, and spot healed. The only problem is that when your raid is pushing the envelope and there is very very little margin for error, then specialization becomes important. When you have to start cutting raid healing spots down to a bare minimum to have enough dps to meet hard mode timers then it becomes more and more important that the classes you choose for those slots are able to do the job they are sloted for.

    You bring up the example of a druid tank healer. While a druid tank healer would be sufficient in certain scenarios, there are many scenarios where they would be unable to handle the tank healing task alone when a paladin could. In these situations using a druid tank healer would mean requiring cross healing from another healer, which in turn means the other healer would be less effective at their primary task. Ultimately, healing assignments like this end up leading to inefficient healing which leads to needing more healers to do the job.

    Chainheal works. It just doesn’t restore raid health to multiple targets as quickly as other AoE healing spells. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the spell needs a buff. It just means that in an ideal situation a priest would be preferred to a shaman for aoe healing. We don’t live in an ideal world and we don’t all get to staff our raids with players who can always push their particular class to it’s maximum possible efficiency. There isn’t always going to be some phenomenal priest player sitting out there waiting to take a shaman’s aoe healing spot, but when there is, it is hard to justify from a game mechanics perspective why they shouldn’t get the spot.

    All that said, I do think game mechanics suggest that in ideal situations shamans are incredibly effective spot healers, and if a fight calls for spot healing, then a shaman is a good choice for a healing spot.

  13. @ percy so, essentially you’re saying they are sub par overall? wow that’s one heck of a statement. While I agree that brainless healing during sunwell was horrid and caused a level of mental atrophy bordering on obscene, stating that others are picking up the slack while shamans play in the mud? hardly. I work my rear off to keep my raid up, as does every single resto shaman I know on a personal level. If I misread the comment I’m sorry but that just seemed rather off. Also it’s not about topping meters, it’s about winning the encounter and doing it as a useful member of the team.

  14. Allagash says:

    I have to agree with manatank and drug. Resto Shaman’s aren’t broken, they just aren’t the gods of AOE healing anymore. Any reasonably competent holy priest or resto druid should be better at AOE healing for the majority of fights. Yeah if the player stinks it doesn’t matter what class they play but if we’re talking hard mode healing here, I’m assuming a higher than average level of skill on everyone’s part. I still think resto shamans have a place in hard mode healing but no I’m definitely not bringing more than 1 if I can help it.

  15. AmIBroken says:

    > Resto Shaman’s aren’t broken, they just aren’t the gods of…

    … pretty much anything except Bloodlust/Heroism. Can I have my niche, any niche, back?

    And, no, spot healing is not a niche. At least not the one I can enjoy.

  16. Thanks for quoting my post on the official forums. Sometimes you have to over the top on the official forums just to get noticed. The 6% Chain Heal for Sixthy was over an entire raid, multiple bosses on hard mode. You can look at all of his fights at http://www.wowmeteronline.com/browse/guildcalendar/11579#calendar

    @ Lodur – I’m looking at your runs here. http://www.wowmeteronline.com/browse/guildcalendar/21919#calendar
    I checked several logs over the past few weeks and I didn’t see a Holy Priest anywhere, just Wistoovern the disc healer. I suspect you might have a different opinion if you ran with 1-2 good holy priests.

  17. @Vvodka: Quite possibly, but then again I’ve been looking for a good holy priest for a while now. the only ones I’ve been graced with have been random holy priests from other top guilds on zul’jin on random runs.

    Also Vvodka I’ve noticed you since plusheal mate, hope you don’t think anything ill of me taking using your statement to set the tone and hope you know this post was in no way a shot against you but a reaction to the people who took it a bit too far in other places in the thread.

  18. I completely agree that Chain Heal is a very situational spell at best. It’s slow, and it’s diminishing payload per jump makes it very hard to use effectively in high AoE damage fights.

    3 weeks ago, I changed my Clique setup replacing Chain Heal with Lesser Healing Wave. I now need to use a modified mouse button (“alt+left” actually) to get a CH.. I figure the times I need it, I can handle the extra brain power. What a change from T6.

    I always give the “raid” assignments to Priests when I can (and WG Druids.. but by and large Priests). They are just head and shoulders over my AoE heals in a 25 man environment. Yes to “spot” assignments like Naplm Shell and the like.

  19. @Lodur – No, I appreciate you using my post. The more shaman that can weigh in on this, the better. If you just read the one thread, you missed a lot of the details and numbers that were in other posts. I’m going to try to pull everything together in the next few days on PlusHeal to organize it.

  20. xabbott says:

    Way to miss the whole point. You aren’t healing hard modes. The type of content and raids you run will shape your perspective. This is probably why you valued mp5 way too much and every top guild shed it for int, haste, crit. You’re a casual raiding healer, for that any class will do. But there is a difference when you are raiding in top tiers.

  21. @ Vvodka Let me know when you got everything compiled I would love to look at it.

    @ Xabbott actually I’m aware of my value of stats, its my preference, as I state on every post I put up, and every shaman post I’ve seen, still suggests having mp5. My mp5 is 400 before raid buffs, I don’t think thats valuing it too much. My 3 dragon’s eyes are +27 int and I have done the debate of haste vs crit and found a great middle ground.

    My guild might not be as “hardcore” as some, but we do do the hard fights. We do hardmode, we just do it at our own pace. Also I didnt miss the point of the post, but perhaps I should state the purpose of mine here.

    First of all, the purpose of this post is to open up a dialog and get people interested in what’s being said and measured out there. So far I think it’s successful to that effect. I’ve gotten plenty of responses here, Email, AIM, and Twitter. People are now digging for information. If I write something that makes people think and do research well then thats great and I feel it’s a win for the post.

    Secondly My statements above is more of a reaction to people who take a small selection of information and take it so far. IE saying the entire class is broken and worthless because a heal becomes one of our tools rather then the crutch it was in SWP. I understand the math involved, I understand the theory. I have raided in top tiers, so I know about that. Again this is simply my opinion. I try carefully to tred the line between casual and hardcore, because not everyone is casual, and not everyone is hardcore. Maybe I missed my mark, if so I’ll re-evaluate my writing but I think so far so good.

  22. My only lvl 80 is a Prot/Ret Paladin. I was thinking of rolling a Shaman for healing because I don’t like the Holy Paladin’s single-target style.

    But I was unsure because some people told me Resto shammies only spam 1 button to heal (Chain Heal) and that’d be boring.

    Your article enlightened me, mr. Matticus. Now I really want to roll a Resto Shammy, looks like the perfect healing class for me.

    Thanks for the very informative, objective and well-redacted article.

    And sry 4 my bad english lol.

  23. Matt always gets the credit =P.

    @sid the resto shaman is a very versatile class, I hope you love it as much as I do.

  24. It reminds me of the progression kill they made in Sunwell without a single holy priest. The rants and QQs were endless. Blizzard forum trolls gathered in full strength to send a clear message that “the priest class was undeniably broken”. Strangely enough.. in that very same patch… my healing output was higher than ever in TBC.

    To all the QQ’ers: If you look only at one side of the argument, don’t be surprised if get persuaded to that side 🙂

    Oh and… @Lodur:
    “I can find an equation to prove or disprove anything given enough time. Numbers change and statistics are subjective”
    He’s probably right… Using maths and equations is merely a structured way to make a point. The point may, or may not be, subjective. It may hurt some feelings… but at no time can a reader shake off his (her) responsability to interpret and think about what they read.

  25. I’m not a shaman, but I find shamans doing allright in my guild. We went for a few yoggy tries last night, with all shamans on raid healing and we had absolutely no problems. And as written above, chain heal isn’t their only spell.

    SuicidalPriests last blog post..NPC of May

  26. You forgot Nature’s Swiftness!

  27. One of the points I was trying to make in that thread, before GC even posted, was that the developers think the game is balanced if shaman AREN’T using chain heal for the majority of their healing done. So, asking for a chain heal buff on it’s own isn’t that productive. Looking at the entire set of tools and showing where there is a weakness is more productive (ie. are shaman not good enough tank healers when their raid healing tools don’t hold up in a fight? Do they need more raid healing tools besides just chain heal?). So, thanks for looking at all the healing tools!

    In early beta for WotLK, I actually had to help the shaman fight to get chain heal added to some of the newer talents (I was raiding on my shaman back then). From the best of what I can remember, they pretty much had a set of talents that only buffed LHW & HW at some point in WotLK’s development. It’s possible they swung too far the other way and now don’t have enough buffs for LHW & HW in the tree, but there should at least be some incentives now to actually want to use other spells. I worry more about the usefulness of shaman for non-chain heal spamming fights more than I worry about the usefulness of chain heal.

  28. My main is a Holy Pally and I rolled a resto shaman for CH and to be able to heal more than 1 person at a time. Shame they ruined that. A couple of weeks ago, I read the Ensidia shaman guide and went with the LHW style and glyph.

    The problem is the perception that shamen are still AoE raid healers. So your assignments will be like it is 2007 and the good old days. So I find us without a clear role and tools that don’t quite match the raid leader’s expectations.

    “WotLK – at least the clams stack.”

  29. ‘I think people should stop looking to it to be the spell it was in Sunwell, and should accept that it is one of many tools to be used with great effect.’

    I wonder if this isn’t the biggest problem – people who expect things to work the way they ‘always have in the past’ and not adjusting to the realities of the game the way it is now.

  30. Chain heal isn’t broken. It’s good in 5-man and 25-man encounters. Where it’s not so good is in 10-man. 10-man raids have the same playfield as 25-man, but with only 40% of the people filling that space – chain heal doesn’t get to bounce much unless you have a bunch of melee to heal.

    Also in 10-mans you’re not guaranteed to have replenishment, so hasted CH spam is not going to last long before you’re sucking mana fumes.

    A lot of our new talents only work on HW/LHW and/or Riptide. Spot healing with Riptide and 2xLHW is a lot more healing, more likely to hit the targets that need it and much less likely to be sniped by a WG or other AoE healing spell.

    Chain Heal still has it’s place, but it’s a spell I rarely cast any more. Even with plenty of haste 1.8-2 secs is a long time to spend casting in a mobile fight.

    The trick is convincing raid leaders and old-schoolers that we shouldn’t be spamming CH until bits of brain dribble out our ears.

  31. This certainly sparked a lot of feedback. My main is a disc priest and my alt is a resto shaman… both do Ulduar25. I’ve been to a few raids that had 4 resto shamans, 1 disc priest, 1 paladin and you can certainly see how CH doesn’t quite keep up with things like WG / COH / POH. That doesn’t mean its broken at all. Freya’s Detonating Lashers is a great use of CH that I find way more powerful vs. the AE heals from other classes. Hodir’s Frozen Blows though is one where you see how inferior CH is.

    Point is that depending on the situation there is better or worse spells that can be used. CH is still quite amazing and easily comes out as a huge chunk of my healing (since I stack haste / mp5). Riptide is awesome as is LHW but I still think HW is crap. =)

    Xeonios last blog post..Thoughts… on guides… about blogging.

  32. Neviril says:

    As a main Resto Shaman, who has always been a resto shaman at level cap, I think they’re fine. No, Chain Heal is not completely overpowered and broken like it used to be. But know what? I’m fine with that. I still do quite well in the overall healing department(Thanks Healing Stream Totem!). No, the guild I’m with is not trying to push the bleeding edge of content. I’ve never had much of an interest in that.

    However, I don’t think a class should be judged on how it performs at the bleeding edge. That’s not broken; that’s simply not 100% min/max’d. For the spot where I’m at, where the guild I’m with just downed XT on 25s, and is most of the way through Ulduar on 10s, Resto Shaman do quite fine. In fact, last night the two top healers were Shaman.

    http://wowwebstats.com/jexsxta34aucy WWS report for proof.

  33. manatank says:

    “Riptide is awesome as is LHW but I still think HW is crap. =)”

    How is HW crap? With tidal waves and my haste gear/totem it casts in less than 1.5s (LHW on the other hand casts very quickly with tidal waves, but the time between casts is almost as high because of the GCD). It has a 100% chance on crit to proc imp water shield. It heals for much more which means the ancestral healing proc is also bigger than with LHW. Unless you are healing a tank you almost never need to cast more than one heal on a target to top them off with HW. I don’t have any mana problems when I use it freely. Pretty much the only time I’d ever use LHW over HW is if the heal absolutely has to get there in less than a second.

    What sucks about it?

  34. @Xeonio Interesting…it’s places like Hodir where I think CH really shines. Get in a light beam and unleash. I’m pushing 4600 HPS on Hodir most times.

    Chain heal is not broken, it’s just not a crutch. Could it use a buff? Yes, but only in how fast we can get them off. The only time I’ve ever felt it’s even marginally lack-luster is when there’s too much movement involved to get off the long cast. Either a faster cast, a talent to allow more frequent instants (maybe a 18 sec cooldown on an instant CH that only affects CH? I dunno…) or another spell that helps off-set the need for CH in high-movement + high raid damage situations.

    I think CH also takes a lot more thought than the other AoE heals, due to the range issues. CH only hops within 10 (8?) yards. It doesn’t have a 30 or 40 yard range like some group healing spells. It also, however, hops to anyone that needs it, regardless of the group they’re in. This means it’s extremely important that you target someone that’s in range of at least 2 other people when tossing CH. Get used to where your melee dps are in grid. Target them for guaranteed hops. Convince your ranged to group up whenever possible. These small things help immensely with CH’s usefulness.

    Other than that, I find that, by using all the tools available, I’m nearly always #1 in my meters. In most fights I don’t CH spam these days. ES + HWT + RT + HW is an amazing tank healing rotation. I’ve healed tanks through all normal mode 25 content without issue, and while contributing to raid healing at the same time.

    In the interest of full disclosure though, I’m not healing hard modes (not in 25 at least) so maybe I just haven’t seen the problem yet. So far, things have been great for this resto space goat.

    -Z

  35. ElDraco says:

    Since Wrath we have had some issues keeping healers around our guild. Luckily we have two BC raiding resto shammy (the gm and me (an officer)), so have been able to remain semi steady in keeping at least a 10 man going every week. Because we are on all the time, and usually end up as raid leads (in fact, rarely does any raid happen without one or both of us being a part of it, unfortunatly), we were close to BiS Naxx/OS 25 geared by the time Ulduar dropped (just wish others would see the correlation between us being in almost EVERY raid and being the best geared!!!). So, of course not only being the raid leads, but also being two of the best geared healers, we are part of our weekly Ulduar 10 group. In the beginning it was a 2 shammy and then paly/priest for the third, but lately we have gotten both the paly and priest on a regular schedule so typically I am able to go resto.

    But, I digress. We did struggle for a bit in Ulduar, just getting used to the moving and anticipation part of raiding again we forgot we missed in Naxx/OS. One night, post raid, I started looking at our WWS report and came up with an idea to try, and got together the GM. When comparing gear, she was more geared for haste/SP, where I had more crit/MP5.

    As she is almost always on raid (either when I am resto, or when we have the paly and holy priest), it made sense to have her spec the “raid” spec and me go tank heals. If the priest and paly both come, they can stick to their tank nuking ways, and she has no cost to respec or reglyph. Ideally with her hast she MAY be more suited for the quicker casting HW, but I think the crit and procs off that and the other single target heals are a better long term solution, as we always have LhW if need be.

    So I came up with the following solution:

    She respeced a little, dropping Ancestral Healing and picking up Improved Shields, as well as glyphing w/ CH, Healing Stream (as we almost always have a least 2 pally’s in our raid group and mana spring is redundant), and water mastery (not that I would necessarily reccomend this, but she was worried about OOM). I, on the other hand, went more “MT” spec, using Ancestral Healing, and glyphing ES/LhW/HW.

    So the basic fight goes:

    Me on MT, ES’d by me, OT by the other single target healer and her on raid. She fires off lightning quick CH’s, and has healing stream ticking for about 2-2.5k party wide every 2 seconds. With the amount of raid wide damage, as well as mana tide, we usually put the squishy ranged mana using clothies in one group with her, and then myself and the tanks/melee dps in the 2nd to benefit from the lower/tick stream, but with the ability to focus the CH’s more on them.

    Since we revamped this (granted, this has been since the original pre-nerf, but still), we have gone from getting to like 50% on the siege bosses past FL to only mimron left of the keepers.

    It’s still a work in progress, but I fully believe this is a perfect example that shammy’s are NOT broke, CH is not broke, but just making sure the proper spec/gear/glyph and probably most importantly group composition (in the sense that the shammy is not going raid healz/tank healz/raid healz) is utilized, shammy’s can not only be a “well, at least they are healz and we only have 2 others on”, but a viable tank OR raid heal.

  36. AmIBroken says:

    I repeat this for people posting their rainbows-and-unicorns stories.

    Please realize that the post people discuss was about raid healing in Ulduar hard modes. Shaman raid healing in Ulduar hard modes, according to the parses, is mediocre, in comparison to the raid healing provided by priests and druids.

    Hard modes is where competitive raiding currently at. Anywhere else, any healer will suffice.

  37. manatank says:

    @AmIBroken: That is why I find so many of these comments defending Shamans so ridiculous. They are gut reactions from people blindly defending their class. There are people without any personal experience of healing an Ulduar hard mode chiming in saying that nothing is wrong. How could they possibly know that? My level 80 prot paladin is a completely sufficient healer for deadmines so I really think people should stop saying prot paladins have a problem healing Icecrown25 hardmodes! That’s obviously hyperbole, but the idea is the same.

    This reminds me of the forum comments near the end of BC about new talents and abilities for Wrath being either a nerf or “completely OP” based on their experience in BC. The problem is that you can’t really know how the abilities and talents will stack up until you actually see the new fights they are intended for. When you suddenly have a dramatic increase in raid damage on a fight that you were fine healing with CH in normal mode you may suddenly find yourself cursing the spell when you try it in hard mode. It just seems very unwise to discount the experiences of people who have done something with conjecture from people who haven’t.

  38. The best thing about raiding is that you get to try new ways of using your abilities. Gradually you find what works best for your raid group. This often changes for different trash mobs and bosses. And for who you are raiding with and what buffs they give or totems they drop. One person on the raid should hand out/co-ordinate healing assignments. That way you can maximize all the healing output. When I first started raiding I thougt that they did not think that I was good enough to heal the main tank. Then I read an article that saiid we were the best raid wide healers. So now I watch the raid and heal any on who needs it. Once I was the only one left alive when the boss finally died. Made me feel good. Mana management and knowing the fight and having a raid group that works together makes all the difference for me.

  39. The issue with Shamans is most apparent on Hard Modes, where the damage and healing requirements are incredibly high. In regular heroic Ulduar, there is enough slack in the encounter design that a shaman can manage.

    The primary issue as I see it is the effective HPS cap on shamans. Under optimum conditions, a shaman can put out about 6-7k eHPS. Other healers tend to top out at 10-12k eHPS. I’m not referring to the whole fight, but when burst healing is needed.

    On XT’s Tantrum, the entire raid takes ~2k each per second for 8 seconds. That’s 400k damage to heal up. Seven healers @ 5700 HPS can heal it up in 10 seconds. The shaman is fine healing here, he can meet his quota of healing.

    On hard mode, damage is increased by 40%. The seven healers would need to average 8000 HPS. But some raids cut down to 5 healers to make the DPS requirement. Now you need 11,000 HPS per healer for that 10 seconds to get everyone back up.

    Check out this WMO report. Click on Healing Done tab. Select (checkbox on the far left) the Shaman and one of the priests or druids. Scroll down to the chart at the bottom. See how the Priests/Druids are peaking at 11-12K HPS, while the shaman barely makes 7k HPS.
    http://www.wowmeteronline.com/combat/4498094#realtime

    See how the top healers rank on each fight.
    http://www.wowmeteronline.com/rank/clazz/ehps/all/7/0/3

  40. Vixsin_Chogall says:

    There is also something to be said for arguing about the usefulness/ performance of abilities based on what a few top-end guilds are experiencing. I’m not in the best of the best, but I’ve attempted and been successful at a number of U25 and U10 hard modes (nowhere near the success of some, but reasonably beyond the majority) thus far. And, I have to take the stance that shamans as a class are neither broken nor subpar.

    In the end, I’ve always been one to believe in the capacity of the healer over numbers any day. In my opinion, what it ultimately comes down to is the player at the keyboard and his/her capacity to perform given the tools he/she has chosen. Credit it to my simple belief that my performance is solely dependent on me and not Blizzard’s programming.

    Thank you for your post Lodur, and for furthering the discussion.

  41. AmIBroken says:

    Vixsin_Chogall, could you please provide links to some of the non-WWS parses from the hard mode encounters you participated in?

  42. manatank says:

    @Vixsin_Chogall:
    “And, I have to take the stance that shamans as a class are neither broken nor subpar.”

    But this is a discussion about chain heal. How do you feel about chain heal in comparison to the AoE heals that could be provided by a priest or a druid?

    “In the end, I’ve always been one to believe in the capacity of the healer over numbers any day.”

    Absolutely, but let’s presume for a moment that you are a very talented healer, and you could be playing any healing class. Which class would you choose if you were asked to AoE heal? Would you want chainheal over circle of healing/prayer of healing? That’s what this is really about. If you didn’t have to worry about leveling or gearing a new toon, and could think of each of the 5 healing specs as tools in your toolbox, which tool is best suited to this task?

    Shamans used to be regarded as the kings of AoE healing (or at least comparable), but they simply do not have a toolset that favors them for this role anymore. They are still very capable at certain things (quick/large single target heals for example), and in my opinion are reasonably capable of every healing role in the game (just not the best at tank or aoe healing).

    The sky isn’t falling. Shamans don’t have to reroll. It’s very possible for a talented shaman to out perform a less talented priest on aoe healing, but they are doing so against the odds.

  43. Lodur, thanks a lot for starting this discussion. It’s been very interesting to read through all this comments.

    Many shamans in normal modes there do a good job. That reflects exactly the state of the resto shaman. Healers at this points are balanced as never before, blizzard has done such a fantastic balancing job compared to BC. But also, normal modes are very forgiving. Already now, and they will get easiert as we gear up.

    Hard modes, now that’s a different story. They are actually hard. Especially now where a good chunk of the raid is still in T7.5 gear. Hard modes will often require brutal dps, very few hard modes get easier by bringing 7+ healers. So the there’s even more pressure on the 5-6 hard mode healers. And that’s where shamans at this point struggle. While chainheal does a fantastic job in some normal modes, it absolutely fails in the same encounter hard mode.

    Example Freya:

    0-1 Elder up, CH is pure win. Every resto shaman will easily put out huge HPS. Add another Elder and you get a silencing mechanics and huge raid damage which needs to be healed instantly and suddenly CH feels horribly slow.

    Add a lot of movement to a hard encounter and CH is not so win anymore. And suddenly you see yourself in a position where you cast tons of RT/LHWs, while there isn’t even a PVE LHW totem relic. So while you do a fantastic job in normal modes, using all different resto shaman tools, you’ll see yourself casting a lot of fast emergency heals in hard modes (And sadly, blizzard sees LHW still as a PVP spell).

    The most annoying thing for me is that a lot of shamans want to prove that shamans are totally fine by mentioning that they can win the healing meters. Like Lodur says, you can prove just any point you want by looking at statistics.

    Why shaman healing is especially bad represented in WWS right now:

    1. HST is counted as effective healing in WWS.
    2. Healing meters represent in no way your ability to heal the group NOW.
    3. All classes have tons of passive healing abilites (HST, AA, Earthliving), which make it harder and harder to compare healing between classes. Because for me, the ability to actively heal someone fast and big is still the most important thing, not healing total numbers.

    drugs last blog post..MMOUI Minion BETA

  44. @drug Not a problem. I feel things like this need to be talked about. It very clearly illustrates the lines and thoughts of the players.

    To everyone who contributed and commented. Thank you. I now have plenty of information and questions to ask and hound devs at blizzcon with =D

  45. Phaythe says:

    I think part of the problem is that people get too caught up in the “Chain Heal is underpowered… BUFF IT!” argument, when that’s not necessarily the best answer to the real problem. Chain Heal is in no way, shape, or form a bad spell. That’s probably why Blizz is hesitant to give it an outright buff. The following thread, from the official WOW forums, I think much more directly demonstrates the true problem (although many people still focused on a need to buff Chain Heal as the solution):

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=17223036452&sid=1

    The problem is that, when the raid needs healing the most, Shaman are just not capable of the amount of burst healing that a Holy Priest or Druid can put out. That means that when you cut healers from Hard Modes, which are the fights that truly require this type of healing, the Resto Shaman is going to be the first healer put on the bench, along with any extra Pallies or Disc. Priests. Now, being specialized Tank Healers, I don’t think Pallies or Disc. Priests should be surprised when an extra one is sat. However, Resto Shaman have been defined as “niche AOE raid healers” by Blizzard, yet we are being replaced in Hard Modes for that exact role by Holy Priests primarily (and to some degree Resto Druids). That’s why you see the second Resto Shaman being replaced with a Holy Preist for Hard Modes in elite guilds. The remaining Resto Shaman can carry his weight, but Sixthy and Meka are showing that the role they are playing is more of quick spot healer (Riptide > LHW > LHW) than a true AOE healer. Just like a tank healer, there’s only one spot in Hard Modes for a spot healer, and while Shaman are very good at it, that spot could probably be filled by another healing class without losing much healing capability.

    Now, the answer I have suggested to give Resto Shaman a boost is to buff both NS and TF for a short term fix, and also lower their cooldowns to 2 minutes max each. One idea was to have TF double the jump range on your Chain Heal for the next two casts and reduce the “fall off effect” of the jumps. These types of changes would more directly address the problem as opposed to a straight up buff to Chain Heal that others are suggesting.

  46. @phaythe I agree. My rant was based on the fact that the minute we are replaced people drop down on their knees scream “BUFF ME” at the top of their lungs and claim how nerfed or broken we are. I feel we aren’t nerfed or broken but our burst healing does suffer. I just dread when everything is focused on one spell. Your ideas of tweaking NS and TF intrigue me, I like it and honestly I think it fits the synergy of our spells and talents as well. I think I might add that to the docket of things to bring up at blizzcon. I don’t want to just see a straight up buff to the spell. I like having to think as a healer it makes the game fun. I just don’t want to see all the QQ on the forums turn into roll face on chain heal win again.

  47. Phaythe says:

    @Lodur Yeah people love Chain Heal, so that’s just probably the first thing that comes to mind to address the problem. They (people on the forums) want the range buffed as one of the primary solutions, even suggesting a buff up in the 15 yard range. I can totally appreciate how the Devs would cringe at doing this because the idea doesn’t take into account that “range” of the AOE heals used by other classes is different than the jump range for Chain Heal. Chain Heal jumps are cumulative, so 15X15X15X15 means a Chain Heal could jump pretty far and I’ve even said that if CH were buffed by this magnitude that it would start looking like the best button to hit in every situation to me. I hate this as a healer and totally agree that having different spells to choose from, especially when spell synergy is added to the equation, makes for much more dynamic gameplay. My ideas are different because they allow better burst for our class, a much higher chance that our Chain Heal will actually bounce in those emergency situations, but only allow us to do so a few times in a fight. These kind of changes would give us the boost where we need it most with little chance of making Chain Heal or Resto Shaman as a whole too powerful.

  48. @phaythe you hit the nail on the head there. One of the first things I learned when it came to game design was balance. if you don’t balance equations, they don’t work. If you don’t balance content, everyone goes one direction and half your game is never seen. I think a boost is in order but I think it needs to be looked at from the angle you’re approaching. I highly approve. Thank you for commenting.

  49. Phaythe says:

    I look forward to hearing your report from Blizzcon… have a great time! 🙂

  50. Tarsonis says:

    I read your post, but I totally disagree. For normal modes, yes restoration shamans are 100% fine and chain heal is great. However, in some hard modes chain heal becomes ineffective for healing the raid except for melee simply because the raid is too spread out.

    Also, you mentioned that other class’s spells are HPS capped too, that’s true but the HPS cap of chain heal is MUCH lower than the HPS cap of a priest. Not only that, but it’s easier for priests and druids to get their full HPS at all times due to not having to worry about people being too far apart to get their heals.

    Also about LHW/Riptide spam, while this can be effective for raid healing its still nowhere near as effective as the AOE healing done by priests and druids. Single target heals will never be as effective as AOE heals for the job of raid healing.

  51. @ Tarsonis I’m not saying that we don’t need a tweek, my post was a reaction to the people that scream we are broken or nerfed because one spell doesn’t work up to spec of others of that nature. I agree with phaythe that there should be a way to bring the spell up and capable of dealing with AoE burst, but I don’t agree that the spell needs an outright buff itself. I agree with you that LHW / Riptide is not nearly as effective for raid healing as AoE healing, I was simply pointing out ways that we were made a complete healer not to rely on a single spell. But yes I think if we are to be a competitive healer in hard mode encounters we need a little extra cookie.

  52. Tarsonis says:

    Also, I don’t see how you consider yourself qualified to make a post on this issue when you haven’t raided with a decent holy priest.

  53. @Tarsonis because the post is about the Shaman class, Not a the holy priest class. =D

  54. Tarsonis says:

    If other classes are taking restoration shaman raid spots, doesn’t that affect the shaman class?

    For example, on hard mode Hodir my guild only brings 3 healers because of the amount of DPS required to kill him within the time required. My guild has 2 resto shamans but neither of us are taken to do the fight. Instead, they bring a holy priest, a resto druid, and a holy paladin.

    Chain heal simply does not allow shamans to compete with holy priests and resto druids when the raid needs the maximum amount of healing per second and also when certain people won’t be healed by chain heal because they happened to be standing further than 8 yards away. Therefore its harder for us to reach our maximum HPS; which is much lower than the maximum HPS of the other raid healers we are competing with for our raid slot.

    If chain heal’s drawbacks make us the least 3rd most affective raid healer, and the 3rd most effective tank healer, don’t you agree that is an extremely bad spot to be in? When healers are taken to raids to specialize in one kind of job, why bring a class which is subpar in both healing roles.

  55. Sientina says:

    I would say he raided with a decent holy priest at one point 🙂

  56. @sientina /wave wondering when you would pop in. wtb you come back now!

  57. @tarsonis I mean this with all niceness, please read everything. comments, the post and perhaps even my comments to you. I agreed that we aren’t ideal hard mode healers and that a tweak to make us competitive would be nice and I think is needed. I still do not feel that in any way shape or form makes us broken or unplayable. I also agreed with Phaythe’s assesment of using other abilities to give chain heal tools to compete with the burst AoE healing that needs to be done, but I stand firm in my stance that straight buffing of chain heal would be bad. Again I refer you to my first response to you.

  58. AmIBroken says:

    > I still do not feel that in any way shape or form makes us broken or unplayable

    A shaman being sat out because his class does not perform well under given circumstances is a definition of a class being unplayable under given circumstances.

  59. Something has to change for Chain Heal to be viable again. I’m in agreement with Vvodka, Meka, and others in regard to how relatively weak Chain Heal is.

    The inherent weakness of Chain Heal really doesn’t show up well in fights where the aoe damage is heavy and predictable or on many normal mode encounters were you can bring 6 or more healers. Kologarn, Auriya, and Mimiron p2 are fights where Chain Heal can work to its full potential.

    I was extremely skeptical of moving away from my old haste heavy Chain heal build, but after experimenting and dropping almost 200 haste, I’ve been convinced that a crit heavy RT/lhw spec is the best way to make your resto shaman get the most out of his raid slot.

    When using 6 healers, or less for many other hard mode encounters its so important to let everyone fill their niche and maximize their tools. With a couple of good druids and holy priests in your raid, you are best off spot healing and letting them use their superior tools to keep the raid topped off.

    Steelbreaker last Iron Council more than any other fight I have done so far has convinced me that leaving raid healing to priests and druids is the best way to adapt to the class as it is now. Now, does Chain Heal need a buff? In a full Ulduar clear it is less than 10% of my healing done, so I would think it does.

  60. One addendum; I want to make clear that I think shaman are viable healers. I generally only sit myself when we have to drop to 3 healers for Hodir (the three being disc/holy priest/resto druid). However, a second resto shaman is extremely hard to justify in any healing comp for almost every hard mode fight.

  61. the blue post http://blue.mmo-champion.com/27/17619782879-shamanpve-is-blizzard-still-not-convinced.html apparently makes them look like George Bush.

    I have rerolled to shammy since the release of wotlk as change of scenery after dpsing for three years. I healled all wotlk dungeons and all raids until the release of Wotlk – yes something changed at uldar so obviously I had my healing rotation changed to suit boss encounter methods. Yeah i was surprised to see my LHW healing the raid faster than my CH since there is more control on targetting the hurt ones while my bigwigs reporting to me on what the Boss gonna do next. Also I now put only one totem: healing totem since there is ele and enhance shamans in raids. I like switching around with other spells to keep self-buffing/proc up though.

    I am allright with healing change but something is really bugging me
    “Wait a minute, am i a pala/priest now or what?”

    yes shamans are broken.

  62. I will start by saying that I wasn´t replaced by our raid leaders by any other healer and I won´t be, the day I get replaced, I will simply /gquit, because I still pay this game to have fun, and shaman is the class I chose to be my main, and resto my main spec.

    Though I know this comment is after 3.2 patch, but it didn´t change anything for me.
    I do not get to heal the raid anymore, I can´t even cast a chain heal , few months ago I told the other shamans of my guild that we were now simple spot healers, with an occasional LHW here and there, because no matter how much haste I had, by the time I finish the chain heal cast, the raid was already topped off by the 13213132 holy priests we have, and they laughed at me, and they started saying that If I´m just spot healing its because I suck.

    Now they agree with me, and some of them even rerolled, while I have a pretty good geared feral druid and I was offered a full raid spot if I rerolled, I won´t.
    But Blizzard still need to reduce significantly the cast time of chain, because dang, I´m not a MT healer! I do not like to be the MT healer! but I´m forced to be! and I don´t want to! why? because when I heal the raid, no matter how long is my CH cast time, the raid won´t die, but the other healers will let the MT die.
    Then my RL will swap roles, and I MT heal, I keep him alive, while I watch the raid dying….

    When will shamans go back to raid healing again?I´m looking forward to it, I don´t want to be forced to MT healing for the rest of my wow life.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Lodur over at WoM has some great thoughts on the State of Chain Heals. […]

  2. […] Lodur over at WoM has some great thoughts on the State of Chain Heals. […]

  3. […] Lodur over at WoM has some great thoughts on the State of Chain Heals. […]

  4. […] Lodur over at WoM has whatever enthusiastic thoughts on the State of Chain Heals. […]

  5. […] Lodur over at WoM has some great thoughts on the State of Chain Heals. […]

  6. […] The whole discussion began, when many prominent and vocal resto shamans started to more or less lay CH to rest. Sixthy does it (Source), Mek does it as well (Source). Of course a lot of shaman disagree with this healing style, partly because they don’t heal hard modes, partly because CH surely didn’t turn into a horrible spell over night (Lodur explains why). […]

  7. […] that’s for sure, and if anyone remembers back in may when I got on my soap box about the State of Chain Heal, in some cases healers were tweaked too much to the point they were way too far homogenized. […]

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