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Changes that need to happen -Resto Shaman

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In the current WoD meta I think we can all agree that the Restoration Shaman is not a forerunner at the cutting edge of progression. Resto as a healing spec is definitely still a viable option and worth a raid spot, but I doubt raid leaders are ever asking if they need to find a shaman for their healing team. Shamans are definitely still a fun class to play, but I feel it is a class that is poorly understood by the development team.

 

Over the past three expansions, the only changes to Shamans have been a reshuffling of our spells as to their priority in mana intensive vs non critical healing phases. All of our spells still interact the same way as they did in WotLK, while other healing classes have become much more complex and better designed (looking at you H Paladin). Our talent tree has some very boring and weak choices with the minor exception of the 85 and 100 talents. None of the glyphs between the three specs are exciting or offer a change in play style with the exception of Glyph of Riptide. Our class (all 3 specs included) is based on a spell weaving concept, with spells like lavaburst getting a boost from flameshock or tidal waves benefiting healing wave/healing surge and chain heal building off of riptide. Although on paper it seems that this design philosophy has a lot of depth, in reality it limits the choices Resto Shamans can make, and makes the player feel less empowered by their spell choices.

 

Although I made this thread as an open discussion on what changes the community in general would like to see happen to Shaman healers, there is one problem in particular that I find to be a complete burden.

 

Specifically: riptide, chain heal, and our mastery do not synergize well. Chain heal is an incredibly expensive spell, both in time and resources. While chain heal can be a highly effective spell, it demands the player go with the high tide talent, and either echo of the elements of glyph of riptide. Even then, you have to have three riptides running on the right players in a stacked raid to reach maximum effectiveness. Also, our set bonus seems to be build around chain heal in way that seems that instead of offering extra healing, it simply allows us to play our class as it was designed.

 

I think that the easiest way to alleviate part of this issue is to remove the +25% effectiveness to chain heal if the primary target is affected by riptide, and instead provide the buff on every cast. It's basically impossible to combine this effect with our mastery, even in fights with heavy focus on preemptive healing like Gruul, Butcher, or FB Kagraz. First of all, even if you have time to get three riptides running on a group that is about to take damage, there is no way to guess which person is going to get hit to the lowest percentage of their health. It basically comes down to a choice between healing the person with the lowest health or healing someone affected by riptide, a choice that has to be made incredibly fast due to the ~ 2.1 second cast time on chain heal. On fights with reactive healing it's basically a lost cause as by the time you spend the GCD on riptide and then get a chain heal off, the person is at full health because some druid threw a rejuv on them.

 

Either way, I would like to hear what other ideas players have for Resto Shamans or even for Shamans as a class. (tank spec anyone?)

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The changes I would like to see are :

  • Totemic projection allows the shaman to reposition healing rain. 5s cd. Totemic projection made baseline.
  • Conductivity is now baseline.
  • Healing rain benefits from shaman mastery
These above changes reduce the penalty of putting a healing rain wrongly from 10s to 5s.

Unleash elements now makes the next healing spell castable on the move. Cool down increased to 25s. This is to help with mobility. The cooldown has been increased so that shammys don't suddenly become OP mobile healers. We just need to be able to cast one or two emergency heals a minute for that clutch moment.

Conductivity replaced with living shield. 2min tank cool down. Living shield allows earth shield to consume all its charges to place an absorb on the target. Cos we need a tank CD

Cloud burst totem: Cooldown removed. Totem still lasts for 15 seconds. Pressing the button again immediately releases all the stored up healing. This allows condensation totem to be triggered when people need heals.

Edit: I added in the rationale for the changes.

Edited by Karanir
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(tank spec anyone?)

 

I'm only partially joking when I say that anyone seriously suggesting this is going to feel Mod wrath. NO.

 

 

Condensation totem: Cooldown removed. Totem still lasts for 15 seconds. Pressing the button again immediately releases all the stored up healing. This allows condensation totem to be triggered when people need heals. 

 

I actually really like that idea. It's never going to make CBT [note: it's not called Condensation Totem any more!] OP, but it does make it more interesting rotationally. My only concern is that it's a Water totem and therefore makes one feel like Persistence is essential if you spec for CBT. I'd move it to Air totems as a result, but that's a comparatively small change.

 

  • Healing rain benefits from shaman mastery

 

All RSham healing spells should benefit from Mastery already.

 

 

Conductivity replaced with living shield. 2min tank cool down. Living shield allows earth shield to consume all its charges to place an absorb on the target. Cos we need a tank CD

 

While this seems fun, I really don't think that Shaman in general need yet another cooldown button to press. We have plenty of those and not everybody needs a tank cooldown, that would be dull.

 

Now, I was going to try to respond in detail the the OP, but honestly I think it suffices to say that although Chain Heal is part of the problem, I don't think that the problems are as outlined above. I would say that the main problem with Chain Heal is that it is the entirety of our response to raid damage, which pins our spell choice to "Chain Heal or don't Chain Heal". Additionally, I think that the targeting choices which Chain Heal forces are actually really interesting in terms of gameplay if it's part of a toolbox for tackling raid healing. But it's on its own, which ruins everything.

 

I think that two things would be interesting; 1) introduce a lower healing, lower mana cost alternative to Chain Heal without the chaining mechanic, 2) make Tidal Waves a resource for RShaman. By that, I mean that we should have more ways of generating (and more ways of spending) Tidal Waves. That introduces a kind of dynamism into our rotation that doesn't entirely exist at the moment.

 

I think that I'd be okay with much of Shaman mechanics staying the same, it's just that at the moment the combination of poor mobility, poor spread healing, low health prioritization, and poor efficiency is conspiring to make us difficult to play well. If we could alleviate some of those limitations (in my examples, the latter two) then we can play around the others. I don't think that all of the limitations of the class should be taken away, because that would actually make gameplay more boring.

 

Anyway, that's just what I'd thought about before reading this thread. I'm sure I'll think of something better.

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In general I would like to see absorbs get proliferated to various healers, and disc get a larger % of its throughput from healing compared to PW:S/CoW.  Give earth shield the SoO two piece as a baseline component, and maybe re-imagine stone bulwark as a raid healing totem that throws little shields on raid members within 10y of it.

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*shudder*

 

Less absorbs all round. The fewer, the better! :P

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Healing rain benefits from mastery? I honestly thought that it was only the direct healing spells. When I checked the wow head page for healing rain, it did not say it was modifiable by mastery. But for healing wave and healing surge, it was stated it benefits from deep healing.

Oops. I knew that the name of the totem was cloud burst totem. But somehow when I typed it, it came up as condensation instead of cloud burst. My visual image of the totem is that it spawns a few droplets of healing power on you, and it takes a long time to do it. Hence, the name condensation naturally came out.

This is a side topic on absorbs . But I would remove pally absorbs from the game and give that to disc. Then for disc, I would increase the mana cost of power word shield massively and buff their other healing spells especially aoe heals, so they won't be compelled to pws on cool down. Spirit shell will be made baseline but have its effectiveness slightly reduced.

Edited by Karanir

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Unleash elements now makes the next healing spell castable on the move. Cool down increased to 25s.

 

Yes! This would be amazing, as it's already something I cast when I need to move for the speed bonus. They could increase the CD and remove the 30% buff and make it glyphable.

 

 

 

 

I think that two things would be interesting; 1) introduce a lower healing, lower mana cost alternative to Chain Heal without the chaining mechanic, 2) make Tidal Waves a resource for RShaman. By that, I mean that we should have more ways of generating (and more ways of spending) Tidal Waves. That introduces a kind of dynamism into our rotation that doesn't entirely exist at the moment.

 

A faster, cheaper, less effective raid healing spell would definitely be a good tool to have, so we aren't constrained to HW sniping or wasting a CH. Tidal waves definitely could be reworked, IMO it's very easy to earn and basically a guaranteed part of HW or HS

 

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I'll just leave this here.

 

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/362004-61-ptr-patch-notes-february-13/

  • Restoration
    • Restorative Waves now increases all healing done by 40% (up from 30%).

 

 

 

well it is really disappointing to see yet another "shut up" buff to hide the lack of harmony in resto shaman gameplay.most of the time i feel restrained as a healer playing a resto shaman.what i thnk would solve "some" problems in the short run are these:

 

1- earth shield charge system - its a quality of life change and to be honest i can live without this change but its surprising it is still same after all these years.

 

2-Riptide - well with brf and tier bonuses i use chain heal a lot more than higmaul and set bonuses feels like we are being forced to pick high tide because CBT needs a lot more effort to use efficently and especially the way set bonuses interact with ch. The 2 charge system with echo will not solve the problem imo so what i think would be better is to make riptide simillar to Renewing mists to compensate they could reduce the initial healing, but not remove it.(this change can be added to glyph function ) this way in the short run we can have more choices to start ch from and tbh i sometimes struggle about this decision.

 

3 - Lvl 90 talents - They imo are not very useful and lacked the effect on gameplay.i know that not every talent has to offer differantial gameplay but i see myself never changing pe apart from some long fights !

 

4 - also the earth shield idea of turning it into a tank cd is really cool imo because atm all we have is 1 instant cast to cover up oh shit moments when tanks are in trouble and in brf as you people have noticed there are a lot of fights to rotate tank cooldowns and with lower numbered raid setup that can be problematic.

Edited by jahrkul

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Unless my math is wrong, it is more like a 7.7% buff. If we were initially doing 130% healing (100 baseline +30 for restorative waves), we are now doing 140%. So that is 10/130 = 7.7%. This change may bring our throughput up to a reasonable level, but does nothing to address the mechanical issues that pigeon-hole us into a niche support healer role. 

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Yeah, I did think that it would be more of a 7-8% buff but I wasn't too confident with my maths haha It's still better than nothing. Just have to wait and see.

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It's actually a lot less than a 7-8% buff because restorative waves does not affect all our healing spells. For example, it doesn't affect our totems, and it doesn't affect healing rain. You can check out the spell modifiers here for the details. 

 

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=16213/restorative-waves

 

I agree with Jahrkrul that this is a band aid fix, instead of a long term fix. 

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I think that bigger heals are not what we really needed.

 

Let's face it, one never feels like ones heals just don't do enough on their own. But then, I guess there's only a limited amount you can do in a smallish update.

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Blizz have already stated that we shouldn't expect any major class/spec changes in the near future so we may be waiting a long time for that spread raid healing tool we've (I've) always wanted!

 

It's not what we want.. but at least its something. This is me being positive.

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I wouldn't expect a major revamp or rework from blizzard. I understand the difficulty and constraints in trying to make major changes.

But there are so many ways they could have improved shamans without resorting to this band aid '+10%' fix.

I would have massively preferred if they had made the old echo of the elements effect baseline instead of the 10% buff. At least that would make the playstyle more interesting.

I am also rather disappointed they did not improve healing rain. Stacked raid healing is supposed to be our niche, but the toolkit of most other healers is so strong that can outperform shamans even when the raid is stacked.

Some suggestions that I have would include healing rain increasing max hp by ten percent. Or healing rain buffing shaman heals when people stand in it. Or half the cool down of healing rain,and let shamans cast multiple healing rains at once, stacks twice.

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In my experience we're still very good at stacked raid healing. The thing we most struggle with now (especially with BRF) is spread raid healing. I don't want something like Renweing Mists but a tweak to a talent would be really nice. I do feel like we're forced into EB and HT at the moment so having a bit of choice would be lovely.

 

Obviously we struggle with high movement fights but sometimes its those challenges that make playing a class interesting and enjoyable. Overcoming specific challenges is quite a nice feeling.

 

I really dont think Resto is bad at the moment. We can still be competitive.

 

Apologies if I've gone off on a bit of a tangent!

Edited by Starrfyre

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Shamans are decent at stacked healing, just not the best. I feel they should be the best healer in this narrow niche.

By best, I am not referring to just throughput alone. Perhaps shamans can be more mana efficient than other classes in stacked healing? Or conductivity can be made baseline? Something like that.

Edit : I have never said that shammy were not competitive. They are very viable,albeit a bit behind other healers now.

Edited by Karanir

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I wasn't referring to you when I said 'I really dont think Resto is bad at the moment. We can still be competitive'. There seems to be a lot of doom and gloom about Resto at the moment.

 

I completely agree that we should be the best at our niche. It's really disappointing that we're not.

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WOOOOO! CALLED IT!! Finally, chain heal gets a permanent 25% increase without the riptide on the primary target requirement. No longer will we have to decide between a greater throughput or healing the person with the lowest health, no more counter intuitive healing choices. Although, this could always change before the patch goes live.

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