Zixx

My approach, your opinions?

16 posts in this topic

I read through the resto shaman guide on a monthly basis sometimes every other week even. My shaman is one of the main healers for our flex and 10N raids, the other one being a Disc priest. To be fair I am quite new to the raiding scene, only started very late patch 5.3.

There is no real issue with the healing in our raids. Though my method has become quite unorthodox in gemming and reforging. And this is where I want your opinion.

 

My character

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/the-maelstrom/Magume/advanced

My stat priority: Haste (5676)>Mastery(5400)>Crit>Spirit

 

This already screams a big "WHAT?!" from a lot of you here. So I'll give my reasoning. The gear from SoO I have won so far has no haste on it but an excsessive amount of spirit. The haste cap I feel most comfortable at is 5676 and to achieve this I am actually going down in my other stats.

I was more than happy when I started raiding to have a combat regen of 12000, I had no issue with my mana and when I did, I had my lightning bolt and my mana tide (yes, I do use MTT when the other healers need it too, not just myself).

When I started winning gear my mana regen went up to 17000. I do not need this.

 

The gemming asks for spirit spirit and a bit of other stats depending on the colour. As I said before I have too much spirit on my gear, let alone gems.

So I got the idea to gem mostly haste. And as I gain new pieces this is becoming more and more the case. What this does is actually make it way easier to reach my preferred softcap.

 

I also got the crazy idea of reforging spirit. As I said before, I had too much purely on my gear. And by reforging spirit into haste and crit (mastery is too high, thats always reforged instead of spirit) I firstly reach the haste soft cap easily and secondly lets me indulge in crit quite a lot.

 

Crit also gives me my mana back beautifully and I really can not complain about the extra heals it gives nor the critical heals in general.

 

I have actually seen a larger improvement these past two weeks in my healing (so has the disc priest) since I have used my method than the one we all know and trust.

 

What's your opinion on what I've done?

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My advice: If its not broken, don't fix it.

Basically if your group is killing bosses and people are not dying then you're good.

 

Most shamans that are progressing heroic do go pretty hard on spirit like maybe ~15 unbuffed, get to a haste cap and then go all out on crit. Mastery isn't really worth it unless your group is dropping far down, which it rarely does. The reason for spirit/crit is mainly  because there so much spamming. Constant casting, keeping HR 100% down, and filling with riptides, ch and surges. Which will get a player oom realy fast. In flex you don't have that insane damage so there's less constant spamming.

You can check out RestoShamanStats addon to see how much your mastery is actually healing. http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/restoshamanstats

 

Install it, kill a boss, and see a report of how much crit vs mastery did. But overall, if its working and your group is happy and you enjoy the playstyle then you're good smile.png

Edited by Krakir

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My personal opinion;

 

That's probably a good build for Flex. I wouldn't rate it later in the Normal mode bosses though. Some points;

 

  1. Telluric Currents (Lightning Bolt) is not a good regen tool. Good for filler, but it's better to have more healing glyphs.
  2. You don't get extra heals OR resurgence from Riptide ticks, Healing Totem ticks, or Healing Rain. You need to bear that in mind for later fights where these spells will make up a huge proportion of your healing.

Overall though, I think it's a cool build and I'm glad it works for you!

 

 

Most shamans that are progressing heroic do go pretty hard on spirit like maybe ~15 unbuffed, get to a haste cap and then go all out on crit. Mastery isn't really worth it unless your group is dropping far down, which it rarely does. The reason for spirit/crit is mainly  because there so much spamming. Constant casting, keeping HR 100% down, and filling with riptides, ch and surges. Which will get a player oom realy fast. In flex you don't have that insane damage so there's less constant spamming.

 

I completely disagree with the point about Mastery. It's the best stat for Hardmode raiding due to the generally low HP levels of the raid. In fact, for Healing Rain (which is a large healer on many fights), Mastery outperforms Crit massively. However, Mastery isn't as good for lower levels of raiding for the reasons Krakir stated. In addition, we tend to get a lot of Mastery anyway without trying. This might explain why a lot of highly geared Shaman aren't stacking it; with a lot of gear you tend to have enough base Mastery to get you through even hardmodes this tier.

 

 

Basically if your group is killing bosses and people are not dying then you're good.

 

I do agree with this, especially if you're happy with the build. You *can* always do better though, and I enjoy chasing that :)

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I completely disagree with the point about Mastery. It's the best stat for Hardmode raiding due to the generally low HP levels of the raid. In fact, for Healing Rain (which is a large healer on many fights), Mastery outperforms Crit massively. However, Mastery isn't as good for lower levels of raiding for the reasons Krakir stated. In addition, we tend to get a lot of Mastery anyway without trying. This might explain why a lot of highly geared Shaman aren't stacking it; with a lot of gear you tend to have enough base Mastery to get you through even hardmodes this tier.

 

In theory it sounds like the best stat for hardmode raiding, but in reality I've never seen it perform that well. I've been using RSS on fights like Juggernut HC and Protectors HC. I'm playing resto OS, and with disc priest, people aren't really droping low. Even at the pulses from Juggernut HC the priest has already spirit shelled the whole raid and then uses barrier for the next one. Same with Paladin's mastery shield (even aftert the nerf), the hot blanketing from him and riptide blankes from me. Also him and the pala rotate devotion aura. The boomkin tranqs and the spriest uses Halo and Vampiric Embrace. People are using personal cooldowns and healthstones. The druid tank pops Heart of the Wild and heals for insane amount.

Since its my OS I'm only at 547ish (vs 567 ms) but using RSS  addon I'm getting similar numbers from Crit and Mastery. Crit slightly above. But even if they were equal in value, crit is always gonna win because of the mana return.

Healers in a real heroic progressing guild (we just raid 6-8 hrs a week) with full resto ms gear are sitting at 570+ ilevel. They're gonna have 50-60% mastery even if they reforge everything from mastery to crit.

Of course this is just my experience and like I stated before: If you're killing bosses and people are staying alive then you're good.

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Last night was my guild's first normal run of the week, we got all the way to down the Dark Shamans in our 2 hour session. One wipe on Iron Juggernaught because of a tanking mistake. I did finally notice some mana issues, particularly at Norushen, Sha of Pride and the Iron Juggernaut


  1. Telluric Currents (Lightning Bolt) is not a good regen tool. Good for filler, but it's better to have more healing glyphs.

I finally understand why it isn't amazing, it has a 2 second cast (as long as my chain heal) and gives quite little mana. Its a drop in healing to regain minimal mana. What do you suggest for healing glyphs to replace Telluric Currents and Eternal Earth?

 

Most shamans that are progressing heroic do go pretty hard on spirit like maybe ~15 unbuffed, get to a haste cap and then go all out on crit. Mastery isn't really worth it unless your group is dropping far down, which it rarely does.

As I said above, Iron Juggernaut I was running low most of the fight, below 100k half the time. Norushen I never went below 60k, though its not handy. So today I reforged back all the spirit I had removed and am sitting on 13600 unbuffed, I still stand by what I said concerning my gemming smile.png  Blue sockets will be int and spirit gems though. I am now still quite surpisingly (to my delight) on 19% cirt which is a number I can't complain about unbuffed.

And mastery is a nice stat in my opinion, its just not terribly needed above 55% and that is mostly a given, if not way more than that. Either way, thanks for your in put and I will see how Sunday's Normal goes.

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I think we're all in agreement that Mastery is the go-to stat until you hit about 50%. In current gear levels, that's absurdly easy. This is probably why we see hardmode Resto Shaman reforging out of it. The Crit is awesome for throughput, but then remember that crit is RNG whereas Mastery saves lives. This is particularly why Mastery is a good solid stat. Overall, it's the sheer amount of it that we can get that makes it less wanted.

 

 

I finally understand why it isn't amazing, it has a 2 second cast (as long as my chain heal) and gives quite little mana. Its a drop in healing to regain minimal mana. What do you suggest for healing glyphs to replace Telluric Currents and Eternal Earth?

 

Yes, but it varies fight-to-fight. Riptide, Chain Heal, and Fire Elemental are all useful glyphs. I also almost always go for glyphing Healing Stream Totem on fights with elemental type damage (Fire, Frost, Nature).

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Mastery is the go-to stat until you hit about 50%

 

This is getting really off-topic, but I gotta ask. Sorry smile.png

 

Could you point me to the source of that? Because I see this pop up regularly but I can't find where this orginated or the calcuation for this. Mastery is a totally linear stat and has no breakpoints like for haste. Meaning that

- 50% mastery heals 1% hp target by 50% more. 

- 40% mastery heals 1% hp target by 40% more.

That basically means that IF crit is better than mastery it is so at every hp level. In a normal or a heroic raid people aren't really dipping that low for a long period of time time and when there is a burst damage it's usually mitigated by hot-blankets, shields, dmg reduction cooldowns and throughput cooldowns.

I am though, since i like crunching numbers, really interested to find where this 50% mastery number comes from. 

 

Disclaimer: I'm all for people playing the playstyle they enjoy the most. But I also do agree with you on "You can always do better and I do enjoy chasing that"

Edited by Krakir
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You absolutely can ask that! It's a piece of theorycraft dating back to early Cataclysm (when Mastery was introduced) by Vixsin. She found that at certain average health points, Crit and Mastery swap priority; if you are stacking more Mastery and you're above the threshold then you'll lose HPS, but if you're below you'll gain HPS.

 

The surprising result was that when she calculated the gains/losses for different distributions of Mastery/Crit, the more extreme the distribution the more HPS you lose in unfavourable circumstances. For e.g;

 

  1. I have 9:1 distribution Crit:Mastery. When hp is high I gain a lot, and when hp is low I lose a lot.
  2. I have a 1:9 distribution Crit:Mastery. When hp is low I gain a lot, and when hp is high I lose a lot.
  3. I have a 5:5 distribution of Crit:Mastery. I lose considerably less in both cases, and proportionally I actually GAIN if I have people at lots of different hp levels.

The upshot is that essentially, the more Mastery (or Crit) you stack, if you're not taking advantage of it then you lose proportionally a lot more.

 

It seems to turn out that 50% Mastery is (roughly) a sweet spot for this kind of thing, although the 50% is a rule of thumb rather than a specific value. Please note that this summary is glossing over a lot of very beautiful theorycraft, and significantly simplifying the story.

 

The original theorycraft is here and the MoP update is here. (If Vixsin ever reads this: I hope I didn't completely demolish your beautiful theorycraft <3)

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Disclaimer: I'm all for people playing the playstyle they enjoy the most. But I also do agree with you on "You can always do better and I do enjoy chasing that"

 

/hugs

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You absolutely can ask that! It's a piece of theorycraft dating back to early Cataclysm (when Mastery was introduced) by Vixsin. She found that at certain average health points, Crit and Mastery swap priority; if you are stacking more Mastery and you're above the threshold then you'll lose HPS, but if you're below you'll gain HPS.

 
Yeah I follow Vixsin and have read those articles and realize the interaction between those stats. That at a certain point one stat becomes stronger. I am completely with you on that one. That's not my argument smile.png
 

 

It seems to turn out that 50% Mastery is (roughly) a sweet spot for this kind of thing, although the 50% is a rule of thumb rather than a specific value.

 

This! This I can't find in her article. Only thing I she is her statement that the value of mastery since Cata has diminished. She even says.

 

 

Whereas a theorycrafter might be inclined to think that the data would behave as if it had a single pivot point, in fact, it shows us that as you begin to stack more and more Mastery, the point of rotation (the point of intersection between that line and another) actually decreases.

 

Which basically means that the point where mastery overtakes crit is not constant. I never see her mention that 50% mastery. The results that she puts out there is the following:

 

 

The breakpoints where Mastery contributes a greater amount of throughput than Crit are: approximately 43% HP for heals that can trigger AA, and approximately 65% for heals that can’t trigger AA.

 

Again I am not disagreeing with her on that. Hard to argue against hard data. My point is that in a 7-10 min fight the raid is never at 43% or 65% HP for a long period of time. I would love to let my MT sink down to 40%, and throw a UE+GHW on him to top him off in one heal. Because that's when my mastery shines and that's what I can do as shaman. In my group though if he's at dropping to 40% he's popping cooldowns and the paladin is spamming him to bring him up asap, so in those GCDs+Cast Time, he's back to 80%.

 

That's pretty much my point on mastery. It works on paper, but in raids it rarely delivers.

Edited by Krakir

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Which basically means that the point where mastery overtakes crit is not constant. I never see her mention that 50% mastery.

 

I think that we need to be careful when talking about this because there are three ways percentages are used in this discussion;

  1. To talk about the amount of Mastery you have - i.e. the amount of extra healing you do on low hp target ("50% Mastery")
  2. To talk about health levels of the target. (i.e. "50% hp")
  3. To talk about distribution of stat points between Crit and Mastery. (i.e. 50:50 split between Mastery and Crit.)

You have at some point mixed these up! What we care about here is the first point, but part of the response you just posted was mixing it up with the second point. The quote I used above is where. When Vixsin is talking about "the points of intersection move", she is talking about hp levels (point 2) rather than amount (point 1). So yes, the points change but not in the specific way that we care about here.

 

The way I like to think of it is this; by setting Mastery ~ 50% (and assuming you're stacking Crit otherwise) you've put your Mastery to a point where you're not losing much healing when the health percentages are unfavourable. That's roughly the point where you're at a 50:50 distribution between Crit and Mastery when reforged etc. Or, at least it was in the previous tier and we don't seem to worry about whether it has changed since then.

 

And that's all this oft-quoted number is - it's a good estimate of the "least loss" point. It's also convenient because it's difficult to go below in current gear.

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I think that we need to be careful when talking about this because there are three ways percentages are used in this discussion;

  1. To talk about the amount of Mastery you have - i.e. the amount of extra healing you do on low hp target ("50% Mastery")
  2. To talk about health levels of the target. (i.e. "50% hp")
  3. To talk about distribution of stat points between Crit and Mastery. (i.e. 50:50 split between Mastery and Crit.)

You have at some point mixed these up! What we care about here is the first point, but part of the response you just posted was mixing it up with the second point. 

No not mixing up at all. That was my point exactly. That she never mentions the set amount of mastery which players should aim for or or that the amount of mastery that is "least loss" point is near the 50% mark.

 

She mentions HP levels. That was my point. That at these HP levels mastery gets stronger than crit, and I agree with that. But I can't see the connection that because of these findings that the 50% mastery mark is something we should keep in mind. She even says, and I quote:

 

With this information, it then becomes a question for each Resto Shaman to identify which heals make up the majority of your effective healing, and if encounter mechanics are hitting hard enough to drop your raid consistently below those Mastery v. Crit thresholds

My experience (and hence point against mastery) is that with all the cooldowns, damage mitigations, hots and shields not to mention burst healing "the raid isn't dropping consistently beloww those Mastery vs Crit thresholds". Making mastery a weaker stat. I like the idea of mastery but I never see it actually work in practice. 50% or otherwise.

 

The way I like to think of it is this; by setting Mastery ~ 50% (and assuming you're stacking Crit otherwise) you've put your Mastery to a point where you're not losing much healing when the health percentages are unfavourable.

 

I can't find the calculations for this. At 50% mastery you're healing a 1% HP target by 50% more. The health percentages that are unfavourable are 43% and 65%. So lets caclulate the increase for an AA heal like HW that heals maybe for 50k with 40% and 50% mastery respecively.

Bonus Heal = (1-(HP%/100)*Mastery contribution

1) 40% mastery at 43% HP target => 22.8% => 61.4k

2) 50% mastery at 43% HP target => 28.5% => 64.5k

Can't see how really much it matters if I have 40%, 45% or 50% mastery. I  do agree that mastery is needed regarding how our heals work, but this 50% mastery number. I honestly think that some online-site put it in the beginning of MoP where it was hard to reach it to give players something to aim at, people just stuck with it. I can't see there's any more value to it than 40% mastery.

But I guess, we're not gonna find a common ground for this one. So I'm gonna leave it. Although I've enjoyed throwing this back and forth in a civilized manner.smile.png

 

Edited by Krakir

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She mentions HP levels. That was my point. That at these HP levels mastery gets stronger than crit, and I agree with that. But I can't see the connection that because of these findings that the 50% mastery mark is something we should keep in mind. She even says, and I quote:

 

And what I'm trying to say is that the "least loss" point is just an estimate based on current gear. That's all it is. I agree that the posts I linked are more like background than anything, I suppose that was a bit of a wild goose chase (sorry!).

 

Ultimately, if you're at the point where you're trying to assess whether 50% or 45% Mastery is better then the guideline doesn't work. Honestly, though, I have trouble even getting down to 50% these days.

 

 

My experience (and hence point against mastery) is that with all the cooldowns, damage mitigations, hots and shields not to mention burst healing "the raid isn't dropping consistently beloww those Mastery vs Crit thresholds". Making mastery a weaker stat. I like the idea of mastery but I never see it actually work in practice. 50% or otherwise.

 

Well I do have two points for this, and neither are specifically criticisms of you.

  1. The more one pre-casts for raid spikes, the better Mastery gets. I think that one of the essential skills for Resto for a long time has been precasting before damage spikes. That is where Mastery is really important, and where Crit loses out.
  2. Honestly, if you're finding that the raid isn't dipping below those Mastery points then it's not worth using Mastery at all. I think that's an important point because you will only care about a Mastery "least loss" point when your raid dips. The important thing is that composition comes into this so your comp is probably absorbing a lot more than mine does.

 

But I guess, we're not gonna find a common ground for this one. So I'm gonna leave it. Although I've enjoyed throwing this back and forth in a civilized manner.smile.png

 

 

Perhaps not, but you have given a good opinion on it and I hope we've given everyone a good chance to see where some of the uncertainty is. I admit it's an open debate right now. Perhaps I will end up adding "depending on your healing team" to every post where I suggest 50% Mastery. Well debated! :)

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What theorycrafting tends to miss - and this thread is a great example of it - is that mastery is clutch.

 

By that I mean to say, that mastery consequently contributes when you need it, i.e. at lower health levels.
From a hps perspective this is not amazing (as Vixsin proves convincingly), but from a practical perspective it is the best thing since sliced bread.

 

It's a question of timing, and timing is the essential healer skill - and also the reason haste has long been so popular among healers, even though it's usually mana-negative. Timing means that you land a heal when it is needed. And mastery, for resto shamans, means that if you time it well you can prevent a wipe with a single cast.

Traditionally crit has performed in exactly the opposite way. Rng double healing might increase your overall hps, but it's unreliable and basically a gamble. Now a days this has been somewhat mitigated by resurgence and similar effects, which proc from critical heals.

 

Still the fact remains that crit leaves you either reacting or gambling. If the target is low on hp you'll never know whether the heal you're casting will be enough to cover the damage done, or - if you cast your bigger heal and it crits - you'll be pumping numbers into overhealing, just to be on the safe side.

I'm not saying crit is always bad, in fact - just like mastery - it can really save your butt (red. tank) when you get a critical heal out on a low hp target, but crit is unreliable and impossible to time. I think this is a major drawback which theorycraft does nothing to point out. As a healer you want clutch. And clutch is getting that life saving heal out just when you need it. Crit does nothing to help you with that, haste and mastery does.

(Which is why haste > mastery > crit seems like a nice priority in general - though the crit procs remain awfully strong for resto shamans, and haste and mastery tends to hit a roof since we get so much of it so easily...)

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And what I'm trying to say is that the "least loss" point is just an estimate based on current gear. That's all it is

 

Well I do have two points for this, and neither are specifically criticisms of you.

  1. The more one pre-casts for raid spikes, the better Mastery gets. I think that one of the essential skills for Resto for a long time has been precasting before damage spikes. That is where Mastery is really important, and where Crit loses out.
  2. Honestly, if you're finding that the raid isn't dipping below those Mastery points then it's not worth using Mastery at all. I think that's an important point because you will only care about a Mastery "least loss" point when your raid dips. The important thing is that composition comes into this so your comp is probably absorbing a lot more than mine does.

 

 

Perhaps not, but you have given a good opinion on it and I hope we've given everyone a good chance to see where some of the uncertainty is. I admit it's an open debate right now. Perhaps I will end up adding "depending on your healing team" to every post where I suggest 50% Mastery. Well debated! smile.png

Yeah totally agree on these posts. I'm all for keeping a healthy balance of mastery. I like the stat, I do. I just get a bit defensive when I see numbers that I can't see pure calculation on (sorry engineer here). 

I think we're on the same page (at least 99%).

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(Which is why haste > mastery > crit seems like a nice priority in general - though the crit procs remain awfully strong for resto shamans, and haste and mastery tends to hit a roof since we get so much of it so easily...)

Armory top progressing resto shamans would show you:

1. Comfortable spirit level

2. Haste to breakpoints.

3. Crit

4. Mastery at healthy levels (which comes pretty easily at current gear levels)

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