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Resurgence on the 4.2 PTR

May 14, 2011

Last night when I logged onto the 4.2 PTR for the first time, I looked for the announced Resurgence reworking of the Improved Water Shield talent.

What I found was the Same ol’ IWS talent as always.

Tonight when I logged on, I saw that Resurgence was now in the talent tree in the place where Improved Water Shield was last night.

Resurgence:

While Water Shield is active, you recover mana when your direct healing spells have a critical effect.  You regain 2293 mana from a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critical, 1376 mana from a Healing Surge, Riptide, or Unleash Life critical, and 764 mana from a Chain Heal critical.

The surprising thing to me was seeing Unleash Life and Riptide  included under the “faster” spells category alongside Healing Surge.  That’s a nice buff.

Chain Heal receives less mana per crit but each jump that crits will award mana.

I played around with reforging a little bit and picked up quite a lot more crit rating on my gear at the expense of Spirit and a small amount of Mastery.  I didn’t reduce my Haste from Alacran’s 4.1 levels.  On live, I run about 2300 Spirit (not including trinkets).  Expect to be able to reforge around 5% more crit onto your gear.  (My Live Armory link is to the right side bar for comparison purposes).

When I logged onto my Copied character, my talents had been reset.  Now I have to decide if I will take points out of TC or BotE in favor for Acuity.  I might take 1 point out of each or just leave my Acuity the way it is with 1/3.

I plan to pull up one of my WoL parses and calculate how much mana I would gain from the new Resurgence based on these numbers.  If it is greater than TC + IWS, I can probably spec out of it for 10’s purposes.

Other notes from PTR:

  • Firelands Instance was down so I wasn’t able to get in.
  • There were some people working on the PTR for adding the new Hyjal quests to Wowpedia.org.  I didn’t do any of the quests however.
  • Encounter Journal is very cool so far but it isn’t complete yet.
  • I had a new title available which I selected and gathered quite a bit of attention with:  Avenger of Hyjal.
  • The new cast-lightning bolt-while-moving Prime Glyph doesn’t seem to be on the PTR yet.  I am interested in possibly using it for TC.  ;)

Nefarian the Easy Way (10N strategy)

May 13, 2011

If you can jump out of lava you can do Nefarian.

I haven’t written much about Nefarian and that’s because he died for us the first night of attempts.  We 4 shot him.   For us, a casual 10’s raiding group (casual 6 hours of raids a week), it was the easiest end boss we encountered in T11 Cataclysm.

While looking up strats on the different player forums,  I found a great number of people looking for advice on how to do Nefarian 10N.  My poor old guild, still doing 25s, have been on Nefarian for quite some time now –  So I know it’s a hard fight for a lot of people on both 10’s and 25’s.

I hope to give you a Resto Shaman / healer point of view of how to do Nefarian 10N the Easy Way.

To start with, this is the strat post I posted on our guild blog.

Lineup -

The real secret to doing Nef the easy way is by bringing a 4th healer.  You might have a couple hybrid classes that can change from DPS to Heal, Tank to Heal, or Dps to Tank.  Flexibility in your lineup is key to progression on limited raid time in 10’s.  If you don’t have a hybrid or two that can help out, does one of your DPS have a geared Healer alt?  In our case, the Warlock has switched mains to his geared Shadow Priest for our raid group.  For Nef, he specced Holy.

Another big help is to have a DK who can serve as the kiter for ph1.  In my opinion, a Frost DK with Chillblains is one of the most helpful utility classes you can have in your lineup.  I imagine a DPS specced Warrior with Piercing Howl and in Definsive Stance could also work in a pinch.

If you have a good kiter for adds in Ph1 and a 4th healer, Nefarian should be quite easy.  (Assuming your raid can interrupt and jump out of lava.)

Our healers consist of a Disc Priest, a Resto Druid, a Resto Shaman, and a Holy Priest (4th Healer).

Our tanks consist of a Bear, and a Prot Pally.

Our DPS consist of 2 Hunters, a Mage, and a Frost DK (kiter).

As a shaman, you will probably want to have tanks and anyone else who will be on your Ph2 platform in your group with you.  I always ask for a raid assist so I can change the groups for Healing Stream totem coverage.

Healing Ph1 – what I did

Because the multiple tanks are not always in range of each other, in a rare T11 moment, healing assignments were given.

  1. Disc Priest on Nefarian Tank and kiter when in range,
  2. Resto Druid focus on kiter with cross heals when in range of other tanks,
  3. Resto Shaman and Holy Priest on Onyxia tank.

Our healing assignments are very loose.

As a resto shaman, I healed as little as possible, trying to keep tanks topped off for electrocutes and trying to drop healing rain where it would hit most of the range/ healers.  I mixed in some Chain Heal where I could to top the range clump off.  I had time to regen my mana with a few lightning bolts.  I kept Riptide on cooldown to always have charge of Tidal Wave available to quickly respond to incoming tank damage with Greater Healing Wave.  I used Stone Claw Totem (glyphed) to ensure my survival on electrocutes.

In our strat, we took Nef down through two electrocutes and then switched to quickly kill Onyxia.  I dropped Mana Tide near the end of Phase 1 and when Ph1 ended Nef was at approximately  75% health.

Healing Ph2 -

We had the platforms preassigned and raid marked to make sure that interrupts and heals would be covered on each platform.

There are thee platforms, and you will want to put 3 raiders on two of them and 4 raiders on the 3rd platform.  The platform which has 4 on it will have two healers.  In our case, I was healing one platform, the disc priest was on another, and the holy priest and resto druid were on the 4th platform.

The hunters switched to Nature Resist aspect for the electrocutes and I had the other two players that would be on the same platform as myself in Group 1 with me so that they would benefit from Healing Stream totem.  It made healing the platform trivial.

After moving over to the platform at the transition from Ph1 to Ph2, I dropped Healing Stream totem so that we would get some free healing and fire resistance as the lava started to fill the room.  The prot pally kept his health up pretty well with WoG and cooldowns.  The mage required more healing but even iceblocked once to help out.  I kept Riptides rolling on us and Chain Healed for some very mana effecient healing.  I used my Tidal Wave charges from RT and CH to use more expensive heals if someone dipped low.  It would be possible to regen some mana with Telluric Currents but I didn’t feel the urgency as I was being extra careful not to loose anyone to the infamous and feared “Crackle”.  Again, I used Stoneclaw Totem for Electrocutes.

I felt very competent healing the platforms, probably because of my gearing focus on Mastery and the recent 4.1 changes.

We kept 1 platform add alive longer to push Nefarian’s health lower in Ph2.

Healing Ph3-

Ph3 was pretty easy even though the healers were running out of mana towards the end.  The Bear Tank was on Nefarian and the Pally Tank was tanking (not kiting) the adds, freeing the DK to DPS fulltime.  The Resto Druid was assigned to the Pally Tank along with the Holy Priest and the Disc Priest and myself focused on healing the Bear.  I was able to get another Mana Tide totem down in Ph3.  We probably could have done a little bit better job of rotating raid and healing cooldowns for Electrocutes.  This phase felt like it was basically a burn phase with pressure on the DPS to kill him before the 4 healers ran out of mana.

Additional Notes:

We wiped a few times by not being able to jump out of the lava and even losing people on platforms.  I really don’t know why.  When I asked over vent how people died, one healer replied “Their health bars went to zero.”  Not very informative…  Next attempt was the first kill so whatever the problem was it got fixed.

We didn’t have any issue with missing interrupts or bad kiting.  Or maybe if there were mistakes on kiting the 4 healers covered for it?  That’s the advantage of bringing 4.

We also had enough DPS to allow bringing a 4th healer.  If you are not able to kill Onyxia before she kills you, try only doing 1 electrocute and see if that helps.  If that doesn’t work you probably have DPS problems, not healing.

I hope you found this strategy helpful.  If you have any specific questions, please leave me a comment below!

Crit for 10’s Resto Shaman

May 11, 2011
potions of mysteriousnessness

Tip: Cut out some visual distractions by getting a nice blur effect from drinking alcohol in WoW, this allows you to focus more on your healer unit frames

At the beginning of Cataclysm, many 10’s resto shamans were favoring a heavy crit build much more than in 25’s.  This was, in my opinion caused by how three crit-based talents work.

First, the mana regen produced from single target healing crits (Improved Water Shields) made it attractive while gear levels were still low.   Chain heal crits also proc IWS mana but that spell is not widely used in 10’s raids in T11 content.

Second, single target crits also proc a free smart heal (Ancestral Awakening) that heals the lowest health percentage target in range.  Because it’s a smart heal, it usually produces very little overhealing.

Finally, there is a 10% damage taken reduction buff that both priests and shamans can provide.  Shamans apply it by critting with a heal.  (Ancestral Fortitude).  In a 10’s raid, crit on gear ensures a good uptime % on this important tank buff.

Now, five months into Tier 11, the three reasons for us to gear crit no longer really apply or there are simply better options.

Many resto shaman are better geared than they were in December and the large amount of INT & SPI on their gear afford them to favor better throughput stats (Haste, Mastery) without needing to gear crit for IWS returns.  At our current gear level, according to many theorycrafters, spirit is a better throughput stat than crit.

Ancestral Awakening also is not accounting for the healing done that people expected and shaman in 25’s are even beginning to spec out of it.  In 10’s, it’s still probably worth the talent point investment because of our spell selection.  For example, it still accounts for about 6% of my healing done.

Ancestral Fortitude in 10’s can maintain a pretty good uptime even with low crit rating on gear.  I raid 20% crit fully buffed and this number will continue to increase as my INT improves in T12 and beyond.

There are better options

Now, I wouldn’t go so far to say that crit is a bad stat, I will only say that we currently have better options in secondary stats.  We also must remember that Mastery has been buffed twice since 4.03.  It received a buff in 4.06 (increased to 3.0% per point, up from 2.5%) and in 4.1 Mastery was made to include all heals.

Not even Haste includes all heals done by shamans!

Mastery will boost your healing done the most when you need it the most.  Crit is still a roll of the dice.  It’s either a crit or it’s not.  In a game based on RNG, a little less RNG for throughput is a good thing.  Mastery will always be there when you need it.

I have been speculating since 4.06 buffed our Mastery, Deep Healing, that the developers are committed to making all of the secondary stats “compelling choices”.  Between Spirit, Haste, Mastery, and Crit, Crit is the least desirable and I have expected that there would be a future effort to make crit more sought after.  My speculation was that they would change how IWS or AA worked to make crit more attractive, but it seems that Blizzard might actually just actually buff what the stat does by making it heal for double instead of 150%.

A Dev Water Cooler on Crit source by Ghostcrawler April 19, 2011

In Cataclysm, where healer mana matters more and even big heals can’t trivially top someone off, crits are more valuable. But they aren’t valuable enough. Getting 10% haste allows you to get a heal to a target 10% faster. Getting 10% crit allows you to heal a target 5% more. Is it any wonder that crit tends to get devalued for most healers? Resto shaman like it, but look at how many talents they have that make crits better for them. We’re strongly considering just letting all heals crit for double, just like most attacks.

As a solely throughput stat, comparing haste to crit, there is also a much steeper ratings cost to get 1% of crit as compared to 1% of haste.

This proposed change by Ghostwalker would make crit paired with mastery very powerful and at least give 10’s raiding resto shaman something to scratch their heads over while at the Arcanist or on the stats editor of AskMrRobot.com.  If this change goes through, my next speculation would be that for 10’s, Spirit will be reforged to Crit as we move into T12 and beyond.

(edit:  It appears that while I had this post in draft for over two weeks, between finishing it today and yesterday, some big changes were announced for Crit.  :)  Now on the PTR:

  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).

Restoration

  • Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, Resurgence causes critical direct heals to restore mana (Resurgence rank 2 is roughly equal to 150% of the old Improved Water Shield value when a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critically hits, and scaled down accordingly for faster or multi-target spells).
  • Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster’s Spirit, down from 400%.

)

Resto shaman gear datamined from 4.2 PTR

May 5, 2011

4.2 Datamined 2pc and 4pc T12 set bonus for Resto Shaman

My favorite season is here again, and no, it’s not bird watching season.  It’s time for patch watching!

My favorite source for 4.2 information is MMO-champion.  In fact, the two screent shots you see here were captured today on that website.

Resto Shaman gear information from 4.2 has appeared, including the Tier Twelve set boni.

Restoration 2 pieces – Your periodic healing from Riptide has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.

Restoration 4 pieces – Your Chain Heal spell will jump to one additional target.

T11 2 pc Not very useful throughput, 4 pc Good regen

T12 2 pc Good regen, 4 pc Not very useful throughput?

One of the interesting things I noticed is that in T11, the 4 piece is the regen bonus and the 2 piece is the minor throughput bonus.  T12 will feature a regen bonus in 2 piece which again is centered around Riptide.  However, to get max benefit, the shaman must adapt their play and try to roll as many Riptide HoTs as possible on different targets.  This comes into direct conflict with the 4 piece bonus, which is based on Chain Heal.  As you probably know, the person who is targetted by Chain Heal has their Riptide HoT consumed automatically, boosting CH as a result.

In 10’s, I keep Riptide on CD so the bonus will accompany my playstyle very well.  However, I don’t use Chain Heal very often and sometimes there aren’t enough people in range to get all 4 jumps out of it.  Because I don’t know how the encounters will be designed in Firelands, I won’t be quick to judge the added 5th jump of Chain heal (T12 4 piece bonus) as useless in 10’s content.  Anyways, I’m not really sure when or if ever I will be able to pick up the fourth piece of T12.  We are working on our fifth month of raiding in Cataclysm and I still do not have the T11 4 piece bonus. QQ

And as always, datamined information is extremely subject to change, so don’t go official forum posting about how you are going to cancel your account yet.

I’m excited about

T12 2 piece (which will be easier to obtain) will give me the regen I still haven’t gotten from T11 4 pc.  Chain heal might be getting a buff to make it better for 10’s?  Firelands encounters might be designed to favor CH even in 10’s?

I’m not thrilled about

Playstyle encouraged by T12 2 piece contradicts the playstyle encouraged by T12 4 piece because CH consumes Riptide HoT.  It could be difficult to ever see that mythical 5th jump of Chain Heal in 10’s environment because of range/positioning requirements + less players.

4.2 datamined: 5/6 Mail Spirit drops are Haste+Spirit

4.2 Datamined 378 Resto Shaman gear

The loot table for 359 gear seems to suggest Mastery stacking as the vast majority of Mail w/ Spirit gear had Mastery on it as a secondary stat.  The loot I saw from T12 seems to be going Spirit+Haste as 5 out of 6 items had those stats present on them.  The other drop was Spirit+Mastery.

At 2005 haste break point we gain a 2nd additional Riptide tick.  That goes very well with T12 2 piece bonus.  Are we going to be seeing a lot more Chain Heal?  More haste on gear and Chain Heal 4 piece set bonus seem to suggest we will.

What do you think about the datamined information from 4.2?  Is the new trend going to be Haste to 2005 then reforge to Mastery?

SiTBC featured at Twisted Nether Blogcast

May 3, 2011

Last week Stand in the Blue Circle was featured in a series titled “Netherhood Welcome Wagon” on the Twisted Nether Blogcast website:

Netherhood Welcome Wagon – Stand in the Blue Circle

The Twisted Nether is famous for their support of WoW related blogs.  Their podcast is a great source for WoW news and opinion.   A new guest personality each weeks ensures an always interesting and entertaining dynamic.

Many thanks to Beruthiel from Falling Leaves and Wings , the author of the post, for taking the time and interest to welcome me!  I think it turned out great.

Now, If they would just contact me to be a guest on their blogcast. ;)  That would be so cool!

Respeccing your Resto Shaman for Patch 4.1

April 26, 2011

4.1: Resto gotta respec for Spirit Link Totem cooldown (far right in tier5)

With the release of patch 4.1 on live servers, all resto shaman will have to respec.  It’s a good opportunity to try something new or reconsider some of your past optional choices.

For myself, I am going to try a point in Ancestral Resolve.

I’d like to have another point for the complete 10% but I don’t feel like I can afford it.  I would invest two points if there were no “while casting spells” requirement.

The real trouble with the pve resto shaman tree is that you have to drop at least 1 point into an optional talent to be able to move down into tier 5.   The choices are: Nature’s Guardian, Focused Insight, Ancestral Resolve, or Cleansing Waters.

4.1: NOW with more situational for your situational talent!

As a pvp-motivated change, Cleansing Waters will receive a 6-second internal cooldown on the heal associated.  For myself as a pve shaman, this talent has lost its appeal.  It still might be worth it for the mana cost reduction… but..  yeah, I don’t think so.

4.1: Mastery benefits all heals -> big buff to Earthliving

If you haven’t updated your glyphs since hitting 85, you might look to get more mileage from your Earthliving procs by trading Prime Glyph of Water Shield for Earthliving Weapon.  If you have enough regen and mastery in your gear, the ELW glyph got much better for you with the change to Deep Healing in 4.1.

4.1: This talent got a big buff as mastery now affects Earthliving.

For  resto shamans at the beginning of Cataclysm, Blessing of the Eternals didn’t seem to0 great for a 2 point investment due to how situational it was.   It will be much more powerful in 4.1.

How are you going to respec in 4.1? 

Healing Masteries Guest Post

April 25, 2011

At the Palenque digsite leveling archaeology

Hey!  I have been on vacation for the past week for Spring Break or what is known as Semana Santa here in Mexico, (Holy Week.)

I haven’t found any real shaman yet but it isn’t for lack of trying.   I’ve visited lots of holy places, both Catholic and Mayan.  I’ll keep looking but until I get back into the swing of things I wanted to share a link to guest post I contributed to the piece:

Are all healing class masteries created equal?

Other contributing authors of the piece include:  Oestrus  The Stories of O , Beruthiel Falling Leaves and Wings, and Gina.

Thanks to Gina at Healbot.net for putting it all together and letting me guest write.  :)

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