Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Waiting for 3.1

A lot of people are waiting for the patch to come out for new raid content, me I mostly want dual specs and my bleeds to crit. Looking forward to Ulduar, but that will be a month of so from now when I clear Naxx. I run a 10 man 3 hours a week and a 25 man 5.5 hours a week focused completely on Naxx now and both have a good shot at getting a peek at Saph next week. This week there are sign outs and the Easter holiday to contend with.

Now that my druid is exalted with everyone and save a couple off spec trinkets I don't need any upgrades from heroics either I've been focusing my time on alts. I have a marks hunter and resto shaman at 72 and 70 making their way to 80. Then I have my death knight over on the horde side at 70 which I dabble with when the guild has a "horde night". So far as running instances and such my death knight is stuck with pugs for the most part so tend to stay alliance where there are more guild folks to run with.

Been focusing mostly on my shaman, I'm relatively new to the healing scene so its fun to start learning new skills. Sure I've healed on my druid, but as a feral I don't' have any healing cooldowns to worry about (unless you count innervate) and I've never healed anything difficult where it mattered. I've been leveling my shaman up with a holy priest and a mage running instances together and all so even then I've not gotten a lot of experience healing solo.

A couple days ago though I ran Nexus and Utgarde Keep as the only healer and got to find out what I can do left to my own. Was really good practice and I learned a lot.

For starters I learned that healers should not at all think about DPS, sure there are times when you have extra mana, no one needs healing and you can go ahead and do damage, but healer DPS is so abysmally low it is negligible for the most part. I do about 200 DPS compared to the 800 DPS someone specced for it would be doing at 70 (more if they are geared from raiding in BC). Sure I could pull off more and maybe double that if I spent more mana, but that would cut into my healing reserves.

I also learned that cooldowns are very useful and figuring out when to use them becomes very important. An instant heal with nature's swiftness comes in handy when you have to heal some raid damage then top the tank off. The second boss(es) in UK is a good example of this, the random charge will damage someone which needs to be healed before the next charge since most people will die if they take two. If the tank needs some attention during at the same time then an instant cast can give some time to catch up. Tidal Force serves much the same purpose in increasing crit chance of the next three heals.

Not so much a cooldown, but Nature's Guardian is totally awesome. I notice when healing I tend to ignore myself at times (must be a healer thing since I swear I look at my health more when I am tanking or dpsing). This talent saves my life more times that I can count. Often gives me the time I need to heal myself. I guess I didn't learn that healing in instance so much as solo where it acts as a mana saving god mode of sorts on green/yellow mobs.

Lastly I learned I am a better tank than I give myself credit for. After having healed a couple rather well respected and knowledgeable tanks that didn't seem able to scale their raiding uberness down to a 5-man setting. Like pulling the entire first hallway of UK is bad (unless you overlevel the instance which we didn't), chain pulling 1-2 at a time is good. Probably took longer due to wipes from trying to go faster than it would of if we kept a constant maintainable pace. I may not stop often when tanking, but I do keep pace with the group leaning a little toward the pushing them side to keep things interesting.

So that's what's new with my shammy. My hunter isn't all that interesting to me, I raiding on my hunter almost exclusively in BC so I have the class down. Just a matter of realizing my pet can't hold aggro if I go all out. My death knight on the other hand never fails to amuse me.

Actually tanked an instance for the first time on my death knight; Sethekk halls and I was 69, but I wasn't specced for tanking so it was still interesting. Will have to post a bear's take on death knight tanking sometime.

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