In Wrath, Resto Druids were arguably the most over powered healing class in PVP. While that title is now often thrown at Resto Shamans or Holy Paladins, we former trees of HoT-ty goodness can still definitely hold our own. Aside from that, playing a resto druid in PVP is fun as all hell. There’s almost nothing like jumping into a large mass of players fighting, rolling HoTs on your team and turning the tide as, suddenly, the enemy can’t kill your teammates. Combine that with having a host of instant-cast spells and being able to break snares when changing form (something only resto druids can do now) and they can be really, really hard to bring down. (more…)
I love alts. My characters other than my main have for a long time been a driving force in keeping my interest in WoW. I keep a stable of max level alts to gear up or for crafting. I often won’t feel like running more than one heroic dungeon on the same character per day, but a heroic on a resto shaman doesn’t feel like the same heroic on a ret paladin. One of the great things about WoW is the sheer variety of stuff to do.
Some days I feel like accomplishing, or working towards, an “end” character goal. This might be something like farming heroics in hopes for best-in-slot pre-raid drops or gear from points to rep farming for epics or actual raiding. This is gearing up my toon with equipment that should last it a while and help my end goal of a character – being raid worthy. Other days I just want to accomplish something. There’s really no guarantee to pick up a specific drop from a dungeon and sometimes you’re just too many randoms or quest away from having enough points or rep to buy something nice. On these days, I might take up one of my leveling toons. Especially at lower levels, but even closing on level cap, it’s only a matter of time to get a few levels. With each level comes new talents or spells and can feel like a little accomplishment for the day. This is especially great after a run of bad luck on a max level toon.
Fear not, dear readers, I haven’t forsaken you. I mean that in the original context of the word, not that I might have raised you from the dead with the Vyr’kul, in case you were wondering. Like so many these days, I’ve been a little bogged down with the holiday rush, family get-togethers, and, well….the Cataclsym! Oh the wonders if the end of the world.
So far, my paladin has reached 85, my warrior is gaining more rested XP at level 84, and my shaman is starting to feel neglected at 81. The rest of my toons have barely seen me do more than log in to start the rested XP process. Yes, in case you have alts at the previous level cap, you have to log into them once before they’ll start accruing rested experience. I suppose my death knight has seen a little love, but only because I need some enchants. There’s a fair chance he’ll end up being my 3rd or 4th 85 due to the need of having max enchanting and inscription.
Although my paladin is still fun, and will likely remain my main (though ret spec instead of holy as primary), my warrior is just blowing through the quests. At 84, even with stat deflation caused by leveling and very few regular dungeons under his belt, the warrior can still break 10k dps without too much trouble. Victory rush, which heals 25% of my hp after getting a killing blow, helps me keep on keeping on as if I had a pocket healer following me around *insert any cataclysm zone here*. Ret paladins damage just feels a little gimped in comparison, not really bad mind you, just mediocre. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer for WoW) did put a blog post which, among many other things, comments that ret paladins dps might be low and could be buffed, along with a re-imagining of our mastery. To read about that and a great deal of future balance changes to come check it out. Other highlights include, shockingly, survival hunter damage nerf. Despair hunters, despair!
For those who haven’t read much of this blog so far, my main is and has always been a Paladin, raiding mostly as Holy. Also, my raiding experience is almost entirely limited to Wrath content. To summarize my credentials as a healer: Tank Heals. I’ve healed tanks through multiple pack trash pulls, bosses that could easily two shot the tank, and many other challenges. A Holy Paladin in wrath though, isn’t really expected to heal the raid. Of course as a good little healer, I help with raid healing when the tank isn’t in a high damage phase, particularly helpful when I had the Glyph of Holy Light that added a healing “splash” to nearby players. Last night I took my Shaman into VOA 25 and, as one of only 4 healers, discovered more toons than just tanks take a lot of damage.
Ok, so I was aware that there can be plenty of incoming raid damage, but as a Paladin it was never really my responsibility. I probably floundered a little on that first raid on my Shaman. Fortunately it was VOA and not really difficult for a raid with today’s gear and talents. As a first time raid healer, I had a little bit of trouble prioritizing the people to heal. I also spent a decent amount of time on the tanks since we didn’t really have healing assignments, not helping my overall certainty of what to do. Essentially I went with a priority healing target rotation of tanks > everyone with low health > everyone else. Since I’m sure the other 3 healers probably operated with a similar plan in mind, this caused a lot of overhealing. I suspect the healing assignments during a progression raid would limit a lot of those wasted heals. Even in a more organized 25 man raid though, there could easily be 3-4 raid healers. I usually don’t see specific group assignments so I wonder what limits that wasted overhealing?
Overall it was pretty fun. There’s really a lot more going on when I’m personally worried about 23 players as opposed to 1 or 2 of them. I especially enjoy not wasting globals on the guy who absolutely won’t move out of the fire, particularly when the boss is dead and the guy stands in the fire from 100% health to dead. I just stood there, watching. Is it that hard to get out of the fire?
If I were standing in front of a crowd of WoW players, instead of writing a blog, and posed the question, “Who here likes getting Halls of Reflection as a random queue with a pug?”, I’d probably hear crickets. Except maybe the one masochist of a player near the back whose cries of agreement would quickly be snuffed out by lamentations of those around him. I’ve heard of those who suffer from severe flash backs of wipes cause by people who physically are unable to understand “line of sight” or those who still believe if you just wait behind the Lich King, he’ll leave without killing you. Maybe I’m being a little over dramatic with the description, but most players, myself included, at least groan a little when they chance into one of the hardest and least pug friendly of WotLK instances.
Then here’s me. Fresh resto shaman rocking a mix of cloth/leather/mail instance drops (very few from ICC 5-mans) and a PVP shield. My gear sports sparkling green quality gems and is completely void of enchantments. Go ahead and cry ‘cheap’ all you want, but I’ll be upgrading every piece within a few hours of playing. You’d think perhaps the gods of WoW and RNG might have some pity on this noob shaman, but no. Halls of Reflection will be my very first test of healing…