Regular readers will know that I’ve been ummming and ahhhing about how to level in Legion – do I want to make it as quick as possible by levelling as DPS but potentially causing troubles for my healing artifact? Or do I want to power up my healing artifact from the very beginning but have a boring and slower-feeling levelling experience?
I have been doing some very casual testing on Alpha/Beta to see how it feels to level (early testing can be read about here). It is doable as a restoration shaman, I won’t deny that. But even now, after trying again, it still feels really flat. There’s nothing that you can do to make your spells hit any harder or faster – what you’ve got is it. So when it comes to killing elite mobs it just takes a really, really long time. There’s nothing there to “mix it up”. In addition, something that truly breaks my heart – chain lightening hits like a wet fish. So AoE is slow and boring.
The concern about levelling as restoration has always come down to the artifact weapon, and whether or not levelling as elemental with an elemental artifact weapon would put my healing artifact weapon at a disadvantage. Also of concern was that, until recently, there was a cost applied to changing specialisations. This cost has now been removed, thus eliminating one of the factors causing my indecision.
Dayani to the rescue!!
One of my favourite restoration shamans, Dayani (also known as healiocentric) has put together the numbers in this amazing post. In this post Dayani lays out the cold hard facts and numbers to show just how hard resto shamans hit, how long it takes to level as resto and compares that to elemental damage and levelling. Also, most importantly, she confirms that yes, it is entirely possible to level as resto. I don’t want to spoil her post by reiterating it here, so please go and take the time to read it, because it really is a great read.
One unanswered question I had that was not addressed in the post was about doing dungeons without healer gear/trinkets if I level as elemental. Dayani again came to my rescue:
I’ve seen you talk about healing and WoW in general enough to know that you’ll be quite fine in a leveling dungeon without “spec-appropriate” trinkets, or using your Hellfire Citadel trinkets. The Artifact Weapon isn’t even needed (I’ve done quite a few without a weapon just while I was stuck on phasing issues or other questing bugs). The stats from a HFC weapon will get you through the dungeons just fine.
The only healing spec that I wouldn’t do entry-level dungeons in without an artifact weapon is Disc Priest. That’s just because I’m terrible at Disc so I need every advantage I can get.
I feel comforted knowing that I’m not going to be too much of a burden going in to heal dungeons with ele trinkets in (or my mythic HFC trinkets), and that it is entirely do-able.
…is to level as elemental.
When it all comes down to it, whilst I can level as restoration, that doesn’t mean I should. The psychological side of things weighs very heavily on me. Even though it’s technically not, it feels so much slower to level as restoration. With elemental, I feel like I have choices in what I want to do, and when it comes to elites and rares, I have a bunch of cooldowns that I can use to make me a bit stronger. So overall I feel stronger. And that makes a big difference to me.
I will go in to the Broken Shore scenario as restoration (because this all happens before the artifacts etc. are out). Once Legion hits, I’ll be elemental for awhile to kill all the demons. I’ll be holding on to anything that makes my artifact weapon stronger and keeping them safe until I get my restoration healing artifact weapon at level 102. After that I can continue to level as dps and do dungeons as heals, and push artifact power in to my resto weapon.
(fwiw my parther, Thor, will be shaking his head at this point – he has been telling me exactly this for quite a long time now! As always, he was right! 🙂 I just like seeing the numbers, too.)
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