The new raid week started for us last night and we absolutely powered through a full heroic clear in no time at all. Then we went in to mythics and cleared Mythic Nythendra on just the second pull. We headed off to spider bird but only managed to get 1 pull in (which we got below 50% before wiping), but then the servers went down so we called it a night. So overall it was a really great raid night. Except I spent most of it in tears.
I have been looking forward to a new raid tier for ages. I only joined my current guild at the end of Hellfire Citadel – once mythics had all bee cleared. And by that point everyone was so much more geared than I was and knew the fights that restoration shaman mastery was kinda useless (who needs stronger heals on low health players when no-one takes any damage?!) That and I was up against priests and pallies… I didn’t really stand a chance. So even though I didn’t feel good not being top of the heals, I just plodded along and made sure I contributed dps where I could, and did mechanics so I wasn’t a burden. And I waited for Legion and new raids where I’d have a chance to show I could do this.
Except now we’re here in Legion and I’m still shit.
Last night I was constantly at the bottom of the heals. There were times when I was in a brilliant rhythm and doing everything I was supposed to do at the right times, and got to do some of my bigger heals in moments where people were at low health. And I’d get excited, thinking surely this was the moment I’d edge up those healing charts. But no. There I am at the bottom. And sometimes below the warrior tank. What.The.Hell. It’s not just in comparison to other healing classes either – when I look at the logs and look at how I do compared to other resto shamans, I’m doing poorly. It’s devastating to the ego. By the time we got to Xavius last night I was bawling my eyes out.
I love my resto shaman so much, I really do. But I’m finding her tough at the moment. There are a lot of my abilities that rely on people to be close-ish together and to actually stand in the things. Abilities like healing rain, spirit link, earthen shield totem, one of my healing trinkets, and of course my artifact ability, can all really shine when people are stacked up (which is why I can do really well on trash pulls!) but no-one is standing stacked up in raids. It feels stupid dropping these abilities on just tanks, or a handful of melee who run out of it anyway (except for maybe the shield totem). I’ve been trying so hard – I’ve been researching the fights and working on gear stats and trying different rotations. And it just all feels like for nothing. I am just shit.
What to do?
Today I’m not feeling a lot better, but Z was kind enough to listen/read my rants this morning and offer some advice that was confirming some changes I was looking at making. Namely, I’m looking at changing my build. For restoration shamans, it’s always mastery mastery mastery. And for good reason – when people are low for a reasonable amount of time, I can physically see my heals bringing up groups of people all at once – it’s great! But in raids (so far) that doesn’t happen enough. I feel weak. I feel like what I do doesn’t make enough of a difference. I mean even healing tide totem doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything anymore.
I’ve spoken of my love for Ask Mr Robot plenty of times before, and I do love the site and what they do. So of course as Emerald Nightmare was coming up I went on to see what my best pieces would be. What it was showing me was really weird – I couldn’t figure out why it was telling me to not wear mastery gear. Then I saw the optimum build was nothing to do with mastery, and everything to do with Critical Strike.
Intellect > Mastery > Critical Strike > Haste > Versatility
Ask Mr Robot was giving me
Intellect > Critical Strike > Versatility > Haste > Mastery > Leech
Quite different. In the end I manually built the stat weights in to be the order I thought they needed to be in and went from there. But now, I’m beginning to think I should try the Mr Robot build. The build is called “Sustained HPS” and I’m guessing the theory behind it is that more crits = more mana regen = more heals I can cast and for longer. The versatility will just make my heals a bit better, too. I’m wondering if, with a crit build, I can do more chain heals. It used to be that that’s where a lot of my healing would come from. Right now it’s all coming from riptide (which is unlikely to change) but maybe I can bring up the AoE heals a bit more. The positives and negatives of this are the same – Ask Mr Robot is based on pure math, which in some ways is great because math doesn’t lie. But in other ways it’s not always great because I’m not a machine – I make mistakes and/or make different spell choices based on situation. But I think it’s worth a shot.
With that in mind, I’m also going to look at changing my talents around. I had tried the Cloudburst build, but I was not great at it. And a lot of the time the damage didn’t line up with the cloudbursting-ness, so it felt wasted. I absolutely love the Wellspring talent – it looks awesome and it feels satisfying, but it’s mana intensive making, it pretty expensive. And there is a better talent choice if I’m looking at chain healing again.
This is what I’m leaning towards as new talent choices (or see this link if you want the interactive version)
Torrent is lovely with Echo of the Elements (Echo lets me riptide more often, so I think they work well together) And I do love my fart talent (Gust of wind) but I’m thinking of giving Graceful spirit a go for awhile so that I can cast on the move more often.
The tier 60 talent I’m moving to will be Deluge, which just means I need to start chain heal on a riptided target or someone in my healing rain (which means I need to make my vuhdo frames show me who’s in healing rain!)
I’m sticking with the Earthen Shield totem as I’m finding it a lot more useful the more I remember to use it. And it’s good fun to have for trash. Echo is there of course because I failed at Cloudburst and because Bottomless Depths is only good on low health targets, which we’re not really getting at the moment.
The last line has been the one that hurts my head. As I mentioned, I’ve been using Wellspring, and it has been great and is good when people are quite spread out. Ascendance got taken away as a base line ability and put in as a talent here, but I’m just not feeling it. Again, it requires players to be close by to each other, and because everyone is spread out it wouldn’t get used to its full advantage. High Tide is where I’m going to move to, I think – it will heal an additional target AND the falloff with each bounce is reduced, making my chain heals a bit stronger overall. (Chain heal’s heal drops off each time it hits a target).
To make this build work I need to make sure that I’m actually using chain heal more often. Which will probably need to change when Tier 19 set bonuses come in to play. But that’s not for awhile yet, and right now I’m fighting to keep my place on the team (not that anyone is telling me it’s in jeopardy – I just don’t feel like I’m contributing enough to the heal team right now. I’m letting everyone down).
The patience of a great healing team leader
I’m lucky that my heal leader (Bume) is awesome. I cracked it in healer chat last night just saying I was done with it all because I suck. Bume started whispering me asking what was up and I explained, and he’s offered to go through my logs and help see where some improvements can be made. Which is really lovely. The point is, it makes me feel better, and I appreciate the help. Because right now I’m just so lost.
Let’s see how this goes
So all of the above might be wrong. It might just be shit, and it might make things worse. I won’t do anything for tonight because I won’t have the time to think through the above before raid, but I’ll be making some changes over the weekend to see how it plays out.
Anyway, that’s where things are at the moment. Giant sooky Cinder.