Hozen fling poo, I fling lava. I win.

This Healer's SO Helpful

This Healer’s SO Helpful

I finally got Electrika to 90 over the weekend (leveling is why I haven’t posted since last week), and somewhere in Pandaland, I suddenly had a “whoa …” moment of appreciation for the elemental spec that I had never experienced before.  (I admit that I last spent a lot of time in elemental was prior to patch 5.0 and shaman deletion #1.)  Oh, there was joy when Lava Lash procced like, three or four times and I had the magic instant casts.  Oh, there was glee when I could mash Chain Lightning over and over and it actually cast every time.  Oh, there was euphoria when I could use Ascendance and throw lava around like a madman (and look like one!).  Also, the fancy upgraded elementals (thanks to the level 90 talent) are snazzy lookin’.  I like looking good.

I actually like being a shaman now, to the point where I think I may make Electrika my main.  I can be ranged DPS, which means I can compensate for my internal derp mechanisms by staying away from things that hurt.  I’m tougher than a mage, and I can actually keep up something that resembles a generally accepted rotation.  (Running around in circles casting Arcane Explosion is not considered by most to be a true rotation, which makes mage-ing suck for me because that’s totally the best part.)  I’m more inclined to be elemental-y than I am to be warlock-y.  And unlike hunter, I can switch to a healing spec, which means I can be useful in group situations or help my mostly DPS friends.

My conclusion about the shaman class in general is:

Shaman 1 to 20?  Sucks.  Sucks bad.  Needs Earth Shield SOONER OMFG.
Shaman 21 to 60?  Meh.
Shaman 61 to 80?  Ok, you know, I can live with this.
Shaman 81 to 90?  WHEE CHAIN LIGHTNING YOU @%#^&*!s!  I FLING LAVA AT YOU!  EARTHQUAAAAAKE!*  THUNDERSTORM!  ZING!  ZAP!

There is ONE THING that gets me down, though, and that is the limit of 300k mana.  It’s old news to most folks, but Electrika is really my first Serious Encounter with it.  Ailabeth is my only other real mana user, so when she hit 90 and I had 300k mana, I didn’t think a thing of it.  Besides, it’s not like it mattered for her.  Dispersion!  Mindsquid!  If she runs out of mana, the party chugs on.

But for Electrika, there have been a number of instances where fights have dragged out and/or people have taken a crapton of avoidable (why is this tank in DPS plate) damage, and I’ve just gotten so low on mana, I can’t cast crap other than my dinkiest spells.  I mentioned wanting more mana in guild, which is when a guildmate said hey, that’s unfortunate, ’cause 300k is all you’ll get.

Wat.

So lemme get this straight – everybody ever can pretty much increase their health out the wazoo with gear, enchants, gems and whatnot – but I’m stuck at 300k mana FOREVER?  Tanks can show up with 700k+ HP for cripe’s sake!  Why, exactly, am I stuck with 300k mana, especially when casting IS MY LIFE?  (Or, if I’m resto, when casting IS EVERYONE’S LIFE?)  WHAT IS THIS MADNESS!?

Okay, so, three options.  Better mana management, forget healing people to full because lawl, increase potency of heals somehow.  I can’t ever tell if the third is happening with improved gear, because as I get improved gear, I get into “improved” situations in which more people show up in similarly improved (and HP increasing!) gear – from 90 normals to 90 heroics, and from heroics to LFR.

It was the queue timer more than anything that made me switch specs.

It was the queue timer more than anything that made me switch specs.

I AM trying to get better at mana management (sadly, my Passive Aggressive Mana Management technique won’t work in LFD parties, since I can’t ride on the backs of other healers … I AM THE ONLY ONE OGOD).  But I confess I still like casting the costly heals for two reasons.  One, multiple people are taking damage (example: everybody jumps down to fight Gekkan and chaos ensues), and two, the more costly heals actually heal a “worthwhile”-feeling chunk of my tank’s 700+ freaking thousand HP.  My dinky heals are just that – dinky.  Good to toss on a DPS or something, but when that tank is pulling lots of mobs, I need the big guns!

Wait, there are three reasons.  People get tunnel vision (I call this DPS Goggles) and don’t see their HP decreasing and/or don’t use self-healing skills, which would help ease my heavy mana use.  So I think the DPS can use that healthstone they got earlier while they think I’m going to heal them, IF they’re even thinking about something other than skill cooldowns and rotation.  Communication issue much?

And I LIKE to keep people as close to topped off as possible, because it feels safer.  You never know when sheeyit will hit the fan, and the more HP they have, the more time there is to respond to a drop.  Sure sure, leave that DPS at three quarters health, it’s ok – except then the DPS stands in something, or gets aggro somehow, or gets hit by something big.  If you are working on keeping the tank/yourself up and the DPS had the DPS Goggles on and didn’t see their overall health going dooooooown, then that’s that for the poor DPS!  THEN of course mobs take longer to kill and THEN of course I’m going to run out of mana eventually because I only have 300k of the stuff, even with the Mana Tide totem (which of course has a huge cooldown).

Fel tells me I need to get the Riptide glyph and actually expect the other LFR healers to do something instead of trying to do it all myself.  BUT BUT, WHAT IF THEY DON’T OMG.

Suddenly, Muscle Memory is Useless

Suddenly, Muscle Memory is Useless

Here’s another thing, though it isn’t related to the shallow end of the mana pool: how the heck do you select raid members that are not in your party?  Thanks to running LFD constantly, I’ve trained myself to use F1 through F5 to select myself or my party members.  This allows me to select others quickly, in turn enabling me to move my left hand back to the keyboard to move my character out of crap when necessary.  My right hand is using my healing/totem hotkeys all the time – and they’re all oriented to the right hand side of the keyboard.

But when I’m in a party with more than five people, my method suddenly goes to hell.  Well, the first five people in my party are fine – the rest are (possibly) screwed.  I inevitably try selecting them with F6 and on, but that of course does nothing, so then I have to move my right hand away from my keys and up to the mouse, select them, then move back again – sounds like it’s not much, but for me, just because I’ve gotten my right hand back to the keyboard does not mean it’s in the right place, which means I may not be casting the right spells.  Since I order my heal hotkeys based on the increasing amount healed, I may be healing too much or too little until I figure out that my hand has shifted a key or two over.

In other news, I lost a roll, pretty badly.

I'm just going to try to keep my dignified composure. ... OH MY GAWD I ROLLED A 9 WHY GAWD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I’m just going to try to keep my dignified composure.
… OH MY GAWD I ROLLED A 9 WHY GAWD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

But it’s cool ’cause he’s my friend, right?

* While in the midst of an elemental high, please remember to heal yourself periodically.  Dying causes extreme and immediate painful withdrawal effects.

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26 thoughts on “Hozen fling poo, I fling lava. I win.

  1. koalabear21

    Since you mentioned that you use your mouse buttons to heal, I am guessing you don’t use a healing addon.

    If you are opposed to them, have you tried mouseover macros? I know they work with the default UI raid/party frames.

    If you are NOT opposed to healing addons, I do know that Vuhdo has the ability to use keybindings to heal instead of mouse clicking.

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      Once upon a time I didn’t care for addons – shouldn’t one be able to play the game as designed? – but now, having gotten so used to DBM, Recount and GTFO in my life, it doesn’t seem like an issue anymore. The issue is total ignorance on where to start! I’ll look up Vuhdo – thanks for the recommendation.

      (I should probably get a larger monitor too some day. The dispellable debuffs ARE SO TINY OMG. You know that part of Mogu’shan Vaults where the mobs give you a debuff that turns you into stone/stuns you for 13 seconds at ten stacks? That’s where we were, so I was in “OMG MUST DISPEL MUST DISPEL ALL THE THINGS” mode … only to catch myself attempting to dispel Earth Shield from the tank. MY Earth Shield, no less.)

      Reply
      1. koalabear21

        If you want some help with setting up Vuhdo (it can be daunting at first, but once you look it over it becomes MUCH easier) I would be willing to help out :)

        Reply
        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          Thanks. o_o I will let you know. I have a suspicion I’m going to procrastinate on it, since I just ran Mogu’shan Vaults and can’t queue for Heart of Fear yet … /cough

          Reply
      2. Leit

        Vuhdo is pretty awesome. I used to use it, but switched to Clique and standard raid frames when some patch down the line borked VuhDo but good. Nice thing about debuffs: by default V changes the colour of the panel when someone has a dispellable debuff on them. No hunting tiny icons!

        Healbot’s supposedly easier to set up than Vuhdo. I say supposedly, because basically every time we start a new boss there’s a couple of pulls where the other healers sort of go “oh wait, that debuff isn’t showing up in my healbot…”

        You don’t increase mana linearly like others do health pools, but ideally you do increase in power linearly such that you’re healing the same percentage or greater of everyone’s health bar. Having more mana wouldn’t really help if you needed the time to get like three casts off where you previously only needed two.

        Shaman are sort of late bloomers. Decided I don’t like resto’s mastery, though… as a former disc priest, I want to prevent the damage happening in the first place, not HEAL MOAR when everyone’s at half past zero life. Just makes for a much calmer experience.

        Reply
        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          As long as I ALWAYS heal more when everyone’s half dead, that’s ok. If it’s only a chance that’s never going to be all that great, well, eff, that sucks. In general though, I just want people to LIVE. I don’t care if I drown ‘em or if I shield ‘em. I just want as many bodies between me and death as possible.

          Alas, it sounds like I’m going to be spending ages with this addon process … and probably relearning my hotkeys, because I’m not yet sure how I can select all 24 other LFR’ers with it.

          Reply
          1. koalabear21

            You can keep your spell key bindings, it just allows for you to mouse over the player’s raid frame to heal them as opposed to selecting them _then_ healing.

            Reply
          2. Leit

            VuhDo/Clique/Healbot/etc is whack-a-mole healing. You hover/click over their frames rather than selecting them. I prefer clicking, some people like mouseover (which can also be done with straight macros on the default frames like koala suggested). It’s neat because you can keep the boss (or tank if that’s your thing) selected while healing the party. Much faster.

            You like bodies between you and death. I like fat health bars between my raiders and death. Easier to recover when something goes horribly wrong. :P

            Reply
            1. Prinnie Powah Post author

              Bodies, health bars – they’re one and the same thing to me. The more there are up and running, the happier I am. A dead body is no good for me because I’m not Forsaken!

              I don’t know if click/whackamole healing is what I’m looking for. I guess ideally, I wouldn’t have to move my hands from the keyboard at all! (Yeah yeah, mouse turning whatever.) There’s no magic thingie that allows me to use keys or something? Then again, I guess I’d run out of keys on my keyboard. I guess … I guess I’m doomed to relearning the whole thing.

              /sadface

              Party member: HAHAHAHA you cast Earth Shield on yourself AGAIN!
              Me: DON’T LAUGH AT ME DAMMIT I CHANGED MY HOTKEYS THIS IS HARD

              Reply
              1. Leit

                There’s a count of 45 usable keys in the meat of my keyboard. What about sha/nalak/oondasta runs? That’s 40 people and not a lot of practical keybinds for them. Mousework may not seem very elegant, but it’s flexible and fast with large groups.

                Keyboard strafe, not turn. :D Shammy heals don’t need you to be facing your party.

                Reply
                1. Prinnie Powah Post author

                  I’ve noticed that I don’t have to face my party and/or target (thank Gawd), but I’ve also noticed that it still cares about line of sight, when the party’s up or down some steps and my short goblin’s on the other end of them. Or pillars, or corners, or doors … etc.

                  I guess I just gotta get used to mousing.

                  It might help if I had a different desk, this one has the mouse on a different level.

                  I’ve been meaning to get a new desk ever since this one got busted up during a move a couple years back (it’s only gotten more rickety with every move since) … WELL OBVIOUSLY I NEED ONE FOR HEALING. Man, do I have the ability to pick a randomass reason or what?

                  Reply
                  1. Leit

                    I play on a plank that seats my notebook, its cooler and (barely) a mouse with more buttons than your hand has room for. :D In a previous life the plank was for eating in front of the TV. Your argument is invalid.

                    Reply
                    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

                      Oh, my argument’s been invalid from the start. I just want a new desk, but like most humans I need some sort of justification before I can go out and BUY ALL THE DESKS.

                    2. Leit

                      At least you’re not paralysed with indecision. Will it be a distinguished oak desk with leather trim, like M uses? A slide-out workstation desk where you can stow the input periphs? Maybe an ancient schoolteacher’s desk picked up cheap with the scratchings of students still etched in the wood, or a draftsman’s desk with INFINITE SPACE. Or just an iteration of what you have now, only not broken, but that might make the old one feel sad and useless and GUILT OH GOD ITS JUST A DESK /cry. Maybe something quick and cheap from Ikea that you can put together like a puzzle and creaks like a galleon under full sail. Or something eye-catching in glass and steel, where half the time you can be paranoid about accidentally shattering it with your coffee cup and the other half you can stub your feet/hips/etc against its cold unfeeling metal frame.

                      Okay, maybe not that last one. :D

                    3. Prinnie Powah Post author

                      I feel your plank needs a name, like “The Plankinator.” Maybe “Plankmeister” …?

                      “Hiya, my name is Leit, and I play on the Planketyplank.”

                    4. Prinnie Powah Post author

                      I was actually thinking metal and glass, if only because it’d be easier to make it “match” the rest of my horrifically unmatched furniture. But now I question that decision.

  2. tomeoftheancient

    OMG! The whole post went out of my head when I saw that last screen shot! I guess the best thing is that we now actually know it exists cause sometimes I think its existence is just a big joke at our expense.

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      It’s there.

      I know, because I lost it.

      And my friend showed up at our next transmog run riding it.

      Dignity. I have dignity. Dignity is good. I will not keel over sobbing uncontrollably ’cause he rolled and he got it fair and square. Dignity.

      SAD;FLKJASLFDKJAS;LDFKJAS;LDFKJASL;FKJAS;LFKJA;LSFDKJA;SLFKJA;LSFDKJ

      I’m ok. Mostly.

      Reply
        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          /hug

          I comfort myself with the thought that “By losing with grace, I am being a good person.” I must content myself with taking the high road anyway, because my friend is a PvPer, so it’s not like I could actually stand a chance in hell of getting the thing off his dead body!

          It’s somewhat of a cold comfort, which makes me think, damn, man, am I a sore loser or what?

          YES, YES I AM. No, wait, no, I’m not. I’m dignified. DIGNIFIED.

          Now that I’ve actually seen the thing drop, I’m tempted to take in every single alt that has a chance in hell of winning that fight …

          Reply
          1. Leit

            Tangent here: could you imagine duelling in Kara if there weren’t a distance restriction? It’d be like every swashbuckling film tossed into an old Quake map! Ermehgerd, a multi-level vertical tower BG… why hasn’t this happened yet?

            (because ranged would have all of the advantages)

            Reply
            1. Prinnie Powah Post author

              I’m sure they could institute some sort of magical buff whereby melee can hit things a mile away too! Or something like Nalak’s giant hitbox!

              And instead of boring old items that give you a brief speed boost or whatever, you could get something like a buff that causes you to leap multiple staircases in a single bound, or cause fire to explode beneath your enemy’s feet (like the chess match!). Or, you can get randomly afflicted with opera costumes! You are Romeo, debuff to common sense. You are Red Riding Hood, and you will be stricken with terror if you encounter a player wearing a wolfhat. You are the Tin Man, and are somewhat more impervious to insults for 3 seconds.

              Man, I could do something like this or my Isle of Dinos bg all day.

              Reply
  3. Neri

    Elemental is amazing. Getting my Shaman to 90 and PvPing with her has really reinvigorated my love of Warcraft. You should try Thunderstorming people off the middle in Eye of the Storm some time. I cackle maniacally every time I see someone sail over the edge. I just imagine them raging IRL and it brings a tear to my eye :’)

    PS. I second (third?) Vuhdu. I used to decimate our other two healers simply because while they were selecting people, I was already healing them. It’s also nice and small, so it doesn’t take up your whole screen like the default UI can.

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      “It’s also nice and small, so it doesn’t take up your whole screen like the default UI can.”

      This is good, because my screen is filled with crap already.

      Reply

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