BEHOLD THE ELEMENTAL PROWESS OF THE PANDA SHAMAN:
Then I got smacked by something and I wasn’t a panda anymore. But I’m ok with that.
A couple weeks back, Cal, Goa and I were attempting heroic scenarios for the first time. Somewhere in between getting killed by lightning (NO I CAN’T MOVE, I HAVE TO FINISH PUTTING THIS BARREL OUT. IT’S IMPORTANT!) and getting swamped by sailors in “Battle on the High Seas,” I decided we really needed an effing healer because OMFG, THEY KILLED ROFFLES THE GOAT! Okay, so maybe I could’ve moved away from the lightning circle thingie, but my point still stands – with one warrior, one DK and one huntard with a goat, heroic scenarios kinda hurt.
Plus, you know, expanding your horizons and all that jazz is good for you. Makes you well rounded. Accordingly, I put Electrika on the fast track.
I think I like shaman healing. I qualify that because I haven’t yet gotten to “the end game” nor LFR (only level 86), but so far, so good. I think this is due in no small part to the fact that as a goblin shaman, I feel an element of comedy that other, more ENLIGHTENED and charitable orders (such as Holy Priests) rather lack. If I’m not tossing buckets of water on people or making it rain on their heads to heal them, I’m totally throwing dirt on the tank for good luck. If I’m going to heal with something other than laser beams or arrows to the face, this is my kinda thing.
I gotta say though, there was a moment when the notion of progressing any further scared the everliving crap outta me – and that was the first time I healed Grim Batol. I had a beartank as my meatshield du jour, and this particular beartank was one of those aggressive pullers. Trash mobs there can (and did) do knock back to interrupt my casting (I so don’t remember this happening to me before, what’s going on, where are we), which of course was problem enough. But worse was the tank’s propensity for pulling ALL THE THINGS. She would pull lots of trash, or trash and bosses. Oh. My. GAWD! The DAMAGE! DAMAGE EVERYWHERE! WE’RE ALL DYING! HEAL FASTER! THE DAMAGE JUST WON’T STOP! OH JEEBUS! There were several moments where if I hadn’t been preemptively casting, if you will, the heal wouldn’t have gone off in time and beartank would’ve been smeared on the floor. (Which is why, by the way, I like the resurrection thing shamans can do once every thirty minutes. I can wait for the sheeyit to clear, resurrect, and then do a Mass res.)
As it turned out, however, I didn’t really need to worry about heroic Grim Batol ever being in my future, because Cataclysm dungeons via LFD (and especially Cataclysm heroics) are in a weird little spot. Right now, they kinda sorta exist as the only option for a very little while, but they’re REALLY darn close to Pandaland stuff. So everybody just says “screw that,” buys vendor gear and goes into the Temple of the Jade Serpent.
I think Cal and I queued for Cata dungeons less than ten times, and while I did queue for a Cata heroic, I never actually got in one. (I am not counting the one where I zoned in to find everybody dead, since everybody dropped the party after I mass ressed them.) I never even LOOKED at End Time. Once I had a gearscore sufficient for End Time, it just so happened I had more than enough to get into Pandaland dungeons, so … I didn’t get turned into a night elf.
I bet you Archbishop Benedictus is feeling kinda lonely there at Wyrmrest Temple, since there’s no one to escort Thrall down to the basement or anyone for him to talk about THERE IS ONLY POWER to. Whoa, I’m actually feeling kinda nostalgic now. I kinda WANNA go back and punch Echo of Tyrande just for fun …
Once I hit 85, I noticed that my solid single target heals no longer heal the same proportion that they used to. It’s like the health pools went WAY UP at that point, but chunks of healing I do didn’t undergo the same increase. Maybe it’s gear I need? I dunno. For awhile, there was a corner of my mind engaged in fruitlessly screaming things like, “DO YOU SEE THAT GAP IN PARTY MEMBER A’S HP THERE!? I NEED SOMETHING BIGGER THAN WHAT YOU’RE CASTING!! NO, BIGGER THAN THAT. BIGGER THAN THAT ONE TOO!”
I think I’ve gotten used to it now though. I compensate by casting lots of things lots. This approach isn’t always great, since I did almost go OOM fighting against Peril and Strife in the Temple of the Jade Serpent. This was just about as terrifying as watching the beartank pull all the things ever. Other than that, though, post 85 dungeoning in Pandaland has been OK so far. I’ve gotten the Blackout Brew alementals in Stormstout Brewery, but somehow have managed to keep everybody alive despite having to hold still (and possibly black out) to cast. The only time I just Flat Out Failed was when we had a huntard in the party who somehow (probably by standing RIGHT THERE) pulled Hoptallus when the tank wasn’t on the platform. The tank got locked out, Cal went “…,” and I went “OH MY GOD THE EXPLODING VIRMEN HELP!” We died, because I just … no. I can’t, sorry, have a good day.
So here’s where I start to laugh about questing as a healer.
When I queue on Electrika, I queue as heals. I don’t bother queueing as DPS because I don’t know WTF I’m doing. The thing is, I’ve been hesitant to change to my secondary (Elemental) spec for questing purposes, because some tanks will charge on the moment they think everybody’s zoned in, regardless of whether everybody’s ready or not. I’d have to change back, which means losing all my mana and having to sit and drink something, while simultaneously realizing “OGOD THE TANK IS PULLING CRAP.” This is generally followed by the inevitable “heals?” comment, with the associated “WHERE THE @#$% ARE YOU AND WTF ARE YOU DOING STOP BEING SO LAZY/INCOMPETENT GAWD” unspoken but definitely present.
That means that questing goes somewhat like this:
- Put down totems (usually Searing with the stun* one if it’s not on cooldown)
- Cast Flame Shock
- Start casting Lava Lash
- Wait for Lava Lash to cast
- Lava Lash finally casts
- Start casting Lightning Bolt
- Wait for Lightning Bolt to cast
- Recast totem if necessary because stupid turtle ate it
- Watch as totem does most of the work because I’m slowass at casting offensive spells
- Lightning Bolt finally casts
- Heal self because OMFG why is this turtle kicking my ass like this
- Repeat steps 3 through 11 until mob is dead
It. Took. FOREVER. I hadn’t even finished the quests at Grookin Hill before I decided I’d take the heat from dumb tanks with premature pullation problems. I actually dug out the Elemental spec that I hadn’t touched since, uh … maybe level 32. Ish. I still don’t know what I’m doing, but the cast times seem to be greatly lessened. Hooray! Unfortunately, while I SEEM to be doing better, OSHEEYIT THE TURTLE IS STILL KICKING MY ASS and I need to heal me! So I look for Riptide, only to remember that, oh yeah, wait a minute – I DID actually change my spec.
OH, THE CHALLENGES FACED BY HYBRID CLASSES.
* I swear this totem has a name, but I keep on wanting to call it the Combustostunulator, which isn’t it.