I perused a few other healing bloggers’ posts about this questionairre, and figured I’d answer these questions myself at some point … then Kurn went and tagged me in her post on the matter. ;)
So! Here I am, answering these same questions for my particular class’ healing a little more immediately than I had originally planned.
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Avanai, level 85 Shaman, Restoration
2. What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I primarily heal in 25 man raids; almost exclusively as a matter of fact. I hate PuGs, so I almost never do any 5 mans.
3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
I still really love Chain Heal. It’s not as spammable as it once was, nor is it quite what it used to be, but I like the fact that we have other spells we need to cast on a regular basis — like Healing Wave. Chain Heal still remains a favorite just because it is so uniquely Shaman, and it’s an incredible tool in our arsenal of heals. That, and it’s smart. Very smart.
4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
I use Healing Surge the least, mainly due to the fact that it is so expensive on the mana stores. It doesn’t do poorly for healing — I mean, it heals for more than a Healing Wave does, for sure — but there are much better options (based on mana constraints) for sheer normal use, such as a Greater Healing Wave after a Chain Heal or Riptide for increased casting speed: less mana and tons more healing than a Healing Surge.
I do use it, however, for dire situations when I absolutely NEED that fast heal to keep someone from dying and I just don’t have time to spare a GCD on a Riptide for the bigger, better heal. It’s an “oh, shit!” heal, and it does its job as such very well.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Definitely our zone heals … hands down, without a doubt. Healing Rain is fantastic and Chain Heal is very smart, so we essentially have 2 AoE heals and they know how to get the job done, especially when used with various other heal enhancing abilities. Add in the fact that Spirit Link Totem makes any group up situation a breeze (temporarily, anyways), and you have yourself a bona fide raid healer!
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Well, I could go a couple of ways with this, to be honest. Not that I find them to be weaknesses where we can’t perform properly, but ya know …
First would be tank healing. Yes, we can do it — but given our sheer awesome capabilities as raid healers, it’s not something that we are typically better at doing than other classes. The reason I feel this way is because of my number two weakness on the list: lack of cooldowns.
We have Nature’s Swiftness, which is very handy sometimes (insta-heals FTW!), but other than that, we have … totems, and, uh … Heroism. And these are typically more raid utility than anything else. Mana Tide Totem is definitely awesome, but they nerfed that in 4.2, so not quite as much anymore — nor does it reduce damage, put shields on people, or save lives in a pinch. And while I love and adore Spirit Link Totem, it clearly has it’s weaknesses. SLT has a very small radius for area of effect, thus it really works best when in a larger, tight-knit group, and you don’t always get that in every boss fight. I view SLT as our one, major cooldown, but it’s highly circumstantial for when you could/should use it to make it work really well.
7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
“HEAL ALL TEH PRITTEE COLORED BOXEZZ!”
Yes, that’s what I get to do most of the time. So I’m sure you can venture a guess at what my assignment is 99% of the time … raid healing!
8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
I really enjoy healing with a Priest — either spec is fine. The cooldowns that they bring make me happy, and I love their variety of spells. I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that we have such awesome healing priests in my guild, or just that it’s the class/spec in general, but whenever I’m assigned to something with a priest … it goes very smoothly. I like to think it’s the former reason!
9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
I’d probably have to say a Druid. I looooooove the amount of healing that a Druid can do, because it’s disgusting, and their mobility in fights is amazing, but I feel like I don’t really do much myself when paired with one. The HoTs and Lifeblooms and what not keep rolling, and by the time I finish casting something on a player … the Lifebloom has bloomed and my heal just hit for 100% overheal. That can be horribly depressing. I just think that Druids are much better paired with a class other than a Shaman, like a Disc Priest.
10. What is your worst habit as a healer?
I often forget to drop my Mana Tide Totem without someone needing to say “Can we get a Mana Tide?” in Mumble. I’ve gotten better, and I tell people to let me know when they need one since my personal mana regen is pretty good and I don’t tend to think about it all the time, but I still feel bad that people would need to ask me sometimes.
Aside from that, my other bad habit is not making full use of the few cooldowns that I do have. I know I could use Spiritwalker’s Grace more often, or Nature’s Swiftness … I’m a baddy at times. I’ll admit it.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
People standing in bad stuff, dying to completely avoidable damage, and/or just not doing their job. People that get tunnel vision and mess things up for the whole raid drive me insane. I’m not talking about off nights, ’cause we all have those; I mean the consistent offenders. To be a raider, you need to stay alert, move out of the bad, stand in the good, and do what you are assigned to do, when you are supposed to do it!
Another pet peeve of mine that goes along with healing and the above mentioned stuff are people that do not research the fight before going in. It takes 10 minutes to read a strat and kind of fast forward through a YouTube video to get the general jist of a fight. I find it terribly disrespectful when someone (or a few someones) do not do their research and then stall the raid/cause wipes because of it. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
I would say so. Shaman have very strong group heals, when the conditions for positioning are right, and single target healing isn’t terrible either if you use your spells wisely and with the correct abilities to enhance them. I think the only thing that isn’t balanced is the fact that we can’t tank heal as efficiently as any other class typically can because of our lack of cooldowns and what have you. But I’ve already discussed that above, so I digress.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Any healer would lie if they told you they didn’t look at the numbers on the meters ;) It’s always nice to see yourself up there, and I like seeing my toon’s name hovering in the top 3 spots as any other healer would, but the numbers really aren’t everything.
I tend to evaluate my performance on a few areas:
- Did I avoid as much environmental damage as I could/should have?
- Did I keep my assigned players alive?
- Did I help other healers’ assignments when/if possible?
- Did I make the most out of the abilities available to me?
- Did I use the proper spells for the situation at hand?
There are so many questions I ask myself, and I always feel that I could do much better in various areas on any given raid night. Sometimes I concentrate so hard on making sure that I do one thing, like making use of all my spells when needed rather than favoring one or two, that I forget to use other abilities that help increase my healing done. It’s a vicious circle, really, and I — like anyone else — can always use improvement.
We parse all of our fights, however, so World of Logs is a huge help to me. There’s so much information jam packed in there, I don’t even know how to work half of it … but what I do know helps me.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Umm, that we suck more than other healers? Honestly, I have no idea. I know that starting out, not many guilds even wanted to take a Resto Shaman because they “couldn’t keep up” (which was a total lie, I kept up and surpassed some others), but it seems that more and more people are accepting the fact that Shaman and Druids — the other red-headed step child healer to start in Cata — are back to doing what they do best: heal people, and heal them well.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
I don’t think I could answer this one. It’s been so long since I started playing my Shaman, and so many things have changed about them, I wouldn’t know what people are having a hard time with nowadays. Maybe remembering to drop totems? *shrug*
16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
Probably that I highly favor Chain Heal a good portion of the time. As noted above, I do strive to change it up and heal with various spells, but it seems that I always come back to a good ‘ole Chain Heal to help boost the health bars when it’s needed. I tend to play it safe with my mana in new content, but I think I could afford to spend a little extra on the not so cheap spells when I think they might be needed.
17. Haste or Crit, and why?
I have always been a Crit/Mastery gal. I stack Haste to the break point, and then I go to town on the other two. With 4.2, critical heals were changed in a very good way, as well as our Water Shield talent, which is also heavily effected by critical strike rating. So with a bit of extra healing from critical heals, as well as the pumped up mana regen from that particular stat, I prefer Crit at this point in time. Haste, when I acquire more gear, might make a little bit of a comeback, but only to hit the second break point … then it’s back to Crit and Mastery for me!
18. What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Druids! After playing the game for six years, I finally made a Druid at the start of Cataclysm. I had tried a few times to level one previously but I just couldn’t do it. My Druid is main spec Feral DPS with a Resto offspec, but I don’t ever play Resto. So I still don’t understand them as well as I could.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Oh, ho ho. Well. Let me tell you! I am the queen of addons and macros, so I use plenty. Grid and Clique are the main ones (both of which I have written guides for, here and here), but I also use Grid Status HoTs, Grid Status Side Indicators, Power Auras for friendly reminders (sometimes angry ones, too), I use Raven for cooldown timers, Shaman Friend for more friendly reminders, Totem Timers, and I have VuhDo set up as back up in case Grid/Clique crash or something.
Macros are much more personal, but I do use these for sure. I have one to use my “on use” Spirit proc trinket in combination with dropping a Mana Tide Totem (yes, I know the trinket doesn’t stack with MTT anymore, but the extra boost during this time is nice), and various other mundane things that most probably wouldn’t care to know about.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I definitely favor some more than others. I keep, for the time being, my Haste rating relatively low and I try to stack more Crit and Mastery. Intellect is the one thing I will almost always gem/enchant/flask/eat for if it’s doable, whereas Spirit has kind of been left to the wayside. So yeah, Intellect, Critical Strike Rating and Mastery are what I tend to lean towards when looking at gear and all those other great things.
Anyone that I tag has either already posted, or is tagged by someone else and working on a post. But just for the hell of it …