Coming in late on a healing discussion

October 31, 2009 at 11:02 am | Posted in Characters, Ezza (Xenzzarn) | Leave a comment

I just read this morning about Miss Medicina’s survey of healers, and hey, that’s me…

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Ezza, restoration shaman. (Other spec is enhancement, these days for questing and power-leveling friends.)

What is your primary group healing environment?

Five-person runs, PVP, and 10-person raids in about equal measure. My guild is very large and has some really dedicated players, and I’m still working my way up to be ready for 25-person raids.

What is your favorite spell for your class and why?

Chain Heal. I love what it does—healing more than one person at once—I love that there’s actually a little tactical maneuvering possible in choosing the initial target and shaping the path it leaps after that, and I love the look of it with light blasting around the field of combat.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Cleansing, I guess, and that’s only because if I need it more than once or twice in a fight I throw down a totem for it. One of the reasons I particularly like shaman is precisely that the toolbox of healing spells is relatively small but every single one gets frequent use.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Versatility. Four good spells (Riptide, Lesser and regular Healing Wave, Chain Heal) plus totems adds up to a lot of potential for fine-tuning. I can fill just about any niche a group is likely to have when it comes to healing and support.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

A shortage of instant burst healing, definitely. I’d like something like Lay on Hands, costly to use but lifesaving when I bring it into play.

In a 25-person raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

Raid healing, easily. I can do main tank healing—I did it this week in 10-person Trial of the Crusader and did well at it, and had some experience with it in Serpentshine Cavern and Tempest Keep back in the day, but jumping around to heal everyone who isn’t tanking plays to my strengths most. Riptide makes that even more true at 80 than at 70, too.

What healing class do you most enjoy healing with and why?

A second shaman makes life great, but it’s hard to beat a discipline priest for the world-class shielding and such. But I don’t think there’s any healing class I don’t wish to group with, when played well. I feel that resto shaman is distinctive enough that everything else complements rather than conflicts.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Hmm. I suppose that if I had to make a pick, it’d be holy paladin, for the mutual lack of instant burst healing. But that’s a matter of “preferring somewhat less”, not “disliking”.

What is your worst habit as a healer?

Overhealing early on and running short on mana multiple times during a long fight. I’ve really got to rein in my impulse to top everyone off too much.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

This needs two separate answers.

For the player base at large, all those “X needs heals!” and “Heal me!” shouts, for sure. Yes, I know, I know, hush up and do your job.

But my guild doesn’t do any of that. Back in the day, people would get booted from instances and raids if they didn’t turn off heal-me emotes from add-ons, for instance, and the lesson stuck. So my biggest complaint is just lack of opportunity to actually learn some of the fights that’d move me from third-string healing to second or first, for sheer population. This is not a bad complaint. 🙂

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Very much so. In fact I think that the contrast between shamans and other healers is just about a textbook example of how to do it right.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

Well, success is the crucial test. If we win fights and the others feel satisfied with the outcome, that’s what matters most. Metering tells me things like whether I’m overhealing more than I can really justify, but I don’t worry about it much. Earth Shield, for instance, doesn’t get easily credited to my healing tally, and yet good use of Earth Shield is crucial to shaman contributions to raid healing. So I’m interested in the human judgment of my guildmates more than the data sets as such.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your healing class?

Oh, this is an easy one: shamans can’t put out enough healing fast enough to be main-tank healers. Thanks in particular to Riptide, with good gear and prep, we can and do.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

While leveling, the shifting balance between Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave in terms of just how much they help against what kinds of incoming damage volume. In raiding, the tradeoffs between a few Chain Heals and a lot of Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave, when many raiders are damaged.

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.)?

Well, overhealing more than is wise, certainly. Beyond that…dunno. Good performance, I think.

Haste or Crit and why?

Up until recently I’d have said increased critical change, easily. These days I’m leaning toward haste, now that I have enough of it to see the difference it makes.

What healing class do you understand least?

Either holy paladin or holy priest, I think.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any to aid you in healing?

I love X-Perl’s display of status a lot and rely on it heavily. I use Clique and alternate between clicking and typing as the fancy strikes me to cast spells. Beyond that, not much; I have tried a lot in the past but find that the speed advantages of lighter resource load offset anything else I might gain.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I made spellpower my first priority just because it was way low when I started raiding. Now I favor a bit of everything, juggling mana regeneration rates, haste, critical chance, and expertise. A lot of my decisions are responses to whatever neat new loot’s come my way.

I’m sending this on to Siha of Banana Shoulders in hopes of drawing her in.

 

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