[Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

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[Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:01 am

For most of Cataclysm I've been raiding as an Enhancement Shaman. I think I do pretty well at it for the most part, knowing how to get good dps numbers out of the spec, but there are areas I'm always aware I can improve, so I thought I'd try to get a thread going to talk about things a Shaman can do to improve gameplay beyond just getting a rotation right.


With Mists of Pandaria on the horizon and looking to move us toward using temporary utility totems more often, its reminded me that this is one of the areas I'm not so good at. There are a couple in particular I want to start thinking about more.

Stoneclaw Totem - I've not really thought about this one much in the past, but lately I've been seeing talk about the Glyph of Stoneclaw and its use in raiding, particularly with the high amount of raid damage in Dragon Soul heroics.

As I understand it the Glyph places an approx. 16k absorb shield on the Shaman, making it a minor damage reduction on a short cooldown. Do absorbs from this apply after all other damage reduction?

To drop it I'd be giving up an Earth totem, usually Strength of Earth; in our group's current raids I believe we don't have a Priest or DK, and not always two Warriors, so I think I'm often the only one giving that buff. How much is that extra survivability really worth if it lowers raid dps?

And how much trouble can its taunt mechanic get me in?


Grounding Totem - I freely admit I have totally neglected this totem out of a complete lack of any idea how best to use it. I don't think I've used it even once since I started playing a Shaman. What spells can it work on? In particular, is there anywhere in Dragon Soul where Grounding is worth using?
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Worldie » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:19 am

The taunt range is very small and it anyway doesn't "taunt", it just generates some threat every second. Generally this threat is negligible, and if it's strong enough to aggro something, it means that something was loose and going to kill someone, so better if it hits the totem.
And anyway, you can always drop stoneclaw to absorb whatever needs to be absorbed, and re-drop SoE totem after the absorb is gone.

The grounding totem doesn't work on anything in Dragon Soul, it's mainly a PvP totem. Actually in the past any time it has had a PvE use it got nerfed to not affect that specific spell right after.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:01 am

Yeah, that's what I expected re: Grounding, just thought it worth asking about since I hadn't heard anything certain.

Stoneclaw I agree it's probably not a huge loss to swap the SoE straight back in, assuming the absorb is applied without needing to keep the totem active. Have to wonder about the number of GCDs I'm spending on totems, though, and how bad the enrage timers are when we're working on heroic...
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Jabari » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:48 pm

// use Ankh

I've been looking at some numbers for Enhancement and looking at the spec.

Specifically: Spark of Life (+15% healing received) seems like really good utility, especially in fights where there's constant AoE being thrown around. (Ultrax, Hagara lightning phase, Yor'sajh at times, Blackthorn, etc). The other bit of that talent, +6% healing done, is obviously "meh", but it is non-zero.

I run the "base" 31 in Enhancement, except that I get totem range instead of Improved Shields. Lightning Shield is 3% of my damage, so 2 points there is a 0.3% increase, or 0.15% per point. Bleh - I'd rather have the totem range.

Elemental tree: Call of Flame is very strong - nearly 1% per point single-target (.92%), and obviously far better if you're Fire-Nova-ing/Magma Totem-ing (and I glyph Fire Nova as well - that's a huge coverage area gain), so I want to keep that. The Elemental Precision is decent - 0.65% per point there. Reverberation is actually better than the Concussion one - 0.36% per vs 0.34%, and that doesn't take into consideration the Windshear cooldown bonus.

So I guess my question is: How good would those 3 points in the resto tree actually be in practice? I'd give up at most 1.95% of my DPS for it, or 1.37% DPS + 5 sec. windshear.

Seems like a decent trade to me, but thought I'd ask to see what other people think...
Last edited by Jabari on Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:01 pm

Reverberation isn't worth as much as you'd think. There's nothing to interrupt in Dragon Soul that's important enough to warrant it, and the only other gain is more earth shocks, which is your low priority filler spell. When you're already filling most GCDs you'll not gain much at all from it.

Call of Flame is essential, so the only place to drop points is Elemental Precision. EP gives 3% damage on everything except white hits and Stormstrike. So it's that versus the bonus healing received.

Personally, I don't think the survivability is necessary. Shamanistic Rage and Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem can cover various predictable spikes, and the perpetual aoe in fights is designed to be healable without extra effects. Chances are bonus healing will mean overhealing anyway.

If you really want the survivability, I'd say look at Elemental Warding before the other options; most aoe is magic damage, and it reduces 12%.


A note on your two spare points in the Enhance tree - if you do heroics then on Hagara you should spec into Earthen Power, as this allows you to use Earthbind Totem to dispel Frostflake.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Jabari » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks. Totally agree about Reverb, though it'll be weird to actually allow Echo of Tyrande to actually get a Stardust off. (Obviously not a big deal in the grand scheme of things *laugh*)

I don't see where there's room for the Stoneclaw Glyph, especially as I run in a 10-man group where the SoE buff coverage is otherwise spotty-at-best. Switching totems runs a risk of dropping that buff for the duration. That, and I really love having the Fire Nova glyph.


Do you run 10s or 25s? If 10s, what percentage of the total healing do you normally end up at?

I might be actually healing too much right now - I'm at about 10%, with very little overheal. Not specced into Spark of Life right now, and I don't have 2pcT13 either yet (got the 397 tier gloves, but LFR has been very unfriendly to this char so far).

I don't think I'm panic-healing too much, though that's possible - when Maelstrom pops I'll heal if there's a tank or healer below 50%, DPS very low (like < 20%), or myself below ~70% (I hate dying! *laugh*), or drop a Rain if the current encounter needs it (Zon'ozz black phase, stuff like that).

Elemental Warding is a decent talent, too - my Moonkin has the equivalent, but that's more because there aren't any other good options! Shaman have some good other choices at least. :)
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:45 am

I'm playing 10 man, and yes, losing SoE can be a problem, but often for the fights that need Stoneclaw dps is less important than survival. I use Stoneclaw, Healing Stream, and Lightning Shield glyphs most of the time. I swap out Healing Stream for Ghost Wolf on Morchok and Zon'ozz (all physical and Shadow damage), and swap Stoneclaw for Chain Lightning on Yor'sahj. (Now that I think of it, I wish I'd thought about the Stoneclaw glyph when I was progressing on Nefarian...)

As far as healing, I drop a Healing Rain in a few spots on Madness of Deathwing on later platforms, sometimes on the Heroism phase of Yor'sahj if we need it. I always keep Healing Rain rolling in the centre during Lightning phase on Hagara, where everyone gathers after making connections. So in high-damage situations or when there's nothing else to do. Other than that, all my healing is Healing Stream and Ghost Wolf self heals. If I need to cast a directed heal then something else is going wrong.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Fenrìr » Sat May 26, 2012 6:56 pm

Alright, so I started to raid on my ele sham for a friend cause they needed another ranged dps. However, I feel like I'm doing fairly poorly and it bugs me that I'm being carried so hard. So here's the logs from the raid and my armory...looking for tips and criticism.

I was in a haste reforge for those logs and just switched to mastery after the raid to see how it goes next week.



http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/s ... r/advanced

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-b6p26zjjgjc6r1f3/
http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-7ztmtptmxzfdtksx/
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Jabari » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:12 am

Ok, bringing this back up again (since I think my main is still going to be Enhance instead of the Moonkin (who's simming terribly, still)).

Just hit 90 with her, ran a few normals (as Enh) and heroics (as Resto).

Enh: Fury of the Elements, right? Or is the godly FE better? (The buff FE certainly looks cool!) Does the Flametongue side of Fury also give a bonus to Chain or just LB?

(Hmm, haven't even tried out the EE with the talent - if I can turn off its Taunt then I have an elemental up for 2 minutes out of the 5 CD - maybe I should look into that...)

hit/exp cap > mastery = haste >> crit?


Resto healing still seems really good. I used to reforge it spirit > Riptide haste breakpoint > crit > mastery > haste - is that still reasonable?
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:20 pm

All this post is regarding Enh:

Apparently the Primal Elementals and Unleashed Fury are both pretty good. I much prefer Unleashed Fury, because it's passive and doesn't involve having to control a pet.

UF interacts well with Echo of the Elements (since you can get double lightning bolts on top of the Unleashed Fury debuff).

From what I've seen on EJ, if you went with Primal Elementals then Haste becomes your top stat before Mastery, and you'd also consider Elemental Mastery instead of Echo of the Elements to use with the Elemental. With a Primal Fire Elemental you'd just let it nuke rather than use the self buff.

EJ also says to use Earth Elemental for extra damage (only on bosses, I'd think, so they're not taunting), but it's your lowest priority attack, so you only use it to fill an empty GCD. I haven't tried it yet myself.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:17 am

where's the elemental love? :sad:

1st evaluation of elemental in MV: I can keep up with our arms warrior and 3 (fire)mages. Ascendance gives insane burst, but I need more haste to feel comforable to get rid of elemental mastery. lining up a 2 and a 3 minute cd is both a pain and a waste.
Also, trying to keep my gear viable for both dps and healing is a challenge too, as they have very different priorities in secondary stats (haste as no1 for elemental vs last for resto and almost vice versa for crit).
Been messing around with elemental blast and primal elementalist and chose the former as it makes me a bit less dependant on burst.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Jabari » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:19 pm

JoeBravo wrote:where's the elemental love? :sad:


Sorry.

I'm actually considering trying Elemental out, due to the fact that we carry 3,000 hunters in our 10-man raid group, plus a Bear tank all competing with me for stuff. I've gotten a crapton of Mail INT pieces without spirit in heroics so far, so I'd have a decent base to start from. Don't know the first thing about the spec at the moment though - never played it before, in any expansion. (I also somehow got the Brewfest caster-trinket, but never even saw the Coaster drop, in 32 kills.)

The only things stopping me right now are:
- Enhancement is, by far, the most fun spec I've ever played in this game.
- I really enjoy being the "no-cost 1/3-of-a-healer" while DPSing. A fully-Maelstrom-powered Healing Rain is really, really good between the glyph and Echo of the Elements. Maelstrom-powered Healing Surges aren't quite as good as the Cata-mechanics Greater Healing Waves were, but they still can save people in a pinch. Tide Totem is great too (though that is probably even better in ELE).

Is the EJ guide up-to-date and a good place to start? Or icy-veins maybe?
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:57 am

Jabari wrote:
JoeBravo wrote:where's the elemental love? :sad:


Sorry.

I'm actually considering trying Elemental out, due to the fact that we carry 3,000 hunters in our 10-man raid group, plus a Bear tank all competing with me for stuff. I've gotten a crapton of Mail INT pieces without spirit in heroics so far, so I'd have a decent base to start from. Don't know the first thing about the spec at the moment though - never played it before, in any expansion. (I also somehow got the Brewfest caster-trinket, but never even saw the Coaster drop, in 32 kills.)

The only things stopping me right now are:
- Enhancement is, by far, the most fun spec I've ever played in this game.
- I really enjoy being the "no-cost 1/3-of-a-healer" while DPSing. A fully-Maelstrom-powered Healing Rain is really, really good between the glyph and Echo of the Elements. Maelstrom-powered Healing Surges aren't quite as good as the Cata-mechanics Greater Healing Waves were, but they still can save people in a pinch. Tide Totem is great too (though that is probably even better in ELE).

Is the EJ guide up-to-date and a good place to start? Or icy-veins maybe?


go here:
http://www.totemspot.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6829

all other elemental guides are either copies of this guys guide or wrong. :P
And spirit/int pieces aren't bad at all. they get you to the hitcap. :)
tide totem is crap for elemental, both other options are (a lot) better.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:27 am

Some notes on Fire Elemental usage in Mogu'shan Vaults.

- I seem to get between 2-3 uses of Glyphed Fire Elemental during the Feng the Accursed encounter, depending on how fast the second phase goes by. Would most likely only get one full duration of the unglyphed elemental, which makes the glyph seem like a good idea here, but it could be a toss-up depending on dps. Spirit Kings seems similar; I prefer the short cooldown overall but there might not be much difference.

- Unglyphed Fire Elemental is the right choice for Gara'jal the Spiritbinder if you're still tight on beating the enrage. This allows you to use it on the pull, then again in the last minute of the fight, when you'll be using Heroism. The 3 minute glyphed version does not line up with Heroism at all on this fight.
Of course for best results this requires you to not be taking the first totem on the pull, so you have the full minute uptime on boss.

Also for Gara'jal, remember to use Stormlash Totem at the beginning of the fight as it will be off cooldown again for the Heroism phase at the end.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:58 am

KysenMurrin wrote:Some notes on Fire Elemental usage in Mogu'shan Vaults.

- I seem to get between 2-3 uses of Glyphed Fire Elemental during the Feng the Accursed encounter, depending on how fast the second phase goes by. Would most likely only get one full duration of the unglyphed elemental, which makes the glyph seem like a good idea here, but it could be a toss-up depending on dps. Spirit Kings seems similar; I prefer the short cooldown overall but there might not be much difference.

- Unglyphed Fire Elemental is the right choice for Gara'jal the Spiritbinder if you're still tight on beating the enrage. This allows you to use it on the pull, then again in the last minute of the fight, when you'll be using Heroism. The 3 minute glyphed version does not line up with Heroism at all on this fight.
Of course for best results this requires you to not be taking the first totem on the pull, so you have the full minute uptime on boss.

Also for Gara'jal, remember to use Stormlash Totem at the beginning of the fight as it will be off cooldown again for the Heroism phase at the end.


Binkenstein did some math about the FE glyph. whether it's a gain or a loss depends on the fight length. you can check his graph/spreadsheet to see when it is/isn't useful to use.

I'm lazy, I just don't use the glyph.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:30 am

I prefer glyphed to unglyphed most of the time. More flexible, and a lot of fights just tend to work out long enough for 3 casts.

Right now we're killing Gara'jal fast enough that I'm thinking of glyphing again, because I'm not getting full duration and it isn't overlapping with Heroism any more.

More thoughts, based on further progression and seeing new fights on LFR:

- Thinking of dropping Astral Shift for Stone Bulwark Totem for Blade Lord Ta'yak. Shift makes a big difference for Unseen Strikes, but it's starting to feel like survival in phase 2, with the constant AoE pulse, is more important, and Stone Bulwark is designed for frequent minor damage.

- Ancestral Guidance and Healing Stream Totem can both heal Tsulong during the day phase in Terrace. Not sure how effective later in the fight, when the health is higher, because they're smart heals that hit the lowest targets, but worth using.

- At least on LFR, glyphed Fire Elemental was coming up during Day phases after being used in Night on Tsulong. Will have to judge when I get to the real thing, but Healing Storm might be worthwhile here if the 5 minute timer on totem works out.

- Enhancement is terrible for the "Hide" phase on Lei Shi. The only thing you can do is drop a magme totem and wait around.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:46 am

KysenMurrin wrote:...

- Thinking of dropping Astral Shift for Stone Bulwark Totem for Blade Lord Ta'yak. Shift makes a big difference for Unseen Strikes, but it's starting to feel like survival in phase 2, with the constant AoE pulse, is more important, and Stone Bulwark is designed for frequent minor damage.

just went the other way myself: being able to survive that one big hit usually is more important than preventing frequent minor damage. even on blade lord.
I spec into healing tide there. AG relies to much on ascendance to be usefull there (for elemental at least).
- Ancestral Guidance and Healing Stream Totem can both heal Tsulong during the day phase in Terrace. Not sure how effective later in the fight, when the health is higher, because they're smart heals that hit the lowest targets, but worth using.

adds felt too spread out to make AG usefull to me. for me it needs either CL spam or ascendance-LvB spam which both seemed useless there.
- At least on LFR, glyphed Fire Elemental was coming up during Day phases after being used in Night on Tsulong. Will have to judge when I get to the real thing, but Healing Storm might be worthwhile here if the 5 minute timer on totem works out.

- Enhancement is terrible for the "Hide" phase on Lei Shi. The only thing you can do is drop a magme totem and wait around.

elementals earthquake doesn't add a whole lot there either.

I'm currently a bit frustrated with my statweights. Was reading that crit is quite close in value to haste and mastery, but even at 675 crit vs 8k mastery and 6k haste, it's still my worst stat. It also felt odd to see it took this long for mastery to overtake haste in value, but I guess that's due to the passive 3k bonus we provide.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:09 am

Yeah, the talents are gonna be very different between Elemental and Enhancement. But I've heard that Healing Tide just doesn't put out the same amount of raw healing - not anywhere close - that Ancestral Guidance does. Maybe it's just a matter of spell scaling for the melee spec. I was popping it when I was on the big elite add for Tsulong, but of course ranged dps will be on the smaller adds with more movement and less time on target.

Bearing in mind this was only LFR, I was 2nd place on overall healing done after the 6 healers - though my healing amount was still pretty small (2 million, I think).

You may be right about Astral Shift. It's just that a) it's only up for one in every 4 or so Unseen Strikes, and b) I've consistently had trouble with being one of the first people to reach the boss on p2 (Ghost Wolf + Spirit Walk) and just dying slowly to AoE. What kind of absorb amounts do you get out of Stone Bulwark?
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Levantine » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:51 am

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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:13 am

not checking very often but last time I checked tooltip it was 1x50k+4(?)x15k
Not sure if that was in elemental or resto either, now that I think obout it...
I'll have to check again this evening.

AG can indeed do a lot more healing than HTT, but, it only does when I use it together with ascendance. And saving my only and defining dps cooldown for a bit of healing doesn't sound like the way to go. :P
HTT heals for about 600k for me and being able to use it when it's needed independant of my dps ones feels like a bigger contribution than the big numbers AG+ascendance gives me.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:21 am



don't even have to check the link to know what it's about (play both elemental and resto frequently) and the difference is indeed freakin' huge.

Those healingtalents for elemental (and enh too I think) are very situational. conductivity takes a frequent cast of a healing spell and a lot a mana, AG needs to be combined with a dps cd to get the most out of it which often doesn't line up with high damage intake and non-resto HTT is nowhere near as powerfull as the resto version.

edit:
checked last thursdays log for a HTT comparison: ~20k ticks as elemental vs. ~50k ticks as resto. 6x5 ticks gives 600k vs 1500k total.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:20 pm

But the difference is big enough that even without lining up your cooldowns, AG should still do better healing than the totem.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:07 am

KysenMurrin wrote:But the difference is big enough that even without lining up your cooldowns, AG should still do better healing than the totem.


from the top of my head:
my non-gimmick single target dps without ascendance is 40-50k at best. AG is 40% of your dps for 10 seconds as healing. 50k x 10 x 0.4 = 200k.
I read the 3 targets parts as 200k/3 per target. but even if it's 200k x 3 total healing, AG and HTT are about equal.
AG has a shorter cd but requires a target to dps, HTT is a guaranteed heal that spreads it's healing a bit more equal (5 targets instead of 3).

The difference with the resto version makes it look worse than it actually is imo.
Also, resto healing is too dependant on HTT output for my taste, I wouldn't mind it getting nerfed a bit and overall healing buffed.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby Levantine » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:48 am

Last time I checked the tooltip for AG was misleading, it works out to be 120% of your damage as healing for the duration. I had much the same thought when I first read it (i.e. well that's a crap cooldown). I don't buy requiring a target to dps as a legitimate concern given current encounter design (maybe Epicenter depending on guild strat/competence with regards to crystal skills). Also the target limitation is sketchy since to my knowledge they're both smart heals and not limited to the same three\five targets and will heal whoever 'needs' it the most as calculated with each tick.
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Re: [Shaman] Advanced Tips and Advice?

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:32 am

3x40%=120%, so my comparison holds: 3x200k = 600k for both a single a non-ascendance AG and an HTT.
so it's the shorter cd and the possibility to combine it with ascendance that makes AG pull ahead.
Nevertheless, for some fights the ability to be able to raidheal whithout the need to hit something can be a benefit and HTT is a viable choice. (phase 2 bladelord being being the best example)

you are right about the smart healing: both HTT and AG check for each tick what target to heal.
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