Nov 4th 2011 6:43PM Already a lot of comments here but I think a couple of points have yet to be brought up.
I think the start of much of the gear inflation happened at the release of BC. Prior to that stamina was itemized at the same value as any stat such as agi, int, or strength. With the release of BC Blizzard wanted higher HP values to worrk with. BC gear had stam valued so that 1.5 points of stam was basically of equal worth to 1 point of another stat (for evidence look at gems and random greens - the stam is 1.5 times the other stats). This worked to devalue vanilla gear so players could get immediate upgrades regardless of where they vinished their vanilla progression. They also set a prescedence of greens having a higher item level than most raiding gear at the same level. This is where the inflation really starts - and the pattern continues every time an xpack is released.
The reason why the numbers themselves don't really matter and blizz keeps restating this is that their mindset is more pointed to tuning encounters towards a Time to Live (TTL) philosophy. The numbers dont matter at all when the end goal is that a certain boss fight should last 6-8 minutes. The boss can hit as hard or as soft as it wants if the encounter timing and difficulty is correct.
Where this has some interesting implications is PVP. Players have spells that do X amount of damage and that damage is calculated or tuned roughly the same way given PVP or PVE. If Blizzard starts the stat crunch by tuning stam values back to vanilla rates then the burst damage can quickly overwhelm the shorter stam bars. Basically, PVP stats need to be tuned so the burst is not out of control but at ths same time feels right for the PVE encounter. Easy to do on the PVE side, we can see the proof in the nerfs happen every patch to the prior tier of raiding. PVP is not as easy to tune. In short, the PVP game is tied to the PVE game and vice versa.
The first approach that blizz could try is that for every NPC across the board HP would be cut down by 1/3. Outgoing damage for everything also cut by 1/3. And stam bonusses on gear normalized to vanilla levels to 1:1 of other primary stats.
That would be the place to start.
Next.. (holy shit this guy is still writing?) .. there needs to be some ratcheting back of the item levels. The place to get these iLevels back is that there should be some overlap from top raid gear of a prior xpack to starter greens of the current. Heroic ICC25 gear was leveled at 277 but the worst quest green come cata was 289 iLevel. If one happened to be questing in Storm Peaks and dinged 80 and rushed to Hyjal they not only would barely survive the simplest quest, the reward would be double the gear they had. The Hyjal greens could have started at iLevel 245 or 251 for example leading into T11 raid gear at iLevel 313.
But guess what? We laddered up iLevels for 3 xpacks. A 'squish' of all 3 of these xpacks could have T11 starting at say 232 iLevel. If I recall, a ToC10 (normal) geared tank could reasonably have had 30-32k HP. Couple this with a reset in the stamina coefficient and we could have had T11 starting gear looking like the 20-23k HP. All the while none of these changes really effect PVP or PVE mechanics, timing, difficulty, or length. If we finally get 150k HP tanks in patch 6.3 it will be ok.
This is honestly the most elegant way Blizzard can deal with escalating stats.
Apr 20th 2011 5:47PM Unless you PVP, 0/2 in cleansing water is a good choice anyways, IMO. The points are just more valuable in most any other optional talent in a resto PVE build.
Apr 20th 2011 12:35PM I would have to agree on this here. Those points are better spent in Ancetral Resolve (reduced incoming magic damage while casting), Telluric Currents, or Blessing of the Eternals (guaranteed EL proc when the target is below 35% health).
I bet if any serious raider were look at their logs they would see that 10% of the incoming magic damage they take is far greater than the healing they do with 2/2 cleansing waters especially afer you account for overhealing. Most of the damage you will take over the course of a right of raiding is totally unavoidable.
Wrymstrum does a good job of outlining the raid encounters where dispells are needed. Keep in mind that a tremor totem does wonders on Cho'gall so casting a dispel would be needed only when someone gets the corruption debuff.
Aside from my quibble with Joe on his selection of cleansing waters, this article is an improvement from previous efforts. Please keep it up.
Apr 13th 2011 12:33PM "It ignores Ancestral Resolve -- because to be honest, there are plenty of times where I'm not actively chain-casting heals and instead am letting passive healing tick or throwing out a LB in order to regen some of my mana. I've been using this spec moving from normal mode raiding into heroic raid content, and it has served me quite well so far."
If you have time to stand around and do nothing and you have TC you should always, always, always, always, always, be casting a lightning bolt. Not doing so is poor play. If you are not casting heals or DPS you should be moving to a more advantagous position and even then you should be using instants or casting while running with spiritwalker's grace up.
The sooner a gearing resto shaman can figure out how to predict incoming damage, prepare for damage spikes, mitigage damage through interupts/CC, have a good handle on spell selection and efficiency, the sooner their groups will succeed and progress.
Learning when to use HoTs, AoE heals , and pre-heals effectively to maximize downtime allows the shaman to use TC to create regen. This means that as a solo healer and part of a raid healing team they can start to shift to a healing strategy more focused on HPS rather than just HPM.
Failure to do so will hurt both the individual healer and the group at every level of progression from regular 5-mans to all forms of BGs to heroic raid content. Idle hands (read: not casting anything or moving into position) do the devil's work...
Apr 7th 2011 1:18PM This is overall a disappointing article. Joe gives us the entire premise of the article and does a good job sticking to it in the opening with this:
"This is not the best in slot list or heavy endgame theorycrafting. This is a list of available options and some suggestions for starting shaman before setting foot in a raid."
The problem with this is that it is way too general and does not help new players sift through any real choices they are faced with that (such as spirit vs. crit vs. haste vs. mastery) will help them progress in a meaningful way. Eventually, by the end of the article Joe finally gives us the real meat:
"Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery/Crit"
For newer players or players still gearing through heroics this is generally decent advice even if it does not go into the finer details and should have been presented first given that all of your gemming and enchanting strategy will revolve around this basic priority set.
Using this priority for gearing Joe would then have the tools to tell people to avoid things like straight spirit or straight crit gems and go for gems that make more sense.
As for the specifics of gemming the priority system above means that you should use only be using the following gems assuming you wish to meet socket bonusses:
Red socket: 40/67int gem
Yellow socket: 20int/20haste gem or 20int/20crit or 20int/20mastery
Blue socket: 20int/20spirit gem
Far too much ink was wasted on the discussion of staff vs. MH/OH combo. The advice given should be that every newly minted resto shaman should have the crafted shield equipped the minute they ding 85. At this point it should be inexpensive enough and easy to obtain. It also supports the priority system of Int > all other stats since MH/OH combos will yield more int.
This line was also concerning: "Showing up to a raid without your gear enchanted is a big downer, so you shouldn't do it!". How about showing up anywhere without gems and enchants is not just a downer but an embarrassment and unacceptable? Most servers are literally flooded with underpriced gems and enchants from levelling enchanters and jewelcrafters. Showing up to a 5-man without gems and enchants should be grounds for getting kicked from group if you are the healer - doubly so if you are undergeared in the first place.
Joe did give us a decent discussion of enchants but the choices become far more clear in the context of the stat priorities that shaman have in addition to eliminating choices based on costs that can't be justified (no enchants requiring maelstrom crystals on leveling gear - i.e. peerless stats and power torrent). A simple chart with two colums - one for optimal enchant regardless of cost and another with acceptable enchant or 2nd choice - would convey the information in a simpler and more digestable way.
May 12th 2010 12:08PM @Heather Thanks for the comment. Wind Shear is without a doubt the best interrupt in the game. It is ranged. It has the shortest CD of any interrupt (6 seconds) on its own timer, and it is off the GCD. It is extremely useful for getting loose casters to get into melee range of the tank when used properly. It can be used preventatively to reduce incoming damage on nasty AoEs to the point that the damage saved is larger than any single heal that would be used to heal the non-interrupted damage (particularly glacial blasts in ICC 25 and on Jaraxxus 25 and 25H with an easy macro). Finally, it is great to use against any mobs that heal. As a healer I find that in every stage of ICC it is invaluable to know how to properly use Wind Shear on every encounter to help keep the raid running smoothly and efficiently. Wind Shear is not just for PVP.
May 12th 2010 11:17AM I think we are tring to evaluate the usefulness of PVP talents for PVE. There is a reason it does not make much sense.
Also, the idea of DW resto will be revisited but I would not be surprised that even with runeforging it will still not be viable because blizzard will make it that way.
Finally, it seems that Joe here is not that familiar with wind shear. If we were to collectively challenge him to write an entire column devoted to wind shear maybe he will add it to his hotbar.
Apr 30th 2010 12:19PM Every article by this guy feels like it is his offspec of his third alt. The articles also feel like he is being carried by a much more experienced heailing team and he is not the one doing the heavy lifting on the encounters. I think he is merely spot healing and filling in the gaps that the real pros on his team are telling him to cover.
I would agree with Slazerik that this guide in particular feels like a rehash of strategies from other sites as none of what has been provided here is particularly insightful.
This time around (just like the article on haste stacking) Joe played it safe so he would not get anything blatantly wrong in his article because he knows he would pay for it in the comments if he did.
As for this comment....
"As before, this is not an end all, be all guide. These are simply my opinions and thoughts on these bosses. There are several ways to do them, and I encourage you to find ones that work for you."
I am not looking for a way to muddle through to get to the end of an encounter only to say "Hey, half the raid may be face down but at least the boss is dead, right?". I want to read a columnist with the attitude that says "I am going to make this boss and everything that that stands in between my bitch. Here is how!". Fortunately, for that we have Stoney on the enhancement side of things.
Apr 6th 2010 1:28PM I understand the changes they are making and have some faith that mechanics will be properly tuned to account for this but the paladin and shaman tools seem like they should be reversed to me.
Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.
The shaman are supposed to be masters of nature - diseases and poisons are nature based. Paladins are holy warriors and removing offensive magic and curses would seem to make more sense. Curses seem to be the most demonic and the antithesis of what the paladin is about anyways.
At the same time it would also not hurt to give every healing class an interrupt so that there is a preventitive way to deal with incoming damage/effects that they would otherwise need to deal with through dispelling.
Mar 31st 2010 5:19PM Where I am struggling a bit with this column is not in the argument that haste is good (shaman have been stacking all the haste they can get since 3.2 released, maybe earlier) it is the lack of techniques in supporting high amounts of haste.
There was not much presented in the way of Tidal Waves proccing, Tidal Force to force a TW proc (I think the naming of that talent was very intentional by blizz), LHW vs. HW TW proc rates in relation to crit, mana tide strategy, potion usage strategy (runic mana vs. potion of speed/wild magic, and double pot techniques), gemming (i.e. - dont touch the nightmare tear with a 10 foot pole), and finally trinkets, trinkets, trinkets, trinkets, trinkets!
IMO, proper trinkets can net you a lot of mana and you don't need have double solace. There are plenty of trinkets out there with on use (sliver of pure ice) and passive (purified lunar dice, binding light/stone, shard of the scale, living ice crystals) mana regen effects.