Mad Dash to 80

So my sister has come into some free time recently and she’s decided to level her mage with my shaman. My shaman, who just two weeks ago was level 25 and gathering dust has been on leveling streak and is now sitting pretty at level 70. We had decided to aim for level 80 before Brewfest so that we could take advantage of the holiday’s easy gearing options (i.e free and easy trinkets that are quite nice, to boot). It looks like we’ll make it with time to spare despite some serious distractions being thrown at us from the real-life world.

It’s been nice leveling with her again. As much as I loved my solo toons I’ve really missed leveling with her. Together we make a really good team and with her awesome dps (and my heals making her nigh unkillable) we’re tearing through everything like so much mob-shaped tissue paper and it’s been really, really fun.

Shaman healing is really fun, too. Now that I’ve got a few more healing options it’s not quite so much like paladin healing as it seemed at first, but there are definite and distinct similarities. I think that being experienced on the paladin has definitely helped my transition. I’ve become fairly adept at healing on the shammy, as we’ve been hitting dungeons fairly extensively as we’ve gone along. I really like shammy heals, it’s a good class and quite fun. They have a rather nice toolbox, and despite a few annoyances, are really great healers (both in a fun-to-play way, and in the end results of the class when well-played). The spacial geometry aspect of chain heal can be an interesting challenge, and though sometimes I wish the dps would be a little more accommodating in their positioning decisions, there is usually a player in the general area that you need to get your green beam o’ healing bouncing.

I can’t wait to see what the final journey through Northrend brings, and to hit those dungeons. Thus far the dungeon finder has been pretty good to me, with minimal dps “tanks” and most have been able to at least hold aggro (though my sister has had to hold back a few times, much to her disappointment).  Sadly, the squishy dps tanks are typically also the ones that can’t hold aggro and I’ve been somewhat disappointed at the lack of recognition of just how much it takes to keep a party up through those sorts of pulls. I have gotten a few “nice heals” comments in those situations, and those always brighten my day. Unfortunately, more often than not I am met with annoyance at my mana efficiency (or lack thereof) after these pulls. Yes, when I have to spam aoe heals or send rapid-fire heals at all 3 dps who have pulled aggro I am going to need to drink after the pull. If you don’t want me to drink after every pull, then don’t make every pull a complete cluster-fuck. *sigh* Anyway, that’s been annoying me. Overall, a very good experience though. I’ll be both excited and sad when the journey to 80 ends and my original goal of an 80 of each class is finally realized.

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2 thoughts on “Mad Dash to 80

  1. I never got a good handle on shaman healing. It feels clunky and annoyingly long on casts to me [though my first and favorite healer is a disc priest]. My shaman is also main spec enhancement and I only made a resto offspec for the shorter queue time [and ease of getting into weeklies]. I’m decent I spose, but nowhere near as confident as I am on my priest.

    I’ve been told that haste is the key [and in point of fact, my shaman’s haste is a bit low]. A good shaman healer is amazing though 🙂

  2. Yes, comparatively speaking, I do spend a lot more time casting than on my other healers. This cast time seems exceptionally long when people are low or are still taking damage. I’ve noticed a lot more miraculous-looking red-sliver-to-full type heals than on my other healers and unfortunately, also a lot more deaths (simply because my response lands more quickly on my other healers).

    I really noticed the lack of instant options (I just have riptide in that department) today when running UK and Nexus. I made myself some panic-button macros to help cover for such moments as the Ingvar smashes/roars and the Telestra mana tendrils/ice blocks. I think those will help. In the meantime, the tried-and-true tactic learned from my paladin of a quick Lesser Healing Wave (Flash of Light) to fill in the gaps between Riptides (Holy Shock) gets the job done.

    I’m still not a seasoned shammy, obviously, but it seems to me that, as with all healers, the fine art of spell selection is what makes or breaks most healing runs. Knowing when to Chain Heal versus when to throw off a couple quick Lesser Healing Waves or even when to just sit back and let the totem top off the dps is what separates the “good” healers from the “spammers.” I can’t say I’ve gotten the pattern down 100% yet, but I’m getting there.

    Oh, and I can understand what you mean. Going from something with as many instant-cast options as a priest or druid to something with more limited options like a shaman or paladin can be quite a shock to the nerves. What I’ve done to combat this is to set up healbot so that each spell I use to react to a particular type of damage is mapped to the same click on each toon. This way, I’m not looking for “Nourish” or “Holy Light” specifically, but rather “speedy heal” which is *always* left-click or “big heal” which is *always* right click. Sometimes I have to switch the spells around from healbot defaults, but by sticking with one “damage/reaction map” in my head I can react better to any given situation. (I hope that made sense; I tried not to over-explain it.)

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