Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Building a Better Shaman: Restoration Tree part 1

There is no easy way to really go about and decide you’re going to be a healer. Yes there is an exception to this rule; the odd ball people that WANT to start their toons as healers. The rest of us however realize we’re going to be healers in one of two ways. The first is that the easiest way to get into a group nine times out of ten is to be a healer. 5 man instances are just about always begging for a healer. Sometimes they have to resort to using a shadow priest to heal them if they’re in a pinch. The other is that the guild you run with NEEDS a healer in their ranks and are willing to work with you to get you experienced and geared for your new assignment.

Still even when we decide to become a healer we have this moment of complete blankness when we stare at the restoration tree and try to work out what exactly would be best for you in the long run to put talent points into.

I just made Luciel into a Restoration Shaman and while I know the mechanics well, having specced Resto in the past with both Gam and Luciel for short amounts of time in the past.

I know that images have been requested by at least one reader and I’ll try my best. Just hang with me. I usually go from left to right on the tree, from the very top of the tree to the bottom. I will try to go back in the future and add some images for those that request.

On a side note let me say this. Having now both a healer and a tank available to play with, I steer more towards trying to tank an instance than wanting to heal it. Part of the reasoning is that I can set the pace that I feel that I’m comfortable with. The other aspect of it, it’s harder to get tanks right now in my realm than healers. So while Luciel still has a place for me, I’ve been gearing out my tank and doing multiple runs with him in the past two weeks.

Let me say that it takes a special person to want to heal. I currently have a ad hoc healer set with me at all times. It’s made up of cloth, leather and mail pieces that I felt could get my healing up to a respectable area. (My healing currently sits at plus 743 with this set on) However, I know that I’m going to have to make sure that I have a better set for when the time comes to do Kara and other instances because no one wants a Shaman squishy. While Paladins are considered the best at the moment because they’re plate, Shamans have a unique healing style that really benefits the groups you are in.

Also let me say this, I have never known a player that has leveled a Shaman in restoration spec. Ever. I’ve been playing for over a year and a half and every Shaman that I’ve run into has specced Restoration after hitting the level plateau, be it 60 or 70. The thought behind this is that it’s HARD to grind with Restoration spec. So be warned of that.

With that said, let’s tackle this last tree available to Shamans at the moment.

Improved Healing Wave is a very nice talent. It shortens the length of time that it would take for any of your healing spells to be cast. It might not seem like such a big thing to begin with but when you’re in a five man and your tank is about to go down because there are three mobs on him and they’re tearing into him that shortened cast time comes in REAL handy.

Tidal Focus is incredible, at least to me. This talent has the ability to give you up to an additional five percent mana pool. Shamans are incredibly mana dependent. Be it for attacks or healing, there isn’t one spell that doesn’t just suck the mana out of you. As a Restoration healer I’ve found myself having to stop after every encounter to mana up. A weekend ago I went to Shadow Labs with Luciel and while the Tank and I were the only ones left up during the second boss fight, I was out of mana almost immediately.

(Point of fact: I went to Shadow Labs twice with Luciel and didn’t get past the second boss. Going with McGregor as tank, we killed him with one shot…twice.)

To the matter at hand though, Tidal focus is a must in any of the branches. Remember those points I told you about, the ones that you would have left over after completing your tree? Five of those points could easily go into Tidal Focus, regardless of the build that you’re going to be working on. I could almost suggest that you put in these five points as soon as you have points to use.

With that I’m going to stop here, I’ve been working on this all day but I’m training a new worker this week. So bare with me.


Anonymous said...

Reading your comments about never knowing anyone who levelled in a resto shammy, I am one such person. from the time of creation I knew my shammy would be resto, and I had [1] no experience as a healer and [2] no experience playing anything but a rogue. so I knew I had my work cut out for me and had a lot to learn.
one thing to note, even though I have spent all my talent points for the most part in the resto tree, I wasnt stupid about it. I spent 5 points in the other two trees each, one for tidal focus for more mana and the other for concussion so when in solo I could at least do minimal damage :) everything else wehnt into resto.
Having said that, I have also over the period of levelling collected 2 completely seperate outfits. one for healing and one for when I solo. the differences being my solo gear has no healing bonuses and gives me a LOT more armor and stamina.
I am currently at level 52 with a healin bonus of 413 (working to get enchants to raise that) and have been told by many I am a wicked good healer. My gear is all mail wih the exception of my boots. I have cloth boots as I havent found any mail ones that give me the HB I currently have with the cloth. My healing gear has 2 choices, greater healing using a +55 staff enchanted with the +81 enchantment for healing, and the other is a combo of 1 hand weapon and healing shield that gives me a healing bonus combined between the two of +44 but also gives me 2k more armor for thos instances where I might be in "squishy danger". noone likes to have to bodyguard the healer so I switch them off as need be.
I am themick, alliance server kirin tor. if the armory ever gets fixed look up my profile. I always try to log for the night in my heal gear so that is what would be displayed there.

Randell said...

743 respectable healing? You are kidding right? I'm an enhance shaman and I have 1600+ healing for my off set.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to tell I have also levelled a resto shammy from the start, going through all of the 5-men game instances as main healer .

This is doable : do not try quests harder than green ones, and go for instances, that's what a resto shammy is made for. Usually I could make 1/3 of my XP bar in an instance, and completing the instances quests would also give me a good bonus.
However mana regen while questing or farming was a major pain, had to drink after each one or two mob... until you get the wonderful water shield.

Some note about your healing bonus, it is a little low... When I hit 70 and tried that level instances, I already had about 1000 healing bonus and 90 mana/5s regen while casting. This gear can be acquired with auction house and 5-men group quests.

Anonymous said...

Another story of someone leveling as resto: not quite the same, but as two 70 damage dealers, my friend and I decided to level alts together, we did this all the way with me as feral druid and her as resto shaman. Suffice to say, we never had an issue getting an instance group on the way up! It was a good experience for both of us, learning the spec as we went, but understandable that very few people would want to sacrifice the extra time it would take solo-leveling.

Brisket - Shattered Halls said...

Forgive me for being blunt, but your shammy needs some help. Since you're currently enhancement, let's start there. The points you've put into elemental are wasted. Your shocks will never make up enough of your overall damage to justify putting any points into elemental. Enhancement/resto is always the way to go. Spec into imp lesser healing wave, totemic focus, and nature's guidance for better results. If you're going to be raiding, grab totemic mastery as well. What you do with your enhancement talents depends on what you'll be doing. For PvE, grab enhancing totems, imp weapon totems, and learn to totem twist. You will be worshipped by other melee classes for your buffing prowess. If you plan to PvP alot (which can be very frustrating as enhancement), you'll mainly be using defensive totems (grounding, earthbind, tremor, resists), so forget about spending points on improving any totems in the enhancement tree, and dump some points into anticipation and toughness. Improved ghost wolf is incredibly useful for PvP as well. Some people don't pick up shamanistic rage for PvP, but I find it useful for damage mitigation against other melee classes. Gear-wise, you'll want to start farming honor in battlegrounds so you can buy your gladiator and vindicator gear. Enhancement PvP gear is better than anything you're going to find until you hit t4 content. The Desolation Battlegear set, which drops in instances, is also pretty nice until you start raiding and getting some better gear. You'll also want a slower offhand weapon due to the 3 second cooldown on windfury procs. If you ever go resto again, try 0/5/56 (you can view the basic build on wowwiki so I won't get into it). Proper resto gear will give enough spell damage to solo dailys, albeit slowly. It's too bad you didn't roll a tauren for the extra hp and interrupt/stun. HORDE FTW!
Shattered Halls

Jon said...

I actually find it pretty easy to grind with my level 40 resto shaman, and I've been resto since level 20.

Of course, I ground a holy priest to 70 so anything's easier than that.

Anonymous said...

Yea I was an enhcancment shammy until about level 35, Once you go heals you get the chills ;O

Just instance more than you quest; And when you do quest be brave- Do big aoe pulls to clear out an area- Keeping your Movement Reduction totem out and using magma totems for dmg, only stoping to cast chain lightning.


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