First Impressions Of Cataclysm Healing

After dinging 80 a few days ago on my baby shaman, I decided to take her into the realm of cataclysm healing. I have only experienced one dungeon so far, Blackrock Caverns, on fire as DPS of course. That was less than stellar. To be frank, I died every single time. So I figured I’d tackle the heal game on the same dungeon.

First off, I was extremely disappointed to find that I couldn’t immediately que when I dinged. I had been sporting only my heirloom shoulder for +xp, so it wasn’t like I dinged in 80 using the chest, helm, cloak, and such propelling me forward too fast.  I actually dinged 80 halfway throughIcecrown quests, and I had done a few LK dungeons to sport a few blue items, other than the blue quest items I had.

In any event, I started Cata with a gear score of 153.  They wanted me to be 224 in order to que for the first normal – 75 full points ahead of where I was.  So, I did what any red-blooded WoW’er would do – I went questing.  After completing about the first 1/3 of the Hyjal quests, it became apparent REAL fast that I wasn’t getting gear as fast as I wanted.  Over half a lvl later in Hyjal, I had only risen 20 some points in gearscore.  *humpf*  At this rate, I was going to have to craft gear.

So that’s what I did.  I got fire out and crafted some jewelry.  I went to the AH and bought a few key items.  And I was just under the requirement.  So, feeling defeated, I went back to questing, got a new helm, and finally I could que.

*whew*  First part over.

Zone in to blackrock, and thankfully I don’t get a bad group.  They all seem to know what they are doing.

I won’t go through a blow-by-blow.  I did let the tank die once, early on.  Why?  Because I was so afraid to use anything else, other than standard “heal” for fear of running out of mana.  But the rez came, and I used more of my spells, and we were fine from then on.

But I did notice – even with shaman healing being so dynamic – Blizz really did a good job intertwining their heal spells I think – it was rather…. boring.  Yes, you heard me.

You see, most of the time, no one is really at risk of dying.  There is always a sense of urgency in LK – cause you know at any time a SPLAT blow can come.  But in Cata (I know this is still normal dungeoneering, but I was at the min gear standard peeps), there is not that urgency to it.  Maybe that’s a good thing for some people?  I don’t know.  I found myself dpsing through multiple trash pulls at a time, then topping people off in between.

The mana issue is plain blown out of proportion.  At least at this stage of the game.  I never NEVER dipped below half mana – hell only once did I dip below 3/4, and that was from my complete ignorance about the last boss fight (spamming big heals on the person who isn’t supposed to be healed).

The variety of spells you can use, should use, NEED to use, is severely limited.  All the time spamming heal.  Thats it.  And it is a crying shame.  Healing should be a dynamic game.  I remember the first time I saw a holy priest shine while healing.  Spells were flying everywhere.  The group was taking a ton of damage, but he healed right through it.  I imagined that in the back of the room his toon was sort of in a zen, flowing state, just doing his thing, making sure everyone remained standing.  That is what attracted me to healing.  Not standing spamming button 3 all the time.

I really hope that the healing game changes just a little as I lvl.  My priest is 83, so soon he will be in dungeons as well.  Maybe then I will be able to see a better picture of how healing plays out.  Because in its current state….

I think I will leave the spamming to someone who doesn’t have carpal tunnel syndrome.

2 Responses to “First Impressions Of Cataclysm Healing”
  1. Zelmaru says:

    It’s amazing how the game changes between 80 and 85. I noticed the same thing at 80. But hang in there. It will be different at 85. BY A LOT. In raids, there are still moments when the tank is going to croak NOW NOW NOW. And I do use almost ALL of my spells.

  2. adgamorix says:

    I’m not sure how many spells the shaman has at their disposal – but I’m going to guess six actual ones. Chain Heal, Big Nuke, Medium heal, Fast Heal, Riptide and Healing Rain? While your group composition will determine to some degree what spells you use, I know as a Paladin I use every single heal in a raid encounter (though to varying degrees). I think you’ll find it like a bell curve. Easy now, very difficult when you first start heroics, easy once you get into T11 lvl gear and such.

    Goood luck with it, though you’ll always be spamming – regardelss of what you play. The game is limited by GCDs, and the closer you are to 40 APM, the better.

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