Hello, my name is totem.

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Sindanda, Restoration Shaman

2. What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

10-man Heroic mode raiding.

3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Shamans have an impressive array of spells at their disposal, all of which have a specific and (I believe) clearly defined purpose.  As such, it’s increasingly difficult for me to chose a favorite, they’re all like good friends that I see on occasion, and it’s always a delicate social dance with who I can invite where with who else..  A few I can get together to go drinking and dancing on the weekends, others I can only do lunch with during the week, on a solitary basis.

Hard pressed to pick a favorite, I’m going to say Riptide.  If I had to be stranded on deserted flaming rock, which is not outside the realm of possibility in Tier 12, this would be, and is, my go to spell.  I even have a very intrusive and audible Power Aura set up  for this, so I can cast it on cooldown.  Here’s why.

  1. It gives instant gratification!
  2. It gives sustained gratification in the form of a HoT!
  3. It’s incredibly HPM efficent, especially with Tier bonuses.
  4. It procs Tidal Waves.

Lets take this outside of the context of healing for a moment.  If you approached someone, and said, “I’ll give you something for less money than another product, do it faster, longer, and makes other frequently used things better too”, who’s gonna turn you down?  Noone, that’s who.

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

A toss up, I’d say, between Healing Surge and Unleash Life.  Like I pointed out earlier, I think they’re wonderful friends, and they have their benefits, for sure, but this tier of raiding is simply not their scene.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Our on demand adaptability.

I was discussing this earlier today with a friend who’s been out of the WoW-scape for a while now, and I was discussing why I didn’t reroll when Paragon killed Rag heroic (Not once but twice!) without Resto’s.  I can be in any given healing scenario, and I have a button for it.  You need a fast direct heal?  Surge.  You need an AoE?  I got you, Healing Rain.  100% healing debuff?  Spirit Link.

You get what I’m saying.  Yes, Pallys, Druids and Priests are more specalized, but when I can adapt to literally any situation at the touch of a button?  Yeah, I’ll have that any day.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

No one wants to point out their flaws, but yes, Shamans do have them.  I’m going to say that totems are a pretty big concern for me.  Range and strength of buffs.  Much of Shaman versatility came in the form of these little stationary dummies that could fill in for raiders you didn’t have.  Now with the homogonization of classes, I find that the vast majority of my totems are redundant at best.  I raid 10 mans and the only unique thing that I bring to my raid through totems is Healing Stream, and every so often a clumsily placed Tremor.  Everything else is brought by someone else, usually doing it better.  I think we need to see an update of totems that isn’t simply removing Windwall and Sentry.

7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

I think this question is geared toward WotLK raiding, so I’ll address it as neutrally as I can.

Shamans are strongest in a ‘floating’ healing role.  Stick the pallys on the tanks, the druids on the raid, and let me fluidly move through the raid, doing triage as necessary.

8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Paladins.  I think the raw single target they bring to the table compliments what I have to offer with chain heal and rain very well.

9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Druids.  I’m jealous that they have less mana issues and offer more throughput, on average, than me.

10. What is your worst habit as a healer?

Excessive jumping.  I jump all the time, hanging out in cities, in BG’s, when I’m at the AH.  Sometimes it slips through when I’m raiding, and it’s just bad.  I’ll jump and over/under calculate and be in a bad position (usually in fire or shadow stuff)

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

When people do something so completely ridiculous, that there’s no way it could be real.  Holy pallys taunting instead of judging is an example.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Right here, right now?  Yes.  I think that Shamans are as viable as any other class in terms of healing.  I think the Shaman V. Other Healers debate has been done to death, so I’ll spare you.  But yes, if given the opportunity to start with a comperably geared character, healing on something else, I would decline, absolutely.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

Healing performance is really dynamic in my eyes.  It’s not just “I did this much throughput YEAH!”  It’s much more than that in my eyes.  I will say that I do value meters, absolutely, but more than that I have to say to myself if someone dies “Was that my fault?  Should they have died?  Was it avoidable?  Could I have done something different to save them?”  I think that’s mroe valuble than meters, self assessment.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

That we’re still relegated to Raid healing as our only useful assignment.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

How to manage mana appropriately.  We have glorious tools at our disposal in Water Shield and Mana Tide.  Most new shamans make the mistake of seeing Mana Tide as an emergency “I’m OOM, better pop this” CD, rather than a “Use it often, use it to the raid’s benefit” item, which it is.

16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

17. Haste or Crit and why?

Crit.  Which is preceded by Mastery.

18. What healing class do you currently understand the least?

Druids, probably.  Druids have evolved from HoT HoT HoTters to something different, I’m just not sure what that is yet.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

Power Auras is the most important add on that I use.  I need to know what’s on cooldown and when it comes up, in advance if possible.  Keeping track of buffs, my shields for instance, is also a priority.  Power Aura’s lets me do this in an aesthetically pleasing and effective manner.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

Ideally I’d have a different set for each encounter, but I don’t.  That said, I try to maintain a balance, while heavily favoring certain stats I like.  I’ll reserve myself from further comment, as I was planning a post about just this later on in the week.

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