I finally healed my first heroic, and then a second and a third as well. I was very excited that I was able to do it on my Shaman as well being I just started learning how to heal on my Shaman the week before and only just started getting gear for it.
Shaman healing is easier then other healers I have tried (with all due knowledge of the fact I've never healed top level on a pally). The ease however seems to be in direct connection to the power of the heals. My Disc Priest, in lesser gear seems to top out at 40K crits with her big heal. My Shaman's big heal might hit 22K in better gear. So while the Shaman is easier it is also the most dependent on outside factors.
That basically means the DPS. With good DPS taking no avoidable damage I have faith that my Shaman can heal anything. As soon as DPS start to take any avoidable damage, it all does down hill from there.
My first heroic was Deadmines. That was supposed to be the hardest of the new instances. You are kidding right? I healed it with a group where no one that was in it ever finished it. We wiped once because no one seemed Ready for Raiding on the first boss. Second time we did it and everyone stayed away from the beam it was no problem. That was our only wipe. I guess it helped that it was a full guild run too. Can't discount that plus at all.
I lost a few people here and there. It happens, even more so when someone grabs aggro and does nothing about trying to lose it. They get killed, there is not much you can say about that.
I've been trying to impose my feelings on DPS taking less damage to fellow guild members for a while. That is what this expansion is about. Some get it. Some don't. Like a Druid in the guild has learned to use Bear when he is in trouble. It is not perfect, but healing a bear is a lot easier then healing a cat. When he would get aggro and stay as cat he would normally die. Now that he switches to bear and tries to get some distance he is living a lot more. Not to mention that a bear/cat or a cat/bear can still do some serious DPS.
The basic idea is that if DPS are smart DPS, good DPS, then healing is a breeze. If DPS are selfish DPS then things get hard. Any class and spec combo that has an assessable interrupt and does not use it is a bad DPS. One of the reasons I hate survival is because it does not have an interrupt but if I am in a dungeon where one is needed I still have my MM spec to switch to and will. Main reason for that is it makes the healers life easier which means less of a chance to wipe which in turn makes my life easier.
The reason Deamines was such a breeze is because in reality, even if everyone says how hard it is, there is nothing special about that dungeon. It is all simple mechanics. Move from the bad and switch to the adds and everything is nice and easy.
My second heroic was Lost City. That was a bit harder. Wiped on trash like three times but that is not a bad three times, that is a humorous three times. All of them where whoops moments. Kind of our own fault too.
We had one whoops moment that went very well too. Accidentally pulled a pack for 4 before CC could be applied, then moved to much to one side and 4 more joined the fight only to be joined later by another 2. It was crazy. I hexed on the fly so I could keep one caster that did not want to join the fun out of the fun. Hey, you do not want to come play with the pack then you can not play, go be a frog. The most amazing part of it was we did not wipe there. Oh well, stranger things have happened.
The last boss was hell. I just could not heal it. I do not think it was a gear issue. Most of my gear is 333s now. One 316 and one 312 along with one 346. So it was not a gear issue. It was a skill issue. On everyone part, not just mine. We wiped like 6 or 7 times I think, hell, could have been more. One attempt everyone did everything right. I entered the main part of the battle at 100% mana almost. I could have done it but during the main part no one switched to adds and the chain lightnings started ripping us up and there was no way I could keep up.
I made the mistake of trying to interrupt the chain lightnings myself. Not a great idea if no one is on the adds. That made them come right after me and focus on me. Healer with aggro and no one else seems to want = wipe. There is really nothing else to say there.
Another time, someone was standing in the swirly thing and I made the mistake of trying to heal them hoping they would move. They did not move, they died, it ate way to much of my mana trying to save them. Wipe. I could blame them for not moving but I blame me for being stupid enough to heal them.
I have this image in my head of Winnie the Pooh tapping his head saying... think... think... think.
Then I picture my Shaman doing the exact same thing tapping her head saying... let... them... die.
After 4 wipes one of the DPS with an offspec of healing, even if not very good gear, switch to help on the heals. The beginning part they healed mostly. I threw my heals out as well, but only the cost effective ones. We went into the end of the first part with me at full mana. The other healer went oom pretty quick there being they were at one third mana to begin with entering it. Remember, their healing gear kind of sucked and the mana cost of spells now a days is not very friendly to healer starting to gear up. However, that took more then enough pressure off me for two reason. I did not have to worry about keeping them up at all and I was at full mana entering that phase. Still, DPS were not going for the adds so it started to be insanely taxing really fast. However, being I had full mana going into and everyone entered that phase at full health it we made it. Wow. That was stressful.
Looking back at it however. I think with people doing the right thing I would have been able to heal it. Switch to adds, stay out of the swirls. That is all people need to do and healing it would be easy. One time, when the second healer was not helping, we made it to the second part with me at full mana before. That time, everyone stayed out of the swirls and killed the adds. I think I could have solo healed it that time if only people had switched to adds in the second phase. When they did not, that is when things went out of whack.
I do love being a healer with an interrupt however. When you notice that your DPS is not getting the job done, you can do it yourself. Having 2 situational CCs and an interrupt is amazing for a healer. If only the Shaman could reach the numbers my Priest could then she would rule the healing world I think. On a side note, for fun I got kingslayer on my Priest this weekend too. Not like you would ever catch me dead wearing that title.
I do think that Shaman healing is a bit broken. So much so that when on my Enhancement spec if I pop a chain heal to help the healer out whenever I get my free proc it can heal for 10K per jump. Same as my healer does. That brings up another subject that I rage about often too. Where the hell is the hybrid tax when my DPS spec can heal for the same that healing spec can? Something is wrong there. Either the DPS heals need to be toned down, which I hope not, or the healing heals need to be beefed up, which I think would be the right move.
Halls of Origination came next. I remember my last attempt at healing this on heroic. I could not make it past the first boss. Not much in terms of gear difference from then to now. Upgraded my shield from a 316 to a 346. That is it. The big difference is about 5 or 6 normals under my belt before doing it again. I learned how to be a shaman healer better in that time. One attempt and the boss was down. Woot!. We actually finished the instance too. Did not do two of the bosses up top because of time issues but still finished it out. The last bosses AoE was a little rough on me.
The boss after all the elementals did abuse me some as well and can be thanked for 3 wipes but that was more of a DPS issue then a healing issue. Pretty hard to keep everyone up when the debuff has the tanks health at only 42K max and everyone else is sitting around 20K health. I had no buffer to heal them. If I kept AoE heals up, one shot on the tank would kill him. If I kept on the tank the AoE would kill everyone else. Two of the three wipes where really close. One he was only at 16K when we wiped. How horrible is that?
Over all, the DPS was horrible that run. Each person was doing around 7K when I know they are all capable of so much more. That made the dungeon hard for sure but we got it done in the end. It was not easy at all but it was doable. That could be a huge factor is me having some of my healing issues.
When I fight goes on longer then it has to... healing gets harder.
When people do not move from the bad stuff... healing gets harder.
When the DPS do not switch to adds... healing gets harder.
When no one bothers to interrupt the big spells... healing gets harder.
This group had low DPS, people taking to long to move, DPS not switching fast enough and big spells going off all the time. In turn, that made my life hell. So maybe I did better then I give myself credit for. I still do not think I did well however. There are many things I can improve on and I will in time. It was a great learning experience and I was happy to have had it.
Most of the time learning in a situation like that makes you better. Anyone can heal a perfect crew with perfect execution. There is no room to learn when doing that because you can over heal, use cost ineffective spells and basically go hog wild but because things go down so fast it does not matter. You can't learn like that. These runs left me a ton of room to learn. Oddly enough, I look forward to running again with my Shaman. I am already sick and tried of these dungeons on my Hunter.
While my Hunter has mastered the execution of all the dungeons already and just wants his 70 valor and is screaming for a nerf so I do not have to waste 2 hours of my life every day my Shaman is really enjoying them. I guess it comes from a stand point that my Shaman has things to gain from them whereas my Hunter does not.
There should be 2 sets of heroics. One for people who need to gear up and one for people who have already geared up. If every item in every slot is over 346 (not that retarded item level crap) then you get into a nerfed to hell version where you can get in and get out and just get your valor points. If all items in all slots is not at least a 346 you get the normal heroics that are still hard and you still need to work on mechanics.
That would be the perfect way. It lets the people that are done with heroics still get their valor and not have to waste all day in fail groups that have no clue how to play and it lets the people that need to learn, learn.
So far however, everything I have heard about Shaman healing seems to be true. It is easy. With the right group it is very effective. A little boost due to the fact that 90% of the player base sucks and you will need to compensate for that would be nice however. I can't wait to see what it is like when I am actually geared and gemmed and enchanted correctly. I think with practice I will be a better resto shaman then I am an enhancement shaman.