The Sad State of Restoration Mastery
Posted by Jerich on 30 December 2010
Sadly this tooltip is a common scene among restoration shamans. Frankly, our mastery sucks. Priests get better absorbs and a HoT, Druids currently get bonus healing on targets who have their HoTs applied and Paladins make shields when they heal that absorb. Shamans get a heal that scales on how low the target’s health is and as far as my experience has gone we get little to no useful bonus from this.
As far as I’m concerned, if your party is low on health you’re either about to wipe or you haven’t been doing your job. Every other healing mastery ability focuses on providing some utility that directly affects -all- healing done by the beneficiary of said mastery. Restoration shamans kind of get the shaft as mastery applies in two situations. The first is a marginal increase in healing at or near mid-health level. The increase is fairly low, perhaps 200 or 300 extra health restored at the very most (the lower you go the more the numbers increase). The second situation is the “Oh Shit!” situation where your tank is dropping low on health. Even for the latter situation we don’t get much help because if the tank is low on health they are taking lots of damage. The Deep Healing effect at low levels of health restores under 1k extra. If we assume the best and give Deep Healing the benefit of the doubt that may increase our oh shit combination from a possible 24k crit to say a 26k crit (I’m making guesses at the math here because I’m not sure how crit and mastery work together but I’m assuming that the mastery increase is before crit on the base GHW spell and that the crit multiplier might throw it above 1k extra on the final number). Check out Vixsin’s beta post about Deep Healing for some rough numbers and math to see what I’m talking about.
That extra 2k on top of the healing combo for low health doesn’t make much of a difference with health pools exceeding 120k unbuffed on most tanks. The tanks that I heal have around 150k health and if they’re taking enough damage to push them down near 15k or 10k then even my instant cast GHW with Unleash Life is only going to pop them up to about 34k which almost any boss ability can destroy in one or two hits.
My point is not that Deep Healing is useless – as we can see 26k is more than 24k and every little bit helps, but it’s highly situational and if you’re in a raid where everyone is getting low on health then you better be pumping out 1 sec healing waves to get everyone up as this is the only time Deep Healing will shine and we aren’t loathe to use our mana inefficient fast cast Healing Surge to really reap the benefits. Even with Mana Tide and spirit trinkets it’s hard to justify pumping out 10+ Healing Surges.
That’s not to say that overall the state of shaman restoration is hurting. We aren’t doing amazingly well compared to other healing classes at high levels of content (heroic level raids) but having Mana Tide kind of gives us a free pass. How can we fix it? Here’s my idea but I think all of the restoration shamans in the WoW blogging scene should put in their two cents to get a non-situational mastery fix.
We need some kind bonus that will apply to all of our heals. Shamans aren’t oh shit healers. If we’re on the tank then we’re making sure they aren’t getting slaughtered and should be keeping them topped off. If they get low enough for Deep Healing to be useful, they’re going to die. Deep Healing could be more useful in a raid healing environment but with Chain Heal severely weakened and Healing Rain costing so much mana it’s unlikely that we’d be put onto raid heals.
Perhaps if our mastery was based around Riptide, a spell which we use all the time to keep the tank up, we could find some positive use for it. My idea is to have each tick of Riptide heal raid members within a certain distance for a small amount, say up to 5 other members. Riptide is on a cooldown already but maybe in return for the extra healing make it cost a little more mana. This will help keep everyone topped off and has a similar effect to a Beacon of Light. It’s much weaker, mind you, but it’s not supposed to be a copy of the Paladin’s ability.
I’ve been looking at restoration shamans that are part of big name raid guilds like Ensidia and Paragon and I’ve noticed that the vast majority of them are reforging mastery into spirit and haste, which is what I’ve done on my gear. Perhaps more intensive math will show that Deep Healing is more useful than we currently think, however I’m not holding my breath. What do you think?