WARNING: This post might be a little soapboxy.
It is a new year, and therefore I figured a slight adjustment to my raiding updates was in order. Basically, the numbers were starting to get cumbersome, so I scratched that. Also I decided to use a fancy acronym instead of the full State of the Raider.
I also want to leave myself some room to breath. I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed with pressuring myself to post an update every week. I think that was why my posts fizzled out before the end of the year. So I will try and post only when I actually have something interesting to say.
Or maybe just interesting to me? Who knows?
First of all, let me catch-up to where Undying Resolution is right now.
Our 25man has Mogu’shan Vaults clear and on farm. Heart of Fear is up to Amber-Shaper. Terrace of Endless Spring is just up to Sha of Fear.
Our 10man recently cleared the all of the normal mode bosses for Tier 14.
Talk is for starting heroic modes in the 10man group soon. This would mean Mogu’shan Vaults would be dropping from our 25man raids.
Sha of Fear
When I did this fight in LFR, I was ambivalent. It was an okie fight. The cone thingie everyone wants to stay inside was a mechanic worth paying attention to. There was a meh amount of incoming damage. Oh, something to dispell. Blah, back to kinda healing.
Then, one day – randomly and for the first time in my several Terrace LFR’s – I was whisked away from Sha and teleported to a gazebo with a tank and three DPS. It was a little faux 5man! There was a boss, and we were far enough removed from the rest of the raid that it was us on our own.
It was so cool and different!
In LFR, this has only happened to me once. :( Boo. (Random mechanic is random? Wha?)
When our 25man got down Lei Shi in one shot this past Thursday (woot!), I was quite curious to see this fight in normal.
The Sha of Fear did not disappoint me.
I love this fight!
The more that I think about it, the more I think Challenge Modes prepared me for this fight. Relying on myself to heal. Relying my “group members” to do their part. Not being in the standard 25man healer position of blanket healing and feeling that although my mana is dropping and Skada is registering growing digits, my personal, individual heals do not mean a whole lot to every 25 people every second.
In a 5man, I am actually DOING something. Well, doing something that 100% matters. Raid healing allows for small lapses in each healer – either to being CC’d or moving or even being dead. But 5man healing only has one healer to lean on. 5man healing, in its most bleeding-edge sense, requires the coordination of everyone. It requires you to heal your damnedest but also expect that everyone else is doing their part.
Yah, heroic dungeons these days do not require this kind of focus… I think Challenge Modes were an interesting compromise, though.
Actually, I have a tangent to share.
Over the weekend, Ranico asked me to do a heroic to finish up our Valor for the week. (I capped this week! Yay!) I asked him his thoughts on something I have been debating for a while, and he agreed it would make things go quicker. I queued as a healer, and stayed in my Elemental spec. :) Ranico tanked in his DPS gear. The dungeon was Temple of the Jade Serpent. It was easy through most of it, Healing Stream Totem FTW, but I know Ranico can do heroics without a healer… I have watched from guild chat. lol The Sha fight was intense though! I was healing and DPS’ing and using cooldowns. Whoa.
Word of warning, though. I do not plan to try this without Ranico any time soon. lol
When I had a tank and a group I trusted (despite the hobbled position Resto Shaman maintained through much of the beginning of the expansion), I LIKED Cataclysm heroic dungeons. I liked CC’ing things. I liked everyone paying attention and doing their part. I liked having to think about them and what spells I was casting. I liked TRIAGE.
What I do NOT like is people dying and me having no control over it. :/ One shots make me sad. But I am still (Yes, still! I might be a bit of a control freak…) slowly adjusting to the fact that there are some things I cannot heal through. This is just one of those things I have to accept as a healer. <grumble>
Admittedly, though, I never liked pugging in the beginning of Cata.
Okie, so the tangent had a tangent.
I have only seen about two-thirds of the fight in 25man normal, but from what I have gathered so far, the biggest deal in healing is on the platforms. You have no backup, and focus is mandatory. You also have to grab all the orbs – quickly or they heal the mini-boss. Grabbing the orbs returns energy/focus/mana/etc. but also causes damage. So it is also a delicate balance.
Even off the platform, there was usually two groups on platforms, and therefore healing at Sha was intense too. It was not brutally heavy, but it was done with limited healers, and therefore required more focus.
All in all, the Sha of Fear fight gave me a chance to water dance.
Incoming Shammy confession…
The Sha was perfect for my current healing preferences, which is almost entirely ignoring my AoE heals. (I know, it is heretical, eh?) I pepper the raid with Healing Rains and Chain Heals occasionally, but lately it seems my single target heals are more efficient and just more easily placed. AoE is only draining my mana and skyrocketing my overheals. In farm fights I use them and oh well about overheals, just so long as I am doing something other than standing around, right? But for progression, I am finding myself in “Challenge Mode.” Back to triage mentality. And honestly, Resto Shaman love triage. It is in our Mastery.
I am not sure if everyone else in raid was enjoying it as much as I was, though. After a few attempts we ended up going to Heart of Fear, and I was a sad Shammy.
Soon. Soon I will bring him down.