Are Shaman Healer's really "Bottom Barrel"?

90 Pandaren Shaman
6375
So i have playing WoW off and on since shortly after BC's release. Everytime i have capped characters i played them for a few months, then i would take a year or so off. Every time i would return i would just create a whole new account (I'm aware that is kinda stupid)

And this time i really wanted to roll one single character, get to know the class the best i can and experience everything the game has to offer, since i never really put much time into the game after i capped.

My question is- by making a Resto Shaman the class i choose. Did i make a choice i will regret later on when i get further into the real depths of the game? I have read a lot of threads with very mixed opinions on the Shaman class lately. And in all honesty with my lack of any real end game experience yet. It has got me rather confused.

I intend to stick with this character and my choice to main it. I would just like a bit of an explanation on exactly what i should be expecting as a (quick learner) with the intentions of playing end game healing as a Shaman.
And should i expect to have a rough time being taken seriously not only because of the obvious fact of inexperience, but also just because of the class i rolled.
Thank you
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90 Blood Elf Priest
10520
Coming from someone who has raided a shaman for a large portion of this tier.

Shamans land in a difference place depending on raid size, but this is the closest healers have been from top end to bottom of the barrel in thorough put in a long time. Shamans are just as viable as any other healer.

Shaman's bring a decent amount of utility as well
-Shaman mastery
-Sheer number of raid cooldowns
-Totems
-Ancestral Vigor to some extent for the added temporary EHP
-Instant cast heal on a 1.5min cd
-Tidal waves allowing shamans to be one of the best spot healers in the game.

Just remember there will always be a bottom of the barrel class, but as long as they aren't too far behind it's a non issue. Player skill along with class utility will always overshadow class ability as long as the healer balance is reasonable.

Disclaimer: I am not including disc priests, due to how strong they are currently coimpared to other healers.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
I do not believe that Shaman are "bottom of the barrel." They've gotten a lot of quality of life improvements with this expac. While there are still some annoyances (like being tied so heavily to Healing Rain), their mastery is and probably always will be fantastic. And Tidal Waves is just incredible. You also have multiple raid CDs, which can't be discounted.
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90 Night Elf Priest
13490
If you're looking just at something like Raidbots (which is never advisable as a standalone indicator of a class' well being), you may see that they're pretty low. However, as others have said, they bring a ton of utility. The most amazing, probably, is that their healing is the best for clutch situations.

It may mean they don't "look" amazing to the casual, at-a-glance-from-afar viewer. Don't be fooled; still waters run deep, and they hide amazing power.
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90 Draenei Shaman
11680
Relinquish, there will always be jerks who will point to RaidBots and say "see your class is terrible and you are terrible for picking it!" but those jerks do not understand how healing works :)

As Tiriel mentions, we have some mechanical issues. But there's not really a healing class out there that doesn't. Bottom line, you will be able to compete in end-of-game content on an even footing with any other class. Your skill at the class matters way more than what class you chose.

And if anyone tells you otherwise, send 'em to me, and I'll punch 'em :)
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90 Pandaren Shaman
6375
Thank you guys very much! All wonderful answers, and that is exactly what i wanted to know. I needed to be sure that healing skill can over shadow this "healer underdog" appearance that seems to belong to the class right now. So thank you guys!
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90 Tauren Shaman
17095
One other thing about those raidbot parses. Take a look at the difference between the top and the bottom. It's really not that large of a spread for most fights, especially when one takes disc being currently OP into account.
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90 Orc Shaman
HC
16485
The only downside of a Shaman is we have the largest weakness in the game in terms of PvE healing, so we're highly dependent on encounter design to determine how good we are, unless you're 25m. Someone has to be bottom, doesn't mean it's us necessarily.

The term bottom barrel is basically a hyperbolic statement, I wouldn't use such a term :p
Edited by Sensations on 2/6/2013 7:37 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
11680
Yeah I thought I might want to elaborate.

Our Mastery is excellent for learning a new fight with your raid group. (It only kicks in at level ... 80? ... so you won't see its effects yet, but it's inseparable from end-game healing. It basically scales up our healing proportional to the amount of health our target is lacking.) When you're fumbling around and trying to figure out how to cope with the mechanics and accidentally standing in fire ... or when you're underhealing content because you need more DPS players to meet the enrage timer ... this Mastery really shines.

However, when you're doing easy content, content which you overgear, or when you're overhealing content (taking extra healers along), our Mastery is massively devalued. The less damage the raid takes, the less our Mastery gets to work for us.

What this means is, Shamans are pretty valuable for difficult/progression healing. Our Mastery can make up for dropping another healer, which means more DPS players can come in and help beat the sort of tight enrages that high-end progression guilds are faced with. But in casual/farming content, Shaman healing looks a little lacklustre. I think that this is probably where a lot of the disconnect between my experience (of performing quite well in raids) and the RaidBots numbers.

We're still perfectly capable of healing that farm content - and if you want you can drop Mastery when you get to the point where you've learned the fights and you're just farming the kills each week - it's just that the kinds of fights where we really excel are the kinds of fights that are underrepresented on RaidBots, because fewer guilds are doing progression than are doing farm content :)
Edited by Dayani on 2/6/2013 8:32 PM PST
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90 Goblin Shaman
8230
so my shaman is 492 with 4 t14 i raid with a holy pal and a disc pri they both out heal me some times double i ooomm just to keep a 45k hps in 10mans with them when the pally does 60 and the disc does 80k i have changed every glyph and talant and have read many forums i could use some help on what i can do to improve my hps to be more competive i would love to keep my raid spot but nothing seems to work i can even use healing tide during massave damage to no effect to meters i use and keep up riptide for ghw and hw i also use es on tanks with ue and as on cool down during heavy tank damage and i keep healing rain up.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
02/06/2013 11:10 PMPosted by Ariandira
so my shaman is 492 with 4 t14 i raid with a holy pal and a disc pri they both out heal me some times double i ooomm just to keep a 45k hps in 10mans with them when the pally does 60 and the disc does 80k i have changed every glyph and talant and have read many forums i could use some help on what i can do to improve my hps to be more competive i would love to keep my raid spot but nothing seems to work i can even use healing tide during massave damage to no effect to meters i use and keep up riptide for ghw and hw i also use es on tanks with ue and as on cool down during heavy tank damage and i keep healing rain up.


You're healing with two absorb classes. There's probably nothing to heal. One of the healers most likely needs to go DPS.
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90 Human Paladin
15420
When that fat panda hunter just trigerred wind bomb in his haste while trying to reCC the add, and Rain of Blades is off CD, any raid will be glad to have a mastery stacking resto shaman.
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90 Draenei Shaman
11680
Sounds like you're speaking from some experience there, Rasul ;)
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
I totally did not hit a wind bomb a few weeks ago while trying to run around it. Nope. >.>
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90 Troll Shaman
13250
OP shaman is the single most fun healing spec in the game. Least imo.
Edited by Harpoa on 2/7/2013 4:15 AM PST
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90 Draenei Paladin
16520
so my shaman is 492 with 4 t14 i raid with a holy pal and a disc pri they both out heal me some times double i ooomm just to keep a 45k hps in 10mans with them when the pally does 60 and the disc does 80k i have changed every glyph and talant and have read many forums i could use some help on what i can do to improve my hps to be more competive i would love to keep my raid spot but nothing seems to work i can even use healing tide during massave damage to no effect to meters i use and keep up riptide for ghw and hw i also use es on tanks with ue and as on cool down during heavy tank damage and i keep healing rain up.


You're healing with two absorb classes. There's probably nothing to heal. One of the healers most likely needs to go DPS.


Yeah, we run with a Disc Priest, a Holy Pally (me), and when we 3-heal stuff we have a Resto Shaman.

But we don't 3 heal that much.
Edited by Tarski on 2/7/2013 4:33 AM PST
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Yeah I thought I might want to elaborate.

Our Mastery is excellent for learning a new fight with your raid group. (It only kicks in at level ... 80? ... so you won't see its effects yet, but it's inseparable from end-game healing. It basically scales up our healing proportional to the amount of health our target is lacking.) When you're fumbling around and trying to figure out how to cope with the mechanics and accidentally standing in fire ... or when you're underhealing content because you need more DPS players to meet the enrage timer ... this Mastery really shines.

However, when you're doing easy content, content which you overgear, or when you're overhealing content (taking extra healers along), our Mastery is massively devalued. The less damage the raid takes, the less our Mastery gets to work for us.

What this means is, Shamans are pretty valuable for difficult/progression healing. Our Mastery can make up for dropping another healer, which means more DPS players can come in and help beat the sort of tight enrages that high-end progression guilds are faced with. But in casual/farming content, Shaman healing looks a little lacklustre. I think that this is probably where a lot of the disconnect between my experience (of performing quite well in raids) and the RaidBots numbers.

We're still perfectly capable of healing that farm content - and if you want you can drop Mastery when you get to the point where you've learned the fights and you're just farming the kills each week - it's just that the kinds of fights where we really excel are the kinds of fights that are underrepresented on RaidBots, because fewer guilds are doing progression than are doing farm content :)


Plus, Resto Mastery is highly devalued if you're playing with any absorb healers (Disc Priests or Holy Paladins). Because they prevent the damage in the first place, you're a lot less likely to be healing low health targets. But yeah, Resto Shaman are still totally viable, you can't go wrong with a good Resto Shaman.
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90 Draenei Shaman
3655
Really the best indicator of healer balance is whether or not the top guilds are bringing resto shamans to their progression raids.

They are (or were since progression is over till 5.2) so there's nothing to worry about.

The class that you rarely saw was resto druids, and they are being buffed. Disc is also being nerfed which will probably help resto druids the most.

If you are concerned with being able to snipe heals and pad meters on farm content then resto shaman is not for you, and never will be unless blizz decides to change our mastery.

Otherwise we are fine.
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90 Goblin Shaman
8230
thanks guys i did notice on the overhealing meters i do blow them up tho lol i over heal alot becous of the outher two classes
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90 Blood Elf Monk
17050
02/07/2013 05:49 AMPosted by Ðrakthar
Really the best indicator of healer balance is whether or not the top guilds are bringing resto shamans to their progression raids.


Not always. Guilds doing cutting edge progression do a lot of weird things that don't make any sense. Most of it is tied to overpowered mechanics, like 5.0 monks, or current disc priests.
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