So I'll go ahead and skip over the "Shaman are fine/No they're not" back and forth to get right to where I feel our mechanics are lacking.
SLT - It makes little sense. The range is smaller than Healing Rain. Which means if they can stand in our SLT, they can stand in our Healing Rain. If they can stand in our Healing Rain we're probably doing fine to keep them up anyway. The health redistribution thing is a cool idea but becomes meaningless when we're stacked anyway. Between my Healing Rain and Chain Heal, the people stacking with me are fine while those who are not stacked are dieing. It has needless limitations. I say, drop the dmg reduction and make the health redistribution raid wide. Then it would actualy save lives. As it is now, it's useless on all but the occasional stacked fight. Sure, I plop it on the melee just so i get something out of it, but frankly it's useless in 80% of ToT.
Chain Heal - It's too clunky to get a full powered Chain Heal off. You need to have a riptide on the target, then make sure you have max targets in range and in need of healing, then wait out the cast time, then hope that during all of this no one snipes any of the players in the chain. It's ridiculous to use unless you're stacked. Also, unless you're stacked you lose the main benefit of the spell; it's a smart heal. The beauty of a smart heal is that it selects the player most in need of healing over others. Chain Heal is hard pressed to even hit max targets unless you're stacked, so forget about benefitting from it's smart heal. It can't pick the target in most need of healing, it takes whoever it can hit. Again, if you have to be stacked for it to do it's job, then it's not helping our situation. Healing Rain does that job already.
Healing Rain - Puddle abilities were a cool addition to the game in Cata. Somehow though, Shaman have become completely balanced around our puddle while other classes are not nearly as dependent on their puddle as we are. Puddle heals are really an antiquated idea now though. Back when fights contained little movement, or at least more periodic movement, they would have been a godsend. But that isn't the game we're playing any more. This game is constant movement on most fights. That makes puddles kind of dumb. We're a spec balanced around an antiquated mechanic.
Mastery - My main problem with our mastery is that it usually does little to help our throughput while other healers have 100% or near 100% use of their mastery. You will respond with "but it helps you when you need it most". I will respond with "if our other mechanics allowed us to deliver healing in a timely manner to take advantage of that mastery, then yes I would agree. They do not, so I do not". You know as well as I do that the current raiding climate leaves health bars at 75% health + for most of the fight. Occasional raid nukes cause health to spike low for the entire raid. Healers respond to this with their raid CD, immediately launching the raid back over 75% health. Shaman have a raid CD too (we get to use a talent to get it. Yay!!). So essentially, the only spell we get a decent benefit out of our Mastery with is HTT.
The 5.4 PTR Glyph changes seem to be at least a partial admission by Blizzard that Shaman spread/movement healing is indeed a bit lacking. So I think it's safe to say the "Shaman are fine" crowd are not on the same page as Blizzard. Here's hoping they do indeed follow through with their plan to revamp the totem tier to help us with spread healing.
Edited by Luvbacon on 6/19/2013 11:43 AM PDT