R.Shaman or R.Druid?

Shaman
Hello all.

I've been getting more and more interested in healing lately and i'm having a tough time deciding between these 2 classes. I have a 110 druid and an 83 shaman and eventhough the shaman is lower level, im still having fun healing on it, just as I do on the druid so I think I just feel healing is fun overall atm.

Any advice/help on the 2 classes that could help me decide?
I'm no pro, but I have one of each (neither max level) and I enjoy the Shaman more. But then again, I'm more attached to him. Resto Druid I find a little more difficult since they rely so much on their HoTs and not as much on direct heals. We Shaman have our Mastery to help us when things go south, but I find with Resto Druid, it can be a little difficult coming back from behind. They need to be a little more proactive.

So maybe start off with the Shaman s your new main, learn the fights, and then have your Druid as an alt. When it comes time to heal with the druid, you'll already be familiar with the fights, which will make the whole being proactive thing easier.

Like I said, I'm no pro so just my two cents.
I did resto Druid from beginning of expansion to end of Nighthold.

This Shaman is my main now.

Druid healing, while exceptionally powerful, is just so BORING. At least to me.

Spam rejuv, and spam rejuv some more. Throw in a wild growth and spam some rejuvs. Its difficulty is very easy. It's definitely the easier healer of the two.

I gravitated towards the Shaman because there are more cooldowns. And it is harder to heal with, especially in high level M+. It's also more varied and you can tailor a Shaman to different play styles.

What I found it boils down to is that Druids have insane throughput. Raw heals per second is unmatched. Shamans have a few more tools and their cooldowns are extremely potent. They have less raw healing compared to a Druid, especially if you dont let mastery kick in, but the cooldowns and tools they have more than make up for it.

Both are great healers. You won't go wrong with either. Just pick whatever playstyle you most enjoy and find fun.
Druid if you like to be on top of the HPS meters.
Shaman if you like preventing people from actually dieing.

Basically, if a person drops from 100% hp to 10% hp in a single hit, a resto druid will take a long time to actually heal that person all the way to full. A resto shaman will use a single global cooldown to bring that person from 10% hp to 80%~ hp. And that's without burning one of their infinite cooldowns.
I think what Atomos said is good advice. I main shaman and priest and just got a druid to 110. I think in order to be good at healing with a druid you have to know all the fights really well to get your HoTs out in time. Mana management can be a pain for druid. Shamans are way easier to manage mana. Both are fun in their own ways, but druid is more of a challenge.

In terms of offspecs, i give the edge to shamans. Both of shamans two other specs are some of the most fun dps specs i've played. Balance has grown in me a little, it's fairly similar to elememtal with dots and procs.
While the a lot of a druids healing is done proactively people REALLY underestimate their reactive healing because they are hots. With cooldowns a druid can bring an entire party back form the brink of death to full health very fast, and have so many powerful hots rolling at once that their party is near invincible.

They many not have nearly the heal on reaction toolkit that shams and hpriests have but they have more than enough for when they really need it.

Just tossing in those two cents as I often see people call druids more or less strictly non reactive healers.
Ignoring the "fun" factor since that's subjective, the Druid is easily the stronger healer but requires more skill, while the shaman has CDs for days which is also important for raids even with their lower HPS. With the druid you have to learn when to pre-HOT in order to not run OOM and they don't have the shear number of CDs like a shaman to handle expected big damage. But likewise the shaman has a harder time keeping people topped off and it isn't uncommon for big damage ability to knock off 40-60% of someone's health, which is a huge hazard when you already have a harder time keeping people topped off. And with our Mastery not kicking in until people are at a lower health that means our raid HPS is often lower since stuff like HOTs do the majority of the incidental healing before we can.
Both equally fun. Resto Druid has been my main since BC, but Resto Shsman been my primary alt since that time. It comes down to what healing style and the role you want to fulfill. I would say though that Resto Druid is not as hard as people make it out to be. Even leaving Tranquility and BiS Velen's trinket out of the equation, we've not been this good at handling raid/party burst since Cata.
You like to be able to save people fast once they drop low on health? -> go shaman
You like your heals to be efficient, cast while moving and top meter? => go druid
I usually play as Restoration Shaman in Normal/Heroic Raids and sometimes also in Mythic+ dungeons.
From what i can tell, i excel my healing in places where the raid remains mostly stacked or near each other, like during most encounters in Nighthold. This way i get to use to maximum eficiency my Healing Rain, with Tier 20 great buff, and Gift of the Queen, which casts itself again in 3 seconds if talented, and Spirit Link Totem. All of these abilities require low distance from one player to another.
Also, i mostly use Riptide + Healing Wave/Healing Surge and only start spamming Chain Heal if a number of people starts receiving damage. And Healing Tide Totem if things start going south.
During some Kil'jaeden tries last week or before, i did almost 800k hps, without mana issues (and also without getting out of phase 2). I can guarantee you that under those conditions either i am top healer or one of the top 3, but never the last.
The problem lies in encounters which require great mobility and range, specially in Fallen Avatar encounter: the arena is huge, the raid has to remain spread and constantly on the move to avoid Unbound Chaos, Shadowy Blade pools and soak Touches of Sargeras. Worst of all, there isn't that much damage during Phase 1 to kick in our Mastery trait. It's the perfect storm against shaman healing.
I would say that the same happens in Helya encounter, but those are far in between. Shaman remains as a very powerful raid healer.

About Mythic+ Dungeons, we can also use to great effect healing rain and spirit link totem, and our bread and butter is Riptide + Healing Wave/Healing Surge.
The problem lies if lots of your group starts receiving damage. It takes a few casts of surge to top someone's health. I would suppose a druid would only place some Hots (heal over time) and move to the next player imediately.
I can say that i am confident in my ability to hold my own in a Mythic+ 10-13 enviroment, depending also of the group. I can also complete Mythic+ 15 or higher, but since i never beated the timer, i can't say much about that.
The thing is: in weeks like this (Grievous), where it is common that most people receive damage and i simply have to top each one of them one by one to avoid even more damage... it's the very worst Mythic+ affix for me.

All things considered, i KNOW i am not as good in Dungeon healing as i am in Raid Healing. But i think you may have fun while playing as a Restoration shaman.
But i do have to warn you that Restoration Druid is said to be Legion's top healing class since its start. At least according to this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_B5s0m2wuo

I will post here Icy Veins criticism about Restoration shaman, which nails how i feel about the spec:

4. Strengths

Excels at group healing
Outstanding at dealing with incoming burst damage
Amazing life saving potential
Good mobility
Unique life saving potential with Spirit Link Totem, Ancestral Protection Totem , and Ancestral Vigor
Great non-healing utility via Wind Rush Totem
Strong sustained HPS

5. Weaknesses

Mediocre targeted healing and tank cooldowns
Mediocre in situations that force a large spread
That list is also missing the weakness of being mediocre at large group constant incidental damage and high mobility fights.
I don't understand what you mean by "constant incidental damage", but i think large spread situations encompass high mobility situations.
07/07/2017 02:05 PMPosted by Antônioluiz
I don't understand what you mean by "constant incidental damage", but i think large spread situations encompass high mobility situations.


Constant incidental damage, such as Maiden where everyone in the raid has a DOT for the duration of the fight. HoT classes do far better at this since once the HoTs are out (and properly maintained) they do a better job at keeping the people up compared to needing a cast time while also dealing with mechanics and the constant damage. It's one of the reasons we have a harder time with Grievous. Especially when you then have to spread out to avoid swirlies after taking one of the massive bursts.

And no, large spread situations don't really encompass high mobility situations (though high mobility does often lead to a large spread since people often don't move as a group). Take for example Chromatic Anomaly. While we're great while stacked up, our healing while moving to/from the adds is weak even if they move as a group unless we burn a CD to cast while moving. Avatar would be another example at certain points, and it combines with the spread issue.

This isn't to say that we can't do these fights but we still have to acknowledge our weaknesses.
07/07/2017 12:08 PMPosted by Darigaaz
That list is also missing the weakness of being mediocre at large group constant incidental damage and high mobility fights.


That is the weakness of druids, not shamans. Druids are absolutely horrible at healing constant incidental damage, while it is literally the sole reason you bring a resto shaman to mass heal your raid in any situation they take too much damage. Both are equally hindered by high mobility in the sense that neither healer will benefit from players standing in their placed AoE healing circle (effloressence and healing rain).

That said, neither healer are even remotely hindered by the concept of movement themselves. Druids are known for their instant cast spam rejuvination, but the lesser known thing about shamans is spirit walkers grace. Right now a resto shaman can have spiritwalkers grace (a buff that allows them to hard cast while moving) active slightly less than 50% of the fight. In addition, having the buff active gives the shaman a movement speed increase, helping them personally dodge mechanics.

And if you want to talk to me about that other 50% of the time shamans don't have spiritwalkers grace up? Be aware that Druids also sometimes have to hard cast some abilities such as Wild Growth and Regrowth, and that Shamans have their own plethora of instant cast heals such as Riptide, and various totems such as Healing Stream Totem.
07/07/2017 04:27 PMPosted by Darigaaz
Constant incidental damage, such as Maiden where everyone in the raid has a DOT for the duration of the fight.


Nobody has a DoT for any length of time on Maiden, please go read the dungeon journal.

And...dots are not "incidental" damage. Incidental is defined as something that happens by mistake. That is to say, your raid members took damage they were not supposed to. Damage that you were supposed to avoid is usually near lethal damage (mythic goroth spikes hit for 2 million and have to be dodged). A resto druid is terrible at responding to that.
07/07/2017 04:38 PMPosted by Tuskini
07/07/2017 04:27 PMPosted by Darigaaz
Constant incidental damage, such as Maiden where everyone in the raid has a DOT for the duration of the fight.


Nobody has a DoT for any length of time on Maiden, please go read the dungeon journal.

And...dots are not "incidental" damage. Incidental is defined as something that happens by mistake. That is to say, your raid members took damage they were not supposed to. Damage that you were supposed to avoid is usually near lethal damage (mythic goroth spikes hit for 2 million and have to be dodged). A resto druid is terrible at responding to that.


Incidental - accompanying but not a major part of something.

Constant minor damage is indeed incidental damage. It is YOU who needs to get a better grasp of the definition.

Also you should go read up on Fel/Light infusion. On heroic it does 225k damage every 3 seconds and everyone in the raid has it for the duration of the fight. Even on normal it does 161k every 3 seconds so I don't know what you're talking about in saying that people don't have a DoT for any length of time.

And I never said that a resto druid was good at responding to such damage. I was simply stating our weaknesses. The resto druid flat out beats us in dealing with incidental damage and to deny it is foolish.
07/07/2017 04:29 PMPosted by Tuskini
07/07/2017 12:08 PMPosted by Darigaaz
That list is also missing the weakness of being mediocre at large group constant incidental damage and high mobility fights.


That is the weakness of druids, not shamans. Druids are absolutely horrible at healing constant incidental damage, while it is literally the sole reason you bring a resto shaman to mass heal your raid in any situation they take too much damage. Both are equally hindered by high mobility in the sense that neither healer will benefit from players standing in their placed AoE healing circle (effloressence and healing rain).

That said, neither healer are even remotely hindered by the concept of movement themselves. Druids are known for their instant cast spam rejuvination, but the lesser known thing about shamans is spirit walkers grace. Right now a resto shaman can have spiritwalkers grace (a buff that allows them to hard cast while moving) active slightly less than 50% of the fight. In addition, having the buff active gives the shaman a movement speed increase, helping them personally dodge mechanics.

And if you want to talk to me about that other 50% of the time shamans don't have spiritwalkers grace up? Be aware that Druids also sometimes have to hard cast some abilities such as Wild Growth and Regrowth, and that Shamans have their own plethora of instant cast heals such as Riptide, and various totems such as Healing Stream Totem.


And no. You bring a shaman for AoE healing when you can group and and for all of the CDs we bring which can let you ignore/bypass various mechanics. Illganoth on mythic you would group up, kill 8 eyes, and then HTT+SLT combined with other healing spells to survive the DOT. Or using APT to deal with Seeker Swarm on Mythic Tich.

If you want to bring up SWG then it would only be fair to talk about other classes CDs, but my point was never to get into a tit-for-tat. This also goes back into what I was saying about taking shaman for their CDs. But on a high mobility fight you're not going to always have SWG up.
07/07/2017 04:53 PMPosted by Darigaaz
Also you should go read up on Fel/Light infusion.


Oh, that. I forgot. The one that deals at most 5% max hp per 3 seconds. Mopped up simply by standing in a healing rain or an effloressence on normal and heroic. Since everyone stands still in the healing circle the majority of the fight, I'd say both classes are equal at dealing with type of damage on that specific fight.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/statistics/13#boss=2052&difficulty=4&metric=hps

Just in case you thought I was wrong about this.
07/07/2017 05:12 PMPosted by Tuskini
07/07/2017 04:53 PMPosted by Darigaaz
Also you should go read up on Fel/Light infusion.


Oh, that. I forgot. The one that deals at most 5% max hp per 3 seconds. Mopped up simply by standing in a healing rain or an effloressence on normal and heroic. Since everyone stands still in the healing circle the majority of the fight, I'd say both classes are equal at dealing with type of damage on that specific fight.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/statistics/13#boss=2052&difficulty=4&metric=hps

Just in case you thought I was wrong about this.


And where do those resto shaman/druid rank on Desolate Host and Fallen Avatar? Not to mention that you seem to be taking it personally when all I'm saying is that we're not as good at dealing with widespread incidental damage or movement. As you pointed out Maiden has plenty of instances where people can stack, so even if we're not "as good" at one component of the fight we're still plenty capable on it. Besides I even said that even with our weaknesses we're still reasonable healers. But just because we can do well doesn't mean that we don't have weaknesses.

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