Alt-a-palooza part II: Shamanistic Boogaloo

August 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm (Navel-Gazing, WoW General)

Always nice to receive confirmation you’re right (well, sorta right) about something – my issue with the shaman was definitely that I hadn’t found the right playstyle for me.  I decided, in despair at slogging through the next twenty levels as an enhance shaman on autoattack, that I would give up and respec the shaman resto, and just level her running instances.  I then healed my first instance as a shammy (Gnomeregan, for which I was a bit underpowered at level 23, but we managed), and surprisingly, I had a blast.  I then went out and did a bit of soloing, which I did primarily using what I assume to be an elemental playstyle – big on searing totems, lightning, and shocks, low on actual melee (except as a space-filler).  Lo and behold, I had a really good time doing it.  So, I guess I really will get to bore the mobs to death after all.

This also raised a second issue, one that kind of surprised me  – I have never been a fan of healing (wait, let me rephrase that, lest all my healers /gquit – I’ve never been a fan of me healing, but j’adore other people healing).  I’m beginning to think, though, that my issue may have been healing as a priest (I did a little healing as a pally, but not much – most of my healing as been on my still-stuck-at-level-seventy priest).  The holy priest has almost too big a toolbox for me.  It’s like when you go into the supermarket looking for something (call it “doohickey”) you don’t buy very often, so you don’t have a preference as to brand.  Then you find the aisle, and discover the entire aisle is filled with every variety of doohickey imaginable – not only a dozen different brands (do you want General Doohickey, or Doohickey Ltd.?), but also half a dozen flavors from cherry to olive doohickey, Lite! doohickey, Sugar-free doohickey, gluten-free doohickey, and one package that just calls itself “doohick”, just to be contrarian.  Faced with all the choices, one freezes up.  That’s the way priest healing made me feel.  So many options, and terror of picking the wrong one.  So I lunged for one at random, and ended up with the General Doohickey fat-free olive-flavored “doohick”….er, I mean, Prayer of Mending, and discovered that was totally the wrong choice.  Then people get pissy about why I’m taking so long giving them their Fort buff.

On the other hand, let’s say I take some other healing class, one that isn’t jack-of-absolutely-every-trade-you-can-possibly-imagine, and get my start healing on it early.  Maybe I’ll actually learn too enjoy being a productive member of an instance group, instead of That Degenerate Who Just Blows Stuff Up.

Or maybe I’ll just get her to 40 that way and then respec Enhance.  Because blowing stuff up (or smashing it, or otherwise violently putting stuff into a state other than “intact”) is fun.



  1. Tamarind said,

    Hehe, I’m like that in supermarkets all the time. The worst offenders are tinned tomatoes, I have no idea why, but there’s a wall of them, all subtly different and chopped in unique and interesting ways.

    I don’t think it’s so much that the tool box is too extensive so much that the naming conventions are annoying. I mean, most offensive spells are fairly descriptive (shadow bolt, curse of agony, drain soul) as well as being flavourful but healing spells are *terrible* for that.

    I mean … greater heal, yes, that does what it says on the tin. Flash heal, kind of the same. It’s a quick heal but not as ‘great’ as greater heal.

    But by the time you get to circle of healing, prayer of healing and prayer of mending the brain just explodes. Circle of healing … right … it’s, like, a circle … of healing … aoe, okay, I’ve got that. But prayer of healing? What’s wrong with, say, Greater Circle of Healing? I muddle Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending all the time. I know one of them is a frisbee but I just wish they’d given them slightly more utilitarian names.

    Druid is healing is even worse. Everything is named “hippie shit”.

    • Kahleena said,

      I suspect, as well, that had I done more healing while I was leveling (as opposed to just melting faces in a shadowy kind of way – I just can’t get away from being That Degenerate Who Just Blows Stuff Up), the toolbox would seem less frighteningly large. And yeah, holy frisbee and AoE Heal That Isn’t Circle Of Healing And Isn’t Holy Nova need more distinctive names.

      Druids, so far, I have an easier time with, but I think that’s because I actually use their healing arsenal (well, their baseline arsenal) on my druid more frequently while soloing than I did on my priest, probably because I take more damage (a bit as a boomkin, more as feral) I have no idea what their names are, so I mentally call them Pink Leafy HOT, Green Leafy Opposite of Lifebloom, and Differently Leafy Direct Heal. Also, I’m used to having them put on me in raids, noticing their icons, and seeing what they do (as opposed to non-Renew priest heals, which I don’t tend to see and absorb as much when raiding). Plus Tranquility, which I’ve never used. Druid heals also have very distinctive pictures, which I like, as opposed to too many priestly healing spells, which have (to me) somewhat undifferentiated pictures (oh look, it’s gold and sparkly, that narrows it down). Different colors are a huge plus for me in terms of icons (yet another reason LotRO did nothing for me).

    • Kahleena said,

      I note, by the way, that I remembered the name “Lifebloom”. It’s a great example of what you’re talking about, Tam – a name that actually is evocative of what the spell does. Life = heal. It starts as a HOT. Then it blooms, and you get a direct heal.

      Paladins have it just as bad as priests. “Hand of Reckoning”? Okay, Hands are our temporary buffs (i.e. Hand of Freedom, which removes snares from us or an ally, or Hand of Salvation, which removes threat from an ally) that we apply to other players. Right. So Hand of Reckoning is…..our single target taunt. Huh? Righteous Defense (our player-targeted taunt that taunts all mobs attacking a single player) is at least evocatively named..

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