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PvE Healing

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PvE Healing

Post  Scythe on Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:30 pm

Table of Contents:

1 Direct Healing Spells
1.1 The Five-Second Rule
1.2 Lesser Healing Wave
1.3 Chain Heal
1.4 Healing Wave
1.5 Efficient Healing

2. Other Spells
2.1 Nature’s Swiftness
2.2 Earth Shield
2.3 Heroism / Bloodlust
2.4 Purge and Earth Shock
2.5 Ghost Wolf
2.6 Cleansing

3. Totems
3.1 Air Totems
3.2 Earth Totems
3.3 Fire Totems
3.4 Water Totems

4. Shaman Interface
4.1 Totem Timers
4.2 Earth Shield Tracking
4.3 Action Bars
4.4 Unit Frames
4.5 Click-casting
4.6 /stopcasting
4.7 Healing Meters
4.8 Other Mods
4.9 Focus Target

5. Gear and Talents
5.1 Stats
5.2 Enchants/Gems
5.3 Trinkets
5.4 Consumables

6 Miscellaneous Tips
6.1 Running Dungeons
6.2 Shadow Priests
6.3 Offspec
6.4 Farming
6.5 PvP

7. Conclusion

The Five-Second Rule
Before I go in-depth on efficiency I want to explain an important concept, the 5-second rule (FSR). Whenever you cast any spell that costs mana, as soon as the spell lands and mana is deducted, for five seconds all your mana regeneration from Spirit is suspended.

The "Mana Regen" shown on your character sheet is your regen *outside* the FSR. If you hover your mouse over that value you will see another value "x mana regenerated every 5 seconds while casting." That is your regen within the FSR, and the value you should be concerned about.

We have no talents that give use Spirit-based regen while inside the FSR, all of it comes from mana-per-5 seconds (mp5) gear. On a raid boss fight I typically spend 80% of time in combat (or more) within the FSR. Therefore, Spirit is a very bad stat for us, and when someone asks you what your mana regeneration is, you should tell them the "while casting" value.

Now that's out of the way, let's talk about healing spells.

Lesser Healing Wave
A mistake new shamen (and some old, unfortunately) make is when it is appropriate to use Lesser Healing Wave instead of Healing Wave. These are the situations where I think LHW is most appropriate:

•when non-tanks take damage, or anytime a quick heal is needed when you are busy doing something else
•when you need to heal yourself.
•when you need to heal and move at the same time
•when you need to top off several people quickly and they are out of chain heal range
•use anytime someone is going to die within the next three seconds
•PVP

For 5 and 10-man dungeons DO NOT use this as your primary tank healing spell, it is inefficient, doesn’t get much from your +healing gear (only 43%), and doesn't stack healing way. You are not a Paladin and LHW is not Flash of Light. This spell is seductive because it has a fast casting time, which shortens reaction time and makes it easier to excel on healing meters. However, you are much better off using a downranked Healing Wave to keep a tank up if mana is ever an issue. In addition, some mobs will hit the tank so hard that even if you continuously spam LHW you won't be able to keep up with the incoming damage.

On some raid bosses there may be so many healers on the MT that it seems almost impossible to get a heal in using the slower Healing Wave without overhealing. This doesn't always mean you need to use a faster heal. It means there might be too many healers on the MT, or that due to the nature of its spike damage, there is an unavoidable amount of overhealing involved.

Having said that, LHW can be situationally appropriate for tank healing. Most healing teams in 25-man raids divide themselves into two categories: flashers who spam quick 1.5 second heals to make sure the tank is perpetually receiving heals, and bombers who drop the 2.5-3.0 second heals to cover the big hits. Depending on your raid composition, you could be asked to be a 'flasher' and to drop the quick heals on the tank.

I do not think that LHW spam on tanks plays to our class' strengths, but once your gear reaches a certain level (i.e. Tier 5 and above) you should be able to sustain this kind of healing; a shadow priest helps immensely too. I don't personally do this (i'm a 'bomber' when i'm not chain healing everything in sight) but there are a lot of top shamen who do, so I wanted to make sure it was covered. The bottom line is to be aware of the kind of damage your MT is taking, and especially to coordinate with the other healers in your raid; the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

When you do use LHW to top raid members off, always use max rank. If you are 'flashing' the MT, you may want to try Rank 5. Make a macro that heals the target's target if it is hostile, very good for pvp healing and bosses like Shade of Aran and High Astromancer Solarian:

Code:
#showtooltip Lesser Healing Wave
/cast [modifier:alt,target=player] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=target,help] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=targettarget,help] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=player] Lesser Healing Wave

This heals yourself if alt is pressed, heals target's target if it is hostile, or heals the target. Feel free to make these for your healing wave and chain heal spells too, although LHW is where i find this most useful.

Chain Heal
A rogue's best friend, and most efficient of all our heals if it jumps to multiple targets. I use max rank most of the time and sometimes rank 2. For this spell to jump to another target they must be within a certain distance of each other. I have noticed that for some reason, this distance seems to be greater in raid groups than in 5-man dungeons, but I don't know why. In a 25-man spam this on trash pull and be king of the effective healing meters. In 5 man I get the most use out of this when I have melee in group getting cleaved, or fights with a lot of incidental AOE damage (much of Arcatraz).

It is inefficient (and heartbreaking) for this spell to land but not jump to another target. Some shamen like to spam rank 1 chain heal to keep a tank up, regardless of whether it will jump to another player, since it is very efficient. This is fine for non-heroic dungeons, but in heroics and raids I feel that the healing/second performance of rank 1 chain heal is too low to really pull your weight.

Chain Heal is what really distinguishes us from other healers. For many raid encounters, especially a lot of 25-man trash pulls, max-rank chain heal becomes my primary heal. Shamen are also good at MT healing but nobody keeps the dps, especially melee dps, topped off like we do.

Chain heal does have a slow 2.5 second casting time. You need to be aware of what kind of damage someone is taking; don't be afraid to use Lesser Healing Wave instead if you don't think they are going to live that extra second.

Healing Wave
Our primary heal, receiving 86% of our +healing gear. Get the talent that reduces its casting time, and Healing Way. Spam rank 1 to proc ancestral fortitude / healing way before a hard-hitting pull.

Healing Wave isn't awesome for raid healing (i.e. non-tanks) because it takes 3 stacks of Healing Way to be fully effective. Although I did rant about using LHW on a tank, if you're assigned to raid healing LHW and CH will likely be your primary tools.

Cancelling
You should learn to cancel unnecessary heals, particularly high-mana max-rank Healing Waves. I have a /stopcasting macro for this purpose and have it bound to a mouse button. Cast your heal, if the bar goes most of the way and the tank is at full health cancel it and start casting again. A good healer anticipates damage a tank takes; if you know the MT is going to be hit hard when the mob swings, have a heal already incoming; if he dodges it, cancel the heal. Purely reactive healers are bad healers. Obviously overhealing is preferable to underhealing, so use caution; it is painful to see a tank drop dead because you were too concerned with conserving your mana pool.

Having a unit-frame mod like X-Perl that shows dodge/parry as well as damage taken right on the target's portrait is very helpful.

Downranking
For general trash pulls in heroics rank 8 Healing Wave does the job. It lands for about 2.5k with Healing Way stacked up, and will out pace the damage done by most mobs unless your tank is under-geared. Depending on your gear you may want to use rank 9; you will want something that puts out about 1000 healing per second, so adjust as necessary. Rank 10 is sometimes useful, like Prince phase 2 or Gruul after 10 growths or so. The idea is to throttle your outgoing healing so that it approximates the incoming damage, keeping other healers in mind.

Lower ranks of healing spells get less benefit of your +healing gear (a nerf Blizzard put in several patches ago) but there still is a mild efficiency improvement in lower ranks, and if your tank got hit for 2K, there is no point in casting a 4K heal on him. You could wait until he is -4k and just use a bigger heal, but I prefer casting more smaller heals, since you will get more Ancestral Healing and Trinket/Meta Gem/Spellsurge procs (if applicable) and Healing Way doesn't fall off. This could probably be argued as a matter of personal preference, since by waiting you can put yourself outside of the five-second rule more and get some extra regen, but I digress.

Downranking is particularly important for raid fights like Nightbane where multiple healers will be on the MT. We all spam a downranked, efficient heal and the sum of these small heals exceeds the DPS of the boss; the stready stream of incoming heals takes care of spike damage nicely, and the smaller mana cost of the heals paces the consumption of our mana pools.

Mobs in TBC hit fast and hard so don't neglect your max rank heal. Use your judgment and pay attention! If you're fighting Nightbane, the tank takes a big hit, and a bunch of healers have to move because of the Charred Earth, you had better have a max-rank heal incoming! Spamming a downranked heal is appropriate when the fight is stable.

When using downranked heals in concert with other healers, I am often lazy about canceling heals, especially on bosses that have a lot of spike damage. Some overhealing is inevitable and helps to ensure that heals will land right after a big hit. Cosmina gave an excellent example in a reply to the original Guide:

Usually i dont' cancel. Phase 2 Prince. You cannot stop healing. Don't throw big massive hail mary heals - they overheal like mother%%!!ers. Lower ranked ones don't overheal as much, and if you spam em a little then you can pace yourself better by ensuring a continuous stream of heals, and without wasting too much mana.

More healers is never a solution unless you make them spam smaller heals. If you stick 5 healers on your HKM MT then don't go and be a retard and tell them all to spam max rank heal and cancel it if they see the tank on full HP. This will just encourage them to stop healing and worry too much about mana efficiency and overhealing.

There are some healers who never use downranked spells at all. I believe that downranking spells is a good mana-saving habit that is particularly synergistic working with other healers on the same tank. I think all healers should try it out, understand why downranking can be helpful for a given situation, and make a decision based on first-hand experience.

Final thoughts on efficiency
Learning to heal efficiently is an important skill and I devote much of this guide to explaining it. I do want to add that sometimes it's best to know when not to be efficient too. As you raid your gear will rapidly improve to the point where you will actually have to struggle to deplete your mana pool, and in any case efficiency does not automatically trump other considerations. On a fight like Lurker Below my main job is to keep the raid topped off; since everyone is spread out everywhere I actually use Lesser Healing Wave as much as I use Chain Heal. SSC trash pulls I just spam max-rank Chain Heal with impunity; the fight is soon over. Your job is to keep everyone alive; if you focus too much on efficiency when things start to get messy the results can be quite lethal.

If a shadow priest is in my group I can just go nuts and not worry. However, since our melee buffs are, in general, better than our caster buffs, you will often in raids get put in a group with a bunch of rogues--no Vampiric Touch for you! You will learn which situations require you to use all your mana conservation tricks and gear, and which ones where you can just stack more +healing gear and lay down the fat heals.

Nature's Swiftness
Make a macro like this:

Code:
/stopcasting
/use 13
/stopcasting
/use 14
/stopcasting
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/stopcasting
/cast Healing Wave

Call this macro "oh shit". It is your friend. It pops both trinkets and instantly heals your target in one keystroke. If cast while moving you may have to tap it a few times. You do not need to stop casting to use this macro, it will interrupt a currently cast spell in favor of insta-healing.

I also have a similar macro, which I use less often, that instantly casts max-rank Chain Heal. Finally, I have a third macro with the last line "/cast [target=mouseover] Healing Wave" which I use in conjunction with Clique.

Earth Shield
I generally put this on the MT, and always refresh it (preferably with trinkets popped) when it gets used up. For black morass i put it on the guy doing adds. For fights with multiple tanks, it may be more sensible to put this on an offtank. I don't usually put it on myself unless its a fight like Aran or Solarian which really isn't tanked. Earth Shield gets 300% of our +healing gear, 30% a tick. There is a 3-second cooldown between ticks; in general the shield is up for 30-60 seconds of combat before it needs to be refreshed.

The healing done by this shield is credited to the person you put it on, which you can see when you look at the healing meters. Therefore, Earth Shield has the added benefit of giving the tank some extra aggro generation; a warrior/druid tank generates 0.725 threat against all mobs per point of damage healed. Unfortunately, this also means that Earth Shields cast on other people do not get benefit of your Purification talent, and will heal for 10% less.

Water Shield
This spell gets a bad rep for being underpowered, but it does proc off the weirdest things. In addition, a lot of raid fights have plenty of AOE damage and you can get a sizeable amount of mana back if you keep it up. Get in the habit of keeping this up at all times.

In 2.3 Water Shield is being significantly buffed to effectively give us 50 mp5.

Heroism / Bloodlust
Use every boss fight. Use anytime it looks like a trash pull is going awry. I cannot stress how much your group mates love it when you use this spell, it partly justifies bringing you instead of, say, a paladin. Most of the time you will want to pop this at 80%. However, some fights where you have to burn down adds quickly you will want to use it right off the bat, and for fights where the boss goes nuts at like 30% save it for the end.

Contrary to a popular myth, heroism/bloodlust does not hasten the global cooldown. This can be proven using the following UI hook and spamming an instant spell with no cooldown inside and outside of Bloodlust/Heroism:

Code:
/run hooksecurefunc("CooldownFrame_SetTimer", function(_, start, duration, enable) if start > 0 and enable > 0 then DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(duration) end end)

Credit for this proof technique goes to Airhorn - Mal'Ganis.

Note that the GCD is computed on the client side, and spell casting bars are server side. This means that when spamming 1.5 second spells (such as LHW) Heroism may increase your casting speed anyway if you have nontrivial latency and do not use /stopcasting (explained in a later section). This quote from the "Haste, Heroism, The GCD and You" thread on the WoW forums explains in more detail:

Imagine you're casting scorch under Heroism, you have a 1.05 second cast time. During my observations attempting to measure the GCD over casts I noticed that a normal scorch took an average of 1.9 seconds to cast during the time I was casting it. While when I cast under the effects of Heroism it was approximately 1.55 seconds. I wasn't able to show that Heroism was violating the GCD, because it wasn't. The Scorch was finishing .45 seconds before it normally did, so instead of that buffer for lag and process time starting at T + 1.5, it was starting at T + 1.05. The client still wont let you shoot another spell off before that GCD has cleared, but you are effectively mitigating lag through heroism by starting that buffer time earlier.

What this means: While Heroism and Haste do not reduce the GCD, in situations where latency is adversely effecting your cast time they will mitigate that effect, resulting in an increase in DPS even for spells that are already at the GCD or within reason below.

Source: WoW Forums -> Haste, Heroism, the GCD, and you

In 2.3 with the fixes to spellcasting the above will no longer be true; latency will no longer be a factor.

Purge / Earth shock:

Code:
#showtooltip Earth Shock
/stopcasting
/cast [harm] Earth Shock; [target=targettarget, harm] Earth Shock(Rank 1)

This will shock a hostile target, or shock a friendly target's target. It will use max-rank for direct target and rank 1 (to save mana) on target's target. Make a similar macro for purge. This allows you to purge or interrupt the MT's target without having to switch targets.

Interrupting enemy casts while also functioning as a primary healer is really hard to do effectively. Purging is a little easier since you have more time (i.e. can wait for a heal to finish). Resto shamans are not reliable at interrupting on raid bosses; since we have no spell hit gear or talents, 1 in 6 earth shocks will be resisted.

I use this one in arenas:

Code:
#showtooltip Earth Shock(Rank 1)
/focus [modifier]
/cast [target=focus, exists] Earth Shock(Rank 1)
/stopmacro [target=focus, exists]
/focus

First use will set the focus target, subsequent uses cast on the focus target. Modifier use (ie. ALT) will change the focus and cast the spell. Thanks to Grotar for this one.

Cleansing
The two cleansing totems tick the instant they are dropped, just like Tremor Totem. On Heroic Quagmirran, as soon as he poison volleys I drop Poison Cleansing to instantly cure the whole group, and then immediately drop Healing Stream to clean up any damage done. I can then go back to healing the MT, repeating the process for the next volley. We don't even bother with the NR buff =).

Sometimes you want to just cleanse somebody instead of dropping a cleansing totem, like if a Mana Tide is ticking or a trinketed Healing Stream. You can make a macro that cleanses the unit your mouse is hovering over, so you can keep your current target:

Code:
/cast [target=mouseover] Cure Poison

Some healers like to use [target=mouseover] for all their heal spells, so that they don't have to click-target. If you have enough free macro slots, give it a try.

You need to be on top of pulling off diseases and poisons. It reflects very poorly on you if you slack, especially with how easy it is to do with totems.

Air Totems
There is a lot of confusion on where and when to use Windfury Totem vs. Grace of air. For raids, this excerpt from "Enhance Shaman: The Collected Works of Theorycraft Volume I" is the gospel truth for non-caster groups:

Enhance Shaman: The Collected Works of Theorycraft, Vol I

Always use Windfury if the following conditions are True:

* A DPS warrior is in your group
* A warrior who is tanking is in your group
* A warrior is in your group
* If no warrior, more than 1 sword rogue is in the group

Grace of Air should be considered for use only if the above are false, and under these conditions:

* A feral druid tank is in the group (ie, bear... not kitty)
* A prot warrior is in your group on a non threat limited fight with high damage components
* Any combination of more than 2 hunter/druids is in the group

Obviously, if you are in a caster or healer group, drop Wrath of Air. If you can't decide, make them roll for it. Deciding which air totem to use can be a subtle judgment call in a 5-man dungeon. If people complain, drop Windwall Totem.

Some tanks will want Grace of Air totem for the additional 3% dodge. This small amount of mitigation doesn’t seem to me like it will make or break your raid—but Windfury for the MT is a different story. Windfury will help warrior tanks gain rage and generate additional threat; think of it like an inverse blessing of salvation. In situations where DPS has to manage their threat, Windfury for a warrior MT may boost their damage output more than having a shaman in their group dropping their favorite air totem.

Grounding Totem is situationally very useful, although it only absorbs some boss/trash abilities. This thread is a compilation of what it works on:

WoW Forums -> What Bosses does grounding totem work on
WoW Forums -> Grounding, Earth Shock, and Purge use/useless

Tranquil Air Totem stacks multiplicatively with Blessing of Salvation, with a net result of 44% threat reduction. In practice, I have never felt the need to take advantage of this. For more information on stacking threat reduction buffs please visit here: A Guide To Threat

Earth Totems
By default I drop Strength of Earth just to give melee a bit more AP. We have other earth totems that are situationally useful, described below:

Earthbind Totem can serve as poor man's crowd control. If you anticipate that there might be loose mobs running around in a pull, drop it. The tank will have an easier time picking them up and DPS classes tasked with CC may have a bit more breathing room if their mob breaks early.

Tremor Totem ticks the instant it drops, and then every 5 seconds thereafter. You can use this to your advantage. When fighting the insane Felguards in Heroic Shadow Labs, stand a bit outside of Fear range, so that the moment the MT gets feared you can drop it and get him out of it. I have heard of people doing this on Nightbane as well, but the fear range is very large; you have to be almost perfectly positioned and you're better off just having the tank stance-dance.

Stoneskin is normally very weak except in AOE pulls, when there are a bunch of non-elite mobs all hitting for small amounts of damage that add up due to their numbers.

Fire Totems
Searing Totem was fixed so that it will not break crowd control spells. It costs very little mana, provides constant DPS, and with the changes in 2.3 providing spell power to healing gear, is a very useful totem.

Searing Totem also has one situational use that is a lifesaver. On fights where the boss has some kind of sudden aggro dump (such as Leotheras), the boss will quite often go after the Searing Totem if it is in range, giving the tank extra time to pick him up.

Water Totems
Mana Tide is quite lovely. For most boss fights you'll be able to use it twice, so drop it when your group's mana is around 75%; you'll have it again for later. If your potion and Mana Tide cooldowns are both up, use Mana Tide first.

In a raid situation, you will usually want to keep Mana Spring Totem down, even if it's only for yourself.

For 5-man groups I generally prefer Healing Stream Totem. This totem, like Earth Shield, gets its power based on your +healing when it is cast. Whenever I do heroics I wear my burst trinkets and pop them right before I drop the totem. Warlocks absolutely love this, and it's great for helping to clean up any incidental AOE damage your group takes.

UI Introduction

I feel that the default Blizzard UI is somewhat inadequate; a well-designed Shaman UI will make a spectacular difference in the effectiveness of your healing. The choice of what mods to use is a very personal one, and I don't expect anyone to follow what I am going to describe below 100%.

Mods are updated frequently, and it is often very frustrating after a content patch to discover that your UI is broken. There are several websites out there that track current versions of mods, and let you set up a 'favorites' section so that you can see if there are updates at a glace, or even subscribe to e-mail updates. Here are three of the most popular ones:

Curse.com
wowui.incgamers.com
wowinterface.com

Even more notable is the WowAce project:

Wowace.com/wiki/main_page

This is a very large collection of mods that are all built upon the Ace2 libraries, which are efficient extensions to the scripting language used to create mods. The key is that they have created a downloadable program, The WoWAce Updater, which you can run on your computer, and with a few keystrokes update and install all your Ace2 mods in one shot.

Although there are a few bad mods hosted by the project, I have found that a great deal of them are top-notch quality, and over the months I have replaced many mods with their Ace2 equivalents. In addition, since all these mods are based on the same fundamental libraries, they have a very consistent user interface between them.

Many of the Ace2 mods are under heavy development, and once in a while you will update your mods to discover that something is broken. This doesn't happen very often, and it's never been so bad that I couldn't perform that night, but it is annoying when it happens.

I will enumerate many specific mods in the following sections. If I indicate they are Ace2, you should use WoWAce Updater to download and install them. I will also try to list non-Ace alternatives if I think they are quality.

Totem Timers
It is essential that you have some UI to show you what totems you have dropped, and how much time they have left before they need to be refreshed. Blizzard has promised for years to build in some kind of totem tracking into the default UI, and never delivered.

TotemTimers - I have been using this mod for a very long time and I quite like it. It shows icons for each totem type with timer information below them. It also has icons to show the number of charges left on your elemental shields; water/lightning shield on yourself, and whoever you last cast your Earth Shield on. It also shows time left on weapon buffs and the cooldown on your Ankh.

Yata - (Ace2) - A strong alternative to TotemTimers. It uses bars to show the cooldowns of totems. I personally prefer TotemTimers but this is also very good, and I suggest trying it out. It does not as of this writing track elemental shields.

Earth Shield Tracking
Earth Shield Tracker - Earth shield tracker | Downloads

It helps a lot to know how many charges of Earth Shield are left on the tank, or whether it has expired so you can re-cast it. TotemTimers has this built-in, but if you use Yata or something else, try this mod

Action Bars
We have dozens of spells, more spells that will fit on the Blizzard UI frames. The following mods are highly customizable alternatives and I strongly recommend using one of them.

Bartender - (Ace2)
Bongos - Bongos2 | Downloads

Unit Frames
These mods replace the default unit frames (player, party, target, etc.) with frames that convey much more information.

X-Perl Unit Frames - X-Perl UnitFrames | Downloads
PitBull - (Ace2)

I personally prefer X-Perl, but PitBull is also very, very good, if slightly unstable. The key features here are better display of buffs and debuffs, health deficit (which shows how much damage someone has taken), and combat log information superimposed right on the frames. It would take a guide in itself to enumerate all the neat features these mods have. I suggest trying X-Perl first, it is somewhat easier to get set up and running, but look at them both.

Grid - (Ace2)
GridSideIndicators - (Ace2)

X-Perl and Pitbull will also show raid frames, however I think Grid blows them both out of the water. Grid can take a little time to get used to; your entire raid is shown as a grid of squares, with dots and other indicators showing damage, buffs, debuffs, etc. It will take some tinkering to get everything set up just the way you want it, I suggest playing some games of Alterac Valley to see what all the settings do.

I like to customise the indicator dots to reflect the buffs I am most interested in. Standard Grid has 4 dots you can set up, in each corner. GridSideIndicators gives you 4 additional dots between them. My current setup has Earth Shield in the lower right corner, Aggro in the upper right, incoming heals in lower left, and poison/disease in upper right. Then I have air totem buffs at top, water totem buffs at bottom, and earth totem buffs at right. By having my totems show up on Grid I can easily tell if everyone in my group is in range.

ORA2 - (Ace2)

For years players used CTRaidAssist to communicate raid status using a special mod channel. This allows for things like MT Targets, Resurrection Monitor, notification of incoming heals, and other information. ORA2 is an Ace2 mod that is compatible with the CTRaid protocol, just install it and forget about it.

Click Casting
Reaction time is crucial to being an effective healer. When most people start out they use the mouse to target people, and then a keybinding to heal them. However, the delay between targeting and casting is not insignificant, and if you are not careful you can accidentally cast the heal on your previous target, not the current one. However, there are quality mods out there which will let you cast healing spells on people with just a single click; the mouse button you use combined with an optional modifier key (shift, alt, ctrl, etc.) determines what spell is cast. I personally use and swear by Clique, but Healbot Continued is a popular alternative.

Clique + Grid - Clique + Grid | Downloads
Healbot - HealBot Continued | Downloads

Having a mouse with lots of buttons helps a lot here. This is my current Clique configuration:

right-click - Lesser Healing Wave 7
Mouse Button 4 - Chain Heal 5
Mouse Button 5 - Healing Wave 12
Shift-right-click - Cure Disease
Shift-left-click - Cure Poison

I have another mouse button bound to a variation of my Nature's Swiftness+Healing Wave macro, using the normal blizzard keybinding UI. The only change is the last line:

Code:
/cast [target=mouseover] Healing Wave

This will insta-heal whatever unit my mouse is hovering over; since it is bound to a mouse button it works like it was part of Clique, even though it isn't.

You can set up Clique to only affect certain unit-frames. For example, I have LHW bound to right-click. Since right-click is also used to pull up a menu when you click on the player or target frame, I set Clique to only use the Grid unitframes and ignore everything else. You can use the same mouse buttons to perform other actions; e.g. if Mouse Button 4 is also bound to my mount, I will mount up if I'm not hovering the cursor over a raid frame, and cast Chain Heal if I am.

I use Clique alongside my normal key bindings. What I typically do is have the MT targeted, and use my key bindings to heal the tank. I then use click-casting to heal the raid so that I don't have to change targets from the MT. This is why I don't have downranked spells set up with Clique; I only downrank when healing the tank so it's not needed.

Stopcasting

[NOTE] This technique will be obsolete in 2.3

This is something of an advanced trick. Spell haste in general is not nearly as useful for healers as it is for casters, since we are often not chain-casting heals. In order to maximize this you need to spend an inordinate amount of time watching your cast bar, when it might be better to be paying attention to health bars. However, for completion's sake I'll explain it anyway.

Anytime you cast a spell, there is a short delay between when you press the button and the casting bar actually starts moving; this is due to network lag. Hence, the spell will actually complete casting slightly before the casting bar expires. You can test this for yourself; cast a spell, and at the last split-second, jump or move. The spell will go off anyway. This lag is also why if you Earth Shock a caster at the last moment, your UI will say you interrupted the spell, even though you clearly didn't.

Quartz - (Ace2) - http://www.wowace.com/wiki/Quartz

For quite a while now DPS casters have found a technique to get around this wasted time, and you can do this with healing too. The first step is to install the Ace2 mod Quartz, which is an enhanced casting bar. You will see that when casting a spell, the end of the cast bar has a red-shaded area. This is the wasted time.

The last step is to make a macro that begins with "/stopcasting" and then casts your spell, something like this:

Code:
/stopcasting
/cast Chain Heal

This technique is most useful when you are doing volume-oriented healing. There are plenty of situations where you would want, for example, to pump out as many chain heals as possible, and this will give you that extra edge.

Healing Meters
SW Stats
Recount - (Ace2)

SW Stats has been around for quite a while and is very good. Recount is a new mod that is flat-out amazing, it gives almost as much detail as a full WowWebStats parse. Recount is, however, under extremely heavy development and if you use it, update it often and expect bugs. Once it stabilizes I believe Recount will be, hands down, the mod of choice for measuring performance.

You will want it to show Effective Healing (i.e. total healing - overheal) with healing done out-of-combat filtered out. Healing meters are a tool, not a contest. I use it to evaluate my performance healing with respect to the other healers, and to influence decisions on gear and efficiency. I had written earlier about how you can sometimes be too efficient; healing meters will let you know if you are still pulling your weight with respect to the other healers. If you really want some in-depth analysis of your whole raid's performance, also be sure to try out WoW Web Stats: Wow Web Stats

Earth Shield does not count towards your total, it is credited to the tank you put it on. Healing Stream totem doesn't show up either, it gets credited to itself as another unit.

All healing meters don’t work well unless several people in the raid have the same mod installed; in that case, a synchronization channel is used to keep everyone's numbers accurate. Most guilds have chosen which mod they like to use, the more people synchronized the better.

I must stress that these meters are not a contest; it's not like damage meters where all the dps classes have the same task (pew pew the boss) and are trying to outdo each other. Position on healing meters doesn't usually correlate with the skill of the healer, laying down the right heals at the right time is much more important than sheer quantity. The only metric you should use is whether people you were in charge of keeping up died or not.

For an excellent discussion on healers becoming too focused on healing meters, visit this thread: cooling healers on healing meters.

Other Mods
I have been using ProcWatch to track the observed procs per minute of a variety of effects, such as Spellsurge, meta gems, and trinkets.

Focus
Blizzard added a new unit type "focus" in 2.0. You can set your target to be focused with the /focus command. However Blizzard did NOT add a UI frame for the focused target; but most of the good unit frame mods out there (including X-Perl, which is what I use) pop up a unit frame for the focused mob or player once it is set. X-Perl puts also puts a casting bar inside the focused unit frame so you can see when it is casting. You can write macros that cast spells on the focused target, if it exists; use [target=focus].

How is this useful? Basically, it lets me keep an eye on a particular unit at all times. If I'm healing but also tasked with Earth Shock duty to interrupt spell casts, (Aran, Romeo & Juliet, Mechanar Robots) this makes it much easier. If I need to keep my Summoned Earth Elemental healed, I focus it since we don't get a pet frame. In Arcatraz I focus Millhouse Manastorm so I can see when his health gets low. Try it out!

Gear
stamina - Get enough that your hit points are around 7k unbuffed, otherwise ignore it. Some fights you might want a little more (Gruul, Aran, Doomwalker) but in general 7k is sufficient. There are some encounters where stamina is a non-issue, but most TBC fights have enough incidental damage that you need to be able to take a moderate beating and live through it. The same principle applies to heroic trash; every once in a while a loose mob will take a swing at you and with enough health and armor you'll live long enough for the tank to pick it up. At the tier 5 and above level you will need even more stamina, but assuming you have been taking upgrades along the way you will get what you need.

+healing - I think you will need to have over +1000 for Karazhan and heroics, but this is not hard to get--the more the better. With a good enchanted/gemmed set of heroic blues and Karazhan epics it's not hard at all to exceed 1500, and you'll need that much for Tier 5 content.

I highly recommend the Ace2 mod DrDamage, it shows a comprehensive breakdown on your spell tooltips that shows how +healing and other stats affects them.

http://www.wowace.com/wiki/DrDamage

mana/5 - Anything over 100 is probably fine for heroics and T4-level encounters (Karazhan, Gruul, etc). I try to keep mine around 150. 100 mp5 is roughly equal to drinking a super mana potion every 2 minutes.

When I was gearing up I tried to maintain a 1:10 mp5 to healing ratio, but maintaining this probably isn't necessary beyond a certain threshold. You will eventually reach a point where your regen feels 'good enough' for most fights and you'd rather work on other stats; as explained below you'll begin to collect 2 different sets. Having said that, when you are initially gearing yourself up the 1:10 mp5:healing ratio is a very useful metric.

intellect - Shoot for 9-9.5k unbuffed. Intellect is important but really it's not the size of your mana pool that counts, it's the staying power. The value of intellect (as compared to mp5) is inversely proportional to the length of the fight. Taking no other buffs into consideration, we get these numbers:

1 mp5 = 2 intellect for a 2.5 minute fight
1 mp5 = 4 intellect for a 5 minute fight
1 mp5 = 8 intellect for a 10 minute fight

However, remember that Mana Tide Totem restores 24% of your total mana when dropped, every 5 minutes. In addition, Blessing of Kings boosts our intellect by 10%. Taking both of these into consideration gives the following numbers:

1 mp5 = 1.47 Intellect for a 2.5 minute fight (assuming 1 mana tide)
1 mp5 = 2.93 Intellect for a 5 minute fight (assuming 1 mana tide)
1 mp5 = 4.91 Intellect for a 10 minute fight (assuming 2 mana tides)

Don't forget that we also get 3 points of +healing for every 10 points of intellect. Check out the Ace2 add-on RegenFu; it will show in real-time the correspondence between intellect, spirit. and mp5 for each fight individually, and aggregate stats for the whole raid.

spirit - Spirit is fairly worthless since we do not have talents that allow us to regen from it while inside the FSR. RegenFu tells me that i spend about 80% or more of combat time within the FSR; consequently 1 point of mp5 is worth about 11 spirit. A lot of cloth and leather healing gear has spirit instead of mp5 on it, vendor it.

spell crit - We have one talent, Ancestral Healing, which benefits from spell crit gear. In addition, the 4-Piece Tier 5 set bonus also procs off spell crits. Just from intellect and talents you will have around a 12-15% critical strike chance with healing spells. Spell crit is featured on many pieces of our T5 healing set; initially this dismayed me but by the time you start collecting T5 your regen will have reached a 'sweet spot' such that you are likely more interested in boosting your burst healing anyway.

I have been equating 1 spell crit rating = 1 healing for evaluating gear. This equivalence depends on your current +healing and crit rating. The mod DrDamage will tell you the exact numbers for whatever gear you are wearing.

spell haste - The general opinion of the highly-progressed shamans I have spoken to is that spell haste gear is pretty lame, and costs an excessive amount of itemization points. Almost all the spell haste drops in Black Temple have no mana/5 on them, making it a very large sacrifice. We aren't always chain-casting like a mage, and although getting a few tenths of a second off chain heal is nice, it's not worth losing 40-50 mana/5. Most people really like the 4-piece Cataclysm bonus, but the non-set drops in BT (except for the ring) might as well get sharded. However, with the significant buffs to Shaman mana regeneration in 2.3, spell haste may become much more attractive.

Eventually you'll collect 2 sets of gear (with a fair amount of intersection between them), one that stacks tons of +healing for trash pulls and short fights, and a more balanced set with plenty of mp5 for the long fights and raid bosses. The length of the fight, the intensity of healing needed, the presence of a shadow priest in your group, and your job during the fight (raid or MT healing) will all play a part in deciding what gear to wear for a given situation.

Enchants / Gems
Once you start getting nice weapons you'll want to decide what enchant you want. +30 intellect isn't amazing, but it has the advantage of being very cheap. I think the best choices are +81 healing or Spellsurge, which is worth about 7-9 mp5 per caster in group that has it. You can't go wrong with either.

Lately I have been using a mod CasterWeaponSwapper to use Spellsurge and +81 healing simultaneously. Spellsurge has a hidden 50-second cooldown, so when the cooldown is active, my +81 healing weapon is equipped. Once the cooldown is up my Spellsurge weapon is swapped in just long enough for it to proc again.

My favorite gem is a Royal Nightseye; with +9 healing and 2 mp5, it is fantastic for shamans; be sure to pick up the epic version in heroic Slave Pens as well.

I also like to use the Insightful Earthstorm Diamond meta gem. It has no internal cooldown but with a 2% proc rate performance can vary. Last night in SSC I got 0.28 procs per minute of combat, making the meta gem worth about 7 mp5; not incredible but definitely not bad either. The only downside to this meta gem is that it requires 2 yellow gems. I am not a huge fan of +intellect gems, but there is an epic green gem that drops in heroic Shadow Labyrinth that has spell crit and mp5 on it.

A breakdown of specific gear to get is beyond the scope of this Guide, but these two threads are an excellent resource
WoW Forums -> Doc's Non-Raid Resto Mail and Gear Guide
WoW Forums -> GUIDE: Shaman Healing Gear for Raiders II

Trinkets
Get 2 solid burst trinkets. i absolutely love these:
Warp Scarab Brooch
Essence of the Martyr

When just starting out, these two Green quest reward trinkets are less powerful versions of the above:
Heavenly Inspiration
Oshu'gun Relic

Earth Shield and Healing Stream Totem get their power at the time they were cast; drop wrath of air, pop both of these, and my Healing Stream Totem will tick for 150+, with similarly impressive results from Earth Shield.

If you want to take this to the extreme, invest in a set of green +healing gear, and swap it in using ItemRack when you put on Earth Shield, and swap it back out to your normal gear.

[TODO] Much has been said about other trinkets I have no direct experience with, such as Pendant of the Violet Eye or Eye of Gruul. Fold other people's remarks into this section.

The Fathom-Brooch of the Tidewalker in SSC (Fathom-Brooch of the Tidewalker - Items - World of Warcraft) has a 15% proc rate with a 45 second cooldown. After recording procs using the mod ProcWatch, over an entire raid it had a once a minute proc rate and is worth about 27 MP5; an awesome trinket indeed.

I also recommend Scarab of the Infinite Cycle (Scarab of the Infinite Cycle - Items - World of Warcraft) to pair with your Essence of the Martyr if you want to stack +healing for trash clearing.

Consumables
When i was learning to play my resto shaman, I chugged potions a lot. As you learn to manage your mana you will find yourself doing this less and less. Cheapskate tip: use Unstable Mana Potions, not Super ones. I also carry around Major Mageblood, Fel Mana Potions, Adept's Elixir, Healing Power Elixir, and when learning bosses flask of mighty restoration. Alchemy, by the way, is probably the easiest crafting trade skill in the game to max out, i did it in a weekend and spent almost no money.

Running Dungeons
I found that learning to heal right had a steep learning curve and it took some time to build confidence. When you're just starting out, make a list of all the 70 instances and run them until you have solo healed all of them. Then start running easy heroics like Slave Pens with a backup healer. Then start running heroics as solo healer.

I honestly feel that I learned the most about healing in Karazhan and heroic dungeons. As you are learning you will make mistakes, and since the tank-healer axis is the most critical part of the group, people will die when you screw up. As long as you look back on a wipe and understand what happened that made things go wrong, you will be a better healer because of it.

It's not always your fault. The healer is the last line of defense against a wipe; if the tanking falters or the DPS play poorly, you will be making up for their slack. If you are in a group that wipes a lot, or you are gasping for mana after each pull, look at what the other players are doing before you start blaming yourself. Is the DPS assisting each other and focusing on one target at a time? Are players tasked with crowd control doing their job? Is the tank making sure that loose mobs aren't running around? Are your group members positioning themselves properly? A good healer can compensate for many mistakes that people make, but if your group is generally clueless there isn't much you can do except say "Sorry guys, this doesn't seem to be working out," and Astral Recall.

In 25-man raids, you will likely be assigned to raid healing rather than MT healing. Although shamans are in no way gimped when it comes to single-target healing, chain heal is truly amazing. Situationally you may be assigned other healing tasks; whatever it is that your raid leader tells you to do, DO IT! Do it even if you think your task is misguided; part of the raid leader's job is to refine strategy based on what she thinks everyone in the raid is doing, and how effective it was. If you're doing something other than what she told you to do, it will make it much harder for her to effectively analyze a wipe.

In addition to following your raid leader's instructions, you need to have open lines of communication with the other healers in your raid. Having a tightly coordinated, synergistic healing team is many times more effective than the same people just randomly doing their own thing. You should also take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other healing classes, to understand where you fit in the big picture.

Finally, 25-man raids require a high degree of situational awareness. It is very frustrating to wipe over an over because some people are bad at Frogger, or can't seem to not walk into the giant %%@!ing laser beam, or blow up their teammates because they weren't spread out enough. Make sure you aren't spending all your time staring at health bars; you need to know what's going on around you and be sure you are positioned correctly. Personal responsibility is very big in TBC raiding, with many bosses causing a wipe with even just one death.

Shadow Priests
Make friends with these. Teamed with one you are a heroic dungeon healing powerhouse. In addition to Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch, they can cleanse magic and pop out of Shadowform for some clutch heals. You can get really sloppy with your mana efficiency with one around and still not run out of mana, while at the same time banging out some fat heals. I definitely try to bring one when doing an unfamiliar heroic, and for some heroics (Mana-tombs, Shadow Labyrinth) I almost always bring one. You should also learn to do without, however.

Offspec
Keep any good off-spec pieces of gear you find. Lots of good pieces drop in raids that would otherwise get disenchanted; if it costs little or no DKP, snag it! It is really fun to be able to take a break from healing for a weekend and chuck lightning bolts instead. We *are* hybrids after all!

Don't be a *!%% and take gear that others in the raid would use for their primary spec. If a piece of gear would not have helped you kill the boss that dropped it, defer to others.

Farming
The daily quests introduced in 2.1 are a blessing; many of them don't require much combat and you can make some decent coin doing them. Herbalism is also a nice money-maker. If you need to grind mobs for whatever reason you're going to want to claw your eyes out; you're almost indestructible but it takes forever to kill anything. Wearing elemental gear helps, but your best bet is to respec for a weekend, or do it on your alt.

PVP:
PVP is a very different style of healing and is beyond the scope of this Guide. This guide here by Rorixx is very nice:

WoW Forums -> Resto shaman views from a top 5 5v5 team

If you can get an arena team, by all means have some fun and PVP! Even if you suck and only do 10 games a week, you'll eventually get enough points to buy some of the best gear in the game; the Season 2 weapons in particular are to die for. Healbotting your friends in Battlegrounds is also quite a bit of fun as well.

Conclusion
I hope this guide has been useful to you. Feel free to leave comments, and good luck!


*reson for edit - some links was'nt working for addons so uploaded them to my mediafile account links are now working, if u find any links not working report them below i'll fix asap.
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Re: PvE Healing

Post  Deadroe on Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:55 pm

#showtooltip Lesser Healing Wave
/cast [modifier:alt,target=player] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=target,help] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=targettarget,help] Lesser Healing Wave; [target=player] Lesser Healing Wave

This macro in particular is a great idea. Thanks!
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