Are Shaman Whiners?
I was going to post something about some of the (awesome) shaman changes in MoP – particularly that cool watery chain heal glyph – or maybe some of my adventures in mastering D3.
Instead, I pose that perennial question:
“Are Shaman players whiners?”
Are we constantly accusing Blizzard of “nerfing” our class or saying that we’re the red-headed stepchildren of WoW? Is our DPS just not as good as it should be (in our minds) or our Healing just not as oomphy?
The reason I pose this question is mostly due to some of the debate surrounding Ghostcrawler’s recent statements on percieved shaman “issues” in MoP, as well as the WoW Insider post on the matter. It sounds like most of the WoW community (and I’ve had this said to me in-game as well!) thinks of shaman as the perpetual whiners of Warcraft – and not without some reason, in my opinion.
I’ll admit; we whine ALOT. Elementals whine that they’re turret dps (they still are), restos whine that our healing sucks, and enhance…enhance whines about everything, right? In the shaman community, there always seems to be that underlying impression that Blizzard hates us and we are constantly just getting the nerf bat left and right (or just not getting buffs).
Even I get into this mentality, which to some extent, probably seems crazy. Whining “my healing sucks becuz of my class!” while being a consistently strong healer looks seriously silly.
Are shaman perfect? Of course not. But every class has its struggles. Let’s take an honest look at healers – Holy paladins might excel on the log reports, but alot of that is due to how their class functions (Beacon and Protector of the Innocent) and they suffer from the same turret healer issues as shaman and since the change to judgement, their mana pool isn’t quite as OP as it was. Disc priests also typically perform well on paper and they’re fabulous keeping overall raid HP high, but lack heavy burst AOE healing when it is needed (pre-stacking Divine Aegis in prep for an AOE damage burst almost counts, but not quite). Holy priests are excellent raid healers and jack of all trades type healers, but even with Serenity Chakra, their single target burst doesn’t compare to Pally, Shaman or even Disc. Druids have their own struggles with lack of heavy hitting single target heals, but have the ability, much like Disc, to keep overall raid HP higher with continuous Heals over Time spells. You could do a similar comparison with other roles and classes.
I’ve played all the healing classes and shaman remains my personal favorite. So, we obviously don’t suck -that- much.
Why the mentality then?
I think alot of it has to do with the history of the class. If you played a shaman back in Burning Crusade (I did), we were almost essential in a 25-man raid. We brought unique, powerful buffs in addition to dps/healing. I remember our raid leader back in BC bringing an enhance shaman in greens who did less DPS than a hunter pet because he simply buffed our hard-hitting melee dps so much that you could deal with the low DPS. Between heroism and chain heal, resto shaman were the go-to healers for the Sunwell, the end tier BC raid.
We had more utility and power compared to almost any other class. If you were lucky enough on Alliance-side to get a shaman, particularly a resto shaman, in your raiding group, you did your best to keep them there. I suspect ALOT of the arrogance the shaman community has as far as expected utility and power started back in BC.
And then, Blizzard started taking our buffs and giving them to other classes. It was largely a result of the move to “bring the player, not the class” — in that mentality, how could you have one class that brought so much to the table that no other class could bring? It happened slowly but by the beginning of Cataclysm, most shaman were looking at a class that felt gutted in comparison to the Burning Crusade incarnation. I’ve felt that way at times — my heroism isn’t the only heroism anymore, my buffs are provided by other classes. I can understand the whining that comes from feeling less than what you were.
Unlike other shaman, I personally feel that Mists does well to answer shaman concerns, at least from a resto shaman viewpoint. Blizzard took away our largely meaningless totems and is giving us totem cooldowns (Healing Tide totem, etc) that actually do something. In fact, much like in Burning Crusade, with the selection of the Call of the Elements talent (resetting totem cooldown ability), shaman become once again a class about powerful totem abilities.
We’re never going to be Burning Crusade shaman again, but if we can have that flavor back, I’ll be a happy shaman.
And I promise not to whine again — for maybe…1 patch??