So the other night I was blackmailed, yes that sounds right blackmailed, into getting my shaman to turn his off-spec from Enhancement to Restoration. With my main toon who goes everywhere as a healer I was reluctant to commit my only other end game level toon to the same ordeal. Don’t get me wrong, I love healing, but at times you need to do something different.

So here is my Elemental Shaman preparing to heal a raid group in the same gear he does dps in, and I will say now that gear is terrible, a mix-match of crafted items, a few EoT Pieces, even a few blues with a shamble of Engineering Enhancments thrown on and half the gear not gemmed or enchanted. Now his dps isn’t bad .. around 3k which is enough for him in heroics (never planned on him really raiding), so I wasn’t expecting much on the healing front.

As we worked on downing Ignis, as usual I didn’t have a lot of time to watch moment by moment the meters, but I was more then pleasantly surprised at the end when I showed up on the top of the healing meters even if it was only by 1%. Now from experience I know that healing meters don’t truly show anything, but they are useful to gauge if you are doing your part. The people I run with traditionally have 3 healers for a 10 man, it may be overkill but its a safety net that doesn’t let us down, and in this case the other two were a disc priest and another shammy. I didn’t think I had done to badly for first time ever healing on the shammy.

After the raid I did a dungeon and while I did forget to pay attention to how my mana usage was going, I wasn’t in any sort of real worry about not keeping up. While I have to play more now as healing on the shaman to get used to it I can say right off the bat that they are a lot simpler then a Druid.

I am not saying Druids are complicated but from the fact is that shammies just have less spells available to them. When I’m playing the druid I have a whole range of options available on longer casts, Hots and Multi-Heals, and surprisingly I tend to make the use of nearly every spell … probably with the exception of Healing Touch which only seems to get used with Natures Swiftness in an “Oh Shit” moment. With the shammy I have most of those healing options but seemingly less variety, and when I heal with the shammy it feels like I am only spamming 2 buttons.

The question is though .. is this all a trick of my mind? I’ve had priests who tell me they think druid healing is easier, shammies who believe priest healing is easier, and Paladins who ask me “what do I mean how many buttons do they press, isn’t there only 1?”. So are large varieties of healing options in any one class tree  excess bloat or balanced variety of choice? and more importantly does that excess of choice enhance or detract from gameplay?

I’d like to think that for the majority of healers having a range of tools at their disposal to pick and choose from would enhance gameplay and be considered good balance rather than bloat , but I also know where my focus lies and what I am not interested in which always makes a choice biased.