For not wanting to spoil the WotLK I certainly do a lot of peeking.  What caught my eye most recently is the most recent talent trees for the shaman.  It seems that Spirit Link is gone and has been replaced with Riptide.  Riptide’s HoT gives us another small HoT to play with along Earthliving heal, but that what really got me was the healing crit percentage and it’s affect on our mana regen.  First, lets get familiar with the talents I will be discussing.

Restoration:
Improved Water shield Rank 3/3 – When you gain a critical effect from your healing wave or lesser healing wave spells you have a 100% chance to consume a water shield orb.

Tidal Force Rank 1/1 – Increase the critical effect of your healing wave, lesser healing wave and chain heal by 60%. Each critical reduces the chance by 20%. Last 20 seconds.

Tidal Mastery Rank 5/5 – Increase the critical effect chance of your healing and lighting spells by 5%.

Blessing of the Eternals Rank 2/2 – Increase the critical effect chance of your spells by 4% and increase the chance to apply the Earthliving heal over time on the target by 80% when the target is at or under 35% health.

Enhancement:

Improved Shields Rank 3/3 – Increase the damage done by your lighting shield orbs by 15%, increase the amount of mana gained from your water shield orbs by 15% and increase the amount of healing done by your earth shield orbs by 15%.

You can see there is a lot of talk about crit and water shield in these talents. Hers is where I believe the fun is going to be had.  Let’s take a look at a post patch/expansion tier 4 resto shaman for instance.

Joe Resto:

HP: 9k

MP: 10k

Crit: 9%

Now with the base talents Joe Resto will be looking at an increase of crit by 5% from Tidal Mastery and 4% from Blessing of the Eternals.  This will put Joe at a base crit % of 18%.  Granted, this might not be a huge crit %, but keep in mind that Joe is currently in his tier 4 resto shaman gear where there isn’t much crit to be had.  Now as Joe cast his rank 12 healing wave (no more down ranking) he has an 18% chance to crit which will guarantee him a 100% chance to proc a Water Shield orb giving him an additional 250mp. Let’s take a look at a simple, but unrealistic scenario.

100 casts of rank 12 healing wave = 684,000 mana (720,000 x .05 <Tidal Focus mana reduction>).

Normal Heal from rank 12 Healing Wave = 4.5k hp

Number of crits during 100 casts = 18

Normal heal from rank 12 Healing Wave crit = 9k

Water Shield Proc: 250mp

From this, we can caclulate the following:

Total Healing = 531,000 (369k normal heals, 162k crit heals)

Water Shield mp regen from Improved Water Shield = 4500 mp

Free Heals = 6.5 casts of rank 12 healing wave from mp gained from water shield

Granted these are not game breaking numbers, you could say, why is he even writing about this?  Stay with me now.

Well let’s now take into account a talent that I completely missed until now, Improved Shields.  This will grant the resto shaman a 15% increases in mana regen each time an orb is consumed.  Now let’s look at the numbers…

Water Shield Proc: = 287.5 mp

Water Shield mp regen from Improved Water Shield = 5175 mp

Free Heals = 7.5 casts of rank 12 healing wave from mp gained from water shield

Better, but still, why is he talking about this…I think he is going mad.  Here, let me tell a story.

Joe Resto is now healing a raid boss. He still has his tier 4 armor and is gaining 29 mp every 2 seconds from his mana stream totem.  He is chain casting healing wave to keep up with the damage when he cast Tidal Force.  Now for the next 20 seconds his crit chance is increased by 60/40/20.  This almost guarantees three crits in 20 seconds and three consumptions of water shield. 

Here is the break down of the next 20 seconds.

8 casts of rank 12 healing wave

10 pulses of mana stream totem

3 consumptions of water shield

Mana Stream totem mp regen total = 290 mp5

Water Shield mana regen = 862.5 (3 procs at 287.5 mp)

Total Mana Gained = 1152.5

5 cast of rank 12 healing wave = 20,000hp

3 crit cast of rank 12 healing wave = 18,000hp

Total healing = 38,000

Total mana used=8,208mp

Now that is some 20 seconds of healing.  Not only have we healed 38k in 20 seconds, but we have regenerated 14% of our mana used for that time period.  Now that is what I call nice.

Now, I am sure my math is off and I have probably totally confused you.  Heck I got confused writing this, but the one thing I can say is that adding the crit component to the resto shaman mix is going to make things very interesting.