... when you never die?
My shaman is my secondary project to Kvasira and at a mighty mighty level 73, I spend a good portion of my time soloing, trying to catch up to Boon's DK, who keeps outleveling me because he's mean.
Now, I am FIRMLY in the camp that ANY class/spec combination is soloable. You just have to know how to do it. (This explains how my holy/disc priest leveled as holy/disc.)
When I hit outlands, I shifted from enhancement to restoration on my shaman. This involved me dying a lot as I tried to figure out how to solo things as a healy shaman.
I got some very good advice from Shougeki over at You Wake It... namely, "Earth Shield, Searing Totem, Flametongue Weapon, Auto-Attack and read a book."
I spice this up with the occasional lightning bolt, or if there are more than one mob, chain lightning.
Sometimes I go on full lazy mode and literally do just that. Earth shield, totems, weapon, auto-attack, and read a page or two in a book.
Sometimes I pay attention, especially if they are casters. Or if I get more than just one mob attacking me.
There are variations in the game of soloing as a restoration shaman. Sometimes it's more fun (and geez, who wants to have fun?) but it does take more effort and management than auto-attacking.
Restoration shaman have so many tricks up their sleeves for surviving ... something I knew from my attempts to kill the (insert horrible curse word here) in battlegrounds ...
I regularly go riding boldly through mobs and mobs of enemies because I know if I get knocked off my mount and have to kill six or seven of them, I can do it.
(Of course, that rational doesn't hold true necessarily if I'm on someone else, and I still ride boldly through mobs and mobs of enemies... because I'm insane.)
My amazing survivability soloing as my shaman has led me to be rather confident in my ability to solo elites. Now, I'm not STUPID (contrary to public opinion) and I know that I can't solo everything, because there are things that hit me for more than I have health. Earth Shield can't heal that much!
But I'd like to see a holy priest survive through that! Hah! Not when you have to use massive amounts of mana to DPS... that or you take forever with PW:Shield, SW:Pain, Wand-Wand-Wand-Wand... (not that restoration shaman are much faster on 'auto-play', but at least we have the option of playing faster!)
I find myself alternating between water shield and earth shield, lightning bolting and earth/fire shocking, riptide and mana tide totem/mana stream totem... oh the endless possibilities! (Okay, not really, but it's still fun.)
The only times I die is when I have to idle and I park myself somewhere for a minute and come back to death. Or in instances when the tank can't keep mobs off of me! You'd think wearing mail armor I'd be a little more crunchy than squishy, but apparently not.
And for people out there, I have a question for you. Or rather, a scenario.
You're a healing shaman. Most healing (and elemental) shaman wear a shield and a one hander. You're healing an instance and a staff drops with a crapton (that's a real measurement, at least in Urban Dictionary it is) of spell power on it.
No one else wants it. You look at it and you say to yourself, "That would give me almost 300 more mana and close to 200 more healing power (or so ratingsbuster says. Does anyone know if RatingsBuster looks at offhand items/shields as well as the main hand that it being replaced, if you're replacing a one hander/offhander with a two-hander?).
I ask if I can take it. Everyone except the mage says sure and grats. The mage tells me I'm a moron because shaman use shields.
My immediate thought is 'what level is your shaman, punk?!' but I didn't say it because you never know... My next thought was, 'I'm not going to use the big staff for soloing, because then I lose a crapton of armor from the shield. But if I'm in an instance and I'm healing and I'm not (theorhetically) being hit, why do I need a shield, exactly?'.
I however, didn't say anything.
What is your take on it? On that scenario? Do you pass on something that is an upgrade in what you're DOING, even if it isn't classically what someone of your class should be using?
This is very evident in terms of downgrading armor. Warlocks, Mages and Priests have no choice, they can only wear cloth.
But everyone else has the option of downgrading armor, even if the stats are otherwise better. I say, unless you're the TANK where high armor is very very important, it makes complete sense to downrank your armor if you're upgrading other things.
Granted, you may not want to solo in it, but for instances or when you aren't being hit, why not?
Sure, a shaman can USE shields, but if it doesn't give me the bonus that some other combination (or singular item) does it make sense to use it if I don't need the armor as much as I need the +healing/+intellect?
People who are rigid like that really frustrate me sometimes, because I said to myself, I could wipe the floor with you, little gnome, if only you knew who you were dealing with! Rawr.
I can use whatever the heck I want to use as long as it doesn't negatively effect my gameplay/ability to keep you alive, so BITE ME.