A foray into 10 HM...
Now that we're doing t12, my guild put together a 10-raid for HM Blackwing Descent. Perhaps regular modes have been nerfed all to hell (and they have, they have) but HMs are still--wait for it--hard.
The group was really cobbled together with the folks who happened to be on on Saturday. So it was my absolute favorite healing composition (two holy paladins + anything else) (sarcasm alert!), but we made it work. Only kinda, though, since we didn't get any bosses down. But I had expected as much, since we hadn't touched a single Hardmode yet this expansion and none of us had really researched the fights yet.
But even so, it gave me a chance to see my mastery gear working in a 10-group. At first, I went in my hybrid gear (17% mastery, 1000+ haste, more crit) and used my Tower of Radiance spec, but after a couple of wipes I switched to my "main" set and to my non-ToR spec.
A couple of reasons why: In a raid with the haste buff, the difference between 970 haste and 1200 or so haste is... not noticeable. Perhaps you get an extra Holy Radiance tick (a handy chart would be neat, but I digress), but the cast time on direct heals is the same either way. And in 10-raids, Holy Radiance isn't quite the I-Win button it is in 25's.
My "off spec" gear is lower i-level. I ran into this problem before, in Icecrown Citadel, trying to keep up a FoL set (haste to soft cap, stack spellpower) with random pieces of gear. Except, I never had a full offset so some of my pieces were still gemmed for intellect. So it wasn't a true specialist set, it was entirely cobbled together, and the real kicker: lower average i-level. I lost so much to put that gear on. I ended up using it Saurfang while we were progressing and that's about it. Once it felt on farm, I didn't bother.
I feel much the same way with my "haste and spirit" set now. I lose 4-pc t11 bonus, several thousand intellect, and 7% bubblage for... a couple hundred haste, an extra % or so crit, and... wait for it... all those i-level drops actually give me less spirit. Because this all off-set gear, old gear, lower i-level. All my new stuff is part of my mastery set.
A part of this is that it isn't a true offset. I still have too many pieces that are reforged for mastery, so instead of being a second specialist set, it still favors mastery while not favoring it enough.
And I do believe that I would be saying the opposite, if I had cobbled together a mastery offset, if I had half-assed it and coming up with 15% bubblage instead of 24%, I would not be the mastery cheerleader that I am right now.
A part of me dies every time I cheerlead for mastery. But the point is: your best gear will probably give you the best results. And why this is news for me, well, I haven't had my coffee yet.
Is there a point to all this? I really thought I had one but now that I'm here, I don't. I was able to "compete" with the other healers in my mastery gear, though we had to do healing assignments to work around me and I do not like being in that position. We had the other healadin beacon the tank, focus the raid, while I beaconed the adds tank and focused on the main tank. Sometimes I was a bit overwhelmed by the damage, but for the most part I wasn't. I never thought "whew, glad I got all this mastery" or anything.
I'm going to have to do some research for next weekend. I'm really not motivated to reforge my gear for one run on the weekend just to switch it back for the week, but we'll see what happens.