I actually posted frequently about making earth shield baseline to help with tank healing in M+ and asked for a talent to improve earth shield instead. I, too am disappointed in this talent as it doesn’t do enough to replace echo of elements. The one recurring issue you’ll see shamans complain about is not having enough single target healing or cooldowns for M+ and a strong ES talent could fix that, but it has to provide that single target output.
I have a couple options that would make this far more useful based on my experience in M+
First off, and this is important, the consumption nature of this talent basically requires you to refresh ES at 3 stacks to ensure you have enough stacks to consume to get the full effect meaning you now have to re-apply ES after 6 procs which is like 16-20 seconds. At least give ES 12 base stacks so we’re re-applying at the same rate as shamans who don’t choose the talent, it’s already annoying enough as a maintenance buff. Think about it, it makes sense, do the right thing.
Now if you want to really make this talent competitive with Echo, consider one of the following:
1: Make it a powerful single target heal, and any overheal would be split between 3 targets close to the tank. The reason I’d ask for this is that it allows this talent to either be an AOE heal for up to 4 players or a very large heal for a single player. I’d even be willing to accept a 30+ sec cooldown
2: Base the split of the heal off the health of the tank. A tank at 99% health takes 1% and splits 99% evenly, a target at 50% health splits 50% and keeps 50%, a target at 1% health splits 1% and keeps 99%. Similar effect, and I’d still be happy even if it had the same 30 sec + cooldown.
This type of functionality would keep the flavor of shamans with heavy AOE heal focus and but still give us a shaman flavored swift mendy tank saver ability since we have fewer externals than most other healers.