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Healing in WOD

The beta hasn’t even hit yet, so everything can change. I’ve been saying for a while that I can’t wait for WOD. It looks awesome. But I have some pretty strong reactions to the proposed healer changes.

This is all from a Resto Druid standpoint, since that’s my primary healer.

Issue #1: Nerf to instant-heals

Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players’ ability to counter healing in PvP. This left silences and crowd control (which we’re trying to curb—see “Pruning the Garden of War”) as the only ways to actually limit an enemy player’s healing output. We’re still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Here are some examples:

Druid

  • Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Monk

  • Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Paladin

  • Eternal Flame and Word of Glory now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy.
  • Light of Dawn now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Priest

  • Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time.
  • Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Druids have been the most mobile healers in the game. Healing on the run is how we roll. Adding an instant cast to our WG spell pretty much kills our big insta-AOE heal. This is a HUGE change for druids that use the Soul of the Forest talent. With this talent, I SM and WG together. So the question is, does the talent activate on the cast time now, INSTEAD of the HoT ticks?! If so, this talent will be useless again.

(For the non-druids out there, SOTF: Cast swiftmend and next spell = +100% haste)

SOO in 6.0 is going to suck. Let’s pile on the Dev Aura’s on Thokk! Oh and on all the movement fights? No more heals for anyone on … all the fights! Those farm bosses just got a lot harder folks.

(I’m thinking we’re going to be done raiding when 6.0 hits, unless Blizzard re-tunes the fights to accommodate these changes – which they mentioned they would, but we’ll see)

At least we’re keeping rejuv and lifebloom instant. Now our only AOE instant is the shroom bloom. Which brings me to…..

Issue #2: Wild Mushrooms.

To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing creature damage. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. [...]

[...] Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

Blizzard is nerfing throughput so healers don’t overheal. However, our mushrooms rely on overhealing! How the foo are we supposed to bloom them?? Not to mention, this renders our T16 2-pc bonus useless in early WOD dungeons.

Issue #3: Removal of Spells

Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay.

On the surface, this doesn’t look like a huge deal. But let me remind everyone of what Resto Druids have for Mastery. It’s a buff called Harmony, which has to be actively maintained with direct healing spells. I’ve used nourish to keep this spell up if my Swiftmend is on CD. Ok, I’ll have to use RG more (which is more mana intensive). But as it is, I still don’t manage 100% uptime (I’m in the high 90%’s usually). This needs to be passive, Blizzard. We’re the ONLY healers that have to actively maintain our friggin’ mastery. Not cool!

Some healers are going to rejoice. The ones that “love a challenge”. I’ll probably try it out as we’re leveling through dungeons. But I’m leaning a bit toward dps’ing next xpac. I’m not one of the rejoicers. These changes have me worried. Very worried.

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  1. Myranda
    March 11, 2014 at 5:47 am

    I’m still waffling between making my offspec tank or heals in WoD. I went heals this expansion and I’ve been asked to heal exactly 0 times. If this is really the healpocalypse, perhaps it’ll be tank for me.

    I’ve even toyed with the idea of going back to tank full time, but oh how’d I miss the deeps.

    • March 11, 2014 at 5:49 am

      for the rest of SOO I’d suggest a tank OS. For WOD we have enough main tanks I think, so keep being awesome at dps! :)

      • Myranda
        March 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

        I’m so far behind actually getting a tank set together, I doubt I’ll manage to be useful in WoD. I literally don’t have a single piece of gear. I could probably get Timeless gear pretty quick, but I don’t have much interest in doing anymore LFR.

      • Myranda
        March 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

        I meant to type “I doubt I’ll be useful for SoO”

  2. March 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Well we do have flex nights :) … and it looks like SOO will still be out for a while, and so during the weeks we have to reset, any plate tanky stuff pretty much would go to you instead of DE. :P

    • Myranda
      March 11, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Okay. I’ll switch my offspec and start working towards that. Maybe that’ll make doing old bosses fun again if there’s potential gear (albeit offspect) for me to look forward to. I also have pretty much infinite charms, so I could start using those.

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