Spirit, in my mind, is a crutch stat. Healers can stack spirit to the point where they don’t need to manage their mana. With the excessive amount of spirit that reforging can give you, healers many times no longer have the valuable skill of mana conservation. They don’t need to. And that is what I disagree with.
In my perfect WoW world, spirit would not have such a big effect on mana regen. Healers would start with more spirit regeneration when they hit max before gearing up. This would help with two things.
The first is that it would make healing at lower gear levels much easier to do, without simplifying the game. I remember, when I first hit max on my holy paladin, I was constantly running out of mana. Even using my Divine Plea, I went oom every pull. No mana on top of my already weak heals made healing very stressful and very hard. By making the mana regen better, under-geared healers will be able to heal more often (even though our heals will still be weaker).
The second reason is the mana managing skills of a healer will matter more for longer. Instead of being able to stack spirit into oblivion, healers will actually have to watch their mana.
I am not saying, that I want to dumb down healing. In fact, my opinion is that spirit does that. With a less influential sprirt, healing may become more dificult. Having to manage mana is not something every healer can do, but I think every healer should know how to.
Another complaint I’ve heard with my argument is that downgrading spirit is forcing healers to heal one way. While that is a valid point, I don’t necessarily think that is true. Yes, downgrading spirit would essentially remove one way of gearing a healer, there are many other ways. Healers can gear for faster heals, or bigger heals, or mastery heals. Gearing for spirit is the ‘safe’ way, where you can heal with abandon and not have to worry much about mana.
As I understand it, Warlords of Draenor is going to drastically change spirit and healing in general. With WoD, it was announced that reforging was going to be removed. The stats on your gear cannot be changed in any way.
This is a very good solution to the spirit problem. Healers will still be able to find gear with spirit and stack that, but it will be much harder to do so. Healing will go back to being more mana managing instead of spirit stacking. However, healers will still be able to stack if they choose. The choice will go from mandatory (as it is now) to optional.
To sum up, I don’t like spirit. I think today, healers rely too much on it, which makes lower gear healing very hard and higher gear healing almost too easy. I think better gear should bring bigger or faster heals, not the ability to ignore your mana.
This post was inspired by an article on WoW Insider.