With all the WoD news coming, some of the most emotionally impacting for us here at Growing Up In Azeroth would have to be the healing changes (at least for Fussypants; she stomped angrily around the house for an hour after reading them). We’ve waited for a bit to collect out thoughts (and to cool off), and now are ready to talk about the proposed changes.
Fussypants: Before we begin, I just want to point out that I have played a resto druid, a holy priest, and a holy paladin pretty extensively, so I’m coming from the point of view of a healer. My dad, on the other hand, has only dabbled in healing, and is providing the rarely played resto shaman position. Let’s get started!
“Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like the players they’re responsible for are in danger of dying at any moment. We also think that healer gameplay would be more varied, interesting, and skillful if your allies spent more time between 0% and 100%, rather than just getting damaged quickly to low health, forcing the healer to then scramble to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible.”
“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. Additionally, as gear improves, the scaling rates of health and healing will now be very similar, so the relative power of any given healing spell shouldn’t climb so much over the course of this expansion.”
Fussypants: Ok, well I agree with the idea that people should not always be at 100% health. However, I have a few qualms with this. First, many players, not knowing any better, may complain and yell at the healers for not healing them all the way when this goes live. The abrupt change between always being at 100% to sometimes being at 100% is going to be hard to go through. I know that I have mindset that I need to heal people 100% whenever I can, so it will be hard to get over. The smaller heals too, with be annoying at first. But, this part doesn’t bother me much, and I can totally see why Blizzard wants to do this.
Yotaan: I think the players will switch over quickly in most settings. Those in randoms, however, will likely gripe. I think the healers may overextend themselves a bit in the early dungeons as they adjust too. They go OOM trying to top everyone off when it’s not necessary. Still, not a big deal in my book.
“We also took a look at healing spells that were passive or auto-targeted (so-called “smart” heals).
We want healers to care about who they’re targeting and which heals they’re using, because that makes healer gameplay more interactive and fun. To that end, we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. “
Fussypants: Ok, I can agree with this. Effectively, this forces a healer to be more aware of who’s receiving the heal, instead of endlessly spamming their smart AoEs heals. I like this .
Yotaan: Fussy, I don’t like this. The little I have healed has been resto shaman, and many of our heals are smart AoE heals. The resto shaman mastery buffs the healing done to more damaged players, and by making smart heals less smart, shaman will be doing less healing. Chain heal is iconic to the class and this will have a big impact on play style and shaman healing effectiveness. Now, I spot or off heal a bit when I playing elemental too, but I only use the healing totems. Healing Tide will be greatly affected and may not be as helpful in those clutch situations.
“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.”
Fussypants: Yes. I approve. They are making it inefficient to spam AoE heals. On my paladin, I always disliked how spamming Holy Radiance would get me the best heals. Also, other classes, like holy priests, could do very well because they had many AoE heals. This is going to make healing much more interesting!
Yotaan: Aaaahhh! Again! My poor resto off-spec…
“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. “
Fussypants: No. No. No, no, no. I really hate this idea. I really do. Basically, this turns into a lot of pointless standing around. Instead of casting Holy Light to top someone off in a low mana cost way, I will now have to use a higher mana cost spell to do the same thing, or just stand there until they are lower heal again. When I play, I love action, and movement, and spell casting. This effectively makes it so that, instead of casting a low mana heal, I will instead be watching my mana, or just standing there. I love doing something, and to me, standing waiting for mana is not compelling game play. At all. Ick.
Yotaan: I totally think this is fine. I don’t use that heal very much, and I know that they have to get rid of something.
“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 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:
Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
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.
Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy or Discipline, while remaining instant cast for Shadow.
Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.”
Fussypants: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! ARGGG, THIS IS SOO DUMB!!!!!!!! So, because healing on the move was affecting PvP, they are changing it for PvE too??? For my paladin, this will bring me down to one instant cast, that is on a 8 second cooldown! How am I supposed to heal the group if I’m running from the bad? Apparently, not with Light of Dawn anymore!! And on my druid, I now will have to cast Wild Growth? Isn’t that just creating another AoE heal that won’t be mana effective anymore? Isn’t that basically removing it from use on cooldown? And for priest, casting Prayer of Mending?? What?????????
I incredibly strongly disagree with these changes. Many of the spell that they have added cast times weren’t that uber powerful before. It’s not like Tranquility was on the move or something! And, from the little PvP I’ve done, healing on the move isn’t that huge of a problem (correct me if I’m wrong). The cast times should be for PvP only!
/steams in corner
Yotaan: My rest shaman is smugly looking at you Fussy. Welcome to the Club. /violin
Fussypants: Overall, I really dislike these changes. It sounds like Blizzard want to make healing harder, by making it way less fun to play. I don’t want to stand still instead of healing, to have to cast Light of Dawn (seriously, that is my favorite spell to jump around and cast). I’m really hoping that something is changed, because I cannot see myself enjoying things if this is how healing will be.
However, I realized much will be changed when WoD finally comes out. I will try to remain cautiously optimistic about healing in WoD.
Yotaan: It’s gonna be fine and, more importantly, it will be fun!