I would also like to admit that Wild Growth is making me lazy. After a couple of Sunwells and various other Beta runs i have to accept that Wild Growth is good, but if mis-used can make you a very lazy tree.
When the raids were taking massive dmg in the past I would rejuv my heart out. Use swiftmends, and regrowths and lifeblooms. Now I actually say to myself: "Self, screw it, it is easier to WG that dude and everyone near him." Perhaps it is because nothing I tested in Beta or nerfed sunwell poses any challenge or thought to heal whatsoever, but I can see myself getting very lazy with WG.
I love the spell, we definately needed it. I don't want to see it nerfed as I fear is inevitable, however I felt a caution to other Druids would be beneficial as I find it hard to believe I am the only one that could be falling into potentially bad habits.
As a priest I also find that simply spamming CoH on myself will get the job done suitably enough. I can trust it to heal those closest to death without having to check the ui myself, its incredibly lazy. I'm hoping that they will add a cooldown to it to avoid endless spamming so I can actually stop and think about who to heal next with what spell instead of hitting CoH to get heals done quicker and quite efficiently.
I get the feeling I could just put myself on follow on the tanks and stick a brick on the CoH hotkey while making a cup of tea and not have to worry about tanks dying. But this is nerfed content we're talking about. Hopefully in WotLK mobs will hit harder on the tanks and not just do a stupid amount of raid wide aoe so I can actually decide which tank needs healing instead of mashing aoe heals.
I'd say lifebloom needed a nerf but the problems with the nerfs stem from PvP, not PvE. It would have been rather easy to balance lifebloom for PvE alone via mana cost alterations, especially seeing how the final bloom is largely something that should not frequently happen (and when it does happen, the amount healed shouldn't matter much). I'd say biggest issue with lifebloom was that it was better for single-target raid healing than rejuvenation.
In PvP, however, the mana cost must line up with mana costs of dispel abilities and thus increasing the mana cost even more would have caused issues (personally I think the new mana cost already causes huge issues against any team using ench shaman and quite potentially even against DKs - but that's another topic really). That said, just wait for first wotlk arena season to finish and I think we'll be seeing quite some tweaks with PvE impact also, hopefully one of those being lifebloom.
From bad to worse. They are now entertaining the idea of a 6 second cooldown on WG.
I agree that this does sound a bit like overkill. WG only partially infringes on chain heal territory: it's an efficient AoE heal for multiple people but it does not do is provide enough healing to "quickly save someone". That said, I still hold that WG is fundamentally flawed as concept - what it does isn't really predictible enough. Heals should be something where you cast it and then can trust in having a certain effect. Smart targeting forbids that.
I think that adding a cooldown to CoH and WG is going to be a good move, long-term. I'll use a PvP analogy, bear with me until I get to my point. I think we can all agree that Druids were by far the most mobile and effective healers in 2s and 3s. Rogues received several buffs to Shadowstep and deep Subtlety spec that gave them the tools to sometimes stick to the highly elusive Resto Druids. Unfortunately, these tools also made it nearly impossible to peel a subtlety Rogue off of any non-Druid target. Moving into LK, Blizzard is cutting back on their initial buffs to Rogue mobility, realizing that they may have gone too far; Shadowstep is no longer usable while rooted and Cloak of Shadows' and Blind's cooldowns have increased.
Our PvE analogue to the catching-up-with-Druids problem is healing the massive raid damage found in some tier 6 encounters and all of Sunwell. Blizzard took the well-intentioned step of adding the smart heal functionality on to CoH and WG, but I think they realize now that giving us a bigger gun boxes them in in several ways:
-It raises the bar for AoE damage in raid fights and strongly discriminates between classes. How do you make raid healing a challenge with no-cooldown CoH and WG ready to counter it? How can you build a 10-man fight around AoE damage that's possible for a Paladin + Shaman healing team but not completely trivial for a Priest + Druid raid?
-It dumbs down the healing game. If the Paladins on the official forums are to be believed, using the same healing spells over and over with no choice, no way to pick the 'best' spell for a situation, is pretty boring. No-cooldown WG and CoH are so obviously the best spells to deal with AoE damage that there's no thought in using them any time raid damage happens.
-Dumbing down continued - smart targeting is a Pandora's Box. One of the staples of the healing game since day 1 has been prioritizing target selection. This was briefly automated back in the MC/BWL era by Emergency Monitor, a mod that sorted the raid by health and allowed you to macro target a heal to whoever needed it most. Blizzard stomped this mod out because they correctly felt that it removed too much skill from healing. Now it's the spell mechanics themselves that are targeting for us. A cooldown will help ensure that we still have to do a little thinking on our own.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Have some faith in Blizzard's raid design team; they're not going to design raid content that's impossible to heal with these cooldowns on CoH and WG.
No-cooldown WG and CoH are so obviously the best spells to deal with AoE damage that there's no thought in using them any time raid damage happens.
I somewhat disagree with this. I'd say rejuvenation (with replenishment talent) is pretty much on par with WG for raid damage healing in situations where your WG has possibility of wasting some healing. Talking level 80 here, of course. WG has potential for waste if you aren't guaranteed 5 fresh targets which can happen quite often due to previous WG casts or raid spreading.
I'm in favour generally of the change. I can't think of anywhere in the current(ish) level 80 raiding encounters where this is going to make or break our ability to kill a boss. Obviously WG is being penalized as a way to reign in CoH more than anything but even with wonky targetting, WG was cherry picking a lot of healing off of the top of raid damage. It's good for topping meters but I don't think it's the least bit necessary at 80 to have the AoE healing potential in a raid that CoH and WG bring. It just ends up forcing Blizz's hands and making them load raid encounters with more and more AoE damage to try and challenge healers.
On the other hand, I think GotEM is going from terrible to almost laughably bad.
On the gut-instinct level, I agree with malthrin that smart targeting is not the greatest idea. I don't really like the "feel" of WG in Sunwell, I mean, it's nice that we have a way to hit a bunch of people at once but I don't like that I can't pick my own targets with it (beyond choosing a general area when the raid is too spread out to fit all 25 people in the splash). It feels more effective but less "fun" than juggling regrowth, rejuv, swiftmend, and lifebloom. The most powerful example for me is that Felmyst pre-3.0 was one of the more exciting fights to heal, but post-3.0 it's not really anymore.
On a fight like that, I usually end up casting mostly WGs. Afterwards I'll wonder if was indeed best to spam WGs, or if I should have done it sometimes but also have done a significant amount of the old-school RG/RJ/Swiftmend mix. On the one hand I think that there has to be some advantage still for humans casting heals on specific targets, not just based on their current deficit but also based on what you know may be coming. On the other hand, I have to wonder if that's just wishful thinking and it really is best to rely on smart targeting. Looking at our Sunwell parses, you can see that our priests and druids are basically spamming CoH and WG on fights like Felmyst and Twins, and nobody is ever in any real danger of dying. 3-4 people all hitting smart targeting spells is pretty damn powerful.
I apologize for the rambling post, but I'm still collecting my thoughts on this topic. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it certainly feels like multiple healers spamming smart targeting spells may be the best way to heal, and if that is the case, well, I have to think it's bad for the game. If smart heals are here to stay (and it looks like they are), I do think that a design goal should be for healers to use a mix of smart heals and "traditional" heals. A cooldown will accomplish that, although it is fairly heavy handed way of doing it.
Last edited by giansm : 11/07/08 at 4:16 PM.
Before I make a point about the current WG/CoH discussion, I would like to say that I think the developers are, to the detriment of both spells, grouping CoH and WG together and not treating them individually. Firstly because their design is essentially the same aside from the HoT element of WG and secondly because they are now considering the same nerf (6s CD) to both. I think this is quite a shame, I am sure there could be some interesting differences between the two heals and the current testing into the nature of CoH/WG would be a great time to add some uniqueness as well as bring their power back into line.
Concerning the possible 6s Cd nerf - I do not think this is the most suitable way to limit WG. WG is a HoT and is not an instant and 'spammable' heal like CoH, you cannot repeat it several times on the same group of people, you use WG once and then there is no point refreshing it on the same targets again, if more healing is required it is far better to use other heals alongside WG. It only becomes increasingly 'spammable' when multiples of 5 targets are taking damage. Besides Felmyst I do not use WG as my only heal, pure WG is simply not the best way to heal a large proportion of encounters.
A new point against the 6s CD which I haven't seen mentioned here or on other forums is that this is yet another CD/timer which Resto Druids will have to monitor to be an effective healer. We are already the most frequently casting healers in the game and we have to constantly monitor around 6-7 of our HoTs on the raid at any one time and these need to be tracked and refreshed accurately to get the most out of our precious GCDs. Renewing HoTs too early or not soon enough will reduce our efficiency and in the case of Lifebloom stacks, losing them can jeopardise the tanks survival. The Swiftmend CD needs some attention too - often enough when an encounter is getting tough I will find myself trying to Swiftmend and wondering why nothing has happened, realising that it is still on CD and knowing I have just spent the last 4 seconds essentially doing nothing when this is meant to be an emergency, hence the desire to use Swiftmend. Do we really have to add another CD to the list of things to monitor? It seems like we already have a lot more of this sort of thing to track than the other healing classes.
I also do a fair proportion of my guilds raid leading so I have the joy of having to watch several Bigwigs timers and need to call them accurately over TS without fail. I know that my healing ability suffers due to RLing, in part because of all these timers which need to be attended.
I am not the one with the answer, but I think WG requires a different form of nerf than a CD. I would like to see changes which let us choose to use other heal types, rather than just forcing us to.
I do agree that a cooldown seems like a kind of clumsy answer, but I'm not sure what a more elegant one would look like. Here's another way of looking at it; every spell gets to pick 2 of the following:
1) High output
3) Flexible targeting
I would say that Lifebloom is 1+2, while Flash of Light is 2+3, and so on. Right now WG and CoH are all 3. What can we take away from them? Obviously, we could up the mana cost significantly to discourage the current MO of catch-all spamming. A cooldown is one way to reduce the output; reducing the number of affected targets would be another. Any other ideas?
I somewhat wish there were two different versions of CoH and WG which allowed better testing and comparisons between the two. I hate having no control and it hinders WG more than it helps, any time we cast it when there are other healers capable of AoE healing we will near certainly get overwritten which gives us the mentality of "we must spam it in the hope some ticks get through".
The fact that groups are used for almost nothing else now means there is no real bad reason for grouping them up for healing potential, if some melee aren't in the melee group? well they will get the CH bounces (being mindlessly cast on the MT anyway) or the Paladin & other classes can throw single heals on them, is it bad that 1 AoE spell wont heal all of them at once?
When I first got back to Live at 3.0.x (after a break period of a month or so) I started seeing how my healing worked in raids compared to others. The only way I could compete with other classes on the dreaded meter was to turn from using WG infrequently to very often in the hope some ticks went off to keep up.
With LB, I would rather they buffed it back to previous levels of output (300/tick at high gear) but raised the base value higher to enable them to make it scale more weakly.
To counter this there should be a cost increase to make us not willing to spam it only, this also effects PvP more than PvE due to the amounts of regen we will have to sustain it - and ToL to reduce it 20% as well.
I was really annoyed how CH was loved and LB was despised in regards to the more recent comments, and I am rather certain that LB was less of a %healing than CH was in general.
It did make me think though, what do we feel our signature role is?
To me it would be the fact we 'always' roll a LB^3 and RJ on the MT as well as doing other jobs. Once those two are up on the MT we should fill in with the other spells depending on the situation.
I guess the problem comes from when LB was too strong and too cheap to not use in those other spots, with a cost raise I think in anything but the really intense times we would err on the side of better HPM than the better HPS (provided it was not hugely different).
With that and the WG issues I kind of wish we could get something more interesting than a CD on WG though, I was contemplating having an Arcane Blast style self-debuff on cast of LB or WG in order to restrain our uses.
Something like a 3-4 second duration when either is cast (and stacks) which increases the cost of our next LB/WG by 75% if we don't wait for it to expire.
This would force us to decide between either WG or LB, we couldn't mindlessly spam either, at most we would be able to cast 3 of them in 10 seconds and we would have to decide between tank healing or raid healing (in all but the most dire situations).
This would have an extra bonus on nerfing LB in PvP because when it gets dispelled we cannot just instantly refresh it continuously without hitting huge costs for doing so.
I don't mind the aoe healing nerf if it happens much, although I disagree with it. It is a bit discerning to have WG lumped in with CoH. The thing I wonder is how many of us would bother to spec into it with a 6 sec c/d? I think I would revert back to regrowth spamming like it was during the heavy WG nerf.
I really wish they would entertain the idea of cone heals and stationary heals. I think it would liven the healing game up a bit, gimmick or not.
Anyone who's raided SWP since 3.0 saw the nerf coming from miles. Ironically, after months of using regrowth and rejuv in 2.X despite the public image of LB spammers, they were killed in favor of our new, all-engulfing heal, in the patch that was supposed to bring them to light. True, not every fight is felmyst (yay@30% of raid effective healing), but it made clear that WG and CoH's sheer power would kill shamans. Healing may not be all about the healing meters, but having lower raw healing from a pally/disc priest is acceptable because their MT healing ability is what they are brought for. A shaman really has no tool to shine with besides CoH and his AoE healing capabilities.
I hope this change will be coupled with more talents affecting WG, like replenish and nature's splendor (the former really needs help, the latter is just greed ). But even if not, it's still a great spell.
About applying the same nerf to CoH and WG - CoH suffers from this a more than WG does. The HoT nature of WG naturally makes it less desirable to spam. In addition, a single cast of WG is a lot more potent than a single CoH. As such, this is a stronger nerf to CoH.
GotEM - The only reason not to max this talent in a build is if you have enough haste to hit the 1s gcd cap without it. If it boosts throughput, it's good - and GotEM does that in spades, spammable WG or not.