Reinventing Healer Gameplay

UPDATE: More explanations and impacts of the changes in my follow-up here.

The healing blog that went up today was, for me, a huge breath of fresh air.  There have been a lot of very vocal people who compare it to Cataclysm and instantly dislike it, however.  I have some things to say that will, hopefully, ease a few people’s minds about the coming changes.

“Cataclysm Sucked”

It’s pretty safe to say that a lot of these changes look like they are going to be very similar to the way healing felt in Cataclysm.  While some absolutely loved it, there probably isn’t a single era in the game’s history that received as much negative feedback from healers as this one.  Like everything in WoW’s design, though, nothing can be seen in a vacuum because one change to one thing will affect a lot of different areas of the game.

Early Cataclysm wasn’t a fun experience for a lot of healers, and fun is the most important thing.  The reality is, though, that “Cataclysm sucked” because it was hard.  Compared to everything in Mists and Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm launch content was extremely difficult.  It actually had almost nothing to do with how healing worked.  It was all just simply over-tuned for the average player.

Cataclysm also had the problem of base mana regeneration being very low, and scaling up far too quickly.  With higher base mana regeneration, this won’t be a problem.

I reiterate: Cataclysm healing sucked because it was hard.  This has very little to do with the healing style they aimed for.

Blizzard learned a lot of lessons from Tier 11 in Cataclysm.  There will never be an era that sees all content be that difficult ever again.  There have already been statements suggesting LFR will be easier at WoD launch than it has been for most of MoP.  There will be ways to progress your character at your own pace and at a difficulty level that is appropriate to you.  You’re not going to have to worry about a Cataclysm-like difficulty level ever again, unless you actively seek it.  The changes that are happening to healing won’t change this.

“People Will Die Before I Can Heal Them”

It’s easy to believe that these changes being implemented in current content would make a lot of that content difficult, possibly even impossible to complete.  The thing a lot of players don’t understand is that content is developed with what players are capable of in mind.  Content is designed to appropriately challenge players.  If you have all kinds of powerful tools, the new boss that comes out is going to make you use those tools.  As more abilities are added, more abilities become instant cast, and so on, the content is going to demand making use of these things more and more.

Class design comes first, content design is based on what players can do, not the other way around.  If you can’t heal as well on the move, content won’t expect you to heal as well on the move.  If you can’t heal instantly, content won’t expect you to heal instantly.

One thing that seems to be lost in the noise is that health gained from each point of stamina is going up a lot.  A bunch of your heals gaining a short cast time will be offset by everyone in your raid having 50% more health, so being a little slower is okay.  They won’t be on the verge of death as quickly.

The problem with the current game is that healing is a rotation.  Everyone just presses their best 1-3 buttons in a predefined order for an entire fight without many meaningful decisions, and the entire raid stays at nearly 100% the entire time … unless they die, which happens almost instantaneously when it does, with little to no hope of a healer reacting in time to save them.  Nobody likes being one-shot.  Not having to kill people instantly to challenge them is a significant part of why these changes are happening.  Healers should also want to use all of their healing spells, and, right now, you really don’t.

“You’re Nerfing Me Because of PvP”

Some of these changes absolutely will have an impact on the PvP landscape, but the fundamental problem the developers are trying to solve comes from the same core issue in both settings.  Take these high tech MS Paint diagrams.

This is how incoming damage, healing, and player health bars looked throughout Mists of Pandaria

Here we see the problem in both PvP and PvE.  This is not exclusive to one setting.

As the expansion has went on, damage intake has increased far more than the health pool players have.  This means that, in PvE, damage is more likely to kill you in a very short period of time now, even though it “felt good” a year ago.  Taking avoidable damage is never a good thing, but even the best players get hit by stuff sometimes, and it feels cheap being killed instantly, especially if it’s something very difficult to avoid.  It also feels bad for a lot of healers if they never have anything substantial to heal, which is the case far too often right now.  Players are just topped off too quickly and easily.

In PvP, this is why you see frequent increases in base resilience and battle fatigue.  Again, nobody likes being bursted down in one second, or seeing all the damage they dealt be meaningless because of a single heal cast (that was probably instant) so these things are necessary in the current game.  But that doesn’t feel good, either, because when a new season starts, all of a sudden your damage and healing are reduced.  The changes they are making fix both the PvP and PvE aspects of this problem.

This is what the developers are aiming for in Warlords of Draenor as far as health, healing, and damage intake increases over time go.

In PvE, a model like this means that the number of instant death mechanics can be a lot lower later in the expansion, that healers can continue to use a wider selection of spells for the whole expansion instead of just the first few months of it before settling into an optimal “rotation”.

In PvP, a model like this means that base resilience and battle fatigue never have to be adjusted, and might not even have to exist at all.  This means that going from PvE to PvP doesn’t feel like you’re being nerfed by 75% just because you’re attacking a player instead of a creature (which is currently a pretty jarring transition) and that you don’t just die instantly like new PvPers did before Resilience was removed from gear.

These are very positive changes in both areas of the game, but there’s even more to it than that.  The potential this has for further in the future could be a very significant improvement in healer quality of life.

Healers always feel like they are being nerfed when they level in past expansions as these dips in the green line suggest.

As healers have leveled at the launch of past expansions, mana regeneration has always dropped relative to how much you’re spending and it really does feel like you’re getting worse every level.  This isn’t necessarily true if you start leveling a healer from level 1 right now, but if you had any time to accumulate gear at a previous level cap… well, an expansion launch can kinda suck.  It has had to happen, though, or else we would end up with goofy things like Wild Growth healing entire health bars every tick.  With healing done and health pools being parallel to each other, though, that harsh dip in performance doesn’t need to exist, and future expansion releases can be a lot more like below:

Potential transitions into new expansions.

Potential transitions into new expansions.

As you can see from this diagram, if the developers’ goals are accomplished, a “reinvention” of healing every single expansion won’t need to happen anymore.  Adjustments can be a lot less dramatic, a lot less jarring, and have more time and focus spent on “cool” instead of rebalancing, and could also go a long way toward faster content releases between the final patch of an expansion and the next expansion.

Not only that, but playing an alt healer or doing Challenge Modes or anything else at lesser gear levels will not feel like such a massive adjustment.

Nearly every aspect of the changes discussed in the Dev Watercooler on healing is good.  If you really understand what the changes are meant to address and why they are happening, it’s very difficult to come up with legitimate complaints about it.  Worries about past experiences are fair, but they are being accounted for, and many of them are being directly improved by their changes.  The only fair complaint is that it will be a short term adjustment… in the long term, it will only be a great thing for the game in all areas.

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35 responses to “Reinventing Healer Gameplay

  1. Very informative post!

    I personally loved the Cataclysm healing model and was disappointed when I realized how much everyone else seemed to hate it (and the expansion generally.)

    It felt slower and more thoughtful. Damage didn’t need to be healed up instantly and, mana being an issue then, efficiency was very important. I remember doing heroics shortly after Cata’s release and just having a blast. I had to watch my mana, the group needed to CC, we needed to pull carefully and not take unnecessary damage. It really was a blast from the past, and it made me sad to see how many people just gave up on it and, instead of adapting and improving their play, passed it off as just not liking the ‘new’ style.

    I’m really excited to see the scaling of health pools alongside damage and healing. It didn’t occur to me until I read the watercooler just how differently they have been scaling, and the issues it’s caused. I also hope that there’s just less scaling, generally, next expansion. It always seems to cause problems (especially in PvP,) and I might be in the minority here, but I don’t consider seeing bigger and bigger numbers on my screen a necessity for my enjoyment of WoW.

    Maybe most of all though I’m looking forward to the culling of smart, AoE, and instant heals. I feel silly watching my raid frames, all alert and ready for someone to take damage so I can use my Holy Shock or Riptide or whatever efficiently, only for the damage to be instantly healed by Healing Stream Totem or Atonement or something else, with impeccable efficiency, without the healer even having to so much as target the injured player.

    Overall I love love love the direction they say they’re taking so far, and I really hope they stick to it and aren’t deterred by the masses of poorly considered criticisms and disparagement they’ll undoubtedly be receiving.

    • As a discipline priest I’m looking forward to the changes as well. My only MoP raiding so far has been LFR and pretty much all I do is PW:S, POM then Smite or PW:Solace and I’m the top healer on trash. When it comes to the bosses I stick with that for the most part, but toss in a few Penance and Prayer of Healing spells in as well. Of course just about any time i use a targeted spell like Penance, or PoH the targets are back to full before I finish casting. My guess is that’s due to other class’s smart heals (i’m only familiar with priest end-game heals). I’m usually a lot lower on the charts on bosses. But I don’t worry about it too much because it’s not like I’m slacking off. Other players just manage to get there first either with smart heals, or with more powerful instant heals.

      I also look forward to more linear damage. There’s nothing more frustrating that seeing a target for from nearly full health to dead in one shot.

  2. I guess that unlike you I don’t trust the devs to actually do what they say. There is little difference in the team today except that a craptastic dev has returned to the team from Titan.

    • I trust them to do what they say they will. Game design (especially at Blizzard) needs to be iterative, so what their goals are can change as time passes. A lot of the time, they accomplish exactly what they set out to do, but there are unintended, unforeseen, or unexpected side effects.

      Cataclysm as the example again, the overwhelming majority of feedback in late Wrath of the Lich King was that the game was “too easy”. I think the intent of that feedback overall wasn’t actually that the game was too easy, but rather that it was too bursty and spammy. CC stopped being used, healers all used a rotation instead of adjusting their spell selection for different scenarios, dungeons became an AoE fest.

      So along comes 4.0 and they talk about making everything harder… and sure enough, everything is difficult. All of a sudden healers take their usual early-expansion mana hit and all content is difficult, requiring a measure of CC and coordination. Dungeon content (NOT raid content) would’ve been fine if it weren’t for the dungeon finder putting random people in groups together. These dungeons weren’t too hard for most of us when you were playing with your friends… they were just too hard for strangers. This difficulty manifested itself in healers running out of mana, as difficulty in early expansion content always has. This was no different than MoP, or BC, or WotLK, or Vanilla, the content was just simply tuned to be a lot harder with no easy alternatives.

      The cry from the community in response to the shock of Tier 11 was “having no mana sucks” even though having no mana was more a function of the intended difficulty of the content being hard than it was of the healing and mana model having been changed. They didn’t even change how healing worked all that much, aside from nerfing flash heals and adding “Healing Wave” type heals. Mana was just an easy target for player ire.

      These changes they’ve announced are really quite logical.

      Early Cata healers had poor regen. Common complaint that’s being addressed by base mana regen increasing.

      Early Cata content was really hard. Solved by making LFR easier and allowing a significant increase in character progression from non-heroic dungeons.

      The jarring transition from one expansion to the next solved by the impact of gear upgrades being shifted to amount healed rather than mana pool size, which is, again, made possible by an increase in base mana regen that will increase as your mana costs and mana pool do.

      What they are doing is brilliant. It solves so much.

  3. Thank you! I’ve been trying to explain precisely that to commenters on WoWInsider and Twitter, and it was like hitting my head against a repetitive brick wall.

    “@Talarianjs: People left in Cataclysm because their only choice for content was very difficult random dungeons, not because the healing model changed.” Was what I was trying to get across.

    It’s understandable that most folks would just take the symptoms and blame them, rather than the problem that caused the symptoms, but it was extremely frustrating even laying out word for word the rest of the DEV team’s message around the new progression of easy lvl 100 normals, and the dual progression of either LFR or difficult but gated by Proving Grounds Silver 5-Man Heroics.

    Sure, a few folks leave because the rate of change exceeds their tolerance, but given that rate of change occurred for TBC->Wrath, too, that cannot account for Cata’s subscriber loss. Difficulty was the primary thing people were complaining about.

  4. This is a great read, now we just have to make sure that Blizzard reads it and it’s actually followed through with, rather than have it be like all the previous “We’re reinventing healing again.” posts where everyone is pumped, yet it ends up being terrible because they failed to implement it properly.

  5. Nobody, devs or commenters, know now how it will turn out.

    However.

    This is the same company that did Cataclysm and MoP. My opinion is that you would have to be ignorant of the past or quite naive to not be worried at the moment.

  6. Great post as usual. Much more well-reasoned than my post on the subject :)

    I liked early Cata healing. Even when the majority of Druids were crying, I was having a great time. For me, difficult = fun. I’m hoping that healing will be more difficult in WoD, but for the people who like the easy road, they’ll have LFR and normal raids/dungeons, so I think they can make everyone happy. (Who am I kdding, some people live to be miserable in this game).

  7. Thank you, this makes so much more sense to me now! I wish the original article had used these graphs and explained it like this. I’m still a little skeptical of the ‘no instant cast’ decision because it is a shame to not be able to move around a raid boss and make it feel like more of a fluid encounter. But I understand what they are doing number wise now, and I agree it should work :)

  8. You can design something around the majority then the bottom minority will screw it up which is my experience with Cata heroics and tuning. When Blizzard says too hard for average, is it specifically the player in the middle with no other factors influencing them or too hard for the average person to deal with the random bottom minority? With WoD heroics it seems Blizzard is pointing to the latter.

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  10. I don’t mind healing, actually I love healing. I welcome the changes in the next expansion. I have always felt though that everyone expects the tank to know how to tank and the healer to keep everyone alive. Sometimes I think the DPS just felt is was someone else’s fault they died. Not sure they ever learned to use their CDs and stay out of stuff.

    • Healers not being able to keep up an entire group as they pull extra mobs and ignore fire is something the player base would need time to adjust to. As long as it’s not tuned like cata, everything should be fine.

  11. I raided TBC & WotLK at a fairly high level. Not top 100, but we were at Muru before the nerf & I killed LK 25 Man HM while current.

    Cata was not hard. It was poorly tuned. There is a difference and it is important to make.

    I was in the Alpha & Beta for Cataclysm. As we approached launch if became increasingly clear how poorly tuned it was. There were some incredibly well sourced, insightful and reasonable critiques of healing on the beta forums. The kind Blizzard always encourages. They were ignored. The volume of posts near the end was staggering. It took about 5-6 months after the expac went live for the problems that were discussed in beta to be addressed.

    That is why healers as a whole are so polarized on the issue.

    It is also extremely important to note how the change in cast times effected things in Cata and how that relates to the removal of most instant casts in WoD. Increasing cast times removes clutch play and is key part of creating the triage gameplay they want. It also has dramatic effects on game play. Look at Holy Paladins and the paradigm shift of a fast small mana efficient heal with a big long cast mana heavy heal balance in TBC vs Slow cast small mana efficient heal + slow cast mana heavy heal with an option for fast and heavy heals via FoL. It took the pace of healing way down and left us struggling to keep up without chugging mana. While Blizzard has promised that mana will not be as much of an issue they have failed to address how the removal of instant casts for WoG/EF will effect a class such as paladins which has a really weak toolkit when it comes to movement heavy fights.

    /shrug

    • Tuning is a significant part of difficulty. Without significant DPS or healing checks to make, it’s nearly impossible to make a fight that’s difficult without putting a huge magnifying glass on internet latency. Cataclysm was hard, and that’s because the numbers in the content were tuned to be hard.

      When providing feedback in this game, one thing you need to keep in mind is that those you’re giving the feedback to may just simply disagree with you if you say something like “this is tuned poorly”. Put simply, they intended and wanted Cata release content to be tuned to be very difficult… and they achieved that goal. I was also in Cata beta pretty much from day one, and read the majority of healer feedback on top of having healed quite a lot in beta and in nearly every era since WoW’s original release.

      The Cataclysm “problems” weren’t actually addressed by Blizzard at any point during the expansion, outside of giving Shaman SLT and buffing them a bit, and buffing Tranquility for Restoration Druids. The healing done/health pool ratio just shifted in favor of healing done. Health bars became easier to fill with the same number of casts because of the way the two scale with gear, nothing more. And that is why (as I said in my post above) the transition into a new expansion for a healer is always so rough. Cataclysm was just *more* rough because they tried to keep the slower pace that comes with being early in an expansion’s gear curve for longer without fixing the root problem.

      This time, they are fixing the root problem instead.

      ———————————

      Regarding Holy Paladins, I think it’s fair to argue that giving everyone an efficient heal, a mana hog flash heal, and a heavy single target heal with average efficiency was homogenization and shouldn’t have been done, but the goal there was to ease back on the extreme healer specialization that had taken place before that point (Paladins healed tanks, period. Druids hotted raid, period. Disc shielded everyone, period). Slowing down the healing game from the Wrath “spam your best spell” model was a pure win, because it had no meaningful decision making and internet latency became a bigger deal.

      Spamming Rejuv or Holy Light or PW:S or Renew ad infinitum is easy, boring gameplay that feels like a shell of playing a DPS spec. Mana and maximizing it should always be on your mind. Movement and minimizing it should separate skilled players from unskilled ones. Spell choice being varied and situational while managing mana is what healing should be all about, but toward the end of every expansion, it turns into a shallow rotation with no depth.

      Regarding “clutch” spell casts, I think the only things that can ever be described as clutch are abilities that are outside your “normal” spell selection range that save a life. A Ret Paladin throwing Lay on Hands on someone at 10% health is clutch. A good Word of Glory cast might be able to be considered “clutch”, but there’s barely any opportunity to cast it because players frequently get healed to full faster than a player can react with an instant cast spell. Players having much higher health adds a lot of room to predict damage income and cast heals skillfully.

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  13. I understand that over tuned vs poorly tuned can quickly slip into a battle of opinion, which quickly can become an argument. So let me first say thank you for the well thought out reply.

    The content was not over tuned for the most part, bosses did not gib tanks, dps were not struggling for enrage timers or starved for resources while battling bosses. Players were not getting one shot by mechanics

    It was only healers that struggled, in that we were under tuned in relation to the content (an important distinction from a generalized statement that content was overtuned IMO). We were under tuned in order to enforce triage healing. Cast times were increased to enforce triage healing by slowing the pace of healing down. That on top of the usual expansion growing pains such as mastery needing work, some news spells having positional problems (lod & hr as example) were an issue. A lot of that got fixed with Firelands allowing them to recalibrate and lessen how badly healers were undertuned.

    The Dev Watercooler had some changes that need to happen. Absorbs need a rework, smart heals and aoe heal spam need to be addressed. We also need a healing model that doesn’t involve avoidable damage + huge totally unavoidable raid damage (turd for short) spikes that force healers to top people off immediately. Nerfing healers and adding cast time didn’t create enjoyable play in Cata. It’s a hard sell to say that it is going to work this time.

    Are we going to get a smooth level of damage done vs healing output like your graphs? I hope so. I just hope that Blizzard listens to players who have honest critiques of how they implement triage and that they don’t just make the headlong march to implementing it again while making the same mistakes.

    Anywho, rant off. Thank you again for the response and the well thought out Blog.

    • “Turd” damage spikes exist solely because healers are capable of dealing with it. Limit the ability for healers to deal with it, and encounters will stop doing it to you constantly.

      It’s hard to say if healing will feel exactly like my 2nd pair of graphs, but their goal is to get substantially closer to that than where it’s at currently.

      And yeah, I certainly get that people are nervous, because it does sound a lot like they are heading to an early Cataclysm-like model, but their mistakes back then are being addressed. Those mistakes being: Mana regen was too low so players get more to start with this time, and all content that could be used to progress your character at max level was too hard with no alternatives.

  14. “Everyone just presses their best 1-3 buttons in a predefined order for an entire fight without many meaningful decisions…”

    I sincerely don’t think that is true. At least on the middle ground for people like me I have the flexibility and the enjoyment of using many different spells. With the exception of my Disc Priest which I am not ashamed to say I play as more of a DPS than a healer. It is fun though.

    “Not only that, but playing an alt healer or doing Challenge Modes or anything else at lesser gear levels will not feel like such a massive adjustment.”

    and that is a good thing? I heal because I enjoy it. I raid because I enjoy feeling more powerful. I enjoy challenge modes because I get to feel what it is like to struggle a bit (and note I really haven’t done many of them but I enjoyed the one or two I did). However, I don’t want to feel more weak all of the time.

    Also, triage just isn’t that fun. My job as a healer is to heal people. To keep them safe and to allow them to continue doing their job (tank/DPS). I will -always- strive to do this task to its absolute best within the limits of my personal ability. This means topping up their health in order to allow myself a cushion for the next wave of damage. This, in my view, also allows me to spread my attention around without it feeling frantic all the time.

    I think that most healers have it ingrained that they heal if someone is not at full health and they will try to do this as quickly as possible. When you can’t complete that task because you have too little mana or your heals are too small it just feels bad.

    • 1-3 abilities may be an exaggeration, but the current style is typically to cast whatever does the most theoretical healing per second, which isn’t really any different than what a DPS does… except DPS has target switching and stuns and interrupts and stuff like that to worry about on top of maximizing damage.

      I still feel like people misuse the word “triage”. Triage healing is selecting individual targets to heal and choosing spells based on how much danger they are in.

      Triage Example 1: 2 people get hit with damage, one is at 50%, one is at 30%, so you put a HoT on the 50% and single-target heal the 30%.

      Triage Example 2: 5 people take damage and are expecting to take more shortly so you start casting AoE heals knowing that you can’t keep it up forever.

      Triage example 3: 5 people take damage but no more damage is coming right away, so you let ground heals, heal over time effects and such top them off while using efficient heals or casting some damage spells.

      H SoO Example 1: 2 people get hit with damage, one is at 50%, one is at 30%, so you cast an AoE heal.

      H SoO Example 2: 5 people take damage and are expecting to take more damage shortly so you continue to cast AoE heals.

      H SoO Example 3: 5 people take damage but no more damage is coming right away, so you continue to cast AoE heals.

      What you’re referring to as “triage” is actually just “hard”.


      Skip ahead to 2:35. If you watch that phase of Heroic Garrosh, the entire raid is taking extremely heavy damage every 3 seconds, and being healed up to full within that time. Keep in mind that this is a phase with heavy movement, so the healers aren’t able to heal at full capacity, and there aren’t all that many healing cooldowns going out, AND there are only 4 healers in the raid. All they are doing is spamming AoE healing and letting smart heals pick up those who get lowest. This isn’t very satisfying gameplay. There are 2 healing modes with the way things are now – AoE heal the heavy damage phases, or AoE overheal low damage phases. If you’re lucky enough to be a Disc Priest, you might get to cast some DPS spells instead. If there’s too much in the way of low damage phases, groups start dropping healers for DPS and cover the heavy periods with cooldowns from those DPS. Every fight being constant AoE damage just makes them all feel the same though, which is a very common healer complaint.

      Compare that to http://warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=213139
      Throughout that fight, I’m shifting between dealing damage, single target healing, AoE healing and managing mana for its entire duration, often casting damage spells when people aren’t at 100% to let residual heals top people off and also often having to make a decision between two different things. There isn’t really much meaningful decision making at high gear levels in 25 player raids in MoP. That’s the thing, though. 10 player raids currently feel a bit better than 25s, and T14 heroics (490-510 range) felt substantially better than heroic SoO.

      If you ask me, the 2nd video has far more interesting gameplay, and I would challenge the desire to raid Heroic(Mythic) content of anyone who says otherwise. If you like easier content (which is totally fine), you will have your easy-to-top-off raiding that you have right now, unlike Cataclysm.

      If you can’t keep people topped off and you don’t like that fact, you probably aren’t meant to be in Heroic or Mythic raids in WoD. Those settings (especially Mythic) are *meant* to feel frantic or urgent all the time. I really can’t imagine it being the case that you can’t keep a raid topped off in easier raid settings unless they are doing something horribly wrong. The whole point of the increased base mana regeneration in WoD is so you don’t feel extremely mana limited in easier content.

      • I think everyone likes to maximize their performance in any setting. WE, the players, will always use the most efficient spell at any given time. Be that flash heal or PW:S or Greater Heal or whatever it happens to be at the moment. I don’t think anything Blizzard can do will change that. There is always a priority system. While it is more flexible for healers than DPS we still want to do our job as efficiently as possible.

        As for your definition of triage healing and the examples. Isn’t that what we all do already to some extent? I think of that as being how we do it in the current system as well. Heal the most damaged player while spreading yourself out enough to keep less damaged players going. Maybe it is different at the heroic level but I have found that in this expansion my balance of healing and mana has been where I personally enjoy it. I still have to think about mana, sure, but I am not watching it like a hawk.

        I admit I do not play at the highest level which is why I referred to myself as a part of the “middle ground.” I have done heroic raids and I found them stressful rather than enjoyable. At least until I out geared them some and went back. Then I found it somewhat fun.

        ” I really can’t imagine it being the case that you can’t keep a raid topped off in easier raid settings unless they are doing something horribly wrong. The whole point of the increased base mana regeneration in WoD is so you don’t feel extremely mana limited in easier content.”

        If that is true then I probably won’t dislike the system all that much. I am pretty happy in my normal mode raiding. I am just not competitive enough to raiding at the “Mythic” level and I am fine with that. I do quite well for a normal mode raider and seem to often have a reputation for being “above average” with my peers but I don’t care. I raid for a social experience first and for character improvement second.

        My fear is mostly based off the experience I had in Cata. So much of what they are saying sounds so much like what they said back then and I quit for the entire expansion. I have loved MoP healing. I understand scaling issues and I understand a need to address that. I just hope they don’t ruin the experience of casual players like me, who play for enjoyment rather than challenge, in an effort to keep players who play for an extreme challenge from overpowering their chosen content.

        • What is your gear level?

          I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Trust me, they hear your sentiments loud and clear, and they are fair ones to have.

          I don’t know what your actual item level is, but at about 560 plus, pretty much all decision making is gone from healing. It really is just a rotation at that point.

          Doing the healing you need to do while being as efficient as possible is what healing is all about. Some simple things that haven’t existed for a long time, though, are ideas like these:
          “Darn, I wasted mana on a heal that was overheal”
          “Oh, the raid is over 80% health, I should let HoTs take care of the rest and provide some utility or deal some damage”

          On a personal level, I miss feeling awesome when I saved a bunch of mana by canceling a heal I was casting when the situation changed during the cast. I don’t expect that to be recaptured, but I would like the other two things to matter again at all gear levels instead of just low gear levels.

          • I am not at 560 yet. I raided up through ToT but after killing Lei Shen and getting my “Ahead of the Curve” I kind of burnt out and only recently came back. Our experience is different I am sure. Also, I agree that I don’t think about over healing as much as I maybe should and I don’t see being in a position to think about it as a bad thing. I also would like to see more reason to let HoTs do their thing. I actually came from a game where HoTs were the norm rather than the exception and I always enjoyed that.

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  19. Its not because its was hard… Its because it was overcomplexified for nothing. Wrath had a very basic healing gameplay. Adding complexity to the healing rotation doesn’t make it funnier as some people might assume. Cataclysm difficlty was fine, its people’s healing throughtput that sucked. Especially for resto shaman… They all left early Cata or rerolled, I was on of the only resto shaman on my server doing Heroics.

    Every expantion complexify gameplay and reduces boss difficulty… wich is absolutly dumb, reduce the complexity of the gameplay of your toon but make the boss harder. Its like Mario Brothers, you have to jump over a hole otherwise you die… thats pretty simple. Now imagine you have to do this with 40 other players and if 5 people die you have to start over…

    Now what Blizz did is reduce the number of players required to do a boss, but increased the complexity of the rotations. So you end up burning yourself for boss that don’t matter and people didn’t like that. Give them something simple to do… Why are they trying so hard to make chain heal useless, if people stack haste gems and spam chain heals why is it so bad ?

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