[Feedback] proposed changes to Lifebloom

85 Night Elf Druid
12655
Hi Blizz, long-time listener, first time caller, I love your show.

Here is my rational for why the change to Lifebloom will be very bad for a majority of the non-Paragon/Vodka/Method/AverageiLvL372 PvE players out here, and also a suggestion for alternatives.

1) This is a 57% increase to the mana cost of one of our two primary spells. Not 4% like many think at first blush, but 57%. It will now cost more than half again as much to cast Lifebloom.

2) OOM may not be an issue at iLvL 372 gear level but it is a reality at gear levels lower than that, especially on hardmodes and even normal fights like Chimeron and Nef. Increasing the mana cost by 57% of one of our primary spells significantly exacerbates this issue.

3) Lifebloom is not an option, it is mandatory for raids. Unlike other spells where, if the mana cost or mechanics were raised/changed to be untenable we could just choose to never or rarely cast it, Lifebloom must be maintained on the raid to provide Revitalize, stabilize tank healing, proc Omen of Clarity (which is the only thing that does now, thanks for that btw <eye roll>), and maintain our 4-piece tier set spirit bonus. Increasing the mana cost of Lifebloom is not a, “Here’s what we did to this spell, it’s now up to you to decide if you want to use it,” it’s, “We know you have no choice but to use it and we going to increase the cost by more than half again as much.”

4) Refreshing LB stacks via Empowered Touch and Nourish et. al., is awkward, gimmicky, and most of all, unreliable. Now, thanks to Nature’s Bounty, the casting time of Nourish varies by 30%, which makes it impossible to get into any type of rhythm to reliably use Nourish to keep our LB stacks up. As a result, sometimes our LB stack expires because the casting time on Nourish suddenly increased. When that happens in 4.1, it will cost us 57% more mana to restack it.

5) Using Regrowth to refresh our LB stack via Empowered Touch is a non-starter because the Regrowth/Empowered Touch is bugged and does not maintain the spirit buff of our 4-piece set bonus. That leaves only nourish and healing touch to maintain our LB stack and spirit bonus. Healing touch is too slow to use consistently and nourish is unreliable, as stated in point 4 above. Thus, we are left we casting Lifebloom to refresh our LB stack more often than not, and now that will cost 57% more mana.

I understand that this proposed change to Lifebloom is being driven by PvP, like many other recent and tumultuous changes to healing classes. Here are my suggestions to avoid this.

1) Scrap PvP in WoW. It is an unnatural and bolted-on aspect to what was intended to be a PvE MMO, and it has caused an endless cycle of tinkering/breaking/re-fixing PvE that has driven paying customers away and will ultimately be the death knell to this wonderful MMO.

2) If PvP must stay, then change class mechanics so that when players enter arenas and BGs the mechanics change to what you determine to be more ‘class balancing’. This way you don’t have to break the PvE game every time you need to ‘balance’ PvP.

3) Or add a third talent spec option. This third talent spec would only be for PvP and would be automatically activated when, and only when entering an arena or BG. Free free to nerf/OP these PvP talents as much as your little blue hearts desire and tinker with the class abilities until they are ‘balanced.’

I welcome any counterpoints from blues or thoughts about the changes to mana cost of Lifebloom.
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85 Worgen Druid
5650
03/01/2011 8:52 AMPosted by Lilcherri
Druids weren't using their casting spells enough to refresh LBs. This doesn't fit into the developers vision so. If we nerf them they will come around to our vision of how it's to be done and like it.


Unfortunately, as stupid as this implication sounds, it often seems to materialize as fact. Sometimes I feel like we're given just enough to keep us interested and the rest of the time designers have us by the scruff of the neck, jamming our faces into a picture of how they currently feel a class should be played, rather than observing how people play their characters and using that as a baseline for what might be considered engaging.

It might not be so bad if it wasn't always in flux, but it gets a little frustrating when you're only able to get used to a character for a couple of months before some magic decision gets made that it's not being used correctly and we get herded into something else.

I'm used to keeping my lifebloom up for replenishment as well as it's heal. Having it refreshed by cast heals was a nice bonus to not having to recast it, however I don't like the idea of being penalized should I have to use a long cast heal on a target without my stack and having my mana viability be in the toilet having to restack it afterwords.

It's almost like they are saying "Don't heal people that don't have your lifebloom stack."
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90 Night Elf Druid
13395
4) Refreshing LB stacks via Empowered Touch and Nourish et. al., is awkward, gimmicky, and most of all, unreliable. Now, thanks to Nature’s Bounty, the casting time of Nourish varies by 30%, which makes it impossible to get into any type of rhythm to reliably use Nourish to keep our LB stacks up. As a result, sometimes our LB stack expires because the casting time on Nourish suddenly increased. When that happens in 4.1, it will cost us 57% more mana to restack it.


Oh come on, saying the nourish cast time variation causes stacks to drop is a bit of a stretch. It's very simple, when you have 3 secs left, cast nourish (or HT if you have OoC proc) - that way, hasted nourish or not, you wont miss it. Less than 3 secs left? cast Rg w/ OoC or LB to refresh.

These changes just reek of pvp nerf. It wont be that bad for tank healing, but it will make LB during ToL more expensive for less healing.

Its not the first time a LB pvp nerf has had a negative effect on pve. I doubt it'll be the last.
Edited by Keiyra on 3/1/2011 10:13 AM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
12655
Althought both of your points are interesting speculation, they miss the mark of why Blizz is raising the cost of Lifebloom: they are doing it to balance PvP.

In fact, I'd say the opposite of both of your speculations as to their motives are true. That is, they didn't consider the impact on PvE at all. Or perhaps they did but rationalized to themselves how a needed pvp nerf wouldn't negatively affect PvE. It seems like they convinced themselves it won't severely affect PvE play because we have other ways of refreshing our LB stack besides casting LB. However, as I detailed above, all the other ways are often problematic and impractical and this 57% increase to the cost of Lifebloom will make the mana situation for resto druids even worse than it is now.

My challenge to Blizz remains: find another way to balance PvP that won't severely impact resto druid's primary PvE heal.

Another thought for Blizz: I speculate that imbalances in PvP play only affect about the top 5% of arena players. Below that skill is the primary factor. If so, then why do you insist on continuously implementing changes that negatively affect 95% of your player base to cater to 5% of your PvP'ers? Is that really a sound business model for long term success?

One final thought for Blizz: Rift had one million subscriptions on day one.
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85 Night Elf Druid
14060
It's only an issue if you let Lifebloom expire, which should never happen in the first place. The impact on PvE is minimal, 678 extra mana to refresh (assuming you're using Lifebloom to refresh) every 10 seconds on a class that isn't particularly hurting on mana.
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85 Night Elf Druid
12655
Less than 3 secs left? cast Rg w/ OoC or LB to refresh.


Thanks for your thoughts Keiya, however, you must have missed point 5 in my original post. I'll restate it for you. There's a bug with Regrowth not refreshing the spirit buff of the resto T11 4 piece so even if one uses an OoC RG to refresh the LB stack one must still follow it with an LB to refresh the spirit buff.

As far as Nourish casting time variations causing inadvertent loss of LB stacks, it's no stretch at all, it happens to every druid I have spoke to who is healing heroic level content. Healing at the heroic level is so finely tuned that simply casting a nourish/HT every time one's LB stack reaches 3 seconds is not viable. Other targets need immediate attention and often using an instant cast LB is the best/only option for refreshing one's LB stack.
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03/01/2011 8:52 AMPosted by Lilcherri
Druids weren't using their casting spells enough to refresh LBs.


Because I was too busy laying HoTs down on everyone else so I could cast Nourish. *sigh*
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86 Worgen Druid
10695
03/01/2011 10:42 AMPosted by Yumei
It's only an issue if you let Lifebloom expire, which should never happen in the first place. The impact on PvE is minimal, 678 extra mana to refresh (assuming you're using Lifebloom to refresh) every 10 seconds on a class that isn't particularly hurting on mana.


If we aren't tight on mana, then why do most druids spec into regen related talents such as Furor and Moonglow instead of raw throughput. I noticed that you opted to take both talents yourself. I dislike being forced into mana regen talents, esp given how bloated our tree really is. I would prefer to have blizzard eliminate one of those talents, and just balance our spells mana cost gimmick free. Allowing us to have less talent tree bloat over all.



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85 Night Elf Druid
12655
678 extra mana to refresh (assuming you're using Lifebloom to refresh) every 10 seconds on a class that isn't particularly hurting on mana.


It works out to 32544 extra mana over a typical 8 min boss fight. That's a very significant amount and will have a quantifiable negative impact a majority of druid PvE healers. And that's assuming perfect execution and never having to restack. In practice the extra mana needed with this proposed change will be even more.

As far as claiming the druid class isn't particularly hurting on mana, well, there are many who disagree with you on that so I suppose we'll agree to disagree on that point.
Edited by Treehuggur on 3/1/2011 10:56 AM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
14060
It's a lot easier to sustain throughput when you have mana. And there's really no talents truly worth grabbing with those points. Unless you think your Rejuvenation needs to overheal even more than it already does?
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85 Night Elf Druid
12655
678 extra mana to refresh (assuming you're using Lifebloom to refresh) every 10 seconds


Here's one more way to look at it: The extra 678 mana every 10 seconds that this proposed change to Lifebloom requires means I now need an extra 339 mp/5 to maintain my current healing throughput. Since I certainly can't snap my fingers and manifest that 339 mp/5 I will have to heal less.

My basic argument does not change: This change to balance PvP has an unacceptable negative impact on PvE and needs to be rethought.

Here's one idea: Reduce the mana cost on Rejuv so that it balances out with the increase to Lifebloom.
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85 Tauren Druid
6465
Totally agree with poster.

We are already one of the weakest classes on mana regen. So then how does it make sense to increase the cost of the spell which gives Replenishment to the raid and which gives us our Clearcasts?

Look at the regen numbers, from a night where pally and I are even on healing done:
(Leaving out effects which are equally available to us both.)

Seal of Insight 1233639
Divine Plea 696520
Arcane Torrent 258733 mana
Glyph of Divinity 170041 mana
Total: 2358933

Revitalize 891490 mana
Innervate 301844 mana
Innervate 101793 mana
Total: 1295127

I had 55% of his mana regen, and that's not even considering the spells he gets for free, such as: Light of Dawn, Beacon of Light, Word of Glory, Illuminated Healing, Protector of the Innocent, Enlightened Judgements, Seal of Insight, etc. (Priests have higher spirit, but that was harder to calculate quickly, and I haven't seen them hurting for mana in our raid very often.)

They reduced the cost of paladin spells, and increased the cost of Lifebloom? While I have no issue with the decreased cost for paladins, on what planet does it make sense to increase the cost of any of my spells? I already have to use all the innervates from a boomkin in the raid to get through Heroic Maloriak. What the heck?

If they're going to make this change, we need higher baseline mana regen. Need to increase the feedback from Revitalize, or our base spirit, to bring our mana regen inline with other classes.

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85 Tauren Druid
6465
Edit: I have an idea...
Since LB is tied to our Replenish, Revitalize, Clearcast and set bonus, it's going to be very difficult to adjust our mana to compensate for the increased cost of Lifeblooms, unless we get a base spirit increase.

So, let's assume they are doing this because Arena> Tree of Life> Lifebloom spam is an issue. If this is the case, they can fix it by reducing the cost of Wild Growth.

In arena, WG can never get its full effect on 6 targets, since there are only 2, 3 or 5. I'm sure it's still used (I don't arena), but it can never be OP in arena without its full 6-target effect.

So how about reducing the cost of WG to give back mana that we're losing by the increased cost of Lifebloom.

Every 10th spell I cast is Lifebloom, since I don't have Empowered Touch. Even if I did, there's no guarantee that using another spell to refresh LB wouldn't be pure overheal, and they also have a cost. So yes you can use Nourish if you like, but it will cost you 4 talent points to do so. I chose to just refresh with Lifeblooms.

So, LB costs 1186. With the increase, that will be 1862, or 338 mp5. If WG is used on cooldown, it costs 2861 mp5. Thus it needs mana cost reduced by 12% to get back the lost mp5 on LB increase.

An extra bit of base spirit wouldn't hurt either!
Edited by Lyelu on 3/1/2011 12:50 PM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
12655
Need to increase the feedback from Revitalize, or our base spirit, to bring our mana regen inline with other classes.

I like that idea.

I understand that our mana regen is lower than other classes because we have innervate, but that is yet another clunky and poorly implemented mechanic to give us what other healing classes get passively. How about this Blizz: Bring our mana regen up to par with other healing classes and make innervate only castable on other players?
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85 Night Elf Druid
6380
http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/158904/incoming-healer-changes

This states that blizzard employees fail to talk to each other.

Why would the speculate on giving resto druids a decent "WTF" heal then turn around and NERF the only thing we got atm?
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90 Worgen Druid
16890
Most of the time I am perfectly fine with nerfs and the like that we get, but I really do not understand the justification of nerfing our main spell. It is the base of most of our mana regen and is without a doubt supposed to be our primary heal considering all the talents and set bonuses that relate to it.

If we are taking a nerf in healing AND an increase in mana cost for a spell that is based solely on PvP then I am in shock. This will be extremely damaging to PvE healing and I expect Blizz to really give us some love to make up for this if the nerf does happen.

BTW Getting to use Tranq about 1-2 more times does not make up for nerfing the spell that we never stop using.
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Community Manager
We're a bit worried about Resto being too powerful in PvP. We wanted to try out the Lifebloom changes to see if it fixed the problem. We don’t think it's quite the right change though, so we're going to revert the Lifebloom mana nerf, but keep the reduced bloom effect. We'll have to keep watching this.

The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we're actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We'll have more details at a later time.
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85 Night Elf Druid
14060
We're a bit worried about Resto being too powerful in PvP. We wanted to try out the Lifebloom changes to see if it fixed the problem. We don’t think it's quite the right change though, so we're going to revert the Lifebloom mana nerf, but keep the reduced bloom effect. We'll have to keep watching this.

The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we're actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We'll have more details at a later time.

Efflo being a smart heal? Did I miss something?

Also, after counting how many times I let LB bloom/mouseovered someone else on accident while casting LB. I'm glad the change was reverted.
Edited by Yumei on 3/1/2011 7:14 PM PST
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