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.