State of Mistweavers as of 12/4/2012

(Locked)

90 Tauren Monk
16335
To preface: I am speaking from a 25H raiding experience. I would very much appreciate it if 10H \ 10man raiders provided clear and detailed information as to how they feel the class is working in that size.

Alright. I've been talking about this post for a while now, but I haven't been able to actually heal since the mana cost nerfs until about 20 minutes ago. Now I can accurately make this post and try to be as constructive as possible. Feel free to disagree with me, and feel free to try and refute my points. I welcome all healthy discussion.

Please do not turn this into a sky is falling thread, because it isn't, but it's definitely dark right now.

I'm going to start by being a bit emotional for a bit, though. I've never felt more stressed out while healing than I do while playing current mistweaver. I feel like I'm having to play much smarter and harder than any other healer at this point for VERY little reward. I was really excited about the playstyle of monk and really thought it had promise, but that idea seems to be entirely gutted at this point, at least. There is simply not enough utility for me to justify even playing this class at a competitive level. I'm not the only one who feels this way, either. Something has got to give, soon.

Now on to what I'd really like to say about the class as of now.

I managed to three heal heroic Feng without unglyphing mana tea. This proved to me that glyphing mana tea is no longer practical at all. I think unglyphing it would have given me the mana to finish the fight comfortably. (http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-qegehdt1m8dz7fst/sum/healingDone/?s=12261&e=12581)

This is completely anecdotal, mind you. It is important to note that my guild has been killing Feng for a long while now, so we were able to get away with three healing it. I don't believe that it would be possible for guilds learning it, but it shows that it is possible to play well enough to make MW work after these nerfs.

Now with that little bit out of the way, on to the important stuff.

Mistweaver, when introduced, provided us with a very interesting niche, albeit a powerful one. This was the first class that varied greatly from other classes, in such that there was ALWAYS something to do. Be it healing, DPSing, or whatever it was you had to do at the time. Mistweavers were a very busy spec before the most recent mana change. Monks were sold as a class that were supposed to feel this way, and for the other twos specs, this is absolutely 100% true.

Mistweavers, however, have hit a point where it's safer to be ultra-conservative. I often find myself afraid to cast spells, or even attempt to keep things like Serpent's Seal \ Tiger Power up. I say this because Jab's mana cost has made Jab an unlikely chi generator as it was before. I'm thinking that soothing mist is more effective at generating chi at this point. If you're using soothing mist to generate chi, you might as well just not bother with fistweaving. This has led to a very dull playstyle. It's come down to pressing RM when you can, SCKing if and only if there is massive damage and you can afford it, and mashing chi burst because uplift is just not good for handling large raid damage.

I've actually found myself attempting to find spots out in nowhere to get chi bursts on as many people as possible when spread out because I can still hit more than 12 people (which is the current max for Renewing Mists without bloodlust \ extreme haste levels.) But that's just me.

The majority of this current playstyle is in response to the "kneejerk" mana cost increase. Take note, I'm running over 14,000 spirit with flask and food right now. I have mostly really good gear. I am still finding myself struggling on even bosses we've had on farm forever. I'm still at a loss as to how I'm going to be handling progression on Heroic Empress this week, even if I unglyph mana tea. When !@#$ hits the fan, we do not have the mana to sustain huge periods of burst damage. (Oh wait, loljk I'll probably end up tanking if we switch to three tanks.)

It's doable, but it's hard. In fact, I find that it's much harder for the average player who doesn't play at a top 1% level. If players like myself are struggling, and the forums are in an uproar from a large number of monks finding themselves in the same boat, I feel like it may be a bit TOO hard. I'm all for challenge, but not when it alienates a large amount of the playerbase.

As I've already stated: Mistweavers currently require a massive amount of effort, bring nothing but a few weak CD's to the table, and barely keep up with other classes. There is literally no incentive to bring a mistweaver to a 25man progression raid. I'd go as far as to say that mistweavers will hit the shaman in Cataclysm dilemma of "Oh my god Paragon didn't bring any monks to anything at all ever."
Edited by Mist on 12/4/2012 8:28 PM PST
90 Tauren Monk
16335
However, I have a few simple ideas to hopefully alleviate some of the hurt mistweavers are feeling at this point. Posting this just to hold my spot.

- There needs to be a rollback on some of these mana nerfs. Primarily SCK. Even if it's only rolled back by a small amount, it would do WORLDS of wonder for mana management while restoring some of our long time AOE healing maintenance.

- The Enveloping Mist nerf also needs a small rollback. It's currently not powerful enough to warrant using regularly. This makes our single target healing very costly. (Or forces us to use healing sphere which is a very clunky mechanic when things are super redonkulous.)

- Renewing Mist could stand to be reverted to what it was while lowering the numbers on either Uplift, or RM. Another thought was a revamp of the way RM worked. I'll have to get Maladi to elaborate on what he had in mind for that, but it was definitely an interesting change. (Something about letting RM spread 3 times, but give the spell 3 charges rather than a traditional CD, much like roll.)

- Our cooldowns need to be revamped. Life Cocoon is about on par with pain suppression now, but revival in a 25man raid is horrendously underwhelming, and Zen Meditation is still useless for the most part. An easy way to give MW a raid spot no matter what is to make Zen Meditation work similarly to what it was before.

- Jab as a chi generator was really good before, but is now really, really bad in a lot of situations. I was tossing around the idea of making it do no damage \ healing as a mistweaver and just have it as a way to generate chi reliably for cheap. I need to work on that one.

--

Now I'm going to separate this one because it's one I've been thinking about a lot. Thunder Focus Tea is an interesting cooldown, but I believe it could be more interesting. It already behaves in a way that alters the way a spell works, so I was thinking that it should be possible to have it alter all of our chi dumps, maybe save BoK \ TP.

The idea would be something simple like when you TFT, you can detonate Zen Sphere instantly, having it come directly from the monks body. Have it do something like remove the AOE cap on chi burst for one or two casts. Maybe have it fire out multiple chi waves.

Of course, you would need to increase the CD on TFT but it would make it a more dynamic cooldown. One of the things I loved about mistweaver was that I was constantly looking for the best chi finisher for the best situations. Sometimes I would want to chi burst, sometimes uplift was best, sometimes zen sphere. That has, for the most part, been removed entirely because the answers are almost nearly always the same now. Chi Burst in 25man. Chi Burst and LIKE IT.

I'll probably update this a few more times, but I'm super tired and fizzled from finals, but I wanted to get this out here.
Edited by Mist on 12/4/2012 8:42 PM PST
MVP - World of Warcraft
90 Pandaren Monk
HC
11700
As most of you know, I come from a 10M Raiding background. My opinions carry themselves on that background, and with prior experience before.

That said, I don't think something is necessarily wrong with Mistweavers numerically - I think that our place in numbers/throughput are actually fine. Could use some tweaking still, but fine.

However, I think the overall execution of this throughput is disjointed and convoluted. At the start of the expansion the idea of Monks were to two different styles in healing: Melee and Ranged. We were told neither was completely necessary to be successful, but some fights might cater to what we call Fistweaving or just normal Mistweaving.

Prior to these patches, very good monks would take advantage of both styles (We knew this was going to happen), and pull off ridiculous numbers. Other than that, people still were able to heal from afar without touching melee abilities and clear heroics (Hi, I'm one of them).That was their choice.

Now, if you want to pull off normal numbers, you're still going to have to Fistweave and Mistweave, but the problem is that you can feel the playstyle of both crash into each other and it feels so...wrong.

If they wanted to control throughput - then they should have targeted throughput, not the mechanical sources at which we provide that throughput because at the end of the day - targeting Mana as a source of nerfing only changes playstyle. Which is fine, if the playstyle of Monk was similar to Paladin or even Shaman. But it's not.
________________________________________________
Healing Forum MVP
AKA. Practical
Edited by Staccato on 12/5/2012 8:20 AM PST
90 Worgen Druid
11990
Throughput from our Monk still seemed really solid in H25s last Sunday. Of course we all had to adjust to not having that extra healing, but he still put up great numbers and overall it seemed about right

Changing the play-style to being less fluid is pretty rough though. They probably should have looked at coefficients as part of the reduction instead of just mana nerfs.

Revival does need tweaking (though simply buffing is tricky since it is instant), and tweaking zen meditation should also be on Blizzards list. The new cocoon is a step in the right direction.
Edited by Fangthorn on 12/4/2012 9:38 PM PST
90 Pandaren Monk
12050
couldn't agree more. (this is from a 25 normal perspective) the adjustment from pre 5.1 was needed. we basically spammed RM TFT when max RM and then jab jab uplift. this produced insane numbers for little effort. their idea to make all types of chi dumbs good in different situations is what we need. what they have done is floored every spell except chi burst and forced our active playstyle to a timid one.

after the first 5.1 nerfs i adjusted and moved from jab uplift to SCK chi burst. on garalon i was able to SCK fairly consitently (i follow the melee group around) and chi burst. occasionaly i would uplift when i had high RM say 10+ . tonight i had to constantly stop casting and occasionaly jab to not go oom. i was still able to produce decent numbers (tied with highest heasl) but compared to the utility that our Dics and paladins bring I was subpar.

overall i feel blizz is slowly destroying the fun playstyle of mistweaver with knee jerk nerfs and irrational mechanic changes. they either need to figure out if they want us to be strong thoughput healers or give us more raid utility
90 Tauren Monk
16335
12/04/2012 09:31 PMPosted by Fangthorn
Throughput from our Monk still seemed really solid in H25s last Sunday. Of course we all had to adjust to not having that extra healing, but he still put up great numbers and overall it seemed about right


Numbers are still possible but they're a bit more frustrating to get out there. There is a VERY obvious lack of control in the MW toolkit at this moment. Any time big burst comes up, I'm a bit iffy about it simply because SCK is a mana death trap.

I'm going to be following with the trend of using Chi Torpedo to handle a lot of damage, however, just to see if it works out well enough. I've heard good things about it and it seems like just about the only effective way to maintain our mana over long periods of time.
Edited by Mist on 12/4/2012 9:45 PM PST
90 Draenei Shaman
11700
Thanks for posting this, Mist. I'm mostly watching Monk stuff from the outside, as my Monk is still low-level, but I have been trying to keep abreast of the theorycrafting for Mistweavers for my site and I've come to pretty much the same conclusions about how the recent changes would affect playstyle as you have.

I've long felt that the Mistweaver spec was flawed, but its flaws were being hidden by the insane HPS that it could put out. I know a lot of people don't see how "huge HPS" and "flawed spec" can go together, but from my time on the Beta it seemed painfully clear to me that a lack of utility and the relative dearth of healing you could actually direct and control were going to be problems. I am still new to this community so I still have a naive hope that these nerfs will kick out the "huge HPS" crutch from beneath Mistweavers, to expose their underlying problems, and then result in the developers fixing them by adding more utility or revamping the way some spells work to allow you greater control over your healing. I think your suggestions would go a long way towards helping this. :)

I am still frustrated with Life Cocoon. I really find the HoT modifier concept interesting, but as it stands right now, the absorption shield and the HoT modifier are kind of working at cross purposes. I don't think it would be unbalancing for these two functions to be split and allow Mistweavers to have 2 tank CDs they could use, one for absorption and one for +healing.

Despite the recent buff, I find LC's absorption shield underwhelming - just doing some rough napkin math for the fight I'm currently working on, your Monk's LC would mitigate approximately 2 melee attacks from the bosses in H Will, which are approximately 1.5sec apart, and result in ~338k of damage reduction; Pain Suppression could cover 5 of these melee attacks and offer 416k in damage reduction, so yes, they're roughly "on par", I agree, especially with 2 seconds of +50% HoT healing on the tank before LC falls off. But on something like H Sha of Fear I don't think it will stack up as competitively. Basically, the larger the incoming damage, the less useful I find LC to be compared to other options, and that seems counterintuitive to me.

I just personally would prefer a longer cooldown like Pain Sup, to smooth out more spikiness, than a short one like Life Cocoon that doesn't really eliminate the next melee hit's spikiness. I understand not wanting to make it a copy of Pain Sup, but I think something should be done to give LC more utility. (Granted, I don't know what. Off the top of my head, I don't think any external tank CDs grant more avoidance, so perhaps it'd be cool to have it be something like the AD&D spell "displacement", granting the tanks more dodge for a short amount of time, by enveloping them in Mists that obscure their location? Why yes, I am a nerd.)

I'm looking very forward to reading more informed input from experienced Monks in this thread! It's been very difficult to find constructive posts about how Mistweavers are faring in 5.1, so I hope this thread remains a bastion of informative feedback :)
90 Pandaren Monk
9595
12/04/2012 08:29 PMPosted by Mist
- Our cooldowns need to be revamped. Life Cocoon is about on par with pain suppression now, but revival in a 25man raid is horrendously underwhelming, and Zen Meditation is still useless for the most part. An easy way to give MW a raid spot no matter what is to make Zen Meditation work similarly to what it was before.


In 10 man Revival is a fair cooldown at best with AoE healing being so unbursty now I mostly find myself using it to AoE heal the raid to make up for the lack of targets with Uplift. Zen Meditation and Life Cocoon same situation as in 25.

12/04/2012 08:28 PMPosted by Mist
As I've already stated: Mistweavers currently require a massive amount of effort, bring nothing but a few weak CD's to the table, and barely keep up with other classes. There is literally no incentive to bring a mistweaver to a 25man progression raid. I'd go as far as to say that mistweavers will hit the shaman in Cataclysm dilemma of "Oh my god Paragon didn't bring any monks to anything at all ever."


In 10 man right now there is no point to bring a Mistweaver if you have a Holy paladin and disc priest or resto shaman with ether of those 2. We can pull better numbers than most throughput healers in H10man content but we don't bring near the Raid or healing CD's that other healers bring. Our Throughput in 10 man needs a slight tweek but we are mostly in a good place unless you are healing with disc priest or holy pally the absorbs just eat every bit of passive healing you can do right now. Since we rely heavily on people taking decent constant damage to do some Hps and our AoE healing is very erratic and Rng dependent I do not like that we are being required to be precise to the exact second for that 10 RnM targets that only lasts for 5 sec worth of spam which you only usually get 2 uplifts off unless you had great rng on Soothing before then you get 3 with ascension. The state of 10 man Mistweaver is not as bad as 25 man but we are in a place where it is better to bring any other throughput healer over us since their CD's are better than ours.
Edited by Dizzchi on 12/4/2012 9:49 PM PST
90 Pandaren Monk
6950
Very nice post and I agree with much of your critique of the class.

Just to add a quick note from the perspective of 10m-H raiding in which I feel MWer's are in a fairly dark place currently even more so than our 25 man counterparts.

Firstly however, we are of course having the same horrendous issues with mana and it would seem to me that at this stage of the expansion, with ilvl's well above 490 or more we should be able to be starting to move away from stacking nothing but Spirit just to get through encounters without OOMing.

Regarding 10m-H performance specifically it's been my experience that we weren't quite as OP in 10's as we were in 25's. While a nerf certainly was justified based on 10m performance but the size of the throughput nerf has scaled 10 man MW'ers back to the point where we're only just hanging on to progression viability.

We can provide substantial raw healing numbers but a great deal of it tends to translate into overhealing and our total lack of genuine utility make me wonder why you'd bring a MW if you had other options available of equally skilled players.

And this brings me to what I see as the primary issue with 10m-H MW'ers. The awkwardness of being able to focus the healing where it's required when it's required. While Uplift is clearly far more useful in 10 man while TFT is down the coverage is far to spotty for anything that resembles reliable healing, especially when RM has moved onto full/high health targets - not where it's actually needed.

The lv30 talents (unless a raid is entirely stacked) will seldom hit enough injured players to justify the mana cost of generating the Chi. Like you I also find myself trying to line up as many players are possible for Chi Bursting, very difficult with only 10 in the raid.

At this time any further nerf to the performance of Uplift for the 10 man environment without other compensating changes would be terminal for 10m MW'ers.

Finally, our spot/tank healing is awful. During the period that we were the one-trick-raid-healing-pony it really didn't matter that our single target healing was terrible and mana prohibitive because we were so very good at that one thing. No longer - but our ability to single target heal is still very, very poor and amplified by the unaffordable mana costs.

Healing Sphere spot healing is a crutch and I don't think anyone will be surprised when it's nerfed. Even so it's a bad mechanic to have to try and locate people to drop spheres under them to spot heal. Suffice to say our single target healing needs a real review.
Edited by Intêrferêncê on 12/5/2012 2:55 AM PST
90 Worgen Druid
11990
12/04/2012 09:44 PMPosted by Mist
Throughput from our Monk still seemed really solid in H25s last Sunday. Of course we all had to adjust to not having that extra healing, but he still put up great numbers and overall it seemed about right


Numbers are still possible but they're a bit more frustrating to get out there. There is a VERY obvious lack of control in the MW toolkit at this moment. Any time big burst comes up, I'm a bit iffy about it simply because SCK is a mana death trap.

I'm going to be following with the trend of using Chi Torpedo to handle a lot of damage, however, just to see if it works out well enough. I've heard good things about it and it seems like just about the only effective way to maintain our mana over long periods of time.


Yeh, that is the tough spot they put MW in to begin with. The lack of control is a definite issue that either demands more raw HPS or something else to compensate.

I definitely realize that on fights without easy stacking and constant damage Monks are going to have issues and their X healing is not comparable to another classes X healing due to the triage factor.
90 Tauren Monk
16335
It's something we knew was going to happen way back in beta, especially when they gutted Zen Med. What I wasn't predicting was the mana hike after the 5.1 nerfs. That honestly threw a wrench into a lot of things.

I'm hoping that some of my planned changes will be effective for Empress progression tomorrow, assuming I don't have to tank it. I should seriously not be this afraid of my mana bar.
90 Worgen Druid
11990
At least Empress is like the only 8 healer fight around! How are you gonna manage 8 if you go tank?

No room for a bench! I think this will be the first time I will heal progression with my fellow druid. :D
60 Blood Elf Mage
7835
As an average level 10 man player tonight was very frustrating. At 10k spirit I am unable to either jab or SuM and use ReM on cooldown without running out of mana. With the large ramp up time to spread ReM through the raid it felt very hard to back off ReM and get it back up in time to use for Uplift. Is the expectation that Monks will not be able to use ReM on cooldown but rather be super aware of timing on AOE damage and plan out ReM usage 20 seconds in advance of the damage or is ReM/Uplift just not viable? SCK, Chi burst and Chi wave feels very hard to use in 10 man without a very disciplined raid and/or boss mechanics that allow grouping up.
90 Tauren Druid
10560
12/04/2012 08:28 PMPosted by Mist
When !@#$ hits the fan, we do not have the mana to sustain huge periods of burst damage.


So basically MW is on level with the other healing specs in this category, except maybe Disc?

How is bringing a MW to a 25 man raid worse than, say, bringing a druid (keeping in mind that if you really needed Stampeding Roar/Symbiosis, you can get that from a boomkin/feral/guardian druid, of which there are enough in 25 man raids). Is a MW's stronger overall healing, relatively strong healer DPS, Life Coocoon, and Revival somehow not a good incentive to bring them to raids anymore? I can see a druid being more appealing than a mistweaver on an add/CC fight, but not as an overall choice.

It seems like the nerfs did not disincentivize bringing MWs to 25s altogether. It just made it less appealing to bring 2-3 while the rest of your raid served as CD bots to support the MWs. It sucks now that guilds may have to transition to using only using 1 MW after having spent the first 2 months gearing them up, but I don't know if that should be relevant when it comes to balancing classes. Also, as we all know, discs are out of control. I'm sure they're aware of it and there will be more for monks to do when they're fixed.
90 Pandaren Monk
13020
Thank you for the great post you made Mist.

I feel excatly the same. i'm not near hard mode for now but i'm affraid of what gona become of me(my class) I do agree like almost all mistweaver that we needed a nerf. but like it's have been stated before it's way to much. The healing rotation that we have now is quit hard to stand as with the F.. chi burst. I can't stand this spell. I'm not sure of it but i don't think a lot of disc and holy prist will take divine star just because the positioning requirement is painful. Sure we can do it with practice and hard work but it's plainly frustrating spell to use for me because of his rayon of action. The other thing i hate about mistweaver is the no control over who you heal. there should be a glyph to get your enveloping mist to be mana base.

I think blizzard state that the level 30 talent weren't suppose to be rotational spell but situationnal. so here my suggestion to change those nasty spell lol

first zen sphere should be a beacon type spell on a short duration. As dps it can transfer X% of your dps on the target affected by your zen sphere. I heard dps monk would love a cleave mecanic. And as healer it can transfer X% of the periodic healing you do on the raid to the target affected by your zen sphere and of course no more detonation.

chi wave should be affected by haste in his travelling speed and by adding more jump. and have a X% change to split in half at each jump will keeping his number of jump left but doing half of the healing or dps was suppose to do.

And finally chi burst should keep his cast time but instead of a linear direction. It should be a circular explosion around the caster in a 10 yard radius. fixing the positional problem that i find really annoying. that would be good too for the dps and tank spec for aoe fight.

On the other hand that might be a bit to much to ask, not sure it's good idea but i think this would improve a lot the quality of life of average raider like me.
90 Troll Druid
11615
I'm going to start by being a bit emotional for a bit, though. I've never felt more stressed out while healing than I do while playing current mistweaver. I feel like I'm having to play much smarter and harder than any other healer at this point for VERY little reward. I was really excited about the playstyle of monk and really thought it had promise, but that idea seems to be entirely gutted at this point, at least. There is simply not enough utility for me to justify even playing this class at a competitive level. I'm not the only one who feels this way, either. Something has got to give, soon.


I haven't read the rest of your post, but this right here is how I felt after the first couple of nerfs. We had 2 monks for raiding, but with these changes, I felt like there was no reason to bring two of them, and have switched back to my druid who has been my main for a while now.

I'll give the rest of it a read probably when I'm not so tired.
90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
So basically MW is on level with the other healing specs in this category, except maybe Disc?

How is bringing a MW to a 25 man raid worse than, say, bringing a druid (keeping in mind that if you really needed Stampeding Roar/Symbiosis, you can get that from a boomkin/feral/guardian druid, of which there are enough in 25 man raids). Is a MW's stronger overall healing, relatively strong healer DPS, Life Coocoon, and Revival somehow not a good incentive to bring them to raids anymore? I can see a druid being more appealing than a mistweaver on an add/CC fight, but not as an overall choice.

It seems like the nerfs did not disincentivize bringing MWs to 25s altogether. It just made it less appealing to bring 2-3 while the rest of your raid served as CD bots to support the MWs. It sucks now that guilds may have to transition to using only using 1 MW after having spent the first 2 months gearing them up, but I don't know if that should be relevant when it comes to balancing classes. Also, as we all know, discs are out of control. I'm sure they're aware of it and there will be more for monks to do when they're fixed.


Really, dude? You're going to try to make this a Druid thread?
Edited by Tiriél on 12/4/2012 10:16 PM PST
90 Tauren Monk
16335
12/04/2012 10:13 PMPosted by Pennoyer
So basically MW is on level with the other healing specs in this category, except maybe Disc?


A lot of guilds were not stacking Mistweavers excessively, my guild included. I was and am the only mistweaver we've really had for progression. Plenty of other guilds have only used one as well. The most I've seen a guild use is two, which isn't extraordinary.

This is about far more than just numbers. This is about functionality and the place they're trying to take the class. They removed a lot of functionality with these nerfs. The numbers are still there, albeit less than impressive. We're probably on par with druids on average, give or take a placement depending on how good your disc priests are.

Our CD's have never been worth much, and our single target healing has never been impressive. Our one impressive feat was our AOE healing which, even now, is not very controlled for the most part and is difficult to achieve reliably, especially if it's a spread fight where you can't chi burst \ sck your raid.

I don't want to turn this into a class versus class discussion, however. This is entirely to discuss how the class feels compared to what it was sold as, because as it stands, monks of this week are a completely new class compared to monks of two weeks ago.
90 Tauren Druid
10560


Really, dude? You're going to try to make this a Druid thread?


No, I'm not.
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