Healer balance - What's wrong

90 Human Priest
0
Being a healer since vanilla, I have a vast experience of who healers interact on many scales and throughout many instances and fight types. This experience comes into play when trying to analyze what is happening with the different healer specs, and why some appear underpowered versus others.

The major problem: Spirit Shell
Why is this a problem? It removes the ability of resto druids to be effective in most situations. I'm willing to wager the main issue with many healing classes being under average in HPS is due to Spirit Shell sniping the heals. If you want proof of this, look at any Vizier / Ta'yak log with a disc priest. It is comical.

Compounded, Spirit Shell is a 1 minute CD so it is up for almost every major damage phase that exists in MoP raiding. Re: Wind Lord Rain of Blades, Ta'yak Unseen Strike, etc. and it renders Parasitic Growth on Abmer-Shaper laughable with Divine Insight specced.

I love the spell, but in earnest, it is too powerful as it stands. It is causing balance issues.

Second contributor: Atonement
Atonement. We as disc identify with it, but how strong should it be? I perform on Ta'Yak as a pure atonement priest. That is I only case Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance on the boss, with the occasional shield, and the occasional friendly Penance/Cascade on the raid when in phase 2. Should I come remotely close to matching other healers output? No. Do I? Yes, and win by a large margin.

Atonement should be a trade-off. The utility of a class that can bring 35k DPS when actively DPSing as well as 35k HPS is such a strong argument that it is all you become. Atonement is also too strong for it's own good.

Last major issue: Mana pool, spell cost, and regen
The main problem with MoP is that the regen stat was clarified. Int no longer increased mana pool, which changed the way Disc regened, as well as modified other classes structure. The static mana pool, albeit a great move for overall enhanced play, caused an unforseen issue of balancing spell cost and regen. This is were I believe the majority of issues are falling. Druids are casting spells that cost too much relative to their regen, and it is causing them to fall short on encounters. It is this change that hasn't been properly adjusted for that has caused such a huge spread of healer output. It needs to be addressed.

How to fix it: Meet in the middle
The problem is right now if you nerf down Disc to meet the other specs, you are going to set back a lot of guilds in progression. The solution the resides in meeting in the middle. Drop SS and Atonement by a slight percentage. Buff druid healing slightly, as well as Holy Priest healing. In addition, re-balance spell costs. They don't seem accurate at the moment with the rate of mana consumption with the current healing specs.

I've said this about a dozen times these past few months, I prefer Holy Priest. But I won't put my raid in a bad position for my preference when the difference is so large.
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90 Human Paladin
13675
Disc:

Spirit Shell is DEFINITELY OP. They're fixing that one by nerfing the scaling with mastery I thought. Maybe I'm wrong.

Divine Aegis being guaranteed off PoH is also OP though, and that's certainly being nerfed so that it only procs on crit like DA originally was supposed to.

That alone should really help balance disc out. Atonement is weird, it's one of those things where in 10-mans, it's powerful and in 25-mans, it's not quite so powerful. Hard to balance. Probably the best thing for it would be for Evangelism to no longer reduce the mana cost of Smite and Holy Fire.

Holy (priest):

Holy is pretty much fine, except that certain spells might be a little too expensive (Renew). Renew could use a reduction in mana cost while under the AoE chakra (Sanctuary), maybe PoM too - or give holy Inner Focus as well. Also, for tank healing, Holy Word: Serenity could use a cooldown reduction. Other than that, I think holy is good.

Resto (druid):

Some spells are too expensive. Wild Growth comes to mind, and Regrowth could stand to be cheaper.

Holy (paladin):

Holy Radiance has too small of a radius to be really useful in 10's. It's good in 25's (on the melee pack). Super expensive spell, so it really needs to hit 5 targets to be worth casting. Certain talents are useless too, but hopefully with the change to Selfless Healer, it'll be worth using over defaulting to Eternal Flame. It's annoying that the Eternal Flame HoT doesn't roll.

Resto (shaman):

Pretty much fine, except no real AoE healing option. Healing Rain is too much of a trickle. Maybe redesign healing stream totem to be a bigger AoE heal to people near it without stepping on the toes of Healing Tide? I have no idea.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
The major problem: Spirit Shell


No, resto druids are doing badly in raids WITHOUT disc priests. It's because of gaps in their toolkit which will probably be addressed (hopefully.)

Spirit shell is being nerfed next patch. We'll see how that pans out.

Second contributor: Atonement


Atonement is not a major issue here. In fact, there are only a few fights where you can output that much HPS with pure atonement spam and that is because of a gimmick that increases dps or lack of much to heal (Tay'ak or overhealing encounters that should be 2 healed) The majority of those fights that don't cater to 3 healing but need say extra raid cooldowns, etc, you can just as easily bring a holy priest and have them dps in chastise chakra until they're needed to heal.

Last major issue: Mana pool, spell cost, and regen


This is a valid concern. And something that, if you read patch notes and follow the changes, blizz is already trying to address. There isn't a patch that comes out that isn't nerfing or buffing a class's regen. (Paladins don't count. They're in a good place.)

01/29/2013 01:28 AMPosted by Nemockulous
I prefer Holy Priest


If your raid group can't progress without you being disc because disc is op... Then your raid group must not be all that great. Holy is in a competitive place right now. 3rd best output, from what I've been hearing. The only reason it looks bad is because Disc is currently OP

Personally, I don't roll as holy because we don't need another reactive healer. We run shaman/druid/priest. And even then, I mainly go shadow for the 2-healed fights.

Oh, and finally, you can't generalize MoP raiding yet. This is the first tier. We're just getting started.
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90 Human Priest
0
01/29/2013 01:55 AMPosted by Keirisonis
Atonement is not a major issue here. In fact, there are only a few fights where you can output that much HPS with pure atonement spam and that is because of a gimmick that increases dps or lack of much to heal (Tay'ak or overhealing encounters that should be 2 healed) The majority of those fights that don't cater to 3 healing but need say extra raid cooldowns, etc, you can just as easily bring a holy priest and have them dps in chastise chakra until they're needed to heal.


I pure Atonement heal Stone Guards, Feng, most of Gara'jal, Spirit Kings, Most of Elegon, Most of Will, Most of Vizier, Most of Ta'yak, Holy for Garalon, Most of Wind Lord, and so far Amber/Empress are not Atonement healed. But the other fights it's 90% of the time spent atonement. And that isn't a valid concern?

As for holy dpsing in chastise, while i get what you are saying, there are hardly any fights where damage drops to zero. In this instance, holy doing damage versus disc doing damage is a different mosnter. I can continue to put up 70% of my overall average while doing half a DPS worth of damage. Holy's healing output drops to zero and does half a DPS worth in damage. Difference is clear there.
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90 Human Priest
0
If your raid group can't progress without you being disc because disc is op... Then your raid group must not be all that great. Holy is in a competitive place right now. 3rd best output, from what I've been hearing. The only reason it looks bad is because Disc is currently OP


I didn't say we couldn't progress with me as Holy. I said I won't put my raid at a disadvantage because of my spec preference. I'll take any advantage I can get to make it easier.
Edited by Nemockulous on 1/29/2013 2:13 AM PST
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Disc:

Spirit Shell is DEFINITELY OP. They're fixing that one by nerfing the scaling with mastery I thought. Maybe I'm wrong.

Divine Aegis being guaranteed off PoH is also OP though, and that's certainly being nerfed so that it only procs on crit like DA originally was supposed to.

That alone should really help balance disc out. Atonement is weird, it's one of those things where in 10-mans, it's powerful and in 25-mans, it's not quite so powerful. Hard to balance. Probably the best thing for it would be for Evangelism to no longer reduce the mana cost of Smite and Holy Fire.


That's what I thought too. We are OP right now with these two things but hopefully with the nerfs/fixes to those two we'll be more in line with other healers.

Resto (shaman):

Pretty much fine, except no real AoE healing option. Healing Rain is too much of a trickle. Maybe redesign healing stream totem to be a bigger AoE heal to people near it without stepping on the toes of Healing Tide? I have no idea.


I'm glad to hear this about them. HR was always a pain in a raid that was spread out. I was fortunate enough to end up in lot of melee heavy groups with her so I was able to toss it on them and usually hit the tank also during damage heavy phases to help the tank healer. But yes - it's also been an issue with Shammy's. A spread out raid meant more hard casts then AoE healing, until/if we collapsed then it was HR and CH spam. Then back to hard casts with riptide rolling when possible.
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90 Human Paladin
13675
01/29/2013 02:11 AMPosted by Nemockulous
Holy's healing output drops to zero and does half a DPS worth in damage. Difference is clear there.


Holy DPS is substantially higher than disc while glyphed into Holy Fire and Smite. Holy does things differently, because for Holy, their DPS spells cost a trivial amount of mana (much cheaper than disc), so they have spare mana to burst heal. So they do higher DPS for awhile, and maybe throw out a few instant heals as needed (Cascade, CoH, PoM), or they swap Chakras for awhile and all out heal during a high damage phase, then swap back.

Overall, you get roughly the same DPS and healing as atonement, because Atonement is mana negative, and Chastise chakra DPS is very mana positive.

I'm glad to hear this about them. HR was always a pain in a raid that was spread out. I was fortunate enough to end up in lot of melee heavy groups with her so I was able to toss it on them and usually hit the tank also during damage heavy phases to help the tank healer. But yes - it's also been an issue with Shammy's. A spread out raid meant more hard casts then AoE healing, until/if we collapsed then it was HR and CH spam. Then back to hard casts with riptide rolling when possible.


Yeah, shamans have no way to burst AoE heal (such as empress when the Dissonance Fields explode). That's a fairly substantial issue.
Edited by Dekkar on 1/29/2013 2:24 AM PST
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90 Human Priest
0
01/29/2013 02:22 AMPosted by Dekkar
Holy DPS is substantially higher than disc while glyphed into Holy Fire and Smite.

I'd have to look at more numbers, but I'd have a hard time dropping two glyphs for the ability to burst damage.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
It's 4:30am, and I am way too tired to be reading this crap.

Nemo, you're giving me a headache. If you're pure atonement spamming all of those encounters, then that tells me a few things:

1) You're not using Spirit Shell (except you are! According to your logs...)
2) You have too many healers (why are you 3 healing these encounters?)
3) You may be "pure Atonement healing spam," but you're also dead last on the meters in the fights where all you do is spam Atonement and do nothing else (literally, nothing else) and effectively being carried, so far as the healing requirements go, by your Druid and Paladin co-healers; you are STILL using Spirit Shell, PoH, and Binding Heal on other fights where you claim you are "pure Atonement healing spam
4) Elegon is a fight with a ridiculous damage modifier. If you aren't Atonement healing, you are doing it wrong. You can't claim that an ability is "OP" when you're basing that claim on a fight with a huge damage modifier that causes the ability to double-dip.
5) Your top heal on WotE is not Atonement. It's Spirit Shell.
6) Atonement only makes up 27% of your healing on Vizier. That's only a little over 1/4 of the time spent Atonement healing. Your top heal is Spirit Shell.
7) You're really bad at using your Spirit Shell for Unseen Strike on Blade Lord.
8) You're really bad about using Spirit Shell for Rain of Blades. You're also using Atonement on a fight with a huge damage modifier. Again, you can't claim that an ability is "OP" when you're basing that claim on a fight with a huge damage modifier that causes the ability to double-dip.
9) If you can be Holy for Garalon, given your inefficient use of Spirit Shell on every other fight I've looked at in your logs, you can be Holy for every single one of those other fights. The only reason why you're not is that you think Disc is OP.
10) What's holding your raid back is not your spec. What's holding your raid back is their abysmal DPS. You might want to consider going Holy Chastise, as you'd put out a hell of a lot more DPS as Holy in Chastise Chakra.
Edited by Tiriél on 1/29/2013 2:52 AM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
11680
Sidebar....

01/29/2013 02:22 AMPosted by Dekkar
Yeah, shamans have no way to burst AoE heal (such as empress when the Dissonance Fields explode). That's a fairly substantial issue.


Hmm... I do all right with Healing Tide Totem and Ascendance. Even in 10man, your raid should not be so spread out that some Ascendance GHW bombs won't help heal up the raid in a jiffy. It's only a 5-yard radius to avoid splashing Dread Screech; plenty of room to still be able to drop a Healing Rain or use Chain Heals. I also use Totemic Projection with Spirit Link Totem to be able to even out the health pools of two groups of people.
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90 Night Elf Druid
15480
01/29/2013 02:22 AMPosted by Calamai
I'm glad to hear this about them.


Resto shaman are pretty much neck and neck with druids.

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

Though i am fine with where they are presonally. Absorbs counter act mastery so you don't get the raid low enough to make full use of it.

01/29/2013 02:22 AMPosted by Dekkar
Yeah, shamans have no way to burst AoE heal (such as empress when the Dissonance Fields explode). That's a fairly substantial issue.


Shamans have fine burst. It's the only time they shine.

But all in all besides priests healing is pretty balanced this teir imo.
Edited by Sadiemay on 1/29/2013 6:30 AM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
15000


Resto shaman are pretty much neck and neck with druids.

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111


Expand that graph to 3 months. Consider where shaman and druids were before 5.1, and where they are now. They received no buffs/nerfs as far as I can recall. All the healers, except monks, were pretty even. Disc was a little low. But then Blizzard buffed them (god knows why, I guess it was all their secret data again leading them to it) to monk levels. Holy paladins still have an absorb mechanic.

Disc priests are suppressing us.
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90 Night Elf Druid
15480
01/29/2013 06:48 AMPosted by Jooki
Expand that graph to 3 months.


Well it is progression. Since shaman mastery was intoduced healing tends to go down as gear and knowledge of the encounters progresses.
Edited by Sadiemay on 1/29/2013 7:11 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
7430
01/29/2013 01:28 AMPosted by Nemockulous
Atonement should be a trade-off. The utility of a class that can bring 35k DPS when actively DPSing as well as 35k HPS is such a strong argument that it is all you become. Atonement is also too strong for it's own good.


Tell that to Monks next patch, lol. They'll be doing more DPS than Disc Priests while maintaining decent HPS from the Eminence changes. It's obviously not that broken if they would give the exact same tool to another class.

01/29/2013 01:28 AMPosted by Nemockulous
I've said this about a dozen times these past few months, I prefer Holy Priest. But I won't put my raid in a bad position for my preference when the difference is so large.


Holy is probably the 2nd best healing spec in the game currently, maybe tied for or slightly behind Paladins. Disc Priests are just OP, but that doesn't mean your raid would wipe without one. Holy is viable for any fight this Tier on Normal or Heroic.

01/29/2013 06:15 AMPosted by Sadiemay
Shamans have fine burst. It's the only time they shine.


This.
Edited by Qùess on 1/29/2013 7:13 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
01/29/2013 06:48 AMPosted by Jooki
Disc priests are suppressing us.


We're also oppressing you!

*waves a stick around*

OPPRESS THE SHAMAN!
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90 Pandaren Shaman
12025
I don't raid with a priest but my monk co healer is fully capable of "suppressing" me on the meters when he feels like it. :P

Why do these threads keep happening? Druids are getting buffs, disc is getting nerfed, 5.2 is soon™ so relax!
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90 Human Priest
5860
More or less what Tiriel said, OP - she beat me to it. I do want to comment on the content of your post, though...

You identified three aspects of the spec that you believe currently make it overpowered. However, those are not separate. Starting with Spirit Shell, Spirit Shell is not overpowered. Its cooldown is questionable, given the current tier, but all it does is toggle some spells to shield instead of heal. The strength of Prayer of Healing makes spirit-shelling the raid ridiculously overpowered. Additionally, it appears Spirit Shell is supposed to be more mana-limited to balance its short cooldown (as it takes the place of a Divine Hymn, Tranquility, style ability) but with Discipline priests running around with infinite mana, that doesn't matter.

Similarly atonement is, supposedly, a mana-negative method of healing that no longer has that drawback and, as has been pointed out, is happily helped by many encounters having +damage modifiers on the boss.

The current tier exasperates discipline's overpowered-ness with so many 1 minute bursts and atonement fights. I think that's probably a good thing, hopefully helping blizzard identify the flaws in the spec's design.
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90 Tauren Paladin
0

Resto shaman are pretty much neck and neck with druids.

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

Though i am fine with where they are presonally. Absorbs counter act mastery so you don't get the raid low enough to make full use of it.


This is a side tangent, but one I've never properly understood. How do shielding effects stymie Shaman Mastery? I would think it'd be the complete opposite.

Let's say a raid member is reduced to half health. If the Shaman hits them with a heal first, they get their Mastery effect.

If another healer hits the target with a heal first, bringing them up to, say 70 or 80%, then the Shaman Mastery gets reduced.

But if another healer hits the target with a shield, then their health stays low and the Shaman retains their full Mastery. It seems like the best of both worlds. Less overheal, as instead of multiple healers vying for the same damage, one is hitting the damage and one is preventing it.

I guess... shielding can be seen a bit more like heal sniping, where instead of there being an even shot which healer manages to land a heal first when someone takes damage, the absorber gains a homefield advantage to being the first one out there by hitting them before damage even happens? (I'm less convinced with Paladins, as we have to heal a target to put a shield on them, and I at least certainly don't have the mana to intentionally heal someone at full health for a meager shield).

But I've seen this complaint enough to realize that theory and practice are entirely different and in proper raid situations, Shamans are being hit harder.

On topic, yes, there are changes being implemented in 5.2 that address several of your issues. I'm looking forward to seeing them all before making full comments on the respective healing roles.
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90 Night Elf Druid
15480
This is a side tangent, but one I've never properly understood. How do shielding effects stymie Shaman Mastery? I would think it'd be the complete opposite.Let's say a raid member is reduced to half health. If the Shaman hits them with a heal first, they get their Mastery effect.


Because most shielding is pre emptive and shaman healing is re active. So the damage is absorbed by the shield not absorbed by healthpools.

In your view if it is done at 50% then that is fine, but any good disc will have a large shield built up before damage goes out. With the rare exception of constant pulsing damage, most of the raid design is based around pre determined large damage spikes.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
11430
Disc's ability to put out decent dps at the same time as healing effectively might be a problem (not going to express my opinion on that in this thread). However, I very much doubt Blizzard agrees, given their buff to mistweaver dps in 5.2
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