Mistweaver DIrection, Are we lost?

90 Pandaren Monk
8130
I am rather concerned with where you're moving MW.

Before you read any futher, realize you're reading near seven pages of what might be considered an unorganized rant, however I did my best (at 3 am) to organize and present my view of mistweavers and their deeply-rooted mechanical issues which need to be addressed before any semblance of "balance" can be reached.

To preface this, I feel you're trying to tone back our healing, and this is why you're nerfing jabx2/uplift (which is never actually a rotation anyway, ReM/EH/Mana Tea needs to be weaved in there and you only use it when you need to heal...or in other words, jab makes up less than 1/3 of my chi on a large majority of fights because it is already more expensive per healing done than ReM/EH, but I digress.) This won't work for a couple reasons. You're either going to nerf jab so harshly that it is completely impossible to use with any real healing spell, or you're going to not nerf it harshly enough and we will stack spirit such that we continue using it. This is a very binary relationship, stemming not from it being particularly strong, but because of the other 3 "spammable" choices, it is the "lesser of 3 evils".

Soothing mist is slow, unreliable, and using it as a melee healer (let’s be honest, if you aren't in melee you're doing it wrong, it lets you avoid numerous raid mechanics etc., regardless of whether you actually melee the boss) COMPLETELY and totally breaks the flow. As a healer, we need reliability. This means that not only is it not FUN to use, but it will NEVER be a viable spell as far as I'm concerned (until it outclasses other abilities so much that it is no longer "unreliable") unless it's ridiculously broken in comparison.

SCK still feels slow (esp. w/o the glyph slowing your movement speed comparing to jabbing for chi, like on Duruumu when you need to move w/ the beams) but not as much as Soothing. It has very high throughput comparing to any of the other chi builders, but due to:
-Natural overhealing (blanket healing which leads to...more blanket healing?? wtb ability to bring specific people up?)
-High gear requirement (large amounts of spirit/crit required to make it actually spammable...gear which will be "below-average" in T15 normal modes)
-Complexity (So you thought it was hard weaving in an 8s CD and 15s CD between instant casts while performing triage? Now try it while spamming a 2s~ [plus or minus, but it doesn't fit cleanly into this rotation] channel. It's much tougher, because of how things line up.)
Due to these things, it's less widely used, and not necessarily any more powerful than Jab, even though it comes with more drawbacks.

Jab is fast, it's visceral for lack of a better word, and it leads to healing spells like a cast time. Jabx2/uplift is like a 3s cast time, but requires more interaction and allows movement. It's a very ARPG-ish take on healing. However, it has no innate healing (okay, a 12k smart heal that relies on eminence [which, frankly, is !@#$ with a 20 yd range, but I'm not going to get into that here]) and can lead to easily over-spamming it. [Other problems can come from this, but it's basically what you learn to deal with as it is the "easiest" to learn and can be learned from any gear level.]

Healing as a MW isn't even remotely this "binary" though, and by binary I speak to using any specific chi generator and solely that. Although learning how to heal as a MW lends itself to a binary nature due to the chi -> healing method, once you really learn MW, you know when to use which generator at appropriate times. This is engaging, gives some room for judgement calls, and generally improves the skill cap on a class.

Personally, Jab is my favorite chi generator because of how it feels and it's immediate, reliable nature, but I still use the others in the times where they are called for.

So I've given a brief explanation of why we (or I?) use jab so much as our go-to generator and the "jabjabuplift" mindset has been born. However, in this next patch you're trying to dissuade it. Due to the mechanics of our healing, you cannot dissuade it. You will either utterly break it for everyone (impossible to use), or it's reliability will make nearly every progression-minded MW resort to it (and stack spirit to make up for a reasonable increase in cost [nearly triple is not even remotely reasonable, in any sense of the word.])
Edited by Astråios on 2/22/2013 12:30 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Monk
8130
But the problem goes deeper than that. If you're nerfing it because you don't like the complex and engaging nature of MW and want to turn it into what every other healer class is, then I'm very disappointed. However I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and hope you're nerfing it because you think it's too strong and everyone feels like it is mandatory.

So, next patch, you've nerfed our throughput...right? Well, no. Not really. See, as soon as I saw the patch notes, I already knew what we were going to do to stay viable, and that is simply switch to SCK. It's been compared on other forums that the two styles are currently similar, and I've experienced extremely close results (talking within 5%) in terms of raw throughput between completely neglecting jab, and simply using SCK. I'm not going to clutter this long post with logs or some such, but it's pretty clear if you test it yourself that SCK can be just as powerful. To give some insight on how the power-relationship would go between jab/SCK:
With jab at 13.5k mana, I would've added spirit and maintained my current style of healing (and simply managed mana more).
With jab at a ridiculous 18k, I would stack spirit and switch to SCK, using jab whenever I need more "on demand healing" (really, only during TFT or to get an EnvM I really need.)
However, at the mind-boggling 24k, I will quite likely be removing it from my bar because it has only one use (other than fistweaving), which is the ability to generate one chi on-demand at non-ridiculous cost by using it for a heal, then using the chi from a latter EH or ReM for TP. This is hardly a strong enough niche to demand a prominent spot on my action bar, and likely not worth one at all [due to the horribly ineffective range on eminence]. {possible use: save meta gem procs for jab during "low damage/regen" phases to use for 12k mana return via TP, allowing significantly increased mana regen during these phases.}

Assuming your goal was to nerf throughput, you failed, as SCK will provide similar results, and as we enter T15 the "high gear requirement" will become a thing of the past with increased spirit on the higher iLvl gear.

So, if you want to complete the goal of "nerfing throughput" you will have to take an axe to SCK while you're at it. (And likely nerf ReM, and chi torpedo) Or some combination of these three, as in 25s they are the reason why we provide an overwhelming amount of throughput comparing to any other healer (with jab I can sustain 200k raw throughput on a fight such as H Tsulong night phase {yes, for the entire phase}, lowered to 160k~ with overhealing during progression, and likely 130k~ now during farm due to our mechanical issues [however I have all the gear I need and sit for others to gear up, and haven't tested recently].)

But at this point we run into an issue. The next step to fixing our throughput is to take an axe to SCK...but you'll run into the same issue as jab. You will either break it, and we will never touch it (like PTR 24k jab), or we will increase spirit and continue spamming it anyway. So, since you want to nerf our throughput, you'll have to break SCK too. This would leave us with one option: Soothing mist, an option which is non-viable for healing in progression-oriented raids (esp. when combined with our mechanical issues, which I will explain below), as well as simply breaking the flow and fun of the class for anything other than making an EnvM instant. It's slow and channeled nature also makes it extremely weak in terms of reacting to damage, something healers NEED to be able to do. This all combines into basically being unacceptable to me, and I'm unsure of whether I would continue playing this class at this point, as soothing mist simply isn't fun design, and I'm not sure there's much you can do to change that. It has it's niche as a tank heal (except healing spheres heavily outclass it, even here, assuming you can deal with it's drawbacks), and as a "less complicated and thus introductory type of healing", and I do not decry any who wish to use it over jab for whatever reason. But breaking the only effective ways of healing progression raids (jab/sck) in an effort to make MW...simpler? weaker?...I'm not sure why you would do it, frankly, except for some ephemeral goal of "balance". Except, it won't be "balance", it would be "decimated".

I'm really not sure why jab/uplift was nerfed, nor why you have such a big problem with it, however due to the way the class was designed, I do not see it working without forcing us into soothing mist, which I refuse to stand for. (Get it, because soothing mist locks you in place as a channel? Ha ha.)
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90 Pandaren Monk
8130
Mechanically, MW lack many things for healing.
We currently lack any real utility (damage reduction CD's, mana restore, %health of shammies, absorbs, hand spells of paladins, and so on) however it is made up for by what is, by all means, a level of raw throughput completely outclassing every healer. One of the con's of being a throughput healer like we are, and this could be considered utility (except every other healer has it), is the ability to control our healing. What this means is that we can't save someone.
Raid low? We help pick up whoever has ReM on them. The ones that don't? Good luck.
But ReM is smart, you say! Well- No. It may be a "smart" HoT which jumps to injured targets, however it does NOT make uplift a smart heal. One of the consequences of this is that we can cast uplift with half the raid at 10% health, and the rest topped (random raid damage occured, or some other healers spiked up the first few groups of the raid), and get literally zero effective healing out of it because ReM was on the topped players, and we have no way to control this. Our only other way to heal AoE is chi burst, however this is A: being removed next patch [30s CD and doesn't use chi, means it's no longer a way to reliably heal and another "throughput limited via CD"].
So our current way to counteract this is that with TFT we can cover a large majority of the raid (60%), thus giving a good chance that we'll hit the right targets at least a few times...however for this to be effective, our "raw" throughput has to be, well, insane. (And it is.) This is because the few that get healed, have to be healed for enough to make it viable. Conversely, when the entire raid is low? It moves from "viable" to "mind-boggling throughput".

There are two themes which pop up in every ability MW have, and they are both listed above.
Firstly: Our throughput is largely limited by CD's, not by mana. This stems from the way chi works and the ability to both stock it and generate it quickly, which is inherently a problem because if it couldnt be generated quickly, it would be unviable for healing, due to a lack of ability to respond to damage. Due to chi, there is no way (at least currently) for MW to "Spend more mana, for higher throughput" except to generate and spend more chi. Now, technically we have shorter globals and thus in constant damage situations we can expend more mana via more globals, however the spells we use are the same. On the other hand, other classes can move between something like holy shock/circle of healing -> holy radiance/PoH spam.
So how did we limit MW healing then?
Cooldowns. Everything important and powerful has a cooldown. ReM, the ultimate source of nearly 50-60% of all healing we do, has an 8s CD which must be pressed near on CD (regardless of damage patterns in the fight) or you will suffer an extreme lack of ability to spot heal or raid heal (due to lack of raid coverage), as well as a lack of chi.
Okay. So this is one way to limit our healing, via CD's on powerful chi generators. But, all chi generators are either slow (HoT), self (expel harm), or PBAoE (SCK). So how do we increase our on-demand raid/tank healing? Well, we use chi, right? But due to the limits in generating chi (it's either 1/s, 1/2s + PBAoE healing, or 1/3s+tickling health bars), each ability to generate chi is "roughly" equal, either in HPS from increased chi gen, PBAoE healing, or due to it's "increased efficiency".
And so, we introduce a cooldown, and this cooldown is TFT. Which is an acceptable way to limit MW healing.

The crux of the CD/chi problem, which I believe blizzard is starting to see, is the inability for mana/chi in such a limited format that we currently have, to account for anything resembling the "slow/efficient, fast/inefficient, strong/slow/average efficient" triangle which every other healer lives by. I'm not sure whether you want to call this a problem or not, I enjoy this version of healing more, however it does perpetuate the binary nature of our class. Either our AoE healing will be efficient enough to use in entry gear and as we gear up we can quickly begin spamming it (as we see with current jab/uplift) or it will be broken/unviable in entry gear but become manageable as we gear up. It's hard to put this in words, so I hope its understandable. But ultimately MW throughput is currently limited by CD's, and hardly (if at all) by mana. This isn't necessarily a problem in and of itself, and different design is nice. But ultimately it also means that nerfing the chi generators is the wrong place to start, and will break the class into an even worse position than it already is.
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90 Pandaren Monk
8130
I don't claim to have the solution, however one thing which seems interesting after typing the above, would be to give different teas to MW. Make them cost a certain amount of mana or chi (relatively small, say 3% mana or 1 chi), and then alter the cost of chi generators/chi spent on AoE. Seeing as uplift is our only AoE spell...(kinda pitiful)...this means these tea's would change uplift. Preliminary ideas include reducing healing by some % but making it a smart heal (maybe as many targets as ReM is on, but either cleave onto some lower health targets or make its overhealing cleave onto low health targets, or simply have ReM'd players act as a "beacon" which uplift can then heal any target within x range, etc. The ideas are limitless and I could go on for hours, however we need a smart heal, we need a way to ramp up our healing, and we need more reliable AoE healing).

The second theme was by extension mentioned in my suggestion by our need of a smart heal. More specifically, our lack of control over our healing makes us go from "below average" spot healing to "god-tier" raw throughput blanket healing. This is a problem in almost every form of game design goals and balance, which the WoW dev's seem to strive for.
Problem one, it gives us a niche. You either stack us for raid healing, or you never touch us at all.
Problem two, lack of differentiation between our "spot healing" (normally low mana costs) vs "insane throughput" (normally high mana cost) causes the aforementioned design issues with mana.
Problem three, you can't buff or nerf, respectively, either end of the spectrum without upsetting the other end immensely.

Suggestion: The spellbook needs to be expanded. Ideally, some way to increase chi generation at a higher cost (and we've already covered why jab cannot act as that method in the current system based on the interaction/comparisons between the 3 chi generators) and some way to spot heal which is actually efficient.
I don't want MW to turn into a copy of holy paladins, but holy paladins are a perfect example of what chi could be like, in my opinion [obviously we would want different mechanics or different spells using the system, but it's got what is necessary to be balanced]. Baseline spot healing, you use holy shock on CD. When you want more, you can choose to generate effectively either on tank w/ DL or on raid with HR (or can spot heal with holy light). Then, depending on how healing needs to be done there are two choices: Eternal Flame, or Light of Dawn. Eternal Flame is a single target heal with 60-65% of the healing put into a 30s HoT, which has higher raw throughput, however it will likely also have high overhealing due to it's high throughput single target/HoT nature (approx 130*x of healing); Light of dawn is a multi-target, low throughput heal (on each target, totaling around 100*x of healing). Essentially, damage patterns of the fight/current health pools of raid members/gear all play factors into which one is better to use. In a fight like garalon, eternal flame would generally be better with low overhealing. However on a fight like empress or vizier, where there is a lot of burst damage, it's generally better to increase the raids HP >NOW< so that no one dies, and thus LoD would be a better choice. Obviously these both overlap. If no one is low enough for EF, then LoD is a better choice then wasting holy power. As well, if you're on vizier but one person is at 5% health, saving them with an EF is better for the raid than using LoD. Now you can debate about which is better, but ultimately they both have their roles and their uses which makes judgement on which healing spells to use actually matter for paladins (since they are both better in different situations).
I want that for MW. I want to have a choice between how to spend chi, whether I'm spot healing or throughput healing, whether I'm AoE smart healing or spot healing, etc. But to do that, we need to stop moving spells to CD's/off of Chi, like chi burst. Now, chi burst/uplift didn't have nearly as intricate of a relationship as LoD/EF. Chi burst is used when you don't have enough uplift targets, assuming you can hit 6 targets with chi burst. Most of the time, this means heavy uplift usage. Even though that choice was insignificant and small, it added a time where skill or knowledge made a difference in how the class was played. I don't necessarily want chi burst back on chi, but the ability to make those decisions, is something which should be added to MW.
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90 Pandaren Monk
8130
I'd like to conclude by stating that I know first hand that MW throughput is ridiculous, but that throughput is covering up a lot of issues and making us viable. Even with the ludicrous potential throughput, our actual logs and parses aren't much higher than other healers, which alludes to the lack of ability to properly apply that throughput (And is evidenced by our weakness on certain fights.)

I'm perfectly fine with getting nerfed, but only if I'm going to stay viable. Removing our throughput removes our viability, because it's the only thing we have. I think MW need a pretty big revamp or change, at least if you want to move us away from being throughput healers. If you don’t want to move us from being throughput healers, then why are you nerfing jabjabuplift?
Edited by Astråios on 2/22/2013 12:35 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Monk
8130
To quote the song I've had on repeat since I started my Homework (And somehow got sidetracked into writing this...rant? for the past 3 hours...)
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you"
It's Swedish House Mafia's - Don't You Worry Child.
And I hope it applies here.

In before: TLDR
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90 Blood Elf Priest
15835
Nothing to really contribute, but I liked your posts. A lot of what you said accurately summed up why I didn't enjoy my mistweaver at all and ended up quitting the class after two weeks at level 90.

Uncontrolled healing !@#$ing blows.
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90 Tauren Druid
8435
Honestly, I hate these MW changes.

But that junk was wayyyyyy too long to read. Took like 10 mouse scrolls just to reach the bottom of your first post. Realllly dude? Jesus...Can't read all that man.
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85 Night Elf Druid
0
I feel I should point out, MW doesn't come close to matching the HPSe of Disc, and it only matches Holy Paladins at best.

But that junk was wayyyyyy too long to read. Took like 10 mouse scrolls just to reach the bottom of your first post. Realllly dude? Jesus...Can't read all that man.


No one's asking you to read it, dude. I, for one, applaud him for taking the time to type out five posts-worth (none of which hit the character cap, by the way) of his opinions on the state of his class, and I wish more people would take the time to do so.

Astråios, don't let Tonydanza discourage you. Sharing is good :)
Edited by Anarri on 2/22/2013 2:14 AM PST
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90 Tauren Druid
11115
Amazing post. Thank you for articulating all that. I have high level healers of all classes and I just cant bring myself to the point where I want to invest time in my MW. In theory its a lot of fun with mixing melee and healing with great mobility, but in practice it just feels wonky and lacking in too many areas. Im close to putting this toon aside until some of these issues are resolved if ever.
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90 Human Monk
8680
I am confused, where the monks are going. Is blizzard trying force us to one particular playstyle? I would like to see more options in healing rotations, not just one or two.
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90 Pandaren Monk
11590
LTDR;

If this is the direction Blizzard wants to take MW, they should just remove Jab and put a mana cost on TP and BoK.

There is too much RNG in MW healing, which is what makes Jab so attractive. Taking that away from us removes far too much, especially with just 10 days to patch.

Yet another knee-jerk nerf at the last freaking second.
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90 Pandaren Monk
11615
Good post Astråios I always enjoy your insight for monk healing :). I think there is a few points you may have missed though.

As other healers gain spirit they are able to start unlocking more and more of their toolkit thus increasing their healing potential by a lot. MW's don't really have this outside SCK, which when ReM is on a lot of targets is a loss over jabx2Uplift.

This leaves MWs only real scaling to be with straight throughput stats, which as these patch notes have indicated isn't going to happen since we will have to continue stacking spirit to keep up with these nerfs.

Another issue is how bad revival is as a raid cd. The main problem I have with it is that its instant and just a blanket heal. Cd's like Healing Tide and Tranq are so much better for when the raid is continually getting punched in the face over a long duration. It is also better when only 5 people are taking a lot of damage since they heal smartly. Revival is only better if the raid takes 1 huge hit than 2 seconds later takes another huge hit followed by nothing.

My final issue with monk healing outside anything you said is our ability to burst heal. Outside of 4chi + chi brew upifts, it takes us 3 globals to be able to uplift again. That is a long time to sit around and do no healing.

TL;DR Monks have scaling issues, Monks have a bad raid cd, Monks have limited burst healing.
Edited by Idrunkenheal on 2/22/2013 7:35 AM PST
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80 Human Priest
3225
02/22/2013 05:07 AMPosted by Nunsense
I am confused, where the monks are going. Is blizzard trying force us to one particular playstyle? I would like to see more options in healing rotations, not just one or two.


It looks like they just don't want our healing to be jab-jab-uplift over and over again. They also don't want to make melee so powerful that ranged healing is worthless.

At least they are improving the chi generation and proc chance on soothing mist per GC comments.
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90 Human Monk
11200
The are telling us not to use jab>jab>uplift rather than giving us some actual choices to choose between.
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90 Pandaren Monk
11615
http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Sha_of_Fear/25H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Sha_of_Fear/10H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

We are the 3rd least represented healer that has completed all content. This include holy priest (who is going to go holy for that fight) and resto druids (Who are getting substantial buffs) while we get more nerfs.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
8455
02/22/2013 08:14 AMPosted by Primiez
I am confused, where the monks are going. Is blizzard trying force us to one particular playstyle? I would like to see more options in healing rotations, not just one or two.


It looks like they just don't want our healing to be jab-jab-uplift over and over again. They also don't want to make melee so powerful that ranged healing is worthless.

At least they are improving the chi generation and proc chance on soothing mist per GC comments.


It just seems like Blizz has set formulas for everything in their never ending quest to balance things to the point of sucking all the life out of the game. Somehow Jab/Jab/Uplift was too efficient even though Monks weren't killing the charts by any means. It's such bland and unimaginative design.

All these changes just show me that once I see this storyline through to the end I'm gone. I'll give Titan a chance as long as this present group of devs stays very far away.
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90 Human Monk
17840
I don't think it's about J-J-U being too good, but monks feeling required to sit in melee range and Jab for chi generation because ranged choices aren't nearly as fast or reliable.

Wasn't Crusader Strike's cost increased at some point because of a similar "issue" for holydins and HoPo?

It's a shame that, instead of equalizing Jab and SM to solve it and give an actual choice between styles, they decided to separate them so drastically. The spec is looking so awkward for 5.2...
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90 Pandaren Monk
11480
Interesting read.

I really haven't looked too much into 5.2 (just patch notes here and there), but the fact they have no idea what to do with Jab scares me.

I guess I'll just be trialing and erroring when the time comes.
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100 Gnome Monk
12390
02/22/2013 09:56 AMPosted by Litchi
I don't think it's about J-J-U being too good, but monks feeling required to sit in melee range and Jab for chi generation because ranged choices aren't nearly as fast or reliable.


So make ranged choices faster and more reliable. Still puzzled why anyone this tier would want to be at range any longer than they have to be.
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