The Future of Healing: A Discussion

90 Goblin Priest
5720
08/31/2013 10:34 AMPosted by Trollmendous
Rdruids are inherently a hot class and we'll always be plagued by OH whether or not asorbs exist.


Just throwing it out there, but does anyone else feel like the proc on the legendary cloak is kind of a bandaid for reactive healing? I can't wait to get that thing, going to be really nice for holy, druids and shaman especially
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
Yes, monks and druids are in a bad place with regards to spirit. Playing both, I keep my spirit as low as possible, which increases my int and secondary stats. The problem is that they designed monks with an external source to regenerate their mana and despite their best efforts, we found ways to turn mana negative healing into mana positive healing. However, the move from fistweaving to mistweaving is where they messed up. MW is much less mana intensive as FW, whcih eats through mana like no ones business. The problem is that they made FW so stagnant and scale so poorly that the only real option is to go MW, which is super efficient. Removing the mana regen kills FW entirely, but keeping it as is, is bad for the game.

However, changing the mana costs, comes at the expensive of actual healing, which would be so expensive with no way to regen mana that monks would cease to be. It requires a complete overhaul, which won't be in place prior to 5.5 maybe even 6.0.

Hopefully, they listen to what we're saying and attempt to overhaul healing in general.
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90 Goblin Priest
5720
Also, your argument is a bit...all over the place. You complain about absorb healing specs being out of control, and then jump to MW—which have exactly one absorb, which is a single-target cooldown


Sorry, should've said smart healing/absorbs.

I'm raiding 10m right now, healing with a disc actually. I definitely use quite a bit of my tool kit on most boss encounters
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
Druids have much more than just hots. We actually have a strong single target toolkit, it just doesn't get used these days. In some cases, druids are actually better single target healers than other classes. But yes, our hots are 80% overhealing because you can't make them stop healing when someone is full.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
08/31/2013 10:38 AMPosted by Gangrene
Also, your argument is a bit...all over the place. You complain about absorb healing specs being out of control, and then jump to MW—which have exactly one absorb, which is a single-target cooldown


Sorry, should've said smart healing/absorbs.

I'm raiding 10m right now, healing with a disc actually. I definitely use quite a bit of my tool kit on most boss encounters


There's a huge disparity between 10 and 25 man, which is an issue I didn't really address. I personally prefer 25M raiding, but the healing dynamic at the 10M level appeals more.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
I'm the opposite, I find the healing dynamic in 25s much more appealing than 10s. That doesn't address the issue with that though, which is that the balancing nature of 10s is why we're in this mess to begin with.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
I'm surprised to hear you say that, since 25M is a lot more "spam ALL the AE" than 10M.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
I actually use more of my driect healing in 25s than in 10. In 10, there's no one to heal so everything is all AE spam just for the chance to heal. In 25s I get to do a lot more single target healing, though the AE spam fest exists as well.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
Of course I run with a pally and dpriest
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
Oh, well, no wonder.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
lol. Its a sad thing that you know exactly why based on just that. Proves the point well.
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100 Tauren Priest
21365
Can we just address the real issue?

The real issue is that blizzard dun goofed trying to make ten and 25 man equal difficulty. Plain and simple. We all knew it wasn't going to happen, we all knew that these issues we have now (and btw it's not just healing issues there is huge disparities amongst all specs between ten and 25) and although blizzard finally admitted that making the 2 difficulties share the same lockout and gear was probably a mistake, we are now stuck with the consequences.

I really dislike the fact that I play disc in ten man because being an absorb healer makes the raid go much smoother but if we were 25 man I could have the option of being holy and be for the most part just as competitive as disc.

As many have said, I think raid cds are a huge issue at this point of why healing is just out of control, and it's really just to me, okay who blows what cd at what point for what boss mechanic? It doesn't really matter because I know that we have enough and then some between the healers and even tanks now.

I also agree with others in the fact that blizzard has just given up in trying to make mana matter. They tried in cata, and my mana pool was higher than my health pool by DS. They tried in MOP and the only time I care about mana is when I switch to holy which is a whole other issue because the mana discrepancy between the 2 specs should not be so great, let alone the mana discrepancy between all healer specs.

I almost think a whole new system would need to be implemented to make *mana* matter to healers by mid expansion to late expansion, something like hunters focus, and spirit can be the resource that makes the focus regenerate faster. But honestly I wouldn't trust blizzard to get it right nor would I expect the healer community to be happy about such a drastic change so I really am at a loss as to what to do.

But I agree that single target healing is just painfully boring when we have been fed the aoe smart healing kool aid for so long. If I had to go back to the slow efficient single target heals as the main healing style I'd probably fall asleep behind my computer. Every class could probably do with loosing at least one cd and one smart healing ability and this game would get more interesting but then blizzard would have to change the bosses accordingly because they are balanced around us having them. /shrug.
Edited by Rapsidy on 8/31/2013 11:47 AM PDT
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90 Goblin Priest
5720
Give absorb healers a different resource. Problem solved.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
The fact is 10 and 25 aren't going away. So now we have to come up with a solution to the healing issue rather than just holler about it.

In regards to mana, some healers rely heavily on spirit while others do not. Its not a matter of heals costing more or less, or worry over what to cast, but more an issue with how certain classes are designed.
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
I'm not sure that giving absorb heals a different resource would work that well. I mean, look at their arsenal. Maybe for a pally (likely not) but lets look at priests. You use many of the same spells and depending on how your different resources were to work, they would be stronger or weaker than their counterparts strictly from a resource PoV. Even then, the resource doesn't absolve the issue with absorbs. Even if it did, what about smart heals? Smart heals are just as problematic as absorbs are.
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90 Goblin Priest
5720
Disc is desirable because it's highly efficient. Give them a resource that'll make them balance between healing and shielding. Think balance druid maybe? I'm more in favor of splitting disc and holy though. This whole thing might be a non issue anyway though with the flex raid system coming up. It'll be more beneficial to mix up your healing comp the more people you have, and maybe it can lead to 25m being more common?
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100 Pandaren Monk
15680
Maybe, but that won't resolve the issues. The same problems arise in 25 that arise in 10 and that's why we're here. Depending on your heal comp in 10 you can get wildly different results but in general the same concerns. In 25s you have more flexibility in regards to your healers but its still very much smart heals and AE spam fest.

The issue doesn't arise from raid size, but is rather a result of balancing to cater to both sizes. Regardless, we still come to the same outcome: healing is not in the hands of healers any longer. Sure we can hit Wild Growth, Prayer of Mending, Chain Heal, Healing Tide Totem, Wild Mushrooms, etc., but once we hit it, that's it. It chooses the targets for you, it heals them and you can do it again. That isn't interactive enough, nor is it interesting and compelling gameplay.

OTOH, neither is single target spamming of yesteryear.

In my mind, a compelling style of healing would be something like a cross between renewing mists and rejuv. A spell that jumps to the targets, but you chose the targets. In our current healing environment, that could never work. It would require the loss of 3 GCDs and in a world of constant and predictable damage, that's a lot to ask. However, the idea itself, has room to grow. Imagine if the initial cost of RM was high, but the subsequent 2 casts, cost no mana. It would be working as it does now, but with more player interaction.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I believe that smart heals have a time and a place. I just don't believe that time and place is every available CD. As it stands right now, smart heals are taking complete control of my healing. Plus, with the proper planning my RM can be on every raid member. I could achieve the same result if RM cost 3 times more and jumped to every player with a 24 second cd.

I think a secondary power meter akin to holy power, eclipse, or even a combo system could have some interesting gameplay elements if properly designed, but as we see with Holy Power, it can also lead to non interesting gameplay because there's no choice. The mechanics have moved us away from interesting choices, clever gameplay and encouraging creativity, to spam X spell @ Y. Spam Z spell on CD. Boring, unintuitive, uninteresting and non interactive.

Mastery is also not as interesting as we were promised, you either take it or you don't. Your class is typically balanced around that. For monks, we don't take mastery in general because it is a non interactive, uncontrollable, uninteresting spell that relies 100% on other people to be worthwhile. For druids, its go mastery or go home. It is just so powerful, not playing in that playstyle is a hindrance to your raid.

IMO, mastery should create an alternate playstyle that is very strong, but comes at the cost of things like crit and haste. Perhaps if your spec prefers crit, then mastery could benefit from haste. Or make all three so amazing that having to choose between them is a tough decision. You could go full crit or mastery or haste or spirit but it would come at the cost of something. Or you could stack mastery and crit and have one playstyle, but if you stack mastery and haste you get a completely different playstyle. Or you could stack mastery and spirit or spirit and crit, so on and so forth. Choosing all of them would be a weak option.

Everything is pretty cut and dry when it involves your spec. I choose crit and haste over spirit and mastery as it is. My druid chooses Mastery over everything else. One priest uses haste and the other doesn't use it as much. They're already predetermined and experimenting with other choices usually only comes after a big change to that specific class mechanics. This is an area I think they could really explore and open up some more interesting options for gameplay.
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90 Night Elf Monk
8805
First thing is -- I think it would be beneficial to leave current MW design out of the discussion of general class design. While a lot of people find it fun, I don't think anyone would argue the class is amazingly well designed, and it's going to get a rehaul soon for that very reason.

Regardless, we still come to the same outcome: healing is not in the hands of healers any longer. Sure we can hit Wild Growth, Prayer of Mending, Chain Heal, Healing Tide Totem, Wild Mushrooms, etc., but once we hit it, that's it. It chooses the targets for you, it heals them and you can do it again. That isn't interactive enough, nor is it interesting and compelling gameplay.

1. Smart healing should require smart play.


In my opinion, I don't think this is exactly a bad thing in moderation. There's a similar thing going on with tank design (giving tanks a lot of baseline %damage reduction and survivability) so that if you have an absolutely horrible tank, you still have a chance of completing the fight if you can carry them. I think this is good design in general. If all you can find as a healer is a really horrible druid who picks all the wrong targets, as long as they hit WG on cooldown and Tranq when you tell them to, it's possible for you to carry them to victory.

I don't think that's a bad thing for the game in general. For the guild who are NOT doing hard progression, who are often pugging a spot or two, this is not a bad thing at all.

I'd agree that some specs have a bit too much of this, and in general these spells are a bit too efficient. There's also a huge difference between 10 and 25, where instead of having 1 POM bouncing, you have 2 POM, a HST and a WG. I don't have the experience to know what the answer is. Though I do think that it is not a bad thing for each healer to feel individually less powerful in a 25-man raid. It seems like that would be how 25s work.

If I could change one thing about healing design, I'd make the Heal equivalents an instant cast. Currently they have a huge opportunity cost (2.5 second cast) and the healing they put out is not worth it.

Finally -- I'm not sure what 10man has 6 cooldowns to go through ....... We have 2 healer cooldowns. One is always the pally Aura, which no one cares about, and the other is usually Barrier which is often not usable at all. And then we have 3 weak DPS cooldowns. So most fights we just don't assign cooldowns in advance, we call them out mid-fight.
Edited by Rainbodash on 8/31/2013 2:48 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
08/31/2013 09:45 AMPosted by Elethia
I don't. Smart heals have issues far beyond the scope of mana expenditure.


They're not going to give us more random AoE. Almost any further AoE spells we get are going to be smart at this point, because it's actually easier on the servers.

This really isn't a Holy versus Disc argument. I merely had a concrete example that involved Disc.

Regardless, you misread my argument. I wasn't saying those fights were bad; I was saying one spec is pushed so heavily into one style of healing that it falls short when that style of healing is ineffective. This is bad regardless of what class or spec you are. Nor do I think it's in any way fair to separate Priests from the rest of the healers merely because we have two specs. They are, essentially, balanced as different classes and have been for a very long time.

Look at classes with at least two DPS specs. It is no more okay to say, well you can always go Elemental or Boomkin or Arms than it is to say, well you can go Holy or Disc. Being pigeon-holed into any spec because it's more potent and more desirable takes a lot of the fun out for many, if not most, raiders.


You don't have to pick a specific spec to go if you're not in a hardcore progression guild. Hardcore guilds stack certain specs and classes for a reason. This is why Blizzard doesn't balance us around what comps Method or Blood Legion uses.

I spend the majority of H ToT zoned out because I've got the timers down, including about half of H Lei Shen.

And even if I'm not lax, I'm bored.


Yeah, but...I mean...Elly....you have him on farm. He's on farm.

It really isn't and, again, this isn't just about Priests. This is what I've observed in the logs of other specs.

However, to address Holy: PoM, PoH, CoH and Divine Hymn make up a stupid amount of my healing. Almost no Renew, almost no Sanctuary, and there's a blue moon on the horizon when I break out my single target spells. I don't even need Guardian Spirit that often, and dispels are always hit or miss based on the fight.

Like I said, this surely differs from the 10M experience but it isn't fun. I find Holy more engaging than Disc right now, but not by that much.


I'm not a 10 man raider. I raid 25s. My top heal is Echo of Light on almost every fight, followed by Prayer of Mending and maybe Prayer of Healing. Sometimes it's Divine Star. Sometimes it's something else. But the thing is, I'm raid healing. I would be concerned, as a raid healer, if I was using single-target spells extensively, because that's not what I'm there for in a 25 man. Sure, on certain fights I do break out my single-target spells, but where's the push for me to do that when I have a 30 second CD on my Chakra?

I'm sorry that you don't have fun with Holy, but I do. I don't think your experience is true of every raider out there.
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100 Blood Elf Mage
18255
In my opinion, and it's one that probably nobody shares, the "problem" with healing as it is today isn't necessarily the prevalence or importance of AE heals; rather, it all flows from the initial changes to healing introduced in Cataclysm, which included making *a lot* of heals exceedingly slow. In a reactive situation, slow heals are quite frequently useless, because they tend to land too late.

It's true that one way to get your heals quickly to a person who needs a heal is to use an AE smart heal. But that's not the only way it could work. If more of our heals could be cast quickly, we may well find more situations where it would be desirable to cast them.
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