Ask The Devs #11 - Healing (Questions)

General Discussion
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Welcome to the World of Warcraft "Ask the Devs" global Q&A. In this thread we'll be collecting questions from you to have answered by our developers. We'll be asking for your question each time a new Ask the Devs Questions thread goes up, having the community vote on them, and posting the answers we receive approximately one week later.

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Do you have any plans to make chain heal stronger/more appealing for 5man/10man content?
Are there any plans to give Holy Priests access to a viable 3-minute raid cooldown? There are concerns that without a cooldown along the lines of Power Word: Barrier, Spirit Link Totem, or Tranquility, we may need to play disc a lot in firelands. Maybe simply an improved Divine Hymn?
When will holy paladins be competitive with the other healers in the role of raid healer?
At the start of Cataclysm, the the idea was given that developers wanted to step away from niche healing and let all healers be capable tank or raid healers. Has this goal since changed? *cough* Paladins *cough*
Why are Restoration Shaman the only spec of any healer without a single mana regeneration ability that scales with total/maximum mana?
Is it intended for “smart” heals and target capped aoe spells to heal companions/pets like bloodworms instead of players? This is encountered often by multiple healing classes and is very frustrating. Is this being addressed?
What is the reasoning behind certain classes that lack a healing spec (such as a rogue) being able to self-heal better than a dps spec of a healing class (such as a balance druid)?
Focused Insight works with healing rain, will you consider making Unleashed Earthliving Weapon do the same?
Disc Priests seem to be turning into a watered down, unprivlieged version of Holy. The mastery is getting semi useless as it was stated that shields are going to be less focused on in Disc healing but the mastery says otherwise? is there going to be any adress to this, like maybe making Disc a more viable DPS spec ontop of healing with the talents like attonement? (kind of like a feral druid can tank and DPS)
How do you plan on addressing our inflating spirit and mana pools later in the expansion to keep mana a resource, rather than a solid blue bar? We've seen the cost of a paladin's spells increased for balancing purposes, but it would be a shame for the cost of every spell increased in 4.3 to keep up with our regen. Is there a more elegant solution planned?
I wanted to ask a question regarding certain talents.

As everyone is aware, when patch 4.0.1 came out, it brought with it new talent trees. When these new talent tree's arrived we all lost something dear to us.

For me, It was Illumination from the Paladin tree. It was the whole reason behind paladin's need for crit gear.

Blizzard did not like the fact that Illumination was making paladins ignore what they call “regen stats, namely MP5 and Spirit.” So when they redid the talent trees it was not amongst the the new talents.

Now what about “Resurgence”, the new talent replacing Improved Water Shield for shamans.

“Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, Resurgence causes critical direct heals to restore mana (Resurgence rank 2 is roughly equal to 150% of the old Improved Water Shield value when a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critically hits, and scaled down accordingly for faster or multi-target spells).”

Mana back from critical strikes. Sounds a lot like Illumination right? Remember, that spell they removed cause it made paladins ignore spirit and MP5?

You took our Divine Sac and gave it to shamans in the form of Spirit-Link totem but better.

Our Sacred Shield was over power so it was taken away, yet earth shield resembles is it in many ways.

So after all my rambling, heres my question finally.

Why did you(blizzard) give Shamans many abilities that share many similarities with spells removed from paladins for being to good or overpowered.? (I mean Illumination, Spirit-Link Totem, and Earth Shield that is much like Sacred Shield.
In one of the comments about Cataclysm design intent, GC said the following:

What we want to avoid are those cases where a group feels like they can’t possibly keep tanks alive because they lack a paladin or they can’t possibly keep groups alive because they have too many paladins.

Given that the toolbox was equalized across the Core Three heals (Big/Fast/Efficient) it seems that the first goal was reached, but Paladins feel that the second point is completely missed and we are not raid healers. Do the developers agree?
Telluric Currents was introduced to "make healing more interesting" and give us alternative ways to heal. Unfortunately, it's given birth to ugly monsters like hit specs and gearing specifically for the purpose of using TC. Stat allocation should never be based on a talent.

Not only that, it's also quite tedious and far from optional to actually USE Telluric Currents and tends to be required for many hardmode bosses. It's definitely not as interesting as Archangel, for example.

Are the devs happy with how TC is working out or are you looking into redesigning it?
Zarhym recently came to the Paladin community and told us that our spells are being nerfed in 4.2 because:

We increased paladin mana costs because they were too efficient at healing. In raid encounters, for instance, paladins were sitting at 40% of their mana while the other healers were flat out of mana. Paladins were casting Divine Light as their main heal because they didn’t need the efficiency of Holy Light...

We made the changes only because paladins were too efficient compared to druids, priests and shaman...

where, other than in 10-man Heroic comps that include Resto Shaman, Holy Paladins are a) already casting more Holy Lights than Divine Lights in most cases and b) casting WAY more Holy Lights than Heal/Healing Wave/Nourish (as well as many fewer Flash heals than the other classes, which is the inefficient heal).

How did Blizzard arrive at the conclusion that we are too efficient to use Holy Light in general, and more efficient against other healers in specific, when we have no other spells to cast besides Holy Light, Divine Light, Flash of Light and Holy Shock on CD to generate/use Holy Power?
Right now a healer can go from 20% mana to nearly 100% with a potion, mana tide, and a cooldown such as shadowfiend/divine plea. The 50% reduction in mana tide effectiveness is a good change, but are any more changes on the horizon? Perhaps a buff to passive spirit regen, and an accross the board nerf to mana cooldowns such as shadowfiend, etc?
Right now, the disparity for Restoration shaman healing between 10m and 25m is extremely large in both viability and Quality of life. Is there any plans to improve Restoration Shamans 10m raiding toolbox, or make Chain Heal more appealing in 5m heroics and 10m normal and heroics?
I find I spend a lot of my time in raids spamming my '3' button to keep Water Shield up, which I absolutely rely on to maintain enough mana. There have been plenty of times I've neglected to heal someone for a couple seconds because I had to refresh Water Shield.

Do you think it is a good mechanic for Shaman to constantly need to spend a GCD to refresh a shield?
What is Blizzard's intent with Beacon of Light -- how Paladins are supposed to use it, how do they feel it's working -- and how does it's lack of mastery-interaction and fire-and-forget nature make it a compelling gameplay idea in the "choice model" that was championed at the start of Cataclysm?

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