Ask The Devs #11 - Healing (Questions)

General Discussion
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Mass Resurrection easily outclasses the standard resurrection spells. In addition to resurrecting multiple players, I am envious of Mass Resurrection's range and ability to ignore many line of sight issues. Is there any possibility of the standard resurrection spells being brought more in line with Mass Resurrection?
Highly Rated
Currently, with the amount of stat rating required to increase a point of Mastery, Haste, or Crit, players, especially those in healing roles, are forced to gear around stat plateaus. For example, the 12.5% haste is recommended for an additional Renew tick for Holy Priests. Mastery works the same way (per point) for the percentage increase on healing with Echo of Light. Do you feel there is a more elegant way to scale these stats that will not force players to reforge and re-socket gems for every new piece of gear attained to dance around these plateaus?
Highly Rated
Are you happy with resto shaman performance in 10-man setting where Healing Rain and Chain Heal provide less value?

Do you feel the 10% behind holy paladins, disc priests, and holy priests and 20% behind resto druids that graphs like the following show is accurate, and if not, why not? Priests provide the same Inspiration buff as shaman Ancestral Healing, so mitigation can't be the reason.
Highly Rated
I recall a while ago that numerous spells, not just healing spells but even things like totems and Bloodlust, were changed to have absolutely nothing to do with the specific groups of a raid group.

Why was this not done for Prayer of Healing? While PoH is still a very strong spell, it's extremely frustrating to limit it by completely arbitrary raid groups, especially in 25-man raid encounters.

My own personal frustration is that every time I do Chimaeron or Nefarian, I have to try and pick and choose specific people to place with Priest healers in order to maximize their effectiveness.
In my experience of healing on my Priest, raid leaders are not always thoughtful enough to do this, and it makes healing very frustrating because I can't use my entire toolbox.

What ways might Prayer of Healing be changed so as to have absolutely nothing to do with a completely arbitrary grouping mechanic?
Highly Rated
Several if not most Holy Priest talents are very weak, not fun, or completely filler talents - something you guys said you wanted to do away with in Cataclysm.

Are you guys happy with talents like Tome of Light, State of Mind, Surge of Light, Spirit of Redemption, and Rapid Renewal? Any plants to fix many of these weak talents?
Highly Rated
Discipline priests keep getting pinched on their use of Power Word: Shield in 25 man raids, and a lesser extend in 10 mans. Alot of priests feel that discipline is a spec based around absorbs (and indeed the game files appear to agree) and it feels off to be penalized for using our primary spell. Divine Aegis in theory is a nice mechanic, but it hardly counts as a reliable shield.

What are the developers' thoughts on perhaps giving Discipline priests three strengths/types of shields/absorbs, in a similar manner as all other healers have three main heals?
Highly Rated
Throughout the game, healers in general have often been the ones blamed when someone else does something bad, such as standing in the fire. One of the primary reasons that this happens is that the vast majority of bad things you can do result in large amounts of damage, either to the person doing said bad things, or to the raid in general. Basically, the healer gets punished for someone else's mistake.

One way to help fix this kind of blame shifting would be to have more "DPS reduction" type boss mechanics, such as the hit debuff found on the flasks on professor putricide. Are there any plans to make these kind of (non-damaging but still smart to avoid) boss mechanics more common in raids?
Highly Rated
Resto Shamans currently have difficulty raid healing in 10 man raids, since it is harder to get enough people to stack in order to maximize the effectiveness of Healing Rain and Chain heal. This, compounded with several long standing chain heal bugs/behavior issues (see below) makes 10 man raiding fairly frustrating.

Regarding the chain heal issues, firstly if the casting shaman is the second jump of the chain, the chain stops jumping. Secondly, The chain will often fail to heal people due to the way that it jumps. Behold:

55 50 65 35

These four players are spread out near a boss. The shaman begins casting Chain heal on the player with 50% health. During the cast, the rightmost player dips to 35% and is desperately in need of a heal but chain heal jumps to the 55% health player on the left because that player is lower than the 65% health player. The chain then stops because there are no other valid injured targets.

What can be done to alleviate these issues?
Could you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, fix Healadin mastery? It is terrible to reforge to, the only shield that has ever been effective is either when, DL crits with wings and a full stack of conviction, or LoH.
Highly Rated
Recently you explained that the reason the chain heal jump distance was not increased was because the game engine would not support a jump distance. That implies that you agree with the 10-man resto shaman community that feels it is an issue.

Would it be that difficult to change chain heal to use the same game engine mechanic as Wild Growth and Circle of Healing and have it heal the target plus the 3 lowest health targets within 30 yards?

Especially with the insistence that Chain Heal is our signature heal and emphasized by the Firelands 4-piece resto bonus, it would really help 10-man resto shaman raiding for Chain Heal to see some improvement in that raid setting. As Chain Heal is not used in arena, where resto shaman are strong, would make it a good knob to turn to adjust PvE without impacting arena if the mechanic was fixed to work well in 10-man raids.
Going from planned intent during beta to its continuous crash test ride on live, what do you feel have been the highlights and lowest lows of healing in Cataclysm so far?
Highly Rated
Druids have recently been seen as the best HPS healer in the game and are consistently the object of comparison when other classes are talking about nerfs or buffs or they aren't as strong as ______. A lot of this has to do with the tranquility buff that we received recently. What is your stance on the balance of healers over all with druids pulling so much HPS and not having a tank mitigation cooldown compared to something like a discipline priest who has Power Word: Barrier and Pain suppression?
Highly Rated
Renew which is a very weak spell in the Holy Priest "toolbox" has 5 talent points devoted to it in the Holy Tree and yet Renew is still very weak and is not affected by our mastery. Any plans on addressing these issues?
Highly Rated
Will Holy Priests ever receive viable raid cooldown to remain competitive in Hard Modes, espeically ones with "mitigate this or wipe" type mechanics?
According to Resto Shaman Mastery it basically works better (healz for more) if target is at lower Health... do you think that this is reason why Shamans are being held back on the healing charts?
Currently, Holy Priests and Restoration Shaman rely on Test of Faith and Deep Healing for lower health players in raids. However, this might possibly lead to some scaling issues for both classes, not to mention problems for, say, holy paladins, who have lower capabilities with raid healing, but are required to do so in 10-mans. This could potentially also lend back to Wrath-style healing with Discipline Priests spamming Power Word: Shield and Restoration Druids with a Wild Growth/Rejuvenation rotation to deal with heavy raid damage that Holy Priests and Restoration Shaman are balanced for. Is there a plan to address this, or is this intentional?

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