Ask The Devs #11 - Healing (Questions)

General Discussion
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It seems to me that for most of the healing classes, the "flash"/emergency heals are very underwhelming and avoided at all costs. The lesser cast time very rarely makes up for the reduced healing and efficiency compared to the "big" heals. What if instead of 1.5 seconds, they were all instant cast. This would do a couple of things. First, it enhances their cast time advantage over slower heals. Secondly, it gives them added utility as mobile heals. And finally, it would help healers deal with the proliferation of interrupts in PVP which has been acknowledged to be a problem.
As a healer, Healing Stream Totem will always be a better choice than Totem of Tranquil Mind. Very often however, the spell haste and melee haste are covered by other members of my party or raid. This leaves me with no beneficial buff to drop in the air totem slot. Would you ever consider changing Totem of Tranquil Mind from being a water totem to an air totem?
Infrequently do tanks die in one GCD but infrequently do I have a free GCD. I'm spamming as much as I did in the previous expansion; while the tanks' health swing less violently the margin for error is just as mindlessly small.
I was hopeful that with Cataclysm we could replace twitch healing with a more rational decision making process, however we have the same heal style (in terms of actions per minute) just without infinite mana.
What are your thoughts to bring us away from twitch healing back to the triage that y'all intended?
Many healers wish that they had x spell from another healing class to complement their own abilities. Has there been any consideration to perhaps allowing some cross-pollenation - at least experimentally if not permanently?
With the added ICD on Water shield it wouldnt be to hard to have a glyph like our Lighting Shield Glyph (never having the orbs drop below 3). we wouldnt get tons of mana back with the ICD, but it would slightly help out our healing output a little.

Could this ever be added to the game?
How happy are the devs with the current balance of healing capability by characters that are not specced into healing? This includes dps specced hybrids and the self healing capability of all other dps specs.
Why is Earth Shield still removing the shield on my shaman allies?

If a resto shaman comes to the rescue of another shaman he can't actively save him since putting an ES on the other shaman would mean removing his shield thus screwing his dps.

Triage healing has been, more or less, a failure due to encounter design, but not through the fault of the players. In Tier 11, out of 13 encounters, there are 4 that require any amount of "triage" healing, but save Chimaeron, this is extremely limited (Maloriak only during blue phase, Omnotron only with Acquiring Target, Ascendant Council only during phase three with Gravity Crush). One might argue V&T due to Blackout, or Magmaw with Lava Spit/Magma Spew, but in general, these really aren't indicative of what one might think with "triage." From what I can tell from Firelands so far, there isn't much else to add to the idea of triage healing. Are you planning to go back to this system, and if so, are you going to try to reduce the huge amounts of AoE that there are encounters? AoE just seems like an unnecessary mechanic to stress healers, and it gets stale when nearly every encounter involves large amounts of raid damage.
Currently Resto Shaman dominate PvP. Mostly due to their big heals, earth shield and Spirit Link Totem. With 4.2 healers are getting 200% crit rate which means bigger crits for the resto shamans that are already healing too much. So in conclusion resto shaman are going to be far superior than any other healer in PvP environment. Have you noticed this issue and are you doing anything to fix it?
The Holy Paladin tree is a complete and utter mess for low level characters wishing to heal as they level up - there are few useful talents to take that aren't simply filler, until you can actually reach the high levels and get the new spells that boost your healing capabilities.

Ret and Prot are both very effective from a low level by comparison. How do you feel the three trees compare, and are there any plans to make adjustments to the Holy tree with this in mind? Or is it intended to be a 'harder' spec to learn to play?
Can we have a glyph that grants permanent cosmetic treeform (the OLD model) for use by druids, or more specifically, resto druids?
Paladins and Priests were brought to raids, in alot of cases, to the exclusion of Druids and Shamans early on in Cataclysm, largely, due to the fact that their cooldowns (Aura Mastery, Barrier, Guardian Spirit, etc) were so much more valuable. Since then, Druids and Shaman have received boosts in the cooldown department (the new Tranquility and Spirit Link), even DPS Warriors as well.

Similar to feelings expressed in your Dev Watercooler -- Rude Interruption, do you feel that adding more cooldowns to the game is a good thing? (As an aside, I'm not advocationg or campaigning for the removal of the Druid or Shaman cooldowns, just comenting on the proliferation of cooldowns that currently exist in game)

That being said, will you continue designing encounters where the sheer number of raid cooldowns available will equate to success? Have you considered toning down the effectiveness of raid cooldowns or lessening our reliance on those cooldowns?
Is the intention for paladins (and shaman to a degree) to primarily use single target spells as their raid heals? With the long resource generation time to use Light of Dawn, weak healing of chain heal and the limited range of spells like healing rain and holy radiance, the reliance on single target heals is currently both required and primary to keep up with the significantly increased amounts of raid damage that are a part of the Cata raiding environment. It seems that trying to balance healing around both single target and raid healing is becoming problematic when it's the same spells being used.
One of the biggest issues I encountered while leveling my priest healer was that mages and warlocks would consistently roll on spirit gear simply because it was a higher ilvl.

Do you have any plans to educate players better on stat balances? It's very frustrating losing out on big upgrades during the initial gearing phase.
When Cataclysm was being produced, what were your goals with the five healing specs, and have you succeeded with those goals or is there more work still to be done?
In current raiding the big, fast, efficient heal trifecta isn't working. Almost never is it possible or desirable to use the small efficient heal. This means that one of the key concepts behind the revamp of healing has not worked out as originally sold and means that the decision process isn't as dynamic as originally hoped for.

Is this considered a failure and what can be done to encourage the use of the efficient heals in raids in particular?
You increased Crit heals to 200%, and changed Improved Water Shield to Resurgence for 150% crits on mana regen. By allocating points to Crit, we still lose regen and throughput compared to splitting the points between Spirit and Mastery. Did you intend for us to still reforge off as much Crit as possible and just make it less "bad," or do you want us to actively seek it out?
Shamans in 10 and 25 man play vastly different. While Chain Heal / Healing Rain reign supreme in 25 mans; Greater Healing Wave and Riptide are the best spells for 10 man solely due to the requirements of Shaman AoE spells which causes our throughput to be lower than other healers. Only abilities that require us to stack up or a specific fight like Chim let us stay decently in striking distance of other healer output. Can shamans get our spells more evened out between the two raid sizes since this current tier and future tier set bonuses will lean heavily towards one raid size or the other?
The healing community generally feels that we are the only specialization that doesn't feel more powerful with gear increases, especially as raid awareness improves and our mana regeneration capabilities are diminished/costs increased.

Have you considered anything to make us feel like we are tangibly doing more stuff like DPS actually do?

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