Ask The Devs #11 - Healing (Questions)

General Discussion
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Is the active regen model going to be a staple of future healing or is mana regen going to primarily be from spirit or non-interactive healing? As a point, passive mana regen translates more easily between normal and hard mode encounters due to the amount of movement and healing needed that spending GCD's on mana regen instead of healing is detrimental. If this is something that is a part of every class, then it can be balanced around, but if it's only a part of some classes, then the transitions from normal to hard mode are going to be more prominent for those classes.
Holy priests were given an entire Chakra (Serenity) devoted to single target or tank healing, along with supporting talents like Empowered Healing, Divine Fury, Surge of Light and Serendipity yet we are still not taken seriously as tank healers and this responsibility is often given to other healers, like paladins or even druids.

Do you agree with the current state of things or the opinion that discipline is meant for tank healing and holy is better suited for raid healing or do you feel that holy has been given these tools for a reason and that we should be seen as competitive tank healers?
Can we expect to see various regen nerfs every tier of content given that regen scales incredibly well with gear while mana consumption does not increase as rapidly? Or is there a more sustainable change to regen in the works? e.x.- removing Intellect from the Spirit regen equation and/or changing max mana regen effects into base mana regen effects.

If nothing is changed to the base of the system, you will have to either nerf regen every time we get more gear, or you will have to return to a WotLK style healing model where we spam our highest throughput spells at all times.
Some DPS have Spirit to Hit conversion talents. The result is that healers are often forced to roll against DPS for weapons with spirit on them, especially in PUGs. Yet healers have no corresponding Hit to Spirit conversion talent, meaning there is no justification for healers to roll on DPS weapons. Does Blizzard share the concern of the healer community on this issue.
One of the stated goals of the cata healing model was to avoid hitting a point where the only way to challenge healers was to make the bosses hit hard enough to 2 shot tanks. Already in non-gimmick 10m hard mode fights bosses hit hard enough to 3 shot without avoidance.

Are we headed back to wrath-style healing or are there plans to reel things back towards the original healing goal for the expansion?
You introduced Telluric Current, Evangelism/Archangel, Fury of Stormrage and Denounce in the intention of providing healers a way of doing some dps for low mana cost.

focused Insight is in the middle of both worlds, it's not really a dps increase but at the same time it requires you to dps in order for your heal to be more effective. It's going out of the design behind "you dps if you get bored while healing and we will make it so that your mana doesn't drop too mcuh"

Would you consider adding an healing shock?
Why is it necessary for spirit to hit talents to be in the second tier of Shaman, Druid, and Priest DPS trees? This forces healers who might want to use offensive spells for one reason or another to invest precious talent points into talents that we may not actually need just to get access to +hit. While there will always be the potential for hard choices, it seems like this is something that should be easier to get. Spending the vast majority of your "free" points just to not miss frequently is not a fun way to invest points.
Are there any plans to re-evaluate Living Seed effectiveness? As it stands now it will only proc from things that cause push-back. However, most raid damage abilities that effect non-tanks don't cause push-back, therefore Living Seed never procs unless its applied to a player that is taking direct melee damage (such as a tank). This talent would be more attractive if it could proc from any damage source because when it only applies to tanks it becomes a very weak talent.
Are there any intentions to look at Divine Hymn? I assume you don't want it to be exactly like Tranquility. I just have very little incentive in fights where the raid as a whole takes heavy damage to burn 8 secs or even a few to heal three people. Is there any interest in increasing the amount healed, number of people healed, or cooldown on it?
Resto Shaman are often considered overpowered in PvP and underpowered in PvE, in part because of their Mastery.

Has any thought been given to reworking the Resto Shaman Mastery to bring them more inline with other healers in both PvP and PvE?
With Cataclysm, it appears that healing was taken in a direction to be more of a game of efficiency. Players often complain that healing isn't as much fun as a result.

Are you overall happy with healing, the direction it's gone, and the player response in Cata?
Currently, Light of Dawn Vs. Word of Glory usage is dictated almost entirely by whether or not you can hit all 6 targets with LoD, thanks to the LoD -> Beacon transfer making it as effective a tank heal as WoG.

Are there any plans to turn Light of Dawn into an actual effective raid heal, instead of a powerful tank heal with a small splash heal attached?
One thing that has definitely changed since wrath of the lich king is the ability of healers to be self-sufficient. At the moment, most healers are useless outside of a raid context or when paired with a damage dealing class. For instance, it is impossible right now for a holy paladin (and most healers) to kill another player alone, and the same order of idea, it is really hard to quest as a healer at level 85 as it takes a long time to kill a mob and it will often take a whle mana bar to do so. I don't think healers should dominate other classes, but I believe they should have a chance to kill another player alone, like it was in most of wotlk. I understand this is a multiplayer game, but I don't think any class/spec should be made totally useless when alone.

So my question is: Is there any change planed to increase healers' self sufficiency, mainly by increasing their dps and their efficiency while dps'ing ?
You acknowledge that resto druids show up at the top of the meters because their raid cooldown is recorded as healing. Holy priests' (massively inferior) raid cooldown, Divine Hymn, also shows up on the meters; we have no equivalent to Power Word: Barrier or SLT or Aura Mastery or even a resist aura/totem. The only thing a holy priest does that doesn't show up on the meters is Inspiration, and for a raidhealing holy priest the uptime on useful targets is completely negligible, especially in the presence of a shaman.

Yet while resto druids do the most healing by far, holy priests, who are entirely comparable to resto druids, languish near the bottom. Are there any plans to either improve our healing output or give us some useful utility/mitigation?
Spirit link totem is a wonderful cooldown. I really love it. Good job Blizz! BUT its in dire need of some tuning up. Placing the thing down in a reasonable location is tough. You have to rush into melee range and place it down in the blob of DPS and Tanks. It ruins to "Oh SH%#!!!" reaction you are supposed to have and turns it into a spell you must preemptively prepare. It'd probably be a lot better if it could be manually placed like Healing Rain or maybe just becomes a normal non-totem based spell. Anything to make it more convenient to use!

EDIT: It also comes off the Shaman at an angle. Any chance that could be adjusted?
What are your thoughts on mana regen for certain classes and the fact it might be scaling too fast( particularly resto druids and disc priests )?

I'm aware you made a post about needing to cast faster more expensive heals as content progresses but i feel a few healing classes can already spam big heals without having full 372 gear let alone firelands gear.
It is no secret that you are closer than ever to your goal of making all healers capable of raid healing as well as tank healing. However, it is no secret either that paladins are the class that you are having the most difficulty to balance and reach that goal at the same time because of their good single target healing arsenal and their poor raid healing toolset.

What changes are the developers planning at short, middle and long term to reach that goal ?
Are you okay with current healer stat priorities, or are you planning on making changes to make undesirable stats more desirable?

Crit in particularly is a highly undesirable stat to Holy Paladins, Resto Druids, and Holy Priests even after the 200% crits buff, due to a lack of synergy with talents. Even classes with a large amount of crit synergy via talents (Resto Shaman, Disc Priests) often value Crit as their lowest stat despite getting vastly more benefit from it than the other three.
What is blizzard's stance on self-healing/offhealing by dps specs?

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