The State of MW After 5.1, 25m Perspective

Monk
Since the most recent major patch, 5.1, there has been no shortage of posts about the nerfs to the Mistweaver spec of Monks, whether they were warranted, whether Blizzard went too far, perhaps that they did not go far enough. So, that said, I do not expect to be adding anything completely novel to the discussion, but I still want to share my perspective on the changes(that of a semi-hardcore 25m progression raider).

First, my credentials: I have been casually raiding since Wrath, then moved to sorta more serious 10m raiding at the end of Cata, and am now raiding 25s in a semi-hardcore context. We have cleared everything on normal, and are 3/6 H MSV, and have cleared normal Elite mode on Protectors. So, take that as you will. I know many others have gone further, so I do not post this to brag or whatnot, just to establish that my perspective on this is at least modestly informed.

Okay, the above preamble out of the way, to the meat. What is the state of Mistweavers after the 5.1 changes? Overall, I feel that a nerf was definitely warranted, and that from a pure numerical(as in HPS) perspective, the nerf was not too hard on us. That said, I think that there are some other concerns with our spec, which I will detail below.

First, I would like to comment on why I feel that some nerfs were warranted, in case there are some of you who will dispute that. On a best case scenario fight, like Garalon 25m, a simple rotation(in this case it really is basically a rotation in the literal sense of the word) was Spinning Crane Kick(SCK) for general chi generation, Renewing Mist(RM) on cooldown, spam Uplift whenever you had chi for it, use Thunder Focus Tea(TFT)/Uplift on cooldown(since it will never go to waste), and time your Chi Brew for crushes, and spam Uplift more. With that very simple rotation, never needing to even really focus on any one raider in particular's health, a decently geared Mistweaver can easily double the next healer in HPS. It was a total joke. On other fights that were not a constant stream of raid damage, one just had to time their TFT to times of big damage, and still easily beat everyone else. The ideal MW healing style was un-nuanced, boring, repetitive, and barely rewarded player skill, as there really wasn't much difference between the spell usage of a lesser skilled player from a more skilled one.

Simply put: the MW raid healing rotation was just too good on almost every fight(barring perhaps ones with very little raid damage like Blade Lord and Will, especially if you had a Disc Priest), making use of any other spell in the toolkit a hit on your HPS. A nerf to that rotation was needed to open up other spell usage as viable, and to make things more fair on the other healers.

So, that said, how did the nerf pan out? In my opinion, we weren't hit too hard, as long as we make some adjustments in our healing. If we stubbornly stick to the rotation that we had pre 5.1, then yes, the hit is so hard as to almost make us non-viable. The nerf was at least partially to open up more of our toolkit as viable, and so to get ahead, one will have to start using more abilities. Healing Sphere and Chi Torpedo in particular are really shining right now as unlikely viable ways to heal, and Ascension is looking really good as an alternative to Chi Brew. We can still use our Uplift spam rotation with big raid damage, as long as we time it with TFT.

The more difficult part is figuring out what to do during the times that TFT is on cooldown. It looks as if SM is still not optimal for chi generation, and as far as raw numbers go, trying to do tank healing with SM, Surging Mist, and Enveloping Mist(EM) still doesn't put out enough HPS, not to mention being worse than other class' single target healing. In other words, you are wasting your healing to the group by going single target with it, especially with your chi. What I have been doing, depending on the amount of raid damage, is either going Eminence during the downtime, or SCK generation, and Chi Torpedo, and Healing Spheres on the Tanks.

Despite my feeling that healing is pretty okay as MW at the moment, there are some concerns I have. First, our single-target healing needs to be buffed. It is currently a HPS loss to do really any substantial amount of SM>Surging>EM kind of healing on tanks, not to mention that the random chi generation of SM makes it pretty undesirable, as it is unreliable(just like Elemental Blast is for resto shamans. Random is not good for healing). So, although our raid healing got the biggest nerf of the toolkit, we are really forced to still find ways to raid heal to optimally contribute. Perhaps a buff to EM, and a change to the random nature of SM, perhaps making it proc chi at a set amount per channel, but at random ticks in the channel?

Also, our utility is pretty terrible. We have a sorta tank cooldown that barely lasts enough to be noticed(yes, I know it got buffed today, but still not convinced it's any good until I try it). Revival, our "raid cooldown" is pretty okay I suppose in most instances. Beside those two, there is not much else to contribute toward the raid, beside raw healing. I would be happy even with something simple like the thing that shamans have that increases the health of the person they are healing. It's doesn't need to be large, but being consigned to only contributing with heals, and a single viable cd, and possibly another(we will see) doesn't feel good.

What can we take away from this? Well, first, nerf Disc Priests :P

On a more serious note, I think what we can take away from this patch is that Blizzard did respond to the fact that MW was so overpowered in raid healing(especially in 25s) with a set of nerfs that did bring us down a peg or two, but didn't destroy us. We are still consigned to mainly raid healing, and have very little utility in a raid environment. Beside that criticism, I think that we are still valuable additions to a raid team, but with a MUCH higher skill requirement(and cap) than before. Overall, I think we are currently fine. Not great, and definitely not as versatile as I would like, but good enough I suppose.

What do you other MW healers think?
I read all of what you said. And the only thing Im still confused about, is where to go from here in actual healing. Actually trying to generate chi to get mana tea stacks feels like a losing proposition by itself. And maybe its just myself but using spells that don't generate chi just feels odd, even if I am doing it.

Yesterday we downed heroic elegon and I dropped to last place on healing meters, granted we killed him, and we had no healer caused deaths. All the healing was within each other aswell. But now in excited moments, I don't exactly know what to do.

Casting renewing mists costs a ton of mana, I still try to cast it almost on cooldown, and timing expel harms to not drain mana so hard, but it still feels like slowly slipping into a mana blackhole.

As you said, channeling soothing/cjl is really rng, so I felt it when I just got no chi procs. It sucks. It also feels bad for me because we raid with 2 priests/paladin/shammy, so I feel like most of my heals end up wasted anyway if I try for soothing the tank and praying for chi route.

Ofcourse using jabs feels terrible too. And uplifts feel subpar now. Since they took out the walk with chi torpedo I havent used it, but it increases the normal range for roll so I feel like Im actually locked out of too much if I do chi torpedo.

Hrm. I dunno. Im not exactly rerolling, but its been relearn monk over and over and its getting fustrating.
The Changes in 5.1 yeah we can still raid heal but we have no Utility it puts us at a place where it is better to brin 2 disc priests 1 holy priest 1 pally and a shaman then bring a mistweaver into a 25 man and to bring holy pally disc in 10 man with resto shaman as 3rd healer. Our Hps #'s do not align with what we can do for the raid outside of Uplift and SCK for AoE damage. We can't reduce any of the damage the raid takes so you basically trying to heal through it Yes we need a nerf before but a nerf like this. It did the class no justice in getting balanced over being OP if they Buff revival to be a damage redu or full heal I would be happy but right now in 25 and 10 man I use it to AoE heal on CD instead of as a raid CD.
12/04/2012 02:13 PMPosted by Faolain
What do you other MW healers think?


First of all, thanks for the well written and informed post.

One thing that I feel like was left out however - which you touch upon lightly was how random a lot of our chi gaining and there for mana tea gaining mechanics really are. Granted, there's a bit of a learning curve since the changes, but I'm still not totally happy. I feel sometimes on fights I'll be fine - then suddenly my mana is halfway gone and I only have 3 stacks of tea, yet other times, I've got practically full mana and happy with my output and far too much tea. It's just very random and makes it hard to judge from an output/conservation how I'm doing and what I can do during a fight.

I think nerfs were certainly in order and I knew they were coming, especially from a 25m perspective. Me - I raid 10m, which makes a lot of the heals that were overpowered a lot more situational. Chi Burst/Torpedo suddenly becomes less useful when it's only hitting 2-4 targets. Ultimately though,

I think they can't stick without giving us a couple things.

1. Rather than a chance=crit to get a stack of tea, just skip the global cooldown for it and restore 4% mana. Why? Tea management is very chaotic. And without really managing it when glyphed or utilizing it at points unglyphed, it creates a lot of randomness to the playstyle. And ultimately will not change that much from what's currently there.

2. Utility - for sure we need utility. Before, our utility was our output, now it's kind of nothing. It's even further emphasized in PvP, when pretty much every other healer has an immense amount of CC and we have...paralyze and legsweep. It's just not really enough.

3. Better Single Target Heals. We just no longer have a good single target heal anymore. SoM isn't usable always, surging mists is royally expensive, and enveloping mists is rather expensive, but further more no where near as powerful if you can't channel SoM along with it. I feel like I felt with my druid before Swiftmend. There's cases where I'm either not going to heal enough or I'm healing extremely inefficiently for the situation.

4. Better Talents. I think the basis for some good solid talents are really there, it's just not there yet. Particularly in regaurds to the lvl 90 talents. I absolutely love Chi Torpedo, in PvE it's very situational. The others, are meh. While RJW is wonderful interms of output to really get the most out of it you kind of have to drain your mana bar, pretty significantly. Xuen will just never feel like a healing cooldown. And even then, it's just an ok one at that.

5. We're the only healing class without an output cooldown(or option to spec into an output cooldown). Druids can potentially have two; Shaman have even more than that. Pallies have plenty. Holy Priests can spec into one; disc has one mainline (I'm considering Spirit Shell a CD) and can spec into two.

6. We're the only class without a mana return cooldown. This I think is the crux of a lot of balance issues. Because we never had a mana CD, our in class mana regen mechanic was supposed to make up for that. Now that it's been tweaked (our mana costs got increased significantly) it's not longer really making up for it.
yall deserved it
I remember Ghostcrawler stating that he stays away from class forums, I believe everyone does, these forums are desolate...

I suggest moving this post to the healing forums where they can get more attention, not just from the DEVs but from the community as well. I'm sure other players can throw their experience with monk healers in their raid enviroment as well.
12/04/2012 04:40 PMPosted by Skryt
yall deserved it
u mad?
12/04/2012 04:57 PMPosted by Zegreiart
yall deserved it
u mad?


he mad.
I'm glad that I'm not the only one having healing issues with 5.1 . The nerfs that decrease our output heals, I understand, but to increase their mana cost as well? That's harsh, especially when healing is already a stressful situation when thrown into fights like Elegon 10 man.
I've also been raiding with my Monk in a 25 man scenario (just got 5/16 H tonight, wOOt) after being a Resto Druid for the last 4 tiers, and I must say I also am not enjoying the route Blizzard is currently taking with MWs.

I'll start off also with the nerf to RM/Uplift spam was warranted and needed. It made healing in most fights brain dead boring, especially a fight like Garalon, and honestly I felt terrible destroying healers who I knew were good simply because of one move. The only other time I would use anything other than Uplift for my Chi would be on a fight where everyone was stacked up and Chi Burst would come out on top, but still it would come down to spamming Jab or SCK, and going into Uplift or Chi Burst, the only other thing being RM on CD. I remember some of my parses where I had a grand total of 6 heals (as in spells) done: Renewing Mist, Eminence and Statue, Uplift, Gift of the Serpent, and Revival. And yet, I was topping the healing meters by a ridiculous amount. The new nerfs really did open our healing tool kit, and for that, I thank them.

What I don't like about the new nerfs though, is that unless you are healing the raid, you are terrible. Our single target/tank heals are abysmal, and truly need a buff of some sort. They are so bad that using the tier bonuses are just worthless (yes I know I have 2pc, RNG even in 25 man sucks sometimes) outside of a couple of fights, mainly Tsulong. Its just nuts how we actually had decent single target heals, and then they were nerfed to hell and back with our mana. I pretty much have to be in melee now for my healing to be worth a damn, and honestly, I hate it. Part of the perk of MVs was that we would be able to heal in both melee and ranged, and we should have to weave in and out depending on the situation. Well not anymore it seems.

These new nerfs also pretty much set in stone what our talents are going to be. There is no reason now to not take Celerity, Chi Burst, Ascension, Leg Sweep, Diffuse Magic, and Chi Torpedo in 25 man. The extra Chi you get every 20 seconds doesn't even come close to the mana gains from Ascension which is now mandatory thanks to the mana increases, and because of the new mana costs, Chi Torpedo becomes extremely attractive simply for being a free AoE heal. I've only found use now for RJW on one fight, and that is H Blade Lord where most of our healing comes at the end, and trying to Chi Torpedo in that small space usually leads to bad things. Even then though, Chi Torpedo is still REALLY good for those first 5 minutes as well, so idk anymore.

The other problem I have is that with the new increase to mana for Jab, I find that outside of fishing for Chi for a quick Enveloping, there is no reason to melee heal anymore outside of Garalon or Elegon. Hell even Amber Shaper I feel that melee healing is still crap when you look at the damage output itself on that fight. I quite enjoyed being able to deal out a bit of damage and heal at the same time, especially with our Statue in play, but now it seems to burn my mana far too quickly even for the amount of crit and spirit I have. I just don't understand why at least Jab couldn't of been left alone so we could continue to melee heal, and not to mention make Power Strikes at least a LITTLE more attractive of a talent option.

Overall, I feel that we went from healing one way to be effective and that being the only real way, to opening up another way of being effective, and again having that being the only way. Before we spammed SCK and Uplift to stay effective, and now we spam Chi Torpedo and Chi Burst to do it, and always in melee no matter what without actually being able to melee heal. On top of that, it is more stressful to manage mana (I have no problems with managing mana as a healer, but at the same time it needs to at least seem "fun" to do so) even with a 15% increase to the mana pool and our overall output was reduced by quite a lot at the same time. Not to mention in an environment where absorbs are abundant (Disc and Paladins), our heals now become much more overhealing then before which hurts us even further. Honestly, as much as I disliked Druid healing, I feel as if I shouldn't of made the switch, or at the very least, should of went with my Shaman. >.>
as mostly everyone has posted here, I agree we were too far ahead on healing, and we were just flatout overpowered. although I wasnt happy to hear the big nerfs coming with 5.1.0, in the end I knew we needed it.

the day 5.1 was released, the first thing I did was run LFR a few times to get ready for my 10man the next day, and I actually turned out to love the changes. I felt like a well oiled machine. everything felt much smoother and efficient. especially since im the sort of MW who used Soothing Mist very often.

but then the next nerfs came 2 days later +30% mana cost. and all the balancing and tweaking that was the 5.1 PTR and 2 days of Live got thrown out the window instantly. I've got to say I just dont feel that any combinations I do now when I heal are as efficient as possible. sometimes I find myself resorting to standing and autoattacking, or doing absolutely nothing for a few seconds here and there to try and balance myself out. it's very clunky, and tedious.

I also had a talk with my guild lead about raid utility and such, and it's getting very old to know I can bring nothing but Revival, and a cocoon. (pre cocoon-buff, people came out of it like gum on a shoe instead of a butterfly)
and to know a few DPS Healing tide Shamans, or shadow priests, or other hybrid combos together can be nearly as effective as my true healer, is sad and wrong. but I will say the cocoon buff is a good step, but doesnt nearly make up for the lack of the rest of utility.

we needed the inital nerfs of 5.1.0, and saying we needed even more nerfs after that isnt a crazy thought either.

the 30% mana was over the top and completely changed our playstyle like a "hotfix" shouldn't. no matter what we change, theres very little we can do but suck it up since everything is equally as difficult to use and rotate. we're in a very bad spot right now with undoubtedly inefficient, clunky, and near zero-utility set-up that is, us, now.

I loved my Mistweaver every since the beta up until the patch 2 days after 5.1.
the latest monk changes seem very arbitrary. I feel like we're very subpar, and almost no reason for us to be chosen over other healers.

the reason I am still on my Mistweaver is because of this:
"5.2 Appreciation: Finally getting Monk Love"
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7320592477?page=1

all i can do is hope now

I very much hope Blizzard see's this thread. there's been a lot of great feedback and information here by others.
I'd like to provide a slightly different perspective on the same problem having only hit 90 recently and gone through the entry level gearing process essentially since the nerfs.

Prior to the nerfs, I had more mana than I knew what to do with. I could mash SCK as much as I liked, keep 6-12 RMs flying around and heal the tank. This was at probably level 89. It was frankly way too easy. After hitting 90, I began doing heroic dungeons to get into raidfinder and gear up in general. I found that while healing was a little more of a challenge, it was more due to my ineptitude with the class, and that as I gained gear and skill, it was moving closer to what I'd experienced while leveling.

The nerfs hit at around the time that I went into raidfinder for the first time, so I didn't really get to experience being OP. Mana was suddenly a huge problem. Even with managing mana tea like a champ, I was always bone dry by 20%, and had to helplessly watch as people died to incidental raid damage. Naturally being undergeared, I was dead last in healing output. By the time I hit 470 and could enter the second tier, I was middle of the pack and remain so today. I can't vouch for the skill of the other healers, but I'm finding mana to be in a more comfortable place now and have had less of an issue where I couldn't have spared a heal for someone who wasn't standing in the ick.

However, this game isn't about being alright. Its about equal footing, and that is so far from the case right now that it isn't funny. In early gear levels, the nerfs make entry level healing quite challenging. Paladins and Disc Priests right now blow me completely out of the water, putting down 30%+ more healing than I'm capable of in arguably higher, but not by much, gear levels. Now I know that disc really cheeses those meters right now, where my HoTs will tick away under their shields, but the difference is just staggering. With two disc priests, I actually had a real problem finding enough to heal.

This means that were I in a top progression guild, I would have no place in the raid as a healer. A 30% difference to a group of people going after world firsts equates to not being viable. Sure, I could be a great player, but those guilds are full of that, and if someone can be a good player and a priest or paladin, I am quite literally hurting the raid by being there.

So I feel that the nerfs impact the fresh 85 profoundly, but are more tolerable at 470+. I feel that in general, I have to play much harder to see a smaller benefit than simply spamming smite till the boss dies.

I'd like to see a few changes:

1) Our Statue heals should pick targets on each tick of soothing mist. Its a 6 second channel, and when it picks a dps, heals them for 2 seconds, then stays on them for the remaining 4, its wasted.

2) Our mastery is absolute balls. Aside from being able to make jokes about rubbing genitalia for extra healing, It serves zero purpose in raid, similar to lightwell which has been made substantially better with the glyph. Our orbs should meander a bit. Possibly anchor them to our statue or current target of Soothing Mist and have them slowly gravitate in that direction.

3) Efficiency of Surging Mist needs to be increased and we need to be able to use it to heal others than the soothing mist target. This is the only direct heal we've got. Let us use it.
Additionally, why the hell is it acceptable to make drastic changes to a class with no PTR testing via hotfix, but we have to wait to get fixed till 5.2?
12/14/2012 01:13 AMPosted by Nexu
Additionally, why the hell is it acceptable to make drastic changes to a class with no PTR testing via hotfix, but we have to wait to get fixed till 5.2?


I agree...


all the balancing and tweaking that was the 5.1 PTR and 2 days of Live got thrown out the window instantly.
the 30% mana was over the top and completely changed our playstyle like a "hotfix" shouldn't. no matter what we change, theres very little we can do but suck it up since everything is equally as difficult to use and rotate. the latest monk changes seem very arbitrary
Honestly speaking, I can't disagree more with some of you, from a raiding standpoint.
The patch changed nothing. Skilled monks use almost exactly the same priority as before. Chi torpedo has gained value comparatively due to the nerfs to power and mana the other spells received, and healing sphere became strong because of its buffs while simultaneously nerfing what it now has replaced. SZ is now stronger because of said nerfs to other things while its been left alone. Still not a replacement or good to use in high damage, only favorable when little raid damage is happening as bonus healing later in the fight.
Other than that, nothing is different. We just heal for less and have less mana to use to heal with, pigeon holing us even further into only using the same efficient spells/generators, or stacking spirit far beyond what we would before.
12/14/2012 01:13 AMPosted by Nexu
Additionally, why the hell is it acceptable to make drastic changes to a class with no PTR testing via hotfix, but we have to wait to get fixed till 5.2?


Because monks aren't mages apparently.

Also, one thing I would like to point out that hasn't really been mentioned in this discussion is that while 25 mans were MW meter wrecking playgrounds, the same cannot be said for 10s. Even on Garalon the top MWs were only a few % ahead of the top non-monks in 10s. Considering that the majority of players raid in 10 mans, having the nerfs set out as they were-affecting all heals equally instead of specifically targeting 25s-was ridiculous.
The nerfs didn't affect 10m that much either. SCK and Chi Burst were situational in 10m. I honestly think that the Enveloping Mists nerf was because of Healing Spheres, so the healing nerf on that didn't bother me that much.

I'm still able to do pull the numbers I need to for the fights I've done so far. ReM+Uplift is still very good in 10m, it just takes much more work to maximize its effectiveness. If done correctly you should get 6-8 targets when you use TFT (instead of always 10 lol) and cover the rest with the next ReM. SZ is still good, Soothing got buffed (especially with Power Strikes buff), and Life Cocoon doesn't suck now. I haven't done fights where I can use Chi Torpedo yet but the buffs made that really insane too.

The only that changed was that it basically forced me into the ReM+Uplift and SZ playstyle, but I'm okay with that considering that was I did to begin with. The class does feel a bit clunky though, and needs some QoL fixes or just complete reworks on some of our mechanics. Fixing the ReM bounce was a nice first step.
12/14/2012 08:19 PMPosted by Linnelle
Additionally, why the hell is it acceptable to make drastic changes to a class with no PTR testing via hotfix, but we have to wait to get fixed till 5.2?


Because monks aren't mages apparently.

Also, one thing I would like to point out that hasn't really been mentioned in this discussion is that while 25 mans were MW meter wrecking playgrounds, the same cannot be said for 10s. Even on Garalon the top MWs were only a few % ahead of the top non-monks in 10s. Considering that the majority of players raid in 10 mans, having the nerfs set out as they were-affecting all heals equally instead of specifically targeting 25s-was ridiculous.


Mages didn't exactly like their hotfixes if you didn't notice.
What I don't like about the new nerfs though, is that unless you are healing the raid, you are terrible. Our single target/tank heals are abysmal, and truly need a buff of some sort. They are so bad that using the tier bonuses are just worthless (yes I know I have 2pc, RNG even in 25 man sucks sometimes) outside of a couple of fights, mainly Tsulong. Its just nuts how we actually had decent single target heals, and then they were nerfed to hell and back with our mana. I pretty much have to be in melee now for my healing to be worth a damn, and honestly, I hate it. Part of the perk of MVs was that we would be able to heal in both melee and ranged, and we should have to weave in and out depending on the situation. Well not anymore it seems.


Our single target heals aren't terrible - just the good option is so incredibly clunky to use, no one wants to use it - healing sphere on the single heal target.

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