A Druid’s Reaction to the Wild Growth / Circle of Healing Nerf

A Druid’s Reaction to the Wild Growth / Circle of Healing Nerf

wild-growth

Those of you who keep up with upcoming patch notes and blue posts on the official WoW forums have probably known for quite some time–ever since before Wrath’s release in fact–that both Wild Growth and Circle of Healing were living in the shadow of the nerf bat. A 6-second cooldown has been threatened for both spells since beta testing proved their strength.

Now that the nerf has gone to PTRs, a new wave of complaints has swept over most healing websites. If the comments on Matticus’s recent WoWInsider article are any indication, the nerf to AoE insta-heals draws a passionate response from almost all players, whether they belong to one of the affected classes or not. In fact, what surprises me about the whole discussion is the sheer number of vehement, “L2P nub, don’t spam AoE heals” type retorts. A lot of discipline priests, in particular, seem to feel vindicated by the nerf. On the other side are those that passionately argue against nerfs to any class. I sympathize with this point–such an adjustment to two classes makes us all weaker. When there are less available tools in the toolkit, the game becomes both more difficult and less fun to play.

That said, I find myself having very little personal reaction at this point. Perhaps that’s because I’ve known that Wild Growth spam isn’t a long-term tactic for months now? This is not to say that I’m in support of putting in a 6 second cooldown on Wild Growth and Circle of Healing, just that by now I’ve become accustomed to the idea.

From a certain perspective, this nerf seems necessary. The following series of musings is my attempt to take what I’ve observed through Naxx 10 and 25, Sartharion 10 and 25, and Malygos 25 and try to explain why, from the developers’ perspective, it’s druids’ and priests’ turn to cry.

The State of Healing in Wrath

1. Right now, the risk of dps death during raids is minimal. Healing is relatively strong overall, and three out of the four healing classes have capable raid-healing tools.

2. Right now, the risk of tank death during raids is minimal. Healers can keep up with incoming damage, and tank healers often have time to cast spells on other targets.

3. Most encounters are designed with at least some AoE damage. This kind of damage will always be at least a little challenging for healers because they have to deal with the Interface Boss in order to get heals on multiple targets. However, there is no new Gurtogg Bloodboil yet–AoE damage has not been taken to the kind of extremes we saw in BC.

4. Wrath encounters typically require less healers than BC bosses did. For most guilds, I would take the number that they ran with in BC and subtract one to get their perfect number of healers for a 25-person raid.

5. Smart heals like Chain Heal, Circle of Healing, and Wild Growth are really, really effective. It turns out that (surprise, surprise) a computer is better than a human being at calculating who needs a heal.

6. Mana management is less challenging than most bloggers–including me–thought it would be. It turns out that the level 80 epic gear does a pretty good job of getting people the regen they need, even though some of the old familiar tools (mana oil and chain-potting) are history.

The Behavior of Healers in the Wrath environment

Intelligent players respond to the conditions given them, and the top WoW players will always use a play style that the numbers support. Now, there may be individual differences and preferences, but given free choice, almost all players of the same class and spec will, at the top end of the ability spectrum, make the same decisions. Here’s how raiders are reacting to our current capabilities and to the demands of the current content.

1. Healers are using Wild Growth and Circle of Healing to the utmost. And why not? These two heals do, in fact, make the content much easier. If AoE damage is the challenge (and Blizzard seems determined that it should be), these two spells are the antidote of the moment.

2. Healing has become a competition between healers instead of a mad race to keep people alive. No one is going to die anyway–the content is too easy for that. The best healers are trying to sneak in effective heals against their fellows. Spells like Wild Growth, Circle of Healing, and even the high-HPS glyphed Healing Touch shine in an atmosphere of heavy competition.

3. Healers are not focusing on mana efficiency. When the content is easy and the team can kill a boss quickly, mana efficiency is less relevant. There are no prizes awarded for ending an encounter with 40% mana. The only prize available is for healing output. As such, many players end up healing too much too early and needing someone else’s innervate. This has happened to me a few times, and I’ve been trying to watch it.

4. Druids and priests are, in fact, leaving paladins and shamans behind on the meters. This has only one good effect–that shamans aren’t as necessary any more. I’ve recruited for two different guilds, and the hardest position to hire is that of alliance resto shaman. There just aren’t many out there.

What the Developers Hope the Nerf Will Accomplish

Here is where I really get speculative. The following is my best guess about exactly what kind of “fix” the new 6-second cooldown will be.

1. The nerf will retroactively add difficulty to encounters that guilds have already cleared. Some guilds may even find themselves unable to beat a “farm status” boss. As a result, guilds may stay in the current tier of content longer than they otherwise would. This is good for developers, because it stresses them less to release the next tier in a timely manner.

2. The healing meters will shake out a little differently. The conspiracy-loving part of my brain thinks that it’s “best” for Blizzard if people go back to complaining about resto shamans. After all, they’re far less numerous than priests and druids, at least on alliance side. While most guilds could fill their entire healing roster with priests and druids, I doubt anyone could fill theirs entirely with shamans. It’s a safer class to have at the top of the chart.

3. The management of another cooldown will add back some of the difficulty of playing a druid or priest. The developers want playing a healer to be difficult. If healing is difficult, a guild takes longer to go through a tier of content. For example, let’s take the healing druid. In the good old days of managing 7 second Lifebloom stacks on multiple targets, timing used to be everything. With stacking de-incentivized, I often have only one 9 second triple stack to manage, giving me a lot of freedom. I have a feeling though that now I will be casting Wild Growth every time it’s up. There will be a bit of a return to a fixed spell rotation. I hear many healers threatening to give up their AoE spells entirely, maybe even going as far to spec out of them. I tend to agree with Matticus in thinking that, paradoxically, Circle of Healing and Wild Growth will become more important. We’ll need to actively manage those cooldowns, and the effect of that adjustment period will be to slow progress down.

4. There might be room for an extra healer in a healing team. Circle of Healing and Wild Growth have been such workhorses that the old numbers for a healthy healing squad didn’t make sense any more. This might give a few out of work raid healers something to do. It’s not good for Blizzard if lots of players lose their raid spots.

Am I in Favor of the Nerf?

Personally, no I’m not. And yet, I’m not up in arms about it either. I realize that it hits druids less hard than priests, but I’m not worried about either class’s raid spots. Wild Growth and Circle of Healing are still good spells. Comparatively, I’d say that the Lifebloom nerf of a few months ago was much more devastating than this one.

The addition of a 6 sec cooldown to my best-designed spell is not a happy prospect, and it’s not the kind of thing that makes healing “more fun.” In fact, managing an extra cooldown, especially for druids, who are already managing Lifebloom and Swiftmend, is pretty much anti-fun. I’ve never believed developers’ claims that they want to make healing “more fun.” I don’t think that’s really in their advantage–to really make healing more fun would probably “trivialize” the content as well, forcing them to come out with more content patches on an accelerated timeline. What they might actually do is change our interface to be more “interactive”–and also a ton more difficult to use. I dread this prospect a lot more than any nerf to Wild Growth! Think about the new vehicle interfaces and imagine if you had to heal and target with that! What if all healing were like Malygos Phase 3 or the final boss of the Oculus? As it is, I think the developers recognize that healing, more so than tanking or dps, requires players to modify their interface. I hope they just leave us alone with that and let Grid do what their standard frames can or will not.

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Comments

  1. Frangus - Warsong - Ordo Fidelis says:

    You know, I have to say that I agree with this completely. This is not the end to being a competent healer despite what many people will say.
    I have been healing ever since I made my character, a little over 3 years now. Frangus has always been a healer. I leveled him as holy (which is apparently dumb as all get-out but I had fun with it and actually really enjoyed it. It taught me a lot) and have been holy ever since. Therefore, while I am still learning to crunch the numbers and what not (never really had to do it before now), I will be able to adapt. Why? Because I think that I am a pretty intelligent person. Healers need to be intelligent, reactive and able to think beyond what is going on directly in front of them.
    The Circle of Healing nerf sucks. I agree. But I never spammed it in the first place because it was such a mana hog. The fact that I will now have to wait 6 seconds in between casts is completely fine with me. I will simply fit it into my healing rotation and now it will be a tool that I will use MORE often rather then less because I will know when the cooldown is up.
    I am not in favor of the nerf. Heck, I hate it when they nerf any class, especially my beloved priest. But, in the end, I am fine with it because I will be able to adapt, move on, and change my style of play to better fit the new circumstances.

    ~Frangus

  2. I have to nitpick – it’s my nature. While I can’t comment on the specifics of healing (I’m a tank), I do object to the following premise at the top of the article:

    When there are less available tools in the toolkit, the game becomes both more difficult and less fun to play.

    1. There are not “less tools in the toolkit” with this nerf. One of the tools is just not spammable any longer.

    2. More difficult does not equate to less fun – unless you never find fun in challenge, but if that’s the case (and I doubt it is) then why are you raiding in the first place? Brutally difficult (like some of the original TBC raids) is less fun, but I haven’t seen anyone argue that the 6s cooldown will turn healing into a brutally difficult activity.

    3. Nerfs are necessary sometimes – class balance is hellishly difficult. A lot fo classes have been nailed with the nerf bat, but in my mind that’s just part of the overall cycle — deal with it, move on – it’ll still be a great game. (And yes, my class – feral druid – has been repeatedly beaten with the nerf bat in WotLK – just look at the latest round of patch notes to see the latest armor whack.)

    4. Players, as you say, will gravitate to the easiest/most effective strategies. If those strategies trivialize the game (and AOE healing is to a large extent) then nerfs are needed. Raiding is no fun if it’s trivial.

    Karthiss last blog post..Level 80 Feral Raiding Spec

  3. **2. Healing has become a competition between healers instead of a mad race to keep people alive. No one is going to die anyway–the content is too easy for that. The best healers are trying to sneak in effective heals against their fellows. Spells like Wild Growth, Circle of Healing, and even the high-HPS glyphed Healing Touch shine in an atmosphere of heavy competition.**

    Thank goodness I rolled DPS into Wrath. I am a…lazy priest. I would likely get crushed on meters even without a cooldown on CoH.

  4. A very nice post and I agree with most of it. I like your view of the current healer mentality. Perhaps we have been focussed too much on meters and competition. I’m countering two things though:

    “It turns out that (surprise, surprise) a computer is better than a human being at calculating who needs a heal.”
    I can only resent that 🙂 Let me reprogram that smartheal mechanic and I’ll have better results. Or give me a HID that allows me to select 5 targets effectively in less than a second and I’ll blow that smart heal to Kingdom Come. A decent touchscreen could do the trick. Neural interface FTW! 🙂

    “Most guilds could fill their entire healing roster with priests and druids, I doubt anyone could fill theirs entirely with shamans. It’s a safer class to have at the top of the chart.”
    This balance is different on the Horde side. I doubt Blizzard would introduce a class imbalance to satisfy only one faction.

    —-
    I hope the change increases class balance rather than kill it. No class should be given more healing output by default. Otherwise skills and knowledge reaches little further than character creation.
    That said… I doubt the nerf kills either druid or priest. I outhealed CoH spamming fruitcakes before… Yes, we have that power!
    CoH/WG is still a powerfull addition to our healing, even with the CD. Priests remain flexible; Shammy’s, Druids and Pala’s keep their niche. We’ll just have to work a little harder.

    I only fear the clouded judgement of min-max mindsets that will fall back on shaman stacking (and this seems to be the case). I guess I oppose the (misguided) min-max mindset more than I oppose Blizzard’s solution.

  5. Karthis has provided us with an excellent recitation of the “L2P nub” comment. I love it when someone goes out and finds an example of a phenomenon I’ve written about.

    For some reason, many players have a vested interest in seeing nerfs to other classes. I’ve never understood that (and, for the record, my PvP activity is limited to trying to escape from gankers. It’s not on my radar). It’s evident that Karthis, a tank, is crowing over weaker healers.

    And on the subject of “fun”–

    This is a subjective concept.

    For me, I want the content to be hard on its own (think Vashj and Kael) and my character to be strong. A cooldown isn’t a big deal, sure, but it’s a very artificial limitation–a sort of lazy way to introduce difficulty. Even though my article states in bold that I don’t care all that much, I will say that as a type of raiding modification, the introduction of a new cooldown isn’t a “fun” mechanic. It would be more “fun” to have a boss that requires a complicated strategy. Instead, the complicated part of this new modification will mean that I’ll have to start running ability timers again, blocking another eighth of my interface–that’s the one thing I hadn’t missed from the era of strong Lifebloom. It would be more “fun” to have our AoE spell tied to some kind of combo points mechanic.

    As a side note, I’ve wondered all along why Naxx is so forgiving. It’s more fun to face a harder challenge than to have the same thing as always become more difficult because you’ve lost an ability.

    And yes, CoH/Wild Growth spam is no longer in the toolkit. It’s a very different spell with the cooldown.

  6. I am in favor of the “nerf”. CoH spamming priests and Wild growth spamming Druids believe it or not are not a good thing. The main reason is that right now with the trivial nature of all the 25 man content right now There really is no reason to bring Shamans or Paladins to raids. The healing they do is almost a secondary thought now. The other main reason is the “Stupid Effect” as I refer to it. The lack of awareness of what is going on around you as you stare at raid frames spamming one button over and over again. Seriously add up deaths of Priests and Druids in your raids compared to other classes.

  7. Well you know, Kimbo, there are good and bad ways to play with CoH and Wild Growth. I think if you looked at the percentage of effective heals done by CoH and Wild Growth–not by me necessarily, but by our guild’s “best” healers, I think you’d see that use of the spells (even at levels of 70% or more of the person’s EH) doesn’t actually correspond to player stupidity. On the contrary, it’s pretty smart to use your best spell most often.

    In fact, some days I kick myself because I just can’t spam Wild Growth–mostly because I’ve got to keep that Lifebloom stack on the tank, even though a Lifebloom stack is not the way to meters dominance right now. I like to cast all my spells in every raid, except Nourish, which is pretty much endlessly bad. It’s the “right tool for the situation” bias. Except for one thing–smart heals always end up with more effective healing.

    And I don’t think that paladins or shamans are unnecessary. Paladins do the bulk of the tank healing–which is the most necessary but least showy on the healing meter out of all possible assignments. Shamans bring what I think is the best smart heal of them all–chain heal, which is really the only one of the three smart heals that gets both tank and melee so nicely.

    I think, given the current lack of difficulty, that all healers are a little unnecessary in 25 mans right now. We all feel pretty useless at any given time, because even with 6 of us, there’s just too much healing to go around (except for maybe one or two moments in Naxx, like Gluth’s decimate). I’m hoping that Ulduar will make healers feel like they’re saving people again.

    And as far as deaths go, priests and druids are designed to die more than paladins or shaman. We’re wearing cloth and leather, after all, and AoE healing tends to draw little annoying adds. It’s deliberate, I think, on Blizzard’s part, that clothies and leather wearers die frequently.

  8. CoH and Wild Groth are situationally very useful in 5-man groups, but not OP. They’re good in 10-man groups, but not to the point where it trivializes content or makes other healers irrelevant.

    However, these two spells are simply excellent in 25-man groups. There are too many fights (trash and bosses) that can be made easier by stacking holy priests and druids — while other healers struggle to get in heals with <50% overhealing.

    However, the 6-second cooldown is a very lazy way out. For holy priests, juggling a 7-second and a 6-second cooldown will make it very difficult to get out of the 5-second rule for a few ticks of regeneration. This is a significant change to the nature of holy priest raiding.

    The other issue is that neither of these spells are very useful when cast just once due to the small amount healed. The spells are really designed to be spammed 2-4x in a row. A cooldown that doesn’t take this into account is poor game design. Something like ‘can be cast 3x in a row, then exhaustion sets in for 30 seconds’ would be a much better cooldown fix (this is just an idea to demonstrate what I mean by a modified cooldown, not anything I’m suggesting from a practical point of view).

  9. People like karthis kinda amuse me quite a bit due to their tendency to extrapolate using atypical situations. Naxx and other raids available right now is not meant to be hard or challenging – by design. If you want to make it challenging, run with fewer healers or partial raid groups – don’t crap on other classes. Content which will be released in future patches will be tough content. Nerfing CoH/WG spells to keep current content challenging is laughable at beat since the implication of the nerf will be much more pronounced in the upcoming content. I know blizz had stated that they will not be designing content which requires massive group heals but their track record proves that they have never stuck to what they have promised in terms of design philosophy.

    GC and his team did work hard to ensure that no class is required for raid success. Nerf to CoH/WG- I think -also has to do with shammies and their raid roles now that other classes have decent group heals and better hots or direct heals. All in all the change will just make healing more tedious and will probably force the use of chain heals and start to pigeon hole class roles again.

  10. I’m looking forward to this change. Right now there are plenty of global cooldowns between restacking Lifebloom on tank(s), and as you point out mana regen is a non-problem (especially if you don’t mind trading mana pots for HPS). In the current environment, Wild Growth is usually the rational choice — even if just refreshing the same targets for the front-loaded HPS!

    The nerf may also encourage more coordination for who group heals the ranged versus melee clusters, instead of every healer spamming both. I believe upping the necessary teamwork makes healing “more fun.”

  11. Im a priest and heal lead of a raiding alliance and I also agree with this adjustment. The use of coh/wg is getting a little out of hand. As you mentioned, people aren’t using them because its necessary, its simply because they can.

    The raid damage is different in LK from BC so it makes sense that spells are redesigned too. If aoe damage increases in future content, i could see the cooldown reduced to 3-4 sec but the days of BT/SWP damage seem to be over.

    This change will make loatheb 10m interesting.

  12. @ DocHoliday: You speak of situations with particular druids/priests… which when reading your post really annoyed me.

    In my raid we have 2 paladin healers, 2 shaman and maybe 2 priest healers and guess what… I’m the only tree. There is more then enough room for every healing class in a raid. Could I go ahead and mention the very pally friendly fight *still* Patchwerk? Or the Shammy friendly fight Thaddius? There is more then one way to shine and its up to the *single* individual to represent their class.

    What bothered me the most is that you dropped CoH/WG spam into the stupid effect… In a fight like Malygos when a priest and druid are the only thing keeping the raid from taking the full 20k to the face; how to you expect to compensate the other healing classes reaction times. Because it doesn’t matter what cooldowns are up or what spell or how much bonus healing… if no healing goes out because of a poor reaction time… GG we all lose.

    I’m not saying that this fight will be impossible after the nerf. But you fail to see where there is a benefit to having these spells without their cooldowns. And once again you poke at a specific type of individual… not *all* druids or priest lack awareness; just poor players in general.

    Smart healers never purposely go out and spam, unless nessesary for the whole raid to succeed and when they decide that’s the role they *have* to take, they gladly do it; without losing the skill or knowledge they gained from previous encounters.

    ——-

    Actual comment for this blog…

    On a personally level, sometimes a person cannot fill the shoes of their class; everyone is on their own healing curve. This is something I Blizzard fails to account for with all the new changes…some people still need adjustment, a nerf is slowing the overall progression of the healers understanding their healing mechanics.

    Orbitzs last blog post..A Healers Saga

  13. Honestly… I have not been using Circle of Healing as a crutch. If I know an encounter and I go in and know that there is a heavy AOE upcoming I will place renew on everyone and then sit back and get ready for the storm. Prayer of Mending, the whole nine yards and every tool I have to keep people going.

    I will adjust, doesn’t really bother me at all.

    Hudsons last blog post..You know Hudson, that angry blogger? He’s back…

  14. “I think, given the current lack of difficulty, that all healers are a little unnecessary in 25 mans right now. We all feel pretty useless at any given time, because even with 6 of us, there’s just too much healing to go around”

    True story. We ran 5 healers and my normally quick to complain (said with the utmost respect for her) healing captain didn’t whisper a peep.

    Veneretios last blog post..How good is Defense?

  15. Passerby1001 says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but can someone explain why GMs equate CoH and WG as the same? Because they’re both AoE heals? CoH is a 41 priest talent, which they’ve had all of TBC time to play and adjust. WG is a 51 talent that druids only have a few months to learn and utilize.

    I’ve seen priests w/o CoH and are still effective in healing (end-game raiding), but I’ve yet to see Druids w/o WG to become effective (not to say they’re not, just need experience and time).

    I guess I’m wondering if they’re nerfed the same way because their effects are treated the same, or would it be feasible to introduce a new 51 talent spell for druids (or make WG a 3 sec CD, etc, etc)?

  16. Passerby1001 says:

    -edit (forgive me for the multi-comment, as I could not edit my own)-
    That said, I want to say that I’m not against (nor for) the nerf. I know I can definitely learn to adjust, and even improve my healing rotations because of it (yes I play a restoration druid), but I just want to understand some of the concepts behind their adjustments.

    I have to agree that if it’s only for the sake of introducing “difficulty” to the game, then it’s a poor decision (easy to implement? yes, but also the laziest).

    Challenges like those requirements in the achievements are good, simply nerf for the sake of “too easy” somehow seems unjustified.

    Besides, are they going to take back the achievements for those who completed a more difficult situation without CoH/WG nerf? If not, how’s it fair for the new players wanting to obtain the achievements but will have a much harder time doing so?

  17. I completely disagree with the nerf, at least as a cd. First, i can’t speak too much on the priest side of things, but when looking at my guild’s meters, and seeing how other priests in pugs and so forth heal, I always see at least 60% more often closer to 90% healing is done with CoH. That being the case, healing with a priest is too easy, if you click 1 button all day and leave the rest of the healers in the dust that is a problem. They nerfed lb for simular reasons, it also adds a lack of “fun” in playing that class not thinking at all and clicking one button.

    I myself have never seen a single druid spam cast wild growth, yes it is a good spell for what it does, but it drains mana way too fast and does’nt pick up enough healing over all for that style to remain effective at saving lives. Wild growth for me in raids has never passed 35% of my healing, lb, rejuv, and regrowth are all more effective in healing if you pay attenion to the damage. Druids are about anticipation, count on incoming damage and heal before it happens and give the rest of the healers that buffer to cast thier spells to keep the raid alive. However the buffer on hp that Wild growth can provide is very high for the amount of aoe damage in the game at this time, which makes it work too well and does not make a buffer but instead heals a larger bulk of the damage recieved and should be tuned down in some other way. I have been in several pugs, and through naxx 25 maybe its just me, but if you have good healers in your group, you can’t possibly top the charts as a druid with just wg spam, it just does not work. I however have been almost always #1 on effective healing done because I use the spells to match the damage taken, not spaming 1 or 2 good spells or healing for specifically for the numbers. Wild growth is a key spell in our rotation, the style of the spell reflects the purpose of our class to provide that buffer between which the tank, dps, or healers take high spike damage and need that extra moment between attacks to keep them alive for the bigger spell to hit. Again, the lack of the greater aoe damage to the raid makes the few ticks that get off from it heal too much so the bigger heals mean almost nothing when they land and why shamans and paladins get left in the dust. The healing coefficent needs to be reduced, or aoe damage increased to make it balance out more, not a cheap cool down.

    I also see the nerf impacts druids on a much greater scale than priests because priests and druids are nothing alike. Druids have a fewer number of spells designed for different types of damage, Priests have a spell for every thing and spells that overlap. When you nerf CoH to a priest, what does it really do, makes them use CoH more selectively, and causes them to use other spells that can do nearly the same thing, for aoe heals a priest still has pom, poh, divine hymn, and technically lightwell, though not the greatest spells they are still there and can be used to heal the damage. When you nerf wg, it almost eliminates aoe healing all together, druids have no other spells to make up for it or use in its place. The other priests and shaman in the group will out heal the power of any effect the wild growth does as it can easily miss hitting the max targets and the fact that its a hot spell makes it easier for another class to fill in the damage before it has a chance to be useful at all (also, traq is just a fun spell that mind control makes you cast).

    As for the spells CoH and WG becoming more important with a cd, it seems if the druids and priests do a shaman’s job too well that a cd is needed the shaman has not been properly utilized. Once the gate for thier heals is open to be more useful they will more than make up for the difference of healers generally specing out of the aoe heals in the first place, as the tools that a priest has can make up some of the healing with out CoH and hots would cover the rest that the chain heals can’t.

  18. Allindra - Smolderthorn - Alliance says:

    When I initially read of the nerf here a few months ago I commented on it, the fact that it upset me, but the fact a good healer would not be spamming these spells and got comments back in reply about how good healers “would” in fact be spamming it until it was nerfed since it was so powerful.

    I spent a long time as a disc/holy priest with Imp Divine Spirit instead of CoH before the 3.0.2 patch came out, and picked up CoH only when the patch hit. I guess I’ve had time to adjust to it now but realized that this nerf does not bother me as much as I previously thought it would.

    I have so many healing tools in my arsenal that I have never really used CoH all that much. The only reason that the cooldown upsets me still is as the previous poster mentioned, that CoH is really a spell that is designed to be spammed 2-3 times in succession. This 6-second cooldown is obviously going to prevent that. I never really used CoH all that much outside of the occasion where I needed to spam it a few times in succession. However, having tried out a little bit of holy nova spam when I was leveling without CoH and seeing how effective holy nova has become, my reaction is that for occasions where an AOE spam heal is needed (hopefully there aren’t as many now) that the good healers will be using the holy nova to replace the CoH. Obviously, the range is not the same, the priest may have to move around a few times to get everyone. And the mana effeciency is still poor.

    However, I’m speculating. Right now my small guild still has people leveling and are planning on starting 10-man Naxx tonight, so my WotLK experience has thus been limited to 5-man heroics. However with just myself and two holy paladins, I’m thinking this could be an interesting experience.

  19. ^_^ I always <3 all the posts here at World of Matticus, but…

    “Right now, the risk of dps death during raids is minimal. Healing is relatively strong overall, and three out of the four healing classes have capable raid-healing tools.”

    =3 I would have said 2.5 of the healing classes. Discipline specced priests are almost worse at raid healing than pallies. ^^ I’m sure you have enough people nit-picking at your post, so I would like to re-emphasize that it is very well written and probably makes more sense (with less rambling) than anything I write.

    Myssidias last blog post..This just in!

  20. I am a shaman healer and I find CoH stepping on my CH all the time and increasing my Overheals. I am cranking on a 2 second Chain Heal and a priest spamming one button instacasts CoH just before I hit my target. It is annoying. This makes me have to heal up to 1-1/2 times as much to beat those lazy priests on the meters. Not too hard to do but still annoying, lol.

    Priest have the biggest healing toolbox of any of the classes and they are spamming one button most times. This is how Blizzard feels and I support the change because when your job becomes a one button job, how boring is that?

    People get so bored with no variety, many of them develop Heal-isitus (a disease which makes the priest not want to heal EVER again, lol).

    I think we will all see a better balance between healers and make the game more interesting overall.

  21. What annoys me about the CoH nerf is that before CoH was changed into a raid-wide smart heal, it was already a prefectly decent situational spell. Then Blizz buffs it to OPness, realizes it is broken and decides to nerf it into the ground. Why not just revert the spell to what it used to be?

  22. Passerby1001 says:

    Can we have more insights on the WG nerf? Isn’t that the reason for this post to come from a druid’s perspective? I know priests have a lot of group heal abilities, and that they don’t “need” a spell that seemingly make them overpowered (I-WIN?).

    What about druids? We don’t have any other AoE heals and when we finally got one, it’s nerfed. Ok. I don’t mean to complain (sorry if the comment sounds like so), but just want to understand the GM’s reasoning for equating WG with CoH…

  23. I’ve already commented here and other places about my thoughts on this nerf, but what I would like to address right now is the question of design.

    If you look at wild growth and CoH they’re both low healing, small radius multiple target smart heals that at the very highest will heal a quarter of a person’s life or so. However, if you look at current encounter design in most cases where AOE damage is being dealt it affects more than five people, who are usually spread out, and does more than a quarter of HP in damage. It seems to me then, that these heals, by design, cannot fulfill their intended goal. Only being able to heal 5 people is not enough, only being able to heal in a small radius is not enough, and only being able to heal a small fraction of player’s health is not enough /unless you can apply the spells multiple times/ or the function of the spells is altered fundamentally, but that does not appear to be the direction blizzard wishes to take here.

    That is not to say that the current state of these abilities where they basically encourage spamming isn’t bad, but a cooldown simply seems to run counter to their design. A casting time, arcane blast-ish increasing mana costs or decreasing healing on multiple applications, maybe even an interesting mechanic like a temporary DPS debuff would all have been far better than as blunt a restriction as a cooldown, and these are just things I thought of from the top of my head, with some design time invested Blizzard should be able to figure out an even better mechanic.

    I’m not going to accuse Blizzard of laziness or anything, but adding cooldowns to these spells seems to me like they are misunderstanding the fundamental nature of these spells.

  24. dscomboulat says:

    mixed on this. i’d prefer a mana increase on coh. I don’t spam it except when i’m in lazy mode, especially on boss fights becasue I do try to conserve mana. when my ret pally pulls aggro and I’m left without replentishment that mana becomes more importaint.

    Don’t get me wrong, if three or more people are taking damage and tank is fine I”m clicking COH as fast as possible.

    I just don’t like how they made it so no class was needed. but yet now I see shammys again being what to stack.

    I’ll manage it, i’m in a unique position of being my guild’s (who is doing 25 man content) ONE holy priest. I don’t much expect my position to be affected, maybe my stress lvl but not my position.

    If I were in a guild that was stacking priests i’d be shopping for a home already.

  25. CoH should never have become raidwide. Well managed it kept up with other aoe heals, and at least you had to think about when to use it.

    That said, because holy priests have had so few new toys added in this release I’ve been disc for a while now, and I am enjoying it immensely. I have the tools needed, and I’m having a lot of reactivity.

    The only thing about disc is that you’re having to flee through the numbers to see where your healings stands since PWS isn’t taken into account properly in any of the logging options. (you’d think that damage absorbed would be relatively easy to add to WWS, right?)

  26. I’m a little confused by the beating up on Karthis. I didn’t find what was said that horrible.

    “I’ve never believed developers’ claims that they want to make healing “more fun.”
    Was there a claim in a blue post that the addition of a CD was to make it more fun? I hadn’t read that. They have talked about making healing more fun, but most often in the future tense. And I too worry about what they have in mind for the interface. From the posts I have read, it seems they recognize that they could mess up more than they could get right. If they do go down this road, I wouldn’t expect anything till the next expansion (assuming there is one.) I believe their one big fun push for healers this time around was just the SP power change which makes it a lot easier to solo in our off time.

  27. I’m rather disappointed when healers are bothered by “healing meters”. Topping the healing meters is rather meaningless, and in no way is an indication of a good healer. A good healer heals only when needed, whether if it means the 3 sec cast risks getting overridden by a couple of instant CoH/WG, or stopcasting when not required and letting the other healers get ahead of the meter.

    Topping the healing meters only proves the following:
    1. You have very good spellpower
    2. You have substantial mana pool/mp5
    3. You are probably spamming
    None of which shows skill.

    As for the nerf, I would say implementing a 6sec cd on WG is pointless, as it was fine before the nerf and the nerf will not affect it. Noone actively spams WG anyway.

    CoH on the other hand does not warrant a cd. As Allindra mentioned, the only time you really need it is when you need to spam it a few times.
    To balance that out, they probably should increase the coefficient to compensate for the cd.

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