Edit: This feature has since been removed from Warlords.
Have you seen the latest news for healers? They took away our Hymn of Hopes, our Innervates, and stuff.
Actually, they gave Innervate back. Have a gander at the latest section from the patch notes:
Active Mana Regeneration (New)
Another part of the changes to healing is providing a way for them to better manage their mana. There are ways to spend more mana for more healing but, we’re also adding methods for healers to trade extra time or healing or more mana to use later in a fight when they really need it.
- Innervate has been redesigned to now have a 2-second cast time with no cooldown, and causes the Druid to gain 2.5% of maximum mana every 4 seconds for 8 seconds. Spending any mana on a healing spell will cancel this effect.
- Crackling Jade Lightning‘s channel duration has been reduced to 4 seconds.
- Stance of the Wise Serpent now also causes Crackling Jade Lightning to cost no mana, and restore 2% of the Monk’s maximum mana if the ability is channeled for its full duration.
- Divine Plea has been redesigned to be instant cast with no cooldown, and consume 3 Holy Power to immediately regain 7% of maximum mana.
- Atonement is no longer triggered by Penance.
- Penance now also refunds 1.1% of the Priest’s maximum mana each time it deals damage.
- Chakra: Chastise in addition to existing effects, now also causes Smite and Holy Fire to restore 0.75% of maximum mana each time they are cast instead of costing mana.
- Telluric Currents is now a passive ability for Restoration Shaman and causes Lightning Bolt to restore 1.25% of maximum mana each time it is cast instead of costing mana.
- Glyph of Telluric Currents: This glyph has been removed.
Huge, yes? Our combat regeneration has evolved quite a long way. During vanilla, we had to work with the 5 second rule: Stop doing anything for 5 seconds to unleash the full power of our mana regen. Then we went to a model where classes had different abilities to use on cooldown (while other classes just didn’t have to worry about mana at all). More changes are being worked with now to shake things up.
What happened to Druids?
I can see Druids are understandably upset with how Innervate’s going to work now. It was originally supposed to be removed but now it’s back. Are Druids really supposed to just sit there for 8 seconds and not do anything while Innervate does what it does? Any healing spells automatically interrupt it. But if you cast your damage spells, you’re negating the damage you’re regenerating.
Doesn’t make sense.
Unless you consider that Wrath isn’t going to cost you any mana.
Now you’ve got something to do while you wait for Innervate to gas you up. Spam that Wrath! But know that you can always cut Innervate off at anytime with a healing spell. Useful for those unexpected emergencies that tend to flare up during raid combat.
What happened to Priests?
Out of all them, the Priest mana abilities are the most interesting. And I say that not because I’m a Priest. I’m just that biased. Because Priests are the master class.
I’m a little concerned about the Penance one. It’s normally used on cooldown for me. There’s almost always someone that can benefit from a fast burst heal. So to use that on a hostile target instead of a friendly is concerning. Can’t quite place my finger on the why.
The Holy Priest side of things is going to be even more engaging. Now I have to actually bind a key to the Chakra: Chastise stance specifically. Priests will need to really get used to Chakra dancing. There were times through this expansion you can get away with being a little lazy and be in the non-optimal Chakra. But with the removal of Hymn of Hope, you have to pay attention and ensure you’re in the right stance or else you’re not going to have any mana left to do anything.
What’s this mean for healers overall?
Much of the regen mechanics are designed to give healers key decisions to make. Do I continue to burn through my mana reserves? Or should I take a moment now and risk raid integrity and regenerate mana? If you’re not already communicating with your other healers now, you need to start. Practice with mana potions or something. Raids in Warlords will typically be rocking 4 to 5 healers at most. If a Resto Druid needs to stop healing for a bit, the rest of the healers need to know. That’s 20% to 25% less healing power during those brief seconds. It helps to know the encounters inside and out. When are the less stressful parts of the encounter? When is the most stressful part? At what stage should I ensure I have a sufficient amount of mana reserves remaining? Not sure how tightly tuned the next raid instances will be, but you’re going to have to practice doing some DPS.
I’m going to miss just relying on Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend. As if we didn’t have enough to do already. Didn’t exactly sign up to DPS. I just want to stare at health bars and do what I do best: Heal players, not spend part of my time DPSing because I have to.
Eh, I have no doubt I’ll probably change my mind later when I can give the game a spin. Until then, I’ll just keep on griping.