Circle of Healing Redux

As you may or may not have heard, Blizzard is revisiting the idea of bringing in the CoH cooldown. I’m not sure where to start on this or how to begin.

Something that I feel has been overlooked is that there seems to be a feeling that raid instances right now at 70 (post nerf) are representative of what raid instances are like at level 80. A lot of players, right now, are a little overgeared for the content that they’re doing (again, due to the nerf).

Path of least resistance (or effort)

I was first exposed to this idea in my first year of psychology. The general premise here is that people, animals, or even machines will choose the path of least resistance or effort in order to get to their goal. Applying this to healing, we’ll see one person taking a shot for 2000 damage for whatever reason. I myself have been known to tap CoH once or twice to bring that one person’s health back up. Is that a loss of mana efficiency? You bet it is. But efficiency goes out the door if your mana regeneration is able to offset the mana loss within seconds.

Could I have used a Flash Heal? Yeah but it takes casting time.
How about a Renew? Yeah but it takes about 15 seconds for the full duration to kick in
Circle of Healing heals that minor damage extremely quickly and leaves me open for spell options without causing me to wait for the spell to go off or eat a channel or something.

This is partly the case because of current nerfed raid content and the way our spells work. It’s a smart heal, it’s the fastest heal, and it’s brain dead easy. I’m sure we can all agree on that.

With the complete gear reset at 80, I strongly doubt we’re going to be able to get away with non-stop CoH casting. I know I couldn’t. I was extremely limited with my mana regen and my overall mana pool. I confess I did start with PvP gear and I encountered some difficulty then. Yet, after daily Naxx and OS runs on 10s and 25s, I amassed a decent collection of PvE healing gear. I still found it difficult and strenuous. As this was largely a pickup group, maybe I was overcompensating in some areas.

The benefit of Circle of Healing is that it can heal a lot of players really fast.
The cost of Circle of Healing should be the fact that it taxes your mana pool.

I’m not quite sure if that’s possible. I can see why they want to include the 6s cooldown because there are a staggering number of players using it (at 70 and at 80 when I played). Maybe if they included a scaling cost with the spell it would be acceptable. The ability to heal a lot of raid damage really fast is an excellent tool to have. But it should come with a severe price or penalty. I don’t think time, a wonderful resource that it is, should be the case. Perhaps base cost + a percentage of healing done in that one cast? I don’t know. I’m not a game developer.

Regardless of what they do, Priests will easily remain the most diverse class. I’ll continue to play mine well into Wrath. Even if they do bring in the CoH cooldown, we still have Holy Nova and Prayer of Healing. Zusterke, on Plusheal, started some preliminary work on Holy Nova and it’s effectiveness.

By adding the glyph of holy nova, the spell has become quite a powerful healing spell. It is able to output more healing than circle of healing, up to a point where it rivals prayer of healing. The recent mana cost reduction boosted this spell even further where it has become a mana efficient spell, in comparison to the priest’s other AoE spells.

He might shoot me if he feels it’s a little outdated. But not much has changed yet so I think he’s definitely in the ballpark (or ice rink).

Plusheal has more great discussion about this.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.