Further Thoughts on Lifebloom Changes

Further Thoughts on Lifebloom Changes

syd-drowns-her-sorrows

Here I am, drowning my sorrows in a glass of Miracle-Gro at my favorite Dalaran tavern. Why all the tragic tree tears?

For those of you who have been under a rock for the last week, the news from the developers is that Lifebloom is about to get a heavy nerf to its healing per mana (HPM). In 3.1, Lifebloom will cost twice what it does at current and return 50% of its cost when it blooms, adjusted for the number of stacks on the target.

What does this mean, you might ask?

Ghostcrawler tells us that the intent is to end the practice of rolling Lifebloom–efficiently–on two or more tanks. Unfortunately, the nerf hits a “good” practice just as hard–rolling Lifebloom on just one tank.

I’ve been following Elitist Jerks and the official Healing Class Role forums, and amid the insane drivel and endless whining, I’ve been able to discern a few things.

What Druids Want

#1: Overwhelmingly, druids want a Lifebloom we can use.

Lifebloom has come to be a spec-defining ability, and its rolling mechanism makes it unique. My own worry, and that of many raiding druids, is that the practice of using Lifebloom as a rolling buffer on one tank will be over. We want reassurance from the developers that Lifebloom will continue to work for us.

#2: Druids want consistency in the way we time the spell.

Most druids agree on one thing: the new bloom mechanism is awkward. A reward for blooming and a punishment for refreshing contradict the mechanics we’ve grown up with. In this topsy-turvy Lifebloom world, what’s good now will soon be bad–you’ll want your Lifebloom to fall off whenever you can afford it.

#3: Druids want a raid role, and we want it to be consistent with what it has been in the past.

Every player, of course, wants to be useful. After all, we want to play the game, and rerolling isn’t a realistic option for most of us. I’ve seen priest and shaman and paladin threads about their raid role as well, and now druids are feeling that anxiety. I’ve also seen the devs reply to these anxieties in dismissive and condescending ways. They always say that they conceive of raid roles differently than the community does. To that, I’ll reply that perceptions matter. Raid invites are based on them, after all.

Druids overwhelmingly believe that their raid role is to add a buffer, a bit of insurance against disaster. Our HoTs are like the priest’s Power Word Shield or the Shaman’s Earth Shield: useless when the content is easy, but essential when the content is hard. If cushioning the MT goes the way of the dodo, many druids may start to feel like the poor man’s paladin. I think Blizzard needs to pay attention to the druid’s historical raid role and make sure it remains intact. In order for a buffer to work, it needs to stay up. Rolling LB will always be the best thing–for the tank. And that’s what we want to think about, right?

#4: Druids want to be less dependent on timers

Druid healing is already very rigid. Unlike other healers, we have a true rotation, and it’s every bit as ugly as an Affliction warlock’s. We have four different HoTs, each of which has a different duration, and one of which stacks. We’re already tied to 3rd-party mods to manage these spells, particularly Lifebloom. Right now, though, all we have to do is roll, and the penalty for refreshing early is slight. However, in a mana-constrained environment, with Lifebloom being our most expensive HoT, we absolutely will not be able to refresh early. The penalty will be huge. In addition, we’ll be having to make a decision about whether to let Lifebloom bloom every 9 seconds or so. That’s a lot of mental bandwidth dedicated to timing one spell. Many druids would rather drop Lifebloom altogether than micromanage the bloom. As it stands now, it looks like we will be more dependent on timers post 3.1 than we are now, and that’s a scary thought.

Alternate Solutions

Everyone has their pet fix for the Lifebloom problem or their favorite way to mitigate the impact of the nerf. I’m going to repeat here a couple of my favorites. I’ve seen each of these ideas posted several times by different posters in slightly different iterations, but here’s my take.

#1. Buff Lifebloom’s HoT slightly and reduce the bloom. A gain in HPS on the part of the spell that’s most useful in PvE would cushion the impact of the nerf somewhat.

#2. Limit the number of active Lifeblooms to 6 per druid. I personally love this solution, and I’d even like it if the limit were three. This would keep multiple stacks of Lifebloom from dominating the healing meters, and even though a raid could ostensibly stack druids, most probably wouldn’t. After all, Lifebloom works best as a sort of damage cushion on the main tank. This is the use of rolling Lifebloom that I’d like to protect.

#3. Remove the stacking mechanism. I’m also in favor of this solution for simplicity’s sake. Lifebloom causes a ton of problems because of its stacks. Why not buff the value for a single Lifebloom and remove the stacking capability? It’s the stacking that causes such rigidity in a druid’s rotation. I doubt many druids will be brave enough to single stack it in 3.1, but that’s looking like a mana efficient way to go. Why not make the decision for us?

I’m interested in knowing what readers think about this problem. As for me, I think I understand why Lifebloom is a target right now, and it’s not a pretty thought. I think that–correctly or no–the developers believe that the 40% nerf to OOFSR regen won’t hurt the druid enough. Right or wrong, it’s seen as a nerf that will hurt the priest more. As such, they’ve changed both the cost and the mechanics of druids’ signature spell in order to force us to run empty. My feeling from reading the comments of PTR testers is that the change is too dramatic. Combined with the new, underwhelming Innervate, the expensive rolled Lifebloom may just not be sustainable even on one target. I’m not looking forward to standing idly by mid-fight with an empty mana bar. Far better than that would be to do without Lifebloom, but I sure would miss it.

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Comments

  1. Sigh, more “don’t change me!11”

    Asking Blizz to not change you is silly. Every MMO changes, it has to. The only thing they will keep intact for the foreseeable future is that druids will heal with HoTs. Even that may not be the plan, since Blizz seems to want to encourage the ability to play classes with different styles.

    They shouldn’t respect any “historical” or past versions of the class. Go back far enough and hybird healers would go back to being second class.

    Healing is way too easy right now, for many reasons. Different changes are happening to all healers because of this. I don’t want a buffer at this point if it can make healing more interesting.

    xabbotts last blog post..xabbott: Beware of ingame mails directing you to bt512.com. The scammers use names similar to your guildies. screenshot: http://twitpic.com/1y6uk

  2. cringer says:

    I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to do about the nerf. I’ve actually been taking a much needed break from all things WoW this week. It feels really good.

    But if I had to go with a gut feeling I would say that Lifebloom will only be used when doing single target healing. Raid heals will probably use a Wild Growth/Rejuv combo and for single target heals you will probably cast Regrowth, Rejuv & Lifebloom then use Nourish only refreshing Rejuv/Regrowth when they are about to drop and then stacking LB to 3, letting it drop and then starting over again.

    And like you mention Innervate has really lost its power. I’d like to either see the CD reduced on it or a big buff to the spirit increase. I can’t remember exact numbers but I want to say that my OO5SR regen has been cut by more than half on the PTR.

  3. I’ve also been struggling with understanding this over the last week (see blog post below). I think I finally have a handle on it, and you really just have to forget the old thinking. It’s done and done. Don’t apply old situations or habits to the new lifebloom. It’s really a completely different spell now.

    I think it could work too. It’ll take time for the community to get a handle on it, and for Blizz to tweak the numbers. It’s too early to say reduce the bloom or remove the stacking. Either solution is really a non-solution–just making it more like rejuv.

    Rivvens last blog post..The new lifebloom

  4. Its interesting that a healer does not want to be tied to a rotation

    Thats odd coming from a DPS perspective where its all about rotation

  5. Well I’m undecided on this really, from what I’ve read the only change I can see on lifebloom is that it won’t really be viable to keep it rolling on tanks anymore.

    Personally though I’m more of a raid healer and tend to just dot it around on raid members taking damage, then let it fall off.

    Yes I do use it as a tank heal, you’d be mad not to, but I think blizzard are trying to take away that cushion that makes fights like patchwerk faceroll, if you had 2 druid’s rolling lifebloom across 3 tanks, it would just trivialize the fight right now, as each tank would be healed up nearly 4 k before anyone has time to react to the damage taken, add a rejuv tick and possibly a regrowth too and there’s very little left for other healers to heal up.

    As a raid heal I think it will remain unchanged mostly which I don’t mind at all. As a tank heal, I might just not bother with it after 3.1. Will all depend on what the fights demand in ulduar but I trust blizzard will get it right, anything to make raids a bit harder would be nice.

  6. Your alternative solutions are interesting and well thought out. I think that the “limit of 6” (or 3) LBs that you suggest would make healing even more of a strict rotation, and would bend our brains even more, to the point of frustration. So you’re rolling hots on the tank, and lets say you let your 3 stack fall off. Then the raid takes damage and you put 2 LBs on someone, and one on another. Then you go back to the tank. Oh wait! You have to wait 7 more seconds before you can put LBs on him! D’oh.

    I think it’s an interesting fix, but it might put druids even more into the ‘tank healing’ corner, and have that be our primary role. Which technically it is at the moment; we’re great at healing tanks, but with that solution, it might be the only reason we’re brought to raids – simply because rolling the max number of LBs (6, for instance, like you said) would drain our mana pool so quickly, we wouldn’t be able to do any other type of healing.

    Avernas last blog post..Resto druid raiding reqs!

  7. Excellent point Averna!

    I should have typed out my whole thought.

    My imagining was that the 7th LB would cancel the first one, causing it to drop away. That way a tree could re-apply happily and continue rolling or switch to a different target at will.

  8. And to Kimbo’s point:

    There is a strong component of a druid’s healing that is about setup, which is a rotation, but we still need some time to react to damage. I think that healing is always going to be at least partly reactive. Druids are actually the least reactive of healers as it stands now, and if the change goes through, we’ll get less GCDs to use in order to react to fight conditions. Damage taken isn’t always the same–it’s quite RNG dependent, so being able to retarget and select the right heal for the job is a very important druid skill.

  9. Sapling says:

    I have a rather crazy prediction. I think this change may actually make us MORE mana efficient healers IF we are willing to adjust to the change. It will require a revised healing strategy and the cooperation of our other raid healers, but it has great potential. The strategy is to cast a lifebloom on a tank, and wait. At the end of its duration, if the tank is at all low, we let it bloom. If not, we refresh. Once the stack is at three, we need our fellow healers to leave us some health to heal because adding an additional LB to the stack is not possible. If they do this, it will save them mana, and it will result in HPM numbers that blow anything we currently have completely out of the water. Other healers will benefit tremendously from being able to see our LBs on their targets (Grid addons ftw) so they will be able to anticipate when a stack is going to bloom.

    This is definitely a change in healing style, but it’s not entirely broken. Actually, it may be completely broken because this strategy is actually easier from an attention standpoint and more mana efficient when used on multiple tanks. It’s also incredibly effective as a raid heal, but I think it is more difficult to avoid overheal on the raid as the current crop of group smartheals will not anticipate that a LB is about to bloom.

  10. @Syd – ok, gotcha – that makes more sense to have the first one drop off. From how I initially understood your solution, it was that you’d put 3 or 6 LBs on various people, and then when you’d try to put another one on someone, it would be all like “You can’t cast that now” or whatever. And then I’d be like mashing my shift-click for 5 seconds on the tank on my grid being like WHY NO LIFEBLOOM!??11 =P

    Avernas last blog post..Resto druid raiding reqs!

  11. I think Blizzard needs to pay attention to the druid’s historical raid role and make sure it remains intact.
    I’ve had two pallies and a priest in my guild tell me flat out that druids are raid healers now, and by putting HoTs on the tank, I am “stealing” their jobs.

    “HoTs aren’t necessary. They’re nice, I guess, but we don’t need them.” That is a direct quote. If HoTs aren’t needed, why am I here?

    I truly believe we are supposed to act as support to all; a HoT buffer on the tank to smooth out the damage while the “real” healers do their jobs, and then to provide spot healing to the raid as well. It will change from fight to fight, obviously, but that’s the basic premise. I know that many druids love to raid heal, but I personally think that if you have a resto druid in the raid, those HoTs should (with the exception of a couple of fights) be up on the tank.

    So why, all of a sudden, do people think that 3.1 is a giant switch to be flipped, that will turn us into raid healers, after years of providing an invaluable buffer on the tanks? Why am I suddenly having my heal team feel resentment towards me for “stealing” the “jobs” of the true tank healers?

    I’m feeling so annoyed at my other healers… I ENJOY being the “in-between” healer. I don’t want to be the superstar of the show MT healer. I don’t want to be sat on the raid all day. I want to be able to provide a buffer on the tank, but then change the rest of my role to suit the situation. I love being fluid and flexible. I love playing SUPPORT.

    Why am I suddenly being labelled a raid healer? Because I’ve been given a raid healing tool? Because pallies and disc priests are looking strong in 3.1?

    One of the pallies even suggested I spend my time rolling rejuvs on the entire raid for Replenish. I’m dead. serious.

    Luckily I’m an officer so I can totally pull rank ;P but it’s very frustrating when you’re the only druid in the guild and nobody else “gets” druid healing and purpose. Rather, the rest of the team decides you’re encroaching on their turf and you should be relegated to raid healing so that you stop stealing the jobs of the real tank healers. And when you speak up and say hey wait a minute, this isn’t what druids are for.. you end up feeling like a spoilt kid who doesn’t want to co-operate with the rest of the group.

    BLARGH!!!

    I don’t dare put this into my own blog for fear that I will fly off the handle about it!

    Keevas last blog post..Very quick undocumented changes in 3.1

  12. No offense, but I hear a lot of QQing in this thread. If Blizzard changes the game, the player should adjust to it. Why so much whining and moaning about how things should be? Blizzard has the best game design team in the world. There are really really smart people who know the mechanics of this game inside and out, making the best decisions they possibly can to balance the game so that everyone can still feel like their own class is the most powerful (because face it, that’s what all of us really want, right? :p). Having raided as 3 different healing classes now (priest, druid, and paladin), I think that each class feels nerfs and spends a LOT of energy discussing and moaning about them. I played a priest for 3 years until patch 3.0. When they removed downranking, I no longer felt priests were the uber healing class, so I changed mains to a druid. I am frankly surprised to hear a lot of complaining in these comments because to me, druids are incredibly powerful, and I think a lot of it has to do with how you approach the particular class you’re playing and its abilities. Druids are awesome raid healers. They are also awesome tank healers. I don’t see why druids HAVE to be the best at one or the other, because they’re great at both! Regarding the lifebloom nerf, I look at it more as a shift in the way Blizzard wants us to play druids. I think sapling above me got it right when he said “The strategy is to cast a lifebloom on a tank, and wait. At the end of its duration, if the tank is at all low, we let it bloom. If not, we refresh.” When I was first learning how to play a druid, I actually found it surprising that THE RULE was to keep rolling 3x lifeblooms on tanks. Sure, it makes a lot of sense, but doesn’t it also make sense to let it bloom if your tank is missing health? I have never had any mana problems in any fight in WotLK presently, save for 10-man 3 drakes. I rarely even need my own innervate in any boss fight. Until I find myself in a situation (Ulduar, perhaps?) where my mana is actually constrained, I feel that theorycrafting is good and fine in its own right, but not always a practical reflection of how things shake down in game. Anyway, just my humble two cents.

  13. Dear Sydera,

    The very point of the change is to give the druids NO role. “Bring the players, not the class”. If the content needs 5 healers, they can be ANY combination of healers. Blizzard wants the raid be fine with 5 trees just as with 0. We got Nourish (flash of light), we got living seed (earth shield), we got WG (CoH), now they take away LB. They want the 4 healing specs be just as similar as a Dwarf Priest is similar to a NE Priest. In a couple of patches being tree or holypriest will have only roleplaying consequences.

    The dual specs will even mash the class barriers.

    They want to take any specialty away from ALL classes/specs, not just us. Just peek into lock or paladin forums.

    The point is that 10 randomly selected people who can press three buttons can clear Naxx. They want subscriptions from everyone.

  14. I wouldn’t see it so negative Gevlon. There is a big difference between trying to bring the classes closer and eradicating the class system entirely. As the game evolves and expands, it becomes increasingly difficult to expand all classes in their abilities in their niche while preserving a balance or keeping every class viable for every encounter. I’ve seen other games try it… they tried and failed. The game was no longer about what you, as a player, could do but about group composition only.
    And that’s when you hit a hard brick wall named “fight specific class selection”. Nobody wants to join a Naxx run where they are swapped out for another class in half the fights. That’s where you would be heading at if you do not give classes at least some overlap. Still I think that rant is quite off the topic, TBH.

    I’m curious to see the impact of this change on the performance of druids. IMO they didn’t feel overpowered or imbalanced in any way (except some odd circumstances). I wonder what they’re healing style will be in 3.1

  15. @Sydera @Averna

    Haing the 7th LB would cancel the first one, causing it to drop away and refunding half the mana (as it was kind of dispelled)

    I can dream can’t I?!

  16. Allindra says:

    Actually I can see what Gevlon is saying…my guild is more casual and really only large enough to run 10 mans consistently without pugging large amounts of others for 25s, and there have been plenty of times now where we’ve had to swap different classes in and out to get what we need. We failed miserably at Maly-10 with no death knights, we have to swap a mage or druid into the raid to decurse on Sapphiron, etc. My whole raid dies on Heigan if I (holy priest) happen to die because the pally I heal with is either incredibly slow at removing disease or just forgets that he needs to do it and everyone dies from it.

    Looking at dual specs coming up, I have a boomkin druid and was planning on learning to heal with as my second spec resto…I think Sydera was even contemplating making a blog post on how to learn to heal as a druid just starting out, but I can see that the changes they are making are going to change things drastically.

    Perhaps it will be easier for me to learn how to heal with a druid if it has less of a rotation, like my priest. I don’t know. I agree it will be interesting to see what happens with ALL classes after 3.1. It seems like they are making just as many changes if not more than they did with 3.08 when they were rolling out the new expansion.

  17. @Allindra

    If that really is the case then all healers would have to get remove curse, poison, disease and everyone would have to have replenish….

    The list would go on…and on…

    They are trying to balance everything out – and btw you can do Sapphiron without removing the curses it takes ages but it can be done.

    If go around saying “I’m overpowered look at me blizzard I top the charts 🙂 😀 woooo no one can touch my healing I rule :D, you suckz :P” cause guess what? you’ll get nerfed.

    Shammies are left alone more because there as less of them and hense less idots bragging.

  18. Allindra says:

    No, I know they don’t want to completely homogenize but I was over at MMO Champion looking at the blue posts where they actually do say that they are trying to balance druids out so they are not overpowering the other healing classes, and that they’re focusing on making lifebloom an effective rolling heal on one tank but not multiple.

    I can’t help but think that Blizzard saw all the healers who were going around saying “OMG I have endless mana and this content is too easy, I never go OOM” and that’s why they changed the mana regen for 3.1 and also helped screw all the healers who don’t have top shelf gear.

    Maybe I should just level my lv 50 shaman instead and go resto with her instead of enhancement. 😛

  19. Knowstrils says:

    Blizz has a good design team. /agree

    But…

    They are not infallible. They are not immune to slacksauce. They will always be getting their salaries from the powers that make business decisions.

    If you think they’ve made a mistake, get in their faces about it.

  20. @Yurie: There’s every reason to complain. I’ll list a few of them.

    1. Blizzard employees read WoW blogs. I’m not sure they read this one, but they just might. I know that what I write inspires discussion. This is my platform, and if I have an opinion, I’m sharing it.

    2. Ghostcrawler has said that “bring the player, not the class” does not apply to healers. There’s no reason to expect or hope to be normalized. Blizzard expects that groups bring a variety of different healers.

    3. Historically, some classes have always been weaker while others are strong. I’ve got no faith that Blizzard will adjust things right this time, because there’s all this history of overdoing or underdoing things because somehow, testing is different from the real game world. There’s an endless cycle of nerfs and buffs, but the long and short of it is that when a class gets broken, it can stay that way for months and years–just ask Ret paladins.

    This reminds me, though, of another healing nerf. I played a Holy Paladin at the time of the Illumination nerf. That one change made a drastic difference in my performance at the time–I was in blues starting Karazhan–and a switch to my druid (in greens) made everything easier. Now, I wasn’t the best player either as I was pretty much new to raiding, but the difference between a recently nerfed class and one with a strong, well-defined raid role was palpable. I did eventually manage to heal Kara on my pally, but that was after I learned to play better, quite honestly. If I go onto my now Ret paladin, I can feel what it’s like to be a class that’s finally been updated and fixed–and it’s good! I’m able to do things I never would have dreamed of in BC, like quest without dying or drinking every two pulls. My worry with druid is that we’re going to end up in the kind of confused space that Ret paladins and Boomkins inhabited in late BC. If Lifebloom’s gone, what do you do with us if you take us to a raid?

    Like Keeva, I have a privileged position in my guild. I make healing assignments, so I can stubbornly determine to continue using my own class. We have three resto druids, and they’re all good players. However, I can’t help but worry that–for the success of the raid–resto druid won’t be the right tool for any job. This is why I write.

  21. @yurie

    Druids are not great tank healers (we’re empirically worse than disc priests and paladins) and we are not great raid healers (we’re empirically worse than holy priests and shamans) but we’re ok at both using the same spec and we have good synergy with other healing classes. This has been our role since 2.0 at least.

    “The strategy is to cast a lifebloom on a tank, and wait. At the end of its duration, if the tank is at all low, we let it bloom. If not, we refresh.” Sorry, but no. By any definition (HPS, HPS, GCDs consumed) this is not efficient in 3.1. Based both on the math and my experience on the PTR there is no reason to cast LB any more, not even on a single tank. You’re better off with your other HoTs up and then just casting Nourish on the tank.

    Allowing the LB stack to bloom in PvE is a terrible idea for the same reasons that it has been a terrible idea since 2.0:
    * You can’t time the bloom effectively. In any situation where tank death is a real concern (sadly this is limited to Sarth+3 right now) you’re casting heals proactively, not reactively, so a situation where you’re going to get a bloom that doesn’t go 100% to overheal is very very rare.
    * Even if you could time it effectively, you have to spend LBx3 in mana costs and 3 GCDs to get your stack back up again. For the amount that the bloom heals this is not worth it.
    * If you’re rolling LBx3 on a tank and they need more healing you have lots of other options. You have regrowth and now nourish. If the heal needs to happen immediately you have swiftmend and nature’s swiftness. Using one of those other abilities and allowing the LB stack to continue to roll is more effective by any measure than letting it bloom.

    I agree that mana is not an issue right now, but it is hard to say if that is because all of the raid encounters are a total joke or if regen is just too good. Either way there are more effective ways of making mana more of an issue – across the board regen nerfs. Since they are already doing that in 3.1 anyway, how is a 100% mana increase on LB in any way justified?

    Finally, people are “QQ”ing about this because it is a major change in the way we’ve healed for 2+ years being introduced in a minor content patch with no justification that makes any sense whatsoever. The Blizzard designers are not infallible and the PTR exists for a reason – we need to send the message loud and clear that this change is a badly designed and should not be going live.

  22. ““The strategy is to cast a lifebloom on a tank, and wait. At the end of its duration, if the tank is at all low, we let it bloom. If not, we refresh.” Sorry, but no. By any definition (HPS, HPS, GCDs consumed) this is not efficient in 3.1”

    @Treibh: I defer to your experience healing on 3.1, but the math does seem to support this as an efficient solution. Perhaps you were thinking of quickly stacking to three and then letting it bloom? If so, I agree – that’s probably not a great option from a HPM or HPS point of view. But I’m talking about just stacking one LB at a time.

    One stack of LB allowed to effectively bloom has a HPM of approximately 58. Two issues with this are: overheal, and HPS. We can’t predict damage in the future, but provided our target is taking damage, we can decrease healing to allow room for the stack to bloom. If the time comes to bloom and the target is full, you have two further opportunities to have an effective bloom by casting additional LBs on the target. As each successive LB goes on the target, the effective HPM and HPS goes up, but you’ll have to leave more HP unhealed on the target in order to get an effective bloom which may not be safe on some fights.

    I’m not claiming the cast and wait technique has the same throughput (HPS) as quickly stacking LBs and rolling them. It is also not nearly as “smooth” as rolling LBs – you’ll get these spikes of healing depending on when you let the stack bloom. It is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different spell than the LB we know today. But to say that there is no reason to cast it seems pretty extreme. It has excellent HPM (when used properly), and provides a significant additional source of HPS for a single GCD.

    So as best I can tell, our HPS is going to be negatively affected by this change. The bloom from a stack is a “new” source of HPS for us, but it’s spikey and prone to at least some overheal. I wonder if the bloom and the changes to Nourish will be enough to give us the single target healing we would all like to have?

  23. Having both healed naxx with a druid, and being a tank that gets healed by a druid, I’m concerned. Really concerned. I could kick butt on healing meters for medium length fights, or slow my roll and conserve and just keep everybody alive during long fights. I fell very versatile, especially with the T7 set bonuses.

    But as a tank I’m really terrified, because I notice when anything other than a druid heals me I seem to constantly get popped with 10k-14k heals. Like, a lot. But not from the druid, but that’s ok, because when I feel very cozy having 4 hots rolling on me. Take away the usefulness of Life Bloom, and I’m wondering what will happen to my hots.

    They seem to really be pushing Nourish on us, is that what they expect us to be doing? Rolling one LB (and letting it bloom), a regrowth, and a rejuvenation, and then constantly spamming nourish? Is that the idea of a “less boring way to heal” or something? I pretty much do that when I heal the hurtful strike tank on Patch, except with 3 blooms, and it’s not exactly what I would call exciting. I don’t see how this does anything other then gimp druid healers pretty harshly.

    It’s not like I put together a group, and if I happen to get a druid healer we automatically one shot everything we try to do. Not in “regular gear” with regular players. I think the bummer thing about this is that a lot of the raiding community is at a stage where “raid encounters are a total joke” and “In any situation where tank death is a real concern (sadly this is limited to Sarth+3 right now)”. Tell that to my guild that just spent 15 hours clearing Naxx 10 this week with two healers, and whipped for over 2 hours on KT before calling it for the week at 3:00 am on Sunday night. This nerf may make it more challenging for high end guilds that were raiding BT and Sun Well before the expansion, and are now bored as heck with the limited challenge of Naxx. But the majority of people I see are not on that level, don’t have full T7.5 sets, and this is going to really hurt them. Naxx is the first raid that many people are actually getting to see, and that’s why it’s so easy for more experienced groups.

    It feels like everybody is getting nerfed because the best of the best (guilds like Conquest) are so over powered. And it doesn’t seem necessary when the next raid that comes out will have so many bosses that you can adjust the difficulty level on like Sarth. If you are so good, Blizz made it so you can make the raid harder for your self. I don’t understand why they made it harder for everybody.

  24. Treibh’ experiences match up to my readings of the maths for both the new LB and glyphed Nourish.

    The question isn’t just “how can we leverage Lifebloom” but “how can we best use all our spells.” We may lose LB in our rotations the way Disc priests have lost Greater Heal.

    With the “new” Lifebloom, there are a lot more GCDs required to keep it efficient.

    It is probable that most druids could get better “real” HPS and HPM by dropping Lifebloom off the bars than by keeping it in the rotation. By “real” I mean as used by average raiding druids across many raid encounters of different types.

    To test this for myself, I’ll try healing with LB and without: rolling it on one tank, fast stacking and blooming, slow stacking and blooming, and not using it at all and dedicating my extra GCDs to Nourish. It may come down to each of us needing to try this out in our real raid environments to find what we can handle. I’m pretty good at what I do, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to achieve the max theoretical HPS/HPM. I’m going to have to see what the maximum HPS/HPM I can achieve is. It might be different for me than others, because I do run tools like timers and Recount to let me know what’s happening at all times. The second question I’ll be trying to answer is “am I still earning my raid spot?” There’s a tough one when a class goes through a major change right as progression content is released.

  25. Nicely said! If you’re in a position to test, would you mind testing one more option as well? It’s the one in between slow stacking and not using it: throw a LB on the target and plan to let it bloom. Don’t stack it at all.

    I wish there was a target dummy for healers. Either something with 1,000,000 HP that resets to 0 if you stop healing it, or maybe a cursed dummy that is constantly taking 1-3k damage. That would be nice. Well…not for the dummy.

  26. @Sapling: good suggestion. I’ll do my best to get my butt on the PTR and work on it. Otherwise, I’ll be looking for people like Treibh–who plays on my former server, Vek’nilash, in a guild I respect very much–to write in with their thoughts.

  27. Gee, thanks Sydera.

    Unfortunately we’re a far cry from Fusion or Juggernaut and my experience is limited to part of an evening testing on Hodir (the rest of the evening was spent fighting the LD boss and the blue loading bar boss) with a very sub-optimal raid comp.

    With Hodir you’ve got two tanks taunting off each other when the boss spikes tank damage, similar to say Al’ar. The raid is also taking damage, both direct damage and also a DoT. I tried the usual – keep LBx3, rejuv and regrowth up on the tank and then assist with raid healing, swiftmend or more regrowth on the tank as required – and I was going OOM in a real hurry. I switched to rejuv and regrowth on the tank and then cast Nourish on top of that and mana was much much manageable and the tank was staying alive. It worked, but it was a big change to how I’d normally heal and on movement-based fights like this one it puts us at a definite disadvantage versus rolling lifebloom. On a fight like Hodir LB would typically be ~30% of my healing done and it dropped to 0 after a few attempts.

    Anyway, I’m hoping we do another 10-man on the PTR this week and maybe I’ll get a WWS or StasisCL parse this time. I’m also hoping to see some more hard data coming from druids in high-end guilds who have been getting significant PTR time. The only ones that I have seen from Fusion so far are from before the LB nerfs went “live” on the PTR.

  28. http://wowwebstats.com/tz6m6zpjtqb6s

    From a thread on the official forums. If that isn’t scary I don’t know what is.

  29. Something I think would be interesting to address would be stacking to only two Lifebloom. There’s a decent HoT on it, and a decent bloom. The refund would also then cover the cost of the next Lifebloom you cast. This also frees you from cooldown pressure and are able to fit more spells in.

    This is actually fascinating from different stand points. Do you increase the length of Lifebloom’s rolls giving you more HoT for your mana, or do you ignore it completely for other heals? Do you go Dreamstate to defray the cost (getting ToL and 2points Imp ToL, Intensity, OoC, and Living Spirit), but abandon Wild Growth?

    I’m actually in the process of discussing this on my own blog; tomorrow I’m going to address glyphs and talents to compliment different playstyles. Though the nerf is unfortunate, there will be ways to compensate and adapt. If we, as druids, truly start to fall off the charts, we’ll have to start the march of the Ents again.

    Bellwethers last blog post..PTR Lifebloom, Part 2: Playstyles

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