Ghostcrawler Provides Specifics on the 3.1 Mana Regen Nerf

Ghostcrawler Provides Specifics on the 3.1 Mana Regen Nerf

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Phew! Priests and druids can breathe again as, today, Ghostcrawler explained the specific nature of the upcoming revision to out-of-casting mana regeneration. I’ll let the crab’s words speak for themselves, but you can read the whole interesting discussion here.

The goal is to have mana last about the same for all healers. We don’t think many players would be that interested in a style where you heal crazy good for a short period and then run OOM. How classes manage their mana varies a lot, and we are making tweaks to it for 3.1 to try and keep them in line. For example, the shadow fiend needs to be more reliable.

I am still not following the logic that Int now trumps Spirit by even more. It may have been a better stat already, but these changes shouldn’t affect it that much unless you A) skip Meditation and Intensity, or B) relied a whole lot more on OOFSR regen than the average raid healer of reasonable skill.

I will break from our normal practice and go ahead and provide the numbers, just to make sure nobody is guessing about the details when doing their estimates:

The amount of base mana regen granted has been reduced 40%. We called this “Spirit” in the notes, since most players associate OOFSR regen with Spirit, but in reality Int factors into the equation as well and we only lowered the constant, not the relative contributions of Int or Spirit. In retrospect, this probably caused more confusion than it alleviated, but mana regeneration is a fairly technical concept.

— The effects of talents that provide mana regen while casting have been increased by 67%. This includes: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac, and Spirit Tap. For example, Intensity and Meditation are now 17/33/50% mana regen while casting (up from 10/20/30%). For most dps classes who never got much mana from OOFSR in the first place, the results should not be noticeable. Boomkin may be a possible exception because of Innervate, and we’ll take a look at that.

This should leave mana regeneration while casting (even the contribution of Spirit) relatively unchanged, but reduce mana regeneration while not casting by 40%.

— Since paladins don’t rely on any of those abilities for mana regeneration, we lowered the healing penalty of Divine Plea to -50%. We are also likely to make Spiritual Attunement provide less mana for non-tanking paladins. We are not touching Illumination for the moment. Nor are we lowering the effects of Replenishment (though as I have suggested, it would be our likely next target if we aren’t happy with the results of these changes).

What’s the Difference?

Previously, accounts of the proposed nerf to mana regeneration were misleading. The net result is the same in either case–a reduction in the number you’ll see for regen outside of the 5-second rule–but the method is different. Blue poster Bornakk originally described the change as an adjustment to the contribution of Spirit: “To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board.” Considering that statement, it’s no wonder that so many priests and druids panicked. Ghostcrawler amends this statement to the more reasonable proposition of decreasing the amount of O5SR regen we get by 40%, which is no insignificant amount, but his comment directly declares that the relative contribution of Intellect and Spirit will remain the same.

Why Does the Method Matter?

Blizzard could in fact have achieved their goal of reducing O5SR regen by reducing the contribution of spirit. At current, mana regeneration is arrived at by an equation that takes into account level, Spirit, and Intellect. For more information on this particular formula, I’ll direct you to some of Phaelia’s work on the subject–here I am in over my head. However, I can summarize. Spirit, at current, contributes more to mana regeneration than Intellect, but the formula uses them both. It has been theorized that, right now, the best mana regeneration occurs when a character has a Spirit to Intellect ratio of approximately 1:1, or perhaps 1.1:1 at higher gear levels. If the relative contribution of Spirit had been reduced, Intellect would have become, consequently, a more important factor in the equation.

But That’s Not All!

A directed nerf to Spirit would have caused other complications. After all, we don’t pick up Spirit and Intellect just for their contribution to the mana regen formula. For Priests and Druids, Spirit can affect our Spellpower and certain talents like Meditation and Intensity (which increase in-five-second-rule regen). Druids have the most reason to bet on Spirit in the Spirit-Intellect horse race. The following talents and abilities depend on Spirit: Intensity, Living Spirit, Improved Tree of Life, and Innervate. There’s a very good reason that most leather Spellpower gear prefers Spirit over mp5, which is a regen stat that does nothing but regen. Intellect, on the other hand, has become the new most-coveted stat in the healing game. It increases the size of one’s mana pool as it has always done, and it plays the same role in the regen formula that it has since patch 2.4. However, the size of the mana pool used to matter less than it does currently. Replenishment returns mana based on a percentage of total intellect–thus, we now have a way to refill those giant mana pools. Most healers believe that Replenishment made its way into the game to facilitate caster dps, and I agree, but without it, healer regen would be somewhat less than extraordinary. In my opinion, the devs made an excellent choice when they decided to keep Spirit and Intellect’s relative contributions the same as they are now–otherwise, Intellect would have gained popularity just like a runaway train on a downward slope gains speed.

Do I have to Re-Gear and Re-Gem?

The jury is still out on this one. If the nerf had been directly to Spirit, you certainly would have. You might have even had to throw away your Spirit trinkets–the Spirit-World Glass and the Majestic Dragon Figurine–which would have been a shame. All the Naxx Spirit gear might have suddenly seemed like an unwise purchase. It is true that Intellect is probably already the stronger stat. As such, as mana regen becomes tougher, and you become faced with needing to add more Intellect or more Spirit, you might choose Intellect–if you have a choice. For example, I might still pick the Darkmoon Card Greatness: Intellect over the Spirit version. I’ll also be heading to the PTR with a stack of pure Intellect gems in order to get a sense of whether re-gemming is in order. It does not seem, however, that mp5 will be gaining much status. It’s already the downtrodden healer stat of Wrath, and I expect it to make only slight gains now. You won’t throw away your Spirit gems for mp5, after all, though you probably won’t turn down a necklace or ring with mp5 instead of Spirit once 3.1 hits.

Conspiracy Theories

How is it that two such very different accounts of the nerf have appeared? In my mind, one of two things must have happened.

1. The devs think we’re really stupid. This is the cause that GC hints at in his post. They might not realize that the community, as a whole, is very educated about their game and how it works. I’ve known that Intellect plays a part in my regen ever since 2.4 hit. If this is the case, I’d like to express my disappointment. To use an analogy from my own life, I get better results in my college classes when I treat my students like adults, capable of grappling with complex issues, than when I treat them like children who can only absorb one simple idea at a time. I’d never tell my students that Columbus “discovered” America. That’s an hour lecture on who encountered what and what it means to “explore” new lands that are already full of people.

2. They changed their mind. The devs might have realized that the current spirit-heavy druid and priest gear would become irrelevant. Rather than having to revisit all of those items which play up Spirit, it seemed far easier in the end to keep Spirit and Intellect in balance. It would probably have made people really angry to have to try extreme methods–like using the wrong armor type, or regemming for straight +Intellect regardless of bonuses–to get a competent level of regen with the gear currently available. If so, congrats to them. If they never admit to a change in thinking, I wouldn’t be surprised. All it means is that someone on that team has a few brain cells to rub together. I’ve never been one to think the devs are stupid–they’re just sometimes slow to anticipate the community’s reaction. Being a part of the WoW community, I’m much closer to that reaction and can guess it pretty accurately. If they changed their method of attack on the OFSR regen, they just made a really smart call.

In any case, I am one relieved druid as of today.

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Comments

  1. So…they’re improving the talents for everyone that uses spirit for in combat mana regen to keep things relatively equal to where they are now, they’re helping pallies out with the talent change – what about shaman? No resto love? 🙂

    -Z

  2. Seriously, no love for shaman? Everyone else gets their FSR rates buffed but shaman don’t?

    “Since paladins don’t rely on any of those abilities for mana regeneration..” Neither do shaman! Where are our new talents to help us out? Where’s our buffed mana spring totem and water shield? QQ

    Salanthes last blog post..Trees Rock (for now)

  3. I can only repeat what GC says. They like where shaman are now in terms of regen, so no changes to speak of.

    However you shake it, everyone else is getting a nerf, so no changes=excellent for the chain healing types.

    There’s also no “buff” to FSR rates. The talents are getting adjusted so that the number we see at the end of the day are approximately the same as now. The goal, though, is to adjust regen lower, not buff it, so I anticipate any errors falling on the side of less net FSR regen rather than more.

  4. Shaman use Spirit?

    Mana nerf is much ado about nothing by the looks (at least for Disc priests).

    BobTurkeys last blog post..Guest post at Some Much Needed Discipline

  5. Shaman live in the 5 second rule and eat mp5 like candy. I think we do a good job of it, as far as I’m concerned if they leave us be that IS Resto Shaman love =D

  6. Beyond any changes, I am always glad to see Blizzard go back and relook at things. The clarification seems welcomed by the community. As we all know Blizz will change their minds anyway.

    hydras last blog post..Let’s Take a Moment

  7. I’m disappointed that they’re still ignoring the impact this has on mana regen in pvp and while soloing. In my opinion they should make mana regenerate at an increased rate when out of combat (not 5sr, combat) to counteract this.

  8. I think this is a mixed bag of nuts. At least I5SR is staying close to the same, but I predict this is going to cause a lot of raids to sloooooooooow down. With healers sitting so much more often (which I think is going to be the major side effect of this) what was once a 4 hour clear of Naxx will probably turn to a 5 hour one. Dueg sees much QQ in the future. I think Tarqon’s suggestion might have merit even in a PvE environment.

    Holy Duegs last blog post..The Hodir Accord

  9. Resto shamans have no reason to complain IMO. We (druids) are getting nerfed on our regen and our main regen talent (innervate) and the ‘buff’ that you speak of is to soften the blow.

    I’ve never raided as a resto shaman but what I do know is that the shammies in our raids are constantly at the top of the meters with 90% of all heals using chain heals. Sounds easy enough to me – why do you need a buff?

    =P

  10. I don’t really see the need for conspiracy theories. The notes Bornakk posted just used imprecise wording. GC admitted this saying that “Spirit” is a shorthand for OOFSR regen. I never understood the original announcement in any other way myself, and all GC did for me was provide exact numbers and explain some of the internal reasoning, which I appreciate.

    Rivvens last blog post..Dual specs

  11. @ Rivven: I respectfully disagree that most players equate OFSR regen with Spirit. Otherwise, why were so many people lamenting soon-to-be-useless Spirit on their gear? If they read the nerf as a nerf to the OFSR regen itself, then there would have been much less cause for Spirit-based angst. Instead, many people are saying that best-in-slot lists, etc will need to be revised on account of a nerf to Spirit. Most people I believe know that out of combat regen is a formula based on Intellect and Spirit–though I, like most of your forum posters, can’t quote the formula. It seems to me, just reading the forum, that people might even have a bit of a tendency to exaggerate the relative impact of Intellect.

  12. Jormundgard says:

    More likely that…

    3. Bornakk misunderstood the change.

    He’s a community manager, not a designer. I doubt he really is all that aware of the formulas, much less what the coefficients are doing. He probably sat in a meeting or got a briefing and just summarized it the best he knew how.

  13. Since druids don’t spend much time OO5sR, it seems to be that druids are getting a slight buff in relation to other healers. Am I getting this right?

  14. “They might not realize that the community, as a whole, is very educated about their game and how it works. ”

    No, a very small part of the community is very educated about the game and how it works. The vast majority are probably not. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to speak to the average forum reader.

  15. My only concern is that Blizzard is forcing all healers to eventually become the same (I’m exaggerating a bit, I know). First they want us to have one spell each of every function so that everyone can AoE, single target heal fast or whatever and then now they wanna change mechanics so everyone regens mana in the same way. What’s even the point in differentiate mp5 and spirit if it’s not going to be put to use differently? Sure there still is a slight difference but it all just gets closer and closer to the every class does the same things but hey you can choose looks and hairstyle. Sorry, I’m in a bad mood today. Maybe PW: Barrier can cheer me up a bit soon.

  16. Actually, if you’re actively trying to conserve mana, a druid can maintain some minimal hots and regularly steal ticks of OFSR mana regen. Omen of Clarity helps extend this time, and that’s one of the targets of the nerf–along with all other clearcasting effects. However, time out of FSR varies by raid encounter. I know with the current state of mana-aplenty I’m not actively managing the FSR. I just do what I do and mana is fine. That’s why I’m not too worried about even a significant nerf. I think if I had to do a little management I could handle it, and my wrist would probably appreciate less crazy spamming of Rejuvenation. At the moment there’s too much healing to go around and I’ve tended to be happier, as a healer, when there’s a need to watch the rotation more closely.

    In addition–one of the points that I’m trying to make is that the devs should never give out incorrect information even if it is “simpler.” Simplifying leads to misunderstanding. If I were Bornakk, I would have said that mana regen from the spirit-intellect formula is being nerfed. It always pays to be accurate.

  17. I’m actually glad to know the exact numbers of the nerf. For those who care to see the impact on the mana regen model:
    This is where we are now (85% Replenish, 5% Spi bonus, BoK, 85% FSR, Fiend+Hymn):
    http://zusterke.orderoftheathanor.eu/tool.php?t=intspirit2&reg=100&rwc=30&fsr=85&rep=85&sb=15.5&ib=10&ex=0.5&mp=mp
    This is where we will be (same conditions):
    http://zusterke.orderoftheathanor.eu/tool.php?t=intspirit2&reg=60&rwc=50&fsr=85&rep=85&sb=15.5&ib=10&ex=0.5&mp=mp

    We see that, despite a 40% decrease of the OFSR regen, this translates to more or less 10% of our total regen (under these conditions). I can hardly see that as a problematic change. There are but few fights where I even use all my mana regaining abilities.

    You can also see that:
    – MP5 gained a lot of ground and is a decent starters regen stat but is in no way the better regen stat for a geared raider.
    – Intellect is better than spirit, but not unconditionally
    – Spirit is still a decent regen stat, beating mp5 eventually

    I advocated a 1:1 ratio (with minor preference for spirit) in 3.0. I guess I’ll be advocating a 10:12 spi/int ratio now. But I cannot emphasize enough: neither stat has become unconditionally better than the other! The value of spirit and intellect scale with your gear and eachother. So neither stat should be stacked endlessly. Don’t drop one stat for the other. It is a scary trend to see but there are people dropping an item with 30 int

  18. I’m actually glad to know the exact numbers of the nerf. For those who care to see the impact on the mana regen model:
    This is where we are now (85% Replenish, 5% Spi bonus, BoK, 85% FSR, Fiend+Hymn):
    http://zusterke.orderoftheathanor.eu/tool.php?t=intspirit2&reg=100&rwc=30&fsr=85&rep=85&sb=15.5&ib=10&ex=0.5&mp=mp
    This is where we will be (same conditions):
    http://zusterke.orderoftheathanor.eu/tool.php?t=intspirit2&reg=60&rwc=50&fsr=85&rep=85&sb=15.5&ib=10&ex=0.5&mp=mp

    We see that, despite a 40% decrease of the OFSR regen, this translates to more or less 10% of our total regen (under these conditions). I can hardly see that as a problematic change. There are but few fights where I even use all my mana regaining abilities.

    You can also see that:
    – MP5 gained a lot of ground and is a decent starters regen stat but is in no way the better regen stat for a geared raider.
    – Intellect is better than spirit, but not unconditionally
    – Spirit is still a decent regen stat, beating mp5 eventually

    I advocated a 1:1 ratio (with minor preference for spirit) in 3.0. I guess I’ll be advocating a 10:12 spi/int ratio now. But I cannot emphasize enough: neither stat has become unconditionally better than the other! The value of spirit and intellect scale with your gear and eachother. So neither stat should be stacked endlessly. Don’t drop one stat for the other. It is a scary trend to see but there are people dropping an item with 30 int and 30 spi for an item with 45 int. It’s not better, promised!

  19. I’m in agreement with Riven here. The two sources of regen are spirit-based and mp5. So they were reducing the contribution on the spirit side of things. I don’t think it was intentionally “dumbed down”, I think this is just one of those instances where they have an internal shorthand language that they all understand but is prone to misunderstandings. This sort of thing happens all the time among people who are intimately versed with a topic.

    That being said, I totally understand why some people read that as saying that the relative spirit : int contribution would change. Bornakk’s post is definitely not clear. Oopsie.

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter at all – a misunderstanding was introduced, has since been cleared up, and now we all have specifics. Spirit : Int remains the same. 🙂

  20. I have to agree with Spinks: Their language was likely intentional and for the vast majority of players who do not theorycraft or optimize. Just by reading WoM puts the average visitor here in the top of the 11 million people who play WoW. Speaking at the majority is not a bad thing.

    What is odd is that those who would notice this change are the theorycrafters and raiders, so maybe my above comment is totally wrong and only the informed would care. Anyway, who it was for is largely irrelevant, and the matter has been cleared up.

    I’m more interested on how this will impact arenas. Pallies and Shamies are already the healers of choice for most arena teams. Now the Priest and Druid’s ability to sneak some major mana back after the burns has been hugely nerfed. Seems like just one more reason to never use them on your team. Not that there are not amazing priest/druid pvpers, just that given a choice…

  21. Speaking to the majority or not–misinformation is bad, bad, bad. Why is information that is incomplete or not correct somehow appropriate for “the majority,” which I take to mean, the uninformed? Something I’ve learned from working in the university is to be clear and be precise–I expect no less from blue posts.

  22. I think it’s not a “nerf” as the CoH nerf. The point is not to make one class or role weaker. The point of this action is to nerf the good players, decreasing their advance over the dumb ones, just like the removing of downranking.

    There is a huge difference in effective mana regen between a good and a bad tree/holypriest. Intensity gives 30% spirit-regen, so a druid who can get out of 5SR just in 20% of the time will have 0.2*70=14% more mana. That means “skill” increase druid mana regen from 30% to 44%. If you also used some spirit-trinket, the number increases even more. With the 40% spirit nerf and 30->50 intensity buff we get (as percentage of current regen)
    Noob: (1-0.4)*0.5=0.3 from 0.3
    Good: (1-0.4)*(0.5+0.2*0.5)=0.36 from 0.44

  23. gevlon: Those numbers, to me, are quite convincing that it needed a nerf. In your first case, a “good” druid would have 50% more mana than a “noob” druid. (since 0.44/0.3 ~ 1.5 or 150% of noob). In the “new” case the “good” druid would still get 20% more mana than a “bad” druid – i.e. it’s still worth it to be “good” and grab a few ticks of OOFSR regen on mana-intensive fights.

    Certainly less mana from before the nerf, but then again, a “good” druid was not being challenged in any real sense. Heck, I just went resto a few weeks ago, and the only time I ran into mana issues was when I did not use Innervate. W/ Innervate … forget it. Ending Naxx boss fights with near full mana, and heroic boss fights with near full no matter what.

  24. Wasn’t this what they where saying all along or was i reading blue posts made after the original statement? This was the change I expected when I commented on the last article 🙂
    P.S. Just a reminder, what I know, Spirit beats mp5 with talents and kings even at 100% while casting regen.

  25. “Seriously, no love for shaman? Everyone else gets their FSR rates buffed but shaman don’t?”

    Just to clear up all the Paladin changes are nerfs not buffs.

  26. Mages will be able to get 120% of their mana regen while casting once 3.1 comes out. 50% from mage armor, 50% from arcane meditation and 20% from the glyph of mage armor. This is very exiting for my PvE-arcane mage since we go oom so quickly and rely alot on the timing of our use of evocation/ mana gems and mana pots, and still have to resort to using our wands during long boss fights. The increase mana regen will help out alot. Expect to see PvE-arcane mages looking for gear with mp5 and spirit, over crit and haste.

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