Handling Icewell Radiance

Props to this guy for coining the term.

Daelo announced earlier in the day the implementation of raid wide buff called Chill of the Throne. What does it do?

The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee targets. So if a raid’s main tank had 30% dodge normally, in Icecrown Citadel they will effectively have 10%.

Similar in concept to Sunwell Radiance, the reason it was implemented was to lessen the overall spikiness of incoming tank damage. Spikiness refers to something like a tank taking constant streams of 15k damage here, 14k damage there, and then suddenly plummet after a 44k hit of some sort. Sometimes it was predictable and in other cases it was not. It’s a large and often unpredictable hit that is capable of flooring a player.

I call it the Chuck Norris effect.

For present healers, the current way to deal with this is to use defensive cooldowns in tandem with tanking cooldowns. If tank avoidance isn’t high enough or if cooldowns aren’t used, they can easily get 2 shot in a manner of seconds.

With luck, this will be the last time we’ll ever see a buff like this in the game. Going forward into Cataclysm, the idea is to raise the health pool of tanks. Right now our overall approach to healing is to spam really fast heals, really large heals, or AoE heals depending on the situation.

While tank health pools go up, healing spells will scale up but not as sharply. The ratio of healing done on a tank vs tank health won’t appear to be the same as it is now. Let’s say a Greater Heal can cover 60% of a tank’s health right now. When Cataclysm hits, Greater Heal might only heal for 35% or something. The approach is to make overhealing a real risk to the point where healing spells can’t be spammed just to get through the boss fight.

That’s going to present an interesting change. It feels as if it’s going to be a hybrid between Vanilla-esque healing and TBC-era healing. I daresay those were the two extremes. In Vanilla, you had to rotate out with other healers and regen for a minute before tagging back in. In Burning Crusade, you could get away with Circle of Healing spam. It looks like in Cataclysm, they just might make overhealing mean something again since we can’t spam heals nor can we switch out with other healers to come in for us.

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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.

Comments

  1. Hmm,

    It will be interesting to see how Cataclysm changes Warcraft. We shall see.

    Good Read!

  2. I hope it goes back to being closer to the Vanilla healing style. I loved having to work out healing rotations and worry about overheal. Part of the most fun I’ve ever had was working Fear Ward rotations on Nef and making sure that my whole healing team was on target and switching out for some FSR.

    I hated the TBC “Circle of Healing” spam style. That’s one of the main reasons my DK hit 80 before any of my healers. It was nearly mindless. Somehow it made mindless CH spam even more mindless on my Shaman. At least WLK has fixed that.

    From what you say, though, Cataclysm has the potential to return the game to enough of its healing roots to really make an impact on me.
    .-= Professor Beej´s last blog ..Excuse Me While I Kiss My Bride =-.

  3. I view this being positive from a healing standpoint, if it works as advertised. I’ve observed that nothing is more frustrating for a healer than a tank that goes from 100 to 0 in a matter of 1.5-2 seconds. I know that it would infuriate me were I still healing, heh.

    The concerns I have are with tanks: For bears, dodge is their only avoidance stat. Warriors and DKs have abilities that depend on them dodging in order to generate threat. Also, with lighter but more frequent hits, will block-capable tanks come out ahead? We shall see.

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