Dear Blizzard: A Modest Healing UI Request

The default healing UI in WoW has come a long way since Vanilla. One of my favourite additions is the bar they have that shows the impact of your healing done. If you look up, you can see that little green strip that shows how much health is going to be restored with your heal.

Let’s look at Discipline shields for a moment. With Spirit Shell turning into the 1 minute ability turning your heals into absorbs, it becomes even more important to show how much your Flash Heal or Greater Heal is going to absorb for.

Here’s the problem.

no-absorb-indicator

You can clearly see that I have Power Word: Shield on myself. It’s going to wear off in a few seconds. Naturally, I have full health but have no way of knowing how strong my shield is without breaking open my combat log. Then I’d have to look at the absorb value and mentally calculate that as a percentage of my overall health which then causes my head to hurt.

Bro, I am healing. There is no time for me to do that. I just want to know how much firepower my shield can fend off.

Here’s the potential solution.

absorb-indicator

Same screenshot as above. The only difference is that I darkened the right side of my health bar slightly. I didn’t put a colour to it or anything. Originally, that image had a yellow stripe going down but then I realized Rogue health bars and class colours were yellow. A colour that’s bright and stands out would be ideal.

White? Nope, that’s for Priests.

Pink? Paladins.

What about an overlay or a shadow over top of the health frames instead? The right side of my Priest health frames is darker which would show how much my shields would take. The absorb bar would go from right to left. There’s addons right now where absorb amounts extend past the frame to the side. That’s a solution but I don’t consider that elegant.

The problem with that is in a raid setting, if you put out large absorb numbers, then the absorb bar would go past the frame and it might visually impede you from healing the person in the next group over in your UI.

Drop a big absorb on Jeanine in group 1 and watch as you can’t target Nathaniel in group 2 because that absorb bar is covering up part of their health frame.

I haven’t thought of what the UI would look like if my health wasn’t at full. That paladin that’s above me is at around 50% health. If I put a shield on them, should that green healing strip be used? Or a different color? Won’t be able to use a transparent or darkening solution because then it becomes black bar on a black background.

Lightening up the background might work though. A brighter background stripe could serve to highlight the absorb amount.

Whatever the case, I’m just hoping they consider looking at quality of life visuals for any kind of shields or mitigation.

Spirit Shell Change: Burst Bubble Spam!

Spirit Shell: For the next 15 sec, your Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing no longer heal but instead create absorption shields that last 15 sec.

Cool! Not less than half a day since I posted that we were expecting Spirit Shell changes, they went and changed up the design of it entirely. In terms of absorb values, my guess is that they’re going to be a 1:1 value. So if you heal for 10000, you’ll be creating shields for 10000.

Instead of a spell that directly creates a shield, they’ve given us an ability that turns most of our healing spells into shield spells. Interesting design change. Can’t wait to try it in action. At least we now have a clear toggle between the times when we need to restore health and the times to create shields. Nifty ability though because even if the raid is at near full health, Disc priests can easily toggle Spirit Shell on and blanket the raid with shields and add that extra health buffer to everyone.

I suppose this is one way to shield spam the raid!

And as promised, Rapture removes the cooldown on Power Word: Shield.

Spirit Shell, Will We Find a Use For You?

Gryphonheart posted an awesome idea for Spirit Shell. Have Spirit Shell trigger the original Spirit hell’s healing component when it lands.

Honestly, I don’t really get why Blizzard is opting to cap Spirit Shell stacking when it’s mechanics seem to better lend themselves towards making new Spirit Shell casts on a target force the previous shield to expire (and thereby instantly trigger its healing effect) instead. That kind of system just makes more sense to me, since it would effectively cap the absorption numbers while allowing Disc Priests to more effectively use Spirit Shell as a direct analogue to Greater Heal.

At present, the current beta build has Spirit Shell replace Greater Heal. What I’ve been doing is dropping Spirit Shell on tanks before following it up with Heal and Flash Heal to get their health up. Forgot to weave in Penance.

Whoops.

Some of the difficulties you’ll find with Spirit Shell is that the time it takes for the heal to kick in is too long. 8 Seconds? Feels like an eternity. Cut duration down and give that a go or give us a way to detonate the shell at will to trigger the healing component whenever we want.

Besides that, we should be seeing another Spirit Shell change kicking in soon it seems.

In the (hopefully) next build you receive, Discipline again has Greater Heal, Strength of Soul, and Power Word: Shield with no cooldown. We are also trying something really different with Spirit Shell. Let us know how it feels.

Discipline Feedback

Pet Battles, Rapture, Symbiosis, and Monks

This week in The Herald.

  • An overview of pet battles
  • Why Rapture needs to retire
  • How to make Symbiosis better
  • Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide
Last weekend, I was over at Fan Expo Vancouver (think of it as Vancouver’s Comic Con). Not a bad event. I believe it was one of the first ones that was being organized and they were using it to test it out for future comic-ish cons. They hit capacity multiple times actually. Those who wanted to buy tickets the day of were denied shortly after lunch hour and the line was cut off. I heard both days saw around 12000+ people go in and out. Came home with this:

I miss that show.

Also, Kevin Sorbo is freakin’ tall. He was sitting next to Worf. I wonder who would win in a hand to hand fight. Hercules may be a demigod, but Worf is Klingon. Saw Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi and might I add she aged really well). I bumped fists with Tony Amendola (Master Bra’tac from Stargate).

Hope we get a bigger and better one next year with a larger gaming presence, as well.

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An overview of pet battles

This post has a video demonstration of several pet battles from start to finish along with a preview of the new pets pane interface.

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Why Rapture needs to retire

Derevka lays out his thoughts on Rapture for Discipline and why he believes that mechanic must go. In a word, I agree with his sentiments.

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How to make Symbiosis better

Jasyla offers her opinion about the related spells of Symbiosis and offers up some alternative solutions instead.

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Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide

EGTactics has an up-to-date guide on the basics of playing the Mistweaver Monk. It covers aspects like suggested talents, ability usage, and gear.

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Are Good Healers Born or Created? 

Personally, my belief is that good healers can be created. But great healers are “born”. You can teach the technical skills to a player but you can’t really instill the burning desire to keep everyone alive.

Mists of Pandaria - Mindbender talent for Priests

Priest talent: Mindbender

Really quick, my earlier post about Atonement is no longer accurate. Atonement is now a baseline, Discipline ability. It’s no longer a glyph and Holy has no access to it anymore. Edit: Discipline has access to Atonement at level 60.

Mindbender
40 yd range
4 min cooldown

Creates a Mindbender to attack the target.  Caster receives 6% mana when the Mindbender attacks. Damage taken by area of effect attacks is reduced. Lasts 15 sec.

It’s literally a flying squid. And it sucks the mana out of opponents. Not sure if this is a placeholder model or not, but I rather like it.  Now that the level 45 talents are seemingly finished, which one of the three talents would you choose?

I’m not actually sure which one of these I would take. My default choice will most likely be From Darkness, Comes Light. I really like having those free, instant Flash Heals. Not exactly the most reliable and there’s an heavier emphasis on procs. Can’t ignore the benefits of Mindbender though. A 4 minute cooldown means it can be used twice on most raid encounters.