Your beta and healing questions answered

Last friday, I asked if you had any questions about the beta. Here’s what I received (rehashed somewhat).

On reforging

I have a piece of gear that had 60 haste rating, 60 spirit and 60 critical strike rating. Can I knock of 20 haste and 20 spirit for the combined equivalent to hit rating?

Nope. You can only convert one kind of stat into a different stat that the current gear does not have. In the case above, you can convert some of the haste rating into something like hit or spirit. Only one stat reforging can actually take place. You can’t split 20 haste into 20 mastery and 20 spirit into 20 hit rating. Once you’ve reforged an item, you can revert it back to its original form and then reforge it again.

On leveling

Where should I level first?

I’d suggest Vash’jir just to ensure you gain access to underwater breathing and underwater mounts. It really won’t matter though. The introductory zone you select should take you through 81 and you should be finished them around 82.

When a healer hits 85, about how much mana should they have?

I have almost 60000 right now with gear all over the place. I’d say at least 70000, but I wouldn’t be surprised to have 80000 with quest blues.

On raiding

How fast do you expect people to down first raid in Cataclysm after release?

I’m thinking the world first guilds will take down all the normal content.

On healing overall

From a healing command perspective, are we heading back to the days of organizational healing during vanilla?

Personally, I don’t think it will get to that point. During Blackwing Lair, I had to assign priests to stop healing for 2 minutes while someone went in and covered for them. I don’t foresee that quite happening in this expansion. Simply because waiting to regenerate mana for a minute or two just isn’t fun at all. One way to approach it is to compartmentalize your healers. Have 1 healer responsible for either each group or each area that happens to have players. I think healing assignments will need to be laid out and micromanaged.

Do we really have to DPS to heal?

No, not exactly. Those DPS talents in the healing trees are only there for times when you outgear content. I do not believe they are necessary for us to do our job as healers. As in, its not required for us to toss a few Lightning Bolts or Smites to get mana back to heal more. I can’t remember who calculated it, but something like 109000 mana was needed for priests before they broke even on Smites This figure is off actually. Disregard, but the point still remains.

Should we be concerned that present beta healing has been pushed into the current PTR patch?

No. A least, not yet. There is still plenty of time. My guess is that they haven’t finished doing the numbers yet. There’s no point in having one set of numbers for 80s on the beta and another set of numbers for 80s on the PTR. May as well keep them about the same but get some extra information from the PTR and larger sample sizes.

Just how badly does mana management affect healing assignment sensibilities?

That’s a tough question for me to answer. The line between tank healing and raid healing is getting quite blurry. Even those paladins might be able to sustain a large numbers of players. You’ll want the players who have no difficult issues when it comes to mana management to stay on tanks. That is, they’re aware of their cooldowns and are willing to ask for the cooldowns of others. If the tanks can be kept alive long enough, enough DPS players should be able to take it down.

Are mana cooldown nerfs really bad?

Assuming the stats of mana when we hit 85 are true, we should see a negligible different when it comes to mana return. 3% Hymn of Hope at 85 with 80000 ish mana vs a 5% Hymn of Hope at 80 with 30000 mana.

On druids

Is our current mana inefficiency a result of poor gear? How do we compare in terms of mana efficiency to other healers that fill a similar healing niche?

It could be a gear problem, but it might not be.

Are there not enough resto druids in beta or are the developers simply not reacting?

Remember that Blizzard doesn’t always respond or address everything. If it were my class under fire, I’d be happy if they were ignoring the forums in favour of figuring out a solution.

Why bring a druid healer?

Innervate and Mark of the Wild of course! After seeing first hand how soft druid healing was getting to, I was inclined to agree with the sentiment that something isn’t quite right with yet.

Whats up with the Druid mastery?

For more information about that, you may wish to refer to Lissanna’s post.

[Thanks Lissanna]

On shamans

Is the day of chain heal spamming over?

Yes. Days of chain casting chain heal are over, at least in 5 mans. It is at best a situational heal. This is largely due to the mana consumption. In a raid, it could change. But for now, not so much.

Does healing rain stack?

Yes.

[Thanks Lodur]

On paladins

What is going to happen to the idea of a flash of light paladin vs a holy light bombing paladin?

In my opinion, gone. We have to use a lot more skills. If anything, Flash of Light will be the one we don’t see a lot of. It’s very much an emergency heal.

Does the Holy paladin mastery apply to over healing?

Yes.

Is Holy Power something that should be saved up to a max charge then used or just used when there are points active? Or is it purely a case by case.

The primary holy use for Holy Power is our mana-free heal, Word of Glory, which is instant.

Is light of dawn frustrating to use when players aren’t standing in the same areas?

Its fun to use but there are two issues with it:

  1. Seems to hit for nothing especially with the current health pools.
  2. It doesn’t heal the paladin caster at all.

What’s the new Divine Plea like?

Its a fairly big hit. Heals get halved for 50% for 15 seconds. The ability can only be used every 2 minutes. Its as if there’s no reason to even use Divine Plea unless you’re absolutely, 100% desperate. Divine Plea is okay now when we’re talking 20k Holy Light bombs and crits. But since its dropping in potency and is our go to heal, its been a bit of a struggle. Hopefully itemization would fix that.

[Thanks Kurn]

On priests

Does Life Grip work on targets at different altitudes? Can you grip people while moving or jumping?

Yes, so long as you have line of sight on a target. I was able to snag Lissanna around from the air. Even managed to pull the druid from underwater onto a boat! I know a number of priests appear to be a unfazed by it, but I know I’ll personally use it on players who are capping graveyards in Alterac Valley when we don’t want them to. I tried falling off a cliff so I could drag Lissanna with me but it didn’t work.

How effective is Power Word: Barrier?

Its okay. The strength of it seems to buckle fairly quick. I’ll put up a barrier just before an AoE phase of some fight with all players under the dome. Then it disappears a few seconds later. At level 85, it eats up something like 13000 mana. I wish there was some type of scaling effect where the damage prevented was proportional to the players standing within up to a certain point. I suppose that wouldn’t really work as well.

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.