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[WOTLK 4.0] Restoration Discussion

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2) You will not be able to get active abilities in your secondary trees in Catacylsm. This does a good job of nipping things like resto druids potentially having silence + knockdown in the bud.

Note that this is just due to only having 10 points you can place in other trees, not any direct limits announced other than having to put 31 points in your main tree first. Ghostcrawler did imply that we wouldn't be seeing active talents in those first 10 points though.

Supposedly the trees are already reworked and we'll be seeing them in the next beta build, and that this shouldn't be more than weeks away at the most. Will be interesting to see where we are then - hopefully some of the resto bugs will be fixed too.

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To throw in a few additional notes that have been added by blue posters (mainly GC) today:

1) The Resto Druid 'signature ability' will not be Tree of Life, nor will with it be Omen of Clarity. That leaves Swiftmend as the likely choice as NS is very niche and WG is near useless solo.

2) You will not be able to get active abilities in your secondary trees in Catacylsm. This does a good job of nipping things like resto druids potentially having silence + knockdown in the bud.

3) The talents being pruned are mainly the obvious and the shunned. That covers a large portion of the early restoration tree, and improved tranquility.

(source)

It's interesting. I am not sure restos HAD a signature ability historically. In BC we rolled Lifeblooms, in Wotlk we spammed Rejuvs. In MC we spammed Healing Touch and innervated priests :). Now in Cata we are getting a crazy Regrowth proc? I guess if I had to name a resto druid signature ability, it wouldn't be a spell, but the whole idea of being able to throw out mana efficient heals while moving and despite interruptions. The heals themselves change, but the idea stayed the same for a while. Swiftmend is not really that great, in the sense that it's not in the ballpark of Penance or Circle of Healing. I do agree that Swiftmend is a good candidate for being given to restos early, so it's "signature" in that sense (although really, as far as soloing gnolls of Elwynn, the most useful spells for a resto are damage abilities, root and innervate, none of which are resto specific).

I think for healers "signature" abilities should be those which make healing early instances like Deadmines or Wailing Caverns easier.

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I really think the idea is that your signature talent will make solo leveling easier -- not make grouping easier, though Swiftmend would help both. Swiftmend is really our only talent that has a pretty large life-saving net and that would work even at early levels. Also, personally, I don't feel enough druids use it as much as they can/should and often attempt to hold off "so that it's available". I think letting druids play with it much earlier on would make it the go-to amazing heal that it can be. The first thing Moz said to me after we killed H LK was "I turned on incoming heals so I could see what was happening, and gd swiftmend saves lives." I definitely don't mean to start a "Hey you're doing it wrong deal with Swiftmend discussion." I just feel like many druids could benefit from playing with it earlier and having the use of it be a bit more natural.

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I really think the idea is that your signature talent will make solo leveling easier -- not make grouping easier, though Swiftmend would help both. Swiftmend is really our only talent that has a pretty large life-saving net and that would work even at early levels. Also, personally, I don't feel enough druids use it as much as they can/should and often attempt to hold off "so that it's available". I think letting druids play with it much earlier on would make it the go-to amazing heal that it can be. The first thing Moz said to me after we killed H LK was "I turned on incoming heals so I could see what was happening, and gd swiftmend saves lives." I definitely don't mean to start a "Hey you're doing it wrong deal with Swiftmend discussion." I just feel like many druids could benefit from playing with it earlier and having the use of it be a bit more natural.

If they allowed Swiftmend to 'ignite' all DoT's (Moonfire) on an enemy as well, then I think it would be quite fantastic for a starting ability. Wrath -> Moonfire -> Swiftmend = dead would be nice for soloing.

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With the mana regen bonus presumably baked into choosing resto, and Insect Swarm trainable for all druids at 20, leveling as resto may at least be tolerable with the current design - Rejuv -> Swiftmend would be a pretty solid quick heal for when you accidentally get extra mobs beating on you and need more time to kill them, especially if you put Insect Swarm and Moonfire on everything. Mana would be better than with current balance leveling, where it is an annoyance before getting Innervate.

Lissanna's site is now updated with numbers with gear equipped. Biggest obvious thing I see is that a 3 stack of Lifebloom appears to scale at the same rate a single Rejuv does, remaining about the same HPS both with and without gear. If Lifebloom is going to remain that weak, I really don't see the point to limiting it to one target, as at that level of power it's only use for raid healing will be slow rolling a stack for revitalize procs if you aren't using regrowth much. With nourish a 2.5 second cast, nourish rolling Lifebloom on 2 tanks would be very vulnerable to disruption from needing to throw out even the occasional Healing Touch to actually keep up with healing, so I'm not sure what exactly the issue is - hopefully they're planning on buffing it and just haven't yet.

Based on those numbers, with gear Rejuv's initial heal is about 47% of a tick, which comes out to 11-12% of 4 ticks or 9-10% of 5 ticks, leaving me horribly confused as to how this is 15% of anything. Wonder if that's just a bug or if it's 15% of the base spell + a spellpower coefficient that doesn't match up to 15% of the normal coefficient. Or if they changed 15% without changing the tooltip.

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Based on those numbers, with gear Rejuv's initial heal is about 47% of a tick, which comes out to 11-12% of 4 ticks or 9-10% of 5 ticks, leaving me horribly confused as to how this is 15% of anything. Wonder if that's just a bug or if it's 15% of the base spell + a spellpower coefficient that doesn't match up to 15% of the normal coefficient. Or if they changed 15% without changing the tooltip.

4t8 didn't benefit from all Rejuv talents, so perhaps GotEM doesn't either.

Genesis: 5%

Blessing of the Grove: 4%

Improved Rj: 15%

47%*1.05*1.04*1.15 = 59% ~= 60% = 4*15%

It could be something along those lines, although even that 1% error is too large for me to believe I've got it right.

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To throw in a few additional notes that have been added by blue posters (mainly GC) today:

1) The Resto Druid 'signature ability' will not be Tree of Life, nor will with it be Omen of Clarity. That leaves Swiftmend as the likely choice as NS is very niche and WG is near useless solo.

I could see Lifebloom being the "signature" Resto Druid ability you get at level 10. It's always seemed to be the "iconic" resto druid spell to me, at least since I started in BC. A Druid that has played since Vanilla may feel differently.

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I could see Lifebloom being the "signature" Resto Druid ability you get at level 10. It's always seemed to be the "iconic" resto druid spell to me, at least since I started in BC. A Druid that has played since Vanilla may feel differently.

They've said that these iconic abilities will be unique to that particular spec:

The unique ability you're given at level 10 for choosing a specialization can never be obtained by someone of a different specialization. The idea is that you get something which feels specialization-defining right away and will play a core role in your rotation all the way to the end game.

The special ability will unlock for you when you make your choice. As with the current system, you will lose the ability if you re-talent or switch to a different specialization via dual specialization.

Considering that Lifebloom isn't unique to resto druids, I doubt they would make it our signature ability (unless they suddenly decide to take Lifebloom away from ferals and moonkins). It needs to be something from the resto tree that isn't available to the other specs. TOL is out, Omen is out, leaving Swiftmend, Nature's Swiftness, Wild Growth (from the current tree).

I'd take any of those three, but WG is going to be pointless at level 10, so I doubt that will be the one. NS is great to have, but my money is on Swiftmend first, as the more iconic spell.

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If they allowed Swiftmend to 'ignite' all DoT's (Moonfire) on an enemy as well, then I think it would be quite fantastic for a starting ability. Wrath -> Moonfire -> Swiftmend = dead would be nice for soloing.

This.

I also completely agree with what's been said about Swiftmend being a fantastic go-to heal that everyone should learn to incorporate into their standard routines. In the same way most of us probably chain rejuvs after nourishes or regrowths, swiftmend can be chained for a really really big chunk of healing. This can be either a lifesaver when someone (a tank) suffers critical amounts of damage, or you can plan to ignore someone who is losing health steadily while you attend to more pressing matters and really quickly restore him when you get back to him; the possibilities are many. I absolutely love swiftmend and I think it's a big part of what can make healing on a druid creative and dynamic. Leaving it as an 'Oh crap' ability is such a terrible waste.

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I would like to point out that the idea for the Resto Druid's iconic ability should not be limited to what we already have. There was a blue post recently musing about how Divine Storm didn't seem right as the iconic level 10 Retribution ability, so they were probably going to introduce a new ability.

Divine Storm will probably go back into the talent tree. It won't be the 31-point though. Both the 31-point and the 10 ability need to have more single-target use. That means something like 3 new abilities for Retribution and several new or modified talents on top of that. Crazy.

While this is a bit unlikely since it has also been stated that they don't want to give Resto Druids any more spells seeing as how our 'toolbox' is rather large as is, I find it possible that they might introduce a spell that gives the Resto Druid some of the Hybrid damage that we are missing and other healing classes possess at the moment, and was a large portion of their reason(or so they said) for turning Tree of Life into a CD.

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In regards to my earlier comment about if they had changed Regrowth:

We want Regrowth to feel like the flash heal. It will need to change a little to fit in that model (more up front and less hot perhaps) but it doesn't also need to feel exactly like Flash Heal to do the job.

Looks like they have finally decided it is worth updating Regrowth into the current game as it will synergize well with the new requirement of it being our 'flash heal'. Hopefully they will just chop off 3-4 ticks instead of making a weak hot weaker as this could potentially make the hot more useful too as it should gain in strength.

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Looks like they have finally decided it is worth updating Regrowth into the current game as it will synergize well with the new requirement of it being our 'flash heal'. Hopefully they will just chop off 3-4 ticks instead of making a weak hot weaker as this could potentially make the hot more useful too as it should gain in strength.

If they want Regrowth to occupy exactly the Flash Heal niche, then druids may become pushed into the "top off low hp raid members with a fast heal" niche (currently occupied by disc priests with the bubble and perhaps shamans to a lesser extent with the uber fast LHW). Regrowth has by far the best reward for hitting a low hp person, over all Flash Heal type heals.

Perhaps that's not so bad, maybe this is the design target:

On the tank: full hots + nourish spam (compare to holy priest: renew + heal spam)

On the raid when stable: hot rotation like now (compare to holy priest: renew spam + CoH + PoM + Holy Nova)

On the raid when not stable: regrowth sniping (compare to holy priest: PoH + CoH?)

This uses most spells, and perhaps is a competitive way to play.

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Resto base activated ability is Swiftmend. Also gets default spell pushback resistance.

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Talents that are gone in the new push:

Nature's Focus

Subtlety

Naturalist

Master Shapeshifter

Omen of Clarity

Tranquil Spirit

Imp. Tranquility

Imp. Tree of Life

Imp. Barkskin

Gift of the Earthmother

Nature's Majesty

Nature's Splendor

Celestial Focus

Notably, Swiftmend is still in there, so as I posted in Balance, these probably don't reflect anything serious.

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Q. How does Deep Healing work? Will it heal severely less at high health that it is difficult to keep a target at a safe level of health?

A. No, view it as a perk that boosts your heals when that extra healing is most needed. It’s a class-specific bonus, so healing overall won’t be balanced around the expectation that Deep Healing applies.

Something about the wording of this question and its answer leaves me with a few questions as to the impact Cataclysm will have on healing in general. I only bring it up in this thread because the discussion previously brought up the question of how exactly healing is going to be made challenging. Many people thought that perhaps by creating talents where heals landed for greater amounts based on lower percentage of health pools that a difficulty could be created in spending mana wisely yet keeping overall raid health lower as a result.

The question above posted in the recent Blizz Twitter Q&A seems to NOT support these claims.

So if what the consensus here in regards to the fundamental changes being made to increase the healing difficulty is no longer correct, how exactly are they changing our raid duties so that they are more interesting? Merely lowering the amount of incoming damage, raising health pools, and lowering mana pools (or associated healing throughput) seems to be a poor way of changing any healing fundamentals.

Any ideas (from experience if your in beta or otherwise) how these supposed healer innovations will change our healing approach (druid specifically) for us in Cataclysm yet?

edit x2: found it...

Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target's health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

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If you played during BC and Vanilla, I would expect things to work much like they did then (although Lifebloom was rather overpowered for healing during those days).

They want to get back to the system they had before they broke it by changing downranking. It used to be if you wanted to heal someone who didn't need a full heal, you would downrank your spell so that it wouldn't use as much mana. This is because at the time, mana was the constraint on healing. It wasn't a question of could the healers keep you alive but how long they could keep you alive. This put a much bigger stress DPS to both kill the boss quickly and avoid taking unnecessary damage.

All the changes to healing revolve around getting this system back into place, but instead of downranking, you will use another spell that fits that "niche" so to speak.

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Ghostcrawler posted that the Druid trees probably are the farthest from finished of all the classes, so there will definitely be a lot more changes.

I take it that they haven't changed any of our HoTs (or DoTs) to make the old talented durations the base? I'd comment on the tree, but with Rejuv not comparing that well with Renew even ignoring Chakra (Renew still has an initial heal, now same duration, quick glance puts other talent modifiers about the same), I'm kinda hoping "a lot more changes" actually means "do something other than a quick prune" as that's pretty much what I see this as.

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...

It wasn't a question of could the healers keep you alive but how long they could keep you alive. This put a much bigger stress DPS to both kill the boss quickly and avoid taking unnecessary damage.

...

It will also mean that tanks will have to gear/spec in a way as to minimize overall damage, as opposed to mainly gearing for stamina in order to survive "x" back-to-back boss hits and relying on the healer(s) to react and fill up the HP deficit before the next fatal hit comes.

However, it's not likely to be seeing the full return of the BC avoidance tank with a more spiky damage intake profile and the manasponge tank with a smoother damage intake. Ghostcrawler posts leads me to believe that the tanks leading cause of death will be:

1. healers running out of mana because fight takes too long, tank undergeared, etc (raid/tank skill)

2. healers running out of mana because healer prioritized wrong spells at the wrong time (healer skill)

In any case, mana will be a lot more valuable resource than today. Innervate will be a significant part of the healing effort, and it remains to be seen if druids get balanced with using their own innervates in mind, or the external mana replenish sources will be sufficient to leave innervate as a luxury instead of a necessity.

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In any case, mana will be a lot more valuable resource than today. Innervate will be a significant part of the healing effort, and it remains to be seen if druids get balanced with using their own innervates in mind, or the external mana replenish sources will be sufficient to leave innervate as a luxury instead of a necessity.

I'd guess that resto will end up wanting to self innervate fairly frequently, at least in the first tier of raids, just based on how it's been in the past. If they make any of the difficult fights designed to be healer mana limited outside of poor heal selection or bad dps though, stacking dps druid innervates could be an issue as balance was pretty well off on mana regen last I heard and cats will at most be losing a small amount of dps time to innervate someone. Marathon fights don't tend to be particularly interesting though, so I really don't see that coming up, at least not to the extent of seeing, say, world firsts bringing an innervate per healer.

Blizzard and GC have talked a lot about deaths from healers running out of mana, but assuming we won't be seeing damage spike phases/boss cooldowns on both raid healing and tank healing that are quite capable of causing deaths is extremely far fetched. I would expect that on average fights we will have more margin to play with for keeping people alive, but needing to heal people up so they don't die is the only thing that will actually force people to use less efficient heals and risk running out of mana to begin with. Standing in fires too much will be able to cause wipes without causing immediate deaths, and they could try to also stretch healer mana on some of the tightly tuned dps race fights - however, making fights long enough or put out enough damage to be in danger of running healers out of mana without poor execution of the fight being the cause just encourages stacking healers in situations without tight dps requirements, which doesn't quite seem what they're going for.

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Blizzard and GC have talked a lot about deaths from healers running out of mana, but assuming we won't be seeing damage spike phases/boss cooldowns on both raid healing and tank healing that are quite capable of causing deaths is extremely far fetched. I would expect that on average fights we will have more margin to play with for keeping people alive, but needing to heal people up so they don't die is the only thing that will actually force people to use less efficient heals and risk running out of mana to begin with. Standing in fires too much will be able to cause wipes without causing immediate deaths, and they could try to also stretch healer mana on some of the tightly tuned dps race fights - however, making fights long enough or put out enough damage to be in danger of running healers out of mana without poor execution of the fight being the cause just encourages stacking healers in situations without tight dps requirements, which doesn't quite seem what they're going for.

I wouldn't say there's a larger or smaller margin for error. I would just say that the way you approach the fight is going to be different. That guy who sits in the fire now dies. Because he's dead, the raid wipes without his DPS in a tightly tuned fight. Instead, the guy may not die in Cataclysm, but the cost of keeping him alive strains the healers and if they're OOM every dies. Of course, that doesn't mean that he still can't die from sitting in the fire too. It's just different.

There are plenty of answers to stacking healers. I'll reference Prince Malchezzar for this one. His fight had a unique answer to this. The 2nd Phase turned the fight into a DPS race. If you lingered in this phase too long, your healers were going to run out of mana due to the extreme amount of damage he put out. If you tried to substitute another healer in for a DPS, you were only going to increase the time spent in phase 2.

For example, trading 1 DPS for a healer comes to more than 3 million damage over 5 minutes if you have an average of 10,000 DPS. This is more acceptable in a 25 man because you have about 16 or 17 additional people who can make up the difference. It would take an additional 625 DPS to cover switching a DPS for a Healer to make up the difference in damage if you assume a regular 2 tank, 6 healer, 17 DPS setup. In a 10 man, it would take over 3000 DPS. While in a 25 man raid that number isn't completely insurmountable, there's no way to make up for it in a 10 man.

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There are plenty of answers to stacking healers. I'll reference Prince Malchezzar for this one. His fight had a unique answer to this. The 2nd Phase turned the fight into a DPS race. If you lingered in this phase too long, your healers were going to run out of mana due to the extreme amount of damage he put out. If you tried to substitute another healer in for a DPS, you were only going to increase the time spent in phase 2.

That general approach works quite well, yes. Malchezzar himself is a bit of an odd example though - in phase 2 he dual wielded, complete with very high attack rates and a penalty to his hit chance - even with early tanking gear that phase had very high evasion rates. His average damage wasn't too bad, but just landing all his hits could basically triple his damage in bursts, and his sunder armor effect's stacking rate and whether it fell off entirely depended on the luck of yet more hit rolls. End healing effect was basically that spamming the tank with big heals phase 2 was by far the safest thing to do because there wasn't time to switch to bigger heals in response to a burst. A fight design like that would go over rather poorly if we're supposed to be making decisions about which heals to use and not spamming the big stuff constantly, though swapping around who was spamming big heals on the tank might make it possible, which I do remember happening on that fight. Outside those concerns though, you wanted the fight to be as short as possible to minimize the number of infernals dropped to give the RNG fewer chances to try killing you, and to make sure you killed him before the phase 3 infernal spam filled the room. All this was very effective at making him a dps race, but also turned him into potentially the most annoyingly random boss ever.

On healer stacking though, it certainly is more of an issue in 25 mans, yes. It would be a very odd fight that let you get away with 4 healers in 10 man since that would be about equivalent to using 10 healers in 25. 10 mans are probably a bit more sensitive to things like innervates available from the dps and extra healing or lack thereof from JoL or shadow priests though.

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Innervates from ferals shouldn't be much of an issue with the current form of Innervate on beta.

"Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 33% of the casting Druid's maximum mana pool over 10 sec."

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A situation where the only dps pressure comes from running healers out of mana encourages healer stacking until your longevity gain from adding another healer starts to fall behind the amount that an additional dps can shorten the fight. All things being equal, that won't tend to happen until you're running nearly as many healers as dps which is way more than anyone seems to be shooting for. Healers running out of mana can't be a practical incentive to stack more dps without an additional mechanic that decreases the mana effectiveness of your healers with less dps, along the lines of the frost lich adds on valrithia. It can be a reason to encourage the dps you have to do better but not a reason to drop healers to add dps.

If the risk of malchezzar running your healers out of mana was actually the problem that wouldn't have been a deterrent to healer stacking at all. Adding another healer dragged the phase on longer, but not proportial to the amount of extra healing you got access to. The incentive to rush through p2 on malchezzar was because for a lot of tanks there was a real risk of malchezzar dropping him in an unhealable amount of time if you got unlucky. It's not a terrible mechanic but people really complain about it so you don't see it much.

I can't think of a fight this expansion that didn't have a hard enrage, soft enrage or adds to create the dps pressure. I can't think of another mechanic that keeps a raid from bringing an unreasonable number of healers (besides the crappy p2 malchezzar method). There really aren't very many ways when you break it down, coming up with another one would be a pretty awesome breakthrough for their encounter design.

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I'd guess that resto will end up wanting to self innervate fairly frequently, at least in the first tier of raids, just based on how it's been in the past. If they make any of the difficult fights designed to be healer mana limited outside of poor heal selection or bad dps though, stacking dps druid innervates could be an issue as balance was pretty well off on mana regen last I heard and cats will at most be losing a small amount of dps time to innervate someone. Marathon fights don't tend to be particularly interesting though, so I really don't see that coming up, at least not to the extent of seeing, say, world firsts bringing an innervate per healer.

This is a very good point. The first tier content has consistently proven to be more of a challenge than the higher end content. When you enter tier one, you may have a few epics, but you would mostly be in blues. Healers will be pushed to the limits and flasks and mana pots as well as well-timed mana restoration spells like Innervate are crucial to success. Malchezzar was a tough one because it was 10-man only combined with the random events mentioned above.

Today's 25-man guilds try to run 4 raids a week if possible with the 10/25 normal/heroic so the gearing up process is very fast. When the second tier goes live, they are fully geared with emblems to spare and possibly fully geared with a dual spec. This is where the real versatility comes in to play. Raid leaders are able to change tank/dps/healing roles on the fly and tune the raid comp after each attempt in some cases. More time is required to learn the content rather than gear up.

New and inventive boss mechanics would be great and and we would all enjoy it, but I think proper scaling between the tiers can add value and challenge as well. The gear is on a linear scale but the content should not be.

I see a repeat in store for this expansion with a tough first month and smooth sailing all the way to the end if you get all your raids in and the new daily randoms each week.

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