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Restoration WotLK Talents and Discussion


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#41 Daidalos

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:08 PM

I'm going to assume that because Spirit Links requires 2 points in Improved Chain Heal that it's going to link to the two closest targets, perhaps based on highest absolute health or who is missing the least absolute health. I don't think we'll be able to select who is in the Spirit Link. I'm also going to assume that like most talents deep in a talent tree, Spirit Link will have at least a 2-minute cooldown.

I'll also make it clear in the first post that it's our 51-point talent.


Seems like a NS type ability but instead of healing them you divert the dmg to others..at this point I'm not really seeing it being worth 51 points (assuming it has 2 min CD)... am I missing something?
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#42 s4dfish

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:13 PM

Seems like a NS type ability but instead of healing them you divert the dmg to others..at this point I'm not really seeing it being worth 51 points (assuming it has 2 min CD)... am I missing something?

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that it'll have a 2 min cooldown, it's hardly OP as it is without a cooldown.

#43 Chicken

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:16 PM

The current version of Spirit Link doesn't have a cooldown on it.

51567: Spirit Link (Rank 1)
8 Mana
40 yd range
You link the friendly target with two nearby targets, causing 50% of the damage taken to be distributed to the linked targets. After 2200 damage, the link will sever.

The 8 mana is actually a percentage of your base mana. The actual spell cost is about the same as curing a disease or poison. It's also the only rank of the spell currently in, and 2200 damage would most likely be very low for a level 80 raiding environment, so this is far from the final version of the spell.

#44 s4dfish

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:24 PM

The current version of Spirit Link doesn't have a cooldown on it.

The 8 mana is actually a percentage of your base mana. The actual spell cost is about the same as curing a disease or poison. It's also the only rank of the spell currently in, and 2200 damage would most likely be very low for a level 80 raiding environment, so this is far from the final version of the spell.

Well you can get Rank 1 at 60, so another rank every 10 levels?

#45 Skyhoof

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:40 PM

I was speculating on Spirit Link having a cooldown. For the moment, let's assume there will be no cooldown. Being able to divert damage could be incredible useful, especially when you consider we could follow it up with a chain heal to top off those affected.

Blizzard seems to be designing the 51-point talents so that they are nice to have but not absolutely essential to a particular spec -- Spirit Link for resto, Feral Spirit (spirit wolves) for enhancement and Thunder for elemental. These are not nearly as critical as the 41-point talents such as Earth Shield and Totem of Wrath. Neither an Elemental nor Resto shaman is going to show up to a 25-man raid without these 41-point talents. I don't think the same will hold true with the 51-point talents. They don't seem essential to raiding (except perhaps for particular fights).

However, it does seem like we will be respeccing a lot more in the expansion to customize our talent choices to the encounter. I'm sure there will be fights where Spirit Link will be extremely useful. Imagine if you could use it on Brutallus today.

#46 Spazzball

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:52 PM

Seems like a NS type ability but instead of healing them you divert the dmg to others..at this point I'm not really seeing it being worth 51 points (assuming it has 2 min CD)... am I missing something?

With good timing, it should be able to be used to break free from any CC effects (like Maiden's Repentance). Edit: Oops, I had forgot it's like a chain heal, and thus you can't really choose who it breaks the CC off of.

I'm curious about how we'll be able to gear according to these new talents. With all damage/healing being converted to one stat, it's viable for us to use, say, Mage or Warlock gear. Cloth caster pieces (should) have spell critical rating and with these new critical talents, it seems it will be a much more viable stat. The Ancestral Awakening will be a nice free, (usually) less-overhealing spell too that will proc from criticals.

#47 s4dfish

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:58 PM

The thing to note though is that Spirit Link is not reducing incoming damage at all, if it's spammable than each cast is one not spent healing, so total raid healing output would drop with its us. What it does is make that incoming damage more easily healed via any of the multitude of AoE heals. I agree that it'll be very nice to have, but I hardly see many situation where it'd be required.

#48 PSGarak

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:09 PM

I wonder if damage caused by spirit link would proc Prayer of Mending, or generate rage. It could help offtanks generate threat. Even if it doesn't get rage, it would still work for paladins (both prot and ret).
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#49 Macblade

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:13 PM

Perhaps Blizz is trying to force two different resto specs. One more focused on chain healing, multi healing and one more focused on single target healing. The single target healing would put the 11 points into ele for clearcasting and pick up all the new talents that buff crits for HW and LHW and ancestral fortitude and so on. Then a second build that just focused on chain heal/spirit link freeing up a lot of points in the resto tree so you'd be able to grab more things in enhc and/or more survivability talents in resto.

I suppose this will have a lot to do with how the gear works out. If all the resto gear has a ton of crit it might just be stupid not to grab the HW LHW talents. Of course, if it all has a ton of crit on it, it would be nice for there to be at least some talent that helped make that crit useful when spamming chain heal.

#50 Vishor

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:22 PM

I wonder if damage caused by spirit link would proc Prayer of Mending, or generate rage. It could help offtanks generate threat. Even if it doesn't get rage, it would still work for paladins (both prot and ret).


The wording of the spell doesn't really indicate whether the damage will be received by the targets as a simple loss of life, or if it causes the attack damage to split. Mother Shaz, for example, has the offtanks stack up to "split the damage." This effect does not proc things such as Earthshield, however it does generate rage.

Another interesting thing to consider is how this ability can be best used. When I first read the ability, I thought: instant cast, no cool down. I also expected it to work like Power Word: Shield, and be affected by +healing (+spellpower in WoTLK) so as to gain increased effect. If this happens to be the case this could be a very powerful ability indeed and it may be worth a single Resto shaman only spamming this ability on the hard hitting bosses, such as Brutallus. This may be too powerful if there isn't a cooldown which would suggest maybe a 1 minute cooldown, or 30 seconds, or even being similar to PW:S and granting a debuff on the players it is cast upon so as to not allow it to be cast again for X duration.

There is also nothing to suggest that this can only be applied onto Three targets at a time...

#51 Kortar

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:24 PM

For those thinking about Shaman-as-single-target-healers, take a gander at the top rank spells of Priests vs. Shaman:

Greater Heal (1290, 3.0s) - Heals 3950 to 4590
Flash Heal (775, 1.5s)- Heals 2054 to 2386
Healing Wave (1600, 3.0s) - Heals 3034 to 3466
Lesser Healing Wave (965, 1.5s) - Heals 1606 to 1834

Greater Heal receives 15% less cost (Improved Healing), 10% more healing (Spiritual Healing), 5% critical (Holy Specialization), 16% less cost/20s of haste (Holy Concentration/Improved Holy Concentration), 20% empowerment (Empowered Healing), -0.5s casting (Divine Fury), free casting on 50% overheals, and +15% healing/critical when healing targets below 50%.

Healing Wave receives 5% less cost, 18% more healing, 10% more healing, 14% critical, 25% empowerment, -0.5s casting time.

Both have an on-crit 25% armor talent. Priests gain 25%-31% of Spirit to healing, Shaman gain 30% of Intellect to healing. Priests get a buff to bonus healing via Inner Fire, Shaman get one due to Earthliving (these are probably very similar in amounts - but both will be dwarfed by gear bonuses in any case).

If anything, the gap in single target healing effectiveness between Holy Priests and Resto Shaman widens a fair bit.

On Spirit Link:

There are two ways to read Spirit Link:
1. As a really mediocre variant on Prayer of Mending. The way it's written, it doesn't scale with gear - you just get 2200 out of it - so it's basically a reactive heal on future damage that's capped at a trivially low level and has an additional 'cost' of damaging those nearby. This occurs if you read Spirit Link as ending the moment 2200 damage gets piled on - all additional damage blows on through.

2. As a ridiculously OP, critically necessary raid buff. In this view, the job of a Resto Shaman is to sit there and spam Spirit Link for the entire raid. This results from reading Spirit Link as dropping after the damage is assessed for the entire hit that knocks it down. In such a case, spam-cast Spirit Link becomes effectively a 50% damage reduction on your main tank (slightly less when you considered the chance of multiple hits per GCD), with the trivial cost of some damage to the surrounding players - that 20k hit from a boss becomes 10k to the tank, 5k to Rogue #1 and 5k to Rogue #2. Your Resto Druids can heal that sort of reliable, consistent damage on melee with ease.

More importantly, if it works this way, the amount of damage reduction provided on the MT is so significant that it's tough to imagine how they'd designed raids without this tactic in mind. Either spam-Spirit Link would trivialize tank healing, or it would be absolutely necessary.

#52 TheSorcerer

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:45 PM

There is a third way but I'm not sure if this is even a possibility for the current wording.

What if Spirit Link remains on the target after it spread the 2200 damage (propably more due to higher ranks available between level 60 and 80) and only is on cooldown. After a few seconds it will refresh and will spread the damage among the links again and so on. It will not function like an ability that is a neccesity for raiding becuase most of the time your tank will be hit normaly, but it regularly spreads some of the damage to the links so your chain heal becomes more effective without you having to recast it all the time.

#53 Nacht

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:59 PM

As s4dfish mentioned, you'll be able to get Spirit Link at level 50, which like Earth Shield when you first talent it, will probably just be a rank 1 with later trainable ranks. At least that's my gut feeling. Assuming the 2200 cap at level 60 (I'll say roughly 30-40% of a tank's HP at that level) I wouldn't be surprised to see a max rank at level 80 with something more along the lines of a 6000-7000 cap.

Also note that spamming it will not reduce total incoming raid damage, only redistribute it, but it will certainly reduce total outgoing raid healing, as you'd be locked into your GCD if you spammed it.

#54 PsyBomb

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:48 PM

Kortar, you forgot one big thing. Ancestral Awakening is going to add a 60% heal to another target whenever we crit, massively amplifying the effect of those 14% bonus crit that we have available.
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#55 Lujaar

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:01 AM

Spirit link seems like an interesting ability, not least of all because it turns single-target healing fights into chain heal fights.

Massive potential for misuse though. This thing is going to be way better at killing friendly players than Misdirect ever was. If I'm pugging anything with a resto shaman I'm going to have /cancelaura Spirit Link macro'd into every button. I'm also going to respec resto for AV just to see how many people I can kill by spirit linking them to some green-wearing kamikaze warrior. Spirit linking yourself to a shadowpriest and running into fire right as he shadow word: deaths is going to be comedy gold.

Without some way to control who it targets or for squishy players to opt out of it, I can see this ability going unused a lot or earning resto shamans a reputation for stupidity on par with what hunters have now. Deserved or not, everyone looking for an instance group is going to remember that idiot resto shaman who killed him with spirit link that one time. If we could guarantee that the spirit link will always go to two people who aren't taking retarded amounts of random damage already, this ability would be much stronger. As it is, either the amount of damage it distributes is going to be trivial and it's going to be barely worth using, or every dps in the world is going to resent its existence. That's not a good thing for resto shamans trying to find pugs.

#56 Habanero

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:30 AM

Of course it's going to benefit from +healing. The actual HP/S of Spirit Link would be roughly on the order of Power Word: Shield, but spammable and it will benefit from pretty much nothing but spell haste, healing and mp5. A Spirit Link Shaman is not going to want to waste a lot of their power on spell crit if they're using almost exclusively Spirit Link and Chain Heal. I foresee ES-SL-CH5-SL-CH5... rotation being Shaman's bread and butter for healing tanks.

#57 PsyBomb

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 06:12 AM

from the way it currently works, following any reasonable extrapolation (even with 100% spellpower scaling, which I doubt), Spirit Link won't be killing any allies that wouldn't have died anyway unless you are TRYING to kill them or they're under ~3k health (and that assumes top rank can soak a 12k shot). When used right, it turns chain heal into an absurdly mana-efficient and vastly more powerful Healing Wave even at current +heal. Guaranteeing both arcs every time you cast without increasing incoming damage is more than slightly sick.

Ok, off that track, I find myself in cautious agreement that we're going to be finding ourselves with the same syndrome as the Feral tree. That s, there are two distinct playstyles within the tree. In our case, the flavors come in Healing Wave and Chain Heal specs, with a potential LHW-focused one for PvP. All will share some core talents, then branch off sharply to focus on their dedicated purpose (imagines a raid with 6 shaman healers, 3 Chain Heal specced and 3 Healng Wave spec).

... oh, crap, I just doomed myself to writing out all three theories, didn't I?
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#58 Pitbuller

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:06 AM

Do ancestral awake heal 60% of total healing done by crit or only effectively part?
If its total then it's absurdly powerful. Imagine brutallus with five shamans on tank spamming healing wave with 35%crit gear. 0.7crit per sec and >10k crits. Effective raid healing 4.2k hps and tank healing hps >12k. It's like longer range chain heal jump.
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#59 crimsonsentinel

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:17 AM

Anyone who's played warcraft 3 would know that spirit link is an extremely powerful ability against burst damage; I wouldn't be surprised to see a cooldown on it by the time WoTLK comes out.

#60 Kortar

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:16 PM

Kortar, you forgot one big thing. Ancestral Awakening is going to add a 60% heal to another target whenever we crit, massively amplifying the effect of those 14% bonus crit that we have available.


I didn't so much 'forget' it as 'omit' it as it isn't terribly relevant to tank healing in a raid setting. If the Resto Shaman is solo-healing a 5-man instance, this ability will be incredibly useful. But in a raid setting, you're more concerned with reliable burst healing against the one target of interest - the tank - since other healers can cover the non-tank damage.

Do ancestral awake heal 60% of total healing done by crit or only effectively part?


There's a model for this type of talent: Ignite

So I'd argue that Ancestral Awakening would provide 60% of the critical - for 90% of the normal heal.

In any case, let's presume you have 25% critical (talents + gear) and +3000 healing.

On the primary target you'd have (3260 + 3321) * 1.18 * 1.1 * (1 + 0.25 * 0.5) = 9610. On secondary targets you almost certainly wouldn't have Healing Way, so it would be (3260 + 3321) * 1.1 * (0.9 * .25) = 1629. Note: These figures are short-handed a bit since I'm just using them to show hpm/hps.

The total heal is 11239. With 1520 mana, that's 7.39 hpm and 4496 hps (note that this is substantially lower hpm for about 150% the throughput of current Chain Heal).

With current talents only (and no Holy Concentration), a Priest with 10% critical and the same +3000 healing would heal for a total of 8594 assuming none of their situational talents were active. With 1097 cost, that's 7.83 hpm and 3438 hps. IHC would increase the hpm to 9.08. Presuming an 5:1 mix of Greater Heal to Flash/Binding Heal to maintain IHC, the Priest would have 88% uptime on 60% haste, or a total of 5246 hps. And that's before we even starting considering any of the other high end Holy talents for Priests.

I'm not really going to set up a completely spreadsheet detailing all the possible spells and downranking, but it should be apparent that if you need controllable burst on the tank in a raid setting, Resto Shaman aren't really even competitive. Nor can you really 'throw away' the initial hit of the Healing Wave like you can with Chain Heal, since it's so much of the healing. So you need to find someone who can take a heal that big - which is unlikely if you're not healing tanks.

My suspicion is that means that Lesser Healing Wave will get more out of this in a 25-man raid. So let's look at Lesser Healing Wave. We'll still have +3000 healing and +25% critical. We'll ignore the fact that it's almost certain that the empowerment talent will be changed to reflect different levels on LHW/HW. So we get a heal for 4647 on the primary target and 25% of the time we'll get a 3718 on a secondary (5576 total). With a cost of 917, that's 6.08 hpm and 3717 hps against one target every 1.2s. Currently Chain Heal is more than double this efficiency, heals one target every 0.83 seconds, and has about 60% of the throughput noted. Additional ranks of Chain Heal will probably close the hps gap quite a bit.

Even in terms of the armor buffs, our Priest is going to being casting about once every 0.8s compared to our Shaman's every 2.5s. Which means that even with discrepancy in critical, Priests will still have greater up-time on the armor buff.

Comparisons against Flourish are essentially impossible since we don't know how the coefficient will work, or what the healing curve will be on Flourish, but it's almost certain that Flourish is enormously more efficient than anything a Shaman could possibly come up with - a reasonable guess is that Flourish can potentially do around 25k of healing for under 400 mana. More importantly, it imposes a significant boundary on the utility of Shaman multi-target heals - the only niche they might occupy is in providing bursts of healing beyond what Flourish can accomplish. But even here, you're still talking about taking some major hpm/hps hits over what Holy Priests could be doing with their single target heals.

Basically, what I trying to get at is that the various Resto Shaman talents seem to work well for solo-healing in 5-man instances - Spirit Link compensates nicely for the relatively weak single target heals - but in a raid setting, Healing Wave/Lesser Healing Wave and perhaps even Chain Heal will be so much worse than what other healers bring to the table that you'd have trouble justifying a Resto Shaman as a healer in your raid.




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