#1 - 2011/11/11 12:19:00 AMTitle says it all. Warning, long read ahead.
I mean, things work as they are now, why change them? The main reason I've heard proposed for the change is that lower geared healers both heal for less, and heal less often due to a smaller mana bar, problems which taken together compound each other. On the other hand, completely geared-out healers not only heal for more, but they can do a lot more of it without running out of mana, which leads to the existence of "godly" healers.
It's a true point, and it would be valid too if mobs and players NEVER SCALED IN HEALTH AND DAMAGE.
I mean, sure, the freshly 85 healer in Cata might not be able to heal very much, but that's why she starts with the normal heroics, then moves on to ZA/ZG and 4.0 raids, and then finally to 4.2 FL raids as her gearing permits. I have no doubt that the fully epiced out 378/391 healer with the 150k mana bar is having just as tough a time healing H Rag as the 333 healer making her way through Grim Batol.
I really think this "infinite mana" problem, if it is indeed a problem, is more of a balancing problem than a mechanic problem. If healers have infinite mana, it's because encounters aren't challenging enough to tax healer mana. The solution, then, is to go tweak the encounter, not change the functioning of a stat that's worked that way since vanilla.
I don't doubt for one second that Blizzard can make the new design work. They definitely can. It's just that I don't see the point of the new system in comparison to the old one, which was working fine. Instead of balancing boss damage to match healer mana bars, they are balancing healer mana bars to match boss damage.
For one, this requires a lot more work (which, if it wasn't obvious, takes away development time from balancing other, more pressing issues), and two, it seems like a nerf to players. I know that it's not really a nerf, assuming that Blizzard gets it right, but it feels like one, and feeling is very important to player happiness and satisfaction, and therefore player retention. I mean, why make healers feel weaker and less excited about new pieces of gear when you can achieve the same effect by correctly balancing raid damage, which results in the identical outcome of taxing healer mana while preserving that feeling of power and satisfaction when a new piece of gear drops and you see your mana bar extend when you equip it?
It really is just a pointless and time-comsuming change, and I say reverse it Blizz. Don't let it go live.