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Regional FlagCan you please explain the PW: Solace change?Source
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#1 - 2012/07/30 02:35:00 AM
Power Word: Solace now has a 2 sec cast, up from 1.5 sec. Now grants 2% of maximum mana, up from 1.5%.

GC, let me be clear: I hate this talent with the fire of a thousand suns. Words cannot describe how much I hate it. I would pay you every RL penny I have, tithe you 10% of my wages for the next 10 years, and perform unspecified services for you as an unpaid slave for the next month and a half if you agreed to delete PW: Solace and replace it with some sort of functional and fun mana regen mechanism.

That said, it's currently necessary.

So. You're increasing the cast time and the mana return. It still generates exactly the same mana per second, but now it's a 2-second cast. Now it's even more obnoxious to weave in between healing spells; now we lose even more if we have to cancel it mid-cast, and now we're much more likely to need to cancel it. And now even the small amusement of getting to perform an action every GCD or so is gone.


The only thing this talent had going for it in terms of 'fun' compared to Cata Telluric Currents was that it was quick. It still sucked, I still wanted to cast it into the fires of Mount Doom, but it was marginally less awful than Lightning Bolt because it was GCD-speed.

Why is even that unacceptable to you? I know you have some weird thing about slowing down healing, which is why we can't actually cast any fun healing spells, but PW:Sol is not even a heal! It's just a stupid "press button for mana"! Why can't it at least be fast?

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#24 - 2012/07/30 10:37:00 AM
Solace is intended to be a choice. Those of you saying you *have* to have a fast cast time because you *have* to spam Solace or you'll have no mana are arguing for the wrong thing, because I hope it's obvious that isn't the intent.

I know some of you are worried about your priest (and before that it was shaman and before that it was paladin and I probably missed druid in there somewhere) but we also have to rectify that with the performance and opinions of the players we see tackling the content on beta. If you want to be as helpful as possible, try to be very explicit with the situations and cases you feel your priest can't handle. The more detailed, the better. What spells are you casting? Which encounters? What feels different from Catclysm, remembering that you are no longer in end level gear?

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#189 - 2012/08/01 02:49:00 AM
We think it is possible to balance active vs passive regen. The key is in how healers use mana. Nobody needs infinite regen. You just need enough to heal a fight. If you consider a fight where you never have to heal, then Solace will crush any other mana return because you have so many free GCDs in which to spam it. However, you also don't need that mana for healing in the contrived fight with no healing. As fight intensity increases, the need for mana increases BUT the time available for Solace decreases. Solace will work best on fights where there is very intensive healing followed by quiet periods in which you can nuke. But depending on the timing, Mindbender might work for those fights just as well.

We don't like Solace with a cooldown because then you feel like you must use it on cooldown. With no cooldown, then is there is a continuum between fights where you have free time but need mana and fights where every cast time must be spent on a heal. The choice becomes the priest's.

I'm still seeing a lot of "I need to spam Solace so make it more spamable" responses. You're not going to convince us with that argument. Let us know in what specific situations you are struggling with mana and what types of spells you are trying to cast. That is the actual issue in our minds.

I am also still seeing a lot of "we have provided you with the evidence." I wouldn't be asking if you had. There are maybe 3 links to parses and a couple more with any kinds of numbers at all. If you feel it is that easy to make your case, then make it. :)

As an aside, the only thing we didn't like about Telluric Currents as active mana generation was that it scaled too well with gear (in 4.3) and would have been a mandaory glyph (in 5.0).

It's a very common thing that when people feel they aren't being listened to they complain louder and more frequently.

I have been in this business for 15 years, so I can say with certainty that that strategy does not work. You run the risk of your entire point being dismissed if you come across as too uninformed to make an argument with some substance to back up the sweeping claims. If you are trying to convince anyone in a situation where you can't just order them to do something, whether that person is a boss, teacher, co-worker or government official, you'll do better with logic and reason than insults and hyperbole.

We appreciate the passion -- just channel it into something productive.

Game Designer
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#416 - 2012/08/07 06:28:00 AM
This is a combination of responses to some points in this thread and a couple of others, such as the "bench" thread.

When we stop seeing posts that rank Solace priests ahead of Mindbender priests, then we'll feel like the talents are in a better spot. Not every priest wants to have to cast nukes as part of their healing rotation, and we are just not going to make Solace mandatory. If you enjoy the style, awesome. That talent is for you. You shouldn't have to take it though. (When I heal, I tend to play the mana game a lot, because healing just enough without overheating is fun for me. Rather than overheal, I'll gladly sit idle a lot rather than waste a heal. Solace would work well for me. Other healers, even some I play with, want to stay more active and keep spells queued up and cancel them or just keep everyone topped off. That's cool too. The game supports lots of different healing styles, except for the one where you just spam your highest HPS spell and nothing else, which hasn't been supported since Icecrown.)

We're not noticing a big longevity problem between priests and druids. Shaman seemed a little low so we are examining the impact of the Water Shield and Resurgence chances. We may also lower the cost of Healing Rain. It is definitely a challenging thing to sim out how much mana the various healers use because it has a lot to do with spell choice. You should be able to use your more expensive heals somewhat, but you should also be casting a lot of Heals as well.

We don't feel like mana regen in 5-player dungeons is at all a problem. Mana felt tighter (too tight in retrospect) in Cataclysm launch. If you are running out while healing a dungeon boss, I would suspect it's because you are using Flash and it's equivalents too often or you're just used to the rapid mana regen of full Dragon Soul gear. It's possible mana is tighter in raids, especially 25 player, but we're running a lot of raid tests right now and it's just not a common theme we're hearing from those players, which again leads me to want to understand what is going on for players who feel they are struggling. Again, being as specific as possible would help. Which bosses? How far into the fight are you struggling for mana? How quickly are you having to Shadow Fiend? Are you wearing Mists quest greens, Mists PvP gear, or scaled up Dragon Soul raid gear?

Returning Holy Concentration to a higher value is extremely unlikely. We felt that created more class balance problems than it solved. We are more likely to lower priest and or shaman heal costs if we think it is needed. We just don't want to be in a situation where we improve priest and shaman healing now and are then forced to nerf them after launch. Nobody will be happy with that outcome.

I'll dig into the "Realistic 60 sec Holy priest average" posted. You shouldn't feel, with any mana talent choice, that are you are sitting around a lot too scared to heal. (The example I used for my healing style above is just one play style, not the only valid way to play. I could overheal a lot more and still be fine.) The risk should be that any time you replace a Heal with a Flash Heal that it's going to hurt a little, but sometimes that is still the right call. A priest casting nothing but Heal should last indefinitely. That isn't true of say a paladin who uses a lot of free spells. PW:Shield for Disc is a little more risky. It has a lot of benefits, but overall you should be rewarded for shielding folks who are taking damage and not just throwing it around indiscriminately on the raid. The former should benefit you through Rapture. The latter should slowly run you OOM.

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#450 - 2012/08/07 07:26:00 PM
So I have two questions now. Firstly are Disc Priests really expected to spend a quarter of a fight doing nothing? Secondly, why are some classes, bugs aside, allowed to have the room for a huge percentage of over healing when some of us can barely do our job with minimal over healing?

I'm not sure how you can argue that the Mistweaver being idle is an anomaly but the Disc priest being idle is mandatory because he or she lacks mana. It's hard to know without watching a video of the fight why certain healers were not healing 100%. You should be able to heal 100% though. What concerns me the most are those players who are trying to heal e.g. a Raid Finder encounter and running out of mana very quickly, or at least much faster than say Resto druids. Those are the situations I want to understand.

And, uh. FDCL?

I keep comparing Mindbender to Solace because the math is easier. FDCL should be a choice too, but it is about not spending the mana in the first place rather getting it back.

No offence GC but all Priests are having to play the game the way you prefer we are having to stand idle, as in not healing.

I agree, and I believe I said that as an illustration of why Solace will play well for some healing styles and not others. What I keep arguing is that if too many priests take Solace because they feel like they must for mana, that is bad for the game. Buffing the crap out of Solace so that priests feel like they always have enough mana is not a good design decision.

In other words, in Chakra: Sanctuary, every point of mana you spend on Heal buys about 41% fewer hitpoints for your raid than it would if you waited and spent it on PoH instead.

That's intended though. If say 3 people in the group are wounded, then Prayer of Healing is the right answer to that. It shouldn't be more efficient to cast Heal 3 times. If you are using Prayer of Healing to heal 1-2 players, or even more relevant, if you are casting Flash Heal or Greater Heal when a Heal will do, then you will start to run OOM.

Yet you have made nuking mandatory for Disc even without PW:Solace. The buff we get from A/AA cannot be ignored as Beta stands right now and even then we are struggling to compete with other healers, even Holy Priests, with the 25% buff from AA.

Archangel doesn't provide mana any longer and is on a 30 sec cooldown. I'm not certain that casting all of those Smites for the Archangel benefit net gets you ahead in HPS or HPM. If it does benefit your HPS in the long run (it was pretty break even last I looked), then I concede we took the choice away that Disc used to have about whether to use Atonement / Archangel or not.

I want to thank everyone who is arguing intelligently and providing numbers. All of that helps.

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#461 - 2012/08/07 09:32:00 PM
Crzed explains far better than I can why A/AA is now mandatory (he's talking specifically about Archangel here)

Yes, that was a good explanation. Penance plus Glyphed Holy Fire lets you stack Evangelism veru quickly, which then makes you feel like you're supposed to do so. Probably the right solution is to have Penance provide only 1 stack (or even none).

Pretty much the same thing I was going to post. You say PoH is the right answer for 3 people and in many fights tested so far in 25 man there is never a shortage of groups with 3 people where PoH can be used with pretty low levels of overhealing. So we're using the spell you say is the correct answer but if we keep using it, even stacked in spirit gear with all spirit gems and buffs, it's not something we can sustain for very long. That's where the idle time comes from. We have to hold back and fill time with solace or just passive regen to be able to sustain the right answer over a 6 minute encounter.

Those are two different things though, which is why I'm trying to divorce priest mana from the Solace discussion. In a world without a five second rule, you aren't helping your regen at all by going idle. The only reasons to go idle are you don't think anyone needs healing at the moment or you literally don't have enough mana to cast anything. (If you can afford to heal a lot when nobody needs it, then you're just overhealing which mana management is intended to discourage.)

Maybe you could clarify if it is any of these situations:

A) You cast what you feel are appropriate spells and run OOM quickly. You then Shadow Fiend and then ultimately go OOM again (at which point priests with Solace use it to get back in the game).
B) You cast what you feel are appropriate spells but notice that when other healing classes do the same, they end up with far more mana than you.
C) You are so scared to cast anything that you stand around a lot.

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#496 - 2012/08/08 12:14:00 AM
Kael and I illustrated all of these situations quite clearly. I am actually now offended that you posted this and did not real this.

You should calm down if you want to keep contributing to the discussion. As I said, we appreciate your passion, but keep it in check. There is no room for offense here.

As for A/AA, that is a terrible idea... As posted above, Penancing the boss is a trade off. You give up three stacks of Grace for some AoE capabilities to Penance (not likely, but maybe) and three stacks of Evangelism. Making it 1 or 0 stacks makes A/AA even harder to use... If you want us to use A/AA less, because you don't think we are "balanced" around it, either increase the CD to a minute or reduce the bonus to 15%. Else, keep it and let people Penance for stacks... that's just mean thinking of removing that,

We didn't realize the synergistic effects of having Penance provide 3 stacks plus the possibility of instant Holy Fires. All of that means that Evangelism is easier (relative to live) to stack, which means Disc really needs to use Archangel on cooldown to benefit from the healing boost. We prefer when Disc can choose to nuke the target. We don't want it to be mandatory. We could nerf Archangel's healing as an alternative.

While it would be nice if maintaining evangelism was not required, I think disc numbers would have to be brought up substantially. At the moment, AA is offering an average 15% buff to overall healing and is very easy to stack due to penance. You trade off the grace stacks to do this, but it is worth it for the buff. Disc just does not feel viable atm, especially in 25's, and this nerf wouldn't help that feeling a bit.

That's fine, but much as with Solace, we don't want Disc to be balanced around maximizing AA. If we need to nerf those mechanics and buff priests, then that's the right call.

Look at the logs I provided, without ~20% time spend solacing I wouldn't have the mana to be competitive.

I did, but I'm unsure what "competitive" means. Would you be out of mana and couldn't heal while other healers could keep going?

Actually they're saying that by not spending that mana on heal and instead idling/solacing, you set yourself up for larger returns later through using other spells. It doesn't make you regen any faster, but you're able to do more healing in the same window of time, increasing your efficiency. This is why solace feels required. Nerfing solace does nothing to fix the problem with our sustained efficiency, it just brings our burst potential more in line. No one is saying they like spamming solace a ton, it just happens to be the most efficient means for us to heal.

Okay, I think I understand the context. You're saying for a given GCD that generating mana through Solace to afford a more expensive heal is better than spending a GCD on Heal itself, which is slightly mana negative and not awesome throughput. It may be that priests with Solace don't Heal often, and we could live with that.

I disagree with your last bit though. Nerfing Solace does help to fix the problem with sustained efficiency, because it's masking a potential problem.

I think many of you guys are here: I need mana. Solace gives me mana. If you nerf Solace, I won't have mana.

But, I am here: Priests need to be able to function without Solace.

I think now that paladins and monks are hopefully not broken, we'll find that the other healers are closer together. If what several of you are saying is correct (druid > priest / shaman, or even druid > Holy / shaman > Disc) then that will show up pretty quickly.

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#501 - 2012/08/08 12:26:00 AM
I guess I have to really ask you a question, how hard is it supposed to be? At BC when I was doing heroic dungeons & kz it was a little challenging (that went away as gear got better). In WoTLK it was a breeze at the start. Cata was almost non-healable at start. So far Mists to me seems harder then BC but easier then Cata. I have not run out of mana doing the dungeons, but I have not hit the heroics yet. I will say I do pride myself on being very mana efficient (ever since the start), I don't cast a flash heal (even now in DS gear) if a heal will do.

The problem I see is if we are expected to stand idle, it is not fun. Doing nothing in a dungeon during a fight is not enjoyable plain and simple. I do think overall mana regen is an issue, if you want the vast majority people completing dungeons and having fun it needs to be higher. If you want what happened in Cata where people thew up their hands in frustration and walked away form healing then keep it as is. It really is a matter of what you want in your game.

Mana management was a little too hard for healers when Cataclysm launched. It felt better by the 4.1 and 4.3 dungeons. We want it to feel better in 5.0 than it did in 4.0, but we want mana to stay relevant longer, while it largely went away for 4.2 and 4.3 raiders.

You should never have to stand idle, so long as you are healing somewhat intelligently. If you are casting a lot of Flash Heals because your group is taking a lot of unnecessary damage then you probably need to change your group strategy. If you are casting a lot of Greater Heals or Prayers of Healing and overhealing, then you need to change your healing strategy. But you should have enough mana for a 3-5 min dungeon boss fight under almost any circumstances. Nearly all of the dungeon wipes I see are because players failed to understand the mechanic (which is often our fault) or failed to execute, not because the healer couldn't keep up.

I don't understand why it couldn't keep its 1.5s cast time and reduce the mana returns instead.

We are going to try Solace at a 1.5 sec cast and 0.7% of mana return.

Don't be too upset. I'm quite happy they nerfed it, now we can see where we are truly at without it mucking the numbers.


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#510 - 2012/08/08 12:48:00 AM
Most people using old tier scaled gear I think have been using t12 set bonuses for healing.

We read this a lot, but we're not actually seeing it a lot in the raid testing. Players doing so certainly aren't helping themselves at all, because you won't actually be raiding with the scaled up set bonus of your choice. :)

If it starts happening a lot, we'll just make those set bonuses not function on beta. We want to balance priests (and all healers) around a baseline case, not a gimmick like an old set bonus or even a mandatory talent.

I know this has nothing to do with Solace/Mana (well not much), but if you're feeling generous, could you please explain the thought behind our 2pc being 10% reduction to Flash Heal, a spell even you said should be used sparingly, when, like, Holy Pally gets 10% to Holy Radiance, a very commonly used spell?

We wanted the set bonus to let priests get more benefit out of Flash Heal, because we thought that would feel cool, because as you point out, it's normally something you can't use often. The paladin benefit is probably more useful, though their 4pc is a single-target heal while it's CoH for Holy. The Flash Heal set bonus could probably safely go up.

We're trying to get away, a little bit, from the design where every tank and every healer have virtual cloned set bonuses. It will make balance more challenging, but will ultimately help keep the game fresher. Set bonuses are one of the few really different things players have to look forward to in gear.

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#585 - 2012/08/08 10:31:00 PM
On the subject of mana returns, we're a little concerned about Inner Focus as well. It ends up being a tremendous source of mana for Disc, so much so, that the right behavior is probably to macro it to make sure it gets used on cooldown. We'd rather Inner Focus be a short cooldown with some flexibility (e.g. timing when the boss does a ton of damage) and not a button you have to use every 45 sec (or less with Train of Thought).

To be clear, using a macro to use Inner Focus and Greater Heal with one hotkey is fine. You're making the decision when you want to use Inner Focus. If you're using Inner Focus as soon as it is off cooldown, essentially turning into a passive, then we think it's dumb.

We would buff Disc, possibly through Meditation, if we made a change here.

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#590 - 2012/08/08 10:49:00 PM
Don't just remove it and add to Meditation. Do some innovative with it, if you are going to do anything.

We wouldn't remove it. It's a fun ability and we like the thought of Disc maximizing it with Spirit Shell, Divine Aegis PoH or in PvP with the glyph. We just want players to be able to benefit more from the throughput portion of the ability and not just have to use it as a short cooldown Evocate.

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#602 - 2012/08/09 12:07:00 AM
I posted this in the main numbers thread, but since it is relevant here, I will cross post:

An update for shaman: we're going to make Healing Rain cheaper and heal for a lot more. We are going to make Chain Heal heal for slightly more.

An update for priests: we're going to reduce the cost of all heals by 10%, reduce the mana gain from Inner Focus, but buff Discipline to 50% Meditation. We're also making Power Infusion priest only, for fear that priests will be asked to choose that talent to benefit someone else.

An update for paladins: we're going to buff Word of Glory and slightly nerf Light of Dawn. We will likely nerf Bastion of Glory enough to offset this change, but need additional testing first. For now, we are not changing Ret's WoG bonus so it will be buffed for them as well.

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#605 - 2012/08/09 12:21:00 AM
Sounds good to me. Will Inner Focus's throughput be buffed at all? It'd be great if the 25% increased critical strike chance was buffed, so that we could choose which heals it would be best to use it on.

We haven't finalized it yet, but we are trying 100% crit chance and 25% mana reduction -- essentially flipping the two values. The risk of overheal with a guaranteed crit would make it optimal not to macro, while not being horrible for anyone who just wants to keep it macro'd.

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#614 - 2012/08/09 12:47:00 AM
Thank you, GC. We really do appreciate the dialogue with you, despite letting our frustration getting the better of us sometimes.

Quite honestly, it is far better to have very passionate players than apathetic ones. It's a good thing overall.

When I ask you all to be constructive instead of venting, it's largely a selfish request so that I can efficiently get information I need to do my job better. We also want players to come to these forums for information, which they are more likely to do when the signal to noise ratio is good. Just include signal; that's all we ask. :)

But I don't want to derail this to a discussion on forum etiquette.

Out of curiosity, on the average 6 minute fight what are you guys aiming for each of the three healers in a 10m to be putting out in terms of HPS?

Are there going to be more fights this expansion where the dps requirements are too strict to allow 3 healers and they have to go dps (like the majority of DS?) Thanks again!

It's really hard to provide those numbers since healers have so much control over whether they are healing for maintenance or going all out. Healers can drive themselves out of mana quickly if they want to, but provide huge healing as a trade off. Often, it changes depending on what part of the fight you're in. We think having that degree of control is the fun part of the healer resource system. It's also why it is so challenging to tune longevity of healing specs compared to the throughput of DPS specs. As with PvP, we rely a lot on player testing and feedback for how healing feels, since it's hard for us to recreate healing or PvP environments. Harkening back to my oceanography roots, you have controlled laboratory experiments vs. field collection and sampling. Healing and PvP are hard to test well in the lab.

We definitely don't like forcing situations where healers get dropped for DPS. On the other hand, DPS checks are a good way to ensure that the encounters aren't balanced solely around the skill of the tanks and healers alone, and they can be fun for DPS as well. It's a sticky challenge (and again I don't mean to derail).

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#621 - 2012/08/09 01:10:00 AM
Is there any concern that with buffing Meditation to 50% for disc, on top of Rapture, that Disc mana regen will begin to outpace Holy's?

It's entirely possible, but from what I know, disc tends to have to spend more than holy does. I could be wrong of course, but disc regen is usually rather high, just spending a whole lot too.

We gave Disc a lower Meditation for this reason, but so far in actual player testing it's not bearing out, so we wanted to err on the side of being generous with mana. If further testing suggests that Disc now has much stronger regen or longevity than Holy, we can adjust further.

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#626 - 2012/08/09 01:22:00 AM
They're right. Solace is hitting unusually hard. I took smite and holy fire off my bars because they are no longer necessary. Might want to tune the damage down on this ability.

Good catch. We neglected to lower its damage when we cut the cast time back down. Easy fix.

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#762 - 2012/08/15 05:49:00 PM
The biggest challenge Disc has currently is learning how to use Spirit Shell effectively. You can simply use it on CD on some fights, or use it on CD and pad a tank. SShell will shine particularly after we learn the fights and understand the damage patterns. Its the same as prepping a raid/group with POH/DAs prior to big damage coming out. (or PWS Spam in the WOTLK days). You just get to do it via cast/SShell and its ALL absorb. Learn the fight. Prepare for damage. Mitigate. --- that is Disc. It is arguably the most proactive>reactive healer in the game.

Well said.