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Regional FlagResto Shaman - 5.4 Issues and ConcernsSource
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#1 - 2013/06/21 02:08:00 AM
Here is a list of the issues and concerns that I have with Resto Shaman going into 5.4, and given the most recent patch notes.

1. SLT is not a competitive raid cooldown - It has been made clear that there is no intention of buffing HTT to bring it in line with other raid cooldowns because SLT is our raid cooldown. If that is the case, SLT really needs to be seriously evaluated in terms of how it stacks up to other raid cooldowns. It currently has the following restrictions
(1) Small, 10 yard radius - requires stacking
(2) Short, 6 second duration
(3) 10% damage reduction
Devotion Aura doesn't have restriction (1) and has double the damage mitigation of SLT for the same duration. PW: Barrier has 2.5 times the damage reduction and a 4 second longer duration. SLT has all three restrictions while the other damage reduction cooldowns only have 1 of the 3. The health redistribution effect is only really relevant on fights with debuffs that it can bypass (i.e. Spine). On fights where the entire raid is taking AoE damage from a threatening boss ability, it adds next to nothing.

2. Shaman spread healing has not been effectively addressed. We still have the same mechanical limitations and are still restricted by the range and effectiveness of both Healing Rain and Chain Heal. The Healing Rain radius increase will not really have a major impact, because an extra 4 yards on the diameter of the circle is generally not enough to cover more than melee on spread fights. The mana cost reduction and reduction of the Glyph of Riptide penalty to 75% of the direct heal instead of 90% will likewise not make much of an impact in the viability of that glyph. We are talking about about a 4000 increase in the direct heal with this change. Mana is not really a major issue with current gear scaling and the legendary meta. The problem with glyphing Riptide is that the HoT itself just does not heal for enough or heal fast enough to be competitive with other healers in spread situations or even to be competitive with our other spells.

3. Shaman throughput is unacceptably low - Since the 5.3 healer changes, we have been 20% to 30% behind the top healing spec across all raid sizes and difficulty levels on an aggregate level. While we bring strong utility, that utility was nerfed in 5.3 with HTT being turned into a lesser healing cooldown. Mana Tide becomes less and less critical as a buff the further gear scales, the more healers get meta gems. The fear is with the progressive loss of our utility, we will no longer warrant a raid spot without throughput being buffed to a more competitive level.

4. Lack of a tank cooldown - This is something that is an ongoing issue that has yet to be addressed. Every other healer has an external tank cooldown except Shaman. It is something that should probably be homogenized.

5. Tier set bonus concerns - Earth Shield heals for an average of around 10,000. This makes the T16 2 piece bonus extremely lackluster, and significantly weaker than our current 2 piece bonus. The 4 piece bonus has the potential to be strong, but really needs to not be linked to SWG. SWG is something we cast when we want to heal while moving, and we don't necessarily want to use a major throughput cooldown at the same time. This 4 piece bonus should be linked to a more appropriate spell (possibly Ascendance), or should be something that we can use standalone.

6. Mana Tide Scaling and the "Mana Bot" problem - Having MTT scale off Shaman's personal Spirit is problematic, because it pushes 25 man Shaman into often needing to forgo personal throughput stats for a greater raid wide MTT gain. You should consider either switching Mana Tide back to being a static mana return per player per use or have the Spirit that it grants be based on the receiving player's Spirit level, not the Shamans'. This would free us up to gear to our own personal regen comfort level and not feel chained to a clunky mechanic.

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#439 - 2013/07/03 06:23:00 PM
We do have more changes coming for Resto Shaman in 5.4, which you should be seeing on the PTR soon (though possibly not in the next build). However, since we’ve got a long weekend coming up here at the office due to the holiday, we wanted to let you know about a couple changes we’re going to try out for Healing Tide Totem.

First, it’s no longer a talent. Healing Tide Totem is now baseline, available to all three Shaman specs. As you’re all aware, it’s an extremely useful ability, which makes it difficult for us to provide alternative options in that talent tier. Giving Healing Tide to everyone not only lets us work on making that tier more interesting, but it also makes sure no one is missing out on one of Resto’s more powerful tools by selecting the “wrong” talent.

Second, now that Healing Tide is a baseline ability, we feel it’s acceptable to give it a similar treatment to Tranquility or Divine Hymn in 25-man raids. It will now heal up to 12 targets when in a 25-player raid instance (and remains at 5 targets in other content).

There are several other changes still in discussion (such as what we’ll be replacing Healing Tide with in the talent tree, just as one example), but we wanted to at least share what we could before the weekend. We’re hoping to get at least some of them onto the PTR in one of the next builds. Please keep up the constructive feedback – it’s extremely useful!

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#472 - 2013/07/03 07:13:00 PM
07/03/2013 11:55 AMPosted by Nahuul
I love you kitty kitty. But I can't hug you because you'd burn me.

You're a Resto Shaman, we'll stack up so you can heal the burns.

I dunno, with all that fire and water in such close proximity, things could get a bit... steamy.

(oh god I'm so sorry)

Community Manager
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#1168 - 2013/08/22 09:06:00 PM
So first off, yes, these changes are indeed being made as measures to help with the input lag problem. We obviously recognize that they're pretty big changes and we're going to have to do some additional tuning as a result (and that goes for everyone effected, not just Shaman).

Looking at some of the Shaman-specific concerns we've seen come up:

Earthliving Weapon: We recognize that the changes mean less opportunity for Earthliving to proc, but we're not sure it's overall a big deal. Given Earthliving's duration and the fact that the new, "smart" Healing Rain will still be hitting several targets (just not all at once), we still expect that a decent number of people standing in a Healing Rain will still wind up with Earthliving active. If there is a negative impact, we don't expect it to be a big one. It is something we'll keep an eye on, though.

Ancestral Vigor: This we consider to be a good deal more important, as keeping Vigor active on as many targets as possible is one of Resto's strengths (and feels good as part of their overall kit). Due to the ramp-up time, we feel that having Vigor fall off is a much bigger setback than Earthliving. We haven't made a final call on exactly what we'll do here yet; one idea we've discussed is extending Ancestral Vigor's duration, but that could easily change as we continue tuning.

Ancestral Guidance/Ascendance: We're not sure there's actually a problem here. Currently, past 6 targets, Healing Rain's actual healing output is reduced per player it affects. The end result is that roughly the same amount of raw healing is going out if it only hits 6 players as it would if it were hitting 25. In fact, in many cases, it could actually be more. If even one of those 25 players were already at full (say they've got a bunch of absorbs on them, or used something like Divine Shield or Dark Bargain), that amount that previously would have just been overhealing will instead be allocated to someone else that actually needs it.

Again, we recognize that these changes are going to require some extra tuning, so we'll be keeping a close eye on how things shake out in continued testing.

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#1174 - 2013/08/22 10:22:00 PM
Lore, the problem is that pets and all other non player units (Wild Imps, etc) all are healed by Healing Rain, and also do not count towards the DR cap divisor. IE, each Healing Rain tick is the same if 10 players and 0 pets are in it compared to 10 players and 10 pets on live. As a result, we are losing a great deal of overhealing on pets, guardians, etc. Nearly 50% of Healing Rain ticks in a typical 25 man raid on live seem to be on non players.

Normally, that overhealing isn't a factor. However, the amount of healing that Ancestral Guidance and Ascendance copy is based off total raw healing (effective + overheal). As a result, not having those "apparently useless" Healing Rain ticks on non player NPCs is going to result in a significant nerf to both cooldowns - estimated at 25-35%.

Just double checked on this; we actually prefer that AG and Ascendance don't become more effective with more insignificant pets around. We'd rather not have their effectiveness swing so wildly based on whose trinkets or set bonuses have procced (and so on).

This will obviously have an effect on the healing output of those couple of abilities, which falls back into what I was saying before -- we'll be watching closely how things work as we continue testing, and will be making further adjustments where necessary.

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#1175 - 2013/08/22 10:28:00 PM
08/22/2013 03:09 PMPosted by Tiberria
I am also going to have to disagree with the idea that ELW will end up on most people standing in a Healing Rain.

"Most" was a poor choice of words on my part. We still expect that a decent number of people in the Healing Rain will wind up with Earthliving active. Like I said though, we're watching it.

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#1462 - 2013/09/09 06:23:00 PM
09/07/2013 09:19 AMPosted by Tiberria
Ancestral Vigor - Lore indicated that they were concerned about Ancestral Vigor coverage with the Healing Rain change and were planning to make adjustments to compensate (possibly increasing the duration of the AV buff but it was not finalized). No changes have been made as of presumably the final PTR build.

Just double checked on this, and we are indeed increasing the duration of Ancestral Vigor to 30 seconds.

Also, just for clarity (since I've seen a lot of "final PTR build" talk over the last week), we are able to make changes like this without having to push a new build to the PTR :)