Regional FlagHow will mana be an issue in Cataclysm? (lateSource
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Örc
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#0 - 2010/04/03 07:51:04 PM
This is from a humble shammy's point of view who's only ever healed 10 ICC to Saurfang.

So, here's the question: in the later tiers of content, how will mana continue to be "an issue" for healers?

"What do you mean?" You ask. The answer is quite simple: Mana pools / regeneration scales, costs do not. Look at mana progression in WotLK (at least from a shammy's point of view): In Naxx, you were socketing for pure int, and had a very real danger of running out of mana. Now, in ICC, I can more or less spam heals and not really worry about going out of mana. I fully understand that is what the dev's are trying to avoid.

The problem here (at least in the way I look at it) is that mana regen will be balanced (and where blizz wants it) for the first tier of two. After that, regen and mana pools are going to keep going up, whereas the costs of spells will stay the same. The only way to counter that and make mana an issue is to increase raid / tank damage, so healers will have to spam heals more, and then that puts us right back where we are now.

So, my question to blizzard is: how will you deal with this potential problem?

The only solutions I can see are:

    1) A mana-drain aura in raids that would function similar to Chill of the Throne (i.e. a way to correct high scaling on gear).

    2) Do away with regen on ITEMS entirely, and have gear upgrades only increase how fast / hardhitting your heals are. You will be only able to cast EXACTLY the same number of heals in each tier.

    3) Make spell costs increase somehow with content. Similar to number one.


What does everybody think of this?

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#19 - 2010/04/04 06:44:38 PM
Q u o t e:
Method 1 (the one which GC has described multiple times): Since you know, Shaman, we'll use Shaman. LHW is inefficient, but high throughput. HW is efficienct, but low throughput (and slower). Early content will be balanced around using mostly HW. Later content will be balanced around using LHW fore frequently. This shoudl hold for every healer -- new spells may be introduced, or existing spells re-balanced to make this work out properly, but every healer should end up with at least one efficient heal and one high throughput heal, and the need to mix and match them properly.


This is pretty accurate. You should be able to use your efficient spell virtually forever (or at least much longer than the average encounter length). That efficient heal may be fine for earlier dungeons or raids. Eventually though you're going to hit points where someone is going to die in between casts of the efficient heal. In those cases you should switch to an inefficient but fast or big heal. Yet, if you focus on the inefficient heals too much, you will run out of mana.

As players gain more and more regen in later tiers of content, they'll need to rely on their inefficient heals more, but will also have the stats to be able to do so.

Not every healer has enough spells to currently make the decisions between efficiency and other choices. In fact, we'll probably have to adjust the toolbox of everyone to some extent.

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#24 - 2010/04/04 08:05:55 PM
Q u o t e:
So what you're saying is that we will have to spam one heal? The one that costs less and is kind of efficient? Sorry, but that doesn't sound fun at all. I think that blizzard should be focusing on more interesting gaming mechanics such as boss strats, instead of making healers worry consistently that they might go oom.


Most healers spam one heal now. Druids for all of their spells can do very well with just Rejuv and Wild Growth. Disc priests spam PW:S and Holy priests spam CoH on cooldown. We want to carve off niches for other spells. Flash Heal can be awesome if it runs you out of mana to hit nothing but Flash Heal.

Q u o t e:
I have a couple of reasons why I think this is going to make me want to go DPS for Cataclysm. As of right now, if you have 2-3 really good healers in a 25 man raid, they can more or less carry the other 3 less advanced or bad healers. By carrying these other inadequate healers we obviously spend more mana healing targets more because the other healers aren't doing their job, or are just too slow. In cataclysm this is going to put much more pressure on healers that actually do their job.


There is a fundamental tension between players who want to be challenged and players who want to see the content and get loot. Our solution to trying to solve that dichotomy is to offer normal vs. hard modes. We're not there yet, but that's the general idea.

Q u o t e:
There will be absolutely no room for mistake. If mana is going to be such a struggle like you say it is going to be, it's going to mean that those healers who accidentally cast a couple fast/expensive heals to save someone's life [or to just make sure they are safe] is going to have their mana pool all screwed up for the rest of the encounter.


Casting a couple of fast / expensive heals to save someone's life is exactly what you should be doing. Casting nothing but the fast / expensive heal because, hey why not, leads to pretty repetitive gameplay.

Q u o t e:
Blizzard keeps saying that they want to steer all healers in the same direction, and make it so that they can tank and raid heal, no matter what class they are. I believe this won't work in cataclysm, for this mana nerf alone. No druid is going to want to tank heal because even thinking about spamming nourish makes me go oom. Healers are going to stick to what their spells and mana pool allows. Expect paladins to remain healing the tanks because their spells and mana pool allow them to do that. Expect druids to remain focusing on the raid, not just because that's what they do best, but because rejuvenation is inexpensive, too.


We will have to change numbers for Cataclysm. It's probably a safe assumption that we'll adjust every number in the game in order to account for changes such as larger health pools, lower mana regen and all of the talent tree changes.

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#50 - 2010/04/05 02:33:06 AM
Q u o t e:
Thats plain wrong. I for example use lifebloom, regrowth, rejuv, wild growth, ns and nourish. Lifebloom for tank healing, regrowth to get lthe life of the tank to full if its going down, and as starter, rejuv on party if one takes damage without impact to die, nourish if hes near to death (spamming if, hoping the tank does the very best) and wild growth if the whole party takes damage.

I dont play raids with it, i play heroic instances. Still you are just plain wrong, if you are going to say "everyone does this, everyone does that". You forget low level healing and 5 man healng, which are for example the most fun for me.


I was talking in the context of raiding, but the entire discussion of infinite mana is generally within the context of raiding. The fights are generally shorter in the 5-player content to where mana likely won't be much of a problem. It might be on some of the more challenging heroic bosses, in the same way that Loken was pretty punishing to heal when LK first shipped. If you go to your Flash Heal too often you might run out of mana, but with a Divine Plea, Mana Tide, Shadow Fiend or Innervate you should be good to go and the fight will likely be over (one way or another) before you need them again.

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#51 - 2010/04/05 02:37:55 AM
Q u o t e:
So what you're really saying is "we want every healer to be like a mid-to-early WotLK holy priest." Fine. No problem. But every DPS and tank needs to be put in the same boat or you're putting an unreasonable stress on one section of your players. I still think this, for lack of a better way of putting it, piss-poor game design. But hey, you've never listened to your players before about stuff like this, so this is no change.

Let me clue you into something though. Remember in Ulduar when like every priest in the game was discipline? The reason for that is that micro-mana/rage/energy/focus-management is NOT FUN. No one wanted to be holy in ulduar because it was a pain in the arse. You might want to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. NOT FUN = people won't play it...and you'll just end up changing it AGAIN so that it's fun.

When you say stuff like this, you come across in one of two ways:

A) I have spoken to enough players that I know all players agree with me.
B) Not everyone agrees with me, but they are all WRONG.

Even a cursory glance of the forums should suggest that a lot of healers like managing their mana and like picking the right heal for the job. It makes them feel smart, which is rewarding. If you disagree with them, that's a fine discussion to have, but stating your opinion as fact risks making you look uninformed.