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Zeiss
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#0 - 2010/05/25 07:35:58 AM
Q u o t e:
I have found this philosophy to be a tough one to communicate. Painted broadly, we have some players who chose healing because they like to be challenged and we have some players who chose healing because they like to be the hero. In LK, raid healing can definitely be stressful at times, but we're not actually convinced the challenge is there. After a tough fight, whether it was succesful or not, ask yourself what you should have done differently. Did you use the wrong heal in the wrong situation? I'd suspect not since most healers have pretty stringent rotations these days where you use your strongest heals on cooldown and fill in the time left with your next strongest heals and so on. Did you heal the wrong person at the wrong time? Probably not because anyone you failed to heal was probably about to die. You probably overhealed a lot because there is little consequence for overhealing.

Go back and look at a few videos of BC raid encounters. A couple of points may be strking. One, several characters may be at various stages of injury -- the healers could not keep them all topped off. Second, the healers may be at various stages of mana -- in other words, it's not just a matter of having more GCDs before everyone is fine again. It's a matter of triage.

Triage is one of the things missing from today's healing game (even though you likely learned First Aid through a triage quest). Loosely defined, triage is deciding who needs immediate attention (vs. who is stable vs. who is a lost cause). We want healers to be able to make decisions like "The tank is wounded, but she is unlikely to die in the next few hits, and hots are ticking on her, so she's probably okay for a moment and I can heal this Ret paladin over here," vs. "The rogue is wounded, but my big heal would overheal for a ton and I need the mana, so I can use a small heal." We want the dps to likewise be thinking about ways to minimize damage on themselves, not because they'll die in a global (i.e. before they could respond anyway) but because the healers are going to risk running out of mana.

Today, in LK, healing risks feeling even more like whack-a-mole. Injury? Heal. Injury? Heal. You're testing your reflexes more than your decision-making ability. Whack-a-mole can be challenging, but it doesn't have much depth. It's easy to add depth though. Let's start with the notion that there are two hammers. The little hammer can dispatch most of those moles, but sometimes you can use your big hammer too. The big hammer has limited charges or whatever. Now let's have some of the moles pop out a little slower so that you have time to consider which hammer to use. See where I'm going with this?

Running out of mana doesn't have to be, and won't be, the only reason you fail an encounter. But it is a point of failure that we don't have today. Adding it back in will make the encounters feel more distinct from each other and will actually, we believe, make healing more interesting and ultimately more fun. I agree it's going to be a tough sell though. In one of our playtests recently, the healer came back frazzled. "I couldn't keep everyone topped off," she said. "It took me half the dungeon to realize that I didn't have to." Once that clicked, she said she started having fun. Hopefully it will click with other players quickly too.


I have one question to ask, if Cataclysm encounters do not include unforgiving punishments(raid awareness), hard hitting mobs to test the reflexes of the healers, dps check, how challenging can it be?

I am not a Blizzard employee, nor I've testing the PTRs, but are we going to have a game that allows us to spend 10seconds discussing in the healing channel whether to heal a certain target or not?

Hopefully not, but what will happen to Resto Druids? Are they going to heal tanks instead of a Disc Priest/Holy Paladin? You were critisizing the endless spam of the strongest spells healers are using nowadays. However, Blizzard has announced that Resto Druids will not be offered with any new and exciting spells, just tell me what other rotations do they have?

Spamming Rejuvs on as many targets as possible is not what a Resto Druid wants, it is something they HAVE to do, they don't have time to wait another GCD to top the target with Rejuv then Swiftmend.


You might have missed a serious problem with your philosophy that you claimed to be tough to communicate, but you have to realise that the gears we obtained today and the unforgiving encounters/damage were created by Blizzard.

Can you possibly blame the players or even have the rights to suggest the healers to ask themselves 'Did you use the wrong heal in the wrong situation'?

Don't forget, you were the ones that removed downranking, it was where the pre-BC decision making lies.(Yes I probably said that because I missed watching the Draenei Shamans spam purge on my rank1 buffs during a battleground and watch them go oom while I'm still at full mana.)

I also feel very offended by the comparison you are using - 'whack a mole', clearing we play this game because it is fun, but if you think healing in WotLK is like 'whack a mole' then you are insulting millions of healers who had to play this way because of you poor encounter and gear design.

Lastly, I want to tell you that although I sound really negative, I do support the change, ONLY if the future encounters will still be just about as challenging as LK hardmode.


Edit: I'm a very lost/disappointed subscriber right now, I know I am not the first to say I am about to quit, because LK is the main reason I play this game, I was inspired by WC3 and continued this journey for ~5 years. I'd like to continue, but if the game is going to downgrade itself(that's my opinion), I don't think I have the drive to continue.

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#2 - 2010/05/25 05:39:30 PM
Your thesis seems to be "You designed the encounters to get us to heal a certain way and now you're saying you don't like the way that healing ended up." I wouldn't disagree with any of that, so I'm not exactly sure what your beef is.

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#50 - 2010/05/26 02:16:53 AM
Q u o t e:
I'm pretty resigned to the fact that we're going to have to wait until the Beta, at the very least, to have a clue what you guys are intending. But I'm really hoping a few things:

1) I do not want to have to sit around and do nothing for most of an encounter.

5SR is gone in Cata, if that's what you're thinking about. Additionally, the whole point of the new 'mid-level' heal spells classes are getting is to change mana management from 'do I heal him or do I not heal him' to 'do I use the cheap heal, the fast heal, or the big heal?' You'll be healing about as much as you heal in current encounters, you'll just be switching between 'low throughput, high efficiency' and 'high throughput, low efficiency' modes.

Q u o t e:
2) I do not want to have encounters dependent solely on whether I have mana - my stress level is quite enough, thank you, with encounters that depend solely on my latency (lolplaguekilledhim). I don't need more stress with having the success or failure of a raid dependent on my mana bar.

The main reason why they're nerfing regen is so that healing isn't about whether or not you can heal that guy within a GCD of him taking damage. One of the best posts GC ever did was an analogy about how DPS is about running as fast as you can while healing is like throwing darts- if you only have a limited number of darts (mana in this analogy,) you can make the challenge be in whether or not you can hit the target, but if you have a billion of them then the challenge can only be in how many darts you can throw in the shortest amount of time. The whole point of the Cata healing design is to give us less darts so we have to focus more on accuracy.


These are good responses to point 1 and 2.

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#52 - 2010/05/26 03:17:17 AM
Q u o t e:
I think the "beef" has to do with the fact that Blizzard does not do a very good job of properly acknowledging that many of the things that Blizzard ends up not liking are the consequences of their own game and encounter design. It is far more the situation that Blizzard passes off mistakes in their design to the playerbase.


I can't honestly think of a single problem that I'd attribute to the fault of the player base instead of us. Maybe being overly obsessed with dps meters. :)

Q u o t e:
This reminds me of a comment by Jeff Kaplan in Blizzcast episode 3 where he basically accused players of being inflexible in terms of group composition in BC heroics, specifically calling out people who insisted on only bringing in a mage for CC and requesting that players give other CC classes a try.


I didn't go back and listen to the Blizzcast, but what you are describing is a class design problem. We gave out a lot more crowd control in between BC and LK (which we then invalidated by not requiring you to CC much).

Q u o t e:
A lot of healers, myself included, tried very hard to point out some things we have been proven right about at the end. But it has become so risky to post sincere feedback, that if you value your forum posting rights, it is just best to keep it to yourself.


We don't ban players for disagreeing with us. Just read a few other threads -- I'd say the majority of them are players requesting / suggesting / demanding changes. We ban players when we think they are disrupting the forum communication, trolling, or generally acting like jerks. And even then I think most posters would agree we are extraordinarily lenient. Attempts to portray our forums as oppressive, totalitarian regimes always ring a little hollow to me.

Q u o t e:
You could easily design everything around this homogenization and the game won't be broken. Healers can still heal, encounters will be defeated, etc etc. I'm not talking about game balance. I'm talking about the essence of the class, that thing that draws us all to our favorite class (in any role) in the first place. The thing that keeps us coming back to that class, favoring that class, and pushing that class. I understand wanting to even the playing field a bit. I do, and I support it in a limited capacity. I understand that classes change and evolve. My personal opinion is that you're underestimating the effect most of us think these proposed changes are going to have on the essences of our classes, though. A clarification on why this is not the case would go a long way, or a confirmation that I'm correct. Of course, if I'm correct then you're going to either lose players or lose a lot of healers in the game. For me, I'll just go back to my priest, I think, but then I already like him.


Homogenization is a risk. Totally. It's something we try and fight against. In the case of healing, we don't want to erode the unique aspects of the 5 talent specs. We just want to move the non-unique parts closer together. If you need an analogy, we're not going to mess with the flowers or the fruit or the shape of the leaves. We just want everyone to have similar roots. Spells like Circle, Chain Heal and Beacon will continue to be an important and unique part of your repertoire. We just want to make sure everyone has the basic tools so that they aren't in a situation where they're trying to tighten screws with a hammer.

Now having said that, there are a couple of exceptions. If you are a Disc priest who loved to use PW:S and nothing else or a Resto druid who loved to use Rejuv and nothing else, then you will probably need to use more of your buttons again. We don't want to promote the strategy of trying to pre-heal as many people as possible without really worrying about who is actually taking damage. There's not a lot of decision-making or coordination or reactive gameplay there. Disc priests will need to actually cast heals (and Penance can certainly be one of them) and druids will have to mix in some direct heals along with their hots.

Q u o t e:
Druids on raid healing duty in a 25-man, for example, will go from predominantly using Rejuv + WG to (hopefully) including Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch, Swiftmend, and possibly Lifebloom, as well as deciding when to use Tree of Life Form. The nuances of which of those spells is better in which situations, and how they interact with each other will, in my opinion, make the healing game more complex.


Yes.

Q u o t e:
Good Druids already use all those spells from time to time, save Healing Touch, in the current enviroment where you're pressed for time. It's just that the situations that are best for specifically Regrowth and LB are few and far between, and you can generally get by with other options in those situations anyways. Even after widening spell selection, giving people more time won't make anything more challenging, but it does have the potential to make things a lot easier and therefore boring for anyone capable of thinking ahead.


The definition of "widening spell selection" has to be real choices. Just putting more heals in your spellbook doesn't accomplish much. They have to be spells you'd realistically consider casting, and not just once an evening. That is most challenging with the druid because we decided not to cut any current heals.

Q u o t e:
Early on, spirit regen is low and healers will be forced to spam their most efficient heal the vast majority of the time. Wait...spamming a single spell sounds familiar. Almost like ICC is now (for SOME healing specs) except it'll be a slow crawl towards death and DPS will avoid criticism from the group more easily by displacing the blame on heals (they weren't smart enough on heals, I normally don't group with such fail heals, etc., etc.). Later on, it'll hit the perfect spot where all three spells are used. At the end, we're just spamming our highest throughtput because we can.


I take a different view on a couple of your points here. Healers won't be forced to spam their most efficient heal because the encounters will be less threatening early on. Later on when your mana regen as at its highest you will need to use your highest throughput spell because the damage is higher. You'll also need to use your fast heal sometimes for the same reason. Fortunately fully raid buffed and in good gear, you'll have more mana regen. I don't think any of these changes encourage players to blame healers more. Bad players are always going to deflect their failures onto someone else. That is why they are bad players. The alternative is to make healing so simplistic that there is almost no chance of failure (i.e. nobody would ever die). You'd never get blamed for anything but you'd probably also be pretty bored.

Minus gaming coefficients, we pretty much had this model with downranking and it largely worked.

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#154 - 2010/05/27 07:03:00 PM
Q u o t e:
These changes have left an impression upon me that the Healer is now going to have to decide who lives and who dies. That just sucks, if true. Healers want everybody to live. Nobody notices a Healer until somebody dies, and then (s)he's a "fail" healer. And to some extent, even if somebody does something stupid and dies all of their own accord, a Healer still feels a bit of a sense of disappointment that (s)he could not only heal as they were supposed to, but was unable help mitigate another player's lack of competence.

It's those exceptions that tend to give us a better sense of our own capability and performance.

So right now Healers can, by and large, keep everybody up, even if it gets tricky. If the game is going to change so dramatically that the motivations for playing a Healer cannot be satisfied through Healing, less folks will opt to Heal.


I disagree with you a little there. You're first arguing that groups generally don't die, which we know isn't true. Groups die constantly, and it's usually from damage. If you're not doing content that challenges you then you won't die, but that isn't going to change either.

Second, you're kind of describing a situation in which healing is fun only when there is no realistic chance of failure. The problem is that when there is no realistic chance of failure, there is no challenge, and the game becomes less fun. I enjoy healing a lot more the first time we encounter a boss than months later on a milk run when I know I only have to toss out a heal once every 15 seconds without consequence.

I know a lot of you are saying that any change to the current healing design won't be fun for you. I get that and I appreciate the feedback. Where you lose me is saying that it won't be fun for anyone, which means you are ignoring all of the healers (some of them long-term healers) who are excited about the change.

Q u o t e:
Wait so, All specs will single target heal the exact same way but will aoe heal differently?


Specs won't single target heal the same way. They will have enough basic tools that nobody will have a massive hole in what they can cover. We don't want the Disc priest to throw up her hands when asked to tank heal, or the paladin asked to sit out when on a fight with a lot of AE healing. You need to be able to run a 10-player raid with any 2 healers (ideally 2 different healers) and be okay. You need to be able to do any 5-player content with any healer (before you over-gear it as many of you do these days).

Q u o t e:
I don't think anyone here believes that Blizzard hates healers. I believe Earthmaster said it best when he said "Healers want everyone to live." This is in direct conflict with Blizzard's desire to make content challenging. The easier it is for healers to keep everyone alive, the harder it is for Blizzard to develop challenging content.


Yep. The rub is that some healers are only going to enjoy encounters when they can keep everyone alive pretty easily and some are only going to enjoy encounters when they really have to work at it. Those two are hard to reconcile because you're essentially trying to bring together "easy" vs. "harder."

Q u o t e:
If you are already well rounded then you have no reason to worry. I would bet that some druids have actually macro'd a castsequence for 5xrejuv + wg. Those are the ones who will have to change. That said, I am reasonably sure that we will end up favoring certain spells over others. Regardless of what GC envisions, that's almost unavoidable. What those will be remains to be seen.


Yes, the players who already use all their spells will see the least change. As for the second part of your quote, sure some spells will dominate in some cases. That's okay as long as others dominate in other places. The problem now is that many druids shrug and say "I'm not a tank healer," so they don't ever use their tank-healing spells.

Q u o t e:
So talented game design people are only able to make content challenging via the backs of healers?


It's a very healer-centric view that tanking and dps are trivial and healing is very challenging. We're in a healing forum, so there is probably something of an echo chamber effect in here, but overall that belief gets really over-stated.

Q u o t e:
PS, how is disc going to operate with 4 heals while others have 3? If we have a fast, efficient, and big throughput heal where will pennance fit into that? Will it simply be a slightly more efficient middle heal with a cd?


Yes. You'll use your other heals less because you have Penance, just like Holy will use other heals less because they have a stronger Renew

Q u o t e:
The fact is that all of the incessant "remember when boss mechanics were important?" "Remember when you needed to CC?" "Remember when people knew how to play?" complaints are largely owed to the ease with which a healer can now keep a group up. If any of those elements are going to make a comeback, it can't be possible for healers to keep everyone alive while the mobs go on an unchecked, uninterrupted rampage.


Yeah. It's clear from a lot of these posts that some of you put up with an awful lot of abuse from dps players and perhaps tanks. I wouldn't. You need to work as a team to overcome even 5-player encounters. If it's a bad group and the others refuse to improve their play and blame you for every mistake, then move on. You're a healer -- your queue is short. :)

Q u o t e:
Some of the changes that we are getting that we are getting I can agree with, but minimizing proactive healing is something I don't agree with at all, and something that I think is a very bad move on their part.


There is nothing wrong with proactive healing. It's challenging to use spells like Prayer of Mending for anything but. It only becomes a problem when you aren't making decisions. If you are pre-hotting or shielding folks you expect to take damage, that's great. You're actually forecasting and otherwise paying attention to what is going around you. If you are doing it to everyone just because you can or doing it at random because it doesn't matter, then that's a problem. You may not play that way today, but a lot of players do. I have done it myself on a lot of fights just to try it out and it's way too successful a strategy given the low amount of skill or even basic decision making involved.

Q u o t e:
Sorry, but that isn't very convincing, given what you have announced. You aren't fighting homogenization very actively. Homogenization of dispells; homogenization of healer advantages and disadvantages (e.g. vulnerability to cc's, access to spells, armor ratings); the small, medium, big homogenization; homogenization of niches.


There just has to be some give and take here. It's fun when you get invited to a 5-player run because you have a dispel needed to handle the third boss. It sucks when you are excluded because you lack that dispel. All specs will continue to have strengths and weaknesses and unique spells and mechanics. We just can't let those strengths be insurmountable those weaknesses be Achilles' heels or those unique spells become mandatory for certain encounter or PvP comps.

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#186 - 2010/05/28 04:30:59 AM
Q u o t e:
why do disc priests need to cast heals outside of penance. all we do is prevent damage. thats our role, thats what discipline priest is: PREVENTING DAMAGE. our healing ability is so gimped this is a joke statement. do you even play this game sir? an enhance/ele shaman spamming chain heal is way stronger then any actual healing a discipline priest is capable of ATM hell even a ret pally can heal better then a discipline priest. discipline is all about preventing damage i dont get why we have to cast a heal unless your buffing our healing output.

hmmmmm should i shield or cast a pathetic flash heal on this guy? HMMM


The fact that your talent tree has talents such as Improved Flash Heal and a component to Borrowed Time that improves spell haste should suggest that it is not our intent that you heal with PW:S and Penance and nothing else. Though if you get routinely outhealed by dps-spec shaman and paladins as you say then I guess I can understand your confusion.

In a broader sense though, you're not reading what I am saying. Here is what I am saying: All healers will get the tools to be able to perform in a variety of roles. What you're saying: We don't have the tools to perform in a variety of roles.

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#194 - 2010/05/28 05:18:30 AM
Q u o t e:
Bottom line: Will cataclysm 10 man raids be designed for 3 healers (and probably 2 when we begin to out-gear) or just 2 healers from the get go? (Sorry if this has been answered!)

Probably 3, at least until you overgear it. Designing for 2 has the benefit of perfect scaling up from a 5-player group, but when there are only 2 healers, we have to be really careful about doing things that affect those healers, which then mean some boss abilities become more limited or predictable. This isn't set in stone though.

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#195 - 2010/05/28 05:32:55 AM
Q u o t e:
and for incanters you nerf it into oblivion because you considered that players were abusing it, not talking about soloing naxx25. You destroyed it way beyond anything because of toc. So you are saying that since players found the benefits of it, and started to use it, "it felt like a mage should have a dedicated pally/disc priest bubbling him/her", it DOES sound like blaming the players for a design flaw to me.


We designed Incanter's Absorption. It's our fault that it worked the way it did, our fault that players assumed they were supposed to stand in fires, and our fault that they assumed their dps was balanced around the assumption that they stood in fires. :)

I'm not quite sure of the origin of this recent sentiment that GC blames everything on the players. Let me be perfectly clear. Everything we don't like about WoW is our fault and our responsibility to fix. I like to use the first-person plural to remind everyone that ours is a very large team all working together, but in this case I'll make an exception and take personal responsibility for plenty of the criticisms we have with the game right now.