Regional FlagWhy can't there be a lesser of two evils?Source
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Dye
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#0 - 2010/07/05 06:04:51 PM
There are a lot of changes with the new Restoration spec in Cataclysm that scream "nerf!!!" Whether they are or not, there are a few changes which make me question the intentions of the people who designed the new tree. I will discuss some spells, both controversial and overlooked.


The first spell is Wild Growth. Currently our only AOE heal. In Cataclysm, this spell will now be on a 10 second cool down as well as costing a lot of mana. Like a lot. I am just wondering why Blizz didn't just put it on a 10 second cooldown without uping the mana cost or keep it on the cooldown it has now but making it cost a lot of mana? I mean this is our last talent in the tree... compared to other 51st talents in other trees and classes, this is not as appealing.


Second of course is Tree of Life. I understand where you guys are going with this, and I've accepted it and learned to like it. The whole subject was controversial when it first came out, but has since calmed down, however, we now learn that we will have our speed reduced by 50%?? Uhm, k? This is a cooldown, I thought people were usually rewarded for using cool downs... but this just feels like a punishment. Isn't the fact that it's already on a cool down enough? Do we really need a 50% moving debuff? There has been no explanation by any blue telling us why this was implemented... I just wish that someone would address it so I could understand the reasons.

Next on the list we have Lifebloom. This spell can only be active on one target now. This will definitely have an impact in PVP. When I do battlegrounds or even when I used to do arenas, this spell was used a lot. Even in PVE I will throw a couple stacks on both the tank and off-tank when I can. This IS a nerf.

Last but not least is barkskin. I was crossing my fingers hoping that we would finally be able to cast it on other players, but nope. It doesn't really relate to anything I was saying, I was just throwing it in there because it makes me a sad panda! :P


EDIT: Here's a look at Druid healing in the Cataclysm Beta. Looks like we will just be casting healing touch a lot?

http://www.youtube.com/user/roacherz#p/a/u/2/_yhmY6vHrMA

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojoZAqBG81Y&feature=related
^^ I love how she goes into tree form and then immediately just gets out of it because she can't move lol.

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Blue Poster
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#7 - 2010/07/05 08:21:02 PM
I don't want to touch on the Tree of Life question, because that topic takes over druid threads.

I wouldn't use Healing Touch that much in a 5-player dungeon. It's slow and expensive and heals for a lot, and you really don't want to be overhealing a lot in Cataclysm. Maybe if the tank has been whittled down and you just can't catch up, you could throw it out there. For the most part, I would use Rejuv and Nourish to heal the group and Lifebloom and Nourish to heal the tank, throwing out Swiftmend or Regrowth for emergencies.

We want Wild Growth (and Circle of Healing) to be really good spells, but it's hard to keep them in that niche without them just being used every time they are off cooldown. High mana costs are supposed to make you ask yourself: Am I hitting Wild Growth to heal 2 people just because it's an easy / lazy thing to do?

The limit-one Lifebloom is our attempt to make the spell a really useful tank-healing tool again. It's just too easy to keep an instant spell up on lots of targets, yet this is one case where we don't want the mana cost to be excessive. We also have a mechanic to let a stack of Lifebloom be refreshed by Nourish -- without this mechanic, druids just don't have the GCDs to do much more than keep hots up on tank and avoid any spell with a cast time. But if you could keep stacks on multiple targets so easily, druid would be too powerful at healing.

We know making this change to Lifebloom will have PvP ramifications, but we're also okay with that. We need to shift PvP healing (for everyone) back towards cast time spells. When PvP healing is balanced around heals that can't be interrupted and can be cast on the move, then we have to do crazy things to give your opponents any chance to counter them. Resto druids have had a storied history of being overpowered or underpowered in PvP and we want to avoid these extremes. You'll still be casting hots, but you'll be casting non-hots as well.

It's all early in development though and we haven't done a lot of PvP balance testing yet, so this design will evolve over time. Resto druids have a lot of spells, some of which have very subtle niches. Our initial strategy is to try and find homes for them all, because we like the spells. But if we can't make it work, we'll start cutting some.

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#52 - 2010/07/06 03:18:25 AM
Q u o t e:
I really enjoy playing with my druid, because they are actually different from other healing classes. We are a HoT class, just like an affliction warlock, who is a DoT class. In both case, our most important spells are HoTs/DoTs. However, if we are losing our HoTs (or if they are getting so nerfed that we won't use them), then we will feel just like any other healer, casting non-hots spells.


It's an apt comparison because we see Affliction locks all the time who say "I only want to cast dots. Any time I cast Shadow Bolt, that's an abomination." But we want Affliction casting Shadow Bolt. Casting Shadow Bolt doesn't mean casting nothing but Shadow Bolt. Likewise, we want druids to cast Nourish and Healing Touch and not just keeping Rejuvs on everyone.

Classes can feel different from each other without being so unique that they have nothing in common with each other. If you're going to invest many hours healing on a druid, it's more important to us that what you're doing is dynamic and engaging over the long haul. You'll notice that a lot more than you will how similar or dissimilar you are to the healer standing next to you.

Q u o t e:
Please do a large amount of PvP testing this time. It was neglected far too much in the WotLK beta due to the unrealistic idea that only PvE mattered early on and that the devs could catch up to PvP balance before it was relevant.


Not really. PvP is just a lot harder to test. Mathematical models and target dummies do a poor job of predicting PvP reality. We will try to get more beta testers involved in PvP, but they are volunteers so there's a limit of what we can expect of them. We have internal testers as well, but they still aren't going to be able to have an entire fake PvP season that will adequately represent what thousands of players will experience.

Q u o t e:
Just because you play some bad players that don't know how to interrupt doesn't change the fact that a single interrupt can lock a caster down for 50% of all pvp matches (realistically more once you count time trying to fake cast as if that exists with interrupts off GCD, or time spent not casting at all because the interrupt is available and you're waiting on a CD or peel or whatever).


If healers were unable to heal 50% of the time, I think our Arena matches would play out pretty differently. Resto druids would also be the only PvP healer, which isn't the case today.

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#54 - 2010/07/06 03:24:11 AM
Q u o t e:
What do you see for Druid Gameplay when healing then?

- HoTs only on the tank, then spam whatever 'efficient heal 002' on group/raid members?

- Leave people with missing life in the hopes of getting off a HoT that wont be a huge waste of mana?

-Expect 2-5 other healers to NOT top off people in raids so our HoTs arent a waste of mana?


I would put hots on people who need healing but aren't likely to die in the next few seconds. I understand there is still a lot of concern about "but he will ninja my heal!" but that is today's world where wasted mana doesn't matter. If you're on challenging content and your healers can't coordinate, then that's something your group will need to resolve.


Q u o t e:
As for pvp:

- How are you going to balance HoTs that are terribly inefficient if they dont heal for considerable amounts versus dispel (with dispel protection gone)?

- Will you be adding -30% lock out reduction talents to druids for pvp purposes, similar to the three other healing classes?


For starters, dispels themselves are going to have higher mana and situational costs. I don't anticipate every hot is just going to be automatically removed.

The reduction talents are something we are taking a look at. We don't want healers to have to spend talent points on them, which means either everyone will get the now standard reduction across the board, or we'll just remove them from everyone and balance interrupts around that.

Q u o t e:
If your design intent is to kill off the 'Hot Healer' flavor of druids and make them 'direct healer #4' in cataclysm, it would be nice to know ahead of time. I remember vanilla druid healing, and it was god awful. I am not looking forward to that healing style again.


The vanilla druid used a single heal for the most part, Healing Touch, so I don't find your analogy apt. What we are trying to do is give druids more heals than ever rather than having the overpowered heals vs. the lol heals. Using more cast-time heals does not mean removing the "hot flavor" of druids, unless your definition is "I only hot." Referring to my previous post, we don't think the game design will work for *any* class that relies so much on a single category of spells. It barely works for mages because they have so many mechanics to support those few spells, but even in that example we are expanding their repertoire.

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#63 - 2010/07/06 05:48:08 AM
Q u o t e:
Elemental Shaman and Lightning Bolt say hey, we could use a touch of mechanical variety as well.


Elemental shaman get a lot of damage from Lava Burst and Flame Shock too. We're not in the same danger zone where a shaman will refuse a set bonus that buffs Lava Burst.

Q u o t e:
Holy Paladins say hi.
5 years of the same types of heals and in cataclysm there is no sighn of this changing....... yet?


Holy paladins on the other hand are definitely in that danger zone. We have to make sure they cast a variety of heals. They will have the core three, plus Holy Shock, plus unique mechanics like Judgement, Beacon and the new AE heal.

Q u o t e:
With lifebloom being limited to one target (most likely the tank) and rejuvenation not being cheap and efficient, arent we going to see the same scenario where we stack our HoTs on the tank(s) and spam direct heals everywhere else?


You should still be able to throw Rejuvs around. If you think someone isn't likely to take a lot of damage in the next few seconds and you think the Rejuv will have enough time to tick completely, then you should be able to use them. The spell is just so good in today's environment that it becomes the answer to everything. We aren't trying to put a bullet in its head. We just feel bad for your other key bindings. :)

Q u o t e:
I think you're going to find that an 8 second fear - particularly an instant one like psychic scream - is way, way OP in an environment where you expect us to cast heal.

It may very well be. But if so, we'd rather have a 5-6 sec fear than an 8 sec fear that is essentially always 5-6 sec because everyone has to take those reduction talents.

Q u o t e:
This makes me feel a bit better about the ideas as a whole, if you can get it right. If you don't though then it will make HoTs almost completely worthless for anything other than a tank buffer heal ( referring to the heal sniping and mana issue).


If our only choice is between making hots overpowered or useless, we'll make them overpowered. We're hoping there is some middle ground though.

Q u o t e:
If your entire design for all healers is low, medium and expensive heals then what is the difference?


We just need enough overlap that say a 10-player raid with a Holy paladin and Disc priest or 2 Resto druids isn't a joke. There are still plenty of unique mechanics: Divine Aegis, Beacon of Light, Earth Shield, Swiftmend, Guardian Spirit, just to name a few.