Regional Flag[druid] Restoration Beta PvE updateSource
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Lissanna
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#0 - 2010/08/10 05:55:25 PM
Resto druids on the forums seem to be having problems looking at the bigger picture of how restoration healing will work in Cataclysm. Most of that is because resto druids have such HUGE changes coming that it is hard to really put together what the bigger picture will be for resto druids in Cataclysm.

So, lets take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. It is still early in Beta, but we already have a clearer picture emerging of what druid healing in Cataclysm may be like for PvE. However, a lot depends on what happens over the next several months.

What are Resto druids in Cataclysm PvE?
Some druids are worried about losing our HOTs, but Blizzard still has their focus set on them. Here is the description you see when choosing talent trees: “Uses heal-over-time Nature spells to keep allies alive, taking on the form of a tree when the need is most urgent.” So, our focus is on our HOTs.

Tank Healing as a druid in Cataclysm PvE:
The tank healing role has the most clear set of tools and comes together really well for druids.

We have Lifebloom, which we will keep rolling on a single tank, since LB can only be on one target now.

Rejuvenation will go on all tanks, since putting HOTs on multiple tanks is part of what druids do.

Regrowth will be the fast flash-heal on tanks, in addition to being a HOT we should keep up on multiple tanks. Regrowth will be used when we need a fast heal and as a HOT. In this way, it serves a dual purpose role in our tank healing toolset.

Nourish is a long cast, mana efficient heal. This is going to be our go-to spell to make sure we don’t run out of mana. It will also refresh the duration of lifebloom, so that you won’t have to cast lifebloom as often (though you will still have to refresh it directly some, since Nourish’s cast time is so long).

Healing Touch has made it back into our healing toolset, since sometimes we will need a healing spell that hits harder than Nourish. HT is going to be a long cast, mana expensive tool, where we will need it when we need to heal up a big chunk of our tank’s health pool.

Swiftmend is our instant-cast, short cooldown spell that requires a regrowth or rejuv to be on a tank (which is why our HOTs should be on all tanks at all times when tank healing).

So, tank healing will still be: keep HOTs on tanks, cast direct heals between HOT refreshes. I think this toolset will work great, and that we will be using a large variety of spells as tank healers in Cataclysm, and this will be a lot of fun.

Raid/AOE healing confusion for PvE:
While we have a very clear tank healing toolset, our way of being able to deal with raid damage done to targets has not really changed in Cataclysm.

* Wild Growth
is a mana expensive, 10 second cooldown spell, that we won’t be able to use every 10 seconds due to mana costs.

* Rejuv will still be one of our primary AOE healing spells, although it’s a single-target spell. We’ll still have to use it proactively to have HOTs on targets to be able to swiftmend, and it will have an instant heal component when we put it on someone already taking damage

* Regrowth is going to be a raid healing tool, where we will gain an AOE HOT from an Effloresence proc when regrowth crits. We have a talent that increases the crit chance for regrowth on targets at low health, so Regrowth will be our go-to spell as a reactive HOT on people who are close to dieing.

* Swiftmend will be what we use after a rejuv or regrowth if we need more healing on the target

* Due to mana concerns, we’ll still have to sometimes cast Nourish, but hopefully we’d only cast nourish on tanks when we’re having mana issues and need to take a break from raid healing

* The best thing happening is that Tranquility is being changed, so that it will be more viable in Cataclysm. However, tranquility is still an 8 minute cooldown, meaning that we won’t get to use it very often.

The only real change for druids in terms of raid healing is that we get to introduce Regrowth into the Rejuv/WG spam. So, now we have Rejuv/Regrowth/WG spam. This is the area of healing where we still fall short. Since our current style of Pre-HOT for raid healing isn’t supposed to be what we do in Cataclysm, I’m still not sure how this is going to come together, so raid healing is where I have gone on a crusade to save druids.

So, looking at our tools, we have a great tank healing toolset, but we don’t have a good raid healing toolset. We have a ton of choice, flexibility, and fun in our single-target healing toolset, and we really don’t have a good multi-target healing toolset. We’ll have to see how this shapes up, but I could easily see druids going back to WG/Rejuv pre-HOTs around the raid just for lack of a better thing to do in Cataclysm, and that would make me sad.

(continued next post)

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#144 - 2010/08/13 11:51:03 PM
Q u o t e:
Bless you for fighting the good fight Lissanna, however unless there are 15,000 angry posters nothing will change because of "feedback" alone. I think Wrath beta and "The Nourish Incident" proved that - yeah lets give a hot healer a 3rd direct heal....makes perfect sense....if you are HIGH. They could have just revamped Healing Touch so it was actually used for more than 1 gimic fight 3/4 of the way through the expansion.


Uh... no. It only takes one good post to change our minds, if it's a good post. Lissanna's are always worth a read. :)

As far as the history goes here, we thought at the time (and still think!) that the Resto druid wasn't going to be well served as a "I only care about hots and nothing else" healer. It's just too extreme a design. Any time when hots are good (by which I mean both individual encounters and periods in the game as a whole) the druid is going to dominate. Any time when hots are terrible, so will be druids. We probably, in retrospect, didn't push Nourish enough, because we still ended up in a raid healing situation where druids used Rejuv and Wild Growth and were loathe to use any other button.

We are going to push even harder in Cataclysm. Druids will still have exceptional hots, but will need to cast direct heals as well. I usually get a lot of responses after such a post from druids saying "But I only want to cast hots!" I'm not sure how to respond to that, because we just don't think it works. :(

As far as the AE healing goes, it's definitely something to keep an eye on, but we're not worried about it yet. We are trying to cut back (yet again) on the dominance of the smart AE heals. The cooldowns of CoH and WG need to stay high. We do have some room to lower the mana cost on WG, and probably will.

It's also worth mentioning that Efflorescence does some great AE healing, and is probably overpowered at the moment.

One change we are going to make is reintroducing the talent that lowers Rejuv to a 1 sec GCD. Since haste affects Rejuv ticks and since druids will be casting cast-time spells that benefit from haste, we're not as worried about druids turning up their noses at haste. This will let you get Rejuvs up on more people when you want to, though it still should be mana-inefficient to just do so at random. We think hots are going to be enormous in the Cataclysm healing model just because they won't be overhealing nearly as much as they are now.

We like the way Nourish interacts with hots. Yes, it's different from the way priests, paladins and shaman use their heals, but we do want the classes to play differently, as long as those differences aren't so extreme that you can't use a druid on some dungeon or raid fights.

I suspect we won't end up keeping the snare on Tree of Life. We knew that we could try snare and then remove it. We would have a hard time trying no snare and then adding one. Our intent was to make you think about when was the best time to push ToL rather that just hitting it the second it's off cooldown. In practice though we just think it feels crappy so even if it accomplishes our goal, it's probably not worth it.

We're still working on the Resto tree (and druids in general). You were missing the talent to lower the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch, which is a pretty painful thing to live without. We're also considering changing Furor to provide intellect to caster form too so it is attractive to both caster trees. We agree that too much of the early Resto tree felt like it was there for Feral.

I'm talking PvE in almost all of this, since that was the original thrust of the thread.

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#161 - 2010/08/14 02:18:34 AM
Q u o t e:
This seems really at odds with the increase in Rejuv's mana cost. We're not supposed to pre-HoT the raid, but you're adding in a talent designed to let us do exactly that? I'm very confused by this.


We don't like prehotting (or pre-shielding) as a general strategy. On certain fights where you know that the damage is going to come fast and furious then maybe it's appropriate, but we don't want the current LK style to continue. I've healed a lot as both Resto and Disc, so I know the power of prehealing, though it's not as if you need first-hand experience to understand how useful and powerful it is.

On the other hand, if a lot of people take damage at once, we have no problem with getting a Rejuv out on several of them at once, and a lower GCD will help there. It's still possible to screw that up (by which I mean we want healing to have some player decision-making as part of the gameplay) by using too much mana on Rejuvs or casting too many Rejuvs when the situation called for something else.

Q u o t e:
I am still concerned about the proc-rate of Efflorescence, however, and hope it isn't underpowered at lower gear levels and then overpowered in higher gear levels.


It's okay -- to a point -- if some talents are more useful at different gear levels than others. It's interesting if you consider changing talent specs rather than having one that serves you well in almost all stages of the game. But we don't want the extremes either, where it never procs as you're leveling and is up 100% of the time so that you fish for it in the endgame. Definitely something to keep an eye on. We also might take the wounded restriction off of Nature's Bounty, so that Regrowth just crits a lot.

Q u o t e:
I'm going to assume that the lowered GCD is to allow for situations where Players A, B, and C got him by a small AOE and were taken down to 70% health. Nourish is too slow to heal all three, Regrowth is too expensive for that little damage, and Wild Growth costs too much for just three targets. So instead you just toss a Rejuv on each of them and move on. This is much different than the current model where you would just keep as many players Rejuv'd as possible with WG on cooldown.


Yes!

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#203 - 2010/08/15 02:24:47 AM
Q u o t e:

Then why are are you adding entirely new AoE healing spells to game? It's not just "smart" healing that's the problem, it's *everything* that's the problem. Stop adding Healing Hands, Healing Rains, PW:Barrier, Efflorescence, etc. to the game.


You're welcome to your opinion, but we think it's the smart heals. All of the other heals you mentioned ask a lot more of the healer than "hit this button." In fact, all of those heals have earned player criticism or concern because they do ask more of the healer.

Q u o t e:
You consistently post these things, saying how druids only use these 2 spells..... but then you also say "bad players will always be bad, and we don't want to design playstyle around those types of players."

I myself, along with many many many other druids here, have said we use nourish and LB constantly in raids, along with a sprinkle of NS and tranquility. Why do you continue to ignore that, and focus on all the "bad" players that only use Rej and WG... who cares what they do, they will always be "bad".


The difference is that in your example the "good" druid might perform 5% better (number pulled out of hat) than the "bad" druid. Even though you might be using your full arsenal, which is awesome, the fact remains that you can probably heal any fight in the game without doing so. Your "sprinkling" is just that, sprinkling. Those other heals need to be workhorses and not decorations.

Q u o t e:
Sorry GC but you may think that you read good posts and make changes, but in reality the only time you identify a 'good post' is if you agreed with it before hand. Bottom line is, the posts don't change your mind, you simply use them to reinforce your arguments. Whatever change you had in mind was gonna go through regardless of who wrote what.


Then why are you here posting? :)

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#249 - 2010/08/15 11:16:32 PM
Q u o t e:
A good example is the "remove the tree" process. You never really wanted an opinion if this is a good or bad change, from the beginning the phrasing "is treeform fun" was already biased by your decision (or whoever pulled the strings here).


On the contrary, the message we took away from that thread was that a lot of druids loved Tree of Life, but a lot of druids hated it, and some of the ones that liked it just liked the visual and not any of the gameplay that went along with it. Based on that, and given all the problems we thought Tree of Life had (which we've stated numerous times so we shouldn't have to go into it again here), we thought it made sense to change the spell. We have a very large audience, so it's unrealistic to expect near unanimous support for any kind of change, and designing games based on popular vote among the players never works out well anyway.

TLDR: It's not fair to accuse of us not listening to you just because we listened to other players instead.

Q u o t e:
For raid healing - GC can you answer me one question? Why in Elunes name are you so focused on forcing raid healers to use more than one spell?

Because we think it's more fun. Because of the nature of raids, where the general strategy is to be powerful as a group because everyone is very specialized, it's easy for them to be become monotonous. Seeing a boss for the first time can be exciting, and maybe at that point just learning his mechanics can feel overwhelming, but it's likely you're going to wipe on that boss several or many times, and even once you succeed, you're looking at weeks of killing him over and over.

I've said this before, but it's hard for healers to evaluate their contribution based on overall meters, because those don't really tell you much about whether the healer was a good player or not. Instead, one of the best rewards for a healer is to know that they are playing smart. A big part of playing smart is using the right heal for the right situation, which is hard to do when you only have one.

Q u o t e:
3. Don't have any kind of "signature" pvp ability. Pretty much every spec has one.


I don't think Resto druids need a special ability to feel fun in PvP. Traditionally it has been the power of hots in PvP (which tick when you aren't targeting them and generally can't be interrupted) coupled with some pretty outrageous mobility. Often the problems we've had with Resto druids in PvP is that they are too hard to counter. Druids heal pretty differently from priests, paladins or shaman in PvP.

Q u o t e:
If were not getting any more healing spells (in an already rather small arsenal compared to the other healers


Usually the feedback we get from druids is "I have these heals that I never use," not "I don't have enough heals."

Q u o t e:
I have a pretty deep fear that the eventual goal for Resto Druids will be to stack enough Regen that we can just spam Regrowth, especially later in the expansion.


We've seen this response from all of the healers, namely that you can stack regen to offset the mana inefficiency of the fast heal. We want Spirit to be a good stat of course, but if you just take it and nothing else then you may find yourself able to cast a small heal a lot. In that situation you might see say tank health go down even though you are spamming heals, because your throughput is low without crit and without haste, you can't cast Nourish or Healing Touch quickly enough.
Q u o t e:

For making regrowth better for tank healing, all they need to do is move more of the healing done from the HOT back into the direct heal.


We have done some of that already, and we may do more.

Q u o t e:

No, everyone does "not" just spam those 2 spells.... the bad players do, and content should not be adjusted based on how bad players play.


Again, if the good healers were rewarded for their diversity, then everything would be peachy. The problem is that healing badly works really, really well. You may have a slight advantage over the "bad healers" with your strategy, but only a slight one. The ability to run yourself out of mana by casting inefficient spells when they aren't called for will help the situation all by itself. Someone who casually Rejuvs the entire raid when people aren't taking damage will just be OOM.

Q u o t e:
Also, why is there so much resistance to giving us a new button to push? Because we have so many? Priests already have a ridiculously large toolkit and they're *still* getting more. We can handle another button, honest.


It's because we don't see a niche for it, while meanwhile buttons like Healing Touch get removed from bars or used only with NS.

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#300 - 2010/08/17 06:19:59 AM
Q u o t e:
I just don't know now. On one hand apparently they believe pushing more buttons is fun, but on the other apparently we don't need anymore buttons.

That makes absolutely no sense to me when Priests have double the buttons to mash compared to Druids but there still getting more.


Your buttons: Rejuv, Regrowth, Lifebloom, Nourish, Healing Touch, Wild Growth.
Buttons you probably push in a raid: Rejuv, Wild Growth.*

Solution 1: We add Regorge and Rejuke as new heals. You push Rejuv and Wild Growth.
Solution 2: We get you to push Rejuv, Regrowth, Lifebloom, Nourish, Healing Touch and Wild Growth.

In Solution 1, you get new heals and still only use 2. In Solution 2 you use 6 heals. I suppose we could posit a Solution 3, where you get 2 new heals and use 8 buttons, but since we can't even get you to Solution 2 yet, that seems quite ambitious.

All of this belies the fact that there *are* new mechanics in your tree, even if there aren't new action buttons. Tree of Life and Efflorescence do things for which there is no current comparison.

* - every time I say this, druids will respond "Check my logs! I push all my buttons!" The sad truth is you likely don't need to. You can be a very good druid with those two buttons.

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#304 - 2010/08/17 06:34:23 AM
Q u o t e:
The difference between good and bad healers is really obvious right now. A resto druid who does nothing but casually Rejuv the entire raid is a bad healer on the vast majority of fights (i.e. non-damage aura fights).

So I don't agree that "healing badly works really, really well". Healing badly works badly. Honestly, I kind of resent the implication that there is currently little difference between good and bad resto druid healers.


We just don't think the data bear that out. I'm looking at a random parse for a heroic Icecrown 25 druid who healed 80% of his or her damage with Rejuv, 17.5% with Wild Growth and 2.3% with Swiftmend. That is literally 99% of healing, though I suppose you could be charitable and assume the Swiftmends did something with Regrowth. This result is very typical. Presumably this healer is no slouch, since he or she is handling the most challenging content in the game. You could argue I suppose that he or she would have been an even better healer with more buttons, but the fact is, the raid cleared the instance. This healer is not doing anything wrong. This healer figured out that ignoring those other buttons didn't really slow the group down much. We think that is a design flaw. If we saw, say the two-button druid healing Vault of Archavon and Marrowgar and the five-button druid healing heroic Sindragosa and Lich King, then it probably wouldn't be the kind of thing we were so aggro about.

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#305 - 2010/08/17 06:35:11 AM
Q u o t e:
Nah c'mon. You can at best be a mediocre druid if all you use is rejuv and WG, and it is unlikely that any such druid would find success doing 10 man hards.


See my post right above yours. Rejuv and WG can clear heroic ICC 25. Happens every day, and even before the buff grew so large.

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#308 - 2010/08/17 06:42:57 AM
Q u o t e:
This is spell design failure. It's not the fault of the player. They are using the tools that best fit the situation. Even if those tools are limited, they are using what is best. Bad healers or not. I think others have made some excellent posts about the "niche" for spells. Priests having so many aoe heals, is there really a separate niche for each one? I actually think the answer for that one is "sort of", except for maybe holy nova.

People have pointed out, all expansion, that HT and Tranq are pretty much dead spells, but nothing has been done to make them more appealing. Now we are being blamed for taking them off of our hot bars? No thanks.


I'm not blaming the players at all. They are doing what makes the most sense in the current game environment (i.e. the fault is ours). I am trying to explain that we are changing the game environment to more heavily reward players who use their entire arsenal of healing spells instead of just a few. We think that will make the game more fun, though we understand that there are healers who are perfectly happy using only a couple of spells.

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#310 - 2010/08/17 06:50:06 AM
Q u o t e:
But I don't like it when someone, especially as knowledgeable as Ghostcrawler, calls people bad for using a small number of abilities.


I think some of you misinterpreted what I was saying.

I said: We think druids are too effective when they only use a couple of spells. Several players called me on that saying they used all of their tools and only "bad druids" used two spells. I called them on that, saying that these so called "bad druids" were clearing every boss in the game, on heroic mode, using only two spells. So if they are truly the bad druids, there isn't enough separation between good and bad. More than likely, I think there aren't many bad druids beating LK 25 heroic, and that some druids are giving too much credit to the size of their toolbox when only a few tools are doing all the work.

It doesn't really matter though, because if you like using more tools, you should like Cataclysm healing.

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#313 - 2010/08/17 06:55:56 AM
Q u o t e:
Now, please, let's talk about what we can do about that, and why his proposed solution is wrong.


Tell me why you think it's wrong.

In our minds, you have efficient spells that can't keep someone alive in dangerous situations (Rejuv and Nourish). You have expensive spells that can, but are expensive. Regrowth isn't mana efficient. Swiftmend has a cooldown. Lifebloom is efficient on one target with many stacks, but can't be tossed around randomly. Then you have a slow spell that can help keep someone alive through heavy damage (HT). On top of all of that, you have an AE hot (WG), a zone-based but unreliable AE (Efflorescence), a short term cooldown (ToL) and a long-term cooldown (Tranquility). You should have a tool for almost any situation that arises.


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#316 - 2010/08/17 07:02:20 AM
Q u o t e:
In 10-man hard modes, which I can speak to, I absolutely assure you that a druid with those overall healing percentages is doing something very wrong. No log parse is going to convince me that spamming RJ5WG on 10-man heroic Blood Council, to pick the encounter my group is working on this week, is optimal strategy. (For all I know your druid isn't pursuing an optimal approach to 25-man heroics either, but I'll assume for the sake of argument that s/he is.)


There are 10 hard Blood Council druid healers where Rejuv is only 30% of healing (awesome!) but there are plenty for whom Rejuv and WG are still over 70% (sad face).

I agree with some of the posters above though that the discussion of how many buttons it takes to heal ICC has played out. We can look at the empirical data. Of more interest to us is what the healing environment will be like in Blackwing Descent and Bastion of Twilight.

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#319 - 2010/08/17 07:07:21 AM
Q u o t e:
Once again, this shows this is all about pve, and it appears that no consideration at all has been given to the effect that changing all these spells will have on pvp.


The thread is labeled "Beta PvE update."