Regional FlagHealing Nerfs - Stop itSource
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Oakier
Target Source
#0 - 2009/10/07 11:57:58 PM
Dear Blizzard and World of Warcraft players,

I have been playing a restro-druid for a while now. I made this character because I wanted to heal in tree form. I have played your game for quite a while. I was a paladin in WoW back in the days of MC and BWL and was a healer back then. I know healing in WoW, or.... that is to say, I did.

Since WotLK came out I have seen a systematic nerfing of healing. This is not just druid healing but all healing across the board. The justification was given that the ability of the healers was making content trivial that should not be easy. So in order to balance things and make content hard again, healers were nerfed, their abilities reduced, the spell power co-efficients changed and so on. The spirit nerf clearly was focused at healers over the DPS spell casters as well, so here is another nerf. I could go on but I suspect very few healers would argue this particular point against me, so let me continue...

As the 'bug fixes' and nerfs have continued (And I say bug fixes as this was once a phrase used to describe the 5 second rule casting change), healers have been expected to continue doing what they do without any change. DPS and Tanks expect us to be just as effective with each change. The burden is on /us/ to find a way around your continued nerfs. You say you don't want content to be trivial, and so healers must be changed, but the DPS and Tanks aren't the ones who have changed, it is the healers who are forced to adapt, forced to find that last bit of HPS or best way to squeeze out mana to last an encounter depending on the type of healer you are.

That said, I place a challenge to Blizzard. Stop it. Stop 'fixing' your game by making it harder on healers. If a battle is too easy, how about you nerf the DPS by 50% across the board? Can you imagine the outcry? I am told (And have seen myself) healers are the one role that people often are stuck waiting for. That and tanks. Rarely do I see someone spamming a channel asking for a DPS over and over again to start a PUG. Rarely do you see guilds saying how desperately short of DPS they are in recruiting requsts in public channels.

So here is what I ask. Please, make healing fun again. Stop nerfing my spells, be it on my paladin, druid or other. Stop messing with the game mechanics to make healing just that much harder in order to balance things. Go pick on the DPS.

But if this is all too long for you, here's the short summary:

MAKE HEALING FUN AGAIN, stop relying on nerfing healers to make content challenging.

-Sincerly, a WoW-Healer since Beta.

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Blue Poster
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#59 - 2009/10/28 08:40:04 PM
Healing has always been challenging and to some extent thankless in WoW. I don't think LK fundamentally changed that.

When I heal, I like to be challenged. Just buffing healing overall, or taking some of the challenge away from the healers, I don't think makes the game more fun for them. It might be fun for a week as everyone thanks you for doing such an amazing job all the time, but playing any game in godmode typically gets old after the initial rush.

What I mean is that one of the most boring experiences I can have in the game is to be a healer for a milk run in which a wipe is unlikely and nobody is going to take much damage. By contrast, you can still have fun in that situation as a DPS spec. You can see how fast the boss dies. You can see how much damage you can do. It can even be fun as a tank, because you can usually afford to drop some of your defenses in order to improve your dps and try and make the fight shorter. At the very least, you can try and see how much damage you can mitigate. It's possible to do some pulls and even weaker bosses with almost no incoming damage. All a healer can really do is try to heal as little or efficiently as possible, which really just means you're standing around a lot. Maybe you're tossing the occasional Wrath or SW:Pain or something, but that dps contribution is pretty trivial even compared to the trying-to-DPS-a-little tank.

Where I will agree we need to improve healing in WoW is in relationship to how much damage the tank is taking (or even a teammate in PvP). Damage to health is too high in almost all scenarios, such that only the really big, really fast, or really broad (group-based) heals count for much. Things that are fun for a healer, such as trying to be mana-efficient or matching the right heal to the right damaged character go away when you're just spamming like mad. None of this should come as news to readers of this forum, because it's the kind of thing we've said before.

What I would like to see in Cataclysm is higher health pools but also lower heals (and tank avoidance) overall. Hopefully everyone won't be on the verge of almost dying, yet the risk of overhealing will be more real such that you can't just madly spam all of the time if you want to make it to the end of the encounter.

A similar thing is true for PvP. If health pools are larger, but heals smaller, then you see folks with health in between 100% and 0% more often.

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Blue Poster
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#92 - 2009/10/28 09:43:45 PM
Q u o t e:
Just out of curiosity then, you're anticipating not a significant increase in damage output of players compared to the increase in HP as well? Does this mean that Boss-HP would be increasing at a similar rate, or are we expecting slightly longer PvE battles?

We like the current length of boss battles, understanding that there is some variation from encounter to encounter.

Q u o t e:
so you want everyone to have to roll a priest or druid pretty much


That sounds like a narrow-minded, "buff me" response. Healing with a shaman in LK is much more dynamic than in BC. You have a variety of spells and can shift between a few different styles. A shaman healing a tank (or anyone taking a lot of damage) isn't just spamming CH on everyone.

We think paladins would feel fine too if they really used their full arsenal. But since cost is almost irrelevant (you can afford the mana and can't afford to not have the big heal) and since Holy Light can be hasted so much and crits all the time, everything looks like a job for Holy Light. I think Beacon and Sacred Shield have done a lot for paladins and maybe there is room for one or two more heals, but I don't think the size of the toolbox is really the problem here. Druids have a big toolbox, yet some druids can go through a whole raid with almost nothing but Rejuv and Wild Growth. If we nerfed Holy Light -- hard -- then other paladin spells would look more attractive. But that would be a big change with a lot of ramifications, and not one we're going to make for 3.3.

Q u o t e:
And as far as you say for healing milk runs - its a milk run. DPS can snooze - why can't I? Tanks can use more DPS gear, but why can't I as a healer do some DPS too? OH, thats right, healers cannot DPS very good cause thats like.... bad, or something.


The DPS is still hitting buttons while they do easy content. Even if all they do is autoattack, they are seeing numbers fly up. A healer doing easy content is just standing there. But hey, if snoozing is what's fun for you, there is plenty of easy content available. I'm just saying we are unlikely to make healing easy or unstressful on the newer content (Icecrown in this case). We don't think it would be fun (and I say that as someone with a lot of healing experience).

The challenge of all of this comes in what one change does to everything else. For example, if you know the tank is unlikely to die in two hits, does that make healing feel less urgent and perhaps even boring? You may be playing better for not casting a heal that is just going to stomp on someone else's hot. You guys are coordinating and conserving mana. You're smart healers, right? But at the end of the day what that really means is that instead of casting a heal, you do nothing and just chill for a few seconds. Is doing nothing ever fun?

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Blue Poster
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#121 - 2009/10/28 10:57:30 PM
Q u o t e:
i wish they would let us know now if healing is really going to take a hit (esp. paladin/tank healing) as it sounds so i can like, go ahead and avoid pre-ordering the expansion or at the very least just roll a... hunter.


You understand, I hope, that responses like this are why it is often so hard for us to communicate to players what we are thinking.

The conversation was about whether paladins use Holy Light too much. (I'd say they do.) A few players said that paladins need more spells. My response was that paladins need more attractive spells. Right now HL solves every problem.

Your response to that was "Don't nerf me, bro." :(

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Blue Poster
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#124 - 2009/10/28 11:01:32 PM
Q u o t e:
While this certainly doesn't address the primary issues involved with making healing a more rewarding experience, I think that a lot could be done by making encounters that favor each of the classes individually as part of the overall dungeon design. So, for example one encounter could involve dual or triple tanks getting massively hammered with lowish raid damage to favor HL spamming, beacon'd pallys. Another might involve pushing the entire raid together with massive aoe damage that would reward a couple of hasted CH spamming shaman, another might involve lots of movement and aoe damage that would favor druids and another might involve little movement but lots of bursty raid damage that would favor pom, coh and poh. That way all classes would have their moment and no class would be left thinking they are useless.


While that sounds good on "paper," my fear is that you would see groups just swapping all their healers out for paladins on boss 1 and then for shaman on boss 2. If you look at all of the mechanics of an encounter, you'll notice that the designers spend a lot of attention on trying not to prop up any single class or role too much. For example, there are not many LK encounters that scream "replace all your casters with melee" or "drop all of our melee for three more tanks."

To be honest, I'd much rather it go the opposite direction and players stop approaching raid invites as "They'll want me because my class is so awesome," and instead "They'll want me because I'm good."

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Blue Poster
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#129 - 2009/10/28 11:04:17 PM
Q u o t e:
"Is doing nothing ever fun?"

I think you'll agree that the syntax and cadence of a fight is just as important as in music. I think that you already know that you put breaks into fights and it is a good thing. I think you know that fights are richer for those times when you do nothing.


Totally agree that the occasional break is good, and makes fights feel dynamic instead of the same thing over and over for six minutes.

But back in say vanilla WoW when mana managed a great deal, what we had were banks of healers who would heal for awhile and then sit back and regen for awhile. If you were the colonel commanding the troops, this probably felt really clever. If you were the healer sitting there watching your mana increase and doing nothing else, you probably had to resist the urge to tab out and browse the net.

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Blue Poster
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#131 - 2009/10/28 11:06:37 PM
Q u o t e:

The conversation was about whether paladins use Holy Light too much. (I'd say they do.) A few players said that paladins need more spells. My response was that paladins need more attractive spells. Right now HL solves every problem.

Paladins don't gear to use Holy Light because it's an amazing spell, they gear to use Holy Light because it's the best spell they have. If you think paladins use Holy Light too much, I really have no idea what your ideal for the class is. Flash of Light is minuscule, Holy Shock is even worse HPM than Holy Light, and neither of them procs Glyph of Holy Light - what do you envision the breakdown of spell usage should be?


Q u o t e:
My response was that paladins need more attractive spells.

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Blue Poster
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#161 - 2009/10/29 01:56:07 AM
Q u o t e:
GC said he thinks paladins are currently spamming Holy Light too much. I asked what they should ideally be doing instead, and he re-quoted his desire to add new healing spells in Cataclysm. My head is perfectly wrapped around that, given that I've had several months to process it from the time he first said it. What concerns me more immediately is paladins in ICC given this new information on how he feels about current paladin healing.

I said in one of my quotes above that we are unlikely to touch HL or the basic Holy arsenal for 3.3. (Aura Mastery or whatever, maybe.) The change would be too dramatic and would require a lot of work to get right. The risk of messing up paladins is not worth the reward.