Regional FlagCircle of HealingSource
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#0 - 2008/11/07 08:30:57 PM
Here's a few quotes from designer Ghostcrawler on Circle of Healing:

We've tried to keep up with all of the several threads that spawned as a result of my last comments. People have made some really good points.

Based on feedback from this forum, elsewhere and our own brainstorming, what we are thinking about right now is something like a 6 sec cooldown for Circle of Healing and Wild Growth.

We're less concerned about Chain Heal, in part because it's not instant, prevents movement, falls off with multiple targets, and is the spell that shamans are supposed to be hitting, while priests and druids have many other spells.

At 6 seconds, you would still want to use CoH/WG in the right situations (though hopefully not *every* time they are up), but you'd also want to use other spells during the cooldown. To be fair, a lot of priests and druids are asking to push other buttons. :)
Q u o t e:
Didn't you try this already?
Yeah, we did. We thought it would feel like a big nerf and changed our minds. But seeing the state of healing at 80 makes us think it might be the right call again. When AE healing is so prominent, it also makes specs without great AE heals (Holy paladins and Disc priests) feel uselss.

Assume that we would lower Wild Growth by the same proportion as Circle of Healing. The exact numbers aren't as important to this discussion as the concept that you can't hit the button whenever you want.

This sounds like a potentially scary change because it has a lot of ramifications -- one of the reasons we are mentioning it so early is to get feedback. We don't want Resto shammies to push other healers out of raids. We would change some of the encounters knowing that CoH spam was no longer possible.

You guys should chill on the "Shaman QQ caused us to get nerfed." We decided it was a problem based almost entirely on numbers coming out of Naxx. CoH and WG were doing the heavy lifting on almost every encounter. They were easily the top two heals for many parses. CH wasn't. Your individual raids may vary, but that is the overall trend. If we go ahead and make this change and see CH then completely fill the void left behind, then we would nerf CH as well. If we listened to any group, it was the Holy priests who were telling us they just wanted to be able to hit another button to heal (again, individuals may feel differently).

We don't like the stacking mana cost solution in this case, though we did talk about it a lot. We suspect that would actually lead us to the land of priests saying their mana regen sucks because they have to spam CoH to be competitive, and I'm not sure we can count on all you guys to be around to explain the logic when that happens.

We don't want to just nerf the healing throughput on the spell because then it won't be able to do its job. CoH was in this state before when Holy just ignored it.

A cast time might work, but the instant nature of both spells is part of what makes them so useful in emergencies.

We're not crazy about reverting the smart heal aspect, though that is still on the table. Having too many spells that favor party over raid forces you back to having to worry a lot about your raid composition. "Oh, sorry hunter, we can't bring you because we need another melee for our melee group or else CoH won't reach you." PoH isn't as big an issue, because honestly it's just not such a big contribution to total healing. Though we could consider pushing it raid wide.

Cooldowns are a reality of a lot of damage rotations and they generally work as long as the system isn't too complicated. You typically have the spell you really want to use in a given situation and then the others you fall back on when the favored spell is on cooldown.

We haven't always announced changes like this that we're considering so far in advance. Our hope was to stimulate some discussion on the matter. The "Now we'll never get invited!" replies and the "You have no idea how to design our class," replies aren't really what we're looking for, and are the kind of thing to make us less likely to pre-announce in the future. There are some very intelligent replies though, including some of the discussion of PoH and its role for the priest. Please keep it up.
Q u o t e:
So if a cooldown were introduced would the healing component be increased?
If it needs to be, yes. We're not sure it will need to be since we actually want to lower the AE damage coming into the raid in the situations where it blows away every other spell (except WG).

I know it's natural for players to consider only their abilities compared to the difficulty of the encounters. That makes sense because your context is always how you can improve your character. But we have access to all the knobs -- we can change the encounters around the class design as well, and we do it all the time.
Q u o t e:
It seems to me like we're not getting the same benefit of reasoning that Shaman did. GC, you stated that one of the reasons that you didn't resort to more "draconian measures" in order to get Shaman to cast another spell was that another developer pointed out that there wasn't anything that made spamming CH wrong.
The difference in this case is that we agreed Chain Heal virtually *was* the Resto shaman. It was one of their most signature abilities, like Mortal Strike for the Arms warrior, Windfury for the Enhancement shaman or Frostbolt for the Forst mage. While you might like Circle of Healing, and I know it's a fun spell, we never designed the entire Holy tree around it. Our intent for Holy is that the spec uses lots of spells -- Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Renew, PoM, Binding Heal, PWS, Lightwell, PoH, Guardian Spirit and CoH. It's hard to find niches for all of those sometimes, and CoH had crowded out a lot of those others -- even if you were pushing those other buttons, the actual outcome was that many of those clicks did very little compared to CoH.

Resto druid were in a very similar situation -- lots of tools, but everything looked like a job for Wild Growth.
In answer to another question, this is a difficult problem to buff our way out of. It's not just a matter of improving shaman, paladin and Disc AE healing. We would also have to increase single-target damage on tanks and others so that that part of your arsenal competed with the AE button, which in turn means tuning tank gear and health pools and probably a lot of other changes.