Posted by: Makakai | November 11, 2014

Healer Misinformation

Both True and False with selected checkboxes

I’ve started writing this post a dozen times since I began my blog and invariably Blizzard changes healer balance or a new patch comes out with new content that changes the point of the post and it lingers in my backlog. However, two concepts have lasted through most of the last expansion or so, therefore, I thought I’d share them during this twilight time before the next expansion and discuss what types of healer misinformation we might see in Warlords of Draenor.

Armor Specialization

I see so many times a healer joining a group at maximum level in a mixed set of gear including pieces that are not the correct armor class. At lower levels this is less of a critical feature, but at maximum level it’s hurting yourself and your group. Why is this such a problem, you might ask? Well because of a passive ability each class has called Armor Specialization (for druid, shaman, paladin, and monk). This ability provides 5% of your primary attribute based on your specialization. This means that all healing characters will gain 5% additional intellect and consequently all of your healing spells will heal for more. I’ve included a nice table that shows the base mana and the potential increase at different levels. Intellect increases the mana pool by 15 mana points for each point of intellect (except from the first 20 points of Intellect that provide 1 mana for each point). So unless that cloth piece on your druid is providing 5% more intellect than the leather piece you had on…you’ll want to wait for a proper upgrade.

Level Base Mana
1 50
10 200
20 600
30 1300
40 2200
50 3300
60 4200
70 8200
80 17000
90 300000

 Stacking Healing Classes

I recently had to explain to my raid group why more than one discipline priest will actually hurt the raid. They of course thought I was being classist, even the priests in the group. Well, what is wrong with multiple disc priests you might ask? A key component of disc priest healing is that the majority of their healing is in the form of mitigation through shields. Unlike heals, only the shield of one Priest can be active for any given time. No other shields can be applied on an already shielded player unless Weakened Soul wears off. Why is this a problem though, as you can just shield someone else in the raid? This problem is particularly important because of two abilities, Rapture and Borrowed Time. Since you can’t apply your shield, you don’t regen mana as efficiently and you don’t have the haste bonus for penance. This makes it even more difficult to keep the tanks ‘healed’ particularly after they take spike damage and to keep their health as stable as possible. Additionally, in a 10-man raid group with 2 disc priests they essentially reduce their potential targets to 5 players each. However, many raid groups don’t have a lot of choice as to which healing classes they bring, in which case clear communication becomes extremely important. Working with multiple Disc Priests, each one has to talk to the other and outline specifically which Priest is covering which target full time. What I basically told my raid group was that having 2 disc priests is not optimal but still better than no healer at all.

So what type of healer misinformation might we expect to see in Warlords of Draenor?

Here are a couple of things that might introduce a lot of confusion to the healing community:

  • Loss of Mana regen for healing classes except for select spells such as the Mana Tea spell for Monks and the Mindbender talent for Priests.
  • Changes to stat priorities and the loss of haste breakpoints.
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