Oct 082009

As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, I feel that Blizzard is quietly nudging trees into a “support healer” niche, and I’d like to explain what I mean by that. (Note: My tree set is off-spec, and I’m by no means in a progression guild; these are just my impressions. Let me know if I’m wildly off base.)

As it stands right now, a good raid healing tree is using every GCD to roll Rejuv on as much of the raid as possible. A 10m raid (or a 25m raid with 2 trees) can have a Rejuv on 90% of its members 90% of the time, and generally should. Why?

  • Rejuv is swiftmendable. This is by far the biggest reason…what kills most non-tanks in raids is burst damage which beats a healer’s reaction time, not sustained, grinding damage. (Non-exiting-fire raiders excepted.) Of all the spells in all the various healers’ toolboxes, SM “gets there the fastest with the mostest.” Landing an instant swiftmend on someone usually means they’re not going to die. Sure, each class has long CD’s for that instant save, but you’re only using those once per fight, maybe twice. SM’s cooldown is short enough that you’ll generally always have it available.
  • Rejuv buffs Nourish for SM followup as needed.
  • Rejuv is proactive. It ticks every 3s…so if someone takes burst damage, they’re going to get a +1500hp bump within 1.5s (on average) even without any action on the healer’s part. Will that save someone? Not by itself, no, but I’ve seen many raiders get saved by a combination of Rejuv/JoL/ILOTP/glyphed HL/POM bounce/etc.
  • Rejuv is totally cheap on mana.

With the 3 sec nerf to Rejuv’s duration (Yes, Blizzard can call it a “bug fix” all it wants, but a bug fix doesn’t sit this long), this strategy is diminshed. Sure, it’s still workable, but the chances are better that you WON”T have a rejuv up on that target taking burst damage…better hope your NS+HT is off cooldown.  (It might be time to relook the HT glyph.) Now, this doesn’t even address the issue of raid multi-target burst damage, which is definitely not a tree’s strong point. (Remember KT when Frost Blast chained to 4 melee while the priest was MC’d? You’re only saving 2, assuming average reaction time. Sometimes playing God sucks.) Now, from a design perspective, I think I prefer this, as the RJx5, WG, repeat rotaion was pretty boring. It’s just going to take some adjustment.

Now, if we get the huge HP buff to all classes that the devs have been talking about, then reaction time becomes much less of a consideration, and concepts like mana efficiency become much more important. From there, I see Druids happily settling into the low HPS/high HPM AOE niche; HOT’s become much more of a consideration when you’re dealing with a larger HP pool that can handle some variance. Pallies become the high ST HPS class; HPriests take the high AOE HPS spot; DPriests share the low HPS/high HPM space with Druids; and Shammies fall awkwardly in the middle, which results in an avalanche of complaining on the WoW boards that nobody reads. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. :))

Anyway, that’s the way I see it happening; feel free to disagree, flame, or meander off-topic in the comments. :)

  13 Responses to “Trees: Support healer role?”

  1. Why would the glyph of Healing Touch be something to reconsider now? It makes HT’s cast time equal to Nourishes so there is no quickness gained, and assuming there is a HoT on the person Nourish will still heal for more.

    The argument could be made that http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=17073 can decrease the cast time of HT down to 1 sec, but if you’re spending 5 points on basically a feral talent I’m not sure I would want you healing my raids :/.

    Flaming aside, great article aside from the glyph thing!

    • Lg, What I was getting at is that the rejuv nerf means less raid HOT’s, which means it’s harder to assume there will be a HOT on the target. For Glyphed HT, I’d imagine you’d drop Nature’s Bounty to get it for raid healing. (I still don’t think it’s a good idea, mind, but it’s closer than it used to be.)

  2. I still don’t think glyphed HT is worth it.

    The Tier 10 set bonuses actually confusingly push us into using rejuv & wild growth even more (if they go live). Having each tick of wild growth tick for the full amount (and not diminish over time) is awesome. Having rejuv ticks actually cause rejuv to jump to another person will more than make up for the duration nerf (and may have actually been the reason for the duration nerf).

    The Tier 10 set bonuses pretty much go against the design I thought they were pushing us into…

    • Lis, Yeah, I really don’t like the 4pT10 resto set bonus at first glance, though it’s going to take some more thinking over. The 2pT10 is not that strong, IMO…most of the boost comes from the later WG ticks not decreasing as much, and those tend to get overhealed (and even then, it’s probably only like a 10% overall increase)

    • The WG bonus isn’t finished – the 0% is a placeholder. It’s misleading at the moment, I think a lot of people are reading it as “The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces by nothing at all over time”, ie, that each tick is the same strength as the first.

      The 0% is (I’m fairly certain) just a placeholder number.

      It will likely say something like “The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 3% less over time.”

      Ie (at least this is how I interpret it) “each of your subsequent ticks do 3% more than they used to”.

      Something like this would make it a nice little bonus, but not the crazy good bonus that people are interpreting it as now. And as Alaron said – most of the later ticks of WG go to overheal anyway, so the bonus loses some of its kick there.

      Still, even if it is only a few percent, I’ll take a small buff to WG without complaint – any buff to an oft-used spell is a good thing.

      A lot of people are worried that this will make us even bigger RJ/WG bots.. but as a 10 man raider, it affects me little. I still *have* to use all of the tools that I have. There’s no denying that it may pigeonhole the 25man trees even further, though.

  3. […] I mentioned in the comments to my previous post, this is pretty good, but not game-changing. If I remember my WG numbers right, it hits for about […]

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