Speculation on the Cataclysm damage/healing dynamic

This is all speculation, so take it all with a grain of salt, but these are some ideas that have popped into my head from time to time (usually when I should be going to sleep).

For me the defining change to game play for the new WoW expansion is how they change the damage/healing dynamic.  These ideas are all based on players having large health pools and spending more time with some health loss.  From what i’ve read about the expansion raid tanks with health pools around 250-300k will normal and non-tanks will have about 40-50k health.  There will also be less one-shot/two-shot spike damage.  So here are a few thoughts.

Guardian Spirit going to be very powerful. +40% to healing is going to be very powerful when healers are struggling to maintain health levels rather than fighting to top someone off.  It will allow healing teams to potentially run a tanks health pool down more than they normally would and then power heal during Guardian Spirit.  They will be doing this because healing per mana will be the defining healing relationship rather than the healing per second one that exists in Wrath.  +40% healing will be a big boost to healing per mana.

50% healing when GS triggers could be a 150k heal!  Letting tanks die for this huge heal could be a viable, although somewhat risky, strategy.  It would allow healers to take a break and regen some mana plus effectively deliver a heal with a huge healing per mana ratio.

Druids are going to be even more over powered.  Druids are already close to the most powerful healers in game.  The main reason they aren’t more OP is many of their HoT ticks land when the target is at full health.  If raiders spend lots of their time with less than 100% health then druids healing is going to increase significantly.

I suspect holy pallies will me similarly advantaged although it depends on what happens with mana regen.

Smart heals are going to be less useful.  They are awesome now as they heal those that are damaged and ignore those on full health.  If everyone is damaged then their usefulness is decreased.  I’m not saying they are going to be useless, but they are less advantaged than they are currently.

Discipline priests, from what i’ve seen to date, are going to be disadvantaged in such an environment.  Our heals are relatively small and our shields will be less useful when there is less spike damage.  I realise the game designers have said they want to give Disc priests options other than shield spamming, but i’m yet to see this in the changes made to date.  Sadly, if I even continue playing WoW post Cataclysm, I’ll almost certainly be moving from a priest main to my druid.

Anyway some ideas.  Feel free comment and tell me what you think.

Gobble gobble.

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9 Responses to Speculation on the Cataclysm damage/healing dynamic

  1. antlergirl says:

    Just when I decided to ditch restodruid for feral ^^ well perhaps I’ll stick with bear/resto then.

  2. BobTurkey says:

    I was thinking feral DPS (if they don’t make it too user friendly) with resto/bear off specs).

  3. Windsoar says:

    I’ll be excited to see the healing dynamic take on a new shape and form. I’ve been thinking about this from a chain heal perspective since you posted it, and I think in that instance, the power of the smart heal, while diminished, could still be a very strong resource since it’s targeted by position (i.e., omg, ick on the floor hit 4 people, HEAL THEM!) rather than the more random group heals.

    The ability to cast endlessly, and the whack-a-mole system of keeping everyone topped up takes some of the joy and fun out of healing (to me). I like those situations where I have to prioritize healing assignments, or coordinate cool-downs with my team.

    I hope Disc gets augmented sufficiently, and/or niched appropriately to handle the coming changes. I enjoyed disc much more when I was the tank bubbler than the current bubble the raid format, and I think as a tight, directed healer, disc could still be viable.

  4. BobTurkey says:

    Yeah chain casting, endless mana and fighting to be the fastest healer wasn’t that fun.

  5. Harte of Uldaman says:

    Here’s a mind trick I’ve used that can help you relax if you’re stressed because someone you’re healing isn’t at full health: Don’t think about about how much health is missing, think about how much is remaining. If a one/two shot isn’t going to happen, relax to think clearly how to build that health bar back up over time.

  6. […] Cata talent trees for Holy and Disc that make me happy to be a healy priest. Bob Turkey has pointed out how lacklustre the newest Disc tree is, and I believe I’ve complained before about Holy’s Lolwell. And no Blizz, I […]

  7. Gilraen says:

    “…There will also be less one-shot/two-shot spike damage….”
    “…Discipline priests, from what i’ve seen to date, are going to be disadvantaged in such an environment. Our heals are relatively small and our shields will be less useful when there is less spike damage….”

    I dont aggree with that. Our shields will be really powerful, especially when i consider mastery bonus. If there isnt spike damage but moderate damage, our shields wont blown up easily. And if shield doesnt instantly blow up because of spike damage, there will be short interval between the next shield and weakened soul effect debuff. This may force raid healers to go overheal or maybe not, since non of us sure about mana consumption/regen at lvl 85 raid, in raid environment.

    Maybe i’m totally wrong, this is just a perception of mine. I wish i had beta key to test what’s goin on out there 🙂

  8. Logtar says:

    While most of my arguments are mute since I am not playing the Beta and I am going completely off what I have read, I cannot be more excited about playing disc.

    Besides the LK fight, disc priest in ICC spend a lot of time not having to do much in many fights if your raid is well balanced. During that time I curse, smite, aoe… etc. I think in Cata I will be rewarded by getting buff from such actions thus making it more appealing to DPS to augment your heals.

    I have not started playing resto with my druid but I am hoping to get a taste of it in ICC before the expansion… most people that have played priests have moved to druids and have not gone back… I guess I will have to wait and see. Bubble spamming is not that much fun though, so anything they can do to get us away from that would be great.

  9. BobTurkey says:

    @ Logtar – I’d say you probably had too many healers if your disc priest was idle in many fights. There wasn’t too many fights where you have idle healers and DBS is the only exception I can think of.

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