T11 Bonus Comparison for Healers
The more I look at the tier 11 bonuses to healing, the more I am underwhelmed. Not only are they fairly boring and unexciting, they seem to be badly balanced between the classes. After spending ten minutes ranting to a friend about it, I figured out I had enough material for a full post.
Two Piece Bonus
- Shaman – Increases the critical strike chance of Healing Wave by 5%. Basic. Simple. Boring.
- Paladin – Increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Light spell by 5%. Sound familiar yet?
- Priest – Increases the critical strike chance of Heal by 5%. This is a much better bonus for Holy than it is for Discipline. As Disc is balanced around Smite being the go-to spell, rather than Heal, this is one more reason I don’t really want tier gear. Even for Holy, its pretty bland.
- Druid – Increases the critical strike chance of the periodic portion of your Lifebloom spell by 5%. Interesting. A push towards tank healing rather than the default basic heal.
Okay, so it’s the first tier set for the expansion. I keep getting told it’s supposed to be a bit boring, so there’s somewhere to go with it. This yawn inspiring? Sigh.
Four Piece Bonus
Every one of the four piece healing bonuses is an increase to Spirit. I know Spirit is going to matter more when (and if) mana becomes an issue to manage during a fight. I get that. But more Spirit isn’t exactly fun and exciting. It’ll either turn out to be more situational (because mana only matters on some fights) or it’ll be a required buff to maintain constantly in order to heal at all (kinda think this is Blizzard’s aim). Either way, I’m not impressed. What I find particularly lame about it, is how much harder it is for some classes and specs to maintain than others.
- Discipline Priest – Each time your Penance heals someone with Weakened Soul, you gain 540 Spirit for 10 seconds. Penance is one of our best spells, and with raid members consistently low on health, this is the perfect mana efficient option to give them a big boost up. I’d expect to Penance on most fights on the cooldown (every 10 seconds glyphed). But it’s a little awkward to have to use it on someone with Weakened Soul…particularly as it’s one of the most useful spells in a emergency when a friend is desperately low on health. It also takes a little effort to make sure someone is infected with the debuff before each Penance; to maintain this perfectly, one would need to shield the best Penance target in advance – or loose the Spirit boost for 10 seconds.
- Holy Priest – Chakra state grants you 540 Spirit. With the way Chakra works on the beta right now (30 second duration and cooldown), there’s no reason at all you can’t maintain a Chakra state at all times with the most minimal of efforts. It’s one global cooldown every 30 seconds that’s necessary for healing regardless of the Spirit proc. Facerollingly easy.
- Druid – Whenever your Lifebloom is stacked to three, you gain 540 Spirit. This is the hardest of all of the bonuses to maintain. While I always try to give my Lifebloom to a tank even when I’m raid healing on my
treecow, depending on the fight, I’ll only maintain one stack. Or I’ll let it drop off when the tank is safe but the raid is in critical shape. Forcing a druid to keep up three stacks of Lifebloom every ten seconds to maintain their mana seems a bit too much. Most importantly, if it drops off, it would take a minimum of three global cooldowns to renew this proc – assuming the raid is stable enough that you can afford the time to fast-stack Lifebloom.
- Shaman – Grants 540 Spirit for 6 seconds after casting Riptide. By far, the most reasonable proc to keep up. Riptide is a good enough spell that you’d likely want to cast this on cooldown anyways; now you just have more reason to. Doesn’t require thought or create more interest for the play style at all. It might occasionally drop off, but it’s simple as pie – and instant – to pick back up.
- Paladin – When your Holy Radiance is active you gain 1620 Spirit. This amazingly powerful aoe spell lasts for ten seconds and has a 30 second cooldown when talented. This gives Paladins a bigger burst of mana regen than other classes. It works out to the equivalent of 540 Spirit constantly.* The question is will Paladins need to hold off using Holy Radiance on cooldown regularly in order to time it for particular boss abilities?
Does anything about this seem reasonable or fair? Disc priests didn’t need anything to make their rotation more complex…the rotation is already a bit much. Shaman could easily handle a little less simplicity. Meanwhile, Druids are getting pushed heavily back to tank healing. And Paladins appear to be getting the short end of the stick. But at least it’s simple. I have never been the best predictor of things, but I don’t see these going live as they are.
* (10 seconds / 30 seconds) * 1620 Spirit [thank Kurn for better Paladin math]