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 tree cow, 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]


~ by ecclesiasticaldiscipline on November 6, 2010.

7 Responses to “T11 Bonus Comparison for Healers”

  1. Actually, Holy Radiance is on a 30s cooldown when specced for 3/3 Speed of Light in the Holy tree. HR is a baseline ability all paladins get at 83, but since you’re talking about the holy bonuses, you’re looking at 10/30 * 1620 which is, shockingly, 540 Spirit. :)

  2. The other thing to remember about Holy Priests, is that we gain more from spirit than anyone else (Holy Concentration). So we have one of the easiest set bonuses to maintain and gain an extra 90 spirit from it into the bargain.
    I don’t believe they are balanced in the slightest.

  3. They are so desperate for us to use heal… gah, I say.

  4. I don’t think they have settled with the bonuses. We may have another situation of a bonus changing before Cata goes live, or in the midst of things (like it was with T10, as I remember).
    On the other hand, I remember T7 bonuses, which were kinda… useless. Going with this way of thinking, I would assume that Blizz simply doesn’t want us to have good bonuses, it’s the first tier of the expansion. We’ll get our ponies later on, probably.

  5. Depending on the actual proc effect, I think it would be fairly easy for a druid to maintain the 4-piece proc. At least, the way I heal. LB is only good for tank healing now anyway, since it can only be on one person (unless you are using Tree).

    I use this macro:

    /clearfocus [mod:alt]
    /focus [modifer, help] [@focus,noexists]
    /cast [@focus,exists,help] Lifebloom

    With this, I don’t have to target anymore. I just hit ‘1’ every 10s, and it refreshes the Lifebloom on my current focus. When I need to switch targets (tank switches), I target the new target, and use Alt+1, and hit it a couple more times to stack it back to 3.

    LB is IMO, just an excellent spell to keep up at all times. On my Druid in T9, it heals for about 1700, and can crit for >2.5k (w the 30% ICC buff). I reforged for Haste, so it ticks about every 0.7s. Overall, it is about 2.5khps.

    This compared with “Earth Shield”, which has less upkeep, and a ICC25 Shaman healed for 4.8k (7.3k crit), but “only every few seconds” (which I think is 3s). At best 1.8khps. (In the log I have, LB ticked 12 times more often than ES, which would be 8s between procs.)

    The amount of overhealing is probably higher that ES, because ES only procs when the tank takes damage. But as long as you put it on someone who is consistently taking damage, it should rarely go to overhealing.

    Note also that after a tank takes damage, LB will work to fill him back up, but ES only softens the initial blow.

    Anyway, different though similar. But just to say, 1GCD every 10s is not a lot, vs a good amount of healing.

    Not to mention that Revitalize procs off of LB, and in Cata, I’ll probably talent into Malfurion’s Gift so that it procs Omen of Clarity as well.

    The initial 3 GCD to stack LB is unfortunate, especially with tank switching. But the HPS and HPM of LB is good enough that it is worth putting up, even if you are raid healing.

    Anyway, seems like the buff will generally be ‘for free’. Though it does reinforce that Druids should always keep LB on a tank, regardless the healing assignment.

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