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Raid Rx: Patch 4.0.6 healing thoughts

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding and guild management podcast Matticast.

Even though I wasn't responsible for it, its nice to believe that my little story in last weeks column might have influenced the Mana Tide change. What is the change, you ask?
Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the Spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of Spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's Spirit, exclusive of short-term Spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide.
It won't be an overpowered mana reset ability anymore. I have to admit, I do miss having that synchronizing aspect that all the healers share. Having a shaman give a 3-second warning that he is going to drop a Mana Tide cued the rest of the healers to activate their spirit trinkets. I thought that was a neat little interaction. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it somehow later on -- little ways that help promote (but not so much require) healing coordination would be a cool addition. I'm just not sure what other ways methods can be explored.

On the bright side, I don't need to figure out which players have the lowest mana regeneration in order to stack them into the healing group.

But hey, enough about resto shaman already! Some additional healing changes (both nerfs and buffs) will be coming soon. No idea if any of this stuff is going to stick. Tell me what you think.
Now keep in mind there is no way I'm going to be able to comment on every change. Some of these are good, some are bad, and some just won't warrant any reaction at all whatsoever.

When should healing spells be learned?
Healing Touch now trained at level 78, up from level 3.
By contrast?
Nourish is now trained at level 8, down from level 78.
Okay, I can understand that change. Fresh healers should have access to their normal, medium heal fairly early on in the game. But have you noticed that the slow, hard-hitting heal varies in terms of trainable levels?
Do you notice that disparity? I'm not complaining. I'm just a little curious as to why the spells are staggered like that. You would think that since the fast heal, medium heal, and slow heal are baseline spells for all healers, they would be at roughly the same trainable level. I understand the need for diversity and maintaining some semblance of individuality. Surely that feeling can be upheld through other abilities.

What about AoE healing? Other nerfs?
Wild Growth healing has been increased by 30% and the cooldown has been reduced to 8 seconds, down from 10.
Another contrast?
Circle of Healing effectiveness increased by 30%.
A sad face has appeared as my expression. Although as much as I would honestly like to see a slight reduction in Circle of Healing, I'm not too worried about the timing. I went from working with a no-cooldown Circle of Healing to a 6-second and now a 10-second cooldown. I would love to see a lowering of the internal cooldown for it, but I don't think I can come up with a suitable case. That 30% increase alone is enough for me to keep ensuring it is used on cooldown (at least, if the players need it).

Several healing spells have been nerfed . Prayer of Healing is 15% weaker. Protector of the Innocent is also 30% weaker. Restoration shaman have had their Greater Healing Wave nerfed both in cost and in potency buffed in potency. I know that some players have messaged via Twitter or email that they think those nerfs aren't fair because it ends up being the higher-end guilds who are the cause of these changes.

I don't want to pin any kind of blame here, and I don't think that is necessary. Usually, it is the progression-oriented guilds that come across these situations, and there is a period of time that will pass before the difficulties they face will be the difficulties we experience.

However, I would advise not looking at those healing nerfs exclusively. They need to be looked at in relation to everything else that affects healing. For instance, I know there are a few healers out there who are struggling on healing heroics. (Obviously, they don't read my work, right?) So while some healing spells received nerfs, those same heroic heroic dungeons were also adjusted in some fashion to be a little more forgiving (at least, in some cases).

But there were buffs!

For priests, I applaud the Divine Aegis buff:
Divine Aegis: Critical effects from Prayer of Healing now award a bonus amount in addition to the default, always-proc Divine Aegis effect.
I hope this change gets pushed through. Having an additional Divine Aegis proc will be handy to have around.
Strength of Soul now also causes the priest to become immune to silence, interrupt and dispel effects for 2/4 seconds.
That looks to me like a definite PvP addition. I guess Blizzard is trying to give priests additional survivability. It makes me wonder how long that Divine Aegis can keep going off like that.

Changing Desperate Prayer from a flat amount to a percentage? Love it. Namely because it was getting to the point where it looked really weak to use in comparison to other self-healing alternatives. Aside from that, the only other notable holy change is the fact that Holy Concentration is being dialed back down again. I personally thought our mana regeneration was in a fat car.

Nice call on increasing Chain Heal by 10%. I think that number will still warrant additional testing on the PTR. Now that we won't be bringing shaman in purely for Mana Tide totem, we can bring them in for other reasons (like additional healing).
Glyph of Spirit of Redemption has been converted into Glyph of Prayer of Mending, increasing the healing done by the first charge of Prayer of Mending by 60%.

I love that addition. That glyph is certainly going to be appealing for both discipline and holy!

I'm going to try to hit up the public test realms sometime soon so I can give some of these changes a shot. I'll be on Matticus, my priest, on either the PvE or PvP realms (whichever happens to actually be up). Somehow, I don't think this list of changes is going to be final just yet.

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to mattl@wowinsider.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.


Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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