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Posts with tag healer-balance

Healer representation in Mists of Pandaria


Dedralie at Healiocentric has started a series examining how the 6 healer specs fared in Mists of Pandaria, and the first installment starts with a look at representation in raids. It's a fascinating article on the rise, fall, and sometimes stagnation of class fortunes, and toward the end there's a pretty cogent prediction on what mythic raids in Warlords of Draenor are probably going to look like if current trends continue.

This is a quick summary, but I'll provide more details past the cut. As Dedralie writes, while we're not really talking about healer balance or throughput here, there are a few obvious trends you can track from the Mists launch in September 2012 all the way to heroic Garrosh kills in January 2014:
  • Discipline priests and holy paladins ruled the expansion.
  • The absorption effects brought by these two healers is a huge advantage in heroic content (even more so in 10-man), and it may be too valuable as a mechanic.
  • Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) was the most balanced with respect to representation. Tier 14 saw significant gulfs between class popularity that unfortunately returned with a vengeance in Tier 16 (Siege of Orgrimmar).
  • While monks and holy priests are still struggling for representation, it's instructive to look at the fights where they were significantly more popular.
  • Mythics will probably look like the "under-healed" heroics of MoP, which will prejudice heal teams toward synergies between absorption healers and those with strong throughput-based cooldowns.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

Resto druids vs. the world 2: War harder

Resto druids vs the world, round two War harder TUE
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we may hate numbers, but oh, they add so much to our lives.

Story time!

I first got a lesson on how to read healing meters while raiding Serpentshrine Cavern. One of our healers, an otherwise very competent holy priest, consistently ran OOM early on Morogrim Tidewalker and was next to useless during the final phase of the fight. The head of the heal team took an hour to look over the logs, and decided to give me a lesson on how to read them while doing so. It quickly became apparent that the priest was unwittingly covering for a resto shaman, who not only wasn't pulling his weight, but also seemed to take an unusual amount of damage.

"Why aren't you doing anything during the add phases?" asked the head, a paladin.

"Because our off-tank can't hold aggro for s$#t and I'm tired of dying to murlocs."

This was actually true. Our head healer pondered for a moment. "Can't you just Chain Heal after he's already gotten all the murlocs?"

"No, I die that way too. And we have to save BoP for the clothies who have to AOE the murlocs." Also true.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Resto druids vs. the world: Healer balance in tier 14

Resto druids vs the world Healer balance in tier 14
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Today, it isn't enough that mistweavers are taking our gear -- now they're taking our jobs.

The beginning of an expansion is usually a bad time to write deep, meaningful, and typically pompous posts on the "state of the class" and whither the druid and all that crap. For that matter, the beginning of Mists of Pandaria struck me as an especially bad time, because so much of what we were used to in WoW got changed and sent everyone scrambling. Toss in a brand-new hybrid class (the monk), and you've got the perfect storm of elements that make evaluating healer performance a dicey proposition at best. I poured myself a nice cocoa, kept an eye on World of Logs and Raidbots, and watched as the numbers rolled in and a legion of holy priests tore their garments and cried out in despair.

Given that patch 5.1's now live, it seems an appropriate time to swirl that cocoa, take a look at how healers did in tier 14, and ask what's likely to change. As of now, it seems apparent that:
  • Holy priests were actually right.
  • Monks kicked your dog, seduced your mom, stole your XBox, and drove off in your car.
  • Paladins are still topping the charts on certain encounters, but they're no longer dominating all of them.
  • Shaman have improved a lot from their lackluster performance in Dragon Soul.
  • Resto druids are back in same boat we were in at the beginning of Cataclysm, and it's not a very nice boat.
Just for fun, here's a Shifting I wrote almost a year ago on healer balance in Dragon Soul, if you'd like to see how classes fared in the last tier of raid content.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Looking back on healing in Cataclysm

Now, this is a forum post that I think merits a little more attention. We all know that developers weren't happy with the spamfest that healing often was in Wrath of the Lich King and that they looked to make it a far more cerebral activity in Cataclysm. Now that we're approaching the end of the expansion, Practical, one of the Blizzard forum MVPs, recently started a thread examining how healing turned out and what can be improved. Most of the people in the thread generally agree that healing started out pretty fun in tier 11 but declined afterwards. Reasons given range from boring boss mechanics to fights with random elements that made healers feel useless when they couldn't control or prevent player deaths.

Practical observes that a lot of the later problems with healing in Cataclysm might actually be the result of a surfeit of raid fights that required constant stacking, and the inevitable effect they had on certain healing spells' being too powerful. Having recently looked at healer numbers in Dragon Soul, I'd also venture that AoE healing spells that aren't numbers-restricted (for example, Circle of Healing versus Holy Radiance) on top of that raid stacking are making healer balance look worse than it actually is.

So what are your thoughts, healers? How did healing work out for you this expansion, and are you looking forward to the Cataclysm changes? And are the problems we're seeing really the result of healer mechanics or raid design?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion

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