Greedy Goblin

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekend minipost: I hate deep healing

Whoever designed the healer shaman mastery in WoW is a damn idiot:
This isn't bad on paper, it gives a unique role to shaman healers: saviors of almost dead ones. The less HP you have, the more you get from a shaman.

The devs clearly stated that they do not wish players to be constantly topped up and want healers to be challenged to keep them alive. This means that the targets are usually around mid-HP and the shaman healing power is balanced around this point. Let's say that a shaman in equal gear and skill heals the same as a druid if the target is at 50%. This means that shaman heals about 25% more than the druid if the target is 10% and 25% less if the target is at 90% (using the numbers in the tooltip). So far, so good.

But when there are new players or veteran morons and slackers, the raid doesn't get to the point where HPs are low. At Imperator or Ko'ragh everyone is nicely topped up, until half raid insta-dies next the first fortified tank or because melee DPS took soaking or arcane tank jump into the middle of the raid. This means that in such early-wipe fights the shaman heals 25% less than druids. Now comes genius and writes "lol ur low 4 ur gear n00b". Unless the raid members are aware of this non-trivial problem, they will believe him and the poor shaman is kicked (or they quit raid, because the leader doesn't kick low). Then they look surprised when they chain-wipe at second intermission.

Congratulation to Blizzard for creating a mechanic that cannot be compared to other classes in a straightforward way, in an environment where you need to explain every single time why you don't kick all the mages and locks from Ko'ragh. The only way to stay in raids was to purposefully heal badly, spamming ineffective heals, wasting CDs early to stay high on the meters. This is sabotaging the kill, as I have neither mana, nor CDs for late fight. But it's only a problem when there is a late fight. So I keep being useless but high on meters until I believe that next try will succeed.

Then I take a risk and start healing well. If I'm unlucky and someone else wipes the raid, I'm likely kicked for "being low". If not:

Talking about morons and slackers oblivious to game mechanics:
Yep, the little levelling alt of my girlfriend sneaked into a world boss raid, got to #23 out of 30 lvl 100 damage dealers, with higher performance than most lvl 100 players do in LFR. Hell, I kicked half dozen worse earlier today leading a normal raid. Due to diligently kicking useless ones, we oneshotted first 5, two-shotted Ko'ragh. Then the raid dissolved on Imperator because "leader iz low on hilz".

I hate the idiot who designed deep healing.

PS: This battle between SMA and MoA cheered me up.


maxim said...

Gratz on Ko'ragh :)

Imperator HC is actually harder than Mythic Kargath, especially given pug specifics. Now that you are capable of putting together a raid that can get Ko'ragh down, you might wanna look into getting that 685 loot pinata on farm.

The deep healing complaint seems weird to me. It seems like you want Blizzard design and balance a game around making it appear fair to LFR idiots. Since LFR is the main focus of your game, that's understandable, but there are people other than you out there.

This is more of an issue of HoT classes having a definite advantage in current healing design philosophy (and druids specifically being the best HoT class available). This is a remarkably hard nut to crack, though.

Also let me point out, that maybe that specific person that attacked you on the basis of healing meters simply wasn't up to progressing on Imperator with a pug and simply wanted a way out, while at the same time not losing social face.

"I don't want this raid to go on but i also don't want to be leaver, so let's attack leader until he disbands" kind of thing.

If i were you, i would just continue healing as is without making any special effort to impress swine like that. Any group that is dumb enough to kick you out on that basis is not worth participating in to begin with.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: "any group that is dumb enough" = "everyone who is not already on 6/7 mythic".

There are simply situations when it's easier to cheat than teaching the whole world.

Samus said...


What you describe has not been my experience at all. All of my raiding experiences as a Resto Druid have been as Gevlon describes, where everyone is either full (most of the time), or at half health and will be dead in under 4 seconds if not healed NOW. There is simply no room for a HoT spell that slowly ticks every 3 seconds in current raiding. I can throw it on someone at 75% health, only to have a Priest heal them to full half a second later, making it wasted mana.

What has Druids topping the charts in healing is two things.

First, Tranquility is CRAZY overpowered right now in current raid design. Most bosses have a mechanic that knocks most or all of the raid below half, one Druid pops Tranquility, and the entire raid is yet again topped off almost immediately. A single 8-second Tranquility can easily heal in the millions if timed well.

Second, Wild Mushroom automatically heals 3 wounded targets every 2 seconds. It auto-picks targets each time, so sticking one under the melee pack is the biggest source of healing during "full" times.

Look on any Druid's recount, those two abilities will always be in the top 3 of healing sources (despite not being considered "core" healing abilities).

Anonymous said...

A lvl 95 and a lvl 100 their stats - and thus damage - scales differently. I for one need more globals to kill a rare mob (150k hp) on my freshly dinged lvl 100 shaman than I need on my lvl 94 rogue. Even more so because a lvl 95 who has played the previous expansion is probably overgearing his actual level (i.e. having way more stat budget vs player lvl).

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

That's the problem with "classes."

They all have to be different in order to justify the design decision of having classes in the first place.

Eventually it becomes the circular failure pathway you see now. The devs spend all their time trying to come up with ways to make their class "unique" instead of working together on the game itself.

Does anyone really care if the class THEY play is "unique?" The class system does two things:

1) Reduces the pool of skills any single individual has available to them.

2) Inevitably produces skills that are uniquely effective, usually in unseen ways detected only after the fact, that only one "class" has access to.

Balkoth said...

"A lvl 95 and a lvl 100 their stats - and thus damage - scales differently."

Yeah, except they're attacking a level 103 target as a 95 which is a massive hit penalty.

Yes, bosses will always be at least 3 levels higher than you but they also have an actual level "minimum" so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to how Disc Priests used to be treated, because shielded damage didn't show up on "teh metrz"

Anonymous said...

@maxim - they could "fix" resto druids by applying the same "deep healing" mechanic to HoTs. Have 'em do less healing to relatively un-injured targets, and more healing to severely injured ones.

I really hate how Druids continue to be Blizzard's pet class

Tomasz Różański said...

There's a fix available for Recount that lets You see the proper damage meters for Ko'ragh:

maxim said...

Then cheat.
But if you choose to play against game design (including going after harder content outside of a real organized group) then don't complain that you can't advance without cheating.

6/7+ mythic groups do indeed seem to bench shamans in favour of priest/pallie/druids. However, why in the world are you comparing some chobo pug that can't even avoid traps to a 6/7+ mythic?

At this level, the problem is not your class, but rather incompetence of everyone else - which you can only mitigate by teaching. The ability to do which, incidentally, is one of advatages of organized raiding.

What you are describing is how it was back in Ulduar.
I am not a healer atm, but from my dps/tank role it really doesn't seem that way in WoD. There are literally no scenarios where i go from 100% to dead in less than ~20-30 seconds unless i really screw up somewhere. In many cases, just my personal healing keeps me up perfectly.

Looking at worldoflogs, Druids seem to be the best all-round healing class at the moment - there are consistently 2 druids in worldoflog's top-10 on every boss. I guess that's down to shrooms and tranquility :D

But druids are far from dominant in top-10 representation. Other classes get up to 5 spots in top 10 on a given fight, with Ko'ragh and Imperator being actually dominated by monks.

Anonymous said...

Blizzard is responsible for addon support. people see only the metric in recount. metrics don't reflect class specifics.
Ask any dodge DK in Cata. To bad reforge is gone.

My policy with DD randoms. "@DDs: I have seen things you people can't even imagine. Meaning, shut up about healing and tanking. If for some reason its our fault we will say so."
Well with your purely random raid maybe that's not possible. Just say that the class isn't well reflected in recount because of deep healing.

Gevlon said...

The problem is that often druids and holy priests make the whining. You know the kind who is OOM at 70%

Anonymous said...

The problem is that often druids and holy priests make the whining. You know the kind who is OOM at 70%

ohh ok. Well I roll with a premade heal tank group, we know each other, some DDs are fixed but we have on a regular basis random DDs .. and some whine a lot.
I guess that is the curse of an "all random raid".

Anonymous said...

Your post is wrong in multiple accounts, Gevlon.

1) The reason why physical damage dealers look better is because of damage meters not counting the absorbed damage on this specific fight. This isn't Blizzard's fault. Recent Skada updates have fixed this. WarcraftLogs had support for this since beta. For this fight on Mythic, you need to balance out magic damage and physical damage. You can't stack one or another. In LFR, none of this matters but neither does your HPS.

2) HPS has always been a poor measurement of healer performance if used solely and if not combined with log analysis. If you go into a PuG and use HPS to judge on how good healers are, it is you who is the M&S.

3) Resto shaman, I find them weak in Highmaul, they don't bring much (no sac, no BoP, no absorbs, no damage mitigation, no roar, no grip and well something like Windwalk one of our DPS shamans can do). It isn't very strong on Ko'ragh because of the absorb mechanics (both of them), bursty damage, lack of stack (at least in PuG). On Ko'ragh we don't use a resto shaman. On Imperator, our resto shaman works around it with talent choices, assignments, and by asking the other healers to conserve their mana instead of spam healing. If you use a proper tactic and get a bit of awareness, it is nearly impossible to pop a mine at least on HC. We haven't started the fight on Mythic yet but the videos I've seen involves quite some stacking and baiting. Not hard for organized groups.

4) As soon as you start outgearing content (every PuG does this) a decent or good Disc priest is going to snipe away a lot of the healing currently by spamming PWS and stacking multistrike. Indeed, something like a Tranq is going to snipe more than shaman. Which means you are overgearing or using too many healers! This is deja vu from 5.0 and ToT. In SoO, you had more smart heals which sniped right after the Disc priest. In Mythic raiding, I guarantee you that Disc priest isn't sniping everything until you outgear it. You're doing the wrong difficulty Gevlon.

5) When I dinged 100, I did less DPS than I did at level 90 because every time you ding you lose DPS (you gain perks every 2 levels tho), your cloak doesn't proc anymore which is massive, and the LMG doesn't proc anymore (which, btw, is completely OP for hunter). Proper log analysis would've shown you the cloak and LMG part, so again this one is on you.

6) Re: QQ about Tranq OP. You need to channel for Tranq or DH. You don't have to channel for PWB, HTT, SLT, Revival (which is a much better snipe, btw), etc. It is Aspect of the Fox which is OP. Blizzard developers have admitted this.

7) Re: "The problem is that often druids and holy priests make the whining. You know the kind who is OOM at 70%" Those are idiots. They need to stop spam healing. What happened to you man? I kicked people out of my raid team for standing in a mine twice on Imperator HC. After all the idiots were kicked we got a rank 5 world wide on execution because no idiot popped any mine, because there were no more idiots left. That, with preserving mana instead of snipe healing ("working as a team") grants you a kill whilst being undergeared.

8) Regarding healer mana (one of the culprits of spam and snipe healing), Candle is still overbudgeted. Here is a post from Hamlet regarding spirit in WoD

Regardless, welcome back to WoW.