As longtime players may recall, having enough mana regen to be effective once meant maintaining a careful balance of Spirit, MP5 (yes, even Druids once found this stat desirable), and/or spell crit (for our tin-plated brethren). Then along came Patch 2.4 with its complete revamp of the once easily understood mana regeneration formula. Intellect suddenly became a factor along with a coefficient that scaled inversely with level. They even threw a square root in there for good measure. With these changes, Intellect suddenly gained newfound import and many Druids and Priests found themselves with practically endless founts of mana once they reached at least middling TBC-level raid content.
With the release of Wrath, Blizzard attempted to de-trivialize mana regeneration by significantly decreasing the level-based coefficient from 0.009327 to 0.005575. Many players initially complained that they found mana regeneration a real struggle. Of course, this was before players had acquired much gear from Heroics or Naxxramas, and most quickly discovered that our mana regeneration was at least as manageable as it had been at the end of TBC. Exacerbating this issue, the Replenishment effect now provided by Shadow Priests, Retribution Paladins, and Survival Hunters made Intellect an incredibly desirable regeneration-based stat. As a result, many players can now significantly discount efficiency comparisions when deciding which spell to cast. Sound too good to be true? Blizzard thinks so, too:
We think mana regen is too trivial at the moment in PvE and just right or too difficult in PvP (depending on the class). Now part of that is because the content is easy. Part of it is because we’ve given players a lot of reasons to avoid having to worry about the FSR. Part of it is just generous talents (like Illumination). Part of it was the change to let Int scale regen to some degree. The whole package is something we’re looking at. Mana regen is supposed to be part of the game – you aren’t supposed to graduate out of it with enough gear.
We can probably assume that too-easy content won’t always be a factor, but what about the Five Second Rule? With the introduction of Lifebloom in TBC and its 1-2-3-4-5-6-CAST! mechanic, Restoration Druids didn’t really have the luxury of planning around the Five Second Rule. With the 3- and 1-second extensions provided by Nature’s Splendor and the optional [Glyph of Lifebloom] respectively, however, many Druids are once again able to steal a second or two of out-of-combat mana regeneration every now and again. Just look at how much you can do in one 10-second cycle and still get a “tick” of regeneration that’s outside the 5SR:
This is a lot more feasible (and a lot less tedious) than it would have been in TBC with 7-second Lifebloom and 2-4 tanks. While Priests have long been masters of taking advantage of the Five Second Rule, they aren’t limited as a Druid is by Lifebloom. The question is whether this type of micro-management would actually be enjoyable to the more time-constrained Druid. As Keeva highlights in her article Waxing Philosophic: Healer Squabbles, the amount of damage in an encounter is finite over time. This means that healers are essentially competing with one another to accomplish the same objective. Intentionally “opting out” of healing your raidmates for 5 out of every 10 seconds will do little to make you feel – or appear – useful.
Lhylee of Maelstrom (US) asks if it wouldn’t be simpler to scrap the whole idea of the Five Second Rule altogether and simplify the system across all healing classes:
Question: would not it be simpler for Devs, Class Designers and Boss Designers not to have to deal with the FSR, and rework the mana regen system and simplify it between healing classes? (I’ve never heard about a DPS class running oom anymore, as they did in Vanilla) Eventually change talents and values around it, and rework Spirit too to make it a more valuable stat for all classes? (why would warriors not put some Spirit to really boost their health regen?)
I find it interesting that Lhylee specifically says “healing classes” and not “mana-based classes.” The implication here is that mana regeneration being considered trivial is not necessarily an issue for DPS classes. The argument for this being the case generally centers around the idea that mana-based DPS needs to be able to compete with Energy-, Rage-, and Runic Power-based DPS, something that can’t happen if their DPS isn’t sustainable over long periods of time. Obviously, all healing classes are limited by mana.
Twiddling your thumbs waiting for your mana to regenerate while people fall around you (no doubt planning what bad words they’ll carve into your bark later) is frustrating. In TBC, healers could fall back upon Super Mana Potions, using them early and as often as possible to avoid falling into mana-starved, Lifebloom-maintenance-only mode. While I’m not saying I want to go back to chugging 3-4 mana potions per boss attempt, failing because I can’t sustain healing output isn’t fun. At the same time, it can be fun to plan your spell selection to avoid getting into a situation like the one described, and Druids have traditionally excelled in this area with our efficient heals over time.
On a separate thread entitled GC: Why should we be worried about mana?, Pointyend of Khaz Modan (US) asks about why mana management is considered so core to raid difficulty:
It’s challenging enough to be a healer just keeping people healed and watching all the GCDs.
I am sympathetic if you find healing too difficult. Many players do not and are clamoring for more of a challenge. There are many ways we challenge players in PvE, including complex encounters, short enrage timers and high damage. When mana management, or healing in general, are too easy then certain encounters become too easy. Furthermore, the game mechanics as designed don’t work — Spirit and mp5 become stats players aren’t interested in. Choosing efficiency vs. throughput is not a meaningful decision. Healers in general are marginalized because raids can get by with fewer of them.
We have structured the game in such a way that you can find a difficulty level you are comfortable with. Naxxramas is one of the easiest raids we have ever done. Malygos gets a little more difficult, and Sartharion with multiple drakes is fairly difficult. Going into the future we will keep adding even more challenging and hardcore encounters while still making sure players who just aren’t into that can still enter raids. The game has difficulty levels. If you are finding things so difficult that they aren’t fun then by definition you probably aren’t a cutting-edge raider. That’s cool. We want to make sure you still have plenty of interesting things you can do, even within a raiding environment.
Right now, it isn’t uncommon for a guild’s corps of 8-10 TBC healers to roll off for the 5-6 slots allotted to them in current content, and the problem only gets worse as a guild becomes more comfortable with the content in question. The seemingly obvious solution to this dilemma would be to increase the amount of damage done in a limited time frame so that you would need more healers to keep up with it. Huge, Hurtful Strike-esque hits to the tank run the risk of causing the raid to wipe to the RNG, leaving AoE splash damage the only alternative (that I can think of). However, Blizzard has stated they’re specifically trying to limit or reduce the amount of AoE healing necessary to avoid having to make all healers AoE-healing super stars (see also: Wild Growth, Circle of Healing, and [Glyph of Holy Light] nerfs).
While it’s not clear how to improve healer representation without nerfing mana regen, Replenishment seems to be an ability that may need to be nerfed because it scales so incredibly well. To quote Lhylee of Maelstrom (US) again:
Replenishment [returns] 0.25% of your max mana every second. So it is basically 1.25% of max mana as MP5 (easier to compare that way)
- Raid buffed, you can easily [reach] 22K mana in Naxx25
- 22,000 x 1.25 = 275 MP5 (315 MP5 at 25K mana) (scales)
- Improved BoW = 110 MP5 (fixed)
- Improved Mana Spring = 110 MP5 (group only) (fixed)
Replenishment is eclipsing other mana return effects so much so that boosting your mana pool through Intellect is frequently the preferred way to improve your mana regeneration. When asked about the strength of this ability, Ghostcrawler responded:
We consider Replenishment mandatory. What I mean by that is we assume that you have Replenishment available to your raid. It is technically possible to go without it, but you will need to overgear the instance or otherwise compensate for it in other ways.
That doesn’t mean we will or will not nerf Replenishment. But we don’t want it to feel optional (assuming you are in reasonably challenging content) and nerfing it too much might have that effect.
So it would appear that Replenishment is here to stay. That’s not a bad thing since it seems to be fulfilling its purpose of increasing the desirability of a couple of specs that sometimes had a hard time gaining legitimacy in TBC. Nonetheless, it needs its effectiveness toned down so that it stays in line with other similar effects.
And finally, I’d like to share this tidbit from the Why are priests considered a ‘hybrid’ class? thread:
I think you can make a good argument that the pendulum has swung back towards Spirit and away from MP5. I think long term the whole system is in need of an update or re-design, but this is not a 3.1 level task.
This is one of the reasons that I am not planning to revisit mana regeneration post-Wrath right now. I suspect/hope that the system that will replace our current one will:
- Make MP5 a more attractive stat to otherwise Spirit-based healers and/or make Spirit attractive to all mana users
- Make mana management an important part of healing to reward and encourage efficiency
- Simplify the mana regeneration formula so that gear comparisons are less tedious (and utilities like the 2.4 Mana Regen Calculator are unneeded)
- Co-incide with some or all of the healing overhaul
What are your opinions on the current state of mana regeneration? Do you think current content isn’t challenging because you have too much mana or that you have too much mana because the current content isn’t challenging?
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.