Bornakk today released information on the changes to mana regeneration in Patch 3.1:
As we have suggested, we have become concerned that mana regeneration is currently too powerful, especially for healers. We want players to have to keep an eye on mana. We don’t want you to go out of mana every fight, but running out of mana should be a very real risk for sloppy playing or attempting content that you aren’t yet ready for. When mana regeneration is trivial then certain parts of the game break down – classes that offer Replenishment are devalued, stats that offer mana regeneration are devalued, and spells that are efficient are neglected in preference to spells with high throughput.
Here are a list of changes you are likely to see in 3.1. They will be available to try out on the PTR. Mana regeneration is somewhat technical, so please bear with us.
- Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.
- To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
- The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
- Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
- In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
- We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
- We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.
- These changes are ultimately being done to bring the different healing classes more in line with each other as well as to give the encounter team more leeway when designing encounters, who can balance with these new mana regeneration numbers in mind. In a world with infinite healer mana, the only way to challenge healers is with increasingly insane amount of raid damage, so that global cooldowns become the limiting factor since mana fails to be. An example is the Eredar Twins in late Sunwell. We weren’t necessarily happy with that model, and this change hopefully allows us to move towards giving healing a more deliberate and thoughtful pace rather than frenetic spam.
These are some pretty extreme changes. My initial impressions:
- The mention of heals over time and clearcasting procs (Omen of Clarity) in the first point makes me feel like this nerf is being directly targeted at Druids, though it will likely impact our Spiritual Sisters, the Priest, as well. Despite the Paladin nerfs, it may end up as a relative buff to Paladins (and possibly Shamans) who don’t rely upon Spirit.
- So much for learning to dance the 5SR dance. An across the board nerf to mana regeneration outside the Five Second Rule makes trying to time your heals and rotations less valuable.
- Intensity and Intensity-like effects are being buffed, but only to keep regeneration inside the Five Second Rule relatively equal to the current value. At the same time, mana regeneration across the board is being reduced. As a Druid, the value of Spirit was based largely upon its effect on Innervate. This represents a substantial nerf to Spirit and a corresponding buff to the value of Intellect since Replenishment is not being changed (to avoid devaluing the classes that provide it).
- Expect to see more Balance Druids pursuing 3/3 Intensity to make up for the nerf to mana regen within the 5SR.
- As Innervate multiplies out of combat regeneration, this may represent a substantial nerf. If they successfully handicap mana regeneration, we may see a lot more Druids using the [Glyph of Innervate] for the boost when used on themselves moreso than the benefit granted when conveyed to another. I hope that Innervate not being listed among the talents and abilities being boosted is simply an oversight.
- /mourn [Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon] (Okay, okay. I know it’s two expansions old. But we had such good times together! /sniff)
- The nerf to clearcasting effects means Omen of Clarity will no longer help you get outside the 5SR, though the benefits for doing so are going to so greatly de-emphasized that I don’t really see why such a change is needed.
- This probably hurts Druids more than other healers because our go-to heal, Regrowth, is so much more mana intensive than that of other classes. Expect to take HPM (and therefore Nourish) into consideration in the future.
- The reduction in value of Spirit will cause Restoration Druids to purposefully seek out more cloth armor, possibly those items whose regeneration comes in the form of MP5. Here is the current breakdown of 0-Resilience, 0-hit rating epics with spell power:
- 12 leather epics without Spirit
- 45 leather epics with Spirit
- 27 cloth epics without Spirit
- 66 cloth epics with Spirit
I’m sure non-Spirit cloth casters won’t be big fans of this aspect of the change.
Overall, these changes are terrible for Druids. Both Spirit and Innervate are taking a big hit in usefulness, Omen of Clarity is being nerfed for mana users, a popular (if outdated) trinket is being made obsolete, and no other stat is being made more attractive to us to compensate (hello, crit and haste, I still hate you).
Additional Restoration Changes in 3.1
You can view the full list of Druid (and lesser classes) changes here, but here are the ones that will affect Restoration:
- Thorns and Nature’s Grasp can be cast in Tree of Life form.
- Replenish – to avoid confusion, this talent has been renamed “Revitalize.” It now also works with Wild Growth.
For some reason, I thought we could already cast Nature’s Grasp in Tree of Life. That’s a nice buff for handling accidental PvE aggro (but too long of a cooldown to be much of an improvement in PvP). Huzzah for finally being able to cast Thorns in Tree of Life. And here I was expecting to have to wait until the Emerald Dream expansion! I hate the name “Revitalize,” but I’m thrilled to see it added to the splash HoT of Wild Growth. This change, combined with the overall nerf to mana regeneration should make it a more attractive 3-point investment.
Want impressions from other Druids in the blogosphere? Check these out:
- Kalon from ThinkTank
- Karthis from Of Teeth and Claws
- Keeva from Tree Bark Jacket
- Sydera from World of Matticus
P.S. Given the above, who thinks I need to rename Phaelia to something beginning with a “K”? Khaelia? Ew.