Blue, Spells and Talents
Circle of Healing and Wild Growth are definitely on our radar. This would be a good time to discuss them.
Our concern is that they are turning two classes with a large arsenal of healing spells into single-button healers. Meanwhile, ironically, the other two healing classes have fewer heals to use in the first place.
We have seen raid parses where 75 to 90% of a priest’s healing is through CoH. It’s a good spell, useful in a variety of situations. But I think you can understand our concern.
A Priest said to us the other day "Please nerf Circle of Healing so I can push another button!" He’s even thinking of going Disc.
This statement comes quickly on the heels of a statement Ghostcrawler made the day before that:
We decided rather than try to make CH a bad spell, we’d just leave in those new talents to get you to cast other spells once in awhile. The difference is we think you’ll still cast CH 90% of the time or whatever, but maybe that remaining 10% will require you to think a little differently about what to cast (and at least it’s not 100%).
I’m at a loss as to why it’s considered acceptable for one healer to be based 90% around a spell that requires an extraordinarily low amount of cognitive awareness but Druids were considered to be too dependent first upon Lifebloom (subsequently beaten soundly with the nerf bat), then potentially Regrowth (/mourn [Glyph of Regrowth]), and now upon Wild Growth. Blizzard clearly wants to encourage a diversity of spell selection among Priests and Druids and will nerf our various spells until they’re all equally handicapped!
The development team is apparently contemplating limiting the spell’s use by applying a 6-second cooldown:
Based on feedback from this forum, elsewhere and our own brainstorming, what we are thinking about right now is something like a 6 sec cooldown for Circle of Healing and Wild Growth.
We’re less concerned about Chain Heal, in part because it’s not instant, prevents movement, falls off with multiple targets, and is the spell that shamans are supposed to be hitting, while priests and druids have many other spells.
(In contrast to Lifebloom which must be consciously targeted, heals one person at a time, carries a heavy penalty if allowed to lapse, and must be maintained even if the target is at full health, leading to a large amount of overheal. Clearly, this spell needed to be nerfed!)
At 6 seconds, you would still want to use CoH/WG in the right situations (though hopefully not *every* time they are up), but you’d also want to use other spells during the cooldown. To be fair, a lot of priests and druids are asking to push other buttons.
This sounds like a potentially scary change because it has a lot of ramifications — one of the reasons we are mentioning it so early is to get feedback. We don’t want Resto shammies to push other healers out of raids. We would change some of the encounters knowing that CoH spam was no longer possible.
Druids asking to “push more buttons” have termites for brains. Asking to push more buttons is what got Lifebloom nerfed to begin with, and while I concede that maintaining a Lifebloom rotation on 3 or more targets was not my personal definition of fun, I have long advocated for focusing on mana regeneration so that Regrowth could be used more liberally. Not only was this more effective, but it was less tedious and, therefore, more fun.
Ghostcrawler goes on to discuss a few other nerfs that were considered:
We don’t like the stacking mana cost solution in this case, though we did talk about it a lot. We suspect that would actually lead us to the land of priests saying their mana regen sucks because they have to spam CoH to be competitive, and I’m not sure we can count on all you guys to be around to explain the logic when that happens.
We don’t want to just nerf the healing throughput on the spell because then it won’t be able to do its job. CoH was in this state before when Holy just ignored it.
A cast time might work, but the instant nature of both spells is part of what makes them so useful in emergencies.
We’re not crazy about reverting the smart heal aspect, though that is still on the table. Having too many spells that favor party over raid forces you back to having to worry a lot about your raid composition. "Oh, sorry hunter, we can’t bring you because we need another melee for our melee group or else CoH won’t reach you." PoH isn’t as big an issue, because honestly it’s just not such a big contribution to total healing. Though we could consider pushing it raid wide.
Cooldowns are a reality of a lot of damage rotations and they generally work as long as the system isn’t too complicated. You typically have the spell you really want to use in a given situation and then the others you fall back on when the favored spell is on cooldown.
I’m glad they eschewed these potential nerfs in favor of a cooldown. The idea of adding a cooldown or cast time to Wild Growth is amusing in the context of the recent change to Gift of the Earthmother so that it affects Wild Growth, allowing the spell to be “cast on more people faster.” I wonder if they will revert this change. (P.S. The cooldown on WG would make GotEM even less useful. Elune is apparently a person who takes her gifts back.)
Though to be honest, because of the nature of Wild Growth (an AoE HoT that tapers off over seven seconds), this nerf will affect us less than the same change to Circle of Healing, because while we could spam Wild Growth for the initially stronger ticks, it was considerably less efficient since it would frequently target the same people, overwriting the spell and invalidating the later ticks. This isn’t to say that I’m happy about the change, especially given the recent trend of nerfing every spell in our retinue to make them all similarly weak, but I’m less upset than I would be if I were a Priest.
- Lume the Mad: Now is not the time to evaluate CoH and WG
Includes an encounter-by-encounter look at which spell(s) excel. Especially helpful for people who haven’t seen the dynamics of Black Temple or Sunwell Plateau (myself included).
- Tree Bark Jacket: AoE Heals under Fire
Kheeva warns against CoH and WG to Chain Heal based on currently skewed Sunwell Plateau parses.
- The Nyxes: Druids’ Moment in the Sun
Nyxilyn laments the fun that she feels will be lost if a 6-second cooldown is applied to Wild Growth.