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[Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Ret, Holy, PVP, etc

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[Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby sherck » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:38 am

A few random thoughts about some of the announced changes coming with the next XPAC:

# 1: I think I see where the Spell Power change is coming from. Right now, if you are a caster spec (Casters = Mages, Priests, Warlocks, Balance/Resto Druids, Elemental/Resto Shamans, Holy Paladins), it is on every item you equip. There are no other choices, it is not like there are end game items that are intended for caster specs that do not have Spell Power on them (exception = trinkets). You cannot choose to equip a piece of equipment that has + 100 Intellect higher than "normal" for it's Item Level versus equipping a piece with Spell Power because the + 100 Intellect item does not exist. Everything has Spell Power on it. There are no alternatives.

So, if everything has Spell Power, what is the point? If you are a Naxx equipped toon, Blizzard can probably predict to within 100 or so how much Spell Power you have. Same with Ulduar equipped, same with those who will be Tier 9 fully equipped heading into the new XPAC. There are no choices to do other than equip Spell Power.

So if that is the case, then go ahead and erase it as a "worthless" stat and balance the spells/games around it. They are not saying they are getting rid of Spell Power; they are just going to get rid of it directly on equipment and let your talents / buffs / professions modify how much Spell Power you have.

I think it is an interesting solution. Primary caster stats are now Intellect and Spirit (more on that below ) and then secondary are Crit, Haste and Hit. That is pretty steamlined and will definantly simplify the drops for casters.

# 2: They did not come out and say it, but it appears that Spirit will become the "healer" stat and not a DPS stat. The healers appear to be heading towards a world with their in-combat mana regen is all Spirit based and all caster DPS mana regen will be via proc (which may or may not effect the healers). Again, an interesting concept and one that "might" allow them to balance mana regeneration better between PvP and PvE as well as healer mana versus DPS mana.

So, this will appear to structure the following stats for casters:

Intellect = Primary Stat useful for all casters
Crit and Haste = Secondary stats useful for all casters
Spirit = Healers while Hit = DPS

Healer Gear = Stamina, Intellect, Spirit and either Crit or Haste (or both)
DPS Gear = Stamina, Intellect, Hit and either Crit or Haste (or both)

I expect that Hit will be changed so that there is no more "Hit Cap" (just like no more Defense Cap) and that the more you get, the better it benefits you (along with the joys of Diminishing Returns)

I don't know how much I like this change if it pans out. I like getting "upgrades" and then having to fit them together to make a certain spec work better than others. I like looking forward and realizing that different stats are better for my Holy Spec Priest healing over my Disc Spec Priest Healing. But, I am sure that I am in the minority of WoW players in looking at stuff like that.

#3: Blizzard appears has zero intention of making Holy Paladins different that the other healers. No in-combat medic. No front-line healer that demands the wearing of Plate and a Shield to survive. Instead, we will get more of what we have now which is "get in the back and wave your arms in the air every now and then to heal me. Oh, by the way, it is okay to wear a dress while doing it..."

If Spirit becomes useful to a Holy Paladin (and it will with the XPAC), they have just lost any unique feel when compared to the other healers. Cloth will probably become an "optimized" gear choice for Holy Paladins since it will be readily available (i.e. higher drop rates when compared to Holy Plate) and they will become completely detached from their Protection and Retribution brothers. I wish Blizzard desired to make Holy Paladins a unique healing experience, a front-line healing Cleric, but they appear to not be heading in that direction.

All I got for now. I like the concept of heading back to the Old World for the XPAC. I don't know if I like the massive changes to many of familiar zones I know and love now. Adding new zones to the Old World Continents? Kool. Destroying Lakeshire? Not kool; I like that town just how it is now. I can remember the "epic" journey I took there with my first toon from Westfall as part of the VC quest chain like it was yesterday. Good times.

Cheers,
sherck
 
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby andx » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:53 am

i Agree on the making pallys a unique healing feel, They are kinda... meh right now. I mean they can single target heal really well but its not really like as active as i'd like it to be. I would like to see pallies get a cast on the move skill and have to do some melee range skills to heal people. i think that would be more unique/fun
Maybe I just have a disease or an addiction to tanking, my gf says I'm a masochist I say I like it rough, either way I'm a tank and I can't escape it.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Earantur » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:11 pm

sherck wrote: Instead, we will get more of what we have now which is "get in the back and wave your arms in the air every now and then to heal me. Oh, by the way, it is okay to wear a dress while doing it..."

If Spirit becomes useful to a Holy Paladin (and it will with the XPAC), they have just lost any unique feel when compared to the other healers. Cloth will probably become an "optimized" gear choice for Holy Paladins since it will be readily available (i.e. higher drop rates when compared to Holy Plate) and they will become completely detached from their Protection and Retribution brothers. I wish Blizzard desired to make Holy Paladins a unique healing experience, a front-line healing Cleric, but they appear to not be heading in that direction.

If your Holy Paladins are standing at the back they're doing it wrong.

Also, iirc GC said on the class panel they were thinking about somehow making Plate more desireable for pallys.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby sherck » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:27 pm

Earantur wrote: If your Holy Paladins are standing at the back they're doing it wrong.


Agreed...but the only reason to be up close is for mana regen.....the only reason. I want more reason than just Seal of Wisdom / Judgement of Wisdom debuff to be in melee range.

Cheers,
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Earantur » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:31 pm

sherck wrote:
Earantur wrote: If your Holy Paladins are standing at the back they're doing it wrong.


Agreed...but the only reason to be up close is for mana regen.....the only reason. I want more reason than just Seal of Wisdom / Judgement of Wisdom debuff to be in melee range.

Cheers,

Definitely agreed on that one. I want Holy Paladins to be more like the DnD cleric class (though of course making us CoDzilla would implode the forums with whining).
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby dougmcdonald » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:12 am

Some interesting comments on caster stat priority.

From a balance druid pov the priority would be more hit > sp > haste > crit (amend last too depending on balance of other/personal preference)

From what I understand hit is a priority on all DPS caster classes as capping it gives more dps than increasing sp. It's an interesting comment that they will remove the cap, since the only recently implemented a 100% chance to hit, I personally think this unlikely.

Interesting comments re: spirit as well, in that I think a few classes now have ways to turn spirit into sp and also to utilise it effectively for mana regen which does make it appealing to dps, but you're right in that it's often seen more as a healer stat as it's not all that common to see a ton of spirit and also hit, on an item.

I do think many of your comments are valid, but I think some of the critisism levelled at caster specs may also be true of any spec. Things like referring to being Naxx/Uld geared and predicting how much SP you will have....well, yes....but how is that any different from say the tanking community expecting X hp or Y avoidance at a certain progression point?

Gearing for casters is similar to tank gearing really, the goal is to maximise your DPS and whether you choose to stack sp in all slots, or focus on crits and lower sp, or balance things etc, it's no different from as a tank maximising survival time whether you choose to stam stack, avoidance or balance the two, it's the same type of decision to make.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Candiru » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:55 am

I think they just want to get back to the "white" primary stats. Melee don't need no stinking green stats, you can get everything you need from Str and Agi. Casters are the only ones who's primary increase in damage stat is a special "green" stat.

Stam: More health
Str: More AP / BV
Agi: More crit / AP / dodge / armour
Int: More maximum mana / Spellpower / crit
Spi: More mana regen

Mastery will be a new stat which simply makes you better at what you do, which will be a boon to disc/holy gearing, or rogue/warlock/hunter/mage gearing, since it will be equally useful for all specs. Not sure how mastery will work for cat/bear forms, I imagine it will have different effects in different forms.

They could always try to make int/spi useful for melee and str/agi useful to casters. At the moment agi and str do different things for different classes.

Now that hunters will use focus will DPS mail use int still? Maybe enchantment shammies will have to forge any int they want on gear, or become like ret and cope without int.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Jasari » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:27 am

They've said that enh shaman and ret paladins will have talents that make haste increase their regen the way it increases energy/focus regen.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Earantur » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:25 pm

dougmcdonald wrote:Interesting comments re: spirit as well, in that I think a few classes now have ways to turn spirit into sp and also to utilise it effectively for mana regen which does make it appealing to dps,

Except that GC said come 4.0 spirit will be purely a healer stat and not used for mages / warlocks / etc
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby sherck » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:56 am

Earantur wrote:
dougmcdonald wrote:Interesting comments re: spirit as well, in that I think a few classes now have ways to turn spirit into sp and also to utilise it effectively for mana regen which does make it appealing to dps,

Except that GC said come 4.0 spirit will be purely a healer stat and not used for mages / warlocks / etc


Yeah, I think it was all that Spirit was for healers whom could sometimes take short breaks in healing in order to get outside the 5SR (or have the talents to continue regen while casting) and that DPS mana returns would be through procs or active abilities.

I don't know how much I love the idea of both Shaman and Paladin healers now becoming dependant on Spirit as their primary mana regen stat...it is just so different that what has gone on previously.

Oh well, the game keeps changing, I just keep playing.

Cheers,
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Earantur » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:59 am

sherck wrote:Yeah, I think it was all that Spirit was for healers whom could sometimes take short breaks in healing in order to get outside the 5SR (or have the talents to continue regen while casting) and that DPS mana returns would be through procs or active abilities.

I suppose in a way paladins already have a form of 5SR in the form of SoW procs - any time you're not healing you're probably swinging.

Unfortunately my knowledge of shamans is rather limited. Do they have any 'break in the fight' regen mechanics currently?

Also, I suppose the changes re: int and SP will help caster dps mana issues as well.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Kiorken » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:32 am

The only thing that keeps me from ripping out my hair about Holy healing is Healbot. Seriously. If all possible, and I know the boss/mob/trash doesnt dish out rediculous melee range AOE, I am up on the boss with the dps and tank.

This sounds foolish I know, but the extra 600 dps is something, plus you keep your mana up unbeleivably easy with Seal of Wisdom.
Healbot makes it so I can target the boss, and keep on him with SoR, Holy Shock when not needed, Consecration, and white hits, all while clicking various buttons on the Healbot interface, so I can keep up on the enemy.

This method, you get unbeleivable mana regeneration.

Other than that, dear Lord, make is so I can have 2 seals up, something like a deep holy talent, maybe so I can but on SoV or something with SoW, and just go along, doing what I do.

And about optimizing with cloth, that sounds like a dismal possibility I have always dreaded.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby sherck » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:03 am

Kiorken wrote:And about optimizing with cloth, that sounds like a dismal possibility I have always dreaded.


I mean, look at the numbers. 8 plate wearing specs all want the same basic kind of gear (Str / Stam. Yes, I know there are different flavors of secondary stats like Hit, Defense, Avoidance, ArPen, etc) while only 1 Spec wants the caster stuff.

Same with mail...4 specs want the same stuff (Agi / Stam perhaps Int) = 3 Hunter, 1 Shaman) while only 2 specs wanted caster Mail.

Hmmm...same with leather...5 specs want the same stuff (Agi / Stam counting Feral Cat and Feral Bear as 2 different specs even though they are the same tree) while only 2 specs wanted caster Leather.

All told, Blizzard is doing a pretty good job of getting 17 Plate/Mail/Leather specs all on the same general stats page while only having 5 caster specs in those armor types being different. The issue being that those 5 specs are spread across THREE armor types. When a piece of caster Leather/Mail/Plate drops in anything except a 25-man run, there are good chances that it will end up being DE due to it being usable by no one.

And that is something that Blizzard wants to avoid.

So, for Holy Paladins, I predict one of two things coming down the pike:

1. We end up deriving our SP/mana off of either Str or Stam and we start using "regular" plate.
2. We end up being forced to use a lesser armor type and then get some armor multiplier like Trees do now to compensate.

Good times..............errr, not. Dang it Blizzard, make us a fricking combat medic that NEEDS to be in the front lines to justify our Plate and Shield use!!!

Cheers,
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby Jasari » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:51 am

sherck wrote:<snip>

I tried to find a blue post talking about this, but could only find the youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV_ai2_ayu8

at 6:26ish someone asks a question about getting rid of healing plate and the answer is basically that it's here to stay for now. They don't think it makes sense to have melee DPS stats somehow make you heal "really good". So even though they'd like to find a solution they don't see one in the near future.
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Re: [Caster Specs] and other Healer thoughts...

Postby sherck » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:24 am

Jasari wrote:
sherck wrote:<snip>

I tried to find a blue post talking about this, but could only find the youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV_ai2_ayu8

at 6:26ish someone asks a question about getting rid of healing plate and the answer is basically that it's here to stay for now. They don't think it makes sense to have melee DPS stats somehow make you heal "really good". So even though they'd like to find a solution they don't see one in the near future.


And I appreciate that. I don't want Holy Paladins to derive their "uber" healing stats from Str or Stam....it would not feel right.

But, I cannot believe that they will continue long term with dropping gear that only ONE spec can use. They either have to drop it in sufficient quantity that so that they make sure the spec is geared up and every other spec in the game screams about "spell power plate" or they drop it at a more "normal" rate and Holy Paladins gear up slowly when compated to others.

In Naxx and Ulduar, they dropped it much more often than it could be expected. I cannot imagine they are happy to continue that.

Anyway, will be interested.

Cheers,
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