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Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

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Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby sherck » Thu May 13, 2010 7:22 am

Here are the Mastery skills for the five healing specs:

Druid:
#1: + Healing
#2: Meditation
#3: HoT Scale Healing (HoTs heal for more the more wounded the target is)

Paladin:
#1: + Healing
#2: Meditation
#3: Larger Critical Heals

Priest:
#1: + Healing
#2: Meditation
#3: Make shield better (Disc) or add HoT to all Direct heals (Holy)

Shaman:
#1: + Healing
#2: Meditation
#3: Direct Heal Scale Healing (Direct heals heal for more the more wounded the target is)

I guess the thing that gets me is that the third Mastery skill (the one effected by Mastery on gear and the Mastery bonus for wearing the “correct” armor type) is a “sure thing” for the other healing specs but not for Paladins.

For all four of the other healing specs, their third Mastery is a 100% “uptime” effect. They cast the right kind of spell (HoT, Shield, Direct heal), the Mastery will work on that spell.

But for Paladins, if my Crit rate is not high enough, then I run the risk of casting many healing spells “of the right type” and never getting a benefit off of my Mastery stats.

Sure, can I build cases where the other specs don’t get benefit from Mastery like the Holy Priest who only casts Renew & PW:S or the Druid who only casts Healing Touch & Nourish or the Disc Priest who never shields anyone? Sure I can but none of those scenarios are realistic.

But for a Paladin, it feels like Blizzard is going to force us to take Crit on our gear in order to make sure we get proper “benefit” from our third Mastery skill and I guess I don’t know if I like that. Crit is NOT a good method of building your healing strategy around.

As a side topic, for Paladin gear, I assume that Stamina, Intellect and Spirit will be on all of our gear (with Spirit perhaps being an “optional” stat on some of our gear choices if our mana regen is at a good level).

So in addition, as “flavor” stats, that leaves only three other stats that appear to be of use to us: Critical Strike, Haste and Mastery (which only reinforces Critical Strike and is vaguely useless without it).

If the health pools expand as predicted and Blizzard makes true their desire to make healing more “reactive” and less dependent on getting the heal on the toon “THIS” GCD or else he dies, then I am not sure how strong Haste is going to end up being in Cata.

I mean, I am sure it will have benefit as you can “service more targets" in the same amount of time with haste, but if the pace of healing slows down to where you are not spamming a heal every GCD and that you have the time to pause, assess and then deliver your heal as needed, then making that heal significantly faster may not make a ton of sense. The tank is not going to die within the 1 second difference between a super-Hasted big heal and a non-Hasted big heal. Now, if the casting time difference between super-Hasted or non-Hasted were 2 ½ or 3 seconds, then we would have issues. But right now, all of the “big” heals have base cast time of between 2.5 – 3.5 seconds with all classes having the ability to shorten that cast time though talents by 0.5 seconds. Haste is never going to shorten that time by more then 50% of it’s cast time so even in the (CURRENT) worse cast scenario, you are talking about a 1 to 1.5 sec difference from a 3.0 sec non-Hasted Healing Touch to heavily-Hasted 1.5 sec Healing Touch. Not a huge difference if both those spells are going to fill up 1/3 of the MT health (as has been alluded to by Ghostcrawler that to fill a tank from death will take three “big” heals or two crig “big” heals).

Now, if Blizzard changes the current cast times and makes the “big” heals be 4.5 or 5 second cast times while the “normal” heal times are 2.5 to 3.0 sec and the “fast” heals are 1.5 seconds, then the value of Haste becomes much more apparent.

But I think that in a world where toons are not dying within only a few GCD, then healing can take longer to reach them and get them healed back up and Haste becomes of less value than it is in today’s preemptive spam-fest that is healing now.

So, Paladin gear choices could come down to being heavily focused towards Critical Strike (to enable the Mastery) and Mastery (to take advantage of the heavy focus on Crit) and I just don’t know if that is a good way to build a healing strategy. Do we really want to become known as the “Crit” healers?

Flame away.

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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Jasari » Thu May 13, 2010 7:40 am

Paladins have always been the "crit healers" to a certain extent. The real change is that now crit will supposedly be beneficial for more than just overhealing. Are you saying you'd rather be the "haste healer" or "int healer"?

There's nothing wrong with classes favoring certain stats over others, it's part of what makes the game interesting. If every stat was of the same value to you, you could just randomly gem and enchant you stuff and there'd be no thought involved.
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Ashmadai » Thu May 13, 2010 9:44 am

To be honest, I'd rather have my mastery as a healer be making my crits bigger than have the resto druid or Shaman mastery. Theirs are okay, but other people will snipe heals and get targets out of the 'low range' and then their mastery will feel worthless too. I think the two priest masteries are the only really well designed healer masteries of the current design, but it's all so subject to change anyway. Depending on how true the 'triage' healing style is, and how high Holy Paladin crit rates will be, the bigger crits mastery could be a massive boost to throughput. Sure, you might not crit a few casts in a row, but as a holy paladin you're certainly not going to go a long stretch without critting.

I think the bigger concern should be the mastery might be worthless if they don't hold true to the triage healing style, and crits end up just being a lot of overheal like they are now.
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Koatanga » Thu May 13, 2010 4:05 pm

On the surface, I like the Shaman's better. However if one of the parameters is that all healing classes must have some uniqueness to their mastery, then it makes more sense for Shaman to have the scaling heal, since their Chain Heal goes to the people who need healing most.

Crit is already an extremely important stat for Paladin heals due to the mana return. Making crits even better seems like a good thing. What I am concerned with is that a lot of the benefit will go to overhealing.

What I would like to see would be a mechanic by which a portion of our overhealing goes to strengthening any Sacred Shield on the healed target. It would have to be sufficiently impacted to make it impractical to spam-overheal the tank in order to make his bubble massive, but perhaps something like 10% of overhealing is used to strengthen the shield, up to a maximum of 200% shield absorption.

That would be awesome for the 5-man pally during movement encounters. Currently our choice is to stand in the fire healing, or let the tank die. If we could provide more of a buffer it would allow us to move a bit between heals without having the tank circle the drain.

I don't see it particularly game-changing for raids, but that is intentional. We're great raid healers; we just have issues in 5-mans when the healer and tank don't outgear the content, such a will be the case when we're all fresh 85s.

It would also give a nod to Paladins being the kings of overhealing, which we pretty much are due to all that crit.
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby sherck » Thu May 13, 2010 5:47 pm

Ashmadai wrote:...but other people will snipe heals and get targets out of the 'low range' and then their mastery will feel worthless too.


The interesting part of this is that if Blizz holds true to their desires to have healers have to watch their mana, then the return of "assigned" healing may return.

I can remember my first Kara run where the guild I was with was months behind progression but were all brand new to raiding. There, I was yelled at if I used mana to heal people who were not my "assignment" because we would be out of mana if that happened by the end of the encounter. I can remember what a pain in the a$$ the 2nd boss (rogue) boss was because it was such a long fight.

In WoTLK, heals are sniped all the time because there is the slack to do so. In Cata, Blizzard has stated that healer mana must be used effectively so that may mean that if you are healing the OT, then you will get to let them "dip" low in order to use the "big" heal and get the benefit of the masteries.

Koatanga wrote:Crit is already an extremely important stat for Paladin heals due to the mana return. Making crits even better seems like a good thing. What I am concerned with is that a lot of the benefit will go to overhealing.


You are making the assumption that Illumination is going to survive in Cata and I am not convinced of that. They removed Divine Spirit and Kings/Gift for effecting Spirit because Blizzard wants to know at what rate a healer will regen their mana. They will probably assume things like Shadowfiend and Innervate and Divine Plea will be used on CD and will scale their Meditation mastery around those assumptions to ensure that mana return rates are to their liking.

Illumination is a tough talent to scale around because it is RNG...I can crit 5 heals in a row and get a ton of mana back or I can miss 5 crits in a row and get nothing. I feel like Blizzard has all but said that they are not interested in doing mana returns in this manner.

I am not convinced that Illumination will survive into Cata so the argument that Paladins benefit from Crit may not be a very strong one.

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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Levantine » Thu May 13, 2010 5:49 pm

Bitch bitch bitch bitch.

You're placing the mastery bonuses in today's healing situation and at the same time complaining that Illumination is going ta-ta which is the incorrect way to look at it and quite possibly the dumbest thing I've seen today. In the current healing metagame you can bring players from nearly dead to 100% in the space of a global cooldown or two regardless of any critical hits on your spells, this isn't going to be the case in Cataclysm according to blizzard. In a situation where players aren't being kept at either 100% or they die, an increased critial effect on healing has the potential to be very powerful.

The Paladin bonus is probably my favourite of the healing masteries tbh (Holy Priests being a close second, but I will always have a soft spot for Holy Priests). :/
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby sherck » Fri May 14, 2010 9:00 am

Levantine wrote: You're placing the mastery bonuses in today's healing situation


Really? So you did not see my respose to "sniped" heals and how I believe in Cata that may be less of a case because healers will not have the mana available to just heal "whoever." They may need to stay on their assignments. That is NOT the case in WoTLK.

This conservation effects ALL of the other four specs Mastery bonuses because they all "add" some extra healing (at low health level, added HoT, added Shield stength) and will take place EVERY time they cast an appropriate heal. This is in context of when toons are not at 100% health all the time and mana is "scarce" in WoTLK terms and healers need to stay on assignment.

Levantine wrote:and at the same time complaining that Illumination is going ta-ta which is the incorrect way to look at it and quite possibly the dumbest thing I've seen today.


Not compaining, responded to a statement that said "crit is good for Holy Paladins" in that Illumination does not appear to fit into the mana regen model that Blizzard has stated they want to see in Cata. IDK how I get my mana back (via Spirit or Illumination or a fricking Mana Fairy visiting me with glowing blue wings) but I think Blizzard wants to "standarize" healer mana so they can control how healers approach encounters and Illumination does not appear to support that.

Levantine wrote: In the current healing metagame you can bring players from nearly dead to 100% in the space of a global cooldown or two regardless of any critical hits on your spells, this isn't going to be the case in Cataclysm according to blizzard. In a situation where players aren't being kept at either 100% or they die, an increased critial effect on healing has the potential to be very powerful.


Never said it was not powerful. DID say that it was RNG based (where the other specs are not) and that it appeared that Blizzard was "forcing" us to gear a certain way to make the RNG more forgiving. No other healing spec has this restriction.

I think the Mastery will be very powerful....when it activates. My main point was that the other healing specs third Mastery is "always on" and our Mastery will require us to gear a certain way to make it as close to "always on" as we can make it. And I think that approach sucks.

Levantine wrote:The Paladin bonus is probably my favourite of the healing masteries tbh (Holy Priests being a close second, but I will always have a soft spot for Holy Priests). : /


Glad to hear it. I like the Holy Priest bonus the most as well followed by Disc Priest and Shaman/Druid with Pally on the bottom. None of theirs are RNG, our is. That was my point.

Levantine wrote:Bitch bitch bitch bitch.


You have decided it was Bitching...I have decided that it was a pretty rational viewpoint and wanted some comments on it. Thank you for your comment.

Cheers,
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Mozen » Thu May 20, 2010 12:31 am

The thing that strikes me is that holy paladins will have very little gear choice in Cataclysm. We will be "encouraged" to wear armor of the right type, and that means intellect plate, which is unique to holy paladins, and that in turn means there will be less variation compared to intellect mail/leather/cloth.

The result, is that Blizzard will have to design each tier of intellect plate according to how they want to balance us. They're moving away from "unintuitive gearing", so we shouldn't have to worry about mixing in non-plate to up our crit or spirit. With that in mind, I'm of the opinion that we'll actually be the most advantaged healing class in terms of gear selection---just throw on whatever highest iLv healing plate there is and we'll be fine.

The one thing I would hate to see is if Divine Plea keeps its healing penalty. Druids suffer no drawback using Innervate, neither do priests using Shadowfiend. Why should we? Because DP is too powerful? Then tune it properly.

I look at all these third masteries as efficiency bonuses. The only disadvantage we have is not whether it's up 100%, but whether we get the benefit when we need it most. All other healers get the most benefit from their third mastery when they need it most (targets are low), while we can never rely on our third mastery coming to effect in the same way.

We can only hope that it isn't too powerful in the beta version, and we end up getting nerfed to oblivion even as a tank healer when Cataclysm goes live.
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby hoho » Thu May 20, 2010 12:39 am

Mozen wrote:The thing that strikes me is that holy paladins will have very little gear choice in Cataclysm. We will be "encouraged" to wear armor of the right type, and that means intellect plate, which is unique to holy paladins, and that in turn means there will be less variation compared to intellect mail/leather/cloth.
Healing priest are the only ones using spirit cloth, though if they have enough regen (can they ever in cata?) then they can equip some non-hit DPS stuff aswell.
Mozen wrote:Druids suffer no drawback using Innervate, neither do priests using Shadowfiend. Why should we? Because DP is too powerful? Then tune it properly.
To make it comparable to shadowfiend it's cooldown should be increased to 5 mins and have it regen ~2x more mana. Would you like that more than current version?
Though class mechanics are different so it's not just as simple as to make different regen mechanics generate exactly the same amount of mana with same cooldown.
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Re: Cata Healers and the third Mastery skill

Postby Jasari » Thu May 20, 2010 5:57 am

Mozen wrote:Druids suffer no drawback using Innervate, neither do priests using Shadowfiend. Why should we? Because DP is too powerful? Then tune it properly.


It'd be really boring if each class had the exact same mana regen ability. The drawback to Shadowfiend is that the CD is 5minutes. The drawback to innervate is that it doesn't scale with gear.

And like Hoho said, this is one of those scenarios where you can't take two abilities and compare them side by side in a vacuum. Different classes are different.

That said, it seems like they're revamping the entire mana regen model so it wouldn't surprise me if every mana regen CD got tweaked in some way.
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