Friday, August 16, 2013

Revival nerf!

At this stage it looks like Revival will be 30% less ridiculous in patch 5.4. I'm not saying it was poor design to have up to a third of your total healing numbers over an eight minute boss fight to come from three GCDs... but it's probably still worse design than only a quarter of your total healing numbers coming from three GCDs.

Before this week I had only an abstract interest in that conversation about healing cooldowns being too important, but now I fully understand the frustration. Unless you're doing content which is on the high end of your abilities as a player, these tools are superfluous and are used either as cheap ways to boost healing numbers, or to remove the need to heal efficiently.

Maybe I just need to be doing harder content.

I read about the tank Vengeance change-- they are nerfing the raw amount and removing the incentive for tanks to take unnecessary damage to increase their damage output, ie by "standing in the fire". I can understand the overall nerf-- we can't let our precious damage roles feel like they're subpar to tanks in the one area they're supposed to specialise in. The standing in fire thing I can understand too; we don't want to reward people for playing badly. But they have also gone out of their way to "target cap" Vengeance gained tanking large groups of mobs. Honestly, that feels like being punished for doing something awesome, not to mention emergent by definition (if they meant to do it why are they "fixing" it).

How about a similar change for healers where healing done by the major cooldowns doesn't count towards healing meters? Are those things not equivalent? It's giving me an incentive to play badly (use CD when it will provide the most healing, instead of to deal with encounter mechanics or stop a death) to increase my healing output.

Have you tried the Mistweaver Monk class yet? The class has a pretty revolutionary healing style for WoW, with all kind of location-specific healing, between statues, Spinning Crane Kick (used similarly to the original incarnation of Holy Radiance), Chi Torpedo, Chi Wave and Healing Spheres-- a floor-targeted smart heal. Spheres are ridiculously strong and not too mana inefficient. I get the feeling that the only reason they have stayed so strong is because few people understand how to use them effectively so it has yet to develop a reputation for being OP. For example, the most efficient way for a Monk to go from zero to tank saving is to drop Spheres on the tank's physical location.

I call it "teabagging".

Friday, August 2, 2013

Monks heal with their feet!

I feel like I've been doing a lot of writing, but not much posting recently.

Kiddow reached 480 item level, which is enough to unlock all the current endgame content, so everything past this point is just doing whatever looks fun. (Oh, but I do still need to level my professions-- I've been atypically lazy about doing it for this character... maybe I'm just over the profession systems.)

I mentioned in an earlier post how smoothly a Mistweaver flows between damage and healing, but it's the multitude of support abilities that Monks have that makes the class. I genuinely feel like a jack of all trades, with a tool to handle every situation. Healing and damage, but also an AoE stun, disarm, snare, taunt (Dampen Harm+Fortifying Brew is win for temporary tanking), and Monks also have what I believe is the best crowd control in the game-- Paralysis is instant, ranged, long duration, fairly short CD, and has not a single restriction on mob-type. I abuse the shit out of that move.

For a long time I had been dreading healing Raid Finder again. I've always preferred small groups and the melee healing that formed my attraction to the class sounded like it wasn't really viable in a 25-person group. The single target healing spells that Monks have look cool but are not incredibly compelling, and I always found Renewing Mist too hard to keep track of to use Uplift efficiently.

What I didn't expect to find was that healing a large raid as Mistweaver is even more fun than a small group.

I understand now why Renewing Mist is so "complicated"-- it's because it forms one of the major points of gameplay for the class. Renewing Mist can be cast every 8 seconds, is applied to 3 players per cast, with the hot expiring after about about 17 seconds. Uplift is a spell that will heal every target with Renewing Mist on them for a flat amount. Thunder Tea is a 45-second CD spell which causes your next Uplift to reset the duration on all of your Renewing Mist hots to full. So using those three spells efficiently allows you to have up to twelve Mists going at once, plus Uplift. You don't need to be a rocket surgeon to realise that is a absolute fuckload of pure throughput. The downside of course being that you need to know ahead of time when you'll need the extra juice because you reach maximum throughput (12 Mists) between 24 and 33 seconds after the first cast in the sequence.

So yeah. Gameplay!

Revival is probably the most mind-blowing spell they gave Mistweavers. An instant cast that heals everybody in the raid for over 100k each, and dispels all magic, poisons and diseases. It's like they took Druid Tranquility, halved the cooldown, made it instant instead of a channel and added a mass dispel. It's ridiculous.

I do need to switch up a few talents. Chi Wave and Xuen are fantastic for small groups, but are relatively weak in larger raids. Chi Burst (unlike Chi Wave) fulfills that all important 25-man quality of having no target limit. In the Xuen tier, Chi Torpedo seems popular with raiders, but I'm very excited for the next patch turning Rushing Jade Wind from a minor AoE CD into simply a buffed version of Spinning Crane Kick-- one of my favourite Mistweaver abilities. I mean, because you're literally healing with your feet.

(Monks also heal with their balls, but that joke is somewhat cruder so I decided to put it in brackets.)

(Seriously, it's a comedy gold mine in groups to keep referring to your Healing Spheres as "my balls.")