Tag Archives: effort vs. results

Have heals become too smart?

Lately I’ve been feeling that druid healing is unbalanced, and that healing in general is a little off. I feel like there is a disconnect between effort spent on heals and healing done, especially in 25s.

I recently hit the magical 2005 haste break point on my druid, giving a 9th tick to my Wild Growth and Efflorescence. One the one hand, it’s awesome, my healing from those spells have spiked and I’m now even more capable of putting out some ridiculous HPS in the right circumstances. I’m generally feeling really good about my healing. But at the same time, looking at logs, I feel like these two spells are way out of balance compared to the others.

Here’s the spell breakdown from my last boss kill.

Druid-spell-breakdownThe numbers just seem wrong to me.

I cast Wild Growth 34 times and it did almost 32% of my healing, more than double the healing of my next spell. Wild Growth did an average of 80,756 healing per cast. Effort expended by casting Wild Growth? Very little. It’s fairly cheap mana-wise, it’s instant and it’s a smart heal to boot. WG is basically a fire-and-forget-it spell and it is the number 1 druid spell in terms of HPS.

Wild Growth heals a lot of people, the overheal is low and it helps to stabilize the raid. But it doesn’t save anyone when they’re sitting at 3000 health. It doesn’t take finesse to use. As long as I don’t target someone sitting in a corner by themselves it will almost always hit the maximum amount of targets.

I do my best to make use of all the spells in my arsenal on every fight, but the spells that do take finesse, that can be the difference between life and death for someone get dwarfed in comparison to the big, AoE smart heals. Wild Growth, Tranquility and Efflorescence heal up so many people with so little effort and stomp poor Regrowth, Swiftmend and Healing Touch into the dirt.

Druids are not the only class that experiences this. Any raid healer follows a similar pattern. Shaman raid healing is dominated by Healing Rain, holy priests will often see Circle of Healing and Prayer of Mending near the top of their meters and Holy Radiance can top meters for a Paladin. These are all basically fire-and-forget spells. Use them on cooldown and watch your healing soar.

It’s not really the fault of the smart heals, it’s the nature of raid encounters that causes this. Almost every fight has huge, raid-wide damage through most of the fight. Big AoE heals will always win the day. It’s made my job as a raid healer feel a little monotonous.

Maybe I should add on to the title of this post: Have heals become too smart or have raid bosses become too stupid?

How do you solve the problem of smart, AoE heals providing too much healing and feeling like that’s all healers are good for?

I’d like to see some BC-era mechanics make a comeback. Things like Brutallus’ Burn, Archimonde’s Doomfire and Bloodboil’s Fel Rage, which cause you to pour heals onto one or two targets rather than everyone at once. I’d like to see more fights that involve staying spread out and having to heal random debuffed targets taking damage rather than have everyone in a clump, taking the same damage all the time. I’d also like to do something other than heal once in a while – I miss dispel mechanics that were extremely dire, like Archimonde’s Grip of the Legion or complex like Kalecgos’ Curse of Boundless Agony.

What do you think? Do raid damage mechanics need an overhaul? Does the immense amount of healing done by smart and fire-and-forget heals ever make you feel like a one-note healer?