Tag Archives: tier 15

Throne of Thunder Retrospective

Yesterday I read Beru’s Tier 15 Resto-spective, and I thought I may as well break my blogging silence and write my own. I’m not going to talk so much about specific bosses or healing, but more about mechanics I enjoyed (or hated) like I did last tier.

The Raid Instance

I’m not a story person, but I did enjoy how the raid instance this tier had a lot of content tied in with it. Isle of Thunder gave backstory around Throne of Thunder and made it seem much more a part of the rest of the game than the raids from the previous tier.

However, I wasn’t too crazy about the 4 section design (a decision which seemed to cater to LFR more than anything else). I found the 1st and 4th sections cohesive, while the middle 2 sort of came out of nowhere and seemed to have nothing to do with Lei Shen or the rest of the raid.

Some parts of the raid were visually interesting and a lot of the bosses were enjoyable. I’d rate Tier 15 about the same as Tier 11. Not nearly as enjoyable for me as Tier 6 (the ultimate in raid content), but better than a lot of tiers.

Healing

Healing as a resto Druid this tier was touch and go. There were fights that made me feel completely ineffective as anything but a dispel-bot (Heroic Horridon), and fights that made me feel like a superhero (Heroic Tortos). To be honest, I enjoyed healing in this tier more before we got buffed. I liked being able to ignore Mushrooms in 90% of situations because they were awful. The 25-man changes to Hymn/Tranq/Revival/HTT made raid bosses even more of a cooldown-stacking game. Healing was a lot more challenging (and therefore fun) before everyone got buffed and we were allowed to upgrade our gear again.

Mechanics

Good things

  • Having other things to do. Example: Horridon’s pink dinos, Twins’ constellation drawing. I think I’m in the minority when I say I liked the dino mechanic. Mostly I just enjoy having something extra to do during some encounters. Managing healing, dispelling and knocking that dino back felt like a juggling act, which I found interesting.
  • Pick your poison bosses. Example: Megaera, Council, Lei Shen. I like council-type fights that let each raid group choose how they’d like to tackle the fight. On Megaera, you could never kill the Poison head so you wouldn’t have to deal with the AoE damage, but have to deal with increased damage from the other heads. Or you could cycle through killing each head so damage was more uniform. Giving players some control over how the fight works makes things more engaging.
  • Novelty. Example: Tortos’ crystal shells. The addition of this one mechanic made Heroic Tortos completely different than normal, especially from a healing perspective (and made it the only fight where my HoTs weren’t 50%+ overheal). It’s a mechanic I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Keep the new things coming.
  • Meaningful dispels. Example: Megaera’s Cinders. These dispels required thought and awareness about the position of the person with the debuff. You didn’t want to dispel someone and have a flame patch drop in melee or on a group of people, but you also didn’t want to leave the debuff up so long that it would kill the person it was on. I also liked that this debuff required action on both the part of the dispeller and dispellee.
  • Awareness checks. Example: Durumu. I really like Durumu’s maze. Sometimes it was a pain to see, but it really did test people’s ability to not stand in the bad. I also really liked the Light Spectrum phase. Having the beams targeting random people and the fog positioning showing up briefly really showed who was paying attention.
  • Group challenges. Example: Ji-Kun nests, Lei Shen transition quadrants. I like when the raid gets separated into smaller task forces. It’s fun to learn to work with a sub-set of your raid to accomplish something in a fight.

Things that need to go away

  • Awful trash. Example: Horridon’s bridge trash, Ji’Kun’s trash. Really, why put people through this? I think it took my raid longer to get through Horridon’s bridge trash than it did to kill Horridon for the first time. This is not the way things should work. Since trash very infrequently has rewards, it should not be so much of a pain in the ass.
  • Mechanics where 1 person can blow up your entire raid. Example: Jin’Rokh’s Ionization. Seriously. This isn’t fun. Not for the person who accidentally kills everyone or anyone else. These mechanics are not conducive to happy raids.
  • Mindless, mass debuffs. Example: Horridon. Dispelling can be an interesting job that requires thought and planning (see above). Or, like on Horridon, it can be an annoyance. Having magics, poisons, diseases and curses going out on large amounts of people at quick intervals is not fun. Dispelling like this just seems like busy work.
  • Fights that require spreadsheets to plan a strategy for. Example: Heroic Ji-Kun, Heroic Dark Animus. Seriously, fights like these make me feel bad for 25-man raid leaders everywhere. Complexity can make fights interesting, but when it involves knowing at exactly what second of the fight every nest activates and which of 10 possible places a guardian will spawn, or assigning all 25 raiders a specific place to stand in a room, it gets to be too much.
  • Fussy positioning. Example: Dark Animus. One person stands a step too far to the right or left on the pull and it’s a wipe. Most wipes on this fight happen right at the beginning, almost always due to positioning or an add running away and it’s more frustrating than challenging.
  • Stay x yards apart. Example: Ji’Kun, Primordius, Iron Qon, Twin Consorts, Lei Shen. This isn’t a bad mechanic, it’s just an overused way to challenge the ranged and healers. And it sucks a lot more for 25s than 10s.

What did you think of Tier 15? What were your most and least favourite things about it?

 

A Tall Add to Mushrooms

Last night we got a slew of new patch notes for 5.2 and, surprisingly, they finally had something to say about resto Druids!

Mushrooms

First of all, the long-awaited Wild Mushroom change. The tooltip now reads:

The mushrooms grow larger as they accumulate healing power from 75% of overhealing done by your Rejuvenation, up to a maximum of 100% of your health in bonus healing.

It’s not understood exactly how this mechanic will work as they are bugged on the PTR and have been seen healing people for a few million health. I assume that the bonus healing applies to the total heal for each mushroom (and is then split among the targets) rather than applying to each heal.

When I first read this tooltip update, I was concerned that they were unnecessarily complicating things. Why not just buff the amount of healing without adding Rejuv overheal in there? Then I realized that it’s because they still don’t want us using these constantly – having to power them up with overhealing is akin to putting a cooldown on them. I don’t think it’s the most elegant solution. It doesn’t address some of the biggest problems – that casting Mushrooms is clunky and if the raid moves away from them they are useless – but any extra throughput is welcome.

I don’t really think the new Mushroom mechanic will change the way we heal (aside from using Mushrooms more). We’ll always have multiple Rejuvs out, they’ll always be doing overhealing. The biggest challenge will be proper placement – both in location and timing – so that you have supercharged Mushrooms ready to go when the damage happens.

As much as I’ve complained about Mushrooms, I do use them to some extent on a number of fights, even in their currently weak form. Empress, Feng, Wind Lord, Garalon, all involve people stacking up and an ebb and flow of damage that gives you time to set up mushrooms. If the mushrooms are capable of healing for a significant amount, the extra burst heal capability will be appreciated. I also enjoy the thought of having to prepare and play smartly in order to get the most out of the spell.

Rejuvenation

The mana cost of Rejuv is now 14.5%, down from 16%. When you consider that 5.2 will see us breaking our 2T14 set bonus, this isn’t going to have that much of an impact, but I’ll take it.

Set bonuses

We also got a look at the T15 set bonuses:

2 piece – Swiftmend’s ground effect can now heal up to 4 targets each time it heals.
4 piece – The healing done by your Rejuvenation increases by 6% each time it causes healing.

I really like these bonuses. On fights where the raid is grouped up, the 2-piece will be great. I like the 4-piece too. Though I can already hear the cries of “but overheal!” I think a direct buff to the spell we cast the most is great. You can make the overheal argument for pretty much any increase to healing done, so I don’t take it too seriously. This bonus will do very good things to Rejuvs maintained on tanks and will also be good for any fights with constant raid damage.

What do you think of the potential 5.2 changes?