Tag Archives: nerf

The Best and Worst HotS Heroes, according to Pam

This is for day 24 of Blaugust

Here are my highly detailed and scientific observations about how the different Heroes rank.

The Most OverPowered heroes

Criteria: These are heroes that make me sad when I see the opposing team has picked them.

Heroes of the Storm - Kael'thas

Jaina – Not so much her on her own, but once she gets that Water Elemental she’s a real pain the ass.

Kael’thas – His ability to blow up everyone makes up for his squishiness. Once he get to higher levels he does a ton of damage. Paired with Jaina? Oof.

Kharazim – He does way too much healing for a damage dealer. Or way to much damage for a healer. Likelihood of nerf in next patch? High.

Leoric – Does way too much damage for a tank. Undying the most annoying ability ever.

The Most Underpowered Heroes

Criteria: These are heroes that make me sad when I see the my team has picked them.

Heroes of the Storm - Tassadar

Gazlowe – Gaz is really clutch at interrupting people who are trying to collect a tribute or hand in dubloons. Otherwise… I’d prefer any other specialist.

Tassadar – He’s kind of half a support, and I’m always confused as to whether I should pick a real support when someone takes this guy. Doesn’t do much damage or healing. He’s good at finding Nova and, in my experience, yelling at the rest of the team for not utilizing his shields properly.

The Lost Vikings – Does anyone play these well? Though honestly, I think I’ve seen them in maaaaybe 1 ranked match. Ever.

Sgt. Hammer – I love you Hammer, but you’re bait in a ranked match.

The Heroes Most Dependent on Player Skill

These heroes are wildcards. It totally depends on who is playing them.

Heroes of the Storm - Nova

Murky – Some Murkys soak up XP like a mofo. Some Murkys leave their egg in the base the entire game.

Nova – A good Nova is likely to go 40-0. Let them get to level 20, and she’s going to kill you and your entire family. A bad Nova rides their pony around for the entire game OR spends a lot of time shooting creeps.

What do you think? What characters make you cringe when you see they’ve been picked?

Druids (post-nerf!) in Dragon Soul

Yesterday Wild Growth, the heal that generally makes up the biggest portion of our healing in raids got hit with the ole nerfbat. A flat 20% decrease to it’s output, plus a glyph change that forces us to make a choice between it only hitting 5 targets (rather than the 6 we’re used to) or having a 10 second cooldown (rather than 8).

Has the world ended? Are we now unable to keep up with raid damage? Will we be left out of progression raids because we’re just not good enough anymore?

In a word, no. In two words, hell no. Those who were excellent druid healers in 4.2 will continue to be in 4.3.

Last night I got to see how the changes affected me on the first 4 bosses of Dragon Soul.


This is a pretty boring fight to heal. Everyone is all nicely grouped up and damge is predictable. It felt like most healers just got to lay down their Efflorescences, Healing Rains, HW: Sanctuaries and let them do all the work. The mechanics of this fight can cater really well to any healer class.

Morchok healing done

To be honest, I was a tiny bit shocked to see myself 3rd on the meters, but the difference between 1st and 3rd is very small. My healing breakdown looked like this:

Morchok spell breakdownThis spell breakdown for this type of fight looks very similar to what I was seeing in Firelands. Wild Growth is still 30% of my healing. I didn’t even use Tranquility here, sort of seemed like overkill.



Things I learned from this fight:

  • I did use the Glyph of Wild Growth for this fight. The 10-second cooldown on WG threw off my timing a little and was a bit awkward to get used to. I will try this fight without it next week.
  • The odd timing also threw me off on other things. I was only at 84% uptime on Harmony on this fight. That needs to be better.
  • Blood DKs…gtfo. Seriously. Stop sniping all the heals.

Warlord Zon’ozz

Zon’ozz is a little more fun to heal. There are periods of heavy raid damage, along with a magic effect that needs to be dispelled, and a little more single target healing required to top off those who have just been dispelled.

Warlord Zon'ozz healing
Our holy priest kicked some ass on this one with all her great group/area healing spells. Also, the lightwell – we clicked it (good raid!).

My healing breakdown:

Warlord Zon'ozz - druid spell breakdownAgain, nothing terribly surprising about the breakdown here. There are periods of very heavy raid damage where everyone is grouped up, so WG and Efflo are the obvious winners. There’s also a fair amount of healing from Regrowth from topping up those who needed to be dispelled or had just been dispelled.



Things I learned from this fight:

  • Your cooldown can beat up my cooldown. Divine Hymn kicks the shit out of Tranquility now.

Divine Hymn vs. Tranquility
A normal DH tick from a Holy Priest is hitting for almost 10k more than a tick of Tranquility. A crit is hitting for almost 20k more. Plus, the number of Divine Hymn ticks is affected by haste, meaning a priest can eek out 25 ticks normally, and likely 30 under the right conditions. Druids will always have only 20 of the big ticks, though we can gain extra ticks on the smaller HoT left behind.

  • I removed the Glyph of WG on this fight.  It felt much better to be able to cast WG every 8 seconds and I was able to get into a better rhythm. I did try the fight with the glyph on a couple wipes, but it didn’t feel right.
  • Nature’s Cure is most definitely worth it here. There’s a lot of dispelling to be done, and the quicker it can be done, the better.

 Yor’sajh the Unsleeping

This fight was a bit of a whirlwind. There are a lot of different add colours to keep track of and abilities to know…but he died so quick that I never really got a chance to learn what was going on. Good job from the dps killing all the bad things before we had to worry about their effects.

Yorsajh healing breakdown

This fight was very friendly towards the druid style of healing. Sometimes we were grouped up, sometimes spread out. There was a fair amount of movement going on and I felt my mobility gave me an edge here.

My healing breakdown:

Yor'sajh druid spell breakdownPretty standard breakdown. I’m actually happy to see that Wild Growth made up less than 25% of my healing here. It’s always nice to see a diverse selection of spells doing the healing.




Things I learned from this fight:

  • The description of this fight lists some very interesting mechanics, but unfortunately, we never had to deal with the really nasty ones, so the fight felt a bit too easy.
  • Again, I did not use glyph of WG. Still felt good about that choice.
  • It was almost a 7 minute fight, so I should be able to fit in a second Tranquility next time.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Hagara, kind of like Yor’sahj, sounds complicated on paper, but we managed to kill her quickly (even though I highly suspect many people didn’t have a clue what they were doing).

Hagara healing breakdown

Again, I feel this fight was tailored to druids. People were much more spread out than in the previous 3 fights making Wild Growth much stronger than some of the more range-limited group heals (whether we were supposed to be spread out or we were just flailing is another matter entirely). Our range of instant spells was also very handy when running around during Ice Wave.

My healing breakdown:

Hagara druid healing spell breakdownOnly 21% of healing from WG makes me happy.

Regrowth is higher in healing done again because I did a fair bit of direct healing.




Things I learned from this fight:

  • Blizzard needs to make up their mind about how many healers a typical fight needs. We had 6 and it was way too many for this. Two healers even died. As a group the healers were at over 60% overheal. Just not enough damage going out on this fight.
  • I didn’t use glyph of WG, still happy without it.
  • Ice Tombs cause line of sight issues. Having all the tomb targets stack up in the middle – on top of the tank – is a bad idea.

Despite the nerfs, resto druids are still in a great place and fully capable of thriving in Dragon Soul. Wild Growth will generally make up a few less percent of our overall healing, but that’s not a bad thing. Our biggest output cooldown has been slightly dwarfed by the Divine Hymn buffs, but we’ll live. Just keep up Lifebloom, keep Harmony active and never stop casting. You’ll be tearing up the healing charts in no time (while not standing in the bad and keeping your assignments alive, of course).

To the Ground – Aftermath

I, like many people, was very opinionated on the topic of the Firelands nerfs when they were first announced. I didn’t know the exact extent of the nerfs, or how they would affect me but I was mad, dammit! Now that I’ve actually seen the nerfs first-hand, my opinions have changed slightly.

Let’s start with normals.

Normal Shannox, Beth’tilac and Rhyolith got 15% reductions to health and damage done while Alysrazor, Baleroc, Majordomo and Ragnaros were nerfed by a rather massive 25%. There were also a number of small mechanic tweaks, such as Alysrazor’s tornadoes being slowed down.

My first experience with the normal-mode nerfs was Alysrazor. I must say, I was rather shocked. We went in with our normal comp of 6 healers and there was very little to do. There were no Fieroblasts going out (because they are cast so infrequently now). The Initiates would die well before the next set spawned. On our first phase we ended up with 2 Lava Worms alive at the end because the Hatchlings had died so fast*. The tornados now moved so slowly that running into the back of the one you were chasing became the only real danger. We probably could have killed her shortly after the first ground phase, except someone was doing part of their legendary quest and we needed to draw out the fight for 2 full phases. There was very little for me to do. I had no choice but to amuse myself by healing Kurn’s tank whenever he had Gushing Wound so it never fell off, causing her to yell at all the healers.

*This is the problem with blanket nerfs like this. A 25% reduction to health can break a fight. People shouldn’t have to throttle their dps on the Hatchlings so they’re not killed too fast. Melee dps shouldn’t be left twiddling their thumbs when an Initiate dies and the next one doesn’t spawn for 20 seconds. This has happened on other fights too. Majordomo’s Flame Orbs are no longer a concern – he dies before they have a chance to spawn. The health nerf has effectively removed an entire mechanic from that fight.*

Since that night, I’ve seen all the bosses on normal mode with the exception of Shannox. They all follow the same pattern. For a group who has done the fights before they are ridiculously easy and even if people screw up, you can just brute-force your way to a kill. That said, I don’t really care that much. I can see where people are coming from when they say the kills now feel cheap and hollow, but to me they’re just repeat kills. I know that my raid teams and I worked hard to get those first kills (before nerfs) and I’m proud of them. Not having to work so hard for the 3rd, 6th or 12th kill doesn’t upset me. The normal mode nerfs have had no impact on my personal enjoyment of the game.

As for the heroics, all bosses got a 15% nerf to their health and damage done.

I had killed Shannox a few times before on heroic. It wasn’t a terribly challenging fight for either of my raid groups to begin with, so the nerfs just made it a little bit easier. There is now more margin for error. In my druid’s first post-nerf kill Jagged Tear never dropped on the Shannox tank and it didn’t cause too much of an issue (where I’m sure it would have killed him and resulted in a wipe before). However, the fight wasn’t a complete joke. On my priest’s first experience with post-nerf Shannox it actually took us a few tries to get him down. People getting caught in crystal prison traps or not breaking Face Rage can still lead to wipes. Likewise, I learned on my Druid last night that Shannox gaining Separation Anxiety can still lead to much death and destruction.

The second boss I had experience with was Rhyolith. Apotheosis had put in 40 attempts on him with our best try getting him to 16%. After the nerf it took us another 7 attempts to get the kill. I thought the nerfs made the fight, especially the adds, much more manageable and a little less punishing for bad Volcano spawns. 15% was probably a bit too much though. I think an even 10% nerf would have helped a number of raid groups to get their first kills while still retaining a bit more of the challenge.

The rest of the heroics I never saw before they were nerfed. I’m actually thinking this is a good thing. It means I won’t have a sense of disappointment when I see how the fights have changed. They’re all new to me, nerf or no.

Apotheosis killed Beth’tilac for the first time last night. Even with the nerfs we put in 37 attempts before we killed her. As much as I might feel badly for not killing her before the nerfs, I also shudder to think of how many attempts that would have taken – 75? 100? Perhaps I’m getting soft, but I can’t say I really want to spend 100 attempts on a boss. I’d be okay with that on an end-of-tier boss, but not one of the underlings. Though I’m sure heroic Beth’tilac is now a pushover for those who have killed her before or those who were close to a kill pre-nerf, for my guild who had no experience with her before, she was still reasonably challenging. My priest buudy Kal also wrote about what she thinks of the nerfs now that she’s experienced them.

Arm of Hades has attempted a number of heroic bosses since the nerfs, but has not spent significant time on any of them. My team spent 7 or 8 attempts on Beth’tilac, which still seemed quite challenging. Figuring out how to deal with all the adds is something that’s going to take practise and trial & error. We also spent some time on Baleroc. Our best attempt got us to about 12%, but we hit the enrage timer. One of our other 10-man teams attempted Alysrazor and managed to get her down in only a dozen or so attempts. That seems a little fast to me.

So I guess you could say I’ve calmed down a little since last week. I still think there are better ways to make bosses more killable (changes to specific challenging mechanics, not blanket nerfs) but I’ve come to terms with the nerfs and will do my best to make the most of them and beat all the hard modes.

I’ll also keep my fingers crossed that the upcoming Looking for Raid “easy” difficulty will solve the raid accessibility problem so nerfs like this will never happen again.

On Wild Growth and Nerfs

The first patch notes from the 4.3 PTR are here! And boy are there a lot of changes. Buffs to Paladin and Priest group healing, Shaman get buffs to Riptide and an interesting change to Ancestral Healing.

Resto Druids get one, lone change in their class list:

Wild Growth: Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 30 yards of the target for 2975 3717 over 7 sec. Prioritizes healing most injured party members. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration. (source)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this represents a 20% nerf to the healing output of our best group healing spell. Ouch.

And to add insult to injury, the Glyph of Wild Growth is potentially changing as well:

Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds. (source)

So, we get less base output from our number 1 healing spell and will receive extra reduction in output because we’ll have to choose between WG hitting 6 targets but having a 10 second cooldown, or WG hitting only 5 targets but having an 8 second cooldown.

This seems like a fairly sizable overall nerf to druid raid healing. Ghostcrawler, likely having learned the lesson that people fear change and will freak out whenever said changes are revealed, put up a blog post about it right away. Let’s see what he has to say about druids.

We’re okay with Resto druids using Wild Growth frequently, but we think we allowed it to become too powerful given its ease of use. As I suggested above, this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall. The change to the Glyph of Wild Growth has positive and negative elements. We heard from druids that they felt like they didn’t have as many major glyph choices as intended, since the Glyph of Wild Growth was such a no-brainer for raiding druids — it increased the number of Wild Growth targets with no downside. We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside. With the AE heals, we thought the downside might be that the healers may not be using their AE heals necessarily, but having seen two raid tiers of content now, we’re confident that the glyphs did not have as much of a downside. (We changed the Glyphs of Circle of Healing and Light of Dawn for similar reasons). (source)

I don’t disagree that Wild Growth is a bit too powerful given its ease of use. I’ve even written about this topic before. I think that 30% of my healing coming from a single, extremely easy to use spell is too much. However, just nerfing it isn’t the answer. We need something in return. Want us to use Wild Growth less or for it to make up less of our healing? Give us a reason to use other spells instead. As long as we’ve got fights with periods of huge damage to the whole raid, the smart, group heals will always be favored. If boss mechanics aren’t going to change, then we need a new spell or an improvement to an old one that can give Wild Growth a run for its money.

The glyph change is just an extra kick in the teeth. It’s true, druids don’t have much choice when it comes to glyphs, but it’s not because none of them have a downside, it’s because there aren’t enough of them and only 3 are decent. If you want us to have to make a decision about glyphs, you need to give us more options.

The thing that really bothers me about GC’s justification though is this: …”this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall.” Who said we needed a nerf?

I have words for you, crab

Dear Ghostcrawler,

I thought we had an understanding. In return for not having any damage mitigation cooldowns, no talents like Inspiration or Ancestral Fortitude, no buffs to give other players besides MotW (which is also done by pallies) and a really weak Innervate if we ever use it on others, we would be a little higher on raw HPS than everyone else. I thought it was a fair deal. Why are you trying to change it?

When we were given a 3-minute Tranquility as our “new” raid cooldown, I had a bad feeling. I really thought that using Tranquility 2-3 times a fight would increase our healing output by a large margin, other healers would complain, and the output would be reduced. Well, I was wrong about the spell that’s getting nerfed, but that is what is happening.

Now, it’s early in the PTR, it just opened today. These changes are not set in stone. I will not proclaim the sky is falling, I will not stomp my feet on the ground, start rending my garments, or threatening to quit the game or re-roll. That doesn’t seem very productive. I will simply offer a plea for reconsideration and some thoughts:

  • If you want to give one of our best (and really only glyph options) a drawback, you need to provide new glyphs so we actually have others to choose from.
  • If you want to reduce the healing of Wild Growth do it in a more elegant way. Give us a new spell, improve an old one – make us want to cast other spells more often.
  • Reconsider the opinion that our throughput needs to be nerfed at all. You solved our lack of cooldowns problem by giving us one that was 100% throughput. Are you surprised that our throughput is now very high? Was this not an expected or intended result?
  • Consider buffing other classes instead of weakening us. I see you’re already doing this, which is great. Why not just give that a shot and see how things balance out before you start swinging the old nerfbat at us?
  • And lastly, look to the past before making any hasty decisions about the future. Remember 4.0.6? When you increased the amount of healing of Wild Growth by 30% and shortened the cooldown by 2 seconds? There was a reason for that. We had no effective way of healing up multiple people quickly before that. No burst. Don’t take that away. Do you want us to go back to spamming Rejuv on as many targets as we can in order to put out enough healing?

Thanks for listening,


To the Ground

I really, really didn’t want to write this post. I hate to be a part of the WoW angst machine that gets upset about any change that gets introduced. But this time, I just can’t help myself.

Yesterday the following was posted on the WoW site:

With the final showdown against Deathwing approaching, we’ve been keeping a close eye on players’ progress through the current Firelands raid content. Before patch 4.3 is released, we want groups who are working on Heroic-difficulty content to be able to get as close to Ragnaros as possible, and we want players who are tackling normal progression to be able to experience as many of the encounters as they can. To achieve these goals, we’ll be toning down the difficulty of both normal and Heroic raids through hotfixes in the coming weeks. In general, we plan to reduce health and damage of all raid bosses in both normal and Heroic Firelands by around the same percentage we brought difficulty down for the original Cataclysm raids when Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) was released.

We’re looking forward to seeing more groups of players face off against the firelord in the weeks ahead. However, before we make these changes, we want to give everyone a final shot at the bosses at their current difficulty level — so this is a heads up that we’re planning to apply the difficulty hotfixes beginning the week of September 19.

Stay tuned to the Patch 4.2 Hotfixes blog for these and other live updates to the game as they happen.

What the hell?

This, to me, is both puzzling and infuriating. Puzzling because it’s coming at a very strange time. Tier 11 didn’t get nerfed until after Tier 12 came out (and it was only the normal modes). Tier 6 got nerfed just before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. Why are they nerfing all T12 content only 3 months in? When the PTR for T13 is nowhere in sight? I don’t get it. And we’re getting a whopping 1 week notice before the nerfs happen.

Infuriating because this is a lazy, inelegant way of making the content more accessible. I think my guildie Majik said it best on this week’s episode of Blessing of Frost when he said they’re using a machete instead of a scalpel to fix things.

I’m not against nerfs altogether, but there are better ways to do it.

Where are the progression problems coming from? Do most guilds get stuck on Alysrazor because of tornados? Reduce the damage on those, or slow them down a smidge. Is the biggest sticking point on Ragnaros killing the sons before they get to the hammer? Reduce their health, slow them down or remove one or two of them. Make the biggest problem areas just a little easier – don’t make sweeping damage and health reductions to everything.

Another option would be doing it the ICC way. Use gradual nerfs (or buffs to players) over time. It is possible this is the way the T12 nerfs will go since the post mentions hotfixes over the coming weeks. However, there’s still the problem that no one knew this was coming. The fact that we’d be getting the Strength of Wrynn buff in ICC was known before the raid was even released. I don’t believe the specific date of the first buff was revealed, but everyone knew that buffs were coming.We knew we had a certain amount of time to complete the fights as they were created before they’d get a little easier.

These nerfs are completely unexpected. I assumed (and I’m sure many others did as well) that normal modes would be nerfed when T13 was released and hard modes would be left alone, just like they did for the last tier. Learning that everything will be nerfed while we’re still in there feels like I’ve been hit by Sulfuras.

I really don’t understand the obsession with accessibility and seeing content. I want to see the content, but I want it to be challenging. The normal and hard mode dichotomy was supposed to address the rift between those who just wanted to see the content and those who want to have to work hard to complete it. It certainly hasn’t been a perfect system, but now it’s becomming even worse.

I personally don’t have a strong opinion on nerfs to normal modes – they don’t have much of an effect on me – so I’ll leave that argument to those who are affected. But leave the hard modes alone. I want to wipe on fights until the mechanics are perfected. I want to have to put 100% effort into a new boss kill. I want a challenge. I don’t think a 20% nerf to everything will make all the heroic bosses complete push-overs but it will make them easier than they are supposed to be. Every new kill I get will feel like a pity kill. I’d feel more accomplished with 4/7 hard heroic modes than 6/7 nerfed heroic modes. (*paragraph edited to reduce jerkiness factor – original quoted in comments*)

Last night when the nerfs were announced my guildie Sara said something on Twitter that made me feel extra awful (though I’m positive that wasn’t her intent):

I don’t get why people get mad at nerfs – if we hadn’t been so slow on normal FL we’d be well into pre-nerf heroics.

The first thing I thought was, man, I hate being slow. Though I do think Blizzard is making a mistake pushing unexpected nerfs onto heroic content mid-way through the tier, what she said was true. I’m only at 1/7 heroics in both my guilds. To me, based on what I hope for and expect of myself, that is slow. I’ve always considered myself a very good player, but maybe I’m not so great. And if I’m not so great, I feel like a giant asshole for writing this blog and telling others how to play. Or maybe my expectations based on the amount of time I’m willing to put into the game are too high. Either way, this is the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that an announcement about a video game has made me feel this shitty.

I hope Blizzard will reconsider nerfing the content that is supposed to be challenging by so much.

What do you think of the Firelands nerfs?