Previous posts in this series can be found here.
The background and motivation for the heal comparison I did here is in the previous post; I recommend you read that if you haven’t. The goal is to compare all of the “filler” heals of various classes, although I may be defining that a bit differently from what you expect. It basically means, anything you can keep casting nonstop. The idea is is that you’re limited in how many Wild Growths or Penances or Healing Rains you can cast due to their cooldown. So if we put aside all of those spells, what we’re left with the spells that are primarily controlled by mana–they’re what to use to turn most of your mana (everything that’s not used on your rotational spells) into healing. The efficiency with which those spells can lever a point of mana into healing output is largely what determines the marginal value of mana for your class.
The goal is to focus on a specific set of heals that’s somewhat limited in scope (i.e. not building a full spreadsheet for every class’s rotation) but is informative on an important cross-class issue, one that’s motivated by the other recent posts I’ve written. The primary result of this is finally having some concrete sense of the relative value of Spirit, but there are other conclusions to be found as well.
It’s a bit awkward to present spreadsheet computations in the post. I’m going to give a link to the sheet I was working in, and a screenshot (but you can’t see the formulas), along with a lot of explanation. I’m definitely interested in feedback from class experts on whether I left out anything important. It was a lot of work to try to look up everything I had to take into account for each healing class to give a meaningful and accurate account of the efficiency of a single spell. I tried to pick up the most prominent spells for each class (and some that I was just curious about), but should be able to add anything people suggest that fits the concept.
Spreadsheet download: Dropbox (updated 5/23)
The basic methodology is to find the efficiency of a heal by dividing its spellpower coefficient by its mana cost. Mana cost is expressed as a %, with Priest and Monks being corrected down by a factor of 5 afterwards to account for their different starting mana pool. Spellpower coefficient is a good metric for relative heal strength since, as discussed in Part 2 of this series, the base heal and the coefficient are closely proportional on all these spells. For the moment I’m not including set bonuses anywhere, since only some classes get bonuses that affect the heals I’m looking at here.
The “coefficient” and “cost” columns are taken from the spell data, with various factors added in as needed, as discussed below in the class-specific notes. “Ratio” = coefficient/cost.
The “class” column is for passive class-based modifiers, as well the Priest/Monk mana correction.
The “C/M” column is a multiplier to account for crit and mastery. If you download the sheet, you can change the crit/mastery values at the top and this will change appropriately. The Monk mastery is handled in the “coefficient” column instead since it’s spellpower-based.
The “Total” efficiency = Ratio*Class*(CM Adjust)
- Class modifier includes 10% Naturalist passive.
- Rejuvenation coefficient includes 6 ticks, the initial tick plus the 5 HoT ticks at typical haste values.
- Regrowth has 100% to crit and applies a 30% Living Seed.
Note that since Rejuv is a HoT, it has significant overhealing, and also requires you to have sufficient targets that need healing in order to chaincast it. The overhealing issue is somewhat ameliorated by the fact that it charges Wild Mushroom, giving a second crack at making use of the same healing.
- Class modifier includes 1/5 for mana pool, and 20% for Stance of the Wise Serpent.
- Each entry (except Glyphed Uplift) includes enough Chi generators to supply 2 Chi (2 casts of Surging Mist, or 5.88 ticks of Soothing Mist) followed by one Uplift that hits 6 targets.
- The Soothing Mist healing is doubled to account for Jade Serpent Statue.
- All heals or ticks include a corresponding chance to spawn a Gift of the Serpent.
- Mana cost of the Chi generators is reduced by 2 Chi worth of Mana Tea, plus crit chance.
Fully understanding the Monk methodology requires reading the last post. But it’s a slightly unusual case. I know Monks don’t actually use Surging very often, but this mostly because they don’t generate off-cooldown Chi very often (Surging is somewhat interchangable with Jab for this discussion). Chi comes in a mostly cooldown-determined rate from Renewing Mist, Expel Harm, and filler use of Soothing Mist. But if you want extra Chi or Uplifts, you’re going to pay for expensive Surging Mists or Jabs, and so the efficiency of that option is quite important.
I almost didn’t want to include the Soothing Mist row, but I think people would be confused by its absence since it’s, commonly speaking, the Monk “filler”. Soothing Mist doesn’t precisely fit the paramaters of this study because it generates Chi in a way that’s very rate-limited, even if not literally a cooldown. So it’s misleading (in fact, incorrect) to read the high efficiency of Soothing Mist as saying that Monks can efficiently turn excess mana into healing. Soothing Mist use is limited only by time/mobility, but the marginal point of extra mana is going to be spent on instant Chi generators (the next revision of this sheet should include a Jab-Tiger Palm entry).
- Class modifier is 1/5 for mana pool and 10% for Inner Fire.
- Both Holy spells assume Sanctuary.
- Renew gets 5 ticks, plus a direct heal worth 15% of the total HoT from Rapid Renewal, which is the only part that benefits from Echo of Light.
- Smite includes a 90% modifier for Atonement, and a full 5 stacks of Evangelism.
The most important note when interpreting this is that Spirit has a very different meaning to Discipline due to Rapture. With Spirit giving up to 1.5 mana every 12 seconds (0.625 MP5) in addition to its usual 0.56 MP5, the marginal value of a point of Spirit is roughly doubled. If a Disc Priest is crisp with her Rapture use, that added mana return can be cashed out into healing spells like Prayer of Healing, no different from any other mana. A strong case could be made that it would be most informative to multiply Disc Priest values by roughly 2 to account for this in the chart (but currently I have not).
Smite is worth highlighting as the only heal in the entire list which is smart. So its practical efficiency should be higher than it appears due to low overhealing.
I included the pre-5.2 PoH, just for context–so people could compare current versions against the spell that upended the healing world for two patches.
- Class modifiers are 25% for Holy Insight and 5% for Seal of Insight.
- The first two entries include a 1 Holy Power generator and a 1-point Eternal Flame (uses 12 ticks for the HoT).
- Holy Radiance includes the equivalent of 75% of a Holy Shock due to Daybreak.
- Radiance, Eternal Flame, and nontank Divine Light all include corresponding increases for Beacon of Light.
Nothing too complex here. The Holy Radiance combo is very strong, unsurprisingly, but only works if you have a clump of people to heal. Otherwise, worth noting that a Divine Light on the tank and an Eternal Flame on another target is much better than a Divine Light on the off target and Beacon healing on the tank.
- Class modifier is 25% from Purification.
- Chain Heal gets an extra 25% for Riptide.
- All spells have a chance to proc Earthliving. 4*10% for Chain Heal, and 20% for Riptide and Greater Healing Wave. The Earthliving HoT uses 5 ticks.
- All three spells are discounted for the chance of Resurgence.
- Riptide and GHW add 30% to crits for Ancestral Awakening. Technically a slight overestimate right now since the Earthliving HoT is included in AA.
- Riptide uses 7 ticks.
- Deep Healing is valued at 0.75% per point of mastery, corresponding to an average heal target at 75% HP.
Despite the mess of various procs here, not too much to add. Best I can tell, Glyphed Riptide comes out on top of a somewhat lackluster slate of things to spend mana on in between Healing Rains. (Healing Wave would be higher but I generally didn’t include the weak heals for now).
I’m going to keep the interpretation sparse for now, although the numbers will hopefully inform any upcoming discussions. I also want to see if any significant corrections or additions come in from readers. One interesting note here is simply how much work goes into taking into account all the various procs and passives that apply to even simple heals so that an apples-to-apples comparison can be made across classes.
This is our first in-depth look at a balance-related topic in this series. Where it might be most informative though is in helping understand gear choices within a class. Going back to main point of Part 3, the more efficient your spammable heal is, the the more Spirit is worth to you. One class has always been known to be a Spirit lover: the Disc Priest, due to Rapture. However, an important piece of the puzzle is their strong spammable heals even before taking Rapture into account. Beyond that, Druids and Holy Priests have solid uses for Spirit, as well as Paladins who are really in a position to leverage Holy Radiance. Shaman and Monks seem to have little use for it; in fact its utility looks somewhat dubious for Shaman even if you consider a significant % increase to the value of Spirit due to Mana Tide.
But for now I mostly want to put the numbers out there and see what people think of them.