First Spell Tuning, continued

My previous two posts: suggestions for healer spell tuning from the last build, and comments on the changes that were visible in patch notes.

As noted in that comments post, the patch notes didn’t show the changes to coefficients or similar “numbers” changes, so we had to wait for today’s build and corresponding spell data (scroll down) to see the full picture.  Here are notes on those changes.  This will be abbreviated since it’s late for me; hopefully within a few days I’ll be looking in a detail on what I think further changes should look like.  If you haven’t read the last two posts I linked above, they’re probably good for context.  I might leave out some changes that I don’t have comments on off the top of my head.

Druid

Wild Growth heal and cost decreased by 15%.  Tricky spell to place correctly, but this is basically what I was thinking was needed so far. The burst throughput is not quite so huge, but the efficiency is unchanged.  Overall I’d like to see the mana cost come down slightly more–I think the HPM could be a bit higher, especially when thinking about how WG suffered more than most heals in the great de-smartening of heals. It is a HoT and will overheal quite a bit when targeted randomly.

That reminds me, I’d been meaning to try to make an argument, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet, that WG should go back to being (gasp) smart.  It might sound weird, but I think it makes sense for this spell more than most others.

Swiftmend mana cost reduced by 40%.  This helps a lot, and in particular, helps ameliorate any doubts I may have had about asking for SotF to be nerfed.  SM is finally an attractive cast without the help of talents, and making use of SotF is less expensive, making it easier to reasonably tune.  Will have to think about how to evaluate Rampant Growth now.

Noted in last post, Incarnation didn’t really change even though the mechanics changed.  Will have to give new SotF a little time to understand how its new tuning looks, but Incarnation is probably still too good.  There were some little changes to FoN in the build, but nothing to put in the same ballpark as SotF or Incarn.

Slight decrease to Healing Touch and increase to HotW.  Minor numbers tweaks to balance spells/talents, nothing exciting.

Summary: they agreed with a lot of my changes.  They didn’t make Rejuv slightly more efficient, but I was doubting that one anyway.  They can probably use it as a fine-tuning for Druid efficiency later on if needed.

Holy

The marginal nerfs to Renew, Binding Heal, and Surge of Light happened.  No buffs to CoP, PoM, DI, or HW:Sanc happened, that I saw.  Possibly, with overall class tuning in mind, they were inclined to make nerfs to Holy but not buffs.

Renew is still very nice, and for context is very similar to Rejuvenation (slightly more efficient still, actually).  Still might have to keep an eye on Renew spam being too attractive.  Unlike Druid, Holy probably isn’t meant to lean on it quite so much for basic raid healing, since Holy has AoE direct heals as well.

Summary: the class is still in a nice place, but hopefully some of the more marginal spells can be made a little better at some point while still remaining comfortable on overall balance.

Disc

Penance got a 30% increase and Power Word: Shield 34%.  These are significant.  Penance is very cheap, but still doesn’t burst all that hard.  Can probably still increase both heal and mana cost.  PWS is no longer quite so inefficient; its HPM is a little better than typical fast heals.  I could see it getting pretty good use; what’s left is to gain a better sense of how the role of shields will be different in the new healing system and new content.

10% crit turns out to be for PoH, not PoM.  That makes more sense.  It’s the right idea–one of the things I mentioned is that it’s a little tricky to make certain heals better for Disc but not Holy.  10% crit is not that huge, but it’s something.

Clarity of Will bug adding 25% was removed.  As expected.

No nerf to Holy Nova or buff to PoM, from my list.  Would have expected those, especially Nova.  I imagine they’ll remain on my list for next time.

Summary: all in the right direction, but I expect further changes will be more in the same direction.

Shamans

They definitely came through with the huge buff to CH (+100% healing, HPM unchanged).  And as I explained, High Tide has to come down correspondingly.  Basically, narrowing that gap by improving untalented CH.  CH is not bad at all now–it might even need more, but after such a large buff I’d rather wait a bit before saying.  High Tide is still quite a large effect, but might be more manageable to balance other talents against.

No changes to most of the other things I mentioned, but that was really the big one.  The other two L100 talents probably have to be tuned, but that can be done after seeing where High Tide winds up.

Earth Shield did get +50% to its own heal procs, making it a little nicer to spend GCDs on even when it’s being eaten quickly.  Gameplay of ICD version (as opposed to the no-ICD version on beta) might still be a little better.

Summary: The big buff to CH, addressing what I thought was the big problem, happened.  Might be mostly down to finer tuning and dealing with certain talents.

Monk

I might not get too far into the Crane stance stuff, because I should look at the math more.  They buffed Eminence healing (43%), buffed RSK (13%), and nerfed BoK (20%) and TP (21%).  The basic idea is right–making Eminence better, and fixing the relative weakness of RSK, which is meant to be a centerpiece of the rotation.  I did have a bug in my sheet before that made Surging Mists in Crane a little too good, so that issue isn’t as big a deal as I thought–but my conclusion is the same (melee healing needed to come up a good bit).  I think they still have to address the huge mana consumption for no great gain of SCK and CJL in Crane.  The cost of Jab did come up, but not by much, so this rotation still doesn’t spend much mana.

On Serpent heals:

Chi Explosion was nerfed, but not that much (10%).  On second thought, this is probably fine.  It’s better to revisit this after seeing where Uplift lands.  Maybe the gap between UL and CE won’t be as huge, so the talent won’t be so strong.

Which leads me to, there’s no buff to Uplift.  Probably one of the more conspicuous absences, among spells I listed that I thought were pretty clear.  I think there will have to be one at some point.  Same for no nerf to Enveloping, but that’s not quite as clear an issue; it might not be a big deal if it’s kind of strong.

L45 talent balancing I mentioned last post, but I simply note that Ascension is only 15% for now even though the patch notes said 20%.

Breath of the Serpent tooltip changed to match the behavior where it doesn’t split, so I guess that version of the spell is officially blessed now.  Though the mechanics of this version are nice, it’s probably too strong of an uncapped AoE cooldown at the moment.  Could nerf the coefficient or (probably better), add a normal AoE cap.

Pool of Mists got what I thought it needed, a numerical bonus as well as the flexibility bonus.  It definitely needed it, compared to the large healing output potential of CE and (now) BotS.  Only issue is that, at a glance, it still doesn’t add much compared to the other talents since ReM healing isn’t all that large to begin with.

Summary: Complicated class, but everything has moved in a sensible direction.  A few major adjustments to spells might still be needed, and in general the smaller tuning might take some iterations due to much is going on.

EDIT: Ok, so Uplift buff and EM nerf are actually happening after all, I guess they just didn’t get into the build.  Well … good :P .

Paladin

EF got the nerf it needed, so it continues to be pushed down to the point where maybe all Paladin raid healing won’t revolve around it.  I’ll have to decide later whether I think we’re at that point now.

To fit with that, the HP generators did get better as I suggested.

I’m not making too many mechanical comments here, but since I made one for WG: I think there’s a good case to be made for the HP spenders to be instant again.  It seems Paladins would be a nice middle range of mobility, with both instants and non-instants being used commonly, even then.

Summary: Similar to the others–it all moved in a good direction.  Nothing too obvious is wrong; I think they have to find the right place for EF and then continue reallocating some of that healing output to other spells as needed.

Conclusion

Now that I’ve finally gotten to look carefully through the patch notes and spell data, and compare against my list of suggestions from a week ago, looks like that list went pretty well.

Looking forward to doing more suggestions.  A lot of them are implied by what I wrote in these two posts. But I want to take the time to actually re-analyze things with the new changes before simply posting again, so there’s some more point other than recompiling what I’ve said so far in these posts.

2 thoughts on “First Spell Tuning, continued

  1. Just from looking at logs, not in any intelligent theorycrafted way, Paladin Mastery still seems to be a bit over the top in a world with lower absorbs. Just browsing through logs, but it’s about 40% of their overall healing which seems a bit much.

    • That’s interesting, since a disproportionate amount of healing from Illuminated Healing should mean that people are still overhealing a lot. You’d think that was lower in the new healing world. Actually, it probably is lower–IH often well exceeds 40% right now, and that’s even without including EF.

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