Looks like some more updates and clarifications came down the pipe this weekend. I’m going to go ahead and post the blue post below and follow it up with some of my commentary, and hopefully follow it up with some of your commentary, haha. Anyway, this little tidbit seems to be focusing on the Paladin’s AE healing abilities.
Our goal is for paladins to be able to raid heal. Don’t look at the designs for spells that none of you have even been able to try and conclude those mechanics can’t possibly allow you to raid heal and therefore our goal can’t possibly be met and will therefore be abandoned. It’s fine to raise concerns — that’s one of the reasons we announce stuff like this early — but some of you are trying to get a spell buffed that you haven’t even cast yet.
I will say our vision for the AE spell though is not that the paladin runs around constantly, but that you position yourself where you can do the most good. Sometimes that will be back with the healers. Sometimes that might be in the melee. Sometimes you’ll have to spread out and your group healing won’t be as efficient (in the same way a shaman’s group healing isn’t as good in the same scenario).
Tranquility is on a very long cooldown. It is not the way druids AE heal. We want to shift it from 5-person group to raid because we’d like to do that with every spell. Having to organize players by arbitrary group is a strange concept since it doesn’t actually manifest itself in the real world (in the way distance from you on the battlefield does).
We aren’t going to give paladins anything resembling Circle of Healing. One (or two) of those spells in the game is plenty.
Spirit will be a good stat to stack but only to a point. Once you can heal say a six minute boss fight without going out of mana, then any additional Spirit is pretty much wasted. At that point stats like crit start to look pretty attractive because they increase your spell’s throughput without increasing the mana cost. Maybe you’ll be able to heal someone with one cast, allowing you to swap over and heal another player. In today’s healing environment, where a lot of that excess healing will be wasted overhealing, getting a huge crit on a spell isn’t nearly as valuable.
We’ll have to see how raid healing goes. We might be okay with the tendency for groups to still assign paladins to tank healing because they are particularly good at it. What we want to avoid are those cases where a group feels like they can’t possibly keep tanks alive because they lack a paladin or they can’t possibly keep groups alive because they have too many paladins.
Wow, that was a good bit of info right there. Sadly it makes my visualization of Hands of Healing null and void, as it stresses that HoH isn’t going to have you running around like mad, but instead having you place yourself where the heals are needed, limiting the efficiency of the AE healing in cases where players are spread out. They allude to Shaman raid healing as an example, and how it is limited by range as well.
I do agree that it would be beneficial and a change in tactics for groups to actually group up depending on what healing is needed. I also really like the idea that paladins will be moving closer to the melee area in some cases, and not always in the background with jazzhands. However, I disagree with the comparison to Shaman healing. The disagreement comes with the fact that a shaman can target where it heals bounce from. While standing in the back of the room, the Shaman can still throw a chain heal into the melee group, and let it do the bouncing; while on the other hand, a Paladin will need to mosey on up to the melee group and start farting heals. The time lost getting up there could be a factor.
Now, the Blizzard poster does have a point.
Don’t look at the designs for spells that none of you have even been able to try and conclude those mechanics can’t possibly allow you to raid heal and therefore our goal can’t possibly be met and will therefore be abandoned. It’s fine to raise concerns — that’s one of the reasons we announce stuff like this early — but some of you are trying to get a spell buffed that you haven’t even cast yet.
The point is well taken. We can’t really determine how the spell will work if we’ve never seen it yet. I would, however, appreciate what ideas they have for range/strength of the heal being emitted. However, again, we really can’t determine what kind of use it will have until we can use it… maybe this post will catch Blizzard’s attention… and get me a beta key! 😛
Another not pointed out in this blue post was the mention of stacking spirit. It’s stated that stacking spirit is a good idea, up to a point. An example being healing a 6 minute fight without running out of mana. I’m assuming that this includes using all of our normal mana regen cooldowns (if they exist come Cataclysm), on top of the stacked spirit. A sentence did stick out a bit, and maybe I’m just reading into things:
At that point stats like crit start to look pretty attractive because they increase your spell’s throughput without increasing the mana cost.
What did they mean by “without increasing the mana cost” in the statement above? Obviously crit is going to increase the throughput of your heals by doubling (think Critical Healing Effect Mastery) their output, but are they meaning “increasing the mana cost” by having to cast more heals? I can only assume that is the case, but could there be a new mechanic being added that allows increased throughput with increased mana usage (think Arcane Power, more power for more mana). Again, maybe I’m just reading to much into this, but it does pop some light bulbs above my head.
In conclusion though, it does appear that the powers that be, don’t mind letting us fill the Tank healing niche. They just hope that having more than one paladin healer isn’t a hinderance in AoE healing. As usual, time will tell.
What do you think about the paladin AoE heal? Will you still be running around like mad anyway?