Why healers need a healing dummy in Warlords of Draenor

Ever since many trinket procs (and the legendary cloak proc) were changed to only proc in combat, it has been a pain being a healer and trying to test procs as well as weak auras.  After all, DPS and tanks can beat the training dummies all day long to practice their rotations.  But healers?  We have to get ourselves in combat, testing weird things like a trinket proc + healing cooldown (how much more will my healing CD hit for if I combine it with a cloak proc and a trinket proc), hot ticks (haste + bad ms = oops), talent build changes (everyone says Talent XYZ is bad, but I want to see for myself without sacrificing my raid while I test), combat mana regen (ie. should I really have just dropped 6k spirit?) or just work on creating or testing a new weak aura to ensure it works.

Unfortunately, for healers, training dummies only keep us in combat for a few seconds if we throw a DPS spell on it, which really isn’t that helpful, and unless you are a disc priest, it really isn’t going to be part of your healing rotation, and the 4 seconds is pretty limiting.  @Tiriel suggested dueling someone, which isn’t a bad idea, but still would require you to find someone to duel you without killing you, while you test out rotation, procs, etc.

You can also heal someone attacking the training dummies, but as soon as they stop attacking, you drop combat as well.  Again, less than ideal unless you have bribed the person to keep attacking.

Many suggested LFR, but in reality, usually I have to actually heal people because many think Dark Meditation means stand as far out in range as possible with their 400k health pool or that Arcing Smash and Seismic Slam give a haste buff.  And don’t forget at least two of those “healers” are actually DPS who queued as healers to get a faster queue, so being able to test things in LFR becomes pretty limited (and I am not one of those who will just AFK bosses in LFR, even if I did want to test something).

Someone else suggested Proving Grounds, but with everything scaled down in levels and with things like 4pc and meta not being active, it’s not going to give any kind of accurate representation to a healer who wants to see hot ticks etc.

pools of purity

My current go to method?  Those unlucky turtles at the Pools of Purity, although I admit it does get annoying hearing them attacking me while I wait for a trinket to proc to ensure my weak aura tracking the trinket is accurate or not.  Although on a PVP server I have been attacked multiple times while doing this kind of thing, and I just have to hope I can heal them to death until they can chain stun me and burst me down with my 0 resilience.

Now, I realize there are limitations for what a healing dummy can do in terms of *actual* healing, and my idea of a training dummy has nothing to do with HPS or wanting to see how big of a crit I can get.  Healers who have strong AOE heals won’t get accurate data from a single dummy (although a group would be awesome).   Resto Shaman mastery healing changes based on the health of the target.   And HPS isn’t going to be accurate in any kind of a sense of what HPS would be like in a dungeon or raid environment.  So it shouldn’t be seen as any kind of true “how well can I heal”.

And people have brought up healing dummies before (hat tip to @veroicone) but most seem to be from the “I want to see my wicked HPS and prove how awesome I am,” which is definitely not why I want a dummy.

But a healing dummy – or even a group of NPCs designed for this purpose (and named after well known healers would be amazing) that allows a healer to stay in combat while healing, that allows cloaks, metas, trinkets, weapons (if healers ever get another proc weapon) to proc to practice rotation, mana, etc.  It could even be a special instance, a room, or a specific non-dummy-looking thing, like a Healer Box that @Kristin and @Stormieh_Mw suggested.    It could be done similarly to the portable training dummies we saw added to the game, such as the Archaeology reward Anatomical Dummy (and yes, I tried that one too, in case it interacted differently with healers and/or the person who spawned it).

Will we see a healer training dummy in Warlords of Draenor?  The comment @Celestalon of Blizzard made makes me think it could possibly happen, which is sure better than “no”.  I sure hope so, otherwise I will have to sacrifice more mobs in WoD in the name of healing!  If you are interested i reading more comments about it from Twitter click here (warning, there are a lot!)

Added: They also wrote about this on Joystiq.

Are you a healer who tweets?

tweetabouthealingIf you are a healer who tweets, please follow us @HealerCDs and we can add you to our list of healers.  If you don’t have your healing class in your description, drop us an @reply too, so we know what list to add you to.

Want to follow healers on Twitter?  We have lists set up for healing classes, follow them all, or follow your class.  You can also subscribe to the lists as well!

We will also start running Twitter feeds from these lists on class pages, so it is definitely worthwhile to get yourself list and get new followers.  And we will also use these lists to throw out some healer love for #FollowFridays.

Disclaimer: While you don’t have to have every tweet about WoW, you should sometimes post about healing or raiding.  And only active accounts, if you haven’t tweeted in months, there is no point in adding you.

Cleave will benefit healers in Warlords of Draenor

There has been a lot of talk about Cleave and how it will affect healers in 5.4, and it definitely will contribute to healing, similarly to how the trinket from Thok, the Thok’s Acid-Grooved Tooth, cleaves for healing currently.

So since healer armour will be shared with dps, will the “Bonus” random stats affect healers too? Multistrike, cleave, etc.
Yes. (Source)
is the cleave stat going to affect healers and the way they heal?
The idea is it could heal nearby targets like the SoO trinket. (Source)

thok trinketThe Thok trinket is pretty awesome on certain fights, but kind be pretty meh on fights that people are spread more.  This could equal a lot more healers QQing “OMG range, stack up NAO!!!!!!!”.  And in my experience, it is definitely hard to make range stack up, there will always be those special snowflakes standing out of range (and outside Healing Rain, Efflorescence, etc) that require single target heals (or you can just let them die, like you sometimes have to ironically on Thok if they just won’t get in the group).

This is something to really watch for once Beta/PTR hits.

Redundant DPS/Healing Cooldowns could be removed in Warlords of Draenor

This was first mentioned a couple of weeks ago via Twitter by Holinka, and I was hoping to have a bit more information, but alas, this is still all we have.  They are looking at removing what they consider to be “redundant” DPS/Healing Cooldowns as part of the overall Warlords of Draenor changes.

Would you gentleman be willing to touch on what abilities, (or types of abilities) you’ve looking at removing in WoD?
We’re currently exploring removing CC abilities and redundant DPS/healing cooldowns. (Source)

What they currently see as redundant is anyone’s guess.

The role of Mistweaver Monks in Melee & Fistweaving

spinning crane kickThere was an interesting exchange about Monk Mistweavers and healing on Twitter, with discussions about whether Mistweavers are given an unfair advantage because they are considered melee.  Right now, Mistweavers can stand at range, yet won’t be targeted for range abilities by bosses, or they can stand in melee, which tends to have fewer mechanics anyway.

Blizzard also brings up the idea of smart healing and how they believe all healers, not just Mistweavers, are suffering from too much in the way of smart heals.

Here is the entire exchange…

Quick Monk Question, do MW monks count as Melee right now, or will that only be in WoD?
Yes, they do. (Source)
Any chance of that being extended to other healing specs to avoid an unfair advantage? All healers benefit from being in melee
Unlikely. It’s a perk we give to specs intended to be in melee, not an unfair advantage. (Source)
It just feels like something that should be either all healers or none rather than allowing some to ignore mechanics.
There are mechanics that they would have to handle that you don’t; a tradeoff for Fistweavers. Just a perk for MW, which is fine. (Source)
But MW aren’t required to be in melee to be effective. They could stand at ranged and ignore both melee and ranged mechanics
That’s why I said “Just a perk for MW, which is fine.” Every difference between classes isn’t an “unfair advantage”. (Source)

The more I think about it, the less it seems like Statue of the Jade Serpent adds any real gameplay value. Thoughts?
It does a bit for Fistweaving, but is fairly passive otherwise. Doesn’t necessarily need to be involved gameplay. (Source)
Do you think it would be more interesting with a shorter radius?
I think many Mistweavers would say that its radius is already short feeling. But, as a gameplay element to be handled, possibly. (Source)

is it possible that maybe we can see fistweavers being able to dual wield in WoD? It would be really awesome imo 
Cool look / feel, but that would necessitate all Mistweavers that want to even dabble in Fistweaving to get a second weapon. (Source)
Use “way of the monk”? Doable but possibly not worth the effort; WotM never properly balanced for WW, who all DW.
Another community misconception. Way of the Monk does balance DW vs 2H for Brewmaster and Windwalker, extremely closely. (Source)

MW relies too much on smart heals. MW would be even better if players would have more direct control.
We agree, and think that statement applies to all healers, not just MW. (Source)

Mistweavers definitely seem to have the advantage on many fights (I can’t count the times I enviously looked at Mistweavers as they could stand wherever they wanted on heroic Lei Shen knowing they wouldn’t be targeted for Thunderstruck and could be happily healing while the rest of us ran.

But on this tier, Mistweavers definitely got the short end of the stick.  For the last few heroic bosses, no one seemed to bring Mistweavers in for progression, and they were stuck riding the bench (along with the rest of the healing team that heroic Thok required).

Duel wielding would look pretty cool, and they could make fist off-hand weapons for Shamans as well, so it wouldn’t be a strict Mistweaver thing.

No plans to remove the dispelling CD

Remember the days (oh how we loved you Heroic Sinestra and Heroic Spine of Deathwing) when healers could lovingly dispel their fellow raiders every global?  And the much beloved Cleansing Totem?  Ever since Blizzard made the change to put a cooldown on dispelling, there have been cries from healers to remove it.  While a CD makes sense for PVP, when it comes to PVE, you sometimes have to plan comp around which healers you have to dispel (cough, Horridon).  Well, Blizzard has officially said there are no plans to remove the dispel cooldown in Warlords of Draenor :(

What do you think about removing the cooldown on dispel in the near future?
Holinka: We don’t plan to remove it. (Source)

Sorry to crush all your hopeful dispelling dreams for Warlords.

Paladin’s Dual Beacon of Light – what happens when a third is placed?

Beacon of LightWhen Blizzard announced “The Light Within” tier talent for Holy Paladins at level 100, many people were pretty excited about the idea of being able to place a Beacon of Light on each tank.  However, in the current form, if a healer swaps beacon from one person to another, it just overwrites the previous one.  But what about when there are two?

Blizzard has confirmed that currently, placing a third Beacon of Light will overwrite the oldest Beacon that was placed on a player.  So if you place a Beacon on Tank A, then the second on Tank B, but say you have a third tank or a player soaking damage, and you then place a Beacon on that player, your Tank A (who has the oldest Beacon between Tank A and Tank B) would lose the Beacon.

Quick question. What if I cast beacon of light on someone else with duel BOL talent in WOD? Will the first gone or i may choose?
Celastalon: If you BoL when you already have 2 out, it’ll remove it from the older existing one. Somewhat awkward; alternative is two buttons. (Source)

It is an interesting idea to have two buttons, but I doubt it would really be that big of a deal to replace a Beacon if you lose the first.  On the other hand, I can definitely see a wipe occuring and a raid leader asking “Why didn’t Tank A have a Beacon?” when he looks at incoming heals prior to a lack of healing death, to which the Pally will go “Uh oh”.

How haste will affect Paladin’s Eternal Flame & Sacred Shield in Warlords of Draenor

With all the changes with haste and haste breakpoints for Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard answered some questions about how haste will affect Paly’s Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield in WoD.

With all the changes to haste breakpoints in Warlords, will Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield continue to work as on live?
Eternal Flame is a HoT like any other, so the changes apply. Sacred Shield is unusual; intend will be the same, may be custom. (Source)

So Eternal Flame will be affected by haste changes, but we could still see some changes made to Sacred Shield before the expansion drops.

More on Healers & Spirit in Warlords of Draenor

Ever since Blizzard announced that there would no longer be any spirit on the majority of healing gear, aside from trinkets and jewelry, many healers have been concerned about what this might mean for healers and their mana regen (eep!)

One of the ideas raised is for haste to affect how quickly mana regens, since the value of spirit definitely varies between the healer classes.  Blizzard answered a few more questions about the role of spirit in healer gear for Warlords of Draenor.

What about removing Spirit and let Haste be the main factor of mana regen? Throwing ideas around. @Celestalon
Spirit’s value varies significantly between classes. One contributor is what the other secondaries do for regen. (Source)
We’re looking at potential changes in that regard, to standardize that better between classes. (Source)

What about Spirit? On clothes? On Jewelry? Some DPS casters are using them on rings/neck at least.
No spirit on armor may involve increasing the amount of spirit on non-armor. That makes it more complex to change existing armor. We recognize the problem and are planning potential solutions, but aren’t ready to give specifics yet. (Source)

Wouldn’t increasing the amount of regen spirit gives instead avoid that issue?
That may be part of it, but we may change how we itemize non-armor pieces. Just complicates the issue. (Source)

If healers have enough regen with 1-2 spirit pieces in first raid tier, what happens to mana regen later on?

“Enough” is a very ethereal concept. It also varies with other gear. And definitely not from 1-2 items in the first tier. (Source)

Then between 3 and 6 (of 7) slots. If item stats triple again, will only need max 2 spirit pieces in final tier. Also, sockets.

Sounds like you’re ignoring the fact that “enough” changes between tiers. (Source)

Anyone else a tad bit concerned about the spirit and mana changes for WoD?  I remember sucking mana at the start of Pandaria, and at the start of Cataclysm, and praying to the Mana Tide and Hymn of Hope Gods for more mana.

Where Holy Priest Mastery is going for Warlords of Draenor

Mastery hasn’t been a very strong stat for holy priests, particularly when there is a lot of overhealing going on (which there usually is, unless a guild is deliberately underhealing a boss).  Blizzard answered some questions about the role of mastery for priests and if it is being reworked for WoD.

Any chance on HPriest mastery being relooked at for WoD? Maybe turn all the overheals from it into something?
Echo of Light us something we balance assuming it’s going to be more overheal than average. More of regen than healing in design. (Source)

It’s not really a choice when it maths out to be 25% or less of the value of other secondaries in typical 25H.
That only sounds accurate when significantly overhealing, and only if your goal is topping the healing meters. (Source)
If you’re not overhealing, and your goal is minimizing deaths, mastery can work well. (Source)

And when in the last 3 expacs has there not been significant overhealing most of the time even progression?
I’m referring to using more healers than you need. Doing so results in RShams looking weak, and Discs strong. (Source)

Sounds as though it will be another one of those things that will work well earlier in the upcoming expansion, similar to how priests were stronger at the start of this expansion too.