The state of 25-man raid healing: 2+1+1

90 Troll Druid
9540
Executive summary:

Paladins and priests are good healers, druids and shamans are not. Shamans get a free pass only because of Mana Tide. The problem is getting worse with more gear. Paladins outshine druids in tank healing, and priests outshine druids in raid healing. There is very little incentive to opt for a healing druid instead of these two classes in the heroic encounters, so we will probably not bring any if we have a choice. To fix the situation, druids need to be capable of more bursty raid healing.


The long version:

Since this will probably end up being the Great Wall of China of all forum posts, I'll cut straight to the point: there is a clear division between the healing classes for challenging 25-man encounters right now.

Paladins and priests are performing well, and the recent fixes have achieved a rather good balance between these two classes. Druids and shamans on the other hand seem to be sweating to keep up, hovering somewhere around 50-80% of the potential of the other two.

I will not try to analyze why shaman healing is lagging behind, since I have limited experience with healing with one in level 85 raids. What I can say is that they get a free pass with Mana Tide. The totem is simply such an incredible, borderline overpowered regeneration ability combined with +spirit use trinkets for all the healers, that bringing Shamans is worth it even if their healing is sub-par. Quite frankly, Mana Tide is the only reason we'd bring shaman healers if we had options. Feel free to agree or disagree and throw in your two cents if you are a shaman doing high-end 25-man raiding.

Druids are not so lucky. We are at a point where our ex-trees are voluntarily benching themselves on every new encounter, because we know the raid is better off with some other healer. 5-man geared priest and paladin alts outperform main druids that are among the best geared characters in the game right now.

Frankly druids have amazing longevity, and very potent tank healing. At lower gear levels we can keep up and even outperform the others. The problem occurs when the others start having enough mana to heal properly; paladin scaling pushes us out of tank healing and priest scaling pushes us out of raid healing.

The raid healing issue is mainly a problem of available tools. After Wild Growth and Swiftmend are on cooldown, the best option is pretty much to spam Rejuvenation. The healing done per execution time of the first two heals are very good, somewhere around 25-30k, while Rejuvenation is at around 17k. Prayer of Healing averaged at 23.5k. The numbers presented are from a recent 25-man Heroic Omintron Council kill. Most of the hard encounters seem to require topping the whole raid off very fast, which emphasizes heals that are both powerful and frontloaded. Rejuvenation is neither, and it is the best of the worst. Comparing mana numbers directly is pointless with different regen mechanics, but suffice to say that no one is running too much out of mana with Mana Tides.

The natural answer is to only use the good raid healing abilities on cooldown and to take care of the tanks in between. Lifebloom (+ ToL rolling), Clearcasting, and our mastery bonus make druids very, very good for tank healing. The only problem is that when there are three or more paladins in the raid, this potential is largely wasted. Paladin mechanics also force them to set aside a part of their healing for the tanks. In addition to this, Beacon of Light provides a constant stream of healing for the tank even when healing others. In fact, if you completely factor out healing done by Beacon of Light, paladins are druids seem to be pretty much on the same line. The healing actually ends up working in a similar fashion despite different mechanics; the numbers are simply about 20% in the favor of paladins.

Both of the issues are only really apparent with encounters that have only 1-2 tanks, heavy raid damage, and promote standing near each other when in need of healing. Sadly this amounts to the vast majority of heroic fights based on the impressions so far. In the few fights where people absolutely have to spread, druids are pretty decent.

There are other quality-of-life complaints that can be made, like tank switching ordeals, but those are not urgent. This is. Without fixes, it is unlikely that we will see druid healers progressing into the harder heroic encounters when the average gear level increases. Shamans might suffer the same fate if other healers have enough mana, but that's unlikely to happen in this tier.

The only 'easy' suggestion I can present is to cut Wild Growth cooldown to almost in half and increase the mana cost accordingly. This would enable more bursty healing but discourage spamming the ability.

Note that everything here is from the perspective of 25-man (heroic) raiding, though I imagine the same problems are probably evident in 10-man as well to a lesser degree.
Edited by Xaar on 22/12/2010 15:35 GMT
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85 Draenei Shaman
6455
priests performing well as healers? :O

dude wtf are you talking about, priests suck, this is what I got when trying to prove them it doesnt..
From what I've seen on raid logs of latest 25/25hc kills, also in ensidia 10 man hc kills (they use only priest and paladin), you are right

1 paladin
2 priest

and shamans only for tide, resto druid probably not at all or 1 for nice looking tree

No smart suggestion, just even the numbers.
Edited by Lpad on 22/12/2010 15:50 GMT
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85 Worgen Druid
7740
Nice read, and the first real point of view from 25-man heroic I have seen. But with all respect I do not think that simply buffing wg will help every druid. I am mainly a 5man heroic and arena healer, I will go into 10man raiding when we have the members for it. But to me the problem lies in our mastery. If you change the mastery to scale with hots instead of heals on targets who have hots, I believe you would see an increase in druids who can perform in raids and in arena.

You also seem to forget about paladins mastery which gives their target a shield, you can't see this on a healing meter but it should be consideret when you benchmarking druid agaisnt paladins.

I don't even know if the changes to our mastery would be enough when you look at the paladins healing output based on mana and ours. It's not just on an aoe healing side it's pretty much consistant through out our spells. Blizzard needs to take a hard look on druids healing and see where they can make changes without it just being a massiv buff.
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85 Tauren Druid
12115
did not read your long version. (cuz its too long!)

Druids need a few tweaks to not make us so clunky, we dont need much of a boost if any, but our scaling is bad because of some badly thought out mechanics and it might become a problem as early as hc modes this tier or the next tier of raiding.

-Mastery is @*!@ because the HoT requirement is unreasonable to maintain on anyone other then the tank. Not scaling with some stats meant for the class is bad, like haste before the GCD reduction and crit even now.
-Nourish HoT requirement for the same reason as the mastery.
-Regrowth is really bad compared to the other healers fast inefficient heal. Remove the HoT, reduce the crit bonus and make it heal for a proper amount.

Currently while raiding Im usually in the middle on the healing meters (I know, I know, it doesnt mean much) but that is mainly because the shamans/priests/paladins get put in a group together and get the benefit of 2-3 manatides every 3min. Just be sure to use your CDs properly (ToL and Tranquility) as they are very powerfull AND mana efficient.
Edited by Grizfang on 22/12/2010 15:58 GMT
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90 Troll Druid
9540
Priests most certainly do not suck in 25-man raids right now if they have high-end gear, and I'm not talking about 346 blues. While overall paladins might be stronger, the winner pretty much depends on the encounter. Priests probably scale better with gear, but I haven't done any hard numbers comparing those two.

"Buffing" WG in reducing the cd and increasing the mana cost wouldn't help every druid - in fact it would probably make 5-man healing harder. The heroics are pretty easy to heal with any class once you get a bit of gear though. I don't really even see any issue with them, but I guess I'm really in a minority segment anyway. I'm only really trying to provide feedback from heroic 25-man raids, where druids seem to have a weakness big enough for benching them to be the best option.

I don't think the WG suggestion is very good either, but it's simply the best short-term solution that has come to mind. I disagree that simply buffing numbers would be good, because that would either not really address the issue in the case of WG, or would make us overpowered in spread fights in the case of Rejuvenation if it was brought to a high enough level.
Edited by Xaar on 22/12/2010 16:05 GMT
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85 Tauren Druid
3325
Totally agree,

I am waiting for when I will be benched in favour of more Priests, Paladins and Shamans. Just lucky that not all of them are active yet. As for 10man I got no chance :(
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85 Tauren Druid
0
Pointless posting on these EU forums , scrolled back 4 pages and not 1 bastard response from blizzard, unlike the yank forums full of replies.
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22/12/2010 6:00 PMPosted by Angrybull
Pointless posting on these EU forums , scrolled back 4 pages and not 1 bastard response from blizzard, unlike the yank forums full of replies.


Woooo, unexpected...

Do they at least whine about the same?
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85 Blood Elf Priest
4820
Adapt.
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85 Night Elf Druid
0
I'm totaly agree with OP. Today i'm fine because our Paladin just arrived to 85 but next week when our 3 Paladins start to raid I will be in raid healing where priest are 300% better (way better tools) and shamans give Mana Tide to all raid. The only thing I will bring is the same thing retri Palas, Frost Mages, Destro Locks and maybe some other class can bring also, 1% mana/s. So i'm worry about this when true progression come. Probably I will give my place so they can bring anouther shaman or priest and perform better.
And ppl can't use the argument hot are powerfull because the priest can spam renews with no problem or in tank and drop some aoe heal when necessary. Druids hots were good and suportive now are slow, low duration and expensive. =(
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85 Night Elf Druid
8810
22/12/2010 7:07 PMPosted by Bovidictus
Adapt.


I`m sure a Druid who raids with Paragon really needs to be told how to L2P.....
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85 Draenei Shaman
8480
I'am not that worried as a shaman. It's easy to tweak shamans in the right direction - Futhermore shamans scales relatively good with gear(druids don't).

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90 Pandaren Shaman
10530
resto shamans are actualy weak?
i dont feel weak at all.
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85 Dwarf Shaman
4375
22/12/2010 8:40 PMPosted by Zerowindfury
resto shamans are actualy weak?
i dont feel weak at all.


Try raiding with Priests+Paladins who's ontop of their A-game.

I'm not saying I have too much of a problem, but that's because I'm not teamed with a priest and a paladin who's ontop of their A-game.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6035
22/12/2010 3:48 PMPosted by Alto

You also seem to forget about paladins mastery which gives their target a shield, you can't see this on a healing meter but it should be consideret when you benchmarking druid agaisnt paladins.


Paladin mastery is very terrible, you can safely ignore it.
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85 Draenei Shaman
6455
22/12/2010 8:40 PMPosted by Zerowindfury
resto shamans are actualy weak?
i dont feel weak at all.


he is talking about 25 man hc's, not 5's in 246 gear.

And if you read logs from various guilds that killed stuff, paladins and priests outmatch druids and shamans by far. Well, lucky shamans have mana tide.
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85 Worgen Druid
7740
22/12/2010 9:26 PMPosted by Diamondtear

You also seem to forget about paladins mastery which gives their target a shield, you can't see this on a healing meter but it should be consideret when you benchmarking druid agaisnt paladins.


Paladin mastery is very terrible, you can safely ignore it.


True it's not the best, but it's still better than druids. And if you are benchmarking two classes agaisnt eachother you can't leave anything out, no matter how small. Otherwise you won't get the full picture.
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85 Tauren Druid
3775
I'm talking from the PoV of numbers, here, not cata raid experience (sadly) - so if you want to dismiss my comments based on that alone I'll understand, but I'd be thankful if you at least took in what I have to say with a pinch.

22/12/2010 3:33 PMPosted by Xaar
After Wild Growth and Swiftmend are on cooldown, the best option is pretty much to spam Rejuvenation


You've not mentioned lifebloom. Stack 3LB and let it expire before immediately refreshing it on the next target. It's even more efficient than a pally's HLspam+BoL bonus! It also yields a heal-per-cast-time higher similar to HT.

22/12/2010 3:33 PMPosted by Xaar
Most of the hard encounters seem to require topping the whole raid off very fast


I'm kinda hoping that's a flaw in Blizzard's design considering how opposed to front-loaded healing our spells tend to be - especially our efficient ones.

I see magmatron deals a lot of group-wide damage but even in HC I see generous opportunity to top everyone back up - approx 25-30 seconds. That's ample opportunity to heal about 4 people's worth of that damage as a druid isn't it?

Correct me if I'm wrong, here.
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85 Draenei Shaman
13445
Nice post, feel it sums up the healing situation in raiding quite nicely.

From my own experience and log browsing, this is also my impression so far in 25man raiding. Priests being just awesome on AoE healing , with PoH being just overpowered given the smart, easy heal it is. I was hoping that stacking priest would be a thing of the past after LK heroic, but apparently blizzard seems to think otherwise. Hint: Halfus heroic and smite. (and yes I am aware it was fixed, but if done properly, they still get enough throughput this way to make other healers look bad).

Paladins are still quite strong and desired despite their recent HP "tuning". Druids and shamans are struggling to keep up, with druids faring slightly worse.

Speaking for shamans, I don't feel underpowered, think we're doing decent HPS on tanks but our AoE healing could improve. Sure, healing rain is nice when you can get many people to stack on it, but in most encounters that's hardly the case. As for our mastery? Situational and hard to evaluate, and not really getting much out of it given its nature.

As for chain heal? Seriously, they might as well have deleted it. Even if you consistently hit all targets with it, the throughput is still quite meeeeeeeeh.

But I hope that it will all be fair in the end.
Edited by Ragnadriel on 23/12/2010 00:05 GMT
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90 Troll Druid
9540
You've not mentioned lifebloom. Stack 3LB and let it expire before immediately refreshing it on the next target. It's even more efficient than a pally's HLspam+BoL bonus! It also yields a heal-per-cast-time higher similar to HT.
...
I see magmatron deals a lot of group-wide damage but even in HC I see generous opportunity to top everyone back up - approx 25-30 seconds. That's ample opportunity to heal about 4 people's worth of that damage as a druid isn't it?


Lifebloom certainly is incredibly efficient. Bloom-rolling it might have a better hpct than HT, but that is largely irrelevant for throughput. Rejuvenation already has more than 1.5 times the hpct of HT. Of course mana will also be a concern if you have to spam Rejuvenation constantly, but that is in no way helping the argument since other spammable spells do not provide enough throughput.

The way Magmatron's aoe has to be handled depends entirely on the combo that is on the field at the moment. When he's teamed up with either Electron or Toxitron, the possible death combos force a maximum hps priority. Do you bring a priest that dishes out twice the hps in situations where people can die, or a druid that is good at healing in situations where no one is in any danger?
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