Harmony – New Resto Mastery for 4.2   22 comments

Once again we have more datamined information coming from the PTR files, courtesy of MMO-Champion .  And no, sadly, I’m not talking about our god-awful ugly tier gear.  I’m also not talking about the anticipated changes to mana tide totem, which were seemingly brought about to continue to address healer mana.  What I am talking about are the potential changes to resto druid mastery.  It came as a bit of a shock to everyone, as it was entirely unexpected, but who am I to look the gift horse in the mouth?

Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.

Now, if we go under the assumption that Harmony will be a buff given to the druid every time they cast a direct heal, this is going to be a very good change for druid mastery.  In fact, it might even be too good a change.  I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the effects reduced some.  However, as I read it, all the casting druid needs to do to keep the buff active is cast one direct heal every ten seconds.  This is something that most druids are likely already doing, so it shouldn’t be too hard for many to simply monitor their Harmony buff and keep it active.

There is some question about if the way I have read the buff above is accurate, and the majority seem to agree with my interpretation.  However, there is the possibility that the buff isn’t something that the druid receives – rather something that is granted to the target.  And if this is the case, which I doubt (pray) , it will actually mean our mastery is worse – as hard as that is to believe.  We won’t know for certain how Harmony will work until the change is implemented on the  PTR and can be tested.

For the time being though, let’s assume that my original interpretation is correct.  I think Harmony is a good change.  While some people may say that it’s “boring”, as it’s pretty much a static buff provided that you remember to keep it active via a direct heal, it is undoubtedly an improvement over Symbiosis.  In my opinion our current mastery encourages poor healing by forcing you to “chase” already active heals on a target who may not need the extra healing over a target who does.  The whole boost a heal for someone who has a heal never really made a lot of sense to me, especially in the “triage” environment that Blizzard was trying to promote – where smart healing was encouraged.

Provided that this goes live, I think that it will also move mastery up a touch on our priority list with regards to stats.  I do not think that it’s going to overcome haste for breakpoints or intellect for pure throughput, but I do think that it’s no longer going to be something we cringe at when it appears on our gear.

Overall, I am optimistic about the change, provided that it’s done via a buff to the casting druid.

What are your thoughts on Harmony?

Posted May 11, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing, Healing

22 responses to “Harmony – New Resto Mastery for 4.2

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  1. This will be an excellent change for raid healing druids. I’m not sure how much of a difference it will make to those who primarily tank heal, but I think it will be a big buff for my own healing style and assignments.

    Like you, I sort of think this is too good of a change. Our healing output keeps getting buffed when we don’t really need buffs. Perhaps they’re trying to make up for the lack of a damage mitigation cooldown? Or saying sorry for the awful T12 helm?

    • I think it will be close to a wash for tank healers – which isn’t a bad thing! They were already able to maximize mastery. But it will be a good think for a lot of druids, and certainly for me as I predominantly raid heal.

  2. I read it initially that the buff was to hots on the target of the direct heal. I think the 2 scenarios benefit one of our roles but not so much the other. If the ‘buff’ is on the target, then druids healing tanks a lot will benefit a lot more from the change. On the flip side, tank healers will get little out of it if it’s the other way around.

    After reading this and also chatting with a fellow tree in guild (who thought it was like you’re assuming), it probably makes sense.

    Even the 10% on direct heals is a nice bonus overall, especially with that including Swiftmend for Eff.

    Regardless I’m glad that it’s something bliz is looking at, may almost make up for that dirty lock looking T12 gear?


    • I don’t know that I’d say tank healers will get little out of it – they are basically getting the same thing they has with Symbiosis, so while they are still getting a benefit it’s pretty much just the same benefit they’ve always gotten from our mastery. Just now raid healers have a use for the mastery as well 🙂

      As for our set gear…Blizzard had said they wanted everything to have a “firey” feel this tier. But I truly believe there could have been a lot more creativity in their art to achieve that goal!

  3. Haha, I agree with Jasyla. It’s most likely an excuse for the terrible T12 helm.

    I definitely read it as a buff on the casting druid. It’s a buff on Tranquility too since it won’t be connected to existing hots while channling, just refresh the buff 2 seconds before casting it.

    • I haven’t shown a helm grapic in…forever. I think my Ulduar helm was shown. My T5 was shown. My T6 was shown. My T2 was shown. And that’s about it!

  4. I think it’s an attempt to improve our tank healing capabilities without too terribly damaging our raid healing. The buff to direct healing seems to support this, and the counter-buff to hots when you cast a direct heal does, too.

    However, of course, I really have no idea (; We’ll see. Good write up.

    • I don’t really see it changing our tank healing output that much, as it seems fairly on par with Symbiosis in that regard. Symbiosis was best used when healing the tank, due to the nature of the ability. If Harmony works the way I’m hoping it does, it’s going to keep tanking healing about the same and give us a boost to our raid healing.

  5. Supposing this ends up a druid self-buff and is most valuable for tank healing, I find it interesting to compare to the Paladin mastery which is also most useful for tank healing.

    Also, this is the second change to a healing Mastery (Shaman & now Druids) which expands the affected spells to everything in the toolbox – please correct me if this does leave a spell out. Hopefully this is a design direction we’ll see working its way around. The Paladin Mastery is notorious for ignoring Beacon of Light.

    • I disagree that it’s going to be more useful for tank healing than for raid healing. It’s pretty much on par with our current mastery for tank healing, so not much has changed on that front. As far as raid healing goes, if Blizzard continues with the pretty hefty damage that we’ve seen in the T11 content’s heroic modes, then any boost to healing strength is going to be great for raid healing.

      The change in and of itself actually feels a lot more like the shaman mastery than the paladin mastery to me, in that it effects all of our heals now provided that you cast a direct heal once every 10 seconds.

  6. i will agree that these changes are very good if they are correct and the caster gets the buff but i disagree with who will benefit more.

    as it is now raid healers dont get much use of mastery if any at all but tank healers get quite a lot of use from mastery as they will have hots on the tank a high percentage of the time anyway.

    with the new harmony mechanic the tank healer will get virtially the same benefit from the new one as they did the old one. maybe slightly higher with the new one but not that much difference. raid healers on the other hand will get use of the mastery bonus for nearly 100% of the fight if they play intelegently. LB is always rolling on someone, either refresh it with nourish if things are going ok or if things are going downhill then you should be able to refresh with RG to keep the buff near to 100%.

    previously the mastery bonus was nearly none existant for raid healing and just ok for tank healing so the change should make mastery a good bonus to any healing assignment.

    • I don’t think that Symbiosis was “non-existant” for raid healing, but rather promoted bad healing practices – forcing you to heal a target that may or may not need a heal just to make use of it.

      I think that Harmony is going to have benefits regardless of what your healing assignment is. It’s not likely to change much for one who is tank healing, but will increase in usefulness for those who are raid healing. It seems pretty win/win to me! 🙂

      • considering hots made up over 80% of raid healing and the actual heals that benefitted from mastery were closer to 10% from the logs. of the 10% which benefitted from mastery 40% went to overhealing so cannot be included.

        all these numbers are rough btw but are from actual fights.

        so to clarify the amount of benefit gained from symbiosis was that roughly 6% of my healing got a 20% bonus. the other 94% got no benefit from it.

        nearly non existant to me sums it up well.

      • I’d be curious to know how you can see your heals affected by symbiosis – I was never able to find it in WoL, even with use of the expresion editor. Are you using the druid mastery mod? If not, how are you tracking the information in WoL?

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  8. This is great. If it buffs the caster, it’s very similar to the new healing mechanics for priests and shamans and I agree that it would put the incentives in the right place.

  9. apologies i cannot add this as a reply so it will be a new comment.

    im afraid a lot of the numbers are mostly guestimates based on lots of testing. testing figures where i know i do not have mastery with equal figures where i tried to use mastery as much as possible. one of the logs i used was for BWD trash where i deliberately failed to use any mastery and one for the same trash where i used as much as possible.

    this is bad practice as far as raiding goes like you said but did give me an idea of what the figures were like.

    then taking what i learned and looking at a fight where i know which spells benefitted and which didnt and roughly how much of the time.

    every fight is different so all of this only gives an basic idea of how much benefit there is but it is the best i can do at the moment.

    10 x nourish. all used on the tank. aprox 4 of these were at full health so were wasted, and the other 6 were used to refresh LB. 80% of wind growth was used after a group damage where i know none had previous hot’s. RJ was used on the ones not affected with WG so they didnt benefit. during movement RJ and WG were used if needed but mainly one hot per target so they didnt benefit either.
    SM is always boosted so i didnt account for it as its boosted regardless of assignment. shoudl i take it into account, depends how you look at it really.

    of the other spells cast some were boosted and some werent but as they only accounted for a small amount of the total healing (10%) i figured i could assume maybe 50% if i wanted to put a figure on it. TOL is only used in specific situations and for this fight only for mana saving. 1 x LB on each player and then instant RG with the CC procs so the majority didnt benefit either.

    i could have forced certain things to happen to make it benefit more but that promotes bad healing in the long run and i wanted to test just how much benefit there was worst case.
    every fight has a portion of it where it will be worst case and some more than others. i also wanted to know how much predictable healing i could do and not how much if i am lucky with mastery so thats the main reason for looking at it and for looking at it in this way.
    i was looking at trying a mastery mod to get better figures but with the changes coming it will be a bit pointless until we know the correct changes.

  10. Just so you know I logged onto the PTR and harmony is gained by the druid regardless of the target of the heal. So 1 nourish on tank to refresh LB will give all hots cast for 10 seconds the buff.

    With my mastery level (reforged most mastery stats to spirit or haste) I was sitting on 13% buff to both direct healing and hots (after the buff is active)..

    Looks OP to me :/


  11. do you know if the buff is dynamic or is applied as the hot is cast?

    Eg. if i cast RJ just as the buff is about to run out will all of the RJ tics get the buff or does it change as the buff changes?

    i dont think its OP i just think we have got used to having very little benefit from mastery. maybe we can compete with the priests after this change.

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  13. Hey fellas!
    As I’m not a native speaker the following snippet of the new Mastery description is a little ambigious for me:
    “…and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds…”
    To me it sounds like this, e.g.:
    I have 4 Rejuvs ticking on the raid and 3x Life Bloom on a Tank, now I cast let’s say Nourish to reset the Life Bloom timer.
    The direct heal of Nourish is improved by Harmony and ALL ticking Rejuvs also benefit now from Harmony for 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds the Rejuvs fall back to their regular ticks unless I once again cast a direct heal.
    As far as I understand the description it would be a dynamic “buff” which is applied to all ticking HoT instances rather than a “buff” for the casting druid.
    This would really be a little OP, I think, but that’s how I would interprete the description.

    If one would interprete it as a “buff” for the casting druid, then there’s one thing that would annoy me really bad if I were assigned to heal the tank(s): In order to have the Mastery benefit any of our HoTs you would have to cast a direct heal FIRST.
    So at pull time you would have to cast Nourish and THEN start to stack LB in order to have Harmony in effect for it.
    Does this sound right to you?

    Blizzard really needs to be a little more precise about their tooltips and announces.

    Best regards

    • i asked the same point regarding the dynamic buff and until anyone can confirm this im afraid all this is just speculation.

      i see the buff differently than you. if the caster gets the buff to all hots he casts then i believe only the hots cast while under the buff get the benefit and they continue to get the benefit until they are overwritten or until they run out. im not sure how a buff to the casting druid would be OP as all druids will aim to have 100% uptime on the buff either way so every hot and direct heal should now be buffed.

      if you are tank healing then why would having to cast a heal first be an issue? when you should be casting a lot more than one per 10 seconds.

      3 x LB rolling before the fight starts refreshing with nourish to get the buff. fight starts and you add more buffed hots to the tank and the raid and refresh with any heal depending on the nead. i cant see how this will be bad.
      previously we had 1.45% bonus to some of our heals and forced us to chase hots to get that bonus. in 4.2 we will get 1.25% to virtually every single heal or hot and will allow you to heal whoever needs it with whatever they need.

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