Fixing the Forest, Part II – Searching for Solutions   43 comments

Last week I explored the problems that we saw in hard mode raiding with the resto druid toolkit. The identified issue was our significant lack of ability to deal well with burst AE healing situations. The next step is looking for ways to address this issue in MoP. To do this, I think we must first start with the solution Blizzard is proposing, and then discuss what issues we may have and why we may need changes to that proposal to make sure that it solves the issue, rather than exacerbate the problem. Since I’m a pretty firm believer of “don’t bring me a problem unless you have a suggestion for a solution”, I also think it’s important to offer some alternative thoughts on how the issue can be addressed.

Blizzard’s Fix – Healing Mushrooms

In recognizing that something was missing in the resto druid toolkit, Blizzard made an effort to fill in the gap for MoP by implementing a change to the current level 85 ability that druids received in Cataclysm – Mushrooms. Rather than detonate them so that they explode, if you are a resto druid your mushrooms now “bloom” and heal.

Wild Mushroom – Grow a magical mushroom with 5 health at the target location. After 6 sec, the Mushroom will become invisible. Other Wild mushroom abilities can target these mushrooms for additional effects. Only 3 Mushrooms can be placed at one time. Cost: 10% of base mana.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom – Causes all of your Wild Mushrooms to bloom, healing all allies within 6 yards for 934. Cooldown: 10 seconds.

While I am happy that there is some recognition that our toolkit is lacking in one very key area, I am seriously concerned about the way that Blizzard has gone about implementing a solution to the problem. Let’s talk a little bit about what is wrong with this iteration of mushrooms, and what can be done to make this ability (should Blizzard opt to keep it) more conducive to healing and more streamlined for the player.

  • The placement mechanic of the mushrooms is clunky and cumbersome. Even though dropping mushrooms has been updated on beta to remove the need to click the “mushroom” spell before placing each mushroom (which is an improvement), it has only removed two key clicks from the process. It still requires 5 key clicks to set up this spell, 3 of which are on the terrain in the game. This continues to make this ability clunky and very cumbersome to set up.
    • Solution: Don’t require three mushrooms to be dropped for maximum healing. Alternatively have one click drop all three mushrooms simultaneously. If the concern is the time required to set up the spell, put a cast time on the ability to keep it in line with abilities like Holy Radiance, Healing Rain, Sanctuary, etc. I’ve heard a few people state they’d like to see a HoT component to mushrooms to offset the set up time, but this is something I do not want to see. The problem we are trying to find a solution for is druid’s ability to offer burst healing. Adding a HoT to mushrooms would undoubtedly require Blizzard to adjust the direct heal down so that they aren’t “OP”. We do not want this. Adding a HoT to the mushroom does not work towards solving the holes in our toolkit, and will only complicate trying to balance out the healing Mushrooms provide (see Regrowth as an example). We do not need another mediocre heal that doesn’t solve our problems.
  • The range on the “bloom” (6 yards) is far too small to be effective in most raid situations. I am going to go ahead and (perhaps foolishly) make the assumption that Blizzard intends to continue to may dynamic encounters that challenge and intrigue the playerbase. This often times means that the raid will be spread out in a given amount of space, and outside of the melee will not often be grouped up within 6 yards of each other. This has been a noted and significant issue that shaman have had to deal with for all of Cataclysm, to the point that Blizzard gave them a “bandaid fix” by designing an entire zone that played to their strengths. However, that also made for some fairly mundane encounters, due to the lack of dynamic mechanics you can employ while simultaneously having the raid “group up”. Additionally, we’ve already established that Rejuv/WG is not sufficient burst healing (hence the need for something new to deal with it), so that is not going to be a particularly viable solution for the periods of an encounter when the raid is spread out.
    • Solution: Increase the range on the “bloom”. At a minimum, it needs to match what paladins and shaman are able to do with Healing Rain and Holy Radiance if it’s going to have any hope of being competitive and effective.
  • The set-up required for the spell, combined with the exceptionally small radius, means that it will be devastating if your raid moves after you have planted your mushrooms. Sure, you can plant more after you’ve moved…for another 5 keystrokes. While increasing the range on the bloom has the potential to alleviate this somewhat, I feel that we will end up running into the same problem that plagued shaman with their pretty blue circle if people run out of it, there is nothing you can do to fix it. I am really hopeful that we aren’t going to have an entire expansion where a good number of the encounters involve people piling on top of each other because Blizzard designed all of these heals with limited healing range that require people to be within 6/10/12 yards of each other.
    • Solution: Rather than have the mushrooms planted on the ground, allow them to be planted on people, so there is more flexibility in positioning while utilizing them. You can still “bloom” them, but this allows the raid to be dynamic without having to worry about “standing in the mushrooms”. It also removes the clunky ground targeting mechanic inherent to mushrooms. Hell, have Healing Rain work in a similar way – have it form a storm cloud above one person, that moves with that person, and have it hit everyone within x number of yards around them. The best part about this? You will actually be able to see the bad shit on the ground that you need to avoid!
  • You want me to do what while maintaining Lifebloom and Harmony?! Out of all of the healers druids are probably the most GCD capped and probably have the largest number of things to maintain. I’m not complaining about it, it’s one of the intricacies of druiding that make it challenging to play well, and that I love learning to maximize. However, to play my class well, I need to keep LB and harmony active. And I’m required to do this once every 10 seconds. Adding in an additional heal that requires 5 steps to be successful really cuts into the other healing that I am able to do between keeping up LB and Harmony and setting up mushrooms. I suppse I should at least be grateful that I don’t need to maintain a solar eclipse for maximum effectiveness.
    • Solutions: There are a few things that could help to improve this dynamic. One would be to increase the duration of harmony (maybe up to 30 seconds?) or make harmony passive, I don’t think that would be unfounded as other healing classes have a passive mastery ability. Come to think of it, it would be nice to have a passive mastery regardless. Perhaps that is a topic for another day. Alternatively, since mushrooms are technically a “direct” heal, have them trigger harmony.

Alternative Ideas

Personally, I would like to see Blizzard throw the whole idea of healing mushrooms out of the window and start back at square one. We are early enough in the testing process that I do not feel that this would be a devastating change. I have a few ideas that I’d like to see, and I’ve heard a few ideas that I think would also work  at breaching the gap in our toolkit. Not only that, but it would also give Blizzard the opportunity to weave in a nifty new ability/spell for resto druids. Two birds, one stone, win win for everyone!

I’m going to call all of the abilities below “Flourish”. It was actually the original name for Wild Growth back during the WotLK beta, but I think it would be a great name for a new ability the ties in some of the concepts of healing mushrooms (blooming) but let’s us explore a completely new, more healer friendly, mechanic. My goal is also to keep in tune with resto druid’s strengths and playstyles. The idea is to keep the ability unique in concept, while giving the mechanic the tools to allow druids to perform well under all circumstances.

  • Flourish Suggestion One. One of the things that I have always like the best about being a druid is knowing when and were to place your HoTs, and monitoring them to smartly maximize your healing. I think an ability that causes your hots to “flourish” or “burst” when flourish is cast would be a very unique, intriguing and druid centric way to solve the burst healing issue. It would be limited to 5 targets, or it could be limited to “x amount” of healing done on an unlimited number of targets. I think limiting it to targets would be a cleaner solution. If limited to 5 active HoTs, it could be a bit of a smart heal selecting the 5 lowest targets with a HoT on them – and I thinkI might even be OK with it consuming the HoT, as usually the a good part of the HoT is wasted (I’d have to really think on that more  before deciding how I feel about it “consuming” the HoT). It wouldn’t be as mindless as WG is because you’d have to actively select rejuv targets in advance to prepare for the incoming burst of damage – and pre-hotting is already pretty standard druid play, only now when a large chunk of your rejuv is “wasted”, at least you are getting something for it. I would not want it to have a CD as it would be naturally limited by the need to set up HoTs on the raid for it to be effective.
    • Downsides: We’ve all experienced the pain of Nourish. Tying another heal to pre-hotting could be somewhat painful, and may end up being counter-productive. The shorter time on Rejuv may also make it challenging to keep enough rejuvs active to make this a meaningful heal.
  • Flourish Suggestion Two. Similar to suggestion one, this one would be based off of your active HoTs, only this time instead of only healing a certain number of people, your HoTs would “Flourish” and heal everyone within x yards around them instantly for Y. I think that this one might be ok to have a short cooldown, because of the potential for the entire raid to be simultaneously effected by this heal.
    • Downsides: You again run into the “range” problem. If people are spread out all over, it will really limit the effectiveness of this heal.
  • Flourish Suggestion Three. And ability on a short (10ish second) cooldown that empowers the druid to attune with the forces of nature, causing all of their rejuvs (current or new) to tick every .5 seconds (or maybe 1 if .5 is too much healing in too short a time) for the next x amount of time (5 or 6 seconds?) on everyone within 40 yards of the druid. This is something that would help to answer the “burst” issues, while keeping with the philosophy of druid healing being HoT centered. It’s a little more thoughtless because you don’t have to be as cognizant with where you are placing your rejuvs, but it does eliminate the range issues. Maybe if you wanted to be a little more creative with it, and require a little more thought, you could have it tick faster the closer you are to the druid and slow down slightly (we still want it to suffice for “burst” healing) the further away you are from the druid.
    • Downsides: I…can’t find any! Which probably means it would be way OP 🙂 Well, I guess it is another spell that would be reliant on how many HoTs you have currently active.

I don’t know how these would play out in practice, and I’m sure that they would require some tweaking, but I do feel that they would be a better fit for our toolkit than the mushrooms while maintaining a distinctly “druid” flavor to them. 

What do you think? Do you want to fix mushrooms, or do you think Blizzard should look at something entirely different? How would you solve our Burst AE healing problems, while simultaneously keeping us on par with the other healers?

Posted April 10, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP, Mushrooms

43 responses to “Fixing the Forest, Part II – Searching for Solutions

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  1. you have done a good job of laying out the things that could be done to fix mushrooms. The range has to expanded, 6 yards is only useful when the raid is stacked up, @ 10 yards you could place them between a few people and catch them even if they are spread out for something.

    I really hate the idea of growing the shrooms on a player and having it follow them around. I know that you are particularily against having to click in the game-space, but I think that this option shuts of some interesting game-play on principle. If you cannot anticipate where your raid is going to be in a few seconds, than it is not a good time to use mushrooms OR you don’t know the fight that well and you deserve to under-perform. Shaman who suck at H-Rain are worthless, shaman that are good at H-rain are valuable, that sort of thing makes the game rewarding to us who learn how to play it. Not to beat this drum again but if you place all the mushrooms in a single click and bloom the right away this is a total non-issue.

    You are right the HoT idea is a non-starter, we need burst, NOT MORE HOTS.

    You also spot on concerning the resto juggling act. There is no point in adding more spells since we don’t have the time to cast them. I love the feeling of keeping all the balls in the air right now in DS: when you nail it, it feels good. On the other hand I have no time to cast another spell, flourish, shrooms or otherwise, we need some tweaks in this department to keep the resto from feeling like an old-fashioned dps rotation with a strict cast order.

    the flourish ideas are great but I am not certain that a fresh start is going to be available. I think the best we can hope for is a good fix to the mushroom spell. Ironically, the mushroom concept emerged during the cata beta because some druids saw that we had a big flaw and were looking for a tweak to an existing spell to patch it up.

    Keep fighting the good fight Beru and this thing will launch better than it tests, I am still hopeful.

    • I disagree on the idea that “knowing where to place your mushrooms defines good vs. bad”. Druids already have plenty of mechanics that seperate skilled players – harmony uptime, LB uptime, Tranq usage, ToL usage, etc. Do we really need another way to define if you are playing the class “well”? Do we really need yet another ground effect that we have to hound our raid to stand in/on and prevents us from observing some of the mechanics of the encounter? (Magmaw, anyone?)

      I do think that a placement that works more like Holy Rain and Sanctuary would be more successful than the current mushroom placement, and would take a lot of the major placement issues out of the equation. Have it be one mushroom that can be placed and then detonated. I’m still not sold on the mushrooms, I have a shaman that I play somewhat regularly, and I don’t ever have issues with actually placing healing rain – but where it differs from mushrooms is that it only requires the selection of the spell, the targeting, and the cast. It’s a much more elegant placement mechanic.

      • perhaps you are right. I was imagining something like the collapse points on P2 of Rag, you know you are about to pile up in a spot, your mushroom can serve as a visual guide of where to stack up and you could explode it as soon as everyone arrives for burst of healing. That sort of game-play intrigues me, and it requires an in-elegant multi-hardware-interaction placement mechanic. I think the mushroom motif is here to stay but the big test is whether blizz will fork our healing mushrooms from the dps version. As long as we are yoked to balance when it comes to placement there is a very narrow design space for how healing shrooms will work. Lets hope that the next beta patch is the one where they decide to give us our own spell 🙂

  2. I’m still waiting on my freaking beta invite so I haven’t gotten to test anything out yet, but I think that a planting and blooming mechanic would fit nicely into the resto druid toolkit from a story type of perspective, and would actually be a fun unique feature to druids that stands apart from the other burst ae heal spells. I’m worried that if they tried to come up with something completely different they’d end up taking too much “inspiration” from another class’ spell.

    I agree with the above comment that a healing circle isn’t a completely broken concept because of movement since that is what separates bad players from good, knowing when to use your heals.

    Idea I just had while typing: “charging” the mushrooms before placing them, so if you hit your mushroom spawn button three times before clicking to place, it charges the placed mushroom to be worth three mushrooms, and the charging isn’t on the GCD so it would just be a quick reflex movement once we got used to it. This way it would be a compromise between quickly putting one big healing burst in one area if that is what you need ie if the raid is stacked, and also leaving the option of only charging once or twice if your raid is a bit spread and you want less intense healing over a larger area. I’m sure this idea has major flaws, but while we’re brainstorming 😉

    • Please see my above reply re: utilizing mushrooms as a measure to weed out bad players.

      Honestly, anything involving nature would fit in well with druid lore, regardless of if it is mushrooms or growing grass under your feet 🙂 I do not like the idea of having different strengths of mushrooms, be it via how many you place or how many charges that you have, and let me explain why. We do not need another mediocre raid heal. We have that in WG (and that is being generous…). Mushrooms should be used at full strength each and everytime. It’s meant to provide a burst heal that is meaningful and fills a gap in our toolkit. If you don’t need the burst heal, you probalby didn’t need to use mushrooms and could have utilized something else. Using mushrooms (or any burst heal, should still be a concious and meaningful choice. But that doesn’t mean that it should be a prohibitive and painful one.

      • Re: bad vs. good players – That’s fair that there is already a lot of things that players need to learn to become good players, but it seems like nearly all mechanics need to be learned to be a good player, and no matter what new spell they add, there will be situations that it is useful and not, so perhaps it’s just a moot point.

        druid lore: totally true, and I kind of like the idea of tree sprouts instead of mushrooms, ha.

        Yeah, the charging was just off the top of my head while reading the post (and this whole beta thing is about ideas coming out right?) So it sounds like your argument is that the only time we should have to use flourish is when we need a burst, but another problem that was mentioned with just one mega mushroom is that it can be hard to get everyone in the heal if it’s a spread out raid situation, so that was where the idea of being able to choose the shape of your healing circle came in: so that you can do burst healing either in a circle if the raid is stacked, or more spread out if the raid is spread out but still needs burst heals instead of WG. Or am I not understanding your critique correctly?

  3. I like this post a lot! But I don’t think I reach the same conclusions you do.

    I think your flourish suggestions pretty much end up being swiftmend, which doesn’t work very well.

    You’re totally correct that that many keystrokes/clicks/GCDs for mushrooms is waaaaaaay too many. However, I do think there’s room for an in-world targeted effect. I would consider perhaps a single mushroom with a ~ 2-2.5s cast time that popped for a group heal as soon as you placed it.

    Which… wouldn’t really make sense as a mushroom, but I do like having a burst group heal that does all its healing in one burst, rather than the rain/efflo/sanc model, where you put sparkles on the ground and they heal people standing in them. Something like a 15-20y diameter circle that you could target clumps with, and then the heal happened as soon as you clicked on the ground, would be unique and (imo) fun.

    • I disagree that the flourish suggests are “swiftmend” – the only one that is relatively close to a “group swiftmend” is the first one. The only thing they really have in common with swiftmend is that they are tied to rejuv. And even if they were a “group swiftmend”, why doesn’t that work? Druids are looking for a burst, direct raid heal in their toolkit, and that would solve it.

      I think part of the issue is that I’m not neccessarily looking for something that heals the ENTIRE raid in one fell swoop, I’d be OK with something that worked more like PoH and was limited in the number of targets it effected, didn’t require groupping, and was moderately powerful for the targets that it did effect. The problem with all of these “grouping” abilities is that it will lead to either a) a faulty spell with limited functionality that doesn’t help to “fix” our problems outside of a few key situations (recall how many druids felt effloressence was a waste through most of T11 and didn’t spend the talents to spec into it); or b) encounters that are less dynamic because they are being built on the premise that for healers to be effective the raid must spend a great deal of time “stacked up”.

      Neither option is ideal, and I do think that we should be looking for some alternatives.

      • Remember that PoH and CoH do have ranges! They center off the person you cast it on and determine range based on that. Holy radiance also requires grouping and awareness of the raid’s location in encounter space (or planning that location in advance). There’s no group heal that isn’t more effective on a stacked raid, they’re all just affected by it to a lesser or greater degree.

        PoH’s range (30y) is quite large of course, but it is there. You can even outrange on it Madness platforms as everyone spreads out to avoid having crush hit more people than necessary. This is why there are mods that put icons on healing frames to tell people who to cast PoH/CoH on for max healing.

        I think that as long as you can hit 4-5 people with a burst, that heal is worth casting, and that shouldn’t be too difficult – even with really high-movement encounters – with a 15-20y targeting circle on the ground. In fact I think the 3-mushrooms thing is probably an attempt to help alleviate the need to stack up, since 3 x 6y = 18y total (although even then, 3 small circles covers substantially less area than 1 big one).

        My flourish/SM comment is more along the lines of them both (other than your last flourish) requiring pre-hotting and then doing something with that hot (and with efflo, there’s an extent to which SM already “heals nearby people”) and so it’s just very, very similar in feel and in use. Druid-centered flourish is similar to holy radiance (except with 4x the range in exchange for required pre-hotting).

        Anyway, while I think a burst that lands on a ground-targeted circle (but absolutely does not heal people standing in it for x seconds) would be really unique and fun, but I definitely understand that people are wary of that.

      • “since 3 x 6y = 18y total”

        This isn’t accurate. To get the full effect of mushrooms, a player must be hit by all three mushrooms. Otherwise you have a relatively small, fairly lackluster, heal. So regardless of spreading the mushrooms out, if you place them in such a fashion that players will not be hit by all three of them, you are siginificantly diluting the heal, which in turn makes it a weak heal that doesn’t do much in the way of offering us “burst” healing. I also don’t think any of the suggestions that I offered were “unlimited” in range 😉

        As for always being able to find a target for healing abilities with limited range, regardless of raid spread, I disagree. I think this is well illustrated by the struggles that resto shaman faced through the majority of this expansion. I think the more heals you have that are limited by small healing radius’ the more constrained the designers are for building encounters that don’t require significant portions of the fight where the raid is stacked up.

      • Oh yeah I wasn’t saying that the current mushrooms work at all, just saying “I think their intent here was this,” even though I definitely agree that the implementation fails.

        I also definitely agree that small-radius heals are problematic, and get more so the smaller the radius. Even the 12y jumps on CH have lead shaman to do almost all of their healing outside of raid stacks with GHW + riptide, and then HR during stacks.

        I think that the hard part is finding that sweet spot where a group heal isn’t crippled but it’s also not the only thing you cast. Chain-casting PoH is not the most fun anyone’s ever had, and BC shaman casting chain heal forever got pretty bored too.

        I do like the idea of things like rejuv duration and/or harmony uptime putting soft limits on abilities, I think those sorts of limits are usually more fun and engaging than arbitrary hard limits such as cooldowns. But darnit, I still really like the idea of a sort of quick-reaction, click-in-the world “I am dropping a big heal on you four people NOW, BAM!” sort of thing. I think it’d be fun.

        But also maybe it’d get tiresome doing it a bazillion times learning an encounter? Hard to say.

  4. I initially thought mushrooms were a cool idea, but have to agree with you that they are too clunky and will take too many GCDs.

    What I’d like to see for the “new” Flourish would be similar to the healing style at the end of the Malygos fight. Each HoT (rejuvenate) cast will give you a combo point or a nature power (ex., holy power) up to a max (3 ,4, or 5.) Flourish is then available to cast a direct burst AoE heal from the Druids location (10-15 yd radius?) dependent on the amount of combo points/nature power. Put the Flourish on a CD (10-20 secs?) The flourish could have a cast time and/or consume the Hots.Since it is a direct heal it would activate harmony. This is more in flow with our Hot healing. It’s also a mechanic that they already have. Plus it could be explained as something we learned from drakes/dragons in the emerald dream ; )

    Pretty similar to some of your ideas I guess. Drawbacks are the range/radius limiting the heal if the raid is spread out. Makes the game even more homogenized (pretty hard to stop that these days) It would take some balancing so not to be too OP. The (interuptable) cast time on the flourish might help make it viable in pvp as well, since they balance both pve and pvp.

    I must say I do like your idea of the hasted burst of 0.5 second rejuv ticks!

    • I really like that one too! But I think it’s probably the least likely to see anything come out of it, haha 🙂

      I agree that with the “Bring the player, not the class” mantra, homogenization is inevitable. It almost has to be. Otherwise you get certain classes that are just left behind because they can’t match the performance of their peers. It’s unfortunate, but it is definitely something that has been seen with regularity over the course of the past two expansions. I think you can still make unique abilities that perform similar tasks, but retain individual flavor to them. And I think at this stage in WoW’s life cycle that is what has to happen, otherwise you end up with classes and specs that fall behind and out of favor.

  5. Hang on… you want strong burst aoe healing when your group isn’t stacked? What’s the downside?

    – Shaman and paladin group healing right now is range-locked to 10y due to the radius of healing rain and holy radiance and the bounce-distance of chain heal – only useful when the group is stacked or close-to. Holy priests healing with Holy Word Sanctuary are also range-locked.
    – All priests have Prayer of Healing which is group-locked.
    – Druids right now have the only aoe heal that is neither group-locked nor range-locked, but it has less power than other group heals – fair enough, but it has no restriction on it.

    I like the fact that the classes aren’t all the same and have different strengths and weaknesses. They’re offering you a range-locked burst heal to pair up with your existing unrestricted aoe heal – isn’t that enough? We never really get to have our cake and eat it… there’s always going to be something that you’re not the best at. HoTs and burst healing are pretty much antithetical ideas to my mind – if you want a healer with strong burst, shouldn’t you be playing a paladin instead?

  6. We forget that druids will also have more difficulty healign with stable mana pools that arent affecting by intellect. It will be like beginnig of cata again. This is because or healign style needs use to cast HoTs on as many people as possible to prep for damage. We will most likely lose the ability to cast rejuv as much as we should. This also may have affect on how imprtant our mastery actually is.

    • I’m not thrilled by the change to the mana pools, which are effectively going to make us “relearn” how to heal all over again. I also agree that the change is going to cause many of the same issues with our toolkit that we saw at Cataclysm’s launch.

  7. Oops, wrong name.

    I did read part I, and my point stands. You’re saying that 75% of the encounters had burst healing requirements, but burst healing isn’t the only thing they needed and it often wasn’t the key defining healing challenge for the fight anyway. On H Morchok there is a high burst requirement, but there’s also a high movement requirement, which gives druids a definite advantage over some of the more static healing classes right now. The first 20 seconds of the H Zon’ozz black phase was challenging for every healer to heal with their toolkit, not just druids. As a paladin I struggled to get into position before my group died, which is something that our druid didn’t struggle with, and I struggled healing my spread-out group because my aoe heals are range-locked. Frost phase on H Hagara is a nightmare if your strategy is to stand in the middle, but druids have a definite advantage if you chose the running strategy. On each of those fights, it sounds like the Blizzard-version of the healing mushrooms would be really useful to augment your existing aoe heals with a bit more burst, while still requiring planning and skill. I agree on the 5-clicks being too many, but I disagree that the range-locking is too strict a condition to make it a powerful spell for you.

    • Please do not make the mistake of thinking that WG/RJ spam is an effective or efficient way to deal with any of the burst damage in DS (or anything outside of pre-4.3 FL). When the zone came out, I was just blowing through my mana trying to keep up with everyone else because I was required to be inefficient with my mana just to be effective. I waste so much mana just trying to deal with raid damage that it’s disgusting. Even now, in almost full BiS gear and a 15% nerf, I still have to pot on many encounters so I don’t run out of mana. I do not think it is unfair for druids to ask to have the ability to deal with the burst raid damage that has been prevelant this entire expansion and has caused them nothing but heartache as they have tried to justify their spot in the raid.

      Utilizing your thought process, you could almost argue that paladins shouldn’t even have an ability like Holy Radiance. I could question why you should expect to be able to bring exceptionally strong raid healing, exceptionally strong tank healing, tank cooldowns and raid cooldowns to the raid.

      But I don’t. I just ask that we are given the tools to be effective and competitive with you.

      All I ask is that druids are placed on par with all three other healing classes with regards to their ability to handle raid wide burst AE damage, and I do not think that is unfair (clearly neither does Blizzard, as they are trying to bridge the gap). My post not only offers suggestions for how to improve the tool currently implemented to fill this gap in the beta (mushrooms, and like it or not, 6 yards is far too small a range for this to be remotely effective in a dynamic situation, not to mention that the range is only one of many issues with the ability), but suggestions for what I think might be better suited to druid healing. And several of those suggestions are, in fact, limited by either range or the number of people that they can affect.

      • You’re clearly upset by this, so I’ll leave it.

      • I’m not sure what makes you feel I’m “upset” by offering you the reply above. Am I passionate about my class? Yes. Do I want to continue to love the druid that I’ve been playing for over 7 years? Yes. Am I going to fight tooth and nail to make sure we are in a good place? Yes.

        But none of that makes me “upset”, upset definitely has more foul language involved 😛

  8. One nice thing about the accelerated HoT version of the spell (flourish option 3) is that it could be imported from some mechanics that Blizzard has already developed for warlocks. The new malefic grasp that affliction locks use basically does some damage to the target and increases the dot tick rate on the target by 100%. This shortens the dots considerably but gives, to my view, a nice controllable way to do a bit of burst damage when you time it well.

    So, blizz could just give resto druids an aoe, non-targeted version. They could make it a cast (say, regrowth length) which gives the caster an aura that lasts for 6 seconds. While the effect is up all rejuvs tick at 100% their usual rate (A higher rate/shorter duration might be necessary to make this a true burst effect). A fresh rejuv would deliver its full juice in 6 seconds. Other rejuvs with less time remaining would deliver less heals but more quickly. Rejuvs cast while the aura is up would tick quickly while it remained but then resume their normal tick rate after it drops.

    To make it a more strictly AoE version of the warlock malefic grasp, they could just make it a three second channel that makes rejuvs tick at 200% for the duration of the channel. That would add a movement restriction on the spell which could be a nice/necessary restriction. Also kind of since because it would have the feel of a poor man’s tranquility and so a druidish feel to it.

    What I really like about this suggestion is that it has such an elegant limiting factor built in. It is naturally limited by the short length of rejuv, so no group or target limitations have to be implemented. The burst heal that each target gets is tied to how much of their rejuv is left. If you separate this flourish from activating harmony, having to balance harmony uptime adds a further natural restriction means you can’t just spam rejuv, wild growth and flourish to faceroll group healing (although HR and PoH could require less skill, I guess, so maybe it’s okay to make it super faceroll).

    PLUS this mechanic would make it VERY unlikely that we’d get another timeslip sort of tier bonus, which after t10 and t13 is probably a welcome change of pace.

    • Oh! I really like some of those enhancements to that third idea!

      I completely agree that being naturally limited by the mechanics of Rejuv is a very elegant limitation for the ability. Regardless of how faceroll HR or PoH are, I think I’d prefer to have to put a little effort and thought into maximizing the ability, so I think I’d be OK without having it refresh harmony, provided that it isn’t prohibitive that it doesn’t.

  9. I agree that mushrooms take too many clicks, have too small a range and that they should just be a one-size heal. I don’t know why anyone would want to use less than 3. That said, I think a terrain-targeted AOE heal is fine. Part of the responsibility here has to go to the rest of the raid. If they wander out of range, that’s a positional issue that requires raid coordination which I see as perfectly valid. When efflorescence and healing rain were first introduced, I was skeptical of them but, in my role as ranged dps as time has gone on, I’ve found myself perfectly willing to move a few yards to get a few ticks of them.

    But I do also like the person-targeted idea. Sort of like living seed with a triggered AOE bloom.

    • I don’t know about you, but having to rely on your raid (as opposed to yourself) to be an effective healer isn’t ideal to me. DPS doesn’t have to rely on other DPS to perform well, why should a healer have to corral their raid into the “good shit” to be able to perform effectively? At least that’s my opinion on it! We already have one heal active on the terrain (Effloressence), and while I continue to dislike mushrooms as a whole, the largest problem I have with the placement is that you have to click the terrain three times (as opposed to once like HR and Sanctuary) for the spell to be effective.

  10. I really like Harmony, both conceptually and, for the most part, in practice. I’d like to see it and LB last a little longer so that I’m not constantly worried about dropping them while trying to pre-HoT the people I expect to soon take a burst of damage. Passive masteries are pretty boring, regardless of effectiveness. Paladin mastery has turned into a major portion of my healing, but it has almost no impact on my playstyle, other than giving me an excuse to spam Holy Light on tanks when I’m bored before a pull, and offers almost no chance to differentiate good play from mediocre play. Harmony makes a big difference between druids who just blanket the raid in Rejuvs and druids who weave direct heals in with their HoTs. I think with my druid’s modest gear it’s a 15% bonus to healing, which is a pretty nice reward for not being a one- or two-button wonder.

    I kind of like the idea of a complete rewrite of Living Seed so that you can plant up to 5(?) seeds in raid members and either cause them to burst with a second spell, a la mushrooms, or even allow them to auto-burst if the player takes X amount of damage in one shot.

    If they really want to overload a boomkin spell for healing, maybe it should just be a Healing Hurricane. At least then one spec would have some use for it. You don’t need target limits or cooldowns because it wastes so much of your mana that it’s self-limiting.

    • I don’t mind having to keep harmony active, but if you are adding a multi part spell that takes 3-4 seconds to execute, it’s making it really tight to keep it up. I do think making Harmony a little bit longer would be a positive change. I don’t really have an issue with LB since I can refresh it in 1 GCD if I need to in a pinch. In thinking on it though, I think that resto druids are the only ones who have to maintain an active mastery of the four healing classes. While you indicate that you feel passive masteries are boring, I would counter with stating that while you may not have to “trigger” them during combat, they do make for more intersting gearing choices.

      • “While you indicate that you feel passive masteries are boring, I would counter with stating that while you may not have to “trigger” them during combat, they do make for more intersting gearing choices.”

        Perhaps my druid-fu is weak, but Haste to 2005, then Mastery isn’t *that* interesting, and I only mess with it when I get a new piece of gear. On my pally, I suppose it is a more interesting question. I could pad my lead on the meters by reforging some of my Haste into more Mastery because I leave little pally bubbles all over the raid, but there are times I need to throw 3 or 4 Divine Lights or someone is going to die, so I’m sticking with Haste uber alles for now, despite having no chance in hell of getting the second extra tick of Holy Radiance (~3700 IIRC).

        In any case, it’s a matter of making a choice each time you change, or contemplate changing, gear versus constant playstyle choices. For you, maybe it would be worth reforging per-fight for progression, so you get more entertainment value(?) out of the gear choice. For me in my guild, progression will almost never depend on fractional percentage changes I make; no amount of mastery, haste, nor crit will keep someone from dying of derp. Whether it makes a difference in the fight outcome or not, I can constantly challenge myself to have closer to perfect uptime on Harmony and LB.

      • I didn’t say it was THE most interesting chocie ever, I just said it is something to consider and pointed out that druids are the only healing class that I believe has an active mastery. And the only reason I think that came into fruition, is because Blizzard wanted druid casting some direct heals and so implemented a mechanic that requires a direct heal – granted the first iteration of mastery didn’t have this requirement and was fairly terrible, requiring druids to heal poorly to have any use out of mastery (“chasing” WG). I’m not saying one is wrong and one is right – and even stated I didn’t have an issue having to trigger harmony currently. My issue, however, does lie in harmony having such a short duration if you have to manage a spell with such an elaborate set up. It just doesn’t leave you a lot of time for other things, and if you want to avoid being a “two button wonder” (which, by the way, I don’t know any skilled druid only mashing two buttons), pigeon holing your time in such a fashion only serves to constrain what abilities you have open to utlizing while juggling so many things (Harmony, LB, Mushrooms, etc). In a 10 second window, you will use 4ish seconds to set up shroom, and 2ish seconds to keep harmony active. That leaves you only ~4 seconds in between for anything else – which ends up sticking your healing into a fairly “strict” rotation anytime you want to utlizing mushrooms. Which is also farily uninteresting.

        I, personally, don’t think anyone’s mastery is much of a “choice” or particularly “interesting”. It’s either good, or it’s rubbish. If it’s good, you will find where it fits into your stat weightings and gear appropriately, regardless of your class. Druid’s are just the only ones who have to take an extra step to make theirs activate, and it’s going to be a huge pain in the ass if it remains at a 10 second active time while having to juggle mushrooms.

  11. I like a lot of the ideas you’ve put forth here. Your second version of Flourish, assuming I’m understanding it correctly, is probably the most appealing to me. I see it as working a little like a warlock’s Seed of Corruption: it takes your existing HoTs (in my mind, Rejuv and WG) and pops them for a flat amount of healing to everyone within some number of yards of the HoTted character. The risk with such an ability is that it’s not something that should be useful as part of single target healing, otherwise it’s just Swiftmend+. To me, that means the ability needs to not only consume the HoT, but should do healing to everyone else in range, not the original HoT target. If designed in such a way, it might even be able to be used without a cooldown.

    • I agree that it wouldn’t need a cooldown. I think tying a burst heal to rejuv naturally limits it based on how many active rejuvs you can have out at any given time. The only comment I’d make is that I would want to control when it “bursts” – which is a little different than how a warlock’s SoC works. Although, I think it could be something that a healer could get very creative with and would foster smart, well thought through play.

  12. I would offer an alternative. Call it “seed of the living” perhaps. It would be ground targetable and pulse for a high burst of healing on up to 10 targets within 12 yards for 5 seconds on a 30 second CD for 12% base mana.

    So in practice, you would plant your “seed” at a specific location, it would put out that “burst” of healing over a very short duration, but in a reasonable radius. You would have to think about when to use it carefully because of its moderate CD without the spell being impossible to use as needed unlike tranquility with its longer CD. It would not introduce a significant number of additional GCDs needed and would be a “tree” the grew up over the duration of the spell ” think the Freya trees in ulduar” that would keep with our Druidic theme, add a ground target effect that bliz seems to want, give us a short duration burst every 20-30 seconds (cd obviously would need to be tested and tweaked) and be something’s a little unique without introducing a totally foreign design mechanic to balance.

    • I don’t know if I’d like having a burst ability on such an extended cooldown, as often times you need faster healing than every 20-30 seconds. If you think about it Healing Rain is on a 10 second cooldown, PoH has no CD and Holy Radiance has no cooldown. Although, each of those has a short cast time. I’m not against a cooldown on the ability (I don’t think – it would really depend what it was) but I think to be effective it would have to be a much shorter CD.

  13. As of beta build (15589) the Mushrooms now have the same type of charges as the Monk roll skill and other similar abilitys. Unfortiently the AoE ias still to small, the heal is to small and Detonate still has a CD(makes no sense to have charges on the mushrooms and on detonate).

    • Which beta update was this? (Was there an update yesterday?) I was on Tuesday night and the mushrooms still required 5 keystrokes to detonate. You only had to click “mushrooms” one time, but then had to click the ground 3 times to place them, and then detonate them. Unless it was updated yesterday, I think that is still the same.

      • Yes, they still require the same amount of clicking but the charges mechanic has been added to the mushrooms so you can only place X mushrooms with in a certain time period. if you click 4-5 times quickly in a row on the ground it will run out of charges andd you wont be able to place a new nushroom for a few seconds.

      • Yea, that’s how it was on Tuesday 🙂

  14. The AoE of the mushrooms seems big compared to the screenshot you posted a few days ago.
    I uploaded a pic to imageshack where i am standing as far from the mushrooms as i can while still getting the heal.

    I still think it’s to small but it’s a start.

    • I posted a similar screenshot in the comments of the post you were referring. I also commented that it looks like the bloom is extending past 6 yards (we guessed about 7 based on where efflor was placed when we tested it). However, it is still much too small an area for it to be effective.

      • Bah, now i remember, i even looked at that sceenshot around the time it was posted, guess im getting old and forgetfull =), but i agree. It’s still to small.

  15. I can’t think of a great ‘Flourish’ idea off the top of my head, so this is what I think would be needed for the Shrooms to work:

    First, the range – as everyone says. Minimum of 8 yards I’d say, or having a mushroom targetable on a player seems just as good if not better.

    The ability retains its 3 mushroom cap, however a target can only be affected by a single mushroom’s heal at once – so just one mushroom can have maximum potency for when the raid is clumped, additionally reducing bothersome set-up time. I think you’d have to impose a limitation such as a single mushroom only healing ~5 people (smart heal, I guess).

    Unfortunately, for when the raid is spread in clusters (I’m imagining Nef 3 platform mechanic-type things here), I suppose it would be a bit OP. The Bloom could also be low/without cooldown but the Bloom has a charge-system? So for Chimaeron-style spreading you can decide whether to discharge 3 mushrooms, affecting the majority of a raid but with a longer ramp up, or just 1 mushroom with low ramp-up and low coverage. Maybe you’d have to give each mushroom a 1 second cast or something, too.

    It’s late so I can’t tell if this idea of buffing the mushrooms with full potency in one mushroom but limiting the spell, not with healing reduced or cooldown, but amount of people healed, works in the slightest – please don’t hesitate to point out the flaws in this I’ve probably overlooked.

    I’m aware that this idea is spiralling out of control which really hints at how unpleasant the original version is. I was at first just going to propose a one-mushroom capped ability that detonates immediately, or ~3 seconds after placement, which even though fulfilled Blizzard’s desire for us to “be in the world”, just seemed boring.

    • Furthermore, I don’t think the shrooms should proc Harmony but simply that its duration should be increased, 12 seconds maybe? Even longer if you prohibited SM from proccing it while keeping its current CD.

      And you could have a glyph that incurs the 1 second cast time per shroom, to limit mobility but the Bloom gains Harmony proc…or something.

  16. Pingback: Resto is Epic » MoP Beta stuff – Blooming Mushrooms

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