During our weekly raid last Saturday, I was going crazy on healing on boss fights. Rolling full Lifebloom stacks on both tanks, and spamming heals on the raid. It hardly made a dent in my mana. I could have kept going all night without a break (or so it seemed). Admittedly, I did have Blessing of Wisdom, a Survival Hunter, and a Mana Stream totem at my disposal, but should mana really be so readily available that your healer just doesn’t care about mana conservation – even for the longest fight.
Then I stepped into Heroic CoS for a quick badge run. I was stacking HoT’s on the tank, healing splash damage, dispelling poison, and throwing in Hurricanes to help AoE the mob waves. In the run between each wave, my mana was back to full without any drinking, potions, or Innervate.
That got me thinking about other aspects of raiding/instancing. I remember the careful pull planning in Kara and ZA: Entrigan carefully marking the mobs to be CCed; Tinuviel practicing her chain trapping, and wearing her BeastMaster set to reduce trap cooldown so she could help us get over our lack of Priests (and Shackles). If anyone messed up their role, then we wiped.
(BTW A good chain trapper is beautiful thing to watch).
Now when we raid Naxx, the two tanks just dive in, gather up the mobs, and the whole raid throws in as much AoE as they can. Occasionally we have to remind the tanks to pull the mobs together so we can AoE everything at once.
I used to really enjoy a well executed multi-mob pull – and took great pleasure in the clinical dissection of our enemy through careful CC and kill order. That art seems to be gone now.
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t all QQ – I find the Naxx boss fights are still interesting and varied. (I’m even starting to enjoy the Heigen dance). And I do realize that Naxx is WOTLK entry level raiding. But the trash pulls are just brute force AoEing. (Seriously, I can’t remember the last time a DPser pulled aggro from our tank). And the massive mana regen takes away one of the core skills (mana conservation) of BC raiding for healers and casters.
That said, I’m not in favor of all of Blizzard’s proposed changes to mana regen for 3.1.
The 5 second rule is a useful tool for the skilled healer – planning your heals so you spend some of your time at full mana regen (IMHO) requires sufficient skill to achieve that it should remain a tool for the better healers to outshine the mediocre ones.
The changes to the mana cost of a Druid’s Lifebloom force Druid healers to change a way of healing that I really enjoy. I view it as a skill to be able to time your raid heals so your tank HoT stack doesn’t expire. Moving to a situation where you have to time the bloom in order to maintain your mana is a step too far (and seems to be most valuable for PvP where you’re less likely to be stacking).
My suggested solutions?
For mana regen:
Don’t nerf individual mana regen. Get rid of raid Replenishment instead.
Blizzard want us to bring the player, not the class. Yet they’re planning raid content with the assumption that someone is specced for Replenishment. Beastmaster and Markman Hunters get to spend more time fishing if the raid needs a Survival Hunter to fill their Replenishment slot.
Individual mana regen is fine. A Hunter switching into AoV to replenish mana mid-fight is part of the game play – do you manage your DPS to conserve mana, or do you go all out and have a low DPS period during the fight where you’re regenning your mana?
For AoE tanking:
I have absolutely no idea. 🙂