Thursday, December 4, 2008

Brain dump on smart heals and why I hate them already

I love the quests and the scenery and the music of this expansion, but I am feeling more and more disappointed and concerned with the direction healing is taking. I feel like they are dumbing things down for people who don't have the reflexes to heal, and I can't help wondering whether things will improve or worsen.

Did they give us smart heals so we could spend more time watching the fight? I have to be honest, I'd rather have a challenging fight that I barely get to watch than have the game pick my targets for me while I watch an entertaining show.

I want to manage my healing and my targets more, not less. I want to feel as though my healing comes from skill, not because the computer chose the target with the greatest health deficit.

Remember old Decursive, that they broke because it chose the correct target to cleanse? They didn't want mods making decisions for you.

...wait a sec..

I heal because it can be stressful and challenging, and at the end of a fight you feel like you really pulled it together for your team. Everyone is important in a raid, but really, the group begins and ends with its healers. If you have great healers, you're set. I enjoy being one of those healers that people can depend on because they know I'm good at what I do.

If the game is choosing my targets, where is the challenge? If we can stand in one spot and cast a heal on ourselves/the MT/the boss and have heals splash on whoever needs a heal the most, where on earth is the challenge and the skill there? We've gone from whack-a-mole (which at least required you to watch what you were doing) to shooting fish in a barrel. With dynamite.

I just feel bitter at the moment because I feel that they are making it easy for bad healers to do okay because they don't have to think... which in turn completely cheapens the efforts of those of us who actually put in a lot of effort to be good players.

I really strive to be a good player, and when they allow people to heal without needing to think, it makes me feel very frustrated.

Blizzard keeps saying that AoE damage is there to challenge the healers - yet give us spells that remove any and all challenge. Then the next logical step is to stop us from using those ezmode heals too often. But will nerfing these smart heals (by adding a cooldown) fix the problem? I don't think so. I think people will be able to use them less, but it doesn't change the fact that they can still stand there with themselves targeted and have the game choose the right targets (provided of course the group is bunched up, which, oftentimes it is).

Leave the damage in place. Make WG and CoH bounce off the target's party (and don't give me that rubbish about the raid not wanting to take Hunter #3 because they didn't "fit" into a group for CoH). That will force more decision-making.

Druids everywhere will probably cringe when I say this, but maybe there should be a 1.5s cast time (or similar) rather than a 6 second cooldown. We have plenty of things we can do on the run, and other healers don't - perhaps part of the problem with WG is that we can do it on the move. If we had to stand still for a second, it would lower the amount we could "spam" on fights where we have to move. The other healers are losing healing uptime because they have to run, stop, and start casting again. Making it a 1.5sec cast would also mean that people can't just "draw circles on Grid" while spamming an instant cast.

I would just love to see the intelligent part of the spells ditched. Smart heals are making people into bad, lazy, unskilled healers by letting them blindly hit spells (whether on a cooldown or not) without having to think or aim or care... while the good healers out there wonder where the challenge and skill has gone.



Sent said...

I agree, they should change the mechanics of AOE healing. I'm sure they could come up with something that allows for more "user input" and not make it quite as mindless.

Christina said...

I think a 1.5 sec cast time for WG is a great idea. Honestly, I don't use it enough to really care much about a cast time and 1.5 sec is something I am used to when it comes to healing multiple targets. Along with raiding with a Resto Druid (my current main) I have also raided with a Resto Shaman. The 1.5 sec cast time of Chain Heal helped keep things interesting and you really had to watch to make sure you cast it at the right moment to avoid not only over healing, but also to avoid the death of a party member (which is never a good thing). I fully agree that giving it a cast time would help keep the challenge in healing. I like being challenged while I heal too :)

Aertimus said...

I'm not going to pretend to know what the solution is, but I feel like I want to rant with you. The thing that makes me the MOST mad is not that they put in a brainless heal, but that they nerfed our heals that required intelligence. If they left LB as was, I would have the option of rolling and layer HoTs on multiple tanks - but instead I'm forced to circle grid spam WG to make any dent in the healing meters.... If I wanted this I would have rolled a shaman... no disrespect meant to the extremely important resto shamans of the world!

emc said...

It makes us step back and ask a much broader question, 'why is Wrath easy?' - the answer to that question can be found in full detail on WoW Insider but essentially, it's to allow the 'General' public (ie. not hardcore raiders) enjoy the game as well. Wrath is not for hardcore raiders and that's a fact and with the same breath, we can see why they've created "smart" heals. I can understand why they did it but I can't accept it.. With that said, I would agree with you; it does take away from a healers ability to quickly recognize who needs heals and the sole purpose of being a healer... Blizz is healing for us :)

Hana said...

I don't normally raid as a healer, but I totally understand the pride that comes with being a good healer in a stressful situation where you know it was you and your decision-making that made the difference. Those are always the fights you remember.

greg said...

I agree with you, though not shure that its aoe healing but it seems that in wotlk everything is easyer, Why cc just pull the whole place! Allso 5% of players saw Bt last x pac. Blizzard says now, *blue post* that there not going to do this again, they want to concentrate on the content that most people are going to be playing. I dont know how to react to this but i dont like it.

Zol said...

Smart healing/targeting hater = Overhealing lover, simple as that. I bet you like throwing WG, CoH or Chain Heal on wounded target while you other hots-WG/heals-CoH/jumps-ChainH heal targets with full health making your non smart aoe heal practically useless. The problem are those 3 heals, not a smart part of it and really easy LK content. Lets get rid of them and heal with 2 spells - 2.5sec and 1.5ec one to see where the skill really is, no HoTs aka "im healing, tho im doin nothin". So please stop bitching about it and go do your HC 25men raid dungs with 15ppl so you can have fun you want or reroll a holy paladin and feel how you are useless except buffing.

Keeva said...

So you're saying that because Blizzard gave me an AOE heal I must enjoy sniping heals from other healers (despite me saying many times that I don't want to be a raid healer and I barely ever use WG), and because I use HoTs I am sitting back and doing nothing, and that I have no skill?

Did you even READ my post?

I SUGGESTED a 1.5 second cast time on Wild Growth - you obviously didn't bother to read the whole thing.

Your hostility is unwarranted and unwelcome.

Keeva said...

.. and thanks for reinforcing my post about healer hostility. Clearly I was right on the mark.

Bedivere said...

Zol, Holy Paladins have always had two options available to them: 1) Cry because we only have two heals (three now that Holy Shock is worthwhile) and be content to let other healers do most of the work while you spam Flash of Light on your assigned target... or 2) Be a good healer and push yourself to heal outside your assignment. I had no problems outhealing every other healing class, CoH and Chain Heals be damned. It appears to me that you are a bad Paladin. Maybe you should try Ret along with the majority of other bad Paladins. <3