Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nourish take 2: The dangers of getting ahead of oneself

Ok, so I may have got a little ahead of myself and jumped the gun on the Nourish Glyph. We don't know whether the new Nourish glyph stacks with the Tier 7 bonus. It might, it might not. We have to wait and see what is announced. Mmm, waiting. I'm not so good at that.

I was blinded by excitement. For the past few months I have wished that Nourish was better, that I would be justified using it over Regrowth in 95% of situations. I've waited for this buff and I got so excited that I jumped to the conclusion that because most other things in the game stack and are multiplicative, and so must this bonus be. And it would be GLORIOUS.

But maybe it won't stack. And there's a compelling reason for it not to stack: that would keep us stuck in T7 for a while. Then again.. 2pc feral T6 anyone? So that's not exactly proof positive. Still.. it's a good reason to make the glyph an alternative to T7, not something that actually stacks with it. I don't think anyone wants to have to pass on shiny new gear because you need set bonuses.

If they don't stack, I'll definitely be disappointed, because T7+glyph would be great. But even so, things won't be so bad.

In patch 3.1, Nourish WILL be better than it is now. I WILL include it in my rotation.

Pre-patch, and with 4pc bonus, Nourish generally heals for slightly more than glyphed Regrowth. Now, normally, a bigger heal is a bigger heal, and you would logically choose the harder hitting heal (especially since it's faster and cheaper). The difference though is that I can walk into a raid with 70% crit on Regrowth and only 20% on Nourish. I don't often need a faster heal, I don't need to save mana, and the crit is abysmal. So it's pretty easy to see why I would use Regrowth over Nourish. But aside from my own personal preferences and style, there are plenty of people who have done the actual math and will tell you that Regrowth is better HPS (for the moment), and you need that 4pc set to even begin to approach glyphed Regrowth.

In 3.1 though, with the crit rate adjusted down for Regrowth and up for Nourish, Nourish will end up with 4% more crit through talents; 25% on Regrowth and 29% on Nourish (more if you have Natural Perfection). Regen will be more of an issue as well.

With HoTs loaded up and either T7 OR the glyph (assuming they don't stack), average individual Nourishes will hit harder than glyphed Regrowth does. They do that already of course, but Regrowth's massive crit pulls its average heal size up (and HPS with it). Nourish was always faster, cheaper (talented) and hit a little harder, but Regrowth crits so often that it comes out ahead. With the crit rates evened out in 3.1, Regrowth will no longer have this unfair crit advantage, giving Nourish a chance to get a foot in the door and meaning that we don't have to use Regrowth as our filler heal.

This is for tank healing, of course; I think raid healing will vary much more based on individual play styles. Tank healing has more of a rotation, whereas raid healing can vary greatly according to how different people approach it.

So - I'll still get my ideal rotation of HoTs+Nourish+Nourish+refresh+Nourish+Nourish+refresh (etc). Nourish will be cheaper, bigger, faster, and have a higher crit rate. The only proviso is that you keep 3 HoTs up to be able to make the heals worthwhile, but on tank healing this should usually be the norm.

Quick word on Living Seed - my thoughts

Also, regarding people getting upset about Living Seed now proccing a lot less (say, ~45% of the time instead of ~70%) - I think I prefer the changes. It will now work on ineffective healing, so rather than throwing a 9k crit heal and having it completely overheal and award a 0hp Living Seed, it would now (as far as I am following) award a 3k seed regardless of how much was effective heal or overheal.

Yeah, it'll be happening less often, but I think I would prefer a Living Seed that procs less often and is guaranteed to produce a seed, rather than a Living Seed that procs 70% of the time but is usually tiny or nothing at all because I overhealed (which is frequently the case). I have NO idea what the math on this is, maybe it will result in less HPS, but on spiky fights like Sartharion I cry when I see crits wasted and no seed awarded because my last heal was overheal.

Of course it also depends how many points we have left over as to whether I can take seed this time around; but I have found it to be valuable on select fights (like Sartharion, Patch..) and although it is situational, when it does come out to play I think it really helps. I don't rely on these procs, I see them as a bonus shield-type effect, so having them actually land consistently for 3k+ (instead of 500 or even nothing) would be great on these fights, even if it is happening a lot less often.

Whatever happens though

From a tank healing perspective, whether you have 4pc T7, the glyph, or (pleasepleasepleaseplease) both, Nourish will be improved, and I'm definitely looking forward to using it. With only one bonus it still doesn't blow me away with awesome, but bigger is bigger, faster is faster, and cheaper is cheaper. I can't ignore that. I've also never enjoyed "spamming" Regrowth; the idea of weaving Nourishes into my rotation seemed far more elegant, and it's what I've wanted since Nourish was announced.

Kugrette from Gnomeregan sums it up:
For the most part, nourish and regrowth fill a similar healing niche. Most players will use the one that is the strongest the vast majority of the time. If the strongest one is nourish, they will use it. If the strongest one is regrowth they will use it.

Until then, we wait.
As soon as anyone hears anything, you'd better tell!

*fidgets impatiently*


Anonymous said...

Dear Keeva,
Through I would definitely love to agree with you, I can't.
I can't help thinking that this is just a terrible nerf for raid healing.
Let's consider the following situation : when I'm healing a raid, and not the tank (which often happens, since my raid group seems to prefer paladins as tank healers), if something bad happens, I heavily rely on regrowth... With the high crits, that heals basically as much as healing touch, but with a much shorter cast time, and gives to additional benefits : living seed, which works like a shield, and the trailing hot allowing me to refresh with the 20% bonus.
Now, to get something equivalent, I must maintain 3 hots !
I consider that druids are currently not nearly as efficient in raid as they should theorically be, due to others healers (paladins and priest, I'm looking at you) : usually, I put a lot of hots on people, but other healers do think it's not fast enough, so they just flash heal (or whatever they may want to use and that sends a lot of healing at one time). That's why I usually prefer using regrowth instead of, for example, rejuvenation.
So I'm not excited at all by these modifications. When healing the tank, that's ok. But for healing a raid, that's just terrible.
However, I would be thrilled by a rejuvenation and a regrowth ticking every second instead of every 3 seconds. That would be just awesome.


Keeva said...

*nod* that's why I added the paragraph about raid healing and personal playstyle, I think it will be a buff to tank healing, but raid healing isn't as clear-cut.

Looking forward to more info.

Anonymous said...

As Phae had mentioned before, players should be seeing a 3% total effective healing from their living seeds. Anyone not doing at least 3% from seeds (pre 3.1) should drop it from their talent lists. The 3% does seem small compared to our other heals, but it's certainly nothing to scoff at.

With the changes you've mentioned to seeds it may very well go up. Of course the effectiveness from fight to fight did seem situational (like with Patch) because our hots normally brought the tank a little closer to full before our regrowths were finally applied to the target.

Please oh please oh please make living seed more viable for regrowth spec'd druids!

Keeva said...

I'd definitely rather a 45% proc rate with a guaranteed 3k seed than a 70% proc rate with a whole bunch of 0hp seeds due to overheal T_T

Anonymous said...

My bad, I kind of skipped your paragraph on play styles and raid healing.
I suppose we'll have to wait a few days/weeks to know exactly what our fate will be.


Jason said...

(Disclaimer: I AM NOT A HEALER)

At least the nice thing about living seeds is that they'll almost always be relatively good at effective healing, because they don't trigger until an attack lands. Even if your direct heal crit was total overheal because someone ninja-healed the tank before you, the seed will trigger on his next hit, and you'll still gain something from it.

The other thing is, theorycrafting can be, and often is wrong. The glyphs on the PTR are almost all discovered, so information is slow to spread because availability is low. But the game's mechanics follow silly and often counterintuitive rules. When you see two separate pieces of "gear" (glyphs are ALMOST a sort of gear for all intents and purposes) with bonuses on them, there's little precedent to assume they won't stack. In fact, some precedents support similar glyph/set bonus stacking. Here's an example:

Glyph of Mana gem (+40% mana from mana gems) and the mage 2T7 (+40% mana from mana gems) stack additively to +80% mana from mana gems.

(okay, I only actually play a mage, so that's the only one I can think of, but y'know!)

But it's hard to guess how things will work. For the longest time before release, we didn't even definitively know what arcane barrage's coefficient would be (and hey, they even changed it again last patch). With very little solid data flying around, there's bound to be varying interpretations on how things will work that can only be resolved by hard, solid data.

Kiryn said...

Living Seed is a talent I love right now, and despite the lowered crit, I'll like it even more now that they're changing it. A lot of people say "crit is worthless for druids because a lot of their heals can't crit" and I have this thing about proving people wrong. I like taking talents that increase the relative value of stats like crit and haste. After all, my gear has crit on it anyway, I might as well use it.

While I'm off on the subject of HoTs critting, did anyone notice when a blue hinted a few months back that they're looking into making HoTs crit, but don't have the technology to make the change at the moment? And did anyone notice the fact that several DoT-based classes are getting talents that allow their DoTs to crit?

And a little line in a changed priest talent that says "after you critically heal with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal or Renew." My first thought is "wait... renew can't crit!"

"Hmmmmmmmmm" I say.


Anonymous said...

@Jason: The only issue with living seed is that it will only heal a target for the amount that actually made it to the target. Any overhealing doesn't count towards the seed. Say you had a 8k crit on a regrowth but only 500 of which was effective healing. Your seed would only account for the 500 actual healing done to your target and not the 8k overall.

Keeva said...

@gnomeface: hi2u.

@Kiryn: Innnnnnnnnnnnteresting!

@Anon: That's what's changing though; instead of being 30% of your effective heal, it now says "ineffective heal", which we are taking to mean total heal regardless of whether it was effective or overheal.

So if you crit heal for 9k and only 3000 is effective, previously the seed would be about 1k. In 3.1 it should give us a proper 3k seed.

So basically.. instead of 70% crit (from Regrowth, plus a bit here and there on Swiftmend etc) with a whole lot of "wasted" seeds because the heals were big overheals, now we might have a 45% crit (dirty math, take with a grain of salt) but with a guaranteed, full seed, regardless of how much of the crit heal was effective or overheal.

And I think I prefer it that way, it's more solid and reliable. As Jason said, even if someone snipes your heal and the tank gets topped up just before your heal lands, you'll still get a seed for the full amount next time he gets hit.

Kiryn said...

My fiance believes that by "ineffective" heal, it means it will ONLY count the overhealing, because if they meant TOTAL healing done, they'd say so. I think that would be a silly way to do it, but hey, how do I know what Blizzard is thinking?

Keeva said...

I think the original notes released said "ineffective healing" but the official ones say:

"Living Seed: This talent now accounts for total healing including overhealing. "

So we're good :D

Kiryn said...

Good then, I can tell him I was right :D Woo!