Thursday, December 4, 2008

WG nerf: where are the crazy parses?

The CoH and WG nerf. As far as we all know, it's still coming, even though lots of people have posted on the healing forums to say that they're just not seeing the crazy numbers claimed in beta.

Last night we did a full clear of Naxx. Now, in the interests of science, I was doing everything I could to snipe heals with WG to see if I could get anywhere near the 90% that I believe was quoted in beta. I was basically healing anyone and everyone (while doing my job, obviously, I don't jeopardise my raid to experiment), and looking for any opportunity to get more heals in with WG. It's not easy to pre-cast with WG because it tends to reapply itself to the same people if everyone is at full health (which is a waste), but I was in super aggressive mode and trying anything. I don't usually play to the meters but I was doing everything I possibly could to try to push massive WG numbers.

The result?

1. Priest: 18% effective healing (17% bosses only)
2. Keeva: 17% effective healing (16% bosses only)

Here's the breakdown of my healing:

44% WG (34% bosses only)
20% LB (26% bosses only)
17% Rejuv (18% bosses only)
13% Regrowth (14% bosses only)
3% Swiftmend (4% bosses only)
1% Nourish (2% bosses only) (mostly boredom)

Only 44% of my healing over the entire night, trash included, was from Wild Growth, despite doing everything in my power to use it whenever I could, almost to the point of abuse. And on boss fights it made up only 34% of my healing, with my other HoTs doing respectable healing. Normally, when I'm not deliberately being a bad healer, WG is in 3rd or 4th place behind my other HoTs.

So why are they still going to nerf it? 30-40% healing from one spell hardly constitutes "spamming" or overuse. My WG use normally falls between 25% and 35%, unless I am going out of my way to overuse it (and it's hard work to do that!). I have to wonder what would happen if our parses suddenly showed 45% Regrowth, or 45% Nourish - is that too much from one spell?

Don't get me wrong, if a spell is OP, I don't mind them tweaking it. I enjoy casting a bunch of different spells, and to be honest, a nerf in the form of a cooldown won't affect me *too* much. It's more the principle - why nerf something when the numbers aren't being reproduced?

When the possible cooldown was announced, I didn't mind the idea so much, and I even posted to say I was satisfied with it over a nerf to throughput or an increased cost - but the reason I was so accepting was that according to the information coming from beta Naxx, WG was doing some crazy healing. I don't mind them tweaking my abilities if they really are being overused. But now - in live - where are these 90% WG parses to warrant nerfing the spell?

I wish there was more transparency, that we could see the data they are basing their decisions on. GC has said he has spoken to some a bunch of skilled raiding druids, but we still don't know where they are getting any numbers from, how large the sample size is, and a bunch of other variables like healer composition, assignments, gear.

If the nerf is inevitable, we will all adjust, certainly. I would just love to know where the actual, objective, numerical data is coming from, so that we know it's not just anecdotal evidence from a small number of raiders.

If we could just see some numerical "proof", something to substantiate these claims that WG is OP and being "spammed", then I know that a nerf would be easier to swallow. At the moment though, I'm still very curious to see something more compelling than old beta data and GC saying that "some druids told us they use it a lot."


Anonymous said...

I'm quite certain the issue is not with the quantity of healing but more the frequency of use. A majority of Druids/Priests went from lifeblooming/ghealing to WG/CoH spam thus 90% of their casts were wg/coh.

Irrespective of any numbers its quite easy to see how trivial both of the above have made content in this expansion, without them Malygos would be a "bring 25k hp and top up raid before vortex" fight and not a "lolstackpriestshaha" fight.

- bewm

Keeva said...

1. The key word is "were". They WERE using 90% WG in beta. The majority are not using 90% WG in live.

2. Malygos is one fight out of many and I'm tired of people using it as a justification to nerf us. Solution: remove the ability to do ANYTHING while you are in the vortex. Fixed! No more crying about having to have a druid or priest in your group because it won't matter who you take, nobody will be able to do any healing during vortex, AOE or otherwise.

Keeva said...

I'm really tired of people using Malygos as justification for nerfing CoH and WG. this fight is completely unrelated to the reason the nerf was considered. The nerf was considered because people in beta naxx were "spamming" CoH and WG to the point of doing 90% of their healing with it (I can only assume this included trash). People assume we spam these in the vortex because everyone is taking damage and we have an AoE heal available to us. The fact is, you don't spam these spells in Malygos during vortex. It's almost entirely useless to try to AoE heal - it usually only hits a couple of people at a time because we're so widely spaced. I usually try a couple of times and then give up because it's hitting 2 people, and that's awful. Healing in vortex is usually from renews, shields, lifeblooms, rejuvs, and swiftmends. Instants, yes - AoE no.. so why Malygos adds to the argument is beyond me.

But if priests and druids are still "OP" in Malygos because we can heal vortex and nobody else can, just remove the ability to do any healing during vortex. Make it like Loatheb's aura. That will put us on an equal footing with pallies and shamans and nobody can cry about us being needed for the fight - which, frankly, is how it should be anyway, because it's stupid that a fight should favour two classes SO heavily to the point where people feel they MUST take a priest and/or druid. BUT IT ISN'T OUR FAULT THAT IT IS THAT WAY, and our AoE heals shouldn't be nerfed because they created an encounter where a bunch of people take heavy damage all at once and where the other healing classes are unable to cast heals.

This is not a flaw with druids and priests. It is a flaw in the encounter design.

Design encounters where people don't lean on AoE healing, I'm all for that... but if you design a fight where everyone is taking damage and only instants can be used... well DUH, people are going to want to bring priests and druids.

CoH and WG do not trivialise the Malygos fight. They make it slightly easier (although not much, because it's really difficult to use these spells effectively in vortex, contrary to popular belief), but they don't make it ezmode, not by a long shot. We can't "spam" CoH and WG during vortex, in fact we can barely use them due to positioning, so people should stop citing Malygos as a reason these spells should be nerfed.

Naxx is what got us nerfed, and I want to see a bunch of Naxx parses from live (NOT trash) showing me druids doing 90% of their healing with WG. I don't believe they are out there. Perhaps on a boss or two, situationally, but no way are people using 90% WG through Naxx.

I will eat my hat if someone can show me a decent sample size of druids who are actually doing this.

Keeva said...

Also, frequency is not at all the problem, it's healing done.

It doesn't matter if 90% of my casts are WG. If my 500 WG casts only end up doing 35% of my healing, that's still only 35% of my healing.

WG does not lend itself to being "spammed". It fails. I could spam it all day and all night, but if it's landing on people who are at full HP, doubling up on the same person, or not landing at all, then it's not healing.

Only bad healers would keep blindly spamming a heal that isn't doing any healing.. and if Blizzard are basing their decisions on people who sit there and mash one button that accomplishes nothing, then that's a big problem.

If we were all mashing one button and topping the meters in live Naxx with 90% coming from WG, then it's a problem. I'm yet to see non-anecdotal evidence that this is even remotely the case.

Keeva said...

/soapbox lololol


Anonymous said...

Ok from the top...

Vortex in malygos does 20-25k dmg while ur up in the air (dont know the exact number)... the point of this ability is to try and get guilds to have all their members with 25k hp to be able to survive this ability. First of all in our attempts/kill last week the entire raid was at full hp. You cant tell me it was from holy shocks, rejuvs, renews. It was PoM, WG, CoH and im tipping its moreso the ones you can spam every 1.5 (judging from recount showing the usual spastic numbers from CoH).
Removing the ability to do anything means that its ADVANTAGEOUS to bring 2 druids to spam wg the entire fight to ensure that its up b4 vortex and that a good chucnk of the raid is healed up thus promoting more use of these abilities. I've seen parses where its only priests druids and pallys that get to come to this fight. Remove the ability to do anything in vortex and that changes to 4 druids, 2 others.

Malygos isnt the reason why WG and CoH have such a bad name. Currently with you casting WG ~40% of the time you arent beating priests but you are beating shamans and getting somewhere in the realms of 50-60% of what the top healer is doing (using top very loosely). Double the use to 90% and you can expect to see insane amounts of healing done from WG in a large majority of 25 man fights.

Fights with large amounts of aoe exist to challenge the healers, they will always be a part of encounters. If you dont like it dont play WoW. The other option is to think of fights like Loatheb but even then hots r useless which means druids suffer. If you cast WG/CoH the entire time of those fights, which is entirely possible, you will trivialise the content. Its too easy and the healing output of both spells combined is enough to bring 5-6 healers to 25 man content how ridiculous is that. Think of bloodboil when you used shamans to do it how much of a strain the healing was then, it required fast healing, predictive healing, coordination and the nature of coh it was ineffective to chain cast.
Unless you want every boss to hateful blow so that you need to have 6 healers on tanks (think patchwerk healing) and 2 taking care of raid healing theres no other option but to decrease the use of wg/coh and keep the aoe dmg at the lvl it currently is.

Unfortunately chain heal is one of the best engineered spells in the game and isnt mindless, cant be spammed drawing circles around the raid without being ridiculously innefective. Currently im loving healing because i have to watch who has agro and get enough haste so that i can land the heal as soon as that person takes dmg. Its a shitload more fun and fulfilling than drawing circles on my grid. With a cd on both wg/coh priests/druids will have to use some thought as to wen to use it.

15minutes left!

- bewm

Keeva said...

We WANT to use thought when we use these spells. Priests are begging for it to revert to the way it was, party only, and that's what I always thought WG was going to be. Instead they gave us a "smart" heal that you can mash on yourself and let it choose targets for you. Instead of giving us back the party-only heal, they gave us some weak excuse that it would mean we wouldn't want to take Hunter #3 because he would be in the wrong group and wouldn't receive AoE healing. What??

TBC healing was great - part predictive, part reactive. I felt like it took skill. Keeping HoTs up on people taking steady damage, and watching for spot aggro/damage. I do feel that these "smart" heals have ruined things. Take them away again, or go back to having party-only (why why why can't they just do this, I feel it would solve a lot of problems). Don't take away the ability, don't restrict us with cooldowns, just make it so you can't just stand on the spot with your eyes closed and still heal the raid.

The problem is NOT how fast the spells can be cast, but the fact that you don't have to aim anywhere to do it, especially since plenty of fights lend themselves to having the raid bunched up in a tight group. A 6 second cooldown will stop people "drawing circles", but you can still cast these spells on yourself and let them "splash" to the targets with the lowest health. Nobody wants a heal that picks targets for them. I don't want to put a brick on my keyboard and let it do the work for me.

Lame and brainless.

Adding a cooldown is not the answer. People will still mindlessly hit these spells without needing to consider targets.

Putting a 6 second cooldown on CoH and WG will not make priests and druids less desirable for Malygos, and if you think it will, you're deluded. It won't fix anything. Priests and druids will still be able to top people off more easily than shamans and pallies, so nothing has changed there. His raid damage is completely predictable, and a 6 second cooldown will barely matter. The priest can heal half the 10 man raid while the other healer does the rest - and there's plenty of time to get it done before the next lot of damage. People will still want classes that can heal the most people in one cast, which will still be Priests > Druids > Shamans > Pallies. In fact, I think it will make things worse because it will be much more desirable to have two "smart" heals going off in 6 seconds than one smart heal and the other healer trying to manually pick targets to heal up. Plus Priests and Druids are still the ones who can use instants during Vortex, meaning that there are more pros for priests and druids, not less. So you're going to be worse off, not better.

I would rather spec out of WG for raiding, that is the honest truth. This smart heal stuff makes me feel like a bad healer - I want to choose my own targets, not let the computer do it for me. I want my heals to land on the people I choose. But I can pretty much guarantee that if I specced out of WG that I would be even further towards the bottom of the meters. Why? Because they design these encounters for AoE healing, and if you don't have AoE healing, you're going to suck by default.

Unless they ditch the idea of massive raid damage encounters, raids will ALWAYS stack the healers that can make healing this damage as easy as possible (sometimes to the point of trivialising it). If they nerf CoH and WG but keep the heavy AoE damage to "challenge healers", shamans will once again dominate any fight with heavy raid damage, which in turn will encourage raid leaders to stack shamans again, and we'll be back to square one, taking 4 shamans, 2-3 priests, one pally and one druid.

Keeva said...

Also, you're still not understanding the 90% thing.

It has nothing to do with the frequency of casts. It's not 90% of casts being WG = bad, it's 90% of effective healing at the end of the night being from WG = bad.

I could cast Regrowth 99% of the time, but if they all land as overheal, my Regrowth healing will be measly. If suddenly the raid takes spike damage and I cast WG 5 times and heal everyone at once, 90% of my healing for that fight will be from WG despite the fact that I only cast it 5 times compared to casting Regrowth 50 times.

It doesn't matter how many times priests and druids are hitting their CoH and WG buttons. The problem comes from how much of that healing actually lands and becomes a heavy percentage of their total effective healing. If they're spamming it 90% of the time but it's still only doing 30% of their healing, it shouldn't be an issue. If they're hitting it 30% of the time but it's doing 90% of their healing.. different story.

Keeva said...

This whole thing has strayed far away from my original point anyway.

I've said it several times. If the spells need to be nerfed, that's fine.. but the decision was made based on BETA information.

I want to see the LIVE data that backs it up. So far, I haven't seen any evidence that WG is doing insane amounts of healing through Naxx. I just want to see the numbers, and know that they're not taking this info from trash parses or anecdotes.

I just want to know where they are getting their objective information from.

Overall I'd rather see a compromise - make the spells party-only, on a short(er?) cooldown, meaning we have to pick targets (rather than just self-casting and letting the heals land where they land).

Still instant, but you'd have to put more thought into whether to use WG or another spell, because if only one or two people in the group needs healing, it would be wasteful to use WG where you could use something else (which is how CoH used to be, I think?) like a regrowth or swiftmend.

I would really love that, because it would give me the ability to heal a number of people in a hurry, but still force me to think about how best to use my cooldown/cast times because the game isn't picking the targets with the lowest health for me.

Not only that, but I wouldn't be re-applying WG on people who already have it (huge waste) or on people that I don't want to put it on - just the group that I think needs my heal the most in the next few seconds (while I wait for the CD).

Eg if 5 people in the melee group are at 10% health, it would be awesome, but if 2 people in a caster group are missing 500hp then it wouldn't be worth the cast where I could top them off with something else (or wait until they take more damage). I would be the one making that call, not the game.

I guess I can dream.

For the love of god, though.. stop having WG target fire elementals and bloodworms :/

gabriel.lagos said...

WG gets overwritten by CoH anyways and is a bit trivial tbh when its only really being usefull for the first tick most of the time which only heaols fro ~800. Add a 2 sec cast to CoH and it would mean preists can't use it in high mobility fights as well. I've seen priests who CoH spam in gear thats lower than mine and outheal me that makes me sad. PS change LB to once apply for the full stack and add a cast time to it to so I can love it again. PPS give me leeching poisons and health sacrifice spells so I can have awesome healing/dps fun like the emerald dragon in the occulus.