Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My thoughts on haste (for now)

Kayeri asked me in a comment about my haste rating and it's something that a couple of people have asked me about in-game recently - so I thought I would make it an actual post on my thoughts.

Phae from Resto4Life has just posted on a few of our talents including GotEM and its relationship with haste rating - great post as always. I always feel a bit silly that she throws out the concrete numbers and my posts are more airy-fairy "here's what I kinda think and stuff".. but I can' t ever claim to know the science behind it all, and I won't ever pretend to (or I'll get myself in big trouble, I just know it). With me it's more about saying here's how I do things, what I enjoy, and how it works for me. Of course, I'm always open to new ideas, and if someone shows me I'm way off base, I can swallow my pride and change my ideas. I can pinpoint exact times in my druid career when people have taught me things that have dramatically changed my style of play and healing performance.

So.. with absolutely no numbers, equations or any kind of science to back me up, here's what I kinda think about haste.

Our end game gear is peppered haste (along with crit), so whatever I am sitting at now is purely accidental - I don't go looking for it. High innate haste is something I accept as the current norm but I would rather it was lower and I could trade it back for other stats. My haste is sitting around the 300 mark, which isn't excessive, but it's certainly not a figure I would have been shooting for pre-WotLK.

I think I'm a bit old fashioned, everyone else seems to get excited over haste gear and I don't care for it at all. I don't mind having a bit of it, but I don't get a tingle every time I look at my haste rating or at gear loaded with it. I'm in the "ugh, not more haste and crit" camp.

I suppose it depends quite heavily on your style of play - do you like big HoT ticks to minimise spike problems on the tank, or do you like firing off chunky heals to keep topping people up? I personally really enjoy being the buffer between the "real" heals. I like being the one who smooths out the damage for the other healers to come in with the beefy top-ups - I like being the support healer. My ideal style of play is HoTs on two or three tanks and the occasional spot heal/WG on the raid, which means haste is of limited benefit to me (depending of course on who else is looking after the raid and whether or not it is a strain on me to do that). Someone who prefers raid healing as their primary job (never really my thing) would likely value haste a lot more than I do, for machine-gun raid healing - pew pew heal laz0rz.

I see two main reasons for having lots of haste - healing more people at the same time, or healing one or two people faster. So far I haven't encountered any fights that require me to be healing multiple people constantly - certainly nothing that won't fit into my usual HoT rotation. I was never one to roll lifeblooms on 4+ people, it just wasn't needed - and it isn't needed now, either. Back in BT my favourite fight was Illidari Council because I could heal two tanks constantly while throwing emergency heals on others - perhaps extra haste is nice to be able to throw more incidental heals out between my tanks' HoT refreshes, but I would rather focus on fewer people rather than try to stretch to healing 4 or 5 at once.

There simply hasn't been a need for me to heal that many people, though. And as for sticking to healing one or two people but doing it faster... again, I haven't really run into any problems where I feel that I wish my heals were going off faster on the MT or that I could squeeze in more heals inside my HoT rotation. If I did feel that way, I'd probably pick up the lifebloom glyph for starters, to give me a little more wiggle room.

Maybe this will change with the CoH cooldown though - perhaps I'll need to throw more direct heals to the raid as a result. I definitely enjoy squeezing extra healing into my rotations, but there hasn't been a need to (very much) yet. Maybe we'll see more fights where we can only take a low number of healers and the assignments are really stretched.

It's a bit hard to judge though, Naxx is not a good yardstick because it really isn't a challenge for healers and taking 6 often feels like overkill. Sartharion has been the only fight where we've felt like we are obliged to take only 6 healers and we really have to make it count, kinda like Brutallus, a fight that made every GCD feel critical. Having what feels like too many healers most of the time means I am in no way stretched or required to pump out faster heals, so perhaps it's this lack of a challenge that makes me care little for haste. I'd likely want a "haste set" more for 2-healing 10 mans or doing undermanned runs (20 and 8-man Naxx, etc).. but for "normal" raid content, I just don't need it right now, and I'd rather have stats instead.

If we see a bunch of chaotic fights in Ulduar and beyond that require me to main heal two+ people while throwing out super fast spot heals on AOE damage and running around like a headless chicken, maybe I will change my tune and embrace my haste a bit more.

All of the above is entirely moot if they keep putting haste and crit on almost everything, though - it's not like I can opt out :P


Kayeri said...

You answered my question beautifully, Keeva, and thank you. I am part of a smaller guild that does 10-mans with occasional team-up forays into 25s for the better gear and Valor badges.

I haven't deliberately sought out haste either, but I had a guildie feral druid jump all over me because I'd mentioned I didnt think T7 was all that great, and he was going on and on about haste and how healers had to stack it on. I've been skeptical myself and I still look for Int, Spirit and spellpower as the most important.

So when I saw that you did have a nice amount of haste I just wanted to ask. :)

Kae said...

My guild only focuses on 10-mans, but we like to make a challenge of it and I'm sometimes the only healer present. I was originally entirely against haste, but I've grown to at least tolerate its presence in that it's made my regrowths and nourishes (yes, I actually use nourish, cuz of its .5 second faster cast speed) faster to cast.

I'm still not going out and looking for haste, though. Every peice of our gear has haste or crit on it, and I figure both help us in their own ways, so may as well live with it. Consider that Haste will effect GCDs to a minor extent, and nourish, regrowth, and healing touch; crit will effect nourish, regrowth, HT, and swiftmend, and provide living seed. Each has its use, particularly if the druid relies less on a fully-talented regrowth and more on swiftmend or, perhaps, nourish.

There is also the side benefit that when things get boring, crit and haste both benefit casting wrath and starfire ;) A quick moonfire crit also has the side benefit of proccing nature's grace.

I suppose that what I'm getting at is that when having to raid heal in 10-mans or even solo-heal a raid, assuming the tanks are good and the dps is well-behaved, there doesn't seem to be much difference from your own 25-man experiences in regard to haste vs crit. They both have their uses as unavoidable side-stats, and stacking haste over crit or even over spellpower/int/spirit doesn't seem (to me) to be preferable in any way. Perhaps a pure haste kit could be useful vs Kel'Thuzad to make sure you reach frost-blasted people with heavy enough heals in time and to help raid heal since everyone's so spread out to make WG less useful, but that's the only exception I can really think of off the top of my head.

Great post, though!

Keeva said...

Thank you :)

I'm using Nourish a fair bit on 10 man Sartharion+3 (with 2 healers). It's definitely a fight where I would value haste, and I think that is going to be true of most 10 mans since we prefer to run with only two healers. In 25 mans though, I'm finding I have little use for it.

Aertimus said...

You reflected my feelings so well (that I have been too lazy to put into writing) that I could have been reading a post written by myself, accept I would make this change "I rarely rolled lifeblooms on 4+ people, it was only needed on MH trash - but it isn't needed now"

...and I liked the multitanks in Kael more than Illy

... And I would have to take out all the 'extra' U's, like in favourite.

I'm glad to know that I'm doing and thinking many of the same things as you. (You as a more progressed and successful resto druid going by your gut until Phae shows us the numbers.) Maybe there is hope for me!

Keeva said...

Apologies for the superfluous letters, I'm Aussie so I spell things the British way :P

I sometimes rolled LB on a few tanks on Hyjal trash but back in those days we actually often took two resto druids, so we shared. Plus, being on an Oceanic server, latency really prevented us from rolling on more than 3 people max, so we tended to share assignments rather than both try to have HoTs on all four.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.