Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann?

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Das CoH generft wird ist mittlerweile so sicher wie das Amen in der Kirche. Die Frage ist nur in welchem Maße der Spell generft wird bzw. wann es genau zu diesem Nerf kommen wird. Hierzu gab es über das Wochenende ein paar interessante Blue Posts zum Heilen allgemein, aber auch zu den bevorstehenden Nerfs im speziellen:

Making healing more like Rogue/DPS Class playstyle ?
Yes, that’s the kind of thing we’re thinking about. Rogues can’t just spam one ability (most of the time) because their system is set up to where they want to use one kind of ability then switch to another kind. Or to use a different example, Frost mages want to get freezes and then Ice Lance (in PvP anyway).

We’ve done a little bit of that with healing. There are clearcasts or spells you can use on cooldown to make your next heal fast or free or big or whatever. But we think we can do a lot more with it.

Obviously we can’t just ask you to start looking for a 3 stack of a buff on every target before healing them. The UI doesn’t really support that and combat is just too frenetic to be able to parse it. That’s why we think those changes would have to be implemented with a more holistic look at combat and healing in general. (Source)

Changes to healing and influence on raid
I said we would chill the raid damage overall. Some of the fights have enhanced raid damage specifically because the designers know that anything less is just trivial to heal through with current tools.

When you do take raid damage, we absolutely want CoH / WG to be the tools to handle that (for your classes).

If we need to buff the healing of either spell, or nerf Chain Heal, or if a cooldown of 3 or 4 sec makes more sense than 6 sec, we can do all of those things.
Circle of Healing / Wild Growth changes
We always prefer to buff things to nerf them, just because it does feel better for the player. But we have to evaluate the magnitude of the changes involved.

To make CoH / WG work in their current form, we would have to increase raid damage on the group, and increase the healing on your other spells to compete, and increase the magnitude of other types of damage so you want to use those other spells. Increasing single target damage means we might have to adjust tank health (which generally means gear) so that you feel like you have a chance to heal them before the e.g. 30,000 point Hateful Strikes land. It is easier in this case to nerf CoH / WG and lower raid AE damage.

This is the classic metaphor of balancing a chair — you can try and extend three legs or just cut one down to size.

We don’t always take the easier way out, but sometimes that is the more responsible thing to do. We’d rather spend a little bit of time tweaking current encounters and more time working on future encounters than the reverse. We’d rather fix other problems with healing than spend our time rebalancing a whole lot of healing spells.

Plus, since this change will happen after the game is already Live, we do owe it to the customer to attempt to minimze bugs when possible, and in this case that means changing as little as possible. (You can take this argument too far of course and argue we should never change anything. It’s a balance, as with most aspects of game design.)

Remember, our ultimate goal is to make the game more fun, not slap you around. I get so many kudos and warm fuzzies when I announce a big buff to a class that I would always prefer to be greeted with that than all the bad feelings that surround a nerf. Nerfing is never fun.

Circle of Healing too good at the moment
Because the spells are getting used excessively in situations above and beyond the "here comes a lot of AE damage" events. Players laughed off my trash example before, but if we didn’t want trash in the game, believe me, we’d just give you a portal with a boss behind it. You shouldn’t be able to autopilot through trash by just CoH healing. It shouldn’t look like the best answer when you deal with a boss that has lieutenants or "council" style fights with multiple bosses.

Ideally, you would always be thinking of CoH as an alternative to something like Greater Heal. You’re Greater or Flash Healing a few targets, then realize that there are several people wounded in the raid, some dangerously so. Boom — that’s when you use Circle of Healing. But then you go back to other spells, not just mash CoH until that battle ends.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s design is a tricky thing to balance and we have been in places before where CoH was too weak. We just think it’s too good at the moment.

Developer Q&A
1. I was under the impression that Holy was supposed to be the versatile healer, not the best at aoe, HoT, or direct healing, but capable of all. If you put the 6 sec CD on CoH wouldn’t we be on par with Disc Priest casting PoH thus bumping us out of raids?
You are correct that Holy is supposed to be the versatile healer. CoH is preventing that because Holy priests are using it for a gigantic percentage of their healing. A priest who used only that spell and a priest who used their whole arsenal probably would not have a significantly different effect on group survival. That’s a problem.

2. If this nerf takes place people won’t spec into it and holy we’ll get another lolwell or lolnova.
I doubt that would be the case. If it’s worth casting 10 times, it’s worth casting once. Some may opt for other talents as well, but I think plenty will stick with CoH.

3. It seems to me that since we can’t downrank now spamming CoH would oom any healer too fast so how can this even be an issue?
Making spells very expensive generally isn’t received well. Players tend to blame their gear for not providing enough regen in order for them to "Spam CoH in order to remain competitive." We still do it sometimes, but it always requires a lot of explanation in order for players to understand how all their tools are intended to work.

4. If we lose CoH (My personal favorite spell) what puts us on par with other healers. It seems to me this would decimate the holy tree.
Holy priests are designed around versatility. A Holy priest can be assigned to a tank, or to a melee group, or to general raid healing. While it’s possible for a spec in that niche to become the jack of all trades, master of none, we think Holy priests have actually been strongly desired healers throughout most of the history of WoW.

You have fast single-target heals, slower ones, hots, group heals, shields and smart heals. Currently we believe a lot of those other heals look like poo because, to quote myself from another thread, Circle of Healing looks like the solution to every encounter challenge.

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Jahrgang '79, seit Ende der '80er nerdiger Gamer. Absolvierte die Ausbildung zum Editor bei der Computec Media AG (PC Games) in Fürth. Kommunikationsdesigner durch die School of Life, Streamer und YouTuber aus Leidenschaft! Google+