WoW Dev Watercooler: Building Healthy Gameplay

Significant changes are coming to healers and PvPers in the next World of Warcraft expansion.

Blizzard has released their 2nd Dev Watercooler blog revealing upcoming changes to healing, player health and resilience in World of Warcraft's next expansion, Warlords of Draenor.

It's been recognized that, due to the high amount of resilience and battle fatigue, characters currently feel much weaker in PvP compared to PvE, and WoW's developers are working on fixing that issue by increasing player survivability against other players in Warlords. They intend to do this by doubling player health after the stat squish.

The thinking behind this design decision is that it will enable the reduction of resilience and battle fatigue, but in order to keep this balanced in PvE,  creature damage and the effectiveness of healing spells will also be increased.

On the topic of healing and despite the previous statement, healing will be buffed less than creature damage will be increased. Player health and healing will scale similarly alongside each other as gear improves, with healing spells producing heals based on a percentage of the target's maximum health. 

These changes to healing apply to damage-absorption shields too, with the power of absorb shields being 'toned down' as well. Mana efficiency of multi-target healing spells will also be reduced, offering players a playstyle where choice really matters.

Perhaps most interesting of all, Blizzard will be removing low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal and Healing Wave, because "while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay."

A lot of healing spells will be renamed, such as 'Greater Healing Wave' to simply 'Healing Wave,' with their mana costs being altered in order to promote decision-making affected by efficiency, situation and environment. 

This doesn't mean that healers should start worrying about mana regeneration or the size of their mana pool. Base mana regen at early gear levels will be increased with it scaling up less at higher gear levels.

Finally, there will be some changes to instant-cast heals. In fact, some will removed altogether as the ability to cast and move - especially in PvP - is considered to be too easy thanks to all of the instant heals available. Here are some examples of planned changes to instant heals:

Druid

  • Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Monk

  • Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Paladin

  • Eternal Flame and Word of Glory now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy.
  • Light of Dawn now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Priest

  • Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time.
  • Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Are you a healer in World of Warcraft? What do you think of these changes?

Penny for your thoughts,

Qelric

Follow me on Twitter: @QelricDK

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