Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
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Shaman - General

September 22, 2010

Beta Update: Masteries, Mana Tides, and More

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Written by: Vixsin
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Giant in Deepholm

It’s been a busy week for healers on the beta, with a good number of thoughts being thrown about from testers and GC alike. (And MMO recently previewed an Alchemy mount, which although it has nothing to do with Resto Shamans or healing, I am completely and utterly giddy with excitement about! … Where was I? Oh yes, Beta updates … ) As normal, the changes to Resto Shaman have been less than eyebrow raising and in pretty short supply as we continue towards Cataclysm with some of the same questions in the air, and with the CD-that-shall-not-be-named still nowhere to be found. (I think it’s safe to say that no one is sending out a search party for it.) Regardless, there are still some very interesting developments that have come up recently and plenty of mechanics to evaluate as we work to close the gap with the coming expansion.

So, today’s post is going to be a mixed bag of sorts, looking a little deeper at Resto Shamans’ Mastery, the changes to Mana Tide, dand ending with a handful of testing/mailbag questions that I finally have answers for.

 

Mastery

Starting with the big fish first—Resto Shamans’ Deep Healing Mastery. Recently, this perk of the Resto Shaman tree came into question in a big way, in collaboration with our druid friends, who’s Mastery was a near mimic of our own:

We like the shaman version. The druid one is problematic for a couple of reasons. Conceptually, a hot is often the last thing you think of putting on someone who is grievously wounded. Second, at the moment the bonus is only calculated on the initial application and not the ticks. If we can fix that problem, then the druid mastery would be better. It’s also possible we’ll just redesign it. (Source)

So while trees are back to leaping around in excitement after GC’s subsequent release of the redesign, it seems that Shaman are still slated to be tied to the triage model and the healing benefits to be found in attending to lower HP teammates. But how exactly does our mastery work?

Well, thanks to one very helpful beta compatriot and one of Shaman’s most easily predictable spells (Riptide), I have some answers to that question. First though, let’s look at what Deep Healing is described as:

Increases the potency of your direct healing spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more).  Each point of Mastery increases direct heals by up to an additional 2.5%.

So, several important things to note right off the bat. First is, that the “20%” specified in the first sentence is a variable percentage, which changes based on your total mastery rating and the mastery points you gain (do note, this percentage rounds up). It also represents the max healing increase you can receive on any spell, which through my own testing, was pretty much only reached when you got down to around 2% HP. Additionally, the “2.5%” per point of Mastery means that for every 179.63 mastery rating you achieve, you will gain 1 point of Mastery and accordingly, a 2.5% increase of your Deep Healing max threshold. Lastly, the description above reflects the base mastery that you gain at level 85, which starts you at 8 Mastery Points / 20% Max Healing effect.

Now, in terms of what you can expect when it comes to Deep Healing—you can expect an entirely linear application of the percentage increase from 1% HP to 100% HP, with the latter HP value receiving absolutely no increase in the total amount healed. To test this, a friend and I stood in Tol Barad (during a battle, natch), and proceeded to catalog starting HP values and non-critical heals of Riptide on my shaman, first with no mastery, then with increasingly greater amounts. Because Riptide does not have a range of application, it makes it the ideal spell to test in this scenario because the effects of Deep Healing can be seen quite easily. So, after establishing that an RT cast on myself while I was wearing a single Mastery trinket and no other gear, and while I was at 100% HP, amounted to a heal of 3210, I could thereafter determine the amount gained from Deep Healing while at varying levels of HP.

Max HP Actual HP % HP % Gain Heal Amt
38397 38397 100% 0% 3210
38397 6741 18% 19% 3811
38397 19054 50% 11% 3577
38397 14691 38% 14% 3660
38397 27229 71% 7% 3421
38397 27955 73% 6% 3408
38397 8225 21% 18% 3783
38397 14556 38% 14% 3662
38397 3484 9% 21% 3872
38397 2623 7% 21% 3888
38397 1698 4% 22% 3906


Plotting these points netted me a linear distribution, similar to the graph shown below. Thus, because the application of Deep Healing is linear in nature, I was able to determine that the value is predictable and can be calculated according to the following:

% Healing Increase = (-1 x Max Deep Healing % x HP of target) + (Max Deep Healing %)

Using this formula, you can then predict what the performance of Deep Healing will be at varying levels of Mastery rating and points. These calculations are captured below:

As expected, the true benefits from Deep Healing come at much lower levels of HP. Targets that you manage to save from imminent demise are much more likely to see a larger heal, rather than those you’re simply attempting to top off. But there are two additional conclusions that came about out of conducting this testing:

  1. Deep Healing is deceptive in that it is highly unlikely, in any raid environment, that you will benefit from the Max Deep Healing % increase. The amount of increase you experience on your heals, on average, is more likely to fall between the 30-100% range (with the bottom value really being dependant on your healing team and the encounter mechanics).
  2. Thus, when looking at the benefits of Deep Healing, you should mentally adjust the range to be something far less than the Max Deep Healing % represented in the Mastery description. For example, at varying levels of Mastery, you can expect to see the following percentage increase of healing done:

Mastery HP @ 30% HP @40% HP @ 50%
179 16% 14% 11%
359 18% 15% 13%
539 19% 17% 14%
719 21% 18% 15%
898 23% 20% 16%


Although it remains to be seen if the instance norm of players at varying percentages of HP holds true in raiding content, what I suspect this means is that Mastery will likely have a soft cap calculated for the point at which your overhealing is outpacing the healing gain from Deep Healing. At that point, it will become advisable to start investing in another supplemental stat, like say … haste.

 

Mana Tide

Possibly one of the biggest shocks to hit Resto Shaman in the Wrath to Cataclysm transition is the gutting of our begrudgingly-accepted-and-undervalued Mana Tide. In the newest patch to hit Beta servers, Mana Tide has been completely gutted:

Summons a Mana Tide Totem with 10% of the caster’s health at the feet of the caster for 12     sec.  Party members within 40 yards of the totem have their Spirit increased by 200%.

To be quite honest, I’m having a hard time finding something positive to say about this change other than “at least it scales with gear”.  Even then, if you’re a class that gets a substantial chunk of regen through mechanics other than static mp5, this change is likely as much a downgrade for you as it is for Resto Shamans, who historically have had less mp5-augmented gear than their Priest/Druid counterparts because of the regen gain to be found in Water Shield. In other words, with WS contributing a static 354 mp5 (531 mp5 with the glyph), and operating completely independent of spirit, Shaman will need less spirit than their healing counterparts to reach equal levels of regen. (Look at Priest v Shaman level 85 regen v spirit numbers.)

Unfortunately, because of the nature of the change and the fact that it affects passive regen (which is not actively tracked in the combat log), the actual return from the new beta version Mana Tide is incredibly hard to track. But I’m at least going to get points for trying! In an attempt to roughly determine the amount of return (while in combat, mind you) I found myself a nice corner of Crystalsong Forest and a Treant with nothing to do, and proceeded to OOM myself.  In general, it would appear that with 573 spirit and a passive 1389 mp5 (without WS or Spring) while in combat, I gained ~6500 mana.

Considering that Mana Tide prior to this change was providing me with approx. 36% base mana (or 12,600 mana every 5 minutes, this amounts to a ~50% reduction in effectiveness.

 

Additional Facty Tidbits

As with any patch or update with beta, in addition to the big news, there are also a number of little items which slip through the cracks or which go by mostly unnoticed. So, the following is a list of questions submitted by interested readers, that I came up with while playing the Beta, or which were posed in various community forums.

 

Q1: Does CH count as a direct heal for the purposes of Nature’s Blessing?

Yes, CH counts as a direct heal if your ES is on the primary target (I believe Lodur confirmed that it is also applicable if another shaman’s ES is on the target.) The subsequent CH jumps maintain the increased healing gained from this talent.

 

Q2: Range of new CH base healing?

Currently on Beta, CH is specified as 4319– 4742 healing, given 4226 spellpower.

 

Q3: Is the decrease of each CH jump still 30%?

Yes, per the tooltip, CH’s healing value will decrease by 30% for each jump.

 

Q4: Is it worth it to use Glyph of CH?

At it currently stands, you will only stand to gain healing by utilizing Glyph of CH if you can be assured that your CH will consistently be hitting 4 targets. Doing some napkin math:

Beta Beta-Glyphed Difference
1000 900 (100)
700 725 25
490 583 93
343 469 126

 

Q5: What Resto Glyphs are out there right now?

Not many, to be honest. As they currently stand, Restos have almost no choice in their Prime, Major and Minor Glyph categories.

  • Prime Glyphs
  • Glyph of Earth Shield – unchanged
  • Glyph of Earthliving Weapon – Increases the effectiveness of your ELW’s periodic healing by 20%
  • Glyph of Riptide – unchanged
  • Glyph of Water Shield – increases passive regen by 50%

  • Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Chain Heal – increases the healing done to targets beyond the first by 15% but decreases the amount received by the first target by 10%
  • Glyph of Ghost Wolf – your GW gains 5% additional movement speed
  • Glyph of Healing Stream – Increases resistances by 195
  • Glyph of Healing Wave – unchanged

  • Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Arctic Wolf – changes your appearance to that of an arctic wolf
  • Glyph of Renewed Life – unchanged
  • Glyph of Water Walking – unchanged
  • Glyph of Astral Recall – unchanged

 

Q6: With Restorative Totems removed, is Improved Mana Spring now baseline resto or baseline shaman?

Per tooltip, Mana Spring is returning 326 mp5

 

Q7: Has Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave been removed, given Nature’s Blessing being incorporated into the tree?

That would seem to be the case; Shaman currently have no glyphs which relate to Healing Surge, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Rain, or Unleash Life.

 

Q8: Has the Int to Crit ratio changed?

No, it remains 1 Int = 0.001528 crit. (Which means that Int stacking likely won’t benefit your crit as much as gear will).

 

Q9: What’s the current return of WS procs?

Each proc of WS returns 1744 mana (although the tooltip states 1517 mana per proc)

 

Q10: What’s your base HP and base Mana at 85:

Base HP: 38397 / Base Mana: 25175

 

Q11: Is mail specialization worth it?

Absolutely. The gain to your spellpower and mana pool (which then ties to greater replenishment returns in raids) is substantial. In addition, the specialization scales with Int, resulting in very large gains at higher levels of gear.

 

Q12: Do Focused Insight and Unleashed Life stack?

Yes, and they are seemingly multiplicative in nature. So, provided the heal is UL + Shock + Heal and that you meet the incredibly short window for healing, your spell’s healing will be increased by 56%.

 

Q13: I heard that the game now has effects similar to PowerAuras?

I’ve heard the same thing. Unfortunately, they’ve not yet been implemented for Resto Shaman.

 

Q14: Are Riptide hots affected by haste or Deep Healing?

No, they are not.

 

What’s on the horizon?

With Heroic dungeons recently released and character copies upgraded to an average ilvl333, the coming weeks should be filled with a good amount of feedback about performance at higher gearing and stat levels. I know I’m going to enjoy setting foot in some instances that I haven’t been into in a while and getting into the swing of this thing called Cataclysm Triage. And no doubt, I’ll have a lot more tidbits and discoveries to share along the way!






12 Comments


  1. Great post, and love the look of the site. It may have been like this for a while, but I had been reading through RSS. :)

    I’m definitely a bit concerned that our mastery is going to be lackluster, but I’ll try to be patient and wait for more testing and until we see what raids are going to be like.


    • Yeah, I think Deep Healing is one of those wait-and-see issues where all the theorycrafting in the world won’t replace actual testing. If we do see the varying levels of raid health that we’re seeing in 5-mans, then Deep Healing should provide a good boost. But if the abundance of heals in a raid environment means that players are generally > 80% HP, then the gain from our Mastery will be minuscule.


  2. As of right now, yes other peoples ES counts for you in terms of healing bonus. I suspect though that is not intended. If it is, that just makes it one big buff all around.


    • Re: Nature’s Blessing … Given that Glyph of LHW operated in the same fashion for most of Wrath, providing the bonus no matter who’s ES was on the target, I’m going to hope that the design was deliberate and not a QA issue (lol).


  3. Man… Stassart is gonna have his work cut out for him, huh.
    Zigi´s last post ..First- Do Some Harm


  4. Firestyle

    These changes, if anything, provide depth. I’m very curious to see how opinions and theorycrafting evolve based on seeing these changes in practice.

    I was sad to see the mana tide nerf, but kind of knew it was coming. It would have been far too appealing and in some encounters necessary to have X number of shaman and Y number of druids for group mana regen. TBH, people will still probably skirt some encounters’ soft enrages by bringing an extra resto shaman or druid – which would only lead to further nerfing.


  5. Ateve

    I’m not overly concerned with our mastery yet, if it doesnt give enough oomph it will be buffed, it is still beta.

    Also want to point out for point 14 GC stated on the forums that riptide (and ELW) HoTs not being effected by haste is a bug.

    One of the more dissapointing aspects of the new glyph set up is that for every class/spec I’ve tested there really arent that many options, so glyph set ups will probably be pretty cookie cutter. Though then again in Wrath we have tons of options but with some being far and away more powerful so its not really that different.


  6. Tree Alive

    I’m wondering if you have any insight into how raid healing assignments might change in cata. If healer mana is going to be an issue, I expect more pressure on us to avoid overhealing, duplicate heals, and to stick to efficient healing assignments. Right now in Wrath, if there’s even any organization to raid heals, we’re often assigned to groups (you focus on group 2, I’ll do group 3 and we’ll pick up each other’s slack as needed). I wonder if this sort of mastery bonus would encourage a different sort of assignment. Might Druids be preferred for topping off and healing light damage while Shamans become the primary healers for people less than some amount (say 50%)? If there’s spike damage on a few people, it sounds like Shamans might be the best suited to address that regardless of raid group. Layered healing assignments might make healer coordination more interesting than just not stepping on each other’s toes.


  7. Grom

    I completely agree about the mana tide changes. That lowers mana tide almost below a WOTLK mana potion and well below a Cata one


  8. Nifra

    Interesting, from the recent blue post:

    “Mana Tide Totem now increases Spirit by 350%, up from 200%.”

    Quite an increase, but still feels like it’s going to be inferior to the current mana tide totem. I could be wrong though. At least it will scale with gear… and.. I sure priests and druids will be even more happier with that change.


  9. Kris

    Hi m8 u’re doing gr8 job i just have a question did u’re planing to add some experimental builds for new talents tree ? according to the gossip that new patch should be realesed very soon.


  10. […] previously talked at length about the qualities of Resto Shamans’ mastery, so I won’t get too deeply into them at present, but suffice to say that some new stat balancing […]



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