A recent post on MMO-Champion’s Shaman forums got me thinking about Resto Shaman’s current stat of choice, and if there was such a thing as too much haste. After the geek in me quieted down about the chance to make an excel spreadsheet, I set about finding the answer. A quick interweb query netted me the formula used to calculate hasted cast time and armed with the base times of CH and Lesser Healing Wave, I set out plotting the results.
The result: when it comes to Chain Heal (within the confines of the existing game) you cannot have too much haste. Lesser Healing Wave is a different story, since you will bump up against the GCD at a little less than 1300, exclusive of Bloodlust. (The minds at EJ corroborate this finding.) But in the absence of another Tier 8 styled set bonus, even factoring in Bloodlust and class haste buffs (+5% haste from WoA and +3% from Imp Boomkin/Ret Aura) we won’t be approaching the GCD with Chain Heal any time soon.*
All was well, the excel geek in me was satisfied at his chance to graph WoW-related information, but then the financial geek piped up and asked, “But if haste has a depreciating effect, at what point does the cost outweigh the benefit?” (In other words: at what point should a shaman stop stacking haste because some other stat becomes more valuable?) Time for another graph! This one shows the relative benefit of every point of haste rating in terms of the cast time decrease of Chain Heal. Note that the vertical scale is shown in hundredths of a second per 1 haste rating.
Thus we see that the gain from haste rating decreases significantly as your total haste rating accumulates. But how does this compare to other stats? The valuation of haste relative to other stats is something that both Daidalos and Stassart both address in their respective Shaman spreadsheets. And although they have been able to calculate the relative effect of stats in terms of your playstyle, the fact remains that it would be incredibly arduous to unilaterally demonstrate a quantifiable correlation between haste and increased HPS. Yes, trending will tell us that if HEP (Healing Equivalency Points) fall along a consistent and predictable path then we can plot the point at which another HEP value will overtake Haste. But, this begs the question, is a faster CH always the answer?
It’s a question I’m not sure I have a good answer for, because every time I try to answer it I wind up with a handful of asterisks on the statement. Part of me has believed that when we start talking about non-progression content, a faster CH simply allows me to beat other healers to the punch. If I can heal someone up to full before they can, then I get to see a nice increase in my HPS. Hooray me! These days, I’m lucky to be part of an amazing healing team, one that is not only consistent but also incredibly reliable in terms of output. So, this brings up some other interesting points about healing and HPS:
- As healers we are capped in terms of HPS by incoming damage and the output capacity of our healing team. Shouldn’t I be gearing based on the damage qualities of the fight and the healing characteristics of my teammates? (EG: If I can count on our holy priests to be able to instantly dish out a CoH after Gormok’s stomp, shouldn’t I be looking to cover the differnence between the total damage taken and the amount of healing from the priest’s CoH, instead of simply sniping their heal?)
- Instant casts will always be faster than a time-based cast, so when trying to measure up against CoH/WG, is stacking haste a futile effort? (See above example.)
- Lastly, is stacking haste really dealing with damage in the appropriate way? Excluding mana considerations, is a faster heal always better, regardless of power and sustainability?
Unfortunately, it looks like the end of this post will only yield more questions and no answers to go with them. But I guess for me, the ultimate conclusion is—there’s a difference between mindlessly stacking haste and understanding why to mindlessly stack haste.