So the goal of the patch is to improve accessibility right? So is end game PVE healer job more accessible after the changes?
Answer is not at all here is why:
1. 40% nerf on staple HOTs such as Illustrious Healing and Radiating Regeneration
that are a key components of success in Hm Trials, like Bahsei HM, vAS HM, Falgravn HM. Nothing in patch notes about adjusting existing trials to meet the loss of healing power.
2.HOTs tick frequency is decreased but there are still enemy DOTs in game that hit every 0.33s, every 0.5s, every 1s.
We now have no tools to counteract that, because all HOTs tick 2s except Orb, that ticks 1s. But Orb also tends to float away. So to maximize Orb HPS I need to re-cast it earlier than at 10s. I am not quite certain inexperienced healer is able to cast burst heal at exact 1s frequency to counterplay Yolnakhtiin Flare for example. Not to mention ping and lag issues where even experienced healers fail it just because their next cast registered 10ms later than next tick of the mechanic.
3. Sustain as a healer is worse
, here is why: yes HOTs last longer and I cast them less. But what so I cast while not casting HOTs to make up for loss of HPS? That's right AOE burst heals that cost more than HOTs
. I do not understand why DD spammable is cheaper than DOT making the changes easier to sustain for DDs, but Healer spammable is more expensive, making it harder to sustain as a healer.
4. Heals with buff components like Combat Prayer and Enchanted Growth still do not have smart targeting for the buff component
, so I still have to spam the living hell out of it to get good uptimes. So someone like me who has high APM and able to spam more stuff in a minute will have massive advantage over beginner healer who relies on heavying for sustain and does not have high APM.
5. Combat preview claims that Buffs and De-buffs are extended. But not on the buffs that make biggest difference as a support
a. Stone Giant still needs to be cast every 5s or less
b. Combat Prayer is still 10s and costs arm and a leg
c. Minor Brittle on Clench/Pulsar is still 4s, Major Maim on Clench is still 5s
d. Minor Vuln component on Necro Totem is still 5s
6. I do appreciate 10s empower on Empowering Grasp
, I think that is a good change making Empowering Grasp maintenance more accessible.
7. Warden Changes or lack of thereof
is the most baffling to me at the moment. Warden is a staple healer class. Ever since the class was released it was THE healer class, if you want to play healer and want to guarantee spot on trial team - play Warden.
a. Somehow ALL classes that are come-and-go healer meta got their class HOTs of 20s or more, yet warden class HOT is still 6s?
b. Warden got a nice utility attached to Shalks - Minor and Major breach last patch, and its AOE, great for trash ans AOE fights! And now I need to wait 4s for Shalks to go off and apply that de-buff. And I need to mentally make sure I am aiming Shalks correctly 4s after I casted them. This is definitely not something less experienced players will do well and this 4s delay is opposite of accessibility. Not to mention some AOE packs in Dungeons and Trials don't last long enough to make use of that de-buff.
All and all changes did not make it easier for inexperienced healers to compete with experienced ones at all. Experienced healers will still have upper hand on the most impactful uptimes, will figure out how to sustain, potentially find clever ways to make up for loss of HPS.
Imagine inexperienced healer goes to vCR HM after the changes. That fight is long time staple healing challenge that separates healers with high APM and experience that allows them to foresee when and who will be taking increased damage (frosts, baneful, dark drain and so on). With 40% lower HPS noobie healer has no chance vs someone who knows the trial now. And longer duration on some HOTs is not going to help them all that much because it is a mobile fight.
In addition after the changes my HOTs and uptimes have even more disparate durations than before. Rotation difficulty only partially comes from duration of the uptimes / HOTs. After some point longer does not mean easier. Alot of it comes from disparate durations, where you need to track each one, or few sets of those separately. After then changes I tried out my "healer rotation" and it feels just as complex as it was with no good way making it static without running out of sustain.
- 6s on Budding Seeds (biggest head scratcher)
- 6s/9s on POTL (damage and ult gen component/minor breach)
- 10s on Combat Prayer
- 10s on Shalks/Empowering Grasp, Healthy Offering
- 14s on Echoing Vigor making it harder to track Poweful Assault without addons (Console Players get short end of the stick here)
- 20s on Fetcher
- 20s on Wall
- 20s on Shrooms
- 20s on Illustrious
- 30s on Ritual
- 30s on Altar
Another layer of complexity that separates end game experienced healer from noobie healer is class passives, there are a lot of different class passives that proc on short cooldown, in particular ultimate generation ones. NB has 4s passive. As a healer my spammable heals are not among the ones that proc the passive, so I need to mentally keep track of it. Plar has 6s Prism Passive, luckily POTL damage component lines up with it, Warden has Savage Beast passive that has 8s CD and in the past Fetcher was a good option to maintain it, 10s is not that far off from 8s. That layer of complexity is not going anywhere, so by increasing duration on skills that would proc those passives you are making a curse in disguise instead of favor, inexperienced healers will be less affective in certain intricate aspects of their jobs, such as being able to generate Ultimate efficiently and will not know why.
All and all I feel like the changes are not thorough and is more of a detriment than help to inexperienced player who is looking to catch up.
Edit: Proposed solution so its not just whining post
- If HOTs must tick less often for server performance reason, either adjust content or healing tooltips for trials. Ideally we would still want at least 2 HOTs available to every class that ticks every 1s if we keep current content as is. Since resto staff is healing skill line its HOT should be probably one of those and tick every 1s.
- Perform a thorough review of duration that take skill line passives into consideration. For example all mages guild DOTs get extended by 2s making them weird odd-one-out in the rotations. May be change the passive where it adds equivalent damage per tick instead of increasing duration. Make sure to adjust ult gen and sustain passives as well so they proc more naturally not just for DDs, but supports too. It is "passive" after all, I should not need to track it actively with all the rest of the tasks I have as a support.
- Review durations of key skills that go on support skill bars, not just DDs. Feels like Tanks and Healers were not a part of this pass of "accessibility"
- Review duration of key support sets. Powerful Assault is a staple used by Tanks and Helers alike. It still has 10s duration, still requires 2 casts per 10s and is now harder to tack without addons. It's "smart" targeting is still wonky, you need to let it fully expire to cover whole team in 2 casts. It does not check remaining duration in its "smart" targeting.
- Settle on consistent not too long / not too short durations on thematically similar skills. Echoing Vigor is AOE HOT, why does it have such an odd duration?
Altar, Expansive Cloak, Ele Drain, Swift Siphon are my long lasting AOE group utility, having them at 30s makes sense, I always put them on same skill slot on my bars too.
Combat Prayer, Empowering Grasp, Shrooms as my forward facing AOE Buffs for 6 people per cast, so I would put those on same skill bar next to one another and cast 2 of each in tandem. So having both at 10s is cool, assuming I can sustain them. If you make them 15s I won't complain
Ground HOTs are another category.
In the past when Templar was"the" healer 12s on Illustrious and Ritual felt good. When Ritual became about double the duration it felt abit less engaging but you could devise a static rotation where you alternate Ritual and Altar with 12s static rotation, you could either cast 2 orbs per (at 6s) or undercast Orb (at 10s) depending on content.
But it is odd when you have HOTs at totally different odd durations like 6s, 8s, 10s, 12s, 18s, 24s. You have to track them dynamically and that is what glues our eyes to skills bars. Making them much longer won't solve the issue, because I still need to dynamically track them.
Something like Class HOTs at either 24 or 30s and Skill Line HOTs either at 12s or 15s, with shorter HOTs having higher tooltip, so they are harder to maintain, but provide better healing potential. 20s 10s could be al
In addition please balance PVP healing via the PVP buff. The 40% healing nerf is very heavy handed and not justified with last 3 trial Hard Mode fights.