Upcoming Healer Changes! Resto Shaman Specialization Buffed, Power Word: Shield Mana Cost Increased

ooks like Blizzard is interested in taking some necessary steps towards balancing out healers in Cataclysm! As anyone who plays a healer (or healers) in Cataclysm has realized, the classes are pretty terribly balanced compared to each other – for example, priests were almost downright unplayable at launch, and now they’re rather overpowered! Some other healing specs have just been relatively lackluster in comparison. Restoration shamans, for example – have you seen the logs? Yeesh.

To address some concerns, Blizzard is making two major changes via upcoming hotfixes – the Priest Power Word: Shield‘s mana cost will be increased by 33% and Shaman Purification passive specialization is being increased to 25% (from 10%). In addition, the addition of healing cooldowns have been proposed for both Restoration Shamans and Druids in an upcoming patch!

You can check out the full details in the Blizzard post after the break! What do you guys think about these changes?

Nethaera said:
Since the release of patch 4.0.6, we’ve been keeping an eye on healers and how they are performing and are currently in the process of making some additional adjustments.

Priest

The cost of Power Word: Shield is being increased by 33%. While we wanted Discipline priests to be able to utilize this spell more often and with better results, we also did not want it to be the main spell (and often the only spell) used while in groups. We don’t find this to be a particularly compelling playstyle and have found that it encourages players to avoid using other spells such as Penance. We believe that using a shield in a tight moment is totally appropriate, but we don’t want it to be incredibly efficient to do so with more frequency than that.

We realize that by making Power Word: Shield slightly more expensive for Discipline priests to cast that it might cause Holy priests to avoid using it. To that end, we are adding mana savings into the Body and Soul talent. The tooltip will not reflect this change until a future patch, however. Ideally, Holy priests should not notice much of a change to the Power Word: Shield costs.

Shaman

We are also applying a hotfix for Purification for the Restoration shaman passive from 10% to 25%. We think that shaman healing per second is not as competitive with other healers and while we hoped to bring down Holy priest and Holy paladins (in particular) in 4.0.6, which we did, shaman still appear to be behind. In this case, it is simply easier to buff Restoration shaman rather than nerf everyone else or rebalance the encounters.

In Addition – Restoration Druid and Restoration Shaman

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

As always, we appreciate your continued constructive feedback and will do our best to keep you informed of ongoing developments.


Any ETA on these hotfixes coming in? I’m pretty pumped.
We anticipate having these in relatively soon. We’ll do our best to let you know once they’re in and we’ll be updating the notes on the Hotfix thread as well.

Neth, are these Shaman/Druid Healing CD’s going to be coming next tier (a.k.a. 4.1) or is this something you might do with a major patch (like 4.0.6)?
I ask because our team has a resto shammy and druid, so that would be awesome. 🙂

I can’t answer that for you just yet (as far as a specific patch), thus why we tend to stick with “a future content patch”. 😉 Sorry!

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