This was hastily written so it may not be pretty… and it certainly isn’t happy. I admit it is a little knee jerky to the recent articles flying around but I wanted to leave it in its raw form. I will probably brainstorm up some possible alternatives to our current mastery tonight and post them.
I have been ranting about it for months and I knew that this would happen. Druids on the beta are hitting 85, running content, and finding out that our mastery is terrible. You’ve read my warnings here and probably on Restokin, EJ, or on world of Matticus. I could go through the list of problems with our mastery but I think that Keeva over at Tree Bark Jacket said it best in her recent post: http://treebarkjacket.com/2010/09/13/topic-du-jour-why-our-mastery-sucks/
Please read that article if you haven’t then hop on back here. As both a beta tester and a good player with a finger on the pulse of what is important she has really hit the nail on the head. I’ll put in a list of her bullet points here and then expand upon the ones that really irk me.
1. It does not apply to HoTs already on the target
2. Throwing a HoT on someone close to death is not top priority
3. Stompers gonna stomp (Heal stomping/sniping) and HoT’s take time to tick
4. The Shaman Mastery is in direct conflict with ours
5. Glyph of Rejuvenation is situational; so is this
6. It only applies to some of our heals, some of the time
7. The bonus amounts are tiny
Not terribly reassuring is it? I understand that numbers have not been finalized but that doesn’t actually solve the root of the problem which Keeva has outlined in her post. If you get to use your mastery only 5% of the time, 5% of a lot still isn’t that much. Let us look at the priest and shaman masteries for a moment. The priest gets a 10%+ HoT at the end of each direct heal and Shaman gain up to 20%+ on their direct heals if their target is wounded. Shooting from the hip I’ll say that 85% of a priest’s heals will be from direct heals (assuming PWS and Renew make up the balance) and 90% of a shaman’s healing is done by direct heals (Riptide HoT, Healing Rain making up the balance, depending on the fight). For priests this equates to a potential 8.5%+ increase in throughput assuming all HoT’s are used (as they stack) but given that direct heals work well on wounded players I am hard pressed to think that they would not. For shaman’s it is a little tougher, but assuming the average bonus is roughly 10% as direct heals are perfect for wounded players they should net roughly a 9%+ increase in throughput. Both of these masteries scale fairly well. For druids roughly 50% of our healing will be done with HoT’s, and our average bonus will probably hover at 8-10% as HoT’s will not be applied when a target is extremely low and pre-hotting does not work. This gives us approximately a 4-5%+ increase in throughput.
You’re probably saying “4.5% isn’t really that much lower than 8.5% in the grand scheme of things is it?”. For what we’re talking about it certainly is, it puts Mastery for us at 52% of the value of Mastery for priests. That 4.5% is also extremely misleading for the reasons Keeva mentioned in her article. Our HoT’s are much weaker relative to total health pools so expect them to get stomped to some degree. Similarly necessity will often dictate that you need to cast direct heals in place of HoT’s at the time when your mastery would be at its greatest value. Triage does not support a playstyle that waits till the last second and then places a slow acting heal over time on the gravely wounded player. If you were a doctor in an extremely busy hospital, with prices for treatment on the rise, faced with a patient suffering from a slow acting life threatening disease which option sounds smarter?
“Wait until the patient is close to death and release a slow acting cure that reacts in strength relative to the amount of antibodies in the system fighting the disease”
“Wait until the patient is weakened moderately and release a direct antidote that will continue to heal the person gradually after administering it”
“Wait under the patient is weakened moderately and then release a very potent antidote that should cure them outright”
“Wait until the person is moderately weak and administer a potent antidote that bolsters the bodies antibodies preventing any more deterioration for some time”
I know these are kind of silly, but when I think Triage I think hospitals and balancing treatment.
It is tough to fix a mastery by scaling the numbers too large when the mastery itself is undesirable. As I said before, 0% to 5% of an arbitrarily large number is still a very small amount. If we cannot capitalize on our Mastery effect often enough then it will not matter how impressive the effect is. A small increase in a HoT when someone is close to death is not a significant gain however a percentile increase to a bomb heal required to save that person is more likely to be realized. As such it leads us into our two really big problems with this mastery:
Value – As is stands mastery does not provide nearly enough of a bonus compared to haste, crit, and intellect. I understand that they are happy with a stat benefiting one class more than another however having every resto druid reforge away mastery is going to speak volumes. Why boost a situational ability when you can boost ALL of your heals with another stat? The base value of your class is also diminished as you pay for that 20% base mastery just by being a druid and if that doesn’t compare to other classes you are going to be slighted.
Playstyle – I like pre-HoTing. Not the ridiculous RJ/WG spam that we find ourselves doing from time to time in WotLK but the real cerebral planning that it was intended for us to do. Part of the smarts required to play a druid should be to know fights and plan ahead accordingly. You felt good placing HoT’s on someone just in time for the damage to hit them and have your effect realized. This heavy handed punishment to the pre-hot playstyle in both our mastery as well as HoT cost is a bit hard to swallow at times.
I’m definitely hoping things get changed shortly…I don’t really like all of this doom and gloom talk but it just feels like we are getting patronized by Ghostcrawler and the blues sometimes…like an adult patting a child on the head saying “It’s ok, I know you don’t get it, but you’ll understand why we did it someday”. The beta testers are forced to evaluate and pass judgment based off what they see. If you aren’t giving them working data how can they possibly react in any favorable fashion?