Mana matters?

Thought i’d drop a quick post in this afternoon now that my workday has come to a close (while I come up with something wittier to write about later on in the week).

There was recently an update on the 4.0.6 patch that made a few important healing changes for druids and for paladins pertaining to mana. Clearly this is an area that they are continuing to make adjustments to because everything is so delicately balanced. For paladins (not playing one myself) a 10% increase to the mana cost of all healing spells seems pretty fair considering the reports I am seeing from the high end raiding guilds. Paragon and Method released their healing meter parses from first Sinestra kills to show the ridiculousness and neither group used a single druid healer by design and only one restoration shaman was present for a kill (dead last in healing done).  The paladin healing eclipses the other classes by a noticeable margin. (If you’re interested in the state of shaman healing and how the 4.0.6 changes may or may not help please head over here: http://tinyurl.com/46w2x4w. One of Paragon’s shaman healers speaks candidly about his issues at the end game level.)

For druids, especially at the tier 11 normal mode level, mana is almost borderline a non-issue in 359 gear. The hotfix that dropped our rejuvenation down to 16% base mana turned the semi-blanketing style of healing into a reality I don’t think Blizzard intended. I know personally I don’t have quite as much spirit on my gear as I’d like, but with 124K mana raid buffed, innervate trading with another druid, and an on-use spirit trinket for mana tide I rarely ever had an issue with my mana.  Now I understand that they want us to use Rejuvenation more as it forms the backbone of our mastery and props up Nourish and one of their solutions to giving us some added burst was to create a talent that only activated when three rejuvenations are active at once, making our healing very sensitive to the spells mana cost.

So with this update to the upcoming patch, Rejuvenation has reverted to original 20% base mana cost of 3725 mana (3389 with moonglow). This change translates roughly to 678 mana more per cast. If you cast roughly 12 rejuvenations per minute (the number could clearly be higher) you will feel roughly a 710 mp/5 drain beyond what you have with the current hotfix. [18 rejuvenations per minute is -1017 mp/5, and 22 per minute is -1243 mp/5 from the current hotfixed state]

While clearly our mana is not where it should be right now it doesn’t mean this is the right solution. I only say this because the Wild Growth buff, while definitely nice, does not serve to offer any “burst” AoE healing. The Nature’s Bounty change that allows us the opportunity to cast very hasty Nourishes also requires us to have a few Rejuvenations rolling placing the burden back onto Rejuv-reactive blanketing + Nourish for controlled AoE healing. I say controlled because Wild Growth is a bit rogue-ish in who it affects and if you are specifically assigned to select people there are no guarantees you’ll be able to hit them and gain mastery benefit on your Rejuvenations.

This is certainly not a horrible change and the sky is definitely not falling. I would just ideally like to see them bring up some other aspects of our healing game plan beyond WG (which was already awesome) and Rejuvenation (still cheaper than the 26% it was at). Time will tell!

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