So everyone was buzzing over the past few days over the recent 4.1 changes and of course bugs. The first was the 57% increase to the cost of lifebloom which had a rather severe impact on our mana consumption rate over the course of a fight, and the second was a bug with Effloressence which had it erroneously smart healing as opposed to dividing its healing up.
Well apparently Blizzard is listening! The lifebloom thing was, as we suspected, a PvP related fix and as such the mana cost (not bloom reduction) was reverted so as to not impact raiding mana efficiency. The effloressence one though:
Recent restoration changes
We’re a bit worried about Resto being too powerful in PvP. We wanted to try out the Lifebloom changes to see if it fixed the problem. We don’t think it’s quite the right change though, so we’re going to revert the Lifebloom mana nerf, but keep the reduced bloom effect. We’ll have to keep watching this.
The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we’re actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We’ll have more details at a later time.
The Efflo bug prompted a LOT of discussion amongst bloggers, twitter, and message boards. At first people were more than likely confused as to whether or not it was a bug. Then after the confusion, and realization, the brainstorming started. The thought of the spell being able to smart heal would mean it could, in certain situations, provide significantly more crucial healing in times of trouble. Let’s look at three purely hypothetical ways this could be done (but certainly not the only way, as blizzard has shown us time and time again)
1.) Effloressence heals the most wounded player within the circle each second for a proportionately larger amount – While this idea certainly has merit and would more than likely always confer a noticeable chunk of healing each tick to someone who needed it, it does stray away from the AoE feel of the ability somewhat. This would allow Effloressence to be placed under a lone player (possibly tank) and use it as an additional periodic heal in our toolset creating zero penalty for using swiftmend on a lone grievously wounded player. (e.g. Hypothetically if effloressence normally ticks for 750 per second on 6 targets, it would tick for 4500 a second on one target). Given that combining the potential healing done of Effloressence adds up to a potentially broken single target heal effect I would expect some reduction to the healing amount from the number I have listed here.
2.) Effloressence heals the three most wounded players within the circle each second for a proportionately larger amount – This variation would adhere to the AoE mindset though still penalizing you less for dropping effloressence on only one or two targets. (e.g. Hypothetically if effloressence normally ticks for 750 per second on 6 targets, it would tick for 1500 a second on three targets).
3.) Effloressence heals the six most wounded players within the circle each second for the standard amount – This is less of a variation and more of a cap based around the number six which seems to be what Blizzard deems the cutoff point for diminishing returns per player. The ability would remain purely AoE healing focused but gain the ability to smart heal for the predetermined value and experience no diminish to the amount healed. (e.g. Hypothetically Effloressence would tick for 750 per second on 6 targets)
There are clearly advantages to each of these variations.
-Options 1 and 2 penalize the use of Swiftmend less allowing it to be used more for its base healing done without the penalty of wasting much of Effloressence’s healing done should the number of players inside be less than currently desirable. These options also bolster 5 and 10 man content as well as tank healing to some degree which could give Effloressence a wide set of circumstances in which it will be greatly effective.
-Options 2 and 3 still maintain the AoE mindset Effloressence was intended to adhere to along with the ability to smart heal. In certain fights, Chimaeron being a good example, AoE heals that tick for 220 a second on a large number of people do not prove to be sufficient healing during critical moments of the fight. Having a spell provide larger chunks of HP to a smaller group of people at least means that you are providing more relevant and burst healing to those affected.
I would still really like to see Effloressence’s numbers bumped a bit, or have it either unlinked from living seed or have one of the two talents reduced in number of points. It is a very clunky talent to take in our tree and it is extremely costly in both talent points and how it affects our Swiftmend usage. As for Living Seed, even running 3/3 Nature’s Bounty in my spec I still get really bad returns, which frustrates me quite a bit. I’m hoping something good comes of this and that Blizzard is listening to the discussions we are all having.