4.1 Update: Efflo Smart Heal / Lifebloom cost reverted

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.


6 responses to “4.1 Update: Efflo Smart Heal / Lifebloom cost reverted

  1. I’ve seen a few people speculate over the strength of the healing and I don’t understand why it would be broken. The nett healing is the same, the hps is the same.. why is 4500 on one person more broken than 4500 spread out over several people? Or has Blizzard assumed a proportion of wasted healing when tweaking the size of the ticks? Is this a perception issue – that 4500hps sounds OP (when it already has the potential to do 4500hps), or is it a genuine problem for us to put out 6×4500 heals off the back of a Swiftmend?

    On design – I really prefer the single target option over a 3 or 6 person smart heal. Apart from the fact that a single heal means it could be used as supplementary tank healing without “wasting” 2/3 of its potential, we already have a multi-person smart heal.. do we really need another, with the only difference being a circle on the ground? It’s virtually like having two Wild Growths. If they’re going to make it smart, I really think it should be something dissimilar to WG. Having a 5 person smart heal and a 3 person smart heal puddle is quite dull, in my mind.

    Definitely needs to be unlinked from Living Seed.

    • Agreed to a point. I think the potential flaw in the single target version of the smart heal is efficiency. If you can guarantee all of the heals land on the same person (tank being a good example) you are looking at a huge amount of healing done for a very low cost. This doesn’t take into account the fact that Effloressence can crit, and crit off of a Swiftmend crit. I would think they would see this as too much single target healing for its cost.

      Assuming a 20% crit rate, swiftmend healing for 17000 and effloressence ticks of 730 you get:
      Average Swiftmend of 18,200
      Single target Effloressence average ticks of: 5,103
      Your Swiftmend+Effloressence would heal on average a total of 53,921 for only 1700 mana.

      This might be broken and resulting in a painful nerf. If this math is way off base please let me know.

      • Mm, but that’s what it can do now, particularly on fights where we can stack and the raid is at low health.

        So that’s why I don’t understand why people are assuming it will be nerfed. It can do that much healing for that much mana right now – why would it suddenly be OP if it changed from small AOE heals to large single heals, for the same nett healing and cost?

      • Is it because they’re happy for it to be strong on a couple of fights where we can stack and throw Efflorescence while the raid is at low health (so it’s 100% effective), but generally there’s a lot of wastage, and that balances it out on average?

        That is, are they assuming a certain amount of inefficiency in day to day use of the spell, and if it is changed in a way to reduce overheal/wastage, they should tweak it down – even if the potential nett healing is identical?

      • Or is it that regardless of nett potential healing, ticks of 4500 seem too strong and too effective, next to ticks of 800? Ie, even if the nett healing is the same, they would rather it was weak and spread out, rather than focused on one person, because 4500/s seems too strong for the cost? (even though it was already 4500/s, just spread out over everyone)

  2. I think your third reply hits it a bit more on the head. Keeping the healing diffuse is a way to make it more situational and less out of hand. Doing 4500 hp/s divided over 20 people is less likely to provide sufficient critical healing on any one person that would pull them from the jaws of imminent doom. Building in some inefficiency also helps balance things out.

    Placing all of the healing on one person does provide the same total amount of healing done its true, but in a situation where all of the healing can be controlled on the same individual it changes things up. I’m sure when they designed this cataclysm healing paradigm they planned out how exactly certain healing builds would AoE heal and how they would tank heal and balanced spells accordingly to match encounter damage. Having the ability to throw a 53K heal over 7 seconds that is front loaded every 15 seconds on a tank is extremely powerful especially for only 1700 mana.

    I think it would boil down to where it would fit into the single target healing tool sets and would it severely affect the balance between how druids stack up with other classes in filling that role.

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