6.2 Mini-Analysis: RIPtide (Resto Shaman t18 Set Bonuses & Archimonde Trinket)

Thought I’d get back into the swing of things here, while I have a bit of a break from live raiding this week, to post a quick vignette about the way the t18 set bonuses and the class-specific Archimonde trinket work. This is part of an experiment to try to update the blog more frequently with less overwrought posts – let me know what you think :)

First of all, for those of you not in the loop right now:

  • T18 2pc: Increases Riptide’s Critical Strike chance by 25% (was 50% in previous PTR versions, but was just reduced today)
  • T18 4pc: When you Chain Heal, you have a 65% chance to also apply Riptide to the primary target (was 100% chance in previous PTR versions, but was just reduced today)
  • Core of the Primal Elements: Casting Chain Heal, Healing Surge or Healing Wave on a target with your Riptide on it has a 55% chance to spread that Riptide to another nearby ally

My initial reaction to these set bonus and trinket effects was one of skepticism. I didn’t think they sounded that strong, particularly the trinket effect. I mean yes, getting additional Riptide effects on the raid without having to cast it means stronger High Tide Chain Heals and a wider flexibility of Chain Heal target options. But if you’ll recall my Mini-Analysis on Chain Heal/High Tide, you’ll see that additional Riptides don’t make that big of a difference to your throughput. I thought the flexibility benefits would be very difficult to quantify, and that the T18 4pc was counterproductive since, heh, who was going to be casting Chain Heal on a target without Riptide on them anyway?

But I think the developers may have asked themselves that exact same question, because well before we could test these set bonuses on the PTR, they made an additional change: Resto Shamans no longer have a Riptide/Chain Heal interaction! This was a long-standing feature of the Resto Shaman class, one that, yes, added complexity and depth to our playstyle, but also kept us chained to a set of 3 players that would function as our Chain Heal turrets. I found the interaction questionable and problematic enough that I actually advocated for the RT bonus removal in that very same post. You’ll note in that post that, when the RT bonus is removed, we get more mileage out of High Tide by casting CH on non-Riptided targets.

(So this doesn’t constitute a nerf to the class, Chain Heal also received a passive 25% boost in its healing. Which is actually a miniscule buff, given that very occasionally you might have been casting Chain Heal on a target whose Riptide falls off before your cast ends. But I digress.)

In light of all these changes and a lot of confusion that seems to have arisen from these set bonuses, I thought I’d explore a little how each bonus works alone, and how they interact if you happen to equip both. So, here we go.

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Posted in Shaman, Theorycrafting, WoD Beta | Tagged , | 12 Comments

6.2 Patch Notes & Upcoming Content

Just like the last time there were major patch note announcements, Hamlet and I got together and recorded a podcast covering our thoughts on Patch 6.2 Notes. Then we did it again a little later that night, because data mining came out with some interesting healer tier set bonuses and trinkets to discuss. You can find both parts of the epic Patch Note podcast here.

Since Patch 6.2 is bringing a new raid, I’ll be working on guides for all Hellfire Citadel bosses; these guides will again appear on Wowhead, like my BRF and HM set. But there’s also Mythic Dungeons, which I’ll have to run and add to my Dungeon Guides (also on Wowhead), and I’ll be covering Timewalker dungeons as well to help out those of you who haven’t got the wave structure of Black Morass or the patrols of the invisible mobs in Arcatraz memorised ;)

In all of that, I’d like to take a little time to also work on stuff here, but as you all have noticed, Healiocentric has been a little low in content lately. I’m hoping that Patch 6.2 healer balance changes will re-invigorate my desire to write again. Thanks to all of you for your support on my other projects, though! <3

Posted in Blog News, Dungeons, Guides, Raids, Warlords of Draenor | Leave a comment

Blackrock Foundry Guides

I just wanted to drop a quick note here that my Blackrock Foundry encounter guides are now available on Wowhead. They have an entire Blackrock Foundry hub, where you can find links to just about everything you’d like to know about BRF.

These guides are based on Beta/PTR testing primarily, but I’ll be updating them with improved images and information after I get into the zone this week, so keep checking in.

Blackhand Picture Good luck in your raid today! Once this project settles down – about a week from now, when hopefully I should have all the Normal/Heroic mode information settled – I should be able to get back to writing about healing things. I have some further projects in mind! <3

Posted in Blog News, Guides, Raids | Tagged | 3 Comments

6.1 Patch Notes Review – now in Stereo!

Okay, well actually, more like in mono, but whatever. The point is, yesterday Hamlet and I live-recorded, rather than live-Tweeted, our thoughts on the healer balance portions of the patch notes. We’re a little disorganised since it was a pretty impromptu thing – maybe 30 minutes after the patch notes were posted? – and we didn’t have a great deal of theorycraft results yet, but we still managed to talk for nearly an hour about the changes, why the specific talents were chosen, what we think they’re likely to do for talent balance, and of course, the benefit of Tweeting while in-game ;)

We still don’t have a title, but click here to listen to our 7th healer discussion podcast – patch note notes! And most of the theorycraft results are now in, so as you listen, you can follow along with the numbers in HealerCalcs.

Also, I’ve been remiss in not posting a little link here each time I do one of these. If this is news to you, and you want to catch up on the previous 6 shows as well, you can use his podcast tag to find them all. :)

Posted in Blog News, Discipline, Druid, Holy, Monk, Paladin, Priests, Shaman, Theorycrafting, Warlords of Draenor | Leave a comment

Patch 6.0.3: Raid Cooldown Overview

Healer Throughput CDs
Non-Healer Throughput CDs
Damage Reduction CDs
Damage Reduction vs Throughput
MoP vs WoD Comparison
Appendix 1: Available Raid CDs
Appendix 2: Methodology

Now that I’m progressing steadily through Mythic content and actually healing again (most of the time *glares at Tectus*), it’s time to dive back into one of this blog’s staple topics: raid CDs! I’ve been thinking about them a lot ever since I noticed how big of a difference it made when I used my CDs twice during a fight instead of just once. And I don’t mean just my throughput – which I rarely look at! – but moreso my mana efficiency. What makes raid CDs feel so different in Warlords? And what does it mean for how I should be using my cooldowns in raid encounters?

Warlords of Draenor is an exciting new world for healers – a world that we’re probably still getting a little bit used to, one in which our healing decisions actually matter. It’s a stark contrast to the Mists of Pandaria healing style, where I felt like the depth of the healing game eroded as we progressed through raiding content, and while there were many culprits, the Mutually Assured Destruction of raid CDs was one part of it. Our CDs were too powerful and too plenty, and what’s worse, non-healers had CDs that could be just as powerful, meaning healers were riding the bench while their hybrid DPS counterparts were covering our shifts!

Every raid leader/healing team lead in Mists, particularly SoO

Every raid leader in Mists of Pandaria, particularly SoO

Sure, Heroic Thok would not have been possible without non-healers’ CDs being as prevalent as they were. But does that make strong non-healers’ CDs a good thing for the game, or does it make Thok a bad fight? I think the latter, personally; while there was some fun gameplay for your raid leader in organising the CDs to fire off at the right times, so much of that fight was decided by our raid leaders rather than our own healing instincts, and that was just dull.

To address these issues, the developers have redesigned raid CDs, removing some, nerfing others, and restricting certain CDs to heal-specs only. And, having realised that spell behaviour alone was not responsible for the way raid CDs were used in MoP, they’ve also changed encounter mechanics and increased player health pools relative to heal size. All of these changes have been aimed at making our raid CDs less powerful than they were in Mistsso that we feel like our actual healing decisions make more of a difference than our ability to press our CD buttons on command. But how successful were these changes at creating this kind of environment? We’ll have to look at a lot of parameters to find out. If you’re anything like me, that thought (mm, parameters!) makes you feel happy and a little tingly all over ;)

In this article, as in previous posts in this series, I’ll provide calculations of typical raid CD throughput/mitigation, explore a little bit about the philosophy of raid CD usage, and compare raid CD potency to that of previous content patches. I’ve tried to avoid repeating too much of the theory I established in those earlier articles, so if you find yourself needing – or wanting – a refresher on the benefits of effective health CDs versus pure healing CDs, or the quasi-qualitative evaluation of Spirit Link Totem’s health redistribution effect, well, that’s all still there. But for now, let’s get started on dissecting the Warlords raid CD landscape, shall we?

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Posted in Discipline, Druid, Holy, Monk, Paladin, Priests, Raids, Shaman, Theorycrafting, Warlords of Draenor | 23 Comments

Out of Office Reply

I probably should have posted this before I left, but I was pretty busy.

I may not be responsive for the next three weeks because I am overseas for BlizzCon and related post-Blizzcon traveling. I am hoping to still add some content to this site while I am away, but that will depend on how much fun I am having! :)

In the meantime, I just finished up a huge project for Wowhead – strategy guides for the 8 Warlords dungeons – so if you need your Dayani-writes-too-much fix, check those out.

My Twitter will probably be blowing up with pictures from BlizzCon and the Wowhead party and whatnot. If you are coming to BlizzCon I would love to meet you, so please come find me!

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Through the Dark Portal: Warlords Pre-Launch Celebration

A couple of weeks ago, the @Blizzard_ANZ Twitter account posted something about a Pre-Launch Celebration event being held in Sydney, featuring WoW designer Ion Hazzikostas. I replied to the Tweet in a joking way, not even necessarily sure I wanted to go since I am Officially Freaking Out about all the things I still have to do before I leave for BlizzCon (10 days. Oh my gosh. 10. Days.). But then I got a DM saying that if I wanted to go, they’d set aside tickets for me so I didn’t have to try my luck with the Eventbrite process, and well, that kind of cemented it for me – if they were going to be that considerate to me, I pretty much had to go! So I made it happen. :)

And I’m glad I did, because it was a great evening! So here’s a recap of all that happened, with plenty of blurry pictures because I swear there is something wrong with my phone camera (or maybe I am just perpetually nervous):

This super cool smoke & projected light portal was our entrance to the Pre-Launch Celebration.

This super cool smoke & projected light portal was our entrance to the Pre-Launch Celebration.

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Posted in Warlords of Draenor | 5 Comments

The Hamlet and Dayani Show?

A.K.A. “Because I needed another project…” ;)

Hamlet and I got together today (let’s ignore the fact that it was 3:30am for me) and recorded a little podcasty-kinda thing where we just generally chatted about healing topics, primarily things that we had wanted to say last week on Wowhead Weekly but didn’t get to.

He’s hosting it over at his blog, so you can find it here:


I’ll note that we’re pretty amateur here – just recorded a conversation in Mumble, and probably weren’t as candid or comfortable as we might have been without that little blinky red light – so view this as a trial more than a finished product. Let us know what you think; if this sort of thing seems generally interesting we may do it again whenever we have a backlog of topics to talk about :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Patch 6.0.2: Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

It’s been one day since Patch 6.0.2 was applied, and as Mythic raid logs accumulate, we’re starting to see some familiar trends. Before people get too worried about What This Means For Warlords Healing, I want to jump in and address the issue. The TL;DR is: this month is meaningless, and absolutely none of this has any correlation to how the healing game will play out in Warlords of Draenor. But that is just the short story – you all know I’m going to provide you with the long story, too ;)

So here’s what the rankings looked like earlier today – highlighting Warcraft Logs’ new RaidBots-esque feature:

The first day of Mythic SoO raiding shows absorbs are still king

The first day of Mythic SoO raiding shows absorbs are still king

(And here’s the direct link to that report – mind you, the graph is skewy because there’s no option other than “view the last two months”, but Mythic rankings were only added yesterday; the table below still gives us the same information.)

These results seem to contradict the developers’ intention, and many of the things I’ve written here, about absorption healing not being as powerful in Warlords. Discipline Priests and Holy Paladins are on top, like they have been all expansion, but this doesn’t mean that Warlords hasn’t fixed the absorption issue. All it means is that it takes more than a bit of class tweaking to fix the absorption issue.

There’s a lot of things at play here beyond the numbers issues that are highlighted by that table. Numbers can be tweaked, and probably will be, but that won’t bring around the Warlords atmosphere we all crave. Here I’ll break down all the various reasons why I casually dismiss this entire month as “Magical Unicorn Fairyland Raiding”, and assert that nothing we do until December 2nd will really matter. A lot of this will apply to DPS as well as healers, so tell your friends ;)

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Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Raids, Siege of Orgrimmar | 16 Comments

Another Quickie: Guides, Site Updates, and My First Podcast

So, I have about 15 minutes before I have to go get ready for a party, but I thought I’d just post another little update here:

1. Wowhead Healer Guides

With 6.0.2 right around the corner, I’ve updated the Holy Paladin, Mistweaver Monk, and Restoration Shaman guides to help you cope with the changes that are coming. The top section, “6.0.2 Survival Guide”, will list the most important changes that will affect you on Tuesday as you venture back in to SoO. The rest of the guides focus on what you’ll be doing at level 100, which is still a good read, but probably not as important as knowing exactly what’s going on for the next month.

2. Site Updates

You may have noticed there’s a “Warlords of Draenor Info” button on the top menu bar now; it’s where I’m going to put the analogues of my “What’s New in MoP” class pages, when I finally get them written. For now, there’s a comprehensive overview of what generic things are changing that will affect all healers – stuff like mana, how the new stats work, and some details about the new healing model.

I’ve also put up a new guide to Choosing a Healer, with a totally subjective opinion-based matrix of descriptors for each class’s Warlords playstyle. If you’re wavering on what class to play, or just feel like seeing what’s happening to your class in the expansion, have a look!

3. BlizzCon Prep

I guess I haven’t officially announced this here before, but I am going to BlizzCon this year and have been crazy busy preparing for that. It’s eating up a lot of time! It does mean I’ll be out of the country for launch, so I’m working hard on getting things ready before then so all I have to do while traveling is press a few buttons and you’ll all have the updates and guides that you crave.

4. Guest on Wowhead Weekly

Just a couple days ago I was a guest on Wowhead Weekly, along with Hamlet. It was a pair of firsts – their first show with guests, and my first time ever on a podcast! I had a blast. We talked about healing in Warlords and mostly about how it isn’t as scary as you think. I didn’t have time to address all the topics I wanted to — believe me, I can go on about healing for hours — but I hope you’ll find it informative and at least a little entertaining. And I can always answer questions here or on Twitter if there’s something you wanna know that Hamlet or I didn’t cover on the show! :)

Posted in Blog News, Monk, Paladin, Shaman, Warlords of Draenor | 13 Comments