There’ve been a few changes to Resto Shaman in the Beta that I thought I ought to cover, since a couple of my WoD Mini-Analysis posts focused on these spells and Talents in their first incarnations. This should be a “short post”.
Just to keep myself feeling all proper and academic-like, I should acknowledge that I’ve used Hamlet’s HealerCalcs spreadsheet – which I’ve been helping him maintain, in lieu of building my own spreadsheets – to hammer out some of the mathematical details herein; he’s been posting about it over at his blog if you want more details (see here and here).
Riptide’s sources of healing have been shuffled around. The initial heal has been increased by about 70%, while the HoT effect has been reduced by about 20%. This change was probably aimed at reducing the benefit of the Riptide glyph (and perhaps even at shifting the balance of power of Riptide itself, since HoT effects are strong in Warlords).
Prior to this change, glyphing Riptide resulted in a heal 80% the size of an unglyphed Riptide; now, glyphing Riptide results in a heal 67% the size of an unglyphed Riptide.
But of course, the full value of glyphing Riptide is not at all accounted for by the healing of a single cast. So to compare the benefit of glyphed versus unglyphed Riptide, before and after the change, I turned to HealerCalcs and built a quick-and-dirty Shaman AoE rotation. The priority I followed was:
- Cast cooldown heals like Healing Rain and Healing Stream Totem on CD
- Use Unleash Life/Healing Surge (with Tidal Waves) once every UL CD, because emergency single-target healing during AoE damage will be common (based on my experiences in raid tests so far)
- If Riptide has a CD, use Riptide on CD
- If Riptide has no CD, use Riptide as a cheap filler spell for some proportion of the time left over after your CD spells
- Fill all remaining time with Chain Heal
This AoE rotation uses the High Tide Talent because that is where glyphed Riptide makes the largest contribution to our AoE healing and frankly because I suspect that is going to be a very common Level 100 Talent choice. So the number of Riptides we’re able to keep active on the raid determines the coefficient on each Chain Heal (refer back to my High Tide analysis post); when Riptide is not glyphed, this is functionally 3. When Riptide is glyphed, this is determined by the amount of time we spend casting our cheap Riptide filler – the more time we spend on RT, the more RTs are out, and the more jumps our CHes get, but the fewer CHes we get to cast.
See the table below for my results, showing the maximum throughput and mana cost per second of the glyphed RT rotations compared to the throughput of the unglyphed RT rotation:
|Shaman AoE Healing Strategies: Glyphed vs Unglyphed Riptide|
|Riptide Behaviour||HPS||Net MP5|
|New Glyphed RT||37602||-3992|
|Old Glyphed RT||38867||N/A|
So you can see, using Glyph of Riptide now does 90% of the healing that your unglyphed rotation does, for 99% of the mana cost. This is not exactly a compelling trade-off; however, I can see using the Glyph of Riptide strategy on a fight where you are so massively spread out or must move so frequently that you cannot use effective High Tide casts very often. I’ll also note that it wasn’t a great idea to be using Glyph of Riptide even before this change – 93% of the healing (the mana cost isn’t compared here because the price of our spells has been changed since then).
(Note that HealerCalcs supposes a baseline level of gear with 4000 Spell Power, 1000 Spirit, and 600 of every other secondary attribute like Critical Strike or Versatility. I’ve just left this in place because I don’t want to get into futzing with stat weights right now – we’re comparing two rotations with the same priorities, and while yes, Haste would make Riptide do more healing and thus could bump up the glyphed Riptide rotation a bit, keep in mind that Haste does still increase the number of Chain Heals we can cast in both rotations, and Chain Heal is a slightly better cast – with High Tide – than Riptide anyway.)
(Note also that yes, this rotation drains our mana heavily, so we won’t be able to do it for terribly long. It doesn’t really get better at 0 Chain Heals – we save 10% mana by spamming glyphed Riptide, woohoo?)
And if you’re curious, I recorded the HPS of every possible proportion of time spent casting glyphed Riptide vs Chain Heal, and graphed the data. A roughly 50-50 split produces the best results.
So in all, this change has reduced the value of the Glyph of Riptide, not to a point where it will never be used, but perhaps to a point where it is less of an automatic choice. Yay!
Echo of the Elements
Healing Rain has been removed from the EotE proc, and has been replaced by Unleash Life.
I had a few problems with the initial implementation of this Talent:
- No meaningful choices were presented, since a second HR was always going to be more valuable than an additional Riptide;
- To properly use the proc on HR, you had to avoid casting RT until your HR came off CD, which disrupted your RT casting pattern, depriving you of Chain Heal/High Tide targets, so this never felt nice;
- The Glyph of Riptide (and the new Glyph of Purify Spirit) does not mesh with Echo of the Elements;
- Knock it off with the Healing Rain incentives already!!
Not to mention, the Talent seemed bugged on the Beta servers; you couldn’t ever actually get a second Healing Rain – the first one always disappeared – which significantly limited the usefulness of the proc, and if you were using the Glyph of Riptide, casting Riptide would eat the Echo proc with absolutely no benefit to you (since glyphed Riptide already had no cooldown).
The new Talent is a little cleaner, but not much. It addresses 1) and 4) of my list above, but not so much 2) or 3).
In this section I’ll be comparing spells based on their Spell Power coefficients and nothing else – it just makes things cleaner.
- Riptide generates 397.5% of your Spell Power in healing.
- Unleash Life used on a Tidal Waves-empowered Healing Surge generates 312% of your Spell Power in healing.
These are pretty close, so if you’re not using the Unleashed Fury Talent, you can pretty much just use your Echo of the Elements proc on either Riptide or Unleash Life, whichever spell is off CD next or that you were going to use anyway.
- With Unleashed Fury, Unleash Life used on a Tidal Waves-empowered Healing Surge generates 704% of your Spell Power in healing.
So if you’ve taken Unleashed Fury, there is a clear winner for your Echo proc. And now we’re back in the same boat as we were in for the original incarnation of Echo of the Elements – you’re being torn between “wasting” a proc on Riptide so that you can keep your RT-CH engine churning, and halting your RT-CH engine so you can use the proc on the best-throughput spell. Only now, the boat has a hole in it; Unleash Life has a 15-second cooldown, which means that you’ll only be lucky enough to get an Echo proc at a time where you could reasonably use UL instead of RT about 33% of the time.
Ultimately, I think you’ll want to just always use your Echo proc on whatever eligible spell comes off CD next, or even possibly always on Riptide just to keep flexibility and additional benefit out of your RT-CH/High Tide healing. But it does concern me a little bit that the Talent is still terrible with the Glyph of Riptide – apparently, the behaviour I described above is intended, and you’re just not meant to use Echo and Glyph of Riptide together:
And it now concerns me that this is the only Talent on the tier that doesn’t affect our best spell, Healing Rain (Elemental Mastery and Ancestral Swiftness both provide additional ticks of Healing Rain, of course). I suppose for fights where you can’t make a lot of use out of Healing Rain, this could catch up, especially if you are using Unleashed Fury and get to use some of the procs on UL-HS/TW, but I’m not terribly convinced.
Double HR Scrapped
Celestalon confirmed here:
This is another driver behind the change in Echo of the Elements – double Healing Rain is just too situationally strong (I gasped about the possibility of double-HR-Ascendance earlier). This also means we will be unable to stack two Healing Rains with Conductivity.
Conductivity is still a good mana-conservation Talent, so don’t shun it so soon, especially with the reduction in power of Healing Stream Totem (which is a de facto reduction in power for Rushing Streams) and the fact that Rushing Streams’ second HST tick will no longer put up Glyph of Healing Stream Totem on its target. That RS/GoHST interaction was worth a LOT of damage reduction in Mists, and it made an already mathematically strong Talent even ridiculously stronger. Glad to see that go.
Condensation Cloudburst Totem
Just a little while ago I remarked here that “I would question whether there is ever a situation for which Condensation Totem makes sense“, and it seems like the developers agreed, because we now have a shiny new totem that doesn’t suck as much.
Cloudburst Totem will collect all of the Shaman’s healing, excluding other totem heals, and at the end of its 15-second lifespan or whenever you accidentally replace it, it will burst and deal 20% of that total healing to nearby allies (I’m estimating 30-40 yard range here from Shattrath testing). Note that the tooltip claims this will heal only injured allies, but that is not accurate –it heals all targets in range regardless of their health level.
Using the unglyphed Riptide AoE rotation above, I did a quick-and-dirty idea of how much healing we could expect to see from Cloudburst Totem should we use it with a max-throughput rotation, like a mini-cooldown. We have to give up High Tide for this, of course, so I modified my rotation above to remove the additional High Tide healing.
The answer is that during those 15 seconds of healing, we would generate a little over 450k eligible healing, and thus when Cloudburst expires, it would deal around 90k healing to the raid. Thus, the healing-per-cooldown – dividing that amount by 30 seconds, which is how frequently we can use Cloudburst – puts the totem at slightly better throughput than Rushing Streams’ Healing Stream Totem, with only a slight drop in mana efficiency. It is contingent, however, on you being able – and needing -to maintain that maximum-throughput AoE rotation for 15 seconds every 30 seconds. That’s probably very unrealistic.
Just FTR, this is still way better than Storm Elemental for throughput (although Storm Elemental is cheaper, of course, and deals some damage, the value of which is pretty small but non-zero). For High Tide to generate 90k healing in 30 seconds, you have to cast an average of 3.2 Chain Heals in that time. That’s 24% of your casting time spent on using Chain Heal, which is not unreasonable, but it may be close to the upper end of what’s reasonable. In my unglyphed Riptide rotation above, the player spends 35% of their time on Chain Heal, so 24% should be achievable unless there is a moderate movement requirement or if you need to play a more mana-efficient rotation.
I’ll think more about comparing these Talents later, once I am more facile with HealerCalcs in general 🙂
… I think that’s it. See? A short post. 😀