One of the proposed revamps coming in Mists of Pandaria is the way intellect and spirit interact with each other in regards to healers. For the new healer, understanding the current formula for mana regen can be a little daunting. To make it really easy, let's just say that it plays off both your spirit and your intellect. However, your intellect has a gradually increasing impact on how much mana you gain back in combat situations as your gear improves.
It appears that will no longer be the case heading into the next expansion. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) helped shed some light on the issue in a blue post earlier in the week.
- Intellect becomes a sheer throughput stat
- Spirit controls the rate of mana regen
- Mana pools will remain fixed
I included some of the passages that I felt would be particularly relevant to healing as we move forward.
I feel that this is the system Blizzard should have settled on going into Cataclysm.
We have come a long way since classic. Remember how the first concept of mana regeneration functioned? Mana regen would temporarily stop after a spell had finished casting. After 5 seconds, it would then begin to regen. That was the origin of the five-second rule.
At least now, it'll continue nonstop. To make life easier for everyone, we don't have to worry about deciding between two mana regen stats anymore. With spirit controlling regen, we might need to blend in some hybrid intellect and spirit attributes more often than not. If the start of the this expansion is any indicator of what it'll be like when the next one comes out, something tells me we'll be needing to stack a jaw-droppingly high amount of spirit just for endgame.
Who wants to guess how much mana we'll have at level 90? I'm thinking around 222,000 as a start.
Fixed mana pools is another concept that's new. The more I think about it, though, the better I think it will be for us overall.
I've stopped thinking about my mana bar in terms of absolute numbers. I've started thinking about how much of my bar gets eaten up by my healing spells. While my Prayer of Healing may have eaten up 10% of my mana bar earlier in the expansion, now it only affects 4% overall (please note that those numbers are hypothetical). Instead of casting Prayer of Healing 10 times before running out of mana, I can cast it 25 times now.
The concern now shifts to finding that equilibrium between throughput and regeneration. You can have high throughput and low mana regen, but that would turn you into a bottle rocket healer. After a limited amount of time, you'd be fresh out of gas. In other words, the thought process then shifts to asking, "How much of that mana bar is going to increase between the time I start casting and stop finishing this spell?" I have no doubt someone out there who is way smarter than I will figure out how much of each stat we need that will put us in that sweet spot.
The fact that both intellect and spirit affected regen to some disagree caused confusion to newer healers in general.
As a player who often runs dangerously low on mana during attempts at times, I can tell you that is due to slight additional overhealing. I blame it on healing paranoia. Ever see a target near you that has taken damage, but you can't really do anything about it? I'll sneak them a Renew or another spell. I find that I will sit there and watch a player take damage for what feels like eternity before using a heal because I'm not sure if anyone near them has seen them take those hits.
I really hope the developers can pull off these changes. I like the idea of the proposed changes but am a little concerned in terms of implementation and stuff. Have to wait and see!
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