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There’s been some discussion and confusion about mana pools, spell costs, and intellect. I was thrown off when I checked out some of the spell costs. Turns out, I had forgotten about the changes coming up for healers. Here’s a summary of the direction we’re going (all of us healers, not just Priests, mind you).
- Every healer gets a static mana pool amount (100k mana).
- Intellect affects the strength of your spells only. No longer increases mana pool.
- Spirit still remains a mana regeneration stat. More Spirit, faster regeneration.
- Many spell costs are being adjusted to account for the change to mana pools.
- Mana regeneration based on mana pool size is gone.
Here’s a truncated version of the blue post.
With the change we are proposing, Intellect provides bigger heals and Spirit improves longevity. For healers, there should not always be a clear cut answer. Intellect may still be the superior stat, but not by as much as it is today. […] Mana pools can still be large (we are thinking 100,000 mana at level 85) so that it doesn’t feel too bizarre to existing casters and doesn’t feel too much like rage or energy.
What happened to our mana pools?
This is an idea of what the base mana pool of healers will look like. Assume none of these classes have chosen a spec yet.
- Druid: 20,000 mana
- Paladin: 20,000 mana
- Priest: 100,000 mana
- Monk: 100 Chi (Just a figure I’m using)
- Shaman: 20,000 mana
Remember, pretend that these are base mana figures.
But there’s more
With the exception of Priests and Monks, each class gains an ability which modifies their mana pool when they select a spec.
Druids, Paladins, and Shaman have their mana pools dramatically increased by 400%. That should then bring everyone’s mana pool up to 100,000. When a Monk switches to Mistweaver, their energy bar will be replaced with mana. As they’re the only monk spec that uses mana, it’s assumed that 100,000 is the base value.
In addition, we think fixed mana pools will help healers scale better with content. Some players seem to be interpreting the 5.0 design as healing 5-player dungeons should be easy but healing raids should be very hard. That is certainly a better situation than dungeons being very hard and raids being easy, but neither is really the goal.
What about the costs?
Let’s use a few of the different healing spells as examples.
- Shamans: Greater Healing Wave – 36% of base mana
- Priests: Greater Heal – 6% of base mana
- Paladins: Divine Light – 35% of base mana
Greater Heal ends up costing about 6,000 mana (6% of 100,000). Greater Healing Wave and Divine Light end up being around 8,500 mana (35% of 25,000 mana). Remember that the percentages are centered around base mana which hasn’t been modified by mana boosting talents just yet. This means that their absolute values should be about the same range. Shouldn’t be off by more than a few hundred or a couple thousand. The variance is most likely due to the difference in class mechanics and spells.
So we’re going back to entry-level Cataclysm healing
In a word, yes.
As we were working our way throughout Tier 11, we had to really work on using our mana neutral healing spells (Heal, Healing Wave, etc) as much as possible. As our gear progressively improved, we found ourselves dropping Heal altogether from Firelands and above. Now we’re hitting the big heals and AoE heals more often. You can expect this long term model to stay the same for Mists.
A fight like Phase 2 Beth’tilac on heroic is about as mana-intensive as things get, and that phase doesn’t last very long, so your mana-regen mechanics and cooldowns should be sufficient to keep you going. That won’t change in 5.0.
I still don’t understand
TLDR: Think of mana as energy. It doesn’t scale or increase with gear. Mana regeneration will go up with gear allowing you to cast more spells before running out of mana.