Podcast Topic: Cataclysm Healing Class Balance

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This week we are looking for your opinion on class balance amongst healers in Cataclysm. A debate was sparked by Paragon’s Xaar on the EU forums over how useful Druid and Shamans are in high end raiding. What are your thoughts? Are you avoiding taking Druids and Shamans on your raids? Are Paladins and Priests that much better? What healer makeup does your guild prefer to take?

13 thoughts on “Podcast Topic: Cataclysm Healing Class Balance”

  1. It might be different for people in guilds like Paragon who are way ahead of the curve, but for those of us in the general population who are running heroics and just starting to dip our toes in to Cataclysm raiding, I don’t see Druids and Shaman being way behind.

    I see all healers having a lot of similar problems right now. I also subscribe to the notion that you want the person who plays their class the best, regardless of what class it is. I’ll take a Shaman that is played by someone I know that works their butt off to be a great healer over someone else just because they are a Paladin.

    • I’d second this. I’m sure that paragon has done more work on healer class balance than I have – I’ve been very narrowly focused on my own class instead of thinking a lot about others – and furthermore I think that healer balance is important.

      But that doesn’t mean this is an issue that is affecting a large number of players, and I don’t think it’s a good excuse for druids or shamans to complain about heroic dungeons being too hard. If you are working on heroic raids already then this might be very important to consider. If not, the classes are close enough to balanced that this is not what is going to hold you back.

    • I’m with you Jason. Right now I’m seeing the healers in our guild all at about the same. Some have better fights than others, but so far fairly even. That said we are not working on 25m hard modes.
      I did read through the entire 6 pages or so of post. Like normal, a lot of trolls, but I think there were some very valid concerns, be they beyond the level of the game I’m in.

  2. It does seem like kind of an uneven argument. They are willing to take a shaman, that they admit may be seen as a low performer because they bring one strong utility based tool – the totem. The same could be said for the druids. A druid brings Innervate and a battle res – that could be seen as two utility based tools.

    If you’re going to allow an exception be made for one, you should make an exception for both. With that in mind, your whole argument of taking neither kind of goes out the window.

    I’m nowhere near where they are at, content wise, so I can’t accurately say they are right or wrong. It wouldn’t be so out there for them to be right about this. Think about how Lich King hard modes worked and how the ideal comps were so different than what people initially thought.

    I remember the ideal comp for 10 man hard mode being a resto druid and a disc priest – with the resto druid doing the tank healing. Then in 25 man hard mode the resto druids got benched because their healing and style of healing just couldn’t keep up. That was a huge dichotomy, right there.

    So… I wouldn’t rule it out. I just question the subjective nature of the exceptions they make for one class and possibly not another. I’m not really sure what’s motivating that. I’m anxious to find out more and hear you guys discuss it, though.


    • I wouldn’t really count Innervate as a boon to the raid in the same way that totems and in particular Mana Spring and the like are, because at least at this level of gearing, in raid situations Druids need to use the Innervate on themselves to keep going.

      That said, I don’t feel R Druids are behind at least in 10m Normal content, and DEFINITELY not behind in 5m H, I can’t however speak to 25m N/H or 10m H encounters yet which seems to be where most of the issues seem to arise from.

  3. After getting stomp hard on raids this weekend I am missing my Holy Priest aoes, the druid ones just don’t cut it in raids. Every time we wipe this weekend I was like you know CoH, PoH and Lightwell would be sweet right about now

    I’ve been resto since beta and I will stick with it, but I would love tranquility on a 3 min cooldown or something

  4. Can’t say much for 25s. But we’re running 2 restoration shaman and 1 restoration druid, and haven’t had any major issues yet. Though, we are only starting our raid progression…

  5. My 10man has been running druid / shaman / h.priest. Purely based on the numbers it has gone druid > h.priest > shaman for most of my 10mans.
    We have the druid healing MT and he uses Wild Growth on CD. He also tosses rejuv’s to help out with raid healing when he can.
    Myself, h.priest, is healing the raid. For most fights I use a combination of renew & chakra: serenity (which lets my heals refresh the renew buff). If the AE gets insane (p2 of val and threl) I’ll switch to sanctuary but otherwise I find the renew / serenity combo to work well. Then I use POM and COH on CD. Lightwell does insane amounts of healing.
    Our shaman is usually healing the 2nd tank. Riptide is their only hot and has a CD so helping out on raid healing isn’t really there (short of tossing in random heals between hits on the tank).
    I haven’t done 25s but I can see how shamans would quickly fall behind compared to others. Chain heal is nice but in todays market of conserve mana you can’t quite spam it like you used to. Couple that with the fact they have no real HoT means they are spamming single target heals which will quickly fall behind a bunch of rejuv’s or renews.
    I haven’t raided with pallies so my only comment is they must be a bit OP since they are the only healers that have had a nerf since Cata release.
    I hear my druid complaining about how much druids suck at raid healing now so I’m just going to take his word for that. I would think tossing around rejuvs and wild growth would be clutch and extremely helpful.
    H.priests just have it made I think. It used to be that a trick of all trades was useless when everyone was just spamming fast heal. Now everyone is conserving mana and trying to be efficient. We have efficiency in every area and a buff system that allows us to temporarily specialize in an area to make us better at it.

  6. I’ve been having a tough time in 25s as a disco. It’s such a great utility spec, but it seems to be lacking the strong aoe throughput of holy. I’ve done a lot of tinkering with glyphs and specs but I’ve begun to feel like a pain supp bot.

  7. Healer Balance still needs work, but imho, Discipline needs a lot of fixing. For one, I feel that the mastery is kinda low and needs to be tweaked. With the coming patch 4.0.6, it remains to be seen how the tweaked shields will do. What I really would like to see is for Penance, or perhaps a better barrier. The concept of barrier spell was good, but its application imho, not that great, especially for a top tier talent. If the barrier lasted longer than 10secs, then *maybe*… but its blah at this point in time.

    When I started Cataclysm, I was a raiding Disc Priest. I can heal Heroics no problem but switching to Raids, with the seemingly common mechanic of raid wide damage, Disc was at a huge disadvantage such that the logical move to progress is to switch to Holy. I never bothered anymore with Atonement too. It was fun at the start, but as for healing in raids/groups, not that reliable and thereby, a waste of 4-5 talent points better served elsewhere.

    Lightwell…. well… its a good talent except that a lot of people still get tunnel-vision that they often forget to click at it :p… still… its a good ability and so mana efficient.

  8. I feel I do “ok” on my Resto Shaman. But our mastery ability is silly. EVERY Shaman guide out there tells you to reforge all mastery into something else, that should tell Blizz something is wrong right there.


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