Thursday, March 26, 2009

Light at the End

Restokin just recently wrote a post about healing in Ulduar, citing a Blue post by that infamous Ghostcrawler talking about healing styles of two druids on two boss fights in Ulduar. It's a very nice post, with some large concerns about Regrowth and its lack of use during raiding on the PTR, and I encourage you to read it. However, it inspired me to talk about something I have a few times before, and that is healing meters, judgments and perceptions.

With WWS reports, it has become almost an obsession for some people to delve into them, see who tops the meters, who has done the most dispels, who uses what spells in what ratio during what fights and omginformationoverload. And anyone who has taken a statistics course understands that too little of this information scrutiny and making correlations can become omgmisinformationoverload.

Don't understand? Here is what I mean.

People have different ideas of what it means for a boss kill to be successful. Some think that, as long as the boss goes down, it's a successful kill. Others look at a boss that was killed with three fourths of the raid dead due to standing in crap or bad tanking or ineffective heals and not think it as a true "success." There can be boss kills where everyone lives (or the majority, anyway), yet this healer worked twice as hard with less overheal to cover for this other healer and tank x blew cooldowns because tank y's threat rotation was flawwed or DPS A skyrocketed to the top of the charts by attacking inappropriate targets or ignoring instructions that would improve their chances to survive (but would keep them from beating on a target for thirty seconds onoes). Are those successes?

I have met Druids convinced that glyphed Healing Touch was the best glyph choice for an 80 raider because they always topped the charts. I've listened to the worn-out complaints of a healer pushed to their limit because they are covering their own assignment and half the assignments of others. I've found healers thinking they are doing a bad job because they are low on the charts, yet they are covering their assignments, doing all they can and always trying to get better.

No one uses the exact same rotation, spec, or gear set. Every situation brings something different. Some places HoTs shine, other places you need the big straight heals. There is so much experimentation going on in 3.1, presenting only a few choice cases can only skew the data. Learning new boss fights while simultaneously adjusting to changes in a spell, combined with differences in healing assignment, dispel demands, mobility, skill, glyph and spec choice, plus preference, the results are going to be varied, different and can be interpreted differently, and even understood or represented in a way someone wishes them to be.

I have done my best on this blog to focus on positives, on how to adjust to changes, and how to keep playing and having fun, because in the end, there are only two choices: keep playing your Resto Druid, or stop. I wish to keep playing my Resto Druid, no matter the changes, until she ceases being fun for me. If these changes go through (and it is looking more and more like they will), what will you decide? Keep in mind, if the Resto Druid is no longer fun for you after these changes, it's completely fine. It's a game to play, a game to have fun with, and if you're not having fun, then frankly you're doing it wrong.


Anonymous said...

I only play feral, but I appreciate you making the effort to be constructive & positive about changes which Blizzard makes for the good of the game. Too many players have a miniscule view on what it takes to design a game as complex & engaging as wow. I honestly believe a lot of it is an unacknowleged sympton of wow addiction. You would think some of these kids' worlds are falling apart because of a change to a healing spell in a video game. Meanwhile, out in 70% of the rest of the world, kids are dying from preventable/curable diseases like tetanus & maleria.

Keep up the good work, 4healz!

Lissanna said...

First, you can be passionate/angry about something (ie. your favorite sport's team) without being "addicted" to it. If sports fans could go to a website and have their favorite sports players from all the popular teams actually listen to them about how to better play the sport, it would look just like the WoW forums....

Bell said...

I'm not saying it's wrong to be upset about all of this. I'm just wishing that everything wasn't doom and gloom. I agree, being passionate is not being addicted.

Lissanna said...

Second, a lot of people just don't like change. I think change is probably the #1 thing complained about on the WoW forums. So, I tend to not put a lot of weight in the epic amounts of complaining that happens on the WOW forums. :)

Most of the playerbase also doesn't generally understand math & statistics to any great degree. So, anything that takes math and statistics to understand, even the undergrads I teach statistical analysis and research methods to still don't get it...

Kayeri said...

Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasnt really worried about the changes coming in 3.1. The mana regen nerf combines with the changes to Lifebloom could very well mean so profound changes in how we heal. No one likes being yanked out of their comfort zone.

The way it is now, we know our spells, we know their use, we've integrated Wild Growth into our spell rotations, although apparently not to the degree they want us to. That's hard to give up.

I do delve the WWS reports I see in order to get an idea of how the restos on the PTR are getting it done, to maybe get an hint of good things vs bad, the whole thing.

I dislike the idea of having to take my guildies into a raid raw and experiment on them to see how things will go for me then. But, that's what we are all going to have to do come 3.1. I think this change is going to make our heal rotations even more individual as we each search for the best way to get our jobs done.

That's not a bad thing, but still... Well, like I said... we're comfortable where we are now and no one wants to give it up.

Anonymous said...

Quote: if the Resto Druid is no longer fun for you after these changes, it's completely fine. It's a game to play, a game to have fun with, and if you're not having fun, then frankly you're doing it wrong.

I'm forced to disagree. If I'm not having fun (but I was before 3.1), then I'm not doing it wrong. Blizzard is.

Birk said...

As a pug only player since WotLK, I haven't really been forced to optimize my healing by anything, other than a personal pride (I like to think I know my class well, and am able to play it properly).
Therefor I don't think I will notice these changes as much as some of the other guild raiding druids out there, but when 3.1 hits I'll try and gather a bit more feral gear for the fun of it, and go moonkin for some PvP (and maybe some PvE if I can make a talent build that allows for this).
Anyway my point is with the upcoming changes I actually feel I wont really be pulling my weight compared to the other healing classes. Unfortunately I enjoy healing, but I'm afraid the feeling I get for not being able to perform to my own standards will make me go balance (since my feral gear still is ... well nicely put VERY bad).

Where I'm going at is (and this isn't obvious from my comment hehe), that I'll stick to resto and try to adjust to a new play style, but I really love how it works at the moment. I honestly kind of sad to see it change right now, I would be happy with my way of healing a couple of months more I think before I would crave a new healingstyle (again probably because I'm pugging all the time and wont get the satisfaction from the new content completely like a raiding druid would).

Beltain said...

I have to agree with Birk. I take a personal pride in my healing ability and like to think I do it well and know my class. As such, I will simply adjust, adapt, and learn the new changes once 3.1 goes live - I know I am not the only one to never touch the PTR. I won't like being (potentially) yanked from my current healing comfort zone but I can appreciate the new 'challenge' of learning to heal to a 'new' comfort zone. I remember with the LB change people QQ'd everywhere about it and yet a few weeks after it went live... tah-dah everyone adjusted and life was 'swell' again. I anticipate this change to regen and LB costs to be the same kind of situation. And I also anticipate trying my hand at boomkin. I leveled 1-80 resto, so this is an anticipated change with dual specs - maybe now I won't sit around trying to heal myself through damage waiting for someone else to save me and now I will be able to kill something for a change. =P

Anonymous said...

It's a game to play, a game to have fun with, and if you're not having fun, then frankly you're doing it wrong.

I'm so glad to see this. So many people think that its their right to have fun in this game regardless of the choices they make, but there is no game in the world where that is true. And if you aren't having fun, then why are you playing the way you are? I'm sure we all have a closet full of games we haven't played in forever because they stopped being fun. In a game as big as WoW, if you can't find something you consider fun, then maybe its time to move on.