Monday, March 9, 2009

PTR Lifebloom, Part 1: What's Going On?

This is part one of a multi-part discussion of the suggested changes to Lifebloom on the PTR. Please note that as this change is not live, the information within the post is subject to change, and the series could end abruptly if the changes are rejected. This is not, and will never be, a rant upon the changes, but rather a frank look at the different facets and uses, as well as a preparation for their possible implementation.
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

PTR Lifebloom, Part 1: What in the World is Going On?

If you've been away for a while, or are just catching up, then you may not know what's going on where Lifebloom is concerned. If you have been all over the blogosphere and already know the lowdown, you can feel free to skip today's post and come back tomorrow for the next part.

Blizzard is attempting to fundamentally change the way Lifebloom works. On the Live realms, it works like this:

For a more in-depth understanding of the current mechanics of Lifebloom, read Lifebloom 101.

However, on the PTR Blizzard has modified Lifebloom so it now works like this:

If you aren't entirely sure what that means, let's take a look.

Original Lifebloom cost 14% of base mana, while PTR Lifebloom costs 28% of base mana. "Base mana" is what your mana pool is without any modifiers. By default, a level 80 druid's base mana is 3496. Below is a full comparison of the Lifebloom (Live and PTR) mana costs (click to enlarge):

On the Live version of Lifebloom, the "bloom" portion of Lifebloom (the straight heal that occurs when Lifebloom's HoT portion expires) remains unchanged no matter how many Lifebloom (1, 2, or 3) you have stacked upon a target. However, in the PTR version, the bloom portion is increased by each stack, and you will also receive half of the mana spent on casting Lifebloom (ignoring the reduction of cost provided by T7).

That is what is happening with Lifebloom on both Live and the PTR (as of 3/8/2009). Tomorrow, in Part 2, I'll discuss the possible playstyles that could arise should this change go live.


lolwrus said...

how does the mana return work on the PTR for on the "Bloom" effect of lifebloom?

I mean ask, is the mana return greater for a 3 stacked bloom than for a 1 or 2 stacked bloom?

I'm not sure if mana return can crit, but if it's based on the heal value rather than a static amount, the mana return would be variable. :)

I mean, just sayin' :P


Bell said...

@lolwrus - you'll get half mana for each cast of Lifebloom that is dispelled or blooms. So, if you stack it to three and they bloom, you'll get it from all three.

The mana return is from unaltered lifebloom cost. It is static. No matter what you use to reduce the cost of Lifebloom, it will return the same amount.

lolwrus said...

I just find it so interesting, the way druid healing is changing. :)

being rewarded for letting a lifebloom explode is like revolutionary. :P.

its almost as if when the lifebloom is no longer needed, it serves a better purpose to be popped and to return mana to the druid. :)

btw, thank you very much for the clarification Bell. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, and thanks for taking the time.

I'm an 80 tree who has been consistently at the top of the meters since pre-BC WoW. I thought I wouldn't be able to adapt when 3.0 came out with its increased mana costs, but I altered my spell rotation and picked up slack with Wild Growth and the increased ticks available (10 sec. LB stacks rock!).

Lately, though, I've been thinking dark thoughts about trees again. What is it about us that Blizzard seems to hate so much? Well, let's let that go unanswered for the moment. I'd rather talk about YADN (Yet Another Druid Nerf) without ranting. At least not as a guest.

The crux of the matter for me rests on whether the 3-stack-and-bloom style of LB healing will be as effective as rolling stacks are now. I've read elsewhere that there is really no change in output when stacks are rolled vs. when they are allowed to bloom. Let's suppose that's true. If it is, then I can roll consistently on the same targets and not lose any healing effectiveness, provided I let the stacks bloom and quickly stack them back.

In fact, I will probably gain in efficiency, if not in overall healing, because I currently waste a good deal of mana refreshing triple-stacks before they need it just because I would otherwise have to let them bloom due to other commitments.

The dark shadow over all this is the 40% nerf to spirit-based mana regen. Now not only am I paying more for the necessities, I just had my income cut. I have heard vague mentions that Replenish (or whatever it is being called now) will take up the slack, but I have yet to see any math that proves this.

Furthermore, I have geared my Druid in WotLK based on +spirit, and now that is being taken away. When Blizzard makes talent-tree changes they refund your talents for free. Where do I go to get my gear refunded? Had I known this was coming I certainly would have made different choices, plumping for mp5 over spirit any old day of the week.

I have survived nerfs before, and perhaps I will again. But this one stings in the mind in the way others have not. If after a couple months of raiding and working on adaptation it becomes clear that my class has been crippled beyond redemption, I will probably just put this game in the rear-view mirror and transfer the energy into other areas of my life.

–Cerveza of Draka