Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Mana regeneration

Word is that Blizzard is planning to significantly decrease mana regeneration in patch 3.1. I can see their point: Yesterday I did some farming of level 80 monsters with my priest, and couldn't manage as hard as I tried to deplete my mana. I chain casted smites without end, but being specialized in mana regeneration gear and having put 3 points in spirit tap, my mana simply always stayed nearly full. By the time I done the three steps to attack the next mob, I was at full mana again.

I already wrote about how useless "mana efficient" spells like Greater Heal have become in an environment where people very rarely run out of mana. It used to be that the raid wiped when the healers ran out of mana. Nowadays bosses need an enrage timer, because healers don't run out of mana.

But of course changing the way mana regeneration works will have a huge impact on class balance. In healing suddenly mana efficiency could come back into favor. In damage dealing less mana means a fundamental shift in power between classes that use mana to deal damage, and those who don't. I wonder how all that will work out, and how many more changes to classes Blizzard will have to do in WotLK before they get class balance right.
As a hunter I have almost the opposite problem, I eat mana like crazy, often having to incur the 50% dmg loss of going into Aspect of the Viper. While this doesn't matter while farming (in a sense it's a blessing then, because I don't pull aggro off my pet as often), it's annoying during bossfights. On trash it's no problem though, as I just switch to Viper between pulls and enjoy a few moments of passive regen.

On the other hand I thrive with a ret or prot pally in the raid + Replenishment. If I get enough manaregen buffs I find myself in the same situation as you, and I hope that's what Blizzard intends, as hunters have horrible mana efficiency (this can be mitigated to an extent via talents) on their own, certain specs being worse than others. So could I please have a little of your mana regen? :)
Being low on mana is like being low on ammo in an action shooter -- not very much fun. There are some games where inventory management is a big part of the game (survival horror games in particular), but people are always really divided on how much fun that actually is. I can see why Blizzard would lean toward having too much mana.
My biggest worry at this point isn't combat mana, but out of combat regen. They say it's getting lower, which will increase downtime (particularly of mana users start generally ending fights with low mana again). How much lower is it going to get? 30%? 50%? It could be a real pain for raiders.
I am in favor of Blizz bring down the mana regeneration simply for the reason that on my Holy Paladin, I am unable to run out of mana. Do not get me wrong, I am not going to complain about it, but I would feel better about my game play if the mana was there because I had spent time learning a good healing rotation and learning what to cast and when to cast, not clicking a single ability and sitting back and spamming Holy Light.

On the other hand, for some specific groups, the mana regeneration could become an issue, but perhaps that can be compensated by group/raid buffs, gear, enchants, and sockets?
"on my Holy Paladin, I am unable to run out of mana"

My question to you is how often do you use Divine Plea? Every time the cooldown is up? If I regened 25% of my mana every minute, I doubt that I would ever run out of mana as well ;-)

My understanding is that the biggest changes in mana it the way regen OUT of the 5 second rule will work. Which means for dps casters that are mana relient, they will see little change as they never drop out of the five second rule, so it's a non-issue. It also means that if you are a spam healer, like a paladin, you will also see little change. If you are a druid that doesn't cast constantly, and often takes advantage of the five second rule, you will see a noticable change in your mana regeneration.

In my opinion this is a nerf that primarily effects priests and druids and will have little effect on paladins and shaman as they are not spirit relient and not putting themselves out of the five second rule for regen. that huge long list of "mana changes" they don't even mention shaman once! Paladins saw their "mana nerf", if you can even call it that, in today's patch.'s patch will make paladin's have to weigh the 50% reduced healing surrounding divine plea, but my guess is that 50% redueced healing for 10-15 seconds won't outweigh the power of divine plea and paladins will see little least not in a PvE context.

I worry more about the impact on the grinding ability of magic-using classes. Does this not put them at an enormous disadvantage compared to (say) DKs and rogues?
class balance will never happen in wow. They can balance it in one aspect if they forget the others. PVP (and they'll have to specify 1 v1, 2v 2 etc) or PVE. It's blizzards fault in setting expectations that they can balance it. But that's probably the biggest self created issue they have. That people expect them to balance a game that they tacked PVP on as an afterthought.
Fact is that glyphed flash heals are almost as mana efficient as GHeal now. The only way you will care to cast GHeal right now is if you need the raw HPS which isn't that bigger anyway.
What I'm trying to tell you is that mana regen changes will not change that.
@ Beruthiel

The sad fact is that I do not use Devine Plea. I did not choose to go the route of overloading on haste in order to spam Holy Light, and still I do not run out of mana. I maintained a balance of using MP5 gear, crit, some haste, and a decent supply of mana. By utilizing Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield, you are able to keep most groups up in five mans and for raids it is dependant on the duty that I am assigned as to how I will heal. To me, Devine Plea was a crutch and the change is a welcomed change.

Sorry for the delay in responding, but I do not have a lot of free time to review things. :)
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