There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent weeks about Healers. Specifically, mana consumption.
The consensus seems to be that healers have reached a point where they don’t need to care about mana anymore. It’s a resource that they graduated, so to speak, abandoning the need for efficiency for raw throughput. Or something. Can’t say I’m too familiar, the only healer I play is a Paladin.
Point is, Blizzard feels it’s too much and needs a nerf… err, needs to be made more consistent.
And that nerf… consistency is slated to come hammering down when patch 3.1 goes live.
Blizzard’s goal is admirable. They want to reach a state where the Healer types have to manage GCD’s, their own mana pool, and the health bars of their assignments all at once.
Some nerfs have already been meted out (Divine Plea, anyone?) and plenty more are being discussed for the future. But what specifically? Weakening Spirit? Making mp5 a more expensive stat? Nerfing in-cast mana regen mechanics? (Think Arcane Meditation.) Nerfing all the mana restore abilities kicking around? (Replenishment, Blessing of Wisdom, Mana totems, etc.)
As I’ve mentioned before, a buff or a nerf to anyone is a buff or nerf to everyone.
In this case, Healers aren’t the only ones that have mana pools.
There is the very distinct possibility that when Blizzard adjusts healer mana pools, any DPS using mana bars could get hit just as hard with the nerfbat.
My concern is thus: with a new emphasis on mana management, what happens to those who can’t?
I’m not referring to players who lack the skill to effectively manage mana, I’m talking about the players that don’t have any tools with which to manage mana.
Non-arcane mages, for instance.
Arcane is super special awesome because it can restore a lot of mana very quickly, and throttle it’s DPS based on the amount of mana it has. Arcane is the epitome of mana management.
The other two trees… not so much.
This is what we do know.
- […]we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting.
They want to balance this so that the net result will be the same. Kinda like how they tried to balance AP to still work out to the same damage as the old one.
All bitterness aside, this might be irrelevant to mages. It depends on how outside mana sources end up rebalanced, if at all. They have stated they do not want to make any changes to Replenishment, but they didn’t mention anything else (BoW/JoW and friends).
As it is now, mages can basically afford to totally ignore their own passive mana regen, and get all the mana they need from Evocate/mana gems and outside buffs.
If the outside sources are nerfed… well, take it to the logical conclusion. Not enough mana means mages need more spirit, which means Mage Armor gets used.
Blizzard: “We are also working on making Spirit a more useful and interesting stat for all mages.”
Both frost and fire are severely lacking in the mana management department. Fire has a couple small things it can do (drop Pyros and LB from the rotation), frost has nothing.
If resource management, that is, mana management, ever became a major focus (which is what Blizzard is trying to do) both of those specs are in grave danger of being hosed.
We can argue, debate, and deliberate on what new mechanics/spells/etc would be the best idea, the fact remains that something is going to need to be done.
I, for one, remain hopeful and can’t wait to see what Blizzard is going to run with.
Perhaps it will be along the lines of what Blizz has in mind for the new Clearcast mechanics?
- We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana
It’ll probably be something almost identical to what exists now, except it’ll be a 10% chance to restore 800 mana over 6 seconds or some such.
There is a great deal of possibilities here. Mini-Evocates for all! Everyone gets their own little miniature Replenishment effect that they can use, or not use, at will. Or it has a cooldown.
Picture something that works like a cross between Aspect of the Viper and Divine Plea. With any combination of the benefits and drawbacks. A DPS drawback in exchange for more mana is a common theme. It isn’t unreasonable to expect this idea to continue.
Consider, Evocate restores a massive amount of mana, cuts your DPS to nothing while it’s active, is extremely susceptible to interruption, and you can’t even move while using it.
Of course, the mana gained from Clearcast is much smaller, and so it’s penalty would need to be smaller, and probably it’s cooldown would be too. Depending on the final mana amounts, it’ll probably have a shorter cooldown than the mana gem.
And, of course, this opens up whole new ideas for ability and buff synergy. The mana returned is greater with Mage Armor buffed, the DPS loss is lessened (or eliminated entirely) if Molten Armor is up, and it refuses to work at all if Ice Armor is up.
I keed, I keed. No seriously, stop using Ice Armor. Really.
Or nothing of the sort could be done, leaving Clearcast basically as-is, with the caster having no control over it at all. Thus continuing to leave classes that need to manage mana with no means to do so.