Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chain Heal Channeled

Just a little exercise in how I'd make Shaman healing fun, something that was promised for all healers but not yet delivered. Of course it's totally subjective, making healing more fun as Blizzard has said is difficult to design for 11 million+ players. Key consideration I believe is get to a point where all abilities interconnect and set each other up to be more effective, such as the way Riptide/Chain Heal currently haste the next 2 LHW/HW "Tidal Waves", another consideration is to create something iconic (a word that should always be attached to a buffing class such as Shaman). This is also a proposed remedy to the discussion about chain-heal not matching up to the other aoe heals.

1) Earthliving procs refresh Riptide, this could easily be achieved by changing Glyph of Earthliving, it would allow Riptide to stay on players that are been healed frequently for longer durations, the burst of life at the target's feet is a nice visual clue for this.

2) When I first read the description for the talent "Ancestral Awakening", was really excited because this is the sort of iconic thing that a shaman healer needs, calling forth spirits to help heal allies and perfectly tying into the shaman's ability to commune with the spirit world. To say I was disappointed at it's actual implementation is an understatement, what the hell was that shadow that just popped up! What I had envisioned was non-targetable ghosts walking about for a short period of time, and had the clerics that wandered around the black temple in mind (draenai shaman healer here, but orcs could have the maghari ancestors that roam nagrand, tauren the taunka spirits in borean tundra, not sure about trolls though). They would last 9s like "Divine Aegis", and heal anyone that needed it, rather than be useless when nobody actually needs a heal, DA has the edge there.

3) Chain Heal is channeled, and working a lot like Penance. First pulse is instant then a jump occurs every sec afterwards for 2 secs. Glyph can give one extra jump for same mana, but it then isnt such a top choice for every raid boss, but good to save mana for times spamming Chain Heal. Chain Heal becomes a lot more flexible, for example healing one player instantly or healing two players in 1 second.

4) Decrease the reduction in healing after each jump of Chain Heal say 10-20%, and first heal about PoH or slightly less, danger here is that the first two pulses are going to be very strong for 1 second spent channeling.

5) Healing Stream Totem has a low chance to proc Earthliving on raid members, say 10% or even the standard 20% depending on balance.

6) Riptide get's an additional function in addition to increasing the first heal by 25%; each time Chain Heal jumps to a target with Riptide, the jump time is decreased by 50%, 0.5 second instead of 1 second, this represents the strong current of Riptide pulling on the Chain Heal.

7) Chain Heal can now hit the same target more than once, it can also jump to and from an ancestor who happens to be wandering around and part of the heal stored and added to the heal the ancestor currently has to put to use.

So putting all this together leads to a much more flexible kind of Shaman healing. Shaman healing a single target can proc ancestors to help heal that target with both Chain Heal for Tidal Wave procs to haste subsequent LHW/HW for the continued ancestor procs . Healing a group of melee with chain heal, by keeping riptide on each of them for some fast chain heals, and Earthliving procs from either HST or other heals helps to do that. Chain Heal can then works on 2 targets, hitting first, jumping to second, and then if the first target is still lowest the 2nd jump hits them for another heal.

Anyways, because Shaman healing is nothing like this at present, and it was my main for one expansion, it's getting shelved as well as quitting WoW for the time being. More on Blizzard's design brief for the Shaman class soon.

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