Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Unsure if Mistweaver is for me (pt2) The mechanics

Let me preface this post with a couple of things, three to be excact:

1. I think pandaria is one of the best expansions in wow. At all.
2. I've played Death knights since semi-early beta (wow invitational was the first time i played) so I know the plight of new classes and how much they can change during an expansion (but Blizz should maybe have learned a lot from DK's too?)
3. This is also a shout out to other mistweavers out there: if you've seen things here I am missing, please please reply to the post. I want to love Mistweavers, help me understand em.

Part one summarized:

- I cannot pick and play, Pandaria (imo) is build up around players chosing one main they love for every aspect of the game. You cannot love tanking on your paladin but hate Retribution, or you will lose out. 
- I love Monks, from a lore prespective and from a play perspective. I really like windwalking.
- I love healing, I had a long period where I spend my days tanking. I do not have the time and effort it takes (for me at least) to tank on any higher level than heroics. So I have instead chosen to return to healing. 
- I do not think that anyone really has the formula on how Mistweaver healing is 'supposed' to work/play out. I will explain this point more in the following.

What I see wrong with Mistweaver mechanics

In short I think that the biggest problem mistweaving has, is mana-regen and the fact that a lot of the early concepts for Monks have survived without having any of their uses follow. For example it seems to me that many of the uses tied together with the original concept of having monks being the first class to heal with energy. 
But let me elaborate. 

Single-target, versus multiple target (dungeon) versus plethora target (raid) - healing

Easy one first: Single target (and two target) healing is GREAT. It is logical, it feels natural. it works. 
for low damage, you keep channeling soothing mist running OR you fistweave (Fistweaving is an artform of it's own, and one that..  it consists of you keeping two buffs up by using Jab and Blackout kick - so you will be in melee) and then just autoattack via your statue to heal.)
For med damage, you add enveloping mist
For high damage you add  Surging mist as needed and keep renewing mists on for good measure
This feels fluid, and fun and interesting (also different to other healing classes), this is class design at its very best. I just adore this. And this is problably why I have not ditched monk healing all together. There is potential here. 
It is also doable (depending on proccs for chi generation) to keep Enveloping mist going on two tanks while switching soothing mist on em. (mostly via semi-frequent use of Surging mist)

Now, for raid healing, that is an entirely different beast
Your aoe spells are two-fold (at least initially) you have renewing mists and uplift - you heal by casting renewing mists as often as possible, and then add uplift for that added Oomph. Easy right? Well...
In order to be effective you need (note; talking 25 man raiding here) to cast two renewing mists (on an 8 sec cooldown) then add thunder tea  and recast it once or twice before uplift can be at it's most effective. Thats roughly 35++ seconds...
So you really need to be in one of two positions: either have sustained long-term raidwide damage or know well well in advance when raid damage is incoming.
Lets look at holy priests in comparison (from Icy veins)
High sustained damage
That is a very more direct and immidiate form of healing.
I am comparing (very unfairly i know) priests and monks because a) i know how priest healing works and b) personally for me, priest is my healing alternative.

In my experience Monks are a lot less responsive to sudden raid-damage, and to top this of have weaker aoe healing even when used 'correctly'.

Also note that in order to gain enough chi to do uplift, you either have to keep your fistweaving going (aka a whole different playstyle on top of the aoe, all the movement and rotation that rogues have PLUS the healing part of mistweaving aoe for the same (at best) healing as a holy priest, OR you need to singletarget heal on top of your rotation with soothing and surging mist in order to rack those Chi's for uplift up.

And all of this does not even count in the fact that our mana-regen *appears* weaker and takes a lot longer to use via our Mana tea (channelled spell) and between this and shadowfiend, I know which one i'd prefer.
Again priests seems to get the same out of way less effort.
I am very aware that this might all be a case of the grass being greener. It might be me being an old priest healer and old habits dying hard, but i think it is more likely that monk Mistweaver just isn't 'finished' yet. Just like DKs where not when all three speccs where supposed to be able to both tank and dps. Or later when you had to use frost stance to tank and blood to pew.
Ahh memories...

Aaanyway, I think there is a clearing on the horizon. Last night i helped out on some attempts on Garalon heroic, and with the steady raidwide damage, I think I saw some point to mistweavers. There are still way too many things to do, and it is still not very clear to me, which way is the best. should i try and follow melee around and try to play two classes at once for the output of one? Or stick to range and not fistweave at all? Is fistweaving meant to be a "do this when you overgear instances to heal" or as an integral support for healing?
So far I am running oom way to fast, If I try and keep fistweaving up. Maybe I am only supposed to keep my two debufs up and running and then let my melee+jab handle some aoe healing+chi building, while I spend my casts on renewing+uplift? I think that may be the idea, but it isn't clear.
And what is crackling jade lightning for then? Then again, mistweavers aren't the only class with way too many buttons to press - So maybe i'll just have to live with that.

So far for me at least, a player who is no longer raiding regularly, it is too much of a job to both learn the melee's movement cycles (in most fights) AND on top of that learn the healing flow of an encounter. Perhaps if I where raiding every raidnight, and where in control of all the aspects of the encounters, I'd have a better time.
But I cannot help but feel that the added work involved in being all that I can be as a mistweaver, is too much work for too little result.

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