Healing in Ulduar – why do all the PTR testers have different numbers?

So, Ghostcrawler decided to challenge us yesterday with a puzzle… Why would two skilled druids be healing in Ulduar such that their numbers broke down like this?

What the druids seem to be doing is maintaining lifebloom on the tank while raid healing with wild growth and rejuv. GC told us that most of the lifeblooms are on a tank. We can’t figure out why they’d be using wild growth as a tank heal, so we figure they were doing a mix of raid healing & maintaining lifeblooms on the tank. Then, the second druid has nourish pop in somewhere near the bottom.

Later in the thread, I spell out 4 or 5 different actual WWS parses for different druids doing pretty much what I have been saying they would -> Using different lifebloom strategies (thus different % of their healing), some are tank healing (and thus have higher nourish & wild growth drops out), and some are raid healing (where their HOT % shoot up and nourish drops out).

What I don’t understand from all the parses is… what happened to regrowth? It is apparently still possible to use regrowth, but you may run into mana problems. There’s even someone later in that thread that posted a screenshot of his regrowth spam +lifebloom rolling, and complaining that the old style of healing was just making him OOM before the fight ended. However, why not just refresh regrowth on a tank every 30 seconds? EDIT: I figure that regrowth and rejuv are probably the best HOTs to use for the “using HOTs to buff nourish” strategy, since you don’t have to refresh them very often. I don’t think we should totally give up on regrowth, we just need to treat it like a reverse lifebloom, instead of as a direct heal.

I really just have a feeling that most of the druids haven’t figured out their final healing strategies for Ulduar, and that (like a lot of things in life), the best tool for any fight is going to depend on what fight it is, what role you are assigned to, and what works best for you. However, the fact that we don’t have one tool that will be the “best” tool in all situations, and the fact that nourish sucks without HOTs on the target, means that GC will always be happy with our parses, even if we aren’t.

It doesn’t mean that this is the end of the world, it’s just a new era of healing. Figure out how things work best for you when 3.1 goes live, and remember that we can work our way through this transition together as a whole druid community.

There’s also an analysis of lifebloom over at the Tree Bark Jacket site, for those who are interested.

See also: 4life’s analysis of why 3.1 is not the end of the world.

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Hi Lissanna,

    I’ve been enjoying reading about your PTR experiences here and on the forums. Thanks for being such a trustworthy voice for the community!

    In my mind, the Lifebloom changes are pretty devastating. When the patch hits, I’m going to try out several different styles, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll get the best overall numbers with the least use of Lifebloom. We’ll see. I think the change was a little too dramatic. I’m not appreciating Ghostcrawler’s insulting/defensive tone, either. Sure, he can do what he wants and doesn’t have to listen to the community. But he should keep a civil tone when he’s posting. I really hate it when developers whine about the community on the forums–not making any friends that way!

    I admire you for being about to post there while keeping things positive. I don’t think I could manage it.

  2. Razor
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Hello Restokin,

    Thank’s for yet another interesting article. I’m going to follow your PTR testing closely. I’ve been feral all my life (lol) but with full 213 resto-gear and dual spec around the corner it’s about time to test resto!

  3. Posted March 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Heya Liss,

    This is Dhonovis. We did some testing on the beta before LK and then I got quiet for a while (and distracted by other things).

    First, I suspect the parses look the way they do because people are still feeling their way through, just as you mention. For instance, it’s generally hard to justify regrowth casts when you’re in full-on reaction mode. While learning fights and trying to make sure you have reaction time available, it’s easy to fall back on the spells that you know work and are quick: Rejuv, LB, Nourish, WG. Swiftmend will be used for crisis top-ups that can’t be managed by Nourish, and otherwise held in reserve.

    Without knowing the bosses, and thus what healing is like for the fights, it’s hard to say for sure why people had the numbers they do. If I had to guess, the first parse was AoE intensive, so they focused on LB for patch healing, rejuv on the MT, WG to keep everyone topped up, and then Nourish and Swiftmend for emergencies. The second parse shows a similar trend, but with Nourish gaining…I suspect an unglyphed Nourish was being used to top off the MT, with LB+rejuv being kept on the MT for consistent healing. If I had to guess, I’d say they were doing the old rolling LB.

    As for regrowth, I think it’s being relegated to the place it had back in BC. Which is fine by me: I used it in BC. As things stand now, my intent is a slow-stack of LB, letting it fall off, with rejuv+regrowth for support on the MT. Raid healing will be done by WG+LB, followed by rejuv or regrowth where warranted (sometimes you just know that rogue will not move out of the crap, so regrowth to top-off plus provide a solid foundation so you can ignore them for a bit).

    I actually am unsure what to do with nourish. Glyphed I suspect it will be solid on the MT, and for others I’ve hotted. I think, though, that if I’m going to be patch healing with a direct heal, I’d rather use regrowth glyphed than worry about a hot then nourish. That combo effectively kills a lot of the FH-like nature of nourish. Even with the nerf to imp. regrowth, I think regrowth will still be a concistently high-value heal.

    Caveat though: I haven’t done my maths on Regrowth v Nourish.

    Also, I did a giant blog post of my own running the numbers on the lifebloom changes. I know the slow-stack has been discussed by the community, and you have a section for it in your 3.1 healing guide, but I thought you might like to see my numbers. In fact, if I have any major errors, let me know…I know of a few minor details, which I detail in another post.

    I also have another giant post running the numbers on the NG grace change as it relates to Balance Druids. I followed it up with some additional ruminations.

    Anyway, glad to see you with a blog, I’ll be following along! (And thanks for your long-standing and tireless efforts on the forums).

  4. Posted March 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful analysis about the PTR and the big changes for us. I’m following closely what you have to say on the subject, thinking ahead to strategies I will try. I’m even trying to practice some techniques you offer as alternatives now, in advance, so that I can find the ones that “feel” best for me. Much appreciated. Good stuff.