People should still use lifebloom in 3.1.

lifebloomIn October, when the efficiency nerf to lifebloom went live, a lot of people thought it would be the end of lifebloom. We kept using it anyway, because it was cheap and mana efficient. We were able to adapt and keep our healing numbers high because our other tools that complemented lifebloom healing were good.

Now, after first hearing about the 3.1 changes, people (including myself) thought, once again, that lifebloom may be on its way out. If you are trying to roll lifeblooms in 3.1, it won’t be cheap or mana efficient, and it doesn’t have a great coefficient anymore. It is getting double-hit with the other regen nerfs to tree druids, making us have to think long and hard about what our best tools are going to be.

I fully admit that there’s now a lot of problems with the lifebloom spell in 3.1. While devs listened to the current round of feedback, it is still getting changed, and most of the PTR testers are starting to think that it’s not going to drop from our healing rotations completely. We’ll keep using it anyway. (Well, most of us). There’s still some evidence that it is getting used a lot in PTR boss testing.

Ater spending a lot of time testing, thinking, and reading other posts, I’m starting to think that it will still be okay as a tank heal (using one of the various strategies discussed many times), and it is actually still okay as a raid heal to get a couple quick ticks off faster than rejuv can (well, until you get the Tier 8 4-piece bonus in 3.1). In most cases, we should still have enough mana to use it effectively in PvE (rolling on 1 target, or letting it bloom sometimes, but not rolling on more than1).

The developers have already decided that this is how it’s going to be for 3.1, so it’s time to move onto the acceptance stage of the change. Giving negative feedback isn’t bad, but at this point we’re going to really have to just live with the new version for a while until the developers change their mind.

We’re probably going to pick one of the lifebloom playstyles and stick with it for 3.1.

The lifebloom change is not the end of lifebloom (and no, GC didn’t pay me to say this): I’ll still use lifebloom in 3.1. I may not roll on as many tanks, or as many fights, as I did before. However, lifebloom is still one of our HOTs and we’ll keep using it in some form or another, as HOTs are what we do. Druids are usually pretty good (as a community) at adapting to whatever the devs throw at us. We will be able to adapt to this change, as well.

Besides, it can always get buffed again later.

15 Comments

  1. Posted March 28, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Hey Lissanna,

    Just to let you know that Leafy’s campaign was last year, and it was effective. At that time, druids had few other options, and a nerf to Lifebloom with 2.3 would have had much more impact than the even the current one will.

    I really like your work, and I’m grateful that you’ve been testing on the PTR while I could not. I also enjoy your forum posts.

    I will quibble with one of the implications of your post, however. I dislike it when people hint that I shouldn’t express my opinion on Blizzard’s policies. The blog is my platform, and I’m not about to censure my opinion. Where am I to express my opinion, if not a privately owned blog? The forum is a place to be more careful. I’m not going to post there very often because quite frankly, it’s a hostile environment. However, it’s an important task, and I’m glad you do it.

    In whatever format, it is very important to give Blizzard feedback. They need to see the negative feedback from players as well as the positive. I’ve seen time and time again that community feedback shapes the game. If I think something’s wrong, I’m going to point it out. Bloggers are a watchdog function for the game, and Blizzard reads us–or reads forum posts from people who read us. I still think the LB nerf is of the wrong type. I think that rolling is a behavior that should be encouraged, not discouraged, and I think the mana return mechanic is inelegant at best. I think that, from a player perspective, rolling should continue to be used on main tanks–not because it’s good for druids, but because it’s good for tanks. You and I can probably roll Lifebloom on one tank, because we’re Naxx geared. However, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to do much else if I’m rolling on a tank, and I’m not sure if I’ll make compromises in my overall healing output in order to do so. I think that Lifebloom rolling on a single target should be viable for PvE or PvP at all gear levels, and I’m not sure we’ve got that.

    I’m going to be testing this out myself once the patch hits–and I’m not an expert at timing my spells. If I had to guess, I’d say that rolling LB is dead–at least for most players. My money’s on stacking and blooming–probably fast-stacking out of fear of tank death.

  2. Posted March 28, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Sydera, You are right (and sometimes I am wrong -> I don’t admit this often). I miss-read the date on Leafy’s post when I was searching around for druid lifebloom posts, so I took that one out completely. I rushed it a little bit to get it up before I had to go out and do stuff. I figured I’d have to re-edit this a couple times to get it right, but my BF made me leave before I was completely done and I just wanted to throw it up fast…

    So, I re-edited it just now and took out that section and made the tone generally not quite as harsh. I didn’t mean we should stop giving feedback, but that at some point we jut have to accept bad changes and move on, because it’s still one of our best spells for quick HOT healing. I wasn’t trying to insult anyone or anything, so sorry if I came across wrong. You can post whatever you want wherever you want. I think I need to remember that my shorter posts don’t work out so well because I forget to explain my thought process along the way, and the tone on the original post came out harsher than I thought it did…
    :)

  3. Posted March 28, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve not had the pleasure of testing on he PTR, but the changes described by Lissanna do suggest that HoTs are now optimally used as an underlay to provide the biggest possible buff to a big non-instant cast heal (Nourish). Most of us won’t want to adopt a suboptimal spell rotation (i.e. mana inefficient Lifebloom rolling), so that turns into a fundamental change in Druid healing style. Perhaps there will be times when Lifebloom rolling is worth the mana cost – sometimes.

    The problem with most people’s reaction to changes imposed by Blizzard is that it is often knee-jerk QQ. Berating Blizzard – usually with very inappropriate language – for taking away the thing they’ve grown used to and not actually looking at what they’ve been given in its place. That’s the best way to make sure no-one takes your point of view seriously.

    The way to get Blizzard to listen is to take a more constructive approach. Try the new style (on PTR and live), or at least carefuly read the reviews of those who have. If you still don’t like what’s going on, then give positive (polite and considerate) feedback to Blizzard explaining why they’ve made a mistake.

    To that end, a well thought out campaign before the patch drops is preferable because it takes Blizzard time to reverse changes once they’ve gone live. However, it is hard to fully understand the impact of this just from reading the reviews of others, so a lot of those supporting a campaign are likely doing so from their feelings about the old – not their analysis of the new.

    In any case, it looks like we’re far enough down the line that this will be going live. So we’ll all soon get to experience what this new mechanic is like. But something I’d like to see (ideally in a discussion started by a Blizzard Blue) is a list of the Pros and Cons of the old and new healing styles. Presumably Blizzard think they’re giving us something better, so what was their thinking behind this decision.

  4. Posted March 28, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    LOL. Your edits made my comments fairly redundant – I was writing them as you were making your updates :-).

  5. Posted March 28, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    @ Lissanna: thanks for making the changes, and for doing the work you do.

    @Anelf: Make no mistake, Blizzard wasn’t trying to offer druids “something better.” In fact, if you read all of GC’s posts, they were trying to reduce druids’ probable meter performance in Ulduar, where presumably rolling LBs on multiple targets would have resulted in unbeatable numbers. That’s where we’re at–a “balancing” nerf. The question, really, is did they do so in a responsible manner? Did they do so in a way that leaves the druid playable and, if not meter-topping, at least within 5% or so of the three other healing classes?

  6. Posted March 28, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    All the PTR Uludar parses put druids at or near the top of the healing meters. I haven’t seen any parses where the druids are totally getting stomped on and left behind in Ulduar. I mean, in my live playstyle, lifebloom never makes up more than 20% of my healing done in any fight, and the regrowth crit nerf (combined with regrowth-spamming just not being efficient enough in 3.1) is hitting my playstyle harder than anything else…

  7. Posted March 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Could you elaborate on something I seem to have missed in the other 3.1 healing discussions? You suggest that Nourish will increase for each HOT that is on the target, and therefore it is preferable to have 2-3 HOTs on the target before starting a Nourish chain. Is this something new in the 3.1 patch? It doesn’t seem to work that way now. In my quick testing, I see +20% to Nourish for one HOT or for two.

  8. Posted March 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The new glyph coming out in 3.1 (and the T7 bonus) are what makes the spell scale with more HOTs. The base spell only benefits from one. People without the T7 bonus can now use the glyph which scales with each additional HOT, so anyone using nourish as a primary healing spell should be using the glyph and/or T7 bonus.

    I can emphasize this better in my other nourish posts.

  9. Hungar
    Posted March 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Lissanna you said “… it’s actually still okay as a raid heal to get a couple quick ticks off faster than rejuv can (we’ll until you get the rejuv glyph in 3.1)”

    I was unaware of a new rejuv glyph in 3.1. Are you sure you are not confusing the T8 4pc set bonus with a new glyph? That bonus will provide us with an instant tick on the target of our rejuv, which seems to fit in with your statement.

  10. Posted March 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “I was unaware of a new rejuv glyph in 3.1. Are you sure you are not confusing the T8 4pc set bonus with a new glyph?”

    Er… Yes, typo fixed. Thanks for catching that.

  11. Posted March 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Patch 3.0 had druids crying that Lifebloom would be absolutely useless. In fact, I distinctly remember a fairly well-known druid saying something along the lines of, “only a moron would use Lifebloom after the patch.”

    And look, we’re using it.

    And I fully expect us to keep using it. In 3.0 we adjusted our usage – it was no longer the powerful raid heal that you could dot around a bunch of people. In 3.1, we have to adjust again – and perhaps use the slow rolling technique as well as judging whether to roll or bloom.

    It won’t be useless, just different.

  12. aramis
    Posted March 29, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    From a non-hardcore raiding perspective, I’m still somewhat new to this game and haven’t been healing as long as most like Lissanna. I know in the past few months, I used Lifebloom with about as much frequency as I did any other HOT. But my favorite HOT is still Regrowth. I love how long it lasts and I love combining it with a single stack LB and a rejuv. From reading Lissanna’s post, I now know hat doing all that will help immensely when I switch out Healing Touch on my mouse macro to Nourish because the added bonuses it will have because of my generous applications of HOTs.

    That said, I agree with other posters that when changes come to the game through patches and whatnot, people tend to QQ over stuff, but it’s usually people who don’t see the bigger picture or haven’t tested things out for themselves. I thank Lissanna for her efforts in offering constructive analysis of these changes through her own experiences. Previous changes seem to buff Nourish and now we have a reason to use it because lets face, Nourish was about as useful as an a-hole for an elbow. But now it’s been changed to make it more desirable. Room had to be made for this and that meant changing the mechanics of Lifebloom to accommodate this change. It’s all stuff Lissanna’s been explaining and now I fully understand.

    @Keeva – “It won’t be useless just different.” Exactly. Nicely said.

  13. Posted March 29, 2009 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    I have a rotation in mind already, though I do not at the moment have the ability to test it. Maybe you could test it for us? My idea is using regrowth to begin followed by rejuv, at this point depending on the dmg taken vs. expected I would either Wild g. for party then apply a lifebloom then spam nourish to get the full 5-6k healing for a short time but being careful to leave the lb to bloom. Or Regrowth/rejuv/lb/nourish. What do you think Lissanna?

  14. aramis
    Posted March 29, 2009 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    @Silvermo – Regrowth/rejuv/lb/nourish …

    That’s almost what I do now (minus nourish of course, but of course that will change). I find it works nicely. However, at the start of a fight, I tend to pop a rejuv before the regrowth just to give me that slight edge in casting time for RG while the tank is taking his/her initial kicks to the face. :)

  15. Posted March 29, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Silvermoo, it’s still up to you (in the end) what rotation works best for you. I can give suggestions and guidelines, but a lot of things are still going to vary between fights (so, the best thing to do in one fight might be different than the best thing in another fight). Gear is also going to make a difference in what type of rotation you find sustainable (do you go OOM or do you have mana left at the end of the fight). You’ll have to test things out yourself, in the end. What you are suggesting seems like a reasonable idea. :)