Does hasted HOTs favor smaller group sizes?

With the possibility of rejuvenation becoming a HOT that will scale with haste, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means for resto druid healing. Also, it’s possible that all HOTs & DOTs could scale with haste at some point in the future, so I want to take a “bigger picture” look at the situation.

Haste scaling means that you get the same number of ticks, but the ticks happen a little faster (and the speed is determined by the haste on your gear). It also means that the duration will be shorter, because that final tick happened sooner.

At an extreme, if a HOT that ticked 5 times over 15 seconds (at 3 seconds between ticks) was suddenly shortened to tick every 1 second (instead of 3), then the duration would be 5 seconds. While something this extreme is unlikely to happen, I could see someone stacking  a lot of haste being able to reduce a 3 second tick to a 2 second tick (making the duration last 2/3 of what it did before).

Okay, so we already know that rejuvenation is getting the first treatment, lets look at the other healing HOTs available:

  • Lifebloom & Wild Growth would be problematic if they scaled with haste, because they are already short durations and tick at 1 second already. Lifebloom is sometimes “rolled” (though less frequent now), but at the very least, since lifebloom stacks up to 3 applications, shortening the duration through haste would be counterproductive. So, in the long run, these two HOTs are not good candidates for haste scaling.
  • Regrowth’s HOT would be a good candidate for haste scaling. The ticks are pretty slow, compared to lifebloom, and it has a really long duration (so, a shorter duration may be more welcome). At the same time, the front-end direct heal portion of regrowth does already benefit from haste.
  • Tranquility is basically a channeled HOT. This one actually benefits from having a shorter duration, so you spent less time channeling it. It already does benefit from haste, and what it does is tick faster, but have a shorter duration (which is part of how we know the duration will change with HOT haste scaling).

Okay, but what about rejuv as a hasted HOT? And what does it have to do with group size?

Rejuvenation will last up to 15 seconds (talented) in patch 3.3. It will tick once every 3 seconds. The developers are thinking of putting in a glyph that would let it scale with haste. This means you could keep it up on fewer people, but the ticks will heal them faster than they would without haste scaling.

  • This haste scaling would be good for people running 5-man dungeons, because those HOTs may be the only healing that someone is receiving (IE. throw wild growth & rejuvs on the DPS, then focus on the tank). In something like the ToC 5-man where there tends to be more burst damage periodically, faster HOT ticks will mean that the DPS may have a greater chance to live if you can’t focus on healing them with nourish or swiftmends. Also, the wild growth glyph in 5-mans is useless, since you don’t need it to hit a 6th person, so you have more flexible glyph choices. Hasted rejuvs on a tank is also beneficial here.
  • For 10-man instances, you still have a limit on the number of people who benefit from rejuv-blanketing in most fights. So, with faster HOT ticks, I think rejuvenation would be an even better raid healing tool. ToC 10-man tends to have a lot of burst damage & abilities that require more direct healing because rejuv ticks too slow. You may be put on tank healing for 10-mans, depending on your group makeup, so hasted rejuvs would be a benefit for tank healing here. Either way, faster HOTs are going to be a benefit in 10-man healing because there is less redundancy in healers, so those faster rejuv ticks may be saving people’s lives, even if that means you keep it up on a slightly smaller number of people/
  • For 25-mans, it’s counter-productive to have hasted rejuvs a lot of the time. Other people are going to be on raid healing, and having faster HOT ticks defeats some of the purpose of getting rejuvs up around the raid for the majority of fights. You will be more likely to have other people on raid healing who will have big burst AOE heals (ie. holy priest, shaman). In a larger group healing situation, it really seems like the only thing hasted rejuvs would do is sniping healing a quarter of a second faster so that it’s more likely to land before someone else’s heal and steal the healing done. Unless you are shortening the ticks by like a second, and turning rejuvenation into a very different spell, the benefit of haste here will mostly just be faster heal sniping from other healers. Most druid healers want the HOT ticks to last longer on the target so that you have a greater chance of later damage being healed by the final tick. At the same time, for some fights, those later ticks may already be over-healing most of the time. So, for some fights, there may be an advantage to faster ticks, but a lot of them won’t have a noticeable benefit. If you tend to “blanket” the raid, shorter durations mean fewer people you have coverage on (ie. fewer people you can swiftmend!), so haste could actually hurt 25-man healing (especially in fights that require “blanketing” strategies; or other fights where you are using pre-HOT strategies to buff your nourishes &/or swiftmends you are casting on them).

That’s my 2 cents. What do you guys think? I still haven’t seen the glyphs on the PTR to be able to play with them, but I really don’t think I’ll get to raid on the PTR, anyway, which is where I would need to test things out to be able to have more specific feedback than this, in terms of how useful I think people will find it.

17 Comments

  1. Caldazar
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Oddly enough, I read it as ‘ticks faster and as such more’
    My guess would be rather minimal tick reductions (eg: instead of every 3 seconds every 2,75 with 500 haste) and that if an extra tick was possible it would just happen at the last mark
    So with enough haste you’d get faster ticks and an extra tick in the same 15 second duration

  2. Posted October 12, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I think you’re right. Hasted HoTs will be much more useful on smaller raid groups. 25 mans will be much more situational.

    Another variable is how the 3.3 tier 10 4-set bonus figures the equation.

  3. Lissanna
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Caldazar, they’ve already covered on the Wow role forums that we won’t get an extra tick at the end. So, it won’t be a 15 second duration with faster ticks. If the ticks came every 2.5 seconds, 5 ticks of rejuv would last 12.5 seconds instead of 15.

    the trade-off of hasted HOTs & DOTs is that you have to re-apply them more often.

  4. Aysel
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I realize that this is a while off right now and maybe I missed something, but isn’t haste a stat that is going away come cataclysm? If that is true, and haste is not going to get accounted for elsewhere in our base stats how difficult is that going to be used to going from a very hasted hot to no haste at all?

    If I am remembering correctly it doesn’t seem to make sense to me for Blizz to impliment this aside for as a set bonus. I suppose it is something they could put in talents for. Any ideas on that?

  5. Posted October 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Another Upside: faster ticks mean faster Revitalize procs, which I have a giddy fondness of using before combat on DKs to fill up their RP bars. Overall, faster-ticking Rejuvs will result in more power given to players over time, albeit a small boost.

    Another Downside: shorter duration means less time that the target player will be swiftmendable, per GCD spent on them for application of the rejuv. This again has a bit less impact on 10-mans than 25s, though only on a per-healer basis (# of targets to heal vs # of fellow healers to cover those targets/competition).

    Perhaps a glyph like this is more likely to see use in 25-man guilds with multiple trees, where one tree can have unglyphed, longer-ticking rejuvs for the situations where the longer duration is more useful, and a tree with the glyph to speed up their ticks for the situations where the hasted ones are useful.

    For 10-mans, having a glyph like this seems a bit counter-productive to their want to make us use more spells, as if we want a faster-ticking heal, we have spells like lifebloom and WG to use instead. Personally, I think I would keep to other glyphs instead of making my rejuv hasted, as ten-man healers are more likely to need glyphs like Nourish to help in their tank-healing.

    Hmmm it is all interesting, though.

  6. Lissanna
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Aysel – Unfortunately, Haste is NOT one of the stats being removed in Cataclysm.

  7. Posted October 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Aye, haste is staying, but it’s role is changing. Well, for melee types anyway. For casters, it’ll do precisely what it does now. Haste for melee types though is looking to increase their resource regen rate (focus/rage/energy) rather than hastening their actual swing times.

    Lissanna already corrected Caldazar, but just as another way to look at it.. Consider HoTs to be akin to channelled spells when it comes to considering haste effects on them. Like Tranquility or Hurricane, their duration reduces as haste increases, but they still retain the same number of ticks- just they’re that much closer together.

    As to the topic at hand though, yes, I completely agree that hasted HoTs would (overall) be of more benefit to smaller groups.

    But provided it stays with the current plan of providing it as ann *option* (via Glyphs) then it isn’t a huge problem in my mind.

  8. Posted October 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I actually think WG would be good for haste scaling – most of the end ticks get eaten up by other people’s heals, so it would be good to speed things up and get the ticks in before they were wasted. On the other hand, I suppose on some aura fights, you would want the WG ticking slowly, for maximum uptime and benefit. I guess it depends on the encounter – which is the same as Rejuv. Sometimes you’d love it ticking faster, sometimes it would be terrible.

    I agree that LB should definitely NOT work with haste. It’s already a short HoT and I use it more for stability than anything else – if it drops off the tank constantly, it would be a pain to keep doing, plus a lot of mana. I doubt I would bother using it.

    One thing is certain though – they need to give us the choice. I won’t mind too much if my Regrowth speeds up slightly, but if my other HoTs are changed and I’m unable to control it (without stripping off my haste gear), I’ll be really annoyed. I want to be able to benefit from extra haste, but not being able to control the length of my HoTs is something that I would really dislike. HoT rotations are important – we need to be able to time things well, not have our routines thrown out because we picked up a few items this week with haste on them.

  9. yukiji
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I wonder what a change like this would do for resto druids in arena, espicially 2 and 3. I’m no pro, but i believe theres some idle time spent running away that could be used to keep rejuv up.

  10. LXj
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Maybe Blizzard will give us another HoT in Cataclysm which would have very long duration (and maybe tick less often) to replace non-hastened rejuv

    One thing that stands out when I read your post, is that you’re talking about Rejuvenation like about Power Word: Shield. But Rejuvenation is not a shield, and the haste change is simply making it even less like a shield.

    So this is actually the topic we should discuss. Do we actually need a shield spell? What tools could be given to druids for pro-active damage prevention which would not homogenize us with disc priests?

  11. Lissanna
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    LXj, I think the druid community is treating rejuv like a shield, where it works best if it heals up damage that’s done later on. It’s not a coincidence, that the disc “spam shileds on the raid” is similar to the druid “spam rejuvs on the raid”. If we just wanted to heal one person up to full right here and now, we’d be casting things like nourish on them. The druid community usually uses HOTs to stabilize incoming damage, which is similar to priests shielding people now when they know the raid members will take damage later.

    I’m not sure if we need a new spell for healing in Cataclysm or not. We already have lots of under-used spells right now. Regrowth actually IS our long-lasting HOT. Lifebloom is pretty under-used in PvE now compared to how we used to heal in BC. Healing Touch & Nourish could both become useful in more situations. They could fix tranquility to make it useful.

  12. Lissanna
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Also, for keeping in mind how the haste is likely to work, it will still interact okay with nourish builds, because it’s still increasing the overall healing you are doing to the tank (in theory), so long as you don’t go overboard on haste. Nourish tank healing builds shouldn’t have more than 500 haste rating, anyway, since I believe that’s the GCD cap for when Nature’s Grace is active (with raid buffs) for nourish. However, you can also just totally skip the haste glyph for rejuv altogether and just not worry about it. It’s really just totally optional for anything anyone does, since the nature of HOT ticks is just so random with the timing of incoming damage.

  13. Janks
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    One of the other challenges to the haste change deals with procs and buffs. Procs from trinkets or the use of bloodlust/heroism will mean we have Rejuvs on targets that are different lengths. A Rejuv cast on one target without a proc will be 15 sec long, but as soon as a haste proc or BL/Hero starts the next one could only be 12 sec (or whatever). There are times that this could be a pain especially in 25 man.
    On heroic ToC Twins my guild has 2 resto druids who split the raid up and spam Rejuv/RG on each of their half of the raid. You get into a rhythm blanketing your half, but if some of the Rejuvs are shorter and some longer it would break the synergy.
    I wonder if this will make tracking these spells more difficult in addons like Grid. I have a corner dot for Rejuv that changes color based on how much more time is left. It goes from green to yellow at 6 sec left, then yellow to red at 3 sec left. It helps me know whose Rejuv is close to falling off.

  14. LXj
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    The problem with treating rejuv like a shield is that rejuv much worse as a shield than PWS. If it is cast 8 seconds before the target receives damage, it will be ineffective regardless of duration of ticks. However if the target *is* damaged, rejuvenation starts to shine. And if it heals damaged target faster, that’s even better

    As for skipping new rejuv glyph — don’t forget, in 3.3 it might be a glyph, in 4.0 all hots with 3s ticks might be like that by default (they will probably not make lifebloom tick more often than 1s, just like they don’t reduce GCD below 1s).

    Regrowth is a long hot, however it’s too expensive to keep up on the whole raid. I was thinking about some long low-mana and low-ticking hot, which could be used with Swiftmend and Nourish.

    Another solution — if in Cataclysm Rejuv is affected by haste by default, they might introduce the glyph which would increase the cost of rejuv and it’s duration. You would use this glyph in 25-mans, and replace it with something else in 10-mans

  15. Lissanna
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have plenty of time to fight with the developers over hasted HOTs over the next 6 months to a year before Cataclysm’s release… I’d really like to be able to see it in action, though. :(

  16. Lissanna
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Also, I’d really love to be able to swiftmend Wild growth… seriously.

  17. Lamente
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    1) Haste affecting rejuv is counter-productive specifically when you are attempting to roll rejuv on as many targets as possible.
    2) For specific fights, the “blanket rejuv” strategy is pretty much mandated: twin val’kyr, anub’arak phase 3, multiple fights in Ulduar, particularly hardmodes.
    3) Aside from these mandatory fights, which are exceptions, the decision to “blanket rejuv” will still look very good on meters, but whether or not it is the most effective healing method is not as cut and dry: for me, my role in keeping the raid alive is more important than my HPS.

    I guess the point is that the decision of whether or not to glyph for hasted rejuv largely depends on the mechanics of fights in ICC. If they contain constant, non-lethal raidwide damage, I’d go without the glyph in order to roll rejuv on as many targets as possible. If they don’t contain that sort of raid damage, haste will be a good thing.

    I predict that:
    * There will be a combination of both types of encounters.
    * The encounters will be a step up in complexity from what we’ve seen so far, making strategy an even more critical element.
    * To that end, druids will be forced to bring multiple glyphs to a given raid, and will be swapping out the rejuv haste glyph depending on the fight – probably for the nourish glyph.

    Of course, the above all depends on whether they retain the druid haste mechanic as a glyph (or something similar, like a tier bonus), and not a hard and fast change. Since the idea is situationally useful, I do hope we see it on live as a voluntary change, so that we can take advantage of it when it makes sense to.