Raising the cooldown on spells like Wild Growth and Circle of Healing are good things for healers. It’s one of the few* things that will buy you GCDs to actually cast other spells. With a 6 sec cooldown, you really only get to cast maybe 3-5 other spells before you need to hit that magic button again.
Am I alone in finding this insulting and patronising? I’ve healed on both druids and priests prior to the wild growth/coh cooldown addition and I used other spells. In fact I use whatever spell I believe to be the correct one in any situation. Healing, to me at least is about understanding the mechanics of any given fight and then reacting appropriately, whether that’s pre-hotting when you know damage is coming or getting a serendipity stack ready for a fast Prayer of Healing. It is not about using abilities when they come off cooldown because you will probably need them again in 10 seconds time.
What about other healers? Will it still be acceptable for Shamans to get the bulk of their healing from chain heal and possibly healing rain, or can we expect to see a cooldown appear on chain heal because they aren’t using their new shiny Healing Wave enough? Is the plan really to force us to cast heals which might be second best in any given situation just because they don’t want bad players just using one heal. I suppose I find this even more unacceptable given the fact we are meant to be struggling for mana come Cataclysm. So our AoE heals get an increased cooldown and we’re meant to use less efficient clunkier spells in an environment where mana might be an issue? That sounds slightly counter productive to me.
When you take away healing choices, you make the game less interesting and less interactive. I’ve played all five healing specs at one point or another and I’ve raided cutting edge content on all of them. For me, playing a Paladin and a Shaman with their smaller toolboxes was boring. The vast range of spells available to the Priest and Druid is what drew me to the classes in the first place and I really don’t want to be in the position of having 10 spells but you can only cast in them in a certain sequence because they all have cooldowns.
I realise there will always be people who want to spam one spell over and over again all the way to epics and that those people shouldn’t be encouraged but there are other ways to make spells less attractive. Perhaps an arcane blast type debuff, where if you cast wildgrowth/circle of healing twice in a 8 second window, the mana cost increases exponentially. Maybe each time you cast it without using another spell inbetween your spirit decreases, 10 percent the first time, 20 the second and so on. So if you need to use those spells, you can but they come with a down side. Anything but an arbitrary cooldown please.
Yes, Cataclysm isn’t even in beta yet but pre-emptive whining is always better than saying nothing (and far more fun). It might turn out just fine, after all we have no idea about how those spells will scale nor what raid encounters will look like. However I really dislike in principle the idea that healers should have rotations and/or cooldowns. On our first hardmode 25 man Anub’arak kill we lost half our healers at around 8 percent. The three remaining healers, myself included struggled on juggling global cooldowns in an attempt to keep our 2 tanks, ourselves and enough dpsers alive to kill him. Somehow we managed and to me, that’s what makes healing epic. The fact that we could given the freedom to pick and choose our spells, manage to keep enough people alive to win. We had choices and we made the right ones. Taking away that choice diminishes healing and makes the game less appealing.
Having read this though, I’m really interested in how chakras will work out for Holy Priests. I’m sure I read somewhere a Blue saying that they were considering a cooldown for Prayer of Healing and it sounds like Circle of Healing is getting a bigger one, so exactly how are Holy meant to ramp up their AoE chakras? Obviously if they manage to get it working, there are some really potentially cool things they could do, for example once you are fully chakra-ed up for AoE healing, perhaps the cooldown and cost of those spells could come down a bit. Wonder if Holy Nova will be getting a cooldown by the time we make it out of beta. Anyone care to bet?
The Ghostcrawler quote comes from this thread here.