I’ve been mulling this over since some of the discussion from the Cata talent preview. And this is more of a warning more than anything.
Don’t panic. Chances are, Resto Druids are going to be nerfed a bit in several areas. It’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s the only design decision that Ghostcrawler and crew can actually make. Don’t get mad at them. Don’t take it personally. Look at the big picture.
It’s simple. The damage model in Cata is changing. It’s not just the healing model, but also the nature of incoming damage. In short, larger health pools, but damage amounts are going to remain somewhat similar to what they are today. Thusly, allowing heals to come in at a slower rate, to not mandate heal spam like the game currently does. That’s what they’re saying. I have no reason to not believe them (or GC at least). Even if I don’t agree with everything they do, I think that he’s as much of a straight-shooter as you’re going to see coming from any development community.
Here’s the deal. If our HoTs scale with the larger life pools, we’re going to be WAY overpowered. The biggest limiter on Druid output, is overheal. Namely, a character at full life is a wasted HoT. (I know, I know, that’s not quite true..) Bigger health pools and slower healing mean more chances for HoTs to tick, meaning more healing. Much more healing done. And then put on top of that, our scalability on our HoTs is increasing as well.
So yes, they can, and yes they will reduce the power of our HoTs to a bit below where they are now. It’ll be pretty bad for current content, but for future content, we won’t be underpowered. In fact, with enough skill Druids will be THE healing class.
And that’s a good thing.