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Thread: Withering Vine, waste of our time?

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    Plane Walker Gehrgontra's Avatar
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    Default Withering Vine, waste of our time?

    Be prepared for a bit of reading going into this; there is a TL;DR version below for those who wish to skip reading a short essay with math. The focus is going to be on PvE applications, with a nod or two at PvP. With that in mind, on with the show!

    I hear it's pretty much universally accepted by the Mage community that Withering Vine sucks. Of all the months I've been playing, I've only read one time where it was put in a positive light, and that was with a spec that got shot down as "bad" even though it was specifically asked for according to the author. But that post is not the subject of this thread; the aforementioned spell, Withering Vine, is.

    So I got to thinking after reading the PTS changes Kervik posted in which DoT durations are being changed, that perhaps Withering Vine has a purpose we're not seeing or we simply aren't getting the opportunities to use it. Doing some napkin math based on numbers I see as 51 Chloro beating up a dummy and seeing what overhealing is done in the combat log using LGV, I find that under ideal conditions Withering Vine does more healing than Vile Spores. For the napkin math I had 1550 spell power, and am at the crit soft cap.

    Withering Vine makes an initial heal of around 125, and as that's a Veil proc it heals 5 people. It then goes on to tick once every two seconds for either 65 or 98, depending on crit which happens half the time. With a 12 second duration Vine ticks 6 times, and each of those ticks heals ten people. So, under ideal conditions in which 10 people are within melee range of the boss and all are taking damage,

    ((125)5)+ ((((65+98)/2)10)6) = 625+4890 = 5515. Each of the ten people in melee gets 819 heals over 12 seconds, slightly over Vile Spores on a non-crit which I shall math below.

    With same SP and SC numbers above hitting a dummy and looking in my log for overhealing done, Vile Spores heals for 600 and crit heals for 900 (rounded for my convenience, the real numbers are higher but only in the single digits). Nature’s Corrosion procs the veil two seconds later for 200 normal, 300 crit. So in all, Vile Spores heals for 800 per person per cast regular, and 1200 per person per cast crit.

    800*5 = 4,000

    1,200*5 = 6,000

    At crit cap, the average will end up being around 5,000 spread over 5 people (give or take a few hundred heal based on crit luck).

    So under ideal conditions, Withering Vine is actually not that bad. Problems are, however, those ideal conditions and the "not that bad" part. Over 12 seconds Withering Vine does around the healing that Vile Spores is doing over 4 once you get the spell rolling, but with Vine you have to carefully time the reapplication (unless refreshing a dot simply adds to its duration and doesn't reset it, gonna have to find that out) whereas with Spores you can simply spam away. The other thing is there are rarely if ever occasions in which 10 people in melee range are all taking damage that doesn't need to be healed through with something far greater than 65/98 ticks every two seconds.

    Using the changes we know are coming, Withering Vine is going to have its duration increased by 4 seconds, thus gaining two more ticks, but the overall amount healed according to the tooltip is not changing. So ticks which are already small will get smaller, and will of course keep the same miniscule range of 7 yards; barely past melee range.

    I'm not going to math out the amount healed PvP, since the amount healed is reduced in PvP combat and if you take small and make it smaller, well by golly you have something even more worthless. Not to mention some specs have healing absorbs, healing reductions, etc.

    So, since on PvE bosses Vine barely heals more than a single Vile Spores on average under the most ideal conditions, what about trash? In dungeons this is not likely. Assuming the entire group stacks in melee range, which we all know doesn't happen unless the entire group is melee, you would still have to cast Vine on ten mobs to make it heal them the same amount per two seconds as casting a single Vile Spores per two seconds. With the cast time, it will have fallen off on two of the targets by the time you finish casting it on the tenth; in short, it ain't gonna happen.

    For raid trash you have it a bit easier; more people means it's more likely there will be more melee, thus you don't have to hope the group stacks in melee range. LoSing happens quite a bit on caster heavy pulls, so it's entirely likely that all the enemies will be nice and stacked up... but, there are very few occasions in which there are more than 5 mobs in a raid trash pull. Not to mention, cleaves tend to hurt a lot more than Vine can heal up fast enough to get ready for the second, or that AoE pulse that hits melee, or... ya know, it doesn’t heal enough all around.

    However, since it does heal ten people at once it does have a much higher chance of proccing "on heal" effects on more people. Internal cooldowns aside, Vine is possibly our best spell to ensure a steady stream of on heal procs in a raid setting. Which leaves me wondering; is that the only purpose this spell really serves? To pad meters with ineffective heals and to proc trinkets and essences on a wider range of people?

    If that is not its purpose, then how can we help make it worth casting without making it stupidly OP? One idea I have read was to make it spread in a similar manner to Radiant Spores; that is, to up to 8 targets via Phytogenesis. I am a fan of this idea, as it seems a quick fix that helps during trash pulls and gives the spell a definite niche. This does have some PvP concerns, though; even though it would heal for a rather minimal amount and do not that much damage at all, it would turn the spell into an AoE cleanse shield. Just what Chloro needs to help the team? Maybe, but as I don't PvP I can't be too sure of its theoretical effectiveness.

    Other suggestions I read at some point or another were to increase the amount healed, or to increase the radius of the heals. For the amount healed, if it were to triple it would help ensure we have a steady stream of decent healing going to melee in heavy AoE times. For an increase in range, alone all it would do is ensure meter-padding healing hits more people; not bad if you have things that proc on heal though.

    Combining the three suggestions would make it stupidly OP, so I'm not going to advocate for that. There should be something done though to make it more effective, thus worth casting in more situations, but what? I await any ideas, in hopes that one may come to fruition.

    TL;DR Withering Vine sucks, how can we make it better?

  2. #2
    Prophet of Telara BrownsMageNerfDelivery's Avatar
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    I was kicking a few ideas around with a RL friend who plays and started talking about Withering Vines

    A) Having it spread would be nice and actually make it useful.

    B) Trying to tweak the heals would be nice, but could create balance issues.

    C) Why not try to make chloro a bit more interesting to play.

    The idea we started kicking around was to have Withering Vines last for x number of seconds start at one stack. Nature's Touch refreshed and added one to the number of stacks (up to a to be determined maximum number of stacks). Perhaps slightly increasing the radius of healing done (but not the heals done) could possibly help improve raid heals while using LBV and WV.

    It's another thought, and I liked the refreshing of stacks with Nature's Touch as a way of making it worthwhile to throw a Nature's Touch into the mix to maximize heal output.

    If it worked well with increasing shield procs from trinkets/greaters, then I would like to see something done with Withering Vines. I put it on my hotbar every once in a while to cast it to scare someone or try to somehow convince them with many numbers and complex words that it's worth a GCD to cast, but other than that I mostly use its icon for a role change/loadequip macro.

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    Plane Touched Gumdrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownsMageNerfDelivery View Post
    A) Having it spread would be nice and actually make it useful.
    I've always thought it should be a chained ability similar to Nature's Fury.

  4. #4
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    I also agree that there needs to be a method of either extending the duration of Withering Vines or increasing the number of targets one could hit with a single cast. I'm very partial to the idea of spreading it via Nature's Fury, but also of utilizing Vile Spores to refresh the duration on a single target. Increasing the radius wouldn't hurt, either.
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  5. #5
    Soulwalker
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    I rather like the spread idea.
    But i have an idea of my own too
    Make it to where Vile Spores/Nature's Touch refreshes/resets the spell, and possibly spread it (two casts needed to spread, one to apply the dot, the second (VS or NT) to spread vines). Keep it how it is (damage/healing wise), but adding this would effectively make it have 100% up-time with only one cast. Similar to life leech in warlock with void bolt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumdrop View Post
    I've always thought it should be a chained ability similar to Nature's Fury.
    It should be linked to NF. Cast WV on a target and spread with NF.

  7. #7
    Banned overbyte's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with chloromancer in PVE is the lack of a substantive HoT outside of Void Life. In PVP, it's survivability, lack of a substantive HoT and lack of direct heals.

    If WV could help with any of those it would be great.

  8. #8
    Shadowlander
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    I like the idea of making it refreshing by casting NT and just by adding that would not make it unbalanced any not needing any tweaks at all imo

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