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Thread: Why healing needs to cost more mana. Far reaching implications.

  1. #1
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    Default Why healing needs to cost more mana. Far reaching implications.

    Before I get started, a few warnings.

    This is a long one, but I'll try to be succinct.

    I heal and dps in wfs. I don't want to break either role.

    I realize pvp is not a focus for Trion, and that this is largely a waste of my time.

    I also realize this isn't the only issue with pvp in this game.

    Some anecdotes that lead to this post...

    I was messing around with some rotations on my 61 chloro at the test dummies for a few minutes before it hit me: I've been chain casting, or very nearly, for the better part of five minutes, and I'm sitting at over half mana. So I decided to work out the most mana intensive rotation I could put together, and guess what? It still took seemingly forever to threaten my mana reserves. Toss in a very, very occasional essence conversion, and my mana concerns returned to functionally nonexistent.

    A while later, out of sheer boredom, I challenged a guild mate to a duel. He, sent cleric, I, dom. I remember this matchup well in pre-SL because it was the only way you could threaten a really good healer solo. You could add pyro and pressure mana plus health, or you could go the chloro route and play the even longer con. Fast forward to today: he laughed off all of my drains, channeling reverent supplication in my face while DRs prevented me from doing anything to stop him.

    I know a lot of people hate "drains". I know they think that losing a huge chunk of your mana in 10-15 seconds is frustrating, even if the person responsible spec'd for the role and spent all of those globals doing nothing else. But we've clearly gone way too far in the opposite direction, and the effects on pvp are far reaching.

    Yes, the drain game is virtually extinct. Personally, I enjoyed it. Not because it was cheap or easy or anything like that. I simply enjoy having a lot of options for skinning my cats. I think variety of strategy is tremendously attractive in pvp. I like the idea of spec'ing my toon one way, meeting an opponent spec'd for something completely different, and engaging in a dynamic contest to see who wins out. Can they burst me down before I drain them down?

    But there's more to this than just a whiny former-dom. The real issue is how "free healing" effectively invalidates all damage that doesn't lead directly to a kill. If healing were an exhaustible resource, all damage would have at least some minimum value. If you pumped 100k into a single target without killing him/her, you would at least know you cost some healer finite resources.

    Now would you be a bad player because you didn't focus fire and manage a kill? Yeah, probably. But is that how the game should really function? Should all damage and healing be this binary function where you either generate enough burst to overwhelm the combined threshold of a healer's throughput and a target's total health - or you might as well not come down out of your starting area again? Should any damage that doesn't kill someone be quickly and easily forgotten, swept under the rug by blue bars that never go down?

    I think the answer to these questions is "no", and the reason I give is, once again, variety. Think about all the dps specs that are not viable in pvp right now. No matter how interesting, compelling, or downright entertaining, you cannot drag certain souls into pvp and expect anything more than derision. Why? Because if you're not meeting certain burst criteria, your damage contribution is actually less than suboptimal. It's pointless.

    Good example: warlock. You'd think a spec that could generate a ton of spread damage through a long list of instant casts might have a place in pvp, but it doesn't. The damage is too slow to overwhelm any healing thresholds, and there's no pressure in terms of resources because healing is virtually free (especially when healers don't have to push themselves very hard versus less bursty damage delivery models).

    So where am I going with all of this? I honestly don't know. I know you can't post anything here (or anywhere on the internet) without people lining up to disagree just because. But if it were up to me, there'd be some major changes designed to fix this. I'd much rather pvp in an environment where people can spec and play in more ways because it isn't "burst or go home". I want someone pushing good damage to know he/she is impacting the fight even if the kbs aren't coming. I want spread damage and drains and other play styles to serve a purpose. I want things like mana management and "falling back to recover" back in the game.

    Most importantly, I don't feel that validating these sorts of contributions destroys the game for the current top of the heap. Coordinated burst will always be vicious. People working together will always achieve better results. Just not a fan of the way a few competent healers can keep everyone alive indefinitely without ever stopping to rest. Make them manage their mana a little, make them stop for a breather here and there, and you give people a chance to generate more varied and interesting scenarios.

    In short: I want pvp to grow a brain again, and to be inclusive of far more preferences.

    How is this done?

    Start by cutting standard mana regen rates in half in pvp. Next, slap a cool down on mana regen abilities, at least one minute. Then, if a healer can keep everyone alive while managing his pot and regen cds and skillfully avoiding drains, you can tip your cap to a true monster.

  2. #2
    Ascendant Violacea's Avatar
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    I don't see why all healers shouldn't have basically infinite mana. Their main DPS threats they have to heal against have infinite energy.
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    Ascendant Eughe's Avatar
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    So long that more mana comes with more healing capability, sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Violacea View Post
    I don't see why all healers shouldn't have basically infinite mana. Their main DPS threats they have to heal against have infinite energy.
    I mean no disrespect here, so please pardon me if it comes off poorly.

    This line of reasoning is a bit of a fallacy. It's an appeal to symmetry, which is always inherently attractive, but you're not talking about the same things here. Changes to healing and changes to dps produce wildly different results within the system, so you've already got pretty empirical evidence that we're not talking about the same thing in different forms.

    Also, as a more direct counter to your suggestion: why is the amount of healing a cleric can perform, on a per global basis, averaged out over the course of a minute or two, reliably and substantially greater than what a dps can generate given the same circumstances? Because healing and damage are different. The raw throughput of healing has to be higher than that of dps. Otherwise, one dps could easily overwhelm any one healer, and now you're invalidating healing all together.

    A more sensible, balanced, and enjoyable approach, in my opinion, is for healing to have superior throughput balanced by factors such as finite resources and human reaction. You can't always predict where the damage will go, so you're obviously predicting/reacting. And you can't maintain your heals forever, so you have to win out before your resources are gone. But you shouldn't be blown sky high by one dps unless you get caught with your pants down either. Checks, balances, etc.

    It's important to understand that I'm not advocating for all healers to instantly run out of mana. I simply think that any dps soul, properly played, should be able to reduce a healer's mana over time. If you spec or play better, the rate is faster. If you spec for burst, you might be able to overwhelm the raw throughput. But you shouldn't have healers face tanking dps while losing virtually no mana - and they shouldn't have risk-free, no cd means to cover any gaps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eughe View Post
    So long that more mana comes with more healing capability, sure.
    You think healer throughput is an issue, though? Honestly? I think some of the specs are obviously weaker than others, but sent and defiler are clearly capable of countering all but the most egregious of focus fire. The idea isn't to swing the pendulum so hard the other direction that no one ever dies until all of the healers are out of mana.

    Why not a middle ground where: a) healers can generally keep people alive unless they drop the ball or fail to predict enemy focus, and b) the act of keeping people alive in this fashion can only be maintained for a moderate stretch before needing to replenish resources.

    Also, and I don't mean to harp on fallacies all the time, but your suggestion implies that healers do need additional oomph in the form of greater throughput. Even if that were the case, how would changing your mana consumption affect things either way in that arena? Either you can keep people up now, or you can't. Changing how long you can maintain this feat only introduces additional variables to the pvp puzzle.

    In other words, why should "maybe healing shouldn't be free?" necessarily equate to "why should anyone die so long as I have mana?" Maybe being a good healer should involve dealing with both the threat of death and the eventuality of low mana.
    Last edited by handerhank; 02-02-2013 at 01:57 AM.

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    Ascendant Eughe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handerhank View Post
    You think healer throughput is an issue, though? Honestly? I think some of the specs are obviously weaker than others, but sent and defiler are clearly capable of countering all but the most egregious of focus fire.
    Currently, yes, in two week, probably not. If your entire argument is based on a bug that was not only acknowledged, but fixed on the PTS, then your entire argument is invalid.

    If not, then i would need higher healing to offset any mana increase, every heal needs to count when using skills that take off % of your mana, not just static amounts.

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    Additional note for Eughe: mana vulnerability actually helps with throughput concerns. Sure, you're now dealing with people spec'd to outlast or drain you using spread dps, mana drains, etc. But these same people are no longer spec'd to burst you and your team down. The aggregate stress against your raw healing is reduced by the shift in the meta game.

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    Ascendant Eughe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handerhank View Post
    why should anyone die so long as I have mana?" Maybe being a good healer should involve dealing with both the threat of death and the eventuality of low mana.
    So long as a rogue and warrior have energy adn points, so long a mage has charge and mana, and so long a cleric has cds and mana, each and everyone of them expects when they dump on their target, their target should die. I mean, thats the point of this thread isnit it? You did what you could to kill a healer, and he didnt die (or with a dom, incapacitated).

    Its a natural feeling. So natural, that the forums scream when they person they are pew pewing lives.

    The same way when i play cab, i expect that crowd to break up, when i play shaman, i expect my target to die before i do, when i play a healer, i expect my target to live longer than the person who is attacking them. Else i wouldnt play any of those souls, as there are no expectations of triumph in playing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eughe View Post
    Currently, yes, in two week, probably not. If your entire argument is based on a bug that was not only acknowledged, but fixed on the PTS, then your entire argument is invalid.
    If you could say this, I tend to believe you didn't read what I wrote. My overall concern wasn't with the current balance between healers and dps. It's with the fact that pvp is very predictable and one dimensional because non-burst play styles are completely ineffective when healing is free. If there's no way to pressure a healer outside of vaporing one of his teammates, the only viable specs will be those that can accomplish such a feat.

    If not, then i would need higher healing to offset any mana increase, every heal needs to count when using skills that take off % of your mana, not just static amounts.
    Why wouldn't the heals still count? Nowhere do I advocate reducing throughput. Nowhere do I suggest that a healer shouldn't be able to outheal one dps with relative ease. I absolutely think that heals should count for more than dps, on average, per global, because otherwise damage would rule all (as it did for a period). That's how you create an environment where people need to coordinate and focus and plan. But I think that superior throughput also needs to come with some limitations.

    What do you think about what I said in my last post, btw? I know that if drains were more viable, that's the role I'd be occupying in most pvp. That's one less 61 pyro dropping 10k bombs on your heal targets. You gain a concern while losing another, and the overall depth/variety of play improves. Isn't that a better way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eughe View Post
    So long as a rogue and warrior have energy adn points, so long a mage has charge and mana, and so long a cleric has cds and mana, each and everyone of them expects when they dump on their target, their target should die. I mean, thats the point of this thread isnit it? You did what you could to kill a healer, and he didnt die (or with a dom, incapacitated).
    The point of the thread is that failure to kill a target shouldn't be the same things as never having queued into the wf. That when I dominate a game on my chloro (and I've dominated more than a few) without ever looking at my mana bar even once, something is kind of wonky. That other styles of play should be encouraged, including suboptimal (in terms of burst) dps specs, because it's healthier for the game overall.

    The same way when i play cab, i expect that crowd to break up, when i play shaman, i expect my target to die before i do, when i play a healer, i expect my target to live longer than the person who is attacking them. Else i wouldnt play any of those souls, as there are no expectations of triumph in playing it.
    You think I wrote all of that in response to one healer not dying when I unloaded? I play a healer more often than not because it's usually the best way to help the majority of my teams. When I do play dps, I tend not to have much trouble blowing people up. The games where I do have trouble, when dps on my team is light and the other team is rocking multiple competent healers, I will admit, I wish my damage meant something. In those situations, my contribution would be a negative one to some healer's blue bar, but that's still worthwhile. That healer, pressured enough, might have to scale back, retreat, etc. Then maybe we can push, score a kill, etc.

    I guess the overall theme here is that pvp is too binary. It's reflected in wf scores, which are almost always lopsided. It's reflected in specs and attitudes. And it's strangling people who appreciate breadth and depth of play.

  11. #11
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    Personnaly I agree with the OP.

    Fundamentally, one of the reason of the zerg fest is IMO that with unlimited mana, the only option left for the Devs to able people to be killed is within a burst window.

    This makes healing too good without focusing fire burst, too weak against focusung fire burst.

    Also mana introduce more long term strategy in battles and as OP said make splash DPS / hybrids / ... more meaningfull as every damage counts.
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    Chloro may have infinite mana with no way to burn it all, but cleric healers have ways to increase our outgoing healing while burning 9-10% of our mana a cast (crucial invocation, healing effusion, explosive growth to name a few)

    If you want to make chloros have a way to increase outgoing healing at the expense of more mana too sure, but don't screw cleric healers over even more when our best heals cost a crap ton of mana already.

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    I'm so glad that none of us forum people are in charge of the classes.

    Because it would suck even more.
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    Default That was a long post to say

    Nerf healers. Sorry OP. But if you play a chloro, when that bug gets fixed you are gonna be hurting like the rest of us. And you wont live long enough to use a quarter of your mana. Mana is not the issue. TTK is. Many factors including resources factor into that. However, so long as energy resources of Dps are unlimited, healers should be too. That is the only way to make sure the best players win. Why should healers unilaterally disarm just because you couldn't kill a cleric solo in a dom spec? The reason your point is invalid, is that when you overheal a player nothing happens but a little mana is wasted. But when that players health hits 0 they are dead. Healers can never win, they can only not lose.
    Last edited by Anathemus; 02-02-2013 at 08:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by handerhank View Post
    So where am I going with all of this? I honestly don't know.

    lolwut?

    Then why am I reading this?
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