Pondering Healing Mushrooms


At Blizzcon, it was announced that Druids will be receiving a healing version of the current Wild Mushroom spell that is mainly used by Balance Druids as part of their AoE rotation. The idea of healing mushrooms was originally thought up by Lissanna over at Restokin. In fact, she was the one who asked the Class Q&A panel about our toolkit going into Mists of Pandaria. I can’t help but laugh because when Lissanna came back from asking her question we went straight into theorycrafting (practically ignoring the rest of the panel) and giggling like little schoolgirls. I loved it.

So, the big question is: How will healing shrooms work? There’s gonna be some work baked into the healing version of this spell. Since it’s gonna be part of our AoE healing toolkit it can’t be clunky or inconvenient. It needs to be practical, seamless, and most of all WORTHWHILE to use. Let’s take a look at our options:

Effects

Currently Wild Mushroom operates as direct burst damage. You plant your shrooms and detonate all 3 at once. The healing version of Wild Mushroom could be the same or could be quite different.

Direct Healing- Our new Wild Mushroom ability could be used for burst healing which is something that currently Druids lack. Example:

  • Wild Mushroom: Grow a magical Mushroom with 5 Health at the target location. When detonated by the Druid, all Mushrooms will flourish healing all targets within 10 yards of the target location for X.

HoT Healing- We could see another form of HoT healing from our Wild Mushroom. I wouldn’t be surprised if they incorporated a HoT into the spell since Druids are the main HoT class.

  • Wild Mushroom: Grow a magical Mushroom with 5 Health at the target location. When detonated by the Druid, all Mushrooms will flourish healing all targets within 10 yards of the target location for X over the next 5 seconds.

Both- They could incorporate a base direct heal into the spell followed by a HoT. Other classes use this type of healing already, such as a glyphed Prayer of Healing or the new Holy Radiance.

  • Wild Mushroom: Grow a magical Mushroom with 5 Health at the target location. When detonated by the Druid, all Mushrooms will flourish healing all targets within 10 yards of the target location for X  and additional Y over the next 5 seconds.

Targeting

Targeting will likely be one of the bigger issues with developing this new spell and making it successful for Druids. Currently, Wild Mushroom needs to be targeted on the ground, planted, and then detonated. It takes 3 global cds to set up the spell. It also requires enemies to be nearby for the spell to work properly. Here are a few issues I have with that type of targeting for heals.

  • High movement fights will make the spell unattractive. If you drop a shroom but then players move it makes for a wasted global cd.
  • It won’t work with raid frames. I heal using Healbot. I know a lot of people use other raid frame mods. You won’t be able to judge health bars by just looking at where people are standing. You might end up dropping it on someone who doesn’t need the healing.

Solution:

  • Have the shroom be planted directly onto the player rather than on the ground. This greatly increases the chances for the spell to be more beneficial to the raid. This also lets raid frame addons utilize the spell since it’s being cast directly onto player rather than the landscape. For balance purposes, you can maybe incur a one-shroom-per-player rule.

What do you think about healing shrooms and how do you think they should be implemented?

16 Responses

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  1. I like the idea of the shrooms being useful for healing as well. I do wonder, will all Druids receive both the healing and damage shrooms? Or do you think DPS shrooms will be for Boomkin and healing shrooms for Resto?

    Ground targeting can be a problem at times. My main for a long time was my Resto Shaman, and Healing Rain is both super powerful and super frustrating. Blizzard seems to be leaning towards making us all more raid-aware, though. There was a comment during the last Q&A about WANTING us to be more aware of what is going on around us and not just tunnel-visioning on health bars. So I imagine Blizzard’s response would be something along the lines of “The purpose is to make you pay attention to where people are standing and where they will be moving to.”

    That was one thing I had to adjust to with Healing Rain. But you get better at it as you learn the flow of a fight. New fights were the real b****. It was almost guaranteed everyone would run out of it. :)

    Great post! I look forward to this for Druids, I hope they make them a HoT with a detonate that does a burst heal. I think that would be most useful and most towards the Active Healing Blizzard is looking for.

    ~ Effy

    1. The main reason I wouldn’t want the shrooms to be a ground effect is because boss fights would require people to be stacked up for the spell to be useful. The biggest problem with Shamans is that they are balanced around a spell that has near 100% uptime, but requires people to be close together to be useful. I don’t want Druids to have that problem. Our other spells will be balanced around how powerful healing shrooms will be and if the healing shrooms turn out to be situational, then it hurts our overall healing in other situations.

      1. Well, I will not say ground-target heals are not without problem, and I was in a 25-man raid guild when I healed on my Shaman, but Shaman’s are all about positioning. Chain Heal is also a spell that can be useful or not. Fights where, for example, everyone has to stand 10 yards apart are hard on a Shaman.

        But I always raiding with my Shaman. The beginning of Cata was rough, though, with all the healing changes.

        ~ Effy

  2. I like the idea of “infecting” players with the shroom, especially if they go for the burst healing approach. I’d like to see it a bit like Lifebloom used to be, in that you can either have 1 mushroom per person (up to three targets) or all three mushrooms on the same person and then detonate when needed. That way it would be useful in PvP as well.

    1. I agree. Placing a shroom on someone could also put a small HoT on them for the duration of spell. Something similar to the output of Healing Stream Totem could be appropriate. When you detonate, the spell blooms and heals everyone in it’s radius.

      It would be kind of like a more controllable, longer lasting AoE Lifebloom!

  3. Druids get a “detonate” button. You decide when to detonate the shrooms. So, you don’t need a boss around to step on them or something. You just trigger them when you want them to heal.

    The ground-targeting part of the mechanic should be fine. Most of the other healers have ground-targeting healing spells and the world hasn’t ended yet. :)

    Also, having shrooms target the person really defeats the purpose of healing shrooms. They have to be ground-targeted. Now, we can look into ways to make it take fewer GCDs (maybe add an effect to the spell that allows for more than one shroom to be placed at once thru glyphs, talents, or super tree form’s healing effect).

    1. The main issue I have with a ground effect is that it’s dependent on stacking which itself depends on the encounter. I want healing shrooms to be effective while everyone is spread out as well. A ground effect will give us the same issues that Shaman have with Healing Rain.

      If it’s a ground effect, we’ll just go back to Rejuv spam in spread out phases because shrooms would be inferior in output. I want shrooms to be our staple AoE ability that we use for all encounters, just like Prayer of Healing is for Priests.

      1. I would actually be fine with druids relying more on rejuv & WG for some phases & shrooms for others. At that point, you are having to make intelligent decisions about WHEN to use abilities, rather than the current nearly-mindless spamming of abilities that is hard to get wrong now. I never intended shrooms to be used every 10 seconds (that would be awkward & clunky and awful).

  4. I really like what you proposed for the healing shrooms. When I thought about it, I
    imagined the healing shrooms to be placed in the environment and not on the player. You could place 1-3 in strategic spots (like predetermined kite spots similar to Prof. Putricide) and when detonated, heal 1-2 players per shroom, or, for big AOE heals, stack the three shrooms together and detonate at once, healing up to 6 players for a larger amount. I think the amount of players might need to scale for 25 man content though. Either way, both your way and the way I thought it might be sound pretty cool, and I can’t wait to see it in-game.

    1. I’m really happy that Lissanna suggested this over a year ago, tho it’s unfortunate that it took an entire expansion for them to realize that our toolkit is extremely limited.

      It will need to be tested out in the Beta before I start saying the sky if falling of course, but I hate the idea of a ground placement shroom. It’s just more situational than dropping a shroom on an actual player. I don’t want to be limited and balanced around a situational spell.

      1. All the other healers have these situational ground-targeted heals, and it would still allow for rejuv, WG, & Swiftmend/Efflo to be prominent parts of our AOE rotation, instead of spending all our time setting up & detonating shrooms. I would think that a 30 second cooldown for the healing version may even be beneficial for druids, since the mechanic is pretty clunky and you can’t count on always having 3 GCDs to spare every 10 seconds with how many other spells you have to juggle.

  5. I agree that if the shrooms are used for direct healing, it’ll end up with a lot of healing wasted on targets that we didn’t want/need healed – we’d be forced to spend lots of gcds targeting the ground instead of “triage-ing” players that actually need the healing. I’d rather see an ability which actually interacted with our other abilities. I’d like to see the detonation throw spores into the area which increase our healing done on the affected targets by buffing the hots currently active on the affected targets – refreshing the current hot durations, causing an instant heal to each affected target for a portion of the remainder of all active hots, or simply buffing the healing done by affected hots (or maybe even multiple types of detonation spells for each). With a model like this, I’d anticipate the buffs not stacking, so you’d only throw the minimum needed to cover the area that players are in for the least number of gcds, meaning that you wouldn’t have to be constantly stacking three in the same place to pop when bursty damage goes out.

    1. Druids play a very proactive healing role, and being able to choose between dropping 1 shroom for a quick small burst versus 3 shrooms for a large burst is going to be dependent on fight mechanics and something that separates good players from bad players. There’s nothing in the rule book that says you have to drop all 3 if one will suffice for doing less overhealing and getting something more reactive.

  6. I’m not a big fan of the idea of healing mushrooms. Though the dps version is quite powerful, I’ve always found it a little silly.

    A big problem for me, as you mentioned, is the ground-targeting aspect of the spell. I really do not want a healing spell I can’t use with my raid frames.

    I do like your propsed solution though, and it gives me an idea of my own. What if your idea worked of like a super Living Seed? You put the Seed (or mushroom, if it’s got to be that) on a player and the next time they get hit it bursts and heals everyone around them. That does remove some of the control, but I’d so love to see a Living Seed improvement rather than mushrooms.

    As for the type of heal, I think a front-loaded heal with a small HoT (like Regrowth) would be best. It would give us a little extra burst, but be in line with our HoT nature.

  7. I think either way would work pretty well, tho I’m slightly for having a little more control. We are getting Cenarion Ward which is kinda like LS tho it’s on a lengthy cooldown (which I hope gets changed).

    I agree tho that a Living Seed mechanic certainly has potential. It’s still inferior to absorbs, but it’s the next best thing.

  8. [...] my last post on the subject, we’ve gotten a little more information about the spell. In the MoP talents it [...]

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