Replenishment Hate

When I was musing about the route Blizzard might be taking regarding Shadowpriests in Cataclysm, HoHo commented that Replenishment might be going away. I found a Blue post by Ghostcrawler stating he liked it, and there were no plans to remove Replenishment (heh).

When reading the thread in which this was posted, I couldn’t believe the Hate that was issued by these healers for the very buff we were designed to provide. I know that tanks hate having to rely on Tricks of the Trade and Misdirect to keep aggro at times, but this was quite over the top. Some highlights:

  • “Instead, the skill-based regen mechanics were nerfed, in favor of strengthening replenishment to all but ensure it’s present.” (lamenting 5-second-rule games and healer group rotations)
  • “Replenishment should’ve been given to the healing specs, since it’s reasonable to assume every raid will have healers — whereas it’s not always a guarantee that a raid will consist of the necessary dps classes who spec’d for replenishment. “(of course, Shadowpriests were first, long before)
  • “It’s too powerful. Replenishment is like having Fort, Kings, MotW and Blood Pact all tied into a single buff for tanks. Designing raid content around raid buffs is fine, but one single buff should not be so irreplaceably critical.” (True perhaps, that is why more classes can bring it)
  • “Healers already get blamed for wipes by the DPS, why put our mana regen in their control for more mockery by them.” (Which seems to be basically malinformed trolling from someone’s bad experiences)
  • “I gotta ask… is it really balanced that healers NEED to gain so much from raid buffs while DPS/tanks do not depend on raid buffs so much?” (a person obviously ignorant by how tanks and DPS really work with buffs)
  • “Exactly, it’s not the fact that we hate replenishment, we hate that it gives us SO much.” (Get smaller mana pools, then it won’t affect you so much)

And this is just the first four pages…quite disheartening.

Analysis

From all the replies (these and many in the thread like it) the following “pains” seem to come up:

Healers posting in this thread believe that they should provide Replenishment, since they are the ones who need it most. It should not be given by DPS, who already mock them and blame them for wipes. It also provides too much mana, and should be nerfed (note how I did not post the general “nerf shadowpriests” comments you always get). Healers want to be self-sufficient.

It seems that many of these people are angry, and would rather not have the buff at all. They believe Replenishment is the reason healers will be so drastically changed come Cataclysm. In reality, it’s a bit more difficult than this.

Personal feelings

I find it hard to reconcile this notion with how I experience things generally. Our Destro warlocks bring Replenishment too, and they don’t grumble about that 1-3% loss in DPS for it. They see it as doing the right thing for the raid. Also, I do not just bring Replenishment for the healers. Our Arcane Mages, Warlocks and certainly myself would be very unhappy (and rather useless) without Replenishment. We simply would not be able to make the most of ourselves without it, and go OoM very quickly.

Perhaps Replenishment as a buff based on %max mana does not work on the long run, and perhaps it needs to be changed. But I would like for people to realize that I, as a Shadowpriest, am proud to provide this buff and help our healers through actual tough encounters – where smart healing and mana management are exceedingly difficult. I feel that these opinions. most of which from people who haven’t raided ICC and often not even seen Ulduar (I checked their armories, when not hiding on alts), are more than a bit prejudiced and suspect.

Even so, a positive view might help to keep a grip on things. Replenishment on its own is good, but common idea seems to be it is too strong and too untargeted. Perhaps making it a more active ability might be the ticket here.

An idea, one of many

For instance, what if Replenishment gave us a buff with stacks, rising as we dealt more Shadow damage to our targets. The buffs might be based on damage ticks, or might continue to stack while you DPS (making it an activity-based thing). At any time, we could use an ability called “Infusion” (a no-cooldown ability off the Global Cooldown) to target a friendly target (including ourselves) and grant mana based on the amount of charges we have.

The charges are then reset, and we build them up again. This means there is more time between mana gains, and more control over when it is used. A lot of the times you will need it, sometimes you spread it quickly across healers and DPS, and other times you simply use it to wallop a chunk of mana to people.

Granted, it’s not perfect and gives us even more to do during a fight – but any good idea might give us our cool spot in the shadows (and the raids) without being overpowered.

What are your ideas? Are these posters correct or prejudiced? What would you do to make Replenishment more controllable and more useful?

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7 Responses to “Replenishment Hate”

  1. “When I was musing about the route Blizzard might be taking regarding Shadowpriests in Cataclysm, HoHo commented that Replenishment might be going away. I found a Blue post by Ghostcrawler stating he liked it, and there were no plans to remove Replenishment (heh).”

    Hm, now that I checked it you seem to be right and replenishment is here to stay. I wonder where I got the idea it gets cut out.

    One thing I hope that will happen is that it gets unlinked from manapool and provides some kind of different regen. Making healers provide it and having it only regen mana for them would be a good thing aswell as then they can balance each individual caster DPS regen as they see fit.

    • Well, we will have big issues and will be changed drastically. Many things floating around:

      “No talents or abilities will boost Hit” – this could mean Misery and possibly Shadow Focus as well. Misery was one of our two main raid spot boosters.

      “Shadowpriests cannot cast Dispel Disease in shadowform” – which was only occasionally needed, but I am sure less likely to use it after this change. Shadowform is too expensive should our mana efficiency go down.

      If Replenishment were to be taken away from us, we would suffer unless our mana efficiency would improve across all levels, or we’d gain more personal mana regain. We would already lose so much personal DPS just shoring up the Hit we would lose (for me personally that is 4%-7% Hit depending on what abilities would go). If I’d have to also focus on additional mana efficiency, I’d see myself doing the same DPS in 5 levels with raid gear as I do now.

      But there is hope, if everything changes, we might be completely different. I just would hate to be considered a Warlock without pet.

  2. I’m a self-confessed replenishment hater. I don’t hold with all the arguments that you reproduce, but I do think that it is fundamentally problematic to blanket spray a generic mana regeneration effect across a disparate group of healers and dps with their own array of mana management options. One size does certainly not fit all, and the fact that Blizzard tried to shoehorn a single raid effect across all classes served only to mask individual class shortcomings and force disproportionate balancing acts to fix a healer mana glut that was, ironically, exacerbated by replenishment.

    You conclusion seems to be ‘we need replenishment because we’d struggle for mana otherwise’, which isn’t a good argument for the effect, it’s just a good argument for making sure shadow priests have enough mana management tools at their disposal (and I think it’s way to early to worry about a loss of hit from talents, we’ll all be in the same boat).

    If mana regeneration is an issue, let classes manage their own mana in their own ways — it’s easier to balance, it’s more active and empowering for the players, it’s easier to get wrong and therefore requires some skill, and it allows mana regeneration to be more in spirit with the design and stylisation of the classes.

    • You are correct in saying that Replenishment has become too mandatory, and that this was masked by giving it to other classes. The old system was similar, and even counterproductive in holding back our own development as DPS.

      The long, hard look at ourselves comes when as you say, Replenishment would no longer be needed by us if we had proper management tools for our mana.

      We would no longer supply Hit, we would no longer supply mana, we would only supply DPS (and in that, without the aforementioned two, we still lack the amount required to choose us over an equally skilled warlock or paladin).

      I hope that our talents (being full of passive effects) will be thoroughly cleaned out giving us many new and interesting tools to play with. Hopefully something supportive as well as pure DPS-related. Maybe we will even forget about Replenishment, no longer needed and no longer integral to our function.

      But without the new, I must rely on others being weak and needing my buffs to “validate” my spot. I know my raid is very disappointed if I do not show up, because if our Boomkin would be needed as healer, that means 3% hit down the drain.

      If I did not give Misery and Replenishment, my 8-9K DPS means nothing when you can bring in a 9-10K DPS warlock who also brings more interesting mechanics. Or the Paladin who also brings another Lay on Hands and Bubble.

      I guess it comes down to us needing interesting toys so we can be weaned off our ability to keep others’ toys running.

      • Combining the above with what you wrote, Merlot (http://misery-blog.blogspot.com/2010/04/forget-everything-class-preview.html):

        Once Replenishment is no longer needed due to others’ self-sufficiency, Vampiric Touch could perhaps even go back to its old style, a leech effect working only on ourselves. That would solve our personal mana issues, even though it will not give us more control over it rather than continuing DPS.

        Perhaps more abilities and use of Shadowfiend could be placed in our talents, like the Ghoul of the DK? All Death Knights have a Ghoul, but only Unholy has it as a pet and makes it do cool moves, basically.

        That might give us an On-demand mana buff as well as give us something to play with.

  3. I haven’t really read up on what’s happening to Shadow Priests (well Priests) in Cataclysm but I totally agree with you – EVERYONE who uses mana in a raid counts on Replenishment. I need it.

    I also know that there are 3 (sometimes more) other sources of Replenishment in our Raid at any given time. I’m not guaranteed a raid spot because I offer replenishment.

    However, I do think it’s true that the healer mentality makes you feel somewhat responsible for your own mana. You gem for intellect. Play poorly and you’ll run through your pool embarrassingly fast.

    I think it’s fantastic that this is a buff that we, as DPS, can give back to our Healers. Other than trying to move out of fire faster there’s just not much we can do. Furthermore, it’s not exactly a glamorous buff like Focus Magic. We give +hit and +mp5 as Shadow Priests. I don’t think that’s OP.

    Anyway – I just hope that SW:P gets some love. How did this spell become a set-up tied into our rotation that deals so little damage?! When did Dev Plague become more deadly than SW:P? Crazy.

  4. Ah yes, our raid spot. Sorry, I wasn’t really thinking about that. The guilds I play with tend to be less concerned about picking classes than filling spots, so I don’t always see things from that perspective. I guess you’re right: take away yet another thing that we do and we are even less attractive. I don’t really have an answer to that, except to say that even ‘pure’ dps classes have replenishment, so it’s not going to save our raid spot if it comes down to it.

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