Future of Essence Font

Patch 7.2 has launched and oh boy, don’t we have a lot to do in the game? I haven’t been bored this expansion, that’s for sure. Tomb is coming up soon and so does the mini-patch 7.2.5. where we will get more class changes. Here are a few blizzard posts on the subject.

Patch 7.2.5 Mistweaver Blue Posts

On the initial 7.2.5 PTR, we are trying out a version of Essence Font that is even stronger, but has a cooldown. In addition to some combination of a healing increase and mana cost reduction, the duration of the HoT will be increased.

Essence Font having no cooldown has held back the spell and the spec in a few ways. It essentially says that three relatively heavy heals (Essence Font, Enveloping Mist, Vivify) have to compete with each other at all times. The texture of using a heavy spell on a short cooldown, then falling back to the decision between spammable spells (selecting based on cost, number of targets, etc.) is common among healers for good reason. And Essence Font‘s HoT mechanic that improves mastery is meant to specifically enhance that sort of gameplay, and will be more effective on a spell with a cooldown.

As already mentioned, the first change that comes along with it is buffing Essence Font itself. It no longer has to be held back by “if it gets too much stronger than e.g. Vivify, people will only use Essence Font“, and can simply be a high-priority spell. We will made other adjustments as needed for gameplay or tuning.

Original Post, by Sigma

However, one point that I would like addressed is what are we supposed to do when Essence Font is on cooldown, Uplifting Trance isn’t available, Whispers of Shaohao has been used, and the the group still needs to be healed?”

The initial version going out has a small buff to baseline Vivify. Also, the changes greatly increase the practical value of mastery, which is a hidden buff to the Vivify, Enveloping Mist, and Effuse casts you’ll be making in between Essence Fonts.

Part of it, though, is you should have more of cadence between the high-priority heals that somewhat solve problems on their own, and the spells that don’t always do that. You asked what to do when the “best” 3 or 4 things are on cooldown or not available, and that’s similar to a Druid falling back to laying down Rejuvenations when she can’t use Wild Growth or Swiftmend, or a Paladin using Flash of Light between Light of Dawn and Holy Shock cooldowns. Making use of the no-cooldown spells that are more limited is meant to be a moment when you look forward to the next heavy hitter coming back (even if it’s just a few seconds for an Essence Font).

The concerns in feedback seem to mostly reflect tuning–that the “filler” kit of Vivify, Enveloping Mist, Effuse, and Soothing Mist isn’t strong enough. Possibly that’s true and the problem has been papered over on live by the ability to focus everything on Essence Font. Overall tuning will be something to watch on PTR, as with any spec getting any degree of shakeup. Tuning debates usually aren’t too productive in early feedback, but maybe a helpful thing to say is: “if we hadn’t been making any changes to Mistweaver, it would probably have gotten a small flat throughput buff before the next raid.”

Original Post, by Sigma

With the changes to Mistweaver during the transition to Legion, there was already a degree of homogenization from what was previously a fairly unique gameplay experience to something more similar to what already existed in other healing classes. As you consider further changes to Mistweaver, is further samey-ness something that’s ‘on the radar’?”

It is, although possibly in the opposite way. If anything, thinking that Essence Font had to be forced into an off-cooldown design from the start “just to be different” probably didn’t help anybody. The spec flowing better for everyone using it matters more than symmetries or antisymmetries between specs and how they look on paper. Nobody actually playing either spec is going to forget whether they’re on a Mistweaver or a Resto Druid just because Essence Font follows a successful design like Wild Growth. The spells around them, the different interactions they have, and the whole pile of talents, traits, and item bonuses all doing different things ensures that.

There’s always a balance between lessons and good designs that are generally true throughout the game, and variance between specs. And powerful AoE heals usually having some cooldown (for a number of reasons) is a factor that’s more likely to improve Mistweaver gameplay than worrying about being a carbon copy of other specs (which it’s pretty far from, all things considered).

Original Post, by Sigma

As we suspected, Essence Font will get a cooldown. Much is still in flux though since patch 7.2.5 hasn’t even hit the PTR. If you want to add feedback to the discussion on the forums, it’s prime time for it now!

Personally, I’m rather glad Essence Font get a cooldown (as long as everything else is balanced around it). It gives more time to play around with our other spells, especially now when Sheilun’s Gift do AoE healing with the new golden trait. Diversity is always gladdening, but we’ll see how the rotations ends up in 7.2.5!

4 thoughts on “Future of Essence Font”

  1. I’m on the fence about this upcoming change. If they can make good changes to the rest of our kit, plus make mastery relevant, at least when raiding, I’ll be happy.

  2. Would be nice if a Effuse was a instant cast with a 1 sec CD to help balance out the possible EF CD change.

    1. This would be much too powerful in PvP, let alone how strong it would be in PvE. I suppose they could just make the spells act differently, but if you had both instant EM’s and instant EF’s MW’s could heal for quite a lot without any fear of being interrupted and that’s a problem. I don’t even PvP but I’m not ok with something like this ever being implemented. The CD on EF is a welcomed change so I don’t feel like it’s the only damn spell that matters (which is currently the majority of the time). I was a big fan of the uplift combo we used to have though along with the low healing phases being fistweaving, so I guess my opinion on the spec is in the minority to begin with.

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