Patch 4.1 roundup – what healers need to know today

So patch 4.1 is officially upon us! But among the new 5 man dungeons dropping purples and the fact that you can chain-run them in 1 day for the entire week (did I say woot? WOOT!), what else do you need to know as healbots? I’ll tell you!

The patch notes are abundant, so let’s see what healer’s need to know about their own classes.

Some general healbot goodness.

All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

Get ready with your windsheer resto shammies, just saying. We love you and your interrupts EVEN more now <3

A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.

Oh mah gawd, thank you Blizzard <3 Anything that makes it more convenient to raise the dead idiots who stood in the fire makes me a happier healbot.

Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul’dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.

For those of us who PVP, hell yeah! This is a welcome change :)

Now on the meat and potatoes, the class changes! (queue “ohhhh” and “ahhhhh” from the audience)

Druids

(or as Andari likes to put it “hippies”. I don’t call you that trees, I <3 you)

Efflorescence has a new spell effect.

Oh neat-o, however, does it suck or is it cool? You be the judge (here’s a video, though it’s not me til I get home)

[youtube kPhiNhpj4aI nolink]

Lifebloom’s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.

Then, a nerf :(

Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

Filed under the “should have had all along” ;-)

Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility’s cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.

Malfurion’s Gift now reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.

Yays reduced cooldown on arguably the best aoe “oh shit” heal in the game.

Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

As if  making it more pretty wasn’t enough in this patch, Blizzard actually made it more useful too!

Nature’s Swiftness now also increases the healing done by the affected nature spell by 50%.

And finally, this is also a much needed change, every time I blow this cooldown I wonder if it even hit. This will make it a much more viable “oh shit” macro.

Let’s move onto Paladins!

Paladins

Holy pallies won’t see too many drastic changes, good or bad.

Illuminated Healing shield duration is now 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds. In addition, Illuminated Healing has been increased to provide 1.5% effect per mastery, up from 1.25%.

A buff to our utterly crap mastery, more info on why it’s crap and how this will help here.

The current Holy paladin 4-piece raid set bonus now grants 540 Spirit for 6 seconds after casting Holy Shock.

You can also CHEER for JOY if you have been saving up the tier pieces. You can actually use them now and the bonus is GOOD~!

At least we didn’t get hit by the nerfbat ;-)

Priests

In short, lots of yummy changes for priests, especially discoballthrowers. For more disco-specific breakdown, check this great post at Type H for Heals.

Divine Aegis duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12

This is a slight buff to disc, hopefully it means that the shields will be used more often than fall off.

Dispel Magic can only be used on the casting priest as a baseline effect

and

Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets

This means that only healing priests will be dispelling, and they will dispel 2 effects at a time making them more powerful than other classes.

Priests now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope.

and

Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.

and

Chakra now lasts until canceled, up from 1 minute.

Also should have freaking been in the game all along… oh and hello we have warrior-like stances now ;-)

  • Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.
  • Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
  • The direct damage portion of Holy Fire can now trigger Evangelism.
  • Glyph of Divine Accuracy now also affects Holy Fire in addition to Smite.

This means that atonement healing will be EVEN stronger using Holy Fire (can I say, finally?) and smite in between to get the stacks up. I can’t wait to test this tonight on Nefarian :)

Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

At the same time, disc gets nerfed. This is presumably to discourage bubble spam even more, as if we have the mana to do it now anyway ;-)

Power Word: Barrier’s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.

And nerfed again :(

It is now possible to remove Weakened Soul effects that were a result of another priest’s Power Word: Shield through Strength of Soul.

Oh, I guess this is really nice for 25man raiding when you have more than one disco on the raid.

Holy Word: Sanctuary healing done has been increased by 35%. In addition, it has a new spell effect.

More prettier things! And moar healing, thank you Blizzard! This is what it looks like now:

[youtube PuZu7B23N38 nolink]

The current healing priest 4-piece raid set bonus no longer requires a target to be under the effects of Weakened Soul for the priest to receive the Spirit bonus. Instead the benefit will be granted each time the priest’s Penance spell heals a target.

And lastly, another buff to 4pc bonus, this time for disc!

Shaman

Who doesn’t like new stuff?

  • Deep Healing now benefits all heals, not just direct heals.
  • Earth Shield healing done by Restoration shaman has been reduced by 20%.
  • Nature’s Blessing has been improved to 6/12/18% bonus direct healing on Earth Shielded targets, up from 5/10/15%.

Let’s start with the buffs to throughput, we love buffs!

Cleansing Waters now has a 6-second internal cooldown.

A small nerf, poo!

Spirit Link Totem (new talent) reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3-minute cooldown.

Let’s balance it out with something brand new and freaking AWESOME! and god damnit it freaking looks cool!

[youtube D8MzLx_H8Zc nolink]

Well that about rounds out the roundup of changes to healing classes. The patch is chocked full of tons of raid boss nerfs and general game changes, so read the rest of the patch notes to see how it effects you and your guild / raid team.

Happy healing today!

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