One of the subjects here is going to be World of Warcraft.  I play this game almost every day, hours at a time.

A brief overview: WoW is classified as a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG or MMO).  It’s a persistent online world where you interact with player characters (PCs) and non player characters (NPCs).  Most of the game centers around killing things, and acquiring items that help you kill things better.  The game has things to do solo or in groups from 2 to 40 people.

My ‘main’ character is a dwarf priest, although I’ve played every race, and almost every class.  But I tend to identify with the healing classes.  And something that’s been evident since the release of the Burning Crusade expansion pack in January is that the developers of the game feel that healing in the game is too powerful.  This is evident by the following things I consider facts:

  • Healing spells did not scale with either health or damage done in the game.  Health values have increased by, in some cases such as rogues, 100% over their pre-BC health values.  Most have had an increase of about 50% to 80%.  But priest healing spells have increased by perhaps 30% for our largest heals.  The result is that we rarely use anything but our largest heal spell anymore.  Flash Heals, group heals, shields, the things that show the diversity of healing methods that make the priest class different from the other healing classes, we can’t use these hardly at all, because they just don’t heal enough on our tanks or even our other party members to be worth their cast time or mana cost.
  • Healers continue to be nerfed in patches since BC release.  Prayer of Mending received a cooldown.  Illumination for Paladins is being cut in half in effectiveness.   This combines with…
  • Priests have not received any significant buffs since BC release.  There were some good buffs with WoW 2.0, and with the newer spells, but these haven’t helped the priests very much at all.  We’ve gotten one good spell (Prayer of Mending), one hardly used spell (Binding Heal), and terrible talents, especially Circle of Healing.  There definitely is a lack with priest  talent trees, as there’s no reason to get Circle of Healing.  I got a 41 point talent on my druid (Mangle) and it’s AMAZING.  People who have Circle of Healing never use it.

There’s definitely a lack of healing in the game.  There always has been, and a lot of that derives from the mechanics of healing.  You have to pay more attention, all of the time, and are constantly doing something, otherwise your group fails.  When other people slack off, your task gets harder.  So it’s a tough road for Blizzard.  Make healers more powerful, and you trivialize content.  Make the content harder to match, and you limit the amount of people who can actually compete with it.  Keep healers down, and you preserve the content, but you get dissatisfaction from the healers who see everyone else’s characters increase in power while they do not, and while they have their spells removed from effectiveness one by one.

Hopefully they can find a way to make priests and other healers more interesting to play while preserving their content.