Friday, June 05, 2009

Cooldown Rotations

One of the current controversies in the tank world are tanking cooldowns. These are abilities which greatly reduce the amount of damage taken for a few seconds. Though originally created as emergency measures--Shield Wall originally had a 30 minute cooldown--Death Knights were given cooldowns that could be used multiple times a fight. This meant that if a fight had a predictable spike in damage, the Death Knight could line up their cooldown to mitigate that spike, making them much easier to heal.

Since spike damage is generally what kills tanks, this made Death Knights the tank of choice on such fights. The other tanks had their cooldowns improved to match the Death Knight. However, the Death Knight still has the best cooldowns, and is often considered the best tank because of this. Paladin tanks, who only have one cooldown, are considered the worst.

However, two healer classes, Priests and Paladins, also have cooldowns that they can use to mitigate spike damage. Holy Priests have Guardian Spirit, Disc Priests have Pain Suppression, and Paladins have Hand of Sacrifice (coupled with Divine Shield to keep the paladin from dying). Instead of just relying on tank cooldowns, you can set up a cooldown rotation with your paladins and priests to help mitigate damage.

Personally, I find cooldown rotations a lot of fun as a healer. It gives you a chance to coordinate with your fellow healers. It adds a little extra spice to healing, and saving a tank from death with a well-timed use of a spell which is not spammed is fun. Honestly, that's the most fun as a healer, using a spell at precisely the right time to save someone.

Tanks have tanking rotations, where they trade-off mobs. DPS have interrupt rotations, as they trade-off interrupting spells. I think adding cooldown rotations for healers would add a little extra element to the game. It's something more than healing spam, and requires us to work together a bit more.

I think Resto Druids and Resto Shamans should each get a cooldown (like Hand of Sacrifice, etc.) so they too can join in the fun. Then I think that the number of cooldowns the tanks have should be reduced, or the cooldown timers greatly increased so that they go back to being emergency buttons. That should reduce the disparity in tanks, while improving the gameplay for healers.


  1. I love our cooldowns. Hell, I'm Holy / Prot specifically so I can get Divine Guardian. I even get to credit that spell for saving a wipe on Assembly of Iron last week :).

    I may not be able to out heal the Druids and Priests in my raids, but I CAN provide a raid-wide damage reduction that no one else can.

    As a sidenote - you can Hand of Sacrifice the adds in the Razuvious fight... I don't recommend it, though. :)

  2. While not necissarly in the same vien as Priest/Paladin healing cooldowns, both shamans and druids have Nature's Swiftness, which can be used to keep up with spike damage from a boss assuming the tank doesn't get 1 shot.

    They also have the versatily of being more widely usable, when say, someone other than the tank takes a big chunk of damage. If your not really expecting this damage a priest or paladin wouldn't really be able to apply thier cooldowns in advance to protect them.

  3. The one problem I consistently have with Hand of Sacrifice/bubble is the range. HoS only has a 30 yard range, and I'm frequently at 40 yards. I'm getting better at planning for Sacrifice use, now I just need to remember to pre-position myself.

  4. As far as encounters go that require that type of management... i believe this was how sarth 3d was. Especially with the drake that amplified fire damage you needed multiple cool downs both from the tank and externally from the healers to get through the encounter.

  5. Well I don't really want no differences between tanks. Right now paladins are best by some measures (least damage taken, much less damage on multi-tanking, etc) and DK's are best by others(better cooldowns, most health).

  6. Thought provoking, and I think the healer cooldowns are often forgotten by raid leaders too.

  7. Granted they are not spec specific, but druids and shaman also have BR/ankh.

  8. Don't fully agree. At current point I see healing, especially on very mobile (Hodir, Mimiron) encounters for group healers that also have GCD to save the tank extremely challenging. A paladin spams on one target most of the time a holy priest has to make sure he gives his cooldown the right time, moving into the right spot, managing mana and having 25 man in view (even while assiging certain groups to main watch). If you feel your left out of the fun in healing, play a holy priest. Fun starts when you get 1 hitted by random trash mobs that barely leaves a scratch on plate all the time watching out for the group or when a pally can't make it due to their throughput.