Predicting Firelands Stam vs. Mastery
Hi, all. I know PTR data isn't at all firm in terms of numbers and tuning, however I'm wondering if a general prediction will hold out.
Basically what I've seen is that as Cataclysm raids have progressed from easy to hard modes, more and more tanks are shifting from absolute Mastery stacking, to a Mastery+Stam balance, to a Mastery+Heavy Stam. Once healers get above some magic number of Spirit (2800? 3000?), they're really able to ABC (always be casting), and mana becomes less of a concern.
Here's a recent dev response from the Firelands Q&A:
So does it not seem likely that tanks will want to start a good way towards Stam stacking in the Master + Stam spectrum, sacrificing overall damage reduction for more spike-resistance? Anyhow, this is perhaps a "no duh!" question, but walking into Firelands, how will you guys be gemming/trinketing?
Q: It can be anticipated that mana regeneration and maximum mana will increase from gearing up with the new Firelands equipment. Isn’t there a possibility that healers can spam big heals again (and more quick heals) just like in WotLK? If so, is there any plan to handle this without class nerfs? – Whitewnd (KR)
A: As damage increases, healers will need to use their largest, most inefficient heals more regularly to keep up. That’s fine and was all part of the design. We just didn’t want players to opt out of mana regeneration too early in the content because then Spirit (and mana-related procs) on gear wouldn’t be attractive, and because we’d have to balance difficulty by making the tanks die in a couple of GCDs if not healed continually. Most progression-oriented healers still want large amounts of Spirit, often in every single slot. As they get more comfortable with their mana, they’ll be able to replace some of that Spirit with other stats, but the Spirit will still be valuable; more Spirit on a set piece for example might mean being able to use a different enchant or reforge on another piece.
This is still a much better place to be than we were with Lich King content, where mana stopped mattering in the first raid tier. Aside from the mana changes we’ve already made to Innervate, Mana Tide Totem and paladin heals, we don’t think an overall regen nerf is necessary.