Light & Leafy

In Defense of Lightwell: Or Why Silly DPS Should Learn to Click on the Glowy Thing

Posted on: May 29, 2009


Let me state from the beginning, I never raided (or even stepped foot) in Vanilla WoW. My lightwells were never the joke at the bottom of the holy tier that nobody bothered taking.

Now, in Wrath of the Lich King, I see very few priests who actually spend the talent point on something I consider an essential in my priestly arsenal. I can understand the reasoning:
1. Lightwell used to be ineffective.
2. Party members focus so much on their own skillsets, they don’t waste a second clicking on the glowing tureen of light.
3. Talent points can be better spent elsewhere.

All of these are valid arguments, and I’m not one to chide people for not taking it (I took Circle of Healing before it was popular, and wouldntcha know it became a staple for holy priests everywhere come tier 5?). But, there is something to be said about proper placement and use.

Lightwell ineffective? Pshhhhh

I’ve stated up top, I didn’t even have a character in original WoW. I’ve heard some miserable stories about lightwells though: how little it healed for, how often it would disappear without being used. “Lolwell” was the popular term that comes to mind when anyone would talk about it. In B.C., it wasn’t much better. I talented for it for the first time when we were having a bit of a problem on Magtheridon trying to get past his ceiling shatter. What I didn’t realize (because I hadn’t read the tooltip properly) was that the heal over time (HoT) would break upon receiving damage. Well, that’s sucks. Especially in that phase, if you were coaching people to preemptively use the lightwell to ease the healers’ jobs. So, lolwell’s rightly earned bad reputation persists. Even last week in Ulduar, I saw someone cheerfully dismiss it; that is, until I told him about how it now functions.

Lightwell
, in its current incarnation, costs 17% of the priest’s base mana and contains 10 charges. Each charge can heal a player for a base of 4620 health over 6 seconds (or about 770/tick, since it ticks every 2 seconds) and is canceled only when a target receives damage equal to 30% of their TOTAL (not base) health. The lightwell will disappear after 3 minutes or after all charges have been used, whichever comes first. Players within the raid group right click on the lightwell to restore their own health (it will change their current target to the lightwell).

At level 80, a priest’s base mana is 3863, so it would cost 656 mana to cast 1 lightwell.

Now, let’s talk about spellpower coefficients, or rather what percentage of your spellpower actually increases your specific spells. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of that, since WoWWiki explains it quite well, but suffice to say that lightwell recieves 275% of your bonus spellpower effects. You read that correctly. So how much will your lightwell heal for on ONE PERSON? Look at the following example, where x = spellpower.

4620 + 2.75x = total healing done by lightwell (this number divided by 3 will give you the amount healed per tick)

At 2000 spell power, the lightwell will heal a person for 10120, or 3373/tick. If raid members used all the ticks a lightwell provided, you would heal in total for about 101,200 health for less than 3/5th the cost of a single greater heal (which at most crits for about 14k at the same spellpower). That’s a mana efficiency of 154 health per 1 mana point spent!

With my current gear and inner fire up, I have 2516 bonus spellpower. My Lightwell heals for 3838 per tick, for a total of 11,514. Costing 656 mana, if I heal 10 targets with it, the mana efficiency is 175 health/mana point spent.

At this, I stick out my tongue to those who call lightwell “lolwell.”
Party members don’t use lightwell.

Well, this one is easy to fix; you have to train them. Like puppies. I’ve found that with a little gentle prodding (and maybe going to a less stressful heroic dungeon or two) people are completely happy to use lightwell. I’ve done everything from refusing to heal people who won’t use it to creating macros with fun catchphrases announcing to my raid mates that a lightwell is down and available for use. Some people don’t know what one looks like or how it’s used; a simple explanation is all it takes sometimes. It’s fairly hard to miss, seeing as its a bastion of light. It also makes for great placement markers that last for long periods of time (think about it as a more helpful smokeflare). My way of thinking is, if people can spare a global cooldown to use their health stone, they can also use it to click on a beacon.

My talent points can be used elsewhere.

This is one I can’t create a valid argument for; there are myriad ways to create a spec. Some are better suited to actual game play than others, but really you do have a wide array of choices when it comes to spending your talent points. But, I also can urge you to think about where you’re putting that one talent point. Is it somewhere that makes a ton of difference to your playstyle, or is it somewhere extraneous just because you had a dangling point you needed to use? If the latter, what’s holding you back from trying to use lightwell?
Places I’ve Found Lightwell Especially Effective:

  • Naxxramas

– Anub’rakan — Placed by main tank so (s)he can heal himself/herself
– Gluth — Decimate? What decimate?
– Heigan — 1 second too late doing the dance? Not a problem!
– Sapphiron — Everyone’s taking damage all the time……who couldn’t use an extra HoT?

  • Ulduar

– Ignis the Furnace Master — Flamejets hurt. A lot. Help your healers help you.
– XT Deconstructor — Not only does it mark where dps/healers should stand, it makes Tympanic Tantrum easier to bear!
– Hodir — Frozen blows no longer deplete everyone’s mana!
– Freya — Snap lashers are a “snap” to heal through. Bad pun….my apologies

  • Vault of Archavon

– Emalon the Stormwatcher — Ligthning Nova can have a surprising range. It makes it easier to heal myself and others while keeping a steady eye on the tanks.

Please note the above listing is far from complete; it’s really just a highlight. I concede that Lightwell has it’s disadvantages; Satorri wishes it didn’t force you to change targets when you click on it. It also can be a trial to teach people how to use it, and to make sure it’s used effectively. But for 1 talent point, at least you know that you can keep yourself healed up easily with little mana spent =)

P.S. It’s highly entertaining to do lightwell research in the middle of Dalaran; everyone and their mother clicks on the glowy thingy.



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2 Responses to "In Defense of Lightwell: Or Why Silly DPS Should Learn to Click on the Glowy Thing"

I was always a big fan of Lightwell in BC. I usually forgot about it when it would have been nice, but if I ever died, I would throw it out while I was in spirit form. That was usually when I mad esure to recast renew Prayer of mending and anyting else that would stick around when I died.

Oh yes. The joys of Spirit of Redemption, and casting everything and anything that would keep ticking after those 12 seconds were up. Prayer of mending, renew, renew, renew, gift of the naaru, renew, renew……

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