Updated Mon, Oct 31, 2011 by Mem
Pandas. Yes, Pandas…cute, fuzzy, globs of black and white uber goodness but what do these animals have to do with World of Warcraft? A race of pandas, known as the Pandaren have recently emerged from the mists of a long lost land to explore the wonders of Azeroth. These Pandaren will be joining both the Alliance and Horde to help form the controversial basis for the next WoW expansion; World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
The Pandaren, having spent generations away from the rest of the world and as such have had quite a bit of time on their hands. Because of this they have had plenty of time to not only perfect their famous brews, but have also perfecting the art of the Monk, the newest playable class. And while this new Monk class has many, many exciting features, the most notable is perhaps the fact that for the first time since the original classes were released, the Monk will offer players a brand new healing spec and style.
Currently known as Mistweavers, Blizzard has made the incredible claim that the Monk healing spec not only provide players with a new class option to heal with but will also present players with a totally different style of healing unlike anything seen in game before. But can this claim be true? Will Mistweavers, the healing spec for the Monk, be able to reinvent healing as we know it or is it just another gimmick, used to make the Mistweaver Monk healing stand out from the other classes, but is just a novelty with no little use that will become blaringly obvious once the expansion goes live? Before we can answer that question we need to first compile what we know about the Mistweaver Monk thus far.
According to what we now based on the information gleaned from the Class, Item, and Professions Panel at BlizzCon 2011, the Mistweaver Monk healing style is being designed to provide proximity heals rather than targeted direct or raid wide healing. Like other healers, the Mistweaver will be using mana as their main resource for the heals, some of which will be based on the Monk’s damaging attacks. This style of healing is further confirmed if we take a look at the single healing ability available for the Mistweaver listed on the official Mists of Pandaria website:
Statue of the Jade SerpentSummon a statue at the target location. Anytime you deal damage, a nearby target within 20 yards of the statue will be healed. You can have up to 3 Jade Dragon Statues active at a time.
As you can see, what we really know about the Pandaren Monk healing spec is rather limited so far, but based on the information we do have, with the combination of the static heal locations as seen in the Statue of the Jade Serpent ability above and the other single target proximity heals that will be the bases of Mistweaver Monk healing, Monk healing can be easily fleshed out and so far, at least in my mind, appears to be far from gimmicky. But with that being said, it also doesn’t seem to be the new and never before seen style of play that most claims would have you believe.