The venerable Lightwell has been the victim of more than its fair share of criticism, all of which boils down to this: it’s a healing spell that requires its target’s participation to the exclusion of other activities. Healthstones, healing potions, etc. don’t require that the person using them de-select their current target in order to use them. This was particularly galling for rogues, who, in classic WOW, lost their combo points when they switched targets – and even though that’s apparently changed, first impressions make a lot of difference.
However, Lightwell isn’t inherently a bad spell. It just has a bad reputation. Since we know Blizzard is keeping it for Cataclysm, here are three ideas for fixes that improve the usability of Lightwell without impairing its intent.
Lightwell 1: No target switching
Lightwell creates a holy Lightwell. Friendly players can click the Lightwell to restore 4620 health over 6 sec. Clicking the Lightwell does not change your current target or trigger the global cooldown. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will cancel the effect. Lightwell lasts for 3 min or 10 charges.
This is the smallest change, but might be the hardest to implement: Lightwell no longer transfers your target when you click it, and doesn’t require a GCD. This makes it quite a bit more attractive to DPS and tanks, who no longer have to stop DPS in order to receive healing from the Lightwell. (They do still have to be near the Lightwell, however, which makes traveling mobs difficult.)
Lightwell 2: Buffing
Lightwell creates a holy Lightwell that radiates healing energy. Friendly players within 20 yards of the Lightwell receive the Lightwell Radiance buff; removing this buff heals the player for 4620 over 6 sec. Players who trigger this effect become Enlightened and cannot be affected by Lightwell Radiance for 30 sec. Lightwell lasts for 3 min or until 10 players have become Enlightened. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will destroy the Lightwell.
This removes the need for clicking on the Lightwell altogether. It does remove finding and removing a buff, but my recollection is that there are macros that can do that; in fact, I suspect that if this version went live, there’d be a UI mod that added a “Trigger Lightwell!” button dead center on your UI.
Addons and macros aside, the advantage to clicking a buff rather than clicking the Lightwell is that you know where your buffs are. Part of the problem with Lightwell is that sometimes you have to hunt it down, or it’s in the middle of the boss, etc. By making it a buff to be clicked, positioning of the Lightwell only matters insofar as you’re within its buff radius.
Lightwell 3: Auto-healing
Lightwell creates a holy Lightwell that radiates healing energy. Every 6 seconds, Lightwell heals the friendly player within 20 yards with the lowest health for 4620 over 6 sec. Players healed by Lightwell become Enlightened and cannot be healed by the Lightwell for 15 sec. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will destroy the Lightwell. Lightwell lasts for 30 sec.
This takes all of the interaction out of Lightwell. Instead of requiring DPS to trigger their own healing, Lightwell becomes a hands-off smart heal. While I do like the interactive aspect of the first two versions, I also like how this version of Lightwell becomes a complement to Prayer of Mending.
What do you think?
Are any of these worth pursuing? Should Blizzard just get right of Lightwell altogether? Or do you like it the way it is?