The End Heal of Lifebloom Generates No Threat
There’s been a debate raging amongst the druid community for the past year and a half. It started with a series of rather simple empirical tests a friend and I conducted in early March of 2007, the results of which we posted on Elitist Jerks. In short, we concluded the end heal of lifebloom generated threat for neither the druid nor the recipient.
In retrospect, we conducted this test sloppily. We were not careful to avoid threat anomalies and the argument had a couple holes in them. Regardless, I still believed our findings were rather conclusive, or at least more conclusive than those of others. However, some people on the EJ boards continued to argue that the end heal actually did generate threat for the recipient, because it displayed similarly in the combat log to prayer of mending—a spell that does generate threat for the recipient. This in and of itself is fallacious. Just because it appears in the combat log like a spell that does generate threat for the recipient doesn’t mean lifebloom’s end heal behaves similarly.
Flash forward to today, a year and four months later. Many patches and hotfixes have been implemented since the original test was conducted. Other tests have popped up in the discussion section of lifebloom on WoWWiki with the same conclusion as my own. But the debate rages on. Why? Because people see tanks pulling threat on the murlocs during Morogrim. What they fail to understand is that there are many different things going on during the fight that could potentially cause the warrior to pull aggro on the murlocs. Health stones, rage generation abilities and procs, PoM and earth shield procs, refreshing battle shout, etc. For this reason, people should not take their observations in such environments as suggestive of their beliefs.
Threat mechanics should be evaluated in a manner similar to how scientific tests are conducted. You wouldn’t study terminal velocity by pointing several industrial strength fans at a falling object, would you? I’d hope not. Neither would you test a chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar by first mixing the vinegar with bleach (don’t do this; it creates a toxic gas). Similar logic should apply to testing game mechanics. You can’t accurately test the threat of specific components of lifebloom without simplifying the conditions and removing secondary and tertiary threat sources.
Being unhappy with my tests of old, and frustrated with the continuing debate, I have reconducted my test with results I feel are more accurate. Additionally, I have provided videos showing the premises used to reinforce my conclusion.
Initial Testing of the Threat on Lifebloom’s End Heal
Lifebloom is probably one of the more complicated spells in the game. Not only is there a HoT that can potentially cause threat for the druid, but the end heal has specific conditions for which it is triggered. In one condition, the HoT can run its full course and “blooms” into the end heal. However, the final tick of the HoT coincides with the bloom. So to simply put the spell on a warlock and have them life tap just before the final tick would create two simultaneous events (the HoT tick and the end heal) for which some value of threat is applied (even if it’s 0 threat, it’s still a value of threat).
Luckily, the end heal can be triggered by purging or dispelling lifebloom. And because there’s a one second delay on the first tick of the HoT, it can be purged or dispelled before it ticks. So the end heal can be isolated from the HoT portion of the spell by having an opposing shaman or priest on hand to dispel.
Unfortunately, however, there are a few actions we simply can’t avoid. These are as follows:
- The warlock must body pull a mob.
- The druid must taunt the mob off the warlock.
- The druid must apply lifebloom to the warlock.
Each of these events could potentially cause threat. However, thanks to extensive testing done over the years, it is known that body pulling only puts a person on the mob’s threat list with 0 threat. It is also known that taunting can put someone on the mob’s threat list and grants the taunting player with a threat value equal to the threat of the previously aggro’d target. So taunting a mob off someone who merely body pulled will result in having both players on the mob’s threat list each with 0 threat.
However, I advise being careful about anomalies that can occur performing these simple tasks. For example, if a protection warrior blocks after taunting, he or she could generate threat from a shield specialization proc. Likewise, having natural perfection proc could potentially generate threat. This video highlights this issue:
We also have to consider buffing someone with lifebloom itself. Does the mere application generate threat? In the second pull of the video above, you can see me casting lifebloom on myself. The mob does not switch to me until it ticks, suggesting the application generates no threat. But we need something more conclusive.
So what I ended up doing was this:
- A warlock body pulls a mob.
- The druid applies lifebloom to the warlock.
- The warlock removes lifebloom before it ticks.
Canceling lifebloom manually does not trigger the bloom. And because there’s a delay of one second before the first tick of the HoT, the buff can be clicked off before this occurs. So neither the end heal nor a tick of the HoT will happen, merely the application of the buff. So if the mob switches to the druid, the application of the buff generates more than 0 threat. If the mob does not, then the application of lifebloom generates no threat.
As you can see in the video, the mob does not turn to me after applying lifebloom, meaning it generates 0 threat. With this in mind, we can set up some conditions for testing merely the end heal of lifebloom. Here’s how the first test will be conducted:
- Have the warlock body pull the mob. This puts the lock on its threat list with a value of 0.
- Have the druid taunt the mob off the warlock. This puts the druid on the mob’s threat list with a value of 0. This also sets up a condition where the mob has the druid aggro’d, but the warlock is on its threat list, so any threat generating action performed by the warlock can be registered on the mob.
- Have the druid apply lifebloom to the lock while the shaman spams purge, causing the end heal to trigger on the warlock before the HoT ticks.
If the mob turns to the warlock, the end heal generates at least some amount of threat on the lock, because it would only take a value greater than 110% of the druid’s threat for the warlock to pull aggro. If the mob does not turn to the warlock, however, there are four possibilities:
- The end heal generates threat greater than 0 for both the druid and the warlock, but equal for both.
- The end heal generates threat for only the druid.
- The end heal generates more threat for the druid than the warlock.
- The end heal generates threat for neither the druid nor the lock.
Furthermore, after triggering the bloom, we will have the warlock generate a small amount of threat by casting fel armor. This ability generates 50 threat. So this would give us an idea of the difference in threat between the warlock and druid, even if lifebloom did generate threat for one or both parties.
As you can see, the mob does not turn to the warlock when the end heal is triggered. However, we also see that the warlock was able to pull the mob off the druid with merely fel armor. With this in mind, we consider each possibility from before:
- The end heals generates the exact same amount of threat for both the druid and the warlock. If this is the case, then it generated between 1 and 499 threat for both, as 50 threat would cause the warlock to overcome the 110% threshold for any value between 0 and 499.
- The end heal generates threat for only the druid. If this is the case, then it generated 45 threat or less for the druid.
- The end heal generates more threat for the druid than the warlock. If this is the case, then, again, it generated 45 threat or less for the druid.
- The end heal generates threat for neither the druid nor the lock. The warlock pulling the mob with 50 threat does not rule out this condition.
Coming to a Conclusion: Testing Possibilities #1, #2 and #3
In order to rule out the possibilities that: 1) the end heal generates the exact same amount of threat for both the druid and the warlock, 2) it generates threat for only the druid, or 3) the end heal generates more threat for the druid than the warlock, we must add a fourth person to the experiment: another druid. Why another druid? Because they are likely to have a weapon skill that will cause only one point of glancing damage to a high level mob. Here’s how the experiment will be conducted:
- A warrior will put on some extra gear, creating a health deficit so the end heal does not overheal.
- The warrior will body pull a mob, placing them on the threat list with 0.
- Druid A will taunt the mob, placing them on the threat list with 0.
- Druid B will also taunt the mob, placing them on the threat list with 0.
- Druid B will cast lifebloom on the warrior, and the shaman will spam purge on him.
- Druid A will then do exactly one damage to the mob.
If druid B has any threat greater than 0 on the mob, druid A will fail to pull aggro with just one point of white damage, as it is less than 110% of anything greater than 0. But if druid A does pull aggro, this means druid B has 0 threat. And because the warrior shouldn’t pull aggro from druid B (considering our earlier test), this would mean the recipient also receives 0 threat from the end heal. This will definitively rule out the three possibilities in question and leave only the possibility that it generates threat for neither the druid casting lifebloom nor the recipient. So, without further ado:
As you can see, I pull aggro with simply one point of damage. We can then make the following conclusion: The end heal on lifebloom generates threat for neither the druid casting lifebloom nor the recipient of lifebloom.
Special thanks for helping me conduct these tests are deserved by: Silverstreak, Fenaldor, Cuppycake, Aware and Shards.
An Addendum: Purged vs. Natural Blooms
The article assumes that the bloom portion of Lifebloom from being offensively dispelled is the same as the bloom that occurs naturally from one that naturally expires.
–Xinhuan in a comment on the original article.
This is a valid concern expressed about the original tests. So further testing had to be conducted to strengthen the argument and provide more empirical evidence suggesting the end heal generates absolutely no threat, regardless of how the “bloom” is triggered. So an addendum must be made. Such is the way of the scientific and dialectical methods.
To make certain the purged bloom is the same, I had to test the bloom as it occurs naturally. To do this, we ran the following test:
- The mage body pulled a mob. This put the mage on the mob’s threat list with 0.
- I cast lifebloom on the mage. I generate 0.25 points of threat per amount healed with the HoT.
- I let myself die, clearing my threat on the mob.
- I resurrect and do merely one point of damage to the mob.
If the mob turns to me, the mage has less than one point of threat on the mob, meaning both the HoT and the end heal generated no threat for the mage.
As the video shows, I pull with merely one point of damage. This means the mage had 0 threat on the mob. This proves the “natural” end heal generates no threat for the recipient. However, it does not prove whether or not the natural bloom generates threat for the druid. For this reason, I turn to Xinhuan’s own testing:
Druid body pulls and takes some damage.
Druid casts Lifebloom on himself.
Druid clicks off Lifebloom after 1 tick. It healed for 67, no overheal.
Mage melees for 2-3 damage at a time.
Mage pulls aggro at 19 damage.
Conclusion: The Lifebloom HoT generates threat at 0.25 threat per 1 damage healed. We tested this with Rejuvenation as well, Rejuvenation generated threat at 0.5 threat per 1 damage healed. (67*0.25*1.1 = 18.425)
Druid body pulls and takes some damage.
Druid casts Lifebloom on himself.
It healed for 67 for 7 times, followed by a 600ish final bloom, no overheal.
Mage melees for 3 damage at a time.
Mage pulls aggro at 130 damage.
Conclusion: The Lifebloom HoT generates threat at 0.25 threat per 1 damage healed to the druid. The bloom caused 0 threat to the druid. (67*7*0.25*1.1 = 128.975)
This reinforces my own tests of the threat generated by the HoT. Furthermore, it shows that the natural end heal generates no threat for the druid.
Special thanks to Xinhuan for inspiring more discussion and tests, as well as Althorn for helping me make the video.
- Kenco: A Guide To Threat. – Page 10 – Elitist Jerks
- WiiZeels.com » Blog Archive » No threat for Lifebloom
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- Resto4Life» Blog Archive » Community Spotlight
- [Druid] Raiding as a Tree – Page 58 – Elitist Jerks
- [Priest] Discipline and Holy WotLK Talent Preview and discussion. – Page 45 – Elitist Jerks