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How bad was the nerf to Earth Shield?

If you missed the news, the healing of Earth Shield was effectively reduced by 20% in patch 4.1. This was a concern to a number of players, but truth be told, ES wasn't accounting for much of our healing. Sell Guild Wars 2 Gold Most parses I dug through showed our faithful healing shield companion only accounting for somewhere between 3% and 8% total healing. After the patch, you can see that it does in fact hit for considerably less than it did before, but this is slightly offset by the change in bonus to Nature's Blessing. The talent has been changed to add an additional 3% to its healing bonus, bringing it up to 18% additional healing for your direct heals on an Earth-Shielded target. This comes in pretty handy when tank healing. To further offset the reduction to healing done, as of patch 4.1, ES is now affected by Deep Healing. It's a small consolation -- but still, it's there.

In terms of overall effectiveness, ES is still right where it was before the patch. It's still averaging between 3% and 8% of total healing done, so all that was really done with it was a little shuffling around of abilities. It makes sense, really, giving your single-target heal on the ES target a little boost and allowing it to take advantage of our mastery is actually an overall improvement.

Did changes to mastery help?

Without any hesitation, I can honestly say yes. There's something gratifying about seeing your Healing Stream Totem numbers just shoot up, especially on fights like Chimaeron when people are consistently low on health. It is not just HST or Earth Shield that gets the benefit of it; every single one of our heals gets the benefit of it. There have been noticeable jumps in Earthliving heals on low-health targets, as well as in overall performance.