I will be respeccing tomorrow after the patch; playing in a slightly different space with my healing. Hopefully I’ll be a stronger raid healer, I’ve been pigeonholing myself as a tank healer over the last few weeks and would like to be more comfortable with a versatile role in raids.
Here are the ‘biggies’ for me in the resto changes about to land in 4.0.6. It’s not a complete list of changes that affect me, but the ones that will impact significantly on my play.
The big things that matter
- Tree of Life duration has been reduced to 25 seconds, down from 30.
- Natural Shapeshifter has been reduced to a 3/6-second increase to Tree of Life’s duration, down from 5/10.
I currently take Natural Shapeshifter so for me this will mean a reduction of duration from 40 sec to 31 sec. On the face of it, this seems like a major nerf, but I honestly feel like treeform’s duration is a bit long at the moment. Sometimes, I admit, I’m looking at the buff timer thinking “it still has 10 sec left?! Are we there yet?!” I don’t see this having a huge impact, espeically as the main reason I watch the timers was for setting up a multi-LB roll, and the Empowered Touch changes have curbed that.
- Empowered Touch now also affects Regrowth. In addition, after Tree of Life is no longer active, this talent will only refresh the most recently cast or refreshed Lifebloom, and will not refresh other copies of Lifebloom.
I’m liking adding Regrowth to this. At the moment I’m only casting RG in two scenarios. Firstly to proc Nature’s Grace, which is usually because I am ramping up on tank healing and need a bit more burst, knowing that LB will be refreshed in that situation is great. Secondly after a clear cast, especially during tree-form LB spam. If I set up a series of LBs during treeform and the instant RGs I get on clearcasts are also refreshing the LBs and therefore setting off MORE clearcasts…. I think this could be lots of fun.
The second change to this talent will have lots of druids crying, albeit in a kind of resigned “we saw this coming a long time ago” kind of way. To be honest, I never really got good at multi LB rolling – partly because we weren’t pushing bleeding edge content so I didn’t need to. By the time I was really aware of the possibilities, the community was already pointing to PTR changes to it, so I didn’t try to train myself to do it (although I did play with it occasionally). So I won’t really see the impact of this in my own play.
- Nature’s Bounty no longer affects Swiftmend, but now has a new effect. When the druid has Rejuvenation on 3 or more targets, the cast time of Nourish is reduced by 10/20/30%.
- Wild Growth healing has been increased by 30%, and the cooldown has been reduced to 8 seconds, down from 10.
Both of these changes combine should mean that druids are more viable as raid healers. There’s been a bit of fiddling with the cost of RJ over the last few weeks, so we will se a *slight* increase in its cost tomorrow, but nothing too prohibitive I’d think. In any case, in a raid healing setup I imagine I’d want to have 3 RJs up pretty much all of the time during aoe damage, most effectively cast on targets with WG hots, and then I can spot heal with a speedy Nourish as needed. I’ll be looking at what this means for Chimaeron: our only reall attempt on him I was tank healing, and we kind of one-shot him, so I’m not sure how these changes will pan out in that kind of burst scenario. I’d also like to have a play with Power auras to see if I can create an alert for having three RJs active…
- Symbiosis (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 16%.
I’m a long-time quiet lurker/observer on EJ and have been following the debates about Mastery and the pluses and minuses of ‘healing to it’. Simply put, Symbiosis increases our healing to any target that already has one of our own HoTs upon it. When we’re tank healing, we benefit from Symbiosis without even trying. When raid healing though, we need to be a bit more ‘deliberate’ to make use of it – and whether or not that is an effective way of actually keeping people alive has been a small argument around for a while.
I’m in a tens guild, which makes it a bit easier for example to pick targets of my WG to throw extra heals to. With this in mind, knowing the mastery buff was coming, and also with the amount of tank healing I have been doing, I have been playing with my gear reforged to mastery over haste for a few weeks. I’m therefore looking forward to this change, as I can see it impacting positively on both my tank healing and raid healing when taking into account the WG/NB changes above.
- Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
- Disentanglement (new specialization): Causes shapeshifting to remove roots in addition to snares.
I almost overlooked the second one of these. A guildmate was *very* upset at the root/snare shifting nerfs coming in this patch, and after listening to his concerns I wasn’t sure where I stood on the whole thing. I must admit I’ve been *mightily* iritated at being polymorphed in heroics and not being able to thumb my nose at it. Calling “I’m sheeped, please dispel me” is SO humilating. Self-deprecating jokes aside, his concern was that shifting out of snares is part of what it means to be a druid. And I kind of agree – but the main place that would impact on my play would be when tanking. Being able to rapidly shift in and out of bear when frost novaed and the mobs are moving away is awesomely powerful. It feels like a delicious luxury to have it back as a resto druid, but boy I wish I had it in my tank spec a whole lot more.
The little things that matter
- Soothe is now instant cast, down from 1.5 seconds.
Yay! Soothe is insanely useful in heroics, lots of large trash and bosses can be Soothed to remove their enrage and reduce the damage you’re healing. Having this as an instant is lovely.
- Mount Up: This guild perk now applies to Flight Form and Swift Flight Form as well.
Yay! Finally I can be fast in herbform, I mean flightform.
- Druid forms now have an Archaeology Survey animation.
Yay! No more silent cheetah standing blankly while I dig. I asssume this will be the same animation the gathering professions have. On a side note, how annoying is Archaeology in flightform?! Oh. My. god. Enough with the ‘you cannot do that while pacified’ already. I shifted out 3 seconds ago.
- Druids can correctly cast Barkskin while silenced.
Yay! A few fights recently I’m complained out loud about this one, so I’m very pleased this is being fixed.
Where to from here?
As I mentioned in my intro, I’ll be respeccing. I’m looking at something like this: http://ptr.wowhead.com/talent#0hbhZMZMfuhdcrzRko
It misses Living seed and Effluorescence and adds Perseverence and Nature’s Ward. I’m nervous about that. It’s removing two healing talents and adding two survivability talents.
But I haven’t been happy with Effluorescence, the healing is situational and a bit lacklustre, and it adds ‘more ground clutter’ that I can’t avoid creating whenever I want to swftmend. Even at its best, it’s 4% of my healing – maybe because I tend to use Swiftmend often as a direct heal. Still- it just feels like more trouble than it’s worth.
Again, Living seed is about 1.5% of my healing even when I’m mainly tank healing, I doubt that I will miss this.
Picking up two suriviability talents? I’m not sure how this will pan out…. I doubt I’ll be pointing to the logs and saying “I survived because of this”. Though I may, I do like pouring over logs…
I’m also toying with taking 3 points from Furor and/or Moonglow and putting them into Genesis. Again, still deciding if I’m ready for that, mana has felt okay for me so far, and I’d like to gun for a little more throughput if I’m HoTing more.
So – there’s still scope with playing with builds. Taking survivabilty talents feels like a gamble, but I don’t foresee missing the 6 points I’ve rescued from LS/Eff.
Where else could I put those points? Or: am I just crazy?