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Ramblings of a resto druid

Tag Archives: resto

Druid healing in 4.1 – thoughts

I’ve been looking at the changes coming in for druid healing in 4.1, and reading/thinking about how they will change how I heal. So time for some crystal ball gazing.

Change

  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.
  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.
  • In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Impact

The combination of the ground clutter and the lacklustre performance of the spell are why I dropped the 6 points from this and Living seed a while back. The new spell graphics are a lot more ground-friendly but more importantly, the switch to this being a smart heal give it a lot more appeal.

Aaand, I might look again at whether I want to push for more haste, especially when I’m purely raid healing. Hitting the 2005 haste break point would mean an extra tick from WG and from Efflo. I’m in a ten man guild, so I’m still not sure whether I’m better off sitting on my mastery oriented current gearing, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with it and seeing what it brings.

I’ll be avoiding those points in Living seed. My usual role in raids is either pure raid healing or offtank healing with splash raid healing,  so I’ve found Living seed to be of little benefit in my healing tool kit, and haven’t  taken it for a while. It will be nice to get Efflo without LS. 🙂

Change

  • Lifebloom’s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.

Impact

I tend to only let Lifebloom ‘bloom’ in emergency situations (or during tree) and currently don’t take any more points in GoTEM than I have to, so I doubt I’ll see much difference here.

Change

  • Nature’s Swiftness: When activated, your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. becomes an instant cast spell. If that spell is a healing spell, the amount healed will be increased by 50%.

Impact

Ok this is starting to look a bit tastier. I loved NS back in vanilla as a tank saver (omg NS rotations on Maexxna 1.0)  but it’s slipped further and further into the doldrums with each increase in tank health. This will give it a bit more bang for buck, especially with my current mastery-focussed gearing. Looking forward to trying this out and having ye olde NSHT macro back on my bars.

Change

  • Malfurion’s Gift now reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.
  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

Impact

Well, this is the big much-talked about change in the druid community. Is the change designed to ‘bring it on par’ with power word barrier? Does this mean it’s our ‘new cooldown’? Does this mean we can say goodbye to a ‘proper raid cooldown’ or tank cooldown? Will it just mean other healers point at the healing meters and cry that we’re ‘once again OP’? Doesn’t it just enhance a very ‘undruidy’ spell that requires us to stand still for 8 seconds?

While there’s lots of speculation about the intent of this, and what it means for the long term future of druids in (especially heroic) raid content, I am actually looking forward to it, and planning where I can use it effectively. The pushback resistance is great, now I can just WG, TQ, WG without deciding whether to slide a barkskin in there. Should be fun 🙂

Change

  • Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.
  • A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.

Impact

These are just nice additions.  It will be great having another brez in our (10 man) raid, especially as it means I can be rezzed now sometimes, other than as a ghoul!

The raid frames is a bit of an ‘oh, FINALLY’ reaction for me – but I’m still wondering whether us night elves will get our corpses back when we release – and whether we’ll be considered to be ‘out of range’ for that reason. We’ll see.

In conclusion

I’ll be respeccing, probably something like this:

I can see that with this and the shaman changes, Blizzard are looking a bit closer at what the we’re bringing to the table apart from our raw healing output. It will be interesting to see how far they go with that – I’d hate to see a healer homogenisation go too far.

In the short term I’m looking forward to experimenting with a different spec, and hoping it can help our guild push a bit further in our current endeavours.

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4.0.6 – More druid healing thoughts

Firstly, I have to admit: I chickened out in my “less healing, more survival” build and didn’t end up spending the two points in Nature’s Ward. I popped them into topping up Gift of the Earthmother. My current build looks like this:

Glow's respec for 4.0.6

My rational for this was the extra heals on the LB bloom when I’m a tree, but I’m still not 100% sold on this. I started comparing my healing profiles from our Chimaeron kills pre and post 4.0.6, but the differences were SO hilarious (just way too hilarious), and I remembered we swapped from having a warrior soak tank to a DK soak tank so things were a little skewed.

So I pulled up logs for our Maloriak kills to compare. At least there the tank I’m healing is exactly the same each time, and my role and the raid composition is pretty much identical between the two weeks. Ok so here are the two graphs for my healing. First one lokos like this:

Glowberry's healing spells v Maloriak, pre 4.0.6

and then:

Glowberry's healing spells v Maloriak, 4.0.6 version

These are a week apart, my role in each case was to heal the add tank, but of course I’m spraying around HoTs as well.

First thing that stands out to me is how much less is going on in the second one. No Living seed and no Effluorescence. Did I notice the difference? No.

Well, except that I wasn’t casting any Swiftmends just to put green circles under people, so my Swiftmend numbers were way lower in the second week. Actually how much lower scares me a little. I use swiftmend on frozen targets to rapidly top them up before they are broken out, so it worries me that I only cast three SMs on the kill shot. Perhaps I was just trusting our other (excellent) healers more, and panicking less. Or perhaps I was just less attentive. Something to watch for this week.

Third thing I noticed is the huge difference between WG and RJ each week. they’ve swapped places. Wild growth is stronger after 4.0.6, but I didn’t realise how much difference it would make. Also, I actually cast maybe 20% fewer RJs on the second week – maybe this was due to the slightly increased mana cost from the week before, or maybe WG was filling the role of RJ in some cases for me. Again, one to try to be a bit more aware of this week.

I spent the extra two points in GotEM, so what am I getting out of that?

Lifebloom was about the same across the two weeks, though the bloom was slightly higher the second week (the bloom is the second spell marked as lifebloom in each list).  I only pop into tree form in Maloriak during the last 25%, so there won’t be a huge amount of blooming. I DO let LB bloom as an emergency heal if my tank is out of range or I’m on the move and he’s low, so I get an occasion bloom out of treefrom, but it’s rare.

I’m getting a small amount of extra from the initial RJ heal as well (again the second spell marked as Rejuvenation in each list) but again, 30k extra over nearly 7 minutes… I’m not completely sold on it. Also, it’s not like I feel it will be saving lives at any stage either; despite being an instant heal it’s still only 1800 a pop.

Another standout is that I’m casting Healing Touch a lot less and Regrowth a lot more. That kind of blew my mind.

I wondered if it was a change in my tank-heal style, now that regrowth refreshes LB, or whether it was from using it more on the raid (which would be insane!). So I dug out my actual heals on my add tank to see if that’s where the difference was.

First week:

Glowberry's add tank healing on Maloriak, pre 4.0.6

and second week:

Glowberry's add tank healing on Maloriak, after 4.0.6

It seems that although I am using Regrowth more on my tank, I’m also using it a whole lot more  generally.

This shocked me.I’m not a Regrowth spammer, and never have been… but I’m sliding down the Regrowth chute here without even knowing!

I was also concerned as I noticed my effective HPS on my tank had gone DOWN from one week to the next! Well, I was concerned until I dug into the tank’s damage taken and realise that he’d taken less damage from the adds in the second week. Phew. I guess we’ve all gotten some better gear and some more experience in the fight under our belts, and that all makes a difference.

Apart from the difference in effectiveness between some of these spells from one week to the next, the real thing I’ve leaarnt (and relearnt) here is how much of how you heal is completely under your own radar. If you’d asked me how I healed the second week I would have naively said “the same as last week”. In fact, that was my whole rationale for choosing these two fights.

The difference in the Chimaeron logs between the two weeks I laughed off as a difference in tanks: the difference was an outlier, a once-off.

But maybe a shift in talents and spell effectiveness has a bigger differnece in how I actually play then I had ever realised. It’s hard to be self-aware when you’re still learning fights, so much of your spare ‘concentration GCDs’ are spent staying alive.

Time for me to step back a little this week and use some of those spare GCDs to look a bit closer at how I’m healing, not just who and when.

4.0.6 Restoration druid changes – my thoughts

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

Change

  • 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.

Impact

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.

Change

  • 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.

Impact

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.

Change:

  • 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.

Impact

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…

Change

  • Symbiosis (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 16%.

Impact

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.

Change

  • 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.

Impact

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

Change

  • Soothe is now instant cast, down from 1.5 seconds.

Impact

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.

Change

  • Mount Up: This guild perk now applies to Flight Form and Swift Flight Form as well.

Impact

Yay! Finally I can be fast in herbform, I mean flightform.

Change

  • Druid forms now have an Archaeology Survey animation.

Impact

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.

Change

  • Druids can correctly cast Barkskin while silenced.

Impact

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?

Magmaw 10 man – resto druid healing thoughts

Intro

As we levelled our characters from 80 – 85 and started to hit the new instances, it was becoming painfully clear that our guild was suffering a healer shortage. Lots of our tanks were levelling and happy to forge ahead into the new content and new CC paradigm… but it seems that most of our healers kind of drifted away – either levelling a dps/tank toon to 85, or just not resurfacing after the Sundering of Azeroth.

With that in mind, we had 21 people on last night, and only two fulltime healers. So with our usual ‘lets give it a go and see how we fare’ approach (which I love) we forged into BRD with two healers and hit up Magmaw.

It was hard going. I hoped it would be hard going in any case, as this is the New Raiding. (I quit Wrath after two weeks @ 80 because the face-rolling that was revamped-lvl80-Naxx made me cry deep tears of blood. We smashed it in our greens and lvl 70 epics, and AOE packs down that took us hours to clear back at 60. It tore me up.)

Back to Magmaw.

Trash

First pull is a single drakonid.  This guy has a frontal smash attack (that may be avoidable by sidestepping) a stun and a bleed. Your tanks will take fairly spikey damage, especially when stunned. They need to be kept topped up to make the bleed fall off.

Second pull is two of these. They will charge and stun the furthest target, so the tanks position 30-40 yards apart, yourself and the ranged should be between-ish, in a loose triangle, so that you are 20 yards back out of their thunderclap but not further away than the tanks are from each drakonid. The drakonids will cross-charge to the tanks periodically.

They will enrage if one of their friends dies, doubling their damage and giving them a haste buff. This is bad. Too avoid this, the dps take down one drakonid to about 10% and then switch to the other. Keep your NS/SM cooldowns up your sleeve ready for charge-stuns, as the tanks take a lot of damage when they can’t dodge/parry. Also, once the first one is dead, you will need to spam big heals to keep your tank up through the enrage. This won’t last long, so don’t worry about mana. Either the drakonid dies or the tank does.

That’s it, those 3 drakonid then Magmaw. The drakonids respawn after 2 hours.

Magmaw

We started out two-healing this; we switched to three-healing when our MT bravely offered to put his healing pants on for us and our then OT beccame MT.

In any case, here’s my approach to the healing, for what it’s worth. It’s not a guide to the Magmaw fight – but rather to my druid healing experience of the encounter.

Healing

With two healers in the guild at the moment, we’re pretty used to each other’s style, and know we can rely on one another. With that in mind, late in Wrath we rarely set ‘heal assignments’ though we’d sometimes chat about who to focus our heals on in specific encounters.

But after feeling very uncomfortable AOE healing in heroics, I suggested I tank heal for Magmaw, leaving Epiaa throwing her rain, chain heals and other shamany heals around the raid. We both helped each other out of course, I was throwing WGs and RJs around during the savage AOE and she was helping me bring the tank up during intense moments.

(I’m not sure if I *am* better at tank healing than raid, and I’m not sure that she wouldn’t be the better tank healer. I think we’ll just have to switch it around a bit as we progress to see how it pans out.) In any case I was mainkly tank healing with raid heal on the side, and Epiaa was mainly raid heal with tank healing on the side. 🙂

Basically I stuck to my ‘5man-heroic’ tank healing strategy: 3xLB and RJ up at all times, rolling LB but here I  let it bloom if it helped cover a spike. I started out mainly using Nourish to refresh LB, but I found myself ramping up to HT spam quite often, especially as we were single tanking it, the mangled tank can take a lot of damage while being chewed upon.

During this, I was also throwing a RJ up on anyone being spat on my Magmaw. If they got low, I *sometimes* also SMed them, but I avoided having Efflourescence up when the fire pillar/parasites were about to spawn, as I didn’t want to hide the ground effect for that. ALSO during that time, I tried to save my SM for healing our tank on the run. I also threw out a WG every CD, either on the range group or the tank, but our range camp was fairly close to the tank/melee, so WG seemed to get both groups on most occasions.

During the moving portions, while running from the parasites or the steam, I made sure RJ was up so I could SM if needed, and let LB bloom. I actually didn’t use treeform all night, and while re-hashing the nights events with Shigeko I realised that the moving moments were an ideal time to pop treeform if the tank was low, as I could throw RGs on the move. Something to consider for next time.

During the Nomnom phase, when the tank is being eaten, if you are standing in the ranged camp you WILL need to move forward 5-10 yards to maintain range, as Magmaw leans back and forth holding the tank above the raid. This was the most dangerous time for me. Spamming HT to keep the tank up meant standing my ground a lot – and if there are still parasites up and moving towards you, you can’t afford to do that. with blinkers on. Keep an eye on your surroundings and yell for the tank or a priest/pally to use mitigation CDs on the tank if you get stuck out of range.

Mana

Finally, after the Nomnom is over, and the tank is released, that’s rest time for me. If you have heaps of mana – you can pewpew the boss, but I found myself using a concentration potion on the first or second vulnerable phase, and just chilling/regenning otherwise. By the end of the night I was giving away my first innervate to someone else as early as I practibly could, and using my second one myself, so mana wasn’t a desperate problem for me.

In summary

Fun fight! It was great to have an encounter where mana mattered, but once we had 3 of us on board I didn’t feel strangled by it like I thought I might.