Glow's branches

Ramblings of a resto druid

Tag Archives: talents

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.

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?

Healing with Nature’s Grace

I’ve recently discovered the beauty that is Nature’s grace.

Learning is fun.

I admit I specced into it blindly. Yes it looks useful, and yes all the cookie cutter resto builds take it, but I’d never really thought about what it meant, nor about specifically weaving it into my healing. That’s changed.

I’ve talked before about my healing style in Cataclysm, and about layering hots and ramping up through Nourishes to HT spam as needed to increase my throughput. What I’ve (finally) realised is that Nature’s grace means I can carefully us Regrowth when I need more throughput, and gain an amazing burst tool: 15% haste for 15 seconds.

The one minute cooldown on this means I need to be careful not to throw around regrowths ‘willy nilly’*, but save RG back for when I need it most: on the pull, during phase/tank transitions, during high damage phases. I’ve been using it this way over the last week, in our first steps into BWD and during heroics, the added throughput *when I need it* is a life saver.

It adds another great healing tool to the bulging druid toolbox. (… now just for better burst aoe heals. Maybe the 4.0.6 changes to Nature’s bounty will help alleviate this – looking forward to seeing how it plays out.)

* Edit, footnote:

Before I started playing with Nature’s grace, in non-tank-critical moments I used regrowth on my clearcast procs to top up a party/raid member. I still *do* that, but not without thought and knowing when my last Nature’s grace haste was procced. Now if I’m getting close to NG-haste being up again, I use HT or SM on clearcasts to top up, holding back my RG for a damage spike.