The new talents are here!

The new druid talents are up! Go to MMO-Champion to read about the new talents and go play with the talent calculator. Unless you don’t want spoilers. In which case you should probably stop reading now.

The resto talent tree hasn’t changed drastically since the last release, but I never really wrote up a review back then.

I’m not going to go over every talent, since many of them are the same or similar to the talents we have now, but here are some of my favorite new or modified talents.

Nature’s Bounty [NYI] (5 points) – Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 10% on targets at or below 25% health, and you have a 20% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 seconds. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 10/15/20/25%. Tier 6.

That is a lot of effects for one talent. I like that critical heals will reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend.

Empowered Touch [NYI] (2 points) – Your Healing Touch heals for 5% more on targets at or below 25% health, and your Nourish spell has a 50% chance to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets. Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 32%, and your Nourish spell gains an additional 16% of your bonus healing effects. Tier 7.

Having Nourish refresh your Lifebloom will certainly make me more likely to use it. I’ve always found the short duration of Lifebloom a pain in the butt (especially in BC). I think this will really boost our tank healing capabilities.

Efflorescence [NYI] (3 points) – When you critically heal with your Regrowth spell you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 15 yards who stand on them for 10/20/30% of the amount healed by your Regrowth every 1 seconds for 7 seconds. Increases your total spirit by 10/15/20/25%. Tier 8.

Another talent that will be nice for tank healing. We’ll be able to heal the tank and splash all the melee too.

Tree of Life (1 point) – Shapeshift into the tree of Life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 240%, but reducing your movement speed by 50%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 45 seconds. 5-minute cooldown. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Thorns, Wrath. Tier 9.

Still a cooldown. 🙂

I can’t wait to see how the spells will be enhanced. The movement snare is new, and I actually quite like it. It means we need to know the fights and know the best time to use it. I like trade-offs. We get super-awesome healing, but at a price. I wish there were more talents like this that require you to plan ahead and use them at the right time.

Gift of the Earthmother [NYI] (5 points) – Increases the healing done by your Tranquility on targets at or below 25% health by 4%, increases the healing done by the bloom effect of your Lifebloom by 2%, and your Rejuvenation spell also instantly heals for 3% of the total periodic effect. Increases your total spell haste by 4/6/8/10% and reduces the base cooldown of your Lifebloom spell by 4/6/8/10%. Tier 10.

Another talent that does a lot. Love, love, love the instant Rejuv tick. I’m so happy they added this after how well received the tier 8 set bonus was.

A few thoughts

So many points, so few talents
The one thing I notice about the new trees is that I have the points to take every single talent I want. Druids will no longer have to choose between Nature’s Grace and Revitalize. They can have both. This sounds great to me, but it doesn’t seem like Blizzard’s desire to get away from “cookie-cutter” specs will actually happen. Looks like the basic resto spec will be 16/0/60.

Better tank healing
While I think we are quite capable of tank healing now, I think the talents that allow Nourish crits to refresh lifebloom stacks and reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend will make us even stronger.

Healing Touch – still the red-headed stepchild?
Healing Touch does seem to be getting some love, but I still can’t see it being used too often. It won’t benefit from the bonus crit that Regrowth and Nourish do. It won’t refresh Lifebloom stacks. With all the other spells to use I still see it being saved for a NS/HT bomb. That said, I’m not too disappointed. I’ll take my fast Nourishes for direct healing any day.

How low can you go?
The phrase “at or below 25% health” appears in a lot of these talents. Eep. Are people really going to be sitting that low often? I think we’re going to see our entire raid groups sitting at less than full health most of the time. This will be a big change. I foresee a lot of healers spamming themselves OOM in the starting raids until we get used to this.

What do you think of the new talents? Any particular standouts?

7 responses to “The new talents are here!

  1. WoW is the only game around that needs a "More…" button at the bottom of their *tooltips*..
    Healing Touch is still going to be the big slow expensive heal, but the way Blizz has been talking, you'll have time to decide to use it, and then cast it — healing will be more strategic, as opposed to the frantic game of whack-a-mole that it is now. Nobody uses it now because in WotLK instances, by the time the damn thing actually goes off, the entire raid has already wiped, run back, and dropped another Fish Feast.
    Regarding health levels, I remember Ghostcrawler commenting the reaction a healer had in one of the Cataclysm alpha runs. She was getting really frazzled trying to keep everyone topped off, until about halfway through she realized she didn't have to.

    • That's interesting. I just can't imagine why I'd cast a long-cast Healing Touch which gets very few buffs over a couple Nourishes or a Nourish and Swiftmend. It's hard to think of things outside of my current healing mindset until I see them in action.

      I think healing in Cata will be very different. Where will the excitement of healing come from if people aren't constantly in danger of dying?

  2. What's really weird, that you didn't touch on, is that all three healing trees revealed so far have some talents added that enable them to.. do more damage, or damage while healing? PvP intended, or do they actually want healers to dps between heals?

    Also, with GC stating that mana will be more of an issue to consider in Cataclysm, 16/0/60 Resto Druids will be without Dreamstate; it's possible they expect Druids to pick that up or go OOM, which would make the Resto Tree become more of an interesting challenge to decide between talents.

    • I assume those talents are PVP related, at least for the druid. Looking at the druid tree, it will be very easy to avoid those talents and focus on the ones that boost healing. That doesn't seem to be the case with all classes though. Disc priests, for example have a lot of Smite-boosting talents in their tree. Not quite sure what is expected of them. If mana is going to be an issue, doing DPS between heals would be pretty silly. Another possiblity is that these talents will make leveling or soloing as a healer much easier.

      Taking Dreamstate would require you to put 6 points in junk talents (9 depending on your view of Nature's Grace). I don't think I'll be taking it unless the mana situation is really dire.

    • Doing DPS shouldn't affect your mana, judging by the talents they've added. Ie, Druids get to cast instant wraths for free. There's a Disc talent for priests that makes smite actually heal players near the target. (Cue oncoming attempts for players to force in a smite-healing build.)

      I'm fairly certain I recall GC making comments about how the new talent trees would give everyone wiggle room to place 5-10 points or so into the 'fun' talents of their choice. While there are, admittedly, just too many +healing talents to even consider taking it right now, to me being able to cast free wraths between heals would be something that falls into that category of 'fun' talents we should be able to take.

      Being able to throw out some free dps between heals would certainly make healing more interesting, at any rate.

  3. With the new focus on strategic healing via mana management, your faster heals will cost much more.

    My personal opinion is that, in trying to make healing more fun, it's only the slightest of razor-thin margins that separate making healing more fun, to making it decidedly LESS fun.

  4. Their was a post replying to shadow priest issues with having more points then talents. GC reply was that this was a first pass and it was intended that in the final build players would be forced to make choices.