I wasn’t originally going to write this post. A number of my fellow druid bloggers have already said what I’m going to say, but I think it’s an important issue and I wanted to show some druid solidarity.
Mid-Febraury Blizzard said something that caused the excitement of healing druids and shaman everywhere.
We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.
And there was much rejoicing. The druid community was all aflutter thinking about what kind of cooldown we’d get. The consensus seemed to be that it would be a damage reducing cooldown, since we are not lacking for output cooldowns but have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of mitigation.
The new shaman damage mitigation cooldown was recently revealed. Druids have not received even a hint of a new ability. What we have gotten is a talent change that reduces the cooldown of Tranquility from 8 minutes to 3 minutes. So druids have been wondering – is this our “new” cooldown ability? I sincerely hope not, and until Blizzard tells us “sorry trees, that’s all you’re getting” I will hold out hoping that a new spell is still coming, just hasn’t been worked out quite yet.
The problem with the Tranquility change (if this is in fact our new cooldown) is twofold:
1. It does not address our biggest issue. Druids have absolutely no problem with output. We have a few very good output cooldowns and don’t need anymore. What we lack is mitigation, which plays a huge role on some fights. We have absolutely nothing to offer the raid on the final phase of Chimaeron. When things go wrong (say Cho’gall gets multiple stacks of Twisted Devotion), damage mitigation is much more valuable than straight healing.
2. As I mentioned in a previous post, if Tranquility has a 3 minute cooldown, the output is going to get nerfed. If I use Tranquility at the right time in a 25man raid it can do ~400,000 healing in 8 seconds. Imagine if I can do this twice, even 3 times in a fight? Druids rocket up the healing meters, everyone complains about how overpowered we are, Tranquility gets nerfed. I would much rather have an awesome output boost usable once a fight than a mediocre one usable a bit more often.
So, my plea to Blizzard is that we get a real, brand-spanking new damage mitigation cooldown (even if it means reverting the Tranquility change). Druids are a little light on healing abilities in general (we didn’t even get a new spell for Cataclysm) and I’d really love something new to work with.
Now, I have to say (because I’m an eternal druid fangirl and optimist): Though I’m concerned about the cooldown situation, I don’t think druids are in a bad place. In my (so far not hard-mode) Cataclysm experience, resto druids are capable of doing very well. I have never felt in danger of losing my raid spot because I’m a druid. I do not think we will be unwanted in raids because we lack damage mitigation, because there is something to say for straight output. If I were a raid leader, I’d want a balance of healers in my raid: some that mitigate tank damage, some that mitigate raid damage and some that are capable of healing through a metric ton of damage. So don’t think that I’m saying that druids are broken. We’re really not. We just have one glaring omission in our toolset that Blizzard has a chance to fix.
Here are some other takes on the druid cooldown situation:
Falling Leaves and Wings – I’m Growing Nervous about Tranquility
Feral Tree – Balancing Healer Raid CDs in 4.1
Restokin – Efflorescence and Tranquility Updates
Tree Bark Jacket – Patch 4.1 and Resto Druid Desirability