Though 4.1 was released only a couple weeks ago, information and previews from 4.2 are already being released.
The resto druid mastery is being completely revamped.
Our current mastery is Symbiosis. Symbiosis increases the potency of your healing spells by 11.6% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.45%.
Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic. (source)
Very interesting. Though the values have been slightly reduced, I think this new mastery qualifies as a buff. For tank healers there may not be too much of a difference, but for raid healers (which most druids are) I think this will be a big improvement. Rather than needing to have a pre-existing HoT on a target to benefit from increased healing, all you need to do is cast a direct healing spell every 10 seconds to get a boost to all your HoTs. Direct healing spells will be increased automatically. This sounds like a really nice change and it will increase the desirability of Mastery for raid healing druids. This really makes me wonder though…why do we keep getting buffed? Other than our lack of a damage mitigation cooldown, druids are not in any way lacking in the healing department. Between the 3 minute Tranquility cooldown from 4.1 and this mastery buff our output will be ridiculous. I can’t help but feel we’re being set up for major nerfs sometime in the future (I’m only paranoid because everyone is after me).
Tier 12 armor set
The possible set bonuses for Tier 12 have also been released.
2 Pieces – Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.
4 Pieces – When your Lifebloom blooms, it instantly heals up to 2 nearby injured targets for the same amount. (source) *This has been changed, see update below*
The 2 piece bonus is a bit boring, but will provide quite a lot of mana regen. My napkin math places this at approximately 370 mp5 assuming Lifebloom is always rolling. During ToL, when you can have multiple Lifeblooms up, it could be 2-3 times as much. This should more than make up for breaking our T11 4-piece bonus.
The 4 piece does not impress me. First of all, Lifebloom is rarely allowed to bloom. Aside from the mana you need to spend, you also need to spend 3 GCDs to stack it back up again. Though there will occasionally be a perfect storm of circumstances when Lifebloom is about to expire when the tank and 2 people near them need a chunk of health, it doesn’t usually work out that way. This bonus will be better while we’re in ToL and Lifeblooms can be tossed around and left to bloom, but it’s still a very awkward bonus.
My biggest complaint about Tier bonuses is that every single one in Cata has been a bonus to Lifebloom. I’d really like to see some of our other spells get a little love.
*Update* The 4 piece bonus has already been changed. It is now:
4 Pieces – Your Swiftmend also heals an injured target within 8 yards for the same amount.
I much prefer this bonus. The Lifebloom bonus would have been awkward and not terribly useful outside of ToL. The bonus to Swiftmend will be useful all the time. 8 yards isn’t a lot, but Swiftmend is generally used on someone in a group of people to spawn Efflorescence, so I think it will work out. It raises the question: will the second Swiftmend effect also spawn an Efflorescence? My gut feeling is no – that would be extremely OP…but a girl can dream.
Yesterday we got a partial preview of what the Tier 12 armor will look like.*Update* We have now seen a full preview of what the Tier 12 armor will look like:
Image from MMO-Champion.
For the most part the set it okay, but I have one word for the helmet: blech. The horns aren’t terrible, but the bark face mask? Ugly. I might have to make use of my hide helm option for the first time in years. Tier sets seem to be getting less druid-y. Where are the moons, the flowers and the animal-influenced gear?
Innervate is being changed:
Innervate now causes the target to regenerate 5% of maximum mana over 10 sec. Still regenerates 20% of maximum mana on self cast. (source)
This pretty much kills the practice of Innervate swapping. I’m personally not used to playing with other resto druids so it doesn’t effect me too much, but I know other healers really enjoy swapping Innervates to give the most mana back to their raid as a whole. I guess all druids will now be keeping their Innervates for themselves, and Glyph of Innervate will no longer be used.
This isn’t a druid-specific change, but yesterday we also learned:
All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%). (source)
Finally, healers will get the same benefit from crit that everyone else does. This will make gearing in Tier 12 much more interesting. Between this change and our new mastery, I predict stat weights will be much more balanced than they currently are.
Overall, I think resto druids are looking really good for Tier 12 in terms of healing (though not in terms of aesthetics).
What do you think about the changes?