Druids (post-nerf!) in Dragon Soul

Yesterday Wild Growth, the heal that generally makes up the biggest portion of our healing in raids got hit with the ole nerfbat. A flat 20% decrease to it’s output, plus a glyph change that forces us to make a choice between it only hitting 5 targets (rather than the 6 we’re used to) or having a 10 second cooldown (rather than 8).

Has the world ended? Are we now unable to keep up with raid damage? Will we be left out of progression raids because we’re just not good enough anymore?

In a word, no. In two words, hell no. Those who were excellent druid healers in 4.2 will continue to be in 4.3.

Last night I got to see how the changes affected me on the first 4 bosses of Dragon Soul.

Morchok

This is a pretty boring fight to heal. Everyone is all nicely grouped up and damge is predictable. It felt like most healers just got to lay down their Efflorescences, Healing Rains, HW: Sanctuaries and let them do all the work. The mechanics of this fight can cater really well to any healer class.

Morchok healing done

To be honest, I was a tiny bit shocked to see myself 3rd on the meters, but the difference between 1st and 3rd is very small. My healing breakdown looked like this:

Morchok spell breakdownThis spell breakdown for this type of fight looks very similar to what I was seeing in Firelands. Wild Growth is still 30% of my healing. I didn’t even use Tranquility here, sort of seemed like overkill.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • I did use the Glyph of Wild Growth for this fight. The 10-second cooldown on WG threw off my timing a little and was a bit awkward to get used to. I will try this fight without it next week.
  • The odd timing also threw me off on other things. I was only at 84% uptime on Harmony on this fight. That needs to be better.
  • Blood DKs…gtfo. Seriously. Stop sniping all the heals.

Warlord Zon’ozz

Zon’ozz is a little more fun to heal. There are periods of heavy raid damage, along with a magic effect that needs to be dispelled, and a little more single target healing required to top off those who have just been dispelled.

Warlord Zon'ozz healing
Our holy priest kicked some ass on this one with all her great group/area healing spells. Also, the lightwell – we clicked it (good raid!).

My healing breakdown:

Warlord Zon'ozz - druid spell breakdownAgain, nothing terribly surprising about the breakdown here. There are periods of very heavy raid damage where everyone is grouped up, so WG and Efflo are the obvious winners. There’s also a fair amount of healing from Regrowth from topping up those who needed to be dispelled or had just been dispelled.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Your cooldown can beat up my cooldown. Divine Hymn kicks the shit out of Tranquility now.

Divine Hymn vs. Tranquility
A normal DH tick from a Holy Priest is hitting for almost 10k more than a tick of Tranquility. A crit is hitting for almost 20k more. Plus, the number of Divine Hymn ticks is affected by haste, meaning a priest can eek out 25 ticks normally, and likely 30 under the right conditions. Druids will always have only 20 of the big ticks, though we can gain extra ticks on the smaller HoT left behind.

  • I removed the Glyph of WG on this fight.  It felt much better to be able to cast WG every 8 seconds and I was able to get into a better rhythm. I did try the fight with the glyph on a couple wipes, but it didn’t feel right.
  • Nature’s Cure is most definitely worth it here. There’s a lot of dispelling to be done, and the quicker it can be done, the better.

 Yor’sajh the Unsleeping

This fight was a bit of a whirlwind. There are a lot of different add colours to keep track of and abilities to know…but he died so quick that I never really got a chance to learn what was going on. Good job from the dps killing all the bad things before we had to worry about their effects.

Yorsajh healing breakdown

This fight was very friendly towards the druid style of healing. Sometimes we were grouped up, sometimes spread out. There was a fair amount of movement going on and I felt my mobility gave me an edge here.

My healing breakdown:

Yor'sajh druid spell breakdownPretty standard breakdown. I’m actually happy to see that Wild Growth made up less than 25% of my healing here. It’s always nice to see a diverse selection of spells doing the healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • The description of this fight lists some very interesting mechanics, but unfortunately, we never had to deal with the really nasty ones, so the fight felt a bit too easy.
  • Again, I did not use glyph of WG. Still felt good about that choice.
  • It was almost a 7 minute fight, so I should be able to fit in a second Tranquility next time.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Hagara, kind of like Yor’sahj, sounds complicated on paper, but we managed to kill her quickly (even though I highly suspect many people didn’t have a clue what they were doing).

Hagara healing breakdown

Again, I feel this fight was tailored to druids. People were much more spread out than in the previous 3 fights making Wild Growth much stronger than some of the more range-limited group heals (whether we were supposed to be spread out or we were just flailing is another matter entirely). Our range of instant spells was also very handy when running around during Ice Wave.

My healing breakdown:

Hagara druid healing spell breakdownOnly 21% of healing from WG makes me happy.

Regrowth is higher in healing done again because I did a fair bit of direct healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Blizzard needs to make up their mind about how many healers a typical fight needs. We had 6 and it was way too many for this. Two healers even died. As a group the healers were at over 60% overheal. Just not enough damage going out on this fight.
  • I didn’t use glyph of WG, still happy without it.
  • Ice Tombs cause line of sight issues. Having all the tomb targets stack up in the middle – on top of the tank – is a bad idea.

Despite the nerfs, resto druids are still in a great place and fully capable of thriving in Dragon Soul. Wild Growth will generally make up a few less percent of our overall healing, but that’s not a bad thing. Our biggest output cooldown has been slightly dwarfed by the Divine Hymn buffs, but we’ll live. Just keep up Lifebloom, keep Harmony active and never stop casting. You’ll be tearing up the healing charts in no time (while not standing in the bad and keeping your assignments alive, of course).

9 responses to “Druids (post-nerf!) in Dragon Soul

  1. Are these 10 or 25-man fights? I’m searching for more hard data on WG for the Pot’s quick-start guides, so this is very interesting to read.
    Hugh @ MMO Melting Pot recently posted..Quick-read tactics for Hour of Twilight 5-man – Arcurion, Asira Dawnslayer, Archbishop Benedictus – with no-effort copy-to-party-chat code

  2. Interesting, your experience seems to be differing quite a bit from other resto druids
    http://fallingleavesandwings.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/initial-thoughts-on-the-4-3-resto-changes/
    Glad to hear at least one resto druid had a positive experience.

    • Yes, I’ve been reading a lot of druid blogs and I seem to be in the minority in my opinion on the nerfs.

      I had my second raid in DS last night, and continued to feel pretty good about my healing. I do have to work a little bit harder and spend more mana to stay on top, but I like having to work for it.

  3. The problem is the fact that while we can still heal, and quite well I might add, we are now doing similar or slightly better healing than our counterparts with no added utility. If a Disc can heal almost as hard as me but bring Barrier, Pain Suppression, Power Infusion, and more any smart raid leader would chose the priest. Not to mention now that they have the buffs to holy, having a dual specc’d healing priest is by far the most versatile and kickass option to have.

    I am fine with the amount of healing we do now, but I feel we should have some added utility we can bring to help the raid out to make it not feel so lack luster.

    I am glad we are getting these in Pandaria but it is going to hurt this tier. TBH after seeing the fights, this nerf was purely made to allow them to design the encounters the way they are.

    • It’s true, we are put throughput healers so it makes sense for our HPS to be best. In my experience, mine still is. Not quite as high as it used to be, but I can live with it. I totally understand the utility argument, and it would be nice to recieve some kind of utility cooldown to make up for the reduced output, but I’m enjoying druid healing right now. It’s a bit more challenging and I feel like I have to work for it more.

  4. Thank you for your great analysis – as usual – on the new raid. I’m curious to know which glyph you’re using in place of WG. I typically use WG, HT & Rebirth. I’m not sure how much benefit I’d get from Barkskin, Innervate is all but useless at this point. I’m feeling kinda…deprived of good major glyph options. =(
    Thanks again!
    ~*Bells*~

    • Right now, there really isn’t a good third option. I’m using Rebirth, which is great; HT, which is so-so, and Thorns. To be honest I don’t even think I’ve cast Thorns so far in Dragon Soul. It had its uses on a couple Firelands fights, but doesn’t seem to have much benefit in DS. Innervate might be slightly more useful, but I’ve also been keeping all my Innervates for myself, and I don’t see that changing for a while.

      I really wish they had given us a viable alternative to glyph of wild growth.