I just got a beta invite. Here are my first thoughts on how the resto druid healing toolkit is looking like for Mists.
Here are the healing abilities we get while specced into the restoration tree:
Lifebloom – The ability for Nourish, Regrowth and Healing Touch to refresh the duration has been built into the spell. The Glyph of Lifebloom has been changed so that when you cast Lifebloom on a new target, it will transfer the amount of stacks the original target had (only when not in tree form).
Nourish – Same as the current version.
Regrowth – This now has a built-in 60% increased critical effect chance and it automatically refreshes the HoT duration if the target is below 50% health. The revamped Glyph of Regrowth increases the critical strike chance of Regrowth by another 40%, making it a guaranteed crit, but removes the HoT component.
Rejuvenation – Same as the current version, with the instant heal from GotEM included, except the instant heal is now a full tick rather than 15% of the total healing effect. Glyph of Rejuvenation has been changed to replace Nature’s Bounty, reducing the cast time of Nourish by 30% when you have 3 active Rejuvs. Swift Rejuvenation is now a passive ability.
Swiftmend – This no longer consumes an existing Rejuv or Regrowth, but one must be present on the target in order to use it. Efflorescence has been built into Swiftmend.
Tranquility – Same as the current version.
Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom – The Wild Mushroom behave just like they currently do. But now restos, rather than having a spell to detonate the mushrooms and do damage, now have an ability to ‘bloom’ the mushrooms and do healing.
Overall, not a whole lot has changed. Most of the changes to the healing spells aren’t adding anything new, they’re just building in the effects of talents that no longer exist. Based on this, I’m expecting the resto druid healing style is not going to change much from its current form.
The thing I’m most happy about is the change to the Glyph of Lifebloom. This is a huge quality of life improvement. No more wasting 3 GCDs every time a tank swap happens, or being put at a disadvantage when a hard switch happens in PVP.
The change to Regrowth and its glyph is interesting. I love Regrowth as a Flash Heal and a guaranteed crit sounds great, but I feel like the glyph is somewhat wasteful. Regrowth has an innate 60% chance to crit, players will likely sit between 20-30% crit chance, so the 40% crit from the glyph is really only contributing 10-20%.
We have one new healing spell, Wild Mushroom: Bloom. Ugh. The idea of healing mushrooms always struck me as clunky and awful. Having tested them out, I can confirm that they are indeed clunky and awful. They have the potential to do a good amount of burst healing, but they’re a poor design. Three GCDs to get them placed (the idea that you’d ever only want 1 or 2 down strikes me as ridiculous), and having to place them with the targeting reticule makes them too cumbersome to use. Also, a 6 yard range is not a lot, that’ll cover an area almost 50% smaller than Efflorescence.
Our healing spells can also be supplemented by the Tier 2 and Tier 6 talents. I wrote about the new talents a little while ago, I will be adding further thoughts now that I’ve had a chance to try them out soon™.
Innervate – The percentages of mana gain have changed a little. This now gives 10% of the caster’s max mana to the target, or 20% if cast on yourself. The Glyph of Innervate seems to ensure that you always get 20% of your mana back, no matter who your target is.
Ironbark – This is a replacement for Barkskin. It reduces damage by 20% for 12 seconds but is now castable on anyone and has a 2 minute cooldown (up from 1).
Mark of the Wild – No longer increases stamina.
Nature’s Cure – Now cures all magic, curse and poison effects.
Symbiosis – A spell you cast on someone of another class which gives you one of their abilities (and they get one of yours).
I’m still upset about losing Barkskin. I like that we have a damage reducing cooldown but I don’t like that it replaces our self-cast spell. Sure, we could still use it on ourselves, but 99% of the time in a raid it’s going to be more of a benefit to someone else. I like the 12 second duration, but I think a 20% damage reduction is too low to be a real life-saver for anyone taking heavy damage.
I am excited about Symbiosis. The abilities we will get from other classes are mainly about survivability and utility. Since utility is something we’ve always been short on, I’m very happy about this. We’ll be able to get things like Hand of Sacrifice to give us a viable tank cooldown, Leap of Faith so we can yank around raiders, or things like Deterrence or Anti-Magic Shell to improve our own survivability.
Harmony – Our mastery, same as the current version.
Living Seed – Same as the current talent.
Malfurion’s Gift – Reduces the cooldown on Tranquility.
Meditation – Same as the current specialization.
Natural Insight – Increases mana pool so it’s even with other healers.
Omen of Clarity – Periodic healing from Lifebloom has a chance to trigger Clearcasting.
Revitalize – Works the same as it does currently, but it looks like the effect only applies to you, not the whole raid.
Swift Rejuvenation – Same as the current talent.
Nothing too exciting or different here. Again, they’re just incorporating the talents that no longer exist into our base abilities.
I’ve always been a big fan of Living Seed so I’m happy this was included as a passive ability. I just wish they would improve it a little bit. It would be great if the Seed was triggered from any damage taken. It would also be really nice if HoT crits placed a Seed.
The thing I’m most looking forward to about Druids in Mists of Pandaria (so far) is how adaptable we’ll be. We’ll be able to change our talents from fight to fight to make ourselves as strong as possible. We’ll be able to change our Symbiosis target from fight to fight to receive the ability that will benefit our raid group the best.