I have a problem with the current state of resto Druids. A resto Druid with a complaint – shocker!
My complaint isn’t about low healing output – I think my output is okay for the most part.
My complaint isn’t about mana – I like to run with as little Spirit as possible and I enjoy the mana management game (since I no longer have to worry much about LB or Harmony management).
My complaint isn’t about a lack of utility – between Symbiosis, our mobility, and all of our talent options I think we have immense utility.
My complaint is that I just don’t have enough healing spells. I want more buttons to push. Looking at actual healing spells (not cooldowns or passive effects) our basic toolkit is just too damn small.
Druids have 9 healing spells (Nourish, Regrowth, Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Swiftmend, Wild Mushroom: Bloom, Tranquility). When you consider which healing spells are actually worth casting, we have even less.
Let’s take a closer look at our direct spells (I’m using my current stats for the values of these):
- 2.5 second cast time
- Costs 6120 mana
- Heals for ~24,500, or ~29,400 if the target has a HoT on them
- Without a HoT on the target: HpS = 9800, HpM = 4.0
- With a HoT on the target: HpS = 11,760, HpM = 4.8
- 2.5 second cast time
- Costs 17,340 mana
- Heals for ~71,600
- HpS = 28,640
- HpM = 4.13
- 1.5 second cast time
- Costs 17,820 mana
- Heals for ~77,000
- HpS = 51,333
- HpM = 4.32
Regrowth does more healing, is faster and is cheaper than Healing Touch. Regrowth does almost 5x the HpS as Nourish. Though the HpM of Nourish is slightly better (and only if the target already has a HoT on them), you’d need to cast almost 3 Nourishes to do as much healing as one Regrowth. So there really isn’t a reason to use Nourish or Healing Touch, glyphed Regrowth outclasses them both in speed and output.
Then there are Mushrooms. In a 25-man raid, when they’re hitting so many people (and pets) and suffering from diminishing returns they do very little healing per person. Plus they are awkward and unweildly (yes, yes, beating a dead horse). Sure, they don’t cost much mana, but they also don’t keep people alive. They’re slightly more useful in 10s, where they will hit less people for more, but still aren’t as good as a Wild Growth or Rejuvs on multiple people. Unless you are standing around, twiddling your thumbs with nothing to heal there’s not much incentive to set up Mushrooms.
If you take a look at the top ranked resto Druids on World of Logs you’ll notice that most of them don’t use Mushrooms at all on most fights (10s or 25s). You’ll also notice that most don’t use Nourish at all, and the ones who do only use it a handful of times. Healing Touch is generally used only a handful of times per fight as well, in combination with Nature’s Swiftness.
When we take these factors into account, that leaves our toolkit looking like this:
- Wild Growth (8 or 10 second cooldown with glyph)
- Swiftmend (15 second cooldown)
- Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch (1 minute cooldown)
- Tranquility (3 minute cooldown)
We only have 3 healing spells that are worth casting that we can cast whenever we want – Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Lifebloom. Lifebloom isn’t really even an option. Once those initial 3 stacks are up, you only really cast LB when there is a tank swap, you’re in ToL, or once every 15 seconds to refresh (if you don’t refresh it with a direct heal). All of our other useful healing spells have cooldowns of 8 second or more.
This complaint isn’t coming from a desire to top healing meters. It’s coming from a desire to have an engaging playstyle that forces me to make decisions about which spells to cast to keep the raid alive. Imagine this scenario: you’re healing a boss fight, there is raid-wide damage going out. Wild Growth and Swiftmend are on cooldown. There is 8 seconds left on your Lifebloom stack. The damage isn’t enough to warrant casting Tranquility (or it’s already on cooldown). What do you cast? Rejuvenation or Regrowth. You only have 2 options! This is not an interesting or engaging decision. It’s also the only decision we get to make for 50% of our active time in fights.
I really like a lot of the things that have happened to Druids in this expansion. I enjoy figuring out if Heart of the Wild or Nature’s Vigil will help me more in a fight. Or whether the utility of Incarnation will be more useful than the output of Soul of the Forest. I like figuring out which Symbiosis target will be the most useful. But I’m starting to feel like all the thinking I need to do takes place outside of the encounters – I figure out the optimal talent and glyph setups for each fight, the best time to use all the cooldowns, and then I execute. When I’m actually healing there’s very little decision-making to be done and very little room to heal any differently from encounter to encounter.
Our toolkit needs something to spice it up a little bit. We need more healing spells, or refinement of the ones that are currently useless, so we have the ability to adapt our healing to different encounters or different damage patterns. As it stands now, the lack of options in our toolkit does not let us do that.