Size Matters

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):

Nourish

  • 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

Healing Touch

  • 2.5 second cast time
  • Costs 17,340 mana
  • Heals for ~71,600
  • HpS = 28,640
  • HpM = 4.13

Regrowth (glyphed)

  • 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:

  • Rejuvenation
  • Regrowth
  • Lifebloom
  • 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.

18 responses to “Size Matters

  1. I would argue that in 25 man raids our healing output is terrible. Burst aoe healing is dismal. Rdruids rank at or near the bottom on the logs I checked. Otherwise, I agree with everything you said. I took Nourish and Shrooms off my toolbar. Thank gawd for the Regrowth glyph!

    • Yeah, the Regrowth glyph is great. I know that looking at something like raidbots shows druid lowest on most fights, but that hasn’t been my experience so far. I’ve never been on the bottom of a meter and the only time I’ve ever felt completely outclassed was by Monks on Garalon. Looking at logs of Druids I know (who know what they’re doing), they never seem to be on the bottom of meters either.

  2. Please be careful what you wish for! Tanking is horrible now because Blizzard decided that bears needed more to do. As a result I don’t tank any more. If they do the same to Resto then I’ll have to go Moonkin. Urgh.

  3. This is exactly why I quit playing my holy paladin!

    • The holy paladin has never had a large toolkit though it has been greatly expanded since 5.0 and Mists. It doesn’t particularly matter, however, because Jasyla’s complaint is about the lack of spell choices at any given time. This would have applied to paladins in tiers 11 & 12 when Holy Radiance had a cooldown. When there was raid healing to be done there wasn’t much spell choice to be had, especially after one Radiance and probably one Light of Dawn. Since tier 13 we can spam Radiance any time we want. Raid healing: covered. Spot & tank healing: we’re talking about a freakin’ paladin.

      So while I have some sympathy for paladins complaining about a small toolbox, there is no issue with having something appropriate to the situation regarldess of what is on cooldown. If anything, the paladin’s problem is running into mana problems if we don’t use our Holy Power efficiently. Remember: it’s not really ‘free’.
      Joe Ego recently posted..On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85

  4. Hey,
    I was wondering how you feel about RDruids not having an active mana regen ability like LBolt for RShamans or Solace for Priests? It seems most other healers do.

    Or if you think this doesn’t matter as RDruid regen is in a good place?

    Thanks.

    • Lightning Bolt is barely more than mana neutral at this stage. If Innervate isn’t active enough for you, then you’re welcome to try out Divine Plea. ;)
      Joe Ego recently posted..On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85

    • I can’t really speak to Solace, but as Joe Ego said, the mana regen from Telluric Current is negligible. It’s really something you only cast when you have absolutely nothing else to do. I think we’re okay with just Innervate. Mana can sometimes be a struggle, but I don’t really want another spell to cast that *isn’t* a heal, I’d rather have another heal.

  5. I completely agree with what was said. I tend to be near the middle-top of our healing meters solely because I understand this class fairly well, but I do feel that I have better gear than my other healers and put more time into theorycrafting and pushing out that last meaningful hps. According to other parses of resto druids, I compare nicely; and still don’t necessarily compete with some of my guilds healers.

    Something I feel Blizz could improve rdruids with would be adding an active regen mechanic as Astris mentioned, reducing the mana cost of rejuv, or just overall increasing our numbers or regen.

  6. I would love something like thundering brew that threw a heal on targets that already have our hots on them, it be 1000x better then mushrooms even if it had a long cooldown.

    • A number of the Monk spells seem like they would have fit really nicely into the Druid toolkit. I feel like there were some missed opportunities there.

  7. Wouldn’t it be better if they actually made the heals you currently discard worth using?

    Also, I play a monk now, but have been a priest for 5 years. Priest has about the biggest toolkit you can think off. The monk has a nice toolkit, pleasant to work with and it works well together.

    That last part is the part I adore the most, works well together. Combos are where the future lies I think, not new spells.

    Cast a regrowth on top of a lifebloom and it gives you something else then casting a rejuve on top of a lifebloom for example. And if you have rejuve on several targets the cooldown of your wildgrowth goes down maybe. Stuff like that is what I love.

    The monk started that within the class, I would love to see it more, and would love to see it cross-class even. (ie, casting a PWS on a target with rejuv gives you an extra big PWS for example).
    Shy recently posted..The current state of healing

    • Life Cocoon appears to offer some cross-class functionality: “…increasing all periodic healing taken by 50%. Lasts for 12 sec.”

      While I understand how this is useful for a Monk to mitigate and catch up on large spikes or tank healing, it seems to be the only spell in the game that works with other healers’ spells. Are the other spells I’m not aware of which off a similar feature?
      Joe Ego recently posted..On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85

    • Sure, as I said, I’d like some new spells or refinement of some of the ones that are currently useless to make us want to use them.

      I’d love to see our spells work off each other more and like the idea of combos. Right now Nourish is boosted by having a HoT on the target, but that’s not too exciting, and Nourish sucks, so it doesn’t give us much. Soul of the Forest adds a little bit of that aspect, but it means giving up the utility of ToL.

      I’d certainly like to see something that makes the play style more complex.

  8. Speaking as a 10 man raider (well, except LFR, but lets face it, LFR is tuned low enough that healing strategy really doesn’t matter), don’t discount shrooms. On fights where you stack , they are very good (like Feng and parts of spirit kings). On Feng 10, they are so good, that I don’t even bother to save CDs for P3, I just drop shrooms on the melee stack point before every velocity; Shrooms + WG + Efforelesence make for easy healing. I can see how shrooms would be less effective in 25s (though in LFR Feng, they still do ok IMO), but blanketing them as not useful is not doing them justice.

    Agree with Nourish though; why have a spell with really no purpose in our arsenal is beyond me,

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