Category Archives: Changes

Healthy Gameplay

A new Dev Watercooler went up today and it addressed a topic near and dear to my heart, healing. Specifically, it told us some of the changes we can expect to see to the healing game in Warlords of Draenor.

The first topic brought up is about health and resilience. It’s mainly related to PVP, so I don’t really care. I do think beginning the Watercooler with this was a mistake, as it open it up to cries of “Waaah, PVE healing is being nerfed because of PVP” and “you’re making healing too hard!”

Airplane 2 - Jerk off

Here’s the problem with that argument. It’s stupid. Okay, I’ll explain more. Nerfs (and buffs) relate to class and game balance. If you overhaul all of healing – reduce effectiveness of spells for each class/spec, add cast times, try to make each healer think and plan more – no one is getting nerfed. As a Resto Druid, I’m not any worse off than the Resto Shaman who’s seeing the exact same types of changes to their spells. People may not trust Blizzard to fix things correctly, but are they going to completely break the PVE game so no healer is capable of keeping their group/raid alive? No. They’re not.

Let’s move on to the changes that are being discussed.

Healer throughput will be toned down relative to the size of player health pools

…healers are able to refill health bars so fast that we have to make damage more and more “bursty” in order to challenge them. Ideally, we want players to spend some time below full health without having healers feel like the players they’re responsible for are in danger of dying at any moment. We also think that healer gameplay would be more varied, interesting, and skillful if your allies spent more time between 0% and 100%, rather than just getting damaged quickly to low health, forcing the healer to then scramble to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible.

To me, this sounds fantastic. I know it’s something that was tried before, but I’m glad Blizzard is giving it another shot. Hopefully it works this time. Health bars do get filled way too fast, and people spend way too much time at 100% health. Healing has turned into a very twitchy game, a contest of who can get those heals out first. As a Druid, the idea of people not being at full health very often is fantastic. I don’t want my Rejuvenation to be 60% overheal anymore, I’d love for it to do more effective healing. As a healer in general, I also really like this. I don’t want to play whack-a-mole. I want healing to require some thought and planning. If a tank dies, I don’t want it to be because I missed the 1 GCD that I could have healed her in between damage ticks. I’d rather it be because for the last 5 or 10 seconds I didn’t prioritize or anticipate damage correctly, and I got too far behind to save them.

Additionally, we’re toning down the power of absorbs in general. When they get too strong, absorption effects are often used in place of direct healing instead of as a way to supplement it.

Obviously absorbs create huge balance problems. It’s nice that this is acknowledged, but we didn’t get much detail about how this will be fixed.

We also took a look at healing spells that were passive or auto-targeted (so-called “smart” heals). We want healers to care about who they’re targeting and which heals they’re using, because that makes healer gameplay more interactive and fun. To that end, we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.

I’m a bit torn on this. I think smart heals are a huge problem. However, I’m not sure that making them dumber is the answer. I’d rather see less smart heals overall and have the ones left be less efficient. On the other hand, having my Wild Growth target a person at 70% health instead of the person at 30% health will force me to use some targeted heals on them, which I think we need to do more of.

Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing.

On the surface, this sounds good. However, thinking more about it, I see a problem. Earlier in the post they mentioned that they don’t want players to be sitting at 100% health so often. If that’s the case, multi-target heals should usually be hitting two or more players without overhealing, meaning they’re usually better than their single-target equivalents, meaning there’s really no decision to be made. I think that efficiency/mana costs will need to be adjusted even more if this has any chance of working.

Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay.

Excellent.

…we’ve increased base mana regen a great deal at early gear levels, while having it scale up less at later gear levels.

In theory, this should mean that we can’t spend our mana willy-nilly in the last tier of the xpac. As long as they don’t add in things like the legendary meta-gem to ruin it.

Less instant cast heals

Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players’ ability to counter healing in PvP.

Now this change does actually seem to be mainly about PVP. But, I think for many of the spells they mention getting a cast time (Wild Growth, Uplift, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn, Cascade, Divine Star, Halo) a side effect will be that these smart/multi-target heals are even less efficient, and encourage people to think before they use them. I do have a couple concerns with the spells they’re giving a cast time to though. Giving Prayer of Mending a cast time seems unnecessarily punitive, as does giving a cast time to Wild Growth, a HoT. If they do this, I think WG needs a small instant heal component like RJ does, otherwise it takes too long after you decide to cast it for it to start ticking.


Overall, I’m impressed with the information they released and really hope that everything works out. I think a few of the points need some more thought in order to accomplish the stated goal, but I’m hopeful.

I think a major overhaul is just what the healing game needs. Right now it’s about as engaging as swatting flies. Make mana matter, force us to make choices, let us use our whole toolkit without 1 or 2 spells making up the most of our healing. If they can pull it off, healing should be fun again.

The 80% of comments whinging on the watercooler post really boil down to this:

We fear change

What Hunters Need to Know for 5.4

It’s kind of late to post this, but I learn better when I write things down so I’m doing this for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s.

Damage Abilities

  • Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.
  • Explosive Trap had its overall damage decreased by 30%. Proportionately, more damage has been removed from the initial damage than the periodic effect.
  • Stampede damage dealt by pets when the ability is used outside of an Arena or Battleground is no longer reduced by 75%.
  • Beast Cleave’s range has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8 yards). (BM)
  • Kill Command damage has been increased by 34%. (BM)
  • Aimed Shot  now deals 450% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%). (Marks)
  • Explosive Shot damage has been increased by 27%. (SV)
  • Explosive Trap no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow but can no longer activate Lock and Load. (SV)

Other abilities

  • Counter Shot is now a baseline interrupt ability learned by all Hunters at level 22.
  • Deterrence now has a 3-minute cooldown (up from 2 minutes) but has 2 charges.
  • Disengage now has a cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 25 seconds).
  • Hunter’s Mark now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 30 seconds).
  • Readiness has been removed.

Pet Stuff

  • Dash, Dive, and Charge no longer cost focus.
  • Revive Pet no longer requires the Hunter to have line-of-sight to their pet.

Talents

  • A Murder of Crows now deals 40% more damage.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
  • Glaive Toss no longer initiates auto-attack.
  • Lynx Rush’s damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Narrow Escape’s root effect is now a nature spell (was a physical spell).
  • Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability that replaces Counter Shot for Marksman Hunters.
  • Spirit Bond now regenerates 3% of total health every 2 seconds while the Hunter’s pet is active (up from 2%).
  • Wyvern Sting now has a range of 40 yards (up from 35 yards).

Glyphs

New Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of the Lean Pack: Reduces the range of Aspect of the Pack to 7 yards.
  • Glyph of Enduring Deceit: Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%

Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Mend Pet now has a 100% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the Hunter’s pet on each tick (up from 50% chance).
  • Glyph of Mending now speeds up the periodic effect of Mend Pet to restore health to the pet every 1 second doubling the total amount healed over 10 seconds.
  • Glyph of No Escape now increases the ranged critical strike chance against targets affected by the Hunter’s Freezing Trap by 100% (up from 20% chance).

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.4

Patch 5.4 drops on Tuesday September 10th, and resto Druids have a whole lot of changes to be prepare for and look forward to. I have also updated my Restoration Druid Healing Guide to reflect the 5.4 changes. If you’re looking for a 5.4 gear guide, you won’t find it here – go visit Juvenate for his 5.4 PVE Gear Guide.

Spell changes

  • Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

A new spell! Finally! This should help fill the gap in our healing toolkit quite well by making Rejuv a little more bursty. Start playing with the timing on this spell immediately, as I think it’s one of the things that will differentiate the great Druid from the ones who are just okay.

  • Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health, and will no longer be consumed if the target is already at full health.

It is an improvement, but the change that really need to happen to make LS a decent heal is that it needs to trigger from magic damage. Until that happens, LS is unlikely to do more than a couple percent of overall healing.

Not sure why they changed the name in the first place.

And there was much rejoicing. We’ll now actually have a choice to make with our T2 talent.

  • Wild Mushroom for Restoration Druids now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing.
    -A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
    -Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.
    -The spell is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

HUGE quality of life change here. One mushroom to place is superior to three. We can also choose between spawning the mushroom beneath our target, or placing it manually (see new glyphs below). The best part is that the Mushroom can be moved, so you don’t waste your charge if the raid moves.

  • Innervate now restores mana equal to 50% of the Druid’s spirit.

This means you need at least 12000 spirit to get the same effect from Innervate that you did in 5.3. With better gear, this is a buff.

Talents

  • Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned. It now causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

This will let us be kind of like Disc Atonement healers, but much less powerful. Another change was also made that will impact this talent – Wrath now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%, so healing by doing damage may be a little expensive. This talent should excel on fights where the boss/mobs take extra damage.

  • Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.

With a 6-minute cooldown, this doesn’t strike me as that big of a deal. I think the HotW on use is still best used for adding some damage.

  • New talent: Ysera’s Gift, which replaces Nature’s Swiftness, and heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead.

Passive healing. /yawn. If you don’t want to have to worry about another spell and take Cenarion Ward, this is a good option.

  • Nature’s Vigil when activated now increases all damage and healing done by 12% (up from 10%), and causes single-target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

This has gotten much stronger with the additional heals. I’d say this will be the go-to level 90 talent for most fights.

  • Soul of the Forest now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline.

Awesome, and opens up a glyph slot for:

  • Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

This is an amazing glyph. The 20% increase the Swiftmend is good, and the ability to have Efflorescence up all the time is great.

  • Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.
  • Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom (minor): Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.

And a few random, cool things:

  • Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.
  • Glyph of One With Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.

Patch 5.4 is giving Druid some great buffs and quality of life changes. We should be in a much better place now than we have been all expansion.

Happy healing!

Trees They Are a-Changin’

Just a couple days after I declared that I no longer like playing my Druid, the 5.4 patch notes have been released. And boy are there some game changers.

Talent Changes

Ysera’s Gift, a new talent healing the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. 

Ysera’s Gift is a new Level 30 talent in our talent tree, replacing Nature’s Swifteness (which is now baseline for restos). This is a passive ability that will continuously tick, healing yourself, or another nearby target if you’re at full health. Completely passive healing is a bit boring in terms of gameplay, but could provide a nice buffer. Looks like this tier will now be a toss up between this talent and Cenarion Ward, though I think that passive smart healing will end up doing more overall.

Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids.
Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

In the level 60 Tier, SotF has been improved to increase haste for your next spell by 100%, up from 75%. Wild Growth will now gain even more extra ticks if cast after a Swiftmend, making this talent even more powerful.

Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now varies by specialization. Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

DoC has been redesigned to actually be usable.  In essence, this will turn us into (much less powerful versions) of Atonement healers. This will be a viable option on some fights, especially those where the boss takes extra damage. It could also be good on fights where there are periods of downtime when healing requirements are light.

Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.

I do like that this ability will no longer be completely passive. However, unless you’re using it for burst damage, I still find HotW incredibly boring. The healing bonus is nice, but it’s still got a 6 minute cooldown.

Nature’s Vigil when activated, causes single target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

Another improvement to healing output. The bonus healing should come from any single target heal (RJ, RG, SM, HT, Nourish). This adds even more smart healing to our toolkit. This isn’t as big an an increase to healing as HotW but it can be used four times as often.

Spell Changes

Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

This new spell gives us a little more burst and is something a number of Druids have been asking for for a long time. I really love the sound of this spell. I still don’t think this will be quite as powerful as something like Uplift, since Rejuv is mana-prohibitive and doesn’t jump around on it’s own, but I do think it’s a good addition to our toolkit. Realistically you’re not going to have Rejuv on more than about 8 people at a time tops, and the first applications will only have 1-2 ticks left if you wait until it’s active on 8 targets before using Genesis. So I think this spell will be most useful for healing specific, smaller groups of people. Luckily it looks like this spell doesn’t have a cooldown, so there will be a lot of room to play with it and figure out how best to use it in each fight.

Wild Mushroom Restoration version of the ability now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing. A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

This is huge. Only having to place one mushroom is great and being able to move the mushroom without losing the stored up healing is even better. The overall healing that mushrooms can do will be reduced (which is fine, they heal for too much now), but they’ll be so much more usable.

Innervate now causes the target to gain mana equal to 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit every second for 10 seconds.

Whether this turn out to be a buff or nerf for you depends on how much Spirit you like to run with. With my ~8k spirit, this is a nerf. Which sucks. We’ll also likely benefit even less from Innervates from Guardians or Ferals.

Glyphs

Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

This is going to be a must-have glyph. With this now you can Swiftmend the person standing out in the middle of nowhere who’s about to die without having to waste all that ground healing. Being able to place your Efflorescene where you want it (around your Mushrooom, which you can move around as you like) and have it active all the time is a huge buff.

Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.

Innervate trading will now be a thing again. But what if I have 8k Spirit and my co-Druid has 10k? Will she feel cheated? Will she not want my puny Innervate?

Tier 16 Set Bonuses

May as well look at the new tier set bonuses too:

  • 2P Bonus – Ironbark increases your critical chance by 20% for 12 sec.
  • 4P Bonus – Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Wild Growth critical heals have a chance to cause all cast time heals for the next 12 sec to cause a Living Seed on the target for 80% of the amount healed.

I really like the 2-set bonus. No, Crit’s not our best stat, but I like that this will (hopefully) give people a reason to use Ironbark all the time.

The 4-set bonus is just odd. I like the idea of Living Seed, but it doesn’t work like it should. It’s so fussy about what damaging effects will trigger it that a lot of the time it ends up wasted, so having LS be 80% of the amount healed rather than 30% and trigger from non crits might not make too much of a difference. With any HoT tick having a chance to trigger the effect it could technically be active all the time, but with the small amount of cast time heals we cast, this bonus seems underwhelming.


Overall, the 5.4 changes look to bring a huge improvement to the resto healing toolkit.  So many of these changes have been asked for by a lot of Druids, it’s nice to know the developers are listening.

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.3

5.3 is today! Generally, I don’t care about patches that don’t include new raid content, but Druids are getting a fair number of buffs. Here are the changes that resto Druids need to know about.

buffs

A number of Resto Druid abilities have been buffed, or improved in some way.

Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.

This is a nice change for 25s. During times of really heavy raid damage, sometimes Tranq doesn’t seem to make much of a dent in healthbars, so this should improve. Holy Priests are receiving the same buff for their Divine Hymn (so they’ll still be better than us).

Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant immediately casts Swiftmend (which does not require or consume a HoT) on the Druid’s current target when summoned, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges.

This talent will now be completely under the player’s control, and no longer subject to dumb pet AI. Still, it doesn’t compete with Soul of the Forest or Incarnation.

Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.

This is great. You are now able to keep IB up on someone (like the active tank) for 20% of any encounter. The shorter cooldown should also make you feel more free to use IB on non-tanks when needed.

Swiftmend area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.

Swiftmend will now heal within a much larger area. Hopefully more people will stay in it for heals if the green circle is bigger.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).

For the fights that mushrooms excel on, they will now be even better. For the fights where people are spread out or moving frequently they’ll still be clunky and of limited use.

Mark of the Wild had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 10%.

Not a huge deal, but will make rebuffing someone after they’re rezzed less easier on your mana bar.

My Resto Druid Guide has been updated to reflect these changes.

Some of these, like the reduction on the Ironbark cooldown, are nice quality of life changes. The buffs to Tranquility in 25s, and the range on Mushrooms and Swiftmend are really just band-aid solutions for our outdated, outclassed toolkit though. More numbers are nice, but don’t solve the problem that the other classes can put out healing faster and more efficiently than we can.

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.2

Unless something unexpected happens, 5.2 is going to drop on March 5th. Just a few days away. There is a fantastic round-up of 5.2-related posts on the official site that you should definitely check out. Here are the changes that resto Druids need to know about.

buffs

A number of Resto Druid abilities have been buffed, or improved in some way.

Naturalist: This new passive learned at level 10 by Restoration Druids increases all healing done by the Druid by 10%.

This is a nice buff to all our healing. Hopefully in 5.2, this chart will look a little different and Druids will be on more even footing with the other healing classes.

Wild Mushrooms will now gain 25% of the overhealing performed by the Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, up to a maximum of 33% of the Druid’s health in bonus healing, and growing larger as they do so. When Wild Mushroom: Bloom is cast, this bonus healing will be divided evenly amongst targets in the area of effect.

Mushrooms definitely needed some love, hopefully this change is enough to make them useful. The 33% bonus healing is applied to each Mushroom, so a 3-stack will now heal for an extra ~450k (or whatever your current health value is), split between all targets. This will make for a potent heal if it hits a single or a limited number of targets, and a reasonable group heal if it hits many targets. However, because the Mushrooms need to charge up, it makes placement of them even more important. We’ll need to learn not to place them where the raid is now, but where the raid will be in the future. Start teaching your raid that hugging Mushrooms is the cool thing to do.

The healing granted by Cenarion Ward when a target takes damage has been increased by 100%.

The current healing of Cenarion Ward is not very good. In my current gear, self-buffed, CW does a total of about 67000 healing. Doubling the amount will make it a very decent sized heal, on a 30-second cooldown. In terms of raw HPS, this puts CW ahead of Nature’s Swiftness. However, the problems with CW remain – it is very susceptible to overheal. In most cases, I still prefer Nature’s Swiftness free, emergency heal over another HoT.

Soul of the Forest: Now grants 75% Haste on the next spell cast after the Druid casts Swiftmend.

Soul of the Forest is a great boost to raid healing, granting 75% haste instead of 50% makes it even better. This means than at ideal haste levels, casting Wild Growth with the SotF buff will give you 14 ticks (up from 12). However, once we drop our 4T14 bonus we’re going to run back into the problem of the cooldowns on Swiftmend and Wild Growth aligning poorly, which means Incarnation will likely be more useful. For more on how the change to SotF will affect your HoTs, go visit Binkenstein.

The Treants summoned by Force of Nature now deal more damage and healing, and the Force of Nature tooltip will report the capabilities of these summoned pets.

I’m not sure exactly how much more healing FoN will do now. I’ve heard that they’re a fair bit better, both in HPS and not being completely stupid. I still don’t see many situations where I’d take this over Incarnation or SotF though.

Rejuvenation now costs approximately 9% less mana.

This is really just a way to let us break our 2T14 set bonuses without it hurting.

My Resto Druid Guide has been updated to reflect these changes.

Other Spell Changes

There are also a few minor spell changes coming. First, one of our talents is changing;

Nature’s Vigil now has a 90-second cooldown (was 3 minutes), and now increases damage and healing done by 10% (was 20%).

Numerically, there’s no change here. NV can just be used twice as often but provides half the bonus. This makes NV as an output cooldown less attractive to me. While I currently switch between NV and HotW on some fights, I foresee sticking with HotW most of the time now.

Revive and Mark of the Wild now cost 55% less mana.
Faerie Swarm can now snare more than one target at a time.
Mass Entanglement now has a 30-second cooldown (was 2 minutes).
Typhoon now has a 30-second cooldown (was 20 seconds).

These four changes will have minor impact on the average raiding resto Druid. The cost reduction of MotW will be nice for rebuffing those who get battle rezzed. The cooldown reduction on Mass Entanglement will make us better at CC if T15 brings us more fights with lots of adds – I would have loved this while working on Heroic Will.

Gear

I’ve posted the list of new gear available in 5.2. Valor is not being reset, so hopefully you’re sitting on a lot of it as we go into the patch. The new Shadow-Pan Assault rep has a lot of good options for quick upgrades. You’ll be able to purchase a new neck immediately for 1250 VP. If you’re anything like me, bracers tend to be the bane of the gearing process (still wearing 489s from normal Spirit Kings). SPA offers some nice bracers at Friendly for 1250 VP which you should be able to obtain quickly as well. There is also a trinket available at Friendly for 1750 VP.

None of the changes have caused our stat priority to change. You’ll still be looking to maintain your 3043 Haste level, then focusing on other secondary stats.

Throne of Thunder

If you want to get a head start on learning how to heal encounters in Throne of Thunder, go check out Dayani’s awesome, comprehensive preview of the new raid bosses.
Part 1
Part 2

A Tall Add to Mushrooms

Last night we got a slew of new patch notes for 5.2 and, surprisingly, they finally had something to say about resto Druids!

Mushrooms

First of all, the long-awaited Wild Mushroom change. The tooltip now reads:

The mushrooms grow larger as they accumulate healing power from 75% of overhealing done by your Rejuvenation, up to a maximum of 100% of your health in bonus healing.

It’s not understood exactly how this mechanic will work as they are bugged on the PTR and have been seen healing people for a few million health. I assume that the bonus healing applies to the total heal for each mushroom (and is then split among the targets) rather than applying to each heal.

When I first read this tooltip update, I was concerned that they were unnecessarily complicating things. Why not just buff the amount of healing without adding Rejuv overheal in there? Then I realized that it’s because they still don’t want us using these constantly – having to power them up with overhealing is akin to putting a cooldown on them. I don’t think it’s the most elegant solution. It doesn’t address some of the biggest problems – that casting Mushrooms is clunky and if the raid moves away from them they are useless – but any extra throughput is welcome.

I don’t really think the new Mushroom mechanic will change the way we heal (aside from using Mushrooms more). We’ll always have multiple Rejuvs out, they’ll always be doing overhealing. The biggest challenge will be proper placement – both in location and timing – so that you have supercharged Mushrooms ready to go when the damage happens.

As much as I’ve complained about Mushrooms, I do use them to some extent on a number of fights, even in their currently weak form. Empress, Feng, Wind Lord, Garalon, all involve people stacking up and an ebb and flow of damage that gives you time to set up mushrooms. If the mushrooms are capable of healing for a significant amount, the extra burst heal capability will be appreciated. I also enjoy the thought of having to prepare and play smartly in order to get the most out of the spell.

Rejuvenation

The mana cost of Rejuv is now 14.5%, down from 16%. When you consider that 5.2 will see us breaking our 2T14 set bonus, this isn’t going to have that much of an impact, but I’ll take it.

Set bonuses

We also got a look at the T15 set bonuses:

2 piece – Swiftmend’s ground effect can now heal up to 4 targets each time it heals.
4 piece – The healing done by your Rejuvenation increases by 6% each time it causes healing.

I really like these bonuses. On fights where the raid is grouped up, the 2-piece will be great. I like the 4-piece too. Though I can already hear the cries of “but overheal!” I think a direct buff to the spell we cast the most is great. You can make the overheal argument for pretty much any increase to healing done, so I don’t take it too seriously. This bonus will do very good things to Rejuvs maintained on tanks and will also be good for any fights with constant raid damage.

What do you think of the potential 5.2 changes?