Category Archives: Healing

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

How to Evaluate Resto Druids with World of Logs – Updated!

Mists of Pandaria as been out for a year now, and Resto Druids have undergone a number of changes, especially in patch 5.4. I thought it would be a good idea to update my guide on how to evaluate Resto Druids with World of Logs. This has also been updated on my big WoL Guide page (where the pictures will be less squishy if you want to look at it over there).


Here are specific things to look for when analyzing resto druid logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Druids are primarily Heal Over Time (HoT) healers with great mobility and a decent amount of utility. Though Druids have generally been considered raid healers, they can also be strong tank healers. In 5.4, a Druid’s healing output should be high.

Total healing done

Healing by Spell

WoL - Resto Druid Healing by spell
There are a number of things to look for on this screen, including:

Spell selection – Is the druid using all their available spells?

Druids have: Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, Efflorescence, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Healing Touch, Nourish, Tranquility, Wild Mushrooms and passive healing from Living Seed. Depending on spec they should likely also have Ysera’s Gift and Nature’s Vigil.

Healing from Lifebloom, Rejuv, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Efflorescence and Tranquility should be seen on every fight.

Healing Touch, Nourish and Wild Mushroom: Bloom may more sparingly. Whether Nourish is used a matter of personal choice, though it will not provide much healing (I haven’t even had this keybound since all expansion). Healing Touch should only be used in combination with Nature’s Swiftness. Wild Mushrooms will mostly provide some healing on fights where the raid is stacked up.

You should not see healing from Renewal; this is a poor talent choice for a healer.

Top Spells

A druid’s top spells will vary depending on the nature of a fight and how spread out the raid is. Wild Growth and Rejuv will generally be at or near the top on any fight. Efflorescence should also be up there, especially on fights where the raid is grouped up. Tranquility can also be one of the top spells for healing done when it is timed well and can be used multiple times throughout a fight. If the Druid is tank healing, expect to see Lifebloom and Regrowth higher on the list.

Overhealing

Druids will generally have high overheal because of the nature of their HoTs. This isn’t something to worry about. Lifebloom and Rejuv will have quite high overheal while you should see lower overheal on smart heals like Wild Growth or direct heals like Regrowth.

Notes on specific spells:

Lifebloom

Lifebloom World of Logs

Uptime is the key metric here. Lifebloom is our source of Omen of Clarity procs and provides a steady stream of heals to whoever it’s placed on (usually a tank). It should be pre-stacked before the pull, moved around to whomever needs it most and not allowed to fall off. Allowing a 3-stack to fall off, unless it’s timed perfectly to provide an emergency heal from the bloom, means you have to waste time and mana building the stack back up. Lifebloom uptime should be in the 90-100% range on most fights.

Tranquility

Tranquility WoL

The first thing to look for is whether Tranquility was used at all. It is our best spell in terms of HPS and HPM and should be used on every fight. With a 3 minute cooldown it can be used 2-3 times on most fights.

Next look at the number of direct heals – Each Tranquility should tick at least 20 times (more if the Druid has a lot of haste or uses Soul of the Forest and casts it after Swiftmend). See the 12 direct heals in the screenshot above? This means my Tranquility was interrupted (I cast it before a Shock Pulse like a bad Druid).

Overheal should be fairly low, but the HoT portion of the spell can increase this number.

Swiftmend

Swiftmend World of Logs

Check how many times Swiftmend was used by looking at the number of direct heals. Swiftmend has a 15 second cooldown, so it can be used 4 times per minute. It’s unrealistic to use SM every time it’s available but it should be used often (especially if the Druid is specced into Soul of the Forest).

Since Swiftmend is no longer mainly a vehicle for Effloresence, overhealing has become more important to look at. Since this spell is instant, overheal should not be too high.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence - World of Logs

Efflorescence should make up a good amount of a Druids healing, as it should be active pretty much all the time. It will do more healing on fights where the raid is stacked, but should do a fair amount even on fights where the raid is spread out or moving a lot, since it’s so easy to move now.

If healing from this looks low if could mean the Druid is not keeping the spell up via a Mushroom all the time, is not moving it appropriately, or is not using the Gylph of Efflorescence (which is terrible). If you’re in raid with the Druid, make sure the green Efflo circle is not often out in the middle of nowhere.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom

World of Logs - Wild Mushroom

How much healing WM does will depend on the fight. Personally, I don’t like to bloom Mushrooms much, unless the raid is stacked and taking significant damage. Blooming your Mushroom means 3 seconds before you can get Effloresence down again.

Nature’s Vigil

Nature's Vigil - World of Logs

NV is the strongest talent in the level 90 tier so you should see healing from it on most fights. If used close to on cooldown (as it should be, since the cooldown is short) it can provide a large amount of healing.

Cenarion Ward

If the Druid has this in their spec, the most important thing to look for is overheal. If the overhealing on the spell is very high, the Druid is not using it optimally.

Direct Heals

Direct heals should not make up the bulk of a druid’s healing, but Regrowth should be used fairly often. Low use of direct heals will likely mean that Clearcasting procs are being wasted.

Healing Touch should mostly be used in combination with Nature’s Swiftness, unless the Druid has the 2T16 set bonus, in which case you should see it used fairly often.

Spirit of Chi-Ji

This is the proc from the legendary cloak. The healing from this is not really controllable and how much healing it does will depend on the fight. Expect this to make up anywhere between around 4-10% of total healing.

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a druid is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

World of Logs - Resto Druid Buffs cast

Lifebloom – As noted above, uptime should be as close to 100% as possible.

Harmony – This is Druids’ mastery which increases the effect of all HoTs while it’s active. Harmony should be up as much as possible, look for 90%+ uptime. If uptime is much lower, the druid needs to cast more direct heals to keep it active.

Barkskin – Barkskin can be used once every 45 seconds. It should be used often to mitigate damage taken (though not necessarily on cooldown). If a Druid is only using it once or twice a fight they should be using it more.

Tranquility – As noted above, Tranquility should be used on every fight. You should see at least 20 ticks per use.

Nature’s Vigil – Nature’s Vigil has a 1.5 minute cooldown. The talent should be taken on most fights and it should be used close to on cooldown.

Innervate – Innervate has a 3-minute cooldown. It should be used at 70-80% mana the first time, then whenever it’s off cooldown to get as much mana as possible.

Ironbark –  This is a damage reduction spell Druids can cast on someone else, it has a 1 minute cooldown. It should be used often on every fight.

Nature’s Swiftness – This spell makes your next spell with a cast time instant, larger and mana free. It has a 1 minute cooldown. This spell is often used for emergency heals, but you should see it used at least a few times on every fight.

Clearcasting – Compare the amount of Clearcasting procs to the number of Regrowths cast (this is found in the Healing by Spell tab). The Druid should have at least as many Regrowth casts as CC procs.

Trinkets – If the druid has an on-use trinket equipped, check the cooldown on it and the amount of times used. They should be used the maximum amount possible.

Movement abilities – On fights that require movement or kiting, look for things like Dash, Stampeding Roar or Displacer Beast too see that the Druid is making the most of their abilities.

The following are talents, so whether they appear in a Druid’s logs is spec-dependent:

Incarnation – Incarnation has a 3 minute cooldown. In your average 4-7 minute fight it should be used twice. A third use can be squeezed into fights that last longer.

Heart of the Wild – If the Druid has this in their spec, they should be using it on every fight for the 25% healing increase for 3o seconds. The cooldown is 6 minutes, so it likely won’t ever be used more than 2x per fight. 

You should also check to see if the Druid is using abilities given to them by Symbiosis. For the list of those, check here.

Druids also have a new spell, Genesis, which speeds up existing Rejuvs. Unfortunately, this spell will only show up if you search for it in the Log Broswers or Expression Editor.

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!

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.

Smart heal, dumb heal, boring heal, cheat heal?

I have to apologize for this post in advance because I’m feeling whiny and spiteful. This post is terribly biased.

Last night I participated one of the least enjoyable raids I can remember. It had nothing to do with my raid group – we were having fun on Mumble and though things were occasionally a little sloppy, we did okay at killing bosses. It was all about healer balance and my performance in particular. First of all, I was dead a lot. I may as well have been trying to catch the Lightning Diffusions on Heroic Jin’Rokh, I couldn’t have done any worse at that. But what really made the raid unenjoyable was trying to get any healing done with 2 Holy Pallies an 2 Disc Priests healing in the raid. Ugh. 

I’m going to admit something here – I love topping meters. I know, I know, that’s not what healing is about a lot of the time, but I don’t care. I want my orange bar on top. Seeing myself 4th or 5th on a list feels shitty. Hell, I don’t even like to be 2nd. For the first time, taking into consideration my toolkit and the toolkit the other classes have, I don’t think it’s likely I’m going to see my name on top of any meter no matter how hard I try. Unless I sit half my healers to give my HoTs a chance to actually do something - but that’s not very nice.

Last night’s raid put two thoughts into my head.

First, raiding has a huge fundamental flaw. As you progress, you get more gear, you get better at handling mechanics. DPS players are rewarded for this progress by being able to put out more and more damage and watching their number soar. Healers, on the other hand, are rewarded by watching their overheal numbers inflate, having less to do and maybe even losing their raid slots as raid leaders sit them to bring in more dps. No idea how to fix this, but it sucks.

Second, (and this is where I become irrational and  take out my frustration on everyone else) I think some classes just have it easier. I’ve written about how I think too much healing is “smart” before. Spells which require very little effort, thought or skill do the bulk of most class’s healing. Druids are not excluded from this, but we do have the distinction of having our heals be very much dependent on what the rest of the people in our raid are doing.

Let’s take a look at how much thought or effort Druid spells require.

Rejuvenation – Usually does 20-30% of healing. Doesn’t require a whole lot of thought, but if you are careless with it all you’re going to get is a whole lot of overheal and run yourself oom. Takes 12 seconds to complete the heal. (As a side note, we’re the only healer who has the bulk of their healing done by a targeted, single-target heal).

Wild Growth – Usually does 20-30% of healing. Requires next to no thought. Don’t cast on someone standing in a corner by themselves, don’t cast when everyone is at full health and you’ve done your job with WG. Takes 7 seconds to complete the heal.

Tranquility - Usually does 10-20% of healing. No thought required.

Swiftmend (both components) – Usually does 10-20% of healing. Swiftmend often involves making a choice. Do I SM the tank who’s dipping low and end up with the ground effect only healing 1 person? Or do I SM someone who doesn’t really need it, but is standing in a group of people? Placement of the ground heal important, but so is the ability to use it reactively for an instant, large heal.

Lifebloom – Healing really depends on fight and assignment. Can do 5% of total healing, can do 20%. Can be proactively and reactively swapped around to whoever needs to most. Needs to be refreshed often.

Wild Mushrooms – Again, healing depends on fight. Isn’t used at all on some, can make up 20% of healing on others (really only on one other fight though). Need to be positioned properly, need to be charged fully, need to be used at the right time, and you can’t get out of range of them. One of the trickier spells to use.

Regrowth/Healing Touch – Usually makes up about 5-8% of healing. Requires decent reaction/timing.

Now lets look at the heals other classes get that piss me off the most and make my silly little HoTs seem like a waste of time and effort.

Illuminated Healing – This can make up 50% of a Paladin’s healing done. And it’s completely passive. And it procs from overhealing. Seriously.

All of the Priest T6 talents – Instant, only one of them requires a target (and the target really doesn’t matter because it likes to bounce to people really far away). Hit a button and watch your raid take half a million healing in 2 seconds.

Circle of Healing / Light of Dawn – Sort of the equivalent of Wild Growth except they heal instantly so are less prone to overheal. They also trigger Illuminated Healing or Echo of Light for extra free healing.

Prayer of Mending – Instant, super cheap, bounces around on its own! Subject to overpowered set bonuses.

Renewing Mist/Uplift - RM is just like Rejuv. Except it’s cheaper. And it generates a Monk’s secondary resource. And it spreads to extra targets by itself. Is the HoT not doing enough on it’s own? Uplift for burst healing!

Atonement – I’m a Disc Priest. I could literally just Penance/Smite/Solace the boss for the whole fight and still outheal other healers with Atonement and Divine Aegis (especially on bosses/adds who take more damage).

Druids have their share of mindless healing (plus we only have 7 healing spells to use! Give us more!!!). But we also have to actually pick a target for our heals a lot of the time, which is an affliction most classes don’t suffer from :P

I’m ready for my cheat heals now.

Healing Throne of Thunder – Halls of Flesh-Shaping

Here are some tips for healing the third section of Throne of Thunder as a Resto Druid, including the best time to use cooldowns and which talents and symbiosis targets are optimal for each fight.

First, a few general tips:

  • Feline Swiftness is the level 15 talent that I recommend on most fights.
  • Nature’s Swiftness is the level 30 talent I recommend for any fight. Remember the cooldown is only 1 minute. It makes your next heal instant, 50% bigger and mana-free, so use it often.
  • The major glyphs I usually recommend are: Glyph of Wild GrowthGlyph of Lifebloom and Glyph of Regrowth.
  • For the good of the raid, using Symb on a tank is a good bet in most cases (a Paladin or Warrior would be my last choice since, really, who wants Cleanse or Intimidating Roar on a boss fight?) If you use this on a DK or a Monk, be sure to use IBF or Fortifying Brew during the encounter.
  • Carry lots of Tome of the Clear Mind. Which talents are strongest can change from fight to fight. It you want to maximize your healing potential, you will be changing talents often.

Durumu

Durumu tests everyone’s ability to stay out of the bad. The first phase is fairly simple to execute with minimal raid damage and only a few bad things to avoid. The second phase is tougher as the raid needs to learn how to handle 3 different coloured beams that split damage between anyone standing in them. The raid needs to be split between the three different beams while looking for Crimson Fogs to uncover and kill and avoiding uncovering Azure Fogs. The fights also features a somewhat evil maze running phase.

Here are the major damaging abilities to be aware of:

Durumu

  • The tank will be taking damage from Hard Stare, which applies two debuffs. Serious Wounds reduces healing taken by 10% per stack, requiring tank swaps (or a Pally tank who can clear all these stacks often). Arterial Cut is a DoT that will stay on the tank until they are healed to full.
  • Lingering Gaze will launch a shadowbolt at random players which will leave a small void zone on the ground. Damage from this is minimal as long as people don’t stand in the void zones.
  • Life drain will target a random player and channel a damaging spell on them for 15 seconds. The damage increases over time and the player is stunned during the channel. This needs to be intercepted by other players before the damage gets too high. The target will need some heavy healing.
  • Durumu also casts Force of Will, but people just need to get out of it (or die) you can’t heal them through it.

Light Spectrum

  • Three beams will spawn on random players. Each beam will do significant damage, split among the players inside it. In addition  each beam applies a stacking debuff, increasing damage taken by that beam so damage will increase as the phase goes on. 
  • The tanks will continue to be hit by Hard Stare through this phase.

Maze

  • During the maze, there are three sources of damage to worry about. Eye Sores are the dark purple patterns on the floor, which do very heavy damage per second to anyone standing in them. Mind Daggers do moderate, constant damage to random players. Lingering Gaze needs to be avoided as much as possible, though the void zones will likely be in the maze path at least some of the time. 
  • If you get hit by the Disintegration Beam, you die.

 The damage in this fight comes in waves. Light Spectrum and the Maze can be quite healing intensive, while the phases in between give you a bit of a break.

As always, keep up full HoTs on the active tank. During the first phase, the only other thing to heal really is the minor damage people take when targeted by Lingering Gaze. During Light Spectrum, the damage gets more intense. Use WG on cooldown, use Mushrooms when you can, and try to keep Efflorescence down. in spots where people will stay for more than a few seconds (like on people in the blue beam who will not be moving, or under people in the red beam when it is stopped on a Crimson Fog).

The maze has a lot of damage going out. I try to keep Efflorescence down in melee as they will stay in it for longer. Use WG on cooldown, don’t be stingy with Rejuvs.

Talents

Level 60 - Incarnation for sure. It’s amazing for the maze.

Level 90 - I like Heart of the Wild for this fight. There is almost no damage going out at the start, so you can take time to do some damage.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a Shaman so I can use Spiritwalker’s Grace before I cast Tranq.

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – I set up Mushrooms where the Blue beam will be positioned (my raid has set spots for each beam to go and the Blue one doesn’t move). They can be bloomed during each Light Spectrum phase.

Tranquility - Use during Light Spectrum (closer to the end of the phase). If you can, use Spiritwalker’s Grace first so you can move while casting.

Incarnation - Use during the maze. Take full advantage of being able to have multiple LBs up and cast Regrowth while running.

Ironbark - Use on the active tank when their Serious Wounds debuff is getting high (4-5 stacks). You could also use this on Life Drain targets.

HotW - Use at the start of the fight when there is very little damage going out.

Stampeding Roar – Use during the maze to help people get away from the beam faster and negate the slowing effect from running though Lingering Gaze.

Primordius

I don’t have a lot of interesting tips for this fight. My raid has been doing it the easy (read: mega boring) way for a long time. This method involves not killing any oozes and turning the fight into a tank & spank. The boss stays in the middle of the room and the raid spreads out around him.

Here are the major damaging abilities to be aware of:

As oozes reach Primordius, he will evolve and gain new abilities. He will have up to two of these at a time.

  • Ventral sacs does constant, low levels of damage to the whole raid for as long as it is active.
  • Gas Bladder splits a large amount of damage between anyone within 25 yards of Primordius. 
  • Acidic Spines do heavy damage to random players which spalshes to anyone within 5 yards.
  • Pathogen Glands puts a DoT on a random player which deals heavy damage over 10 seconds. They will need focused healing.
  • Erupting Pustules does very heavy damage to people every 10 seconds. This damage splashes to anyone within 2.5 yards. This is the worst ability of the bunch and can easily wipe out people if they are too close together.

Keep up full HoTs on the active tank. Erupting Pustules are the only really damaging ability during the fight. Otherwise the fight is very dull.

Talents

Level 60 - Incarnation or SotF are both fine.

Level 90 - Heart of the Wild.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a tank, usually a Monk or DK so I have an extra cooldown to use.

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – Mushrooms are really buggy on this fight. When I place them in the circle in the middle of the room they have a tendency to disappear. Because of this, I set them up outside that circle and try to get them in range of a few ranged/healers.

Tranquility - Erupting Pustules and Acidic Spines are the most damaging abilities, so use Tranq while one of those mutations is active.

Ironbark - Use on the active tank when their Malformed Blood debuff is getting high (8-9 stacks). You could also use this on Pathogen Glands targets.

HotW - Use at the start of the fight when there is very little damage going out.

Dark Animus

This fight features a ton of adds that need to be controlled and killed in the correct way and it can be quite chaotic. 

Here are the major damaging abilities to be aware of:

Golems

  • During the first part of the fight, everyone will be tanking an Anima Golem. They do hit fairly hard, but have a very slow swing timer, so keeping everyone healed up is not difficult.  The danger comes from Acceleration Link – if 2 Golems get too close together their damage goes up an incredible amount and they’ll make short work of any non-tank. So don’t let them get close together.
  • Your tanks will soon have Massive Anima Golems to contend with. These do more melee damage plus cast Explosive Slam in front of them.
  • Matter Swap is the biggest nuisance in this fight. This is a dispellable debuff that lasts 12 seconds. When the debuff wears off or is dispelled, the affected player has their position swapped with that of the raid member who is farthest away from them at the time. Damage equal to the affected player’s maximum health is split between the two players, with the portion of damage that the other player takes increasing the longer the debuff remains on the affected player. To deal with this, people with the debuff should be topped off then dispelled when there is 6-8 seconds left on the debuff.

Dark Animus

When the Dark Animus activates, he starts syphoning off energy from any golems still active in the room. He also gains new abilities based on how much anima he has.

  • Touch of the Animus is a debuff on a random raid member, which deals a moderate amount of Fire damage every 5 seconds for the rest of the fight.
  • Anima Ring creates a ring of spheres around his current target (the tank), which closes in on the target. Coming in contact with a sphere consumes it, applying a stack of a debuff that increases damage taken from melee attacks by 50% for 15 seconds. My raid has melee step in and soak a sphere so the tank can get out unharmed.
  • Anima Font causes one of the players debuffed by Touch of the Animus to also deal damage to allies in a small area around them.
  • Interrupting Jolt deals a large amount of raid-wide Nature damage, and it interrupts the spellcasting of any players (also silencing them for 8.5 seconds) who are in the middle of a cast at the time. In my raid, he’s always dead before he gains this ability.
  • If he reaches 100 Energy he casts Full Power, which will quickly wipe the raid.

In phase 1 raid damage is low. WG and a few Rejuvs is more than enough to keep up anyone in range. As the Massive Golems activate, keep HoTs on whichever tank is in range. Your focus should be on topping up those with the Matter Swap debuff and dispelling at the correct time (6-8 stacks).

Once Dark Animus is active you will have both him (it?) to worry about, plus one of your tanks will still be tanking a Massive Anima Golem. The Golem tank will be taking more damage due to the debuff from Explosive Slam, so swaps (or clever kiting) may be required. I keep LB up on the Golem tank and focus raid healing on those with Matter Swap or Touch of the Animus. If people are doing their jobs right (not standing in Anima Font or in front of Massive Golems) there’s not actually that much to heal aside from tank damage and Matter Swap.

Talents

Level 60 - Incarnation or SotF are both fine. I lean towards Incarnation so I can keep LBs on both tanks for some of the fight.

Level 90 - Heart of the Wild so you can do some damage to your Anima Golem.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a tank, usually a Monk or DK so I have an extra cooldown to use.

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – Mushrooms aren’t great on this fight. I set them up around myself and others close to me before the pull in case I need a quick heal while tanking the golem.

Tranquility - I use this as an emergency heal while Dark Animus is active. There’s no specific time when many people in the raid are taking heavy damage, so I use it reactively after people take unnecessary damage or a particularly nasty set of Matter Swaps.

Incarnation – Use at some point during phase 2.

Ironbark - Use on the Massive Golem tank. Alternatively you can use it on someone with Matter Swap who doesn’t have many of their own cooldowns.

HotW - Use at the start of the fight to put out some decent damage on your Golem.

Happy healing!

Healing Throne of Thunder – Forgotten Depths

Here are some tips for healing the second section of Throne of Thunder as a Resto Druid, including the best time to use cooldowns and which talents and symbiosis targets are optimal for each fight.

First, a few general tips:

  • Feline Swiftness is the level 15 talent that I recommend on most fights.
  • Nature’s Swiftness is the level 30 talent I recommend for any fight. Remember the cooldown is only 1 minute. It makes your next heal instant, 50% bigger and mana-free, so use it often.
  • The major glyphs I usually recommend are: Glyph of Wild Growth, Glyph of Lifebloom and Glyph of Regrowth.
  • For the good of the raid, using Symb on a tank is a good bet in most cases (a Paladin or Warrior would be my last choice since, really, who wants Cleanse or Intimidating Roar on a boss fight?) If you use this on a DK or a Monk, be sure to use IBF or Fortifying Brew during the encounter.
  • Carry lots of Tome of the Clear Mind. Which talents are strongest can change from fight to fight. It you want to maximize your healing potential, you will be changing talents often.

Tortos

Mechanics-wise, Tortos is one of the least complicated fights in ToT, but it does require very good execution and a lot of awareness. The fight involves extremely heavy, spiky tank damage as well as high raid damage at frequent intervals throughout the fight. Throughout the fight your raid will need to deal with Tortos himself along with smaller Whirl Turtles which will spawn and spin around the room and Vampiric Cave Bats.

Here are the major damaging abilities to be aware of:

Tortos

  • Furious Stone Breath is what Tortos uses when he reaches 100 fury. This must be interrupted by kicking a turtle shell at him. If this is channeled on the raid for more than a tick, it’ll be a wipe.
  • Quake Stomp is cast about every 40 seconds and deals raid wide damage along with stunning everyone.
  • Rockfall is something that happens throughout the fight, and more so right after a Quake Stomp. These will appear as blue circles on the ground. These will kill anyone standing in the blue circle, and do moderate damage to anyone within 20 yards.
  • Snapping Bite is the main attack on the tank. It hits for a ton, so it’s best if the tank has a cooldown up for each one. It is also a good idea to have a Pally or Priest as the tank healer so some of the damage can be absorbed.

 Whirl Turtles use only one damaging ability: Spinning Shell, which will constantly spin around the room and knock people around. Getting slows up on the whirl turtles as they spawn makes avoiding the damage much easier.

Vampiric Cave Bats also have one major ability (other than strong melee attacks) to worry about: Drain the Weak. If the Bats’ target is not near full health the attacks will heal the bats. The bat tank needs to be topped up as much as possible. Cooldowns are useful, and stuns on the bats are great.

There’s a lot going on in this fight and a lot of damage to heal. At the start of the fight I like to keep LB rolling on the Tortos tank to help smooth out damage. Make sure the raid is topped up before any Quake Stomp and be prepared to deal with the damage afterwards. This includes having mushroom set up where people are grouped up and getting Swiftmend down under a group of players just before the Stomp hits. Use WG and ample Rejuvs to deal with the continuing damage from Rockfall. As bats are spawning I like to move my LB stack over to that tank.

Talents

Level 45 – I like Faerie Swarm here. If your group is short on slows or one of the turtle gets missed, you can use FS to help out.

Level 60 – Either SotF or Incarnation are useful here, though I prefer Incarnation. The instant RGs are very nice while you’re running around dodging Rockfalls.

Level 75 – Ursol’s Vortex can be placed under or just in front of Tortos as Whirl Turtles spawn to slow the turtles moving though. The pullback aspect of this spell doesn’t work though. If you don’t want to use this (I actually find it of limited value) you can use Disorienting Roar on the bats frequently to give the tank a brief respite.

Level 90 – Either Heart of the Wild or Nature’s Vigil can be used here. There won’t be much of a chance to use the HotW cooldown to help with damage, but the passive Intellect is always good. Nature’s Vigil will allow you to help put out a little damage while also giving you a weak healing boost that can be used pretty much on cooldown.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a Shaman so I can use Spiritwalker’s Grace before I cast Tranq.

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – I set up Mushrooms under the melee and bloom them after Quake Stomps. Spread then out a bit, as melee will also be spreading out due to Rockfalls.

Tranquility – Use after a Quake Stomp. If you have it, use Spiritwalker’s Grace first so you can dodge Rockfalls without having to interrupt the spell.

Incarnation – Use while damage is heaviest – Rockfalls are happening frequently, the bats are out. Keep LBs on both tanks and get out as much group healing as possible.

Ironbark – I save this for the bat tank.

HotW – If you take this, the only time you may be able to use it to dps a little is at the start of the fight.

Megaera

Megaera is a healing intensive fight against a hydra. The goal is to kill 8 of her respawning heads. The fight isn’t too complex but does involve heavy damage to two tanks at once along with very heavy raid wide damage every time a head is killed. There’s also some dispelling to do.

Here are the major damaging abilities to be aware of:

  • Rampage happens whenever a head is killed. This is the biggest source of raid damage in the fight and cooldowns will be needed.
  • Cinders gets applied to a random player and deals heavy damage to them. This must be dispelled, but the target must get out of the raid first, as it leaves behind a fire patch when dispelled.
  • Torrent of Ice targets a random player and chases them with a frost beam that does damage to anyone it touches and leaves damaging frost on the ground. These ground two effects will cancel each other out if placed on top of each other.
  • Acid Rain will target a random player and launch an acid globule at them, doing very heavy damage at the point of impact and less damage as players are further away. Players need to be moving away from this.
  • Tanks also get debuffs from the head they are tanking, necessitating swaps.
  • Each head also does a cone breath attack, but no one but the tanks should be hit by this.

Keep LBs on the tank taking the most damage – fire and poison heads tend to cause more damage than ice. If you are a dispeller, make sure the target has run out of the raid before getting rid on Cinders and put at least a Rejuv on that person as soon as the debuff is applied. Outside of the Rampage, the biggest source of raid damage during this fight is the Acid Rain. Keeping Swiftmend under the melee stack is a good idea and be liberal with your Wild Growth and Rejuvs. 

Talents

Level 15 – Displacer Beast can be very useful on this fight to quickly move out of the group if you get targeted by a frost or fire beam. Alternatively you can use it to get back to the group faster on the way back.

Level 60 - I prefer Incarnation since I find this fight very hard on mana. 

Level 90 - Either Heart of the Wild or Nature’s Vigil can be used here. There won’t be much of a chance to use the HotW cooldown to help with damage, but the passive Intellect is always good. Nature’s Vigil will allow you to help put out a little damage while also giving you a weak healing boost that can be used pretty much on cooldown.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a tank (preferably a Monk or DK so I get a damage reduction cooldown).

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – Set up Mushrooms in the spot the raid will be grouping for each Rampage and bloom during it.

Tranquility - Use during Rampage.

Incarnation - I use this outside of Rampage, so I can keep LB stacks on both tanks and do more reactive healing to poison bolts.

Ironbark - Use on tanks who are taking high damage.

Ji-Kun

Ji-Kun is a really fun fight that involves jumping and flying to platforms to deal with adds, periods of heavy raid damage and a lot of movement and spreading out. You fight Ji-Kun in the center platform, where everyone must be spread out to avoid AoE damage abilities.  Throughout the fight nests around the room, both above and below the main platform, activate and eggs on them need to be killed. My raid assigns one group of 3-4 dps and a healer to handle certain nests each time – one lower and one upper.

Damaging abilities to be aware of:

  • The tank will be taking damage from Infected Talons, a stacking DoT and Talon Rake, which needs tank swaps.
  • Caw sends out sound waves at random players that will do heavy damage to anyone within 5 yards. People need to be spread out for this.
  • Quills is the big raid damaging ability. This happens every minute. It’s best for everyone on the main platform to group up for this, then  spread back out again immediately after it ends.
  • Feed Young, if not intercepted, will leave a slime puddle on the ground which will deal damage over time to anyone who stands in it. However, standing in these for 3 seconds also removes the puddle, so it may be necessary for people to stand in these - preferably tanks or people with immunities/good damage mitigation cooldowns.

You may also have to deal with damage on the nests. If eggs hatch into Hatchlings, they will do light melee damage. If Hatchlings grow into Fledglings they will bombard random raid members with heavy damage.

Druids are a great choice for healing nests on this fight, so a lot of your healing is going to be focused on your group. Keep LB on the active tank while you’re on the platform, but feel free to move it to someone in your group while you’re on a nest. WG and Swiftmend are both great for keeping your nest group healed up since the platform area is so small.

Make sure you have a good handle on when you can use your Feathers to fly. You’ll likely have extra charges and will be able to use one during Down Drafts so you can ignore that whole mechanic. You do not need to use a feather when jumping down from a high nest (there’s no fall damage), so don’t waste charges on that.

Glyphs

You may want to consider replacing Glyph of Regrowth with Glyph of Stampeding Roar for this fight. Using Roar on the raid during Down Draft can be very helpful.

Talents

Level 60 - I prefer Incarnation for this fight. It’s a good cooldown if your group is on a nest during Quills.

Level 75 - Disorienting Roar can be somewhat useful if you’re dealing with Hatchlings in a nest.

Level 90 - Either Heart of the Wild or Nature’s Vigil can be used here. 

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a tank (preferably a Monk or DK so I get a damage reduction cooldown).

Cooldowns

Wild Mushroom – Pre-pull I will jump down to my nest and place Mushrooms so I can bloom them while my group is down there. After that, I’ll try to put them in the center to have them ready to use for Quills. However, if they are in the center and you fly off to a nest, they’re going to despawn because of range.

Tranquility - Use during Quills.

Incarnation - Use so you can keep LBs on your whole group if Quills happens while you’re on a nest.

Ironbark - Use on tanks who are taking high damage.

Stampeding Roar – Use just before Down Draft to help out the raid.

Heart of the Wild – If you take this you can use it while on a nest and help kill eggs/hatchlings.

Happy healing!