Tag Archives: 5.2

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

Resto Druid Gear for 5.2

The following is the new gear available to Resto Druids in 5.2. It includes gear from the new raid, new reps and some new leatherworking patterns. I assume this list will also come in handy for Mistweaver Monks (though I haven’t included your tier pieces).

As always, this stuff is all from the PTR, so it may not be entirely accurate, things may be missing or it may change. I’ll try to keep it as up to date as possible. The drop locations of a few of the items is currently unknown, they are likely trash drops in Throne of Thunder.

I have listed 3 levels of loot in this list (LFR, Normal, Heroic). However, there are actually 5 different ilvls for all raid loot excluding Tier pieces (because things clearly needed to be more complex). Bosses in Throne of Thunder have a small chance to drop Thunderforged gear in normal and heroic modes (not in LFR). Thunderforged gear is 6 ilvls higher than it’s regular counterpart gear. So the new gear levels are:

  • 502 -LFR
  • 522 – Normal
  • 528 – Normal Thunderforged
  • 535 – Heroic
  • 541 – Heroic Thunderforged

Head

Item iLevel Location
Spirit Keeper Helm 522 Leatherworking

Hood of Smoldering Flesh
LFR Normal Heroic

502/522/535 Maegara
Helm of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts

Shoulders

Item iLevel Location
Heartroot Shoulderguards 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Revered (1750 VP)
Spaulders of Diplomacy
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Mantle of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron-Qon

Chest

Item iLevel Location
Robes of Treacherous Ground
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders
Robes of Concussive Shocks
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos
Robes of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Robes of Contagious Time 541 Ra-den

Wrist

Item iLevel Location
Hearthfire Armwraps 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Infinitely Conducting Bracers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Jin’rokh the Breaker
Vampire Bat-Hide Bracers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos

Hands

Item iLevel Location
Gloves of Enduring Renewal 522 Shadow-Pan Assult – Honored (1750 VP)
Handwraps of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders or Nalak, the Storm Lord
Anima-Ringed Fingers
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Gloves of Slicing Electricity
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Waist

Item iLevel Location
Cinch of the Dead Forest’s Vigil 476 Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught – Honored
Martien’s Splitleaf Girdle 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Revered (1750 VP)
Abandoned Zandalari Moonstrap
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Girdle of Night and Day
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Worldbender Waistband 541 Ra-den

Legs

Item iLevel Location
Trousers of Waning Shadow 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Honored (2250 VP)
Roots of Rampaging Earth
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Legwraps of the Haunted Forest (T15)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Ji-Kun or Nalak, the Storm Lord
Leggings of the Malformed Sapling
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Primordius
Kilt of Perpetual Genuflection 541 Ra-den

Feet

Item iLevel Location
Spirit Keeper Footguards 522 Leatherworking
Deeproot Treads
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Sandals of the Starving Eye
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Roots of Pain 541 Ra-den

Neck

Item iLevel Location
Mender’s Battletags 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Neutral (1250 VP)
Necklace of the Terra-Cotta Mender
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Horridon’s Tusk Fragment
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Passionfire Choker
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Soul Prism of Lei-Shen
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Back

Item iLevel Location
Static-Collecting Cloak 496 Sunreaver Onslaught/Kirin Tor Offensive – Revered
Shan’ze Gravetender Cloak 496 Sunreaver Onslaught/Kirin Tor Offensive – Revered
Dreamweaver Drape 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Honored (1250 VP)
Deadly Glare Cape
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Drape of Booming Nights
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Jin’rokh the Breaker
Shimmershell Cape
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Tortos
Constantly Accelerating Cloak
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Black Night Thundercloak 541 Ra-den

Finger

Item iLevel Location
Ancient Primalist’s Seal 496 Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught – Exalted
Signet of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Ring of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow Pan Assault – Friendly (1250 VP)
Petrified Eye of the Basilisk
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Durumu’s Captive Eyeball
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Ro’shak’s Remembrance
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron Qon
Ra’den’s Evolving Signet 541 Ra-den

Trinkets

If you’re looking for some analysis on the new trinkets, check out Therya’s very detailed post. Personally, my top choices are Horridon’s and Chalice. The absorbs from the other two sound nice, but I really don’t like Spirit-based trinkets (and Stolen Relic of Zuldazar will require a whole new click binding and I’m pretty much out of those).

Item iLevel Location
Soothing Talisman of the Shadow-Pan Assault 522 Shadow-Pan Assault – Friendly (1750 VP)
Horridon’s Last Gasp
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Horridon
Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Maegara
Stolen Relic of Zuldazar
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Primordius
Lightning-Imbued Chalice
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Weapon

Juvenate has done a good analysis of 1-handed weapon drops in 5.2. A one-handed weapon plus off-hand is superior stat-wise, since off-hands get an extra Intellect enchant. However, there are only 2 off-hands available, and they come from the 10th and 12th bosses in the tier. If you pick up a nice 1H weapon, you could be stuck with your Feng offhand for a while. It might be worth it to pick up a staff (or the 2H mace, depending on where it drops) if you get the chance.

Item iLevel Location
Saurok Ritualist’s Sacrificial Dagger (1H dagger) 476 ??
Lightning Snare (1H mace) 476 ??

Jerthud, Graceful Hand of the Savior (1H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic

502/522/535 ??
Invocation of the Dawn (2H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 ??
Amun-Thoth, Sul’s Spiritrending Talons (1H fist weapon)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Council of Elders
Giorgio’s Caduceus of Pure Moods (2H staff)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Ji-Kun
Ritual Dagger of the Mind’s Eye (1H dagger)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Durumu the Forgotten
Athame of the Sanguine Ritual (1H dagger)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Dark Animus
Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun (2H staff)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Twin Consorts
Torall, Rod of the Shattered Throne (1H mace)
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Off-hand

Item iLevel Location
Orb of Arcing Lightning
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Iron Qon
Lei-Shen’s Orb of Command
LFR Normal Heroic
502/522/535 Lei Shen

Timing is Everything

Today we got the news that patch 5.2 will be dropping in the last week of February. Usually, I’m not too critical of decisions made by Blizzard. In fact, I usually am on the verge of being a Blizzard apologist. This game has kept me interested and entertained for 7 years, there’s not much else I can say that about. But I have to say, sometimes their timing just sucks.

I think Tier 15 being released after less than 5 months is too soon. Much too soon. I would like some more time to work on T14 heroics, I feel like my raid can progress more before we run into a brick wall and are itching for the new tier to come out. And I don’t think we’re alone.

WoWProgress has tracked the progress of ~39,000 guilds. Of those, 29.5% have completed all normal modes and 1% have completed all heroic modes. This isn’t a lot. I think many guilds out there would benefit from a little more time in the current tier.

I had this exchange on Twitter once I learned about 5.2′s release date:

5.2 release date from Bashiok
Releasing a new raid tier every 5 months is an admirable goal, but all raid tiers are not created equal. The quantity and quality of the content available need to be taken into consideration when deciding when to push out the next tier.

Let’s take Tiers 8 & 9 as an example. They were current content for roughly the same amount of time, but they shouldn’t have been. Ulduar was a beautifully designed, lore-rich raid instance with great boss fights and clever ways of accessing heroic modes. TotC was a single room with no trash mobs and only 5 unique fights. Three and a half months in Ulduar did not feel nearly long enough.  Four months in TotC was enough to make me never want to step foot in that raid again.

Having only 5 months in the particular case of Tier 14 is problematic for three main reasons:

  1. The tier is HUGE! 16 normal + 16 heroic encounters is a lot of bosses to work through, the most bosses we’ve ever had at one time. Five months isn’t enough.
  2. Aside from the raids, players have had a ton of content to work on since the launch of Mists – gearing, rep grinds, dailies, lesser charms, dungeons, scenarios, challenge modes, new BGs, arenas, brawler’s guild, pet battles. Of course I can’t speak for everyone, but I feel like it’s only recently that I’ve had time to take a breath and spend more time doing non-raid related things or working on alts. There’s still a lot I’d like to do before jumping into the gear/valor grind to prepare myself for a new tier of content.
  3. It means we’re going to be subjected to front-loaded raid content for the 3rd expansion in a row.

There has been a very obvious pattern for the release of raid content over the last 3 expansions:

  • The first tier of the expansion features a large number of unique raid bosses, spread out through multiple raid instances.
  • The middle tier(s) feature less raid bosses in less raid instances and are current for a shorter amount of time.
  • The last tier is a single raid instance and is current for a very long time before the next expansion is released.

Unless some major changes in priorities and allocation of resources has taken place in Mists, I’m anticipating these trends will continue and we’ll again be in the final tier for much longer than anybody wants to be.

When thinking about the ideal amount of time to spend in one raid tier before the next is introduced, we really need to consider how many encounters are in that tier. Let’s take a look at the amount of time each tier lasted and compare the length of time to the number of encounters available:

Tier 7  (5 months, 18 encounters – 3.6 encounters/month)
Tier 8  (3.5 months, 23 encounters 6.6 encounters/month)
Tier 9  (4 months, 11 encounters – 2.75 encounters/month)
Tier 10 (1 year, 26 encounters – 2.2 encounters/month) 
Tier 11 (6.5 months, 25 encounters – 3.8 encounters/month)
Tier 12 (5 months, 14 encounters – 2.8 encounters/month)
Tier 13 (10 months, 16 encounters – 1.6 encounters/month)
Tier 14 (4.75 months, 32 encounters – 6.7 encounters/month)

*I’m counting heroic versions of bosses as their own encounters, and have not included world bosses or the bosses in VoA/TB*

I think that everyone can agree that 1 year in ICC and 10 months in Dragon Soul was way too long. By comparison, Ulduar and Tier 14 were current for far too short a time. I think a good ratio for boss fights to months spent in a tier is around 4:1. That’s about 1 encounter per week. The raid tiers that are around this ratio (Tiers 7 and 11) are the ones that made me feel neither rushed, nor like I was sitting around waiting for new content for an inordinate amount of time.

Raid tier release timing could be much better. Just because PTR testing is complete, doesn’t mean you need to release the next raid content patch immediately. You can hold something back. Slow down the release of the first couple tiers (but keep working on the next!) so we don’t have to spend a year in the last one. Just imagine how much more enjoyable raiding in Wrath could have been if the release schedule had been just a little bit different. Spending 6 months in Naxx, 6 months in Ulduar and only 9 months in ICC certainly would have made my raid time in Wrath more fulfilling and resulted in much less burnout at the end.

Putting an end to Tier 14 so soon is a bad idea.