Tag Archives: genesis

Button Bloat – Resto Druids

Everybody’s talking about button bloat. Lissanna’s doing it. Vidyala’s doing it. Celestalon was the one who started it.

So I’m going to talk about it too. First, to answer the question – there’s no ability I love that I fear will be cut. I am fearless in that regard. Would I want something like Rejuvenation to go away? Obviously not, but I’m also quite positive it’s not on the chopping block.

Second, I think removing some abilities is an excellent idea. How many abilities is too many? More than I can comfortably bind. On my Druid I use VuhDo bindings and bind all my common heals to a combination of SHIFT, CTRL, ALT (or no modifier) plus one of 4 buttons on my mouse. That gives me 16 possible bindings. Actually, 15, since unmodified left click is used to target.

Currently, my breakdown of resto Druid spells in PVE looks like this:

  • Spells I want the fastest access to that need to be bound: Healing Touch, Lifebloom, Nature’s Cure, Nature’s Swiftness, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Swiftmend, Wild Growth, Wild Mushroom, WM: Bloom, Innervate, Ironbark, Barkskin (13 spells)
  • Spells which I feel  should be bound, but in reality almost never get used: Nourish, Genesis (2 spells)
  • Spells which are used regularly but have a long enough cooldown that I don’t mind not having them bound: Rebirth, Tranquility, Incarnation, Nature’s Vigil/HotW, whatever I get from Symbiosis (5 spells)
  • Utility spells that I use frequently: Dash, Displacer Beast, Stampeding Roar (3 spells)
  • Situational utility spells: Typhoon, Soothe, Ursol’s Vortex, Cat form, Bear form, Might of Ursoc, Growl (7 spells, give or take)
  • DPS spells that I like to use when I’m bored or the boss is at 1% and is berserking: Moonfire, Wrath (2 spells)

Adding those up, I have a total of 32 abilities which I will want access to at some point or another in raids. If I take away the highly situational spells that I don’t use on most encounters, I’m still left with 23. 

I think 23 abilities is too many to use on a regular basis. So what can we cut? Looking at my breakdown of spells, two things stick out. Nourish and Genesis.

Nourish is a spell I haven’t had bound since about a week into Mists. With all the other healing spells available to us, it just doesn’t pack enough of a punch. It’s cheap mana-wise, but it’s also slow and barely puts a dent in health bars. It seems like an obvious choice for removal.

Genesis is a spell I was excited about when it was first announced, thinking that it would give Druid healing some much-needed extra burst. However, it didn’t really work out that way. Rejuvenation just has too short a duration to make Genesis really work. At most you’re going to have 5 up that you can speed up, and the first couple applied will barely benefit from the Genesis cast. Plus, using Genesis mean you lose all your applied Rejuvs very quickly when most of the time it’s more beneficial to leave them up, ticking slowly. The only real use people have gotten out of Genesis is quickly charging Wild Mushrooms, but I don’t think giving us a faster way to overheal was what the devs had in mind when they made this spell. Cut it.

These two were obvious ones, but now it gets a little murkier. Healing Touch or Regrowth could also be candidates for removal, depending on how/if the healing model changes in Warlords. If we continue down the road of AoE/smartheal/cooldown all the things, we really don’t need 2 cast-time direct heals in our kit. I think that Healing Touch could be removed without too much impact. For most of this expansion I only used it in combination with Nature’s Swiftness (or if there was not enough to heal and I could just chain cast it on a tank to refresh LB/Harmony/give me something to do). The 4T16 bonus means people are using it more now, but unless this effect gets baked in as a passive ability, this will change in Tier 17. I find that Regrowth and Healing Touch are in the same niche, but Regrowth fills it better. If the healing model gets changed so that single target heals are something we actually want to be casting, I think there is room for both of these spells. However, I think they would need to be changed a little to differentiate them. I’d like to see the HoT portion of Regrowth be more substantial, as it once was. Alternatively, Healing Touch could be cheaper and bigger to compensate for the slow cast time.

The last spell that I think could be removed is Innervate. Of course it’s nice to have a mana return, but I think it would be just as easy to balance healers around not having an ability like this instead. Druids’ mana return is a little more interesting than something like Divine Plea or Mana Tea in that we can choose to cast it on someone else but, really, how often does that happen? Generally Innervate just amounts to another 3-minute cooldown to watch and use as soon as it’s available. It’s not really adding anything.

I’m trying to find more candidates for removal, but everything else has a real purpose, even if it doesn’t get used on every fight. I really like having so many utility spells and I can’t think of one I’d want to remove to reduce button bloat.

What do you think? Are there any abilities you wouldn’t miss if they were removed?

Speaking of Resto Druids (since I don’t speak about them all that much any more), if you’re an avid tree lover, you should check out Team Waffle’s most recent Resto Roundtable and Final Boss’s podcast on Restos for some great discussion. I’m kind of sad that not maining a Druid means I don’t get invited to these things anymore 🙁 But they’re both great things to listen to.

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.

Resto Druid Guide: Spec and Talents

Once you hit level 85 and are looking to start heroics or raiding you’ll probably want to make a few tweaks to your spec. The general spec for PVE healing is 8/2/31.

Here is the basic spec that includes everything I consider to be mandatory talents.

Basic resto druid spec

With this spec you get a reduction in spell cost from Moonglow in the balance tree and 10% extra mana from Furor in the Feral tree, which are very important right now. The mandatory resto talents are:
Natural Shapeshifter
Naturalist
Heart of the Wild
Master Shapeshifter
Improved Rejuvenation
Living Seed
Revitalize
Empowered Touch
Malfurion’s Gift
Wild Growth
Nature’s Cure
Gift of the Earthmother
Tree of Life

This  leaves you with 5 extra points to spend in the Resto tree.

My spec of choice places the extra points in Efflorescence (3 points) and Nature’s Bounty (2 points). My spec looks like this:

My restoration druid specLink

Here’s a closer look at all the possible talent choices for druid healers and how important they are:

Restoration

Tier 1

NoBlessing of the Grove (2 points) – Two points increases the healing of your Rejuvenation by 4%. With the reduced reliance on Rejuvenation this is a fairly weak talent. There are better places to spend your points.

YesNatural Shapeshifter (2 points) – Reduces the cost of shapeshifting by 20% and increases the duration of Tree of Life by 10 seconds. This is a prerequisite for Master Shapeshifter in tier 2.

YesNaturalist (2 points) – Reduces the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch by 0.5 seconds. Nourish is your most mana efficient spell and you will be using it often. These points are a must.

YesHeart of the Wild (3 points) – Increases your Intellect by 6%. Intellect gives you a bigger mana pool, more spell power and increases mana regeneration effects. Another must have.

Tier 2

NoPerseverance (3 points) – Decreases your magic damage taken by 6%. Damage reduction is always nice, but unfortunately there are too many other important talents to take, making it hard to squeeze any points in here.

YesMaster Shapeshifter (1 point) – Increases your healing by 4%. This applies to all healing spells. Take this.

YesImproved Rejuvenation (3 points) – Increases the healing of your Rejuvenation and Swiftmend by 15%. This is a much stronger talent than the 4% rejuv bonus from Blessing of the Grove. This will also increase the healing of Efflorescence (if you take it).

Tier 3

YesLiving Seed (3 points) – When you critically heal with Swiftmend, Healing Touch, Nourish or Regrowth you plant a Living Seed on the target that will heal for 30% of the amount healed the next time they are hit. With our increased dependence on direct heals, Living Seed now provides a much more healing than it did in Wrath. This is a prerequisite for Efflorescence.

YesRevitalize (2 points) – Rejuvenation and Lifebloom ticks have a 20% chance to regenerate 2% of your mana. Also Replenishment to your group when you cast or refresh Lifebloom. This is a necessity in order to regenerate mana, both for ourselves and our groups. Lifebloom should be stacked on the tank (generally) at all times, so this will proc all the time.

OptionalNature’s Swiftness (1 point) – Makes your next nature spell an instant cast. While this is a handy talent to combine with Healing Touch for a big emergency heal, talent points are rather tight. If this is something you use often, take it. If it’s something you find stays unused in a lot of dungeons and raids, skip it.

NoFury of Stormrage (2 points) – Makes your wrath spell free and gives you a chance to proc instant Starfires. Sounds like fun, but there is no room for this in a PVE healing spec.

Tier 4

OptionalNature’s Bounty (3 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of Regrowth and gives you a chance to reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend by 0.5 seconds when you critically heal with Nourish or Healing Touch. How useful this talent is really depends on your healing style. With the immense cost of Regrowth, it probably won’t see too much use. I’d suggest taking other important talents first and dropping any extra points needed to reach the last tier into this.

YesEmpowered Touch (2 points) – Increases the healing done by Healing Touch and Nourish by 10% and these spells now refresh Lifebloom. You will definitely want these spells to refresh your Lifebloom stacks in order to maintain a steady amount of healing on tanks. This is a must have.

YesMalfurion’s Gift (2 points) – Whenever you heal with Lifebloom you have a 4% chance to proc Omen of Clarity. Mana is in short supply so this is an excellent talent. Maintaining stacks of Lifebloom at all times means this procs often.

Tier 5

OptionalEfflorescence (3 points) – When you heal with Swiftmend, you sprout a bed of healing fauna beneath the target, healing everyone within 4 yards for 30% of the amount healed over 7 seconds. This is another talent that depends on how you play. In raids where people are grouped up a lot, it can provide a lot of healing. However, if you stick mostly to 5-man dungeons or don’t place the Efflorescence properly, it becomes much less useful.

YesWild Growth (1 point) – Heals 5 people within 15 yards of the target over 7 seconds. This is our most useful AoE heal. Must have.

YesNature’s Cure (1 point) – Allows your Remove Corruption spell to also remove 1 magic effect. To me, this is a must have. There are an endless number of nasty magic debuffs. Being able to get rid of them is a good thing.

NoNature’s Ward (2 points) – When you take an attack at or below 50% health you will automatically cast a free Rejuvenation on yourself. This is a PVP talent. There’s no room for this in a PVE spec.

Tier 6

YesGift of the Earthmother (3 points) – Increases the healing done when your Lifebloom expires by 15% and causes your Rejuvenation to instantly heal for 15% of the total effect. With this, the ‘bloom’ from your Lifebloom is very large and can restore a big chunk of health. The Rejuvenation bonus is very nice too.

OptionalSwift Rejuvenation (1 point) – Reduces the global cooldown of your Rejuvenation by 0.5 seconds. Since Rejuvenation is no longer blanketed on everyone, I find this spell is of limited use.

Tier 7

YesTree of Life (1 point) – Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted. This is our one major cooldown spell that increases our healing output, reduces our physical damage taken (through armor) and allows us to multi-stack Lifebloom, Wild Growth more people and gives us an extra instant (though highly expensive) spell. It’s a bargain for 1 point. Plus, who doesn’t like Grampa tree? 😛

Balance

Tier 1

YesNature’s Grace (3 points) – Increases your haste by 15% for 15 seconds after casting Regrowth, Moonfire or Insect Swarm. Has a 1 minute cooldown. If you’re smart about how you use this,  it can be very useful. 15% haste will give you extra ticks on almost all of your HoTs. This can increase your output considerably during the proc.

YesNature’s Majesty (2 points) – Increases your critical strike chance for all spells by 4%. Fairly straightforward.

Tier 2

YesMoonglow (3 points) – Reduces the cost of your healing and damage spells by 9%. This talent is the reason we spend any points in Balance tree. The current mana situation makes this a very valuable talent.

NoGenesis (3 points) – Increases the healing done by your HoTs and Swiftmend. When we get to a point where mana is no longer such a big concern this will be a fantastic talent, but until then we need to take Moonglow instead.

Feral

Tier 1

YesFuror (3 points) – Increases your maximum mana. Unfortunately, putting 31 points in resto and 8 points in balance only leaves 2 points to put here, increasing your mana by 10%.

My full resto druid guide can be found here.