Tag Archives: patch

Trees They Are a-Changin’

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

Talent Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spell Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glyphs

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

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

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

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

Tier 16 Set Bonuses

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

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

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

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


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

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.3

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

buffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.2

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

buffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejuvenation now costs approximately 9% less mana.

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

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

Other Spell Changes

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

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

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

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

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

Gear

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

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

Throne of Thunder

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

On Wild Growth and Nerfs

The first patch notes from the 4.3 PTR are here! And boy are there a lot of changes. Buffs to Paladin and Priest group healing, Shaman get buffs to Riptide and an interesting change to Ancestral Healing.

Resto Druids get one, lone change in their class list:

Wild Growth: Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 30 yards of the target for 2975 3717 over 7 sec. Prioritizes healing most injured party members. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration. (source)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this represents a 20% nerf to the healing output of our best group healing spell. Ouch.

And to add insult to injury, the Glyph of Wild Growth is potentially changing as well:

Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds. (source)

So, we get less base output from our number 1 healing spell and will receive extra reduction in output because we’ll have to choose between WG hitting 6 targets but having a 10 second cooldown, or WG hitting only 5 targets but having an 8 second cooldown.

This seems like a fairly sizable overall nerf to druid raid healing. Ghostcrawler, likely having learned the lesson that people fear change and will freak out whenever said changes are revealed, put up a blog post about it right away. Let’s see what he has to say about druids.

We’re okay with Resto druids using Wild Growth frequently, but we think we allowed it to become too powerful given its ease of use. As I suggested above, this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall. The change to the Glyph of Wild Growth has positive and negative elements. We heard from druids that they felt like they didn’t have as many major glyph choices as intended, since the Glyph of Wild Growth was such a no-brainer for raiding druids — it increased the number of Wild Growth targets with no downside. We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside. With the AE heals, we thought the downside might be that the healers may not be using their AE heals necessarily, but having seen two raid tiers of content now, we’re confident that the glyphs did not have as much of a downside. (We changed the Glyphs of Circle of Healing and Light of Dawn for similar reasons). (source)

I don’t disagree that Wild Growth is a bit too powerful given its ease of use. I’ve even written about this topic before. I think that 30% of my healing coming from a single, extremely easy to use spell is too much. However, just nerfing it isn’t the answer. We need something in return. Want us to use Wild Growth less or for it to make up less of our healing? Give us a reason to use other spells instead. As long as we’ve got fights with periods of huge damage to the whole raid, the smart, group heals will always be favored. If boss mechanics aren’t going to change, then we need a new spell or an improvement to an old one that can give Wild Growth a run for its money.

The glyph change is just an extra kick in the teeth. It’s true, druids don’t have much choice when it comes to glyphs, but it’s not because none of them have a downside, it’s because there aren’t enough of them and only 3 are decent. If you want us to have to make a decision about glyphs, you need to give us more options.

The thing that really bothers me about GC’s justification though is this: …”this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall.” Who said we needed a nerf?

I have words for you, crab

Dear Ghostcrawler,

I thought we had an understanding. In return for not having any damage mitigation cooldowns, no talents like Inspiration or Ancestral Fortitude, no buffs to give other players besides MotW (which is also done by pallies) and a really weak Innervate if we ever use it on others, we would be a little higher on raw HPS than everyone else. I thought it was a fair deal. Why are you trying to change it?

When we were given a 3-minute Tranquility as our “new” raid cooldown, I had a bad feeling. I really thought that using Tranquility 2-3 times a fight would increase our healing output by a large margin, other healers would complain, and the output would be reduced. Well, I was wrong about the spell that’s getting nerfed, but that is what is happening.

Now, it’s early in the PTR, it just opened today. These changes are not set in stone. I will not proclaim the sky is falling, I will not stomp my feet on the ground, start rending my garments, or threatening to quit the game or re-roll. That doesn’t seem very productive. I will simply offer a plea for reconsideration and some thoughts:

  • If you want to give one of our best (and really only glyph options) a drawback, you need to provide new glyphs so we actually have others to choose from.
  • If you want to reduce the healing of Wild Growth do it in a more elegant way. Give us a new spell, improve an old one – make us want to cast other spells more often.
  • Reconsider the opinion that our throughput needs to be nerfed at all. You solved our lack of cooldowns problem by giving us one that was 100% throughput. Are you surprised that our throughput is now very high? Was this not an expected or intended result?
  • Consider buffing other classes instead of weakening us. I see you’re already doing this, which is great. Why not just give that a shot and see how things balance out before you start swinging the old nerfbat at us?
  • And lastly, look to the past before making any hasty decisions about the future. Remember 4.0.6? When you increased the amount of healing of Wild Growth by 30% and shortened the cooldown by 2 seconds? There was a reason for that. We had no effective way of healing up multiple people quickly before that. No burst. Don’t take that away. Do you want us to go back to spamming Rejuv on as many targets as we can in order to put out enough healing?

Thanks for listening,

Jasyla

4.1 PTR Changes for Druids

A new set of patch notes from the 4.1 PTR were posted last night (Source). There were a few interesting changes for resto druids included. Obviously, nothing is final, and everything is subject to change, but I thought I’d toss in my 2 cents about the changes.

  • Lifebloom’s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. In addition, it now costs 11% of base mana, up from 7%.

No one likes nerfs, but I’m not overly concerned about this change. 11% base mana is still not very much and I generally consider the ‘bloom’ from Lifebloom a secondary effect. The one place this will have a real impact is when we are in ToL – currently Lifebloom spam is a great source of raid healing and OoC procs. We’ll have to be a little more careful now. When we aren’t in ToL, I don’t think this change will be too noticable especially if you generally refresh your Lifebloom stacks with direct heals (like I do) and don’t let the stack bloom very often.


Edit (Mar. 2):

  • We’re a bit worried about Resto being too powerful in PvP. We wanted to try out the Lifebloom changes to see if it fixed the problem. We don’t think it’s quite the right change though, so we’re going to revert the Lifebloom mana nerf, but keep the reduced bloom effect. We’ll have to keep watching this. (Source)

And like that, it was gone.

Also, an Effloresence change will be forthcoming:

  • The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we’re actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We’ll have more details at a later time.

This is good news. Though Efflorescence can provide a good ~8% of my healing on some fights, the mechanic could definitely use some improvement so that the healing it provides is more meaningful. I look forward to getting more details on this.


  • Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility’s cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.

While this sounds like a fantastic buff…I have a bad feeling about this. Being able to use Tranquility every 3 minutes sounds great, but if the healing output stays the same, this will be way, way overpowered. My biggest fear is that the healing will be reduced to compensate for that, and that would suck. I’d rather Tranquility be an awesome, high-output spell usable once a fight than a mediocre spell usable more often. I’d really hate for the healing to become lackluster, like Divine Hymn. Of course I may be overreacting, planning for a nerf before this even goes live, but I can’t imagine this kind of buff sticking around for long.

Also, the wording on this is very strange. It’s supposed to be part of resto specialization but it’s worded like a talent, with multiple reduction levels. I don’t think this is quite complete.

  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.

Here’s a shot of the new effect (found by Keeva on the druid forums):

New 4.1 resto druid Efflorescence graphic

I actually prefer the current one, but this will make it easier to see bad stuff on the ground, especially when healing effects are stacked up.

There are also some interesting non-druid changes on the horizon.

  • Death Knight – Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

DKs are creeping onto our combat rez turf. I propose a West Side Story style dance-off to solve this.

  • User Interface – Like the Focus Frame, the character Unit and Target Frames can now be unlocked and moved to one’s content.

I doubt I’ll ever go back to the default unit frames, but this is an excellent change for those who like to stay relatively mod-free. I have to say, the top left corner of the screen is a really stupid place for health bars. I’m surprised this took so long.

What do you think about the latest patch notes?