Tag Archives: tranquility

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.

Evaluating Resto Druids with World of Logs

Last year I wrote a series of posts on how to evaluate raiders, specifically healers, using World of Logs. I’ve finally started updating the guide for Mists of Pandaria, starting with – what else? – resto druids!


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.

Healing by Spell

World of Logs - 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, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Healing Touch, Nourish, Tranquility, Wild Mushrooms and passive healing from Living Seed. Depending on spec they may also have: Cenarion Ward and/or Force of Nature, though these are weaker than the other available choices in most cases.

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

Healing Touch, Nourish and Wild Mushroom: Bloom may not appear, or appear only sparingly. Whether Nourish is used a matter of personal choice, though it will not provide much healing. Healing Touch should only be used in combination with Nature’s Swiftness. Wild Mushrooms may provide some healing on fights where mana is tight or 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. When the raid is tightly grouped up Swiftmend will provide a lot of healing on fights where the raid is grouped up, but less when spread out. 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 fairly high overheal because of the nature of their HoTs. This isn’t something to worry about. Lifebloom and Rejuv tend to 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

WoL - Lifebloom

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). 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

WoL-Tranquility

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 20 times. If this number is not a multiple of 20 it means Tranquility is being interrupted. This is most likely due to casting it at the wrong time and needing to move mid-cast, or interrupting it before it finishes.

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

Swiftmend

WoL-Swiftmend

Check how many times Swiftmend was used by looking at the number of direct heals. Swiftmend has a 15 second cooldown (12 with the T14 4-piece bonus), so it can be used 4 or 5 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).

Note: Swiftmend has two different spell IDs. 18562 is the direct heal, while 81269 is the ground healing portion (previously known as Efflorescence).

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.

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 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 95%+ 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).

Tranquility – As noted above, Tranquility should be used on every fight. The amount should be a multiple of 20, indicating the druid channeled the spell for the full duration (Note: There are 2 Tranquility effects listed, the one to look at is spell ID 44203).

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 2 minute cooldown. It should be used 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.

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

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, though if the Druid has it in their spec, you should see it used at least a few times on every fight.

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.

Nature’s Vigil – Nature’s Vigil also 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, you may not see it used. It’s generally only used on fights where the Druid has the room to stop healing and do some damage. Otherwise, it’s just taken for the intellect buff.

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 (post-nerf!) in Dragon Soul

Yesterday Wild Growth, the heal that generally makes up the biggest portion of our healing in raids got hit with the ole nerfbat. A flat 20% decrease to it’s output, plus a glyph change that forces us to make a choice between it only hitting 5 targets (rather than the 6 we’re used to) or having a 10 second cooldown (rather than 8).

Has the world ended? Are we now unable to keep up with raid damage? Will we be left out of progression raids because we’re just not good enough anymore?

In a word, no. In two words, hell no. Those who were excellent druid healers in 4.2 will continue to be in 4.3.

Last night I got to see how the changes affected me on the first 4 bosses of Dragon Soul.

Morchok

This is a pretty boring fight to heal. Everyone is all nicely grouped up and damge is predictable. It felt like most healers just got to lay down their Efflorescences, Healing Rains, HW: Sanctuaries and let them do all the work. The mechanics of this fight can cater really well to any healer class.

Morchok healing done

To be honest, I was a tiny bit shocked to see myself 3rd on the meters, but the difference between 1st and 3rd is very small. My healing breakdown looked like this:

Morchok spell breakdownThis spell breakdown for this type of fight looks very similar to what I was seeing in Firelands. Wild Growth is still 30% of my healing. I didn’t even use Tranquility here, sort of seemed like overkill.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • I did use the Glyph of Wild Growth for this fight. The 10-second cooldown on WG threw off my timing a little and was a bit awkward to get used to. I will try this fight without it next week.
  • The odd timing also threw me off on other things. I was only at 84% uptime on Harmony on this fight. That needs to be better.
  • Blood DKs…gtfo. Seriously. Stop sniping all the heals.

Warlord Zon’ozz

Zon’ozz is a little more fun to heal. There are periods of heavy raid damage, along with a magic effect that needs to be dispelled, and a little more single target healing required to top off those who have just been dispelled.

Warlord Zon'ozz healing
Our holy priest kicked some ass on this one with all her great group/area healing spells. Also, the lightwell – we clicked it (good raid!).

My healing breakdown:

Warlord Zon'ozz - druid spell breakdownAgain, nothing terribly surprising about the breakdown here. There are periods of very heavy raid damage where everyone is grouped up, so WG and Efflo are the obvious winners. There’s also a fair amount of healing from Regrowth from topping up those who needed to be dispelled or had just been dispelled.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Your cooldown can beat up my cooldown. Divine Hymn kicks the shit out of Tranquility now.

Divine Hymn vs. Tranquility
A normal DH tick from a Holy Priest is hitting for almost 10k more than a tick of Tranquility. A crit is hitting for almost 20k more. Plus, the number of Divine Hymn ticks is affected by haste, meaning a priest can eek out 25 ticks normally, and likely 30 under the right conditions. Druids will always have only 20 of the big ticks, though we can gain extra ticks on the smaller HoT left behind.

  • I removed the Glyph of WG on this fight.  It felt much better to be able to cast WG every 8 seconds and I was able to get into a better rhythm. I did try the fight with the glyph on a couple wipes, but it didn’t feel right.
  • Nature’s Cure is most definitely worth it here. There’s a lot of dispelling to be done, and the quicker it can be done, the better.

 Yor’sajh the Unsleeping

This fight was a bit of a whirlwind. There are a lot of different add colours to keep track of and abilities to know…but he died so quick that I never really got a chance to learn what was going on. Good job from the dps killing all the bad things before we had to worry about their effects.

Yorsajh healing breakdown

This fight was very friendly towards the druid style of healing. Sometimes we were grouped up, sometimes spread out. There was a fair amount of movement going on and I felt my mobility gave me an edge here.

My healing breakdown:

Yor'sajh druid spell breakdownPretty standard breakdown. I’m actually happy to see that Wild Growth made up less than 25% of my healing here. It’s always nice to see a diverse selection of spells doing the healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • The description of this fight lists some very interesting mechanics, but unfortunately, we never had to deal with the really nasty ones, so the fight felt a bit too easy.
  • Again, I did not use glyph of WG. Still felt good about that choice.
  • It was almost a 7 minute fight, so I should be able to fit in a second Tranquility next time.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Hagara, kind of like Yor’sahj, sounds complicated on paper, but we managed to kill her quickly (even though I highly suspect many people didn’t have a clue what they were doing).

Hagara healing breakdown

Again, I feel this fight was tailored to druids. People were much more spread out than in the previous 3 fights making Wild Growth much stronger than some of the more range-limited group heals (whether we were supposed to be spread out or we were just flailing is another matter entirely). Our range of instant spells was also very handy when running around during Ice Wave.

My healing breakdown:

Hagara druid healing spell breakdownOnly 21% of healing from WG makes me happy.

Regrowth is higher in healing done again because I did a fair bit of direct healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Blizzard needs to make up their mind about how many healers a typical fight needs. We had 6 and it was way too many for this. Two healers even died. As a group the healers were at over 60% overheal. Just not enough damage going out on this fight.
  • I didn’t use glyph of WG, still happy without it.
  • Ice Tombs cause line of sight issues. Having all the tomb targets stack up in the middle – on top of the tank – is a bad idea.

Despite the nerfs, resto druids are still in a great place and fully capable of thriving in Dragon Soul. Wild Growth will generally make up a few less percent of our overall healing, but that’s not a bad thing. Our biggest output cooldown has been slightly dwarfed by the Divine Hymn buffs, but we’ll live. Just keep up Lifebloom, keep Harmony active and never stop casting. You’ll be tearing up the healing charts in no time (while not standing in the bad and keeping your assignments alive, of course).

Resto Druid Changes and Specs for 4.1

Patch 4.1 brings a few changes for resto druids:

  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.
  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.

This redesign changes the Efflorescence from healing a small amount for everyone in it, to a smart heal that will heal the most injured for more. If there’s anyone out there who still believes the change is a nerf, here’s some napkin math. Assuming that Swiftmend heals for 15,000:

Old Efflorescence:
Six people stand in the Efflorescence and receive 30% of the Swiftmend’s healing over 7 seconds. That’s 4500 healing for each person giving a total of 27000 healing done. Not a bad amount, but the ticks will only be healing for 642 per tick. If more than 6 people are standing in the Effloresence, the healing per tick will be even less.

New Efflorescence:
Any number of people stand in the Efflorescence. The three people with the lowest health will receive 12% of the Swiftmend’s healing every second for 7 seconds. Each tick will heal for 1800. That’s 12600 healing for each person giving a total of 37800 healing done. And that’s not all – since Efflorescence is now effected by haste, it will likely be ticking 8 or 9 times rather than 7. Each extra tick adds 5400 healing to the total amount of healing done.

This is a very nice buff.

  • Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Resto druids have been asking for this change for a while, and Blizzard has listened. At first I was very excited about this change, but after weighing the options it opens up – I don’t think it’s going to make an ounce of difference in my spec or healing. I’ll talk more about this when I give spec options below.

I’ve already voiced my concerns about this change. It’s disappointing that we aren’t getting a new, damage-reducing cooldown but forgetting that for a second, this is a nice change. Being able to use Tranquility 2 or even 3 times a fight will increase our healing output considerably and give us more options during times of heavy raid damage.

While this is a buff, it’s not very impressive. It’s not enough of a boost to convince me to pick up NS in my spec, but it is a nice little bonus for those who already spec into NS and use it regularly.

  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

A small buff, but a useful one. Now we no longer have to save Barkskin for our Tranquility channel and can use it during more damage-heavy times instead.

  • Lifebloom‘s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.

With all the buffs we’re getting, we had to take a hit somewhere. This isn’t a terrible change. The biggest impact from this will be casting LBs on multiple people during ToL.

Specs

I have two basic spec suggestions – one for output and one for mana conservation and longevity.

Output spec:

4.1 Resto Druid output spec

Link

This spec has zero points in Moonglow or Furor, so you really need to have the appropriate gear, raid buffs and consumables to use this spec. This spec will put out the most HPS but will be hard to sustain. Why have I put 3 points into Living Seed even though it’s been unlinked from Efflorescence? Why not put those points in Blessing of the Grove instead? Based on my Regrowth usage (I use it for almost all OoC procs) and crit chance, LS will provide ~50% more HPS per point than Blessing of the Grove. BotG is a really underwhelming talent.

Mana spec:

4.1 Resto Druid mana specLink

This is a much safer spec. You get all three points in Moonglow and 2 in Furor – you’ll be able to sustain casting for much longer. In addition, there are two points in Perseverance, which will help keep you alive. If you like the look of the improved Nature’s Swiftness you can take a point away from Perseverance or Nature’s Bounty to get it.

If you want something in-between, play around with the optional talent points. For example, you could take the two points out of Furor and put them in Genesis.

As always, these changes are reflected in my Restoration Druid Guide.

Evaluating Resto Druids with World of Logs

This is  part of a series about using World of Logs to evaluate raiders. I’ll be building the full series in my guides section. I suggest reading this post there for a better layout and less squishy images.

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.

Healing Done

Druid healing meters

Druids are an output class. We have nothing to offer the raid in terms of mitigation (/glare at Blizzard), so we need to make up for that in raw healing done. On any fight with a decent amount of raid damage (which is pretty much all of them), druids should be very high on HPS (healing per second) and healing done.

World of Logs - Active Time

The Active Time percentage should also be very high, close to 100%. HoTs should be ticking all the time, which keeps this number high.

Player Details

Now to get into the juicy details.

Healing by Spell

Druid healing by spell
There are a number of things to look for on this screen, including:

  • Spell selection - Is the druid using all available spells? Most, if not all, spells should be used on each fight. Druids have: Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Healing Touch, Nourish, Tranquility. Some druids prefer to use HT and exclude Nourish (or vice versa), but otherwise all spells should be used.
  • Top 3 spells – Generally a druid’s top 3 spells will be Wild Growth, Rejuvenation and Lifebloom. If a druid is assigned to tank heal, especially in 10s, Healing Touch take the place of Rejuv or WG.

Some notes on specific spells:

Lifebloom

World of Logs - Lifebloom

Uptime is the key metric here. Lifebloom provides Replenishment to the raid, is our only source of Omen of Clarity procs and provides a steady stream of heals to whoever it’s placed on (usually a tank). 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.

Overheal on Lifebloom is not a concern.

Tranquility

Tranquility World of Logs

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.

Next look at the number of direct heals – 20 is the number you should see. If this number is less it means Tranquility is being interrupted. This could be due to casting it at the wrong time and needing to move mid-cast or not using Barkskin before casting.

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 (those with Efflorescence in their spec will likely want to line up its use with raid damaging abilities), but it should be used often.

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 - Druid buffs castLifebloom – As noted above, uptime should be as close to 100% as possible.

Tree of Life – ToL 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.

Nature’s Grace – NG gives 15% haste for 15 seconds after casting regrowth. It has a 1 minute cooldown. Ideal uptime is 25%.

Barkskin – Barkskin can be used once per minute. It should be used often (though not neccessarily on cooldown). Check my guide to Barkskin in Tier 11 to get a grasp on when/how often it should be used on specific fights.

Tranquility – As noted above, Tranquility should be used on every fight. The amount should be 20, indicating the druid channeled the spell for the full duration (Note: There are 2 Tranquility effects listed, the one to look at is spell ID 44203).

World of Logs - InnervateInnervate – There are two Innervate effects to look at. Spell ID 29166 is the primary effect. Spell ID 54833 is a secondary effect from Glyph of Innervate. If there are two resto druids in the raid, they should be swapping Innervates and be affected by both the same amount of times. If there is only one resto druid, you can tell how they are using their Innervate – If the primary effect shows up in their stats, they are Innervating themselves, if the secondary effects shows up, they are Innervating someone else. Innervate has a 3-minute cooldown. It should be used at 70-80% mana the first time, then whenever it’s off cooldown.

Nature’s Swiftness - If the druid has this in their spec, it should be used on every fight.

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.

Tranquility and the Elusive New Druid Cooldown

I wasn’t originally going to write this post. A number of my fellow druid bloggers have already said what I’m going to say, but I think it’s an important issue and I wanted to show some druid solidarity.

Mid-Febraury Blizzard said something that caused the excitement of healing druids and shaman everywhere.

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

And there was much rejoicing. The druid community was all aflutter thinking about what kind of cooldown we’d get. The consensus seemed to be that it would be a damage reducing cooldown, since we are not lacking for output cooldowns but have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of mitigation.

The new shaman damage mitigation cooldown was recently revealed. Druids have not received even a hint of a new ability. What we have gotten is a talent change that reduces the cooldown of Tranquility from 8 minutes to 3 minutes. So druids have been wondering – is this our “new” cooldown ability? I sincerely hope not, and until Blizzard tells us “sorry trees, that’s all you’re getting” I will hold out hoping that a new spell is still coming, just hasn’t been worked out quite yet.

The problem with the Tranquility change (if this is in fact our new cooldown) is twofold:

1. It does not address our biggest issue. Druids have absolutely no problem with output. We have a few very good output cooldowns and don’t need anymore. What we lack is mitigation, which plays a huge role on some fights. We have absolutely nothing to offer the raid on the final phase of Chimaeron. When things go wrong (say Cho’gall gets multiple stacks of Twisted Devotion), damage mitigation is much more valuable than straight healing.

2. As I mentioned in a previous post, if Tranquility has a 3 minute cooldown, the output is going to get nerfed. If I use Tranquility at the right time in a 25man raid it can do ~400,000 healing in 8 seconds. Imagine if I can do this twice, even 3 times in a fight? Druids rocket up the healing meters, everyone complains about how overpowered we are, Tranquility gets nerfed. I would much rather have an awesome output boost usable once a fight than a mediocre one usable a bit more often.

So, my plea to Blizzard is that we get a real, brand-spanking new damage mitigation cooldown (even if it means reverting the Tranquility change). Druids are a little light on healing abilities in general (we didn’t even get a new spell for Cataclysm) and I’d really love something new to work with.

Crying Tree of Life

Don't make the trees cry, Blizzard.

Now, I have to say (because I’m an eternal druid fangirl and optimist): Though I’m concerned about the cooldown situation, I don’t think druids are in a bad place. In my (so far not hard-mode) Cataclysm experience, resto druids are capable of doing very well. I have never felt in danger of losing my raid spot because I’m a druid. I do not think we will be unwanted in raids because we lack damage mitigation, because there is something to say for straight output. If I were a raid leader, I’d want a balance of healers in my raid: some that mitigate tank damage, some that mitigate raid damage and some that are capable of healing through a metric ton of damage. So don’t think that I’m saying that druids are broken. We’re really not. We just have one glaring omission in our toolset that Blizzard has a chance to fix.

Here are some other takes on the druid cooldown situation:

Falling Leaves and Wings – I’m Growing Nervous about Tranquility
Feral Tree – Balancing Healer Raid CDs in 4.1
Restokin – Efflorescence and Tranquility Updates
Tree Bark Jacket – Patch 4.1 and Resto Druid Desirability

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?