Tag Archives: wild growth

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).

Patch 4.3 – What Druids Need to Know

Patch 4.3 will go live today. Are you ready for all the new content? Up to date on class changes? Here’s what resto druids need to know.

Class Changes

Wild Growth healing has been reduced by 20%.
Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.

We knew this was coming. I was hoping they’d reconsider the extent of this nerf during the PTR, but apparently not. These two changes together will result in about a 35% nerf to Wild Growth overall. But fear not, druid friends. We will still be awesome and heal all the things. This change won’t really affect how we heal, it will just decrease our output a bit.

The glyph change, however, should give you pause.

From a pure output perspective, the difference between glyphing and not glyphing WG will be almost inconsequential. Assuming you use WG every time it’s off cooldown and it hits the maximum amount of targets each time (which is a big assumption on 10s or fights where people are spread out), it will heal more people when it is unglyphed (25 targets in 40 seconds, compared to 24 with the glyph). But having the glyph will also reduce the amount of times you can cast the spell in that timeframe, freeing up 1 GCD every 40 seconds.

Of course, perfect conditions like this don’t generally occur in raids. I recommend carrying around lots of dust of disappearance so you can switch the glyph in and out from fight to fight, based on the raid damage patterns. Keep the glyph for fights where the raid is grouped up or big raid damage happens less than every 10 seconds. Drop the glyph when the raid is spread out or damage happens faster.

Nature’s Focus now also reduces Cyclone and Entangling Roots spell pushback.

Nice for PVP.

New Gear

There’s all kinds of new gear available, from the new 5-man dungeons, quests, valor vendors and Dragon Soul. It’s even nicely itemized for us! Check out my resto gear list to plan your loot list. Our stat priority hasn’t changed any. You’ll still want Int > 2005 haste > mastery > crit. And enough spirit to not go oom.

Transmogrification

Tired of having volcanos on your shoulders? Sick of barkface? Transmogrify! If you don’t already know what you want your gear to look like, take a look at all the Druid Tier options available. If Tier is not your thing, check out Disciplinary Action’s amazing, comprehensive guide to all the leather gear.

Dragon Soul

If you want to be prepared before stepping foot in the new raid instance, Icy Veins has you covered for boss strats. If you prefer videos, check out Learn to Raid.

Other Updates

My resto druid healing guide has been updated for 4.3. My guide to Buffs and Debuffs has also been updated to reflect the change that attack power buffs now provide extra melee attack power.

Have fun in Dragon Soul!

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

Jasyla’s Resto Druid Power Auras

Here are the Power Auras I use on my resto druid to help me keep track of buffs and cooldowns:

Restoration Druid Power Auras

Spell Cooldowns

I don’t show my healing spells on my bars, so I use power auras to tell me when they are off cooldown. These only show up while I am in combat.

Power Auras - Nature's Swiftness, Swiftmend, Wild Growth spell cooldowns
Swiftmend (green leaf):

Version:4.22; b:0.5686; icon:INV_Relics_IdolofRejuvenation; buffname:Swiftmend; r:0.1843; x:82; bufftype:15; texture:23; alpha:1; wowtex:true; combat:true; size:0.3; texmode:1

Wild Growth (pink leaf):

Version:4.22; g:0.3843; icon:Ability_Druid_Flourish; buffname:Wild Growth; r:0.9647; x:138; bufftype:15; texture:23; symetrie:1; wowtex:true; combat:true; size:0.3; texmode:1

Nature’s Swiftness:

Version:4.22; b:0.7882; icon:Spell_Nature_RavenForm; buffname:Nature’s Swiftness; r:0.1216; x:110; bufftype:15; texture:32; alpha:1; aurastext:NAture’s; owntex:true; sound:3; aurastextfont:2; combat:true; size:0.2; y:-86; texmode:1

Nature’s Grace

This shows me when Nature’s Grace procs and counts down the time left. Only appears in combat.

Power Aura - Nature's Grace

Version:4.22; b:0.1843; g:0.5176; icon:Spell_Nature_NaturesBlessing; buffname:Nature’s Grace; r:0.9765; x:-90; texture:233; aurastext:NAture’s; combat:true; size:0.3; y:-87; texmode:1; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-105; timer.x:-71

Mana

To make the most of my Innervate, I try to use it when Power Torrent procs. These auras show me when Innervate is off cooldown and when Power Torrent has procced. Only appears in combat.

Power Auras - Innervate and Power Torrent proc

Innervate:

Version:4.22; icon:Spell_Nature_Lightning; buffname:Innervate; x:112; bufftype:15; owntex:true; combat:true; size:0.2; y:139; texmode:1

Power Torrent:

Version:4.22; b:0.651; g:0.8863; icon:Ability_Paladin_SacredCleansing; buffname:Power Torrent; x:189; texture:231; combat:true; size:0.42; y:141; texmode:1

Harmony

I have two auras for Harmony. First, a green graphic will appear when Harmony is active and a timer will count down the time left on it. When Harmony falls off the large, yellow exclamation point will display along with a sonar ‘ping’ noise. The second aura will only display while in combat.

Power Auras - Harmony auras
Harmony active (green icon with timer):

Version:4.21; b:0.5569; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; r:0.3059; x:-87; texture:181; alpha:1; size:0.43; torsion:0.95; y:-9; timer.HideLeadingZeros:true; timer.h:2.1; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:44; timer.x:-110

Harmony not active (yellow):

Version:4.21; b:0.2745; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; r:0.9804; texture:15; alpha:0.81; sound:23; combat:true; y:135; inverse:true

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? :P

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.