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
3717over 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
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,