Patch 3.2 druid changes in PTR patch notes – A first look

From the official PTR patch notes for 3.2.

#  Flight Form: Can now be learned at level 60. Flight speed increased to 150%.

# Travel Form: Can now be learned at level 16.

These we already knew about. It’s being changed to go along with mount changes.

# Innervate: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.

This is neither a buff or a nerf. It’s kindof a nerf for PvP, and this should make all the PvP QQ’ers happy, as in innervate won’t return “A whole QQ bar at once”. In most raid situations, being able to use it more often should make up for it returning less mana at each application. This means that we’ll “use it early and often” in PvE situations, and all the PvP QQ can stop the QQ (when combined with one of the below changes).

# Lifebloom: The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.

Oh, look. A PvP nerf to lifebloom. Lets make lifebloom even more useless for PvE? Then again, it’s pretty much all overheal anway. Why force us to let it bloom and then nerf the amount healed by the bloom? This is a pretty crappy move overall to a spell that most druids are starting to stop using, anyway.

# Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.

# Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.

Holy crap, this looks like it’s going to equal a lot of DPS loss, if “base points” means a reduction in the base damage of the spell. Maybe I’m reading it wrong? But I don’t think so. Without doing any math, I can pretty much feel my head exploding from too many feral DPS nerfs all in one list. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I see this change creating more problems than it solves. This feels like it is going to be way too much over-nerfing. I look forward to all the math and crying that comes from the feral community. There are too many changes & just way too much reduction of the abilities base damage. Since this is a nerf to the pre-gear amounts for the most part, it’s going to nerf entry-level druids a lot more than I think the developers really want. Way to swing the nerf-bat way too hard and not pair it with ways to compensate. Lets have a cat DPS rotation that is more complex than other classes, and now have that paired with also not having a chance of keeping up with other people in raids unless we completely out-gear and out-skill our teammates? I don’t like nerfs to the base damage done by our abilities, as it nerfs entry-level raiders a lot, who don’t have the gear to compensate for it. I don’t like it, not at all. I’m hoping that math proves my initial gut reaction to be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is going to be bad for our poor Hello Kitties. I expect much controversy over this to explode pretty soon…  EDIT: Think Tank has a better look at it, which makes it sound a lot less dramatic…


# Talents

* Balance
o Balance of Power: Now reduces all spell damage taken by 3/6%, rather than reducing the chance to be hit by spells by 2/4%.

o Eclipse: The Starfire and Wrath buffs from this talent are now on separate 30 second. cooldowns. In addition, it is not possible to have both buffs active simultaneously.
o Owlkin Frenzy: Now also restores 2% base mana every 2 seconds for the duration (10 seconds) in addition to its current effects.

These are really interesting changes. Balance of power should actually go a long way to helping moonkin survive in PvP, in addition to Owlkin Frenzy having a HUGE buff to moonkin mana in PvP. The Eclipse change is actually really the most interesting of all, and will actually be a HUGE PvE buff, since that means we’ll almost always have Eclipse of one type or the other active. I’m expecting a lot of good feedback from the moonkin community over these changes. At least one of the druid specs gets to be happy in 3.2…

* Restoration
o Empowered Touch: Now also increases the amount of bonus healing effects for Nourish by 10/20%.
o Improved Barkskin: No longer provides dispel resistance to all effects on the druid, but now reduces the chance your Barkskin is dispelled by an additional 35/70%.

Well, here’s the nerf to Imp Barkskin so that innervate can be dispelled in PvP, thus reducing the powerfulness of druids in 2v2 arenas. I totally called this one a while ago, sorry 2v2 resto druids. The change to empowered touch is interesting, since it’s actually a buff to Nourish when you use it with or without HOTs. I wasn’t quite expecting nerfs to lifebloom & innervate to be paired with more nourish buffs.

9 Comments

  1. Tympanic
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I really need to see the math on the kitty changes. I am worried that I’m going to be back to working-my-ass-off-to-just-be-average.

  2. Posted June 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The EJ napkin-math is expecting a 3 to 4% nerf for “best in slot” raiding druids.

    I’m expecting it to be a higher DPS loss for under-geared druids. I could be wrong, though. It could just look worse on paper than it actually is in practice. It’s going to take a couple weeks (and some PTR testing) before we really know for sure. It could just not be as big of a deal as it looks in the patchnotes…

  3. Tympanic
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Considering that best-in-slot kitties were 5-10% behind rogues, mages, and warlocks already (based on WowMetersOnline), this is a pain in the ass. You’re right that it will hurt more for less well-geared druids.

  4. Moohtree
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I like the +20% on nourish from the empowered touch talent. maybe drop living seed to add 2 points in empowered touch and have 1 more spare point to use ?

  5. Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    If you are using nourish more, you’d want to keep living seed, though, for all the crit heals. My 2 points are coming from tranquil spirit & improved tranquility.

  6. Maor
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    The Empowering touch one is interesting. I’ll have to check and see which talent points I can move around to get it.

    And yeah the Lifebloom nerf doesn’t really effect PvE too much.

  7. lune
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty confused at this point. Druid healing at least to me has always been about HoT’s and heals with HoT components. Then there’s nourish, i tried to like nourish, i really tried. I’m pretty confused on this point and maybe someone can explain it to me. With so many changes to nourish mechanics and the T7 bonus clearly being centered around direct heals, i’ts confusing to me that the T8 bonus is centered around Rejuv and Swiftmend (which obviously i have great love for).
    I guess my main problem here is, make up your damned mind blizzard!
    I see PvE resto druids stacking +spl and +haste now and i can’t say that i fully understand this or the choice of glyphs that seem to accompany it like innervate, nourish and lifebloom (come on this is pretty gimp). One glyph i do like however is regrowth, and as much as i hate to say it i do find the rejuv glyph pretty useful. Maybe it’s my play style. IF anyone can help me better understand these decisions blizzard makes it would be appreciated esp with the changes coming up i’m left asking myself should i start stacking +spl and +haste and just become a priest?

  8. Taliindor
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Nourish is a great spell for dealing with burst damage, such as Fusion Punch by Steel breaker on the Iron Council fight. Keep HoT’s on tank, watch timer, cast nourish followed by swiftmend and tank is 100% full health. For me nourish is a situational spell for dealing with burst dmg when swiftmend just isn’t enough. I often use the two together, or regrowth/swiftmend together. It’s also great during frozen blows on hodir. (especially if your raid leader is a cruel man like mine and insists you can solo heal the fight on hard mode). Really it does have it’s place. I felt a quick direct heal was the one thing druids lacked, now we have it, and half of us hate it. I still mainly stack my HoT’s, but learning when to use Nourish can make a huge difference and prevent a wipe.

    As for the glyphs, I use the nourish glyph solely to make it viable for the situations above. If by saying you don’t understand stacking haste vs. crit… there’s really no point in stacking crit if you’re not using nourish. Haste reduces GCD, which allows us to cast HoT’s that much faster. It can be the difference that let’s you get rejuv on the entire raid just be Timpanic Tantrum starts (10 man).

    Glyph of innervate glyph I don’t use. I have no mana issues at all, and can use my innervate on our poor resto shammy with no ill effect for myself.

    I never even considered using glyph of lifebloom. Any resto druid that still features lifebloom as #1 or #2 heal needs to adjust, unless you rock at timing the bloom to not overheal… then you are just plain leet :p

    P.S all through naxx I hated nourish, it was useless… the Ulduar happened….

  9. Teakan
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Actually I’m not sure that that the innervate change is PvP nerf. I should really say that I don’t think it’s an arena nerf. With good teams, innervate is more times than not dispelled. So instead of losing the entire innervate, effectively we will only lose half of it to a dispeller.