So, sometime while I was sleeping (or maybe it was during my raid & I was AFK from the forums), the druid Q&A jumped a few spots in line to come out early. They hit most of what I think are the “major” druid issues, but I’m sure there is still plenty of controversy around. You should really go read the whole thing for yourself. I can, however, take some quotes out of context and analyze them a bit. However, GC has a habit of writing really long-winded answers that make more sense in context. Also, this Q&A is not a “list of things that are happening today,” but more likely things that will be looked into sometime between now and the next expansion – and the answer to some questions is mostly just that they think X or Y ability is fine. I have to split this post into 2 pieces because it got to be too long, so today is just the Moonkin & Resto analysis. I’ll post bear & cat either later today or tomorrow.
First on the analysis were moonkin.
- The most interesting part of the entire Eclipse discussion: Long-term to fix this problem we need to add another spell, separate out Starfire and Wrath from each other a little more, or make one of the other spells, like Moonfire or Insect Swarm, more dynamic
Well… look at that, we may eventually be able to flesh out the moonkin rotation to not just be Eclipse proc watching as a long-term type of thing. Anyone who reads my moonkin posts would know that I prefer adding another spell. Only having 4 single-target damage spells is just really limiting, and it’s just hard to make 2 dots and then rotating through 2 nukes actually interesting. He answers 2 questions about moonkin that basically discuss spell rotations not being interesting, and while the Q&As aren’t supposed to actually be about planned fixes, just acknowledgments of long standing problems is what we have to accept.
- Moonkin PvP: : We don’t think Moonkins are quite there yet
This much we knew already, but it looks like at least moonkin PvP is on their long-term radar. He talks about this twice – once in the intro questions, and then once again as a specific question.
Now onto Restoration healing trees:
- GC recommends that you read the whole first rambling philosophical post about restoration druids. I’m going to quote a whole paragraph from it (less than half of the text for that question) that the community needs to think about and talk about:
- In addition to having to give up utility in order to heal as a Tree of Life, we have become less enamored with druids locking themselves into one form. In fact, you really never see the basic tauren or night elf druid form (you know, the one that actually shows off the awesome armor art) because all druids are in cat, bear, tree, or moonkin form nearly 100% of the time. I’m not saying we would just cut Tree of Life from the game. It’s been around awhile and for better or worse, it’s part of World of Warcraft now. However, we could see taking the druid in a direction where shifting was much more common and easy to do. Maybe you only go into tree form for certain spells but leave for other spells — this didn’t work previously because of the high cost of shifting, but in the absence of power shifting, we’d love to get rid of the costs completely. Another way to go would be to make Tree of Life form a cooldown, more like Metamorphosis. You shift into tree when you need a healing boost, but you don’t stay in it all the time. Now, I am totally waving my arms here. This is not the kind of change you are going to see in the next patch. But it is something we’re thinking about long term, and the kind of thinking we’d love to have more feedback on from the community.
In PvE, there are specific roles assigned – if you are a healer, you pretty much just spam heal buttons. If you are DPS, you aren’t going to throw around many heals. Also, dual specs were the best thing ever given to the healing class to encourage filling more than one role and doing more versatile things. We lock ourselves into forms and don’t come out because that’s what druid playstyle IS at this point. It’s possible that tree form could work differently than our other forms, but doing that would probably be lame, because the druid class expects to spend all of our time in a form. In PvE, there can be more shifting around to use Utility spells (hurricane & roots, etc) that aren’t useable in tree or feral forms. The problem of sacrificing everything else to be able to fill our roles well is just that… we have to sacrifice everything else, and in the end, that’s fine. Making tree form a shapeshift on a cooldown is actually a lame idea, since none of our other forms would have that, and it would go against what it is to be a druid.
- Okay, on to the rest of the restoration druid questions… the answers are basically that Tranquility & Healing Touch are fine for now. And that’s about it it for specifically restoration questions. Resto druids are (in PvP and PvE) in a pretty good place right now, so I wasn’t expecting much here for that spec. Tranquility won’t be an okay spell until we can target what group we want it to heal. I use it maybe once or twice a week out of all my raiding days (not even once or twice a day). At least Nature’s Swiftness makes Healing Touch more useful, since it makes a good burst healing mechanic (especially with the improved talent we’re picking up in 3.2).
- When talking about itemization, GC mentioned that critical strike rating for restoration trees may not be attractive enough, but doesn’t really offer much more than that.
Highlights from the last hodge-podge topics (things that could effect all druid specs):
- They are looking into how relics are itemized, but don’t really have any changes they are planning on at the moment.
- At this time we want to keep the 310% flying speed very rare
- We like the fact that Innervate requires shifting. We want druids to shift more.
- long-term we’d love to get druids shifting more often, which means shifting has to be less painful. I don’t know for sure that changing the GCD needs to be a part of that, but it could be.
- We do have plans to update additional forms at some point in the future.
Okay, so that gets us to the end of the druid Q&A for things relevant to our caster trees. I had the feral parts ready to go, but this post was just way too long to do all 4 specs at once, so I’ll post that piece “soon”.