With the possibility of rejuvenation becoming a HOT that will scale with haste, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means for resto druid healing. Also, it’s possible that all HOTs & DOTs could scale with haste at some point in the future, so I want to take a “bigger picture” look at the situation.
Haste scaling means that you get the same number of ticks, but the ticks happen a little faster (and the speed is determined by the haste on your gear). It also means that the duration will be shorter, because that final tick happened sooner.
At an extreme, if a HOT that ticked 5 times over 15 seconds (at 3 seconds between ticks) was suddenly shortened to tick every 1 second (instead of 3), then the duration would be 5 seconds. While something this extreme is unlikely to happen, I could see someone stacking a lot of haste being able to reduce a 3 second tick to a 2 second tick (making the duration last 2/3 of what it did before).
Okay, so we already know that rejuvenation is getting the first treatment, lets look at the other healing HOTs available:
- Lifebloom & Wild Growth would be problematic if they scaled with haste, because they are already short durations and tick at 1 second already. Lifebloom is sometimes “rolled” (though less frequent now), but at the very least, since lifebloom stacks up to 3 applications, shortening the duration through haste would be counterproductive. So, in the long run, these two HOTs are not good candidates for haste scaling.
- Regrowth’s HOT would be a good candidate for haste scaling. The ticks are pretty slow, compared to lifebloom, and it has a really long duration (so, a shorter duration may be more welcome). At the same time, the front-end direct heal portion of regrowth does already benefit from haste.
- Tranquility is basically a channeled HOT. This one actually benefits from having a shorter duration, so you spent less time channeling it. It already does benefit from haste, and what it does is tick faster, but have a shorter duration (which is part of how we know the duration will change with HOT haste scaling).
Okay, but what about rejuv as a hasted HOT? And what does it have to do with group size?
Rejuvenation will last up to 15 seconds (talented) in patch 3.3. It will tick once every 3 seconds. The developers are thinking of putting in a glyph that would let it scale with haste. This means you could keep it up on fewer people, but the ticks will heal them faster than they would without haste scaling.
- This haste scaling would be good for people running 5-man dungeons, because those HOTs may be the only healing that someone is receiving (IE. throw wild growth & rejuvs on the DPS, then focus on the tank). In something like the ToC 5-man where there tends to be more burst damage periodically, faster HOT ticks will mean that the DPS may have a greater chance to live if you can’t focus on healing them with nourish or swiftmends. Also, the wild growth glyph in 5-mans is useless, since you don’t need it to hit a 6th person, so you have more flexible glyph choices. Hasted rejuvs on a tank is also beneficial here.
- For 10-man instances, you still have a limit on the number of people who benefit from rejuv-blanketing in most fights. So, with faster HOT ticks, I think rejuvenation would be an even better raid healing tool. ToC 10-man tends to have a lot of burst damage & abilities that require more direct healing because rejuv ticks too slow. You may be put on tank healing for 10-mans, depending on your group makeup, so hasted rejuvs would be a benefit for tank healing here. Either way, faster HOTs are going to be a benefit in 10-man healing because there is less redundancy in healers, so those faster rejuv ticks may be saving people’s lives, even if that means you keep it up on a slightly smaller number of people/
- For 25-mans, it’s counter-productive to have hasted rejuvs a lot of the time. Other people are going to be on raid healing, and having faster HOT ticks defeats some of the purpose of getting rejuvs up around the raid for the majority of fights. You will be more likely to have other people on raid healing who will have big burst AOE heals (ie. holy priest, shaman). In a larger group healing situation, it really seems like the only thing hasted rejuvs would do is sniping healing a quarter of a second faster so that it’s more likely to land before someone else’s heal and steal the healing done. Unless you are shortening the ticks by like a second, and turning rejuvenation into a very different spell, the benefit of haste here will mostly just be faster heal sniping from other healers. Most druid healers want the HOT ticks to last longer on the target so that you have a greater chance of later damage being healed by the final tick. At the same time, for some fights, those later ticks may already be over-healing most of the time. So, for some fights, there may be an advantage to faster ticks, but a lot of them won’t have a noticeable benefit. If you tend to “blanket” the raid, shorter durations mean fewer people you have coverage on (ie. fewer people you can swiftmend!), so haste could actually hurt 25-man healing (especially in fights that require “blanketing” strategies; or other fights where you are using pre-HOT strategies to buff your nourishes &/or swiftmends you are casting on them).
That’s my 2 cents. What do you guys think? I still haven’t seen the glyphs on the PTR to be able to play with them, but I really don’t think I’ll get to raid on the PTR, anyway, which is where I would need to test things out to be able to have more specific feedback than this, in terms of how useful I think people will find it.