More on Rejuv: GC’s forum feedback analyzed

Okay, so I know Ghostcrawler doesn’t like us combing over his every word, but I think his latest post relates to some of the frustration I’ve been expressing over the 3.3 rejuvenation changes.

Here’s a link to his forum post. Lets take his first post and see what he said about the rejuvenation changes in 3.3 and the Gift of the Earth Mother change:

I think our dislike for Rejuv blanketing gets oversold on these forums. We nerfed Rejuv because Rejuv was too good. Druids do have a lot of heals and ideally they would use all of them (and HT proponents even crop up from time to time). On the other hand, it’s challenging given that when a relic or set bonus props up one spell, that is probably going to be a popular spell. We’re fine with that to some extent. It’s interesting when certain pieces or tiers of gear lead you to want to change up which spells you favor.

We changed Gift of the Earth Mother because it was a problematic talent, as I’m sure many of you could agree. It’s one thing when class mechanics make a stat less optimal for you. It’s another when a talent totally stomps over a stat that shows up on a lot of gear.

We want Nourish to be a good spell, yes, but I think it has been for some time. None of these changes will kill Rejuv either.

With regard to the rejuvenation duration nerf and gearing issues: I think the nature of set bonuses and relics make balancing the use of spells problematic. They don’t necessarily want to give us set bonuses for spells we never use (because then we just wouldn’t pick up the set bonuses), so they have to try and make the bonuses appealing by targeting the spells we tend to spam the most. Framed in that context, it makes sense (I suppose). Also, they don’t seem to be totally stomping down on the rejuv-blanketing heal strategy, either.

I’m actually not surprised by the Gift of the Earth Mother change. It was too powerful from it’s inception, which wasn’t as problematic when there were low levels of haste on our gear, but become really problematic at high levels of haste on our gear. I’ve had to pass on lots of ToC 25-man upgrades just because they had haste on it and I couldn’t use any more haste than I already had for either my moonkin or healing set. It’s too hard to gear around a useless stat when that useless stat is all over all the gear.  I think it’s really too dramatic of an effect combined with the duration nerf (especially for people without access to the higher item level gear with more abundant haste), however GC’s second post says:

To be honest, we may revert the Rejuv nerf. This isn’t 100% finalized yet, so please don’t say we promised anything.   We definitely wanted to nerf Rejuv. However we also wanted to fix Gift of the Earth Mother. That change wasn’t necessarily aimed at further nerfing druids, even though that was the outcome. It was aimed at not making haste such a wonky stat for Resto.  In short, we think the GotEM change both nerfed druids and fixed the haste scaling problem so the Rejuv duration nerf may not be necessary. Stay tuned.

Okay, here’s my two cents on this one: It’s still possible to lower the GCD of rejuvenation to one second. However, this is more likely to happen at the cutting-edge of content, where there is more access to higher amounts of haste on gear. So, the combined effect of the nerfs (duration & haste) is a really big hit to people without access to as much haste gear, but they are likely also the people who are using more Nourish & less “blanketing” strategies in the first place. Not only will those people have shorter rejuvenations, but they will also have longer GCDs for all their HOTs, meaning they can cast fewer spells in the same length of a fight.

At the higher level (ie. tier 10 content in 3.3), the best way to effectively “nerf” their rejuvenations without nerfing the lower tiers would be to change the tier 10 4-piece set bonus. The set bonus is designed to (basically) aid with raid rejuvenation “blanketing,” so if this blanketing strategy is too strong in tier 10 gear, changing that set bonus is the best fix that doesn’t hurt other aspects of the game. While you want gear to prop up spells you are using, you don’t want a set bonus to be so powerful that it unbalances the spell it is propping up (the resto druid tier 8 4-piece bonus WAS too good). At a longer duration of rejuvenation, this becomes all that more powerful of a set bonus, so it’s better to balance the set bonus rather than to balance the class around this set bonus.

That said, the people who might fear the worst from these changes are Arena PvP teams. The nerfs are really aimed at high-level raiders, but have consequences for PvP aspects of the game, and we don’t want resto PvP to be too weak because now all their spells lost  (basically) 15% haste and they have to cast rejuv more often without the PvE gear designed to compensate for the changes. They also can’t cast nourish as much because of interruption/silencing issues, so they tend to depend on their HOTs for the majority of their healing.

If the duration nerf doesn’t go through now, expect to see it in Cataclysm. In Cataclysm testing, we’ll have the opportunity to turn the healing style on it’s head and start from scratch to figure out how to make a good healing style that will work better. This may be like the lifebloom nerf that didn’t get “reverted”, but just got delayed until they could work out a better strategy for druid healing to replace the lifebloom spamming with (unfortunately, it appears to be human nature to look for one button to spam… go us!). We need lifebloom & regrowth looked at and turned into viable spells. The haste change may indirectly do that for regrowth in the long run (more haste means shorter regrowth cast time, means it might be a viable alternative to rejuv in some situations), if regrowth was made more mana efficient in Cataclysm. Nourish is “fine”, and it’s strong compared to other single target “flash heals,” but it doesn’t work as a raid heal that well because it’s single-target without any HOT component of it’s own, and we usually don’t get assigned to tank healing in larger (25-man) raids where there is usually more paladins or other tank healers that can do it just as good or better.

After 3.3 comes Cataclysm, and we’ll have Cataclysm in a year or less, if all estimations are correct. So, I think just leaving rejuvenation strong is going to be better for 3.3, and we can survive the tweaks more without ruining PvP if we wait on some of the nerfing that is going to potentially really hurt PvP arena healing (where resto still isn’t terribly strong in 5v5 pre-nerfs). I think keeping the GotEM nerf is probably necessary, but maybe reverting the duration nerf for rejuv would be good for 3.3 just to give us time to adjust to the other changes and see how it works out under the new system for haste and such. If it’s still too strong at the full duration in 3.3, then you can always just say “oops” and nerf it in 3.3.1 or 3.3.2. I expect the duration to be nerfed for sure in Cataclysm, and that should be fine because we can have the other spells balanced around that new duration and the new talents and such at that point.

6 Comments

  1. LXj
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Do you think 0.15 sec longer GCD of Rejuv will matter a lot in lower tiers of content in 3.3? Remember that when 3.3 comes out, you will be able to acquire emblems of triumph for doing heroics and Naxx. Fresh 80s will be running these with overgeared people. I don’t think they will have any problems with 0.15 sec of haste.

    As for arena, I don’t think the resto druids will be in a bad situation when 3.3 is out. That glyph of rapid rejuv — this is a very great buff to healing to pvp, because it directly increases HPS of rejuv, and because you usually receive a lot of damage, it’s a great buff. And new GotEM will increase effectiveness of rejuv by 10%, how can that be bad?

    I assume you don’t pvp a lot. I assume you never loaded yourself with hots and laughed in the face of 3 opponents who tried to bring you down (*). Casting rejuv more often in pvp is GOOD, exactly because of nourish being interruptable. Also, more haste for nourish is also good, because there will be a smaller window of opportunity to interrupt it

    (*) Every druid should try it at level 78-79 after acquiring blue pvp set! http://imagebin.ca/view/ZepPzIb4.html

  2. LXj
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Also, you say that we need more buttons, but then you say that it’s our nature to stick to one. Maybe our healing arsenal is actually more wide than we want to think?

    Yes, you don’t spam Lifebloom as much as you did in BC, but is it really that bad? It’s definitely can be used in tank healing rotation. Also if you raid heal and throwing rejuv on someone is not enough, you have a choice of adding a lifebloom on top of that or casting nourish. Or you might do both in extreme situations. It seems like using particular spells is in some cases a question of personal play style.

  3. Lissanna
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve said before that I don’t think we need new spells for resto druids in Cataclysm, but that doesn’t mean they will leave our healing style alone. They can do plenty of things to make some spells more or less appealing at that point.

    In lower tiers of PvE content, I don’t think the longer GCD is going to be game-breaking for them. I spammed regrowth on people all through Naxx 25-man when Wrath first came out. I’m much more worried about PvP getting nerfed for PvE reasons, because they tend to not be able to use direct healing spells as much, and they have to give up one of their existing glyphs to get the rapid rejuv one. The combined effect of the duration nerf and the GotEM change is going to hit PvP harder.

    People at lower tiers of PvE gear, with access to Triumph badges (but without ToC 25-man drops), are still going to struggle a bit to hit the haste cap. Even the tier 9 raiders are having a hard time putting together sets that would be at the haste cap when 3.3 is released, so I’m anticipating people needing Tier 10 gear to really comfortably hit the haste cap.

  4. LXj
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    With glyph of rapid rejuvenation, hots will be very strong in PvP, and new GotEM is good for that. Making rejuv tick 10% faster is much better than lowering its GCD by 0.15 sec. Burst damage is what you have to struggle with, so higher HPS is the king.

    Duration nerf? In PvP you don’t need to keep rejuv up on as many targets, as you do in raids. In arenas your task is usually keeping one-two focused targets alive (I don’t think “cushioning” happens a lot, burst damage is too strong for it to have much effect). AoE in PvP is less common than in raiding.

    Losing glyph slot? I think Swiftmend+Rejuvenation+Rapid Rejuvenation is much stronger combo than what PvPers could have now. Combined effect of Rapid Rejuvenation and GotEM will make hots even stronger in PvP.

    Here, a known PvP blog about haste changes: http://wowriot.gameriot.com/blogs/World-of-Ming/MLG-Anaheim-Lineups-Crazy-PTR-Changes

    As for haste cap — do you think your effectiveness will be that much lower due to 1.1 sec gcd instead of 1 sec gcd? I think when it comes to tenths of a second lag matters more than the haste.

  5. Erdluf
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Just to pile on the PvP discussion. The GotEM change is a buff to Rejuv (with new Glyph), Abolish Poison, Cyclone, Remove Curse, Nourish, Moonfire, Wrath, Entangling Roots, Hibernate, Nature’s Grasp, Swiftmend, Regrowth, Tranquility and Nature’s Swiftness.

    It might be a buff to shapeshifting (idk if those count as spells).

    It is a nerf to Lifebloom and Wild Growth.

    Resto PvP will allow Cyclone in 1.03s =(1.5-0.1)/1.2/1.1/1.03 even with zero haste on gear. With reasonable gear that will be below 0.8s.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see it leading to a Cyclone nerf (yay for Resto buffs leading to Moonkin nerfs).

  6. Posted October 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    The looking for the one button to spam is an intrinsic part of how we assimilate information. We record the important parts and dump the rest. We then only notice the differences between the previous and current set of information.

    So yes we try to simplify everything as much as possible, sometimes more so.

    But as for powerful set bonuses I am still waiting for the 2 piece of tier-4 to be implemented as talents. Energy regen for the cat is still needed.