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.