Monthly Archives: October 2009

Does hasted HOTs favor smaller group sizes?

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.

Posted in Patch 3.3 WotLK, Restoration Healing Trees

Patch 3.3 – prowl & penguins!

Some of this is a little outdated, but I wanted to cover it now, anway.

In part of WoW moving away for having ranks of various spells, they changed prowl (and rogue stealth) to only be one rank. Prowl will now only have to be trained once, and this will have a 30% speed decrease, at level 20.

Why does this matter? Well, the old ranks of prowl used to be: Rank 1 (learned at level 20) = lowers speed by 40%, Rank 2 (learned at level 40) = 35%, Rank 3 = 30% (learned at level 60). So, in patch 3.3, the change means that there will only be one rank of prowl, and it will always be a 30% speed decrease, trained at level 20.  So, prowling around stealthily as a cat while leveling just got a whole lot better!

Moar Pets!

In mid-November (or somewhere around there), we all have to switch to using accounts. Some of us have volunteered to switch over, but they are going to make it mandatory next month. Part of the reason for switching to a login process is so that they can link starcraft & warcraft accounts together for various things, such as cross-game chat improvements. I recommend doing the switch early & not waiting for the last minute to do it.

As a reward for having your account up and running when the switch-over happens, we all get free penguin pets. Anyone who played in the Beta for WotLK remembers getting a penguin named Mr. Chilly. It turns out that Mr. Chilly’s first name is Oswald, and he’ll be returning as the reward for upgrading your account to when they do the forced upgrades. If you merge early, you still get the new penguin.

Isn’t he cute? This is something I’m very excited about. I worked really hard to be able to acquire his cousin (Pengu) when I first hit Northrend (I did the dailies every day from the level I could start doing them). So, I’m even more excited to get Mr. Oswald Chilly back very soon!

Mr. Oswald Chilly

Posted in Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Patch 3.3 WotLK

What is wrong with resto druid healing design for 3.3

WARNING: Incoming frustrated rant. You have been warned.

The WotLK design has been to have high amounts of raid damage going on, while still having a fair amount of tank damage at the same time. This design means that having the ability to heal multiple people at the same time is good.

The druid AOE heal problem: How do you heal multiple people if almost all of your spells are single-target heals?

  • The answer is: spam single-target HOTs around on multiple people. We have one real AOE heal (wild growth), which is still a Heal over Time spell. Then, we have a couple single-target HOTs: rejuvenation, regrowth, & lifebloom.
  • Tranquility doesn’t get used because it only targets your group, has a terribly long cooldown, large mana cost, and is channeled so that you can’t do anything else while it’s working.
  • Since rejuvenation is better than regrowth & lifebloom, we don’t use much regrowth or lifebloom for raid healing currently in 3.2.
  • This means that our two commonly used HOTs for raid healing are: Wild Growth and rejuvenation.

What’s the problem with only using these two spells (wild growth & rejuv) for AOE healing?

  • They “snipe” healing from the meters, and stabilize people without usually healing people up to full in a short amount of time. Rejuvenation (without the instant heal) takes a full 3 seconds before it does any healing at all, and then ticks again every 3 seconds for a decently long duration.
  • Blizzard goes back and forth about whether or not they want us to use this two-spell healing rotation, and work to try and make other heals more appealing, while nerfing spells that we use too much. SO, they have turned regrowth & lifebloom into nearly worthless heals, and promoted rejuvenation to be more godly.
  • Then, in 3.3, they are removing a tick from rejuvenation in hopes that it becomes less appealing. However, at the same time, they give us Tier 10 set bonuses that we really ONLY benefit from if we do nothing but spam rejuv & wild growth. The tier 10 set bonus punishes us by being a crappy bonus if we don’t blanket the raid with rejuvenations because of way it is designed. Even if the proc rate was higher, it would still encourage rejuv blanketing.
  • Then, they plan to release a glyph that increases the haste of rejuvenation ticks based on your gear, meaning that it ticks faster (so it won’t stay on the target as long, but the ticks will happen in less than three seconds). However, faster ticks means that the duration is shorter, and thus you can keep it up on fewer people at the same time. So, even if you do nothing but cast rejuv, it will be up on fewer people at the same time. This glyph will probably replace the Nourish one in everyone’s glyph slots, further making Nourish and our other HOTs under-used.
  • The haste bonus seems counter-intuitive when paired with a tier 10 bonus that lets rejuv “bounce” to other people (ie. blanket the raid more).

What happened to promoting spell diversity? While we had a bunch of different healing styles in 3.0 (and briefly in 3.1), everyone in 3.3 will be converging back on the same healing style once they get the tier 10 bonuses. Every set besides Tier 10 promoted a bigger variety of spells (with swiftmend, lifebloom, or nourish bonuses).

Instead of promoting using a diverse number of spells, the tier 10 set pieces (especially the 4-piece bonus) encourages one-button-spamming healing styles, which went against what I thought Blizzard wanted for the druid healing design.

We don’t benefit from the 4-piece bonus if we only have a couple rejuvenations running, since we only have about a 10% chance that one rejuvenation will cause a proc of the set bonus. A lot of people have done math showing that the set bonus is more useful when you blanket more of the raid with rejuvenation. It’s not a healing increase if you only have up 1 or 2 rejuvenations at a time.

So, the tier 10 bonus is actually punishing people if they use a diverse number of spells. This pigeon-holing people into a raid healing style (which won’t be able to cope with high amounts of burst damage) really seems to go against what the direction of the resto druid spec should be.

We have a ton of different tools. Why are we excited about set bonuses that will essentailly force us to spam the same 2 buttons over and over again until our keyboards break? I didn’t really like lifebloom-spamming in Burning Crusade, either. I like healing styles that are more flexible, which allow the healer to actually have to think about what they are doing, and choose what spells they are using.

The 4-piece Tier 10 bonus really just makes me want to delete my whole healing guide and replace it with “lawl spam rejuvenation & wild growth because that’s all we’re good for”. I really think that we started out at a good place at the beginning of Wrath and got more and more pigeon-holed into a singular healing style as newer content has been released. While this is the opposite of what Blizzard wanted to do, unfortunately, it seems to be the effect they have caused with their gear design so over-focused on the two spells we use the most. If you can top the meters by 2-button spamming, why should you put in twice the effort to try and heal with a more diverse tool set if the more diverse spell users will just to heal for less & benefit less from their gear than the rejuv-spammers in Icecrown Citadel? Why nerf the ticks of rejuvenation at all if the goal is to still have us spam it all the time?

I’m likely to actually just not pick up the tier 10 4-piece, but instead go with the tier 9 2-piece (nourish crit), & the 2-piece tier 10 (Wild growth), so that I can benefit from using Nourish in my spell rotation to help deal with burst damage or tank healing.

Posted in Uncategorized

I have 9 Eyes! Tier 10 gear & set bonuses for all Druids (Updated)

A lot of stuff happened yesterday, with new patch notes, new Tier 10 info, and a lot of other posts & goodies that need to be covered. I’m going to spread out my analysis of the news over a couple days instead of making one big massive post (because this post is big & massive enough already as it is!).

Okay, so first I need to cover how much the helm for Tier 10 disappoints me. I like the rest of the set well enough, and I can deal with the shoulders eating people… but the helm is a little too much. Anytime people complain about the looks of their Tier 10 sets, I’m already saying “But I have NINE EYES!” I would have been okay with the healm if the face plate wasn’t really just 9 bug eyes glowing and starting at me… I’d rather be able to see my actual real face stick out the front… I have to say (yet again), thank Elune we can turn off helm graphics!


Okay! On to the set bonuses!


  • Druid T10 Restoration 2P Bonus – The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 0% less over time.
  • Druid T10 Restoration 4P Bonus (Rejuvenation) – Each time your Rejuvenation spell heals a target, it has a 2% chance to jump to a new target at full duration.

I thought Blizzard was going to push us away from spamming rejuv & wild growth. However, it’s quite possible that these set bonuses are going to make us spam rejuv & wild growth even more. In this context, a shorter rejuv makes sense, since more ticks means that the 4-piece bonus becomes a lot more powerful. I’m not sure how the set bonus interacts with the duration increase from Nature’s Splendor. If it takes into account HOT overhealing ticks, then we’ll probably get one rejuv for about every 10 that we cast (though it’ll be really random), and my quick napkin math says it should make up for about half of the rejuv ticks we lost in the nerf. I started a forum discussion on the set bonus here. For the 2-piece bonus, the text should translate to something like: all ticks heal the amount of the first tick, and don’t reduce in powerfulness over time. The Wild Growth bonus is one I’m pretty excited about.


  • UPDATED: Druid T10 Balance 2P Bonus – When you gain Clearcasting from your Omen of Clarity talent, you deal 15% additional Nature and Arcane damage for 6 sec.
  • UPDATED: Druid T10 Balance 4P Bonus - Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 5% of your spell’s damage over 4 seconds.”

The 2-piece bonus I actually also find disappointing, even if it will be a DPS increase (but Graylo estimates only a 2% increase. First, Omen of Clarity is a talent in the restoration tree & NOT the balance tree, so it feels out of place (even if most moonkin get it). Second, it’s incredibly random. As Boize said on the Moonglade blog, You could get 2 procs close to each other, or you could go 2 minutes without seeing a proc.  There are also non-spells (like crafting) that it procs from more regularly than our actual damage spells, but the duration isn’t really long enough to make use of trying to force it to proc at certain times. It’s an interesting idea, but I don’t very much like it from a conceptual point. Moonkin druids already have too many random forces influencing their damage dealing, and so I tend to be against more randomness in an already random system.

The NEW 4-piece moonkin bonus is somewhat interesting. It looks like crits would be putting up a DOT that ticked for 5% of the damage done over 4 seconds. This would interact very strangely with starfire’s super high crit rate  & would need to stack at least twice to not just continuously over-write the buff without actually having it do any extra damage. They have had other buffs like this need to stack twice to work (I remember a holy paladin HOT proc that had the same problem).

Feral bear/cat

  • Druid T10 Feral 2P Bonus – Your Swipe (Bear) and Lacerate abilities deal 20% additional damage and the cost of your Rip ability is reduced by 10 energy.
  • Druid T10 Feral 4P Bonus – Your Enrage ability no longer decreases your armor and instead decreases all damage taken by 12%, and the periodic damage done by your Rake ability can now be a critical strike.

The feral set bonuses are all good bonuses. Bears deal more damage, and get a new defensive cooldown (enrage). Turning Enrage into a defensive cooldown that gives rage & reduces damage done to you is a really nice thing for regular (or emergency) use. Cats will use less energy for rip & get critical strikes from rake. With such a high crit rate for cat druids stacking agility, crits from rake should be a really nice damage boost. My guild’s feral druid (Lauraya) was really happy about the possibility of these feral bonuses. His only complaint was that Enrage would give him yet another button he had to manage for tanking, but if that’s the worst complaint, then I’m sure bear tanks everywhere will be able to handle it (you can doo eeet!).

Posted in Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.3 WotLK, Restoration Healing Trees

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