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.