Cata Druid Mechanics: Wild Growth & Cooldowns

So, right now, Wild Growth has a 6 second cooldown, and a 7 second duration. In Cataclysm, the developers are thinking of increasing the cooldown on Wild Growth. A lot of people freaked out about the possible change. The mistake the developers are making is not talking about it with actual cooldown #’s in mind.

So, lets talk about it in terms of real possible numbers: if they made the cooldown somewhere between 7 seconds and 10 seconds, would it really be a substantial difference compared to how it is now? Sure, if they moved it to a 30 second or 1 minute cooldown, that would be huge. However, the scale of the change is likely not going to be that drastic, and a 30 second cooldown on WG would really leave us without a good AOE toolset (since I personally think single-target HOTs are silly as primary AOE healing abilities).

So, I’m predicting that at most, it would be a 10 second cooldown. That would allow for maybe 5 (2 second cast time) to 10 (1 second GCD) spells cast between refreshes. Only a difference of 2 to 4 spells. In addition, there would only be 3 seconds of down-time between when the spell ends & when you can cast it again.  Given that they want to make our other spells better & more appealing, this change may actually even become welcoming, if we start to feel like we don’t have enough opportunity to use our other spells because of having to pop Wild Growth every cooldown.

In fact, I like the idea of having a 10 second cooldown with a 7 second duration, since that increases the need for thinking ahead & timing of our abilities. (ie. if I wait 2 more seconds, it will time more perfectly with the big AOE damage I know is coming, and if I pop WG too early, it’s possible it may run out before the big AOE is over, and rejuv may not be enough to cover it).

Also, with tranquility becoming more viable, it may be good to not have Wild Growth’s cooldown be shorter than Tranquility’s duration, anyway (so you don’t feel like you are losing out on a WG when you pop tranquility). So, a change to WG at a 10 second cooldown could actually open up resto druids to being able to use more of their expanded toolset.

A slightly longer cooldown on Wild Growth won’t be that bad – IF and only if Blizzard makes our other spells actually more desirable. An increased cooldown on WG needs to come with a reason to want to cast more than just rejuvs between WG refreshes. Anything longer than a 10 second coolodown on WG is probably also too long.

9 Comments

  1. Verdus
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I’m just getting tired of hearing almost exclusively about what we’re *losing* when Cataclysm drops. They’ve gone to great lengths so far to tell us what’s being stripped away from the spec and why they think they should, but when it comes time to discuss positive changes all we get is vague handwaving. Throw us a freaking bone already.

  2. Neyuna
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m primarily a Balance druid, as I haven’t raid healed since Magtheridon, and have only healed 5 mans since. I’m building a more complete resto set and do some more healing via battlegrounds and such in 4.0

    Do resto druids cast WG every time it’s off cooldown? Or do you use it on judgement. I guess they aren’t really comparable, but for instance, sometimes I don’t use Starfall right away and I’ll wait for adds after 30 seconds in to cast it.

    Also, I do hope that they can tweak our existing healing spells too. I’m one of those armchair healers that thinks we have enough tools for the job, they just need to work properly. :P

  3. Ditto
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    @Verdus

    They have to strip things away first, before they can add new spells / abilities, or tune what is there. If they didn’t strip things away first, they wouldn’t have a clear picture of what voids need to be filled.

    Personally, I can see the CD being up to 12-15 seconds, since it is about double the existing CD, but less than or equal to Swiftmend. Anything longer than that, it wouldn’t really be a great tool for AE healing, since it couldn’t be very reliable, or at the very least, would over penalize the early usage of it.

  4. Posted April 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    @Neyuna: A raid-healing resto druidn would probably use WG every time it’s off of its cooldown, but in 5-mans, you don’t need to. Unless you out-gear the content, it would be a waste to do so (but if you do out-gear 5-mans, it’s not a bad strategy).

  5. Posted April 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts on WG…

    I use it as a raid heal because this, linked to Rejuv and a single stack of Lifebloom (that is allowed to bloom, because it is after all called, lifeBLOOM, lol) makes for excellent raid healing.

    That said…

    I often don’t spam it when it’s up every six seconds. I’d venture to say, based on my practices that I spam it about every 10-12 seconds because I don’t always need it. Even in five mans nowadays where a rejuv, a single-stack LB and nourish are enough to heal that a WG often becomes the button I press when I feel like being lazy (although it could be said that WG would be sufficient enough to heal a nicely geared 5man anyhow, I acknowledge that much).

    But I can’t speak for everyone when I say that increasing the CD on WG won’t be felt, because for me at least, it won’t. It’s a nice AE heal, but I’m finding more and more lately that I rarely need it. Only in ICC do I use it more often. But even then, what I’m seeing is that after the first burst-tick, most of the raid taking damage is being healed by the raid healers that the subsequent ticks are overhealing and being wasted. This results in me being a little bit more reserved in spamming it (for sake of mana conservation, which isn’t so much a problem now, but will be come Cata where we’ll allegedly be forced to THINK about our casts with regards to mana)…again, pretty much double the time it’s on CD at this point.

    My only fear is that WG will go the way of Healing Touch, where it becomes our least used, and probably highly ignored AE heal in favor of other more refined heals…because I do like using it. It’s a neat spell, I just hope when the time comes to change it, the Blues actually change it in a good way where a longer CD will actually help us (again, with regards to that mana conservation).

    (But seriously? I’m waiting for that supposed crit heal from Regrowth that apparently makes a person poop healing flowers, lol…”I know you like to thank yo sh*t don’t stank…” … “Uhm, well actually, it doesn’t thanks; it also heals you as a matter of fact.”)

  6. Lissanna
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    At a longer cooldown, they can keep WG balanced so that we’ll want to use it every cooldown.

  7. Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it would be bad to make tranq a bit more usable in raids and I could even live with a little longer cd on wg, but like some people said it should be kept balanced and ‘wanted’ every time it’s off cd. I love using it now in raids.

  8. Nightwhisp
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m just grumpy today after staying up until 3:30 AM trying to down Sindagraosa. But, it seems like we are getting our roots all in a tangle about all the stuff that will change in Cata. Yes, there will be major changes, but we have such vague info, to make any detirmination now seems premature.

  9. Lissanna
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Nightwisp, I’m supposed to speculate and evaluate possible changes. There is always more info we can wait for, but I wanted to play around with ideas of how long the cooldown could be, to see how long players would accept for a cooldown, and to make recommendations about what I think it should be.