A look at Cataclysm resto talents

So, restoration druids seem to be pretty worried about the state of their spec. I’m going to take some time between now and Cataclysm looking closely at the druid healing tools and seeing how everything will work together.

Today’s post will examine how resto druid spells interact based on buffs through talents. In cases where they don’t have interactions through talents, I’ll still talk about how they are buffed by talents, and what the current Cata design is for that spell. That should give us a better idea of how the talents are turning out, and what we may still be lacking.

  • First, remember that HOT ticks will scale with both crit and haste on gear. HOTs that scale with haste & crit have the potential to be much more powerful than they are today.
  • HOTs should heal for more on people at low health (the resto druid mastery), and people may be at low health more often due to changes in game mechanics (larger health pools, less spiky damage).
  • Rejuvenation: Has an instant heal from blessing of the grove. Is buffed by multiple (passive) talents to increase the healing done by this spell.
  • Swiftmend: Now learned when you choose the restoration tree (so, is now available at level 10 if you level healing).Some passive healing increase talents also buff swiftmend. Swiftmend now heals for the same amount whether it’s a regrowth or rejuv that you have on the target.
  • Lifebloom: Can only be used on one target. Two stacks applied during tree form’s cooldown, When your lifebloom HOT crits, you can proc revitalize to restore 3% of your mana (6 sec cooldown). Bloom healing and HOT healing increased by passive talents.
  • Regrowth: Likely to be the most used spell in Cataclysm, when our mana can support it: Is now a 1.5 second “flash” heal, with the HOT component. When the direct heal it crits, you get a living seed (heals when they are next hit) and Effloressence (AOE HOT) proc. Critical strike chance is increased by 25% when your target is at low health. When the HOT crits, you can proc the revitalize mana return (with a 6 sec cooldown). Becomes instant cast when tree form cooldown is active.
  • Nourish: Is now a long cast, mana efficient heal. Crits will proc living seed, and will sometimes reduce the cooldown on swiftmend. Hits will refresh the duration of lifebloom. With Fury of the Stormrage, you can sometimes get instant-cast wraths, (wrath is also buffed by the tree form cooldown). Nourish will still heal for more on targets with at least one HOT on them.
  • Healing Touch: Is now a long cast, less efficient (but heals for a lot) spell. Crits will proc living seed and can shorten the cooldown on swiftmend. Hits can proc the instant wraths from fury of the stormrage.
  • Wild growth: It should effect more people when the tree form cooldown is up. No other neat talent interactions.
  • Tranquility: Is currently broken in beta, and unknown what talents effect it.
  • Talents from the balance tree will increase the crit chance on nourish and healing touch, and crits with any direct heals should be able to proc Nature’s Grace haste increases.

What Restoration still needs:

There are a lot of talents that are more than just passive stat increase bonuses, where we have a lot of things that proc or interact with other spells based on spending points in talents, which I really like about the current design of the talent tree.

However, restoration tree has multiple talents that do nothing but increase the amount of healing done by HOTs (You can spend 11 of your 41 points on really passive HOT increase talents – Blessing of the grove, improved rejuv, empowered rejuv, and genesis). I would suggest changing Empowered Rejuvenation to possibly be something less passive. It would actually be nice to see rejuvenation, swiftmend, Tranquility, and/or wild growth have another secondary effect or interactions with eachother.

  • For example, some suggestions of things that could be added instead of passive talents: swiftmend or wild growth could have a chance to reduce the cooldown on tranquility with talents. Swiftmend could have a chance to provide a small damage reduction to that target for the next X seconds.
  • Also, rejuvenation crits should probably proc revitalize instead of regrowth, so that we can keep rejuvenation as an attractive tool to enough that revitalize could be too strong if it is tied to our go-to spell for every job.
  • Tree form’s cooldown design is still lacking – a 50% movement speed debuff means that it won’t be useful in a lot of PvP and PvE situations. Any debuff above 20 or 30% means that we won’t be able to use the form during most movement-heavy fights at all, and given how long the buff lasts (and the fact that we lose it when we click it off to move) makes the speed debuff way too punishing. We couldn’t use it on most of the Lich King fight because trees would wipe the raid with defile every time.
  • In addition, the rejuvenation effect from tree form is pointless with one lifebloom stack possible at a time, and nourish refreshing the duration of that HOT – we will almost never benefit from having 2 applications of it at once under the current design for lifebloom in Cata.

Conclusions:

Our direct heals are going to be important in Cataclysm, as you can tell by the bonuses tied to them. However, with the large health pools in Cata, just applying rejuv, wild growth, swiftmend, and lifebloom was never going to be enough. So, now you can weave direct heals between HOT applications (and regrowth, our “flash” heal spell, is still basically also a HOT with a cast time), and those direct heals will still hold up when compared to the other class’ tools.

While there are still definitely things wrong with restoration druids right now on the Beta server, the actual talent design of how spells will proc things and interact with eachother should make healing in Cataclysm more fun and dynamic, and you should have a reason to use each of your spells at various different times. Our HOTs will be powerful, but our direct heals will still be available to save the day.

24 Comments

  1. Atoyot
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I guess my real question is will there be Glyph changes as well. I can see many druids going with some combination of “Glyph of Regrowth, Glyph of Rejuvenation, Glyph of Wild Growth, & Glyph of Nourish” based on current abilities of each.

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I would expect them to change a lot of the glyphs. At this point, they’ve been telling us to focus all of our feedback without glyphs taken into consideration.

  2. Verdus
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    One minor correction: according to the talent trees, Revitalize restores 3% of our TOTAL mana, not base. Given the obscene amounts of intellect that will be floating around on gear, that’s likely to be a massive difference.

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh ya. Typo. ;)

  3. Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I get the feeling that we have the same spells that are just modified slightly to give us the impression that we have a lot more.

    LB is just Rejuv/3
    Nourish is now the same with HT.

    Why not consolidate?

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      No, they have slightly different roles and they are all supposed to be important tools when used appropriately. They want Nourish & HT to heal for different amounts and cost different amounts of mana, so that we have to choose which to use in different situations.

      • Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        That’s just it isn’t it? They’re just slightly different. I’d like to see more synergy between spells like priest’s serendipity and surge of light or shaman’s riptide and LHW/HW.

        Or maybe if synergy between spells is not our mechanic and stacking hots is, then let us stack more hots. But then that’s going to make haste cap a requirement like hit is for dps now.

        • Lissanna
          Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          In a world where we have to care about mana and people have big health pools, we will need both Nourish & Healing Touch to get the job done. The Cataclysm druid design is to weave together HOTs and direct heals. If they get us to actually use 4 or 5 of those spells, then they did their job.

    • Kyanr
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Druids right now have one healing spell (maybe two if you throw in swiftmend) that we regular use (rejuv). So instead of us just using one and a half spells were going to be using all 5+ which is a huge change.

      I really hope they make tranquility raid wide. I’m tired of resto druids who think that it does more than affect the group they’re in (which is usually the healing group which usually dies towards the middle of a wipe not the beginning of it).

      • Lissanna
        Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        It is supposed to heal people outside of your group in a raid, but it’s not going to heal more than 5 people.

  4. Galashin
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for putting time and effort into the current state of resto, but there’s still more to the story. For example, consider the talents geared toward dealing damage for each of the five healing specs.

    Druid: 10% (probably supposed to be 15% still) chance on *only* nourish and HT to proc a free, instant wrath. We can reach balance’s spirit–>hit talent, but the talent offers no other benefit.

    Disc: Smites smartheal for 45% of damage dealt, plus provide a stacking buff that restores 3% of total mana for each stack *and* increases healing done. (For the sake of comparison, given the current cost of smite, an 80 would need only 19334 mana to *gain* mana from smite/archangel…for the first smite, ones that follow are even cheaper, in fact.)

    Holy: Reduced cast time for smite as a byproduct of reducing cast time for heals. 50% chance on *all* crits to proc a free-and-instant smite. *And* the same 3% mana return and healing bonus from archangel…making smites not only free and instant (well, a GCD), but flat out restore mana *while* offering a healing bonus.

    Pally: Casting speed bonus from judgments, *and* free spirit–>hit from the same talent that lets them judge from range (not to mention the benefit of the debuff itself). Plus free and instant exorcisms from *any* crit. Plus, if that if that free *exorcism* crits, they gain 30% of the *base* cost of an exorcism, gaining mana.

    Shaman: 25% of a shock’s cost –> damage and +30% bonus to their next heal. Flat out 40% of LB’s damage straight to mana, and they can reach the ele spirit–>hit talent (and, as opposed to with druids, actually *gain* something from hitting with their damage spells). Given LB’s current cost, an 80 would need to deal only 660 damage to break even on mana.

    ********************

    Alternatively, consider the short/mid cooldown instant heals available to the classes now. Obviously, numbers can be changed and talents affect each spec differently, so I’ll leave out the base heal values (which are hard to check at 80+ without being in beta, anyway). The only complicating factor there would be in swiftmend healed for *drastically* more than these other options, and I don’t believe that’s the case–correct me if I’m wrong, of course.

    Druid: Swiftmend instantly heals with a spell-specific bonus of 15% healing, but is only usable on a target already buffed with rejuv or regrowth *and* it consumes the remainder of that HoT or, alternatively, also costs a glyph slot (10% base mana, 15 sec cd base, 11.5 cd in a best case scenario). Crits gain an additional 30% healing, but there is no spell-specific crit bonus. Nourish and HT *crits* reduce the swiftmend cooldown by 0.5 seconds–even if you chaincast nourish or HT at 1.5 sec per cast and crit every single one, the best you can do is an 11.5 sec cd.

    Disc: PW: Shield gains the specific effects of +10% absorbed and -15% cost, increases the crit chance of the priest’s direct heals by 4% on that target, and restores 2.5% total mana per 12 seconds (19% base, no cooldown). I believe their mastery bonus is also still increasing absorb effects.

    Holy: CoH still provides an instant AoE smartheal (21% base mana, 10 sec cd), with no other effects. Also, Holy Nova for a PBAoE heal (15% base mana, no listed cd?), at -0.5 sec GCD +50% crit, which in turn procs free smites (alternatively, 0% crit, but *free,* if they give up their free-and-instant smite on *any* other crit). Desperate Prayer (18% mana, much longer cd at 45 sec) offers an instant *smart* heal on top of healing the caster, and offers the instant-and-free smite on crits. Plus, they can always shield, though without the added benefits and with worse stats (19% base, 3 sec cd).

    Pally: Holy Shock instantly heals at +12% crit and +69% healing (those specific to shock, on top of general bonuses to healing), plus provides 30% spell haste on your next FoL/HL/DL (8% base mana, 6 sec cd). On top of that, crits restore 30% of shock’s mana, take 1.5 seconds off the next HL cast, *and* add a 15% HoT. Plus they’ll want their spirit–>hit talent *anyway* (and can get it). On top of all of that, they’re *also* getting Word of Glory, an *instant and free* holy-power based heal, which also gains the spell-specific bonuses of 12% crit and 30% healing.

    Shaman: Unleash elements on earthliving provides heals plus a 20% bonus to their next heal (7% base mana, 15 sec cd). Riptide heals, plus a HoT, a 25% bonus on the next CH on the target, *and* reduces greater heal’s cast time and/or increases lesser heal’s crit (10% base mana, 6 sec cd).

    • Galashin
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for the wall, by the way. This is your blog, not mine, of course, but you’re by far one of the most respected (balance/)resto druids in beta, and I’ve long since recognized that the likelihood feedback from beta participants will have an effect is so much greater than that from the general forums, there’s hardly a point in bothering there.

      I’d love any insights you could offer of course, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit my real hope is to highlight disparities I feel may have slipped under your radar…either to find that I was mistaken about the disparities to begin with (again, there could well be something going on in beta that I’m just missing), or otherwise to enlist you in spreading the word.

      • Lissanna
        Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        I have to go through things bit by bit, with the knowledge that new patches come out about as fast as I can test & post about it.

        I actually have premades of other healing classes, along with a premade druid to actually do class balance testing. However, we are really not all at equal stages in development, so it’s really hard to do that comparison without a clear picture of the developers’ goals.

        It’s always easier to see that the grass is greener on the other side, but I prefer to focus on what positives and negatives we have. Due to having HOTs that other classes don’t have, they are (in turn) going to have things we don’t. That’s the point of being part of a team. I just care about whether or not we fit in that healing team, and whether or not we can get the job done.

        Without as many HOTs to stack as we have, other classes sometimes need the ability to speed up healing more than we do – as that is part of how they are balanced. and it is highly likely that you will have a rejuv or regrowth on a target you want to swiftmend in Cata, so swiftmend will be reliable for us. So, it’s just as easy for other classes to look at our strengths and compare it to their weaknesses. All healers aren’t supposed to be totally equal – they are supposed to be complementary.

        That said, there are still areas where druids fall short, and I do my best to bring attention to the areas that are most likely able to be modified and improved.

  5. Galashin
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I completely agree that with our focus on HoTs (less so than BC or WotLK, but still more so than the other healers), it’s only logical for them to have other toys. And as you pointed out, those HoTs could be the balancing factor regarding the instant heal disparity…except for holy shock being so ridiculously over the top compared to all *four* of the other classes, anyway.

    The synergy regarding the damage talents, however, is really something else entirely, to me. I expected them all to follow along the lines of ours, in fact–some free damage, when you happen to have a spare gcd. Instead, it seems ours is the odd effect out…no benefit to healing whatsoever, in addition to a greater restriction on the proc (options for which the healer has control, like smite/archangel or LB for mana, are effectively just full time “procs”). Had they all been designed along that assumed line, it really wouldn’t matter if we were left out–so we’d be idle for 2 seconds instead of adding a tiny amount of damage. Given that the other classes are getting significant *healing* benefits, however, on top of the warnings to expect fewer and fewer drastic changes, I’m starting to lose my “it’s beta, just wait and see next week” feeling.

    • Enderasha
      Posted July 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      As the information continues to flow out and more feedback comes in on elitist jerks and the beta wielding bloggers I get more and more disheartened. Not saying the sky Is falling just yet but seeing the priests be so much more polished is a tax frustrating.

      Our dos talent is really lackluster compared to those in other healing trees and offers no reward or incentive for doing let alone looking at the pathetic profs per minute people are reporting based on standard healing usage. With renew getting so much love from talents and all of the other amazing smart heals and group heals priests get I start to wonder just what makes Druids unique?

      If regrowth is flash heal with a very minor hot, rejuv is just a slightly weaker or equivalent renew, wild growth is circle of healing, no compliment to pom or poh or other similar abilities,I feel way less confident in our abilities to be unique.

      I’d like to be told there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, that blizzard realizes half the talents in our first two tiers are garbage …I wish they’d at least acknowledge them so we know that it’ll be addressed. I’m so used to them thinking crap like fury of stormrage or whatever it is is ok and that it doesn’t need to be equal to archangel…let Aline usable at all.

      • Enderasha
        Posted July 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        iPhone spell checker doesn’t play nice with wow ranting it seems

      • Lissanna
        Posted July 28, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Beta ends up having different classes in different stages of development. Druids are actually one of the hardest classes to get talents right, so it makes sense that we are further behind. Give specific feedback about specific talents and specific places you think should be changed. We have several months of changes before anything would hit the live servers. Hold on tight for the ride.

        • Enderasha
          Posted July 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          I admire your optimism for sure. I just want to make sure that their “grand vision” of what is “fun” and “good” doesn’t translate to things that the higher end raider won’t think is fun and good and ultimately hurts us. When raiding as a healer we have a good bit of responsibility on our shoulders. Fun for a DPS is a complex rotation that makes you feel good if you get it right. If you don’t quite hit your rotation for a patch you can still get back on track. For healers I agree knowing which tool to use when, managing our resources and filling our roles is rewarding enough…and might even offset the fact we stare at boxes the whole time. I don’t think that’s a time for fun and wacky…or let alone dps’ing. Effervescence seems to be the closest thing to “fun” that I’ve seen for us.

          I like how druids play and we’ve come a long way from our days of healing Naxx using Healing Touch Rank 4 all day long and even more so the days where only one HoT of any kind could be on someone at any time. We were NOT the star healers of Vanilla wow and things have clearly improved…we’ve developed a niche…something unique to us. Now would I like to see us a little less unique to gain more versatility? Yes. Any druid bumped from a raiding group that is working on heroic LK 10 or 25 in favor of another priest would probably agree. That being said I don’t want them to water us down and strip us of our output and still leave us with less desirable tools in our toolbox than priests. It really feels like they have a spell that doubles as everything that we have currently and a few more as well. Bring the player not the class is admirable, but if someone has a bigger toolbox (and a second healer spec) where do we go from here?

          I apologize if I sound negative I’m just wearing my heart on my sleeve when it comes to these developments. I know everyone is going to have to change how they heal in cataclysm…I just want them to show me that the class I love is going to continue to serve a strong purpose.

          • Lissanna
            Posted July 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            They have added in DPS talents to all of the talent trees, and resto druids actually have a lot of tools to use, and has a good toolset overall. There are talents that need changes, and things like Glyphs are still the wild-card. Priests have 2 talent specs dedicated to healing, and so since 2/3rds of their class is dedicated to healing, they may have healing tools they don’t actually use once they specialize into a talent spec. SO, comparing druids to shaman & paladin healers is much more fair.

  6. Ironmonkus
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    From what I’m reading (I could be wrong) they are turning tree form into some kind of buff ability and not a static form? If so, my dreams of druid healing are shattered. I rolled a druid, because I loved being a tree…

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 28, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      We’re still waiting to see if they make a tree form glyph to let you keep the visual appearance when the shapeshift ability is on cooldown.

      • Ironmonkus
        Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        That would be lovely, thank you!

  7. csilla
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I got in the Beta over the weekend and one of the first things I did was heal one of the new dungeons (throne of the tides) on my resto druid.

    Going in, I didnt know Nourish had such a longer cast time now, and Regrowth such a shorter time, so that really threw me off for a bit.

    My Nourish crits with HoTs on the target were only in the 8-9k range (live server is 12-14k, but maybe that’s because of the glyph), and my Healing Touch crits were in the 18-20k range. The renewing of lifebloom on the target made no difference at all, with Lifebloom being dirt cheap now (147 mana I believe, I know it was under 200) so I could either burn one GCD on Lifebloom, or spend 2.5 seconds casting a weak Nourish and renew it. Needless to say, I only use Nourish now out of habit from Live, it is definatly not something I want to cast.

    Currently, ToL does not buff any spells with enhanced mechanics, and I really only felt the need to use it twice. And the second time I did, I couldnt run out of a black pool of death cast on me, so I died.

    I feel that right now, we dont have a good enough “flash heal”. Regrowth isnt very fast and does not heal for as much as I’d like, not after experiencing Nourish on live server.

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Regrowth is supposed to be a 1.5 second cast like the other class’ flash heals. However, we have a large # of bugs to be worked out. Also, a lot of the resto druid talents aren’t working right, along with tank specs also having a lot of things not working right – combined, it makes for interesting challenges in instances. Most instance runs aren’t going well, and its going to take some time for bugs to get worked out and for actual balance to happen. We also don’t have our mastery implemented, and HOTs aren’t scaling with haste, and everything’s pretty much broken (lifebloom isn’t actually being refreshed by nourish, etc). So, most of my feedback is based on how things look like in paper until more things are implemented.