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.
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.