Cata druid build 12759 & blue posts (part 2)

So, a lot of stuff happened while I was off at the beach. I had to split this into two posts, to help concentrate the good announcements that are improving druids versus the continuing discussion on AOE/raid healing. So, these were the announcements related to everything else:

Moonkin Form Ghostcrawler’s post (click here):

At first we were trying to make it more of an option, so that cuddly-hating Balance druids could choose the spec without the shapeshift. After much discussion though, we’re going to go back to a Balance druid = Moonkin Form design. We’ll put some more damage into the Moonkin Form.

So, part of the problem that people had with moonkin form in Cata was that there wasn’t enough damage tied to it. With Furor giving the same int bonus in & out of moonkin form, that made it even more true (at this point, moonkin form is basically just an armor bonus & the group haste buff on the current beta build). So, it sounds like they’re going to have to make moonkin form more useful by adding more damage back to the form. That should make it something people still want to use. They did increase the damage portion tied to Master shapeshifter, but I think they should tie some damage increase directly back into the form.

Tree form’s movement speed debuff – GC’s post (click here):

I suspect we won’t end up keeping the snare on Tree of Life. We knew that we could try snare and then remove it. We would have a hard time trying no snare and then adding one. Our intent was to make you think about when was the best time to push ToL rather that just hitting it the second it’s off cooldown. In practice though we just think it feels crappy so even if it accomplishes our goal, it’s probably not worth it.

Part of the problem with the tree snare is that it doesn’t just make us have to think about when to use it – it makes the form dangerous to the guild’s progress if we use it at the wrong time. We should be choosing to use it when we need to do more healing, not when we know we’ll have a chance to stand still for 45 seconds (how often does that actually happen?). I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted the snare reduced or removed. I’ll be happy if it goes and we can actually choose to use it at the points in the fight when we need to do the most healing.

Changes to restoration Tier 1 & 2:GC says for the feral druids that:

”We have actually swapped Furor (now in Feral) and Heart of the Wild (now in Resto).”

In addition, Naturalist is now in Tier 2 restoration (reducing the cast time on nourish & healing touch

The latest talent announcements have done a good job of increasing the number of useful talents that are early resto tree so that now you get to make actual choices in your early talent decisions. There are still probably too many passive healing bonuses in the resto tree, but now you at least get to choose the talents. Beta talent changes are usually a slow process. One step at a time. 😉

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

33 comments on “Cata druid build 12759 & blue posts (part 2)
  1. Lufitoom says:

    I know it sounds silly, but the idea of giving up my Moonkin form to be more successful would have made me quit the game. There are no words to describe how attached to it I am.

  2. Wharep says:

    I was very happy to hear that they swapped Furor and Heart of the Wild – a really good idea. Now, if they could just make HotW a requirement to Master Shapeshifter, that would be great. As of right now, I doubt I’ll be spending 3 talent point in Natural Shapeshifter, with the few points we have these days.
    Also, with HotW in T1 and Naturalist in T2, we don’t have a problem with getting into T3 anymore, which is great.
    Currently I’d spend 33 points in resto and the rest in Balance, which actually gives me the interesting choice between Genesis and Moonglow – guess it’s stuff like that GC’s been talking about:)

    Now, about ToL. Good thing they’ll remove the snare (there’s no way I could imagine them doing otherwise anyways.) But to me it still seem a bit like a lackluster, being an end talent and all, from a PvE pov that is.
    First, they should reduce the cd, as I’ve yet to really see healing emergencies being as long as 45 secs (other healers dieing and special boss phases not included).
    I totally get, that they don’t want to make every tough point of an encounter trivial to heal, if you bring a resto druid, but 5 mins just seem to long to actually make it such a fun decision, especially if you just know you have to save it for p3 or whatever.
    Also, would be nice if the form somehow allowed us to buff either or single target healing or multitarget healing, mutual exclusive if you like.
    Could be that LB now would stack to 4 or even 5 – or if you instead let it bloom, if would do some kind of ae healing. Or using SM on a target with LB will reduce dmg taken with X% for Y secs, but if used on a target with WG it would return all WG hots you currently have on targets back to full duration. Stuff like that, either tank or raid, but not both. (Admitted, sounds a bit like Chakra for holy priests…)

  3. Ben says:

    I still don’t think the snare would have been that bad. It is a buff presumably? Which means you can make a macro that’s something like “/cancelaura Tree of Life” to use if something comes up and you suddenly have to move unexpectedly. Sure you can’t use it on parts where everyone has to move a lot, but other classes would still have it a lot worse for healing while moving.

    • Lissanna says:

      the problem is that if you shift out of tree form, you can’t shift back into it. If you have to cancel it after 10 seconds of casting, then you just lost out on 35 seconds of the buff – and you still can’t use it again until it comes back off of cooldown. If you could shift in & out of the form as much as you wanted in those 45 seconds, then it wouldn’t be quite as big of a deal.

      • Ben says:

        I realize that. It just means sometimes you get full use out of it and sometimes you don’t. Happens all the time with other classes. If I’m a melee dps on Festergut, I might use a trinket, and then immediately get a spore on me, so I just wasted the trinket buff. Good players will wait to see that someone else got the spore and THEN immediately use their cooldowns. With a 45 second buff, you might still miss out on part of the buff, since theres always a chance you’ll get the very next spore, but good players would be able to maximize the benefit from it in this way.

        They would probably want to bake the “/cancel” function into the button itself, though, since cancelling it would be of critical importance in some situations. I don’t know how it’s handled right now.

        • Lissanna says:

          The problem at a 50% slow is that most of the time (at a 45 second buff), you’d end up having to cancel it before it ends, or you would wait so long to use it that you just don’t use it much at all. With the slow, we’d be better off with a shorter duration (15 to 20 sec) and a lower cooldown to go with it. Having the slow removed means that it gets to mostly be reliable.

          • Tralia says:

            The other issue you run into with the /cancel situation is that no other healing class has there ” oh shit button” ever need to be canceled.

            You don’t see Priests having tanks click off theres, and you dont see paladins turning off avenging wrath. I’m not real sure shamans have one so someone can update that for me if I’m wrong ( my shammy is enhance).

            While there are DPS that might lose something from bad timing it doesn’t really matter. There DPS, a completely different role and something we are and never should be balanced against when looking at CD’s and things.

            The other issue with the snare was it put double conditions on one CD. 1.) Is this a phase or time when I need to use the CD. 2.) Do I need to move rapidly with 45 seconds? With your DPS example its just ” is this a good time to use it because I won’t need to move” which is alot easier to deal with than what the snare version of ToL created.

  4. Ben says:

    Yeah I’d say the duration is the real issue. 15-20 seconds or so would make a lot more sense.

  5. csilla says:

    What’s your opinion on Resto Druid mastery? As it stands right now, I feel it is pretty terrible, for many of the reasons you’ve stated about our aoE/raid healing.

    For one, you have to re-cast the HoTs to recieve the benefit of Mastery, it does not scale automatically as far as I’ve tested. Second, by the time you would start getting much benefit from the mastery buff, the party/raid people in need would have to be quite low on health, requiring direct heals, not HoTs to save them. Shamans have the same mastery as us, only it affects direct healing instead of HoTs, and works fantastic because of it.

    I started a thread over on the beta forums (called Resto Druid Mastery) trying to get some ideas/opinions going, maybe to stir up enough talk to catch Blue notice 🙂

    • Tralia says:

      Wow so it doesn’t auto scale? Man that makes it almost worthless =/

      As far as Ideas go I’m having a tough go of it with new ideas for it. I mean part of me really wants to steal the Holy Pally one but it seems they dont want us having damage mitigation once again. Obviously I would love something to do with HoTs but there so messed up I wouldn’t really want to push them. Then theres also the problem that we really need something that scales for both tank and raid healers alike.

      What I’m thinking atm is having efflourescence have a chance to proc off all heals, and have the mastery affect how often it can proc and what it heals for. Not realy sure thats good for tanks healers though and not sure it helps the raid healing sitaution either =/

      • Wharep says:

        Hmm, I think I’ll be more happy about something that just grant us extra healing on targets who already need it (aka, targets we’ve casted a hot on already).
        I also don’t mind it scaling with hp, but it’s probably true that it’s worth more, if each individual tick scaled with hp, as it would fit the proactive healing model a lot more. (I’m aware of what GC said about proactive healing, but good druids will surely still use it to some degree).
        If we, however, are getting pushed completely into reactive healing with our hots as well, then the current model might be better. Not an easy call imo.
        Liss probably have a better idea, as she can test the Cata healing style.

  6. csilla says:

    I was disappointed too Tralia, finding that out really killed the mastery for me. I like the chance to proc Efflor-whatsit though, it’s extremely strong right now (when it procs, which isnt often enough). Sadly, I would expect it to get nerfed, as right nof it ticks for 3500+ a second for 10 seconds on all targets within the area. It’s also kind of hard to determine the area, as you dont receive a buff telling you that you are standing in Efflor, and the ground graphic is like the Herbalism ability Lifebloom, but toned down quite a bit.

    My idea for the mastery fix was to give our HoTs (or a specific HoT) a chance each tick to give a damage reduction buff, and each tick could increase the buff by 1%, stacking up to a 10% damage reduction ( similar to the shaman damage reduction buff from talents, since we dont have anything of the sort). The mastery rating could then either extend the buff longer than the HoT tick, increase the chance to proc the buff, or increase the buff cap higher than 10% reduction. The damage reduction could be nice in high AoE fights for party/raid, as it would create a bit of a buffer to enhance our HoTs and decrease the amount of HoTs we need to cast. Just trying to think of things missing in our toolkit that other healers have.

    • Lissanna says:

      I thought that a good mastery would be to have direct heals do more healing on people with HOTs on them (ie. the nourish bonus for all our direct healing spells). So, if you spend the time to pre-hot someone, you’ll get more healing on them.

      The HOT/direct heal interaction mastery stat would work best if we had a direct AOE heal to mix in with our HOTs for raid healing.

      • Wharep says:

        But won’t we just end up in an even better tank healing role? Nourish and HT are more or less exclusively for MT healing.

        If we got a direct AE heal in the current raid environment, we’d almost certainly have the raid blanketed in RJ’s/WG’s when we cast it, but isn’t that exactly what they are trying to move away from? And what we’re arguing we need another tool to help us achieve that and to fill the gap between RJ/WG/RG? What I’m asking is: Isn’t it rather unlikely that we’ll have enough hots on the raid, when we use such a direct AE heal? (or at least enough to be worth it)

        • Lissanna says:

          Well, at this point, the majority of our healing done won’t benefit at all from our mastery because of the fact that our mastery is incompatible with our healing style, unless it buffs the direct heal on regrowth (and then that direct heal on regrowth is likely to be the only heal that benefits from the bonus). If we’re putting a rejuv on someone below 25% health, then that person is likely going to die before the HOT ticks for enough to actually get them out of the danger zone.

          With a direct AOE heal, the heal would still be good at zero HOTs, and would just be slightly better with a HOT on the target (and I would expect most of our AOE healing to still be done by HOTs).

          The problem with the druid mastery is that we don’t have a good one, and we can’t just steal what other people have. We need something else, because I just don’t see our mastery working at all, so at this point, anything would be better. However, for the HOT -> buff direct heal mastery, we’d need an AOE heal that benefited from the mastery. However, the direct heal of regrowth would benefit from that mastery, too, so casting more than one regrowth on the same target would end up being slightly more rewarding, too.

          • Wharep says:

            Well, I don’t think you should consider a mastery that’d be good in the current situation, where RG seems to trumph every other spell, because Efflorescence is so damn powerful. That’s likely to be changed.
            I’ll agree that the mastery isn’t very attractive when you are good at using your hots pro-actively. In such a situation it’d be far better to let each individual tick scale. (btw, I presume the RG hots scales with the mastery as well? And if so, is it calculated before or after the RG burst heal lands?)

            Anyways, personally I’m just more interested in seeing a mastery that is somehow connected to all our hots, but I agree that it currently sounds kinda meh.

          • Lissanna says:

            We’d at least need the direct heal of rejuv to be stronger & benefit from the mastery for the mastery to be worthwhile. Otherwise, you aren’t getting much use out of it at all. Why would you choose a rejuv over a regrowth on someone below 25% health when you increase your crit chance to proc effloresence by 25% on targets at low health? Even after effloresence gets toned down, regrowth is always going to be a better choice on targets at low health. Rejuv is better for “lightly wounded” targets, meaning that you won’t really benefit from the mastery all that much.

            Actually running instances in Beta just makes me more depressed.

          • Wharep says:

            I agree that the direct heal on reju could and probably should be a bit stronger, to push the point at which RG trumps it. But really, I kinda like the talent that increases RG’s crit change on targets below 25%, because it really makes you wonna use RG on that target. On people with more health, you may wonna look at the context before deciding which heal to use.
            The problem today seems be that efflorescence it so powerful, that you always want to use RG, because making efflorescence proc just solves everything. But if that’s nerfed, you may wonna use RJ more often if the player ain’t in any immediate danger.

            Anyways, it’s true that the current mastery bonus is more rewarding the lower hp our target has, but that’s why I’d rather see each tick scale with the current hp of the target, meaning that it won’t be as powerful for it’s entire duration, which hopefully will make it less appealing to wait with your heals. That’d also work well with pro-active healing, like if you hot a tank before he engages a boss etc.

  7. csilla says:

    Yeah I thought about that as well, but with GC saying they dont want us pre-HoTing and such, I kind of wonder if Blizz has figured out just how Resto Druids are meant to work in Cata. Up until the latest build, I dont think the resto tree had been touched in 3-4 builds, even with the bad first 2 tiers.

    A direct AoE heal would be really great, since now that pallys have that cone-effect heal (not sure of the name, I dont play pally), Druids are the only healer without a direct AoE heal.

    Maybe we’ll become the “mana batteries” of Cata! Innervate the better equipped for the job healers and HoT the raid as the other healers are going oom/ recovering mana. /exaggeration

    • Tralia says:

      I still don’t think they know how Druids are supposed to work. I think they have an idea of what they want, but the Druid player base is ready to string them up for it so I think its making them nervous. TBH they should be, I had never once thought of taking anything to 85 but my Druid first, but after all of this I may not even play a healer at all.

      I know they need to change things to balance them out, and TBH in a lot of cases there running headlong into the very things that have caused problems since the original Beta. There goal is to fix those but the problem is many of those problems are the very flavors that made the classes.

      I think right now they are seriously worried about losing a massive amount of there healers, obviously there not willing to say it. I think Druids are probably the hardest for them to balance and get figured out which is why we are last. Generally that has fell on Paladins but with them pretty much starting over completely with the entire class they have a bit more flexibility.

      • Wharep says:

        Seems like every class more or less are complaining a lot. They can’t be too scared to make changes, otherwise this game will never get better. The player base are a lot more conservative than the developers at times, but ultimately, I think they do a pretty good job of not letting that get in the way. Also, there’s a bit too many doomsayers on the forums, which really should be ignored for the most part. Changes should be made based on intelligent posts, like Liss’.

        And I think they have a pretty good idea about how they want druid to work with our current set of spells. A lot of druids just argue that despite our large toolbox, we still have holes in our arsenal. That’s the issue.

      • Lissanna says:

        Well, in the end, I’m here to help the devs more than I’m here to hurt them. That’s why I’ve been finding both problems & possible solutions – and I present them in a way that everyone can understand.

        Until recently, I didn’t think druids needed any new spells. However, they have made all our spells useful for Cata, and there is still a giant gaping hole in our toolbox. I wasn’t expecting to still feel that way, which really was a surprise even to me. It’s just going to take some time to have that hole become more obvious.

        • Wharep says:

          The debate has been pretty hot in your post in the official forum, so I don’t know if there’s much more to say until we either see some more changes that can indicate what they devs are thinking or until levelcap is increased further.

          Anyways, I’m glad you’re running this blog. Give europeans like me, who doesn’t have beta access, a place to air our thoughts:)

  8. Tralia says:

    I agree Lissanna, when they first announced this thing alot of us said ” thats ok we do have alot of heals”. Then we started seeing what their plans were for WG, Rejuv, and LB suddenly we did start to see a hole. I still can’t figure out if they just dont see it, or they see it and think they can fill it with something we already have.

    I still shake my head though and wonder exactly why they have such a hard problem letting us push another button. My second healing toon is a Priest so obviously I know what its like having a million buttons. I realize some of it stems from them having two healing specs but come on. How can one class have almost double the amount of spells of everyone else, especially when most of those spells are not exclusive to one spec and still get more and then you refuse to give an entire spec/class one at all.

  9. Maven says:

    Lissanna I have a question for you,
    I am a resto druid, and one without a ton of experience in the game. I have only probably 3 months of Wrath experience, and only about 5 of BC experience as a levelled healer, so it is entirely possible that my read is way off.

    I understand what blizzards problem with druids in large raids are. I hate 25 man raids – to the point that each of my druids uses almost all of their 10 man instances every week, but almost never any 25 except ICC and occasionally VoA. The spam sucks. However, I think that Blizz is going about the problem the wrong way, because 10 mans are amazing. one of my toons PUGed an ICC this last week where I used every heal we have except tranq and HT regularly. For example, against blood council I was rolling WG/Rejuv/RG on all 3 tanks, rejuv on raid, LB on one of the tanks (and another whenever clearcasting proced), nourishing a tank, and occasionally nourishing the raid. I havn’t had so much fun – I was using the druid heal-set to help out a weaker healer, but also using my mobility and instant casts to constantly move across a very large room while manuvering through range checks. That type of thing I LOVE about 10 mans – with more classes healers get to dynamically combine, but for maximum effectiveness it seems like most fights involve a lot of communication.

    I have been wondering what makes 10man’s so great but 25 man’s so unfun, and my conclusion is not at all related to the power of rejuv/wg. What I have (tenatively) concluded is the issue of tanks scaling. In 5 mans the healing challenge comes from having to interweave tank and raid healing. 10 man amplifies this by using more interesting fights, but sticking to the same dynamic – things are most fun when I have to juggle tank healing, raid healing, my personal positioning/movement, etc. In 25 mans, the tank scaling is lower – raids use a significantly smaller number of tanks, and fill those extra slots with a few more healers and a few more dps (depending on group). THIS is what I feel is the problem, because with only 2 tanks + OT (at times) and with many healers, healers can overspecialize: it is possible to have a holy paladin on every tank WHILE having 2 dualspec priest, chaining shaman and rejuving druid. The combination has huge versatility, and the biggest issue is that it totally pidgeonholes each healer into roles that are darn near spamming.

    Rather than try to adjust our spells so that we dont have a best role for each class in the healing game, it seems to me that the best choice is to work to adjust the tanking dynamic so that groups need to scale evenly (bringing ~5 tanks, ~5 healers, and ~15 dps to a 25 man raid). If it were to become necessary for there to be 5 tanks in a 25 man (under Wrath healing), the healing game would be completely different – since with more damage going to a smaller section of players, rejuv spamming becomes less effective (and wg more situational). Likewise, paladins overshadowing awesomeness and blanketing tank healing gets more diluted as with more targets to heal, the overlap drops down and they need a lot more support.

    I am not super experienced, but this seems to me to be the root of the problem. Reading the cata changes it seems that blizz is trying to switch which healer have which roles, which seems most likely to just slot druids into the old pally role, pallys into the old shammy role, and shammys into the old druid role – all without truly getting after the more fundamental issue causing overspecialization.

    • Lissanna says:

      Well, the problem is that Blizzard makes “raid” healing end up being specialized, due to having like 10 single-target buttons & 1 AOE button. If they want AOE healing to be interesting, the solution is to add more AOE healing spell diversity to each class, so that the AOE healing role is more fun. Trying to get us to use more single-target heals on non-tanks is not really going to work.

      • Maven says:

        I understand this notion. Its a great point, since AoE is dreadfully boring and having more multitarget/aoe would make things better.

        However I worry about it as a philosophy of game design. WG is a great spell, but one that I hardly ever use outside of lvl80 content (sometimes in AV, but other than that the utility is just that it heals quickly at first – because low level parties rarely need more than a rejuv outside of pvp and rarely have the crowd density in pvp to make it interesting). I worry that by increasing the use and utility of aoe heals, it further separates end-game content from other content, and makes the game even less accessible to people without the latest expansion pack/gear.

        Scalability is already an issue – I have been yelled at in PUGs because druids are supposed to keep WG/Rejuv blanketed on everyone all the time, and that I need to learn how to play druid. This is obviously a scaling issue – a DPS who isn’t considering that the healing game completely changes between 5 man and 25 man content in ways that DPS doesnt necessarily. But one concern it leads me to is making healers, especially druids, have function and power that is completely different at max level than it is while leveling. This is certainly an issue with 25 mans now, but I worry that more AOE things will make 25mans interesting, but still a completely different experience than the path it takes to reach em.

        Then again, in some ways I don’t care – IF cata holds true to promise and 10 mans have the same loot tables as 25s, I will only go into 25 mans for achievements. But for what its worth – the notion of splitting 25 mans into 10 mans highlights the tank scaling issue – as 25 mans wanting to use the split feature will generally have to recruit more tanks while kicking dps and healers.

        • Lissanna says:

          Well, the tank scaling issue is really just out of the scope of what I could ever hope Blizzard to change.

          AOE heals are useful for larger scale PvP (the rated BG’s) where you will have large group play, and for the more world raid PvP (like wintergrasp). AOE heals are also good for 5-man dungeons. They aren’t as helpful in Arena play, but even then, AOE heals are likely things people use in Arenas.

          How you use your spells always changes between solo, group, and raids. This is sometimes even true for DPS players. It’s part of what makes different types of content fun.

    • Wharep says:

      You have a point, but I don’t think there really is a solution to it.
      I too prefer the more diverse job I’m doing when running 10 mans.
      It’s true that when you bring more healers, you can ask them to specialize more, as there usually only are two jobs: raid or tanks.

      But let’s consider a balanced scenario with 5 tanks, 5 healers and 15 dps. You’d probably still have some healers who are pure tank healers, some who are pure raid healers and some who can do both depending on the fight. So you don’t avoid the solution of having some doing just 1 task. You’d have some who do a bit of both, but isn’t that also true today? Dmg output on tank and raid varies from fight to fight and phase to phase.

      Also, you’ll have the problem of finding enough people willing to tank, making all encounters require enough tanks etc, etc.

      • Lissanna says:

        Well, I figure that it’s easier to get Blizzard to change their minds and give druids a new spell compared to trying to change their minds to increase the number of tanks needed for raids. I’d just rather make the raid healing role more fun.

  10. Bailey says:

    I’m not playing the game atm, but if nothing horrible transpires I know I’ll be back for Cataclysm. Currently I fear the horrible.

    Looking at the Cata Beta, I am entirely perplexed.

    I get that Bliz wants us to have 3 direct heals: a flash heal, an efficient long heal and an inefficient big heal.

    So how is Regrowth our fast heal? It has a 2 second cast and a Hot. Also with talents it becomes an uncontrollable AOE Hot. Blizzard seems to have no clear intent with Regrowth. Just give us a normal 1.5 second cast flash heal with no Hot, like Nourish is for Wrath. The spell is all over the place.

    Also, does Nourish still need the Hot for the extra power? If so, it seems like we’re penalized to give up extra GCD’s for the sake of “synergy.”

    Lifebloom being limited to one target sucks. PVP implications aside, it’s now just 3 extra clicks required to ramp up tank healing. It’s a nuisance like this. Seriously, just get rid of it. With the current set-up of being renewed by Nourish, all it is is three extra clicks to begin a boss fight. And I lose it when I choose a new target? Boo for wasted mana. Again, wasted GCD’s for the sake of “being a Hot healer.”

    And just curious, I know it’s a Beta, but does is a Holy priest’s Renew heal an equivalent amount while being much more mana efficient? Especially with that Inner Will that gives -10% instant spell mana cost? Hopefully they’ll fix those numbers.

    I apologize for the bitter ranting. I’ve grown attached to healing on my tree, and the Cata healing approach seems to have demolished my playstyle without yet clarifying new options.

    Thanks for bringing up all the class issues in dialogs with GC and best wishes on fighting the good beta testing fight!

    • Lissanna says:

      Regrowth is supposed to be 1.5 seconds.

      The game will be fun by the time Cataclysm goes live. It’s just a long, hard process to get there. And, if you don’t like druids anymore, the leveling process is a lot of fun and worth coming back for (so you can always change to another class if you come back for Cata).


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