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.