However, with how sensitive a lot of resto druids are about their ability to heal in Cataclysm, I wanted to have a slightly more positive suggestion post to spend a little more time talking about ways to possibly fix our AOE healing toolset.
At this point, I’m not focusing on the tank single-target healing toolset, because we actually have a good tank healing toolset, where we can use our 3 direct heals (regrowth, nourish, & healing touch), where regrowth gives us an additional HOT. We can put up a 3 stack of lifebloom on a single tank, and then put Rejuv & Regrowth HOTs on all the tanks as needed, which will allow our heals to tick on more than one tank in a raid situation, while we cast Nourish, HT, & regrowth’s direct heals as needed on a tank. The mana cost of our heals for direct healing are well within the range of the costs of other healers’ tools, and all of our HOT & direct heals for tank healing are going to come together and work similarly to how they do in WotLK, with the exception of Healing Touch being added to our arsenal (and you’d want to refresh Regrowth & rejuv reactively, rather than proactively, since both have direct heal components). They went to a lot of trouble to make tank healing work well enough where we will want to do more than spam more than 1 or 2 buttons on a tank.
The AOE healing problem (short version): Blizzard made Wild Growth & Rejuv more expensive to make us less likely to want to spam them around the raid for AOE healing purposes. However, they did not give us an alternative that was any more mana efficient to fill the raid healer role, as Regrowth’s Effloresence was presented to us as the alternative, at a higher mana cost than a rejuv, meaning that all 3 of our raid healing tools are now mana expensive.
Potential AOE healing Solutions:
- As I said last thread, the easiest solution would be to bring down Wild Growth’s mana cost (probably to the 30 to 35% of base mana cost range). Rejuv & Regrowth have much more balanced mana costs when compared to the mana cost of tools that other healers have, so it would be possible to weave regrowth & rejuv between WG casts if WG was more reasonably priced (30 to 35% of base mana is still going to be a lot of mana at 85).
- The most fun solution, however, would be to make a talent in the restoration tree that allowed our new Wild Mushroom spells to heal the people standing in that 10 yard radius when the Mushrooms are Detonated.
How Wild Mushrooms work now:
Wild mushrooms are targeted on the ground. In a raid dungeon, this is going to be under bosses or other enemies. When the mushrooms are killed or we use our detonate button, the wild mushrooms explode and do some damage. This seems to be a more PvP-oriented spell, which we can’t actually test yet, since we can’t hit the level 85 requirement needed to learn them.
Moonkin get a talent that allows mushrooms to slow the enemies that the explosion hits.
Mushroom Healing Talent Suggestion:
I am pretty sure that I’ve identified a weakness in the restoration druid’s toolset that will prevent us from being effective raid healers in Cataclysm, where combined with a strong tank healing toolset, resto druids need some sort of OOMPH for our raid/AOE healing toolset to be able to have the choice & flexibility needed to be able to fill either role, without having to resort to 2-button spamming.
The “detonate” portion of the mushroom ability allows us to trigger mushrooms when we want them to go off. So, we could line up mushrooms under friendly targets (if we want to) and then detonate them as needed. They could adjust the number of shrooms that can be active at a time, as it wouldn’t really hurt moonkin to only be able to put out 2 or 3 at a time if 5 was too much.
The detonate is a really neat functionality of the spell, which would work great as a new healing spell, different from anything else that the other healers have – but definitely in line with the tools that other people have available (ie. chain heal is only 17% of base mana, so with shrooms at 11% to set, and 11% to detonate, up to 22% of base mana is definitely in line with other heals – with more shrooms up at time being more mana efficient to detonate).
If the healing cost was kept low, then it could be balanced into our toolset (where we choose between healing a small amount now, or picking a more mana expensive tool to tick over time). In addition, having to place it before triggering means that if people move, you still risk losing that heal, so you have to add skill & choice into your AOE healing playstyle.
Where to add it into the talent tree:
- Good candidate talents would be: Empowered Rejuvenation, OR Fury of the Stormrage.
- Empowered rejuv would work because the Healing Mushroom talent could be in place of one of the boring/passive HOT increasing talents, or tacked onto the HOT increase portion to have a mix or passive & active talent – especially since you would want a secondary effect on the talent that could be used while leveling up prior to 85.
- Fury of the Stormrage is a good candidate talent for a healing shroom because it was the talent designed to mix our DPS & healing spells, and right now FotSR is actually not that good of a talent (to the point where most people are likely to skip it for basically any situation).
To be effective raid healers, where we don’t just spam rejuv, wildgrowth, & Regrowth proactively around a raid group (which will be a bad healing style in Cataclysm), we need a new tool that allows for more reactive AOE healing. With tranquility on an 8 minute cooldown, we get to use it once a boss fight, or every other boss fight, depending on length of the fights & amount of trash.
The best candidate for a reactive healing spell that would work as an AOE heal would be the new Wild Mushrooms spell. I think Healing Shrooms would go a long way to restoring our AOE healing ability to a point where we could choose between tank healing & raid healing (or have a better ability to mix up spells when assigned to raid/AOE healing). The point of Cataclysm is about having to make hard choices, and Healing Shrooms would allow for choice to be put back into restoration druids’ group & raid AOE healing toolset.
TLDR: Make a resto talent that allows Wild Mushrooms to heal, and resto druids will be able to be either tank or raid healers, as opposed to only being good at tank healing in the current Cataclysm design.