Cata: More on resto druid mastery

We have a blue post today regarding the resto druid mastery:

We like the shaman version. The druid one is problematic for a couple of reasons. Conceptually, a hot is often the last thing you think of putting on someone who is grievously wounded. Second, at the moment the bonus is only calculated on the initial application and not the ticks. If we can fix that problem, then the druid mastery would be better. It’s also possible we’ll just redesign it.

So, it is possible we may get a new mastery before Cataclysm goes live (/happy tree dance). This also means that the developers are listening & paying attention to resto druids’ needs & concerns (which I need to emphasize for the community), and that we haven’t quite ran out of time yet to get things fixed.

UPDATE: here’s another new blue post that GC posted after my blog post (apparently, I posted too soon. This is more than I ever hoped, dreamed, or asked for previously, and is SUPER AWESOME:

New Resto druid mastery: Increases the potency of your heals on targets upon which you have a hot.
It benefits both hots and direct heals equally while still supporting Resto being a healer that cares a lot about hots. It encourages layering different spells while disincentivizing Rejuv blanketing.

Examples:
1) You cast Regrowth on someone who has a Rejuv = bonus healing.
2) You cast Nourish on someone who has a Lifebloom = bonus healing.
3) You Swiftmend a Rejuv = bonus healing.
4) You cast a Rejuv on someone who does not have a Regrowth, LB or WG on them = no bonus healing.
5) You cast Rejuv on someone who has a Rejuv = no bonus healing. (You merely refreshed Rejuv.)
6) You cast a Wild Growth = bonus healing on those with preexisting hots.

I think this is going to work out to fix what I’ve really been concerned about – the synergy of our spells working together in a healing style that makes sense (where we want to weave together HOTs & direct heals). It’s better than anything I’d asked for previously. I LOVE IT.

Your HOTs will buff the healing done by direct heals, but will ALSO buff the healing done by your other HOTs (ie. your tank has lifebloom on them, and you cast a rejuv – your rejuv now gets buffed).

29 Comments

  1. Wharep
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Let me first say, that I don’t believe a mastery bonus necessarily have to affect all healing spells all the time. That some other healing masteries does that, should not be a concern. In my opinion they are just too powerful. I’d rather see masteries that feels useful and possibly put a small emphasis on the difference between the healers.

    Letting the mastery affect each individual tick would solve the problem that GC mentions (that you don’t want to use a hot when a player is really low) and it wouldn’t punish proactive use of hots neither.
    It still falls a bit short on other areas though.
    Personally I think some things like giving our hot a small chance to jump to another target, either on tick or when it expires could be neat. Or letting each tick have a chance the prolong the hot with an additional tick.

    I could probably make up more, but it’s late. Bottomline is, that i don’t think “heal for an additional x%” is that interesting, though it gives Blizz a nice way to tweak healing output, hence we’ll probably get something similar.

  2. Wharep
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Just in from the forums: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26850267419&pageNo=4#64

    New Resto druid mastery: Increases the potency of your heals on targets upon which you have a hot.

    It benefits both hots and direct heals equally while still supporting Resto being a healer that cares a lot about hots. It encourages layering different spells while disincentivizing Rejuv blanketing.

    Examples:

    1) You cast Regrowth on someone who has a Rejuv = bonus healing.
    2) You cast Nourish on someone who has a Lifebloom = bonus healing.
    3) You Swiftmend a Rejuv = bonus healing.
    4) You cast a Rejuv on someone who does not have a Regrowth, LB or WG on them = no bonus healing.
    5) You cast Rejuv on someone who has a Rejuv = no bonus healing. (You merely refreshed Rejuv.)
    6) You cast a Wild Growth = bonus healing on those with preexisting hots.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Just saw it (he posted after I put up the original post)

      • Wharep
        Posted September 21, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        If I’d just payed a bit more attention to the discussions, I would have noticed you were participating too – just got so excited;)

  3. james
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    1. Extends the duration of hots by x. Z mastery increases duration by 1 sec.

    2.your hots have a chance of refreshing their duration on the last tick.

    3. Your hots have a chance to spread to a new low health Target per tick. The effect refreshes the original Hot. Can only happen once per application of a hot.

    4 your hots have a chance to proc a 15 second tree of life transformation. This proc is independent of the tol cooldown.

  4. Posted September 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I think I like it.

    We always get a bonus on our Lifebloom recipient, which makes it easier to keep up the tank.

    In cases where we expect damage to certain raid members, we can cast a pre-emptive Rejuv which will then help our other heals as well once the damage begins.

    In cases of high raid damage, we can hit Wild Growth and then have a few seconds of bonus healing on all of the Wild Growth Recipients.

    I think it works out well :)

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      and when they remove the innate scaling from Nourish, they have to bring it’s base healing back up to be in line with other class’ efficient heals, so it won’t lag behind a tiny bit when we have to cast nourish on people with zero HOTs.

      • Posted September 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Regrowth is also in a funny place, though I’m not sure if there’s much to be done about it. I wish that Healing Touch or Nourish had become our quick heal, and Regrowth became our big heal.

        Making Regrowth the quick heal led to weird balancing problems. It needs to hit for at least a decent initial amount, relatively on par with other healers’ quick heals, because otherwise certain encounters with short periods of intense damage may end up being impossible for druid healers. But this means that the HOT portion has to be reduced to avoid making it too powerful. Blizzard got around this a little bit by adding talents to drastically increase the crit chance of the initial hit, but still ended up reducing the HOT to its current, fairly pointless 6 second state. However, this causes problems when our new mastery (if it goes live) is based on HOT interactions…our only remaining long HOT is Rejuv.

        Balancing Regrowth gets even trickier when you add in Efflorescence. Given the demands for high healing from the initial Regrowth hit, a powerful Efflorescence proc would be OP, so it had to be nerfed. Unfortunately, it’s been nerfed to the point where it is little more than a short extra HOT on the initial target. The frustrating thing about this is not the loss of healing throughput, but the loss of a potential AoE heal that’s now entirely gone unless people really stack up (4 yards is a pretty small distance). But, again, this was pretty much required given the demands placed on Regrowth by its status as our quick heal.

        I doubt Blizz will switch things around too much, though I really do think it would simplify matters if Regrowth went back to being a long HOT and became our big heal. Short of that, I’m not sure if I can argue for Regrowth going back to a long HOT…it really would make it overpowered as a quick heal (unless they reduced initial heal, which would make it fairly useless as a quick heal).

        • Lissanna
          Posted September 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          regrowth would be okay if they increased the duration of the HOT to around 12 seconds (even if we have to glyph it), so that the HOT could buff direct healing again. On the live server right now, you are getting almost a 30 second HOT after talents and such. So, a compromise HOT duration length would be much better than the totally neutered length. There’s a lot of flexibility in how long they could make it.

  5. bullshifter
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    happy tank healing in cataclysm raids! ^^
    i can’t see us keeping up with a no cd chainheal from shamans
    the mastery only works if you’re the only healer around for group healing

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      there are ways of raid healing that potentially work out okay in a triage-style healing world IF our HOTs last long enough.

  6. Joonjoewong/Noboom
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    YATA!

  7. csilla
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Finally, after months of well thought out posts and threads (and some qq ones), math to support everything that was said, and just plain common sense about how the mastery would have worked, we finally will get a new one that rocks! Victory! Vindication! Great success!

  8. Nathlar
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Just a question to anyone in beta, approx. what % of time do your targets have a HoT on them?
    Because even though the new mastery is a lot better than the crappy old one, i still think that with the short HoT’s duration in Cata, mastery wont be a very good stat and we’ll end reforging it anyway.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Well, with this new mastery, our HOT durations have the ability to be re-balanced with that in mind… On a tank, you should have nearly 100% HOT up-time, between lifebloom on 1 tank, and how easy it will be to keep rejuv up on a 2nd tank (if needed). In a raid healing situation, you will have to be more creative.

  9. Posted September 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    It is a legitimate concern to look at how we are going to capitalize on this mastery in a raid healing scenario with the shaman and priest masteries being potent along with the priest’s 12% increase healing on half wounded players and a no cooldown chain heal.

    You are probably right, longer durations on our hots is really the only way we can possibly make this work and really increase our output without crippling our mana supply. My only concern is in 25 man raids it is extremely difficult to use our mastery when multiple people are taking damage without jumping through some crazy hoops. e.g. 10 people in the raid are dropped to 25% health, what do we do? The answer might be cast Wild Growth, Nourish two people before the HoT expires, throw a rejuv on a third before the hot expires, then immediately regrowth another target and rejuv them while Efflorescence ticks etc. Meanwhile the Shaman can just dole out a heaping helping of Chain Heal, hit multiple targets AND activate their mastery for free.

    I’m totally just making this stuff up but I think its the only real concern I have.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      the problem with raid healing for druids in Cata is that we just don’t have a good toolset for raid healing with (the way that “raid” healing has traditionally been assigned). The mastery doesn’t prevent us from being able to raid heal, and doesn’t necessarily change that much about how we’d have to do it. You can’t fix a broken raid healing toolset with a mastery bonus, unless the mastery bonus is effloresence procs, lol.

      Regardless of what our mastery is, you are still mixing single-target direct heals and single-target HOTs for AOE healing. No single-target spell is going to heal multiple people, and Nourish with our old mastery already required you to juggle as much as you just described above.

      The scenario I made up is being assigned to group 3 & 4. Way back in the day, raid healers were assigned groups, and your job was to keep up your group. So, if you only have to keep group 3 & 4 up, then you will put a wild growth on the melee (all in group 3), and then regrowth/rejuv/nourish them to top them off when the boss breathed on them, then regrowth the ranged DPS in group 4 that just got hit by a blue beam, and then heal the other ranged DPS in group 4 with a rejuv + nourish that stood in a green puddle, and then by that point, you can wild growth the melee again (and one of those melee got a bonus for having rejuv on them). In that type of scenario, you can do it – because you aren’t trying to heal 10 people who need healing right now. You are triage healing the smaller part of the raid you were assigned to.

      Then, that shaman is probably assigned to groups 1 & 2, with two tank healers assigned to group 5 (where the tanks are, along with a couple other melee for them to drop AOE heals on from time to time), and a 5th floating healer that helps with tanks & sometimes raid if needed.

      • Posted September 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Sadly tis true. I guess I was hoping that if they weren’t going to add any tools to our AoE toolset that our mastery would at least jive with AoE healing in a somewhat friendly manner.

        Here’s hoping :)

  10. Tralia
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Its just one of many things that need to be fixed. Now that the biggest is out of the way we can move on to tweaking it and fixing other issues. Only real concern I have atm is time >.<

    Its a great first step though in what hopefully will lead to many more. ( I still kinda grin that they basically grabbed players ideas and ran with it!)

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Time is something developers always have – there’s always future patches to fix broken stuff!

      • Tralia
        Posted September 22, 2010 at 2:58 am | Permalink

        Trust me they already have a time table for when they want this thing out. While they may have infinite time, they do not have infinite time to fix the spec after the expansion is released. Look at Rogues, there numbers still haven’t recovered from the fiasco of the launch of Wrath.

  11. Posted September 21, 2010 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    This is awesome, although our HoT’s have been nerfed in duration this will deff be more helpful in both tankhealing and raidhealing situations

    It’s like an advance nourish glyph but then for all our spells (I hope it works with the tranquility HoT)

  12. Kel
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    The new mastery sounds a lot better though I had a little bit of a laugh – Blizzard has previously posted that they wanted to simplify stat choices – I think we’re all going to be digging out our spreadsheets and examining our heal ratios to try work out when its best to go for haste, crit or mastery and all of those numbers will change when you get a single piece of gear.

    Going back to the actual mastery – I think the above example of multiple people going down to 25% won’t be 100% realistic in Cataclysm. Imo multiple people taking that kind of unavoidable damage would mostly be the result of some boss ability and that sort of boss ability is usually predictable. In any situation of predictable boss damage of that level – surely a druid is still likely to prehot with rejuv. Its definitely going to be more mana inefficient then in WOTLK and you won’t be able to blanket the raid permanently but prehotting should still be a viable tactic against extreme, predictable damage.

  13. Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    God, do I miss the days of healing assignments – versus the HoT vomit we have right now – lol

    I am pleased with the change (I’m not jumping up and down on top of my bed like a cheerleader – yet), but I am concerned how it would fit into the raid healing spectrum. I can see it being great in a 10 man format, but maybe not a 25 man. Or if it were helpful in a 25 man, I think it would need to be with more refined healing assignments, like I joked about above.

    Definitely a step in the right direction – just need a few more steps to get “there.” :)

  14. Wharep
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Great change. I didn’t really doubt they’d fix our mastery as Blizz is in no way stupid, just a bit careful when making big changes. On the other hand, this was better than anything I’d hoped for.

    Now let’s see what happens next. I’m still pretty excited after seeing the last parse on the moonkin tree. Shows they’re listening to feedback and not at all done yet.
    Also, seems like they’ve just decided upon changing our mastery, so we’ll probably see some changes to talents/spells/glyphs in the near future.

  15. Tralia
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    BTW this is completely off topic but something I wanted to ask about. Has there been mention to GC about getting Natural Shapeshifter removed? It just seems to be one of those talents in our tree that is completely useless to the actual spec even for leveling purposes. If it hasn’t I wanna make a topic on the main healer forums but don’t wanna beat a dead horse if its been mentioned alot on the beta forums already.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      No, there hasn’t been much developer discussion about specific talents (even if there has been player discussion). However, the devs changed a lot of moonkin talents without posting before they changed things…

  16. Posted September 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic for this post, but note some potential weirdness for the latest (13033) PTR build. According to the MMO-Champion datamine, Rebirth is now listed as requiring Moonkin form. Probably just a tooltip error, but I don’t have any chars on the PTR to check it out. It would be a significant change if it were true.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      PTR & beta builds (especially data-mined notes) have bugs. That’s unlikely to be intended.

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