Cata: Resto druid changes in Beta_PTR 13066

I have been holding off on posting about the latest resto changes in the PTR build because I’ve been waiting for Beta changes to see how things are shaping up.

Here’s what resto druids got from the PTR build 13033:

  • Rejuvenation now costs 20% of base mana, down from 25%.
  • Mastery: Symbiosis (Revamped) – Increases the potency of your healing spells by 10% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.25%.
  • (I’m excluding the rebirth note because it feels more like a bug than a real change)

Here’s what we got from the Beta build’s resto patch notes from 13066 (some minor changes omitted):

  • Lifebloom can now be cast on an unlimited amount of targets while under the effect of Tree of Life.
  • Tree of Life now lasts 30 sec, down from 45 sec. Costs 6% of base mana, down from 13% of base mana. (other people are reporting that the tooltip now says 3 min cooldown)
  • Efflorescence no longer procs from Regrowth critical heals, now procs when you heal with your Swiftmend spell. Now heals all nearby friendly targets within 8 yards (up from 4 yards) for XX%  of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec. (not sure what the real heal amount is yet – should be either 30% or 120% of the healing done by swiftmend. I think 30 sounds more reasonable, lol).

So, what we have is a new mastery, tree form fixes, and a major efflorescence change. These are all really major things that are all basically buffs.

Tree form actually lasted too long, so I don’t mind the duration reduction. If we can use it more often, then that’s even better. It makes the talent easier to balance, since it mostly encouraged us to drain our mana bar by spamming regrowth before. Also, being able to sprinkle lifeblooms on more than one target should more than make up for it. Also, more lifeblooms on people should work well with the mastery bonus, too, since lifebloom is our lowest mana cost HOT. A shorter duration tree form on a shorter cooldown makes tree form more useable in instances, because it encourages us not to save it so much, and prevents us from wanting to spam ourselves OOM with regrowth with having a 45 sec duration which was almost as long as some 5-man boss fights. A 30 sec duration will feel better with a shorter cooldown in making the healing style feel more cohesive. The mana cost reduction also helps with the OOM issue I was having with tree form.

Efflorescence being something that procs off swiftmend will be awesome, so long as it’s a 100% proc. It makes swiftmend way more useful, and prevents our mana expensive regrowth from always being the “right” answer to every question. Swiftmend will now be our AOE heal (and we get an improved range to go along with it). If the heal doesn’t hit hard enough, we can always get the numbers tweaked (and we won’t know what the numbers are until the patch is in beta). I’m really happy about this change because I didn’t like the random and unreliable proc off regrowth that somewhat caused regrowth to be too powerful when it crit, and too underpowered when it didn’t crit. We would benefit a lot more from efflorescence if it counted as a HOT to buff our mastery (I haven’t been able to play with it yet, so we’ll see), or if we could get regrowth’s HOT duration extended back to last longer. This is a good change because it allows our abilities to be a fun and balanced healing style. It fixes the problem of swiftmend feeling useless, and regrowth feeling like it was trying to be too much.

Symbiosis mastery is actually potentially really awesome. However, I haven’t been able to try it out yet. It is definitely an improvement over the old mastery, so I’m happy with this improvement. Since it hasn’t been on Beta yet, I haven’t been able to play with it. However, if you missed the blue post about what the new mastery can do, you can find what information I have now on symbiosis here.

So, resto druids really are starting to shape up in these last few weeks of Beta, PTR testing. The benefit of starting out underpowered is that we get buffs in the last couple weeks of testing that give us something to look forward to. I’ll try to get some testing results when the build is up on the PTR.

42 Comments

  1. Struja
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Although I found Regrowth proc mechanic rather boring and a sign of lazy design, I don’t think I’m too happy with the new Efflorescence. It means Druids are loosing an emergency button for raid healing and forces using Swiftmend on tanks for maximum efficiency. And the current 10% of Swiftemend’s healing seems really low. Why is Blizzard so stubborn on not giving Druids a competitive and “fun” AOE heal is beyond me. Many people suggested something to be done with Wild Mushroom as a unique Druid healing mechanic but I guess it would just be “too cool and fun”, and we don’t wont that… /sarcasm

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Right now, we’re not using swiftmend much at all on Beta, so they needed to make it better.

      R4HT actually reports that the tooltip on MMO-champion says the Efflorescence healing amount much higher than 10%, so I wouldn’t worry about numbers right now.

      • Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Heh beat me to it was writing the same thing figuring that you’d have some numbers as soon as you could give it a try. Crossing fingers, but honestly even if it isn’t entirely the right % i’m sure they could tweak it at any time to make it better.

        Swiftmend is definitely the better spell to have this proc off of.

        • Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Now I need to double check things, if you dig a little deeper you have some different numbers. The primary tooltip here:
          http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/81275/#tab=talentrank_spell
          seems to show 120%
          However if you go here:
          http://db.mmo-champion.com/t/8263/efflorescence/
          If seems to hint that it will be a 10%/20%/30% talent
          So, it may be significantly weaker than anticipated. We’d be looking at roughly 450-550 hp/s compared to 1800 hp/s on a 15 second cooldown. This would officially be a nerf to the ability as far as uptime is concerned I think. We’ll have to see.

          • Lissanna
            Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            I marked the talent as XX% right now, because we won’t know until Beta is actually up. MMO-champion notes are never 100% accurate.

  2. Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully once the patch goes live on the beta servers we can find out if the tooltip is correct or what BB wrote. There is a rather significant discrepancy between 120% of a swiftmend and 10% of a swiftmend.

  3. Struja
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    So basically, Blizz gave us a new “real” AOE heal (real = you have to cast it instead of hoping it procs of another spell) and took away good ol’ Swifty?

    • csilla
      Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      They added on to Swiftmend by having Efflor proc off of it, the actual Swiftmend heal is still the same.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Swiftmend is exactly the same spell. It just now also happens to do AOE healing, which makes WAY more sense than our “flash heal” doing AOE healing.

      • Struja
        Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        I know SM reserves it’s old effect it’s only that Druids won’t be using it in the same way as they currently do. I still see it as a trade off. Guess I’m fine with that since it does make more sense than being attached to Regrowth.
        With all that, I feel Druids are short of Holy shock mechanic for spot on raid healing. Maybe Gift of the Earthmother effect on Rejuvenation cold be looked into?

        • Lissanna
          Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Well, we hit the point where we just weren’t using swiftmend in beta because it didn’t have a distinct enough role. So, they listened to people’s complaints about swiftmend and made it useful again. You can still use regrowth & swiftmend on raid members, and how you heal with swiftmend doesn’t necessarily have to change all that much. They didn’t hurt anything. They made it better. Swiftmend already requires a rejuv or regrowth on the target, so it was ending up being easier just to cast a regrowth (with 2 HOTs procing on it) than a swiftmend on someone. Swiftmend now ends up being something that can be used as an AOE heal or for emergency single-target healing. That’s a bonus.

          • Struja
            Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            In a raid environment every serious healer will try to maximize his HPS, SM will be forced on melee. It’s one of the reasons Druids ended up doing 5-1 rotation in later tiers of WOTLK. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t skillful, it was effective. I hated it, but if you’re in a progression guild, raid expects you to be effective, not entertained. New Efflorescence is better than the old one, but far from good. If it ends up as a bonus (like Living seed is) instead of a real AOE heal, it’s actually pretty good. But then Druids are back at the beginning, with no reliable and competitive AOE heal.

          • Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            @Struja: It just forces us to make interesting decisions. Should we save it and use it as a situational AOE or should we use it every cooldown and risk not having it up when we need it. That makes life more interesting…not necessarily a bad thing.

            Also, it may not be the case in Cata that our goal is to maximize HPS. Or rather, doing that may not entail casting spells every time they come off cooldown. Going OOM will be much more of a real possibility. As GC likes to put it, our goal should be downing bosses.

          • Lissanna
            Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            It’s still not going to be the answer to all our AOE healing problems. We need another new spell for that niche. It just makes regrowth no longer spammy, and makes swiftmend useful. The combined package of changes we’re getting improves resto druid quality of life, and gives us more options. We won’t know what our raid/AOE healing style looks like until we’re actually able to test raids. This change should work out better overall.

          • Struja
            Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            @Silinix: Fair, HPS was probably a clumsy way to say it, was thinking more in a way of “maximizing it’s usefulness “. Throwing SM on a tank will be a win-win scenario as opposed to the risk of Swiftmening an isolated player where most of the Efflorescence is wasted. It could be interesting to make decisions like that, as you pointed, but opting for one or another doesn’t leave us with adequate tools to cover both situations.
            Generally, I’d be fine with that if it was the intended direction of the game, but judging by some other healing classes that isn’t the case.

          • Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            I’d wait for another numbers pass first. I think that our toolbox could be sufficient, with Efflor, Tranquility, and Wild Growth. But that would require jiggling around all of our mana costs, healing amounts and coefficients, and cooldown times.

  4. Tralia
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I like the direction there heading now at least. It seems Efflo is definately being pushed as Bonus healing though, unless of course it does end up being 120% and then its basically a targeted zone heal. I really like the ToL changes ( especially if they lower the CD) and the change on LB is about what everyone is asking for. Now if we could just convince them to add more spells to the list =)

    At least things are getting better, I was getting worried there for a while they just simply didn’t see what we did and were gonna ship it as is >.>

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I always said that it takes them a long time to fix things. ;)

      • Tralia
        Posted September 26, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Even you admitted you were getting frustrated with them though :P

  5. Posted September 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I like it. Swiftmend felt a bit lost without that new overhaul so I am happy that my favourite oh shit heal now has a AoEHoT element to it. Makes it more dynamic and casting it on the tank so the melee can benefit from it sounds (in theory) very efficient in terms of mana/hps.

    Good stuff!

  6. bullshifter
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    aren’t 3 heals too much for 1 person? ( hot, swiftmend, efflorescence) especially with other raid healers around
    efflorescence isn’t as useful for tankhealing or when everyone has to stand 10 yards apart
    if there isn’t a ranged camp, everyone will be spamming their group heals into the melees

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s what regrowth did all in one punch (it was a direct heal, hot, with efflorescence). At least now, the HOT is a different spell than the direct heal & efflorescence, and the AOE heal is back to having a larger range so it will hit multiple people.

      In the world of triage healing – no, that’s not going to be too much healing to one person, because you won’t heal them when they’re high on health (by the time we hit 85)

      • Rezznul
        Posted September 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I’d agree. I didn’t want to go from spamming rejuv to just spamming regrowth to hope for a proc. I don’t mind having to be creative about mixing up what spell is the best to use in a fight, that keeps me awake during raids. ;)

      • Sungrass
        Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:24 am | Permalink

        From what I’ve been hearing, between the nerfs to Nourish and the mana cost reduction on Rejuv, those two spells now share roughly the same HPM when used on targets with no existing HoTs on them.

        Lissanna, you mentioned on the official forums that you were going to post some numbers once the new beta build was up. Would you mind also taking a look at how Rejuv “feels” when using it instead of Nourish as your first port of call in party damage situations?

        I’m worried that Rejuv blanketing may not be as dead as well all hope.

        • Lissanna
          Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          The new beta build isn’t up yet. MMO-champion got ahold of the files, but it hasn’t patched yet. I’ll probably have numbers on Tuesday or so…

  7. Posted September 25, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…maybe I’m just not seeing it but this seems like a nerf. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how the numbers pan out, but if it’s only 10% of SM and we have to wait 15sec before we can use SM again, that really cuts down on the use of Efflo. Now if it’s 100-120% of SM then that sounds balanced.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 26, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      It should be more than 10%.

      It will either be: 10/20/30 (extrapolating the 10% across 3 ranks)

      or it will be the 10/80/120 that it’s showing up now on mmo-champion’s talent calculator.

      • Posted September 26, 2010 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Forgot to mention, too, that the new LB+ToL should help us with our AoE. Pop tree regrowth a few people, LB a few more, pop SM/Efflo for some über burst healing.

  8. Wharep
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Now we’re getting somewhere. This change to SM actually makes good sense in my head. It gives SM two roles which hardly overlap, so it’s pretty mutual exclusive, which means you’ll have to make decisions. Also, it makes Efflorescence reliable.
    It should probably heal for more than it does now, but that’s just a number issue.

    The ToL change is welcome, especially if they also reduce the cd. And the change to LB while in ToL is awesome tbh. It can be used as a raidhealing/buffer spell for the duration or we can use it on a second tank if needed.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      We don’t know what the numbers for efflorescence is supposed to look like yet. We can all guess, but it’s somewhere between 400 and 1500 healing done per tick, and it’s too hard to say for sure until we can actually play with it on beta.

  9. Zy
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The Efflorescence change was a good one. It saves Regrowth from trying to do to many things, it makes Swiftmend even more useful and it brings Efflorescence under control rather than something we just had to hope for. Depending on a proc for AoE healing was a terrible idea, I don’t know what Blizz was thinking. And they were completely mangling Regrowth to try to make the stupid thing work, it was going to be impossible to balance it.

    Tree form: eh, at least it is reasonably useful now. It still doesn’t strike me as fun or druid-like but it isn’t a complete punishment anymore.

    New mastery >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Old mastery. Are druids great now? I don’t know but at least now I am not worried about keeping my resto spec.

  10. Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I like reading about this current build. Treeform shortened down worries me though…particularly for such a long cooldown. Are they going to reduce that a tad as well? Just think, most 20-sec buffs in the game are on a 2-minute cooldown. So for a 30-second buff, I would think a 3-minute cooldown would make sense (this is the current cooldown for Bloodlust/Heroism not taking exhaustion/sating into account). Five minutes just seems excessively long.

    The Eff proc now attached to swiftmend also makes me happy because as others have said, it makes it puts it under our control. Whether people take advantage of the heal, is up to them. I’m still thinking it will be a tank-centric heal with surrounding melee getting the best benefit from this spell.

    So the blues notes also noted something about not being immune to polymorph while shapeshifted? Can someone clarify this?

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      the tooltip is showing a 3 min cooldown for tree form.

      • Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Sweet. Yeah, MMO-C posted the notes, but the tooltips were the OLD tooltips, and not the changed ones, so I was confused. But thanks to you, I’m better now. :D

        And about this polymorph business….? Please tell me that I’m not about to pop a cooldown like ToL just so a mage can take it away by turning me into something obnoxious, like a kitty (and not the RAWR druid kind of kitty).

        • Lissanna
          Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          tree form can be countered in pvp.

          • Posted September 26, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            Uhm…

            uh…

            /Darth Vader Form

            NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!1111one11!

        • Sungrass
          Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          MMO-C goofed it again. GC has been talking about making this change for a very long time.

          Your forms remain immune to polymorph. If you get polymorphed while in caster form, you can no longer use shapeshift to break out it.

          Thankfully, this means a mage can’t effectively dispell ToL by using polymorph to knock you out of form. They’ll have to lock you down via more traditional means such as stuns/fears/etc.

          • Tralia
            Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            When did they say this? The last comments I saw on it were months ago and then it was stated all forms could be CC’d and they might add a deep Feral Talent that made Cat/Bear Form Immune. The other forms could simply shift out of it but they though that was fine because you had to waste a GCD to do it.

            This was one reason ( the snare was the other) that ToL was considered to not be taken by most PvP Rest Druids because it could be so easily countered.

          • Sungrass
            Posted September 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            I’ve taken this from the new tooltips themselves:

            Old:
            Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of various cat abilities.

            The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and Movement Impairing effects.

            New:
            Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of various cat abilities.

            The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Movement Impairing effects.

  11. Struja
    Posted September 27, 2010 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Word on the street is Efflorescence indeed heals for 120% of Swiftmend, ticking for nearly 2k. I guess it’s Blizzards final answer to Druids AOE healing problems.

    • Sungrass
      Posted September 27, 2010 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Well, my rough napkin math had told me that at 120% wasn’t an overly large amount of healing for a cooldown of that length… It is however extremely cheap. Ridiculously cheap. The cost of Swiftmend is going to have to go way, way up or this spell is going to be used on cooldown without a moment’s thought (ie there wont be an interesting decision to make about it, you’ll just use it whenever you can).

  12. Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I like a lot of these changes. I have been trying to get my UI setup so that I can efficiently test all the changes on the PTR, but I feel so helpless without Grid!! Is Wild Growth no longer useful as an AoE at all?