Monthly Archives: September 2010

put on a happy face

So, I had a big deadline this week for submitting a grant for the funding I need to collect data for my dissertation (I just submitted the application, yay!).  Most of my blogging time for the week went into the post for the mastery (because now I have to catch up on things like grading & such that I’ve been neglecting due to grant writing).

So, I’m taking a break from my normally scheduled QQ to post a happy picture:

That’s right! Lissanna is now a Kingslayer!

My guild killed the Lich King a couple weeks ago when I was out of town on 10-man, and we hadn’t gotten a kill with me in the raid since then (because we moved our focus onto hard mode 10-mans, where we’ve been relatively successful over the last few weeks).

It feels good to kill him on 10-man, just to have finally cleared an end-tier boss before the next expansion is out (ie. I never completed Naxx-40 man or Sunwell in their respective expansions).

So, my happy news is to report that Arthas is dead. Woo!

That’s all I’ve got today.

Posted in Achievements, Uncategorized

Cata resto druids need a new mastery bonus

So, my healing druid is finally level 85. However, instead of having a party, I just got right back to work. (Disclaimer before the doom & gloom – remember that there are still approximately 2 months to go until Cataclysm comes out, so it’s still possible for problems to get fixed).

UPDATE: Keeva at TBJ has a post on mastery that is worth reading, too.

Last night, with the help of Matticus from World of Matticus, I set out to test the resto druid mastery. However, even having someone else reasonable & rational around while I was doing my testing, I still wasn’t able to come to terms with the mastery we have right now. I just don’t see how it will work in Cataclysm in any way that ends up being balanced with what other healers have.

What the druid mastery is:

Increases the potency of your heal over time spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by up to an additional 2.5%.

So, what’s the problem with the druid mastery? Well, the first problem is that most of the benefit requires your target to be low on health. However, the shaman one also requires the target to be low on health, but due to the fact that the shaman one is on all of their direct healing, and ALL of their spells have at least some direct healing component, their mastery has a potential to benefit any spell they cast.

For resto druids, it is a bonus to our HOT healing, which is not something that can benefit every cast. Instead, at least half of your healing in Cataclysm is supposed to come from direct heals: The direct heal component of regrowth (along with effloresence procs), Nourish, and Healing Touch all can’t benefit from the resto mastery at all, regardless of the health level of people we’re healing on. If most of your healing done to low health targets is direct healing, then you don’t benefit at all from your mastery.

So, we have the double whammy of maybe half our spells being HOTs, and only half the HOTs we cast benefiting from the mastery at all (with these estimates being very generous). So, at most, a quarter of the healing you do can benefit from the druid mastery. That double whammy makes resto druids’ mastery stat worth much less to us than spirit, haste & crit (which will have a potential effect 100% of the time, as opposed to not being beneficial very often).

The mastery doesn’t even work with Lifebloom’s nourish refreshing mechanic, and Wild Growth is not currently benefitting from our mastery on the beta server (which is probably bug related).

However, here’s some actual numbers on why the mastery would be weak even if every spell you cast was a HOT on someone low on health:

Health PercentTick Amount
100% HP2928 per tick
76% HP3072 per tick
46% HP3255 per tick
15% HP3425 per tick

So, lets say that rejuv healed for 3,000 HP per tick. 20% of 3000 is 600 HP (at 2 seconds per tick, this is 300 HP per second). So, the absolute maximum additional healing from rejuv is still small. It’s much more likely, however, that I would only get 200 or 300 extra per tick from rejuv, as casting rejuv on a target at 15% health would be a really stupid thing to do.

Now, regrowth is only healing for about 1,000 HP per tick, so 20% of 1,000 is only 200. So, regrowth’s HOT (which we’ll likely cast on people at the lowest amount of health) is only getting maybe 100 extra healing per tick on people at low health in actual instance running.

Why is this weak? Well, lets look at the Holy priest mastery bonus:

Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 10% over 6 sec. Each point of Mastery provides an additional X% healing over 6 sec.

On the beta server, the priest bonus is stacking, and when Matticus cast heals on me, it could hit anywhere from 500 to spikes of over 1,000 HP per second. I don’t see the druid mastery coming anywhere close to being as powerful as this mastery, and this creates a stat imbalance, where holy priests are going to get better as their mastery on gear increases, and druids won’t keep up with that gear scaling pace. Resto druids would literally have to cast nothing but rejuvs on people below 25% HP all of the time to keep up with that pace of mastery bonus.

So, here’s a summary of the current resto druid mastery’s problem:

  • Not every spell we cast is a HOT (ie. we’ll cast more direct healing spells in Cata).
  • Not every HOT we cast is on a target with low HP (you probably shouldn’t put a rejuv on someone below 25% health).
  • Tanks may have up to 100,000 HP in Cata, so something adding an extra 200 HP tick at low health is not going to prevent the tank from dieing. In fact, casting a rejuv on someone at low health is likely going to cause them to die before you get off another cast. Regrowth benefits so little from the mastery that casting a regrowth on someone at low health keeps them from dieing but has almost no mastery bonus.
  • Something that works only on low HP targets should be a direct heal (like the shaman mastery) where you really are going to bring your target back from the brink of death. A HOT will never bring someone back from the brink of death.
  • but you have multiple HOTs“: It still requires you to cast those HOTs on people who are low on health for it to work, which means you’ll only very rarely have more than 1 HOT ticking at a time that is getting much of a bonus from the mastery, combined with just how little HOTs tick in general relative to the HP of your party/raid members.

What should the new druid mastery be?

Now that I’ve explained why the current druid mastery won’t work, we need to come up with a new solution.

  • The easiest solution would just be to give the HOT bonus regardless of what the target’s HP is at. This is similar to disc priest’ absorption bonuses being better regardless of the target’s HP.
  • Scrap the HOT-only bonus and give us something that would effect both HOTs & direct heals (such as: all healing done is increased on low HP targets), so that all of our spells have a chance to benefit from the mastery.
  • Or, leave the mastery bonus as-is, and just don’t put the mastery stat on resto druid set pieces so we can avoid it.
  • Or, come up with another totally new & interesting mastery bonus that I haven’t already thought of yet.

In conclusion, our mastery bonus doesn’t effect enough of our spells, and the spells it effects isn’t even really a noticeable bonus. So, giving resto druids a more functional/useful mastery bonus would go a long way to making resto druids more viable Cataclysm healers.

Posted in Cataclysm, Restoration Healing Trees

Druid glyphs now on Beta

I’m going to scoop MMO-champion by posting the druid beta glyphs before they do.

You can find the full list of glyphs by clicking on this link. (the list was so long that I made a separate page on this site that I can keep updated instead of embedding them in this post).

They have been split into prime, major, & minor glyphs. Note that this list probably isn’t final.

Some Prime  highlights are: The Wrath glyph (Your wrath does 10% more damage to targets afflicted by insect swarm), and starsurge (when starsurge deals damage, it reduces the cooldown on starfall by 5 sec). Lifebloom glyph now increases it’s crit chance by 20%.

The winner for most confusing prime: Regrowth glyph (Regrowth HOT will automatically refresh it’s duration on targets at or below 25% health). I’m not even really sure what that means.

Major glyph highlights: Thorns reduces it’s cooldown by 20 sec, Roots (reduces the cast time of roots by 100%) go moonkin PvP!, and healing touch (each HT reduces the cooldown on Nature’s Swiftness by 5 sec)

So, go see the full list now. I’ve marked which ones haven’t changed with the word (unchanged), but I still kept a brief description of the effect so you could remember what it does now.

Also, regarding the new glyph system: there are 3 prime, 3 major, and 3 minor glyph slots total at max level. The UI looks like this:

Also, it was brought to my attention that bears actually don’t have prime glyphs for tanking (with only 2 prime glyphs even being useable in bear form, 1 of which is mangle’s DPS increase glyph). They obviously need to add in more glyphs in some places, so this is really just a first pass at them.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

Cata druid leveling: 1 to 20 is more fun

So, I wanted to take a break from my regularly scheduled crying about how frustrating high level healing is on Beta (especially with the 84 & 85 quests not itemized) to talk about something much more exciting – druid leveling from 1 to 20!

So, now we have 4 different races to choose from when leveling a new druid, which gives us 4 starter zones: Night Elf & Worgen for the Alliance, and Tauren & Troll for the Horde. Trolls even have a new level 1 to 5 starter experience that I tried out a couple times and have had a lot of fun with.

The new talent trees are actually better for people who are new to the game and starting out leveling, since it will be harder to make the wrong decision (like going and putting 10 points in each talent tree at the start), as there should be fewer bad talent traps for people to fall in.

The biggest improvement for druids, however, is the level at which we get early abilities in the 1 to 20 level range.

Leveling 1 to 20 as feral in Cataclysm:

  • You still have to caster level from 1 to 8, which shouldn’t be that bad, given the staring area questing improvements and having pretty much unlimited mana.
  • At level 8, you get: Cat form, claw, Rake, & Ferocious Bite.
  • At level 10, you get mangle
  • At level 15, you get: bear form, maul, growl, & demo roar (engough tanking abilities to start tanking).

Leveling 1 t0 20 as balance:

  • From 1 to 8, you pick up: wrath, moonfire, thorns, roots & starfire.
  • At level 10, you get Starsurge from the talent tree.
  • At level 20, you get insect swarm.

So, both feral & balance druids have enough spells & abilities to level fairly quickly up to 20 and beyond!

For feral, getting cat form at level 8 is a HUGE quality of life improvement, and you still get bear form at the level where the random dungeon system opens up and you can start tanking. I have had a lot of fun leveling a lowbie troll kitty druid up to the mid/late 30’s just because cat form has been so much fun for leveling through all the new & improved quest zones.

Balance druid leveling hasn’t been changed that much, with the biggest improvement for leveling coming from having starsurge as our level 10 balance spell. The knockdown effect helps with survivability, since it reduces the damage you take. As a cooldown ability, starsurge has higher burst damage and will help to break up rotations so that they feel less spammy. They also gave us starfire earlier. In addition, insect swarm is trainable now, rather than a talent, which means you actually get Insect Swarm earlier now than you used to, as well.

They seem to be front-loading a lot of our damage abilities so that we have access to more buttons sooner for feral & balance. An earlier cat form means that feral druids can now actually be feral druids sooner, and overall the changes to leveling design will make druids actually fun to level from 1 to 20, rather than the first 20 levels being what you wanted to get past so that the fun could start.

So, at the very least, I’m excited to start my new worgen druid when Cataclysm comes out in a few months. I’ve even avoided doing alliance leveling quests from level 15 to 60, so that I could have some fun surprises in store for me when I started on my leveling adventure. This is the one thing I am really excited about.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS



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