Monthly Archives: January 2011

More on 4.0.6 resto talent builds

So, my last resto post seems to have freaked out a few people. First, I would like to say that 4.0.6 only makes things better for resto druids, not worse. Second, if you want to keep whatever talent build you have right now and heal the way that you are healing right now, it will (more than likely) be a viable healing strategy in the next patch. So, there is really nothing to freak out about.

That said, my last post was mostly to bring up concern over the talent tree design, and to see how people were going to cope with our talent tree not being designed in a very logical way. It looks to me like about half of the resto druids will be keeping Efflorescence, and the other half will likely drop it. The people dropping efflorescence are more likely to be 10-man raiders and 5-man dungeon specs, whereas people running 25’s seem more likely to be picking up efflorescence.

What drives me absolutely crazy is that not everyone can pick up a talent that I feel should be “mandatory”, but it is my own personal crusade to make the resto talent tree more logical, and trying to get the choices to be less painful, rather than something that an average player would need to worry about.

That said, I see three main talent build strategies emerging lately. The first two are what I posted in my last thread, but the third is dropping moonglow from their builds and keeping Efflorescence:

Since it doesn’t look like today’s patch day, we still probably have another week for things to change on us, or for more time to figure out optimal talent builds. The above talent builds make it look like I have something against Blessing of the Grove. If you guessed that, then I’d like to say that it’s mostly my frustration with how little you get out of those 2 talent points compared to what you get for putting points in Imp Rejuv.

That said, I can’t really say which of the 3 talent point strategies is “best”, since it will ultimately come down to a few questions:

  • How bad are your mana problems after the 4.0.6 patch? If  you consistently end the fight low on mana (or run OOM before a fight ends), keep moonglow and other mana-related talents. If you don’t have mana problems, then dropping moonglow  (or going without Malfurion’s Gift) could spare points for you to put other places. At our current gear level, people will generally need the mana-focused talents.
  • How much do you get assigned to AOE/raid healing? If you AOE/raid heal a lot, especially in 25-mans, you will want to keep efflorescence. If all you ever do is tank heal, efflorescence becomes less desirable, and allows you to drop it in favor of other talents.
  • Cleanse magic? For 5-mans and 10-mans, being able to cleanse magic is important, but could be less important in 25-mans if you discuss it with your other guild healers and they agree that you can drop the Nature’s Cure talent.
  • What talents do you seem to be benefitting from? For example, you may not want Nature’s Grace if you never use Regrowth to proc it, but if you use regrowth to proc NG, then NG becomes a good talent. If you are horrible at using OOC procs before the buff falls off, then you get less use out of Malfurion’s Gift.
  • You might not actually need all 3 points in Nature’s Bounty if you don’t use much Regrowth or Nourish in your raid healing strategy (ie. maybe 2 points there would work better for your preferred build).
  • Maybe Gift of the Earthmother won’t benefit you as much after the patch, so you won’t feel the need to max out the points there (though I do like the instant rejuv tick for raid healing, if you are assigned to tank healing and don’t let LB bloom all that often, the talent becomes less desirable).

So, there still do seem to be options, based on whether you are assigned to tank or raid healing, and depending on how your exact healing strategy works out. However, those options are about trying to get as many of the “mandatory” talents as possible, and only dropping points from the mandatory talents that you benefit from the least. How could they fix it? Well, the easiest solution would be to un-link Living Seed and efflorescence so that Living Seed can become an optional talent to allow people to make talent builds that pick up all the “mandatory” talents and actually have more flexibility in getting Efflorescence without living seed.

Posted in 4.0.6, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees

Moonkin 4.0.6 feeling rooted

So, I’ve given a lot of attention to the resto changes lately, but with the most recent patch notes, I wanted to shift my focus for today’s post onto the moonkin changes.

Moonkin has always been an endangered species in PvP, mostly because it’s a spec that just never had good PvP tools, and they bear the brunt of nerfs that are directed at either feral or resto druids.

The latest problem comes from a round of changes in 4.0.6, where moonkin are getting neutered in some respects due to changes intended to weaken feral PvP.

Mainly, this set of changes is likely to weaken moonkin PvP ability:

  • Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
  • Glyph of Entangling Roots redesigned. It now reduces the cast time of Entangling Roots by 0.2 seconds, rather than making it instant cast.
  • Along with the duration reduction of pretty much all forms of CC for all the classes for PvP purposes shortening roots/Nature’s Grasp duration.

So, moonkin got a double-whammy where they lose the ability to escape when they get rooted by another class, but also lose the instant roots that helped with moonkin survivability.

The change makes it such that moonkin druids are vulnerable to root effects, which we now can’t break out of, and moonkin also lacks the ability to self-heal (we can’t heal in moonkin form, and shifting out of moonkin form leaves us incredibly vulnerable) and the spec only has barkskin as a survivability cooldown.

Running away used to be the moonkin’s defense system, and now moonkin don’t have one – because we can’t effectively kite away from melee, even after the other moonkin buffs coming in 4.0.6 are taken into consideration.

The good in 4.0.6:

There are, however, a couple good changes that will help (but not solve the problem).

  • Barkskin is no longer dispellable.
  • Moonkin Form now grants 15% damage reduction instead of increased armor.
  • Fungal growth duration has been increased to 20 seconds, up from 10. In addition, it should now be much more responsive when detonating Wild Mushrooms.
  • Wild Mushroom is now instant cast, down from 0.5 seconds. In addition, the radius of detonation has been increased to 6 yards, up from 3, and damage done increased by 30%.
  • The Shooting Stars buff duration has been increased to 12 seconds, up from 8 seconds.

So, what we get to “compensate” for lack of survivability seems to be a more reliable wild mushroom & Fungal Growth. However, if moonkin can’t shift out of roots, then any team with roots and fears has the ability to easily control moonkin. Without the magic dispel that resto has, moonkin will have no way to escape from roots (unless someone else on their team dispels them – which they’re unlikely to do, since we have a 6+ year long tradition of not needing assistance when rooted). So, fungal growth won’t be that effective at keeping people off the moonkin if moonkin can get rooted in place while their opponents catch back up with them and slices their low-survivability faces open.

They actually seem to have reverted the root break change for restoration (but not moonkin) druids with this specialization change:

  • Restoration: Disentanglement (new specialization): Causes shapeshifting to remove roots in addition to snares.

So, resto druids get to be happy, since they can both dispell and shapeshift out of roots. They also are going to keep it such that resto druids can’t be sheeped when they are in tree form.

Moonkin, however, are still really nervous at this point. You could argue that the change to have 15% damage reduction in moonkin form is how Blizzard is compensating moonkin. However, based on the fact that the 15% comes at the cost of losing the increased armor bonus, I’d like to argue that the change to a 15% damage reduction (that will reduce both physical & magical damage by 15%) is likely going to mean that it either increases our physical damage taken by a very small amount (or comes out neutral on physical damage), and will only serve to reduce the magic damage we take. Now, gaining 15% magic damage reduction is really nice (especially for PvE, and for PvP against caster-heavy teams). However, against physical damage, running away seems to still be our best option for dealing with melee opponents.

There is, however, some hope for moonkin:

Zarhym posted on the forums yesterday that there were more upcoming changes planned for moonkin:

The below post is correct. We will share additional information with you regarding our plans for Balance as soon as we can, though it’ll probably have to wait until after the holiday weekend.

What does that mean? Really, anyone could guess.

My Speculation/recommendation: What would make the most sense to me is if they left the root break attached to moonkin form (which is out of reach of feral druids) so that balance druids could use moonkin form (but not travel/cat/bear) to break roots, which would be clunky if you had been trying to use travel form to break away, but would still give you something.

Conclusion: The only major problem for moonkin with the 4.0.6 patch is the problem with not being able to break roots. I believe that everything else would be okay if we had a root break (where the changes overall would be positive for the spec). If they reverse this somehow for moonkin, we should be in a lot better shape. We’re just going to have to hang in there and see how things go. I’ll post more once Blizzard does their follow-up post to tell us their intentions for moonkin. The hardest thing to do is wait.

Posted in 4.0.6, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patches

Good bye efflorescence?

So, the collective 4.0.6 resto druid changes “fix” druids by basically reverting us back to an older state of resto druids, where our main Raid healing strategy seems to focus almost entirely around rejuv & wild growth (with a mana cost reduction to rejuv and a cooldown reduction on wild growth). I suppose I’m okay with this, since it fixes the problem that we were having with not really having a good raid healing strategy at all. While this feels an aweful lot like history repeating all over again, that’s not the focus of this post. The focus of this post is a look at how the 4.0.6 talent changes may effect how we choose talents, with Efflorescence & Living Seed being the most likely candidate for hitting the chopping block from our talent specs.

The talent tree changes have me worried because I can’t come up with a talent build for 4.0.6 that I actually like, which is really unusual for me (but has become more common in Cataclysm).

The talent changes put more emphasis on 3 talents:

  • Malfurion’s Gift becomes even more important when it becomes the only way to get OOC procs.
  • Empowered Touch by adding the regrowth buff to the talent rather than to the base spell
  • Nature’s Bounty by adding the Nourish cast speed proc when we cast 3 rejuv’s in addition to the Regrowth crit bonus (with the regrowth crit bonus being better if the buff to Empowered Touch makes regrowth more desirable).

My current talent build skipped Malfurion’s Gift (mostly because I didn’t like the restrictions of what I could use for my OOC procs) and 1 point from Nature’s Bounty (because I needed the points more somewhere else). So, I need to come up with 3 talent points from somewhere else to be able to have a decent talent spec.

There are really 2 viable spec alternatives I can think of to fill out those extra talent points:

Either I can drop Nature’s Swiftness, Nature’s Cure, and 1 point from GotEM and end up with this spec. Or, I can drop Efflorescence & Living Seed and end up with something similar to this spec . The nice thing about the second spec is it really gives you more flexibility about where to invest the remaining 6 talent points you freed up (so I would expect a couple different variations on the second build, whereas the first build has basically no flexibility and requires you to make difficult sacrifices).

I really don’t like the idea of having to drop a point from GotEM or Nature’s Cure, so I’m seriously tempted to go with a talent build that drops living seed & Efflorescence from my talent builds. Why? Well, because living seed & Efflorescence are linked talents that aren’t really worth a full 6 talent points. They only account for about 5% (or less) of my total healing done in either 5-mans or raids, and the healing they do is really minor (ie. shouldn’t make the difference between life & death).

On the other hand, freeing up talent points to invest in Nature’s Cure means that I can cleanse in the 5-man groups I run, and I get the option of picking up talents like Perseverance, which can increase my own survivability.

This whole talent dilemma would be easily solved if they buffed Living Seed to make it worth the 3 talent points, or if they unlinked living seed from Efflorescence – so that we got to make a choice about whether or not we wanted living seed. For 25-man raid healers, efflorescence might still be worth picking up. However, I think it isn’t worthwhile anymore for 5-man or 10-man healing (where sacrificing tools like Nature’s Cure is really not a great idea unless you can have 2 resto specs). I really think they should have buffed Living Seed and not Nature’s Bounty in the latest round of talent changes, because at least then those points in Living Seed would have felt worthwhile, allowing us to justify holding onto Efflorescence.

So, what do you guys plan to do about talent builds in 4.0.6? Keep Efflorescence or drop Efflorescence & living seed to pick up other talents and increase your talent spec flexibility overall?

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees

New podcast episode available!

So, I had a cold all last week, and my semester started yesterday, making this week’s schedule pretty hectic for me, which is why I haven’t posted much recently.

I did, however, want to let you guys know that we recorded our second Team Waffle Podcast on Friday, and that Arielle has now posted the Team Waffle podcast Episode 2. In the episode, I tried not to sniffle or cough into the mic too much, but if I did, I sincerely apologize (and hopefully Arielle was able to edit some of that out, lol). We’ll be doing the podcast every 2 weeks at this point, now that the holidays are over.

My guild started raiding last week, and we got some 10-man runs going (we decided as a guild not to raid over the Christmas & New Years holidays). We got down Halfus Wyrmbreaker and Magmaw over the weekend. We were also able to kill the PvP boss in Tol Barad when the Alliance had control over the zone. We’re hoping to start up our 25-man group soon, but it looks like we’re still short a couple people (especially looking for a non-druid healer, shadow priest, and a hunter to join our raiding crew).

I’ll be keeping an eye on how the 4.0.6 patch develops, but the druid class overall seem to be in pretty good shape for the next patch at this point.

Posted in podcast


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