healing cooldown discussion

So, in a recent post by Nethaera, it was mentioned that Blizzard was concerned about the class balance of healer cooldowns. More specifically, Neth Said:

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department.

So, this means that right now is really the perfect time to talk about what should (or shouldn’t) happen for resto druids in terms of getting a healing cooldown.

First, I should define what type of cooldown we’re most likely talking about. Technically, tree form is a cooldown, but it increases the healing we do, and doesn’t decrease the damage a tank takes. No, the type of cooldown we’re talking about should really be something that reduces a tank’s damage taken and/or make it more likely that the tank will live through heavy burst damage in the form of increased tank health or increased healing effects done to the tank (ie. pain suppression, guardian spirit, hand of sacrifice).

Possible fixes:

  1. They could introduce totally new abilities/talents for resto druids & resto shaman to fill a tank-saving cooldown role. It would make more sense for the changes to come in the form of talents, but it would have to be done in a way that doesn’t just introduce “more bloat” to the resto druid talent tree.
  2. They could change Nature’s Swiftness to make it more useful. They could make Nature’s Swiftness a 2 minute cooldown for both specs, and then have the target take X% less damage after Nature’s Swiftness is used to heal them (or some other similar mechanic). That would give resto druids a reason to spec back into the NS talent. I missed the talent for all of about 1 day until I learned how to heal without Nature’s Swiftness in my druid’s talent spec, and now I don’t miss it at all.
  3. If they either introduce a new talent to the resto druid tree, or change an existing talent, they will need to address druid talent “bloat” such as finally deciding to un-link living seed from efflorescence (or, maybe change living seed & reduce the point cost to turn it into a cool ability instead of a waste of 3 talent points).

What Blizzard shouldn’t do:

  • Blizzard should NOT be lazy and just make barkskin castable on other people. Why? Well, because we’d loose the ability to use that cooldown on ourselves, and it would have an impact on the other druid talent specs & PvP in ways that would cause the ability to get nerfed over time and things would get worse instead of better. Instead, whatever they give us should be in addition to what we already have. While it could be an easy short-term solution, it would be potentially detrimental in the long-run. Resto druids really need barkskin to protect casting their own tranquility channeled spell and such, and we’d lose that if we always had to save barkskin for a tank.

Commenting is now disabled. Thank you everyone for your opinions. The conversation was breaking down, so I decided its time to wait and see what the devs decide. You can still view the comments.

Posted in Restoration Healing Trees, Shaman, Uncategorized

78 comments on “healing cooldown discussion
  1. Vixsin says:

    I sincerely hope that all healer CDs are on the table for discussion, not just those related to saving a tank. Tranquility and Divine Hymn are amazing tools for stabilizing a teetering raid, and likewise Avenging Wrath, Power Infusion, and ToL, are excellent ways to enable healers to modulate their own output to match the damage patterns of an encounter. Yes, tank-CDs are important, but I would hope that the focus is on what should be considered a requisite healing tool and what should be a restricted class bonus.

    • Lissanna says:

      My moonkin has used tranquility to save many 5-man groups when I was DPS.

      Things like tranquility and extra healing output done while in tree form are still equated in the overall throughput of healing done in either a raid or 5-man group. Damage reduction abilities are something that some classes get in addition to the equalized throughput that then become a concern. The problem is that once healers are equalized in terms of healing output overall, that people with extra bonuses not captured by the healing meters come out ahead when everyone else is basically equal. In this case, lay on hands wouldn’t really count as a tank survivability cooldown because it can still be measured as healing throughput.

      • Vixsin says:

        While I understand your perspective that there is a distinct difference between mitigation and healing done, the point that I was trying to make is that “mass healing on demand” is just as powerful (and as important) of a CD. Boomkin or resto, popping Tranq was a choice–I contend that there’s value in having that choice as a healer. If you have it as a dps too, fine, great, but that becomes a benefit of bringing that class as one of your dps.

        Likewise, self-modulation should be an important part of a triage environment, because there will always be times where you need to sprint towards a goal instead of continuing at the same plodding pace. Simply looking at total output completely disregards the fact that healing is limited by the HP deficit of your raid; when a spike occurs in that deficit, a healer with burst can (and should) adjust accordingly.

        Point being: there is a value associated with each of these types of CDs. I’ve no desire to see healing CDs overhauled with the same brush as was applied to healers’ single-target trinity. But I think a comparison of CD value needs to look simply beyond what a healer can offer a single tank under pressure.

  2. Chu says:


    Healing is about making choices. Using Barkskin on a tank or saving it for yourself is a choice. As a direct corellary, Disc Priests make that choice with Pain Suppression.

    • malchome says:

      @Chu – The difference as Lissanna pointed out is that Barkskin is a baseline ability for the tanking aspect of the class and like PW:Shield for the other roles. Pain Suppression is a Disc. Priest only ability.

      @Vixsin – Yes shaman could use an Oh Shit!! AoE heal like Druids and Priests have. I am not sure what Paladins have though if you want to talk keeping the tool sets balanced.

      In both all areas though you then get players bitching about all healers being the same. I could care less and think it would be a good idea so then you don’t have people whining about wanting a tool in another toolset that is not the same to something in their own, but there do need to be some differences just as long as in the end it all equals out for the most part.

    • Verdus says:

      I couldn’t disagree with your disagreement more. Yeah, healing is about making choices, but the decision to use a targeted, damage-reducing cooldown on yourself vs a tank isn’t a choice at all. You save it for the tank, period. Any other use would be incredibly irresponsible.

      You bring up Pain Suppression as an example, but I don’t see how it helps you. Outside PvP or specific gimmick fights, when does a Disc Priest ever cast PS on anyone other than the tank? What about Guardian Spirit or Hand of Sacrifice? It doesn’t happen, or at the very least I’ve never seen it happen.

      The tank, quite simply, is more important than we are. If a healer falls down, the rest of the raid can recover. Other healers can, with difficulty, pick up the slack. At the very least, they can hold things together long enough for a combat res to go off. But if the tank falls down? You’re done. Stick-a-fork-in-you done.

      Making Barkskin be castable on other is absolutely the wrong design. Sure, the option to use it on yourself would still be there, useful for PvP or certain gimmicks. Apart from that, though, it would be nothing more than a trap to punish the inexperienced.

  3. Deandre - Dalaran says:

    I’ve noticed they try to spread things out so you don’t have one go to cooldown, but they’re in bandage mode, so I just had a scary thought of what they might do. If they added Barkskin to the ToL list and made it so you could cast it on others during ToL…well, that’d make me a sad panda if they took that route as their fix.

    As to ideas as to what they could do right, maybe a talent as simple as ‘enlarged thorns’ or something to that respect, and weave a damage reduction into Thorns, though that quickly runs the risk of being overpowered in PvP. Heck, even make that in glyph form that way they don’t have to stuff even more into the talent trees.

  4. Shaloxeroligon says:

    On the subject of talent trees (get it, trees?), I’m having a bit of a quandary. My talents are based off of your “drop efflorescence, keep moonglow” spec, for mana reasons. Currently, I have 1 point in Perseverance, and full ranks in Nature’s Ward. Would it be better, from a defensive, staying-alive standpoint, to max out Perseverance and ignore NW, or keep it as is? I want to maximize my survivability.

    If this is the wrong place to ask this question, where should I ask it? I’d like your advice.

    • Lissanna says:

      I haven’t seen math comparing the two talents, honestly, since they have much different styles of adding to survivability.

    • Verdus says:

      From my personal experience with Nature’s Ward, I’d recommend dropping it. It might be useful in PvP, but in raid encounters you just won’t get much mileage out of it. It rarely triggered for me, and it took a re-read of the talent to understand why.

      Specifically, the talent only procs if you suffer an attack while already below half health. The attack that actually took you below half in the first place won’t trigger it. For NW to proc, you’d need to get brought down to below half by an AoE or randomly targeted effect, and then suffer another one before your healers got to you. From my experiences, that just doesn’t happen very often given the cooldown-, interval-, or RNG-based nature of most raid damage.

      My suggestion would be to go with Perseverance if you have the points to spare. I dropped NW quite a while ago and haven’t noticed in the slightest.

  5. Ben says:

    I’d rather see something more interesting that just damage reduction, since that’s no different from pain suppression or most tanks own cooldowns. I would like to see Living Seed taken down to 1 talent point, made an active ability, and of course the numbers for it would need to be tweaked a lot, and the requirement that you crit, but I think the underlying mechanic could be something cool and unique to druids.

    • Lissanna says:

      the problem is that what healing shaman & druids are missing is the damage reduction ability to use on tanks. When all healers are basically equal on healing output, the only difference becomes how much damage you can prevent from happening in the first place. Otherwise, healers that can’t reduce the damage taken are less valuable than ones who can. If meters were able to take the damage reduction into account when coming up with “healing” numbers, then things could be equalized without having to give everyone damage reduction abilities.

      • Ben says:

        Huh? I don’t care what meters say, or throughput balance, and I don’t think that’s Blizz’s goal here either, I’m just agreeing with the basic premise here, from your post, that we need a tank-healing cd:

        “the type of cooldown we’re talking about should really be something that reduces a tank’s damage taken and/or make it more likely that the tank will live through heavy burst damage in the form of increased tank health or increased healing effects done to the tank (ie. pain suppression, guardian spirit, hand of sacrifice).”

        We need an active ability with a cooldown that lets us keep a tank alive through big single-target tank damage. To do that, I’m just saying rather than just copying the millions of “reduce damage by x%” abilities in the game, I’d like to see it be something unique to druids, and re-purposing LS-mechanics into something useful would be a way to do that, and reducing tree-bloat by dropping it down to a 1 point talent.

        • Lissanna says:

          Something else that increases our throughput isn’t the type of cooldown Blizzard is looking for, though. What they are looking for is something that prevents deaths without doing extra healing #’s to unbalance the classes. This is most likely going to come in the form of something that reduces the tank’s damage taken by X%. Something that heals the tank for X is healing throughput that shows up on meters and doesn’t fix the problem (and is a role that swiftmend or instant regrowths in tree form fills anyway).

  6. Kal says:


    I really don’t want druids to be a special snowflake and have their own CD that is different or better than other healers. We went that route last expansion with tank CDs, where depending on the fight some tanks were simply head and shoulders over others. Hell, we did that with aura mastery and paladins last expansion too!

    I know it’s boring, but they need to normalize external CDs among healers. Make them a shared resource like rebirth is now so you can’t stack it insanely, give each healer a single target life saver (like GS or PS) and a raid lifesaver (like divine sac was). Make the saving part be around the power of PS on the same CD (I’d prefer 3 minutes, but whatever). Don’t give raiders a concrete reason to bring one healer over another because their CD is That Good.

    And honestly, an external barkskin on a 1-minute CD is pretty damn hot. Barkskin’s already one of the best CDs for tanks out there, period; having it be applicable to anyone will be somewhat broken.

    • Lissanna says:

      Yeah, the problem i have is that I don’t want barskin to become overpowered & get nerfed, because that would hurt the other specs & other aspects of the game when all we really need are PvE healer cooldowns to use on tanks.

      I just want something that makes us more equal.

  7. malchome says:

    Ya when we start to take damage reduction into consideration it is a completely different balancing act. There are several healing related talents that either increase healing done to a target by the healer casting or even better reduced all damage for X seconds. If that reduction was added to healing done there would be a whole new wave of balancing QQ. Do not open that pandora’s box unless you are prepared to have all healing classes go through an Alpha/Beta yet again.

  8. Onomaris says:

    I’ve personally wanted barkskin castable on other people for ages. Still do.

  9. Berry says:

    I want a damage mitigation talent. 6 seconds, 8 seconds, I don’t care. When the tank is about to die, or a dps is about to drop, I want a something that will buy me some time.

    Nature’s Swiftness is a talent also available to shaman. On the one hand, a change to it would be a similar cooldown for both of us. On the other, it would be the exact precise same cooldown for both of us – no class flavor at all. (I still use NS, but mostly as an instant brez.)

    If I had a vote in the process, I’d change living seed. As a raid healer, the 3 points I spend in LS do me little good – less than 1% good according to WoL most fights. Changing it to a usable damage reduction cd would transform 3 almost useless talent points into 3 well spent points, and it wouldn’t be a major change from LS’s current intention.

    • Lissanna says:

      I’ve had both a shaman & druid character since burning crusade. I think they function differently enough that sharing a NS tank cooldown wouldn’t homogenize them all that much. It would be fun, however, if they did something with more flavor. I’m still concerned that Nature’s Swiftness kinda sucks, but living seed also sucks more. 😉

      • Berry says:

        Right now, we are more likely to lose tanks than dps. Mind boggling, yes? An instant brez at full health means the tank picking up Cho’gall before he has time to decimate the raid. As a healing cd, yeah NS is a little lackluster. As an emergency “oh shit” rez button, I find it to be very useful indeed. (and unlike LS, its 1 talent point, and we can skip it at will.)

        I don’t mind if the function of our cd is exactly the same as the shaman, but I like having class flavor and at least pretending that it is different. 🙂

  10. Jork says:

    I would like to see living seed become a talented cooldown ability instead of a proc ability. They could cheat and make it a copy of another damage reduction bonus, or spice it up a little.

    Since druids are HOT-tastic maybe the new cooldown could transform the next direct damage attack that would kill the target, to take a DOT effect for the same amount of damage.

    They could take the guardian spirit approach, but with a tweak. Living Seed sprouts a treant that takes the next attack that would have otherwised killed the target. The tank’s health isn’t effected, which could possible still leave you in a bind if the tank was below 20% when the damaging attack came in.

    This might be a terrible idea, but what if with the Brez limitations, our rebirth spell could be used as a preemptive measure when specced correctly. Rebirth could not prevent damage, or increase healing output, but just rez the target instantly. Same conditions would apply as if the target had died…no threat, low rage, etc. I would suggest that rebirth still brez targets that were already dead and have a longer cooldown.

    • tehtree says:

      I think the spike damage into DoT is a great idea for a druid cooldown. It, in general, could make damage more easily healed. The danger, however, is that such an ability could get completely locked out by certain fight mechanics. Especially ‘gimmick’ mechanics. Consider Chimaeron and abilities like Mage Cauterize. There have been times where when a mage is taken down to 1, cauterize dot kicks in, and the mage is dead. Similarly, if there were some insta health-minimizing fight mechanic, a Spike->DoT cooldown would be useless, unlike, say, any of the other healer cooldowns. Not saying this couldn’t be balanced or corrected for in some way, but it would probably be tricky.

      Another direction would be to move away from a tank saving CD to a raid saving CD that is mitigation rather than output based. Connecting this to ToL in some way would reinforce the current position of ToL as a raid-stabilizing CD. This would encourage taking druids to top level content raids, which seems to be the problem that they are trying to address with new healing CDs for druids and shammies. Even more interesting would be a combination of CDs: a tank damage reduction in non-ToL that is converted into a raid CD when in ToL (again, building on the raid-CD flavor already baked into ToL).

    • Chiraa says:

      Since druids are HOT-tastic maybe the new cooldown could transform the next direct damage attack that would kill the target, to take a DOT effect for the same amount of damage.

      Interestingly, there is a trinket in the data-mined patch that does something similar to this, for a set amount of damage vs a “kill”. I find this quite interesting and definitely a druidy take on a CD. Since would could then have hots work to counteract the damage over time.

  11. Peeko says:

    I am surprised Blizzard has not just given every healing talent tree the priest/shaman 10% damage mitigation crit talent. I agree that making Barkskin castable on others will be bad in the long term. Unfortunately it is all they are likely to do because it will take the least amount of work. They could give us something really fun and cool like a Living Guardian (think Guardian Spirit) but I doubt we’ll see that one. Give us a new version of Barkskin castable only on someone other than ourselves and call it Overgrowth. Put a 1.5 min CD on it, and make a glyph to reduce the CD by 30 secs. IE: Guardian Spirit. I see this last idea as entirely OP and not a very balanced idea.

  12. Keeva says:

    I still really like the idea of a Barkskin that can be shared. I know that a lot of people disagree because they will “lose” Barkskin, but I see it like Innervate.. if I am the one who needs it and by using it on myself the raid will benefit the most, I’ll use it on myself. If giving it away is better for the raid (eg, if giving it to a priest means 30% mana going to the raid (20% for the priest and 10% to me), then I’m not going to be sad that I’m “losing” my Innervate – it’s what’s best for the raid.

    If it’s a fight with a tank spike period, I would save Barkskin for the tank (if I’m needed to), but otherwise, I would enjoy picking and choosing how to use it.

    If Swiftmend were a stronger emergency heal, I would still pick and choose whether to use it as an emergency heal or reserve it for the tank. Many people have said how much they hate that Efflorescence is tied to Swiftmend because they “lose” their ability to use it as an emergency heal. I disagree (which is why I wrote that big article on how to use it strategically – before it was weakened).

    I *love* bringing utility, and I love making these kind of choices. Who should my Innervate go to? Who should I Swiftmend – should I save it, or use it proactively? I would enjoy using Barkskin in the same kind of capacity. I would be thrilled to, actually. I don’t see it as losing my Barkskin at all.

    I adore Barkskin, it’s possibly my favourite spell – and you might think that this would mean I would be upset to have to give it away and not reserve it for myself – but I just really can’t emphasise how much I love to give away my utility to other people. I love, love, love it – and that is why I would love a shareable Barkskin, despite what others say.

    So far, tank healing/cooldowns are not really an issue for us. We’re not wiping due to tank deaths (it happens very infrequently). I would have loved a tank cooldown back on Sarth3D.. but in Cataclysm, tank deaths are not really what’s hurting us (of course, this will be an issue more for 10man raid mix than 25, where you are likely to have a full mix of classes). So I disagree that a cooldown will be reserved for the tank always and forever – I would prefer something with options. Something for the raid, not necessarily tank-only.

    Finally, I think a damage reduction added into NS is really boring 😐 That’s virtually just castable Barkskin on the end of a heal. To me, that would be just as “lazy” as tweaking Barkskin. Different strokes, I guess. Plus, you’d get a lot of people complaining that they had to “waste” an NS heal to use the mitigation effect, or that they wasted their mitigation effect on someone who needed the instant heal – a la Swiftmend/Efflorescence.

    While I still want my shareable Barkskin, I think they need to create something new and slot it in for Living Seed.. not tack something onto NS or ToL or whatever.

    • Hamlet says:

      I’ll try to explain more the distinction from Innervate (in more than 140 chars). If Innervate were self-only, it would simply be personal regen, no different from any other source of personal regen. There would be no choice at all, it would essentially be a passive skill–in fact they could just delete it at that point and merge the regen into some other source. The entire reason Innervate exists, design-wise, is because of the choice of whom to cast it on.

      Barkskin, as a self-only skill, is an interesting and useful utility spell. It’s not something you just mash on cooldown (as Innervate would be)–it’s handy personal tool that improves survivability and rewards awareness, as well as providing another button to push. It is nothing like Innervate.

      If it were castable on any target, this “choice of whether to use it on myself or another target” would be completely illusory. It would be a tool for the raid leader to allocate as necessary, and 90% of the time it would be on a tank (and the other 10% it would be on a raid member targeted with some certain boss ability). The comparison is not to Innervate, it’s to Pain Suppression.

      Lissanna and I are asking for an external cooldown to be added to the Druid repertoire so we’re more attractive to bring to raid. You’re effectively asking for the same thing, but with “oh by the way Blizzard, delete Barkskin from my spellbook” thrown in. Yes, it would be better than the current situation, but I’m not sure why people seem to ignore the huge downside.

      • Lissanna says:

        I was willing to make the compromise on barkskin before Blizzard decided there was a problem – but now that they have decided there’s a problem, I don’t want to compromise anymore. Now, I just want to be complete.

        • Hamlet says:

          I should also add, a 20% external cooldown on one target isn’t even that good to begin with. I mean, if that were the “solution,” then not only would we lose Barkskin, but we wouldn’t even have gotten something worthwhile enough to fix the basic problem.

          The Druid blogosphere is generally obsessing over minutiae. What ability might they modify? Where will it go in the talent tree? What icon will it have? Blizzard has to decide how they want external cooldowns to work as a whole–what’s going to be standard for a healing class. They’ll use that to determine what Resto Druids should be able to do. How to drop it into our existing skillset and how to flavor it to be Druid-y is a detail of little significance in comparison to basic questions of healer design that are at issue here.

      • Keeva says:

        I understood what you were saying in the first place, Hamlet.

        Obviously I would prefer something new – but I would still like to be able to cast Barkskin on others. And if that was “all” they gave us – an amended Barkskin (though I really doubt it, I think it will need to be a “bigger” cooldown to be as attractive as priest/paladin) – then I would still be really happy.

        I love tradeoffs; so to me, your “huge downside” is something that would force me to be strategic, and that is something that I absolutely adore. To me, the “huge downside” would make it more interesting – just as the “downside” of Efflorescence is having to “waste” your emergency heal. I don’t see loss, I see options. I see strategy. I see a different use for the ability on a per-fight basis – and I can’t tell you how much I love that. It’s why I was so stupidly excited for Efflorescence pre-nerf because I saw so much potential.

        In a 10 man setting, with fewer available cooldowns, it might be reserved for the tank more often than not – but the possibilities are still there.

        Yes, I would love a completely new and separate ability – who wouldn’t? But I’d still like my shareable Barkskin.

  13. Keeva says:

    I have the solution.

    A treant pet, placed in the raid. Hug the tree and receive a Barkskin-like buff for X seconds (with a cooldown). The treant grows bigger with each hug.

    So much more fun that lightwell, rite?

    Though, there may be some complaints that 10man raids are at a disadvantage because they can’t make their tree grow as big.


    • Verdus says:

      Make it so that the treant is dancing, and I’m sold! 😀

    • Deandre - Dalaran says:

      Make it a weeping willow and standing in the area of it’s branches gives you the damage reduction while it obscures your vision and you have something that sounds like a Blizzard Druid ‘gift’. Maybe even give the tree it’s own health and a massive hitbox so cleaves decimate it. …sorry, jaded moment there.

  14. aramis says:

    Here’s my idea:

    Nature’s Ward. Modify it to where it’s both a cooldown ability AND a rejuv for the healer taking damage.

    Focus one should be a castable barkskin (SEPARATE from our actual barkskin, you know like we have Nature’s Grasp and Entangling Roots, two different spells with the same effect), or a damage reducing nature bubble that we can use on cooldown. This would be in addition to the free rejuv we get below 50% health.

    Tooltip could read like: When cast, a friendly target becomes a true child of nature, making their skin tough as bark reducing damage taken by 30%. In addition, whenever the caster takes damage below 50%, they will instantly gain a Rejuvenation effect free of mana.

  15. laydock says:

    Things like less cooldown on NS/Treeform or bigger heals in NS/Treeform can be pushed through with a minor patch.

    But for Blizz to announce that Shammies and RDruids lack in CoolDowns, and go on to say that they will indeed get these but only in the “next major content patch” makes me believe that the changes will be substantial, and not just contained to the changing of a few cooldowns or re-adjustment of some coefficients.

    Blizz is pretty creative and i for one hope its something none of us has anticipated as of yet.
    Surprise us blizz!

  16. Lument says:

    I’m personally a fan of making Barkskin usable on other targets. I’ve read both sides of the argument and still come back to liking changing Barkskin. I’m not very creative in coming up with new ideas, though, so that generally keeps me off the playing field for these kind of discussions. The biggest argument I see against changing Barkskin is that it is apparently so incredibly useful for Resto Druids right now. Really? I primarily use it to protect me when casting Tranquility so that I don’t lose ticks. Otherwise, I rarely use it. Am I missing opportunities? Definitely not. There are quite a few mechanics in bosses now where Barkskin can’t even be used because raid boss mechanics seem to have unfortunately fallen outside of “This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep.” Other than protecting Tranquility, the primary moments I think of using it is when targeted by Magmatron, Feud on Chimaeron, and 10% points on Nefarian (available on more than half of the 10% points). Can I survive those mechanics without Barkskin? Yes, because not every other class has a -20% damage taken cool down. People decry “I’ll die without it!” yet half of the other 9 classes don’t have something to reduce their damage taken on the exact same mechanics.

    Oh, and I just keep Rejuv on myself full time to basically keep myself alive (like Holy Paladins self-heal talent thing). That helps in any situation.

    • Lissanna says:

      barkskin isn’t a resto talent – it’s an ability that ALL druids have. So, cat druids would be able to cast it on the tank, so would moonkin druids. You wouldn’t need to bring a resto to the raid. You could just bring a boomkin to: bres, tranqility & barkskin the tank. That’s actually my primary objection is that changing it to benefit resto probably actually benefits resto the least.

      • tehtree says:

        Not that I’m in favor of targetable barkskin as the solution to the CD puzzle but Blizz has already given themselves the tools to avoid this with the new specialization/talent tree setup. Just bake targetable Barkskin into the resto spec like Swiftmend and Disentanglement. They could even buff the targeted Barkskin to 40% reduction…or as many others have said, tie it to ToL. Linking targetable barkskin to ToL could also be the way to avoid what people have been decrying as a loss of choice between whether to use it on oneself or the tank. ToL simply empowers the caster to cast Barkskin on someone else, without interacting with the CD on their own. Either way, there would be no worry about Barkskin getting nerfed due to being overpowered for non-resto druids or that the tree loses their own ability to shine as a smart-user of their own Barkskin. The new talent set up gives Blizz a lot of balancing power to avoid these kinds of worries, no matter how inelegant the solution ultimately is.

        In the end, worrying about Barkskin becoming OP for resto and consequently nerfed in general doesn’t seem like a good ground to reject targetable Barkskin as the mechanic for implementing Druid damage reduction CD. Balancing/choice issues can just be built into the spec. At best, it seems to provide aesthetic reasons, ie, that doing so would be an inelegant solution to a pressing problem.

        • Chiraa says:

          Hm, I’m not in favor of having to pop the ToL cd in order to use ANOTHER cd. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a new cd. The cd we need is something where the extra healing in ToL isn’t going to be enough. I doubt it will be a raid cd, as ToL already can fill that role. I really do think we need a tank cd. Sometimes all the healing output in the world won’t help if you can’t get it off in time. An instant damage reduction CD would give us time to get the healing on the target.

          On a lighter note, I propose that we call it Treebarkjacket.

      • Keeva says:

        It goes without saying that it would be a deep resto talent that allows Barkskin to be shared. Not just a change to the base ability.

  17. Alnik says:

    Hey , my comment it’s not about the post at all but I’d like to know if druid is still playable after the recent patch. And if it’s fun for leveling and if balance druids are doing good end game. Thanks in advance +)

  18. thehampster says:

    Great ideas. A couple additional points:

    1. Lets all pray that blizzard does not somehow buff living seed. Right now, it’s easy to design an optimal 10 man raid spec by dropping all points in LS and efflo. If they buff LS and then start balancing resto druids around that talent, then our whole talent tree will be completely screwed up again.

    2. Buffing NS is a great idea and I hope that is the route blizzard takes. However, NS is a core talent for Arena PVP b/c of instant cyclone/hibernate/etc. Therefore, blizzard will probably be very reluctant to buff it since druids are already pretty tough to kill.

    3. There is no reason that we should have to separate “damage reduction CD’s” from “healing throughput CD’s.” It makes no sense and is boring for all classes to be the same. There is no reason not to give druids a CD that involves extra HPS if it can still save a tank’s life. Disc priests had awful “healing throughput” for most of wrath, but nobody seemed to mind. That was the disc priests niche!

  19. Nate says:

    When I saw this post from Blizzard, I thought the same thought in terms of what interesting tank cooldowns Blizzard could give to resto druids while preserving the idea of the class and not just a renamed version of Pain Suppression/Guardian Spirit/Hand of Sacrifice.

    With this in mind, I would suggest creating a new talent, possibly baking into an existing talent such as Nature’s Cure to keep bloat at the top of the tree down. Targettable Barkskin has several issues that have been pointed out and discussed, but I feel the biggest one is that it is just a boring cooldown, when Blizzard has a chance to create something fun and useful.

    (If we’re going to have to wait for a content patch for this, we should make the most out of it!)

    So without further ado, I give you…

    Nature’s Endurance (2 minute cooldown)

    Places a protective barrier on the target, absorbing 40% of all incoming damage for the next 10 seconds or until cancelled. This damage is then dealt to the target over the next 60 seconds after the barrier fades.

    This both provides a damage reduction amount on the level of Pain Suppression, while remaining below individual major tank cooldowns in effectiveness.

    It avoids the issues of Guardian Spirit (pre-nerf) to avoid parts of fights that are intended to kill you if you handle it improperly by still doing the damage (and not being a cheat-death mechanic).

    It uses some of the ideas from Hand of Sacrifice in terms of damage redirection, but does it in an interesting and different way that interacts with the resto druid ideas of healing over time as well as the Cata healing philosophy of triage and strategic management of damage intake / healing output.

    Technology-wise it seems doable, as it really is just a modified version of tank DK’s blood shield specialization that instead of generating a shield, deals damage over time (obviously with different %s and durations).

    Ideally, I’d want the druid to be able to cancel the buff themselves by clicking the ability again (ala Ice Block), as opposed to requiring tanks to be able to cancel the buff if they wish to simply use it to absorb one big hit as opposed to all the damage in the 10 second window.

    What do you guys think?

  20. Cold says:

    Anyone else getting sick of druid being the poster child for the well-observed “Expansion Ability Inflation Index” that just keeps creeping up and up?

    I’ve got enough abilities and not enough macro slots and too many on-use trinkets and …yeah, I just had to go and fall in love with Engineering, too.

    But that’s just ferals, maybe you wooden people have it easier, whad do I know?

    In other news, when I write a comment and hit Tab it takes me to the top of the page instead of the nice little “Post Comment” button. Weird. Google Chrome if it helps.

  21. Uniform says:

    This might sound stupid, but how about making Faerie Fire decrease damage to the friendly target when you are Resto? and put it on a cool down when used that way…

  22. Theomachist says:

    I think it would be nice if they gave us a spell that works like a DK’s anti-magic shell, but for all damage instead of just magic.

    • Birkeybirke says:

      Isn’t that called Power Word: Barrier? Our disc brethren are having a touch enough time with viability, lets not take that from them.

  23. Clovis says:

    I think it’d be nice if Blizz could somehow find away to give such a cooldown to Restoration Druids that Moonkins could also use on themselves, to fix Balance’s issue of survivability in PvP.

  24. aramis says:

    You know we could always have a targetable barkskin that isn’t actually CALLED barkskin…. like i mentioned before, we have Nature’s Grasp and Entangling Roots. Two completely different spells with the same effect….why not just do the same with Barkskin?

    Then all you would need to debate about is what to call it, hehe.

  25. Danslate says:

    Hey there guys,

    I read most of the comments and I agree with Lissanna’s stance on Barkskin. I like the idea of taking Living Seeds away (I never found that talent extraordinarily useful anyway) and thought about how a substitute in form of a tank cooldown could look like.

    I apologize beforehand for any vocabulary mistakes. English’s not my mother-tongue. Any corrections are welcome, though. I’m learning the stuff, after all. 🙂

    So, this is what I came up with:

    10% of base mana 40 yrd range
    3 min cooldown

    Summons an Inkbud that surrounds the target. The next targeted spell or ability used against the target will cause the attacker and every enemy in a 5 yards radius to be covered in ink, reducing their chance to hit with targeted casts and abilities by 100% for 3 sec., consuming the Inkbud in the process. Lasts 6 sec.

    As you can see, it is a bit like Guardian Spirit in that it protects the target of the spell from being killed. Basically, it’s just a means of buying a bit of extra time.
    I don’t think it would be too overpowered in PvE (I added the 5 yards radius hit reduction because I thought that every healer’s tank CD also functions against more than one enemy), nor would it be in situations where you are the only healer (3 sec. can be quite much in some situations, but most of the time it’s barely enough for 2 heals). In PvP I can see it being quite strong, but so are Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit (I don’t know about Hand of Sacrifice, though).
    The cooldown on it should be accurate, too.
    The specifically stated “targeted” makes sure things like Chimaeron’s Massacre aren’t pushed off the table by the cooldown.
    The Inkbud part is just to keep the flavour of the class (the base idea comes from the novel ‘Stormrage’ – I know, I know….Knaak – where Fandrals home is protected by these spraying plant thingies).

    I know that’s been a longwinded explanation, but I wanted to make sure you knew where I was coming from.

    Feel free to comment on the idea, make suggestions, corrections and maybe even take it to the official forums (I don’t mind).

    I hope I could add something to the discussion. Have a wonderful day, y’all,


  26. Dogbearcat says:

    As a former resto Shaman, I’m rather amazed at the cooldowns Druids already have. Tree form, tranquility, even swiftmend. Plus we get nature’s swiftness, which is the only Shaman healing-boosting CD I can think of (bloodlust/heroism is typically used as a DPS boost). Barkskin is really the Druid’s equivalent of fade or bubble, which the Shaman really doesn’t have an equivalent of. Actually, as a former Warlock as well, I can tell you that lacking any sort of damage shield (without resorting to using a voidwalker) is a huge drawback compared to the Pallys (bubble), Mages (ice block), Hunters (deterrence), Priests (shield), etc.

    But between tree form or nature’s swiftness to save the tank, and tranquility to save the raid, I don’t really see a need for another cooldown to worry about.

  27. Bogarnn says:

    /applaud Lissanna

    I just wanted to say thank you for bringing some sanity to the Druid bloggers. Some are avidly posting about this targetable Barkskin nonsense. Which would be a nerf to us in the end.
    -There is no way Blizzard would leave it with a 1 minute CD
    * This would screw over our Bear brethren.
    -Barkskin is needed for our own use to mitigate damage while we heal others. Crackle anyone?

    A NS tied CD seems the best option to me. This would fix both us and Resto Shamans.

    • Keeva says:

      I still don’t think Barkskin is what will be done, but in response to your comment about Crackle – I am not usually in immediate danger pre-Crackles, and would very much love to be able to give my Barkskin away to someone who is in danger, in this situation. This would be far more valuable than a cooldown that I could use only on myself. Again, I still don’t think Barkskin will be changed in this way – but if it were to become a shareable spell, I would still be thrilled.

      I have seen people die to Crackles because they weren’t topped up high enough just before it hit; if I could have donated my Barkskin to them, they would have lived. I see value in that.

      So in the case of Crackles, I would almost always prefer to give my mitigation away to someone else in the raid. I don’t often need it for myself, and there are people who need it more.

      • Bogarnn says:

        Sooooo…. I should take full crackle damage and have to heal myself more when I could heal someone else instead…makes perfect sense! You should have the rest of your raid topped off before the crackle hits. Pop barkskin as it hits to mitigate damage on yourself, (just as every other class in your raid is popping their mitigation talent as well),

        Maybe that’s why you haven’t killed Nefarion yet? This isn’t your blog so I can post my opinion here as I agree with the op, going by your rules.

        Crackle is FAR from the only time to use Barkskin, that was merely one example. I could name times to use it on every Cata raid boss.
        Again, making a NS tied ability so BOTH Resto classes are fixed makes the most sense. This is not just about Druids, Shamans need the same thing.

        • Keeva says:

          I knew my raid kills would be something you would bring up. Shows how mature you are – you need to make me look bad by pulling out my armory.

          FYI, I haven’t had a Nef kill yet because I have only been raiding since 4.06 (after a hiatus/long-term illness), and since 4.06 I have had disconnect issues – along with one of our tanks and two of our healers. We haven’t been able to keep people online in the encounter to be able to finish it.

          I’ll never stop smiling at the person who said “Sorry, I can’t take you seriously because you only have 70k mana.” He/she couldn’t argue his/her point without digging in the armory for some sick burn to get me with.

          I said, “Do you like my fishing pole?”

          Grow up and stop propping up your arguments with whatever juicy tidbits you can find in my armory to apparently discredit me. I don’t need to have killed Nef to be able to understand game mechanics.

          • Bogarnn says:

            Perhaps you should not have followed me to someone else’s blog and tried to start the same thing again. I would not have said another thing to you if YOU had not just had to make a comment on MY comment here.

            Are you stalking me? I said not a word on your comments on WoW Insider or here. Yet you sought out my comment to comment on… Leave me alone and I will do the same.

            My argument stands on it’s own and it’s the same opinion of druids I respect a lot more then you. It needs no propping up.

            I apologize sincerely to Lissanna for this stalker I seem to have acquired and what it has led to.

          • Keeva says:

            Are you serious?

            I’ve been coming to Lissanna’s blog since the day she started it.

            Don’t flatter yourself.

            I didn’t follow you here – go read the comments above, I was commenting on this article before you said a word here.

          • The Gecko says:


            Far be it from me to lower the signal-to-noise ratio of this thread further, but here goes nothing:

            Fail troll is fail.

          • Bogarnn says:

            Funny how you keep ignoring the pertinent facts in my posts….
            Maybe you were already here, but YOU started this on this site. If you want to bash me go back to your blog and post whatever you want, IDC. THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG.

            I’m asking you again, politely, leave me alone and I will leave you alone. Stop insitigating if you do not like what it gets you.

            Get a grip yourself. If this was RL I would get a restraining order.

          • Keeva says:

            I’m not bashing you, Bogarnn. I calmly and politely disagreed with your comment about crackle, and offered my thoughts – just as I disagreed with other people. You are the one trying to paint it as some strange vendetta.

            Oftentimes in the blogosphere, druid bloggers write about the same thing at around the same time. We comment on each others’ articles. I wrote my article, and commented on Lissannas. I agreed with part of Lissanna’s article, and disagreed with other parts. Lissanna is an adult and understands that when I disagree with her, I am not making it personal, I am not “bashing” her.

            Read up. Witness me disagreeing with Lissanna and with other people here. I didn’t come here specifically to hunt you down and “bash you”. I have been following the article since it was written, and wanted to see if there were new posts.

            At this point, your comment about throwing fits is extremely ironic to me.

          • The Gecko says:

            Three pertinent points:

            – I’m seeing a lot of opinion and conjecture stated as thought it were fact, but not a lot of fact.

            – Disagreeing and attempting to debate a point does not equate to “bashing”

            – If you want to discuss instigation, it wasn’t Keeva that said “thank you for bringing some sanity to the Druid bloggers. Some are avidly posting about this targetable Barkskin nonsense” or brought armoury achievements into it.

            I stand by my assertation that this poster is nothing but a two-bit troll.

          • Bogarnn says:

            So it’s ok for you to disagree with her… Funny the comments and tweets you made when I disagreed with you on TBJ…..I did the same thing there and got you blowing up on your tweets about people trying to be your boss and other nonsense.

            So far you have focused on one line out of each comment.

            So why do you think they should not make a NS tied ability to fix both Druids and Shaman? Or should they give targetable barkskin to them as well?

            Feel free to comment on that, otherwise I’m done wasting my text on a fiasco unrelated to the OP. Irony goes both ways. You would make a great reporter the way you snippet items to your benefit and do not tell the whole story….

          • Keeva says:

            I don’t have a problem with NS being repurposed. Or Living Seed being changed/replaced. Or something completely new being introduced. This was discussed on Twitter, IMs, forums, blog articles.. it seems you are assuming that because I’m only talking about Barkskin, I hate all of the other ideas – when really, I just didn’t care to write out all of my thoughts on all of the options. I was just commenting on Barkskin as an option – even though I don’t think it will be the cooldown, anyway.

          • Keeva says:

            Actually, here’s what I wrote on WoW Insider. It was a later comment so you may not have seen it.

            “I have no issue with a new talent or something that isn’t attached to Barkskin. I’d love to see NS improved, Living Seed made valuable, or something new introduced.

            I would like to share my Barkskin. I haven’t bothered to touch on balance issues because I don’t really think Barkskin *will* be chosen – but I think you are writing it off as OP without bothering to consider options. A Weakened Soul-type debuff or reduced effectiveness when used on a target other than the caster would be a simplistic way to touch on balance issues and the concern that 20% damage reduction on a 1min cooldown is unbalanced, particularly if you load up on resto druids.

            Regardless, I am not arguing that Barkskin is the best choice for this new cooldown. “

          • Bogarnn says:

            Everyplace I have read your comments it has been in regards to targetable barkskin. So it is not really assuming, it’s my interpretation of the data I have seen. Perhaps I may have missed posts some someplace if you have made them.

            Living Seed needs a major rework or to be dumped altogether. A big part of that is unlinking it and Efflo in it’s current state. If I could dump Living Seed and still get Efflo I would in a heartbeat right now.

            I would actually like to see those 2 talents unlinked and Seed reworked into the damage reduction talent. However, that would only fix Druids and not our healy Shaman friends, which is why I am more behind the NS line of thought.

            “Your Living Seed creates a damage reduction barrier that reduces incoming damage by 20/30/40% for the next 8 seconds on it’s target”

          • Bogarnn says:

            I had not sen that comment. I think i stopped after the 3rd page or so. I only browse a lot of theses sites while at work, and sadly sometimes I have to actually work… >:~D

            “particularly if you load up on resto druids.” Unless the being targetable portion is somehow linked to being in Resto spec, that would be a great concern to me. I have a hard enough time playing Lazer chicken when I have to switch over when my raid needs me to lol. Needing to add in worrying about that CD would drive me insane. I much prefer Bear, but due to raiding constraints I do not have that luxury of having that for my off spec currently. It would be even worse for a feral cat to try and do that I imagine.

          • Bogarnn says:

            actually on second thought. To give it more Druid flavor.
            Rename Living Seed to Living Vines.
            Tooltip “You encase your target in a barrier of living vines that reduces incoming damge by 20/30/40% for the next 8 seconds”

            % based on number of points in the talent to keep it with the current 3 talent points.

        • The Gecko says:

          Crackle just deals ~100k damage to the entire raid. If you’re arguing purely a “damage mitigated” standpoint, it doesn’t really matter who barkskin is cast on, as it’s going to prevent ~20k of that damage no matter what. This is exactly what you have access to today if you’re using barkskin on crackle, ~20k damage mitigation on some burst.

          And let me reiterate here, if casting barkskin on yourself is the optimal choice, then you *can still do that* – in every situation where casting it on yourself is not the optimal choice, then having the ability to target someone else becomes a quantifiable benefit.

          If it is indeed ideal to cast barkskin on yourself, then you have nothing to worry about, because the right choice would still be to cast it on yourself. If the best use of barkskin is on another player, but you’re complaining that you will have to cast it on them, you are telling me that given the choice, you would not want to cast barkskin on the most valuable target.

          Since you’re complaining that you’d be forced to cast it on someone else, we can assume that you already realize that casting Barkskin on another target is more often than not a better use of the spell than on yourself, so one has to ask, why do you want to continue casting it on yourself so much? (remembering that when it is indeed a good call to self-Barkskin, you still have that option)

          One final (unrelated to mechanics) note: Stop being such a drama queen about the TBJ thing. Keeva’s exact words were “feel free to disagree – but it’s not your place to tell me what to write in my blog”, in response to you telling her not to recommend the barkskin change. Hardly the actions of a dictator admin, brutally crushing all dissent.

          • Bogarnn says:

            Gecko, Keeva?, whoever you really are… Since you are doing the exact same thing as Keeva I’m questioning your identity. Pulling out single lines to try to make your own argument look intelligent. I will concede one point to you, “bashing” was the incorrect terminology to use in that scenario. I stand corrected and admonished.

            You missed the below quotes directly from her tweets:
            Keeva quotes.
            1-“Go write your own blog if you disagree with my posts! You’re not my boss.”
            2- “Some tool”

            Can you see why I had no desire to converse with her further in the first place? Hence, I did not mention her name anywhere. Did not comment on any of her posts anywhere else in regards to this topic or any other. I was trolling? Please give me your definition of that!! I think it’s different from Webster’s. A big part of “trolling” as I understand it is using an anonymous identity as part of this process… Like umm… The Gecko!
            another definition I found which I think fits your situation precisely Geckeeva…
            “using several identities on a board to support your own arguments / stage pretend arguments ”

            Gecko, Your rating is -1/10 for trolling. I promise I will not feed the true troll after this.

          • Lissanna says:

            Bogrann & everyone, it’s time to tone things down a little bit. I’m fine with disagreements, but lets not make it personal. There is no fighting on my blog.

            Keeva is someone whose opinion I respect even when we disagree. Because of that, I would like to assure Bogrann that Keeva & Gecko are different people (ie. different IP addresses), and that implying otherwise is rude.

            Blogging would be boring if everyone just agreed with each other. However, it is also important to respect people whose opinions are different than your own.

            I believe that this thread is basically done at this point, so I’m closing comments for now, as I don’t tolerate name-calling or finger-pointing in discussions about class mechanics.

  28. Fourier says:

    It would be great if our cooldown worked well with our HOT method of healing rather than just being a regular damage reduction CD.

    What about a cooldown like,
    For the next 3 seconds, all incoming damage on the target will be reduced by 20%. Furthermore, the rest of the damage shall be spread into a dot which shall tick every second for 8 seconds after the 3 second buff has been expired.

    That could probably be worded better or have different numbers for the time durations to be balanced, but the general concept would be to convert burst damage into a dot that would be easier to heal with hots. What are your opinions on this?

  29. Chiraa says:

    Well, if Blizz can get past their statement of not giving resto druids a NEW spell… why does it have to be barkskin that is used. It can have a similar effect and be called something else. Its not that hard.

    They definitely can’t take away barkskin for tanks, its one of the main short CDs that is used constantly in bear tanking. Part of the normalization of tanking CDs that all tanks got.

    NS is a terrible CD now for both druids and shammys in PvE. Using it with HT doesn’t hit hard enough to save a tank, even assuming there are hots rolling on him. I have recently been macroing it to rebirth instead of HT. Much better use of NS. Of course I could probably drop it too, and pick up another point in Efflorescence, since I’m currently not maxed. Or maybe I will buff my Rejuv some more.

    I don’t really see how/why NS makes sense to be a tank CD tho, unless that talent is just replaced by another one. Of course, they could reduce the amount of points in LS or Efflorescence and add another talent for the CD. That would give us a real choice in whether we talent into raid healing or tank healing or find a way to pick up both. In fact it makes more sense for Eff to be off on its own as a talent/talent rank set and for the tank CD to have the LS requirement.


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