Efflorescence and tranquility updates.

So, as I posted in my last post, there were 2 bugs: 1 for efflorescence and one for the tranquility cooldown reduction effect. Both of those have  now been addressed by Blizzard, so I figured it was time for a follow-up post:

First, the Tranquility cooldown reduction will be attached to Malfurion’s Gift, which is fine since it’s a talent everyone should have anyway.

This buff is nice, however, there is one thing that has me nervous: Shaman got a damage-reduction cooldown in the latest forum version of the PTR notes (a really cool air totem that does an AOE damage reduction), and all druids have gotten so far is a cooldown reduction on tranquility (which doesn’t provide a damage reduction buff). Combined with giving away battle res to DK’s, this leaves druids in a very tenuous place in terms of desirability – because lowering tranquility’s cooldown does absolutely nothing to address the desirability of druids in a raid. All it does is allow us to use it up to twice a fight instead of just once – but we still have to time when to use it based on boss effects (so in some cases, we’ll still only use it once to make sure it’s available when we absolutely need it – and in some fights, I still don’t remember to use it at all). A lower CD on tranquility is NOT equal to shaman’s new totem, PW: barrier, or pain suppression, etc. It heals up damage after the fact, but doesn’t reduce the amount of damage they take. I’m HAPPY for shaman (my level 83 shaman is happy to get a new toy). However, I’m worried that druids aren’t going to get what we were also promised in the same patch where they’re taking a sledgehammer to the one thing that promised druid raid desirability (bres).

Now for some actually good news:

Blizzard released their plans for efflorescence:

The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we’re actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We’ll have more details at a later time.

Which was followed by a new patch note:

Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.

This new version is better than the old version. The old version used to do tiny bits of unimportant healing on a lot of people – which may have added up after a while, but didn’t feel like it was contributing much to the raid. The new version is a “smart” ground-targeted effect, where it’s going to focus all it’s energy on the most injured players (instead of “wasting” healing on people who didn’t need it but were still standing there to water down it’s effect).

As described at Rank 4 HT, the real buff is in the haste scaling, where the new haste goal for us will potentially be the 2005 haste breakpoint if Efflorescence & WG both share that breakpoint to gain a new tick. The overall % healing buff to the spell is more substantial for smaller raid sizes than larger raid sizes – but it also prevents efflorescence from being “watered down” with a large number of people standing in it (BUT it will also no longer heal a large # of people – so there is definitely a trade-off).

Right now, the theorycrafting and blogging community appears to be supporting this newer version over the old “weak healing rain” version. We haven’t been able to test it much on the PTR, but I would expect a flood of more testing & information to happen over the next couple weeks.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted March 4, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I understand that druids may want a damage réduction cd, but please, please, don’t compare your “lack” of CD to a possible totem reducing damage by 10%.

    Druids currently have Tree of Life and Tranquility which really are raid savers in my opinion (at least in 10-man). And you could totally get a damage reduction CD before 4.1 hits live servers :)

    Having played a disc priest before I often think “time for Divine Hymn”, but all I have right now as a shaman is HIT CHAIN HEAL HARDER and praying.

    • Lissanna
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      there’s still a difference between the ability to heal up damage after it happens and people get dangerously low vs. the ability to keep people from getting dangerously low in the first place. Tranquility & tree form add to our overall throughput, which we WILL be balanced around, such that our overall output won’t be higher than other classes. Tranquilty counts towards total damage healed.

      If total damage healed is relatively standardized across classes, than tranquility & tree form are already accounted for & balanced versus the amount healed by other classes. Tranquility & tree form DO NOT REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE TAKEN. While shaman have chain heal, druids don’t have any direct AOE heal at all. So, when people take heavy burst damage, all we can do is either pop tree form, tranquility, or pray that someone else heals them up with their AOE direct heals

      The point of the new cooldowns were to address the fact that 2 classes lacked damage reduction. It’s still something druids lack. I’d be happy with a single-target damage reduction I could put on a tank and let the shaman get an AOE one for the purpose of class unique-ness. However, I’d bench a resto druid over anyone else who can reduce the amount of damage taken. For resto druids, tranquility & tree form is how we increase output in times where other classes have direct AOE healing tools to deal with and resto druids’ HOTs can’t cut it.

      Shaman need their new toy. However, druids were told we’d be getting a new toy in the same post that addressed the shaman ability – and reducing the cooldown on tranquility just means our throughput total possibly went up without adding an actual damage reduction ability (meaning if our throughput gets too high, we’ll just get nerfed back down without having the damage reduction that now all three other classes have & we don’t).

      They also neutered resto druid desirability by further reducing the need for a resto druid for Bres.

    • Deandre - Dalaran
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      It’s less that we want to compare it to your new toy, and more that we’re worried that Blizzard is just going to put a new coat of paint on an old toy and give it to us again when they promised both of us a new toy.

    • Verdus
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      There are two things that you need to keep in mind here.

      First is that there’s a very big difference between a tank-saving cooldown and a raid-saving cooldown. ToL and Tranq are both raid-saving cooldowns. What druids have been asking for has been a tank-saving one, and it sounded like that’s what we were going to get. That said, shamans don’t seem to have either, and I’m very glad that you’re getting some love in that department.

      That, of course, brings us to my second point, specifically that the 10% damage reduction isn’t what makes the proposed Spirit Link Totem so amazing. It’s the health-pooling aspect. Properly used, it will make a tank nigh-impossible to kill for those six seconds that it’s active. You can’t whittle down a target under that kind of effect. Unless it’s an outright killing blow, against a target that will typically be at high health, it effectively doesn’t count. Their health will just shoot right back up at that next per-second tick, with the health of everyone else in range dropping ever-so-slightly. That’s an amazing and very unique capability, plus it’s Spirit Link to boot. I’m happy for you guys.

      I just hope they have something equally awesome in mind for us druids. At least, I hope it’s better than the non-solution than a three-minute Tranquility is. :-\

  2. Xerian
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I agree with Zahia there, a 10% damage reduction is not a CD at all. But I hope for all shamans and druids out there you’ll get something similar to pain suppression and stuff soon :)

    • Lissanna
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      It’s an AOE damage reduction effect and not a tank-targeted AOE damage reduction effect. It fills a role that will possibly be very helpful in upcoming content.

  3. Rauxis
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    “Spirit Link Totem (new talent) reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3-minute cooldown.”

    This is a quite powerful cooldown – IMHO not so much due to the 10% reduction, but because of the health distribution. It completely removes single target spike damage. Now I have no idea how that translates into current raiding (as far as how important dealing with these spikes currently is). But:

    a) it does not really help Shamans with regard to tank healing. The damage reduction is not enough to allow strategies whit a tank taking more damage then his max HP in a single hit.
    b) I’m curious that there is no “debuff” associated with it’s use; if raiding content suddenly makes stacking Shamans desirable due to this new CD I bet it will be implemented; otherwise I think it will rather fall into the same category as “Stampeding Roar” – looks good on paper, helpful but not overpowered – so I rather think this is a tool to help Shamans with their overall desirability.
    c) Blizz also stated that Resto Druids are “close to overpowered” in PvP – it will be interesting to see if and how they solve this dilemma;

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

  4. Cenarîus
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve just had a thought….. what about instead of a so called “damage-reduction” ability, our Efflorescence is a “permanent” AoE heal which heals ALL members in the circle for 8/10/12% healing of the swiftmend heal? Then when we next cast Swiftmend, the AoE circle changes to where our target is now currently standing?

    It would then help with tank healing, by adding to the Lifeblooms and Rejuvenations, as well, it then means that raid healers can cast it to heal groups constantly.

    For example during the Magmaw encounter, the healers and range groups clump up on the 2 convergence points. Having a “constant” AoE healing effect would help mitigate the Magma Spits and Lava Bursts.

    For other encounters, where Melee DPS need healing, they can all stand in the AoE and gain the benefits.

    Obviously for something as powerful as the effect I am suggesting, the healing perhaps wouldn’t be as powerful as the 8/10/12% of the actual Swiftmend heal, but I am sure that the amount of healing designated would be rationalised out.

    Another thought would be to perhaps add an “AoE Effect” for Efflorescence: (Assuming the 4.1 structure of Efflorescence as being the benchmark); What about whenever someone stands in the AoE green circle, they gain a buff which then reduces damage taken for the 7 seconds which it is up?

    This would solve the “damage mitigation” with which us fellow druids lack as well as make Efflorescence useful in 5-mans, and more useful in 10-mans: however one could argue that this would be a “fair” trade because on encounters where players spread out, this would be slightly lacking. However the radius of Efflorescence is about 10 yards so 2-3 people could still be inside it.

    Or they could just make Tranquility have a 1 min cool down and cost 5,000 mana….

    • Cenarîus
      Posted March 5, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      EDIT: When I state “… heals ALL members in the circle for 8/10/12% of the swiftmend heal?”, I mean per second of course.

      • Lissanna
        Posted March 5, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Swiftmend is on too short of a cooldown to be our damage mitigation ability thru efflorescence.

        We’re better off having a single-target tank damage mitigation attached to swiftmend.

        • Cenarîus
          Posted March 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Yeah thats why in the second part of my post, I spoke about it being a permanent AoE heal….

          i.e. When you cast it, the green circle appears below your target, and then instead of it disappearing after 7 seconds, it stays in that spot for say…. 1 minute? it then allows you to take it off the tank or assigned group to throw out a burst of healing on a target whom is taking a lot of damage, and then return it to the tank or your group once it is over.

  5. Finn
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    My dad used to do this to me as a kid when he went away on business trips, he would be like “Oh I’ve gotten you a BIG surprise!” and I would totally build up in my head what awesome toy he could have gotten me and he would come home and it would be like a book.

    I feel very much the same way regarding what we’ve seen thus far with resto druids, I really feel the 3 minute tranquility is the big cooldown promised. That really pisses me off. We got no new spells, now resto shaman have gotten a second new spell and they got back some utility. And we got a revamped tranquility.

    Tranquility really does not save lives in heroic encounters, but the disc priests do. For heroic maloriak, it’s not my tranquility that is keeping my raid alive, it’s our holy paladin and disc priest. When either don’t show up, we don’t attempt the fight for the night.