Normalizing mana across the board is going to force druids to change the way we play. Being an intellect based regen class, we were able to cut ourselves down to unreal amounts of spirit in favor of other secondary stats. However, we are now being forced into stacking spirit like the other healers. This has a positive side and a negative side. On the good side of the issue, our options on gear should open up a lot more. In the past, we have avoided spirit based pieces in favor of higher intellect gains, but now that we are going to be more reliant on spirit it will give us the option to pick up similar gear to other healers. The bad side is our primary regen ability, will no longer have the ability to be boosted by temporary stat gains. A well timed innervate along with multiple intellect procs, could restore 70 – 80% of our total mana, now innervate is going to be a stack gain across the board lowering the efficiency of our regen, and relying more our other healers to help us regen. With mana being a lot more tight, I’ve found it more difficult to efficiently keep harmony and lifebloom at near 100% uptime. My primary refresher had always been regrowth, because I had the extra mana to spare. This allowed me to keep lifebloom and harmony up at all times. Our dependency on nourish is going to go up, but in its current state we will need to see it reworked a little bit, either by lowering the cast time or raising the healing that it puts out.
Mushrooms have significantly been boosted from the initial release of the beta. The detonate on this ability is absolutely amazing in terms of efficiency, and gives us a solid burst heal. Granted that its dependent on spell power, I have been seeing each mushroom hitting for about 20k, so we are talking a 60k hit to all members within the radius of the effect. I am not sure what the AoE cap on this ability is, but I would assume that it will be similar to the boomkin version. The new placement method of setting mushrooms makes it more valuable in our rotation, and allows us to get them down quickly and effectively without wasting time like Liss pointed out earlier in a post. The only downfall I have found to this ability is trying to use it in pug groups were people run around, and you can’t get a good drop and detonate. This problem should be alleviated though, if you run in a constant guild group each week where the strategies are set. The only issue I think that really needs to be addressed with the mushrooms is their ability to refresh our mastery. It is a direct heal that costs 3 globals, it should activate harmony.
First of all, I just wanted to say that all of my concerns for resto druids were addressed in the forms of glyphs. Tree of life anyone? On a more serious note, glyph of lifebloom is something I have been requesting since they removed multiple target lifebloom. In a two tank fight, being able to swap lifebloom without wasting 3 globals will tremendously help our target switching, and effective healing. It is an almost must for a resto druid to take this glyph. I’ve been testing the benefits of glyph of lifebloom vs glyph of blooming, and there is absolutely no comparison between the two. Currently, letting your lifebloom expire will result in about a 90 – 100k heal, which is more than enough if you decide that its best to let your stacks drop off. Lifebloom is going to be our money maker in terms of mana return, because it has the chance to resto 2% base mana every 12 seconds, and should not be neglected.
The one thing that I really enjoy about the new talent set-up is that there aren’t many mandatory talents for a resto druid, and some of the ones that I would argue are mandatory probably really aren’t. You really have the option to make your game play both fun and dynamic by not being forced into a certain talent selection. We are gaining plenty of utility, as well as fun abilities. For example, wild charge could possibly have a use on encounters, but more than likely you are taking this talent to watch a tree go flying through the air and land on top of the target.
Cenarion ward is probably my favorite talented ability. The heal is really strong and it is a really passive ability. The best use I have found for it are people that are fixated by a particular ability, or ones that have aggro on a mob. The other thing to possibly consider if you run a balance spec, is that this ability can be cast while in moonkin form. As a balance druid, you will have the opportunity to provide a key heal at a moment when it might really be needed.
Incarnation vs Soul of the Forest, Round 1
I’ve been theory crafting these two abilities quite a bit, and from their current state (still early beta) they both will have their pros and cons. Right now I am in favor of Incarnation due to ToL and the bloom both being super powerful cooldowns, however Soul of the Forest will be a contender especially if it gets reworked. It really boils down to the question, do I want to go back after each fight respec to the ability that I am going to need. Some fights Soul of the Forest can be the more powerful ability in terms of throughput, however in most cases Incarnation is going to be the primary winner in terms of efficiency and throughput. I’d look for blizzard to rework these talents though, to make them a little bit closer together in terms of effectiveness.
Last but not Least, Funsies
I am going to be playing around on Lost Isle’s mainly, it is a PvE realm and I look to play with anyone that wants to play. Someone stole my name, so I had to pick the name Shakkix. Anyone that wants to come have fun before the raids open up, I’ll be around most nights and for those that can’t get into the beta you can always watch my stream and see what kind of shenaningans we are pulling today. As far as my fun ability combination of the day, I would have to say it was while doing some open world PvP with my guildies. A warrior decided that it was a good idea to charge a mage, and really give him a bad day with his bid sword. So I kindly Wild Charged over to the mage, and typhooned the warrior off the edge to his doom. When his friends were angry with me, I made sure to drop a vortex, intervene out and typhoon them down to their death. I proceeded to /flex because it felt good to be a druid again.