So, now that I’ve covered how symbiosis works, lets take a look at how I would assign my 5 druids to their Symbiosis targets in my 25-man raids. Assume for now that Symbiosis looked exactly like it does in Beta right now (see list on MMO-champion).
In this case, lets take a log from DS where we had 5 of our druids all show up for a raid. We have two moonkin, one resto tree, one feral cat, and one guardian bear. We have to decide who those five druids are going to cast Symbiosis on. We have 20 other raid members, including: 1 DK tank, 4 hunters, 1 warlock, 1 mage, 3 rogues, 2 shadow priests, 2 elemental shaman, 1 DK DPS, 1 resto shaman, 2 healing priests, 2 holy paladins.
I’ll highlight the actual decisions in brown so they are easier to see.
Okay, so who gets Symbiosis?
- We know that DKs get a nice damage reduction cooldown, so someone has to cast it on Ranico (our DK tank). In this case, we’ll assign Ariano (our feral tank) to put Symbiosis on Ranico, since Bone Shield for our bear is probably her best option. This is an obvious trade, so lets lock that one down.
What can the other classes in my raid get from us?
- Well, my raid’s holy paladins don’t need rebirth since we already have more breses than we know what to do with.
- Maybe we could give our warlock rejuv, but Ponerya has already expressed some disinterest in having that.
- We could give tranquility to the shadow priests, but we already have 3 DPS with tranquility in the raid at this point, and having more DPS casting healing cooldowns will just hurt our ability to beat enrage timers we’re already struggling with on some of the heroic bosses we are learning.
- As much as our rogues like pretending they are tanks, giving them a taunt is more likely going to cause raid wipes, though it could help them soak on H Morchok if it didn’t taunt the boss causing them to instantly die and instead just gave them increased armor. However, the taunt pretty much guarantees instant death as they get crit in the face.
- Giving dash to hunters wouldn’t hurt, I suppose, but they already have a lot of movement tools.
- Since I haven’t used solar beam like at all in dragon soul, I’m pretty sure the elemental shaman don’t need an ability that is worse than the interrupts they already have.
- I’m not sure what my resto shaman could do with the ability to prowl. I’m pretty sure she’d just laugh at me and use it for screwing around on our 10 minute break.
- I think I’d have to pay Beefbus actual RL money to cast healing touch in dragonsoul, though I could be wrong. Maybe just gold would suffice.
- Since I haven’t rooted anything in dragonsoul, I’m pretty sure roots isn’t helpful for the healing priests.
- I’m not sure if my DPS DK benefits from their version of shrooms, since I’m not sure if it is a better spell than the ones they already have in MoP to apply their blood plague and frost feaver.
Okay, so since none of the other people in our raid benefit very much from receiving our potential Symbiosis buffs, what do we get from them for casting it? Maybe that will help us decide.
- With two moonkin, I’ll assign myself to put it on our mage (beefbus), so I can have mirror images. This will help me unload DPS easier at the beginning of a pull and gives me a minor DPS increase. Go go tree buddies! Oh wait, since mirror image was the only damage increase ability (as incredibly minor as it is), and we only had one mage, that’s going to cause drama issues for Talious who is going to be jealous that I was selfish and stole the mage. Well crap, that means I have to give the mage to Talious instead to prevent hours of potential drama. Maybe we could take turns and just hope that we never have a raid where all three of our moonkin can make it (since Opalbreeze, our third moonkin, was absent from raid that day). So, the consensus here is that Talious the moonkin gives symbiosis to Beefbus our mage.
- Okay, so what do I get if I can’t put it on the mage? Well, I could have antimagic shell or improved barkskin (ie. unending resolve). Either of those would be helpful on our heroic Ultraxion attempts so I can soak the damage part of that fight. I have no use for misdirect because we already have four hunters. There isn’t any fights where Hammer of Justice seems useful in Dragonsoul. We already have tons of priests with mass dispel for the one fight where people actually dispel things. We don’t really need a fourth purge, since we have three shaman already. I don’t have a warrior for intervene, not that it would be useful anyway. So, I’ll put it on Castela, so I get antimagic shell (which I’ll use maybe two or three times in the raid, while I work on recruiting more mages on our 10 minute break), and Castela will get Wild Mushroom: Plague. Not sure how helpful that is for our DK, but it’s the best I can come up with.
- Okay, three down, two to go! Lets do our cat DPS druid next. He likes having things that increase his damage output and would prefer soulswap, feral spirit, or redirect. Well, I can’t let him cast it on a rogue, because the rogues would think it was funny to try and use Symbiosis even if it caused raid wipes. Since soulswap probably doesn’t leave your bleeds on the original target, and there aren’t a lot of fights where you’d need to swap your bleeds, lets go with a shaman so that it’s an ability useful on any fight, even if it’s a tiny DPS increase. So, lets say he gets to put it on Kanedias, the elemental shaman, so that he gets feral spirits, and Kanedias gets a solar beam he won’t ever actually use.
- Last but not least, we have to figure out what Juvenate gets. He wants the original paladin spell (hand of sacrifice), but since that was deemed too powerful, it got taken away by Blizzard already. The choice then should probably be for Juv to get a personal survivability cooldown. So, he gets to put it on Zweibel the hunter (our raid leader), so that Zweibel can have dash, and Juvenate gets Deterrence.
Yes, that’s right, with 5 druids in my raid, it could take a couple hours to work out symbiosis targets, with no one (other than the tanks) actually getting anything that was worth having to spend an hour before raid every night deciding this, since we don’t always have the same people. It actually gets worse if you need to swap symbiosis targets for different fights. If my moonkin needed mass dispel from a priest for Zon’ozz and then antimagic shell from a DK for Ultraxion, we could start adding on additional layers of complexity to the puzzle, where we may have to stop and switch symbiosis targets, glyphs, and talents between fights – further slowing down our raid progress.
So, what’s the fix for this? I’m not really sure. I hope this at least highlights the fact symbiosis is incredibly complicated any time you have more than one druid in the raid, and that it’s possible that Symbiosis just isn’t going to work for our class. At the very least, we need to be scrutinizing the spell lists to make sure that the druid is getting worthwhile PvE options, and that we’re giving things to other classes that are likely to be useful in many different types of situations.