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Leveling advice for Resto druids 100 to 110

For leveling 100 to 110 in Legion, the artifact weapons have a large impact on your leveling choices. If you want to see what traits to pick up for your resto weapon, see my Resto end-game guide. You get your first artifact weapon at level 100 and then you can pick up all of the other 3 druid artifact weapons at level 102. For leveling, you basically have 3 options:

  1. Resto artifact weapon at 100 -> Pick up DPS (balance/feral) artifact at 102.
  2. DPS (balance/resto) artifact at 100  -> Pick up Resto artifact at 102.
  3. Stick with resto from 100 to 110 & ignore off-spec artifacts entirely.

Any of the three above approaches are viable for early leveling, depending on your particular situation. Keep in mind that if you go with a DPS artifact first, you won’t be able to heal dungeons for the first two levels. It’s almost always worth doing the quests to unlock all 3 of your off-spec weapons just because you get experience and really awesome looking weapons out of the quests, with no side-effects simply for owning an off-spec weapon. Ultimately, there are several questions that you will want to think about as you are leveling.

Can you solo quest level as resto?

Yes, restoration with one of the affinity talents is perfectly fine for leveling in Legion. In fact, resto druids get talents that allow for the fastest leveling speed for healers. You get a pretty good DPS toolset for your off-spec. There is no reason you should HAVE to level as a DPS spec if you want to level resto, given how strong the Affinity talents are. The rotations are also simplified in your Affinity spec, so you won’t have to learn overly complicated rotations for leveling as resto with an affinity spec.

Also, with the new shared mob system tapping, you can always tag things other people are attacking and follow people around some to speed up questing.

Is DPS leveling faster?

DPS leveling with artifact > Healer leveling with artifact > DPS leveling with NO artifact (See relevant testing from Healiocentric). This means that you need the DPS artifact weapon to be able to DPS level. If you pick up the DPS weapon first, then you can’t heal for the first 2 levels. So, if people are relying on you for dungeons on Day 1, then you are far better off starting resto & picking up DPS specs later on. You can always pick up a DPS weapon or go guardian for leveling at 102, even if if you start as resto. There isn’t much of a punishment if you want to change your mind and level as DPS after 102.

Overall, if you want to be able to heal dungeons at level 100, or if you are leveling with a group you are still far better off starting as resto & simply focusing on your resto artifact as you level.

What if I really want to level guardian?

Guardian has good survivability and does decent damage, so if you pick up a guardian artifact, then you are welcome to try guardian leveling. Some people seem to enjoy guardian more than resto or a DPS spec, particularly since you can survive having multiple things beating on you while you AOE them down in bear form as guardian spec. The increased survivability while pulling groups of mobs at a time can be effective (but likely less effective if you only pull 1 thing at a time). Basically, you can be a fluffy bear all you want if it works for you. The nice thing about having access to all 4 weapons at level 102 is that you can try any spec you want.

What about relics for my artifacts?

You want to equip whatever the highest ilevel relics you can to a weapon, even at max level. In the words of Spoonzilla, “Traits only matter if it’s within 5ilvl… maybe 10 if it’s a really good trait versus a really bad one. But weapon ilvl is uber important.”

For quest rewards, you can change your loot setting to get relics for the appropriate spec you want relics for (e.g., if you want resto relics while leveling balance, set your loot spec to resto). If you start leveling as DPS, it’s fine to put your first few relics into your DPS weapon to make leveling faster. You get at least one relic per zone when you clear the main story questline. There are also relics from dungeons and some can be crafted via professions, so you can buy relics from the Auction House if you get desperate. It’s only around level 107+ that you need to worry about prioritizing relics for your main weapon for getting end-game relics. When you add a new relic to a weapon, it will delete the previous relic and replace what trait is equipped to the new equipped weapon trait. Keep in mind that you will unlock the third relic slot towards the end of your artifact campaign at max level. When you get towards the end of the campaign, try to hold onto a spare Life relic to slot in your 3rd relic slot.

What about traits for my artifacts?

As a resto druid, you should be prioritizing artifact traits for your “main” resto weapon. However, artifact power (AP) is applied to whatever your equipped weapon is. Most artifact power comes from items that you have to click on to apply power to your equipped weapon. If you level balance, you can save up the AP items and apply them to your main resto weapon any time you want.

You can put 13 points into the traits of an off-spec weapon without hurting your main-spec artifact  much at all. So, early on, it won’t hurt you to invest some traits in an off-spec weapon. Beyond the 13 point, there are big trade-offs as to how far you might choose to go for multi-spec for artifacts if you want to dual-spec in raids at max level. After 13 traits, you want to finish your main weapon & then come back. Be careful though, because whatever weapon you have equipped is the one that the AP applies to. On beta, I accidentally used AP items on the wrong weapon from time to time – which slowed down my artifact leveling.

What about trinkets as I level?

Keep in mind that crafted trinkets or dungeon trinket drops will typically be fairly strong for starting out with 110 raiding. So, if you end up with a few DPS quest trinkets as you level, it won’t hurt you all that much. Dungeon trinkets will also end up being better than leveling trinkets for your raid prep. So, taking a few off-spec DPS trinkets from questing early on won’t matter all that much. You can also set your loot spec to resto at higher levels if you level/solo as a DPS spec and don’t want to grab DPS trinkets or other DPS gear.

What about legendary item drops when soloing at 110?

You can always set your loot spec to resto if you are soloing as a DPS spec, even for wold quests at max level. You will want to equip whatever world drop legendary items you get first, since you won’t get a lot of choice early on. I haven’t yet seen a single legendary item in beta. The wowhead resto guide has artifact advice if you end up being lucky enough to make choices.

Conclusion

If you want to pick up Resto and stick with it for all your soloing needs, then your Affinity talent will be perfectly sufficient. Your resto artifact increases your Affinity DPS enough that your artifact (with relics slotted to increase your weapon ilevel) is uber important. Do your leveling & solo questing as whatever spec you want. Enjoy Legion!

Posted in Leveling, Patch 7.0, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna


Legion Beta is here!

Legion Beta is in full swing now, with a large group of people being invited to help test the content. While there are a few major bugs being worked out (such as disappearing NPCs), I wanted to briefly reflect upon development thus far.

The good:

  • The druid class hall is really, really pretty. Also, the class hall concept overall works pretty well, where you are likely to see other people frequently when you visit the class hall, but have a strong reason to leave & go out into the world.
  • New druid form updates are really, really pretty. The new moonkin feels much better – it’s difficult for me to log back onto my old druid with how much better the new druids look. The cat and bear forms are looking great, especially for the artifact forms.
  • Balance druids have a good starting point, with a newly redesigned mastery, a fairly complex toolkit, and decent utility (especially picking up extra healing spells with the affinity). While there are small tweaks to balance that I expect to see before things go live, we’re at a good starting point.
  • Resto druid’s toolest is starting to come together. Resto druids have gained back innervate (utility to cast on other people), dash (you can run away again!), and cyclone (as a PVP talent). So, some of the concerns and weaknesses we were concerned about were addressed.

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To be decided:

  • Resto mastery: The biggest question mark for resto druids right now is whether or not the new mastery is good. In most situations it should overall work fine. In places where the mastery falls short, we’ll likely just see changes to how resto druids heal. In general, the new healing strategy suggests that people won’t sit at 100% all the time, so HOTs may turn out to be pretty valuable if that healing strategy actually goes live. In general, the new resto mastery seems to be growing on most people on the beta forums right now, after some tweaks to the spec seems to have made it more desirable. So, resto mastery could work out fine. If it doesn’t work out fine, I’m sure we’ll see small tweaks along the way that keeps mastery desirable for druids.
  • Healer soloing & leveling: The new specialization system and artifacts have made it somewhat more difficult for healers to level. This is likely to be more true for undergeared healers than people with lots of gear. In addition, some healer specs are better off than others (I hear that holy priest is particularly difficult).You do get some DPS abilities (druids via the affinity system could potentially be in a good place if feral or balance affinity does enough damage). However, as they balance how difficult or fast it is to kill stuff in the world, healer leveling runs the risk of being slower and more boring than DPS leveling. It will cost you up to 61 gold every time you want to change a spec to DPS. In addition, you need an artifact weapon for a spec for it to really be viable – making swapping between specs challenging for healers. So, if you pick the resto artifact first, you won’t have a DPS weapon until after you’ve unlocked the ability to get a second weapon. In my guides, I’ll put in a level 100 to 110 section for advice on leveling healers (and how to manage spec swaps), but I’m still keeping an eye on healers’ ability to solo level & solo end-game world quests. Someone suggested that healers should get a boost to their world soloing damage (that wouldn’t work against players, in dungeons, or other group content). At this point, I think that might ultimately be the best solution if testing finds that healers struggle too much at keeping up with their DPS leveling counterparts. UPDATE: Gold cost on swapping specs is being removed, which helps some with being able to swap specs for leveling & whatnot.

Conclusion: In general, the transition to beta signals that we’re getting closer to release. The class changes need to be done by the end of July, since we traditionally see a pre-patch a month before the expansion launch. At this point, I’m still pretty committed to swapping to my druid for raiding on my moonkin in Legion.

 

Posted in Beta Feedback, Druid - General, Legion, Leveling


Last week of crowdfunding for autism video game research

Hi everyone! We have now hit the last week of the crowdfunding campaign for my research lab’s autism video game intervention project (it ends on Friday, December 14th!). These last few weeks of sharing my autism intervention research with all of you has really been incredible! I have had so much support that I can’t express in words how awesome this community is. As of this morning, we have reached $3,785 towards our goal (38%). The last week of the crowdfunding campaign is always the most important, so please take some time to support my research and spread the word to your social networks!

Lissanna’s druid leveling live stream on Monday, December 10th.

  • The mighty druid Lissanna fought for nearly eight to defend Azeroth from great evils. After slaying the mighty Deathwing, she laid down her staff for the last time and went to slumber in the Emerald Dream.  What could wake this mighty druid from her slumber? On Monday, December 10th, Lissanna the druid will dawn her fighting clothes and resume the battle in Mists of Pandaria once more. This time, she fights for improving Autism Intervention Research! Come watch Lissanna and Martiean level up from 85 together!

To celebrate and promote the last week of my research lab’s crowdfuning project, I have teamed with Martiean from the WoWMartiean youtube channel.   Martiean and I will be inviting some friends to join us and live streaming our leveling party  on Monday, the 10th, from 8 to 11 PM eastern (5 to 8 Pacific). I will be bringing my druid (who is still currently level 85) out of retirement for the night to level during the live stream in support of my autism research project! What better way to support video game research than with playing video games? You can watch the stream live on Monday at the WoWMartiean Youtube Channel.

Other news: Lissanna’s Horde House podcast guest appearance

  • Earlier this week, I joined the Horde House podcast for an interview about my gaming experience, my research project, and more! You can listen to the Horde House episode recording here. The guys are a little silly, but overall I had a lot of fun doing the interview. The interview part is in the first half of the episode.

One more week to go! Thank you all for helping to make this research on autism video game interventions possible, and for showing how amazing the video game community can be! Together, we are truly showing the world the positive side of video games!

Here is the video recording of last night’s stream. You can fast forward through some of the laggy bits. Youtube isn’t the best streaming platform some days. Most of it recorded fine!

Posted in Leveling, podcast, Research on video games, Written By Lissanna


Updated guides for Mists 5.0 patch

I have updated my leveling guides for the 5.0 patch that is due to go live on Tuesday. Here are some highlights:

Resto druid healing Guide 5.0 updates

The healing guide has a brief description of the 5.0 changes. Every page has also been updated with the changes for 5.0, except for the gems & enchant section that will be updated when the leveling cap increases. The healing guide has new page featuring descriptions of the new talents, as well as some recommendations.

Druid Leveling guide 5.0 updates

Major revisions to the druid leveling guide include one page dedicated to explaining the talents for all four specializations. The leveling guide focuses more on the abilities and rotations for characters starting out at the earlier levels and how to deal with incomplete tool sets through ~level 60 for each specialization.

If you see any typos or issues in the guides, please post here. I purged most of the comments from the guides to help reduce the amount of patch-day confusion people may have. Some of the pages will still accept comments, and others have been disabled to reduce the amount of spam they get. So, posting comments here may be more reliable than trying to post on the actual guide pages. 🙂

Posted in Druid - General, Leveling, Patch 5.0, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna


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