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The joys of PTRs and bugs!

So, 4.1 has been on the PTR for a while. Like usual, the PTR testing phase is an exercise in patience and sorting out changes from bugs (both in-game AND in the patch notes). So, lets play a fun game called “it’s a bug vs. working as intended” for some resto druid changes people are talking about…

Working as Intended (at this point):

  • Lifebloom is getting nerfed. This is going to come in the form of a reduction in the amount healed by LB’s bloom, and an increase to the mana cost of LB. However, the mana change appears in some versions of the notes but not others, so this is another case of “wait and see”. I’m pretty sure this is intended to be more of a PvP nerf, but I’m not sure why they’re making this change.
  • Efflorescence has a new graphical spell animation (ie. looks less like a slime puddle). With multiple ground-covering healing effects, it’s really hard to tell the difference between bad stuff & good stuff on the floor. So, the changes to some of the ground-covering heals should help with the fact that I get blinded by spell graphics when multiple healers drop their ground-targeting heals all on the same spot.
  • Tranquility’s cooldown is being reduced. This is likely NOT the cooldown pony druids were promised. Keep an eye out for future patch notes for druids’ actual cooldown ability, and just hang in there (this is where the exercise in patience comes into play).
  • They gave DK’s a battle res that shares a res cap limit with rebirth & soulstone.  My guild always has so many druids that this doesn’t really change anything for us, but this means that battle res will not give druids any sort of advantage in terms of being invited to raids, because now they could bring a DK instead for the same thing. In the world of “bring the player”, this means that druids need to be able to stand on their own two (or four!) legs without needing Battle Res as the reason to bring us.

It’s a bug (at this point):

  • Efflorescence’s change in mechanic on the PTR is a bug (hence why it’s not actually in the patch notes). This doesn’t prevent Blizzard from changing the mechanic in the future, it’s just that the current PTR implementation is not right (ie. the healing in the combat log would say “efflorescence” if it was actually working correctly). I would expect to hear more about this spell in the future, and I’m sure the devs are open to suggestions about what to do with Efflorescence if you guys have feedback.
  • The patch notes say that there are 2 ranks for tranquility’s CD reduction tied to a passive (gift of nature) that can’t have ranks. So, either there is only one rank for that OR the tranquility CD reduction is supposed to be tied to a 2-rank talent and not gift of nature.

I’m sure there is more that I could talk about, but that’s what I’ve got figured out so far at this point. For these types of patches, they tend to release patch notes in small chunks, where an earlier note may only make sense in the context of something that will be put in the patch notes later, making the whole process something that requires a lot of patience on our parts.

Remember: Don’t Panic!

UPDATE March 3rd: The changes to the PTR now address both bugs I described above. I’ll post more info “soon”. My spring break starts Saturday, so I’ll have plenty of blogging time after I get through tomorrow. :)

Posted in Druid - General, patch 4.1, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees

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