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Posts Tagged ‘Healing’

PTR updates nerf druid healing again

Well, guess the devs were serious about nerfing Rejuv.

Resto talent: Gift of the Earthmother: Redesigned. This talent now increases spell haste by 2/4/6/8/10% instead of its previous effect. (Previously: Reduces the base global cooldown of your Rejuvenation, Lifebloom and Wild Growth spells by 4/8/12/16/20%.)

Basically, HOT’s lose 10-15ish% haste, direct spells gain 10% haste. My short thoughts:

  • Haste is useful again and is no longer a serious cap for 25-man trees.
  • Rejuv blanketing is dead. Rejuv (combined with new Rejuv glyph) will now be a reactive cast, not proactive. More on this once the new glyph can be tested.
  • Long live Regrowth blanketing! (Seriously…it’s not going to be that much slower now than Rejuv was, and has the long-lasting HOT for Swiftmending. Just think of it as the T8 bonus on steroids).
  • Nourish is fast enough already, it didn’t need a haste buff.  Ah well. Hey, Non-NS+HT might play a small role again! We’re back to classic WoW!
  • Everyone’s going to go back to picking up Celestial Focus, probably.
  • Also, nobody’s talking about it, but Lifebloom got NERFED AGAIN! Let’s check the history (copied from WoWWiki):
    • Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.
    • Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Mana cost of all ranks doubled. When Lifebloom blooms or is dispelled, it now refunds half the base mana cost of the spell per application of Lifebloom, and the heal effect is multiplied by the number of applications.

Lissanna’s done the heavy lifting on analysis as usual, so check her post out. She’s also looked at the new idols (meh…T9+10%, done.). Also see Kae and Keeva for their thoughts.

Hey, at least we got this: Rebirth: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.

So now that our HPS is down and people die because of it, we can rez them faster! :) (Kidding. I think.) It’d be nice if there was a way to implement this like Bloodlust/Heroism, to where it’s a short CD for wipes but long CD for re-use.

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Druid set bonus analysis

So, I woke up this morning, saw that the T10 set bonuses had been released (including a VERY puzzling Resto bonus), and hit my usual blogs expecting some informed discussion.

Guess what? Apparently, nobody cares about the bonuses, and what they mean for upcoming fights, etc., etc., they’d rather complain about how hideous the T10 Resto Druid helm looks. Confession time: I have honestly no idea what most of my armor pieces look like…I’ve had my helm turned off ever since I got the gimp mask (better known as the Titan-Forged Leather Helm from WG). Anyway, now that we know what really motivates our beloved resto druid bloggers, let’s take a look at the druid set bonii.

Bear 2P Bonus – Your Swipe (Bear) and Lacerate abilities deal 20% additional damage.

This is a decent bonus. The extra damage on Swipe is nice for AOE tanking, obviously, and since every tank class got an AOE ability buffed with the 2p, I’d imagine that we’ll have a good bit of that in Icecrown. (Not to mention that our AOE range on Swipe was increased.) Lacerate only accounts for about 10% of our damage, so it’s not as good a bonus as it is for, say, the prot warriors, who got their 20% buff on Shockwave and Shield Slam.

Bear 4P Bonus – Your Enrage ability no longer decreases your armor and instead decreases all damage taken by 12%.

This is a VERY nice bonus. (of course, all the tanks got something like this for their 4p). 12% mitigation every 10s works out to an extra 2% mitigation overall; of course, with something like this, you may very well end up chaining it with Barkskin for a 32% mitigation effect every minute. Can’t wait to see the boss that these cooldowns were built for.

Cat 2P Bonus – The cost of your Rip ability is reduced by 10 energy.

This is pretty bad. Let’s do some quick mental math. With the Glyphs of Rip and Shred, a Rip lasts 22 seconds (12s + 4s for Rip glyph + 3*2s for Shred glyph) Assuming you can keep 100% Rip uptime, the set bonus saves you 10 energy every 22s, or roughly 27 energy per minute. That’s about half of one Shred…so you get an extra Shred every minute and a half or so. That puts it around 80 extra dps, assuming an average Shred hits for 7k damage.
However, you’re not going to be able to keep a 100% Rip uptime. It’ll certainly be boss dependent, but I’d probably cut calculated dps values for the set bonus by a third to a half for single-target fights, depending on movement/phases/etc. Add fights are a more interesting case, though, since you’ll be able to Rip a second earlier then usual. For comparison’s sake, I’d say the 2pT9 bonus is worth double this.

Cat 4P Bonus – The periodic damage done by your Rake ability can now be a critical strike.

This sounds great! The theorycrafters are going to have to give the final word on this one, but our crit rates are going to be through the roof, so a 6-7% DPS increase seems about right. We’ll have to see what the stats look like on the Tier gear to know whether this signals the death of ArPen stacking…the crit from agi now benefits an additional ability, but the agi cap’s getting mighty close, as I predicted in my ArPen FAQ.

Restoration 2P Bonus – The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 0% less over time.

As I mentioned in the comments to my previous post, this is pretty good, but not game-changing. If I remember my WG numbers right, it hits for about 800 to start, then 760, 720, etc., ending at 560. 4760 total per target. If they remove the cost reduction, that’ll jump to 800*7=5600. That’s a very nice increase, about 17%. Unfortunately, due to the mechanics of the spell, the last few ticks (which gain the most from the set bonus) usually get overhealed. Lisanna thinks (and I agree) that the 0% is a placeholder, and that they’ll eventually settle on a partial cost reduction, but not total. 50% sounds about right to me.

Restoration 4P Bonus – Each time your Rejuvenation spell heals a target, it has a 2% chance to jump to a new target at full duration.

Wow. Ok, let’s break this down. There’s several big unknowns here:
1. Does it “jump” (ala PoM) or copy? If it “jumps,” (i.e. Rejuv falls off current target, starts fresh on second target) then I’d call the set bonus harmful, not beneficial. I can’t believe Blizz would do that, so let’s call it a copy (i.e. every Rejuv tick has a 2% chance to create a Rejuv on another player)
2. How is the target picked? Smart targeting makes this more useful; random targeting, not so much. Will it jump to a target that already has Rejuv? If so, will it just refresh the HOT or add a full duration of time? Does it have a range limitation? I’ll assume random targeting/refreshing/all players in range.
3. Is the new HOT affected by Nature’s Splendor (does it get the 3 extra seconds?). Is it Swiftmendable? Let’s say yes/yes.

Basically, it boils down to this. In 3.2, you could roll Rejuv on 15 targets (while keeping WG on CD.) Now, you can keep it up on 12. Each Rejuv has a 10% total to proc another Rejuv, so we’ll end up with slightly over 13 targets having it, if the heal is smart. If not, we’re looking at 12.5, since half those Rejuvs will be wasted on people who already have it. Someone explain to me how this is a good set bonus, as currently written?

Balance 2P Bonus – When you gain Clearcasting from your Omen of Clarity talent, you deal 15% additional Nature and Arcane damage for 6 seconds.

I’m not as familiar with Moonkin as I am with other specs, so I can’t do any math on this, but it sounds fairly weak. OOC generally procs about 2x/min or so for moonkin, so you’re looking at 12 seconds of buff time per minute, for a theoretical 3% damage bonus. Unfortunately, you’re going to lose some of that due to spells not perfectly matching the buff duration. I also have no idea how it stacks with Eclipse or other stuff, which would make it better.

Balance 4P Bonus – Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 5% of your spell’s damage over 4 seconds.

That’s it? A 5% damage boost, but only on crits, and only on SF and Wrath, drops it to like 2% (assuming the DOT’s don’t overwrite, which would REALLY suck). That’s horrible (considering the Feral DPS 4p)

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Trees: Support healer role?

As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, I feel that Blizzard is quietly nudging trees into a “support healer” niche, and I’d like to explain what I mean by that. (Note: My tree set is off-spec, and I’m by no means in a progression guild; these are just my impressions. Let me know if I’m wildly off base.)

As it stands right now, a good raid healing tree is using every GCD to roll Rejuv on as much of the raid as possible. A 10m raid (or a 25m raid with 2 trees) can have a Rejuv on 90% of its members 90% of the time, and generally should. Why?

  • Rejuv is swiftmendable. This is by far the biggest reason…what kills most non-tanks in raids is burst damage which beats a healer’s reaction time, not sustained, grinding damage. (Non-exiting-fire raiders excepted.) Of all the spells in all the various healers’ toolboxes, SM “gets there the fastest with the mostest.” Landing an instant swiftmend on someone usually means they’re not going to die. Sure, each class has long CD’s for that instant save, but you’re only using those once per fight, maybe twice. SM’s cooldown is short enough that you’ll generally always have it available.
  • Rejuv buffs Nourish for SM followup as needed.
  • Rejuv is proactive. It ticks every 3s…so if someone takes burst damage, they’re going to get a +1500hp bump within 1.5s (on average) even without any action on the healer’s part. Will that save someone? Not by itself, no, but I’ve seen many raiders get saved by a combination of Rejuv/JoL/ILOTP/glyphed HL/POM bounce/etc.
  • Rejuv is totally cheap on mana.

With the 3 sec nerf to Rejuv’s duration (Yes, Blizzard can call it a “bug fix” all it wants, but a bug fix doesn’t sit this long), this strategy is diminshed. Sure, it’s still workable, but the chances are better that you WON”T have a rejuv up on that target taking burst damage…better hope your NS+HT is off cooldown.  (It might be time to relook the HT glyph.) Now, this doesn’t even address the issue of raid multi-target burst damage, which is definitely not a tree’s strong point. (Remember KT when Frost Blast chained to 4 melee while the priest was MC’d? You’re only saving 2, assuming average reaction time. Sometimes playing God sucks.) Now, from a design perspective, I think I prefer this, as the RJx5, WG, repeat rotaion was pretty boring. It’s just going to take some adjustment.

Now, if we get the huge HP buff to all classes that the devs have been talking about, then reaction time becomes much less of a consideration, and concepts like mana efficiency become much more important. From there, I see Druids happily settling into the low HPS/high HPM AOE niche; HOT’s become much more of a consideration when you’re dealing with a larger HP pool that can handle some variance. Pallies become the high ST HPS class; HPriests take the high AOE HPS spot; DPriests share the low HPS/high HPM space with Druids; and Shammies fall awkwardly in the middle, which results in an avalanche of complaining on the WoW boards that nobody reads. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. :))

Anyway, that’s the way I see it happening; feel free to disagree, flame, or meander off-topic in the comments. :)

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Druid roundup

Work, ugh. Quick roundup of good druid posts from other sites since I don’t have the time to do my own:

Bears: Kalon at Thinktank has updated his gear guide to include Ony and PVP gears. Basically: Top-tier PVP gear (Relentless) is close to BIS, just behind 25-man heroic gear. PVP gear = more survivability; PVE gear = more threat. An invaluable resource as always.

Cats: Not much new here; so I’ll take the opportunity to tout FeralByNight again. FBN is a DPS rotation tool that continually analyzes several factors (your buffs and their time remaining, # of CP’s, energy, boss HP, positioning) to give you the “best-choice” solution for maximum DPS. It’s not perfect, and you won’t get your max DPS until you learn when to go against its reccomendations, but it’s perfect for learning feral priorities.

Moonkin: Graylo and others have talked about WiseEclipse, the addon that can increase your dps considerably by maximizing your Eclipse uptimes. Read Graylo’s post at Gray Matter for more details.

Trees: Some discussion about the nerf to Rejuvenation in 3.3 at Restokin. Blizzard seems to be gently but firmly pushing us into the “support healer” role by nerfing our ability to heal burst raid damage. I might expand this into a full post later, if I get a chance.

Bear guide to continue soon(TM).

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A very fluid night

I just had one of those playing nights that reminded me how OP druids are much fun I have now having a druid main. (BTW, There’s an excellent post on Altosis about how the continued accumulation of achievements, mounts, pets, etc. has made mains “more mainy,” and some good discussion about hybrid classes vs. pure classes. Check it out.) 

  • 8:30 PM: Joined my casual guild’s Ulduar 25 raid, as a tree. (I haven’t been raiding much recently, since I’ve been spending more time with my family, so it was nice to be back.) Guild had been working on him for two weeks, mostly struggling with construct tanking, from the overheard vent chatter. I log in, sub in for a DPS, and we one-shot him. (Yeah, it was all me! Really!) :)  2nd or 3rd HPS for the fight, if I remember correctly, a nice belt replacement for my healing set, and I finally got the Siege 25 achievement done. Went on to Iron Council…almost one-shot, but had a bad death rune/lightning whirl combo on Runemaster. Tried a couple more times, but Steelbreaker kept one-shotting our tank with rune-powered punches, so we called it for the night.
  • 10:30 PM: Switched to my Bearcat spec, pulled top DPS during a H Oculus run (daily), and did the 4 Ruby + healer strat on Eregos to get the Emerald/Amber Void achievements. Incredibly easy.
  • 11:15 PM: Win the easiest Wintergrasp ever…wow. On defense, I usually go resto and heal the zerg, but there was no zerg. Horde only had 1 workshop for probably 90% of the battle. Cool moment: About 6-8 horde successfully reached the wall, killed a couple of our guys and started clearing turrets. I ran back into the keep, spec-changed/gearswitched to Feral (Outfitter/DualSpec addons, how I love you for two-click changes. BTW, Does anyone else feel that they need a phone booth or something when they change gearsets?), stealthed out to the group, and solo-killed the 2 demos that were rolling in before getting zerged. “Kitty’s in ur rear, shredding ur demos!”
  • 11:30 PM: Join a PUG VoA 10…I offer to tank or heal, but incredibly, we have enough of each, so I stay dps. One of the tanks bites it on Koralon at about 20%, so I blow my last CP”s and shift to bear, eating the Meteor Fists with SI+Barkskin. Sure, I died pretty quickly as the healers weren’t prepared…but I got the tank through that Meteor Fists, giving the rest of the raid enough time to finish him. AND…got my first piece of T9! It’s not much of an upgrade, though, going from T8.25 legs to T9.10, though, so now I’ve got to rethink my EOT gear strategy. I had planned to buy the Duskstalker shoulders next (since I’m still using the T7.25 in that slot, with 4pT8), but I may buy the T9 gloves first for the 2pT9 set bonus, since I’m using T8.10 in that slot. Hmm.

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