Tomorrow’s release of Patch 5.3 brings a few changes that are important to know for Resto Druids. As such, I thought it might be worthwhile to go over a few things that you want to be aware of and ready to handle upon arriving home and logging in!
What to Expect!
Healing abilities and spells which automatically pick targets now follow consistent rules for tageting logic. Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets”
What, exactly, does this mean? It means that if you cast WG while everyone is at full life it will favor players instead of pets! This is a pretty great change all around, and one that will be favorable for resto druids.
Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-play instance.
This is pretty great change for druids raiding 25s. While I’m not entirely sure it’s going to really even the mitigation playing field, it is certainly a step in the right direction and will give tranquility a bit of a much needed boost in 25s. As always, I encourage you to find the best time to utilize tranquility in each encounter and maximize its use throughout the fight. There are lots of prime opportunities for Tranquility in ToT!
Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
This is another pretty great change for Resto, and helps add a little more diversity to the resto toolkit. At 60 seconds, ironbark can (and should!) be tossed around freely on your raid anytime someone is in danger and could use the extra survival.
Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards
While not a bad change for swiftmend, I’m not entirely confident that it’s going to have much of an overall impact on the ability. As it is, you either dump it on melee (or another clumped up group) or opt to use it on a single target (such as the tank, or someone in need of quick healing). The extended range won’t hurt, but I don’t really think it’s anything that is going to have a significant impact on our overall output either.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).
Oh Mushrooms. You have the potential to be something great, and yet we are still brought down by your cumbersome placement mechanic and overall lack of cohesion with the resto toolkit.
This change is a good one for Mushrooms – bigger heal, larger heal radius – but still suffers all of the main issues of the base spell itself. When I was talking about this with Brade the other day we decided that 2/5 of the time mushrooms will be largely overheal; 2/5 of the time mushrooms will be in the wrong spot at the time they need to be used; and 1/5 of the time mushrooms will work as intended and be moderately awesome. It’s just really hard to get excited about a buff to a spell that is horrendous in practice.
In places mushrooms were good previously, they will be even better now. In places where mushrooms make you want to kill small kittens, well…just remember that neighborhood cats will be missed.
All of that being said, the buff to mushrooms will make a single mushroom more potent, so it may be worthwhile during downtime to spread some out amongst the ranged in encounters that are very mobile and it is unlikely there will be given stack points or the melee will be all over the place (for example, I find they are pretty great during Ji-Kun’s Quills, or to quickly top up damage from Caw). Let them charge and use them during raid damage to help top folks up. It will also likely be worthwhile to try to plan in advance to drop them for significant damage phases. While it would be nice if they retained at least some of their charge if you have to replant them, it will be smart to try to keep them planted in key locations when applicable.
Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses it special abilities on the Druid’s current target and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges. Restoration version of the Treant now casts Swiftmend on the Druid’s target when summoned. This version of Swiftmend does not require or consume a heal-over-time effect on the target.
While this is a significant upgrade to this talent – it will be very hard pressed to be competitive with ToL or SotF. There may be times where it might be useful, but its usefulness is not likely to be outweighed when compared against SotF or ToL. My advice would be to play around with it in LFR, see if you like it, but to continue to stick with your preferred staples in this tier as I still don’t foresee FoN outperforming either of the other abilities available.
Important Changes that aren’t Resto Specific, but you should still know about!
Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that’s currently active. This feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the character portrait and selecting the option from the drop-down list. Loot specialization is available for bonus rolls, Raid Finder, and Pandarian quest rewards
This is a fantastic change, and one that I hope will prevent people from queuing into raid finder as a healer/dps and then changing specs to their preferred roll. It should also significantly help with the acquisition of off spec gear via raid finder.
Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player
Say it with me! “AMEN!” I don’t know about you, but using coin after coin and never having loot show up can be so discouraging. I’m happy to see that this is something that was noted and an action taken to fix. It should also make the ease of gearing an alt a little better.
Completing the Challenge Mode daily quest now awards a Heroic Cache of Treasures with a chance to contain an epic item
One more reasons to look into challenge modes! (Which I think everyone should be doing anyhow!)
Voidbinders are back in capital cities and shrines. Items upgradable by Valor now require 250 Valor to upgrade per 4 items levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 item levels per item. This is retroactive to all items that use Valor
I’m really torn. While I think these item upgrades are a relatively elegant way to “nerf” current content, having to continually VP cap is tedious and time consuming. The plus side is that the cost to upgrade an item is significantly decreased – which is good. But the time commitment to VP cap outside of raids each week continues to be cumbersome. Either way – if you are capped come Tuesday, you can do a total of 12 upgrades (or 6 total items fully upgraded).
Players can now use items that are in the bank or Void Storage for transmogrification
Always look good…without having to pay to take items in and out of void storage! Of course, if your Void Storage looks like mine, it’s chock full anyhow and you are already transmogging from your bank because that is where your gear lives anyhow.
Enjoy 5.3, and may you fell many new foes upon its release!
As always, I am happy to entertain discussion or answer questions. I’d also love to hear about your favorite 5.3 additions.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these types of updates. I could probably tell you I didn’t have much to say – but since I often did updates that were almost completely devoid of WoW information, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I think it would probably be more accurate to say that I’ve been busy…and lazy. I mean I could have easily offered an update on any number of things, but when I had my down time I simply found I wanted to do something other than write! As harsh is that might sound…honesty is best! (Right? RIGHT?!).
Whatever! I have both time and desire to write at this moment, as well as things to say! So I suppose that we should get to that before I lose any of the above.
Wait, what?! (It’s okay, I know that you are probably thinking it, I can hear the wheels turning from here!). Remember that post about the 5.3 PTR I did the other day? The one where I said I had reason to believe that I’d probably have a little more to say about druids as we moved forward? No? Okay, perhaps we should start from the beginning here. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday there were some Druid changes announced for the PTR. While these aren’t guaranteed to make it to live, I still think that it’s valuable to explore them and consider what the changes will do, and any potential consequences that may arise as a result. As such, let’s take a look at what we might be seeing here in the next couple of weeks!
Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
While it could be argued that this wasn’t strictly necessary, it is a very nice change that I’m in favor of seeing. While a lot of people view this as a “tank” CD, I’ve often found use for it on members of the raid that are in danger. Being able to use it more freely in this regard is going to be quite nice and a very strong update to the ability itself. I think it’s a very good change and I’m happy to see it go in – hopefully everyone will be a little more aggressive in using it!
Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.
While I’m happy to see an increase in range, I’ve long since taken the stance that I’m either throwing this on melee, I’m using it on myself and positioning it where I want it, or I’m using it on the tank (or someone else not grouped up) and may not be taking full effect of the ground effect. It’s nice that it’s bigger, I just don’t see it really having a huge effect on the ability overall. I could be wrong and the extra two yards could be profound! I’m just not certain that is going to be the case. Either way, it’s not a bad change. So, yay?!
Wild Mushroom: Bloom now heals all allies within 10 yards (up from 8 yards) for 100% more, and includes bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing.
This change is very interesting. While I’m not entirely thrilled that they still haven’t fixed the main issue with this ability (the extremely clunky targeting mechanic) I’m also not positive that this change, as it stands, is going to go live. Ghostcrawler clarified that both the base healing and the bonus rejuv healing is getting increased by 100% – and, well, that has the potential to be just ridiculous!
Right now a set of fully charged mushrooms can pack a punch – just placing them, charging them and blooming them is incredibly cumbersome and heavily penalized if your raid has to move after they’ve been placed/charged. With the buff, this will be even more true than it was before. Not only that, but the amount of healing mushrooms will now have the potential to unleash is going to be enormous. Like mind blowing levels of enormous. Like I’d be surprised if this pushes to live like this enormous.
That being said, if the change makes it I think it supports using your mushrooms singularly when your raid isn’t clumped up. Right now, on certain fights, I’m already just placing them under ranged or lining them up along the path the raid will be moving.
I do worry a little bit if such a big change doesn’t risk running them back towards rotational. I also dislike the fact that they encourage some poor healing to maximize their effectiveness (much in the same way I disliked the original version of Harmony). I also worry that they are going to become so much of our healing that we are going to be slow to see any changes to them (if we ever were to begin with), simply because druids will be making even more concerted efforts to use them. I suppose we will have to wait and see how it plays out. I would very much like to see some mechanical changes to the ability emerge, but it seems like Blizzard is very hesitant to head in that direction to date.
(And yes, I still hate mushrooms. So very much. I don’t care how much healing they do, until they are less cumbersome to use I will always take issue with them!)
Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.
This is a very nice change to tranquility and a buff I do think is needed to the ability. It’s very cool that they are opting to adjust it based on raid size so that it mirrors what it is able to achieve in a smaller setting. I am happy to see this change go in, and I hope that it is a buff that makes it live.
That being said…I don’t really feel that this change is going to solve much in regards to Druid woes. I talked a bit about this a couple of posts ago – but I feel it’s important to reiterate. Throughput is not the number one issue facing druids right now. Is that our toolkit is ill equipped to deal with today’s healing environment and that mitigation healing is so dominant that it stomps on the potential effectiveness of throughput healers. Sure, it’s going to promote slightly higher throughput in the situations that we utilize it – but I suspect in the big scheme of things it’s not going to be make or break (I’m hesitant to say it will have a negligible effect, because I don’t think that’s entirely true, I just don’t think it’s going to all of the sudden right resto druids).
Overall, I think these are good changes.
While I’d like to see more to even out the mitigation vs. throughput playing field I’m not really sure this patch is the place we’d see that play out. I will also admit that I was hoping for a little more relative to Ghostcrawler’s “druid changes” tweet, but will also concede that if all of these go through it is not a terrible haul.
I’m curious what all of you think about the changes! Need? Un-needed? Fixing all the wrong things?
Have you ever played any of those word association games where you see a picture and spout out the first thing that come to your mind? I’m pretty sure there’s even some psychology test with ink blots that is functionally the same idea. You see a picture, you have a reaction.
Now that you understand the rules, let’s give it a try! I’m going to post a picture below, tell you it’s from LFR and you are going to have a reaction. Let’s see if it works!
What was the first thing that came to your mind? If it was “how many times will we wipe to this” or “I wonder how many people will die” or “UGH DURUMU!”, then I would speculate that you’ve experienced this encounter in LFR and had an experience relative to mine. But never fear! Because I’m here today to tell you how to stop the madness and guarantee a one shot Durumu kill each and every time.
Ok, maybe not, but I promise you less people will die!
How to Succeed at Durumu Without Really Trying
So I was in a LFR this weekend with my shaman, and as is typical, we got to the eye beam phase and 3/4 of the raid died. We wiped and had to start it over. Only before we pulled a second time I decided to have faith in LFR and the players there, and I asked if anyone would like me to explain how to know which side of the eye beam to stand on. I was a little surprised by the overwhelming response of “YES PLEASE!” – especially when I was expecting something more like “lol just don’t be bad lol”. So I took two minutes to explain it, and wouldn’t you know it, in the two eye beams we had only one or two people died.
You see, the problem isn’t the “maze” part of the phase as much as it is solving which side of the eye beam you need to be on to start the maze.
After we finished, Brade looked at me and said “you have just planted a seed that will save hundreds of hours of LFR pain for many people”. So with that thought in mind, I thought I’d go ahead and share the message with more than just the 25 folks who happened to be in that LFR.
It’s All About the Purple Squiggles
The trick to being on the proper side of the eye beam to find the maze is actually really simple! Basically what happens is the following:
- Durumu will announce that he is pre-casting eye beam and lasers will start shooting out of his eye.
- The eye beam will always start facing the entrance of the room (look for the staircases that you came down to enter).
- Immediately to the left or right of the eye beam the floor will have little purple lightning squiggles shooting through it.
- These squiggles indicate the side of the room the eye beam will move, and which side of the room will subsequently reveal the maze.
- You want to stand in the squiggles (they are safe!), and then move with the maze.
- Collect Loot.
To help better illustrate, here is a graphic! (Be in awe of my mad paint skills!)
I was honestly shocked at how many people understood the maze, but simply just didn’t know where to stand as it was starting and died as a result. Once we fixed that, the fight was simple!
So, in the interest of everyone’s sanity, please share this and take the time to educate and help your LFR compatriots! If enough people do this, Durumu determination will be a thing of the past and we can save our energy for trying to convince folks that Dark Animus really is easier if you don’t AE all the golems down at one time
I haven’t posted specifically about druids on my blog about druids in four months. To be fair, I haven’t really posted about much in this space in the same amount of time. However, I’m recently feeling reinvigorated and revived, and I have reason to suspect that you may well start to see an increase in my posting habits again. But more on that later! Today I want to talk about druids.
A while back on Twitter, someone commented that they were surprised that the 5.2 changes to resto druids really didn’t seem to have the results that he was expecting to see – and that they felt a bit bad for the resto on their raid team (I think it might have been Derevka). At the time, I made a snarky comment that amused me greatly – but followed it up with the more serious comment that a druid’s mileage is likely to vary largely depending on the number and strength of their disc priests and holy paladins. It’s the latter part of that comment that I’d like to explore a little more today.
I think I heal just fine
Anytime that the topic of resto healing comes up, there are always two groups of people: those who are incredibly frustrated and those that come out of the woodwork (see what I did there?!) and state “I heal just fine” or “I always top my healing meters”. The statement of that second camp of folks ultimately leads to the declaration that they feel “druids are fine”. Which is then followed by an uproar of those who disagree and, of course, nothing ever good really comes from the subsequent conversations. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve known for a while now that I wanted to do a post on Challenge Modes. In fact, I have about 5 drafts of posts on the topic that I started, and then decided weren’t really what I wanted to say. I’d debated writing a resto perspective of them, but Hamlet has already done a great job of that, and I don’t really have much more to add in that regard. I debated writing a comparison of my experiences between my shaman and my druid – but then realized that is colored by the experience gained in my first efforts making the second efforts seem easier. And so I sat pondering what I really wanted to say about challenge modes – about exactly why I find them so fantastic.
And today it hit me. I was at physical therapy, chatting with a new therapist because my regular one was on vacation, and there it was. A blog post writing itself in my head.
You see, back during vanilla, when I had the misfortune to be both a night elf and a hunter, I was one of the first people on our server to have completed and obtained Rhok’delar. I was so proud of that bow. I worked hard to obtain it. I researched each of those demons, I had pots, I had wing clip, I had that damn sinew from Onyxia taking up my bag space. I was ready to go and started after those demons with a vengeance…then I hit Winterspring and I learned I was terrible at kiting. No, really. I’m not exaggerating here. I was awful. I couldn’t jump shot if you sat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on my desk and told me it was a reward for when I got to the end – you’d simply have ended up with soupy ice cream. And that is just a shame. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I decided to pick up Diablo 3 again. I hadn’t played it in a quite awhile, and when I had stopped it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying it, but rather because I had a flare with my hands and the Diablo controls were pretty hard on them. But now that I’m not spending a lot of time playing as much WoW and abusing my hands with raiding, dailys and whatnot there, I figured I’d check out the many changes that were made in Diablo (most of which I really like!).
It’s been so long since I’ve played, and there have been so many changes, that I found myself pretty lost. While the spec I was running when I stopped playing is still serving me very well, a little bit of research has shown me that other specs may now be more viable. That being said, I don’t know if some of the more popular specs really fit my preferred playstyle so I’m toying around with meshing what I like about my spec into what I like about those specs and seeing how it works for me. Anyhow, because I felt so out of touch, I decide to simply restart inferno from scratch and play my way through again. I’m at the point in act two where I’ve finished assembling Zultan Khule and I need to go meet his treacherous, double crossing self. In the process I’ve found three legendaries (two of which I am pretty sure are rubbish) and gained three and a half paragon levels. Not too shabby.
Since I have decided to pick the game back up, Brade also decided to update his and resume playing again as well. We generally had a lot of fun playing together and I imagine that once his schedule settles down (and I’ve finished my current play through), we will pair up for shenanigans again. One of the topics that came up while we were discussing some of the changes was the auction house (not the real money one, which we’ve never used, just the gold one). He made a statement that he thought the game would have been more fun without the addition of the auction house – and I tend to agree with him.
As such, I wanted to explore that thought a little bit – but break it down into two areas: The dominance of the Auction House “game” and the subsequent loss of community by virtue of the convenience of the auction house. Read the rest of this entry »