Last night I was lucky enough to snag my first token to upgrade one of my set pieces to its 277 version. After some debate, I opted to upgrade the legs, as they seemed to be the largest overall upgrade of the four pieces. Interestingly enough, part of the reason that I opted to grab the legs was because it put me at 858 haste.
Why is that so important, I hear you asking! Well, because it gives me the option of moving back to an 11/0/60 spec, and picking up a few things that I had dropped to pick up celestial focus, most notably living seed and my third point in living spirit. Now, to be fair, I haven’t missed that one point in living spirit overly much…and being primarily a raid healer living seed has limited value to me. That doesn’t mean that it’s worthless, but probably would only account for somewhere around 2% or less of my overall healing on most encounters.
So that got me to thinking some, which of course generally gets me into trouble. But I started to wonder how much value is really in that 11/0/60 spec, I mean I’ve been months at my current spec and can’t say that I’ve missed much. I started wondering if there was an alternative, haste free, item that I could pick up that would be of greater value to me than those extra points in the resto tree.
And so I started digging through my gear…good lord, do I have anything that is haste free?!?! The answer to that would be “no”. As I picked through my gear I wondered what the biggest haste-less item upgrade would be, and in the end it came down to Bracers. They were the worst itemized piece in all of the ICC loot tables. As a result, most people, including myself, are still wearing the Bindings of the Autumn Willow, from TotGC.
Armed with this knowledge, I went in search of upgrades available to me, and the result yielded Bracers of Eternal Dreaming. Now, the question at hand is: Is this upgrade of greater value to me than shifting those points back into the resto tree?
Let’s examine, shall we? By switching the bracers, I will be left with 801 haste and will be able to maintain my current spec. I would gain 13 stam, 13 intellect, 19 spirit, 19 spell power and 60 crit. All at a loss of 57 haste. I would also lose the ability to put a third point into living spirit, pick up living seed, and have two points to play with (likely I’d stick them back into Imp Barkskin). Let’s take a look at what those talents would give me, shall we?
The point in living spirit would net me approximately 54 spirit (a 5% increase to my current spirit), which would translate into roughly 8 spell power pre kings (15% spirit to spell power conversion from Imp ToL). It will also net me an almost negligible increase in mana regen. All in all…it seems almost like a wash up to this point, with maybe a slight favoring to keep the current bracers and move my talent points around. But let’s keep exploring.
The three points in living seed is where the meat of this change will really have the most potential. But it’s really very tricky. As a raid healer in my 25 mans, I do not make frequent use of regrowth, nourish or healing touch, although I do make frequent use of swiftmend. And often, if I were to get a seed up on someone, there is a good change for it to be overheal on my target the next time they took damage. However, I do think that living seed has the potential to net me a generous estimate of a 2% increase to my overall healing. I suspect that I would probably get more mileage from it in my 10 man raids, where I find myself casting seed spells with more frequency. And even though it doesn’t appear to be a lot, it would seem to me that 2% healing is greater than the 19 spell power increase. But let’s keep looking!
My last two points would probably go into improved barkskin. I really enjoyed this talent throughout Ulduar, however there were a lot of uses for it in the zone. I can definitely think of a few spots it is useful in ICC, but I don’t think the benefit of its use is as prominent as it was in Ulduar. If it was just this talent that I was looking at, I think probably the bracers would win out.
However, when we put together all three talents and compare them with the gains that I would receive from swapping to the less favorably itemized bracers, I definitely think that keeping the current bracers, and moving back to an 11/0/60 spec offers the biggest benefit. Even if it’s a small spell power upgrade, and even if it’s only 2% more healing, those two things added together are definitely greater than the small increases received from dropping the haste bracers. Additional things to keep in mind are that spell power and haste are about point for point in throughput, and crit is essentially worthless.
In the end, I think I will keep my better itemized TotGC bracers, and go back to my pre-3.3 spec. However, after months of using my celestial focus spec, and not really missing much, it was interesting to be able to go back and decide if those extra points in the resto tree were worth it!
What do you think? Would you look for other gear upgrades, or would you opt to go back to an 11/0/60 spec?