A Hasty Experiment   15 comments

I have been following the Mastery vs. Haste debate over at EJ for the past couple of weeks.  I’m going to be honest here and tell you that it mostly just made my head explode.  However, one of the things that I saw keep popping up with some regularity was how many people felt reaching the 2005 Wild Growth break point was invaluable, even if if meant dropping down to a few 246 pieces to get there.  This, of course, got me thinking about haste – and more specifically my haste. 

Dispelling Dark Intent

If you’ve been following the conversations on EJ you will see that there is a lot of talk about haste breakpoints with a warlock buff known as Dark Intent.  Specifically you will see that you can hit the 9th tick of Wild Growth breakpoint at a significantly lower haste level if you receive this buff.  Hey!  That’s great!  Right?!  WRONG!

You see, I kept asking myself as I read through the conversation “self, why is there so much talk about Dark Intent?  Are that many resto druids getting this buff over DPS that people should be considering it the ‘norm’ for haste breakpoints?”.  And so I asked other druids about it and the general consensus is that while some druids out there may be getting it - your raid is likely far better served by passing this buff onto your DPS.  And this is something that I largely agree with.

While it is true that a resto druid is a solid target for Dark Intent for the casting warlock - the truth of the matter is that it’s a bit of a one way street and doesn’t fully maximize the buff.  With the exception of Heroic Chimaeron I’ve yet to come to an encounter where more DPS, as opposed to more healing, wouldn’t have made the encounter that much easier for the raid as a whole.  And ya’ll – we regularly run our raids with three resto druids.  Even on our last Heroic Chimaeron kill, we opted to pass DI to a DPS.  Frankly, unless your raid is failing due to a lack of healing, your healers shouldn’t be getting this buff.

To help you all out with knowing where this buff should go, take a peek at this handy little chart that will show you who may best maximize this buff, keeping in mind that some of it will depend on the skill of the player.  Just to reiterate before moving on:  your DPS loves Dark Intent, your DPS will get more out of Dark Intent than you will, you should not count on receiving Dark Intent for haste purposes (unless of course you run with like 10 warlocks and they run out of targets to give it to!).

Making Haste

Alright, now that we’ve got the Dark Intent issue out of the way (wait…are you crying?  Stop that!  THERE IS NO CRYING IN BASEBALL WOW!), let’s talk about reaching that magic 2005 haste number on your own.  Here is how I did it for the puposes of this experiment, but it’s not without some concern on my part.

We will go ahead and get one thing out of the way now: yes, I am an alchemist which makes reaching the haste breakpoint easier for me.  If you aren’t an alchemist then you will have to scrounge up another 149 haste somewhere.

You can see that I managed to keep my four piece set bonus, but I really dislike having to utilize the robes because they lack spirit.  In fact, I’m strongly considering dropping the four piece bonus if I decide that I’m going to continue favoing haste on my gear.  The breaking point for me will be if I can obtain enough spirit gear to offset the set bonus while maintaining my haste.

I have some serious concerns about my current level of spirit, and had to drop some spirit reforging/enchanting to meet this break point.  I do a decent enough job about keeping my 3 stack of lifebloom active, which gets me an extra 540 spirit, but I am absolutely not happy that my static spirit has dropped below 2,000.  Now, getting the bracers from Chimearon will help that some – but then I run into an issue with losing the 120 haste from my current bracers dropping me below the break point.  

I can offset this one of three ways: picking up another haste ring (which means losing spirit), picking up the haste neck from the twins (which would let me gain spirit via reforging), or picking up the shoulders from Omnitron and dropping my 4 T11 bonus (which would let me swap back to spirit robes as well).  I haven’t quite decided which way I will go in that regards.  I suspect that if I continue to favor haste I will probably either pick up the heroic Halfus neck and swap to a haste ring, or I will pick up the twins neck and keep my current spirit ring.  Of course, I always have the option of swapping out my idol as well if it comes down to it.  I just don’t know yet.  And it will be a constant struggle to have to juggle the haste breakpoints as upgrades come.

In fact, since this is an “experiment”, I don’t even know if I’ll find the extra haste worth it!  I am already very tight on mana as it is, and my mana concerns weigh very heavily on me.  But in the name of science, I figured that it was worth raiding a week or so at the 2005 breakpoint and see how it turns out for me.  And so I will go forth and find out if that 9th Wild Growth tick is truly the best thing since sliced bread, and subsequently if my mana can sustain the change.

After a week or so of raiding with the new haste set up, I intend to do a “part 2″ to this post in which I let you know my findings.  What I felt, if I think it was worth it, if I was perpetually out of mana.  Until then – I’m curious who else has made a hasty decision!

Have you made the jump to haste yet?  If so, how are you liking it?  Do you find yourself tight on mana?  Do you think that extra tick of Wild Growth is worth it?  Conversely, have you decided not to favor haste?  What are your reasonings behind that decision?

Posted February 22, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Raiding

15 responses to “A Hasty Experiment

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  1. I’ve been running >2005 haste for a bit now (<3 alchemist stone) and am loving the extra WG tick. I noticed a jump already in WG from the 4.0.6 buffs, but gained enough haste after that buff and saw a further increase in output. While I wouldn't really advocate dropping down to 346's just to achieve enough haste, through careful gear selection (and potentially some RNG loot luck) it's not too terrible a mark to hit. I'm not struggling with mana any more than any other healer is, I definitely have to keep an eye on it but it's the same mana-management I was dealing with before (especially in heroic modes).
    I dropped my 4 piece a while ago in favour of heroic pieces (magmaw/omni/etc) as the stat gain was worth more to me than a bit of additional spirit (particularly the Int gain). I recently even dropped my 2 piece in order to pick up the balance heroic tier legs for the haste, which I was a bit more concerned about, however I think the gain in haste (which is what pushed me over the wg breakpoint) was definitely worth it.
    On my second druid I'm pretty content with letting him sit just above the 915/Rejuv haste breakpoint, as he just hit 85 and has a ways to go before he'll have the gear to start pushing the high haste numbers. I'll still be reforging and favouring haste in the very least to ensure he remains above 915, but I'll be a bit less ruthless in reforging other stats until he gets closer to hitting some of the additional breakpoints in order to make a bit more use of mastery/crit in the meantime.

    • I didn’t down grade anything – but I worry about the day when a bracer upgrade *finally* drops for me! Hopefully I’ll have worked out a neck by that point :)

      Tomorrow night will be my first raid with it, so I’ll see how it turns out!

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  3. I was over 200 points short of the breakpoint when the changes went through (I tried, I tried horribly) to reach it. However, since I couldn’t I went on a reforging binge and am now rocking around a whole satchel full of mastery (which had been damn near nil before). I don’t have the numbers, I’m not very good at it, but with three rejuvs up at all times and wild growth on cooldown, my nourish is doing great things, and I’m happy as a clam. In a 10-man team, although Wild Growth is GREAT it gets wasted a TON, so mastery > haste when I would have to force a breakpoint (i.e. drop my precious intellect >.<) doesn't make that much sense to me.

    • There is a mod out there, which I believe is called Druid Mastery, that tracks the healing attributed to mastery. It might be worth checking put if you are curious!

      I could see not trying to push a haste breakpoint for 10s. And I think others have commented likewise on that point.

      Fortunately, the only thing I gave up was about 200 spirit to get there, but I’m dreading having to juggle as I come into upgrades!

  4. I pay my warlock good money for his Dark Intent :P

    I’ve been aiming for 2005 haste, but haven’t quite been able to get there yet. Hopefully with a few more epics I’ll be able to reach it.

  5. I am very interested to see part two of haste. I am debating if balancing stats or going to larger mana and haste will win out. With all the changes almost weekly from Blizzard in patches and hot fixes, I don’t think healing is where it should be with the game designers either.

  6. I have a dedicated Warlock (aren’t I special? :D), and reforged to get the extra WG tick. It makes a pretty huge difference in 25mans – I am keeping up with (or passing) people in full epics while I am lagging behind in blues.

    We often have 4 or 5 locks, and the DIs are shared around between resto druids and shadow priests as a priority. While nobody can ignore the DPS boost you get from giving it to a damage dealer, we’re really not feeling that DPS is the limiting factor at the moment – so that’s why they still partly go to healers.

    I would say that it’s more valuable going to the healers when encounters are new, healers are learning/gearing, and players are still adjusting to the mechanics and may be taking more damage than they should be. Once things tighten up, healers get their rhythm (and some gear), and people stop taking unnecessary damage, it could probably be taken off the healers.

    If I lost my DI, I could reforge with my current gear and get to 2005, but it would require a few haste gems and losing a small amount of Intellect. But with the results I’ve been getting post-switch, that is well worth it.

    • Our raids currently run with (at most) two warlocks (did I mention we are recruiting a warlock?!). We also run with 2 shadow priests, a moonkin and 3 fire mages. All of whom I think can do more with Dark Intent than I can.

      The reason that I strongly encourage Dark Intent going out to your DPS is because Blizzard has (poorly, in my opinion) balanced a lot of these classes around having Dark Intent. It’s really, really huge for them – and there is nowhere else that they will get the same buff and nothing else will impact their DPS as much as having this one buff.

      I could certainly see giving it to healers if you are learning content and your healers are struggling – but I would also absolutely ask the question of if a fight was shorter from more DPS, would your healers be struggling as much?

      When push comes to shove, I still maintain my position that for most raids it’s probably better served on a DPS class than a healer :)

      • Ultimately it should be going to DPS, but so far we’re not having problems due to low DPS – that extra 4-5k isn’t going to make or break. On the other hand, during really hairy raid damage, the added output from me will be huge. Eg jumping up on pillars on Nef.

        However – I am considering looking like a noob and max reforging/regemming to get to the 2005 under my own steam, though it will be a stretch. The reason for this is that for the cost of a small amount of regen – something like 130 spirit – I would effectively be giving a 5k DPS boost to the raid, by relinquishing my DI.

        But.. that would mean gemming 100% Quick Amberjewels and looking reeeeeeeeeally noob :P Literally all of my gems would be Quicks, and that would get me to 2016 Haste.
        :P

  7. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I am anxiously awaiting your part 2 post.

  8. If you’re able to get dark intent + 5%, the correct haste cut off would be 1573 right?

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