Once again we have more datamined information coming from the PTR files, courtesy of MMO-Champion . And no, sadly, I’m not talking about our god-awful ugly tier gear. I’m also not talking about the anticipated changes to mana tide totem, which were seemingly brought about to continue to address healer mana. What I am talking about are the potential changes to resto druid mastery. It came as a bit of a shock to everyone, as it was entirely unexpected, but who am I to look the gift horse in the mouth?
Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.
Now, if we go under the assumption that Harmony will be a buff given to the druid every time they cast a direct heal, this is going to be a very good change for druid mastery. In fact, it might even be too good a change. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the effects reduced some. However, as I read it, all the casting druid needs to do to keep the buff active is cast one direct heal every ten seconds. This is something that most druids are likely already doing, so it shouldn’t be too hard for many to simply monitor their Harmony buff and keep it active.
There is some question about if the way I have read the buff above is accurate, and the majority seem to agree with my interpretation. However, there is the possibility that the buff isn’t something that the druid receives – rather something that is granted to the target. And if this is the case, which I doubt (pray) , it will actually mean our mastery is worse – as hard as that is to believe. We won’t know for certain how Harmony will work until the change is implemented on the PTR and can be tested.
For the time being though, let’s assume that my original interpretation is correct. I think Harmony is a good change. While some people may say that it’s “boring”, as it’s pretty much a static buff provided that you remember to keep it active via a direct heal, it is undoubtedly an improvement over Symbiosis. In my opinion our current mastery encourages poor healing by forcing you to “chase” already active heals on a target who may not need the extra healing over a target who does. The whole boost a heal for someone who has a heal never really made a lot of sense to me, especially in the “triage” environment that Blizzard was trying to promote – where smart healing was encouraged.
Provided that this goes live, I think that it will also move mastery up a touch on our priority list with regards to stats. I do not think that it’s going to overcome haste for breakpoints or intellect for pure throughput, but I do think that it’s no longer going to be something we cringe at when it appears on our gear.
Overall, I am optimistic about the change, provided that it’s done via a buff to the casting druid.
What are your thoughts on Harmony?