Fixing the Forest, Part I – Analyzing the Issue   25 comments

It has come to my attention that as we move forward in trying to find a “good” place for druids with Mists, the first step in doing so is to pinpoint what needs to be fixed. And to do that, it’s important to explore where druids struggled in Cataclysm. In a world where there are not only multiple raid sizes, but multiple difficulties of each encounter, this becomes increasingly difficult to do. The issue is that not all problems are seen at all levels of play, so while you may have one druid screaming from the rooftops about the quality of their life, you may have another sitting around scratching their head going “I don’t know what they are talking about, I feel fine”.

This great diversity leads to a pleothora of thoughts on what is, and isn’t, working for druids currently. That is to say that where a druid whose raid experience is solely with LFR is likely to have a different perspective on druid healing than a druid who is running normal mode raids. And that druid is likely to have a different perspective on a druid who is healing in hard mode raids. As each raid difficulty grows, the challenge that each druid faces changes. Where mechanics seem fine in one setting, when they are being pushed in another they may feel underwhelming or insufficient. However, those who don’t experience that, don’t have a full understanding of those struggles.

As such, I want to take a few minutes to analyze the issues that arose in Cataclysm for those who were experiencing Hard Mode 25 man raid content. Which is where I, personally, feel many of the shortcomings of the druid class were highlighted throughout the Cataclysm expansion. It is my hope that in doing so, we can come to a consensus on what issues need to be resolved in Mists to put druids in a better place moving forward.

The Issue: Druids lack a effective and efficient way to deal with burst AE damage to the raid.

A History: Before we talk about what happened in Catalcysm, I think it’s important to look at how we got to where we did. For the purposes of this post, I’m only going to go back as far as WotLK because I think that is as far back as I need to go for this history to be pertinent. Wrath of the Lich King ushered in a new style of healing for everyone. However, one of the most prominent things that it did was introduce a style of raiding where constant raid damage (and spike tank damage) was the norm. As such, most healers spent much of their raid time spamming a handful of buttons at the raid, and never having to think much about what they were doing. For paladins it was Holy Light, for priests is was PW:S, for shaman it was Chain Heal, and for druids it was Rejuv x5 WG x1.

While some people loved this “whack a mole” style of healing, Blizzard decided that they weren’t terribly fond of it – or more, they weren’t fond of the lack of concious decisions that had to be made on the part of the healer. As such, going into Cataclysm they decided that they wanted healing to be more about thinking through your heals and not about spamming the right button (or two) as fast as you could. As a whole, this was well received by much of the raiding community.

However, there was one problem for resto druids. In an effort to reign in the Rejuv/WG rotation of WotLK, Blizzard made casting Rejuv quite costly so that it was prohibitive to rely heavily on that spell to heal. While this seemed like a good fix on paper, it quickly became apparent that it was not good in practice. As druids started entering into raid content it became clear that they didn’t have the appropriate tools to deal with raid damage: Rejuv was too expensive and WG was ineffective. Druids were struggling, and many at the end game were being asked to sit out of content for healers that were more adept at handling the healing required by the raid.

As Blizzard saw this occuring, and tracked the numbers, they realized that there was a problem. Without being able to heavily rely on rejuv and with WG healing for so little, druids were not competitive with the other classes. In response, with patch 4.03, Blizzard reduced the cost of rejuv (and subsequently gave it a slight increase), increased the healing done by WG and decreased the CD on WG.

While this bandaid worked for awhile, as gear levels increased, Blizzard became unhappy with how much healing WG was doing. They felt that it was too powerful for a “fire and forget” spell (and they weren’t wrong, per se), and when 4.3 released they reverted the changes to WG – again leaving druids in a difficult prediciment. Rejuv was still quite costly to use, and while gear inflation had permitted druids to utilize the spell more freely, the cost still throttled it. This, coupled with WG hitting for much less, and the other healers receiving buffs to their AE healing, left many druids at a loss for what they were supposed to be doing to remain competitve and justify their spot in the raid. They found themselves, once again, struggling with a way to deal with burst AE damage and constrained by their toolkit.

Which brings us to the present. However, before we move on to how to fix the issue (a topic for another day) let’s continue to analyize the need for burst AE healing throughout Cataclysm.

Exploring Cataclysm: For the purpose of this analysis, please keep in mind that I am looking at these encounters solely from the chanllenges that they presented to a druid raiding Hard Mode content. I understand that some of these issues were not present in different iterations of the encounters, however the microscope I am utilizing is confined to how this issue played out in my preferred raid setting. My intent in the below analysis is to illustrate which encounters had a need for burst AE healing, so that others might better understand where we struggled and why we feel that our toolkit needs something to keep us viable moving forward.

In reviewing the below, please note that Rejuv/WG spam isn’t “burst” healing. And in many situations that healing model was severely constrained by your available mana pool, meaning that it wasn’t efficient and was, often times, prohibitive. While that style of healing can be effective, it takes time to work, and in many circumstances, based on the damage patterns of the encounters, your raid did not have the time available to sit and wait for your HoTs to top up the raid.

Tier 11

Magmaw: Anytime that the head was not exposed on Magmaw, and sub 20% especially, there was a need to get your raid topped up quickly while dealing with both Magmaw’s lava spew and his spit. Depending on your raid’s strategy, you were either grouped up or spread across the room (we spread). If the raid was not in a position to survive the incoming damage, you were going to lose people to the mechanics of the encounter.

Omnitron Defense System: Anytime that Magmatron or Toxitron were out, or during Electron’s special you had to keep your raid topped up. You needed to keep your raid’s life stable through raid wide damage that came quickly and changed frequently throughout the course of the fight. Your raid was generally groupped up for most of this encounter.

Maloriak: The Red Phase required an enormous amount of healing, to be done quickly, so that your raid was topped off and ready to take the next burst of fire. Phase 2 of the encounter also had steady, increasing damage throughout the phase, coupled with the poison bomb that did significant damage to the raid. Your raid was groupped during the red phase, but generally spread (and moving a lot) during phase 2.

Atramedes: The sonic scream things (I don’t recall the proper title), as well as the tick from the AE that occurs in the split second before you hit the gong both required fairly heavy and quick healing. However, this is one of the encounters where I felt druids had a slight advantage due to their mobility.

Chimearon: This encounter actually presented multiple challenges for druids. The AE raid challenge was when the bile-a-tron was offline. The raid was grouped up, but the damage came extremely quickly and the bile hit very hard. The second issue that druids had was selecting a soingle target spell that could quickly, and efficiently, get their assigned target’s life high enough to survive the spit. Nourish was ineffective without prior HoTs and HT was very slow and expensive. Regrowth only healed for enough if it crit and was extremely costly.

Nefarian: Healing the platforms during the airphase. Oh god. I think this is a perfect example of where our toolkit was lacking. Constant, hard hitting, damage that had to be quickly topped up. I made sure that I had tranq up as well as ToL to try and ensure that I could support my platform to the best of my abilities, but I was almost always in the bottom quarter of my mana bar coming out of the phase. Just so you don’t think that I forgot them, I don’t really feel that the electrocutes count. At least not while T11 was “current content”. This is because you had an enormous amount of time to heal your raid up before the next burst of damage and there wasn’t a large danger of them dying if they weren’t topped up within 5 or so seconds of taking damage.

Halfus: Roars. Fire from the drake. You name it. This encounter has so much damage going out that it required an enormous amount of quick healing done to keep your raid alive from one burst to the next. Not to mention the insane amounts of tank damage that goes out early in the encounter. While I would say that the tank damage was key to the healing of this fight, the raid still had risks. I don’t think Disc Priests will ever have so much fun again.

Valiona and Theralion: Topping off the raid after blackout dispells and making sure that they had enough life to survive other incidental damage in the encounter, as well as keeping your melee topped off for debuff explosions. I may just be misremembering this one, or it may be that I did it after the first nerf, but of all of the encounters in T11, this one didn’t seem to have as much burst requirement. Outside of the blackouts, I think damage was fairly steady and relatively easy to heal.

Ascendant Council: Phase 3. Oh god, phase 3. My poor little rejuv and WG buttons are worn out and yet still felt so inefficient. Additionally, the Aegis during phase 1 also did significant raid damage that needed to be dealt with fairly quickly, but doesn’t hold a candle to the raid damage you were hammered with during phase 3. Your raid was very carefully spread during phase 3.

Cho’gall: Any shadow phase did a fairly significant amount of damage, depending on your DPS on the elements as they went up. However, phase 2 had a lot of very heavy raid damage that needed to be topped up quickly for your raid to survive until the end of the encounter. Your raid was generally grouped up during the shadow phases, but often spread out during Phase 2.

Sinestra: Sinestra is not really fair to say much about. The essence of the red made druids very powerful because of how they scaled with haste, and the fact that you had zero mana constraints meant that you didn’t have to concern yourself with spell selection. The first 20% of the fight, and the last 15% (or so) of the encounter left a need for strong burst healing on the raid, but overall not so much that I felt I struggled trying to heal the encounter.

Conclave of Wind: Nezir’s platform duing his ultimate. This required a lot of fast and hard healing to match the damage dealt on the platform, and ensure that your raid lived long enough to get back to their platforms. The group was generally stacked up for this, until they travelled back to their platform.

Al’Akir: Phase 2. Navigating through the increased damage as your raid works Al’Akir down. By the end of this phase, it requires a ton of healing out on the raid to keep them stable going into phase 3. Additionally, Phase 1 also had moments of burst healing required depending on the RNG  your group saw.

Tier 12

Tier 12 is a wierd bird to talk about. We saw a three minute tranq come down, and the WG buff was still in place. However, I’m going to go ahead and address the burst raid damage that was present for each encounter.

Shannox: Not a ton of raid healing here. In fact, if your group performed well, there was almost no raid healing.

Beth’tilac: Phase 1 has periods of burst healing as Beth spews fire down onto the raid – and if you were up top with Beth, there was constant AE damage that needed to be topped up so that your group up top could sustain themselves while up there. Phase 2, however, is where I feel you saw the strongest need for burst healing. Especially towards the end of the phase as damage ramped up to almost unhealable levels. Your raid was generally stacked up for phase 2.

Rhyolith: I think that both Phase 1 and Phase 2 had a fairly significant requirement for dealing with burst raid damage. However, it is far more prominent with the increased stomp damage in phase 2. Raids varied on how they posistioned for phase 2, but generally you were loosely spread out.

Alysrazor: There are periods of burst healing needed during the ground phase of this encounter, often times requiring cooldowns to survive until she takes off into the air again. The remainder of the encounter, however, your raid should not be taking damage.

Baleroc: There should be no raid damage outside from those soaking crystals.

Majordomo Staghelm: Depending on your strategy, your raid could largely take no damage, or have limited periods of fairly high damage. We used 12 soakers for the orb phase, so there were times when there was moderate raid damage, however it was limited to 6-12 people at a time. I never felt limited in being able to handle the damage. So I’m not sure that I’d state this encounter had any “burst” raid healing requirements that needed to be met.

Ragnaros: Where to even start with this one. I would say that Phase 1, parts of phase 2, during both transitions and phase 4 all have moments where burst raid healing is needed. After trap explosions in phase 1, after seed explosions in phase 2, and while you are navigating into frost orbs in phase 4 (although this is no longer the time consuming event it was originally). I do feel druids have great strengths here due to our mobility, but I also feel that there were times I wish I could have pushed more healing more quickly as well. Your raid is spread out for phase 1, mostly grouped for phase 2, and in stages of spread and grouped in phase 4.

Tier 13

Outside of launch, Tier 13 is where I think the druid’s felt the pinch on their toolkit the most. The revert to launch WG numbers, coupled with boosts to the other healing classes, only served to highlight the shortcomings of the resto druid. Almost all of the encounters in DS had a grouping requirement. Many people felt this lead to “flat” encounter design, but that is a topic for another day.

Morchok: Pretty much the entirety of the encounter had burst AE raid damage. The stomp – crystal combination required your raid to be topped up very quickly in order to survive the incoming damage.

Zon’ozz: The black phase. Oh god, the black phase. There was much swearing and frustration trying to deal with the massive amounts of raid damage that your raid faced during the black phase. It was heavy damage, that required your raid to be topped up quickly for continued survival during the phase. While the damage lessened as the phase went on, the first 15-20 seconds of the phase were incredibly painful and challenging to heal with our toolkit.

Yor’shaj: Depending on your color combinations, I feel that this encuonter probably had the least need for burst healing. That being said anything where you didn’t have a purple generally also had quite a bit of hard and fast raid damage. (Red/Yellow/Black is a good example). Druids had other (significant) problems with this encounter, but I don’t know our lack of burst healing was on top of the list.

Hagara: Lightning phase and Frost Phase. Both of these phases have pretty hard and fast damage that come out at your raid and need to be handled quickly for your raid to survive. While the lightning phase can be mostly mitigated if your raid performs well, if your raid spends any amount of time inside of the frost shell, it is quite healing intensive and ramps up the longer you are inside.

Ultraxion: Constant raid wide damage that ramps up throughout the course of the encounter. I don’t really feel that the burst issue is overly problimatic early in the fight, but by the end you really do feel it. Even with the red crystal, there is only so much that you can do with Rejuv/WG spam on your raid to prevent their demise.

Warmaster Blackhorn: While there is some raid wide damage in phase 1 with the onslaughts, I don’t really feel that is where you feel the lack of burst healing on this encounter. I would say that phase 2 is really where it is noticable with the shouts, that ramp up in severity throughout the encounter. While they are spaced out, it often feels very hectic trying to get people stabilized to receive the next one. Technically you should haven’t people getting hit by the shockwave, but it happens, and it is important to have your raid ready to deal with the damage if they get caught.

Spine of Deathwing: This encounter is somewhat odd. There are brief periods where burst raid healing is needed (novas, right after a roll) but I would say that the majority of the healing in this encounter is centered around clearing the debuff, which we are quite adept at doing with our HoTs.

Madness of Deathwing: The madness encounter is somewhat unique in that the nature of the damage is such that it does strongly favor HoT healing throughout the course of the encounter. You do have to very carefully monitor your mana so that you don’t overextend yourself early in the fight, but all healers have to do this to an extent. However, there are periods towards the end of the encounter where there is a definite need for burst raid healing (the bolt landing on the fourth platform, dealing with the tentacles on the fourth platform, that final push on the final platform from 10% – death) that find druids screaming I’M GIVIN’ HER ALL I’VE GOT CAP’N! and finding they are coming up a bit short.

The Total: There were 28 Hard Mode raid encounters in Cataclysm. Of those 28, only 7 of them did not have a mechanic that required burst raid healing (I took Sinestra out of that number, for the reason stated above, but you could argue that only 6 did not). That means that 75%  (3/4!) of the raid encounters this expansion had burst raid healing requirements that Resto Druids struggled to find the tools to effectively and efficiently manage this damage. It’s not that it couldn’t be done – but that every other class was better equipped, either via cooldowns or healing ability, to handle those mechanics than druids were. I think that Atanae said it quite well when she observed that the issue with the Cataclysm druid healing model was that: “the fundamental issue is that as healers, we are supposed to manage mana and our rotation is nothing but wasting it.”.

Conclusion and Restatement of the Issue: If Cataclysm design is any indicator, it would seem that Blizzard tends to favor development of hard mode encounters that present mechanics that deal heavy, often sustained, AE damage to the raid that needs to be healed up quickly. Currently the Resto Druid tool kit lacks an ability that lets them effectively and efficiently counter this damage.

Coming Soon! Part II – Searching for Solutions.

Posted April 4, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

25 responses to “Fixing the Forest, Part I – Analyzing the Issue

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  1. WTB spammable direct AE heal that activates mastery…it’s so simple!

  2. Leafy Radiance FTW

    Algorython/Howlinwolf
    • haha, I don’t know if I want a leafy radiance! I’m not overly thrilled with the paladin rotation of HR x3, LoD. We had that rotation….back in WotLK! But we definitely needs something.

  3. I agree with you going all the way back to Wrath, the problems really did start back then. I remember when the first kill of LK heroic had NO resto druids despite how theoretically “OP” we were at the time.

    Rework Living Seed (useless to me as a raid healer). Give us Flourish (I’ve seen a few ideas, mostly a casted direct AoE heal that complements our mastery named that bouncing around). Give us something besides a bastardized Balance spell that nobody likes and will create more problems than it solves.

    • A living seed reworking has been needed for so long! The spell offers so much potential, and yet remains fairly undesireable after so long! I’d love to see it be a bit more dynamic and make me actually care that it exists :)

  4. After playing around in beta with a few of my other chars i got thinking. perhapse they could rework the mushrooms to use the same typ of “charges” system that spell like the Monks roll and warlocks Hand of Guldan has in beta.

    Remove the CD of detonate, increase the effect and area of the mushrooms and give them 3 charges so that you could eather do a Shroom, detonate, Shroom, detonate, shroom detonate rotation or drop multiple shrooms then detonate if you want a bigger heal or a larger area.

    With the right charges to CD ration that could give us the ability to eather do a big heal burst every now and then with a long setup time or chain medium size burst healing for a longer period.

    • I like this. Make our mushrooms proc mastery, make them “Charge” based in groups of three, or each shroom maybe with their own distinct cooldown like dk runes, buff the area and i’d be able to make it work.

      It still takes a f-ton of clicky clicky, but i solve that by just spamming the shortcut and left mouse when i want to put them down as balance.

    • I don’t know about the charges, but that’s more because I just can’t really conceptualize how it would work having not toyed around with a monk. I do know that we need an answer to our burst healing issues, and my concern with mushrooms remains that they remain very limited to people being grouped up together to be viable. And after we watched shaman struggle, and Blizzard subsequently create an entire instance that catered to the strengths of shaman healing to “fix” it, I’m extremely hesitant to have our burst healing be limited to a small confined space.

  5. I would agree that druids have had issues dealing with burst AoE healing since Freya Heroic. I think part of the difficulty is in the general design on druids as apart from a few brief moments druid HPS has always been good and often very good. It always looks like Blizzard expect druids to be used to keep the raid stable in the face of mild continuous AoE and that other classes are expected to deal with any burst. The problem with this strategy is that during cutting edge progress the thing that is important to heal is the burst so if a guild is going to drop a healer they are going to drop a druid.

    • There’s another problem. With the other healers bringing comparative and often superior hps, you start looking at raid cooldowns and tank cooldowns.

      Looking at hps doesn’t work, imo, since it paints a false picture of how healing works. Most other healers have passive buffs they bring to targets aswell, the recent buff to shammies spring to mind. Druids don’t have anything like that. So during progress, on a two healer fight, who do you bring? The shaman who buffs everyone’s hp and damage resistance innately, and does comparative and sometimes better hps? Or the druid who can do fuck all but push numbers?

      Excuse my french. Ironbark looks cool. I like it. I’d still, in a raid leading position, chose a holypriest\shaman over a druid. And it’s not just me.

      The amazingly awesome restokin!
      • Oh don’t mistake me I am a raid leader of an 8/8HC guild and I do prefer to take the other healers over a druid. I was just making the point that I think the issues druids have are often concealed behind the high HPS numbers and I think this is down to a fundamental problem regarding the way druid healers work when compared to how Blizzard designs encounters

      • @Amazingly I do find myself getting frustrated when the healer that is supposedly touted as the “throughput healer” is struggling to have the best throughput. If all we bring to the raid are big numbers, and that’s it, if there are other healers just as adept at performing “our job” you are absolutely right – you have to start to question what, exactly, we are bringing to the table.

        With regards to ironbark, I am grateful to receive it, but definitely disapointed that we lose a personal cooldown to get it. The trade off kind of stinks.

    • @Masith I 100% agree that part of the problem is that the nature of druid healing means that strong druids will perform well numarically. I was completely floored when they gave us a throughput “cooldown”, and fairly angry when they came back and told us we were now doing too much healing.

      I don’t really feel that druids ever really fit in well with the cataclysm healing model, our toolkit just didn’t really jive with it. And as a result, we were continuously left in an incredibly awkward place with no one every really looking deeply into how to fix it. We received bandaids, and we had them ripped off. But it feels like either no one looked deeply enough into the underlying issues to solve them, or they didn’t care. I’d really like the think that it’s the former – but as we move forward into MoP without seeing some change, it’s really hard not to start to wonder if it’s the latter.

  6. Blizzard has said they want raids to bring the healer, not the class. It is for this that they gave pallys, priests, shammies other options to their toolkit. Though druid have been left with the same set of spells throughout. If anything resto druids have spells taken away. Lifebloom in WOTLK was great for AOE burst if when times right.

    • I wonder how something like a 1min to 2min CD that removed the target limit on Lifebloom for maybe 20sec, basically returning LB to the raid blanket it was in TBC, would go over. It would take some skill to time it right, as monka said, but it would be healer skill, not mushroom planting skill. If you time it wrong, you’re still getting nice LB ticks to help stabilize the raid, but if you time it right, you get ~40k blooms (in our ~i385 to i390 gear) on everyone right after a burst.

      I suppose instead, you plant a mushroom/seed/something on each toon in the raid, instead of on the ground, and detonate those shrooms/whatever for burst healing. That allows us to continue looking at our raid frames instead of going back and forth from raid frames to trying to find clear ground near the stack for planting.

      I copied the druid over to the beta server, but I still haven’t actually tried healing on him. The lack of Bartender and a few other quality of life addons in beta is making me much more cranky than I’d anticipated.

      Algorython/Howlinwolf
      • @Algorython We kind of already have the CD though, in ToL. The problem with putting a burst heal ability on a fairly lengthy cooldown is that you often need the healing more frequently. So while it would be a “every now and again” fix, it wouldn’t really support our toolkit in the way that we need it.

        I would much rather have to plant mushrooms on members of the raid than on the ground, as I never have to leave my raid frame to do that. However, a single plant would be much better, as it only requires 3 clicked actions as opposed to 7.

        Healing on the beta is a bit of a pain in the ass. I love clique, and I wish that was a quality of life thing Blizzard would make available in their base UI. However, it’s not terrible if you work everything into mouse over macros and get your hands used to the keybindings that you’ve set :)

    • @Mondka LB was a lot stronger in TBC, though. It’s been pretty heavily nerfed since then, and probably rightfully so. I mean, I spent most of TBC not really casting anything other than LB, so I am greatful for the diversity. But we’ve got to get something to fix the huge weakness in our tool kit – especially if all of the other healing classes are having their weaknesses addressed. If ours continued to be ignored, we are going to become less and less viable for progression oriented content.

  7. What are your thoughts on how good Resto Druid’s toolkits are in 10′s? I understand your perspective is as a 25 H mode raider. My main is a 10 H resto shaman, but I raided the first half of DS progression as a 25 man raider, and the flaws in Resto Shaman’s toolkits are completely different in each format. I also have a Resto Druid alt that’s 6/8 H so I was wondering what your thoughts were on how effective we are in this format. Also, which format do you feel we are more effective in?

    In addition, what are your views on other healers handicaps? I can’t speak from a priest or pally’s perspective, but as a resto shaman, I might have great burst AoE healing when the raid is stacked (as with much of Dragon Soul), but as soon as mobility is required more often than my Spiritwalker’s Grace is up, or the raid cannot stack and I am required to burst aoe heal, I greatly envy my druid.

    • I heal a 10 man group on one of my druid alts, and I think we experience the same issues in both raid formats. Maybe it’s slightly less pronounced in 10s because it’s less of a challenge to get your whole raid blanketed – but the same contraints to HoTs and the way they heal exist, which means the same struggles with regards to burst healing are still present. We were working H Zon’ozz in my 10 the other day, and while I’ve become quite adept with it on Beru, with my much lower gear level – even with the 15% nerf – I was getting a little frustrated trying to keep my group alive during the black phase, and pushing my mana well to it’s limit.

      It’s really hard to say if we are more adept in one raid setting vs. another, but I am very comfortable in saying that our toolkit suffers the same problems in both raid settings.

      As for other healer handicaps – I agree with you completely regarding Shaman. And I would think that Blizzard would have learned a few lessons about healing tools that require very tight grouping to be effective from their trials and tribulations with shaman this expansion. The fact that they had to design an entire raid instance around playing to one class strengths should speak volumes about the problems that exist with the limitations shaman have seen. I do have an alt shaman that I play as well, and I will say that I do often envy what she is able to do in much of dragon soul – however, I also felt very weak and vunerable on her in Firelands and I don’t believe that it was gear related as much as it was simply my ability to be effective in many situations. At the end of FL, I flat out couldn’t manage Baleroc with my shaman if the other two healers in my group weren’t strong and would have to swap to either my paladin or my druid to heal it. I don’t know if that is because of my lack of skill as a shaman, or just the toolkit I had. But it was fairly problematic for me.

      As far as priests and paladins go, I have no personal experience priesting this expansion – but I will say that I got completely fucking owned in output by one of our priest at the start of DS, and I was busting my ass and pushing myself OOM trying to keep up. It was one of the most discouraging moments I’ve had in WoW. As for paladins right now, I don’t know if they have a weakness outside of their lack of available spell to cast while moving. Especially with the current way raid content has been designed in Dragon Soul. Holy Radiance is pretty disgustingly overpowered. I often feel that I have to work twice as hard, and spend more mana, just to remain competitive – and that is a bit frustrating.

      As my gear improved through this content patch, I could be more aggressive with Rejuv, and with the extra damage in hard modes, I was able to keep up better with the other healers. However, when we went back into Normal modes for acheivements this week, I was regularly outhealed by both a strong priest and a strong paladin. I’ve often said that the less there is to heal, the more frustrating it is to heal as a druid, at least with our current toolkit.

      • “As for paladins right now, I don’t know if they have a weakness outside of their lack of available spell to cast while moving.”

        Again, I can’t speak to heroic content, but movement and the positional requirements are the only healing weaknesses that come to mind. If people are spread out, we have no raid healing ability, really. If people are standing still and clumped up, we’re OP. I don’t know what I’d do on heroic Hagara’s lightning phase; I have a weak Holy Shock on a CD, an occasional insta-Flash proc, and flashlights when I get some holy combo points built up — fine for LFR and Normal, but not likely to be useful in hard mode. That’s when I miss my druid. Wild Growth basically goes where it needs to go. Holy Flashlight has to be pretty carefully aimed to be useful.

        Ultraxion, on the other hand, is basically designed to make other healers hate paladins again. It looks like the same may be true for shammies on that fight, but I don’t play one, and we don’t have any active resto shammies in my guild. Our last run had a good resto druid (red crystal), a good holy priest (green crystal), and my pally (wondrous blue crystal). I think I was outhealing them after they got their crystals and before I got mine. Once I got the blue crystal, it was ridiculous. Maybe that whole fight was meant as an apology for “to the ground, baby”.

        Algorython/Howlinwolf
      • “As for paladins right now, I don’t know if they have a weakness outside of their lack of available spell to cast while moving.”

        Movement and positioning are the paladin’s key issues, yes, combined with the need that all healing classes have to tweak the strat and organisation to match their raid team’s strengths and weaknesses. You are right that if people are spread out, there is very little that we can do except blow some throughput cooldowns and hopefully a useful mitigative CD and revert to Divine Light bombing, a la WOTLK. I heal H Hagara lightning phase by blowing wings and DF (and Guardian if I need him towards the end), beaconing one of my people, and dropping Divine Lights on the other/s, weaving in Holy Shocks and WoGs where it’s sensible to (I don’t use LoD there).

        Yes, we’re OP on Ultraxion. We apologise. There’s not a whole lot else we can do about it if Blizzard designs a fight that doesn’t include our key weakness.

  8. “@Algorython We kind of already have the CD though, in ToL. The problem with putting a burst heal ability on a fairly lengthy cooldown is that you often need the healing more frequently.”

    Apparently, we reached a reply nesting limit, so I had to break the thread.

    That’s why I was thinking of de-coupling LB spam from ToL. Keep ToL as the big CD, and move LB spam to a second, shorter CD. Maybe it’s just because I’m a resto-noob, but I have a hell of a time feeling like I’m making the best possible use of ToL form. It provides LB spam and insta-Regrowths all at once, plus general increase in healing output, making it a tempting time to Tranq. I try using it to blanket the raid in LB, both for heals and for my own mana regen, but in the times I feel the need to do that, we’re usually taking enough damage that I have to mix in Regrowths and HTs to keep people alive, not to mention keeping up my mastery, and I end up losing my LB stacks and spending more mana than I regen. I realize a lot of that is my lack of drood skill, having only started drooding with my worgen in Cata, but it seems like a heavily-overloaded CD. I may not be an experienced resto druid, but I’m a hell of a lot better at it than the garden variety healers you find in LFR, and those are probably more representative of the bulk of druid healers in the game these days.

    I normally do all of my healing with mouseover macros on Grid, with Bartender used to make my bars in the shape of my n52te and my Razer Naga button pads. I have to switch toons around enough that to play at my best, it really helps to have everything onscreen laid out in the same way my controllers are. It speeds up my reactions quite a bit, and I’ve clearly become kind of addicted to it. Trying to set up my pally to heal some dungeons also *really* made me wish that Blizz would make a simple mouseover checkbox in the Interface controls. It’s pretty dumb to have to write 20 or more macros between my two healers which do nothing but @mouseover. I know they try to keep the basic interface comprehensible for new users, but that would be a nice quality of life improvement for most of us.

    Algorython/Howlinwolf
  9. Pingback: Resto is Epic » MoP Beta stuff – Blooming Mushrooms

  10. the current problem with resto druids is that the best resto druids are vastly outperforming the majority of resto druids. it isn’t that we lack tools it is that the ones we have are hard to use effectively. i heal 10 mans (8/8 hc) with a resto shaman and a holydin and there is no fight where they can get close to me on healing done. spine for instance which i feel is a fight that resto druids tools are not suited to i ended our first kill 8 million healing ahead of the shaman (pally on dispells). this was despite the fact that i was letting my lifebloom bloom most of the fight as i used it on the heal debuff.
    MoP i feel will be worse in this regard as the 2 best hps talents will almost certainly be soul of the forest and dream of cenarius. using these talents well is going to be a nightmare and will just widen the gap between the druids that top WoL healing and the rest of the pack.
    added to this is that some fights will require more burst healing so we will pick different talents on those fights and completely alter the whole healing style. i really don’t see the whole resto community coping well with this change (although i for one am looking forward to it immensely).

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