The Forest and The Tree: Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest   9 comments

We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.

Conclusion
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?

Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.

Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest

The first thing that I feel I should state is that it is going to take some time to get used to the dynamics of this ability. To maximize your healing, you want to line it up with Wild Growth as frequently as possible – which is moderately cumbersome as Swiftmend is on a 15 seconds cooldown, where Wild Growth (glyphed) is on a ten second cooldown.

The question that should be asked is “What do we do in the gaps of the cooldowns”.

There are some nice calculations over at EJ that answer that question for you. They will also answer the glyphed vs. unglyphed question, if your first thought to solve the cooldown conundrum was “I’ll just unglyph WG!”. I highly recommend that you read through the numbers if you are curious. However, being the impatient person that I am, I am going to offer you the cliff’s notes version and tell you that to get the most bang from your buck with this ability, you will want to continue to cast WG on cooldown, and on the casts where it does not line up with Swiftmend, use a Rejuv to eat up your Soul of the Forest buff.

Now, in theory, that’s how it’s supposed to work. In reality…well, let’s just say it wasn’t quite as smooth for me. It will take some practice to get a feel for when to sync up WG and SM and when to just use a Rejuv after SM. I do know, that regardless of my timers, I still managed to get them off-sync quite a few times and ended up “wasting” the SotF proc. That being said, I think with some practice, the internal rhythm of the ability would probably become second nature and you would get into a groove that was comfortable. At least until you obtained your 4T14 and had to relearn everything again.

Practical Application

I know that on paper things are often quite different than they are in practice. So the next logical question with SotF would be “well, how did it really work”. I did two raids running a SotF build (the LFR and my regular HM group) and I can state that I performed strongly utilizing SotF, with BiS gear and roughly 3000 spirit, and that I did not have flawless application of the ability. However, I also ran ToL for the two longer encounters in Dragon Soul in my heroic run last night and also performed quite well. Would I have done better with SotF? I don’t know. But I do know that in the LFR I ran I was mana prohibited on Madness – which is ultimately what lead me to run ToL on heroic Madness and Spine last night.

Again, I floundered a little bit trying to find a good rhythm with SotF, which is what I think was the most disconcerting part of the ability for me. But, after reviewing the logs, I think that it also performed strongly throughout the night based on the encounters that I saw. With all of that being said – I do not think my mana would have sustained my healing style on Madness or Spine without the extra gains I had from ToL. Which is why I ultimately think that the preferred talent for that level 60 tier is ultimately going to come down to your own preference, and the mana demands of the encounters ahead of us as we start to push progression again. I suspect that there may be some added benefit to ToL early in the expansion when gear levels are lower and mana regen is harder to come by – but a lot of that will also boil down to your preferred healing style.

I know that I, personally, will continue to play around with SotF to get a better feel for it, but I also won’t permanently shelve ToL either. I know, I know. You came looking for an answer and I didn’t deliver! That’s just the way the branch sways…or something like that! My advice is to give them both a go, and see how they play for you. Don’t give up on SotF immediately, because it will feel extremely awkward at first, and it will take some time to get used to the interplay between SM and WG. However, when all is said and done you will need to decide which play style better suits you as a player – and the encounters you are facing there are a decision based on those factors. I do feel that given the correct set of circumstances both abilities will perform strongly and are worth consideration.

Posted September 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Decisions, Druid Healing, Healing, MoP, Raiding

9 responses to “The Forest and The Tree: Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest

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  1. Well said, it’s great to get some more insight into SotF. We’ve only had one raid since the patch and I was running ToL the whole night but I’ll definitely be giving SotF some time. Hell, I might go for it on Spine/Madness and let you know how it goes!

  2. I wouldn’t expect a conclusion of one being significantly better than the other to be honest. That would invalidate the whole purpose of the new talent trees after all! I took Soul of the Forest for my DPS specs so I would have one less thing to think about (and I know I’m in the minority but I don’t care for the armored boomkin/kitty forms). But I prefer Incarnation because I like having control when I’m healing. That held true for all of my classes, the DPS specs took more passive options while the healing specs leaned towards active talents. It’s good that we have choices like that.

    • It will really depend on what you need, as each talent has different strengths. SotF is the stronger throughput talent, but there is a lot of benefit to the regen options that ToL offers as well. But I do think there are solid arguments for both abilities and that both are viable options depending on the player.

  3. Hiya,
    i have been running SotF since the patch hit. We are an 8/8 hc guild and we have been playing around a bit. Mana is an issue now and i have had to drink a few concentration potions recently but i <3 SotF. I can easily maintain 35k hps on madness hc and that includes the fact that with the bugged congealing bloods i have to use ursols vortex and glyphed hurricane on them atm.
    For me SotF will remain my default choice with ToL taking over in early MoP gear lvls (low spirit) or fights where frequent burst healing is needed.
    In very early MoP gear i may well even pick the treants as their mana efficiency is unrivaled (free).
    So.
    SofT= best throughput
    ToL = best burst healing.
    FoN = most mana efficient and the only one that allows new healing while you are cc'd.
    btw SotF can also be used on lifebloom it is a huge buff to this powerful spell provided you don't target a direct heal or refresh it over the next 14 seconds.
    sure rejuev is easier but i am fairly sure lifebloom ticking 30% more often is better even without the extra OOC procs this gives you (about one extra proc a minute by my calcs).

    • I’m not sure I agree with you the ToL offers more burst healing – the main benefits of ToL are in the mana savings, although the extra healing isn’t anything to sneeze at. However, I am fairly confident that running SotF with WG is going to be burstier than the LB spreading you can do with ToL.

      While I understand that LB can be cast with SotF, you get higher HPS by using a Rejuv when SotF doesn’t line up with a WG. You to get a 29k gain from Rejuv and only a 19k gain from LB. (See EJ post linked above for the math on those numbers).

  4. Big Caveat: I hardly healed at all in DS prior to the 5.0 patch. Maybe a handful of encounters in H-DS, none more than twice. I only really healed in LFR this tier. As part of the guild’s effort to get back into the swing of things. I certainly don’t have anywhere near BiS gear…even though we finished DS in march, I just rarely pick up healer gear. My gear is also suboptimally enchanted and reforged for resto since it is has large overlap with my moonkin set. I’m still running 2pc heroic T12 (head and chest), raid finder resto gloves, normal healing DW mace, and using Heroic Fall of Mortality as one of my trinkets (the other is a heroic Spine heal trinket) I still made the 2006 or whatever it is haste plateau, but my spirit is pretty low.

    I ran with WG unglyphed as we’re a 10man (I think that’s still the right decision…right?)

    With all of that gear/experience background, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed SotF (and had very good success with it in terms of competitive or better output with several of our more regular healers), even using it on Madness (though I had never healed it or spine on heroic, and mana fears led me to go ToL on spine and I’m glad i did). Very fun uses, especially for fights like Warmaster where phase 2 has consistent bursts of damage with comparative periods of only tank damage going on so I don’t feel bad about keeping WG so super-tightly on CD. I also really enjoyed it for madness when I would use it to buff a strong Rejuv on parasite targets or for WG during tentacle burns, the bolt blast, or the final phase blood pushes.

    Plus, SotF gave me maybe my favorite moment of the night: i spent one on a nourish (don’t ask…) and almost fell out of my chair laughing.

    The thing I like about SotF is that it gives an added dimension to think about. Now that LB and Harmony last forever, and Harmony in particular requires basically no maintenance, SotF gives me something that I can think about how I want to use it, what needs it’s likely to help with in the near future, etc. Along with Ironbark, I really enjoyed the new resto toolkit even if the shrooms are depressingly (and distressingly) ineffective (having been a moonkin using the old placement mechanic for so long, I don’t mind placing the shrooms, I just wish they were worth using).

    • I have to agree that the shrooms are terrible. I used them last week, and it was a net healing loss for me. I completely ignored them this week, and for better or worse, performed much better. It is unfortunate that are “new” healing spell is such that, outside of a few places, they aren’t worth the time and effort it takes to use them.

      As for the WG glyph for ten mans, I’m not sure. I know that it is a net healing loss to try to sync up WG and SotF every time with it unglyphed, and I’m sure your rotation would change from how you would use it glyphed, if you were going for maximum throughout. With it glyphed, filling in with Rejuv, you have an 827k gain, where as without the glyph if you attempt to sync it up with WG each time you only have a gain of 337k (see EJ post for the math, as it’s not mine!). So the question that needs to be asked, I think, what would give the best throughput in a ten man setting – and I suspect it’s going to be to use the WG glyph.

      I suppose that is a question that should probably be worked out for those running tens. And, ultimately, will need to be solved for 4T14 as well.

  5. I was also very :( after first week (did 10man heroic clear and some lfr) and also very dissapointed after our first 25man heroic run on wed in first 6 bosses heroic ..so i went back to research and read what others have posted so i decide to try sotf instead of force of nature and tol (i tried force of nature but first week i was trying to adjust to mushrooms and kept forgetting it was 1 min cd). I was really dissapointed with my healing being worse than before and seeing rshamans doing extremelly well with healing rain (30%+ of their healing !! give me a break) and paladins to produce very good aoe healing,

    My thoughts are that right now tol is easier to handle as we are used to it already…but with 3mins cds content nerfed and very low damage its hard to say if its the best talent or not … Force of nature is not working as it should since it casts 6 healing touch instead of 7 (i have been told it depends on your haste/casting speed) —it finishes casting in the middle of 6 to 7 cast… though if we get the 7 cast to work properly it can be good in terms of mana saving and in certain bosses (currently in ds).

    Sotf needs a new playstyle and perhaps waving goodbye to good uptime of rejuv and wild growth if you want to manage to get good burst output in healing. Since after you cast swiftmend you need to be sure there is damage to group to cast wild growth so you dont waste sotf. There is another option to reduce swiftmend and its the healing touch glyph but i think until our next tiers we wont cast so many healing touches to make the glyph worthwhile. I also want to remind everyone that you cast swiftmend you then have 5 seconds to cast a spell (sotf) so the cd between wg and swiftmend is roughly 2-3 secs different making also a good sync with a casting of a healing touch after wild growth. Ofc in theory its easy to say things like that.

    some numbers at our current lvl :

    with 2005 haste and soul forest you get 11 ticks of wild growth (8 ticks without soul forest) with 2057 haste +soul forest and heroic trinket proc at same time you get 15 ticks

    with soul forest + 2057 haste without heroic trinket (of haste) proc you get 12 ticks so numbers unless i misread them are wrong.

    —with 2057 haste wg ticks are 8 as with 2005 haste so 2057 is no new haste limit on its own —

    18 ticks of lifebloom (with bloom glyph on) with soul forest and 2057 haste

    21 ticks of lifebloom with soul forest 2057 haste (with bloom glyph on) and heroic trinket proc (haste) ///

    with soul forest + 2057 haste + heroic trinket proc (without bloom glyph on) i got 32 ticks lb

    // with soul forest 2057 haste i got 21 ticks of lb (no bloom glyph no heroic trinket proc)

    thats it for now … (will try to get more testing and put it in a more visible form)
    (testing the haste as suggested by other sources at 2057 haste no raid buffs)
    Apostoloss -rdruid / ravencrest Dawnstar Guild

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