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Hello, World.   9 comments

The other day when some tidbits of healer information for WoD starting appearing, it dawned on me that I haven’t written a post here in almost five months. Wow. That is a pretty long period of radio silence! It almost feels like my first post all over again! Between not having a lot to say about druid healing, everyone being at the end of an expansion, and other things pre-occupying my mind I guess I just sort of fell into radio silence here. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say (believe me, I have thoughts on how I feel SoO is as a raid zone and how I feel about how the tier was structured and certain fights in the zone), I just didn’t have super strong feelings rushing me to post.

I have been planning a SoO retrospective, but we are still muddling our way through Garrosh so it’s a bit premature. I actually do have a lot of thoughts about some of the information we’ve received about WoD healing and the direction that it’s moving (mostly all good things!), I just haven’t given myself enough time to organize my thoughts on it enough to get a post drafted – and I wanted to see if we were going to get any additional information aside from what we’ve received already.

So, why I am posting if I don’t have much to say? Well, I figured after five months of not a whole lot it was time for an update on what’s been going on with me.

On Raiding

I’m still doing it. Still at two nights a week (and we are recruiting!). And we are finishing out Garrosh. I have to admit that it’s not been my favorite encounter, and it’s not particularly interesting to heal. It’s mostly periods of no damage followed by OH GOD SO MUCH DAMAGE that you pretty much just throw an army of raid cooldowns at and heal people enough so that they don’t die. Not really exciting. And I don’t really have much more to add at this time! Mostly I’m just ready to finish this tier and move onto our 6-plus months of farm content. Which, eventually, will turn into a one night raid week. Where after about month 3 of farm everyone will be bored. But that’s okay. I’m ready for a little down time and farm content.

On WoW

I am disappointed to say that, outside of raiding, I don’t feel WoW has a lot going for it right now. Normally at this point in an expansion I’d be blowing through alts like mad – but MoP has really killed my drive to progress alts. I have four characters at max level currently (at this point in Cata, I had roughly nine). The problem I have is that I find MoP leveling tedious. And once I get to max level there really isn’t a great progression path for those characters. Usually I get them ready for challenge modes, and I generally have fun with those, but once I’m done that character just collects dust. (A topic that is probably worthy of its own blog post).

I have little interest in running LFR/Flex ad nausem, especially on current content where I’m already raiding it weekly. I have even less interest in dailys and the hubs related to them. I find that pet collecting has become more about how much gold you can throw at rare pets than actually collecting them – which isn’t very fun. Leveling them just becomes tediously boring after your first 10 or so. Achievements have become so numerous that in addition to being tedious they are overwhelming. I will also admit that Blizzard lost me on achievements when I basically had to recomplete Lore Master.

In addition to all of that, there hasn’t been anything announced for WoD that has made me sit up in my chair and get really excited. That isn’t to say that it’s not going to happen, it’s just that all of the information that has been released so far has left me feeling pretty lukewarm about the expansion.

I don’t know. I am feeling very “GET OFF MY LAWN” right now. I don’t know if it’s me. Or the game. Or the end of the expansion blues. But nine out of ten times if I feel like gaming in my free time WoW is at the bottom of my list in terms of games.

On Other Games

I guess that seems like a good segue into this topic! If I’m not playing WoW, what am I playing? At this very moment, Diablo 3. But I won’t lie, it’s hard on my hands and I find that extended sessions aren’t really great for me. So I will play for a few hours, but I often need frequent breaks and have to be careful not to push for too long.

In addition to Diablo, I’ve been dabbling in Civ V, which has been interesting, fun and really addictive. It’s pretty amazing how much time passes by taking just “one more turn”. And before you know it you’ve been sitting at your computer for five hours and haven’t showered and missed lunch and…well, I think you get my point! One of the other things about Civ is that it’s pretty slow paced as far as the requirements on my hands. Which is nice, because it means that I can enjoy it pretty painlessly.

In addition, I’ve been enjoying some games on my 3DS. Zelda and Bravely Default to name a few. They’ve both taken a little bit of a back seat since the move, but now that we are settling in I’m hoping to get back to both of them!

I also have a really large queue of games in my Steam library (I may have a problem with Steam Sales. The first step is admitting it, right?!). Eventually I will get around to them. Probably even soon! Given the inevitable slow down in raiding as we head towards farm content.

On Becoming More Adult

I won’t say more grown up, because I don’t want to grow up! But one of the things that’s been keeping me very busy the past four or so months is that we bought a house. So after the shopping for a house. And then putting in offers on houses. And then having it accepted and needing to do all of the things associated with buying a house. And then packing. And moving. And OMG THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO! I’ve been busy. A good busy, but busy nonetheless. The good news there is that we are mostly settled in now…except for that one room where we put all of the boxes we didn’t know what to do with yet. But since nobody (including ourselves!) has to look at them, it’s almost like they are unpacked. Which means that we might finally have some extra free time again. A prospect that I’m looking forward to enjoying.

On What I’ve Been Writing About

One of the main reasons that I haven’t been writing nearly as much about WoW as I have in the past is because I’ve been really preoccupied with our infertility struggles. I’ve been chronicling that here somewhat regularly if you are interested in following along. But truth be told, it’s pretty much all consuming as far as my thoughts are concerned. And with my brain full, it’s really hard to have a lot of room or energy for other projects. Like writing about druids. Or complaining about how much alts suck this expansion.

And, honestly, I am literally running low on energy from all of the medicines I’m on and their respective side effects. Sometimes it’s all I can do to get home and cook dinner before I am ready to crawl up to bed and crash for the night. I often have to coerce myself to stay up just a couple more hours so that I haven’t thrown my entire sleep schedule off – and even then I’m going to bed much earlier than usual.

It’s been rough both physically and emotionally. And needless to say has impacted every aspect of my life.

So That’s About It!

I do hope to start writing here again with more frequency, but I make no promises! I hope things are going well for everyone and you are enjoying your gaming adventures, whatever they are :)

Posted March 17, 2014 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump

Haste in 5.4   9 comments

 photo 2cef3e5f-a064-4fe9-90f5-7baa3b00bfeb.jpg

I feel a little bit like I should find a way to work a Treebeard quote into the start of this post about haste, but then I realized that the movie really did Treebeard a disservice and those who have not read the books would likely not fully appreciate the significance or humor behind such a quote regarding tress and haste. As such, I have left out the intellectual quotes section from the beginning of this post and have instead replaced it with this somewhat awkward musing about how I was going to do something I found funny, but suspected had limited audience appeal.

Honestly, at this point, I should probably just let the quote fly and move on from it. But that’s not really my style!

*ahem* Let’s talk about trees that don’t involve JRR Tolkien, shall we?

I have been receiving quite a few questions on the topic of Haste lately. Those questions, in addition to something I’ve been quietly observing, have lead me to the conclusion that the topic of resto druids and haste seems to be a little bit confusing. So I thought I’d toss together a quick post that will hopefully offer some clarification on how we, as druids – not Treebeard – want to view haste this tier.

Haste vs. Mastery

There are currently two gearing options for this tier, which subsequently mean that there are two definitive haste breakpoints that you want to be looking at as you are gearing in SoO. 3043 or13163. Those are the options. There really aren’t any in betweens of note, which means any haste over 3043 that does not reach 13163 is essentially wasted itemization. This means that you are going to want to evaluate the gear you have available to you and make a decision on which of these two haste breakpoints is going to work best for you.

I’m sure that the question on everyone’s mind is: “Beru, what I really want to know is which one is better“.

Well, the truth of the matter is that they are fairly comparable and the higher of the two breakpoints is going to be highly gear dependant to reach. This means that there isn’t necessarily a cut and dry answer! Which breakpoint you opt to reach is going to be solely dependent on you! Let’s see if we can break it down a little bit!

The Mastery Build

For this build you will want to aim for 3043 haste. This will be the build for you if you are at lower gear levels – it will be very challenging, if not impossible, to achieve the higher breakpoint unless you are in heroic T15 gear or have a good amount of T16 gear. The stats are just not available on the gear before that point to make the switch.

But don’t worry! Because it’s fine! A mastery build still performs very strongly!

The first thing I want to reiterate is that if you are opting for this build, you want to be at 3043 haste. Do not try for a 6k breakpoint, do not try for an 8k breakpoint. If you can’t reach 13k, your breakpoint is going to be 3043.

Once you’ve reached the requisite amount of haste, you are going to want to reforge any excess stat (crit/haste) into mastery. You will want as many of your pieces as possible to have mastery on them. So, if possible, reforge mastery onto any piece that is lacking it! You will want to use artful, zen and fractured gems to complement this build – you should never need to utilize haste gems in this build, outside of maybe popping in a reckless to do some creative reforging.

 

The Haste Build

For this build you will want to aim for 13163 haste. You will want to consider this build once you have enough haste gear, plus higher secondary stats that make reforging over to this breakpoint feasible. You will likely not reach this point until you have acquired a good amount of T16 gear (or are already in higher level T15 gear). For this build, any gear that does not have inherent haste on it will require you to select a stat to reforge into haste. You can opt for Mastery, Crit or Spirit – but don’t gut your spirit past a point your are comfortable with regen.

You have a few tools to help bump your haste up if you opt for this build. You can utilize quick gems (+320 haste), Reckless gems (+160 haste) or Energized gems (+160 haste). When gemming, try to keep your socket bonuses as much as possible and if you have to, break break a weaker +60 one rather than a stronger +120 one. You can also pick up some extra haste on your gloves utilizing the greater haste enchant. However, do not forego Pandaren’s Step for the haste enchant – the run speed is too valuable for the minimal amount of haste you would be gaining.

Once you’ve reached the proper amount of haste, you will want to dump any extra stats that you haven’t converted to haste into mastery.

Just to Recap!

You will want to choose between either the 3043 and the 13163 haste breakpoints in 5.4. There is no breakpoint that is worth gearing for in between those two – so if you cannot reach the higher breakpoint gear for the lower one until you have the gear necessary for the other! If you opt for the lower one convert all extra stats to mastery. If you are using the higher one, you will likely be strapped for haste until you can acquire some of the haste rich pieces in SoO and will likely need to reforge and gem for haste!

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

Posted October 14, 2013 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Uncategorized

Proving Grounds: Resto Druid Edition   16 comments

This past Friday, the Healer Proving grounds were finally fixed and I decided to spend a little bit of time over the weekend to give them a spin. I have been pretty excited about proving grounds since they were announced, and was very disappointed when they were bugged shortly after being released, so I was pretty excited about going in and playing them finally. I think my favorite thing about proving grounds is that my success in them is wholly dependent on my individual performance and how I execute each challenge that is presented.

I went in Friday and snagged my “Proven Healer” title pushing into wave 48. Saturday morning I decided to give it another go, and went through two rounds with my first getting into 48 again and my second seeing 55. Not satisfied with that, I came in Sunday morning and did another round, this time making it into wave 63 before running into trouble that ended my run. Each time I reach a wave that surpasses my previous performance I find myself exhilarated and have to remind myself to stay calm and play smartly. Each time I fail, I think through what caused the wipe and how I could have done something differently to achieve a different result and look forward to getting back in there to try again. In other words…I’m addicted! I really enjoy that they make me look for solutions to new problems the further I get, which in turn I think makes me a better player. So far, the only downside to proving grounds is that it now takes me in excess of an hour to get back to the best point I reached in my prior runs and back to the challenge of pushing further into additional endless waves. Which can be a little cumbersome.

Since proving grounds are relatively new and require some out of the box thinking and tricks, as well as smart healing, I thought folks might be interested to see how I am approaching them. As such, I thought I’d share some things I’ve picked up over the past few days, in hopes that it will be useful to someone just getting ready to start on their own proven healer journey!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 24, 2013 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Proving Grounds

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.4.   6 comments

With The Siege of Orgrimmar just around the corner, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at what changes we will be seeing as we had in to take down Garrosh!

Innervate – Now restores mana based on the Druid’s spirit

This now means that your return from innervate will not be a set amount, but will be based on how much spirit you are using. This is a good change at the end game, when you are likely to have more spirit on your gear – but may make early restos a little mana starved until they are able to soak up some spirit gear. Basically you will want at least 12,000 spirit to keep your innervate at the same size that it is now. Anything lower than that will make your innervate restore less mana than currently, and anything higher will grant you more mana return from your innervate.

Wild Mushroom Bloom – The restoration version of the ability now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing. A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously. The amount of healing stored on a Wild Mushroom is now reduced by Battle Fatigue. Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.

When you summon mushrooms now, you will only have to summon one mushroom! This is a fantastic quality of life change for everyone! The healing from the mushroom will still heal as if you had planted three in 5.2/5.3 but only one mushroom is required. Additionally, you will now retain the stored up healing in the mushroom if you move it to a new location – which is a fantastic change and makes mushrooms much more forgiving if your raid moves and/or you need to change where you’ve placed your muhsroom. And you will be able to place a mushroom under a person – rather than utilizing the targeting reticule. This will mean that you can plant your mushroom via your raid frames, if you are so inclined.

There will be a three second cooldown between when you plant your mushrooms and when you are able to bloom them – which, while a change, isn’t bad. And if you PvP the amount stored in your mushroom will be reduced while under Battle Fatigue.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

The accumulation rate of this is basically just a reworking to compensate for the fact that we now only have one mushroom, as opposed to three. However, the Crit, Naturalist and Mastery changes are a small nerf – but likely one that was needed, since the output of mushrooms is already very powerful. While the change will probably be slightly noticeable, and maybe a little bit of a bummer, I don’t really expect it to have a massive impact on the PvE side of the game.

Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

This is a new addition to our toolkit. What it does, in a nutshell, is allow your rejuvs to become a more burstier heal. It will take all of your active rejuvs, and speed up the rate at which they tick so that they will all heal much more quickly. This ability also has the potential to have some interplay with charging your mushrooms very quickly, if needed.

Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health and will no longer be consumed if the target is already at full health.

This is a good, and much-needed update to how Living seed functions. Basically, Living Seed will now build up and they won’t trigger from a hit if they party that the living seed is on doesn’t require any healing. There isn’t much more to say here, but this is a good change for Living Seed!

Swiftmend’s area-of-effect healing effect is now called Efflorescence.

Not too much happening here, other than making digging through combat logs a little easier and creating less confusion.

Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now varies by specialization. Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

This basically turns DoC into our version of Atonement. Only worse. While this talent had a lot of potential, the cost of wrath coupled with the interaction it’s going to have with healing makes this talent somewhat prohibitive and lackluster compared to the other two. It may have some niche uses, but isn’t likely to be the top choice for the tier.

Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids

A nice change to this ability that makes it more than just a passive Intellect increase and offers a bit of a healing bonus for utilizing the spell – somewhat similar to the extra output from ToL.

Nature’s Vigil when activated, now increases all damage and healing done by 12% (up from 10%), and causes single-target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

This is a pretty nice change to Nature’s Vigil, and will likely make it the top choice in talents for us in SoO. It’s basically going to take any single target heal (Rejuv, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Healing Touch, etc.) and heal nearby person for 1/4 of the initial heal. This has the potential to be very powerful in high AE damage situations, especially given the short 1.5 minute cooldown on the ability. I would expect that this will be your go-to talent in this tier, unless there is a niche encounter that will favor one of the other two talents more.

Nature’s Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Restoration Druids at level 30.

This is a fantastic change for us, as it means that we can actually explore some of the other talents in that tier, and it removes having what is essentially a mandatory talent. Other than that, nothing else about the ability has changes.

New talent: Ysera’s Gift. Ysera’s Gift replaces Nature’s Swiftness, and heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. This talent fills the spot vacated by Nature’s Swiftness.

Since the departure of Nature’s Swiftness left a gap in our talent tree, they have created a new talent to fill the gap. In looking at the other abilities offered, your two main options are going to be either Ysera’s Gift or Cenarian Ward. Right now, I’m leaning towards Ysera’s Gift being the stronger of the two talents, but may change my mind after playing around with it a little bit. It’s a nice self heal, with a perk for being at full health. Given the other two talents in the tier, I feel that this one will likely be the strongest in a PvE setting – but not so dominantly that the others might not have a place given the encounter you are facing.

Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids. Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

This is a fairly basic change for us with regards to SotF, and doesn’t change a whole lot with regards to the ability for us – but what is going to make it interesting is that we will now have the ability to decouple Efflorescence and Swiftmend via a glyph, which now makes SotF a much more attractive option. With this in mind, I would look for SotF to start edging out the other talents in this tree and for people to start favoring it over ToL in more situations.

Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.

This is a nice little change to this ability. Essentially, if you teleport to Moonglade, casting the ability again will return you to where you were standing when you teleported there. I see myself visiting the trainers in this nice, serene location more frequently now!

Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.

This is a major glyph and has some potential to bring back Innervate swapping as an option to increase the amount of mana gained from Innervate. That being said, I don’t really see it being stronger than the other major glyphs available and I’m not a huge fan of not being in control of my own innervate. Which coupled with the fact that there are stronger major glyphs, I, personally, won’t be considering this glyph.

Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Efflorescence.

This is a very nice change for Lifebloom, and I’m very glad to see that this quality of life change is now permanent and will no longer require us to eat up a major glyph slot to benefit from it!

Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

This is pretty much going to be a must have glyph as it essentially makes Efflorescence a permanent effect as long as you have a wild mushroom active. This is going to be pretty powerful in most, if not all, raid settings. In addition, it decouples swiftmend from efflorescence and means that you no longer have to worry if you are “wasting” your swiftmend by using it on the tank, or someone not grouped up with the rest of the raid (*cough*hunters*cough*). The interaction that this will have with SotF also means that talent is no longer going to tie your Efflorescence to WG and lock you into utilizing Swiftmend/Efflo when it’s not really needed. Overall, this is a fantastic glyph and should be utilized is just about every PvE setting.

Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom: Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.

This is a minor glyph that gives you the option to continue to utilize the targeting reticule to place your mushrooms – as opposed to placing it underneath someone.

Glyph of One with Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.

A fun little minor glyph that seems reminiscent of what I might call Wormhole Generator: Druid.

Tier 16 Set Bonuses

  • (2) Set: Rejuvenation ticks have a 12% chance to grant a Sage Mender, reducing the mana cost and cast time of your next Healing Touch by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.

I think that this is an interesting bonus. Essentially, at 5 stacks you have a completely free HT. It’s almost like another NS added to your toolkit. It will definitely be worth tracking, but I’m not 100% sure it will be worth picking up until you have your four piece bonus – as I’m not sure it’s worth losing your 4 T15 bonus.  That being said, if you are not in T15 Heroic Gear and/or you don’t have your T15 4 piece bonus – the item upgrades may be worth moving to right away, so keep that in mind and consider it as you make a gear plan for yourself!

  • (4) Set: Targets of your Wild Growth spell are instantly healed for (Spell power * 0.25).

This is a pretty powerful four piece bonus, and is something that you will want to try and pick up as soon as you can. It’s a very nice boost to Wild Growth, and give it something it sorely needs in today’s healing environment: the ability to offer a nice heal instantly.

Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji – The Legendary Cloak

I wanted to go ahead and make mention of the cloak, simply because the proc that it offers is going to do an impressive amount of healing – and there will be a noticeable difference between those who have the cloak and those who do not.  the equip effect of the cloak is as such:

Equip: Your helpful spells have a chance to grant you Spirit of Chi-Ji, increasing all healing done by 5% and causing all overhealing on players to be redistributed to up to 5 nearby injured friends, for 10 sec. (Approximately 0.58 procs per minute)

As a druid, this is going to be especially powerful given the nature of HoTs and the relationship that they have come to have with overhealing, especially in today’s healing environment. You will want to try to acquire your legendary cloak as soon as it’s feasible for you to do so, and it will be your best in slot cloak for the remainder of the tier. In fact, I would not be surprised to see some tweaks to the proc once 5.4 goes live and we see more practical use from it.

Overall, I think Druids look to be in a very strong place with 5.4.

It’s certainly going to take us some time to tinker around with our new and/or improved toolkit to find the best ways to utilize and maximize them, but we are definitely looking very healthy going into battle with Garrosh. Many of the changes are strong and supplement our current toolkit very well. I am looking forward to get to try out some new things, and explore some options that weren’t always available previously. It looks to be an exciting tier and an exciting time to be a resto druid!

I wish everyone luck as they head in to overthrow Garrosh! And I can’t wait to see who will be leading the horde moving forward!

Posted September 8, 2013 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing

There’s a Penguin on the Telly!   2 comments

For some reason that I can’t explain, The Penguin on the Telly is one of my favorite Monty Python skits. There is just something about the absurdity of it all that cracks me up every time I watch it. For more reasons that I can’t explain, that skit the first thing that came to my mind when I was trying to think of a title for this sort of catch all post that I’m about to write. So, enjoy the Penguin on the Telly.

Adventures at PAX Prime

Brade and I once again went to PAX Prime. Being local, it’s kind of neat because I never feel rushed to see all of the things and I just kind of show up and do the things I want whenever I want and have the rest of my weekend to do whatever else I feel like. This year I actually attended more days that I had any of the other years that I went. I think the highlight of my weekend was probably dinner with a lot of WoW/Twitter folk. We had a great time, and it’s definitely something I’d do again!

So, you probably want to know what it is that I do at PAX while I’m there. I’ll tell you. I play lots of board games. No, really! I play lots and lots of board games. It’s actually very cool because many of the game companies have representatives and volunteers that sit down and teach you how to play games, so it’s a really great opportunity to see if you enjoy a game or ask questions for a game with a more complex rule set (or really crappy instruction booklet). I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what we played! Read the rest of this entry »

Tier 15 Resto-spective   3 comments

A couple of weeks back, I finished T15. Since this is the first tier I’ve completed this expansion, I thought perhaps I’d go ahead and do a resto retrospective on how I felt about the encounters and their respective heroics this tier. Something I think it’s important to keep in mind in doing this is that about halfway through the tier, resto druids got a pretty big bump in both tranquility and wild mushrooms that significantly improved their healing and Quality of Life through the tier. While there are differing opinions on if the right things were buffed with regards to resto, I don’t think there can be any argument that both changes helped resto significantly in a world of dominating mitigation healing.

But I’m not here to talk/debate wild mushrooms and tranquility, or those pesky priests and paladins, I’m here to talk about how I felt Tier Fifteen fared to a veteran raider who has seen every raid tier in wow – or in other words, to me!

The Content

Without thinking too much about the healing the content, or each individual boss fight, and just looking at the content as a whole, I have to say that I think this has been one of my favorite raid tiers. I don’t know if it’s because I came into after taking a few months off, if I’ve got rose colored glasses from some other things, or what, but I really enjoyed this tier of content. While I was a little disappointed that the Thunder Forge didn’t actually do anything, I thought the story was compelling enough and I absolutely love troll instances.

The bosses were pretty fresh, and the content wasn’t bad either. The only complaint that I really have is that a linear instance for one this long doesn’t really work so well. I think if they had broken it up some so that you had an entry, then a few “gates”/options on what to approach next, with maybe the last couple of bosses at the end, it would have worked out better and made for smoother progression overall with less “wasted” time.

Where would I place this amongst my favorite zones? Somewhere with Black Temple, Blackwing Lair and Ulduar. And which of those was/is my favorite changes depending on the day that you ask me! But it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed Throne of Thunder and thought it was some of the best WoW raiding I’ve seen.

But enough of that! Let’s talk about what I thought about each encounter, or more specifically, which ones I thought were fun to heal! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 6, 2013 by Beruthiel in Uncategorized

Monday Musings: Life as a Raider Edition   6 comments

It has been a steamy, but sunny, few days here in Seattle. Heat is an unusual thing here in Seattle, largely because it is uncommon. Usually summer peaks somewhere around the lower 80s, and generally resides at a nice seventy-five to seventy-seven. The biggest problem with the heat is that the city is largely ill equipped to deal with it. Most residences lack air conditioning, and at the first mention that it is going to be warmer than eighty-five degrees there is a run on fans in every store in the city.

For me, I grew up in the Midwest without air conditioning. While I can kvetch about the heat with the best of them, I fondly remember summer days where my brother and I just laid on the living room floor in front of the fan because it was so hot you couldn’t move. And well, I survived! Except now that I’m older, and am a seasoned pacific northwestener, I have a little less tolerance for the heat. So yesterday, during our heat wave, I gladly went out for dinner and spent some time at our local game shop playing board games for a few hours while enjoying their air conditioning.

Of course, you probably didn’t come here to read about how I spent my Sunday afternoon. But since I couldn’t think of a better intro for this (bound to be babbling) post, I figured it was just as good as any! In fact before we get any farther in it, I’ll even share what is playing on the radio as I type right now!

God I love Paul Simon. So much. I am pretty sure I’m going to have his Graceland album on repeat for like…a week, since I just downloaded it from iTunes after fretting that I lost my original copy of the CD. Anyhow, let’s talk a little bit about WoW, shall we?!
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Posted July 1, 2013 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Raiding

Early Thoughts on the Initial 5.4 Resto Changes   10 comments

Patch 5.4 looks like it’s primed to hit the PTR any day now, and the data miners have been busy pulling out all of the changes that are potentially going to be seen on the PTR. Included in them are a massive amount of resto druid changes – that is almost an entire reworking of the class mid-expansion. While these are very preliminary changes, and I would be shocked if these will hit the live server as they stand now, I thought that it would be worthwhile to take a look at them given the fact that they will have a huge impact on resto druids when they do go live.

While I am excited for many of the changes that look to be around the corner, I am also a little trepidatious about essentially relearning to play my class (again) halfway through the expansion. That being said, we were definitely in need of some big changes and much of what it looks like is in store for us looks good. As such, I’m a little conflicted but definitely leaning towards the “roll with the punches” and “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” side of things.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at what is potentially being proposed!

(Please note that these changes are a mix of things pulled out by dataminers and listed on the official forums as PTR patch notes).

Innervate – Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 50% of the caster’s Spirit every 1 sec for 10 sec.

So they have moved innervate away from being a set amount of our fixed mana pools to once again scaling with Spirit. From a raiding perspective, I think this is a good change. Our spirit levels as we move forward have increased and will only continue to do so – and this allows our primary source of mana regen (innervate) to scale in a somewhat similar fashion to the other healers (as opposed to always being a fixed amount with a fixed mana pool that doesn’t scale with our gear). If you are raiding current content, and you are sitting at a healthy amount of spirit (12k+), that is commonly seen once you are in full T15 gear, this will be a welcome buff to innervate.

Wild Mushroom – Grow a magical mushroom…the mushroom grows larger as it accumulates healing power from 100% of overhealing done by your Rejuvenation, but to a maximum of 200% of your health in bonus healing. Recasting Wild Mushroom will move the Mushroom without losing this accumulated healing. Wild Mushroom: Bloom can consume your Mushroom to heal nearby allies. Only 1 mushroom can be placed at a time.

This is two quality of life changes that were sorely needed!

First, you only need one – yes ONE – mushroom! Secondly, your charges will travel with your mushroom. No more clunky three clicks to place. No more charging the darn things up and then having your raid run to Timbuktu, making you start the process again. This should make mushrooms much more pleasant to utilize and much less punishing if your raid relocates after you’ve set them up. Nothing here but good things!

Wild Mushroom: Bloom – Causes your wild mushroom to bloom, healing all allies within 10 yards for 13,400 +124.2% of spell power. Bonus healing on the Wild Mushroom will be divided across all targets healed.

This change is basically just an adjustment made with the change of only being able to drop a single mushroom (as opposed to three).

Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony

A slight adjustment to the output of mushrooms, as well as the speed in which they (it?!) will charge. Not completely unexpected and probably well in line with the other changes that we are going to see this tier.

Nature’s Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Restoration Druids at level 30.

This is a nice change, and something that probably needed to happen given that NS was basically the only talent option to take in that tier.

Ysera’s Gift, a new talent healing the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. This talent fills the spot vacated by Nature’s Swiftness

This is an interesting new talent, and certainly will add some diversity to this tier. I’m not entirely sure how it will play out versus the other two talents yet, but it at least adds some options/variety to the tier and I think has some potential to be fairly decent in a PvE setting.

Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 500% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

I think that this spell has a lot of potential and I am thrilled to see it added to our toolkit (even if they didn’t name if Flourish!). While it doesn’t solve the great absorb problem, it does do a whole lot to give us some ability for burst healing. I like that it synergizes with one of our key spells, Rejuvenation; and I like that it adds a way for our HoTs to work in a new and unique way, while still keeping some of the flavor of being a HoT. I think that this has the potential to be a very powerful asset in our toolkit and I very much like that it will add a bit of timing to our healing that gives us the opportunity to think ahead and plan in advance for periods of burst damage.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this spell plays out on the PTR and I am hopeful that it will help bridge the gaps we’ve seen in our toolkit for over two expansions. I’m sure there will be some tweaks to it before it goes live, but I’m optimistic that the nature of the ability will remain intact.

Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now varies by specialization: Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

Ever wish that you got atonement? Welp! Now you do! The big difference is that ours doesn’t have a chance to proc an absorb. That being said, it may well make DoC useful given the right set of circumstances, damage patterns and encounter design. It should also be noted that the cost of wrath was increased by 50%.

Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids

Ok, I’ll take it. Right now the only real benefit HotW provides in a raid setting is the 6% increase to intellect, and maybe a little damage during down time. This will at least offer it a little more boost, and I imagine could be relatively powerful when paired with Tranq or our new Genesis ability.

Nature’s Vigil when activated, causes healing spells now trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

This change to NV potentially will make it the “go to” talent in this tier. With the short CD on activation and the increased healing done, it looks to be very promising – even if it is more smart healing (sorry folks, this looks to be the way of the future!). Granted, it is still more throughput which won’t necessarily counter mitigation, but I think it has the potential to be pretty powerful.

Soul of the Forest – Restoration you gain 100% haste for your next spell when you cast Swiftmend.

Nothing really outstanding here. It’s a boost from the 75% that it is currently, but it doesn’t really do anything to change the clunkiness of SotF. To me, that means that the ability continues to be somewhat lackluster.

Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be trigged by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

Well, this is interesting! I can’t decide what I think about this glyph yet. So…if a mushroom is down efflorescence is always present? Am I reading that right?

I do like that it bifurcates efflorescence and swiftmend. But I have mixed feelings on it if I’m reading it as I posted above. I think I want to wait and give my thoughts on this particular new (and potentially exciting) glyph after we see how it plays out on the PTR, but I will say that I don’t know if I’m thrilled about it being active…basically all of the time, with very little thought. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this later – but my initial thought is “yay! More healing!” followed by “Yay! More healing I don’t have to think about!”. I personally think passive healing/mitigation is a problem and I don’t know that I really want the devs to keep contributing to this model.

Druid T16 Restoration 2P Bonus – Ironbark increases your critical chance by 20% for 12 sec.

Um…okay? I guess? I’m sure that this is meant to synergize with the four piece bonus a little bit, and I have some theories about that bonus that I will share, but this just seems a little odd to me.

Druid T16 Restoration 4P Bonus – Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Wild Growth critical heals have a chance to cause all cast time heals for the next 12 sec to cause a Living Seed on the target for 80% of the amount healed.

At first look, this bonus looks like garbage. And if Living Seed stays the way that it is right now, it is a pretty terrible bonus. I mean 1) you have to get a proc and then…spam RG? Seriously? And 2) Living Seed is still terrible. It requires a physical hit to proc and is a reactive ability that will frequently be high over heal.

But I have a theory, or a wish – whatever you want to call it! It is purely speculative. However, I can’t help but think that they will be adjusting living seed to become an absorb. If you look at the shaman and monk bonuses, they are both gaining an absorb mechanic. And priests and paladins already have this ability. So to me, it would make sense that they rework living seed. This takes away the need for the physical hit. It tosses druids an absorb bone. And it has the potential to really synergize with things like OoC and this four piece set bonus.

I could be way off. I could be dreaming. But I, personally, wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see some tweaks coming out to living seed in the relative near future. Granted, the bonus still seems somewhat awkward, but less so if LS was an absorb that we could strategically toss around.

General Thoughts

Overall I’m pretty excited about the changes. However, my one concern is that all of these changes lie in our throughput, which does little to counter the great mitigation problem that has plagued throughput healers for the entirety of this expansion. I will admit that the mushroom and tranq changes that we saw in 5.3 did more to balance this than I had anticipated – but I am hesitant to buy into a slew of throughput changes really fixing the current mitigation imbalance.

I am excited for the choices that some of these new abilities will give us. And I am excited to have some tools that synergize well with our current toolkit while simultaneously looking to fix the gaps in our toolkit. In looking at these changes (save our bizarre set bonuses), I can’t help but feel that we are finally getting some much needed attention and that (aside from the mitigation issues, which really are a separate problem) the devs finally understand the shortcomings of our toolkit.

Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I am excited to see how this overhaul plays out for us on the PTR and if it helps smooth out the druid play style a little bit.

What do you guys think?

Posted June 12, 2013 by Beruthiel in Uncategorized

Resto WA Updates (Trinkets and Mushrooms and Metas, oh my!)   8 comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any updates that I’ve made to my Weak Auras, and while not much has changed, I have added a few new auras into the mix this tier. Because of the size of the auras, and how they present, rather than copying the entire aura here like I have in the past, I’ve uploaded the imports to pastebin and provided the link. Hopefully that makes them easier to copy and import! (When I think of it and have time, I will probably do this for the auras in the original post as well).

VP Trinket

Trinket: http://pastebin.com/XwHsJeFU

I hate “on use” trinkets. Largely because you have to remember to use them. I made this aura to help remind me that this trinket is available, and to use it each time it is off cooldown.

Mushroom Charges

Mushrooms: http://pastebin.com/aREKxcSU

The credit for this wonderful weak aura belongs to Stenhaldi. It’s been the one I’ve been using to track mushrooms since they introduced the charge up mechanic and it’s worked wonderfully for me. Since several folks have asked about what I’m using to track this, I wanted to go ahead and share the aura for everyone. I went ahead and made Sephinia’s updates to the aura so that it tracks the new, increased charge amount. As such, the aura posted above is 5.3 compatible. With mushrooms doing a decent amount of healing since the patch, it is important to have a way to monitor the charge to help judge when to bloom them.

Legendary Meta Proc

Legendary Proc: http://pastebin.com/MZYVeqaL

Since your meta proc is essentially four free rejuvenations, it’s important to keep track of when it activates, so you don’t lose the proc and can maximize the healing you do with it. I make use of this aura to track mine. I altered the coloring a bit so that it is easy to differentiate between the legendary proc and Clearcasting (since the icons look the same).

Hopefully these are helpful! If I’m missing an aura for something you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to ask if I’ve got one tucked away somewhere

Posted May 28, 2013 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Weak Auras

Early Impressions of the 5.3 Resto Changes   6 comments

The other night I was able to see the buffs that released with 5.3 in action. I had the opportunity to do some farm heroic content, some normal content and some progression heroic content. And as such, I have some opinions on them and thought I’d go ahead and share my early thoughts!

Helllllooooo Mushrooms!
Megeara Before I say anything else, I’m going to start with confirming that mushrooms are still absolutely horrible in implementation, a complete pain to use and the bane of my tree existence. However, they are now capable of doing an incredible amount of healing when used well, and should absolutely be worked into your tool kit.

The to the right is from our Mageara kill this week. I had the misfortune of being targeted with a frost beam right before the final rampage and died at the start of the rampage as a result – but nonetheless, I did five million worth of healing and only utilized them once during each rampage (and missed the last one!). On top of that, I think I likely could have a) timed my blooms better; and b) perhaps redropped them and bloomed them a second time at the end of the rampage. By the end of the night, when we got to our new progression target (which also favors them a bit), I was much more aggressive with using them and blooming them prior to having full health stored in them and they did a completely ridiculous amount of healing (while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as a best practice, it was effective for this particular damage pattern). By the end of the night on that one encounter they were just under rejuv for my healing done. So while they are still a pain to set up, I think it is safe to say that the effort is finally worth it in prime situations.

That being said, all of the downsides to mushrooms are still present. The set up. The charging. The huge penalization for having misplaced them or your raid moving. Being the most effective when the raid is grouped up. There were definitely encounters where I felt they were extremely powerful (such as Megeara above), and others where I felt they were not nearly as strong (Heroic Council/Ji-Kun). But I do think that the output they provide fully makes them worthwhile. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 23, 2013 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing

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