Archive for the ‘Changes’ Category
Tomorrow’s release of Patch 5.3 brings a few changes that are important to know for Resto Druids. As such, I thought it might be worthwhile to go over a few things that you want to be aware of and ready to handle upon arriving home and logging in!
What to Expect!
Healing abilities and spells which automatically pick targets now follow consistent rules for tageting logic. Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets”
What, exactly, does this mean? It means that if you cast WG while everyone is at full life it will favor players instead of pets! This is a pretty great change all around, and one that will be favorable for resto druids.
Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-play instance.
This is pretty great change for druids raiding 25s. While I’m not entirely sure it’s going to really even the mitigation playing field, it is certainly a step in the right direction and will give tranquility a bit of a much needed boost in 25s. As always, I encourage you to find the best time to utilize tranquility in each encounter and maximize its use throughout the fight. There are lots of prime opportunities for Tranquility in ToT!
Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
This is another pretty great change for Resto, and helps add a little more diversity to the resto toolkit. At 60 seconds, ironbark can (and should!) be tossed around freely on your raid anytime someone is in danger and could use the extra survival.
Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards
While not a bad change for swiftmend, I’m not entirely confident that it’s going to have much of an overall impact on the ability. As it is, you either dump it on melee (or another clumped up group) or opt to use it on a single target (such as the tank, or someone in need of quick healing). The extended range won’t hurt, but I don’t really think it’s anything that is going to have a significant impact on our overall output either.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).
Oh Mushrooms. You have the potential to be something great, and yet we are still brought down by your cumbersome placement mechanic and overall lack of cohesion with the resto toolkit.
This change is a good one for Mushrooms – bigger heal, larger heal radius – but still suffers all of the main issues of the base spell itself. When I was talking about this with Brade the other day we decided that 2/5 of the time mushrooms will be largely overheal; 2/5 of the time mushrooms will be in the wrong spot at the time they need to be used; and 1/5 of the time mushrooms will work as intended and be moderately awesome. It’s just really hard to get excited about a buff to a spell that is horrendous in practice.
In places mushrooms were good previously, they will be even better now. In places where mushrooms make you want to kill small kittens, well…just remember that neighborhood cats will be missed.
All of that being said, the buff to mushrooms will make a single mushroom more potent, so it may be worthwhile during downtime to spread some out amongst the ranged in encounters that are very mobile and it is unlikely there will be given stack points or the melee will be all over the place (for example, I find they are pretty great during Ji-Kun’s Quills, or to quickly top up damage from Caw). Let them charge and use them during raid damage to help top folks up. It will also likely be worthwhile to try to plan in advance to drop them for significant damage phases. While it would be nice if they retained at least some of their charge if you have to replant them, it will be smart to try to keep them planted in key locations when applicable.
Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses it special abilities on the Druid’s current target and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges. Restoration version of the Treant now casts Swiftmend on the Druid’s target when summoned. This version of Swiftmend does not require or consume a heal-over-time effect on the target.
While this is a significant upgrade to this talent – it will be very hard pressed to be competitive with ToL or SotF. There may be times where it might be useful, but its usefulness is not likely to be outweighed when compared against SotF or ToL. My advice would be to play around with it in LFR, see if you like it, but to continue to stick with your preferred staples in this tier as I still don’t foresee FoN outperforming either of the other abilities available.
Important Changes that aren’t Resto Specific, but you should still know about!
Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that’s currently active. This feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the character portrait and selecting the option from the drop-down list. Loot specialization is available for bonus rolls, Raid Finder, and Pandarian quest rewards
This is a fantastic change, and one that I hope will prevent people from queuing into raid finder as a healer/dps and then changing specs to their preferred roll. It should also significantly help with the acquisition of off spec gear via raid finder.
Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player
Say it with me! “AMEN!” I don’t know about you, but using coin after coin and never having loot show up can be so discouraging. I’m happy to see that this is something that was noted and an action taken to fix. It should also make the ease of gearing an alt a little better.
Completing the Challenge Mode daily quest now awards a Heroic Cache of Treasures with a chance to contain an epic item
One more reasons to look into challenge modes! (Which I think everyone should be doing anyhow!)
Voidbinders are back in capital cities and shrines. Items upgradable by Valor now require 250 Valor to upgrade per 4 items levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 item levels per item. This is retroactive to all items that use Valor
I’m really torn. While I think these item upgrades are a relatively elegant way to “nerf” current content, having to continually VP cap is tedious and time consuming. The plus side is that the cost to upgrade an item is significantly decreased – which is good. But the time commitment to VP cap outside of raids each week continues to be cumbersome. Either way – if you are capped come Tuesday, you can do a total of 12 upgrades (or 6 total items fully upgraded).
Players can now use items that are in the bank or Void Storage for transmogrification
Always look good…without having to pay to take items in and out of void storage! Of course, if your Void Storage looks like mine, it’s chock full anyhow and you are already transmogging from your bank because that is where your gear lives anyhow.
Enjoy 5.3, and may you fell many new foes upon its release!
As always, I am happy to entertain discussion or answer questions. I’d also love to hear about your favorite 5.3 additions.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these types of updates. I could probably tell you I didn’t have much to say – but since I often did updates that were almost completely devoid of WoW information, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I think it would probably be more accurate to say that I’ve been busy…and lazy. I mean I could have easily offered an update on any number of things, but when I had my down time I simply found I wanted to do something other than write! As harsh is that might sound…honesty is best! (Right? RIGHT?!).
Whatever! I have both time and desire to write at this moment, as well as things to say! So I suppose that we should get to that before I lose any of the above.
Wait, what?! (It’s okay, I know that you are probably thinking it, I can hear the wheels turning from here!). Remember that post about the 5.3 PTR I did the other day? The one where I said I had reason to believe that I’d probably have a little more to say about druids as we moved forward? No? Okay, perhaps we should start from the beginning here. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been pretty quiet here the last month or so, and I’m not entirely sure what to say about the silence. The truth is that when I created this blog, it was supposed to be a venue for me to express my thoughts, frustrations and cleanse my mind. Unfortunately, as more people started reading my blog, I stopped using it as much to do something that was very healthy for me, due to adverse reactions from some people in my guild and people getting upset. Which is unfortunate, because it was a wonderful venue to think through things that were challenging and frustrating me and I needed to work through – and I want, no need, to return it to that. Over the past six months my blog became a lot less personal, and as a result my internal thoughts a lot more crowded.
So, in the interest of getting back to my roots (pun intended!), this post is going to be personal.
This past Monday Brade and I disbanded the raid team in Monolith. It was not without hurt feelings and controversy – and I will not be surprised if someone childishly (and most likely cowardly) posts hurtful things in the comments to this post (which I reserve the right to monitor and remove). But the truth is that it was long past time. Back at the end of Cataclysm Brade and I discussed at length, over the course of several months, shutting down the raid team. Ultimately, after much back and forth, we made the decision to continue for one more expansion. We thought Mists had promise – and many of the things that were weighing on our minds, and most personal conflicts, seemed resolved. So it was with enthusiasm that we pushed forward.
Unfortunately, once we got into the expansion it became clear that those resolutions were not permanent, and many of the things that made us question continuing on into the expansion resurfaced, and seemingly multiplied. It was disappointing, but because we are stubborn and committed we put our heads down and continued to push on. We don’t quit simply because things are hard – we have over eight years of success to back that statement up.
But then, on January 2nd, as I was driving into work, this happened:
I was driving my normal route, moving with the flow of traffic, when my car hit an ice patch on an elevated part of highway and I lost control of the vehicle. It did one of those scary spin around things before hitting a car entering from an entrance ramp and getting hit by the car that was travelling in the lane next to me. Fortunately for me I drive into work early in the morning, before rush hour traffic is in full force. And that the bus behind me had time to react and stop before plowing into me as well. And that I purchased a car with a very high safety rating, and a bajillion airbags.
I walked away with a minor concussion (a bump on my head about the size of an orange), pretty beat up (they took xrays of my knee to make sure it wasn’t broken) and extremely shaken. Driving to work today, with the weather in the same conditions as it was the day of the accident, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I drove like a grandma, and just about every other car on the highway passed me, but I made it to work in one piece and imagine I will be a little less scared next time.
Anyhow, the accident had a profound effect on my thoughts. It’s strange how one, very scary, thing can make you see things more clearly. Things I had been struggling with, were now crystal. The fact was that Monolith’s environment had morphed into something completely unrecognizable, and completely unenjoyable for a lot of people – including myself. I realized this was no longer the guild that Brade and I had decided to fight to hold onto, and we no longer wanted to see it continue to degrade. Attrition was high – for any number of reasons – mostly real life. And community was almost non-existent. After a blow out on Sunday night, Brade and I spent a lot of time discussing this, and after Brade fell asleep I stayed awake with my thoughts.
The truth is, life is simply too short to do things where the enjoyment doesn’t outweigh the stress, and to surround yourself with people who make you feel bad about yourself and miserable. My car accident was a trigger to make me finally acknowledge this. I realized that I want to write my history in more than pixels, and I want more than regrets on the pages. And letting Monolith’s community degrade to the point that it was a shadow of what we had worked so hard to create was a regret I didn’t want.
Upon announcing that we were disbanding the raid team, many cruel things were said to me. I was told I was selfish – despite the fact that I had given over eight years of my life putting everyone else’s happiness in front of my own. I was told I was mentally unstable and needed to seek professional help – despite the fact that this is the best decision for everyone involved, even though it probably doesn’t feel like it at the time. I was told that the guild deserved to die under my leadership – despite the fact that it didn’t die, we killed the raid team and all the toxic vitriol that came with trying to maintain it, but in the process saved the community and the guild.
And while I would be lying if I said these things didn’t bother me a little, I can honestly say that I’m not upset about them. I am 100% comfortable with the decision we made, and I know it was the right one. But for every nasty comment I received, I got two from those who understood and supported our decision – those who agreed with our assessment of the situation and valued the importance of community. And for the first time in months I logged in and enjoyed guild chat again. There was laughter and fun. People were in high spirits and joking around. It was almost like playing an entirely new game, and I was reminded why we valued certain things over others.
For those of you wondering if the current state of druids played into my decision – I would be lying if I said no. Was it a main factor? No. Was it a top 10 factor? Yes, but towards the bottom of the list. I truly feel that Blizzard needs to do a better job of balancing classes if equality is their goal. I continue to feel they should abandon the idea that 10s and 25s are equal, because they never will. Hating my class was certainly a factor in my decision, and certainly had an impact on my ability to enjoy the game. For right or wrong, I struggled with coming to terms with how poorly resto druids scaled in 25s, and got to the point that I almost didn’t even want to try because it didn’t matter. And, in all honesty, I don’t feel the “new” mushrooms, in their current iteration, are going to improve our situation any – but that is likely a topic for another time.
So many of you are probably thinking “what now, Beru”.
Well, I’m not really sure. Something I haven’t been hugely open about is that Brade and I have decided to start a family, and have started trying to conceive. Because I want to bifurcate my gaming blog with this effort, I did start a new blog, Wind Blown Tree Tops to chronicle my adventures. Right now, it’s simply a completely generic, blank blog as it has been since I created it in September. But I imagine in time I will have a lot of things to say there and will nitpick both the style and the content until I’m happy with it. You are all welcome to follow me through this adventure if you’d like, although I don’t know how exciting it will be :)
Will I keep blogging here and about druids? Well, I don’t know. I’d like to, but I also don’t know what I’ll have to say. I suspect only time will tell. Will I keep playing WoW? Brade and I have decided to play very casually at this time. We are finally getting around to challenge modes (which are immensely fun!). In time, we will probably do a 1 night a week ten man with friends to see what the new content is all about. I will continue to enjoy the addiction that is pet battling. But I don’t know if I will ever raid seriously again. I find that as time goes on I am less inclined to have my gaming environment constrict my time. I want to be able to take the aquasize class that meets two nights a week. I want to be able to come home from work and relax, game if I want or watch TV if I want. And I strongly suspect that as I continue to have less of an obligation to be online, the value of no longer having a raid schedule (and all the things that come with it – like dailys) will outweigh any desire to be competitive again.
And, I am content with that. For the first time in years I feel a freedom that I had forgotten about. Will I miss raiding? Yes, absolutely. And I will continue to cheer on and support those of you who are still pushing through it. I have many happy memories brought to me from raiding and I think it is a fantastic group effort that can teach valuable life lessons. I don’t have any regrets about the time I spent in WoW – it was well worth it and got me through some of the most difficult times of my life. It is my hope that I can still continue to enjoy it, just on my terms now.
And, well, if things go as planned, I have some big changes on the horizon :)
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.
We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.
I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90′s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.
I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »
I promised myself that I wasn’t going to make a post about MoP changes this early into the Beta process because everything is subject to change, and many things likely will be changed. I had the best intent of keeping that promise, I really did. However when I opened up my feedreader this morning and saw some of the datamined information on MMO-Champion, my resolve erroded. Mostly because I do have some strong opinions on some of the things that I’ve read about to date, and I don’t like a good deal of it. As such, I thought I’d go ahead and give my thoughts on some of the reworked talents and abilities, because if I complacently don’t say anything I don’t really have the right to criticize it later.
Let’s take a look at what we have coming down the pike, shall we? As we have this discussion, please take note that this is an extremely early examination of these abilities and they are all subject to changing as the beta progresses. I only pulled out the mostly resto-centric abilities and talents, so this is not a comprehensive list of all of the changes. I would recommend checking out the post over on MMO-Champion if you are looking for the full list. Read the rest of this entry »
Wild Growth and Tranquility: The Problems
Everyone rushed into a frenzy yesterday at the news of a WG nerf. And to be fair I did a bit of ranting on twitter myself, but I decided that I wanted to sleep on it and gather my thoughts a little bit before putting them together to share. While my initial gut reaction was to fly off the handle, I needed to take a step and remind myself that it is day one of the PTR and many things will likely change. So let’s take a look at the nerf, shall we?
In conjunction with this change, we also need to review the change to the Glyph of Wild Growth as well.
- Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.
So what do those two combined changes achieve? Well, they pretty much put Wild Growth back to exactly where it was when Cataclysm launched before it was buffed in 4.0.6 to where it is today. I’m struggling with this a little bit. Frist, WG is pretty powerful. That cannot be denied. And honestly, anyone who wasn’t expecting some sort of nerf was probably sticking their head in the sand. Read the rest of this entry »
Since there has been a lot of conversation regarding some of the changes that resto druids can expect in 4.2, I thought that I’d take a few minutes here to quickly go over some of the additional changes that have been announced, and uncovered from the PTR. Keep in mind that this is all subject to change as the PTR progresses, so what we see today may well not be what we see when 4.2 actually releases.
A few days ago I posted about some data mined changes to resto druid mastery. It would seem that Blizzard had decided to move away from our currently mastery of Symbiosis – which required an already existing HoT to make your heals stronger – to a new mastery called Harmony.
Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.
While I’ve already given my thoughts on the new mastery, I wanted to go ahead and add some clarification that has come out of the PTR. When we first heard about Harmony, there was much discussion on exactly how it would function. Would it be a buff on the druid, or would it be a buff on the target? Rest easy, my barky friends, we finally have answers! Some PTR testing that was done over at EJ has, in fact, confirmed that Harmony is a buff on the druid, and that all the druid needs to do to keep it active is to cast one direct heal every ten seconds.
This is great news, and a much needed boost to our mastery. However, be ready to hit up your calculators as we see our stat priorities shift in light of this change.
Tier 12 Four Piece Bonus
Something else to take note of as the PTR continues to evolve is that our previously lackluster (in my opinion) set bonus has changed. The old bonus was:
Restoration 4 Pieces – When your Lifebloom blooms, it instantly heals up to 2 nearby injured targets for the same amount.
The value of this bonus was debatable, and there were a slew of problems that came from trying to work out all of the contingencies that would need to happen to make this a powerful bonus. Needless to say, I was pretty much not a fan.
Apparently, neither was Blizzard, as we have been granted a new four piece bonus!
Restoration 4-Piece Bonus: Your Swiftmend also heals an injured target within 8 yards for the same amount.
I find this bonus a significant improvement over the old one, and it has the added benefit of not being tied to lifebloom, as both of our current bonuses are, and the two piece T12 bonus is. The new bonus is nice, but I also don’t think it’s overly creative or anything to write home about. I very much doubt, based on the way the bonus is phrased, that it will duplicate efflorescence - although it would be pretty neat if it did. So it’s basically a free heal every time you swiftmend.
While somewhat boring compared to the new and improved priest four piece (I seriously want healing flames, wtf), it is also a big improvement from the previous bonus, so it’s hard to complain too much. It will be interesting to see how the change maths out, but I have a gut feeling that it will be worth picking up.
What do you think about the changes?