Archive for the ‘Changes’ Category

Monday Musings: Insanity Edition   4 comments

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  ~Albert Einstein
 
Sometimes I wonder if Albert Einstein raided.  Surely he must have, because he seems so in tune with how I feel sometimes on raid nights.  Either that, or raiding really is rocket science and we just haven’t realized that fact as yet.
 
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Harmony – New Resto Mastery for 4.2   22 comments

Once again we have more datamined information coming from the PTR files, courtesy of MMO-Champion .  And no, sadly, I’m not talking about our god-awful ugly tier gear.  I’m also not talking about the anticipated changes to mana tide totem, which were seemingly brought about to continue to address healer mana.  What I am talking about are the potential changes to resto druid mastery.  It came as a bit of a shock to everyone, as it was entirely unexpected, but who am I to look the gift horse in the mouth?

Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.

Now, if we go under the assumption that Harmony will be a buff given to the druid every time they cast a direct heal, this is going to be a very good change for druid mastery.  In fact, it might even be too good a change.  I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the effects reduced some.  However, as I read it, all the casting druid needs to do to keep the buff active is cast one direct heal every ten seconds.  This is something that most druids are likely already doing, so it shouldn’t be too hard for many to simply monitor their Harmony buff and keep it active.

There is some question about if the way I have read the buff above is accurate, and the majority seem to agree with my interpretation.  However, there is the possibility that the buff isn’t something that the druid receives – rather something that is granted to the target.  And if this is the case, which I doubt (pray) , it will actually mean our mastery is worse – as hard as that is to believe.  We won’t know for certain how Harmony will work until the change is implemented on the  PTR and can be tested.

For the time being though, let’s assume that my original interpretation is correct.  I think Harmony is a good change.  While some people may say that it’s “boring”, as it’s pretty much a static buff provided that you remember to keep it active via a direct heal, it is undoubtedly an improvement over Symbiosis.  In my opinion our current mastery encourages poor healing by forcing you to “chase” already active heals on a target who may not need the extra healing over a target who does.  The whole boost a heal for someone who has a heal never really made a lot of sense to me, especially in the “triage” environment that Blizzard was trying to promote – where smart healing was encouraged.

Provided that this goes live, I think that it will also move mastery up a touch on our priority list with regards to stats.  I do not think that it’s going to overcome haste for breakpoints or intellect for pure throughput, but I do think that it’s no longer going to be something we cringe at when it appears on our gear.

Overall, I am optimistic about the change, provided that it’s done via a buff to the casting druid.

What are your thoughts on Harmony?

Posted May 11, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing, Healing

Living Seed Unlinked!   3 comments

Two posts in one day?!  INCONCEIVABLE!

And yet, here I am!  This one was just too good to sit on!  In today’s patch notes, we have the following juicy goodness attached to the end of our already known efflorescence changes:

Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Finally!  We are no longer forced into 3 talents points that generally account for less than 3% of our overall healing in a given raid night to pick up on only “new” heal this expansion.  While I am happy to see the change go into effect, it’s really too bad that the devs didn’t do something to spruce up the talent a little bit.  I’d personally love to see it act like Ancestral Healing or Inspiration, or perhaps have an absorb effect as opposed to a straight heal effect.  Hopefully once Blizzard realizes that it’s been axed from druid talent specs due to it’s lackluster nature, they will take a look at how to make it more desirable.  Honestly, I think there is so much potential that we could see in those three talent points.

The next question that has to be answered is “what am I going to do with those three points”.  Making the assumption that a reduced cooldown tranquility is our new “raid cooldown” and that Blizzard doesn’t have something else up their sleeve for us that might be added into our talent tree – I will probably go with a mixture of points in Blessing of the Grove and Perseverance.  But Beru, since you have three points free why not play with Nature’s Bounty more?  Well, if the talent tree remains arranged as it is currently you need to use those three points earlier in the tree to unlock the later talents which would still prohibit getting down to Nature’s Bounty without giving up something later in the tree.

One other thing that I found very interesting in this latest round of patch notes, however, wasn’t druid related.  In fact, in came from the warrior notes:

Colossus Smash now ignores 50% of a hostile player’s armor (PvP), but continues to ignore 100% of a non-player character’s armor (PvE).

But Beru, why do you care about warrior notes?  It’s not really so much the warrior part of the notes that I found intriguing.  It’s the PvP vs PvE change of the notes.  It’s the fact that Blizzard made a PvP nerf to a talent without causing a PvE nerf, and the way in which they did it is interesting.  What this does is makes me curious if we are going to see more PvP balancing take this approach.  I really do hope that to be the case, as there is nothing more disheartening than seeing PvP nerfs coming down the pike that affect your class in PvE.  Regardless, I definitely thought that it was worth noting and think that it will be interesting to watch to see if there will be more PvP balancing changes that follow the nature of this change.

Posted March 15, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing

I’m Growing Nervous About Tranquilty   33 comments

There is some great news floating around the druid community regarding some tweaks that are being made to Efflorescence.  Decent enough tweaks that it feels slightly less painful having to shovel 6 of our precious talent points to acquire the talent.  Both Jarre and Keeva have talked a bit about the change, and what it means for resto druids, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it outside of pointing you in their direction if you’d like to read up on the change.  Ok, I suppose that I will also state that it’s a good change for us.  There.  That’s all I’m going to say on it!

But only because I’d like to talk about something else.  Tranquility.

A while back druids and shamans were given the hope that they would be getting a healing cooldown to match those seen with both paladins and priests.

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

There was much joy, elation and, of course, speculation about what this cooldown would be and what it would do for everyone.  Druids across Azeroth have waited with bated breath and anticipation for Blizzard to announce our new cooldown.  Well, I’m starting to wonder if the wait is over for us.  You see Shaman had their cooldown announced yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 4, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing

Offensive Cooldowns on the Way for Druids and Shaman!   19 comments

Something very, very interesting caught my eye in one of today’s blue posts (you know, the one where they nerfed Disc Priests and Buffed Resto Shaman…again). Interesting enough that I thought it deserved its very own quick post and some discussion.

We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department. The shaman buff and Power Word: Shield adjustment above should bring all healers reasonably close in terms of throughput. The decision on who to bring then might end up being dictated by the strong cooldowns offered by paladins or priests. This isn’t the kind of thing we can address via a hotfix, but it is something we are looking at for the next major content patch.

As always, we appreciate your continued constructive feedback and will do our best to keep you informed of ongoing developments.  source

Druids and Shaman have been fighting through several expansions for some form of offensive cooldown to put them on par with Priests and Paladins. And many people have opined on the topic, and offered suggestions hoping that someday this would fall on the ears of a willing Dev who understood the true disadvantage Shaman and Druids faced because they were lacking in this area.

Without much more to go on than what was stated in the post above, exactly what we will be getting remains a complete mystery. A targetable barkskin that would reduce the damage taken by the target has often been the favored hope by many a druid – with some creative thinkers in the community thinking about how it could potentially be tied to ToL to give us something competitive/similar to Power Word: Barrier.

While this seems to be in the very early stages, and no decisions have been made yet, it is absolutely something to be excited about.

If you had a hand in the design, what kind of offensive cooldown would you give to druids? How about Shaman?



Posted February 16, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing

Quick Thoughts on the Resto PTR Changes (4.0.6)   19 comments

I don’t have a ton of time today, but I did want to offer some food for thought on the four changes that are being reported as going up on the PTR for Resto Druids.

Let’s start with the biggest one.

Omen of Clarity

· Omen of Clarity now procs from damage spells and attacks instead of proc from damage and healing spells.

What do I think? At first I was like most other people and went WTF do you mean OoC no longer procs from healing spells! But that was quickly followed by jumping to the fact that they did not change Malfurion’s Gift. So what I think is that Malfurion’s gift is now an absolute must talent in the resto tree (not that it wasn’t before, in my opinion) and the only healing spell that will proc OoC for resto druids will be lifebloom, and only via Malfurion’s gift.

It is an interesting change, to be sure. I’m not hugely certain about how much it will affect our overall mana regeneration, I think that’s going to depend on how many of our OoC procs were a direct result of OoC procs via Malfurion’s Gift. That being said, if it seems low on the PTR, and it’s not restoring sufficient mana to us with this change, it’s a pretty easy fix to just increase the chance of an OoC proc from Malfurion’s Gift.

I think I’m going to go with a “wait and see” on this one. I’m not entirely sure it’s going to be terrible, but I’m also not entirely sure that it’s needed and that Blizzard is sufficiently reviewing all of the data on OoC’s mana return. Sure, as my gear has increased in my 5 mans I’ve gotten to the point that I’m frequently sitting pretty full on mana most of the time, but in my raids I’m damn well using every mana resource I can get and still running to empty by the end of most encounters. If it ends up netting out as a small reduction in OoC procs, I do not think it will be hugely missed. If it significantly reduces the amount of OoC procs that we get I think it’s going to be more problematic.

Rejuvenation

· Rejuvenation now costs 16% of base mana, down from 26% of base mana.

All I can say with regards to this change is Thank God! I really do feel that this was needed. While it doesn’t solve the problem of resto druids not having a competitive burst AE healing ability – it also gives us a lot more leeway to utilize the strongest raid healing tool that we do have. I am very happy to see this change on the horizon.

Now if we could just see a buff to Efflorescence too…

Nature’s Bounty

· Nature’s Bounty proc effect removed and replaced with a new effect – Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 20/40/60%. In addition, when you have Rejuvenation active on three or more targets, the cast time of your Nourish spell is reduced by 10/20/30%.

I actually find this change extremely interesting. It’s clearly a buff to a talent that a large majority of druids have been leaving out of their specs due to the low desirability to utilize Regrowth as a result of its lack luster healing and high mana cost.

This change says a few things to me. First, obviously Blizzard isn’t happy that this talent was being left by the wayside. But second, I think it’s reinforcing that Blizzard is intending us to utilize Rejuv as a staple of our raid healing. And, think of the potential of this to have rejuvs on the requisite number of people – and then be able to utilize a faster nourish to handle some of the more bursty damage on those hotted.

Now, I still think that nourish needs to have the HoT component removed from it to make it more uniform with what other healers have for the “cheap” heal, but that really isn’t a discussion for right now. But having a 1.5 second cast time on nourish – which after some napkin math I believe would be the rough cast time assuming all three talents in nature’s bounty – is intriguing from a “filler” raid healing perspective. I’m quite curious to see how this plays out and if this truly makes Nature’s Bounty a more desirable talent for us.

If we decide that Nature’s Bounty is worth it, we are then presented with the problem of where to find the 3 talent points to give to nature’s bounty. I find it hard to give up Swift Rejuv with this seeming push towards encouraging us to utilize rejuv more . Similarly, giving up the points in Gift of the Earthmother – which also boots rejuv – seem hard to give up with this push at Rejuv. Ideally, I’d love it if they unlinked the lackluster living seed from Efflorescence so that we could drop the three points in living see. As much as it pains me, if Nature’s Bounty ends up being a significant throughput increase, I think I’d probably be looking at having to give up: either all three points in GotEM; 1 from Swift Rejuv and 2 from GotEM; 1 from NS, 1 from Swift Rejuv and 1 from GotEM; or two points in GotEM and NS (/sob).

Really, none of those options seem particularly desirable. I suppose that I will have to wait and see how the throughput numbers crunch out on this one (which is far more math than I have the time for right now!).

Empowered Touch

· Empowered Touch now increases direct healing done by Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Nourish. (Old – Increased healing by Healing Touch and Nourish only)

Again, another push to Regrowth. Apparently Blizzard feels resto druids aren’t making enough use of this spell. Which I can see, because, you know, it was pretty terrible. I don’t think that this buff is going to be bad. It’s interesting that our “flash” heal will now refresh lifebloom – or does it? I am assuming that it will also benefit from the other benefits of this talent, but that isn’t stated.

I’m a bit curious about how this buff will play out with Nature’s Bounty – and if it will end up making Regrowth a stronger spell for us or something that Blizzard just never got quite right in our healing arsenal and that we continue to leave by the way side.

I’m curious on your opinions with regards to these changes. Obviously, I’m more curious about the two big changes we see in OoC and Nature’s Bounty – what are your thoughts on it? Are you on the same page as me, or reading a whole different book? In the end, it’s the PTR and anything is bound to be up for discussion and change, and the only thing that will give us definite answers is when the changes go live. But I’m still intrigued by the changes, and find some of them quite interesting indeed.

Posted January 6, 2011 by Beruthiel in Changes, Druid Healing

Just A Quickie – 4.0.3a Information!   13 comments

Boubouille posted confirmation this morning on what will, and will not, be part of 4.0.3a.  I thought that it was interesting enough information that I wanted to pass it on, for those wondering exactly what to expect here in the next week or so.  I don’t think that there is anything that will be a huge surprise to anyone that has been following the Cataclysm news, but we did finally receive a confirmation that the new race/class combos will be live with 4.0.3a.  I’ve reproduced the information for you below:

What is not in:

  • Creating worgen/goblin characters
  • Worgen/Goblin start zones
  • Archeology
  • Professions past 450 (Illustrious Grand Master)
  • Guild leveling
  • Guild achievements
  • Eastern Kingdoms/Kalimdor flight
  • New Zones (80+)

What is in:

  • Portals in Dalaran/Shattrath Removed
  • Class trainers in Dalaran where portals once were
  • New race-class combinations (excluding worgen/goblin)
  • New Gnome/Troll starting areas
  • Changes to existing zones
  • New cata load screens
  • New cata intro cinematic
  • New cata login screen
  • New music
  • City Quartermasters, with rep tabards
  • Bug fixes
  • Class balancing
  • Druids, paladins, priests, and shaman will have their talent trees reset
  • Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 is being reduced by 20%
  • New tamable hunter pets (Monkey, fox, dog, and beetle, as well as new skins for existing pet classes.)

 

I’m pretty excited that I’ll be able to get my race change done before December 7, however significantly less excited about the prospect of a talent tree wipe :(  Is there anything on this list that catches your eye?  Anything you are happy, or unhappy to see go live (or not) with 4.0.3a?

Posted November 19, 2010 by Beruthiel in Cataclysm!, Changes

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