Yesterday there were some Druid changes announced for the PTR. While these aren’t guaranteed to make it to live, I still think that it’s valuable to explore them and consider what the changes will do, and any potential consequences that may arise as a result. As such, let’s take a look at what we might be seeing here in the next couple of weeks!
Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
While it could be argued that this wasn’t strictly necessary, it is a very nice change that I’m in favor of seeing. While a lot of people view this as a “tank” CD, I’ve often found use for it on members of the raid that are in danger. Being able to use it more freely in this regard is going to be quite nice and a very strong update to the ability itself. I think it’s a very good change and I’m happy to see it go in – hopefully everyone will be a little more aggressive in using it!
Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.
While I’m happy to see an increase in range, I’ve long since taken the stance that I’m either throwing this on melee, I’m using it on myself and positioning it where I want it, or I’m using it on the tank (or someone else not grouped up) and may not be taking full effect of the ground effect. It’s nice that it’s bigger, I just don’t see it really having a huge effect on the ability overall. I could be wrong and the extra two yards could be profound! I’m just not certain that is going to be the case. Either way, it’s not a bad change. So, yay?!
Wild Mushroom: Bloom now heals all allies within 10 yards (up from 8 yards) for 100% more, and includes bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing.
This change is very interesting. While I’m not entirely thrilled that they still haven’t fixed the main issue with this ability (the extremely clunky targeting mechanic) I’m also not positive that this change, as it stands, is going to go live. Ghostcrawler clarified that both the base healing and the bonus rejuv healing is getting increased by 100% – and, well, that has the potential to be just ridiculous!
Right now a set of fully charged mushrooms can pack a punch – just placing them, charging them and blooming them is incredibly cumbersome and heavily penalized if your raid has to move after they’ve been placed/charged. With the buff, this will be even more true than it was before. Not only that, but the amount of healing mushrooms will now have the potential to unleash is going to be enormous. Like mind blowing levels of enormous. Like I’d be surprised if this pushes to live like this enormous.
That being said, if the change makes it I think it supports using your mushrooms singularly when your raid isn’t clumped up. Right now, on certain fights, I’m already just placing them under ranged or lining them up along the path the raid will be moving.
I do worry a little bit if such a big change doesn’t risk running them back towards rotational. I also dislike the fact that they encourage some poor healing to maximize their effectiveness (much in the same way I disliked the original version of Harmony). I also worry that they are going to become so much of our healing that we are going to be slow to see any changes to them (if we ever were to begin with), simply because druids will be making even more concerted efforts to use them. I suppose we will have to wait and see how it plays out. I would very much like to see some mechanical changes to the ability emerge, but it seems like Blizzard is very hesitant to head in that direction to date.
(And yes, I still hate mushrooms. So very much. I don’t care how much healing they do, until they are less cumbersome to use I will always take issue with them!)
Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.
This is a very nice change to tranquility and a buff I do think is needed to the ability. It’s very cool that they are opting to adjust it based on raid size so that it mirrors what it is able to achieve in a smaller setting. I am happy to see this change go in, and I hope that it is a buff that makes it live.
That being said…I don’t really feel that this change is going to solve much in regards to Druid woes. I talked a bit about this a couple of posts ago – but I feel it’s important to reiterate. Throughput is not the number one issue facing druids right now. Is that our toolkit is ill equipped to deal with today’s healing environment and that mitigation healing is so dominant that it stomps on the potential effectiveness of throughput healers. Sure, it’s going to promote slightly higher throughput in the situations that we utilize it – but I suspect in the big scheme of things it’s not going to be make or break (I’m hesitant to say it will have a negligible effect, because I don’t think that’s entirely true, I just don’t think it’s going to all of the sudden right resto druids).
Overall, I think these are good changes.
While I’d like to see more to even out the mitigation vs. throughput playing field I’m not really sure this patch is the place we’d see that play out. I will also admit that I was hoping for a little more relative to Ghostcrawler’s “druid changes” tweet, but will also concede that if all of these go through it is not a terrible haul.
I’m curious what all of you think about the changes! Need? Un-needed? Fixing all the wrong things?
I haven’t posted specifically about druids on my blog about druids in four months. To be fair, I haven’t really posted about much in this space in the same amount of time. However, I’m recently feeling reinvigorated and revived, and I have reason to suspect that you may well start to see an increase in my posting habits again. But more on that later! Today I want to talk about druids.
A while back on Twitter, someone commented that they were surprised that the 5.2 changes to resto druids really didn’t seem to have the results that he was expecting to see – and that they felt a bit bad for the resto on their raid team (I think it might have been Derevka). At the time, I made a snarky comment that amused me greatly – but followed it up with the more serious comment that a druid’s mileage is likely to vary largely depending on the number and strength of their disc priests and holy paladins. It’s the latter part of that comment that I’d like to explore a little more today.
I think I heal just fine
Anytime that the topic of resto healing comes up, there are always two groups of people: those who are incredibly frustrated and those that come out of the woodwork (see what I did there?!) and state “I heal just fine” or “I always top my healing meters”. The statement of that second camp of folks ultimately leads to the declaration that they feel “druids are fine”. Which is then followed by an uproar of those who disagree and, of course, nothing ever good really comes from the subsequent conversations. Read the rest of this entry »
The great monk Nerf has occurred – and it’s pretty much done jack and shit for the current state of the Resto Druid. Our toolkit problems continue to be reflected in our output in 25s. And, honestly, with Blizzard indicating they feel we are “fine” I’m running out of energy – and feel a bit like I’m wasting my time – continuing to try and show we continue to struggle and have problems.
Here is the breakdown over the past few weeks.
Since this is the fourth time we’ve taken a look at this, with no indication that our life is going to improve, I feel I don’t have much left to say on the topic.
Our Monk overlords have been summarily replaced with disc priests. The monk nerfs were steep (maybe too steep), and the bubble lords swooped in and have mitigated their way into the position formally held by monks. Mushrooms still suck. Our healing model still does not work well in the world of MoP healing. Our fixed mana pools still do not support the toolkit we have to work with. And well, that’s about all I have to say on the matter.
If I hadn’t devoted the past eight years to the Druid class, I would seriously be considering a reroll at this point (and have, in fact, given it consideration). But I don’t feel that I should have to give up a class I’ve put so much energy into, and enjoyed for so long. I pretty strongly feel it should be Blizzard’s responsibility to make sure that classes are fun to play. That they are equally competitive, that they have tools suitable to meet that goal, and that players can continue to feel like viable assets of their raid team and enjoy the game based on skill rather than be frustrated because of artificial limitations set by the game.
But maybe that’s just me.
Please feel free to review the prior three posts in the series for more in depth looks at the problem and potential solutions.
As another two weeks have passed, it is time to take another look at how Druids are faring in this tier or content. Since we’ve already talked quite a bit about why we are having problems, and how it needs to be fixed, I’m not going to elaborate a whole lot more on that. This is partly becaue the new charts show some interesting things, and I have a few other things I want to discuss.
Let’s start with what the numbers tell us. As a reminder, I am only evaluating how Druids are performing in a 25 man raid content because this is my raid setting. If you are raiding 10s and rocking it, good on you! Go on with your bad self.
In looking at these numbers, you can see that Druids are still rolling along at the bottom. Disc priests have soared as they received buffs and starting gaining familiarity with their toolkit. Paladin and shaman seem to have plateaued, while Druids continue to struggle with the same problems we have since release. Aside from priests, not much has appreciably changed since our last look.
Until we take a look at how heroics are looking.
Read the rest of this entry »
The devil presents me with three choices, one of which I must choose.
I ask if, in my heart, I believe.
With my sincerest apologizes to Dr. Seuss.
At the far end of town, where the fool’s cap grows and the wind smells slow and sour and no bugs ever sing excepting old Klaxxi is the street of the lifted Lorax. And deep in the fool’s cap, some people say, if you look deep enough you can still see, today, where the lorax once stood just as long as it could, before someone lifted the Lorax away.
What was the Lorax? And why was it there? And why was it lifted and taken somewhere from the far end of town where the fool’s cap all grows? Ghostcrawler still lives here. Ask him. He knows.
You won’t see Ghostcrawler. Don’t knock at his door. He stays in his tree, planted in his grove. He lurks in the branches where the leaves have all fallen, and he makes his own clothes from mushrooms and rejuvenallen. And on special dank midnights in November, he peeks out of the shutters and sometimes he speaks and tells how the Lorax was lifted away.
He’ll tell you perhaps…if you’re willing to pay.
On the end of a line he lets down a tin pail and you have to toss in the cap of three mushrooms and a snail. Then he pulls up the pail, makes a most careful count to see if you’ve paid him the proper amount. Then he hides what you paid him away in the claws, his secret strange hole in his gruvvulous paws. Then he grunts, “I will call you by crab-a-phone, for the secrets I tell you are for your ears alone”.
Down inches the crab-a-phone until it reaches your ear and the old crab’s whispers are not very clear.
“Now I’ll tell you,” he says, with his claws sounding gray, “how the Lorax got lifted away”.
It all started way back, such a long time ago, in the days when the fool’s cap did not grow. When the trees all had branches, leaves rustling in the wind. Before mushrooms bloomed, and dangers loomed, I came to this glorious place. At first I saw the trees! The glorious happy trees, with bright colored branches and heals that didn’t sneeze! Their leaves, oh their leaves! All dancing in the breeze!
And under the trees, I saw brown guardians frisking in their big bear butt suits as they played in the shade and were healed by the trees. From the rippulous pond came the comfortable sound of the orcas all humming while splashing around. But those trees! Those trees! Those healing trees! All my life I’ve been searching for trees such as these! The touch of their rejuvs, the tickle of growth, warmed my injured heart like butterfly milk. I felt a great leaping of joy in my heart, I knew just what I’d do and I unloaded my crab cart!
I no time at all, I realized they needed a change. So I sat in my shop and pondered giving them the chop. With all my great skill, and with my great crab speed, I realized I knew just what they need! I planted my mushrooms and awaited fungal explosion, my claws were crackling with the thought of implosion! The instant I’d finished, I heard a ga-Zump! I looked, I saw something pop out of a stump! It was a sort of man.
Describe him? That’s hard. I don’t know if I can.
He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And Mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy! “Mister!” he said with a fungal born sneeze, “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you sir, at the top of my lungs!”. He was very upset as he shouted and puffed. “What’s that thing you’ve made from my trees tuft!”.
“Look, Lorax” the crab said “There’s no cause for alarm. The Mushrooms will heal and I’m doing no harm. I’m being quite useful, in offering this tool, mushrooms are something that all people need! They plant, they heal, they have other uses! They aren’t rotational, but druids will love them and sing of them like muses!”.
The Lorax said, “Sir! You are crazy, my friend. There is no one on earth who will use them in the end!”.
The crab laughed at the Lorax, “You poor stupid guy! You will use them, and like it, or just manage to get by”.
“I repeat,” cried the Lorax, “I speak for the trees!”
“I’m busy,” I told him. “Shut up, if you please”. I rushed to the phone to put in a quick call, I called all my brothers and uncles and devs and I said, “Listen here! Here’s a wonderful chance to plant with mushrooms and watch them explode! Get over here fast! Take the road to the Steppes and turn south at the wastes”. And, in no time at all, in the grove that I built the who crab family was working full tilt. We were all planting mushrooms just as busy as bees, to the crying sound of all of the trees.
We were planting mushrooms as fast as before, and that Lorax? Well, he didn’t show up anymore.
But the next week he knocked on my new office door. He snapped “I’m the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, who you seems to be stifling as fast as you please. But I’m also in charge of the guardian bears who played and received heals in their big bear butt suits. NOW…thanks to your mushrooms there aren’t enough heals for the trees to toss around. And my poor guardians are all getting the crummies because they have mushrooms rotting their tummies! They loved living here, but I can’t let them stay. They’ll have to find heals, and I hope that they may.” And then the Lorax sent them away.
I, the crab, felt sad as I watched them all go. BUT…Mushrooms are Mushrooms, and they must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies you know. I meant no harm, I truly did not. But I was sold on three mushrooms, so a planting I got. I planted them here, I planted them there, I advocated their usefulness everywhere. I went right on planting my mushrooms, and I didn’t worry about the healing, which the trees didn’t need.
Then again he came back! I was trying new shrooms when that old nuisance Lorax came back with more gripes!
“I am the Lorax,” he coughed and whiffed. “Crab!” he cried with a croak “Crab! You’re making such your making the blooming broke”. My poor moonkin, why they can’t starfall a single star! No one can with no healing to keep them afloat! And so”, said the Lorax, “please pardon my fear, but they cannot leave here. So I’m sending them off.”
“Where will they go?” I don’t hopefully know. Somewhere with rain and mists I imagine. To escape from the mushrooms you’ve planted here. “What’s more,” snapped the Lorax (His dander was up) “your mushrooms are send the trees into a gloom.”
And then I got mad. I got terribly mad. I yelled at the Lorax, “Now listen here, Dad! All you do is yap-yap and say BAD BAD BAD! Well, I have my thoughts and I’m telling you I intend on doing just what I do! And, for your information, you Lorax, I’m figgering on keeping mushrooms without biggering! Because mushrooms are the answer that EVERYONE needs!”.
And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack. From outside in the grove came a sickening smack.
We look out the window to see the last tree had fallen. Their spirit crushed and their branches swaying. The trees walked away, the grove left decaying. The devs looked around me, and started to pack up, with no trees there was no back up. Now all that was left ‘neath the mushroom covered sky was my big empty grove…the Lorax…and I.
The Lorax said nothing. Just gave me a glance…just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance…as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants. And I’ll never forget the grim look on his face when he heisted himself and took leave of this place. Through a hole in the mushrooms, without leaving a trace. And all the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks, with one word….”UNLESS”.
Through the expansion, as my mushrooms have fallen apart, I’ve worried about the trees with all of my heart. “But now,” says the crab, “Now that you’re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. SO…Catch!” calls the crab and he lets something fall. “It’s a mushroom spore, the last one of all! You’re in charge of the fate of the trees, and trees are really what everyone needs. Plant a new thought, treat it with care. Give it clean water and feed it fresh air. Grow a forest, make it big and strong. Protect it from Mushrooms, and sing it a song. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”
Two weeks ago I wrote this post, were I took an early look at how Resto Druids were faring comparatively to the other healing classes, and addressed a glaring issue in our toolkit (lack of ability to deal with the very prevalent burst raid wide AE damage in a 25 man setting) that was causing us to start to fall behind. In my last post I stated that this gap in our toolkit would continue to become more noticeable.
As the weeks have passed and other healers have obtained more gear and become more comfortable with their toolkits, the discrepancy only continues to become more noticeable. This is only further exacerbated by the fact that every other healing class received abilities permitting them to be stronger at dealing with this type of raid damage.
Today, I want to take another quick look at how Druids have done after two more weeks of content, two more weeks of gear, with more knowledge of the content and presumably more people being able to see the content. For the purpose of this I have again only pulled 25 man normal parses, and I have looked at both the top 100 as well as all parses. I have again not pulled out heroic data, as there is still not a particularly large sample size – but I will talk about what some of that data shows us later in the post.
As an additional note and reminder: I am not looking at 10 mans. I am a 25 man raider, and I am interested in fixing my class in my raid format. If you think Druids are awesome in 10s, that’s great! I don’t raid 10s. I raid 25s, where my class is currently not great. Which is, subsequently, why I am focusing on 25 man numbers.
Top 100 Parses
Now, in looking at both of these sets of data, we can see a few things. Firstly, in the past two weeks Shaman, Priests and Paladins have closed the gap some and are all relatively competitive amongst each other while Monks remain the outlier and continue to remain miles ahead of the pack. However, while priests have picked up some, Druids have fallen to the bottom and continue to decline. A move that is attributable to my thoughts in the last post – in our current state, as other healers grow stronger, Druids will continue to underperform and fall further and further behind. Read the rest of this entry »