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 »
Now that we are a few weeks into the raid content, I thought it would be an appropriate time to have some discussion regarding the current state of the Resto Druid. I am going to offer some numbers and data below to support what I am about to say: Resto Druids are currently not in a good place. We continue to deal with the same issues that we struggled with for the majority of Cataclysm – we lack the toolkit to deal with burst AE healing. 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.
I have a few thoughts on how to fix this that I will discuss later on in this post, but first I thought we’d take a look at the numbers.
I went ahead and pulled all of the healing numbers from the past three weeks of raiding utilizing Raid Bots (an amazing too in so many ways!). I only pulled numbers from normal 25s for the purpose of this analysis. I did this for two reasons: 1) 25s are my preferred raid style and what I am passionate about fixing; and 2) there is simply not enough heroic data yet to look at (although I will tell you from the data I pulled, Druids are a bit worse off in heroics). I understand that three weeks isn’t a huge sample selection, but it is all the data we have at this time, and throughout those three weeks is fairly consistent, leading me to believe it will not appreciably change in the weeks to come if things stay as they are currently.
I have taken a look at the content as a whole and then drilled down to each of the six encounters for a more in depth look. The first set of data that I’m going to share is an overall view of how the healing classes are comparing as a whole.
Here you can see a few things. Monks are undeniably the strongest healers at this juncture in the game with none of the other healing classes coming close to them in performance. They are followed by Shaman and Paladins, with Druids and Priests bringing up the rear. You can see the bump in Holy Priests when they got their buffs to PoM and (I think) PoH. As you can see, Druids and Priests are trailing behind the other three healing classes by a fairly appreciable amount.
Let’s take this one step further, and examine how we are doing on a fight by fight basis to see if we fare any better on the individual mechanics of certain encounters. Read the rest of this entry »
We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?
Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.
Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve gotten a few questions about what we should be doing once 5.0.4 goes live on Tuesday, so I thought I’d put together a quick FAQ on preparing for the patch and offer my thoughts on the changes that you will be faced with.
How Should I Spec?
I think the first question that is on the forefront of everyone’s mind is “what do I do with these new talents”. Here is my recommendation:
I’ve already talked a lot about the talent trees in other posts, so I’m not going to go into too much detail again here. I will say that you should explore the other options in the 45 and 75 tier if you haven’t had a chance to play around with them on the beta. I would also encourage you to play around with the level 60 talents to get a feel for them as well if you haven’t been on the beta. However, when push comes to shove, these are the talents that I think will work best at level 85 for our last few weeks of Cataclysm.
What haste breakpoint do I need?
Since we are still at level 85, our haste breakpoints will remain the same. You will still want to have 2005 haste. Keep in mind, however, that you will be losing your idol. So if you had any haste on your idol, you will want to be sure to find somewhere to reforge or regem so that you are at 2005 again.
Do I really only have 100k mana?
You do! You will also be losing revitalize as a source of regen and intellect no longer has an effect on your mana pool or regen. From my play on the beta, I think that you will probably feel the pinch a little, but not an extraordinary amount at level 85. If you find that you are running out of mana too quickly during encounters try backing off of your rejuv use some. If that still isn’t sufficient, reforge some of that spirit back onto your gear. I ran at about 2600 spirit at level 85 on the beta, so if you are one of the players who dropped down below 2000 you will likely want to reforge some of that spirit back before stepping into your first post-5.0 raid. Read the rest of this entry »
Heroic Scarlet Monastery
I finally had some time this weekend to get into a couple of LFR groups and do some raid testing. Having been unable to participate in almost all of the other testing because of the times testing was available, I was excited to get in there and see how druids played out in a raid setting. Even though this was just LFR, and the weakest of the 25 man raid settings, I was able make a few observations with regards to our stat priorities and our toolkit. As such, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I felt we fit into the overall picture.
I did two front half LFRs comprising of three bosses. The first one I did we couldn’t get past the second boss – as in grand LFR fashion a wipe meant half the raid dropping and having to refill (even in beta!). The second one I was able to kill all three bosses in the first half of the zone. Overall I found the bosses to be fairly fun; however I strongly suspect that the second boss will see a nerf to phase 3 in its LFR version before it goes live.
Let’s move on and talk a little bit about the healing. If you have any specific questions about the raid or bosses themselves, let me know and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability! Read the rest of this entry »
Hello Internet. My name is Beruthiel, and I’m a meter whore. I’m competitive, I want to be the best and when I’m not I do everything I can to make myself better. Each raid is a challenge, each boss a new opportunity. I’m not ashamed of these things. However, I also recognize that in addition to putting up big numbers I have a job to do, I need to keep everyone alive, and I don’t neglect this job in favor of my ego.
On Being a Dynamic Healer
This is a post that I’ve been sitting on for awhile, because I’ve debated how to address the topic. We all hear jokes about how druids do nothing but glide to glory on Tranquility and Rejuv, how paladins face roll on Holy Radiance, how priests have broken their Prayer of Healing hot keys and how shaman have…well, had a hard time this expansion so I won’t pick on them. While this is all true to an extent, there is something inherently wrong with people who truly believe, and subsequently practice, that this is what a successful healer does. Sure, a healer who is doing these things might be topping your meters, but does that make them a skilled, or even good, healer? It’s unlikely.
I pretty firmly believe that one of the biggest indicators of a truly exceptional healer is how they act in dynamic situations. Do they ignore that DPS that just got a parasite? Do they assume someone else is healing the tank as his life plummets? When everything goes wrong, do they adjust to the circumstances or do they continue to be one button wonders? Personally, I think you can tell more about a healer based on how they react when things are bad than you can by simply observing their output. Read the rest of this entry »
This weekend I spent some time in the beta trying to get a feel for both mana and healing at level 90. Since I learned early on that I was likely going to be unavailable for just about all of the raid testing that was happening on weekdays while I was still at work, I was fairly unmotivated to continue my level push to 90. I wasn’t going to be able to contribute where I wanted, being raid testing, and there were better things I could spend my time on. However, after the surprise round of weekend testing (which was blatantly obvious in being scheduled to combat a Guild Wars 2 beta weekend), I decided to get my ass in gear and push out the last two levels on the beta. Granted, I would be shocked if we see another set of weekend raid tests, but nonetheless if they are appear, I will be ready.
Anyhow, this is just a really long winded way of saying “I’m not qualified to tell you how your mana is going to be in raids”. I’ve talked to a few people who are doing some of the beta testing, and they’ve indicated that mana is tight – but that it’s tight across the board and all healers are in the same boat.
What I do feel qualified to spend a little bit of time talking about is how your mana and spells feel before you enter a raid environment. I spent quite a bit of time on Sunday running five of the nine heroics available: Gate of the Setting Sun, Scarlet Monastery, Scarlet Halls, Scholomance and Mogu’shan Palace. I ran all of them with Brade tanking and three PuG DPS. I’ve captured FRAPS of all of the bosses for each instance, and throughout the week I will be posting them, starting with Gate of the Shattered Sun below. I intend to run the last four of the heroic instances throughout the week, and will also offer some feedback on those as well. One thing that I’d like to make a note of with regards to these videos is that we moved the beta off of my SSD to free up space on it, which means that the beta is now running on the same drive that I assigned for FRAPS to write to, which in turn means that I have a little more lag running FRAPS and you may occasionally see some choppiness in the video as a result.
Now that I’ve gotten all of the qualifiers out of the way, let’s get down to my thoughts, shall we? (Man, no wonder my posts can be so long, it takes me hundreds of words just to get to the point!) Read the rest of this entry »