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.
These are in no specific order, just listed out as I went through them.
Dream of Cenarius: New. Wrath, Starfire, Starsurge, and melee abilities increase healing done by your next healing spell by 30%. Non-instant casts of Nourish, Healing Touch, and Regrowth increase the damage done by your next damaging spell or ability by 30%. Each of these bonuses lasts 30 sec and cannot be gained more often than once every 30 sec.
As this reads currently, I feel that this is the best of our three talent options, but I’m not overly thrilled with it. Basically, as I read it, it is going to be the expectation that we weave in a damage spell/attack every 30 seconds to receive a 30% boost to our healing ability. My biggest issue with this is that it’s going to be something that we will desire to have
100% as much uptime on as possible to maximize our output as a healer – and it’s another thing that we will need to track and additional global cooldowns that we will have to use just to be able to heal well. We are already pushing every GCD we have to be competitive healers, and we can expect to have to do more GCD juggling to incorporate the clunky “healing mushroom” abilities. Having to find a way to weave in a DPS spell every 30 seconds seems somewhat cumbersome. I don’t feel that it’s going to be “interesting” or “engaging”, I feel that it’s going to be cumbersome and frustrating.
- Heart of the Wild: New. Dramatically improves the Druid’s ability to serve combat roles outside of normal specialization for 45 sec. 6 minute cooldown.
- Restoration – Grants additional Intellect, spell hit, melee hit, and expertise, increases armor while in Bear Form, and reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks. In addition, increases the damage done by your spells, and damage spells cost no mana.
To me this seems maybe more PvP oriented. But again, this talent is ripe with one issue for me: I’m a healer, I want to heal. I don’t want to have some super power that lets me deal mediocre damage once every six minutes. In all honesty, I see little reason for a PvE healer to take this talent outside of a few exceptions that may arise from raid content where an all out burn is called for everyone in the raid. I’m just not overly thrilled about it in this iteration of the ability.
Healing Touch: Now costs 25% of base mana, down from 30%. Cast time reduced to 2.5 sec, down from 3 sec.
Nourish: Now costs 8% of base mana, down from 10%. Now has a 2.5 sec cast time, down from 3 sec.
This is a slight mana reduction in both spells, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see fluctuate in any direction between now and release. However, the more interesting part of this is to see that the cast time on Healing Touch and Nourish has been reduced. This is likely the result of the removal of Naturalist.
Incarnation: Tree of Life: Now lasts 30 sec, up from 25 sec. No longer costs mana. You may freely shapeshift in and out of this form for its duration.
Incarnation is in the fourth tier of our talents and you will have to choose between ToL and Force of Nature. However, I mention this not because of the slight increase in duration for ToL, but rather because of the ability to shift out of ToL without completely losing the cooldown. This is good news for those who have fat fingered the wrong button while in ToL or want to shift into cat/bear form while ToL is active. I am happy to see this change.
Innervate: Now grants 10% mana regeneration, up from 5%. Now grants 10% additional mana regeneration when cast on the player, down from 15%.
This is a
nerf slight buff to innervate when cast on someone other than yourself. Like with Healing Touch, this number may well see some flucuation over the course of the beta. I honestly don’t know what this nerf is going to mean for us. I’m not thrilled to see it considering the mana issues we experienced with T13, but I’m also not raging over it either. I think it’s too early to determine the effect the nerf will have for us, but it’s certainly something we should keep an eye on throughout the course of the beta. Self casting innervate looks to restore the same amount of mana as it does currently.
Lifebloom: Now costs 5% of base mana, down from 7%.
Nothing wrong with this here, a small decrease in the cost of this ability – something that is seen with a good number of our abilities in these notes. It’s too early to know that these numbers are final, but I’m never going to complain about the possibility of the cost of our spells being decreased!
Living Seed: Now only procs off of the direct healing portion of the spells. No longer grants “a chance to plant a Living Seed”, instead just will “plant a Living Seed”.
It looks like there is now a 100% chance of living seed being applied to the target. Which is good. Unfortuantely, living seed is still pretty terrible and I’m disapointed that we haven’t seen this spell reworked to be more functional as a whole. Alas, I won’t complain about the change, which is a good thing.
Mark of the Wild: Now grants Intellect instead of Stamina. No longer grants increased magical resistances. Now costs 22% of base mana, down from 24%.
Yay for intellect! I guess? I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about this change. It just sort of is, although I believe it’s part of the effort to streamline buffs for MoP.
Nature’s Grasp: Now only has one charge.
I’m actually really disappointed to see this change. I know that it’s likely a PvP driven change, but I used Nature’s Grasp all of the time in PvE – especially in dungeons with a green tank or on a pull that got out of control. I know it’s not game breaking or anything, it was just a particularly nice survival tool that I’m sad to see get a bit of a nerf.
Nature’s Swiftness: Now has a 1 min cooldown, down from 3. Now when activated, your next Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Healing Touch, Hibernate, Nourish, Rebirth, or Regrowth becomes instant, free, and castable in all forms. The healing and duration of the spell is increased by 50%.
This is in our second tier of talents, and honestly is really the only one that will offer anything directly to healing. I am happy to see the one minute cooldown on the ability with this talent, but the 50% increase in potency is still a little “meh”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to snag it up and use the ever living snot out of it on a one minute cooldown. I just wish that it did something a little more interesting that give me a 50% boost to my HT.
Rejuvenation: Now heals for 2973 and an additional 2973 every 3 sec for 12 sec. Now costs 16% base mana, down from 20%.
This is an interesting change. It bakes in the Gift of the Earthmother part of Rejuvenation – but it also gives it a healthy boost as well, as GotEM only gave an instant heal equal to 15% of the total periodic effect. This is a nice change, I think. It gives our rejuv the ability to give a little bit of oomph upon casting it, which will help. It doesn’t solve or fix any of our current burst healing issues, but it is a step in the right direction. The mana reduction, while not final, is also welcome as well.
Nature’s Cure: Now cures harmful effects on the friendly target, removing all Magic, Curse, and Poison effects. 15% of base mana, 8 sec cooldown, Instant cast.
So a slight decrease in the mana cost, but an 8 second cooldown. Um….okay? I guess dispelling wasn’t the “interesting” decision they wanted it to be this expansion after all, so they wanted to make it more interesting? Alternatively, I suppose it could be a PvP related nerf – but I see this having an equal impact in both worlds. I’m curious to see how it plays out. There is a lot of potential for logistical nightmares in raids and dungeons depending on the use of debuff mechanics, but I think it’s a “wait and see” sort of thing.
Swiftmend: No longer named Efflorescence. Instantly heals a friendly target that has an active Rejuvenation or Regrowth effect for 9805, and restores 1177 health to the three most injured allies within 8 yards of the initial target every 1 sec for 7 sec.
It looks like we get a boost to the healing done by Swiftmend itself, and unless my math is way off (which is always a possibility!) it seems like a decent buff to the effloresence portion as well. Granted, the boost could simply be to accomodate for the additional 5 levels that we are going to be seeing, but it feels like it’s a slightly stronger spell even taking that into account.
Symbiosis: New. Creates a symbiotic link which grants the Druid one ability belonging to the target’s class, varying by the Druid’s specialization. In exchange, grants the target one Druid ability based on their class and combat role. Lasts 1 hour and persists through death. Cannot be cast on other Druids. Effect cancelled if Druid and target become too far apart. 4% of base mana, 6 sec cast, 30 yd range.
There just isn’t even enough information about this available to speculate, guess or offer valid input on this ability. So I’m not going to. Shove this firmly into the “wait and see” category and plan to follow it’s progression as we get deeping into the beta, and closer to release.
Tranquility: Now costs 27% of base mana, down from 32%.
Wild Growth: Now costs 22% of base mana, down from 27%.
Not much to see here, other than a slight decrease in the cost of these abilities. With all of the decreases that we’ve seen, I wonder if it’s what has driven the innervate change. I’m ok with the decrease, although it’s not final, and I’m sure we’ll see the numbers adjusted as the beta progresses.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom: New. Grow a magical Mushroom with 5 Health at the target location. After 6 sec, the Mushroom will become invisible. When triggered by the Druid, all Mushrooms will bloom healing all allies within 6 yards for 4264 to 5159. Only 3 Mushrooms can be placed at one time. Use Wild Mushroom: Bloom to trigger all Mushrooms.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom: New. Causes all of your Wild Mushrooms to bloom, healing all allies within 6 yards for 4264 to 5159. 10 sec cooldown, Instant cast.
I’m going to put these two together, because of the way that they are tied in. I’m also going to go ahead and say that I’m so disapointed to see this ability as our healing “fix” I don’t even have words to express my level of disapointment. In all of the things that I’ve been on the fence about with regards to druids in MoP, this one has pushed me farther away from wanting to play my druid than any of the others. I suspect at this juncture, we are stuck with it. But perhaps we can make the ability less terrible and more appealing.
Before I get to the mountain of problems that this has for a healer, let’s look at the one positive that I can see: a three mushroom detonate looks to do a decent amount of healing.
Now for the mountain of problems, where do we even start? Let’s start with the need to have three mushrooms down to do the amount of healing required to make this ability even worth our time. Three mushrooms, is 1.5 GCDs worth of cast time, which in and of itself isn’t terrible. However, you have to place the damn things utilizing the horribly clunky mushroom targetting mechanic that requires you to not only select to place a mushroom, but click on the ground where you’d like it placed. Not just once, but three times. Once you’ve done that you have to convice your raid to stay within the miniscule space of 6 yards of your mushrooms. And you better hope the raid doesn’t have to move after you planted those suckers.
I mean, come on. Didn’t all of the struggles we saw with Shaman this expansion teach anything?
All of the above doesn’t even begin to address the 10 second cooldown on the bloom. Ok, so we can have some burst AE healing, in the limited confines of 6 yards, but only once every ten seconds? Are PoH and Holy Radiance receiving some similar cooldown on their triggers that I just didn’t read about? I’m really not trying to be some huge negative nancy about this – I just don’t honestly see how this is a practical solution for us. I get that maybe it looks good on paper (ok…maybe I don’t even see that) but in practical implementation it’s just fucking terrible. I pray that it does not go live in this implementation and if you feel as strongly as I do about it, I would encourage those of you with beta access (regardless of when you get it) to go in, test the snot out of it and offer feedback to Blizzard. Perhaps if we storm like the Ents to Isengaurd, our concerns will be heard. Alternatively, Blizzard will just end up with a lot of large trees on their lawn – but I’d like to think that if we are articulate and consistent with our concerns, someone will be listening.
Malfurion’s Gift: Reworked: The cooldown of your Tranquility spell is reduced to 3 minutes.
Omen of Clarity: Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next cast-time damaging or healing spell or offensive feral ability by 100%.
Basically, they’ve removed the OoC portion of Malfurion’s Gift and added the Lifebloom component offering the ability to grant clearcasting. Nothing really huge there.
Regrowth: Now costs 29% of base mana, down from 35%. Now also has a 60% increased chance for a critical effect and its duration automatically refreshes to 6 sec each time it heals targets at or below 50% health.
This is interesting. They have baked in Nature’s Bounty and the current Regrowth glyph. I like this change, as the Regrowth glyph was always very situational, at best, and Regrowth has been a bit of a lackluster ability this expansion. This coupled with the new Regrowth glyph could meen some interesting things for Regrowth as we move forward. There is also a slight reduction in the cost of the ability.
Revitalize: Reworked: When you periodically heal with your Rejuvenation or Lifebloom spells, you have a 20% chance to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 sec.
Unless I’m mising something, it seems that the only change here is the removal of our ability to offer replenishment. And unless I’m further mistaken, I don’t believe that’s a huge deal.
While keeping in mind that these are very preliminary changes, I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks about them. Are there any that you are thrilled with? Any that you have concerns about?