Same Problems, Different Day Pt. 2 – Continued Resto Druid Evaluation   9 comments

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.

All Parses
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Top 100 Parses
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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.

We have now seen several changes for Priests (buffs to both specs) and Monks (nerfs) being announced for 5.1, yet the Devs have continued to be silent on any changes to help Druids remain competitive and viable to their raid teams (yes, currently, monks are better Druids than Druids). This remains highly disappointing as Druids continue to fall further behind because we continue to lack the ability to effectively and efficiently deal with the raid damage seen in every encounter in this tier of content. Even in encounters where we should shine, and encounters that should play to our strengths we often find ourselves struggling to keep up.

I don’t know if the Devs think that the Monk nerfs will help Druids (they won’t), but I continued to be baffled that we have yet to see any tweaks to our toolkit to help bring us in line with the other healers (save monks) – in that tight knit grouping where everyone is performing almost equally and a skilled healer of any class has a chance to perform at an equal level.

A Quick Look Into Heroics
As I stated earlier, I feel that there just isn’t enough heroic data yet to make an overall statement as to how Druids are faring in heroics. However, I also did not want to completely ignore the information we do have either. As such, I took a look at the two heroics that have the most data: Stone Guard and Feng.

If you will recall from my last post, where we broke down the stats on a fight by fight basis, Stone Guard is the one encounter where Druids looked relatively strong. In the heroic version of the encounter, Druids are in the middle of the pack – below monks and holy priests but above paladins, shaman and disc priests. This is largely due to the fact that the high damage portions of the encounter often see the raid spread out, as well as the fact that the encounter has consistent high tank damage, and if done properly only a few high raid damage periods. This continues to be the encounter where Druids perform the best.

However, if you take a look at Feng – an encounter with relatively steady damage and high periods of burst damage, where the raid is almost always grouped up, you find that Druids are fairly solidly on the bottom with paladins. I continue to feel that this fight (in either difficulty) shows the problems with the Druid toolkit quite well. And is an encounter where we will continue to see Druids fall behind in the weeks to come. I will also state that this is an encounter that is almost custom made for mushrooms, where I actually utilize mushrooms in parts of the encounter where they should be ideal, and where in my last kill healed 637 times, but only accounted for 3.1% (less than 1mm) of my overall healing done.

I talked about fixes in my last post (and in several posts during the beta), and my thoughts on that have not changed so I am not going to rehash them again here. I am only going to state that if we do not see something within our toolkit change, I predict that we will only continue to fall further behind, and the gaps in our toolkit will only continue to become more pronounced.

I know people think that Druids should not be able to “do everything”, but I propose to you right now that our healing style has become somewhat antiquated in today’s raid environments where other classes have effectively removed the need for our “niche” and we have been offered nothing to compensate. Which, in turn, leaves the class as a whole fairly clumsy and disjointed, in desperate need of reevaluation to smooth out the playstyle and a bit of modernization to bring us into a better place than we are now. Think about it – we haven’t had a major change to our toolkit in over four years while the game has continued to grow and evolve around us.

Don’t get me wrong, I largely love the Druid playstyle. I’ve been playing one for eight years. I just wish our tools had been better modified to be more consistent with the growth and changes in the game.

I will check again in two weeks to see how we are faring and continue this analysis.

Posted November 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Raiding

9 responses to “Same Problems, Different Day Pt. 2 – Continued Resto Druid Evaluation

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  1. Well I really feel this is skewed very situation very spread out fight for a Resto Sham with a H Priest in group = H Priest wins for most part. You also have problems like this in Wolìpèr

    1min long log and gets ranked for 106k HPS so ya

  2. It’s finally nice to read someone else who has been experiencing the same issues. I went from 25man to 10man raiding and although the problem was not as noticeable at first, as you rightly put it with knowledge, experience and gear changes Druid’s are starting to show a slide downhill in 10mans also. Within our setup we usually roll a Druid (me) Paladin and Shaman for healing. Initially my numbers were excellent and I felt strong in healing my first go around in the new raids, however with the new loots it seems that our Shaman and now our Paladin is beginning to pull out bigger, better and stronger healing than myself. I have been concerned about our healing since they starting nerfing us all the way back at the end of TBC and right into WOTLK. I am even more concerned now as we have not seen one single buff or attention given to our restoration tree since Pandaland has hit. Alot of people argue with me that Druids were buffed extremely when 5.0 hit…..yes that is true, we were given access to our Boomy spells, fantastic for PVP and everyday general questing to help us survive…but I ask them in turn…what did the Tree side of Druid’s get to IMPROVE our healing? I only get silence back in response.

    I’ve recently rolled out a Mistweaver monk to test the healing style and get a feel for the class compared to my druid. I have to say it is everything that our Druids should be. They have better uptime through healing in all aspects, whether through the continued use of Soothing Mist which can be channeled indefinitely to heal for RIDICULOUS amounts, or by casting Renewing Mist which travels to players to on its own…saving Monk’s global cool downs and without having to interrupt Soothing Mist to do it. Not to mention the spell Uplift, which is like a BURST heal on top of your Renewing Mist and is completely spammable with the constant regeneration of Chi. I could go on and on…but the more I play my Monk the more I pity the Druid class and how much our weaknesses are beginning to show. I completely support this thread and thankyou for sharing your concerns Beru.

  3. I’ve experienced the same issues. My HPS has fallen off dramatically as our other healers have geared up. Hot clipping and lack of aoe burst healing are definately a major issue. It refreshing to see that I don’t completely suck or have forgotten how to heal.

  4. Pingback: Retirement Reasons and Reminiscing Part 4 : Kurn's Corner

  5. I’ve also had issues. My 10man raid team runs me as a druid healer, a monk and a shaman. Why? Because my raid healing falls short. I’ve scoured and tried tweaking my gear to be optimal. I’m always out of mana. And most of the gear we’re supposed to get through valor points has no spirit for mana regen. My intellect is 14k spirit almost 9k. I make sure I have harmony up, changed glyphs. Made my haste breakpoint. Still….when that raid aoe damage comes up and my tranq is down, there’s nothing I can do. When it is up I can’t keep up the raid unless I have the shaman or someone else doing their aoe heals with me. It doesn’t help that when wildgrowth is up it never lands on the ppl that really need it. And those healing mushrooms? really? worst idea ever!

  6. Its not that our healing is low its that its not doing anything worthwhile. when i look at logs my healing output is top, but the amount doing any healing is low.
    If i pre hot our tank with everything i have before the pull the first heals i see on recount are our priest and pala’s and also the tanks, mine are just sitting there doing nothing, when his health does dip the pala is that quick at getting his heals off my hots dont have time to tick .

  7. I can’t say I find the HOT’s ticking as being a problem…in most situations pre-hotting the tank with everything you got is just overhealing and a waste. Before engaging you only need Lifebloom stacked, your Harmony procc’d and maybe a Rejuvenation. Problem we all have is we are old and outdated compared to other healers. Its like Beru said, our toolkit is outdated and has nothing new to keep up with the new mechanics in the new encounters. There is only so many ways you can rotate the same HOT’s which in the end up all add up to the same numbers.

  8. Like others who have commented, I primarily raid 10s. Also like the others, I have noticed our other healers output improving while mine stagnates. What struck me most, however was going into the second half of Heart of Fear in LFR today. The first two bosses in there (Wind Lord Mel’jarak and Amber-Shaper Un’sok) made me feel, depressed and demoralised. In four years of serious raiding as a healer I have never, ever felt so useless. I used my cooldowns correctly, I didn’t go OOM, I did everything I possibly could to produce the best healing I was able. The top healer was a monk, closely followed by a priest and shaman (clearly all fairly competent). Both my HPS and total healing done were half to two thirds of theirs. I’m not a noob, I normally sit comfortably at the top of the healing meter in any raid, or very close to it (and yes I know meters alone aren’t a great measure of skill), but this experience made me glad that our lack of ability to respond to burst damage is less obvious in 10s. I really feel for anyone who raids on 25 man because the latest 5.1 build is a release candidate which means no fixes this patch.

    On a constructive note: while I agree with your comments from an earlier post, Beru, that replacing Mushrooms with something completely different would be best, sadly I suspect that we are stuck with them. Given that, wondered if modifying the healing shrooms so that they heal for 3 times the amount they do currently (or preferably more) but are only able to hit a single target each bloom might help. That way we’d only need 1 shroom for an entire group of either size when stacked, but could also plant 3 to heal more targets when the raid was spread out. Increased radius would also be beneficial.

  9. Brain failure. I meant each player could be hit by only one mushroom per bloom. Sorry.

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