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.
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.