Archive for the ‘Celestial Focus’ Category

A Hasty Decision   14 comments

Last night I was lucky enough to snag my first token to upgrade one of my set pieces to its 277 version. After some debate, I opted to upgrade the legs, as they seemed to be the largest overall upgrade of the four pieces. Interestingly enough, part of the reason that I opted to grab the legs was because it put me at 858 haste.

Why is that so important, I hear you asking! Well, because it gives me the option of moving back to an 11/0/60 spec, and picking up a few things that I had dropped to pick up celestial focus, most notably living seed and my third point in living spirit. Now, to be fair, I haven’t missed that one point in living spirit overly much…and being primarily a raid healer living seed has limited value to me. That doesn’t mean that it’s worthless, but probably would only account for somewhere around 2% or less of my overall healing on most encounters.

So that got me to thinking some, which of course generally gets me into trouble. But I started to wonder how much value is really in that 11/0/60 spec, I mean I’ve been months at my current spec and can’t say that I’ve missed much. I started wondering if there was an alternative, haste free, item that I could pick up that would be of greater value to me than those extra points in the resto tree.

And so I started digging through my gear…good lord, do I have anything that is haste free?!?! The answer to that would be “no”. As I picked through my gear I wondered what the biggest haste-less item upgrade would be, and in the end it came down to Bracers. They were the worst itemized piece in all of the ICC loot tables. As a result, most people, including myself, are still wearing the Bindings of the Autumn Willow, from TotGC.

Armed with this knowledge, I went in search of upgrades available to me, and the result yielded Bracers of Eternal Dreaming.  Now, the question at hand is: Is this upgrade of greater value to me than shifting those points back into the resto tree?

Let’s examine, shall we? By switching the bracers, I will be left with 801 haste and will be able to maintain my current spec. I would gain 13 stam, 13 intellect, 19 spirit, 19 spell power and 60 crit. All at a loss of 57 haste. I would also lose the ability to put a third point into living spirit, pick up living seed, and have two points to play with (likely I’d stick them back into Imp Barkskin). Let’s take a look at what those talents would give me, shall we?

The point in living spirit would net me approximately 54 spirit (a 5% increase to my current spirit), which would translate into roughly 8 spell power pre kings (15% spirit to spell power conversion from Imp ToL). It will also net me an almost negligible increase in mana regen. All in all…it seems almost like a wash up to this point, with maybe a slight favoring to keep the current bracers and move my talent points around. But let’s keep exploring.

The three points in living seed is where the meat of this change will really have the most potential. But it’s really very tricky. As a raid healer in my 25 mans, I do not make frequent use of regrowth, nourish or healing touch, although I do make frequent use of swiftmend. And often, if I were to get a seed up on someone, there is a good change for it to be overheal on my target the next time they took damage. However, I do think that living seed has the potential to net me a generous estimate of a 2% increase to my overall healing. I suspect that I would probably get more mileage from it in my 10 man raids, where I find myself casting seed spells with more frequency. And even though it doesn’t appear to be a lot, it would seem to me that 2% healing is greater than the 19 spell power increase. But let’s keep looking!

My last two points would probably go into improved barkskin. I really enjoyed this talent throughout Ulduar, however there were a lot of uses for it in the zone. I can definitely think of a few spots it is useful in ICC, but I don’t think the benefit of its use is as prominent as it was in Ulduar. If it was just this talent that I was looking at, I think probably the bracers would win out.

However, when we put together all three talents and compare them with the gains that I would receive from swapping to the less favorably itemized bracers, I definitely think that keeping the current bracers, and moving back to an 11/0/60 spec offers the biggest benefit. Even if it’s a small spell power upgrade, and even if it’s only 2% more healing, those two things added together are definitely greater than the small increases received from dropping the haste bracers. Additional things to keep in mind are that spell power and haste are about point for point in throughput, and crit is essentially worthless.

In the end, I think I will keep my better itemized TotGC bracers, and go back to my pre-3.3 spec. However, after months of using my celestial focus spec, and not really missing much, it was interesting to be able to go back and decide if those extra points in the resto tree were worth it!

What do you think? Would you look for other gear upgrades, or would you opt to go back to an 11/0/60 spec?

Posted April 29, 2010 by Beruthiel in Celestial Focus, Druid Healing

3.3: Haste Gear or Set Bonuses?   4 comments

So, this is my dilemma and, at this time, I do not have an answer.  But with 3.3 upon us today, I need to get it figured out pronto!

After much thought, I, personally, will be picking up the 18/0/53 celestial focus spec.  To do this, I will be giving up the following 7 points from my current 11/0/60 resto spec:

  • Living Seed (3)
  • Improved Barkskin (2)
  • Empowered Touch (2)

 The reasons that I am doing this are:

  • I am primarily a raid healer in 25 man progression content.   Getting back as close to our current 1 second GCD will be important for me (I think).
  • Living Seed is frequently less than 2% of my overall healing.  While it is nice to have, I think the haste is going to end up being more throughput for me as a whole.
  • Empowered Touch (Nourish, Healing Touch) is also frequently less than 5% of my overall healing.  While it was nice to have those bigger nourishes when I used nourish, the haste is again going to give me more throughput for what I’m tasked to do in our 25 man settings.
  • Improved Barkskin.  I loved this talent.  I really did.  It seemed to a lot of people to be a throw away talent, but I can’t tell you how helpful that extra mitigation was as we worked hard modes.  However, in the big picture, it was 2 points that were pretty easy to give up for the extra haste.

I know that not everyone will agree with the reasons, or the talents, that I’m opting to drop for the 3% haste offered by celestial focus, and that is fine.  But it is something that I am going to test out and see if it is beneficial for me and if I how it affects my throughput.  That, however, is a decision that I already made…and not, per se, the topic of this post.  The big question at hand, which I do not have an answer for is:  Should I drop my 4 T9 set bonus for non-tier haste gear?

I have looked for an answer to this question, and so far have not found anything definitive.  If I keep my 4 piece T9, along with my current 245/258 items regardless of if they have haste, I sit just under 600 haste.  Recall that to reach the 1 second GCD you require 750 haste, assuming all of your raid buffs and 3/3 Celestial Focus, which I will have.  If I swap around an item of two here and there, namely my breastplate and off-hand, I reach just over 700 haste, with only a slight loss to spell power…but I also lose my T9 set bonus.

Now, at the point I am at haste wise, we are talking tenths of seconds with regards to my GCD reaching 1 second flat.  How much will that matter?  Are those tenths of seconds worth giving up the set bonus for?  Tentatively, I think not.  But I could be quite wrong about this.  I won’t know for certain until I get into a raid setting and see how sluggish I feel, and analyze the parses to see where everything fits.  However, if things seem hugely slow, I may well decide that it is worth the loss of the bonus to equip a few haste pieces instead of set pieces.  I may also swap out a gem here or there for one with a touch of haste on it.  The last I recall reading haste and spellpower were scoring out about equally for throughput.

Now, getting into T10, I absolutely would not give up haste for the 2 pieces bonus, as it’s a rubbish bonus.  But what about the 4 piece T10?  I just don’t know.

How about all of you?  Are you giving up your set bonuses for haste pieces?  Are you keeping your set bonuses?  Are you flat out staying away from the haste train?