Category Archives: druid

A Look at Mastery: Symbiosis Broken Down

OMG AN ACTUAL INFORMATIVE POAST!

What am I thinking?  I should just stick to snark.

I am.
LOLcat asks me this.

Ok, now as I’ve said before, I’m not a number- cruncher, theorycrafter, or mathhammerer.  NOT.  Right, so what’s my business trying to discuss this newest of new shiny things in the Resto!Druid arsenal?

Because I can.  Because I can take all of the technical talk and put it into a language casual people- like me- can actually understand.  You know, make the information usable for the masses.  And because, ultimately, while the post will be informative, I will snark something.  And who doesn’t love that?

Ready to go?  I sure am.

A Look at Mastery: Symbiosis Broken Down

Let us take a look at Symbiosis, shall we?

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing I’m going to say here is LAW.  This is my personal opinion about how Symbiosis works and what I believe its supposed to be used for.  Do not take my words as the end all, be all of Druid opinion of Symbiosis.

Symbiosis:  Increases the potency of your healing spells by 10% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells.  Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.25%.

Now, I’ve heard and seen the arguments.  But lets break it down a bit.  This is basically saying, ‘if you cast a Direct Heal (or a DH effect) on a target, make sure they’ve got a HoT on them first.’  A lot of people seem to think that this is going to push us Trees more towards the ‘tank healing’ side of the healing universe and away from the ‘raid healing’ niche we’re so fond of.  Eh.  I can’t really say I disagree, but I don’t think that the reason Blizzard gave us this Mastery is to make us tank heal.  I think they did it to make us a little more flexible.  I remember my time as healing lead, and I ALWAYS put the Holydins on the tank.  ALWAYS.  You can probably still ask them, and they’ll tell you that- no matter how much they begged me to raid heal.  Now, us Trees are freakin’ amazing raid healers… but we were always a little weaker on the tank healing side since Blizz nerfed Lifebloom into the toilet.

Yeah... what happened to my Lifebloom?

Here’s why I think they did it- to balance druid HoTs and Direct Heals.  Remember, now each of our heals is supposed to have a niche (even if Healing Touch and Nourish have a RIDONKULOUSLY long cast time, even reduced with Haste.)  Let’s say you’re healing someone and you tossed a stack of Lifebloom’s on the target.  If you cast a Nourish on that same target, you’re going to get the additional healing- plus a refresh on the Lifebloom, according to Nourish’s new mechanic.  If you’ve got 8 points of Mastery (which is low, but you can reforge your gear to get at least that much now), that’s an additional 22% healing done by that Nourish- not to mention all the EXTRA healing the refresh of Lifebloom is going to give that person.  Its important to note that this will only work if you cast a DH effect over a HoT of some kind- this includes Swiftmend.  This is, in fact, giving us a reason to use those DH’s, because there is the potential for TONS of bonus healing.  Sure, you’re not going to want to use DH’s for everything, but that’s not what Symbiosis is there for.  Its there for you to be used during tougher fights to help you manage your healing and your mana more effectively- which we will have to do now that our damn near infinite mana pools are a thing of the past.  22% bonus healing for the same mana cost as a HoT and a DH?  I fail to see where there is an issue with this, especially since there will be MORE bonus healing with more Mastery points.  I’ll be in the throngs of druids who will be stacking Mastery at every given opportunity. Is Symbiosis the greatest Mastery talent?  Certainly not.  But its ours, and we have to learn to play with the cards Blizzard has dealt us.

Druids, we have always been great healers.  But, I forsee that these changes in our chosen healing class are going to separate the good Trees from the one’s who were just spamming Wild Growth and Rejuv on the raid and not caring about anything else but topping healing meters.  Times, they are a’changin’, and we are changing with them. The bottom line is that its time to separate the Pro!Trees from the Nub!Branches.

Tree!Druids UNITE!

Now, let’s show Blizzard we can handle anything they throw at us!

And now, for a new addition to the blog:  around the Blogosphere!  Let’s see what others have blogged about recently!

Blogosphere

That’s it for now!  Be cool, and stay angry, healers!

~Pyo

Post of Absolutely No Value- I’m Back In the Game!

Seriously.

I was gonna do a whole Huntard post… but I actually raided tonight.  For the first time in almost nine months, since school began.  And you know what?

I missed it.

WOOHOO! I'm back in the game, baby!

I gotta tell you- I’m just glad that, despite all of my T9- and less than- gear and trinkets, I can still hold my own as a tree.  My guild, The Grim Covenant, cleared up through Valithria Dreamwalker.  We got one of out Retadins his Shadowmourne.  I even managed to score myself some upgrades.  But I’m back, baby.  For real.  I get to do it again tomorrow, too!

Seriously, that’s my whole post.  Me being squeetastic at raiding with my uber-awesome guild again.

I’ll be back later this week with a real post.  Tomorrow, I graduate from my final class, and I go on a nice, long break.  Maybe my post will be about Huntards.  Or maybe it will be about Cataclysm.  We’ll see.  Until then, stay angry, healers!

~Pyo

Talent Trees and Spellz and Skillz… Oh My!

And Happy Tuesday, healers!

Now... to move Tuesday next to Friday...

First off, I’d like to put a call out there to all WoW related blogs!  I’ve cleaned house recently, if you couldn’t tell, and removed all of the inactive blogs from the blogroll.  If you own a WoW blog- healer related or not- tell me!  You can either leave a comment here, or send me an email at sightlessone@gmail.com.  NEED MOAR BLOGZ!

Also, if you’d like an opportunity to guest post here, let me know!  The post doesn’t have to be about druids.  Or healing.  But snark is a MUST.

That email address again is sightlessone@gmail.com.  DOO EET!

Ok, now that I’m done with that… onto the post.  I know every druid that has a blog has done a ‘Healing post- 4.0′ post.  This isn’t going to be exactly that.  This is going to be more along the lines of me either squeeing, contemplating, or yelling WTF.  Because there is some serious WTFery going on.  Now, without further ado…

Talent Tree Focus:  Restoration Druid!

For the record, I always list references.  For this post, I parused MMO-Champion for the actual spell list; Treebark Jacket and Dreambound Druid , both of which are blogs I’ve favored for some time; and some stuff from Revive and Rejuvenate, Restokin, Falling Leaves and Wings, Rustled Leaves, and Cannot Be Tamed, which are all recent additions and addictions. So thank you all for being smart so I can sit here and be snarky and entertaining.  (Yes, I know, I’m smart… but I like to give credit where credit is due.)

ONTO THE POAST!

Fist off, lets look at the new stoof we’re getting.

  • Gift of Nature (Passive) – Healing increased by 25%.- Ok.  Me likie.  This is, undoubtedly, the bonus healing we’re getting to offset the fact that Tree of Life form is on a CD now.
  • Meditation (Passive) – Allows 50% of your mana regeneration from Spirit to continue while in combat.- Now we’re talking.  I’ll actually need to see how this plays out this weekend, when I get some time to play, but mana regen = win, IMO.
  • Symbiosis (Mastery) – Increases the potency of your healing spells by 10% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.25%.-  HELLO BABY WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!  This plays right into my healing style- layering HoTs- and appears to be the niche Resto!Druids are going to be filling.  I suddenly feel justified about all of the choices I made as a raiding Treekin.

Ok, how about we look at some Skills?  Lets see what’s been revamped, what’s great, and what sucks.

  • Nourish now costs 10% of base mana, down from 18% of base mana. Cast time increased from 1.5 sec to 3 sec. Now heals for 2153 to 2502, up from 1883 to 2187.-  And here we go… W.T.F. Blizz?  3 second cast?  Where in the hell is that going to be useful?  You do remember all of the complaints we had about Healing Touch and its ridonkulous cast time, right?  You didn’t even increase the heal all that much.  Decreasing the mana cost by 8% doesn’t change the fact that you BORKED this spell.  I understand, this is supposed to be used with Nature’s Bounty and Empowered Touch, but seriously, unless you plan on throwing us nothing but a bunch of fights where you have to stand still throughout the entire encounter (boring!), I can’t see this- or Healing Touch- being used.  Thank you for breaking one of my favorite spells.
  • Lifebloom now costs 7% of base mana, down from 28%. Now heals the target for 2045 over 10 sec, up from 371 over 7 sec. Lifebloom can be active only on one target at a time. ( Tree of Life : Can be cast on unlimited targets. )- OK.  This is more like it, Blizz!  The ridiculous mana cost it had before wasn’t worth its low heal factor.  Not only did you reduce the mana cost to a quarter of its former value, you jumped the healing by 82% and increased its duration.  This is the shit I like to see from you, Blizz!
  • Tranquility now costs 32% of base mana, down from 70% of base mana. Reworked – Now heals 5 nearby lowest health party or raid targets within 40 yards with Tranquility every 2 sec for 8 sec. Tranquility heals for 3478.7 plus an additional 307.65 every 2 sec over 8 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. The Druid must channel to maintain the spell.- And, finally, this spell has a place in Druid Healing again!  I’ve been waiting a long time for this spell to make a comeback, and I’m glad it has.  Spell prioritization of lower health allies is nice, even if it does make healing just a bit easier.
  • Rebirth now resurrects with 20% health and mana. No longer costs mana. Range increased from 30 yards to 40 yards. Cooldown increased from 10 min to 30 min.- See, now I know druids who are going to be mad that you increased the CD back up to 30 minutes.  But I’m not one of them.  Removing the mana cost and upping the rezzed one’s health and mana totals, especially if you’re going to allow us to keep the Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth, was a good idea.  Yummy.
  • Regrowth now heals 3030 to 3383 and another 970 over 6 sec, up from 2234 to 2494 and another 2345 over 21 sec. Now costs 35% of base mana, up from 29% of base mana. Cast time reduced to 1.5 sec, down from 2 sec. ( Tree of Life : Instant cast. )- Not really much I can say here but BOOYAH INSTANT CAST IN TREE OF LIFE FORM.  I will abuse this spell as a Tree.  Watch me.
  • Rejuvenation now heals for 1171 every 3 sec for 12 sec. Up from 1690 over 15 sec. Cost increased to 20% of base mana, up from 18% of base mana.- Ah, my staple spell, my beloved Favorite HoT, you just keep getting better. I’ll take the 2% base mana cost increase for the 2,994 extra healing you now give.  -love-
  • Healing Touch now heal for 6461 to 7630, up from 3750 to 4428. Cost increased to 38% of base mana, up from 17% of base mana. Cast time increased to 3 sec, up from 1.5 sec.- STILL NOT USING IT, BLIZZ.  I can’t see me using it, especially now that it costs 38% base mana.  Fuck.  That.
  • Mark of the Wild now increases the friendly target’s Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances by [ ( Level 1-70 : (Level/2) / Level 71-80 : (Level/2 + 0.714 * (Level – 70)) / Level 81 or above : (Level + 2.5 * (Level – 70) + 3.5 * (Level – 80)) ) – 3.5 ], for 1 hr. If target is in your party or raid, all party and raid members will be affected.- Um.  Still the worst buff in the game.

Ok, OK.  Moving on- Talents and Talent Changes!  We’ll look at the changed Talents first, then the new ones.  Here, have a Talent Tree.

  • Wild Growth is now a Tier 5 talent, down from Tier 11. Cost increased from 23% of base mana to 27% of base mana. Cooldown increased from 6 sec to 10 sec. Now prioritizes healing most injured party members. Now heals for 2568.14 over 7 sec, up from 1442. ( Tree of Life : Affects an additional 2 targets. )- No complaints except for the increaded CD, which I assume is supposed to be offset by Tranquility being useful for the first time since vanilla WoW.  AoE heals look like they’re covered.
  • Gift of the Earthmother is now a Tier 6 and 3 Ranks talent, down from Tier 10 and 5 Ranks. Revamped – Increases the healing done when your Lifebloom expires by 5/10/15%, and causes your Rejuvenation spell to also instantly heal for 5/10/15% of the total periodic effect.- I like, I like!  Still need to determine if Lifebloom is going to be better if its allowed to fall off or not, but the bump to Rejuv is always nice.
  • Tree of Life is now a Tier 7 talent, down from Tier 9. Revamped – Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarly enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 30 sec. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Wrath- Still trying to figure out this whole ‘casting Wrath in ToL form’ thing out.  Is there a reason?  From my understanding, ToL is out new ‘OSHIT’ button.  If I pop it, why the hell would I be casting Wrath?
  • Natural Perfection is now a Tier 5 and 2 Ranks talent, down from Tier 7 and 3 Ranks. Renamed to Nature’s Ward and reworked – Whenever you take an attack while at or below 50% health, you have a 50/100% chance to automatically cast Rejuvenation on yourself with no mana cost.- I don’t care who you are, THIS IS NICE.  Much better than its predecessor version, as I could not only relish in constantly healing myself in BGs, this may actually have some PvE use- if I have an off day.  Either way, its an ass saver (like Resto!druids need any more help in that department AMIRITE?!)
  • Empowered Touch is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 6. Reworked – Increases the healing done by your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 5/10%, and your Nourish spell has a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets.- This might have had some promise if you hadn’t TOTALLY SCREWED WITH NOURISH, BLIZZ.  Yeah… I look forward to being bitter about that until its fixed.
  • Nature’s Bounty is now a Tier 4 and 3 ranks spell, down from Tier 6 and 5 Ranks. No longer increases critical effect chance of Nourish. Now increases critical effect of Regrowth by 20/40/60% (Up from 5/10/15/20/25%). Also, you have a 33/66/100% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 sec.- I reiterate: not until they reduce the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch.  I only want a second, Blizz!  Just take of 1 freaking second!
  • Improved Rejuvenation is now a Tier 2 talent, down from Tier 4. Now also affects Swiftmend.- Yay for affecting Swiftmend!
  • Naturalist is now a Tier 1 and 2 ranks talent, down from Tier 2 and 5 Ranks. Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 0.25/0.5 sec.- NOT ENOUGH BLIZZ.  Change it to .5 sec/ 1 sec and I’ll shut up about it.
  • Natural Shapeshifter is now a Tier 1 and 2 Ranks talent, down from Tier 2 and 3 Ranks. Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 10/20%. (Down from 10/20/30%)- Boo.  I liked the 30% reduction, but I’ll take 20%!

And for the New Talents…

  • Swift Rejuvenation – Reduces the global cooldown of your Rejuvenation by 0.25/0.5 sec.- Anything that reduces the GCD of mah Favorite HoT is good in my book.
  • Efflorescence – When you heal with your Swiftmend spell you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 8 yards for 20/40/60% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec.- Again, I’m assuming this is another offset for WG being on a 10 second CD.  The graphics for it a pretty, even if it is liable to confuse the non- educated.
  • Malfurion’s Gift – Whenever you heal with your Lifebloom spell, you have a 2/4% chance to cause Omen of Clarity.- A Gift, indeed.  Thanks, Furion.  We’re glad you’re back, too, even if we can’t figure out how you and Tyrande manage to get anything done.

Get a room. No, seriously.
  • Fury of Stormrage – Reduces the mana cost of your Wrath spell by 50/100%, and when you deal damage with your Wrath spell you have a 6/12% chance to cause your next Starfire to be instant cast within 8 sec.- WHAT IS THIS I DONT EVEN.  Again with the casting of damage spells as Resto.  I don;t understand what you’re going for here, Blizz.  You implemented Dual Specs for a reason.  And then you made it a prereq for Malfurion’s Gift?  Seriously?
  • Blessing of the Grove – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4% and the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6%.- Mmmmm Rejuv healing but… Moonfire?  At least its high enough in the Resto Tree for the Boomers to get it.

And, for the record, here’s what’s been removed:

Well, I hope this post has been entertaining and given people something to think about while they’re out there Treeing it up.  Once me solid playtime, I’ll be able to sit down and give a good Tree Healing Guide for those who may be looking for it.

That’s it, then!  Come back on Friday, when I’ll be discussing a topic very near and dear to my heart:  ‘If the DPS Dies, Its Their Own Damn Fault:  When This Is and Isn’t the Case.’  Until then though, cheers, and stay angry, healers!

GARROSH IS STILL A MORON!

ANGRY!

~Pyo

Sneek Peek: Druid Changes in Cataclysm!

Hello, Angry Healers!

You didn’t really think I’d abandoned you for good, did you?  Oh ye of little faith.

Me? Gone for good? Nah, I'm just being sneaky.

No, I am still here, and still alive, and I am still playing WoW, even if it is sporadically.  Sadly, I am still not in the Cataclysm beta (though I’m SUPPOSED to be in the Beta Club) so… we’ll see about that.

Until then, I’m just gonna have to go off of MMO Champion.  -shrug-  So bear with me as I bumble my way through some of the new, exciting or otherwise, changes Blizzard has in store for us Tree!Droos!

First off, we’ll start with the obvious: Tree of Life form.  Its the raid- comforting form- everybody loves a good Tree!  Tree of Life form is getting some HUGE changes made to it.

WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN

So.  YEAH.  5 minute cooldown.  Lasts 45 seconds.  Ladies and gentlemen, Trees of All Colors, they have decided that Resto needed to be the spec where you could see all of the pretty Druid armors.

RollingHots.com hit the nail on the head here.

Here’s what Blizzard had to say:

Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.

Ok, so… when I first heard about this I, quite literally, found the first thing in arms reach and threw it across the room in frustration.  Sure, tree!form has needed some updating, since Moo!Trees and Elf!Trees looked exactly the same.  But why- OH THE HUMANITY- did Blizzard decide that it was our favored form that needed to be put on the CD?

Ok, so I can see why not Feral.  I mean, frankly, who didn’t think this was funny?

Blizzard's modelling of certain things is just the bestest evar.

I suppose, on the upside, tree!form is supposed to be getting one helluva makeover.

Bigger is Better, after all.

And our healing is going to be boosted in ‘Look At My Armor Isn’t It Shiny?’ form, to be in line with what it used to be in Tree!form.  Which makes shifting into ToL form more of an ‘OH SHIT’ button than Nature’s Swiftness and Healing Touch used to be.  So… I reserve judgement on the new CD on ToL form until I’ve actually gotten a chance to mess around with it.  (You hear that, Blizz?  LET ME INTO THE BETA!)

Ok, how’s about we take a peek at the new Talent Tree?

Now, first off, in Cata, you’ll only be getting Talent points every other level- not that it should matter for most of you kids out there, since you’re almost all already 80.  But, its good to know.  Now, from what it looks like, they’ve pruned the ‘Why are you making me take this, Blizz?’ talents out of the tree, a la ‘Naturalist’, and added some stuff- things I’m kinda not so sure about.  It looks like, at least for druids (not sure about you other healy types) they’re trying to keep us from focusing on just healing by giving us talents that will entice us to- *gasp*- DO DAMAGE.

-facepalm-

Let’s look at some, eh?

Blessing of the Grove (2 ranks): Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 4%.

O_o?  Ok, Blizz, just what are you going for here?  This is a first tier Talent, and- clearly- not intended for use solely in the Tree! tree.  Or is it?

Furor (3 ranks)Givess you 20% chance to gain 10 rage when you shapeshift into Bear or Dire Bear form, and you keep up to 20 energy when you shapeshift into Cat form. In addition your Intellect is increased by 2% while in Moonkin form.

I ask myself ‘Why?’ every time I see this in the Resto Tree.  I mean, seriosuly, it does NOTHING for Resto Druids, WHY IS IT STILL THERE, BLIZZARD?  For cryin’ out loud, remove it from our tree if your not going to make it at least somewhat useful for us.

Fury of Stormrage (2 ranks): You have a 10% chance when you cast Nourish or Healing Touch to cause your next Wrath spell to be instant cast and cast no mana. Fury of Stormrage lasts for 8 sec.

See, this is the first Talent I came across that gave me the idea that Blizzard did, in fact, intend for Resto!Druids to do some damage during encounters- and I do not think for a second this is supposed to be a PvP only thing.  I mean, we have enough to worry about normally with encounters with crazy, raid- wide damage- which I understand is also supposed to be changing?  Once again, I’m going to reserve judgement for when I actually get to see these Talents in speaction, but… I have my doubts about the whole situation.

However, this has piqued my healy interest in a good way.

Efflorescence (3 ranks): When you critically heal with your Regrowth spell you also spread a bead of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 15 yards who stand on them for 30% of the amount healed by your Regrowth for 7 seconds.

I am intrigued!  Its not a new spell- we aren’t getting anymore, for some reason, Blizzard things we have enough.  HA!- but a new mechanic that looks like it could be a lot of fun to play with.  This, on top of HoTs benefiting innately from Haste and Crit, and Haste not speeding up the duration of the HoT, but ADDING ticks into the normal duration of the spell, is just awesome.

And, working hand in hand with the new Talent trees, Blizzard is introducing Mastery, which is associated with the Talent tree you choose at level 10.  The Resto Masteries include Healing and Meditiation, which are shared with Priests, Shammies, and Pallies, and HoT Scale Healing, which is Druid only.

HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

HA!  How’s that for a post after a loooong hiatus!  Well, folks, that’s all I have for now.  I plan on posting more regularly here again, as well as maintaining my posts over at Milady Geek.  Hope you folks are prepared for my insanity!

Have a great weekend, and stay angry, healers!

I'm back!

~Pyo,  who is BACK FROM HER INSANE SCHEDULE!!!!!!  -woot!-