Monday, April 7, 2014

WoD Alpha changes and what it means for a raiding and pvping resto druid

I thought I'd wait for dust to settle before I write my thoughts on the wall of text that came out 2 days ago from Blizz about the Alpha Patch notes for Warlords of Draenor.

I don't know who made this pic, but I felt I must use it in a post SOMEWHERE about Warlords of Draenor!
Naturally, I'm interested in the druid changes!

Healing changes
  • Nourish has been removed.  Good.  This spell was hardly used anyway, even when they tried to make us use it more with the Glyph of Rejuvenation, which nobody takes.
  • Symbiosis is being removed. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
  • Smart heals are no longer smart - ie they will no longer heal the lowest health person, they will heal any injured person within range of the spell.  I like this change - it makes you think about who you want to heal the most.  At least it chooses people over pets though (much to Sev's chagrin)
  • Wild Growth is no longer instant, and has a 1.5 second cast time.  That will make me think twice about using it, that's for sure.
  • Innervate has been removed.  They did say that they are reducing our mana costs accordingly.
  • Efflorescence is now permanently attached to your mushroom, which was previously done with Glyph of Efflorescence.  Good, now I have a new glyph slot!
  • Tranquility no longer has a hot attached to it on top of the healing that it did.  That extra hot was useful, especially when you stuff up and tranq too early - at least there was a hot that could do some healing... I'll miss that.
  • Nature's vigil has been tweaked again, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 16% (down from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 35% of the damage done (up from 25%). So the healing boost from it is small, but you get more benefit if you're using it outside your spec.
Changes that have implications for PvP
  • Removed ability to make cast time cc's instant with a spell.  Nature's Swiftness no longer gives you an instant cyclone but then every other class has had their instant cc's gone too - Shaman hex with ancestral swiftness, Mage poly with presence of mind.
  • Cyclone can now be dispelled or cancelled by immunity effects like iceblock and divine shield.
  • Hunter pets can no longer crowd control. YES!!!
  • Heart of the wild no longer increases Stamina, Intellect and Agility.  Poopie. That's the second nerfbat hit :P I guess it was too good to last.  And on a side note, I don't know how this ability is related to the herb, heart of the wild...
  • Survival instincts is now not only for bears but for all specs!  Yay, another survival cooldown for myself.  It reduces damage taken by 70% (up from 50%) and is on a 2min cooldown
  • Pallies lost Blinding light.  Good.  They had too many cc's anyway.  In fact all their crowd control abilities had a change, including a longer cast time for Repentance and Turn Evil, and Turn evil will be shorter (down to 6s from 8s)
  • There are less diminishing returns categories: All roots, all mesmerises, all stuns are each in their own DR category.
I read over at Lissanna's blog, Restokin, that there were other healing changes:
Increased healing to Healing Touch, Regrowth by 30%. Increased crit rate of Healing Touch on targets effected by Lifebloom. Increased HOT healing on targets effected by Ironbark. Increased living seed heal size by 20%. 
I'm not sure where she read that, but if those are true, it will be fun to see live!

Mana management has become a focus again - we have had lots of mana since WotLK, and it looks like they're going to concentrate on conserving mana a little more. A lot of people who didn't play in Vanilla may not think about Rank 4 Healing Touch that much, but I will always think of that when I think of efficiency of time and mana.

It is early days yet and they were will be tweaking come beta when live testing is out.  But as with all expansions, I can't wait to try it - but no, don't expect to see me on the beta doing any testing.  I have a real issue with playing and progressing in something that does not get retained on live servers!


  1. Wild Growth's and Tranquility's changes are aimed right at the Druid healers that can be insanely hard to take down in PvP. Same with the de-smarting heals.

    1. I must play mine wrong. I get mown down all the time when 3 mobs are on me.

    2. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen a single Resto Druid kite around a bunch of people in places like AB. All they do is simply heal-heal-heal, no DPS at all. (And what's worse is that the enemy falls for it, getting pulled away from the flag so that a Rogue or Kitty can cap it.)

  2. I'm excited to see these changes!