Are resto druids a non-essential healer?

A GM of another guild on the server with whom I regularly converse with was talking about recruitment as one of his healers had decided to stop raiding.

"Do you want a resto druid?" I said jokingly.  "Because I have lots of those."

"Nah," he said. "Resto druids are pretty weak in heroic.  I'd rather have a monk or a shaman.  At the moment we have a disc, holy pally, monk and a shaman."

Of course I laughed at him.  We have been running two to three resto druids with one other healer for most of our BRF encounters. Sure, it's a bit of a struggle sometimes especially on tank healing but we can do it, but it's not that easy.

I didn't think much more of it until I ran across another blog of someone who started following me on Twitter.  Sarindre writes at Through the Eyes of a Tree and has been blogging for as long as I have - her blog goes back to 2010 - and in her last post she wrote about how people are saying that Resto druids are not an essential healer.
In my current guild, we do not have many options and are running with three Resto Druids ... and a Holy and Disc Priest... Are we the reason we have only downed 2 bosses in BRF and 4 in Highmaul? There is always the excuse that “oh the tanks are taking too much damage” or “we do not have enough DPS” but what if the real reason is “we do not have the right kind of healers.”
This is similar to our guild, where we reliably run with three resto druids, and holy paladin and a holy priest who are there at least 2/3 of the time.  I know that it isn't great, but we work with what we have.  Obviously there are times we are STRUGGLING and would love to have a paladin or disc, but we have managed.  It's on Blackfuse that we are really wanting those paladin heals though. (And remember, we are only a heroic guild, not a mythic one)
Then we moved onto Operator Thogar. We are doing pretty well on the fight but seem to lose it on the raid splits. I am the one chosen to follow the tank over to the one side and heal them. Normally I believe this roll of single tank healing would fall to a Pally, someone with great burst healing that will not let the tank die while he is being smashed in the face by a boss and tons of mobs. I am able to do it, basically I HoT the tank up and Regrowth/Heart of the Wild spam, but as I think about it, it would be way more effective for a non-HoT healer with great single heals to do this role.
This is true but it's not impossible. We do Thogar and when I am on solo tank heals, you hope to high hell that your tank hasn't taken the boss AND all the adds because that means deaaaatttthhhhh. I do the same, full HoTs rolling on the tank, mushroom, and get a swiftmended rejuv on them and then spam regrowth on them and chuck an iron bark and then yell for them to use a cooldown if it gets ugly. Not the best thing ever, but I do some wrath healing as well when it's not too stressful.

Sarindre said that she was listening to FinalBoss #78 where Affinity and Jarre were talking about resto druids in end game (mythic) and they talked about a lot of things, mostly lamenting that by end game, holy pallies and disc priests negate the need for a resto druid.  In heroic they're good but the absorbs scale a lot by end game, making them nearly a necessity to a raid.  A shame really, and I could see that happening if we moved to harder content.

Germination was also something that I find particularly mana draining - I actually much prefer Moment of Clarity because of the mana conservation that I get especially in Challenge mode - but I spend a lot of time spamming regrowth when it procs so you can get 4 regrowths out which is really quite decent. But I must be the only one who likes it.  I must switch to germination sometimes and see what my mana and healing compare.  And double germ must be so crappy when there are disc priests around!

They also spoke about current 4 piece tier, which Yuuda and I have discussed - and the 4 set is truly horrible.  I have tried doing it, but it has no place in the times I'm using it - when I'm spamming Healing Touch it's for a few targets getting damage, but once I need to use wild growth I wouldn't be using Healing Touch at all, I'd be going rejuv and a swintmend then a wild growth.  One amusing comment for what would be more useful would be if the 4 piece bonus was "When you cast 2 sequential Healing Touch spells, the next spell is an absorb" or something hilarious like that.  I think it would be more useful if it worked with a spell that would go well with healing touch, like using a damage reduction such as ironbark.  Maybe "When you cast 2 sequential healing touch spells, your next Ironbark will reduce damage by 40% for 10 seconds".  Well, I'd have to think about that really.

So, what do you think?  Resto druids - are they the worst healers for raids?

Comments

  1. I remember when druids were OP, when you needed all those hots or you would not get the sheer numbers of healing that was needed. (DRAMATIC SIGH). Now that my druid is 98, I'm starting to hear THINGS I am not happy with. Thankfully, the raid team I'm proposing to join does not regularly have a druid healer, so I'd be the only one - thereby mitigating any "too many druids" problem. Seriously, too many ANYTHING is likely a problem.

    Oh well, my shaman is in the 60s...

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    1. Druids have had their heyday - I guess it's time for Disc priests to have theirs. I would suggest taking a boomy offspec though - it's great for some fights! I think if I was a better boomkin that would be better too - I just need more practice I think.

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  2. Been a while since I dropped by and I was surprised to read this. I recall when WoD was about to hit, I was being told that Disc would vanish and Druid would be the top healer. I always found it sad how they are not able to balance all healing classes. :/ That's what ended up driving me away, sadly. I feel like they should all be equally useful (as you can't play different classes on a specific toon. Not everyone wants to gear up Alts). For what it's worth, I find it admirable that you guys keep trying with classes you enjoy VS replacing someone that's not playing the "flavour of the month". When I see "Resto Druid", I always think of you!

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    1. Thanks Kaila it's good to hear from you! People think it is a bit stupid to play what we like rather than what we need but the game should be fun right? :)

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  3. Great post! I have been using Germ, but it might be time to change it up. I find myself spending a lot of time trying to make sure the tanks have rejuv and germ along with people that are taking damage. I do believe there is hope for us since I love playing as a tree, but there needs to be a lot of tweaking done to the healing classes in order for this to happen I fear.

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    1. I use germ sometimes but I really feel like it sucks so much mana for a slow benefit. I do like the MoC free giant spam heals (if you use glyph of regrowth) and even though it is RNG it procs so often that I feel like I get my mana's worth out of it.

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  4. I only rarely heal, but it's been my experience that absorb healers will always win out when you overgear content. Disc Priests and to a lesser extent Holy Paladins are fantastic on farm content because damage so rarely breaks through the shields.

    For content that you don't overgear and/or you aren't overhealing, any throughput healer is an excellent complement to absorb healers. Tranquility is still a hugely powerful raid cooldown (and can be combined with fox where necessary, at least until 6.2) and Ironbark's short cooldown make it ideal for fights like Oregorger where tanks require constant externals to manage the Acid Torrent.

    If you're running 3 resto druids then I'd suggest the problem is a lack of diversity rather than a problem with the class itself, especially if your fourth healer is a holy priest. Holy is so similar to Resto that you'd probably get a significant boost from teaching them Disc and running Disc/Hpal/2-3x RDruid. Two absorbs, two throughput, a much more balanced lineup.

    That's my 2 cents anyway.

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    1. Blizz never wants us to run 3 of the same thing, so I guess it makes sense that diversity would make things better. We're doing OK without a disc atm and it's just heroic so that's good I guess!

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  5. I've just moved to a team thats 3 mythic boses in that runs 3 druids, a sham and a disc priest. my previous team was pally,druid,sham and 2 disc priests - heroic content only.
    For the bosses I've seen with this line up, ore, darm and hans it works really well. 6 x tranqs to cope with the tantrums on darmac is great and the number of ironbarks that are available for ore is really handy + utility of extra roars for crossing the floor etc.
    Going forward into further bosses I don't know if 3 x druids will be a liability however so far it doesnt appesr to be an issue.
    I've only just started trying MoC. I tok it last night for a trial for the first time so too early to tell.
    I find the 4 piece a pain as it limits the way I use my spells so I dont bother equipping my full 4 tier pieces. The mana reduction would be nice but having to make sure its only healing touch I cast twice in a row can be a pain. Maybe if it was changed to something like two successive direct heals in a row trigger the proc..more handy as I'd guess the majority of restos have regrowth glyped giving them more options for direct heals.

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    1. Two wrath heals almost heal as much as a healing touch anyway, it feels and that costs you no mana, having to cast two consecutive HTs feels wasteful if you know what I mean! I have Regrowth glyphed and I don't think I'll change from that, especially since 4 fast regrowths can get out easily with MoC. I thought germ would be good for fights like Gruul but I have never been able to get them all on and just relied on SotF wild growths instead to fill it in!

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