The mindset of a resto druid

Posted in Being A Tree on March 24, 2009 by therason

Healing isn’t just about pressing the buttons to make the green bars grow big again, having the correct mindset before stepping into the raid, and during the raid are key in your overall healing performance.

Before the raid there are a few things you have to accept. You cannot save everyone every time. People are going to die, while it seems like an obvious thing there is a pressure that exists on the healer’s shoulders that when it grows to large makes every death seem like the singular fault of that healer.

Know your faults as well, as a healer there will be things that either you as a player or as a druid will be difficult for you to handle. Fights with heavy sustained burst damage to heal through aren’t things that druids handle well. Know what fights that could contain such periods of damage and plan ahead of time how to deal with them. Also as a player there may be certain aspects of healing you struggle with, you may not be the world’s best tank healer or you struggle with raid healing. If you’re aware of these issues seek people out that can help you resolve them and continue to tackle these issues head on.

If you struggle with raid healing don’t hide from it by asking to tank heal every fight. There will be a fight or a night in the future where you will be called to raid heal and your previous trepidation in approaching the job will only grow as now you are forced to do it and you have no experience in doing it.

During the raid there are a few things I always try and do or think about.

1) Be aggressive

Resto druids can easily be the most aggressive and proactive healers in PvE. Our HoTs are not bound to overheals, and we aren’t forced into reactive casting as druid heals are often fire and forget. If you are sitting back only placing your HoTs on targets after they take damage you are doing your raid a disservice. Know the fight mechanics. If the 5 closest melee always take X damage every Y seconds be ready for that and have HoTs rolling them before the damage comes into play. Learn what raid members have trouble avoiding AoE portions of the fight, or which ones just always seem to take extra damage and pay special attention or toss them a HoT even when they aren’t taking damage.

2) Forget overhealing

Even though druids almost always come in dead last on the overheal meters, forget them. If you want to maximize your healing output you need to lose the fear of overheal. If you are being aggressive and proactive you are going to tread on other healers toes sometimes slipping in a heal right after or right before they do. Don’t worry about this maintain your aggressive stance and the dividends will be huge. As your reactions will improve you will be able to pick out targets faster and keep the raid at a higher overall health throughout the entire time your in the instance.

3) Be open to criticism.

I remember the first BT raid I ever went on, I was a terribly geared druid who was starry eyed at the prospect of getting to even see the inside of BT let alone actually get gear from there. However, in the middle of a boss fight I get the whisper “Hey I think you need some help you’re pulling 496 HPS.” Needless to say I was shocked and embarrassed. The healing style I had been using while acceptable for Karazhan was totally ineffective in BT and I was gimping the raid. Now I could have refused to learn stubbornly sticking by my ways citing that “It’s only my lack of gear” that was holding me back but instead I listened, I read, and I learned. Within two weeks I had jumped up a significant amount in terms of my overall healing done and my HPS without getting any new gear. Regardless of how well you think you know the game or how good you may or may not be there will be someone out there that knows more or is just a better player. Seek them out, instead of attempting to remain ignorant of their existence.

Read blogs, talk to Resto druids that aren’t in your guild or that run a different spec, don’t allow yourself to sit in the dark in an attempt to remain blissfully ignorant of your skill or lack thereof it.

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3.1 changes

Posted in Upcoming changes on March 24, 2009 by therason

3.1 is going to suck, and pretty badly in my opinion. Right now there are a shit ton of changes on the PTR and I figure I’ll address the big ones.

1) Nourish and Regrowth.

Oh this is a big one. Basically Nourish is getting buffed out the ass, a new glyph that adds 6% per heal over time to the spell per hot on the target. It also is getting an additional 25% crit from the changed Imp Regrowth which grants 25% crit to both Nourish and Regrowth.

From parses on the PTR the most effective healing style so far is Nourish spam. Load up on hots and go to town with Nourish. This in a way is a nerf to a few things. One our reactive healing which is already the worst of all three healers is being lowered further because of the load up time of Nourish. Regrowth was very effective on a majority of fights such as Malygos and Sarth +3 due to the large amounts of burst damge on 3-5 random targets. However, the dependibility of Regrowth is being lowered as you can no longer rely on it to almost exclusively crit and proc Living Seed.

There are also rumors that the 4pc t7 bonus is stacking with the glyph on the PTR, while it is doubtful that this will make it live if it does Noruish spam because insanely powerful on loaded up targets and we may be able to approach Paladin levels of single target healing.

2) Living Seed

Living Seed is actually getting a nice little buff, currently it only works off of effective healing which means the seed that is planted is often incredibly small. In 3.1 it is being changed to all healing which means the entiret heal is being counted towards the seed.

3) Glyphs

We get a new glyph in the glyph of wild growth which adds an additional target to WG

Innervate and the glyph itself are also getting nerfed due to the mana regen changes, but more on that later.

Looking at the Glyph set up for 3.1 we are most likely looking at a WG, Swiftmend, Nourish combo of glyphs with either Swiftmend or WG being replaceable for Innervate if you desperately need that glyph.

4) Lifebloom changes

Lifebloom is getting a pretty hefty change, it’s mana cost is being doubled however you get 50% of the mana back when the spell blooms.

I can’t even begin to explain how silly and essentially game breaking this change is. First the problem with having the mana back on the bloom is that we have no control over when the bloom happens in that we are regulated to waiting the 9-10-11 seconds depending upon your spec and glyphs. Meaning that often times when the time is up and lifebloom is ready to bloom there is a large chance that the bloom will simply be overheal. Secondly, it means we have to be constantly babysitting our Lifebloom targets in spending the extra GCD’s to get our damage buffer back.

Every druid has to make the choice when stacking Lifeblooms on multiple targets of being effcient and pumping out that extra HPS. If you choose to let lifebloom bloom you must spend 3 extra GCD’s to get back to your previous mark on just that tank alone and an extra tank in or two and you are more or less stuck putting lifeblooms on the tank full time which is a return to the BC era.

If you choose to continue to roll the lifebloom you run into the ugly reality of our nerfed mana regen. Sustaining your mana to last through keeping both lifebloom stacks up and casting other heals will be even harder as the content has scaled upwards while at first in udular our gear and mana regen are staying the same.

5) Mana regen change

Mana regen changes are abound and how hard druids are getting hit is debateable. Right now what is getting nerfed is the Spirit to Outside 5 second rule, which will now be refered to as the O5SR, conversion. However our Inside 5 second rule, I5SR from this point on, is getting buffed via the talent intenisty. According the Blizzard your mana regen should remain roughly the same with the random spikes due to clearcasting procs and lulls in damage no longer providing insane amounts of regen. For instance in say the Heigan fight you will no longer regenerate your entire mana pool during the dance phase.

However, this brings about a nerf to innervate as innervate is based directly off of the O5SR regen total. Stats are showing about a 40% loss of effectiveness to Innervate. How much the mana regen change effects you is directly linked to how much you cast. If you are a druid that does what GC insultingly said “Sit back and watch your hots tick” then this nerf will be very severe. However if you being aggressive and proactively casting on multiple targets you rarely hit the O5SR regen period except for designed lulls in fights this nerf will not effect you nearly as much.

6) Nature’s Grace

Another change that has some good and bad. Nature’s Grace is being chagned from reducing your next spell cast by .5 to adding 20% haste for I believe 3 seconds. While this does remove some of it’s wonderful synergy with Regrowth that it has currently it does prevent the issue of GCD clipping with Nourish. Currently with a .5 second reduction to Nourish after buffs I usually sit around about a .7 to .8 speed cast time. However due to the GCD I still can’t cast again till a second has gone by, this change eliminates the clipping issue that happens there with Nourish however it comes at the expense of the talent’s synergy with Regrowth.

7) Various other changes

Revitalize, the renamed version of Replenish or the more aptly named Failplenish, now adds Wild Growth to it’s ability to restore Runic Power, Energy, Rage or Mana. However the proc rate is still reported to be at 3% which makes Revitalize slightly less terrible than the terribleness that it is currently.

Imp Mark of the Wild now also adds 2% to your stats as well as boosting the buff itself. The 2% is only for your stats and has nothing to do with the buff itself. The 2% will remain active even if you don’t currently have a mark on yourself.

Gift of the Earthmother math

Posted in Theorycrafting on March 24, 2009 by therason

Gift of the Earthmother, a deep resto talent that decreases the GCD of your Lifebloom, Rejuv, and Wild Growth spell by up to 20%.

On the surface it seems like an amazing talent but looking deeper it’s usefulness is debateable.

Over a 5 minute period assuming chain casting of only hots you save 11.7 seconds due to GoTEM. Now those seconds can be put to great use but the cost of this talent is very high. Now the more geared you get the less you need GoTEM.

To GCD cap your HoTs you need x haste in relation to GoTEM, and only stack haste until you GCD cap your hots after that…it’s incredibly weak.

Wrath of Air and Improved Moonkin Aura/Swift Retribution Aura
0/5 GotE = ~38.7% Haste = ~1269 Haste Rating
1/5 GotE = ~30.8% Haste = ~1010 Haste Rating
2/5 GotE = ~23.8% Haste = ~781 Haste Rating
3/5 GotE = ~17.5% Haste = ~574 Haste Rating
4/5 GotE = ~11.9% Haste = ~391 Haste Rating
5/5 GotE = ~6.7% Haste = ~220 Haste Rating

Wrath of Air only
0/5 GotE = ~42.9% Haste = ~1407 Haste Rating
1/5 GotE = ~34.7% Haste = ~1138 Haste Rating
2/5 GotE = ~27.5% Haste = ~902 Haste Rating
3/5 GotE = ~21.1% Haste = ~692 Haste Rating
4/5 GotE = ~15.2% Haste = ~499 Haste Rating
5/5 GotE = ~9.9% Haste = ~325 Haste Rating

Improved Moonkin Aura/Swift Retribution Aura only
0/5 GotE = ~45.63% Haste = ~1497 Haste Rating
1/5 GotE = ~37.4% Haste = ~1227 Haste Rating
2/5 GotE = ~30.03% Haste = ~985 Haste Rating
3/5 GotE = ~23.42% Haste = ~768 Haste Rating
4/5 GotE = ~17.44% Haste = ~572 Haste Rating
5/5 GotE = ~12.02% Haste = ~395 Haste Rating

Resto Druid basics

Posted in Being A Tree on March 24, 2009 by therason

Section one : Stats

Quick and easy guide

Spirit > Spellpower > Int > Haste until 220 > Crit > MOAR HASTE

Stacking stats as a tree is something fairly easy to do. Spirit is still the god send of trees followed closely by spellpower. Intellect actually comes third now. The changes to the cost of both our hots and the direct spirit to mp5 nerf causes us to actually Oom now instead of the situation in pre bc where we could cast all day without a care.

Now the tricky part comes next. Crit and Haste are both things that while having upsides they in the end do very little. Basically because Nourish is worthless at the moment (I will go into why later). Crit doesn’t scale directly with resto druids in that the majority of our healing comes from hots which of course can’t crit. And the one casted spell we can be using has a built in 50% crit modifier. However, crit does scale with both Swiftmend and your Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch combo.

Haste on the other hand scales with your cast speeds of regrowth. However at 80 you will have Nature’s Grace which will reduce your cast speed by .5 every time you crit with a spell dropping your regrowth cast time down to roughly 1 second or so in raids.

At the moment it appears Haste is the superior 4th stat to have as it effects are larger majority of your heals. However this will change with time as gear scales higher, In the future I preditc that in fact crit may become superior to haste especially when Nourish is buffed as it has wonderfull synergy with Nature’s Grace.

Section 2 : Spec

14/0/57 is a regrowth spec that focus on buffing up your regrowth through the glyph and high crit rate. Granted at the moment I see this spec weaker than 18/0/53 because Haste gives a higher return than crit at the moment but this would be a build you could use if you stacked high amounts of haste already.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=0xG0uZZf0IubutVuAhst

18/0/53 is a variation on the 14/0/57 build this one picks up Celestial Focus for the 3% haste as the math deeper in the post indicates it drops your haste cap for hots to an incredibly low number allowing you to stack other stats.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=0VGou0hZZf0IubuxVuVhst

11/0/60 is a hot based build that really differs in playstyle from the above regrowth specs, while it lags behind in the direct healing department it does have it’s place in it’s longevity and raid healing capabilities. I am not a fan of the build at the moment simply because regrowth is so powerful but if you like to play more in the BC model as you are an excellent HoT stacker, I wasn’t, then this spec would work for you.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=0VG0zZZf0IuiugVuVhst

Section 3 : Glyphs

The three (or four) I recommended are

Glyph of Swiftmend – This is absolutely necessary. You don’t need to waste a GCD to reapply your hots and will lead to increased healing since you can swiftmend off of other druids hots and not consume those hots as well

Glyph of Regrowth – I love this Glyph. Some may disagree but frankly I think this is the second best Glyph for resto druids currently. The glyph increases your Regrowth’s healing by 20% if the target has the regrowth hot currently on it. This makes a high crit spam spell hit for even more. And frankly that is awesome for any fight with high single target damage because it is the one area we lack in.

Now while the first two are needed in my opinion. The next two are preferential.

I prefer Glyph of innervate for the increased effect on myself. However, once I reach a higher gear level Glyph of Lifebloom may be better in that I will no longer need the Innervate Glyph for the bonus effect to insure that I reach 100% mana while casting when innervate is active.

Section 4 : Why Nourish is currently not worth using.

Section will be updated as soon as I can get my recount to work so I can post actual math for this. Basically my rough estimates come out too, assuming a straight 1 min spam

HPS: 18% advantage for Regrowth over Nourish

HPM: 11% advantage for Regrowth over Nourish

This is assuming a 70% crit for Regrowth and a 20% crit for Nourish.

Now I am expecting for a glyph of nourish to appear rather shortly. One that would be in the form of the t7 bonus would be brilliant in that it would solve the problem of resto druids not scaling well with gear due to the fact that crit and haste provide little returns after a certain point and that nourish is lackluster.