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.
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.