Category Archives: Theorycrafting

Short Musing – 5.4 Healer Trinkets

I have questions regarding the cooldown-reduction (CDR) trinkets having taken a closer look at them.

If the healer trinket reduces all 3 minute major raid cooldowns by 27 seconds bringing them to roughly 2.5 minutes (2:33), is that something the design team thinks about when working on encounters and balancing them around abilities the raid has at its disposal? I only wonder this because the trinket is clearly powerful but potentially very situational and I wonder if it is similar to how heroic DS boss design had to take into account all tanks having their 4 piece set bonuses.

Right now the Amplify trinket appears to be a clear winner for one of our slots. Raw % throughput (greater than that from an int trinket in the same slot) with a significant secondary stat boost is always welcome. All of this coupled with the intellect proc is amazing for sure and borderline overpowered requiring some tuning. Given the raw power of the amplify ability I can only assume the int proc must be treated as a secondary bonus.

Looking at the next slot the question then becomes: will this 27 second cooldown reduction from the CDR trinket allow me to squeeze one more meaningful tranquility in on this fight or am I slotted into a rotation I must save it for. If an additional tranquility can’t be added, the reduction on Nature’s Swiftness/Ironbark may not be enough to warrant using the trinket unless the trigger intellect has enough uptime to make it a strong primary draw. Without the potential to add a raid saving tranquility to the fight (assuming the fight warrants it) then this trinket concerns me.

That being said, the int proc is still there on both of these trinkets and isn’t something to scoff at

I haven’t seen any quick math on the ICD and uptime on this 11,761 intellect as of yet and I hope someone might have that information handy or if I have missed it earlier somewhere please direct me there. I need to know how spiky/reliable it is. If it has a relatively reasonable uptime then it could compete directly with the static int trinket (which would then only be good as a mana regen option). If the uptime is lower then I think this proc might prove FAR too spiky for healers or at the very least my own preference.

I like the idea of the CDR trinkets and they are certainly more interesting than +intellect as a primary bonus for sure; I just have concerns over how critical the bonus is for throughput and how it is being factored in, if at all, for boss design. I also wonder just how they are weighting this intellect proc as well.

This is my brain droppings for Sunday evening. If you have any thought on my ramblings or have some technical information to clear up any confusion or assumptions on my part please share them with me.

Preliminary Patch 5.4 Resto Druid Changes

So there’s datamined patch information that has a rather hefty list of changes for you as a restoration druid. Let’s just dig right in and go through them as well as what the ramifications will be.

1.) Nature’s Swiftness has become baseline. You no longer have to give up a talent option to take this iconic, and mandatory, talent. In place of Nature’s Swiftness there is a new passive ability that bears looking at: Ysera’s Gift. Now here are your two options for 5.4:

-Ysera’s Gift – passive – heals you for 5% of your maximum hp every 5 seconds. If you are at maximum health, it is smart healed to an ally. Assuming early 5.4 gear you’ll probably have in the low 600’s K for health meaning this will be ticking for roughly 30,000 every 5 seconds. Assuming the raid is not entirely full on health, this will always produce worthwhile healing adding up to 5K hp/s in this case. Is this worthwhile healing? At the rate at which it ticks i’d argue that it would more often than not end up as meter fluffing and never really save anyone except yourself. Your mileage may vary.

-Cenario Ward – 30s CD – Protective barrier that triggers upon taking damage healing for a large amount over 6 seconds. At ~40K spellpower this heals for roughly 54,000 every 2 seconds or 162,000 total over 6 s. This is not an overwhelming amount of healing and will usually not be enough to save the tank from imminent demise. It can however soften damage from blows that would generally not outright kill the tank anyway to lighten the healing load. It’s about 5K hp/s at that gear level as well.

I think this will be a case of pick your flavor. If the fight requires more direct tank healing you can opt for Ward. If the fight has consistent raid damage that needs addressing, then Ysera’s Gift provides it with absolutely no thought required.

2.) Soul of the Forest was buffed to 100% spell haste bonus. Didn’t really think it was necessary but perhaps their internal math felt it wasn’t pulling its weight on a throughput level (not factoring in mana savings). All this will really do is force us to create a new haste break point spreadsheet :)

3.) Tier 6, Level 90 talents, received a revamp.

Update: NV is actually quite amazing in practice with the smart healing component and currently is looking to be a clear cut winner for level 90 talents. Further discussion pending additional feedback.

Dream of Cenarius is no longer the terrible shell of a talent for us that it used to be. It now grants you the ability to attonement heal. Every wrath you cast hits for 20% more and heals a raid member for 100% of the damage done. Note that wrath has had its mana cost increase by roughly 50%.

Nature’s Vigil now also allows all direct heals cast while active to heal additional raid members for 25% of the amount healed. The rest of the talent remains the same. Update: It is unclear at this time if it is direct heals or all single target healing spells which would include lifebloom and rejuvenation. 

Heart of the Wild, when activated, also increases your healing done by some percentage. It seems to be them justifying the talent for restoration since many people i’d wager never activate it. Update: Buff is 25% to healing done! Fairly significant even if it is only once or sometimes twice an encounter if they run long.

I think this is a choice that remains simple yet complicated. Personally I think it comes down to Heart of the Wild and Dream of Cenarius on a fight to fight basis. I don’t particularly enjoy parking and casting however I am willing to admit that for some encounters with tight DPS checks and phases with minimal damage it can be an option. Heart of the Wild plays more to your strengths overall however it obviously doesn’t allow for the flexibility DoC does in that while DPS’ing with the CD (should you do it) you can’t heal at the same time without shifting gears. I will still probably default to Heart of the Wild as it still benefits our HoT centric style of play, especially with the new addition of Genesis.

I stand by Nature’s Vigil being the most lackluster of the bunch according to my taste. A 10% throughput boost, while very good, is not significant enough to really feel like a bonus from my point of view and the trigger activating only on direct heals seems counter intuitive. Depending on HotW’s throughput bonus, once we know more, we’ll be able to math out ultimately which will provide the most consistent benefit. Stay tuned to this one. Preferences for these talents change at the drop of a hat. 

4.) Genesis – activated ability with no cooldown listed as of yet. This spell will quickly activate all of your remaining rejuvenations making them heal and expire at 400% the normal rate. If you cast 6 rejuvenations for example and then immediately used Genesis you would have the first one expire in a little over a second, and the last expire in just over two and a half seconds. Each would produce healing equivalent to however much is left on them.

This spell, provided that it doesn’t play havoc with haste break points and allow for additional ticks that were otherwise unobtainable, is a slight mana loss (the cost of genesis) for a break even in the amount healed and a significant increase in your burst. Since there is set up required for genesis in the form of multiple rejuvenations, it does not need a cooldown. Much like Wild Mushroom: Bloom you are responsible for how aggressive you wish to be with it. You can use it a little or a lot provided your rejuvenations haven’t come close to expiring before hitting the button.

Expect to see this ability as a staple in your healing rotation/toolkit come 5.4. There will more than likely be multiple raid wide damage events that can be predicted in much the same way priests use their absorbs. Prehot the number of people you feel reasonable (3,4,5 perhaps) and let it rip once the damage goes out. Just make sure if you plan to use Swiftmend that you keep the last rejuvenation target as your fuel as they will disappear fast.

Genesis can also be used to TURBO charge your wild mushrooms if you deem it absolutely necessary. Since the window for genesis is small, limited by the time remaining on the heals, storing it up in the mushroom for imminent use gives you a slightly large window if absolutely need be.

5.) Wild Mushroom Bloom received a massive fix. The mushroom’s base healing was significantly increased because now you can only plant one of them. It accrues overhealing at 2/3 the rate they do now but holds the same maximum amount. The plus side though is that it is completely transplantable. You can pick it up and move it without losing the stored bonus healing. While not a perfect spell you can always guarantee you have it active and ready for raid damage with this new change.

Update:

  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

Make no mistake, this is still a great buff. Wild Mushroom is already potent and you can easily work around the drawbacks that come with this change. Between this and Genesis you are now armed with some really nice Burst options for healing. Keep this in mind when you’re looking at heroic encounters in 5.4. Having a fully charged mushroom you can literally transplant and bloom immediately as needed has far reaching applications. Sure this new found versatility is offset by the overheal the spell is likely to do but that is factored into the spell’s throughput by Blizzard I would imagine.

6.) Innervate finally scales with our stats! It is truly a miracle. We have been stuck compared to other healers unable to really benefit from spirit as much as other classes for a long while. This break has left some druids eschewing spirit for mastery when possible and some (of which I am one admittedly) going up into the 12K spirit range for heroic encounters. The new innervate model grants us 50% of our spirit as mana per second for 10 seconds.

Presently Innervate gives 60,000 mana every three minutes. A total of 1,667 mp/5. A number that was probably more impressive doing Tier 14 normals. Comparing that to Mistweavers Brew, Shaman specific MTT benefits, and Rapture is fairly lackluster with current gear.

The new innervate, provided that you have at least 12,000 spirit will give the same amount of mana in return. This seems to be initiated to balance what it provides using a ToT Normal gear level as a pivot point. Every 1 point of spirit you add beyond 12,000 provides 1 mp/5 more than what you would have with the current version on top of its usual benefit. I’ll probably do some gear related math once we know more in order to show just how much regen you’ll really be getting when deciding what spirit soft cap to settle down with.

Glyph of Innervate introduces the innervate swap trick we used to do between two druids. If you have another restoration druid in your raid, however unlikely this might be especially if you are doing heroic content, you could each take this glyph and swap with each other for a 20% boost to each players gained mana. This assumes of course you are both at roughly the same amount of spirit. Personally I am not convinced this is enough of a gain to make it worth it especially with the coordination involved.

7.) Tier 16 set bonuses are poop.

8.) New Glyph: Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active. This glyph is actually fairly significant. It transforms Wild mushroom into a constant effloressence field along with boosting Swiftmend as a direct emergency heal. This could very well become a staple for us moving forward given its implications. Being able to constantly move and replace mushrooms seamlessly can translate to a large amount of bonus healing through the Efflo field.

I may be leaving some things out and I’m rather tired at the moment so my analysis is probably full of holes but please read and enjoy.

A Fresh Look at Soul of the Forest (5.2 Napkin Math Edition)

I ended up breaking my 4 piece Tier 14 set fairly early on in order to clean up my leg slot (and get spirit) but found myself still using Soul of the Forest for certain encounters. Because of this I wanted to do another round-up of Soul of the Forest (and the many ways it can be used) in order to evaluate what we really end up getting out of it. All of this math is based upon a theoretical situation where each wild growth will find a sufficient number of targets that are in need of its full healing potential.

I understand that that there are situations where less than 6 (or 5) people are wounded and that does change the math considerably. I’ll try to address that to some degree here.

First let’s get the math out of the way before everyone’s eyes glaze over permanently! This is perfectly world stuff though and does not accurately simulate actual boss battle damage models.

Wild Growth potential throughput on paper

With my current test setup my wild growth healed a single person (8 ticks) for 49,989 health. I am running slightly above the 3043 break point.

With Glyph: hits 6 people and can be cast approximately 6 times per minute. This will heal for roughly 6 x 6 x 49,989 =  1,799,604 health per minute.

Costs 13,740 mana each time for a total of 82,440 mana, an overall HPM of 21.83

Without Glyph: hits 5 people and can be case approximately 7.5 times per minute. This will heal for roughly 7.5 x 5 x 49,989 = 1,874,587 health per minute.

Costs 103,050 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 18.19

Wild Growth with the Glyph and Soul of the Forest

With my current test setup my wild growth healed a single person (14 ticks) for 87,589 health, or roughly 75% more than a non SotF Wild Growth as we expected.

This spell will be cast approximately 4 times a minute healing for 6 x 4 x 87,589 for a total of 2,102,150 health per minute. This is roughly 302K more healing than without SotF talented.

Costs 54,960 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 38.25. You save 27,480 mana per minute which is approximately raw 2,290 mp/5.

Wild Growth without the Glyph and Soul of the Forest

With this setup you will be casting 7.5 Wild Growths per minute. I will say we average out to 3.75 non SotF casts and 3.75 SotF casts. It doesn’t line up evenly with the minute marker so that is just a crude breakdown.

Non-SotF Wild Growths will heal for 3.75 x 5 x 49,989 = 937,304 health per minute

SotF Wild Growths will heal for 3.75 x 5 x 87,589 = 1,642,304 health per minute.

Your total healing done per minute with this scenario is 2,579,609 health per minute. Costs 103,050 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 25.033

So here are the totals for all of the conditions we have investigated:

Regular Wild Growth /w Glyph

-   Health per minute: 1,799,604 baseline

-   HPM: 21.83

-   MP/5 difference: Baseline, 0

Regular Wild Growth w/o Glyph

-   Health per minute: 1,874,587 (+75K)

-   HPM: 18.19

-   MP/5 difference:   -1,717 mp/5

SotF Wild Growth /w Glyph

-   Health per minute: 2,102,150 (+302K)

-   HPM: 38.25

-   MP/5 difference: +2,290 mp/5

SotF Wild Growth w/o Glyph (alternating)

-   Health per minute: 2,579,609 (+780K)

-   HPM: 25.033

-   MP/5 difference: -1,717 mp/5

Take this with a grain of salt

We know firsthand that not EVERY cast of your wild growth is going to heal 6 people when glyphed rendering the glyph less optimal for that moment in time. We know that raid damage isn’t even going to warrant the spell being cast for periods of time. That aside these numbers still provide useful information.

Comparing this ability to Tree of Life is quite difficult to say the least. Using the most common example of SotF /w Glyph, you would have a theoretical healing gain of 906K every three minutes with a mp/5 gain of 2,290 constant. I can’t really model the mana savings from Incarnation’s clearcasting (though that is a legitimate usage of the spell to begin with) but in order for it to be comparable throughput wise, 20% of your healing done over 30 seconds would need to equal 906K. For that to happen you’d need to be putting out somewhere in the realm of ~200,000 HPS. The thing is, for periods of insanely intense damage that is NOT easily done but you will get up fairly high. You just need to tailor your usage of the spell to get the best mileage you can really.

While it seems like this post is an ad for Soul of the Forest be advised that it is not the case. Soul of the Forest is a nice passive style benefit that gives you mana back and boosts your throughput by a sizeable amount. Its effect averaged out through the course of an encounter is very strictly controlled by how the fight plays out and how closely you are able to adhere to the theoretical numbers above. Depending on how periodic the damage is you may find yourself going for stretches without having an opportunity to fully 100% benefit from your wild growth. Tree of Life has the advantage of being something you can plan and tailor your use to maximize its benefit on a per encounter basis. The catch is that sometimes there’s no one moment where Tree would be substantially beneficial and then it turns into a mana saving temporary boost cooldown.

You will more than likely find yourself waffling between these two abilities as you progress through normal or heroic mode encounters. I know for a fact I carry plenty of tomes of me in order to swap the talent on the fly.

Disclaimer: This is very napkin math-y. If you are one of those other math loving folks out there and you spot an error in my numbers please let me know so that I may address it as soon as possible.

Magic Mushroom Buff…where are we going dude?

So where are we going with these Wild Mushrooms! …and how did we get here?

It’s no secret that right now restoration druids are at the bottom of the pile. We don’t offer any significant raid cooldowns that other classes don’t do better and we have no spammable AoE burst healing. In any fight where the raid groups up we should, barring any skill variance, fall behind other healers and even more so if the fight caters well to spirit shell. This isn’t to say that we are not useful as druid healing is, as always, incredibly potent at helping to stabilize the raid.

Blizzard ‘seems’ to be acknowledging this with their change to wild mushrooms. Their idea is to allow us to take a percentage of our rejuvenation overhealing, which will happen when our heals get sniped in frantic healing situations, and funnel it into a sizeable mushroom bloom when needed. What this does is allow them to keep the bloom cooldown at 10 seconds, but arrange it so that should we want these mushrooms at full potential the cooldown effectively becomes much longer and requires additional mana in the form of rejuvenation casts.

Functionality:

The current build suggests that each mushroom can ‘store’ up to 33% of our total health pool as additional bonus healing (completely subject to additional tweaks) and upon release will split the healing done among all targets within range. With three mushrooms this would be a total amount of bonus healing equal to 100% of your total health or approximately 460K (before mastery and other such bonuses).

Limitations:

Other AoE effects state that a fixed amount of life is returned per tick and is usually subjected to diminishing returns. Ghostcrawlers terminology seems to imply that this healing done is split evenly between all members caught within the blast. This also seems to imply that there is no diminishing returns and that the effect is simply limited by the amount you were able to store in the mushrooms and the number of players involved.

Speculations and Assumptions:

I am assuming that his terminology means that the amount healed is not divided by some fixed number in the anticipation of healing a certain number of players. Swiftmend for example heals three people for a fixed amount and will not increase the amount healed if only one person (the MT for example) stands within it. If that is the case then the ability can be used in some creative ways.

Charging the mushrooms

Depending on the encounter a set of mushrooms may take somewhere between 20 and 30 seconds to fill up if people are taking damage. You could certainly game the system by placing multiple rejuvenations on players who are not hurt (especially if they have any way to increase healing received) to speed it up. The new 4 piece Tier 15 set bonus seems to have a rather interesting synergy with this as well. With this new set bonus each time rejuvenation heals (1 initial 4 ticks at base cast, 5 ticks at standard haste levels) it gains a 6% increase to healing done. For those using the first haste break point it means it ticks at 100%, 106%, 112%, 118%, 124%, and 130%.

If one were to get your haste into the mid six thousands, something feasible in t14, and more than likely really feasible in T15, you could use the tier 15 set bonus along with the new Soul of the Forest to pull off interesting shenanigans. Let’s say your rejuvenation ticks for 15,000 base non crit. With the 70% haste from Soul of the Forest and T15 4 piece bonus your rejuvenation would tick 9 times for a total of ~190,000. This one rejuvenation, if entirely overheal would contribute 47,625 bonus healing to each mushroom which is about 1/3 of what it can store. Each additional rejuvenation would each contribute 25,875 bonus healing. This means one supercharged rejuvenation and 4 regulars might be enough to fill up your mushrooms provided they were overhealing.

While this can speed up the process of charging up the mushrooms I don’t know if giving up Incarnation is worth it nor might it be worth it to encourage a playstyle focused on gathering up overhealing. All of my numbers are entirely speculative though as I’m pulling some stuff out of the air and much of the ability isn’t anywhere close to finalized.

Use

So the question is what do we DO with this new version of wild mushroom. The answer is…it depends. With some tier 15 gear you’ll probably be able to get your HP up to 470,000 or 480,000 with somewhere in the realm of 23 to 24% mastery provided you don’t change your haste target. Let’s say this gives us a bank of 595,000 bonus healing in your mushrooms (198,400 individual mushroom). Right now mushrooms heal for 10K give or take a little bit. I don’t know exactly how much because…well I don’t care to know. With diminishing returns in 25 man it probably dips down to the 6K or 7K range more than likely.

Assuming that the bloom splits the bonus healing evenly with no penalty on top of the core explosion then on a 23 person group (often times the tanks aren’t standing on your side of the boss when grouped up) you have 26K healing per person and something like 32K per person if you get the core explosion too. This means you can heal each member for a whopping 6.7% of their life. This is a little less than two ticks of rejuvenation on everyone. I’m not going to say that I’m particularly excited about this because it doesn’t feel like a massive benefit for the amount of time and mana invested. I’d like to know if someone has the math on how much per person Healing Rain gives over its duration.

In a 10 man raid things change slightly. Let’s say the tanks are standing on one side of the boss and you have 8 players standing on the other side. In this scenario each player would be healed for 74K from the bonus healing and 80K if the core explosion is added. This would be ~17% of everyone’s health which is almost like feeding a healthstone to the whole raid. Now we’re getting somewhere.

If you push it a little further and refine the explosion to cover only select numbers of people then you will see even more burst potential though highly focused. They would heal one person for 600,000, two people for 300,000, three people for 200,000, four people for 150,000 etc. You have the potential to provide a spare lay on hands for the tank or some sizeable heals for anyone forced to soak a certain mechanic in a known area of the battlefield.

Catch

As with everything there are considerable catches to this spell.

-Just as before you must deal with the 3 GCD’s to place them.

-You must now charge them up and monitor the amount stored within them though I would wager a guess someone will create a mod to track this for you.

-Then you must time your detonation to maximize its effect. There is a risk a good portion of your explosion will end up overhealing if you are trying to heal say half of your 23 people who took damage while clustered together.

-The raid or raid member(s) might be forced to move away from the designated location making your effort for naught. The counter to this is that the mushrooms should be quite large and easy to spot so your designated people might still be able to run to them and get healed.

Verdict

I find their idea interesting but ultimately somewhat underwhelming given the setup. It doesn’t seem like they will be amazing at solving some of our current weaknesses which is a reliable tool to handle burst AoE damage in raids and a reliable tool to keep us even when the raid is grouped up doing AoE healing. In those scenarios the ability will be going off only every so often and not for a significant amount compared. There is some serious potential In using them on smaller groups of people but there is a high level of coordination involved making sure those people are near the mushrooms at the time you need to detonate them. This may end up being a high risk, high investment, poor or risky reward type scenario. You could have fabulous luck with it and you could have absolutely abysmal luck with it.

Tank Healing – potential to be a free lay on hands every 30 or 40 seconds  during a fight with some coordination if the cards all fall where they need to fall.

25 man Raid Healing – potential to be a modest heal among your raid (28-30K), a medium heal among your melee or ranged (50-75K), and a decent heal among a small group of players (75-125K) if everything goes right

10 man Raid Healing – potential to be medium heal among your raid (75-95K) , a decent heal among just melee or ranged (100-150K) if everything goes right

Lunchtime Napkin Math – How much mana do we really have?

In a world where we have a fixed mana supply we need to think about how much mana we have available and how much we’d like to have available. This is purely napkin math though so please don’t take it as canon. I just like to think about resources in a more analytical sense. First let us try to approximate some stats for our theoretical druid. I’ll leave the equations out so you can certainly modify them to suit your needs.

The numbers:

Spirit Regen:

Let us assume we have a modestly geared raiding druid who currently has 14,750 intellect (with HotW) and 9,000 spirit baseline. There are other factors that will increase regeneration and we will add those in in a moment.

Spirit regeneration = (.001+Spirit*(sqrt(Int))*Base_Regen)*5

Using some known character sheets and crunching some basic math I’ve come up with a value of .00374 for Base_Regen which means this druid’s spirit based regeneration is 20,440 mp/5. With the 50% in combat tax we get 10,220 mp/5. Given that we only really care about in combat regen we can apply the 50% penalty to the Base_Regen value reducing it to .000187

With the addition of mark of the wild and spirit flask/food (which are taboo to some I know) the druids stats change gaining 700 intellect and 1250 spirit. He now has 15,450 intellect and 10,250 spirit. These changes change our regeneration to 11,912 mp/5.

There is of course more spirit based regeneration to take into account. Let us assume this druid is using the Darkmoon Faire trinket and Shado-Pan Valor Point rep trinket. I’m going to, at least for now, set the Relic of Chi Ji at 1,250 average spirit, and the Scroll of Revered Ancestors at 899 average spirit. This 2,149 additional spirit for this druid when raid buffed yields 2,497 mp/5.

The last thing I’d like to add is mana tide totem. Not everyone has the benefit of having one of these available should you raid in a 10 man but it is worthwhile noting what it grants you. Let’s assume that the shaman has 10,000 spirit (I know it is probably low) spirit raid buffed when activating the totem. This grants you 20,000 spirit for 16 seconds every three minutes. With a 9% uptime this gives you an average spirit bonus of 1,800 or 2,091 mp/5.

Additional class/common sources of regen:

Innervate is our class’ primary source of mana regeneration outside of spirit. For right now there are two scenarios I will entertain. I am going to assume a fight that lasts roughly 7 to 7.5 minutes during which there is at least a short period of ramp-up in the beginning. During this fight if it is less taxing you will more than likely use two innervates. If the fight is heroic and it hits the ground running you might use 3 (30 second mark, 3:30 mark, and 6:30 mark). Let’s opt for two innervates for the moment and we could always average it up to 2.5 if you so desire. Two innervates yield 120,000 mana. Divide this out over a 7 minute encounter and you have 1,429 mp/5.

Mana potions are not terribly significant but they are generally useful as they can offer you some mana in a lump sum at a key point between innervates if stuff is going wrong. I don’t remember the exact amount but if you are using the channeling potion that returns 40,000 or so mana back you’ll be giving yourself another 476 mp/5.

I am not including the priest hymn or Omen of Clarity because I don’t have the exact math to back it up. Given that Omen casts, while mana saving, are free they don’t really factor into fight longevity anyways. They are still, of course, awesome.

Total:

What we are left with us the following: 11,912 + 2,497 + 2,091 + 1,427 + 476 = 18,403 mp/5

Constant Spells

There are certain spells that you are going to cast whether you like it or not. These spells are: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, and Swiftmend. These spells are good enough and potent enough that they will be used on cooldown and must be utilized to their fullest over the length of an encounter. As such you can almost think of them as constant sources of mana drain. Whatever is left over after that is fair game for…well the one other bread and butter spell we have really. Yes Tree of Life changes the math entirely but as that is technically an option I’m going to forgo the math on that at least for now.

Lifebloom will be recast approximately 3 times every minute. I am assuming there will be some amount of target swapping. This produces a negative 885 mp/5 drain on your mana.

Swiftmend will be cast approximately 4 times every minute. I am assuming aggressive use of this spell as it provides significant benefit to multiple targets or it can provide supplemental healing to your tank as required. This equates to a negative 1,700 mp/5 drain on your mana.

Wild Growth is generally good enough to be cast on cooldown however I know that not all fights require it to be cast ALL the time especially right off the bat. White you can technically cast the spell 6 times per minute let us assume that based on fight mechanics it only averages out to 5 (though it might be lower if the fight is less AoE taxing). At 5 casts per minute this equates to a negative 5,725 mp/5 drain on your mana.

If you think about your mana as a budget then these abilities constitute your rent, insurance, student loans, food etc. They add up to a total of 8,310 mp/5 drain.

What’s left

If our napkin math is holding up we can figure out roughly what we have remaining. Our regen provided us with 18,403 mp/5 and we remove 8,310 mp/5 from it leaving us with 10,093 mp/5. Our simulation here is extremely crude mind you but we can approximate, using this, just how much we have to spend on rejuvenation and regrowth as required.

Assuming the 7 minute encounter that I hypothesized above, this regen provides you with 847,812 mana in addition to your base 300,000 mana for a total of 1,147,810 mana.

Every non-clearcast regrowth consumes 17,820 mana or 1.55% of your complete remaining mana supply, every rejuvenation consumes .9% of your compete remaining mana supply, and every tranquility consumes 1.4% of your remaining mana supply.

An example of what you *might* end up using is:

2x Tranquility = 2.8%

15x Regrowth = 23.25%

80x Rejuvenation = 72%

Leaving you ~2% mana for wiggle room and casting additional spells as needed

I do understand that regrowth usage is entirely subjective and is fight dependent. You might find yourself using way more of it depending on burst requirements for both tank and raid members.

Character Growth

As the player develops his gear he or she will acquire additional intellect and spirit on their pieces in approximately a 1:2 ratio purely by way of item level. He or she may also opt for sidegrades (or gem) that grant additional spirit at the expense of other secondary stats and maintain a constant intellect level. The amount of mp/5 required to gain 1 additional rejuvenation over the course of the 7 minute battle is 114 mp/5. To achieve this they must add either 98 spirit, or 85 spirit and 42 intellect.

Note: As the fight gets longer than 7 minutes the above complete mana pool numbers will shift significantly however the amount of spirit needed to add rejuvenations also drops (though each rejuvenation added is a smaller % of your overall healing done). If the fight lasts for say, 10 minutes, then the amount of regen needed to add one more rejuvenation becomes 80 mp/5. This means only 70 spirit (or 60 spirit and 30 intellect) is required to grant you an additional cast.

Lunchtime musings – Lv90 Talents Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other?

With the release of the updated tier 6 talents for druids there has been some discussion over the dedicated role benefit from each talent. As it stands now, ignoring secondary benefit, the following:

Heart of the Wild: 6% intellect bonus passive. Scales with gear

Nature’s Vigil: 30% healing boost, 30s duration 3 min cooldown. Scales with gear

Assuming you use Nature’s Vigil in a smart manner it could average out to the theoretical 5% healing bonus. At first glance you might think “Welp…6% is greater than 5% so that’s a no brainer!” Now you might be someone who prefers passive always on bonuses versus on demand cooldowns and I’m generally one of those people. I’d rather be pretty good all the time as opposed to awesome some of the time. This is personal preference though. What we need to keep in mind is that the Nature’s Vigil is an increase to all healing done. This includes the base healing component of the spell. For any math I may do in the coming month I am going to leave out any static bonuses that our class specialization applies to healing numbers as that would be constant regardless of the talent choice.

Now I expect in MoP our intellect levels will rise to ludicrous levels and they will dwarf the base healing components of our spells but they are certainly still there. Right now we know that a 30% increase to the healing benefit of our intellect equates to a ‘theoretical’ average of 5% overall (less than HotW) but we also get a 30% boost to base healing. As long as a 30% boost to base healing is equal to the effective healing gained from a 6% increase in intellect (or more) then NV will produce more throughput.

I’ve tried to come up with some good examples but I’m missing too many variables to produce numbers that make sense. What I can say is that going strictly on primarily abilities alone NV can theoretically produce a greater throughput bonus than HotW at least initially. Since NV scales less with gear there is always the chance that HotW can produce more eventually. We all know with healing cooldowns though that you don’t always get perfect uptime so it is incredibly difficult to really nail it down.

Heart of the Wild continues to be problematic as its secondary ability (or primary depending on whether or not you ask blizzard) isn’t that useful for restoration druids. Getting some neat offspec tools is nice in theory, but as every druid blogger has griped about taking the time NOT healing is the biggest problem regardless of what we may or may not be able to offer. Nature’s Vigil has the benefit of dishing out free damage that is more than likely less than what we’d be doing if we popped Heart of the Wild and went straight nuke. The fact that it does this damage while we continue to heal at the cost of no GCD’s from spells or shifting is priceless in my opinion. What it will come down to is fight mechanics. If the fight has a glaringly OBVIOUS burn phase with little to no damage that needs help from healers then sure Heart of the Wild will be the best choice there. If the fight is designed in any other way with standard healing hurdles then Nature’s Vigil is a good choice. If you’re the kind of person that HATES hitting cooldowns or forgets to use them then you could just take Heart of the Wild as the simpler option.

Moonkin will more than likely face the same dilemma as restoration druids but since they really won’t factor in the healing from NV at all, I’d expect that someone will calculate a threshold at which HotW’s static bonus does or does not overtake it. After that it is simply a matter of whether or not the fight has a dedicated burn phase.

So yeah that’s my lunchtime musings on the newer level 90 talents. Hope your day is going well I need to get back to work!

Spirit/Intellect Relationship 3, regeneration at high end gear levels

As my previous mana regen equation posts this will be a bit mathy but there are still some useful bits of information to take away from it even if you aren’t math inclined. I will try to keep this post a little shorter than my other ones as the basics have been covered already. The math herein is subject to some review when I am less sleepy or I receive feedback to the contrary.

ASSUMPTIONS (review)

What we know is that at any particular level of intellect adding more spirit gives us a constant amount of mana regen. I have tested this before and found that to be a factual statement. Same as before the value of intellect based regen is generated by using a ‘perfect world’ approximation of our innervate, replenishment, and revitalize mana returns and distributing them out over the course of a fight. My math assumes roughly a six to seven minute encounter for the purposes of valuing intellect regen. I do understand that longer fights will depreciate this regen somewhat.

EXPERIMENT

In order to generate a linear approximation of our mana regen relative to spirit and intellect, as opposed to the high order equation you may have seen elsewhere by theorycrafters, I evaluated my mana regen at multiple levels of intellect by way of buffs and the addition and subtraction of brilliant gems in my gear. This data was placed into a spreadsheet and a linear approximation was determined.

NOTE: this math was created for intellect ranging from 8344 to 9045 with mark of the wild active. The equation holds true higher than these values but the farther you push the less accurate it will be.

EQUATIONS:

Through experimental data the following linear interpretation of the spirit/intellect relationship at higher intellect levels should hold true:

Mana Regen (spirit) = ((.00008913)(Int)+.784)(Spirit)

This should be what pops up when you highlight “spirit” on your character sheet. It will read “Increases mana regeneration by X per 5 seconds while not casting”. In order to find your true mp/5 in combat simply divide the number by 2. In the meantime I will refer to Mana Regeneration as a stat, not true mp/5. For the purposes of these equations, when I refer to ‘Int’ I am referring to the number that shows up in your character screen WITH mark of the wild active. Intellect based regen remains unchanged.

Intellect regen = (Int+1180)*1.02

The overall effective regen equation then becomes:

Effective Regen = (Int+1180)*1.02 +  ((.00008913)(Int(buffed))+.784)(Spirit) +931

FURTHER USAGE

These days regeneration is less of a concern for us because we are eschewing spirit in favor of other stats with the swiftly increase levels of intellect available to us. You may not get a large amount of use out of them but they can still be used to tell you something about your overall longevity. The intellect regeneration scales fairly well with our gear and every 112.2 (modified) intellect increases our spirit’s regen by 1%.

In order to see what you are gaining when looking at new gear we need to add a couple more variables. Right now we have:

Int = intellect as listed on your character sheet with mark of the wild active

Sp = spirit as listed on your character sheet

We need to add the following:

I(delta) = the gain or loss of raw intellect, as it is written on the item’s or items’ tooltips (before leather mastery, furor, motw etc.) when comparing gear or gear sets

S(delta) = the gain or loss of spirit as it is written on the item’s or items’ tooltips

The final equation then becomes:

Effective Regen = ER = [((Int+1180)*1.02)+(I(delta)*1.22)]+[.00008913*(Int + (1.17*I(delta)))+.784](Sp+S(delta))+.931

Hope I haven’t lost you so far! There is a lot going on here but even the windows calculator can help you work through it in no time at all. If you’re looking at the effects of changing only one of the two stats at a time, I(delta) or S(delta) then its a lot easier to evaluate the change.

For I(delta) the following tells us the regen change per each point of raw intellect gained:

d(Effective regen)/I(delta)=1.22 + 0.000103(Spirit)

For S(delta) the following tells us the regen change per each point of raw spirit gained:

d(Effective regen)/S(delta)=(0.00008913(Int)+.784)

For my current gear, these two values would be 1.474 and 1.553 respectively. Given that intellect gives throughput puts it ahead in the end, but we knew that already.

MoP First thoughts: Premise/Talents (and other updates!)

Incoming long winded post with limited spell checking! I’m writing off the cuff here so please forgive my grammar atrocities.

So it has been a little over three weeks since I have posted and I apologize for dropping from everyone’s radar. Things have been hectic for me in real life and non-WoW games have certainly gobbled up a decent amount of my free time. Things have calmed down slightly and I wanted to take a moment to chime in on recent news (primarily my thoughts on the new talent system) and discuss what I’ve been playing as well.

While he was not necessarily a top tier hero in Warcraft 3 I often found myself enjoying the Pandaeran Brewmaster from time to time. He was amusing enough and there was clearly some lore to support him (according to blizzard) so we rolled with it. This was long before any Kung Fu Panda hit the market so it wasn’t tainted at the time. With the expansion looming somewhere on the horizon and all of the news that poured out of Blizzcon the masses are clearly split on the idea.

The theme itself I’m completely fine with as is the whole neutral race Panda thing. If Pandaeran were newer than Kung Fu Panda I think you could make a case for them pandering to the masses but this has been a known commodity in Warcraft lore for a long time now. Given that WoW, for all its seriousness, is generally light hearted in its approach when it can, the Pandaeran theme seems like it will fit in well contrasted by the harsh war between Alliance and Horde.

I am having a little bit of difficulty getting excited about an expansion with no “real” threat outside of faction warfare. I do not really PvP and I certainly do not world PvP. As long as they can promise quality challenging raid content I will more than likely be perfectly happy. That is, after all, why I play the end game. It’s a little bit of a bummer to not have a strong motivation like we have with Deathwing but it made me think back to this expansion and the previous ones as far as who I really cared about fighting. In each expansion only a few of the bosses had real compelling quest lines or prominent effects on the world around them. A lot of the bosses, despite being famous names in Warcraft lore, felt a little thrown in or cameo. I’m curious to see just what we’re going to get from MoP and whether or not they can justify us going into these raids and risking our digital necks in the process.

Druids in Mists of Pandaria

I’m going to shy away from commenting on feral druids in the next expansion as it is the area I am weakest experience wise, however the addition of the fourth spec will really allow them to separate both halves of the feral experience and provide each with more tailor made benefits. While yes it means that cat druids won’t be able to hop into bear form as well as they do now and bear druids won’t be able to do as much dps when not tanking but that is the price to pay as other tanks (and hybrids) aren’t able to do it as well.

Blizzard said that they enjoy the balance druid model and support the concept of doing high DPS during eclipse and much lower DPS outside of eclipse. This adds to the challenge of playing the class but does not entirely solve the problem of being forced to do AoE while not in an eclipse state. To combat that though our Hurricane spell will now interact with Lunar eclipse giving us an AoE toolset for both modes (hopefully with a mana cost reduction). We will still be responsible for trying to force into the eclipse with the more useful toolset but at least that gives us some element of control.

Restoration druids clearly need some love and thankfully Blizzard is looking to improve us. They seem to have settled into a begrudging acceptance of the Wild Growth / Rejuvenation spam AoE toolset as many druids have pushed back harshly against our direct cast time heals as much as possible. While we do use them it is more out of necessity than anything else at this point. As long as our direct heals continue to be pound for pound weaker than our counterparts they need to allow us to rely on those aspects of our healing paradigm that we excel at.

Taking Wild Growth down a notch in 4.3 seems rough and we’ve already talked at length about how we are going to work around that, but with the news of our new “ability” there is some hope for MoP Healing. While specced restoration it appears that our Wild mushroom spell will morph into a healing based ability [I have to say huge kudos to Lissanna who has been pushing this idea for some time]. If rejuvenation and wild growth can continue to be the backbone of our healing routine we can plan for the occasions where using the mushrooms is advantageous. Pre-planning a location where the raid will be moving to or gathering up at (melee or ranged) allows for some forethought as how to best utilize the detonation. If the ability is balanced so that even in a bind the output from the mushrooms on X number of people supports the three mini-GCD’s to drop them we can also still use it even when no pre-planning was available. I must admit I’m quite excited about this ability and I think it will work out quite well as we move forward.

New Talent Trees

There has been a lot of discussion about the new talent trees and a lot of people [read: vocal minority] have been lashing out saying that the game has been overly simplified even more. I claim that is pretty much B.S. at this point. There is generally one main skeleton build for each role and only a few real floater points that you can customize at will. While some people take pleasure in tweaking these last few customizable bits they hardly constitute any real major decisions and will not affect your gameplay in any life-altering way. Swapping 2 points from Furor to Genesis was a big deal in T11 (and possibly T12) but I don’t really consider that significant. There was one was to spec with some small permutations and that is it. If blizzard can bake in all of those must haves into your specialization, as they said they will do, then their proposed new talent system will only add new and exciting options to our builds. If, after the final tweaking, there really are multiple options for every spec at every talent choice level, then we really will be able to tweak and customize our load-out prior to every fight. If it bothers you thinking about it like a load-out then…I’m sorry? It’s not like a hearth and a respect were all that hard to do before honestly. Let’s look at the required talents for a resto druid currently, taken from my guide, and see how they can be baked in.

Natural Shapeshifter – Decreases Shifting Costs by 20% and increases Tree of Life duration by 6 seconds

-All druids take this. Reduce the cost of shapeshifting by 20% relative to base mana and simply increase Tree of Life’s duration. Tree of Life may or may not undergo additional changes for MoP anyway.

Naturalist – Reduce the cast time of Nourish and Healing touch by .5 seconds

-As part of the Restoration specialization have the base casting time of these spells be lower

Heart of the Wild – Increase intellect by 6%

-With the stats deflation they are working on it is unclear just where this flat stat boost will go. Given that all druids take this it could be baked in literally anywhere.

Master Shapeshifter – Passive bonus depending no spec

-All druids take this. Bake the flat percent bonus in with their respective specs

Improved Rejuvenation – Boosts Rejuvenation by 15%

-Given that Rejuv. is a core ability of the resto healing model having this 15% increase be baseline for our specialization is reasonable

Revitalize – 2% total mana returned every 12 seconds minimum, Replenishment

-Again it is unclear what the mana regen scenario will be across the board given the stat deflation plan. You could easily have the restoration druid version of lifebloom have a separate spell ID that triggers replenishment and revitalize by default. Similarly this version of lifebloom could have the empowered touch and Malfurion’s Gift abilities built into it.

Malfurion’s Gift/Empowered Touch

-As long as lifebloom is so integral to our spec for triggering abilities and mana regen these types of procs could simply be wrangled into it. You could easily have one of our listed specialization perks that our lifebloom is empowered and offers the following benefits etc. etc.

Wild Growth

-Certain abilities will be specialization unlocked and I can only assume this will include Wild Growth and Swiftmend

Effloressence

-Simply build this into Swiftmend as it is mandatory

Swift Rejuvenation – GCD of Rejuvenation is 1 second

-Restoration baseline ability. No major deal here honestly

Gift of the Earthmother – Increased Bloom and initial Rejuvenation heal

-This one is tricky. If they feel this talent is critical (and I bet that don’t) then they can bake both bonuses into the restoration specific versions of Lifebloom and Rejuvenation respectively.

Tree of Life

-Built into the new talent system

Nature’s Grace – Haste bonus every 1 minute

-No easy solution here but could easily be a baseline druid ability with little issues should they intend to keep it around

Nature’s Majesty – 4% crit to spells

-This is strictly a percentage throughput benefit. You could remove it entirely and buff elsewhere to compensate or try to build it in to the specs

Moonglow/Furor – mana cost reduction 9% and max mana increase 10%

-It comes back to deflation. If they can balance our casting such that these talent is not required then it becomes entirely useless. Furor could easily be made baseline as all druids take it.

This is not necessarily an in depth look but it does seem to cover our “build” almost entirely. You simply make a restoration specific version of Lifebloom and Rejuvenation and build many of the throughput and mana related talents into our specialization.

As for the new abilities they previewed…they’re not perfect and certainly rough around the edges but it shows what they’re trying to do. Let’s take a look at where they’re going with this. If all of our major throughput stats, regenerative stats, and core spells are covered in our specialization these talents are simply the next step up in utility, versatility, and additional specialization. Bear in mind things are usually subject to massive change.

Level 15: Mobility

Feline Swiftness – 10% move speed buff, 20% additional buff in cat form, passive

Displacer Beast – random 20 yd blink, remove all DoT’s and stealth

Tireless Pursuit – 70% speed buff, remove all movement impairing effects

All of these are pleasantly situational. Feline Swiftness offers your baseline mobility and may be the ability we gravitate to as “baseline”. Displacer beast is great for pvp and also for any fight where stealthing (adds beating on you perhaps) or DoT’s are an issue. Tireless pursuit gives you an added Dash if massive mobility is required for an encounter. Good choices with very specific uses. Even if these change I support what they are doing with this tier.

Level 30: Healing

Nature’s Swiftness – Same as before

Renewal – Instant self heal, 30% max HP

Cenarion Ward – Proactive shield on friendly target, places a HoT once triggered

I very much like what they’re doing here. Renewal is a fantastic option for non-healers as is Cenarion ward should the fight dictate it. From a healers perspective Nature’s Swiftness offers much the same benefit it did before, but having the option to use Cenarion Ward seems very powerful as well. It is no Power Word Shield as it takes time to provide its benefit and cannot be spammed, but it may be a really nice proactive tank healing spell (or other scenarios in a pinch) worth using. We will need to see if the lengthy cooldown relegates it to fairly situational uses. Since most of our throughput math is governed by our talent specialization this offers us a decent choice between two situational abilities.

Level 45: Control Control

Faerie Swarm – Faerie fire with a short duration slow component built in

Mass Entanglement – targeted area of effect entangling roots for 8 seconds

Typhoon – same as before

While none of these abilities directly impact our healing in a raid they still offer some interesting options. Its clear that knockback is going to be something required in some encounters as we move forward so opening up typhoon to all druids of all forms is definitely nice. Mass Entanglement is more caster oriented and gives a little emergency group CC which will be useful on some encounters for sure. Faerie Swarm offers all druids a ranged single target 15 second slow that appears to have no cooldown at this time. I would assume there may be some limitations to spamming this as a slowing ability but if so it would allow druids to kite even more effectively.

Level 60: The “What the hell” tier

Wild Charge – Reverse lifegrip (fly to them with a free heal), feral charge, and disengage for moonkin (with free eclipse power)

Incarnation – Tree of Life and Improved Cat Form

Force of Nature – summons three treants, abilities depending on forms

It is unclear what they plan to do with Treants which makes it difficult to gage its worth. My guess is that the balance ones may behave similar to the burning treants, the feral ones will melee, and the restoration ones will heal. The last option there is tricky, because then you’d have to create a direct link to Tree of Life and evaluate which offers a larger healing benefit on a fight to fight bases. What they may do is remove a healing option for treants just as Incarnation has no balance druid option at this time. This may be a more specialized tier where there are really only two options per spec. Tank – WC or FoN, Cat – Inc or FoN, Balance – WC or FoN, Resto – WC or Inc

Level 75: Crowd Management

Demo roar – Roar that disoriented nearby targets (not reduce attack power or damage), forces a shift to bear form

Ursol’s Vortex – Mass deathgrip on all targets within 15 yards. Does not appear to taunt the mobs however

Bear Hug – stun that deals up to 30% of the druids maximum health in damage, forces a shift to bear form. Can be broken

This tier offers difficult choices for caster druids and I have a feeling some changes will be made. Demo roar and Ursol’s Vortex do offer some interesting raiding abilities that may govern how adds are handling in fights. Having druids chain Vortex to scoop up mobs for AoE could potentially be very powerful provided that it was safe to do.

Level 90: Versatility and Survivability

Heart of the Wild – You can temporarily serve a role outside of your primary spec

Master Shapeshifter – Using abilities outside of your normal spec provide a bonus to your main spec abilities temporarily

Disentanglement – Shifting removes snares, every 30 seconds your shifts can heal you for 20% of your total health

This is the tier that I am least happy with. Looking past the fact that it is the final tier and the one you are working hard to get, the abilities themselves are fairly lackluster to some degree. In theory I like what they are trying to do. Giving the option to gain that old druid snare dodging ability and a heal has a huge effect on PvP as does Heart of the Wild. Heart of the Wild has the potential to be somewhat useful in raiding but really only when the crap hits the fan. If you’re forced to use that things are likely in dire straits (could make the same comment about Rebirth but they are in different categories I think). Master Shapeshifter just seems unappealing to me. I don’t have anything good to say about it at this time but we’ll see where they take it in the future.

Overall though there’s a lot of good things to take away from this. I like the ability to tailor my spells and abilities on a fight to fight basis and I think people will derive a lot of enjoyment from this system provided they go ahead with it. I’ll probably be writing a lot more about Mists of Pandaria as the news unfolds and will do a lot of Beta Testing when the time comes. All in all I’m quite excited about their ideas (minus the pet arena thing) and look forward to what they finally unveil.

What I’ve been playing

So clearly WoW hasn’t been my only game played as of late and I thought I’d share what’s currently on my docket. The single player games I’m working through right now are Rage and Orcs Must Die. I must say I’m really enjoying these two immensely. Orcs Must Die is so much fun and amazingly addictive but I’ve only just started it so I can’t talk too much about it.

Rage was plagued with some issues to start but some monkey wrenching in my NVidia driver settings to force VSync on permanently fixed the tearing right up and had it running at a very healthy frame rate. If you like the whole post-apolcolyptic vibe I highly recommend checking it out. The high res texture graphics (when enabled) are nice and the character models are detailed and expressive. The action has felt so far but I’m only about 6 hours into the game but given my tendency to do all side quests and races may not put me as far in as you’d think.

As a couple we’ve been playing through L.A. Noire as we hadn’t had a chance to start it until now. I will say playing this game as a team has been a lot of fun and a great collaborate experience. For anyone not familiar, L.A. Noire is a game by Rockstar, or Grand Theft Auto fame, which takes a decidedly different twist. You play through the eyes of a rising star Detective who works through multiple desks of his LAPD division and work to solve cases. You are tasked with recovering evidence, questioning persons of interest, conducting interrogations, and chasing down unruly suspects. The action is a little clunky and certainly isn’t the games strength. The puzzle solving is challenging and rewards diligence. The interrogations are made that much more enjoyable by their impressive face technology. Real actors, many you’d recognize from Heroes, Fringe, and other shows/movies, had their entire face recorded and nearly digitized into the game for an amazing likeness that captures every subtle nuance of their acting. We’re loving every moment of it and are currently halfway through the Homicide desk.

After L.A. noire we’ll probably spend some time playing Arkham City together but that all ends on November 11th. We both really love the Elder Scrolls games (her more than me though) and will probably get sucked pretty hard into Skyrim when it comes out. Everything may go on hold at that time so we’ll see how things pan out.

That’s all for me at this time. I’ll probably have another update soon and hopefully by then I have my purple firehawk mount from the meta. We’ve been 6/7 Heroic for so long and just simply haven’t spent the time doing the last meta achievements yet but this week and next we’ll be wrapping them up for everyone. I think 80%+ of the raid have theirs already. It’s little weird as guilds who are only just now getting 6/7 have theirs on our server but hey, better late than never to pick the darn thing up I say!

Lunchtime Rant: Effects of 4.3 Wild Growth nerf

By now a lot of people have read up on the new planned nerfs to wild growth in 4.3. Almost every blogger out there has weighed in in one form or another and the response has generally been an overwhelming “Wild Growth is too much of our healing done, but that’s how you set it up for us Blizzard to keep us competitive.” I too am in this camp as I am still quite puzzled as to the rationale behind everything. Blizzard has left me waiting and wanting on promises they made and there were hopes of mine that have been dashed.

 

The changes planned are as follows:

-Wild Growth healing has been reduced by 20%

-Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown of Wild Growth by 2 seconds

 

Let’s first take a trip back in time shall we to early Cataclysm. In poor gear restoration druids looked impressive at a glance putting up fairly decent numbers and holding out well mana wise through the aid of Furor and Heart of the Wild. At this time the limitation was not necessarily one of throughput and HPS but that of HPM which is where priests and paladins were hurting more. Once you got into Tier 11 raiding however and gear started to improve things changed. Healers gained access to better gear and large mana pools. Druids were falling behind and were unable to compete on some of the tougher, burstier, or AoE heavy fights. Xaar of Paragon said in a rather public post that druids simply cannot compete (at the time) in their high end raids because of what they do or do not bring to the table. Druids had zero mitigation cooldowns to offer and could not perform any form of group burst to assist in the more difficult encounters. As such they were benching druids.

 

Blizzard promised us a raid cooldown and a boost to our healing. What we received was a 3-minute tranquility, a 30% boost to a 8 second Wild Growth, and ultimately an improved Effloressence. Instead of offering us a mitigation cooldown or a bursty AoE heal we were given an option to use an already good spell more often, and “mitigate” damage through pure healing done. All of this slated us to looking good “on the meters” but all the while not necessarily being that much better than other healers at the end of the day. If you tried to put a number on how much damage a power word barrier absorbed on a heroic encounter where it was needed, I think you’d be pretty amazed. Where is my new cooldown I asked aloud. Where is my new toy that makes me a unique snowflake (irony since now Holy Priests have a 3 minute Divine Hymn).

 

It has been long enough for the need of this buff to be forgotten. I even wrote on my blog the day it was announced that this tranquility buff would eventually cause us a nerf down the line because people would start to pass judgment. Is it wrong to ask that we stay the way we are with a generally higher healing throughput since we lack any real utility beyond that. You have glass cannon dps in lots of games, I don’t see it as a bad thing to have a healer who offers less support and more throughput.

 

So ghostcrawler wrote some little bit about how restoration druids didn’t have enough choices for Major glyphs because Wild Growth was mandatory. I understand where he is coming from but there’s some very very large problems with this logic. They are as…heck who am I kidding there’s really just one monster huge problem with what he’s saying. That is: WE DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER USEFUL MAJOR GLYPHS TO USE! The only glyphs that we would ever consider as of this point in time in the major slot are Healing Touch, Rebirth, Wild Growth, Thorns, and Entangling Roots. Of those five currently Rebirth and Wild Growth are mandatory and Healing Touch is only to make a pretty frustrating ability less frustrating. If Wild Growth was a choice we could do without the only options we would put in their place are extremely suboptimal. This excuse from ghostcrawler is flat out a load of horse manure. If major glyphs HAVE to have a drawback, and I’m pretty sure most of them do not, then maybe consider swapping Wild Growth to a prime glyph and giving us a handful of useful major glyphs to force a thoughtful decision. Maybe “Glyph of Regrowth: Regrowth heals for 20% more on targets at or below 20% health”, “Glyph of Nourish: nourish extends the duration of Rejuvenation on your target by 3 seconds”, or possibly “Glyph of Barkskin: when barkskin is cast, your primary lifebloom target gains 50% of its benefit”

 

So…what does this mean for us? I was taking a look at my world of logs parses and trying to make some heads or tails of it all. Before I do let’s look at the theoretical result of our options at this point:

 

Option A: Keep glyph of Wild Growth

Option B: Do not keep glyph of Wild Growth

 

If during a fight you heal 2.4 million damage using Wild Growth you will average roughly 333,333 healing per target. Let’s also say that your total healing done is is 6.5 million over 5 minutes making Wild Growth roughly 37% of your total healing. This means you’re casting roughly 6.5 wild growths a minute (51.64 seconds with some downtime as this is averaged over the entire duration).

 

Option A: If you keep the glyph of Wild Growth you will be casting Wild Growth approximately 20% less often. Your casts per minute however will vary as there are times you would prefer to be casting it constantly off cooldown and times where you will not. In this example you’re going to be casting on average 5.2 Wild Growths every minute (52 seconds uptime). In this scenario your amount healed by Wild Growth will drop from 2.4 Million to 1.536 Million (36% drop) for an overall healing throughput loss of ~13.3%.

 

Option B: If you choose not to use the glyph of Wild Growth you will be casting Wild Growth the same amount of times but you will be healing one less person. Instead of 2.4 million you will be healing 20% less (before subtracting one target) for a total of 1.92 million. At this point it works out to 320,000 healing per person so the total with only 5 targets per cast is 1.6 million (33% drop) for an overall healing throughput loss of ~12.3%.

 

This theoretical math shows the absence of the glyph to be less of a loss however taking the glyph provides you more burst in the sense that another player is getting healed at that time. For fights where Wild Growth isn’t necessarily needed all of the time the glyph can still make it more useful but neither situation is really that ideal and both represent a large sizeable chunk of overall healing done lost. This scenario is highly flawed as, from practice, Wild Growth is not required all the time off cooldown and as such the penalty from taking the glyph is excessively magnified by this example. Let’s take a look at some real world numbers.

 

Real World

I’m not as addicted to Wild Growth as I probably should be. What I mean by that is I do not use it religiously on cooldown. If there is a lot of raid damage constantly coming out then I will but I really don’t love casting it on one or two targets just for the heck of it (being bored on Alysrazor is an exception). That isn’t to say that I don’t cast it because I am aware of how powerful (though easy) it is. What it does mean is that on some fights I don’t have a super high percentage uptime. Maybe my uptime is between 60% and 80%. I’m ok with that as long as when I do have to use the spell then it proves useful even if some does end up overhealing quite a bit.

 

Here are some actual numbers from recent kills. I know my spell choices weren’t perfect as we were learning some of the encounters but they should be useful to look at (looking at WG and Tranq)

 

Heroic Rhyolith –

WG – 34.2% healing done, 63% uptime, 37% overheal

Tranq – 8.5% healing done, 3.1% overheal

Note – timing wild growth for high volcano damage peaks and stomps. Could probably be popping it off on cooldown but the damage in this fight is generally in heavy pulses 20+ seconds or so and smaller pulses based on volcanos active.

 

Heroic Beth’tilac –

WG – 34% healing done, 56.1% uptime, 29% overheal

Tranq – 4.8% healing done, 8% overheal

Note – Hanging out in the middle on the ground healing drone tank and a handful of people. Damage spikes higher during spinners, group up phases, and Phase 2 so AoE heals are used liberally at that time. Similar to Rhyolith it is a bursty fight healing wise on the ground until she lands.

 

Heroic Alysrazor –

WG – 16.2% healing done, 77.5% uptime, 70.3% overheal

Tranq – 15% healing done, 14.4% overheal

Note – Fight is boring and I was looking for things to do honestly. Was using Wild Growth as a single target HoT as mana is largely a non-issue.

 

Heroic Majordomo Staghelm –

WG – 18% healing done, 51.6% uptime, 80% overheal

Note – this fight is not healing intensive in an AoE sense since flamescythe’s are never taken by the raid. During flame orbs I was paired off and healing my orb team primarily.

 

Ultimately the 2 second increase on Wild Growths cooldown isn’t something you will feel 100% of the time. If you are not casting it frivolously for only one or two people at a time then you can still make solid use of its healing done though now at a 20% loss. Even if somehow we were able to play such that the 2 second penalty was removed from the equation by timing our casts perfectly to maximize benefit, you would still be taking a 6-7.5% drop in your total throughput for fights where Wild Growth was ~30-37% of your healing done now; and a 4% throughput loss when it is only ~20% of your healing done now. Again this loss does not include the glyph penalty as that is significantly tougher to model accurately as it varies from fight to fight.

 

All in all this is a pretty tough pill to swallow and it feels like a poor decision to me. Poor excuses aside, they want to pull us away from Wild Growth in order to make a lower percentage of our healing done and to knock us down a peg. The problem that I see is that we really don’t have any other options for raid healing and this spell needs to stay competitive in that respect in order to work. There are other ways in which this shuffle could be done and I wish that they had pursued other avenues to do so. In my brief moment of brainstorming here is what I was thinking:

 

1.)    If we simply do too much healing as a whole, first evaluate how much of that is from tranquility. Then evaluate how much “healing” is done through Spirit link totem’s 10% damage reduction, Aura Mastery’s resists, and Power word barrier’s 30% damage reduction. If that still has is out in the lead then make an adjustment accordingly to our Mastery rating or passive bonus as required.

2.)    If you simply do not like Wild Growth being such a large amount of our healing done, and item 1 above has been analyzed, then simply weaken WG and place a buff to our single target heals as they are sorely lacking. This weakens our AoE tool set though less so.

3.)    Similar to 2, but instead place the buff in a situational area such as have Nature’s bounty also increase the nourish’s amount healed by some percent or have it also reduce rejuvenation’s mana cost by a percent while active. This would shift some of the healing from wild Growth over to an AoE role primarily.

Napkin Math: Temporary Intellect and its value

Update: Spreadsheet had some really bad errors that I needed to correct. Numbers have been updated and look much more reasonable.

I wanted to do some brief napkin math today none of which is entirely new given my previous mathematical noodling. I wanted to look at on use intellect compared to static intellect as far as mana regen goes.

In the past we have shown that 1 raw unmodified point of intellect yields roughly 1.22 mana regen or .61 mp/5 factoring in intellect based regen only and distributed increased starting mana over the duration of the fight. When a burst intellect trinket is used I am going to make the assumption it is timed with Innervate as that yields the highest percentage return provided that is what it is being used for. When activated these benefits usually last for 15, 20, or 25 seconds so we can analyze each of these scenarios.

Over the duration of the buff you will gain mana return through Revitalize, Replenishment, and Innervate. The return for each scenario is the following:

Revitalize:

Procs- 15 seconds (1.25 procs, 2.5%), 20 seconds (1.67 procs, 3.33%), 25 seconds (2.08 procs, 4.17%)

Return per 1 raw intellect- 15 seconds [.025*19.28=.482], 20 seconds [.033*19.28=.636], 25 seconds [.0417*19.28=.804]

Replenishment:

Return per 1 raw intellect- 15 seconds [.015*19.28=.289], 20 seconds [.02*19.28=.386], 25 seconds [.025*19.28=.482]

Innervate:

Return per 1 raw intellect- 3.856 (only every 3 minutes)

Your total return per 1 raw intellect is then (using CD times that line up with innervate only):

15 seconds:

1.5 minute CD (2x over 3 minutes) – 5.398 mana total or 0.15 mp/5 [.3 mana regen]

3 minute CD – 4.627 mana total or .129 mp/5 [.26 mana regen]

20 seconds:

1.5 minute CD (2x over 3 minutes)  – 5.9 mana total or .164 mp/5 [.33 mana regen]

3 minute CD – 4.878 mana total or .136 mp/5 [.27 mana regen]

25 seconds:

1.5 minute CD (2x over 3 minutes)  – 6.428 mana total or .179 mp/5 [.357 mana regen]

3 minute CD – 5.142 mana total or .143 mp/5 [.286 mana regen]

Spirit regen is a little trickier. Generally speaking the linear approximation for spirit regen is the following:

SR = ((Modified_Intellect*.000125)+.55))*Spirit

1 Point on unmodified intellect gives us roughly .19 mp/5 [.38 mana regen] at 7000 buffed intellect and 2600 spirit (YMMV)

To evaluate things we’ll need to look at uptime.

15 second duration:

1.5 minute CD (16.7% uptime) – .063 mana regen or .031 mp/5

3 minute CD (8% uptime) – .032 mana regen or 0.016 mp/5

20 second duration:

1.5 minute CD (22.2% uptime) – .085 mana regen or .0425 mp/5

3 minute CD (11.1% uptime) – .0422 mana regen or 0.021 mp/5

25 second duration:

1.5 minute CD (27.8% uptime) – .106 mana regen or .053 mp/5

3 minute CD (13.9% uptime) – .053 mana regen or 0.027 mp/5

The handy spreadsheet of equivalency becomes, depending on buff duration and cooldown, the following:

15 second duration, 1.5 minute cooldown: 4.40 temporary int = 1 static int

15 second duration, cooldown between 1.5 and 3 minutes: 5.48 temporary int = 1 static int

20 second duration, 1.5 minute cooldown: 3.86 temporary int = 1 static int

20 second duration, cooldown between 1.5 and 3 minutes: 5.09 temporary int = 1 static int

25 second duration, 1.5 minute cooldown: 3.46 temporary int = 1 static int

25 second duration, cooldown between 1.5 and 3 minutes: 4.72 temporary int = 1 static int

Fiery quintessence for example gives 1149 temporary intellect for 25 seconds with a 1.5 minute cooldown. In a perfect world (not always the case as we know) it gives roughly the equivalent of 332 static intellect. You may only see a percentage of that as you may be forced to not start its rotation until your first innervate losing out on some time. There are some highly situational addition benefits such as: should mana tide be dropped at roughly the same time as your innervate/trinket activation then you will raise your maximum mana significantly and have the option to spend any mana returned over your normal maximum as it comes in. This would only be ideal during high damage moments.

There is something to be said for burst on demand though and the added spellpower granted by the on-use is not something I can put a value on as far as this study is concerned. I’m going to hold off going into a more in depth analysis of this trinket at this time as things get a lot more complicated when you try to compare it to other options such as Jaws of Defeat, Eye of Blazing Power, Alchemist Stone given the secondary benefits and individual player needs (spirit, haste, reforged secondary stats etc.).

Note: Please be aware that this analysis applies primarily to endgame 10 and 25 man raids. For people who are focusing more on 5 man content be aware that static intellect becomes significantly stronger as the duration over which the increased starting mana is distributed is smaller (as well as less chances for activating the item).