It was fun while it lasted – Codename Sparkles

So I definitely keep meaning to write about the new Borderlands DLC, my new character in Dragon Age and a few other hot topics right now however Blizzard continues to thwart my plans with another beta patch. Normally a patch with only a handful of changes would take a backseat however we are looking at druid nerfs, and an alchemy mount which are interesting indeed. I thought we’d review those and in the next post talk about what our plans are for healing in 4.0.1.

Alchemy Mount

“Alchemy

The idea of turning into a dragon is admittedly pretty cool, especially as a druid since it almost seems like some horrid extension of our normal abilities. That being said it is yet another dragon and one that does not trumpet any form of real achievement. Let’s be honest above and beyond the need for a 310% speed mount, the Meta Dragon Mounts are purely there to show off what you have done and have a secondary benefit of looking cool. Honestly I think everyone should try to get their 310% Ulduar 10 man Drake to save themselves some money moving forward if they can do so. Given the myriad of other craftables I will be charged with making upon reaching max level (and before – re: Engineering) I think this recipe will go on the backburner.

Druid Changes

Balance

  • Fungal Growth now slows enemy targets by 25/50%, down from 35/70%.

Having not seen this particular effect in action I am not sure how large an impact it will have outside of PvP. As pure speculation, this talent allows the druid to plant “Frost Traps” at range however I don’t know how necessary this will be with the new Trap Launcher for Hunters. I’m not going to sweat this just yet.

Feral

  • Savage Defense now reduces damage taken from the nextp hysical attack by 65% of your attack power, down from 75%.
  • Tiger’s Fury now increases physical damage done by 15% for 6 sec.
  • Skull Bash now costs 15 rage.

Given the large boost to attack power that Bears get due to Vengeance I can only imagine that would translate very well to Savage Defense. This coupled with reports from Dev’s that Bears and DK’s are taking less damage overall compared to Warriors and Paladins makes this not a surprising change. Tiger’s Fury is a smart change as it provides Cats a cooldown to time their DoT’s during.

Restoration

So it was only a matter of time and we enjoyed the overpowered Efflorescence while we had it. I think everyone expected it to be lowered some, though I don’t know if cutting it by 50% is exactly the way to go (most seemed to say 80 to 100%). For a level 80 Druid the previous incarnation of Efflorescence produced ticks of approximately 1523 and 2284 when I test on the PTR so we can expect the new numbers to be 761 and 1142 respectively. So with my current gear levels Efflorescence will heal each person for:

5327 over 7 seconds non crit

7994 over 7 seconds crit

As we have already established Wild Growth will heal for approximately 7000/7100 per person assuming no extra ticks. Additional ticks on the tail end of Wild Growth will not heal for significantly more, perhaps 400 at best.  Efflorescence would need to heal roughly 8 players on a non-crit or 6 players on a crit to equate to the same amount of healing done as a wild growth.

Given that Efflorescence is not a smart heal and hits a very limited area it will take a lot of planning and skill as a healer to place them in the best locations possible. For 4.0.1 and some of the ICC fights the decision is probably fairly simple (e.g. melee) but I expect that with the new content for Cataclysm it might find uses for topping off range players as well provided clustering isn’t dangerous.

The Nerf to Malfurions gift means you will average less procs per minute than you did with the previous version of the talent. If you assume that with haste you’ll get a little over one tick of lifebloom a second (I used 1.2) here is the average rate you should get procs from this talent:

6% chance: roughly 1 proc per 13.9 seconds or 4 procs per minute on average

4% chance: roughly 1 proc per 19.2 seconds or 3 procs per minute on average

What does this mean you might ask? Well, in its original incarnation this talent was a massive boost to mana regeneration (and still is) at somewhere between 1600 and 1900 mp/5 at level 85 though your mileage may vary. The new version of the talent should place us at approximately 1200-1400 mp/5 assuming you are using expensive heals.

I plan on writing up a quick little primer for 4.0.1 healing  moving forward and how it may affect some of the heroic ICC fights we have come to know and love.

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