So I thought I’d post a small follow up to the recent “zomg Efflorescence is dying” posts that have popped up here on my site. I spoke a bit about how I felt in my comment on Keeva’s site but I thought I’d write a little more about it here. This is almost entirely rant-ish and not thoroughly spell/grammar checked.
Yes I know the Efflorescence was overpowered in its previous incarnation. In a world where mana is supposed to be a major issue any ability (however small it may be) that can heal an infinite number of players is going to be broken. If one Efflorescence was able to heal for 7K over 7 seconds, then three druids stacked into the raid would make that 21K over 7 seconds every 15 seconds. This is not how blizzard intended their raid damage to be managed in a constrained atmosphere and they were completely right in lowering the output of the ability. While I appreciate that the fights in this expansion are shaping up to be very difficult (thank god) I still worry that their plan to make it a slower triage style healing environment will get put on the back burner for the sake of making some fights challenging through aggressive raid damage.
Why am I (and others posting in the blogosphere) annoyed?
It isn’t because AoE healing was too good and healing as a druid had become mindless. No one wants a rigid automaton style of play for any encounter as a healer and being an Efflorescence bot certainly led down that road. No, we want our AoE heals to feel useful and not overpowered that much I know for sure.
For me the problem does lie partially in the fact that we are not getting any new spells to add to our arsenal. While on paper it appears as if we have a large assortment of healing tools at our disposal it really isn’t entirely the case. No one will complain about our tank healing toolset because it is pretty rock solid. We have Lifebloom/Rejuv for HoT’s, Nourish/Healing Touch for the big hits and Swiftmend for the occasional oh crap moment. For raid healing we have Rejuvenation and Wild Growth (I am leaving out our direct heals as everyone technically has access to them for raid healing). It really did seem like Efflorescence was being sold to us as a new signature move for restoration druids to use as a small controlled AoE heal that would not heal for a large amount but planning could go into where the most optimal spots were to plant them. This was not all that different than Lissanna’s original plan for healing exploding mushrooms once upon a time. Healers like to be rewarded for making smart decisions about how to lay their healing framework and most importantly make sure the people they are trying to heal get healed. The limit on the number of targets means that I cannot guarantee the people I intended this spell to heal will garner the full effect. Unpredictable outcomes have never been kind or friendly to healers. (Yes I do know right now Holy priests have a lot to juggle in their new spec just to be competitive, that is a story for another day).
With all of the nerfs and changes to the spell it is quickly falling slightly out of favor with a lot of druids out there. It is still a potent ability however with the bloat in our tree and the absolute need to put 10 points into balance/feral for mana regeneration talents we are extremely constrained as to what we can afford to put points into. Efflorescence is tied to Living Seed (questionable as LS is underperforming and they are linked to two different heals) and currently costs us 6 talent points to get. They need to make up their mind as far as what this spell is supposed to mean to us. Is it going to just be a talented boost to our healing and only account for 2 to 5% of our total healing done or is it going to be considered a spell in our rotation (giving up Swiftmend as an emergency heal to do so). This indecision and situational use has even led to some people speculating that two resto specs might be desired if we can’t come to a decision. Here are a couple of wacky options I’ve come up with to try to alleviate some of the problems:
Unlink Efflorescence with Living Seed
Reduce the talent points required to take Living Seed and/or Efflorescence (if Efflorescence is intended to be minor secondary healing done tacked on)
Put a hard limit on the number of players Efflorescence can heal at a time, but make it a smart heal and increase output (most wounded per tick)
Keep Efflorescence in its nerfed state but make it place an aura effect on those inside of it that counts for Symbiosis
Add some form of player-decision-interaction: if someone in Efflorescence is not attacking or casting spells they are healed for more
***Switch Nature’s Grace and Moonglow (indirectly related, would give 3 more talent points for balance or resto trees, this is a must IMO)
I’m not entirely sure exactly where I’d go with the spell in the end after all of this internal debate. I think most of all I would like to know what Blizzard wants this spell to be for us. Is this going to be our new “spell” for the expansion? If so let’s try to make it feel like one that actually involves some thought and planning. We want our spells to reward us for being skillful. If they have given up on Efflorescence being a “spell” and have decided to just make it a minor secondary little boost of healing that we get for free (similar to Glyph of Holy Light from 3.X) then so be it…though honestly I will feel a little cheated.