Newsflash, yet another PTR update with a somewhat more comprehensive list. I have already done some math regarding the upcoming mana tide changes but it looks like there will be some more fairly sweeping changes that will affect raid healing as a whole.
Let’s list off the druid changes so we can take a peek at them as well as the other healing ones on import:
- Soothe is now instant cast, down from 1.5 sec cast.
Moonfire and Sunfire now costs 9% of base mana, down from 18% of base mana.
- Fungal Growth now has a 100 yards range, up from 30 yards.
- Total Eclipse now increases bonus damage from Eclipse by 16%, up from 12%. Each point of Mastery now increases the bonus by anadditional 2%, up from 1.5%.
- Natural Shapeshifter now increases the duration of Tree of Life Form by 3/6 sec, down from 5/10 sec.
- Tree of Life now lasts 25 sec, down from 30 sec. (What do you call a druid in tree form who melees? A combat log.)
- Wild Growth now has a 8 sec cooldown, down from 10 sec. Base healing value increased by 30%, from 2866 to 3722.
- Symbiosis now increases the potency of healing spells by 11.6% (Up from 10%) on target already affected by one of your HoT. Each point of Mastery now increases heal potency by an additional 1.45%, up from 1.25%.
- Prayer of Healing base healing reduced by 15%, from 3633 – 3838 to 3087 – 3262.
- Lightwell now restores [ 1.063% of Spell Power + 9929.445 ] health over 6 sec, down from [ 1.155% of Spell Power + 10792.875 ]
- Tremor Totem now has a 1 min cooldown, removes Fear, Charm, and Sleep effects from party and raid members within 10 yards, and can be dropped even while the caster is afflicted with such effects.
- Mana Tide Totem now gives Party members within 23 yards of the totem 400% of the caster’s spirit (excluding short-duration Spirit bonuses). (Previously discussed on this site)
These changes say a lot about where they are trying to head with their healer paradigm and it also sheds some light on some decisions they have clearly back off of.
For balance the changes are a mix of quality of life, longevity, and damage output. Reducing the casting cost of Moonfire (Sunfire) is welcome because with the talent structure that they have, it seems to fall in line more with the roll they intend it to fill. The 33% increase to the effectiveness of mastery rating is interesting and clearly it is a way for them to address the issue that boomkin couldn’t get that stat off of their gear quick enough. Assuming that we spend roughly 50% of our DPS under eclipse (and some outside of it via DoT’s cast inside) having our mastery upped to a 2% bonus per point works out a bit better when it comes to stat weight. A 2% bonus that is active on 50% of our nukes (not counting its benefit to DoT’s and Starfall lasting longer than Eclipse) yields closer to a 1% increase in damage throughput (as opposed to .75% as it previously was with 1.5% per point).
For restoration we have some pretty interesting changes as well.
Tree of Life: Nerfed in duration by 23% after all talents are taken. Originally this buff was 30 seconds, then it was 40 seconds, and now its 31 seconds after talents. I’m not entirely sure what their game plan is for our “iconic” restoration ability but its seemingly a tad muddled. They wanted us to take it, and even more so wanted Natural Shapeshifting to be a worthwhile talent so a bone was thrown. Now, possibly due to omen of clarity shenanigans, the duration is being knocked down a bit again. I’ll need to play with this change more to see if it really has that great of an effect. Honestly, and you can call me a blasphemer, I’d rather the multi lifebloom thing removed for more +healing style benefits as I know part of ToL’s balance is based on the crazy mana savings from Malfurion’s Gift.
Wild Growth: While yes I’m happy that the cooldown is being reduced by 2 seconds, it is hard to ignore the fact that it is the same cooldown as Circle of Healing under their “AoE” chakra state Sanctuary. Wild Growth is stronger than Circle of Healing to be sure and rightfully so with the lack of Prayer of Healing and that is where the next change comes in. A 30% increase in Wild Growth’s base healing provides a nice bump to its HoT effect and makes the added ticks at the end slightly less terrible. At roughly 7000 spellpower, this 30% base increase will translate to roughly a 15% increase in throughput (when looking at one cast, important for burst analysis). Now, assuming that you are hitting wild growth every time the cooldown is up, you’ll get 1.5 more per minute with the cooldown change which will result in roughly 43% more healing done via the spell over the course of a minute.. This is nothing to scoff at. Ideally this, coupled with the new and improved nature’s bounty, cheaper rejuvenation, and improved mastery should yield an even stronger raid healing backbone. The flaw is that the spell is still not burst nor can it fill that role quite the same way as the slightly nerfed Prayer of Healing. Time will tell if this is really enough for the high end of this tier of raiding.
Mastery: Mastery was increased from 1.25% healing boost per point to 1.45% per point. This is approximately a 16% increase in its potency. The discussion about Restoration druid mastery is long and involved and it will continue for quite some time. The issue is generally boiled down to the fact that our mastery requires a setup which means more mana and investment on the person involved, it also will only affect a certain percentage of our heals when tasked with raid healing. If 35% of your healing done comes from wild growth, it is tough to say what portion of that hit people who you already have Rejuvenation on. If 30% of your healing is from Rejuvenation, some portion of it will be on your Wild Growth and lifebloom targets to be sure, but the exact amount is hard to quantify. With this change, you would only need 35% of your healing done to benefit from mastery to put it equal with Crit. If (and I assume this is more in 10 mans or tank healers) you go above that number than it will become a more useful stat for you. The point at which haste and mastery are equal is difficult to determine after this change because haste’s value fluctuates so wildly depending on whether or not you are near a breakpoint or not.
Prayer of Healing: The nominal value healed by Prayer of Healing base has been reduced by 15%, or by 571. When you add in spellpower (@7000) this translates into an 8% loss to the total amount healed. This is only approximate but it seems to be about what you’d expect. Is 8% going to make a big difference? Time will tell.
NEW ALCHEMIST STONE
So there is a new alchemist stone coming out for casters in this patch and initial data places it as a caster/throughput trinket and not really a regen one though it does retain the 40% increased potion effectiveness ability. Gemmed with a brilliant inferno ruby this trinket has 351 intellect and 194 haste rating. You can reforge the haste rating into 77 spirit and 117 haste if you so desire. The 40% potion increase is a little trickier to quantify. If you are using Mythical Mana Potions then this bonus translates into roughly 55 mp/5, if you are using Concentration Potions then you’re looking at approximately 110 mp/5. Do these bonuses make the trinket worth it? I’m not 100% sure at this time (and I’m a tiny bit annoyed as I purchased two epic trinkets already as an alchemist). If anything it gives me another way to make Maelstrom crystals.