So the patch is more than likely coming this Tuesday and we’ve all beat to death all of the salient points us Druids need to keep our eye on. What I made the mistake of doing over the last couple of days is peruse the official warcraft healing forums.
Good god these people are downright depressing. While there are certainly some very talented players posting on the forums, the general mood seems to be fairly doom and gloom. This is especially true amongst the Restoration Shaman players. This group has a rather difficult lot right now because they are not seeing the output and mana efficiency they’d like in PvE and are extremely good healers in PvP. Since it is excruciatingly difficult to balance a healer in PvE without overpowering them in PvP, we have what you might call a world class dilemma. I am really hopeful in the coming weeks that Blizzard finds a way to separate out their balancing issues, or that they find a way to make a spell function differently in PvP versus PvE.
This is not to say that druids are in significantly better shape. We are looking at a rather beefy bonus to Wild Growth in the form of a 2 second shave off of the cooldown, and roughly a 15% boost to Wild Growth (30% bonus to the base heal, not including gear). Talent wise we have some new hasty Nourish tricks to pull out of the bag in the form of Nature’s Bounty, but with that comes a 25% increase to the cost of Rejuvenation from what we have currently.
Priests have actually been joining in on the complaints, which is scary to be sure. I’ve seen posts crying out “why…dear god why are you making prayer of healing 15% weaker!” First off, 1 button play styles aren’t fun (druids say hi!) and second, a 15% base healing reduction only translates to maybe an 8% effect reduction when you factor in spellpower from gear. I’d hardly call this 8% enough to deter priests from using Prayer of Healing or prevent them from making the best of it on raid AoE smash damage (massacre and the like). I even read one priest go so far as to write the following:
They also reduced the cost of Renew, which is nice. But it’s still neither strong enough nor cheap enough for us to start using it seriously as an AoE healing tool except in rare situations where there’s multitarget damage that we can’t predict/sort by group. It’s a spot heal when we find ourselves in Chakra: Sanc, and that’s all it’s going to be – no change to our spell selection.
Must be nice eh? I love how in one paragraph he basically dismissed the bulk of our AoE healing paradigm. I know this is coming off as bitter and that really isn’t my intention. I am happy with the changes that we are getting and clearly they’ll be a step in the right direction. Will they offset the loss of multi-bloom, omen’s base clearcasting, more expensive rejuvenation, and loss of imba-mana-tide? We shall see. What I don’t think is helpful are all of the massive complaint threads, woe is me threads, and threads about how the new healing paradigm is too hard. I get it, some healers don’t like the fact that some wrath babies can make their life hell in dungeons and possibly even raids. This is part of the job description though folks and there needs to be some amount of sucking it up.
What I do hope that blizzard takes away from all of this, is an understanding of the complaints lodged by the intelligent well written shamans and druids on the forums who have succinctly listed all of the problems currently being experienced at the high end and how they, if at all, will be addressed by the 4.0.6 changes.
In the meantime I will leave you with a happy thought, because I had me a good smile while perusing Cuteoverload