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!