A beautiful conclusion – 13/13H Throne of Thunder /w Ra-Den Video

This tier is finally over for us killing Ra-den tonight with plenty of attempts left for the week. It’s a little anticlimactic I will admit but it is gimmicky enough as a special optional boss that it proves interesting enough as a footnote. I’ll probably be writing a Tier 15 retrospective soon as I’ll have a little bit more free time with a lighter raid week.

From the folks at Capital Vices happy hunting and we’ll see you on the flipside 🙂

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Our kill video has been uploaded…complete with amazing drunken moonkin singing! (note website in video splash is outdated)

Ramblings – Saving Throw Vs. Death in MMO’s

It’s been no secret that I have been playing quite a lot of The Secret World lately especially if you’ve been monitoring my twitter feed. It is a game I have grown to appreciate despite that fact that it is decidedly less robust than WoW in terms of content and non-endgame group content available to players. I like the game because I enjoy the flavor and enjoy the combat.

The combat is TSW is extremely customizable and is both complex and not complex at the same time. Mush like playing a CCG you are tasked with building a ‘deck’. Your deck consists of assigning 7 active and 7 passive abilities to your character. The complexity lies in making sure these abilities all synergize well between actives and passives as well as the stats you’ve assigned to your gear (since most gear is entirely customizable for a price). Once assigned though, playing your build is much simpler. Good play however is entirely on you and your ability to stay alive.

What makes the grouping in TSW interesting, and slightly different than wow are the responsibilities:

Tank: Hate, Survivability, Interrupts, Avoid-or-die

DPS: Hate-management, Damage, Self and Group Cleansing, Avoid-or-die

Healer: Hate-management, Healing, Self-Cleansing, Avoid-or-die

Secret World has embraced a rather interesting take on MMO combat. This is a world where people have guns and monsters wield some fairly frightening magic. As such it is almost always going to kill you if you get hit with ANYTHING. You are tasked with avoiding every single aspect of a nightmare encounter that can be dodged in order to stay alive and continue doing your role. DPS are responsible for a bulk of the cleansing and there are a host of abilities tanks must interrupt or they can (or will) kill someone. I like this!

I understand however that this is incredibly daunting to a new player. Secret World tries its best to help you through them by adding ground warning effects for EVERY AoE attack in the game. You will always see where an attack is going to land before it happens if you are expected to avoid it. That part isn’t so bad I don’t think. The mechanics where a tank must impair (their version of interrupt) or DPS must cleanse themselves by way of Sleight of Hand is nebulous at best. Here are three examples of non-raid level nightmare capstone bosses.

Polaris – entry level Nightmare Dungeon

Final Boss – The Ur-Draug

-Cleave – will kill anyone but the tank in a frontal cone

-Ground Slam – warning shown for the cone affected – tank must avoid

-Submerge – when the boss submerges bubbles will appear around the party in the ‘safe’ zone completely immobilizing you. The only way to get out is use a spell to remove the hinder effect or use a ‘jump’ type skill. Failure to do so leads to death

-Blue phase – Boss shifts dimensions and wanders looking for you, part must play hide and seek behind rocks while dealing with adds. If you are seen by the boss you will be killed

-Pillar Explosion – when the boss drops to very low health he shatters all the large rocks in the zone originally hid behind, kills anyone near them other than a tank

That’s 4 ways you can instantly die instantly as a dps or healer on this encounter

 

Hell Raised – entry level Nightmare Dungeon

Final Boss – Machine Tyrant

-Anima Overcharge – boss puts up a shield after a timer has wound down that persists until dragged over a anima well. Will kill any DPS that hit him with the shield up

-Cleave – will kill anyone but the tank in a frontal cone

-Knockback – will kill or severely damage any melee who do not avoid the warning circle

-Firmament Barrage – moving crosshairs chase players dropping bombs periodically. Will kill anyone they hit

-Wave of Immolation – moves to the center of the room and creates a very large spiral of runes around him that will kill anyone caught in one

There’s 4 ways you can die instantly as a dps or healer on this encounter

 

 Hell Eternal – Tier 2 Nightmare Dungeon 

Final Boss – Eblis

Solar Collapse – huge crosshairs of doom and bombs or destruction. Run like hell or die

Drink Deep – tank interrupt or likely someone is killed

Occluding Lense – reflective shield DPS can easily blow themselves up on using finishers

Consummation – reduces a party member to 1 HP (can do tanks). Particularly deadly with the above Occluding Lens

Cast Out – pulls the party into a barred off area with:

-moving death circles on the ground

-Painwheel Overdive – tank must interrupt or we all die

-Vanquish – line attack to the boss’s left and right in the way he’s facing when casting it initially. Kills you

Chains – movement hinder ability that kills you when it expires. Remove it or die.

There are 8 ways a player can instantly die on this fight: 8 of which as a tank, 7 as a dps, and 5 as a healer.

 

I might be a little bit of a hard-ass but I honestly like this kind of punishing encounter. This might also be a reason why TSW isn’t really doing amazingly because the encounters are extremely difficult if you are not acutely aware of your surroundings and the fight itself. Couple that with it being a heinous gear grind once all story plot has been completed and you have a fairly tough sell.

As a healer in WoW I find it frustrating that some avoidable mechanics are not necessarily death related but simply painful. You will primarily see this in normal and LFR Difficulty as well as 5 man content. I think there needs to be a strong push for players, not just DPS, to be much more self sufficient when it comes to their safety. Having the security blanket of the healers is always a dangerous notion especially when you’re trying harder content and cutting back on the healers present. For our progression group we tend to rarely run more than 5 healers unless we absolutely have to for the encounter to function.

Secret World trains you hard from the very first moment you step into the game. Every mob from the most basic to elite and boss level all telegraph their moves to give you an option to avoid them. You are also given a quick directional dodge ability with a cooldown you can always use to move from place to place quickly. On top of that mobs are fairly lethal in general. Unless you give yourself self-healing or damage mitigation you’ll find yourself getting low just by taking on two or three of them and you might even get yourself killed easily enough if too aggressive. In a game with an extremely harsh environment I think it breeds a level of awareness players need to survive at the endgame level.

Because so much pressure is on players to avoid and dodge mechanic during fights I’ve found almost all players, except for tanks, shed ALL excess +hitpoint stats from their gear and streamline their damage and healing output. When a fight comes around where there is heavy periodic damage that cannot be avoided it is expected the player knows enough to swap in a health item to bring up their max hp. Failure to do so often leads to death.

I’m a weird individual though. When it comes to games like MMO’s I like punishing (but not unfairly so) environments because I think it makes better players. At the same time though I almost refuse to go back and play old retro console games without a save state function. I think for me the line that can’t be crossed is when challenge becomes frustration. A Heroic fight in WoW is challenging. The speeder bike level in Battletoads is frustrating. I think game developers need to be aware that creating a fight with immense amounts of luck required or hidden knowledge it can easily cross into the realm of frustrating. WoW heroic encounters as of late, and most of what I’ve seen in Secret World, are very learnable fights that require people to iterate on previous attempts in a logical manner. Having Save or Die mechanics in your fight are perfectly fair and do not in and of themselves make a fight a poor design.

There are my ramblings for today complete with some mild stream of consciousness in there as well. I hope I’ve at least given you a little something to think about

Preliminary Patch 5.4 Resto Druid Changes

So there’s datamined patch information that has a rather hefty list of changes for you as a restoration druid. Let’s just dig right in and go through them as well as what the ramifications will be.

1.) Nature’s Swiftness has become baseline. You no longer have to give up a talent option to take this iconic, and mandatory, talent. In place of Nature’s Swiftness there is a new passive ability that bears looking at: Ysera’s Gift. Now here are your two options for 5.4:

-Ysera’s Gift – passive – heals you for 5% of your maximum hp every 5 seconds. If you are at maximum health, it is smart healed to an ally. Assuming early 5.4 gear you’ll probably have in the low 600’s K for health meaning this will be ticking for roughly 30,000 every 5 seconds. Assuming the raid is not entirely full on health, this will always produce worthwhile healing adding up to 5K hp/s in this case. Is this worthwhile healing? At the rate at which it ticks i’d argue that it would more often than not end up as meter fluffing and never really save anyone except yourself. Your mileage may vary.

-Cenario Ward – 30s CD – Protective barrier that triggers upon taking damage healing for a large amount over 6 seconds. At ~40K spellpower this heals for roughly 54,000 every 2 seconds or 162,000 total over 6 s. This is not an overwhelming amount of healing and will usually not be enough to save the tank from imminent demise. It can however soften damage from blows that would generally not outright kill the tank anyway to lighten the healing load. It’s about 5K hp/s at that gear level as well.

I think this will be a case of pick your flavor. If the fight requires more direct tank healing you can opt for Ward. If the fight has consistent raid damage that needs addressing, then Ysera’s Gift provides it with absolutely no thought required.

2.) Soul of the Forest was buffed to 100% spell haste bonus. Didn’t really think it was necessary but perhaps their internal math felt it wasn’t pulling its weight on a throughput level (not factoring in mana savings). All this will really do is force us to create a new haste break point spreadsheet 🙂

3.) Tier 6, Level 90 talents, received a revamp.

Update: NV is actually quite amazing in practice with the smart healing component and currently is looking to be a clear cut winner for level 90 talents. Further discussion pending additional feedback.

Dream of Cenarius is no longer the terrible shell of a talent for us that it used to be. It now grants you the ability to attonement heal. Every wrath you cast hits for 20% more and heals a raid member for 100% of the damage done. Note that wrath has had its mana cost increase by roughly 50%.

Nature’s Vigil now also allows all direct heals cast while active to heal additional raid members for 25% of the amount healed. The rest of the talent remains the same. Update: It is unclear at this time if it is direct heals or all single target healing spells which would include lifebloom and rejuvenation. 

Heart of the Wild, when activated, also increases your healing done by some percentage. It seems to be them justifying the talent for restoration since many people i’d wager never activate it. Update: Buff is 25% to healing done! Fairly significant even if it is only once or sometimes twice an encounter if they run long.

I think this is a choice that remains simple yet complicated. Personally I think it comes down to Heart of the Wild and Dream of Cenarius on a fight to fight basis. I don’t particularly enjoy parking and casting however I am willing to admit that for some encounters with tight DPS checks and phases with minimal damage it can be an option. Heart of the Wild plays more to your strengths overall however it obviously doesn’t allow for the flexibility DoC does in that while DPS’ing with the CD (should you do it) you can’t heal at the same time without shifting gears. I will still probably default to Heart of the Wild as it still benefits our HoT centric style of play, especially with the new addition of Genesis.

I stand by Nature’s Vigil being the most lackluster of the bunch according to my taste. A 10% throughput boost, while very good, is not significant enough to really feel like a bonus from my point of view and the trigger activating only on direct heals seems counter intuitive. Depending on HotW’s throughput bonus, once we know more, we’ll be able to math out ultimately which will provide the most consistent benefit. Stay tuned to this one. Preferences for these talents change at the drop of a hat. 

4.) Genesis – activated ability with no cooldown listed as of yet. This spell will quickly activate all of your remaining rejuvenations making them heal and expire at 400% the normal rate. If you cast 6 rejuvenations for example and then immediately used Genesis you would have the first one expire in a little over a second, and the last expire in just over two and a half seconds. Each would produce healing equivalent to however much is left on them.

This spell, provided that it doesn’t play havoc with haste break points and allow for additional ticks that were otherwise unobtainable, is a slight mana loss (the cost of genesis) for a break even in the amount healed and a significant increase in your burst. Since there is set up required for genesis in the form of multiple rejuvenations, it does not need a cooldown. Much like Wild Mushroom: Bloom you are responsible for how aggressive you wish to be with it. You can use it a little or a lot provided your rejuvenations haven’t come close to expiring before hitting the button.

Expect to see this ability as a staple in your healing rotation/toolkit come 5.4. There will more than likely be multiple raid wide damage events that can be predicted in much the same way priests use their absorbs. Prehot the number of people you feel reasonable (3,4,5 perhaps) and let it rip once the damage goes out. Just make sure if you plan to use Swiftmend that you keep the last rejuvenation target as your fuel as they will disappear fast.

Genesis can also be used to TURBO charge your wild mushrooms if you deem it absolutely necessary. Since the window for genesis is small, limited by the time remaining on the heals, storing it up in the mushroom for imminent use gives you a slightly large window if absolutely need be.

5.) Wild Mushroom Bloom received a massive fix. The mushroom’s base healing was significantly increased because now you can only plant one of them. It accrues overhealing at 2/3 the rate they do now but holds the same maximum amount. The plus side though is that it is completely transplantable. You can pick it up and move it without losing the stored bonus healing. While not a perfect spell you can always guarantee you have it active and ready for raid damage with this new change.

Update:

  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

Make no mistake, this is still a great buff. Wild Mushroom is already potent and you can easily work around the drawbacks that come with this change. Between this and Genesis you are now armed with some really nice Burst options for healing. Keep this in mind when you’re looking at heroic encounters in 5.4. Having a fully charged mushroom you can literally transplant and bloom immediately as needed has far reaching applications. Sure this new found versatility is offset by the overheal the spell is likely to do but that is factored into the spell’s throughput by Blizzard I would imagine.

6.) Innervate finally scales with our stats! It is truly a miracle. We have been stuck compared to other healers unable to really benefit from spirit as much as other classes for a long while. This break has left some druids eschewing spirit for mastery when possible and some (of which I am one admittedly) going up into the 12K spirit range for heroic encounters. The new innervate model grants us 50% of our spirit as mana per second for 10 seconds.

Presently Innervate gives 60,000 mana every three minutes. A total of 1,667 mp/5. A number that was probably more impressive doing Tier 14 normals. Comparing that to Mistweavers Brew, Shaman specific MTT benefits, and Rapture is fairly lackluster with current gear.

The new innervate, provided that you have at least 12,000 spirit will give the same amount of mana in return. This seems to be initiated to balance what it provides using a ToT Normal gear level as a pivot point. Every 1 point of spirit you add beyond 12,000 provides 1 mp/5 more than what you would have with the current version on top of its usual benefit. I’ll probably do some gear related math once we know more in order to show just how much regen you’ll really be getting when deciding what spirit soft cap to settle down with.

Glyph of Innervate introduces the innervate swap trick we used to do between two druids. If you have another restoration druid in your raid, however unlikely this might be especially if you are doing heroic content, you could each take this glyph and swap with each other for a 20% boost to each players gained mana. This assumes of course you are both at roughly the same amount of spirit. Personally I am not convinced this is enough of a gain to make it worth it especially with the coordination involved.

7.) Tier 16 set bonuses are poop.

8.) New Glyph: Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active. This glyph is actually fairly significant. It transforms Wild mushroom into a constant effloressence field along with boosting Swiftmend as a direct emergency heal. This could very well become a staple for us moving forward given its implications. Being able to constantly move and replace mushrooms seamlessly can translate to a large amount of bonus healing through the Efflo field.

I may be leaving some things out and I’m rather tired at the moment so my analysis is probably full of holes but please read and enjoy.

Wild Mushroom Usage in Heroic Throne of Thunder (5.3)

Note: Need to thoroughly spellcheck this later so be gentle if you find typos

It was a week into 5.2 that I created a brief guide on how I was using wild mushrooms through all of the normal modes of Throne of Thunder. Now that I have worked on 10 of the 13 heroic encounters I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit these fights and see how, if at all they have changed. I also may want to revise my previous statements now that I am more familiar with each fight. Let’s begin.

The mushrooms themselves

The change to the mushrooms is fairly complex but simply to understand. Each mushroom now stores 50% of your rejuvenation overhealing up to a maximum of 66% of your total health. The radius of the mushrooms has been increased by 25% and the area covered by the explosion increased by 56%. What this means is that your mushrooms hold twice as much and store it twice as fast. You will fill them at the same speed but enjoy a significantly larger bloom.

If you are using the custom weak aura that I linked to in my original post you’ll want to edit it to work with the new mushroom specs. If you go to the triggers tab and look in the custom text boxes you’ll clearly see the lines that refer to the amount of overheal and storage per mushroom. In the first box under trigger there is a note on the amount of overheal to be tracked and it is set to .25, you want to increase that to .50. Similarly you want to adjust the amount each mushroom can hold from .33 to .66. The last box that controls the creation of the bar you’ll want to edit also. You want to adjust the total held with three mushrooms to 1.999*player health, two mushrooms to 1.333*player health, and one mushroom to .666*player health.

I’ll update this with specifics later on tonight.

With my current gear I sit at roughly 509K hp with ~7300 mastery. When I detonate three full charged mushrooms they heal 3x for ~500K. Odds are one of these mushrooms is going to critically heal in a raid setting so even without Fort and a mastery buff that would heal for ~2 million HP. This gives you, very roughly done, the following breakdown:

1 target: ~2 million

2 targets: ~1 million

3 targets: ~666K

5 targets: ~400K

10 targets: ~200K

15 targets: ~133K

25 targets: ~80K

The same rules of thumb when using the spell still apply though it is now much more flexible as you can imagine. Be aware that Wild Mushroom: Bloom benefits more from Mastery than it does from Spellpower. While spellpower and mastery both make the rejuvenation ticks larger (charging the mushrooms up faster) and boost the base heal for the mushrooms, only mastery boosts the bonus healing provided by the mushrooms.

THRONE OF THUNDER HEROIC

Jin’Rohk – Normal

What I said before: Viability Low with a lackluster use during the encounter

Jin’Rohk – Heroic

As you’ll see with most heroic encounters a change in fight mechanics or increased damage done will create new uses for your abilities, one of which is wild mushrooms. I found myself opting for one of two uses for bloom in varying states of charged capacity

1.)    Some puddle mini phases end up taking some heavy raid damage before ionization comes out. Having a bloom of any magnitude available to pop right afterwards is incredibly useful. You can also reapply the mushrooms after this damage wherever you see fit to cover the DPS whose ionizations are left to fall off on their own. Do not focus on having it be 100% charged up.

2.)    For the lightning storms, depending on whether you huddle near raid CD’s or spread out don’t hesitate to throw your mushrooms in advance where you think people will be hanging out. With the recent buff even one mushroom hitting a couple of people will be a noticeable heal

Mushrooms can make up large portion of your healing done during this encounter with heroic level damage for the fight.

Horridon – Normal

What I said before: ‘Not mushroom friendly’ and Low Viability during the encounter

Horridon – Heroic

With the addition of the Dire Call mechanics during the four doors and final phase Wild Mushroom can actually be utilized fairly well during this fight. This is the first encounter where I really needed to know how our raid paced through kiting the mobs from each door and where exactly everyone will be during every dire call. Once I did this I saw a nice increase in its effectiveness. Typically speaking it will be the following:

1.)    From first door set the mushrooms spaced in a line or triangle roughly half to two-thirds of the way from door one to door two. Ranged will be near them for the first dire call

2.)    Move back and place mushrooms part way into the door two to three path slightly inboard towards the center of the room. Depending on how Horridon’s movements work typically I can predict where ranged will shift for the second call

3.)    For each subsequent door the location of the first set of mushrooms varies as some adds are kited at a faster rate

For the final phase it is a matter of grouping up and taking very little raid damage between Dire Calls so you’ll have no problem charging them up. All in all I thoroughly support mushrooms for this fight. This is a fight where the damage goes from being fairly minimal to significant with Dire Calls (and some of the later door abilities). Generally you will be able to get fully charged mushrooms but even three partially filled ones covering a chunk of your raid, provided the healing is needed, can be a significant help.

Council – Normal and Heroic

I would still stand by my moderate statement for this fight. My best suggestion for Council is to not get too attached to using mushrooms at full strength. Part of the reason the mushroom change is so important is that you shouldn’t get too attached to having them fill up and then just be wasted with no one nearby. Keep moving them and keep detonating them at will for this encounter.

Tortos – Normal

What I said before: Very high viability during this encounter due to the quakes

Tortos – Heroic

Mushrooms go from being actually wonderful to being almost completely useless. This isn’t due to any of the damage in the fight changing though. If you are unfamiliar with Tortos heroic there is a new mechanic that interfered with mushrooms directly. Players are allowed to attack crystals which place a protective shell on them. This shell takes ALL healing done and charges it up as an absorb bubble that caps out at a percentage of your health. The problem is that while charging, and even when capped, your spells will never overheal and will never charge up your mushrooms. You can precharge one set and you might get some partially charged sets during the fight but on the whole they become completely unreliable and borderline useless.

Magaera – Normal and Heroic

Little has changed during this encounter. The rampages continue to be the most harrowing moment damage wise during the fight and you will want to have a fully precharged set of mushrooms for all of them just as you would in normal mode. Given that charging them does not take more than 15 seconds or so, if you feel you need to keep some partially charged mushrooms near melee in case they have a brain lapse with cinders then you can do that. Just try to make sure that you get your Rampage Bloom ready to go in time.

Ji-Kun – Normal

What I said before: High if you are stationed on the main platform, situational otherwise

Ji-Kun – Heroic

If you are only on the main platform for this encounter then mushrooms continue to be pretty awesome for handling quills and melee /w feeding pools. Mushrooms + tranquility + Swiftmend when needed can cover a lot of ground for you here. If you are on nest duty however, heroic Ji-kun has a rather strict order to things and you’re on the go quite often. I think for our kills my order was something like: Down purple, Up Green, Up Center, Down Red, Down Yellow, Up Center, Up Purple, Down Purple if needed then win (colors mean little to you of course). On at least two of these platforms I was required to heal our group through Quills. Knowing which platforms will have that attack allows you to precharge your mushrooms, have barkskin, 3x lifebloom, and even Ironbark at the ready to ensure no one in your team takes any threatening damage.

Durumu The Forgotten – Normal

What I said before: Fairly low viability

Durumu The Forgotten – Heroic

I will up the usefulness of mushrooms on this fight by a good bit given that partially charged mushrooms are significantly more potent. In general when neither the maze or beam phases are occurring raid damage is fairly minimal and generally only certain people are taking noticeable damage at any time (tank, people with debuff, life drain, puddles etc). You will find that during the beam phase you can utilize the mushrooms some depending on which one you are in.

1.)    If your raid has watchers who place raid markers where all of the red adds are just prior to the beam phase, you can actually drop your mushrooms on the move towards the next add and get them slightly charged for use when you get there.

2.)    If you don’t have the luxury of knowing ahead of time where the red adds will be simply drop one, or more, mushrooms when you stop for an add and detonate them as needed. They still have a base healing amount that is nearly free mana wise and worth using. This is optional and you might find that it is overkill with your healing setup and that is fine.

For the Maze phase I would opt for one of a couple of options. You can drop three mushrooms at the group up point before the maze starts which will be roughly where you end the maze (at the same ground marker) to top people off once it concludes. You can also place some mushrooms along the path the raid will be following before the ice walls go up to help top people off as you run through. It’s pretty boss and I need to give some credit to some twitterfolk for suggesting it.

Primordius – Normal

What I said before: Low/myself as the raid is fairly spread out to warrant needing mushrooms versus your other spells

Primordius – Heroic

While little has changed the damage in the fight is scaled up by a decent amount. The only mechanic I think mushrooms offer some assistance with is the caustic gas attack that divides out among the number of players hit. While Primordius is going to move, you can still keep even partially charged mushrooms near the melee at all times to help them absorb some of the impact from this attack. You can also keep them spread out among the ranged near the middle to handle his volleys. Aggressively using prtial blooms is the key to making the spell work for you here.

Iron Qon – Normal

What I said before: High for the fire add phase and final phase, low elsewhere

Iron Qon – Heroic

What I said before definitely still stands. For the fire phase when your melee are dancing around to take the hits from his Unleashed Flame having wild mushrooms ready (even partially filled) for each one is guaranteed to be effective and extremely useful. Since we stopped using ranged to handle that element of the fight it meant that mushroom placement was much easier to predict and execute.

For the lightning quillen you will still be dropping mushrooms in melee more than likely but it isn’t until the frost quillen arrives that you can get more bang for your buck. Ro’shak will be using Unleashed Flame on your melee at a pace that perfectly suits charging wild mushrooms. You might be providing almost a Lay on Hands to them after each hit which is impressive nonetheless. This continues when you are fighting all three quillen at the same with as Iron Qon especially with Fist Smash.

Once it is just Iron Qon alone you will be stacked up and constantly charged and detonating mushrooms with each fist smash regardless of how much you’ve been able to charge them. If you see healer CD’s have a fist smash almost entirely covered and you are very low on your charge you can consider waiting for the next one to detonate an even bigger one.

You can expect, if used aggressively, the new bloom to make up a very size-able portion of your healing done.

Twin Consorts – Normal

What I said before: Fairly low viability

Twin Consorts – Heroic

This is a fight, similar to Council, where the raid is going to be spread out for most of the encounter. As such you will generally only have the option to utilize partially charged blooms and they will often be in one of a couple places:

1.)    Moved with the boss to provide some free healing on the tank and melee

2.)    Behind the meteor you believe will be a group up point for Nuclear Blast

3.)    Near you and any nearby ranged to soften the impact of the stars attack

If you find yourself attracting the attention of…say…ALL The invisible mobs like I seemed to do on the first couple of attempts you can keep a mushroom near you (or 2 if need be) and the rest in melee to cover yourself. If used aggressively a rather size-able chunk of your healing (10-18%) could easily come from mushrooms.

Conclusion

This is a preliminary guide and I’ll try to add a little bit more when I have the opportunity but hopefully this can be useful to you. Maybe this just gets your creative juices flowing on how to utilize bloom and maybe it doesn’t.

Legendary Meta Gem – Napkin Math Edition

The Legendary quest line meta gem is incredibly powerful we all know that. I thought though that I would just lay out some quick numbers for those curious about what you’re really getting. This is all basic napkin math though so don’t expect a riveting expose.

Looking at the logs from my guildmate (as I just got my meta last night) you are going to average somewhere in the ballpark of 12% uptime ± 1% depending on the intensity of the encounter. This is pretty significant. During the 4 second window you will more than likely cast either three rejuvenations or 2 rejuvenations and 1 wild growth. There will technically be situations where you may need or want to cast a regrowth and that could certainly squeeze in in place of a rejuv.

Using a 12% uptime, you are looking at approximately 1.8 procs per minute. During one proc of the meta, given intense healing, you will save 26,100 mana casting three rejuvenations and 31,140 mana with 2 rejuvenations and 1 wild growth. Multiplying that out you average 46,980 to 56,052 mana per minute. This equates to 3915 to 4671 mp/5.

Given statistical variation and fight diversity the mp/5 of the trinket will vary ± 380 mp/5 on average but its value can sometimes fluctuate much more than that. There are two things that may affect your benefit:

-The first is that its uptime can get oddly high on some fights. I have seen uptimes as high as 19% in some logs which could push it as high as 7,785 mp/5. It can also drop down to only 8-10% uptime if luck isn’t on your side. Either way you’re getting a sizeable bonus just not one that fits the expected average.

-The second issue is that this isn’t actual mana gained which is something I’d like to take into account but it isn’t really possible. If a proc happens during a moment in the fight you are distracted, or there is down time, a lull, or any other reason why you might not have needed to throw out the free heals you threw out you aren’t actually saving any mana. With wild mushrooms working the way they do though, free rejuvenations can still serve to grow them making the free heals not entirely wasted. I would safely wager that heroic encounters with more difficult damage patterns will allow for greater benefit.

Conclusion:

While this isn’t telling us anything we didn’t already know it does shed some light on potential gearing adjustments down the line. Once you get this meta gem and get a chance to trial run it through some of the more grueling encounters you are currently progressing on, you may find yourself tweaking the amount of spirit you plan on running. Something to keep in the back of your mind.

Druid Forum (EU) Recap – Method

Good afternoon Druids,

It’s a slow news day and things here in Boston have been hectic to say the least. But in light of the blue posters cryptic comment that changes are coming our way for druids its worth looking at some very well written posts from Method on the EU forums. Please understand english (or proper english grammer and spelling) aren’t always their #1 priority, the message is.

Post #1 by Nagura of Method

Id like to say something to the current restodruid situation too, ill just put it in this thread since i kinda liked your arguments.
Im playing a restodruid in Method and i actually dont like whining on forums, but since it doesnt seem like blizzard wants to change something anytime soon, ill just try.

First of all: Since im playing with probably some of the best healers out there, no one can say the healers in my guild or me are doing something wrong.

So here is my opinion:

Restodruids are just too weak right now. We are a pure healing class (no absorb, no dmg reduction cd or hp increase) but still cant compete on healing with other healing classes. 
But thats not the main issue, the main issue is, every other healing class brings some awesome utility to the raid (aura mastery, disc barrier, hp increase from shamans, slt, strong tank cds like painsup, guardian spirit, live cocoon, revival, manatide, manahymn, all sort of absorbing spells) and restodruids have just nothing like this (ironbark is a nice spell, but just not good enough compared to all the other classes cds).
The only raid cd a restodruid has is tranquility, and a shamans healing tide is healing more + they dont have to channel it for 7 secs and a moonkins tranq with heart of the wild is doing double the healing of a restodruids tranq and even more.

The only thing restodruids are good in right now is tank healing, but since paladins are doing good tank healing too + more raid healing + have aura mastery + hand of purity + hand of protection + absorbs, why bring a restodruid?

There is absolutely no reason to bring a restodruid into the raid, unless your raid needs roar and doesnt have enough moonkins, theres a point in the boss-fight where you need to do burst dmg and restodruids can help with heart of the wild or immunity spells are needed (i rly like symbiosis).

I have to say, im raiding 25 man only, and im pretty sure resto druid is not that bad in 10 man compared to 25 man if it comes to pure healing (aka on healing meters), because reju is by far our best healing spell and the reju uptime on 10 ppl is ofc higher than on 25 ppl and consumes less mana, but since 10 man has limited raid cooldowns because of less players, you obviously dont prefer bringing a restodruid over another class in top pve guilds. 

Conclusion: Restodruid cant compete with other healers in its current state.

Another problem is our gear scaling. In my opinion other healers are scaling way better with gear than restodruids do. Paladin with their mastery ofc, shamans get more spirit = manatide gives more mana, discs get more spirit = get more mana from rapture, and so on.
Restodruids gain mana through innervate, and since the manapool is 300k and doesnt change with gear, we always get the same amount of mana. With more gear we gain more int + more mastery, but it only increases our pure healing and doesnt give us anything else and a LOT of our healing is overheal anyway (thanks to absorbs and smart heals).

Now something about our mushrooms. It was a nice idea and i rly like it because you actually have to think about what youre doing and not only brainless press a button and smartheal ppl, but its rly hard to find a good use for them in most of the fights since players have to constantly move around. I would suggest to give the druid an ability with a cd on it to move all 3 of the mushrooms to another spot (with their current absorbed reju heal), just like shamans can move their totems. Or let us just place the shrooms one by one on another place while keeping the already absorbed reju overhealing.
Also mushrooms are currently healing pets too. So in a 25 man raid with hunter, warlock and dk pets on the boss, the mushrooms just heal a LOT less on the players itself if u put them in melee range. The mushrooms should only heal players, i dont see any use of the mushrooms healing pets.

Also increase the wildgrowth range to 40 yards (from the target casted on), since theres no point to let it on 30 yards, its just annoying.

And we need some useful lvl 90 talents. Our natures vigil is “okay” for resto druids, but we only use it for the 10% healing increase anyway, no one needs the little dmg it does (its just annoying if it breaks cc). But a 10% healing boost every 1,5 mins is just not as good as other healers lvl 90 talents, its too weak to count it as a healing cd. Our heart of the wild passive int/stamina increase is “okay” too and the 6 mins dmg cd is nice for maybe 1 fight out of 10, but other healing classes can do the same dmg without a 6 mins cd on it (monks/disc priests) and they can even heal while doing dmg, and we are doing 0 healing with the cd up, if we dont want to waste it. And dream of cenarius is just bad. So its nice to have hotw or natures vigil, but its just way worse than other healing classes lvl 90 talents.

But even if you would change those things i suggested, we could still not compete with other healers. I dont have a solution to make druids stronger, i think we just need some sort of utility for the raid to make us useful. It wont help to just buff our healing spells like reju or wildgrowth, it wont change a lot.
And the paladins mastery need a nerf finally. Its simply too strong and gives other healers (especially restodruids) no chance to get even close to their healing, but i think thats already known, i dont know why it takes so long to nerf an op healing class while dps classes get balanced/nerfed/buffed way faster. Paladins are just doing up to 40% of their healing with their mastery, thats just so wrong.

So yes, i like playing restodruid and im one of the very rare restodruids playing in the top pve guilds right now. So i would be very happy to see some changes soon so i dont have to reroll another class, just like many other top healers already did.

Post #2 by Owld of Method

As we’ve discussed it extensively with Nagura I’m roughly of the same opinion. And we’ve discussed it on our healing channel and we could see how people are disagreeing on this as well.

All of your ideas show one thing : druid haven’t evolved when other classes did. Druid playstyle is still the same, they just replaced some constrains with others.

Druid has long been a class with a lot of constrains that others did not share. We used to have to keep Mastery up and a 10s Lifebloom. Some will say that other classes have/had different constrains but I strongly disagree. Ours are not tied to our healing but are direct constrains to our gameplay, making it an actual pain to play our class to an above-average level.

The clear lack of potent smart healing spells that have no downside, Wild Growth being heavily lacking behind compared to CoH, Divine Star, Chi Burst, Chi Torpedo, Healing Stream totem or even Light of Dawn (when it was actually used), is making druid an excluded class. 

The lack of passive spells, that does the job for you without having to worry, is just mindblowing. We have close to nothing that is removed from our attention and actual actions and is free of constrains. Things like Earthliving, Restorative mists, Ancestral Awekening, HST, Prayer of Mending, Echo of light, Divine Aegis, Attonement (lol), Beacon of light, etc.. are simply making druid a subpar class.

We now rely more and more on a Rejuv blanketing, hoping that the target you just rolled Rejuv on will not get 4 smart heals instantly. You barely control your healing and it’s relying on a lot of RNG when there is quality healing to be done.

I’m not trying to say other classes have it easy. I’m simply stating the simple fact that they have the tools required for every situation and resto druid is just a pale alternative.

There have been way too many passive spells, smart heals, absorbs, procs and CDs added to the game and given to the classes during the past 2 expansions. All of them besides druid have seen their playstyle overhauled and now fit with the current content. Druid is just the same old stuff and this is why it’s currently lagging behind.

The change to mushroom was a good idea, one that has been around since CATACLYSM BETA, 3 years ago when mushroom was first introduced. And when it comes, it’s with 2 major constrains : 3 gcd and a build up mechanism.

Having played this game for more than 7 years, I think “continually evolving” should be called “permanent BETA”. There is no regularity and no precise view as to what classes should do/be. The amount of time it takes the devs to fix things like disc priest pre-5.2 is astonishing. The amount of time it will take them to fix paladin mastery will probably be on the same level (aka not before 5.4).

As much as I would personnaly hate it, the only way to fix druid is to give it the same attributes as the other classes. So you can understand my point here is a list of ideas (not at all that I want them all together applied) :

– Living Seed should be buffed to work on hots and proc on any damage as well as post-absorb. On the other side you reduce all our hots by a certain %.

– Lifebloom should always account for more than Beacon of Light on tanks. Simple logic = more constrains should reward more. Whether you buff it or nerf paladins, doesn’t matter. It’s still mindblowing for me to see how stupidly powerful Beacon of Light is and requires close to 0 attention. I’ve been complaining about this since early Cata (when LOD was transfering, what a joke).

– Change Nature’s vigil so that 10% of all your healing is evenly distributed in the raid. Make it 20% or 30%, considering how much better everyone else’s 90′ talents are.

– Change our mushrooms, again, so that you maintain the build up and make it so you can put 3 at the same time.

– Remove the f**cking pets from Wild Growth and Mushrooms targetting. This should just be common sense. You litteraly can’t pre-hot with WG, everything goes on pets.

– Harmonize Tranquility, Divine Hymn and Healing Tide totem. Either your remove the channeling, or your nerf the sh*t out of HTT.

– Make our gear scale better, thanks.

Honestly I have plenty of ideas to change every single spell we have to make them more competitive, not healing more but just to expand our toolkit.

ROUND UP

I understand that many of you feel anger and hurt at our current state in 25 man raiding and I totally get that. We feel under-appreciated and undervalued. But the truth is it is because we are less useful and less potent. The sooner we come to terms with that and hope that Blizzard tries to improve us or put us on par with the other healers (25m specifically) the sooner we’ll improve.

I think many of the points brought up by both of them echo sentiments many of my fellow druid bloggers. We need improved raid utility, improved smart or attention free healing, moving or perhaps non-channeled tranquility, moveable or player mounted mushrooms, WG and WM:B not hitting pets, any other combination of issues plaguing us fixed.

I don’t have the energy today to write a really long and thoughtful number crunching post and quite frankly they said everything perfectly fine.

Resto Druid Roundtable (My First Podcast)

Nytn_teamwaffle_icon

This past weekend was my first ever chance to be on a podcast and it was a real treat to be invited to Team Waffle’s Resto Druid Roundtable to discuss 5.2 content and our current quality of life.  We talked about everything from glyph and talent choices, play styles, current performance in PvE and PvP, and much more.

It was my honor to join with the following people to make it happen:

Arielle – the host of Team Waffle and runs The Inconspicuous Bear

Hamlet – Druid trainer who runs a blog as well as manages Tree Calcs

Jasyla – 25 man resto druid raider and blogger who runs Cannot Be Tamed

Sodah – 12 time druid gladiator, an impressive source of PvP information

You can go take a listen here 

 

 

A Fresh Look at Soul of the Forest (5.2 Napkin Math Edition)

I ended up breaking my 4 piece Tier 14 set fairly early on in order to clean up my leg slot (and get spirit) but found myself still using Soul of the Forest for certain encounters. Because of this I wanted to do another round-up of Soul of the Forest (and the many ways it can be used) in order to evaluate what we really end up getting out of it. All of this math is based upon a theoretical situation where each wild growth will find a sufficient number of targets that are in need of its full healing potential.

I understand that that there are situations where less than 6 (or 5) people are wounded and that does change the math considerably. I’ll try to address that to some degree here.

First let’s get the math out of the way before everyone’s eyes glaze over permanently! This is perfectly world stuff though and does not accurately simulate actual boss battle damage models.

Wild Growth potential throughput on paper

With my current test setup my wild growth healed a single person (8 ticks) for 49,989 health. I am running slightly above the 3043 break point.

With Glyph: hits 6 people and can be cast approximately 6 times per minute. This will heal for roughly 6 x 6 x 49,989 =  1,799,604 health per minute.

Costs 13,740 mana each time for a total of 82,440 mana, an overall HPM of 21.83

Without Glyph: hits 5 people and can be case approximately 7.5 times per minute. This will heal for roughly 7.5 x 5 x 49,989 = 1,874,587 health per minute.

Costs 103,050 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 18.19

Wild Growth with the Glyph and Soul of the Forest

With my current test setup my wild growth healed a single person (14 ticks) for 87,589 health, or roughly 75% more than a non SotF Wild Growth as we expected.

This spell will be cast approximately 4 times a minute healing for 6 x 4 x 87,589 for a total of 2,102,150 health per minute. This is roughly 302K more healing than without SotF talented.

Costs 54,960 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 38.25. You save 27,480 mana per minute which is approximately raw 2,290 mp/5.

Wild Growth without the Glyph and Soul of the Forest

With this setup you will be casting 7.5 Wild Growths per minute. I will say we average out to 3.75 non SotF casts and 3.75 SotF casts. It doesn’t line up evenly with the minute marker so that is just a crude breakdown.

Non-SotF Wild Growths will heal for 3.75 x 5 x 49,989 = 937,304 health per minute

SotF Wild Growths will heal for 3.75 x 5 x 87,589 = 1,642,304 health per minute.

Your total healing done per minute with this scenario is 2,579,609 health per minute. Costs 103,050 mana per minute, an overall HPM of 25.033

So here are the totals for all of the conditions we have investigated:

Regular Wild Growth /w Glyph

–   Health per minute: 1,799,604 baseline

–   HPM: 21.83

–   MP/5 difference: Baseline, 0

Regular Wild Growth w/o Glyph

–   Health per minute: 1,874,587 (+75K)

–   HPM: 18.19

–   MP/5 difference:   -1,717 mp/5

SotF Wild Growth /w Glyph

–   Health per minute: 2,102,150 (+302K)

–   HPM: 38.25

–   MP/5 difference: +2,290 mp/5

SotF Wild Growth w/o Glyph (alternating)

–   Health per minute: 2,579,609 (+780K)

–   HPM: 25.033

–   MP/5 difference: -1,717 mp/5

Take this with a grain of salt

We know firsthand that not EVERY cast of your wild growth is going to heal 6 people when glyphed rendering the glyph less optimal for that moment in time. We know that raid damage isn’t even going to warrant the spell being cast for periods of time. That aside these numbers still provide useful information.

Comparing this ability to Tree of Life is quite difficult to say the least. Using the most common example of SotF /w Glyph, you would have a theoretical healing gain of 906K every three minutes with a mp/5 gain of 2,290 constant. I can’t really model the mana savings from Incarnation’s clearcasting (though that is a legitimate usage of the spell to begin with) but in order for it to be comparable throughput wise, 20% of your healing done over 30 seconds would need to equal 906K. For that to happen you’d need to be putting out somewhere in the realm of ~200,000 HPS. The thing is, for periods of insanely intense damage that is NOT easily done but you will get up fairly high. You just need to tailor your usage of the spell to get the best mileage you can really.

While it seems like this post is an ad for Soul of the Forest be advised that it is not the case. Soul of the Forest is a nice passive style benefit that gives you mana back and boosts your throughput by a sizeable amount. Its effect averaged out through the course of an encounter is very strictly controlled by how the fight plays out and how closely you are able to adhere to the theoretical numbers above. Depending on how periodic the damage is you may find yourself going for stretches without having an opportunity to fully 100% benefit from your wild growth. Tree of Life has the advantage of being something you can plan and tailor your use to maximize its benefit on a per encounter basis. The catch is that sometimes there’s no one moment where Tree would be substantially beneficial and then it turns into a mana saving temporary boost cooldown.

You will more than likely find yourself waffling between these two abilities as you progress through normal or heroic mode encounters. I know for a fact I carry plenty of tomes of me in order to swap the talent on the fly.

Disclaimer: This is very napkin math-y. If you are one of those other math loving folks out there and you spot an error in my numbers please let me know so that I may address it as soon as possible.

Feeling The Balance Burn – Heroic T15 content

I was really hoping that the druid changes would leave me feeling more empowered and to be honest for the first week of Tier 15 it did. I genuinely felt like I was getting a lot more healing done and being productive.

Then we accepted another Discipline Priest. This makes 2 Disc Priests a Monk and a Paladin in our primary healing core. I’ve found that the absorbs do tend to do a number on what I have available to heal. But I shouldn’t let that get to me. It’s time for heroics right?

Well, the problem I have with heroics and granted I’ve only done two so far in this tier is Blizzard’s lean towards periodic heavy hitting raid AoE attacks that can be planned around. When you have things like Ionize or Dire Call in an encounter you are giving absorb healers a chance to maximize their efforts which is great! But it also means that there may not always be as much for others to do when absorbs and burst are the preferred method for dealing with it.

On Horridon last night I was feeling quite a bit of frustration as I played my heart out and just wasn’t seeing the numbers that I thought I should. Our disc priests were rocketing ahead absorbing up the dire calls like mad and I was doing what I could to blanket heals where needed and have wild mushrooms available in exactly the right spots where the raid will be as we kite mobs.

I’m still feeling lackluster though. I am also seeing a couple issues with the predictable pattern and absorb plan when it comes to our healing. When priests are able to completely or mostly negate the damage from an effect on people within the raid (but not everyone) it cause my wild mushrooms to be incredibly erratic. Despite a handful of people being near them if half of those people got shielded up the wazoo the mushrooms would simply overheal them like a boss. I sometimes got upwards of 50-60% overheal from the mushrooms despite great placement.

My second gripe is one that I touched on in my previous post. When the raid is taking rather significant damage and I can’t overheal with rejuvenation at all (which is theoretically fine mind you) I don’t ever get that option to provide burst healing. If an encounter does periodic damage to people at a rate where every couple of ticks of rejuvenation might end up overhealing due to other healers healing then I would at least get to store up some for a big burst when another raid wide ability decimates us. When everyone is hovering or struggling in health I don’t like losing the chance to recharge that spell. It is what it is though we simply need to trade off our burst for effective rejuvenation healing at that point I suppose.

This may come off as whining but its more that I’m just feeling frustrated. I want to feel useful and relevant. Someone in my guild said yesterday “it must be easy to rank as a resto druid right now, no guilds are taking them to the hard stuff”. While that’s clearly an exaggeration and I, and others, are clearly being taken to raids…it is still a rather dangerous mentality that is floating around out there. As fights become predictable or people gain familiarity with encounters the absorb mechanics and smart heals will continue to be very favorable and these are strong healing classes to begin with. No one likes playing the healing class that all other healing classes unanimously agree is the weakest of all of them.

Wild Mushroom Usage in Throne of Thunder

I wanted to write a post based off of my experience with all twelve bosses last week during normal modes pertaining to the use of our new Wild Mushroom Bloom. There are a multitude of ways to use them in each fight and I found their healing to be fairly useful. You will often find them doing anywhere between a few percent of your overall healing to upwards of 12 or 14% depending on how things work for you.

Before we get into the fight specifics let us look at what it does for us and what tools we want to use to help the cause

Addon and Weak Aura

There are two very simplistic methods that I have seen to track the mushrooms that use very little screen real estate. The first is a weak aura created by Civilian on the Elitist Jerks druid forum, the link to the import string is here http://pastebin.com/yVzjUjXc . This happens to be what I am using currently. There is also a mod available that does roughly the same thing with a nice little UI setup. The link to that is here: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/shroomhelper Thanks to WTSHeals for pointing me to that option.

Effect

Wild Mushrooms as you know cap out at roughly 1/3 of your overall health give or take a little bit. With three planted you get roughly your total maximum health. For me right now my mushrooms store up to 490K bonus healing. Applying Naturalist and Mastery bumps this up to roughly 674K healing done. Assuming a 18% chance to crit in raid environment you will generally average 795K healing done based solely on the overheal bonus. In reality that number will fluctuate above or below that amount by potentially sizeable margins if RNG is in your favor or not. For now we can use that number as a numerical average.

The base heal is slightly less reliable as it is subject to diminishing returns. I would say on average it will heal a single person somewhere between 7 and 15K which is not insignificant but not necessarily relevant to the current discussion.

Uses

For me there are a handful of uses for wild mushrooms during fights. I generally rank them as follows:

Raid Wide: You won’t necessarily hit everyone in the raid but there are certainly encounters where you can arrange for a large majority of the raid to be grouped up for a specific mechanic. This also benefits other ground based heals as well such as your swiftmend. I’d say on average when attempting to do this you’ll probably hit 15 to 20 people with it given some might end up outside of the area of effect. This will result in roughly 63K down to 50K healing per person. This is basically like hitting everyone in the raid with half of a crit regrowth simultaneously. Not insignificant.

Cluster: For some fights where you are required to be in smaller groups or spread out in a wider area you can position it such that the people near you or near a specific marker are affected by the mushrooms. This might be anywhere from 5 to 7 people. This would end up as on average 175K down to 125K give or take. I have found that ‘melee’ as a general group can often qualify as a valid cluster to mushroom on some encounters.

Small cluster or single person: When you can’t guarantee any sizeable number of people will be in any one place at any one time but you do know where one, two, or three people of import will be at any one time then this is a viable option. If you hit between 1 and 3 people with this then you’re looking at between 800K down to 275K for this situation. If no more useful options are viable this is useful on tanks. Just be careful with your placement if you are designing this to be used on tanks. I’ve had a few encounters where if placed wrong the melee creep up and steel some healing away from the tank as pure overhealing.

Personal: If all else fails drop the mushrooms roughly where you’ll be hanging out at any point in the fight. IF you do this do not push the growth of the mushrooms. Simply use them as needed to give yourself a self-heal to deal with the encounter’s mechanics.

 

THONE OF THUNDER

All of this aside my usage of Wild Mushrooms varied wildly over the course of our clear of the place last week

Jin’Rohk the Breaker

Movement: Moderate

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Low

Tanks being stationary: Low

Mushroom Viability: Low

I personally found wild mushrooms to be extremely lackluster during this fight, and honestly any of the first three fights. This is not to say that they were useless. This is one of a few encounters where I viewed wild mushrooms to simply be a manner of delivering free healing. I did not push them to grow nor was I ever attached to any particular planting of them. When I saw where the raid was grouping up in a puddle I dropped some mushrooms and proceeded to heal as normal. Sometimes I dropped them around the boss. Anything you get from mushrooms in this encounter is purely gravy and shouldn’t consist of anything more than a couple % of your overall healing done.

 

Horridon

Movement: High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Very Low

Tanks being stationary: Low

Mushroom Viability: Low

This is another encounter that I would classify as not mushroom friendly. It’s not really even that friendly for swiftmend althought you’ll still get enough mileage out of its effloressence. This fight is clearly better suited for rejuvenation, wild growth, and incarnation lifebloom spreading. I think this is a fight that if you tried too hard to shoehorn mushrooms into it that you’ll actually come out with a HPS loss because of the hoops you’ll jump through. I learned this the hard way because in my desire to provide this type of information to you the reader I was doing just that.

 

Council

Movement: Moderate

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Moderate

Tanks being stationary: Moderate

Mushroom Viability: Low to Moderate

This is a fight where you can get some usage out of wild mushrooms with consistancy. As long as you aren’t trying to force the mushrooms up to full potential before popping them you can certainly place them at the feet of the bosses as they are empowered. Being able to offer some nearly free healing to the tank and/or melee is perfectly fine. Expect it to still be a small percentage of your overall healing done but the mana cost of detonation is so low that there is generally no harm in doing it. There are some parts of the encounter with enough significant AoE damage going on that the 3 GCD’s to plant the mushrooms will be a detriment. Use your better judgement when doing so.

 

Tortos

Movement: High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Very High

Tanks being stationary: Very High

Mushroom Viability: Very High

Tortos was the first fight that screamed to use mushrooms. I had a specific spot on the ground somewhat near the boss that the raid would group up on just prior to every quake. Ground based AoE heals were planted there and fully charged mushrooms were detonated immediately after control of our characters returned. I believe I was able to have mushrooms prepped for every single quake. I think organization and coordination worked to trivialize this encounter once we knew exactly how to manage it. I found it helpful to call out on vent for people to group up for mushrooms as sometimes people’s brains turn off mid fight.

 

Magaera

Movement: Low

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Very High

Tanks being stationary: Moderate

Mushroom Viability: Very High

Magaera was another fight where wild mushrooms were perfect which was pleasant immediately following Tortos. We just grouped the entire raid up near the front of the ridge and had all of the frost beams and fire behind us as needed. Adjustment was required but in general I was able to use fully charged mushrooms for almost all of the rampages and even some of the acid ball barrages from the venomous heads. The value of mushrooms is highly dependent on your raids strategy but for us it worked out perfectly. Any fight with extremely predictable intense raid wide damage is a huge boon to wild mushrooms (and to pre-hot’ing as well). Become familiar with the rate at which your raid is killing heads and plan accordingly.

 

Ji-Kun

Movement: Moderate*

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: High

Tanks being stationary: High

Mushroom Viability: High

* Raid members tasked with killing the hatchlings may or may not have difficulting taking part in your wild mushroom detonation depending on the timing

This is a fight where if you are NOT required to fly to any of the nests, you can utilize wild mushrooms extremely well. I organized a spot for raid members to run to for Quill to pick up some quick ground based healing and wild mushroom detonation. IT was of course up to the raid members to immediately scamper away to a safe spread so they did not die to Caw. This of course lasted untill we made a third nest team and I was assigned to it. Once I was going to the nests I had literally no way to reliably stack or maintain the wild mushrooms. Once you go to the high nests it is impossible to keep track of their progress. It is a single phase fight though so if you are on the platform you can consistantly use bloom throughout the whole encounter.

 

Durumu The Forgotten

Movement: Very High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Very Low

Tanks being stationary: Moderate

Mushroom Viability: Low

For two out of three phases of this encounter, that repeat with regularity, people are pretty much always moving with the exception of the blue beam soakers and the tanks on occasion. I would recommend using wild mushrooms for the encounter but very judiciously. You aren’t really looking to power them up any more than would be done from run of the mill overheal. I used mushrooms almost exclusively on the tanks for this encounter as I wanted a huge heal available for the tank during the red/blue/yellow beam phase especially if I was constantly on the move (yellow). Don’t exepct this to be overwhelmingly useful here and do NOT force it. Simply place them and charge them when it is convenient and confer with your tank on the best placement to give them the most amount of wiggle room.

 

Primordius

Movement: wtf?

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: wtf?

Tanks being stationary: wtf?

Mushroom Viability: Myself only

I have little I can offer on this fight. Somehow we did it in only a matter of minutes where it is intended to be a 7+ minute encounter for others. Stuff was going on, people were taking a ton of damage, the world was flying on its head and somehow by the grace of our good healing core we held it together. That being said I only really used mushrooms at my feet and prairie dogged it while we held it together. Perhaps if this fight is done properly then they might be better? Unsure.

 

Dark Animus

Movement: High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Low to start, High at the end

Tanks being stationary: Low to start, High at the end

Mushroom Viability: Myself to start, then Tank, then raid

I started off with a charged stack of mushrooms on my spot where I tanked one of the animus adds. I used that as a buffer so I could begin healing other people with lifebloom on myself. If my animus ever made headway OR another animus passed by following someone dodging explosions I could pop the mushrooms to absorb the much larger hits. Once my animus was killed or taken off of my I dropped my mushrooms on the nearby tank picking up other animus. Is there a plural of animus? I don’t know. Anyway, when the final Dark Animus was spawned and the raid worked on burning it down before the soft enrage killed us all I found that mushrooms worked fairly well on the raid. Here’s the rub though. With Dark Animus as well as the final phaes of Iron Qon it is extremely difficult to use Wild Mushrooms because your rejuvenation is doing much less overhealing. Any scenario where the whole raid is being pummeled by AoE damage that is consistent and keeps people from being topped off the less you’ll be able to utilize Bloom. This is something you’ll need to be aware of and you may want to place and charge a set of shrooms before the raid damage intensifies to the point where you’ll no longer fill them up.

 

Iron Qon

Movement: Moderate

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: High

Tanks being stationary: High

Mushroom Viability: High

Iron Qon is a four phase fight where the effect of your mushrooms will vary wildly. The first phase consists of your raid clustering and spreading around specific locations in sequence in order to force him to do his fire attack and keep his energy down. This attack does a significant amount of damage divided among your group. We did two pulses per group in succession with three groups taking turns. My group consisted of 7 people so mushrooms would be hitting everyone for roughly 25%+ of their life which coupled with the other healer and my HoT’s was enough to easily recover from the first of the two attacks. I simply used Tranquility and Incarnation to absorb the brunt of the second in each of the first two times my group soaked. I rate this is very high bordering on amazing usage of mushrooms.

The second and third phases have lots of spreading out and movement and are not necessarily great for mushrooms so I wouldn’t push too hard. If you can casually charge them under the tank and melee then by all means do so but don’t force it.

The fourth phase was grouping up again and mushrooms worked great here. I couldn’t necessarily pop them more than a couple of times as the raid damage was significant enough at the end that I had little to no overhealing done. This is an odd drawback to the wild mushrooms. There are times we would love the AoE burst the most and cannot actually charge them up to do so. This is OK because those situations are the ones that make Rejuvenation shine. When it doesn’t overheal it is one of the most effective heals in the game hands down.

 

Twin Consorts

Movement: High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Low

Tanks being stationary: Moderate

Mushroom Viability: Low

There isn’t much to say about this encounter really. As a healer all your raid leader needs to tell you is “spread out, don’t get hit by stuff and heal everyone”. The fight is technical and the constellation running is some of the coolest stuff that I’ve seen but the fight doesn’t have you doing anything particularly unusual. I ended up using mushrooms where the tanks were positioned when possible to get some extra healing on the melee but it was not a high priority. Bloom when convenient but do not push their growth here.

 

Lei Shen

Movement: High

Consistant Grouping for Long Durations/Events: Moderate

Tanks being stationary: Low to Moderate

Mushroom Viability: Moderate

I will add a disclaimer that I was not in for the kill so I cannot go into extensive details about the last phase of the encounter. What I can tell you is that I was utilizing mushrooms for the first and second phases and intermissions. As you move from pillar to pillar it is easy to plant the mushrooms where the tanks and melee are going to be. Depending on which pillar you are at you’ll have more or less healing to do so you can use your own judgment on how much you want to try to force their growth. Even if you squeeze a little healing out of each Bloom that is still more than worth the minimal mana it takes to detonate it. During intermission however I recommend getting a fully charged mushroom stack online as you get into your quadrant so that you can utilize it during Static Charge if you get one. Mechanics, RNG, and movement play a huge role in whether or not you’ll get effective blooms during this encounter but you can certainly utilize it for some effect. I can write more about this later.

 

Final Words

Now that we’re starting heroic modes I’ll have more to offer on those later. Sometimes heroic modes require more grouping up for healing as needed or more spreading out to avoid new mechanics. All of this and more will affect how much we can or cannot use Wild Mushrooms.

I’d love to hear about your experience with them and what you have thought about them so far! I hope everyone is having a good time in Throne of Thunder!