So, the third day of this little exercise – my first day in WoW.
I will ignore my first “experience” of WoW as it wasn’t nice and put me off playing for a few years, without going into too much detail, a horde friend (whom I had played Warcraft I and II with “Back in the Day”(tm) ) was an avid WoW player and wanted me to try it out. As a dyed in the wool horde he made me try a horde. I rolled a troll hunter on his account, got to about level 7 and then quit.
However, my first “real” day playing WoW (i.e. my own account and the character I wanted to play was an entirely different matter).
A couple of years later, I had just been made redundant and my wife was away for the weekend, so I thought what the heck, I will download the WoW client over Friday night and give it a go on Saturday evening. Eventually my agonisingly slow connection finished the download and I got my account sorted and logged in to start the game.
Usually in any RPG (video game or P&P) my first character is my IRL polar opposite – the hulking great warrior/fighter/barbarian who can slay many orcs/trolls/ogres with a single sweep of his sword/mace/axe. You get the idea.
Wow was no different.
Having already played all the Warcraft games since their debut in ’94, by the time I started WoW at the end of 2008 I already had a good amount of lore and game knowledge under my belt and knew where my loyalties were – FOR THE ALLIANCE!!!!!!!!
While I knew what I was going to be (human warrior), I needed a name and also a look. As I have mentioned before, I am also a Warhammer Fantasy Battle nerd and my army of the time was Empire (plain normals humans circa 14th-16th Germany). The general of this little band of intrepid soliders was a rather strapping blonde haired chap by the name of Adalbrecht. A quick tweak of the the hair and facial features and voila! Adalbrecht, the human warrior was ready to go hammer some orcs!
So, full of anticipation about actually trying out what I wanted, I logged into WoW for the first time properly.
Immediately I was enthralled by the surroundings – I like the look of the normal human areas (Elwynn Forest and so on), so the look of Northshire Abbey and it’s environs were pretty awesome. Dutifully I followed the on screen newb advice and sought out my first quest. Soon I was happily slaying wolves and gnolls. Look! a “crap rusty sword” that is slightly better than what I have! Wait! My bags are full where I can sell stuff!?!? I was giddy with excitement about being immersed in an RPG world I have been in contact with for over a decade. Even just walking around the Abbey itself was awesome. The sombre quiet inside and the light through the windows made it seem like a real place, with people scurrying around from one job to another, both other players and the NPCs.
Finally I finished the little line of quests there, rescuing the wine, killing the bad guys and so on. The next task I was given was to go and report to some place called Goldshire. I followed my order and hurried towards this new place. At first I was a little disappointed as I left Northshire Abbey and then was told I was in a new zone. I checked my map and saw Stormwind not far away from where I was – surely this can’t be right, I have only been playing for an hour or so and already I am nearly at Stormwind? I thought this game was big! Then I saw Northshire was only a small part of an area, I zoomed out and saw that Elwynn Forest was in turn only a single county in a whole continent and then that there were two continents just on this PLANET! and that if I continued zooming out there was actually another planet to visit! Ok, maybe it was bigger than I thought
Continuing along the road for what seem like ages, I came across this little town of Goldshire. It was dark and the whole place was on fire, people running around everywhere with buckets of water and some guy was on a flying horse and shouting in rhymes. That’s right, I started playing October and had entered Goldshire for the first time during one of the Headless Horseman’s little burny phases. Seeing there were quests here as well, I picked up what I could started to help put out fires and so on.
Suddenly I realised that I had been playing for a good number of hours since I put the kids to bed and it was nearly midnight! Logging off I thought that this was way better than the time my “friend” made me play a troll >< and that I would definitely be back to Azeroth. So ended my first real day of WoW
Now back to writing my post for the Blog Azeroth Thanksgiving 2011 event.
Onto day two of the 20 days of WoW blogging – why I decided to start a blog.
Resto is Epic is pretty new still, having only been started at the beginning of 2011. The reason for this was mainly an increase in the amount of raiding I did. Pre 3.3 my raiding was restricted to the (very) occasional VoA and a single 3/5 attempt in ToC. However, after 3.3, we had decided as a guild that we would look at raiding together and organise it properly. As one of only a few decently geared healers in the guild, and already deciding I really wasn’t in DPS, I ended up healing our ICC raid team.
In turn this meant that I had to do my homework on how to actually increase Kat’s output, rather than just gathering random bits of gear that saw me through heroics. I starting reading up on EJ, MMO-C and so on but also came across a bunch of guides and such on various blogs. As well as finding the guides very useful I also enjoyed reading about other peoples experiences in the game.
Fast forward a good few months, we had cleared ICC, Cataclysm had arrived and Otaku was talking about continuing our raiding into T11 content. So once again I went out searching for the required info that I needed to max out Kat’s effectiveness. This time around though I noticed that a lot of the blogs and such I was reading were written by, and targetted at, quite serious and progressive raiders. There wasn’t so much in the way of information for someone starting out, or who didn’t already know the basics. By now though, I had nearly a year of experience under my belt of raid healing and leading, as well as playing other healing classes and felt more confident in my own abilities and opinions regarding resto druids.
Looking at the spectrum of blogs out there, I thought that there may be a spot in the WoW blogsphere for a little blog written by a casual raider, without an overall emphasis on heavy raiding. Also, I hoped to give something back to the community – after all, some of the blogs out there helped me get into raiding better (and are still helping me improve my healing and raiding now), I may in turn be able to help someone up their game enough to feel confident about switching to healing, or trying out raiding or just something new.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that my thoughts and ideas about healing, playing, raiding etc were just as valid as those of more experienced and HC players so why not try out this whole blogging thing and see what happens. Additionally, I would always have somewhere to vent my frustrations on changes, nerfs and so on without spamming other peoples comment sections
Thus Resto is Epic was born, and 10 months later seems to be going stronger than ever
I try not to nerdrage about stuff, and after my little slip up in September regarding the firelands nerfs and such, I tried to avoid other stuff that would annoy me, so I never mentioned the proposed changes to WG.
However, we are probably only a couple of weeks away from 4.3 arriving so I thought I would say something something about the changes. Also, by this time I have accepted the idea more and am less likely to rage over it
What are the changes?
There will be two changes in 4.3 that affect Wild Growth;
- The base healing of WG will be reduced by 20%
- Glyph of Wild Growth now increases the CD by 2 seconds
At the same time as these changes were announced, we also got the following from Ghostcrawler
“We’re okay with Resto druids using Wild Growth frequently, but we think we allowed it to become too powerful given its ease of use. As I suggested above, this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall. The change to the Glyph of Wild Growth has positive and negative elements. We heard from druids that they felt like they didn’t have as many major glyph choices as intended, since the Glyph of Wild Growth was such a no-brainer for raiding druids — it increased the number of Wild Growth targets with no downside. We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside. With the AE heals, we thought the downside might be that the healers may not be using their AE heals necessarily, but having seen two raid tiers of content now, we’re confident that the glyphs did not have as much of a downside. (We changed the Glyphs of Circle of Healing and Light of Dawn for similar reasons).”
Even druids say WG is OP, what’s the problem?
While it is true that generally most druids will agree that WG is pretty OP – after all it is a “fire and forget” AoE smart healing spell that is rather efficient in terms of mana/heal ratio, there are indirect downsides to these changes.
Firstly, we are back to the old problem of throughput vs utility, CDs etc. Regardless of changes to druids in MoP, the fact is that at the moment druids do not have any defensive raid CDs. Our two big cooldowns are Tranquility and Tree of Life – both of which are based on throughput. Put simply this means we cannot cause our targets to avoid, negate, absorb or mitigate damage – all we can do is heal whatever they get hit for, this means that our spells have to do a lot of work.
The problem with nerfing WG like this lies in choices for replacing it. If we are taking raid wide damage or damage in groups, what are the options?
- Wild Growth – currently the spell of choice, heals a large group of people over time for a decent amount and can basically be chained (only 1 second between casts)
- Tranquility – Awesome for huge raid wide damage but can only be used once every 3 minutes – hardly a dependable spell for pulsing damage etc.
- Swiftmend/Efflorescence – Useful if people are clumped up, but is still relatively weak and on a 15 second CD. Also, have SM ready to instant heal spike damage on a single target is good.
- Regrowth – A fast heal that leaves a little HoT, spam the group with some of these and you are sorted, right? Wrong. RG is too expensive to spam for very long, and the HoT is rather weak and only lasts 6 seconds.
- Rejuvenation – Instant cast, talented etc will heal for an immediate amount, has a 1 sec GCD and lasts 10 seconds. This is the only real option that is viable other than WG. Whenever you are taking or expecting incoming raid wide damage spam rejuv and get everyone already ticking away when the damage hits. Great, back to the rejuv spamming of Wrath ^^
As you can see, the problem isn’t so much with the direct nerfing of WG, but more with the options that it then leaves available to us for healing mass raid wide damage. With the exception of rejuv spamming, the possibilities are too expensive, have a long CD or are plain less than ideal.
This is further compounded by the second problem – lack of glyphs. Resto druids do not currently have a good selection of possible major glyphs. The only ones that are really viable are Rebirth and Wild Growth. The other 3 options are entirely situational – Glyph of Healing Touch is useful if you don’t have Nature’s Swiftness; Glyph of Innervate is awful now because of the nerf to innervate so no one innervates other people now; Glyph of Thorns is plain meh because how often do you use thorns as resto? (personally I pop it on my hatchling tank on Alysrazor and that’s it).
So this means we will go into 4.3 with a single permanent viable glyph (Rebirth), one that depends on talents (Healing Touch), one that depends on fight mechanics (Wild Growth) and two that are just crap. So GC is saying he wants to froce druids to have a choice of glyphs, but without actually giving us a choice. Awesome move dude. Next week I want to down Ragnaros – without going into Firelands!
Basically, the summary is that Blizz are forcing us to be throughput raid healing machines and then nerfing one of our best AoE healing spells without giving us other options and then messing up the glyph that would be it more bearable, again though, without giving us better options.
What’s the answer then?
Well, we don’t a have a large amount of choice seeing as it looks like this is going live.
Personally as I have a build with NS I will be taking glyphs of rebirth and healing touch as standard, then making sure that I have plenty of Dust of Disappearance on me so that I can swap between glyph of thorns/wild growth depending on the fight. On some fights I will no doubt want to heal more people at once, even if it means a longer CD, other times I imagine that being able to chain it better and only hit 5 will be more suitable.
As for compensating for the missing healing, it looks like ramping up the rejuvs will be the only sensible way to go. As much as it feels like going back to the end of ICC, if it’s what keeps my raid alive then I will do it /sigh
I don’t deny that WG can be OP, it makes up a huge chunk of most druids healing and can be pretty much mindlessly spammed with no real penalty – but please balance out the nerf with something else.