Current Resto Druid changes on PTR (WG changes)

There is very little up on the PTR that has been “officially” reported, however there are currently two changes that have been made for resto druids and both involve Wild Growth.

  • Wild Growth healing value has been reduced by 20%
  • Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.

Both of these obviously have some impact on our AOE healing capability as WG is a standard heal for raid wide damage. It has been especially important in Cata content due to the attachment Blizzard seem to have with bosses casting massive AoEs.

If they nerf both the healing and the CD of WG then that could be quite a hit to a raid healing druid’s throughput, unless they either reduce the amount of AoE damage bosses are outputting, or give druids some sort of mitigation/buff other AoE heals (like effloresence). I think the latter is unlikely, and it will be more likely that we will see (relatively speaking) slightly reduced AoE from bosses. Additionally it will lead to much more thought on whether or not is better to heal 5 people with 87.5% max uptime or 6 people with 70% max uptime, I suspect that unless there are periods of extended raid wide damage, the glyphed version will still be superior.

Looking around at the the various other posts on the matter, there are some particular thoughts that repeatedly crop up:

Glyphs: In his blog, GC states that “We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside.” This idea is all well and good except for one small detail – there reallt are only 3 decent major glyphs; Rebirth, Wild Growth and Healing Touch. This is partially due to the previous nerf of Innervate that now makes it unattractive to cast on other people, thereby rendering the glyph of innervate pretty useless. If they want us to have more choice for glyphs rather than pick a standard set, they are actually going to have to give us a good range of glyphs to choose from that will allow players to tailor their glyphs to their role better.

No Mitigation! – As I said above as well, we don’t have shields, absorbs, mitigation etc and the developers seem completely reluctant to give us any. That’s fine and I don’t mind that, however to compensate for it we have high throughput. They massively improved Tranquility in order to give us a good 3 min raid CD, ToL buffs healing throughput as does our mastery. This means that while we may be higher than other healers on pure HPS at times, this is balanced by the fact that pure HPS is all we can do. Additionally, we make better raid healers than tank healers, so we will naturally be pumping out more healing and over a wider area than say a holy paladin on tank duty. WG is a primary spell and the major party/raid healing spell we use. By nerfing it while not giving us mitigation, they are directly reducing the capability of a druid to fulfill its primary role as a raid healer.

High throughput – This is similar to the above point. GC’s post also makes it very clear that they are wanting to nerf and limit the high throughput of resto druids. Another way to look at it though, is to buff other healers here and there so that their heals remain competitive (while allowing for the bonus of having shields etc) without relegating druids to the back seat or nerfing druids too much. Not so long ago WG was actually buffed (along with Tranq and Eff), so all our AoE healing was buffed as we were lacking in quick bursty AoE, a raid CD and so on. Those changes placed us firmly back as excellent, high throughput raid healers. It now seems they are backtracking and thinking it was too much. However, if we are high throughput, it is only because of the way we are designed. We cannot work any other way and to nerf that too much is to systematically lower to overall effectiveness of druid healers.

This is not an angry rant or such (PTR has barely been active for 36 hours or so) and everything may change before next week, it is however an impassioned plea for Blizzard to be careful in their tweaking of our class and to please not make any major mistakes. They should have plenty of class feedback by now, and I bet the majority will say “we have good solid healing, but are lacking mitigation.” I am willing to bet that few say WG is OP and needs a nerf.

Kat

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Posted on September 28, 2011, in Cataclysm, Healing, Patch Notes, PvE, PvP, Raiding, Resto. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Looking at the fact they’re working on trying to make priest AOE healing better, and they’re giving all the tanking classes AOE healing/mitigation cooldowns thru a set bonus, I’m pretty sure they’re just nerfing druids for the sake of nerfing druids, and that there will still be a TON of AOE damage going out in Firelands.

    • Yh, unfortunately it does look that way, there seems to be a lot of people saying we are OP without realising that our healing comes from pure HPS with no mitigation, shield, damage reduction etc. Would still be nice to have to balanced with something else though šŸ™‚

  2. Maybe this will finally be the patch where we get our mitigation CD. While this nerf hurts a lot, I will be the first to admit that WG was definitely way OP in an output capacity.

    Honestly, sometimes I just wish they’d dump tranquility in exchange for a mitigation spell. Honestly, it’s essentially what I’m using it for the vast majority of the time anyways (Albeit, ineffectively).

    • Some form of mitigation would be cool, even if it were talented or from a glyph (such as XXX spell gives an absorb shield equal to XXX of the base healing) or something like that.

      WG may have been powerful, but I don’t know that I would call it OP given that no other spell quite filled the same role and that we had it to be powerful raid healers as we don’t have such powerful tank healing capabilities compared to some other classes.

      I would prefer Tranq not to get dumped in favour of a mitigation ability, there are already some of those out there and there are times when the raw healing that tranq pumps out can be very useful. Possibly lessen the potency slightly, and give us a minor raid wide mitigation ability, or again a glyphed one “Glyph of Extended Barkskin: Barkskin now affects the whole party/raid group but the CD is extended to 3 mins (or it only mitigates 10% damage). Personally I am not in favour of turning BS into a raid CD as I find it useful at times as a personal CD, but that kind of idea may work in our favour.

  3. The glyph reasoning is particularly ridiculous. As you said, we have no other options. Giving glyph of WG a drawback doesn’t give us an interesting choice, it just gives us an additional ~20% nerf to that spell. If WG is used on cooldown, having it unglyphed will put out more healing, so that leaves us with Rebirth (which is great but has no effect on our healing), Healing Touch (which depending on how you heal can be close to useless a lot of the time) and …? Innervate? Thorns? We really need some new Major glyphs if they want us to have to choose.

    • We definitely need new glyphs if GC wants us to have more options and not have the glyph situation so rigid. If possible it would be nice to have glyphs that affected every spell one way or another (+1 second duration, +xx % crit chance etc) so that you could specifically pick glyphs that affect your primary spells that you use.

      Even glyphs that affect the raid CD would be good. As well as the BS one I mentioned above, possibly something that lowers Tranq CD but also lowers healing, or increases ToL duration/lowers CD but increases mana of spells or something similar.

      It would just be good to have much more variety.

      An afterthought is that having so many new glyphs for each class in the game would also increase the short term money making potential of my scribe šŸ˜€

  4. The point for this nerf was because WG healed for far too much for a “fire-and-forget” spell. As a player who has played a Druid and Holy Priest I have to say that Holy Priests work MUCH HARDER to get their numbers up in comparison to Druids. Take a look at World of Logs, Recount, or Skada. WG is consistently the top heal by a wide margin in comparison to other Druid healing spells. It’s overtuned for a spell that you don’t have to think about casting..

    Now if this does have a crippling effect on Druid healing, then Blizzard needs to give another raid healing option. But, I have a feeling that Druids will be fine. We will see.

    • It may be that it is over tuned for a F&F spell, but that doesn’t alter the fact that it fits in very nicely with our position as (primarily) raid healers. It was already buffed in the past because they felt it was under powered given a druids role. This would put it back almost where it was before.

      Assuming you have it glyphed, it heals for +10% and 1 additional player on the same CD it was, or +10% on the same number of players with a 2 second reduced CD.

      I appreciate that Holy Priests may have to work harder to output the same numbers but thats because they have the mitigation and other such things that druids don’t have. Just look at the likes of Inspiration, Body and Soul (not mitigation or such, but speed buff is always nice), Guardian Spirit, Spirit of Redemption and so on.

      All very nice abilities, but given at the cost of slightly reduced healing compared to a class without those. The difference is that with skill, gear etc you can compensate for the differentiation in raw output, we can never give a 10% damage reduction, or prevent someone dying regardless of what happens to them etc.

  5. If Dragonsoul proves to be as bursty in terms of damage, as the descriptions make it sound, the first raidtests will have these changes see the same fate the Rejuvenation cooldown reduction planned for 3.3 saw.

    It will not go live.

    • Unfortunately as much as I would like to be this optimistic, I suspect that Lissana has the right of it – Blizzard have made us appear OP in the last few patches and now they are nerfing druids for the sake of nerfing druids rather than giving us a greater variety of non healing tools while gently toning down the power of our heals.

      I hope I am wrong and this (and any other similar changes) will be balanced, but I doubt it somehow šŸ˜¦

  6. I can understand why they want to nerf WG, but this nerf does seem to be too much. That, in combination with the glyph change bringing the WG cd back up to 10s, is essentially returning WG to how it was at Cata launch. The gimped WG that they had to buff in 4.0.6 to bring druid healing closer to being back in line with the other healers. I have no idea why they would try to backtrack that far as it seems ridiculous. Hopefully this is just an initial number for the PTR and they’ll reduce the nerf in the coming weeks and months. Around a 10% reduction in healing done would be more appropriate, if anything.

    As you mentioned as well, the glyph change is pretty stupid, particularly in that it was done to make the glyph ‘more of a choice’. There aren’t any better glyphs for resto druids to run. Not only that, but with both the nerf to WG *and* the CD increase on the glyph, I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes from being a glyph you automatically use to one you now automatically do NOT use. I’m already considering dropping the glyph entirely. And, with that in mind, I don’t have any glyph that I’d really want to put in. Great choice. I feel liberated.

    • “Great choice. I feel liberated.” QFT- not much to say that I haven’t already said in the main post or my other replies. Just these two statements with additional sarcasm sauce on the side šŸ™‚

  7. I read your comment somewhere above about getting some kind of raid-wide BS. That would never happen, because that would be too OP, especially for pvp, unfortunately.

    I think WG should have been left alone, especially if there are tons of raid damage happening in the new raids.

    Maybe they could make it so that we can cast BS on our tanks as some form of mitigation- this is much more feasible than incorporating a raid-wide BS. Perhaps even turn it into some kind of CD if it is cast on anyone else other than ourselves. Or, turn it into a Hand of Sacrifice type of spell. We would be sacrificing a personal protection cd so that our tanks can live, at a cost.

    This would work better than simply casting it on someone for free. Blizzard has always made it so you have to think about the consequences of using specific spells and this would be no different.

    Ah well, if this goes live, I’ll be one less glyph forgoing the WG glyph,

    • The suggestion of a raid wide BS was simply a quick idea of something they could do, I don’t think they would without some kind of heavy rejiggling of the spell to make it cost a lot and have a long CD. But it would be nice to see some more mitigation, utility etc rather than simply pure HPS – especially if they are going to continue lowering the actual throughput of some of our spells.

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