Looks like WG changes will be going live ><
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.