Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4.0: Impressions of Resto Healing

Well what do you know, they really did take away my tree! *cough* Moving on, spells and talent trees look vastly different, some of them unrecognisable even.  To wrap my head around what's changed (since I never kept up with the articles on it), I took a long hard look at tooltips and healed a couple heroics. This is less of a blow-by-blow analysis and more of a summary of the big things that have changed and are relevant in understanding the heal mechanic.

Talents: These stood out to me talent-wise.

 Efflorescence (3/3): An AoE heal effect that heals nearby allies within 15 yards for 20/40/60% of what your Swiftmend healed for.
Revitalise (3/3): In addition to giving us some mana regen,  this proc also grants Replenishment.
Nature's Bounty (3/3): Apart from the massive crit addition to Regrowth, critical heals from Nourish and Swiftmend have to reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend by 0.5 sec.
Empowered Touch (2/2): Healing Touch buffed by 10%, and more interestingly Nourish has a 100% chance to refresh Lifebloom.

Spell Changes: Our spells remain more or less recognisable with a few changes here and there. However, they certainly serve new roles in healing.

-Rejuvenation is more mana expensive and of shorter duration (12 secs).
-Wild Growth now has a 10 sec cooldown.
-Lifebloom is now a great cheap HoT to cast but only castable on one target at a time.
-Swiftmend now procs Efflorescence
-Regrowth has a reduced cast time which makes it a quick but expensive heal.
-Nourish has a longer cast time but now refreshes Lifebloom on the target.
-Rebirth now has a 30 min cooldown, and this cooldown is shared with all druids in the party/raid. Battle-rez with caution!

Buffs and Debuffs:


-Mark of the Wild now has 1hr duration and buffs all raid/party members. No more Gift of the Wild.
-Remove Corruption is a one-sweep spell that removes 1 poison, 1 curse and 1 magic effect if talented into.

Tree of Life Changes:


- Tree of Life is now a cooldown that lasts for 30 seconds. When used, it enhances healing and certain spells discussed below. Usable every 3 minutes.

-Tree of Life spell changes:

What does this mean for healing? And glyphs?

- One of the first things I noticed was that the changes in Rejuvenation  no longer allow us to pre-emptively hit up ALL raid members with it all the time. Doing so, as we did before, would have us go oom very quickly. So while Rejuvenation  is still a staple healing spell for us, being more selective about who you pre-emptively hit up is key. Rejuvenation  still plays a significant part in healing, so Glyph of Rejuvenation is a good choice. 

Lifebloom  has an interesting role now. It is limited to one target for most of the time -- thus it makes sense to leave Lifebloom   as far as possible on the Main tank/Off-tank. Nourish  while not quite the quick heal we're used to anymore, refreshes Lifebloom   for us and thus the mechanic between the two makes tank healing much more viable than it used to be. Using Nourish  to refresh Lifebloom  instead of recasting it has the added bonus of proccing Living Seed and other good stuff. Don't leave home without Glyph of Lifebloom.

Swiftmend now has the added bonus of Efflorescence attached to it which makes it a flexible spell for both tank and raid healing. I considered Glyph of Swiftmend good pre4.0, and it's only got better since. Leaving Rejuvenation/Regrowth up there saves you a GCD and considering the passive and talented buffs to them, increases our healing as well. 

Regrowth  is a quick heal spell but use it wisely and resist any urge to spam it. It's powerful and quick but overusing it will result in ooming. The one time I did spam it was in ToL form as an instant cast to keep a tank up in Pit of Saron...it's a strange story, yes I know. Apparently I just had bad luck or the Blood spec has some issues...either way I wouldn't know! Glyph of Regrowth seemed weak to me as targets being 25% shouldn't be happening too often - but that might change in Cataclysm. For the time being, I passed.

- A final point regarding the Major Glyphs: I chose to go with Glyph of Wild Growth, Glyph of Rebirth, and Glyph of Innervate. At this point really, I simply looked for glyphs that would help restoration in any way. I did, however, choose to skip Glyph of Healing Touch for the time-being since I rarely cast Healing Touch, if at all. 

As I mentioned earlier, this post summarises the significant changes to healing I found this patch. I will probably hold off on analysing healing, gems and other aspects until Cataclysm simply because these mechanics were made for Cataclysm and not Wrath and it seems a bit premature to delve too deeply into them. Hope you enjoyed this post and have fun healing =)

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