Analysis, Lunar Guidance, Spells and Talents
Wrath of the Lich King included many changes to the Druid class, including some very positive changes to the Restoration and Balance trees. Talents such as Nature’s Focus and Improved Mark of the Wild were reduced from a cost of 5-points to 3 and 2 points respectively, and fun abilities such as Omen of Clarity, Nature’s Grace, and Nature’s Grasp were made a lot more accessible. In particular, I consider the 14 points in Balance for Genesis, Moonglow, Nature’s Majesty, Nature’s Grace, and Nature’s Splendor to be staples of the healing Druid’s specialization.
In addition to the obvious care and attention that was given to “pruning” our early talent trees, we were given 4 new abilities at the bottom of the Restoration tree to give us something to spend points on leading up to our 51-point talent, Wild Growth. Today, I’d like to take a look at three of these abilities: Living Seed, Revitalize, and Gift of the Earthmother.
Living Seed gives critical heals a chance (100% at 3-points) to temporarily store 30% of the critical heal’s effective healing. This means that if your critical heal heals for 6000 hit points, the effect of the Living Seed would be 1800 HP. However, if of that 6000 HP, only 1000 was “effective” (non-overheal), the value of the Living Seed would only be 300 HP.
In practical terms, healers often choose their heals based on what will bring their target to full life. A tank whose health is maintained at 90-100% is much less susceptible to death-by-RNG than one allowed to fluctuate between 50 and 70%. This is especially true with the elimination of downranking, a practice whereby healers would often use lower ranked spells to conserve their own mana, deal more precisely with incoming damage, and guard against too many healers applying large heals to a target simultaneously. As a result, the direct heals that are typically applied now are heavy-hitters.
A Druid who focuses on Regrowth as her direct heal of choice will also employ the [Glyph of Regrowth], a glyph that increases the strength of the spell’s initial heal by 20% when used on a target who already has Regrowth. At an approximately 60% spell crit, Regrowth hits hard and crits often, proccing Living Seed more times than not. Even if used on a tank who suddenly finds himself low on health (likely giving the maximum value for the seed), this situation often leads to the tank being bombarded with large heals from other healers frantically trying to prevent a raid wipe. These healers cannot (and should not) depend on a Living Seed to keep the tank alive. However, it is worth considering that when is effective, it has the potential to be a life-saver.
From what I have read and experienced, it is not unreasonable to see the contribution of Living Seed at 1-3% of your total healing, with Regrowth users more likely to see the 3% value. A general rule of thumb is that 1 talent point yielding a 1% increase in effectiveness is a talent point well spent. At 3 points, this talent is worth taking for Regrowth casters, assuming it contributes 3% or more of effective healing. It is not recommended for those who focus on Nourish or glyphed Healing Touch who are considerably less likely to see such a contribution.
Formerly known as Replenish, Revitalize is a 3-point Restoration talent that has a chance (15% at 3 points) to restore Mana, Rage, Energy, or Runic Power with each tick of Rejuvenation. This includes ticks when the target is at full health. Untalented, Rejuvenation ticks 5 times, giving Revitalize an average of 0.75 procs per cast. With 1 point in the Balance talent Nature’s Splendor, Rejuvenation increases to 6 ticks, giving Revitalize an average of 0.9 procs per cast. Let’s look at the expected yield for Revitalize and Nature’s Splendor for each target:
Mana cost per Rejuvenation Cast = 446
Rejuvenation Casts per Target per Minute = 60 / 18 = 3.33
Avg. PPM per Target = 3.33 * 0.9 = 3
Mana Cost per Target per Minute = 446 * 3.33 = 1486.67
Avg. Return per Minute DK = 3 * 16 = 48 Runic Power/Minute
One way to gauge the value of this return is to compare it to the 2-point Blood Talent, Butchery which reads “Whenever you kill an enemy that grants experience or honor, you generate up to 20 runic power. In addition, you generate 2 runic power per 5 sec while in combat.” The runic power regeneration portion is equivalent to 24 Runic Power per minute. By chaining Rejuvenation on a DK tank, you’re tripling the automatic Runic Power regeneration he would normally see with this talent (though perhaps more value is attributed to the RP from kills mechanic).
According to Krythia of Scarlet Crusade (US):
Revitalize does very little for a Death Knight. Ones that are tank spec usually take the talents and use a rotation that gives them enough RP to do what they need. Beyond that, I still find myself generating plenty of RP to do what I need. In the next patch, I will need even less RP as an Unholy specced Death Knight as Unholy Blight, an ability I only use once every 20 seconds, is getting its RP cost reduced by 20.
For a Frost specced Death Knight, it is much more valuable. Frost strike is a great aggro ability for them and it costs 40 RP. The attack cannot be dodged, parried, or blocked. I noticed that when I played as Frost spec that I would become RP starved from time to time.
It is useless on a Blood spec DK as they have no abilites that are necessary for them to succeed that use RP. That, and they have a chance at casting Death Coil (40 RP cost) for free anyway.
Warriors and Bears
Avg. Return per Minute Warrior = 3 * 4 = 12 Rage/Minute
Similar to what we looked at for DKs, we can compare this return to the Arms talent, Anger Management which “Generates 1 rage per 3 seconds.” This works out to 20 Rage per minute which is nearly double the return from Revitalize. Warriors and Bears also aren’t generally rage-starved on encounters, making the contribution from Revitalize both negligible and superfluous.
Paladins and other Mana Users
The calculation for Paladins (and other mana users, including ourselves) is a little more complicated since it’s based upon total mana pool. Using the formula above, we can create a graph of average MP5 return by cost based on recipient’s total mana.
Avg. Return per Minute Paladin = 3 * 0.01 * MANA POOL
It is worth noting that Protection Paladin-appropriate gear does not typically include Intellect, so the average Prot-Paladin will have a very small mana pool, somewhere between 5 and 6k from my observation. This means that a constant stream of Rejuvenation with Revitalize is worth between 12 and 12.5 MP5. To contrast, the Paladin trained ability Blessing of Wisdom is worth 91 MP5. At 446 mana to cast, it would cost a Druid It currently costs a Druid 124 MP5 to maintain Rejuvenation in this fashion. Your target would need a mana pool of nearly 50k to make this a positive transfer of mana (the talent is obviously not intended to be used this way).
However, there is another, better way to look at the practical application of this talent for mana users. With its mana return, it can be seen to be reducing the mana cost of Rejuvenation, albeit retroactively. If 90% of the time, Revitalize procs from Rejuvenation and the target has a mana pool of 15,000, it will restore 150 mana or 135 mana on average. You only get the benefit when casting the spell on yourself, otherwise you’re passing the savings onto the spell’s recipient. This mana refund can be seen as modifying the HPM of the spell. Assuming full talents, a 15k mana pool, and 1500 spell power:
Rejuvenation @ 1500 Spell Power
Coefficient per Tick = 0.647
Untalented Number of Ticks = 15 / 3 = 5
Number of Ticks = Number of Ticks + 1 = 6
Untalented Base Healed = 1690 HP
Base Healed = Untalented Base Healed * (Gift of Nature + Genesis) * Tree of Life * Master Shapeshifter = 1690 * (1.05 + 1.10) * 1.06 * 1.04 = 2463.89 HP
Base Healed per Tick = Base Healed / # Ticks = 2463.89 / 5 = 492.78 HP/tick
HP/tick from Spell Power = Spell Power * Coefficient per Tick = 1500 * 0.647 = 970.5 HP/tick
Total Healing per Tick = Base Healed per Tick + HP/Tick from Spell Power = 492.78 + 970.5 = 1463.28 HP/tick
HPS = Total Healed per Tick / # seconds in one tick = 1463.28 / 3 = 487.76
HPM = Total Healing per Tick * Total Ticks / Mana Cost = 1463.28 * 6 / 446 = 19.69
HPM with Revitalize = Total Healed per Tick * Total Ticks / (Mana Cost – Proc Chance Revitalize * 0.01 * 15000) = 26.52
% Increase in HPM = (26.33 – 19.69) / 19.69 = 34.7%
This works out to a 34.7% increase in the HPM of Rejuvenation when cast at 1500 spell power and on someone with a mana pool of 15k. Revitalize makes Rejuvenation insanely efficient when you think of it as passing on your mana savings to the recipient and makes it a wonderful self heal. In fact, my next analytical article will evaluate the use of Rejuvenation as an alternative to other methods of raid healing.
Rogues and Feral Druids
While tanks are the most likely beneficiaries of Rejuvenation – and therefore Revitalize – the restorative effect also includes Energy. This means that Rogues and Feral Druids in Cat Form can also benefit. We’ll calculate the potential value of this effect for a single Rejuvenation effect since they aren’t likely to be chained on DPS:
Avg. Return per Cast Rogue = (0.9 * = 7.2 Energy per Cast
Rogues and Cats naturally regenerate Energy at a rate of 10/second or 600/minute. The 7.2 Energy every 18 seconds from Revitalize works out to 24 Energy per minute. This is a 4% increase over the natural regeneration that a Rogue normally experiences. Increasing Energy regeneration should approximately represent the same % increase in damage from yellow attacks. Druids tend to have a larger percent of total damage from yellow attacks than do Rogues, so this is slightly more beneficial to them. And all Trees know that every time you heal a Rogue, a kitten dies so heal Feral Druids first!
Gift of the Earthmother is a five-point talent that reduces the global cooldown of Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Wild Growth by a certain percentage. It can be difficult to place a value on this talent since its contribution directly depends on the number of times you typically cast the relevant spells each minute. If, for instance, you cast nothing but Rejuvenation and Lifebloom and assuming 0 spell haste, it would represent a 20% increase in throughput (though not necessarily effective healing since this much healing could be unnecessary). Obviously, this is an unrealistic and unsustainable situation. A more accurate estimate would be to assume that the Druid will maintain two Lifebloom stacks, two instances of Rejuvenation, and will cast Wild Growth every so many seconds. In this case, I’m going to assume a Wild Growth cast every 10 seconds:
Total Lifebloom Casts = 2 * (60 / 9) = 13.33
Total Rejuvenation Casts = 2 * (60 / 18) = 6.67
Total Wild Growth Casts = 60 / 10 = 6
Total GotEM Applications = 13.33 + 6.67 + 6 = 26
Healing Throughput Increase = (26 * 0.3)/60 = 13%
Obviously, this is a very rough estimate based on some pretty arbitrary assumptions. If you use Rejuvenation more often as a raid heal (or cast Wild Growth more often), you will place a higher value on this talent.
Haste and Gift of the Earthmother
Unlike other talents that affect casting speed, the reductions from spell haste and GotEM are additive; both values are calculated off a 1.5 second global cooldown and are not applied in any particular order. This means it actually scales better than it would otherwise and, contrary to popular belief, does not scale inversely with haste. Nonetheless, plan to drop one or more points out of this talent as your haste increases.
Updated with Patch 3.08: The global cooldown reduction of Gift of the Earthmother is now percentage-based. This represents a significant nerf to its effectiveness. We can adapt the formula provided by Zoltair of Korialstrasz (US) via Elitist Jerks to solve for the amount of haste needed to reach a 1.0 sec GCD at different points in GotEM:
Haste from Gear = (1.5 * (1 – GotEM%) / ((1 + WoAT%) * (1 + Aura%) * (1 + CF%))) – 1
At level 80, 32.79 haste rating is equivalent to 1% haste. With 5/5 Gift of the Earthmother, you’ll need 20% haste or 655 haste rating to obtain a 1 second global cooldown.
I hope that the above looks into these three somewhat ephemeral talents has helped you evaluate the potential value they present to your playstyle. Unlike many of our simpler talents, so much of their value depends on how you heal. Nonetheless, here are a few summarized bits of advice:
Living Seed should really only be taken in conjunction with Improved Regrowth in a build that emphasizes Regrowth as the direct heal of choice. All other direct heals do not have the potential to “proc” this ability due to their considerably lower crit rates. In a Regrowth build, you should expect to see approximately 3% of your effective healing to come from this ability. If you do not, consider moving those points elsewhere.
Revitalize is bad for Paladin, Warrior, and Bear Tanks and good for mana users with sizeable mana pools. Its value is questionable to Death Knights with the possible exception of those who are Frost-specced. Its benefits would be decent for Rogues and Cats, but damage isn’t often such that Rejuvenation would need to be chain cast on either of them. Should you take this talent, it should always be in conjunction with the [Glyph of Swiftmend] since a Swiftmended Rejuvenation cannot proc Revitalize. This talent is most useful in 5-man and 10-man instances where you can more often afford to group heal using Rejuvenation with less risk of your HoT being overwritten by a direct heal from another healer. A Druid with this talent should heal herself using Rejuvenation whenever it is safe to do so since it is an incredibly efficient (high HPM) spell once you factor in the potential mana return.
Because Gift of the Earthmother affects the global cooldown of Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, and Wild Growth, you will derive greater benefit from it the more you use any of these spells. Some have asserted that GotEM is losing 1/3 of its effectiveness with the impending addition of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth. Assuming, however, that Blizzard allows Nourish to gain it’s 20% throughput bonus from Wild Growth’s HoT and makes the spell more competitive with Regrowth, GotEM’s reduction of the Wild Growth GCD will continue to be valuable. Once you have around 750 haste rating, plan to drop a point in Gift of the Earthmother.
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