Mailbag, Spells and Talents
A curious reader writes in to inquire:
I am trying to avoid deep Resto and still be a great healer because I like to see my character’s humanoid shape more often than not. I was either going to go a bit down Balance to get Lunar Guidance and Dreamstate or a bit down Feral to get Nurturing Instinct. I wouldn’t think to go Feral, but 70% of Ggility gear could be a lot of a healing, right?
I was wondering if you’ve done the math on these and could suggest one path over the other.
Prior to the release of Wrath, it used to be somewhat viable to skip over Tree of Life as a Restoration Druid. In fact, one of my guilty pleasures in TBC was to run Heroics as a Night Elf in all my S2 PvP gear just because I looked so darn cool (though I kept using the form for difficult raid content). You see, while the 20% spell cost reduction was great, you could get a weaker, non-Lifebloom-affecting version from Moonglow, a talent that was formerly much deeper in the Balance tree. There were also a number of TBC encounters where staying in Tree of Life was more a liability than a benefit due to its 20% slow-movement and inability to decurse.
However, with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, we get all of the (raid-important) benefits of the form with none of its limitations. Blizzard has removed the movement speed reduction, added both Abolish Poison and Remove Curse to its arsenal of available spells, and even allowed us to cast our class buff, Mark of the Wild without leaving form (and in Patch 3.1, we’ll finally be able to cast Thorns). Moonglow has also been made much more accessible, a talent whose effects stack with the mana reduction afforded by Tree of Life. Without Tree of Life, you also lose access to Master Shapeshifter, a Tree of Life-specific talent that grants you an additional 4% healing in the form. And this doesn’t even consider cases where you are the only Restoration Druid in a raid where no Paladin has 3/3 Improved Devotion Aura, making you the only potential source of the 6% to healing aura. To summarize:
|Tree of Life in The Burning Crusade|
|Tree of Life in Wrath of the Lich King|
As you can see, there is no justification for not having and using Tree of Life as a Restoration Druid in Wrath. It is a spec-defining form that you sacrifice too much to avoid. As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend any spec that doesn’t include the ability (and in Wrath, there are specs that include both the form and Dreamstate). Honestly, if you’re hung up on having to look at rotten broccoli, can’t wait for the upcoming revamp to Druid forums, or simply don’t have much faith in Blizzard meeting your aesthetic standards, I suggest rolling a Priest doll to dress up. They certainly get the best looking armor and aren’t restricted to using a special form to reach their full healing potential. Of course, Druids are still way more fun than Priests, in my opinion, even if we do look ridiculous.
P.S. Nurturing Instinct is a terrible talent for any healing Druid as there are no items that have spell power and Agility on them. You would never want to purposefully wear Feral items to boost your healing if healing is your intended role.