Macros, Spells and Talents
So I kind of wimped out with my talent spec when Patch 2.3 was released. I gave up on my radical idea of going healing Boomkin and instead went with a much more traditional spec of 11/0/50. Since Mr. Phae is taking a break from PvE at the moment, I decided that I'd take a break from PvP and pull my points out of the Feral tree to pick up Living Spirit and a few other more PvE-oriented talents. And before you comment with "OMG DURIDS R 4 HOTS", I sunk points into Healing Touch talents due to the increased emphasis on Heroic instances from daily quests and badge rewards. So far, I'm really enjoying the changes.
One of my favorite changes to my spec is the addition of Insect Swarm, the 11-point Balance talent:
While Insect Swarm is one of the highest DPM (damage per mana) spells in the game, it has the added benefit of preventing 2% of incoming damage on your tank. That's 2% less damage you have to heal and it scales in a way that nothing else (available to Druids) does. The more damage your tank takes, the more damage that's mitigated, completely independent of your +Healing or +Damage totals.
While the benefits of Insect Swarm are fairly obvious, the hardest thing about using it was figuring out how to integrate it into my healing strategy. After all, healing is different than dpsing, and mixing the two can be cumbersome. Which is why I developed the following macro:
#showtooltip Insect Swarm /cast [target=mouseover,exists,harm][target=target,exists,harm][target=targettarget,exists,harm] Insect Swarm
This macro first attempts to cast Insect Swarm on your mouseover target, assuming it exists and that it's aggressive toward you (harm). If it cannot find a mouseover target, it will attempt to cast upon your normal target with the same stipulations. By combining this macro with the techniques described in my earlier article on Healing via Focus Target, you can set your main tank to your focus target, then mouseover Insect Swarm his current target. You still have the liberty to Insect Swarm other mobs, but be careful that you don't DoT something that will later need to be crowd controlled. For this reason, it's often a good idea to make sure that your tank's target is missing a bit of life before you cast Insect Swarm on it, both so you're sure it's not a target he's only targetting to generate a little bit of aggro and so that he has time to build some threat before you DoT it.
Here is a revised version of the above-mentioned macro to also include Faerie Fire and Moonfire. It will cast these spells in the order Insect Swarm, Faerie Fire, Moonfire and will reset its sequence after 7 seconds:
#showtooltip Insect Swarm /castsequence [target=mouseover,exists,harm][target=target,exists,harm][target=targettarget,exists,harm] reset=7 Insect Swarm, Faerie Fire, Moonfire