Featured, Lunar Guidance
To steal a page from Kalon's excellent FAQs for Bear and Cat, I've written a Tree FAQ. This FAQ should hopefully bring Restoration Druids up to date with all the changes to healing in Wrath without requiring them to read dozens of posts with multiple iterations of talents and abilities that may or may not be obsolete. I know there are things that I have left out or forgotten, though, so I'd really appreciate if readers could contribute their own questions — and answers, too, if you have them — in the comments. I'll sort through them all, do my best to provide answers, and add them (assuming they're appropriate, of course).
- History of Changes
- Mechanics Changes
- Spells, Talents, and Abilities
- Player vs. Player
- 11/15/2008: Added “What is the best way to raise my faction with D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)?” under Miscellaneous.
- 11/15/2008: Added “Which of the two starter zones has the better healing-oriented quest rewards?” under Miscellaneous. Question from Flawlless.
- 11/15/2008: Added note about Cat Form + Drink + Prowl under PvP. Credit to Willowbear.
- WAAAAAAAHHHH!! What happened to my beautiful 2000 +Healing?!
Blizzard combined +Healing and +Spell Damage and Healing into one stat called Spell Power. +Spell Damage and Healing converted over at a 1:1 ratio, but your +Healing was multiplied by 0.532 or roughly cut in half. The coefficients of healing spells were increased accordingly so that there should be no net loss in throughput.
Spell Power, +Healing, and Coefficients
- If spell power affects both damage spells and healing spells, how do DPSers know to pass on my gear?
While I can't make others pass on "your" gear, there are certain stats that are more appropriate for you, the most clear-cut of which is Spirit. Avoid anything with hit rating since there are no rolls "to hit" with healing spells. Spell crit, while still somewhat beneficial, is really just gravy for a Resto. Haste is nice, especially for builds that use a lot of direct healing, less so for builds that focus primarily on HoTs.
Balance vs. Restoration Gear
- Were any other stats merged?
Yes, spell hit and melee hit are now simply "hit rating." Spell and melee crit have also been merged, as well as haste.
- Am I crazy, or did the cost of my Lifebloom go up when I leveled to 71?
Blizzard changed the mechanics of all spells so that their mana cost is measured as a percentage of base mana. This change was made to prevent downranking, a process whereby the caster used a lower level spell, often a direct heal like Healing Touch, in an effort to conserve mana.
- Why did they want to eliminate downranking?
Essentially, developers were struggling to balance content while having to take into account the effects of downranking since the resulting mana expense was too difficult too variable.
Wrath Recap: Downranking No Longer Possible
- What happened to my Tree aura?
In an effort to standardize the buffs and debuffs provided by the various classes, Blizzard changed Tree of Life aura to provide a flat 6% bonus to healing done. This aura is now applied raid-wide, which means you no longer have to be assigned to the “tank group.”
- Does that mean my aura stacks?
No. One tree is sufficient to provide the maximum +Healing aura benefit. Paladins with Improved Devotion Aura (a 3-point talent requiring an 18 point investment in the Protection tree) can also provide a 6% healing bonus, and the two do not stack with one another. This change was made with the intention to decrease the emphasis on bringing specific classes to a raid.
Blue: Changes to Buffs and Debuffs
- So with the changes to mana regeneration, how many mana potions should I expect to carry around? 20? 40? 60?
Blizzard introduced a Potion Sickness debuff that's applied on an encounter basis that prevents consumption of more than one health or mana potion per boss attempt. Therefore, you should plan a number of mana potions equal to the number of boss attempts you think your raid will make.
Beta Patch Changes (Build 8681)
- Is that my Lifebloom or did someone just use a [Heavy Mageweave Bandage]?
Sadly, that's your Lifebloom. Lifebloom had its mana cost increased and its effective healing decreased. For more about this change, see Commentary on the Great Lifebloom Nerf (of Build 8962). Essentially, the HPS of Lifebloom took a considerable hit, but, by increasing its duration to 10 seconds via Nature's Splendor and the [Glyph of Lifebloom], its HPM is mostly unchanged.
Koraa: We hope to tone down Lifebloom in WotLK
- What happened to my roots? I feel so much faster!
Blizzard removed the movement penalty of Tree of Life. This should make many encounters requiring movement much easier for Restoration Druids.
- I just decursed someone in Tree of Life without being shifted out! Whoa.
They also lifted the restriction on spells that can be cast, allowing the use of Healing Touch and Remove Curse without having to shift to caster form. Heals over time, however, are the only spells that receive a mana cost reduction. This includes Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Wild Growth, and Tranquility. It excludes Healing Touch, Nourish, Rebirth, Innervate, Abolish Poison, and Remove Curse.
- Do Druids finally get an out of combat resurrection spell or can I look forward to being rejected for 5-mans again?
We do! Blizzard finally understood that not being able to resurrect our groupmates was an unnecessary handicap that really had no effect on game balance.
Ghostcrawler Defends Druids’ Out of Combat Rez
- HAHAHAHA!!! WE CAN HAZ REZ!! Is there any point at all to those other healers now?
Not at all. They should all respec for DPS and leave all the +Healing gear for us. Oh … wait.
- Hey, where’s that new Flourish skill I’ve heard so much about? I can't wait to cast it and yell, “TADA!”
Flourish was the original name for our 51-point AoE HoT talent. It has since been renamed to Wild Growth and been nerfed considerably from its original inception.
- What?! That’s so lame!
It is lame, but it was admittedly pretty overpowered in its original form. It was nerfed into the ground at the time it was renamed but has since been buffed back up to a more respectable amount.
Wild Growth … Grows a Pair
- What other awesome Restoration talents can I look forward to?
Well, in summary there’s Gift of the Earthmother, a 5-point talent that shaves a total of 0.3 seconds off the global cooldown when you cast Rejuvenation, Lifebloom or Wild Growth. This amount assumes 0 spell haste; the returns actually diminish based on how much spell haste you have. Replenish is a 3-point talent that has a 15% chance to restore a marginal amount of mana, rage, runic power, or energy for each tick of Rejuvenation. Finally, Living Seed applies a buff to the recipient of one of your critical heals. This “seed” will pop the next time the target takes damage for 30% of effective healing from the original heal that planted it. This means that if your critical heal only does 100 points of effective healing, the seed will have a healing value of 30 HP. In general, I consider the talents at the bottom of the Restoration tree to be underwhelming and overpriced.
- With all these new changes, should I plan on sinking 61 points into Restoration?
The Balance tree also got a significant revamp, making many of the introductory talents an attractive option for healing Druids. New talents such as Genesis and Nature’s Splendor are both good options, and Balance staples Nature’s Grace and Moonglow have seen increased accessibility by being moved down a few tiers.
Balance Tree … Uprooted and Transplanted
- Indoor roots? Really? What are we, houseplants?
It’s true! Entangling Roots can now be cast indoors, finally giving Balance Druids the viable form of crowd control they’ve been asking for. Just remember that it’s only useful on melee mobs rooted outside of melee range or spellcasting mobs out of line of sight. And if that means we're houseplants, I totally call gardenia.
Indoor Roots and Mark(ed) Improvements
- What’s this Inscription thing all about?
Inscription is a new production tradeskill used to create Glyphs, which are essentially items that can be used to temporarily modify (as long as you have them “equipped”) various skills and abilities. They come in two flavos: Major, which provide significant improvements to core abilities, and Minor which provide lesser improvements or aesthetic changes to abilities.
Inscription for Druids
- So I TOTALLY dropped my very lucrative Jewelcrafting tradeskill to pick up Leatherworking for Drums ‘cause my guild leader said I had to. I am such a team player.
Actually, Blizzard introduced a new debuff called Tinnitus that is caused every time someone in your group uses a set of drums. This prevents you from using another set of drums until the cooldown of the person who caused the debuff has expired. This change was made to prevent drum rotations because so many guilds (like yours) were requiring guild members to pick up. On the bright side, you can still make [Heavy Leather Ball]s with your new skill!
- Should I still expect to cast 5 second Wraths when being attacked by a Rogue or Cat?
Taking damage while casting a spell will now delay your casting by a maximum of 1.0 seconds, generally in 0.5 second increments for each of the first two hits. This makes it much easier to deal with fast-hitting Rogues and Cats.
Spell Pushback Changes
- Will tried-and-true tactics of “pillar kiting” be effective in Wrath?
While these techniques can still be employed in three TBC Arenas (Blade’s Edge, Ruins of Lordaeron, and Nagrand Arena), two newly introduced Arenas (Dalaran Sewers and Orgrimmar Arena) will introduce obstacles and fluctuating terrain that will make the use of line of sight more complex and potentially dangerous.
Teh Pee Vee Pees! from Blizzcon Summary
- So if I can’t pillar kite, what are my options?
Improved Tree of Life is a 3-point talent at the bottom of the Restoration tree that affords an additional 100% armor from gear when you’re in Tree of Life. Unfortunately, Tree of Life loses access to Cyclone and Entangling Roots, two spells that can greatly reduce the need for additional armor. It also leaves you susceptible to a Warlock’s Banish. Honestly, until we see how the addition of Death Knights and their anti-HoT mechanics play out, we probably won’t have a good idea of the best way to play a Restoration Druid in Arenas.
Death Knight Degeneration to Convert HoTs to DoTs
- Why does my Shadowmeld have a 3-minute cooldown?
Shadowmeld was fundamentally changed so that it can be used in combat and essentially functions as a temporary aggro wipe. If you happen to be alone and enter combat with one or more mobs, using Shadowmeld causes the mobs to lose their interest in you, leashing back to their original spawn point or path. Unfortunately, this puts a real damper on the tactic of sitting to drink and using Shadowmeld. However, the same thing can be accomplished using Cat Form, sitting to drink (now available in forms), and using Prowl (credit to Willowbear).
Night Elf is to Ninja as Tauren is to Giant, Stompy Cheeseburger
- What’s all this crap on my PvP gear? Spuh...Spee...Spirit?
The PvP sets in Wrath have been itemized with Spirit/Intellect-based mana regeneration in mind. Gone are the gobs and gobs of MP5 you found on Restoration and Balance PvP sets in Wrath. Your Innervate will thank you. As long as you hide behind a pillar to protect it from being dispelled, of course. Unlike the Arena gear in TBC post 2.4, the presence of Spirit on PvP gear in Wrath has the side effect of it a viable choice for PvE. This is even more true if your guild typically falls behind on the PvE curve.
Wrath Build 8820: PvP Itemization
- Eek! I have to do damage to level, don't I? Is that what these non-tree buttons are for?
While you might be fortunate enough to have one or more sla— friends to help you level up to 80 in Wrath, why not empower yourself with a few points in Balance? There are several talents that provide synergy for both healing and DPSing, including Nature's Majesty, Moonglow, Nature's Grace, Nature's Splendor, and Lunar Guidance.
Moonfire Spamming Your Way to 80 in Wrath
- I'm not 70, yet, and I won't have time to get Honored with Lower City to be able to run Heroic Sethekk Halls! Does this mean I'm out in the cold for Swift Flight Form?
Not anymore. As of Patch 3.0, Druids will be able to train Swift Flight Form at level 71— of course, you still have to have trained Artisan Riding for 5,000 gold before you can! For those looking forward to the quest, it will still be available.
- I heard that Druids are getting "polar bear form" in the expansion!
While not specifically a Resto question, Trees like to look cute, too. The original idea was to provide Minor Glyphs to change the appearance of Druid forms. However, there was much public outcry to the effect that Druids shouldn't have to sacrifice a potentially useful Glyph slot to get the character customization that everyone else gets, so they're looking into alternate solutions. Blizzard has indicated that they plan to have this customization available with the first major content patch following Wrath's release.
- Which of the two starter zones has the better healing-oriented quest rewards?
While Howling Fjord is definitely the prettier of the two zones, Borean Tundra trounces it with regard to healing-oriented rewards. Here’s a breakdown:
- Borean Tundra has 8 Blue, 55 Green quest rewards with spell power. Of those, 1 Blue and 12 Green items also have Spirit. 8 of the total rewards are leather, and 2 of those leather rewards have Spirit.
- Howling Fjord has 35 Green quest rewards with spell power. Of those, 10 Green items also have Spirit. 6 of the total rewards are leather, and only 1 of those leather rewards have Spirit.
- What is the best way to raise my faction with D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals)?
Unfortunately, D.E.H.T.A. isn’t actually a faction so much as a quest hub in Borean Tundra. The quests they give are essentially disruptions to Hemet Nesingwary’s efforts to exploit the fauna of Northrend. Caution should be taken not to aggro the wildlife when traveling through Borean Tundra because killing animals such as the Wooly Mammoth will result in a debuff that makes D.E.H.T.A. members temporarily aggressive towards you. Time to map that Soothe Animal ability!
As a side note, completing the D.E.H.T.A. quests is worth around 4,000 reputation with the TBC faction, Cenarion Expedition, making the acquisition of the "Guardian of Cenarius" title (available at Exalted with both Cenarion Circle and Cenarion Expedition) that much easier.