MoP: State of the UI (Includes Restoration Druid Weak Auras)

As much as I love my Remix UI, I’ve been having a number of issues with Stuf this expansion, and decided to rebuild my UI around a new set of unit frames: oUF Karma. A slight twist on the stacking ideal found in Quse, I find that I really like the slight offset to provide more nooks and crannies to hide various auras that I’d like to track.

I’ve also updated my strings for my restoration druid Weak Auras, as well as a full listing of addons.

The UI

MOP_UI_DEC_SOLO

MOP_UI_Dec_Party

MoP_UI_December

Addon List

Restoration Druid Weak Auras

Harmony

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Lifebloom
Not target specific. Tracks personal Lifebloom duration and stacks cast on any party/raid member.

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Mana <80% and Innervate Available

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Restoration Bar — Available for Use
Wild Growth – Swiftmend – Barkskin – Tranquility – Tree of Life – Swiftmend – Rebirth

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Restoration Bar — Abilities on Cooldown
Wild Growth – Swiftmend – Barkskin – Tranquility – Tree of Life – Swiftmend – Rebirth

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WeakAuras: Restoration Druid

These are the Weak Auras that I’m running for Terrielle based off of Keeva’s Power Auras. Basically, it includes every cool-down that I really want to keep an eye on, but excludes short “buffs” that Keeva included as I track those through Raven. (I use a different set for balance, but the set-up is virtually the same).

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Dragon Soul and the Fall of the Destroyer

I don’t think it ever gets old. Stepping into a new raid encounter is always an experience I savor, and I love exploring new dungeons. Some members of our raid team took a sneak peek Tuesday night, but Wednesday was my first step in to the new dungeons, and Thursday saw the completion of normal mode for our raid team.

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Minipost: Taking Advantage of Your Roster

We’re still working on Heroic Rag, don’t worry! Although we’ve been hitting Phase 4 with some regularity, our time their has been so minimal that great changes are not in the works yet. However, we’ve been doing our best to make the other phases as clean as possible. One of our biggest “concerns” was reducing our meteor down to one: who wants more things to run with than you have to, right? Many times it’s been close, but there’s still that oomph missing.

So last night, we let the tree push the transition. The last 3-4 attempts we’ve been down to 2 of our 3 person healing roster, so I’ve been dropping the feathers and back in full HoT season. Although I’ve been speeding up my companions on 1/2 of the seeds drops since the beginning, the rest has been fairly routine healing type things. Last night, we tried an experiment: how much damage can Terrielle pump out in Tree form? I usually pop tree form immediately prior to the first trap pop, and in the 2nd seed drop of phase 2. Last night, I popped tree immediately on entry and at the start of phase 3.

According to my sources, I was doing around 16k in damage during those times. Not too shabby. And we did push into phase 4 with just one meteor. I won’t be doing the phase 1 tree dps, but will continue to do the big push in phase 3. While I need to do some reforging since spamming wrath takes up a bit more mana than I’m used to (omg, spirit plx) I think we’ve found a successful way to short circuit a dps check!

Talents for Trees

Let’s face it, the restoration tree for druids is pretty tasty, and it might be tempting to fill it up to the rafters and neglect the dipping that can be done in the balance and feral trees. However, since every player’s raid team and healing situation is a bit different, I’m also not going to just provide an explanation as to why you should take some random suggested build off the interwebs (although I’m providing plenty of base builds throughout the text).

Instead, we’re going to build down the tree, and discuss ways in which your build may differ based on your healing situation. Talents I consider vital will be marked as required per tier level, and trade-offs between tiers as you build down will be discussed. Since you must have 5 talents per tier, and 31 points in the build, I’m hoping this will provide a good framework for players creating their builds.

Tier 1 – 3

Required Talents: Natural Shapeshifter, Naturalist, Heart of the Wild, Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Revitalize

You can easily reach tier 3 simply by taking required talents. However, this is the tier on which a build can founder, because you must now make some decisions based on your healing style and role in groups.

For most builds, taking Living Seed will prove the best choice, since it leads to Efflorescence, a planted AoE activated by Swiftmend. However, in some cases, Efflorescence might not be the right choice for your group. If this is the case, taking Living Seed doesn’t provide sufficient healing to invest three points into, since you do have other options:

  • Blessing of the Grove: A definite incentive to balance druids, BotG also increases healing on Rejuvenation and is an ok choice for last ditch point investments.
  • Perseverance: Damage reduction is always a good place to invest some talent points. On some encounters, and when mana-saving talents are no longer required, Perseverance can become a leading “optional” talent.
  • Nature’s Swiftness: The power of this talent rests entirely on the druid, their healing patterns, and the ability to use the ability. If you seldom proc on demand abilities, or are rarely in a situation where a immediate directed heal is required, skip this talent. However, from a utility standpoint, this can be a firm investment.
  • Fury of Stormrage: I would not suggest this talent to any PvE tree at end-game.

At this point, if not taking Living Seed, you only need 2 points in the tree to continue further; however, in order to finish this build, you will need at least 4 points (and up to 6) in these talents.

Tier 4 – 7

Required Talents: Nature’s Bounty, Empowered Touch, Wild Growth, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Tree of Life | If Living Seed, then Efflorescence
Living Seed Build | Non-Living Seed Build

Whether you chose a Living Seed built or not becomes rather irrelevant at this point in the tree. Virtually every talent is useful, and the choice depends heavily on your mana needs, play-style, and group composition. Optional talents for these tiers includes:

  • Malfurion’s Gift: The mana-saving benefits of Malfurion’s Gift are not huge, nor are they simple. By having additional Omen of Clarity procs, the druid can increase direct healing to a specific target by casting Healing Touch at no cost; however, depending on playstyle or role, if the procs are not utilized, then the talent is a waste.
  • Nature’s Cure: Unless your raid team ok’s this lack of utility, it’s a required talent. For 5-man group play, consider it mandatory.
  • Nature’s Ward: I personally would not suggest this talent. Self-healing on a ranged player, however vital, is just not the priority that improved healing talents, or mana-saving talents can provide.

Balance and Feral Talent Choices

Required Talents: Nature’s Majesty
Investment into the Balance and Feral trees is going to depend rather heavily on the player. Due to increased healing demands and reduced regeneration, maximizing mana pools and decreasing mana cost is a big factor for many restoration players right now.

The Moonglow/Genesis Build

Living Seed Build | Non-Living Seed Build
There are two talent choices that restoration druids may want to pick up in the balance tree: Genesis or Moonglow. In order to reach the second tier, you must invest 3 points in Nature’s Grace. While not a total waste, the benefits of Nature’s Grace for restoration druids is slim since it only procs on Regrowth cast, and is only available once a minute.

The same build can be used substituting Moonglow for Genesis to increase the effectiveness of HoTs and Swiftmend by 6%.

Since most players taking this build are concerned about mana, taking Furor in the feral tree is a good choice, even at 2/3.

The Non-Balance Build

Living Seed Base Build

If you don’t want to invest that heavily into the Balance tree, then you can surely re-invest yourself in the restoration tree. Any of the optional talents discussed earlier in the restoration tree are viable, as well as Furor in the feral tree (3/3 can be taken in this build). The need for a non-Living Seed build also becomes moot if you choose not to invest heavily into the Balance tree — you either have to take the Living Seed points OR invest in Nature’s Majesty without Genesis or Moonglow — and is not suggested.

Summary

Despite the smaller trees, there is still quite a bit of flex when determining how best to build your own spec. Although I’d love to say, this is all you’re ever need to know about restoration druid talenting, I also understand that a number of choices I’ve labeled as required have built-in prejudices based on my own healing style. Since that’s the case, do some more reading by visiting some more experienced folks:

Restokin | Feraltree | Cannot Be Tamed | Balanced Undergrowth

 

3.3 Patch Notes — Shaman

Shaman Notes

Fire Nova now causes the Shaman’s active Fire totem to emit a wave of flames, inflicting 893-997 fire damage to enemies within 10 yards of the totem.

Elemental Reach now affects Fire Nova.

Improved Fire Nova now increases the damage done by your Fire Nova by 20% and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.

Remaining changes: Mana cost reductions on lower ranked spells — totems, weapon enchants, healing and damage spells.

What’s It Mean?

Well, it seems like a lot of sound & fury signifying… not much.  I can see it being nifty for enhancement shamans grouped up with the boss and trash — drop your fire totem of choice and have another instant cast that also provides AoE damage — woot!

For elemental and restoration shamans, the utility for PvE settings remains unclear.  Since the cast causes the totem itself to provide the flame function, at best I see it being used as a gimmick spell since elementals and restoration shamans either drop their shamans in the back for spellcasting or midway to try to buffer melee and ranged, meaning the totem will likely be poorly positioned for any actual AoE damage most fights.

Elemental shamans in particular have long wanted an AoE damage spell, but the caveat of dropping your totem in the correct distance from the trash / boss to actually hit makes this solution a bit — odd.

Additionally, for all you leveling crazies, or those who’d like to join the crowd, now seems to be the time.  All classes have similar spell reduction costs to low level spells resulting in a less painful leveling experience if you want to try a new character.

For additional elemental shaman insight, Matthew Rossi @ WoW.com, and other class patch notes can be viewed at MMO-Champion or the official site.