Guest Post: Resto Druids to be (even more) Awesome in 4.1

Please welcome our guest Naithin who regularly chats about gaming, including World of Warcraft, at his place: Fun In Games.

Shamans too, but eh. Let’s not worry too much about them. Druids are better and we all know it. In fact, if you were to tie one arm behind a druid’s back, and have them do a hand-stand with the remaining free hand atop a mount hopping about on one leg? Druid’s would still be better. So there. Also, wouldn’t that be something to see?

Anyway. Now that we’ve settled that and got it out of the way, let’s get down to business. With Patch 4.1 information starting to come to light, I’ve been bouncing in my seat — albeit not while performing a handstand on a hopping mount, however disappointing that news may be — waiting for information on the form of the impending +Awesome to Druids is going to take.

If you’re lost, don’t worry. Here’s a handy quote to add some context to my madness:

Nethaera:
We agree with the sentiment among some players that Restoration druids and Restoration shaman are lacking in the healing cooldown department.

Neth went on to say that it wouldn’t be something they could deal with in a balance/fix patch; it would have to wait for a full content patch. Well . . . Um, Hey, 4.1 is about to hit PTR right? Please tell us before we die of over-anticipation! At least at the time of writing this post, there has been no indication given on what form the cooldown might take.

Lissanna has given her view of how the cooldown should and shouldn’t work, and on many of the points I agree. In particular I agree that making Barkskin a raid or sharable cooldown would have all sorts of detrimental side-effects on its personal usability but I also think that this is one of the more likely avenues we’ll see taken.

What I’m hoping we’ll see — in a kind of not really hoping at all, but still, I think this would be best kind of way — instead though is a completely new ability. Although heck, just changing something other than Barkskin would be good enough!

  • Change Nature’s Swiftness.
    • Lissanna fairly well covered this one already, her idea was to have NS apply a damage reduction (much like Barkskin does) on the target of the heal that follows.
    • Could we instead perhaps have a new effect entirely? Perhaps a reflexes haste buff, increasing their avoidance and/or Mastery for a period of time? That idea isn’t without its own problems, for instance on a magic damage heavy fight, the potency of such an ability would diminish drastically. Still; I’d love for Blizzard to think a little outside the box.
  • Change Thorns (for Resto, perhaps another Talent or add it to Nature’s Bounty)
    • Presently Thorns is good for AoE trash pulls, you might cast it on the tank as they rush in to pick up the boss, or in certain other scenarios such as Whelp pickup on Halfus. Most of the time though it sits away in a sad little corner of the Resto repertoire. Make it also shield, make it debuff the boss with a damage decrease after it takes damage from the shield. Something!
  • Change Efflorescence
    • *Shakes fist at current Efflorescence!*
    • It is fairly . . . uhm, underwhelming, presently. Possibly that’s another issue entirely, but if they don’t want to increase the throughput of the spell — although goodness, I don’t see why not. An enhancement shaman’s Healing Rain does more than our Efflorescence so far — then perhaps give it a secondary effect. I imagine this secondary effect running along the lines of either:
      • Everyone standing in the area of effect takes less damage, or
      • For each person standing in the area of effect, the raid as a whole gains a buff which decreases damage taken by 5% (up to a maximum of say 20-25%). Although if it was that powerful, I’d say the cooldown on Efflorescence would have to go up. Probably considerably.

Of the options I’ve presented, I’d probably prefer to see the Efflorescence one taken up.

There are a million and one other options that could be taken though. They might even surprise us with something entirely new.

I just hope that it isn’t another cooldown of the throughput variety. I think we’re fairly good already in that regard. The end result of whatever they give us cooldown wise really needs to have an end result of damage reduction. Raid wide would be nice, but just tank would be acceptable.

Hopefully we’ll get to see their plans for the cooldown in the very near future!

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