02 March 2009

Phaelia's Retirement, and some small 3.1 news

Can't I leave you people alone for a week? I go on vacation, and look what happens...

The biggest news of course is both happy and sad. I'm referring of course to Phaelia's upcoming blogtirement. She has great news, with an upcoming noob gnome baby on the way. Understandably this will cut into her blogging time, so she's scaling back. While that's great news for her and Mr. Phae, it's of course a loss to the Druid community and for WoW blogs in general.

I wanted to take some time to give Phaelia her props. She's been the single best resource for me about all things Resto, and I owe my rare instances of doing things right to her tutelage above all else. Druids all throughout the world (of Warcraft) have learned from Phae. She's done that with a blog that's been both informative and entertaining; Resto4Life can serve as a role model for any WoW blogger. Beyond that, Resto4Life is probably the best-designed and most functional WoW blog. We'll carry on, and other bloggers will sprout up in her place. But her tree will still cast a mighty shadow long after it's stopped bearing fruit.

Phaelia should stand proud; she's done a tremendous service for Druids everywhere. She's earned her retirement many times over and I hope her blog 401K has treated her well. I just hope Phaelia finds herself blogging again soon — whether or not the topic is WoW or MMORPGs. She's got a talent for it and she'll be missed.

Thanks, Phaelia! Congrats on your imminent parenthood, and best wishes in all your future works!

3.1 on the PTR

Oh yeah, there was some WoW-news too, as the 3.1 patch has arrived on the test realm. Not to be coy; there are big changes afoot for Resto Druids. 3.1 will be a serious change for us; in some ways, even bigger than WotLK itself. I will have to update my Tank Healing guide for sure, and I'm going to have to decide how to target my Raid Healing guide.

The first change is to Regrowth, and yeah, it's a nerf. On live, Improved Regrowth grants you a 10/20/30/40/50% added crit chance to Regrowth. On the PTR, this talent is changed to Nature's Bounty. The bad is that it's cut in half, with a 5/10/15/20/25% added crit chance. The good – such as it is – is that it now affects Nourish as well as Regrowth. Clearly this is designed to dial back Regrowth while helping Nourish. The latter has always struggled to find its niche, and this should bring it forward — especially now that mana efficiency will be a bigger concern.

Lifebloom has seen big changes too. The changes are a big nerf to rolling stacks of LB, but we have a couple small carrots to go with the big stick. Here's how it shakes out:
  • Lifebloom's mana cost is doubled (!)
  • The bloom heal now stacks too (so a 3x LB stack gives 3x the bloom effect)
  • When it blooms, you also get a mana refund of 50% per application
The mana cost change is the big nerf, hitting the HPM of Lifebloom stacks right in the gut. Put simply, you probably won't roll more than one stack in most situations.

The buff component will require some adjustment. Today, if you're rolling a Lifebloom stack, you hate to see it bloom. I mean hate. The good news with this change is that the mana refund can be useful, and you have a potentially huge heal with a 3x bloom. Today, a bloom (in PvE) is usually accidental, and is a wasted heal more often than not. With this change, we're going to have to be more mindful of whether the bloom will be useful or not.

There are other changes too (Revitalize, Intensity, and of course mana regen), so there will be a lot to talk about. I've transferred Alamein to the PTR, so I should be able to try out some of the new stuff. And I expect further changes. That's why it's the "Test Realm," after all! The numbers I mention above (especially on Lifebloom) are very likely to see at least a bit of change.

I'll post deeper thoughts and updates as I experiment a bit, and as we learn more. One thing I promise: I won't go emo on you. I fully expect trees to be powerful healers through 3.1 and beyond. We'll have nerfs and (scary!) changes, but we'll get through them. Hang in there!

1 comment:

David said...

I'm glad to hear your positive tone about class evolution. Many blogs and of course forums are full of "I woke up this morning and my reality was shattered because blizzard destroyed my class. Why is it our class always gets nerfed so hard? It must have been someone's QQ that did it. Sigh...." and so on and so on.

I for one put my faith in Blizzard to do the right thing. Everyone was rolling LB on 2-3 targets because it was kinda OP. Blizzard wants to balance it. And now LB will have a lot more flexibility. You can still roll on a tank if you really, really want to, but I can see a new rotation emerging between rejuv, LB, and nourish (and maybe even regrowth too!) that will offer a little more variety for healing druids.

I'd like to see a glyph or talent that adds 3s to regrowth for every nourish crit, that would synergize the two a lot more.