Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hacking the Roots

Phae, among many other bloggers, has pointed out Ghostcrawler's [and Blizzard, in general] intent of nerfing Wild Growth [and CoH, but I'm not priest, and will refrain from commenting on that one!].

Now, I will admit: I am rather old fashioned. I can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I am to be using HT, and, right now, I just don't have the glyph space for it. One Major Glyph spot is taken for Maul, and the other, for Rejuvenation. This may change when the dual specs and having glyphs for each spec comes out, but, until then, I'll stick with my ever trusty HoTs.

Now, any druid worth their salt should know better than to just spam "Wild Growth" -- in fact, I've even gotten in an argument with a fellow tree about it, for he says that all he does is spam Wild Growth... To emphasize my point, this is just one example of the healing done in a ZA raid:

I came in on top, and my meters looked like this. Two healers. I have always been a liberal user of Regrowth, and with the changes made to it, it's making me use it even more. Still, however, Lifebloom was top -- I'm a little terrified by just how many times I let it bloom, but, at the same time, for how fast we were zerging the place, sometimes it was just unavoidable.

Night before last, we went to Black Temple. Five healers, and I beat both of our priests [the resto shaman beat me in Recount [although he had a lot of overhealing], and the holy paladin shamed us all -- I hear the new changes to Light have put them on top of the meters, of both healing and overhealing].

This time, however, Wild Growth did what Blizzard feared: came out on top. But not by the extravagant 70% that they mention. Over four hours of healing, and only one fight in which I can recall hitting Wild Growth a lot: Supremus, when he's running around and looking at everyone but the main tank. During that phase, I was running around, waving my leafy branches, Lifeblooming and Wild Growthing everything within reach while trying to find our MT. Sure, I used it on many trash pulls, but when everything has been nerfed into the ground and even groups that are generally around Badge/ZA geared are AoEing BT down, it is to be expected that we, as healers, will be using our AoE heals often to make up for it. [And, for me, raiding with all of 4FPS, gives me more of a reason to do so.]

Sure, we may not be at Sunwell level, but we are hardly eschewing our other spells.

That druid I mentioned earlier? The one who said that all he does in raids is spam Wild Growth? I laughed at him. Not only was he a bear at the time, but the druid who was following his instructions, although having gear close to mine, was doing 25% less overall healing than I, and I was using most of my arsenal, whereas he stuck to two or three spells.

Wild Growth is a powerful tool, I'll give them that. What makes it more powerful, however, is when druids learn how to weave it into their normal spell rotation, rather than letting it take over everything.

Will I be upset over the nerf? Yes. Blizzard seems to love nerfing trees.

Will I be too devastated? Probably not. I don't tend to spam the spell, but use it in between all of my other spells and when I remember that I finally have an awesome AoE heal.

I do personally have a few problems with Wild Growth, though, which may factor into my thoughts.
  • It isn't the most optimal for 5-mans. At least, for me, I found that it doesn't actually heal all five people. More often than not, it ignores me.
  • Smart choosing? Sometimes. Other times, it ignores people who are lowest on health but are in range and instead tops off other people. It still forces one to be aware of one's surroundings and who is low on health [which, in my opinion, is a good thing. I think being a good healer has to involve being able to look at both the raid frames and at the fight, to know where you, as the healer, are in proximity to your tanks, your DPS, and just what big bad guy / AoE might come and kill you and how to escape from it].

I asked a few other trees about their opinions. Their feedback?
Pet Tree: "Would give those Wild Growth Spammers learn. :P Wild Growth isn't our only heal."
F: "It's a HoT. giving it a CD doesn't do much, since it'll just overwrite a good fraction of the time anyway."
S: "-shrug- Lifebloom was spammed for long enough, just a new spell its been switched to."
F: "It gets spammed, when you don't know what you really should be doing."
Pet Tree: "To be honest: WG is just an okay heal. It's a good AoE damage heal."
F: "It's good for stuff like Felmyst."
Pet Tree: "Rejuv, with the glyph or not, is a far more superior HoT than rolled Lifeblooms or WG Spam." [I may not agree with this one, but...]
S: "I don't use it that much unless like said its AoE damage. I love my rejuv right now."
Me: "Rejuv is wonderful. I've got a love affair with Regrowth though."
Pet Tree: "We have too many Lifebloom rollers and WG spammers. Lifebloom rolls are only good for people taking heavy damage, sch as a tank. Rejuv is a massively underestimated heal."
S: "With replenish, I think a lot more people will be using Rejuv. I sure use it more when I'm tree."

Then we wander off and talk about every other class and their healing, and GC's nerfing. Oh, and tanking. And bear armor nerfs. [I'm still sore about that one, which is why I'm tree.]

In sum, the Pet Tree puts it best: "Tree Druids are still Uber healers. We just have more stuff to use and it kills our mana efficiency."

Which was Blizzard's point, so, really, all's working out just as they planned. Not to our liking, perhaps, but it is to their ideals...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not bad! I will come back to read more soon!!!