This is a run-down of "faults" I see in the resto talent tree: those talents that I am "forced" to take but find little to no use for as a PvE healer, and the talents that I feel are relatively useless to most any type of druid, and some ideas on ways they could be changed.
3/3 Nature's Focus
This talent is PvP, or solo/leveling PvE. With the advent of dual-spec, few raiding PvE resto druids are seriously soloing in their healing spec! I have little to no use for the talent, never mind that both of my "oh shit" heals are instant-cast (NS+HT, Swiftmend), along with lifebloom, WG, and rejuvenation. I can pop barkskin on a 1-min cooldown if I really need some interrupt resist.
The alternative available is to put 3/5 points in Furor, which has no benefits for a tree druid at all.
How could it be changed?
Perhaps Furor could be given some treeform utility useful specifically to a raid setting, such as increasing treeform spirit or mp5 (would be interesting to balance in the light of all of the recent 3.2 mp5/replenish changes); Nature's Focus would then still be a talent of choice for PvP and solo/leveling builds. Alternatively, Nature's Focus could also include a buff where your helpful spells have a chance to proc that same level of interrupt reduction to your target, or provide a +healing received buff to your direct-healing target (regrowth, nourish, HT) akin to the balance talent Earth and Moon (albeit much smaller to account for its teir 1 position, and perhaps limited to only buffing your own heals/HoTs rather than everyone's).
3/3 or 2/3 Subtlety
This is a pvp and leveling talent, or one for those druids whose tanks are reaaaally weak on picking up adds and keeping threat on them. Serious raiding guilds, and even most casual raiding guilds and pugs, do not have this problem. In TBC, "world threat" was a huge issue for healers, but WotLK brought with it insane amounts of increased tank AoE threat and AoE tanking. Now, if a tank has at least touched a mob, it shouldn't be running off towards the healers. If a tank hasn't touched a mob, then of all the healers, a druid's going to end up with the aggro regardless of this talent, unless they just aren't healing.
The alternatives available would be to put those points instead into Naturalist (when I don't cast HT without NS), Furor (see comments on Nature's Focus Options above), or putting 1 of 3 of the points into Tranquil Spirit and giving up on the last two talent points as some sacrificial offering to the Spec Gods.
How could it be changed?
Well, if Furor were to be changed to have some PvE raiding tree usefulness, I could easily see moving 2 points into Furor from this tier (thus capping out Furor at 5/5 with the points from Nature's Focus). Alternatively, and I feel crazy for suggesting this, Blizzard could add more mobs/bosses that have a chance to dispel buffs, as Epoch Hunter did in Old Hillsbrad Foothills, so that our anti-dispel portion of the talent would actually feel useful.
2/2 Improved Tranquility
This is, pretty much, a sub-60 (pre WG) leveling resto druid talent, or filler for those that are *purely* raid healers and choose to not cast much in the way of nourish/regrowth. As a party-only heal with a relatively long channeling time, Tranquility does not see the use it had back in the vanilla raiding scene. These two key aspects: party-only and channeled, are not addressed by the talent, only the threat (see my comments on WotLK threat in the Subtlety section above) and the cooldown (which assumes druids are using it at all). Tranquility is more often used, imho, by moonkin or feral druids, or resto druids not yet high enough level to take Wild Growth; the ferals/balance druids aren't going to invest their talent points this deep in the resto tree unless they're taking NS instead, so they won't be taking this talent. Wild Growth's introduction and 6-second cooldown more or less removed Tranquility from most raiding restos' action bars and minds.
There are alternatives for where to put the 2 talent points, certainly; the reason I mention it is because I pity the talent. I honestly don't see many druids taking this talent, and those that do don't seem to be making regular, strong use of this talent to the degree that makes up for them not putting those points in a different talent, such as revitalize, living seed, empowered touch (particularly with the 3.2 change of adding nourish to the talent), and/or nature's grace. If it's taken, it's viewed as filler, or with some spark of hope that it may actually be useful, if they ever find a situation where they need to cast Tranquility, while remembering fondly the days of ZG and MC where pretty lights were cast frequently and with fervor. As such, I feel like it is now a dead spot in the druid talent tree, in need of some tweaks to bring it back in line with the other options available.
How could it be changed?
The talent could, perhaps instead of threat reduction, address the limitations on what players it can heal or the fact that it is channeled (cutting the channel-time in half and providing the rest of the healing by a HoT buff, for example, thus allowing the druid to continue casting other heals while the spell finishes itself). Depending on how extremely different it makes Tranquility, they may remove the cooldown-reduction from the talent to help balance the changes.
~~ What are your thoughts? ~~
Blaugust Day 1
5 hours ago