Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celestial Focus, or No?

Celestial Focus is being tossed around as a possible "resto druid" talent to add 3% additional spell haste in efforts to reach the 3.3 soft haste cap, as the cap for the GCD is being increased with the patch (to 855 haste rating, assuming you have both WoA totem and ret/moonkin aura in your raid. Can check out some buff/haste graphs here).

The problem is: the talent is much deeper in the balance tree than most restos ever go, and to reach it would require giving up deep-tier resto talents. At full 3/3 CF, a druid would have a 18/0/53 spec, which is a far cry heavier balance than healing trees have seen in a long while (being that most have been at most 14/0/57 or 11/0/60 in WotLK, depending on their usage of Nature's Grace).

Four key talents will probably see the most debate on which to drop or keep, and which one(s) each druid chooses should depend on how useful you find them in your situation as a healer in comparison to the 3% haste. As far as I can see it, if you take 3/3 CF by spending 4 talent points to get past the previous 14 spent by restos in the balance tree, you will only have 3 talent points left over to split among these 4 different talents (the link put one point in revitalize just to open the end talents):
  • Empowered Touch: not taking this is a nerf to your NS+HT emergency heal and your nourish. If you don't use either of them very often (read: never), then this may easily be passed by you; if you have to tank heal at all or heal in hardmodes on cutting edge progression, you may not have the luxury of skipping this talent.
  • Living Seed: again, more of a tank-healing talent, as it is a reactive spell that will proc off of crits and heal in reaction to a hit. If you just sit in a big raid casting not but WG and rejuv, then that's not a problem. If you do more than that... perhaps it will be harder to give up this talent.
  • Revitalize: a talent more for the raid-healers than the previous two, as it procs energy to your buddies off of your rejuvs and WG. If you make heavy use of either spell (which is the vast majority of druid healers, even those that do tank heals), it is well worth the investment of talent points, particularly for your energy/rage/runic-power-using comrades. While it does not help the druid as much directly as other mana-giving buffs, it boosts others' dps and threat.
  • Imp Barkskin: if it was taken before, it will probably be the first to go if the druid doesn't pvp heavily. The talent does not impact actual healing, only damage reduction, which is mostly useful in solo, pvp, and cutting-edge hardmode content where the druid needs to use barkskin to absorb damage (examples include XT-002 and Anubarak).
Alternatively, you could loose two points out of Nature's Bounty in favor of keeping Empowered Touch (as with this spec); you will loose 10% crit from nourish and regrowth, but you'll keep your boost to HT and all of your nourishes. Crit rate on Regrowth is far less of a concern now, though you'll want to consider whether or not the crit on nourish is as useful for your healing as other options.

Personally, I doubt I will take CF, as spending 4 talent points on 3% haste seems very unbalanced to me in comparison to spending those points in (as I have now) emp touch, living seed, and revitalize. I am in a 10-man progressive-raiding healing situation that requires more than just "raid healing" from me, so spending 4 talent points to get 3% haste (when GotEM is 4 points for 8% haste plus an additional gcd reduction on LB) just doesn't seem worth it when I compare what else I could spend those points on. I need more versatility. This will probably be my spec (which isn't much different from my current). I'm considering maxxing living seed in trade for 2/3 Nature's Grace, but their relative bonuses and NG's semi-disruptive impact on my healing "rotation" of GCDs are hard to compare against the times I need NG for MT healing. I'm still pondering that :)

I imagine those that will find the most use of taking 3/3 CF are those druids who spend the vast majority of their time raid-healing, at which point I would suggest spending your last 3 points in 3/3 revitalize, out of the above listed talent options.

What are your thoughts?


Kayeri said...

I am trying that build right now, Kae, because I'd lost so much haste in the mostly 232 level gear that my cast time was really slowed. I dont think I've seen a huge difference, either. My haste was down to 356, where I'd had it up around 400 before. Now after 3.3 actually hits, that may change, of course.

I also caved in last night and spent the badges to get out of the Ony25 head and into the iLevel 245 badge helm with haste on it, and I am considering putting away my Moonshadow Armguards and going back to the Broodmother wrists, which also have haste on them.

I rather doubt I'll ever hit the new soft cap, but I think there could be merit in Icedragon's idea that perhaps we arent intended to. I have seen druids with over 600 haste though.

lissanna said...

Some people will benefit from CF in 3.3. Some people won't. I also see some people planning on switching to CF temporarily and then going back to their no-CF builds.

Anonymous said...

I can get upwards of ~750 haste right now just swapping around a few pieces of gear, but loosing my T9 set bonus...which I'm not entirely certain I want to do. I'm also not entirely certain that I want to drop 18 points into the balance tree either.

Right now I'm 11/0/60, which means I would need to re-allocate 7 points from the resto tree. 5 of them are easy for me, as I rarely tank heal in our progression raids I can take 3 points from living seed without too much thought and 2 points from improved barkskin, because as you said...they were nice to have but also don't have a huge effect on my output. Which leaves me to find two more points, which would likely come out of empowered touch.

I haven't 100% decided myself if I am going to go into Celestial focus. I'm wondering how much difference it will truly make if I continue to build on haste gear. I suspect that I'll explore it, maybe drop my moonkin spec for a bit to do a dual resto spec to compare. While I understand on paper it is supposed to give you the most bang for your buck...I can't help but wondering how it's going to work in practice.

I guess what I'm trying to say in this big, long, ramble is that I have no idea what I want to do yet =(

Kae said...

*nod* I think restos' overall haste rating will see a boost when the changes to GotEM go live (as a 10% haste buff), but few druids in current gear will see the soft haste cap... those that do will be sacrificing a lot of their versatility.

I don't think it's absolutely necessary to be sitting at exactly 1s GCD. It's a difficult position from a scaling perspective, and latency will always cause trouble... and getting to that cap requires giving up other stats like crit (which I like!).

Erdluf said...

I'm not really a raider (just the little raids, like Ony, VoA).

I'll take your build but remove NG (when it procs, it drops almost everything below 1 second, which is not all that useful).

I'll use those points to finish Living Seed and get Improved Tranquility (very nice for five mans, and sometimes useful in 10-man content).

I might move a point from Subtlety to Tranquil Spirit (but either is really a filler, to get deeper in the tree).

Fîrewood said...

Honestly, I think with ICC coming out and the changes to haste with patch 3.3 that it will be necessary for resto druids to take all three points in CF. There just isn't enough haste on our gear currently nor in the gear that MMO has shown us so far. Even with full raid buffs including a ret pally/moonkin/haste totem and points in CF, you need 735 haste rating. Frankly, even at my gear level I'm having difficulty getting enough static haste without having to gem spellpower/haste gems. Not to mention taking those 3 points in CF allows you to keep some of those nice pieces of gear with critical strike instead of downranking to a lower spellpower/higher haste piece. End result being you retain some of your critical strike and spellpower even if you break up your four-piece T9 so your direct heals still hit hard.

In addition, I can guarantee that resto druids will notice it when their gcd isn't 1 second. You will find yourself having to spam buttons more often because your HoTs just aren't off the gcd yet. You might even miss big heals because you're having to wait. The biggest adjustment would just be for your personal rhythm. I know what my gcd is and I know that mine is definitely 1 sec and I plan my heals and button clicks around that. Not hitting the soft haste cap means you will affect your healing style, and not for the better.

I'm also in the process of testing out a couple of different talents, mainly living seed and revitalize. Granted, I think those are fight-specific and healing-style specific talents. I'm trying to determine if either is worth putting points into. Maybe I'll put up a post about the results.


Kae said...

I'm at 260 haste rating atm, which isn't even the current 3.2 cap (about 1.09 seconds with gotem 4/5 and raid buffs). Yes, people will need to adjust their own internal "this is how long my GCD is" monitors, and that will probably be the biggest hoop to jump for us all, but it will only be by the nitpicky tenths of a second. I'm expecting a jump to a 1.17 second GCD from 1.09 if I don't add more haste gear (and I respec for 5/5 gotem)... less than a tenth of a second difference. Slightly noticeable, but I can adapt to it, and gear upgrades in ICC will help.

I suppose as a 10-man raider I have a bit more fatalistic view on how achievable haste is without giving up "necessary" talents :) a) healing style, and b) overall lower iLevel gear accessible.

Drew said...

I for one would not be getting CF. I see it as a last resort for the little bit of haste. I am at 18% and i do not know if this has changed, but you need 33% to get 1.0 GCD. ill prob just take points out of Tranquil Spirit, and with WoA i should be GtG. with Blizz raising the haste soft cap is prob because of the increase in haste on gear coming in ICC. So if any thing i and others would slowly take points out of it and distribute it elsewhere when we get gear.

trom said...

I am playing 18/0/53 for a few months now and I really don't miss any other deep restotalent neither the T9 set bonus...for me living seed or rejuvenation crits are heals, which I cannot exactly anticipate and that is why, I do not care about them. I prefer to cast a few heals a bit faster than to count on unpredictable effects^^, so perhaps I'm a bit a controll freak in this case.
The high focus on haste rating (currently 756)is really worth it; even Anub in 10-hardmode with just another pala for the mt-heal isn't a problem
(although the first times my guildmates couldn't imagine a tree to heal this, but someday a holypriest had a disconnect and I got to try my luck and we were succesfull^^)

[sorry for my bad english, I just want to to take up the cudgels for celestial focus and now this simple comment has grown into a refresh of my language skills]

Daniel said...

@Kae "...those that do will be sacrificing a lot of their versatility."

And that I think is the key to what a druid needs to do. If the only thing you care about is throughput then CF 3/3 may make sense. But I think that most (by no means all) trees care about more than that.

I actually dislike this type of theory crafting. I think it puts the focus on the wrong thing. It creates an awe of big numbers that distracts from quality play. Frankly, I think it's just DPS envy.

Anteater said...

I am able to keep my t9 4 set and have 765 haste. No revitilise, no barkskin no living seed. I mana isnt an issue for me so i 1/5 tranquil spirit. Still have empowered touch. With bookin / ret pally and WoA totem down my nourish is a .996 cast Which is an excellent emergency heal if swiftmend is on CD. NS + HT can take too long, 1gcd for the NS then u can hit HT instead of just casting nourish and if NG procs u follow up with a .8 second cast nourish to easily make as much healing as as a HT would. Im all for CF till i get enough haste to drop it.

Kae said...

The point of NS + HT is not to cast them individually. NS can be cast at the exact same time as HT and doesn't pop a GCD on its own. Macros are used to combine them together into one instant spellcast.

Also, the nourish itself doesn't matter so much for speed past 1 second, as the GCD afterwards will still, always, be 1 second when at or past the level of haste to put it there. The GCD can never be less than 1 second, it caps out. So, even if Nourish itself will cast in less than 1 second, you will still have to pause and wait for the GCD to complete before casting again; this is the same clipping issue that glyphed HT ran up against.