Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kae's Cata Resto-Talents Ponderings, Sept 2010

As usual, I am tentative about posting Cataclysm stuff when it's not official beyond beta testing and not as close to release as I'd like, but with the months ticking down and the resto talent tree still looking unpolished, I did want to dig in and voice my concerns with it.

First, to make a point, let's add up the total talent points in all of the trees:
  • Balance: 41
  • Feral: 44
  • Resto: 45
45 talent points. Feral's 44 include talents that are specific to only bear or cat: specializations allow them to easily skip some that are inapplicable to their role, while resto has a very limited number of inapplicable talents (and that only out of pvp vs pve). The resto tree is a bit heavy on useful talents, making the talent specification process very difficult; nevermind attempting to still pick up some useful healing talents in the balance tree.

Talent Commentary

Moonglow, Genesis and NG (balance):
I'd like to see Nature's Grace and Moonglow (or Genesis) swapped in places in the talent tree. I don't think such a swap would impact moonkin badly, and it would save restos some wasted talent points off of a haste talent that is supposed to proc off of a DPS ability. I am mostly bothered by the need to spend so many points in DPS talents to reach the healing talents in the second teir of the balance tree, especially as we are unlikely to then be able to reach both healing talents and are forced to choose between half of moonglow or half of genesis (or to forgo healing talents in the resto tree to get 5 points to split between them).

If mana is truly the problem the beta-testers are complaining of, I can see some restos looking to the 15% mana pool increase as a possible way to alleviate mana problems. While I don't think it needs to be moved, I did want to point it out, as it still is a talent of interest in the whole "how do I spec?" question.

The First Row of Resto:
9 talent points all useful to a resto druid. This is a heavy hand of points to have to spend. Naturalist is dependant on how often we are casting our longer heals. Blessing of the Grove could potentially be skipped if you can put those points instead into Genesis (which is a more powerful boost), but that requires you to forego Moonglow.

Genesis vs Blessing of the Grove:
BotG (2/2): 4% healing to rejuv. Genesis (2/3): 4% to all HoTs and swiftmend. Keep this in mind when building your own specs, as there are opportunities to replace BotG with Genesis, assuming you need to put points in Naturalist.

Fury of the Stormrage:
If we're having mana problems and need to actually be spending our GCDs on healing, will we have the time to throw around DPS spells? Wrath has a 2.5 second base cast time. Considering it is opening up a mana talent (Malfurion's Gift) for OoC procs off of LB ticks (rather than just spellcasts) I worry at the points being shoved into a flavor talent.

Swift Rejuvenation:
As a deep-tree talent, you can easily yank a point or two based on your haste. The talent allows you to have a capped GCD for Rejuvenation, without any haste on your gear. While it sounds like they don't want us capping to the 1second GCD from haste alone, this talent is one that is more flexible based on gear. In addition, some players may not even make good use of this talent without being impeccably aware of their changing GCD timer: a fluctuation from 1.3 seconds (for example) to 1.0 seconds depending on what spell you cast in the heat of a busy combat is tiny and easily missed. We all have an internal timer that we develop for our keystrokes around successful spellcasts, anyway, and it can be difficult to alter it for rejuvenation alone. So, when looking at this talent, you need to be honest with yourself about how useful it is at your gear level with 2 points, or if you would be better served with 1 point or 0 (compared to other talent options).

DPS talents: Take your Pick
Overall, it appears that we can't really get away with a pure healing build. We are currently forced to pick up a pure DPS talent somewhere. These are a couple options I created while toying around:
  • Moonfire and IS: the insta-cast DoT spells: these are quick to cast, but cost you precious mana. NG and Genesis both build on these DoTs, as does Blessing of the Grove. With NG, each DoT will proc you 15% spell haste which will apply to your healing spells, which not only impacts your GCD (should you notice the proc and slightly faster timer) but also your nourish, HT, and regrowth casts. You could replace Genesis with moonglow to help reduce mana cost, as this particular build appears to be much more of a mana hog than the one below.
  • Wrath and Starfire: with Fury of the Stormrage, wrath will have a cast time, but no mana. This also opens up Malfurion's Gift, making the build reliant upon lifebloom to be efficient: this is a build for tank healers, certainly (or some very glorious mana returns when you go ToL and blanket the raid in lifebloom). You can replace NG with Starlight Wrath to reduce your wrath to a 2-second base cast time, though the points spent in the resto tree will limit how many you can feasibly put into the balance tree. I left Swift Rejuv off due to the lifeblooming build this spec lends itself towards.

Point Adjustments: the Solution?
Ultimately, the resto tree is heavy on talents, and I think it would be best served by reducing the number of points it takes to max out some of the talents from 3 to 2, such as Nature's Bounty, Revitalize, and/or Living Seed and Efflorescence. This would free up more talent points to put into the more questionable talents like Naturalist, or into the balance tree's yummy healing 2nd-tier talents (for example, this build or this one, assuming that revitalize and nature's bounty were reduced to 2/2 rather than 3/3). Even 2 points freed up would be adored; 3 points would be quite useful as it would then reopen options like full Naturalist or Genesis+Moonglow, together with Swift Rejuv. This would also prevent the need to ignore or complain about DPS talents, as Blizzard seems to be pushing us towards picking up some DPS versatility.

Otherwise, swapping NG and it's DPS-triggered haste proc with either moonglow or genesis would probably make many druids happy.


Karä said...

Hello :) By setting up Genesis and Blessing of the Grove up against eachother it looks like you're trying to choose one over the other. Besides not having enough talent points for a certain build is there any reason you'd *not* go for both of these talents?
By the way it's nice to read about your thoughts on all this. You bring out the good points!


Kae said...

The first build I linked actually has both Genesis and BotG, together :) Of course, if there's more a need for casting a quicker nourish or HT, naturalist may come into play instead... but I think rejuv will still be heavily used for incidental raid damage.

Karä said...

Ah I missed that :) For some reason I can't see the two builds you have in the Point Adjustment section. Are one of those builds with both Genesis, Blessing of the Grove *and* naturalist? It'd mean taking out some points from Revitalize and Nature's Bounty but I'd go with that any day to get boost to hots and still keep a fast Nourish/HT. What are your thougths?

Kae said...

The first pair of links are for the wowtal.com calculators; the second pair are from cata.wowhead.com (cuz it let me look at glyphs :) ). I did make a build with 3/3 moonglow (can be 3/3 genesis instead) along with 2/2 BotG and 2/2 Naturalist... definitely requires that reduction in Bounty, Swift Rejuv, and/or Revitalize.

(Link: http://wowtal.com/#k=gj-vuFsuP.a2y.druid)

If they don't reduce the number of points in the resto tree, Nature's Bounty may be a pretty good place to drop points, as efflorescence is no longer reliant on regrowth crits and a cooldown of .5 seconds on swiftmend is relatively small against its base 15 second cooldown. I'd be wary of not maxing out revitalize, though; I've heard horror stories about mana in the beta/ptr, and such a build wouldn't be able to take moonglow.

Hmm so much to think about!