My Experience Of Druid Healing Post 4.0.1

With Naora now my main, and the guild’s sort-of-agreement about it (I’ll bring mage for progress fights until Cata) I can finally raid the way I wanted for a long time; as a healer. The new patch is both a good and bad time to take up a new role. It’s good because there aren’t many precedents set, with everyone having new talents and changed spells to deal with. It’s a bad time because I’m slightly undergeared and not used to the new way of healing.

The guild doesn’t have many resto druids at all and I can’t remember a time when we had a dedicated 100% full time resto. The only other current resto druid hasn’t been on since the patch so I’ve done my own research into how to play, as well as linking to the great Tree Bark Jacket guide for my guildies to use for their offspecs and alts.

On beta, I didn’t even go near trying out the resto spec. Of course I played about with talents and spells but everything that was coming from the other testers suggested things weren’t looking good. High mana consumption, a mastery that was almost completely useless (hots healing more on targets with low hp) and the removal of tree as a permanent form were some of the issues raised. Changes were made, spells tweaked and the mastery totally revamped and it was after some PTR testing that the general mood was that things weren’t as bad as they had seemed and Cataclysm would not be the death of resto.

Tree form becoming a cooldown is obviously an issue for a lot of druids out there, more for the aesthetic value than what the tree form was providing. Whilst I will miss the dancing tree, it would not stop me playing a resto druid.

On Wednesday (patch day for us here in EU) our gm was desperate to try out the new changes, so a raid to VOA was made. Slightly under at 20 people went along, with myself as the only resto druid. Other healers included a holy priest, disco priest and 2 paladins. The tanks were a druid, death knight and warrior.

On Thursday, our gm had organised a raid for ICC to really test our new specs. Only had 16 people available but decided to try it anyway. Same healer and tank composition as the previous night. Managed 3/12 before Saurfang got the better of us (we were down to 15 people at that point)

I was using the rotation of Rejuvenation + Lifebloom x3 on main tank, with Rejuvs and Efflorescence procs from Swiftmend to heal the rest of the raid (as recommended by TBJ) Normal buffs including fish feasts and flask of the north (40 Int)

Observations:

  • I didn’t run out of mana once, which is good because Innvervate isn’t so great anymore.
  • I was trying not to pre hot the raid but old habits die hard! I will go oom a lot in Cataclysm if I don’t train myself to stop.
  • Where ever you place your Efflorescence pool, no one will be there 2 seconds later.
  • Running about in caster form isn’t quite as amusing as being a flailing tree.
  • Nourish feels incredibly slow now, despite it being our good and semi expensive heal.
  • I like the change to Regrowth (flash heal with a hot) although I keep forgetting to use it.
  • I don’t think I even used Wild Growth, which is probably bad.
  • I did remember to use my tree of life cooldown, popping it at Heroism (Bloodlust) moments and spamming Lifebloom stacks and instant Regrowths.
  • The 30 minute Rebirth worries me, as we have some particularly suicidal raiders.
  • Healing is definitely more reactionary than before. Rather than lots of little bits of damage, it’s a ton of damage on a few people.
  • I panicked a lot but I don’t think anyone noticed.

Overall, I am enjoying the new playstyle. I really feel that rather than coping with the changes and being unhappy about it, I can make it my own and get better.

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  1. Obviously I don’t play a druid, but I think your way to look at things is really good. There’s not much point complaining about changes (unless they’re obviously a problem) but rather for us all to make them our own and learn to play our class the “new” way.

    After all, it’s what we’ve had to do every other expansion as well. I’m surprised people haven’t gotten used to it yet 😉

    • I think people have forgotten what it was like to be shiney and new again. It can be very daunting especially to those in tank/healer/leader roles where the raid starts dying if you’re not sure.

      And it will happen all over again at Catacylsm too 😛

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