Patch 3.2 has a whole bunch of the WoW community vacillating between excitement and fury. I know the new emblem system alone managed to keep my pally and I in a heated argument on the 30 minute drive from work to the movie theater last night. He was enraged by the fact that Emblems of Conquest will now drop in heroic dungeons, and, while not wholeheartedly pro-emblem-change, I was definitely not-so-much upset by it. The well-spoken arguments for and against are presented all over the place, most notably by Euripedes at Critical QQ, who first lambasted raging “elitist” raiders and then explained himself a little bit better, laying out the more cogent issues behind the pros and cons to the new emblem changes. My final compromise-y thoughts on emblem changes are that while (a) old content gets phased out all the time and (b) more people gearing up and seeing newer content is generally good, it does feel like maybe Blizzard is speeding up the process a little too much. After all, didn’t we just set foot into Ulduar, and already we can get a lot of the same Tier gear by farming heroics? Hrm. Still, I think I’ll join Keeva on her nice fence. I’ll even bring tree snacks…
But how do the druid-specific changes affect PvE trees? Even not including all the travel changes, there are still a multitude of new things, many of them involving math.
PTR Patch 3.2 Notes for Resto Druids
- Innervate: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.
- Lifebloom: The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.
- Mana Regeneration: All items that provide “X mana per five seconds” have had the amount of mana they regenerate increased by approximately 25%.
- Tier 9 Gear
The Innervate changes are a big boon, as far as I can see. In most fights, even in Ulduar, I have enough mana regen that if I do end up needing Innervate, I only need it at the tail end of the fight and then I don’t need all the mana it provides. With this new change, I think resto druids will find that using Innervate earlier in their boss fight rotations will mean they can have full mana throughout even mana-heavy fights plus the ability to use Innervate on their friendly holy priest companions, etc as the fight goes on. Add this to the new plus mana regen, and, as Michael from The Office would say, “Win-win-win!”
As for the Lifebloom nerf? Just like other bloggers have mentioned, Lifebloom seems to still be in the “constantly tweaked” phase of development as far as Blizzard is concerned. Since none of the patch enrages me, I’m not going to go off on a big tangent about this. Just take note, resto druids, allowing Lifebloom to finish out its cycle as yet another form of “oh, crap, they need more heals” is going to be less effective going forward.
The Empowered Touch addition to Nourish is part 55 of Blizzard’s desperate attempt to get us to love Nourish as much as they do (see also 2-pc Tier 9 bonus). It seems I’m going to have to grit my teeth, drop my I-don’t-like-changing-my-rotation-that-much attitude, and start using a lot more Nourish. (I know, I know, I probably should have been doing this already…)
Last but certainly not least, we’ve finally gotten a peek at the Tier 9 set (see above). I had some thoughts on this but realized after reading Sylly’s post over on Rolling HoTs that mine were swill compared to hers. Plus I hadn’t done any math at all. (Bad Tazha!) So head over there and review her excellent take on the topic.
Overall, I’m somewhat of the opinion of “Bring it on, Blizzard!” in terms of their proposed adjustments. Whatever makes healing continue to be challenging, changing and exciting isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even if it feels cranky-pants-making. As for the emblems, I guess my pally and I will have to agree to disagree on that one. ;)