The Druid Q&A is up on the World of Warcraft forums, and, while there’s a lot of fascinating info handed down from Ghostcrawler to the excited Entwives, growly-bears, sneaky-cats, and laser-budgies waiting in the crowds below, the one piece of info that really caught my attention was this (italics/bolding added by yours truly):
I’m not saying we would just cut Tree of Life from the game. It’s been around awhile and for better or worse, it’s part of World of Warcraft now. However, we could see taking the druid in a direction where shifting was much more common and easy to do. Maybe you only go into tree form for certain spells but leave for other spells — this didn’t work previously because of the high cost of shifting, but in the absence of power shifting, we’d love to get rid of the costs completely. Another way to go would be to make Tree of Life form a cooldown, more like Metamorphosis. You shift into tree when you need a healing boost, but you don’t stay in it all the time. Now, I am totally waving my arms here. This is not the kind of change you are going to see in the next patch. But it is something we’re thinking about long term, and the kind of thinking we’d love to have more feedback on from the community.
Wow. Waving your arms or not, Ghostcrawler, you have my undivided attention. While my current carrying around of giant lollipops is not particularly the “look” I thought Tazha would be going for, I am generally sorry to see all of her pretty armor and hair and facial tattoos disappear for the bulk of my playtime. The tree form itself isn’t as bothersome – as I’ve noted before, I find it amusing and would miss it if it wasn’t a permanent form but rather a healing boost. At the same time, I think it would be an amazing thing in PvE for that Tree of Life to be something that the group sees pop up in times of deep oh-shit crisis – a soothing sight for rapidly-life-depleted eyes.
Imagine a fight where the boss has the group in intense button-mashing mode, everyone a bit breathless, health bars bottoming out, and then a beautiful whirl of night elf-to-tree wonderfulness spreading green light everywhere and a collective sigh of relief…
Yes, it might amount to a “nerf” in the long run. Yes, it might mean that healing as a druid just got more challenging. Yes, it is yet another dreaded Change of Things. However, I really like the concept, and, at the moment I am 100% behind this idea.