WotLK Druid tree (no pun intended)

Druid class discussion.

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Post#16 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:56 pm

Okay, having seen the new official trees, here are my proposed Balance and Restoration builds.

Balance build 1: Pure single-target DPS, maximum mana regeneration. An argument could be made for switching Dreamstate with Moonglow; it'll depend on how much Intellect is available in WotLK gear.

Balance build 2: This one is designed to make the Balance Druid an AoE god, but sacrifices mana regen and the glory that is Master Shapeshifter.

Leveling build at 70: What it says, this looks like an ideal leveling build. Blast away at everything you can see - be it one mob or 20.

Resto build 1: Unlike in BC, nearly every single Restoration talent looks useful, even Master Shapeshifter. This build leaves 1 talent point free, which you could profitably drop in Natural Perfection if you wanted, or put 3 in there if you still think that Improved Tranquility is useless (despite having its base CD reduced to 5 mins and down to 2 by the talent).
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Post#17 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:41 am

I've already discussed this in other threads, but there's a change to one particular Druid talent that makes me a very happy camper.

Omen of Clarity is no longer a self-buff with a melee-only proc, but is now a passive effect that has a chance to proc on any spellcast or autoattack. The PPM (procs per minute) rate has reportedly been increased to 3.5, meaning that on average, you will receive 3.5 free ability/spell uses per minute.

With this change, OoC has gone from being primarily a Feral talent to being one of the most effective points it's possible to spend for any build. WARNING - math follows!

To calculate the chance of OoC proccing on any given spell or hit, figure the cast time (or attack speed) of the ability, divide by 60, and multiply by 3.5. That's the chance of OoC proccing on each cast/hit. Calculating the mana/rage/energy returns from the effect are a lot harder due to rotations, but it's possible to do some approximations.

Best-case example: Healing Touch (talented 3 sec cast). Chain casting this spell will give you 20 casts per minute. 3.5 of those casts will give you OoC procs. 3.5/20 = 0.175, or a 17.5% chance of a free spellcast per HT. If you did nothing but chain-cast HT, you'd see a 17.5% mana return from OoC. (The same math applies to Starfire.

Worst-case example: Lifebloom (talented 1 sec GCD). Chain casting this spell will give you 60 casts per minute. 3.5 of those casts will give you OoC procs. 3.5/60 = 0.058, or a 5.8% chance of a free spellcast per LB. If you did nothing but chain-cast LB, you'd see a 5.8% mana return from OoC.

This is treating OoC as a passive effect only. With smart management, you'd wait for a proc to cast your most powerful spell(s), and could increase the mana savings dramatically.

Figuring the effect on Ferals is a bit trickier, because of the varying cycles and rage/energy costs, but generally one can assume that you'd deliberately try to use your highest cost abilities on an OoC proc. However, this is already how the current mechanics work, so the only major impact on Ferals is that, while the ability to proc from specials is gone, the overall proc rate is higher to compensate. Oh, and you no longer have a "buff" that you have to remember to cast and that can be dispelled.

Comparing these figures with other talents, we see that Moonglow gives a 3% discount per point on a lot of spells, and the corresponding Restoration talent gives a 2% discount per point only for Healing Touch and Tranquility. While Tree of Life is still the big winner, at a 20% discount to all HoTs, it's deeper in the tree and is situational.

In summary, every Druid build should try to include Omen of Clarity. It's just that good.
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Post#18 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:19 pm

Well, it looks like the fully maxed out raiding Restoration spec hasn't changed much. Improved Tranquility still falls by the wayside, though. Tragic.
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Post#19 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:57 pm

I need to clarify something about Omen of Clarity. The 3.5 PPM rate is for melee autoattacks, not for spells. I have to go back and do some checking to see what the proc rate is for spellcasting; I heard something like 6%, but that could be wrong. If it is a flat percent on spellcast, then it makes the talent good but not overwhelmingly awesome like I had previously thought. (Example: 6% on chain-cast Starfire = approximately 1.2 PPM).

Blizz has said that another major Druid talent review is coming soon, so stay tuned!
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Post#20 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:37 am

I have worked up a tentative Level 70 Resto build for the pre-WotLK content patch. The only thing that sucks about this build is that Nourish doesn't become available until level 80, so Tranquil Spirit is still a little gimped. However, since Healing Touch will become usable in Tree of Life form, it's worth it to spend the points in Naturalist.

For the "I don't care, HT still sucks" crowd, here's an alternative build.
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Post#21 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:10 am

Scratch everything. (Thanks Blizz.) The new 8885 patch totally changes Boomkins. Let's see:

WotLK Build 8885 wrote:Balance
Skills

  • Nature's Grasp is now a trainable spell and all ranks have been changed to 100% chance on getting struck.
  • Hurricane now increases the time between enemy attacks by 20% (Previously 25%)

Talents
  • Earth and Moon (Tier 10) now has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to increase Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow damage taken by 13% for 12 sec.
  • Moonkin Form (Tier 7) now affects the whole raid and its range has been increased to 45 yards.
  • Improved Moonkin Form (Tier 7) now grants 1/2/3% Haste.
  • Improved Faerie Fire (Tier 7) now only affects spell hit chance.
  • Nature's Grace moved from Tier 5 to Tier 3.
  • Moonglow moved from Tier 5 to Tier 2.
  • Celestial Focus (Tier 4) changed to: Gives your Starfire and Starfall spells a 5% chance to stun the target for 3 sec and increases your total spell haste by 1%.
  • Insect Swarm moved to Tier 5 and reduces hit chance by 5% (Previously Tier 3 and 2%)
  • Focused Starlight renamed Nature's Majesty and now affects Nourish and Healing Touch as well.
  • Control of Nature (Tier 2) removed.
  • *New Talent* Improved Insect Swarm (Tier 5): Increases your damage done by your Wrath spell to targets afflicted by your Insect Swarm by 1/2/3%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Starfire spell by 1/2/3% on targets afflicted by your Moonfire spell.
  • *New Talent* Nature's Splendor (Tier 3): Increases the duration of your Moonfire, Insect Swarm, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Lifebloom and Flourish spells by 10/20/30%.
  • *New Talent* Genesis (Tier 1): Increases the damage and healing done by your periodic spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.

Feral
Talents
  • Infected Wounds (Now Tier 9) and King of the Jungle (Now Tier 8 ) have swapped places.
  • *New Talent* Mother Bear[PH][NYI] (Tier 8 ): Increases the bonus attack power for Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by an additional 20/40/60/80/100%, and for each friendly player in your party, damage you take is reduced while in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • *New Talent* Natural Reaction[PH] (Tier 6): Increases your dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 2/4/6%, and you regenerate 1/2/3 rage eveyrtime you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.

Restoration
Talents

  • Tree of Life (Tier 9) Increases healing by 3% to all party and raid member now.
  • Improved Tree of Life (Tier 9) changed to: Increases your Armor while in Tree of Life Form by 33/66/100%, and reduces the mana cost of your heal over time spells while in Tree of Life Form by an additional 5/10/15%.
  • Nature's Focus (Tier 1) now affects Wrath, Entangling Roots, and Cyclone in addition to Healing Touch, Nourish, Regrowth and Tranquility.
  • Furor (Tier 1) changed to: Gives you 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form or 40 Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form, and increases your total Intellect while in Moonkin form by 2/4/6/8/10%.


This is a huge revision to the Balance tree and I'm already drooling over some of the changes (10% Intellect buff from Furor? Nature's Grasp trainable?!). I'm going to theorycraft a few new builds and post them later in the day.

Some off-the-cuff reactions:
* Blizzard really wants the Balance and Restoration trees to synergize. There's actually a reason to invest in Balance now for a healer instead of going 0/0/71, with NG and Moonglow moved down and several low tier Balance talents affecting HoTs.
* Blizzard really, really seems to be forcing Balance Druids to choose between mana efficiency and power. 10% Intellect bonus synergizes wonderfully with Lunar Guidance and Dreamstate, but is it enough to make up for having to skip Intensity? Seriously, the last thing we needed was more critical talents in the Restoration tree...


Build Idea 1 - Pure single target DPS. Forget AoE. Forget pushback resistance. Just nuke the crap out of one thing.
Build Idea 2 - AoE monster. Good for PvP too, although in that case I'd move points from Furor to Nature's Focus and Owlkin Frenzy.
Build Idea 3 - Get Intensity, OoC, and Master Shapeshifter, then try to maximize nukage.

Whether build 1 or 3 will be more viable for raid DPS depends greatly on how the mana regeneration model works in WotLK.

Level 70 Boomkin - Best I can come up with for level 70 raiding at the moment.

Level 80 Resto 1 - Here's a new picture of the Balance/Resto synergy at work. I mean, with Moonglow available at Tier 2, forget about Tranquil Spirit. Also, Nature's Splendor + Gift of the Earthmother means you could roll your Lifebloom on nine targets at the same time :shock: The only consideration here is whether you would take a point off of anywhere else to get Nature's Grace.
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Post#22 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:47 pm

There are not a lot of Druid changes for build 8926, but the ones I noticed offhand are:
  • Nature's Splendor now increases durations by 1/2/3 sec instead of 10/20/30%. It nerfs Rejuvenation and Regrowth slightly, but buffs Lifebloom and Flourish.
  • Nature's Grace no longer mentions reducing Wrath GCD.
  • Gift of the Earthmother now reduces Regrowth and Lifebloom GCD by 2% per rank rather than 0.1 sec, which is a significant nerf (1 sec GCD previously to 1.35 sec).


If there's anything else that the MMO Champion guys find, I'll post it. Blizzard still hasn't resolved the issue of Balance needing to spend up to 18 points in Restoration, nor addressed the question of why all the tier sets have Spirit when Balance is apparently intended to use Intellect/MP5 as its primary mana resource.

On the Restoration side, the loss of the 1 sec GCD on LB/RJ hurts, but the new Nature's Splendor makes up for it quite a bit by giving Lifebloom up to 3 more ticks. Previously, I had said that it was now possible to roll up to 9 targets. This change drops that number to seven, which is still enough to give me carpal tunnel syndrome. I believe there's also a glyph that gives Lifebloom an extra tick; with that you could theoretically roll up to 8 with perfect timing. Of course, a more reasonable interpretation would be that we're intended to do things with our cooldowns other than maintain Lifeblooms, even on 3-4 tanks. :-)
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Post#23 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:01 am

Initial results from PTRs with Boomkin...

Earth & Moon: teh sex. Massively increases soloing DPS, especially on elites.
Typhoon: currently broken, says Invalid Target whenever you attempt to cast it no matter what.
Eclipse: Meh. I never notice the proc enough to make proper use of it. Will have to experiment some more.
Hurricane: It can crit now? Holy jeebus!
Starfall: Very sexy. Fire and forget spell, so it's basically an AoE DoT that can also crit.
Nature's Splendor: Messes up the rotation I've trained myself to use. Other than that, it's very nice.
Improved Moonkin Form: The haste is awesome; the Spirit conversion is somewhat blah considering the lack of it on my gear. Throw in the nerf to Lunar Guidance and my spell power is lower in 3.0 than on live.

Mana regeneration is so-so. Losing Intensity costs me about 100 mp5 self-buffed, if I'm reading the numbers properly. This hurts, to say the least. The proc from Moonkin Form does give me some of that back, but it's hard to tell if it'll compensate without further testing, especially in a raid environment.

Initial conclusion: Very significant DPS buffs in this build, especially for soloing, but at level 70 it seems like we might reclaim our oomkin moniker in raids.
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Post#24 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:03 am

With the latest (8982) build, Balance Druids got some more love. The base damage of Insect Swarm, Wrath, and Starfire has been dramatically increased (by over 50% in Starfire's case). Eclipse now gives 15% crit to Starfire instead of 10, and Typhoon has a longer range.

This still doesn't address mana issues, but it does greatly increase our damage - Starfire alone will do about 130 more DPS at max rank, before factoring in crits, haste, or talent increases.
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Post#25 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:24 am

I'm going to do a full 3.0 Resto review soon, based on the latest patch changes, but I wanted to take a few moments to mention the major recent updates.

The biggest skill change is that Lifebloom has had its healing reduced and mana cost increased. This sucks, but we saw it coming. Blizzard maintained that, in BC, Lifebloom was dramatically stronger than intended; it wasn't supposed to have become our primary heal, but just another tool in our arsenal. The fact that we can roll LBs all day and never go OOM while delivering ~4000 HPS across 4 targets was just a wee bit OP.

In the Balance tree, Nature's Grace got bumped up to a 3 point talent (33/66/100% chance on crit for the next spell's cast time to be reduced by 0.5 sec), making it less attractive for full Restoration builds - although crits are being made more useful by Living Seed, they are still not a reliable HPS booster. However, Nature's Splendor got bumped down to a single talent point (duration of all DoT and HoT spells increased by 3 sec), hugely increasing its value. All PvE Resto builds should seriously consider investing in this talent now - it buffs Lifebloom and Wild Growth by a whopping 43% while freeing up a minimum of 2 GCDs per spell.

On the Restoration side, Gift of the Earthmother keeps getting toyed with; its latest incarnation doubles the base GCD reduction from 10% to 20%, so now Lifebloom and Rejuvenation will be 1.2 sec with this talent rather than 1.35. It's still damn nice. (Math: 10 sec duration / 1.2 sec GCD = 8 rolling LBs; or you could hold Rejuvenation on 12 targets, etc.) In other news, Flourish was renamed Wild Growth, and its net healing was reduced by around 75%. No, that's not a typo: Blizzard said that it was way too good in its original incarnation, healing as much as CoH in its first tick. It's intended to heal about 50% more than CoH, but over time instead of all at once.

In response to questions about Wild Growth's nerf, Blizzard said that Druids needed an AoE healing tool, but they are not intended to replace Priests or Shamans as the best in that role. Apparently, encounter design in WotLK will feature plenty of places where AoE healing is useful. It remains to be seen how valuable Wild Growth will be in raid healing, given the strength of CoH and Chain Heal.

(Note: Paladins are getting Beacon of Light as their quasi-AoE healing tool; the value of this is that they can continue to heal the tank while also healing the other members of their group. No Paladin HoTs for you - unless you count Sheath of Light, that is.)

Another item that is worth mentioning is that Lifebloom's final bloom - along with Prayer of Mending and Earth Shield - should now credit their heals to the caster rather than the recipient. This will make healing meters more accurate, but its principal in-game effect will be that the caster will now also be credited with the threat generated by these effects. Thus, you can no longer use PoM or ES as a cheap initial threat generation technique for tanks; in fact, precasting PoM in a large pull could well get the healer smashed. To help avoid this problem, all tanks are getting better AoE threat generation tools.

The final value of this change applies particularly to Paladins, as they should now properly regenerate mana from Spiritual Attunement when they get healed via these spells.
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Post#26 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:29 pm

Build 9014 Druid changes wrote:Skills
Feral
  • Mangle - Cat damage increased from 160% normal damage to 200% normal damage. Additional damage increased as well. (507 to 634 for Rank 5)
  • Rake damage has been increased. (from [ 6% of AP + 387 ] to [ 18% of AP + 1161 ] for Rank 7)
  • Swipe now affects an unlimited amount of targets
Talents
Balance
  • Nature's Splendor now increases the duration of Lifebloom by 2 seconds. (Down from 3)
Feral
  • Protector of the Pack now reduces the damage you take by 1/2%. (Down from 3%)
Glyphs
  • Glyph of Regrowth - Increases the healing of your Regrowth spell by 20% if your Regrowth effect is still active on the target. (Old - Increases the amount of your initial Regrowth heal by 50% if your Regrowth effect is still active on the target.)
  • Glyph of Aquatic Form - Increases your swim speed by 50% (up from 20%) while in Aquatic Form.

Basically, Nature's Splendor no longer buffs Lifebloom by quite such a ridiculous amount; Feral tanks lose some of their mitigation but gain AoE tanking; and Mangle and Rake got buffed.
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Post#27 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:40 am

I was reading about some upcoming changes to Druids on MMO Champion, but I didn't have time to fully explore them or copy them down for posting while I'm at work. There were a couple things that stood out for me, however.

* Wild Growth is getting buffed, to approximately double Circle of Healing's base effect. This should improve its usefulness as a raid healing tool. The major complaint about this ability is simply that it doesn't deliver healing fast enough, and is therefore basically worthless when it's always being preempted by CoH and Chain Heal.

* Nourish is under review (obviously this applies only in the expansion, since the ability is gained at level 80) - the idea is that it's a Flash Heal/Flash of Light ability that the Druid can use to gain some burst healing on tanks inbetween HoT refreshes. However, in its current implementation, it's weaker than Regrowth, especially when the Glyph of Regrowth is considered.
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Post#28 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:44 am

A few updates on Balance from this morning's blue posts:

* Several talents, such as Moonfury, are having their maximum rank reduced from 5 to 3 while keeping the same effect, freeing up some points in the tree. This is designed to address one of the major Balance concerns: it takes too many points to max out DPS, leaving nothing for utility.

* Some improvements to Eclipse are being looked at to encourage players to pay attention to the procs (a major issue with Balance is that there are now too many procs to keep track of).

* Typhoon has apparently had some major bugs on beta, including being spammable with no cooldown and always having Rank 5 trained even if you reset talents.

* Treants are apparently not getting Stamina boosts from level or the Druid's Stamina, making them very fragile. This is being looked at.

I was also browsing some Restoration threads on the beta forums and came up with the tidbits that the buff to Wild Growth is being very well received by the community, and Nourish apparently had its mana cost reduced, making it more useful as well.
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Post#29 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:25 am

Here are some updated Druid specs, based on beta build 9061.

Resto 70 - HoT focus - Unfortunately you can't get Nature's Splendor and Wild Growth at 70 (boo). At Level 80, I'd probably take it here.
Resto 70 - HT focus - With HT castable in ToL form, this build gives you a chance to use it effectively. It lacks mana efficiency talents though. Its logical Level 80 conclusion is here.

Up later, more Boomkin fun.
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Post#30 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:23 am

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