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Druid Class Feedback

September 21, 2011
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As I’m sure most of you are aware, Blizzard recently asked for class feedback on the forums.  I’ve been putting off responding because I had a lot to say about it, and, well, I’m lazy.  However, I finally got around to writing up a forum post, and after over an hour of work I went to submit — only to discover that the thread was full.  I had assumed that Blizzard would open a new thread if the original one filled up, but I guess I they only want so much feedback.  :/

Someone else started a second thread that people have been posting additional feedback in, so I posted mine there too.  However, I have no idea if Blizzard will bother to read it.  So, in order to avoid feeling like I’ve wasted the last couple hours of my life, I’m going to post it here too (instead of writing about the raid  nerfs like I had intended).  Aren’t you lucky?

I actually wrote two feedback posts, one for Resto and one for Boomkin, but I’ll combine them here:

What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]
PvE.

If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
10-man raiding primarily.

If PvP, what type of PvP? [Arenas, BGs, Rated BGs]
I don’t PvP often.

What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.

For Resto:

– Our HoTs make us aggro magnets for spawning adds, and we have no aggro dumping abilities. This has lead to strategies like, “ok, I won’t heal anyone in the Nefarian fight until the adds have all been picked up”. (And in Phase 3 Nefarian I had to be careful about using Tranquility, because if the adds re-animated while I was casting it, they’d rush over to me and kill me instantly.) It’s irritating to me that the two healing classes with aggro dumps — Priests and Pallies — have specs that primarily use direct heals, so they don’t have the same aggro issues.

– I really miss permanent tree form. It was a major part of my identity as a Druid healer. Part of the reason I rolled Druid was in order to heal as a tree. And I HATE the new default tree form — it’s huge and ugly and male! Thankfully you gave us the Glyph of the Treant, but it’s sad that I only see my tree self in combat during periods of intense healing when I can’t enjoy it. I miss seeing the old tree dance. 😦

For Balance:

– Having to switch in and out of form when mounting and dismounting is a pain.  We are generally the last to actually be able to start fighting after dismounting because we have to take the time to switch into form before starting our rotation.  We can ride some mounts in Moonkin form, why not all of them?  Or allow the game to remember what form we were in when we mounted and then automatically put us into that form when we dismount.

What makes playing your class more fun?

In General:

– Shapeshifting, hands down. Flight form is amazing, there are so many fun uses for it.

– Knowing that I can respec to fill any role if I want to.

– I have the best 5 dances in the game!

For Resto:

– Healing on the move. Having a lot of instant cast spells. Not having to conform to the “3 Heal” model.

– Hitting Tranquility and watching all the health bars fill up.

– Being able to raid heal or tank heal effectively, instead of being stuck with just one job like we were in Wrath.

For Balance:

– Doing incredible AoE damage with Wild Mushrooms while in Solar Eclipse is very fun, when it works.  (Actually being in Solar Eclipse, lots of adds in one small area, tank keeping the adds on top of the mushrooms…)  It’s even worth it when I pull aggro and die on trash pulls.  😀

– This is probably a dumb reason, but I love the little hooting noises I make when I take damage.  They are hilarious!

– I love that my Resto gear pretty much works for my Boomkin spec, so I don’t have to carry as much gear around and can do competitive DPS in my off-spec when required.

What makes playing your class less fun?

I feel like the answer to this question has been covered in the quality of life and rotation sections.

How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)

For Resto:

– I find the lack of any long term HoTs irritating. There are too many short term HoTs plus our Mastery buff to keep track of.

– We spend too much time micromanaging Lifebloom. It’s pretty easy to keep the stack up as a tank healer, but when raid healing there are a lot of mechanics that can separate me from the tank at the exact moment I need to refresh it. Because of this I tend to refresh the stack early — when 3-4 seconds are left on the duration — rather than waiting to refresh it just as it falls off. In contrast, both Beacon and Earthshield are “set it and forget it”, and they don’t take 3 GCDs to cast. I hate when I have to decide whether I’m going to heal the DPSer that’s dying or refresh my stack, knowing that if the stack falls off I’ll have to spend 3 seconds building the stack again instead of healing.

– We need a mitigation or absorption cooldown for tank healing. I love being able to tank heal now, but we just don’t have the tools to deal with sudden high damage spikes that the other classes do. Mitigating/absorbing damage will always be better at preventing tank death than simply healing damage up afterward. Once I’ve used Swiftmend and my Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch there’s nothing I can do but spam Healing Touch. It’s frustrating.

– The ramp-up time on our healing can lead to tank death at the beginning of a large pull. Again, this is partially due to taking three GCDs to stack Lifebloom, but also because our direct heals require HoTs active to be potent.

For Balance:

Eclipse is crazy broken.  I love the idea of the mechanic, but it is not working.  The way it scales with gear creates a huge disparity between the damage we can do in Eclipse versus the damage we do out of it as we gear up.  Our AoE damage is far too dependent on being in Solar Eclipse.  This means that we have to “game” Eclipse in order to sit in Solar as long as possible, and often have to make a choice between doing higher DPS on the boss or higher DPS on the adds.  Since adds usually have to go down ASAP, we tend to choose the latter.  Being able to multi-dot adds without leaving Solar is important enough to our AoE that I could not keep the new Lunar Shower talent in my build.  However, not having that talent means that my DPS on the move has been severely limited.  We should not be having to make these kinds of trade offs.  Here are some suggestions for possible solutions:

– Give us Arcane AoE.  Hurricane is a currently useless spell — if you changed it to Arcane instead of Nature damage we could use it in place of Wild Mushrooms while in Lunar Eclipse.  Or make Wild Mushrooms transform into Astral Mushrooms during a Lunar Eclipse so that we can use them in Lunar (much like how Moonfire turns into Sunfire).

– Rework our Mastery.  Perhaps one Mastery rating could give a 1% boost to all damage and a 2% boost to damage while in Eclipse.  This would smooth out the disparity between being in and out of Eclipse and would ease the scaling problems.

– Allow Eclipse to last until the next Eclipse is reached.  Currently our bonus from being in an Eclipse state ends when we reach the middle of our rotation, at 0 Solar/Lunar energy.  However, it could be changed so that the Eclipse state doesn’t end until the next Eclipse state is reached.  For example, when 100 Solar Energy is reached we would have 100% of our increased damage from Eclipse.  As we cast spells to move away from Solar and toward Lunar that increased damage would decay but never completely disappear, so at 95% Lunar energy and right before a Lunar Eclipse we would still have maybe 5% of our increased damage from Solar Eclipse.  This would again smooth out our issues with gear scaling.

What’s on your wish list for your class?

For Resto:

– Change Lifebloom so that one application sets 3 stacks instantly. (This could be baseline, or granted through a talent, or an ability with a cooldown.) Or, you know, just get rid of the stacking thing entirely.

– Increase the duration of Lifebloom so it has to be applied less often (though I realize this would make Lifebloom much less useful in PvP).

– Reduce the threat component of our HoTs and/or give us a threat dumping ability.

– A tank healing mitigation or absorption cooldown.  This could be on a fairly long CD to prevent us from being overpowered. (I would not want to see our raid healing cooldowns — Tree Form and Tranquility — nerfed in order to get this.)

For Balance:

– An Eclipse mechanic that actually works and is not endlessly frustrating to use.

– The ability to retain my form when mounting and dismounting.

What spells do you use the least?

For Resto:

I feel like all of our Resto abilities have a use at the moment, which is awesome. If I had to give an answer I’d probably say Nourish, because it’s pretty useless for raid healing. However, I use Nourish quite a lot during periods of low damage for tank healing.

For Balance:

Hurricane.  It has been nerfed into uselessness.  I understand that you wanted to encourage us to use Wild Mushrooms, but it’s sad to see one of my favourite spells languish in the spellbook.

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