After a crazy couple weeks of school and life situations, I am back! And of course I am going to hit the topic that all the druids are talking about…Cataclysm changes!

Here is the orginal topic from World of Warcraft forums. I am just pulling out the Restoration Changes here directly from the post:

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

  • All heal-over-time spells (HoTs) will benefit from crit and haste innately in Cataclysm. Hasted HoTs do not reduce their duration, but instead add additional HoT ticks. Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.
  • Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.
  • Barkskin will be innately undispellable.
  • Druids will lose Abolish Poison with the dispel mechanics change, but Restoration druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All druids can still remove poisons with Cure Poison and remove curses with Remove Curse.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.
  • Restoration druids will have a new talent called Efflorescence, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

HoT Scale Healing

HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

So much is going on here! But lets try to break it down.

HoT changes:

  • Now get benefits from crit and haste and will do more damage on wounded targets

I think the HoT changes are great. Haste and Crit are great benefits to these spells, since all spells are affected by them generally, it will be nice to have our main heals helped by our stats finally. Plus the HoTs will last longer rather than be fast like we are used to with the Rapid Rejuvenation glyph. The lower the health the more damage healed by HoTs, also taken from a Rejuvenation glyph, but working for all of our HoTs is wonderful. Extra healing never hurt anyone! I just am wondering if they will lower the amount healed overall if the target is not injured? Will the HoTs be healing for less then they are now? I am sure we will find this out eventually.

No new spells is something that seemed to shock everyone. After seeing the cool new priest and shammy spells, us druids hoped we would be getting something! I will however say that the new talent Efflorescence is pretty cool. I just wonder how much it could actually heal for. Now druids do have a lot of healing spells, so I can see what they are doing. But do we even use them all? Rejuvenation – yes, Wild Growth – yes, Nourish – yes, Regrowth – yes, Lifebloom – no, Healing Touch – no (unless you are using Nature’s Swiftness with it so you can once every few minutes, but personally I only use it in “oh crap” situations),  Tranquility – no (sometimes for fun or when my puppy is peeing on my carpet and I am in battle. I though that out and no one dies! ). Some count Swiftmend as a healing spell, which I use in again “oh crap” situations, but I feel it ranks up there with Nature’s Swiftness, not a heal but a healing helper.

Yes, we have a lot of spells, more than a Shammy but about the same as a priest, who is getting new pretties. However, I understand what the developers are trying to do. They want to make all spells useful again. I am happy they are trying to do this, maybe I will get to use Lifebloom again more effectively. I am interesting in seeing how they will do this.

I am excited to finally get dispel magic! This will make us very helpful in many situations. 🙂

Now the biggie….Tree Form change. To start I will say that I am not happy about losing Tree Form…at all. I played a druid before the Tree Form was ever concocted, and the day it previewed I was happy as a clam.

I also know there are many that hate Tree Form for various reasons. I think it gives us character. It is a form. Druids are forms. Why should resto be left out? So Blizzard wants to give us a cool down Tree Form so that we can be in caster form and be more utility. I ask why? What healer of ANY class is DPSing during ICC boss fights? What does being out of Tree Form matter then? If you want to DPS, then be a DPS…not a healer.

Blizzard also feels that we NEED to be in the form to be the best. We cannot compare to Shammys, Pallys, and Priests who can just be the best healers all the time. I just do not understand this point. How hard is it to shift to form? I do it all the time on fights where I am snared in someway. Let me tell you it takes a button press.

What about OOMkin? They are limited to DPSing to their form. Is Blizzard going to remove that? What about Bear form? They only tank. Blizzard should get rid of that too! Oh I forgot Cat form…well get it out of here! Please. Blizzard acts like it is hard to hit a button and shift out of the Tree Form. It is easy. They say it will let us show off our armor. Again…cmon! If you want to show off your armor walk around Dalaran in caster form. Why would you be showing it off when you are healing a Dungeon or Raid? Everyone has gear score already and knows you are leet…

Oh but we might get a minor glyph that lets us look like we are in Tree all the time. Yay….I think Blizzard is just unable to find a balance between the Tree lovers and Tree haters. So they just gave in to the Haters, which in the end is fine. Nothing we can truly do about that. My question to the haters is why do you hate Tree Form so much? Maybe if I had some feedback I would understand why and get the change. Everyone is entitled, I just feel that if the lovers and the haters could find a happy medium, everyone would love it!

I would just like them to let us customize the form. I would like to be a Willow Tree all the time, and then a Christmas Tree during the Christmas season! Now that would be fun! What do you guys think? Would letting you change the look make you like the form more?

One of the other biggest issues was the buffs that Tree Form gives : armor, bonus heal. What was to happen to that? We have been assured that Blizzard will try to find a way to give us our benefits without the Tree Form.

Anyway, now Tree Form might be a buff/cooldown like the Warlocks Demon Form, Metamorphosis. It is unknown what this will give us as of yet. I just hope this makes up for the heavy loss we will be feeling.

In the end, I will be very sad without my lovely Tree Form. But, like most of the game, I will just keep on rolling with all the changes that Blizzard desires to make.